Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Spaying and neutering dramatically alters pet lifespans


The Banfield Pet Hospital State of Health report is one of the most revealing surveys in the veterinary field, tracking many of the most important trends in pet health. This year’s iteration was no different and showcased some of the more common diagnoses and other statistics. Each year, the study will examine a particular area of pet health, and this year’s focused on the lifespan of pets.

Based on data compiled from vet visits of 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats to Banfield hospitals in 2012, it was found that spayed and neutered cats live far longer than dogs who have received the same surgery, reports CatChannel.com. “This year’s report is focused on the overall lifespan of pets, state by state, as well as factors that may influence lifespan,” Marta Monetti, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Banfield told the news outlet.

When examining lifespans in relation to spaying and neutering surgeries, there was a large discrepancy between dogs and cats. For felines, neutered cats lived 62 percent longer than unneutered males, while spayed females lived 39 percent longer than those who did not receive the same surgery. In the case of dogs, neutered males lived 18 percent longer while females enjoyed a 23 percent advantage.

According to PetProductNews.com, lifespans also varied greatly from state to state. Mississippi and Alabama dogs experienced the lowest expected lifespans at 10.1 years, while cats in Delaware and Ohio are only expected to live between 10.7 and 10.9 years. Who has it the best? Dogs in Montana and South Dakota are expected to live the longest at 12.4 years, while feline longevity is best in Montana with an average age of 14.3 years.

While there was plenty of valuable information to come out of the Banfield State of Pet Health Report, it once again shed light on just how valuable spaying and neutering surgeries can be for a pet’s overall life expectancy. By avoiding reproductive cycles, the risk of many reproductive cancers and helping to reduce the pet population, these surgeries could be the most important investments any potential pet parent can consider when making the decision to adopt a dog or cat.

This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we’re here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.