In my many years rescuing, fostering and adopting animals, I have realized the only and the best thing for them IS to get them spayed or neutered, preferably before they hit their first heat cycle. Given, I'm not a vet nor can I hand out unsolicited veterinary advice, but what I can do is speak from experience and urge people to follow suit.
A simple google search will give you the scores of benefits of spaying and neutering your pet, the top ones for me are what I will talk about.
Controlling the population of animals that will end up on the streets, be rehomed within their first year or merely be neglected and tossed out.
Giving the animal a longer life span and preventing them from suffering from potentially dangerous diseases like Cancer & Pyometra
I know the temptation of wanting to breed your dogs, playing with their beautiful puppies and even making a buck of off selling them to potentially "great" homes. Now that may have been okay around 20 years ago, but in this day and age when every second person is backyard breeding to sell the litter, it's becoming a massive problem. Not only are the already homeless dogs and puppies being left behind at the mercy of the streets or being piled up into our already tapped out shelters, but MANY of the perfectly purebred pups are being rehomed within their first year.
The excuses I have heard are "we just can't handle him/her", "we just dont have time for him/her" "we got a small new puppy" "we're moving to another country" "I got married and my inlaws don't allow pets" etc etc.
Initially each excuse used to hit me like a big colorful X-10 bus. but after a couple of years of the same, I feel desensitized to these and just begrudgingly either take the dog in as a foster or find a home or merely ask the shelter to take them in. Is it frustrating? You bet it is. It is heartbreaking and completely demoralizing and feels like hope is lost.
People just refuse to stop breeding.
Professional breeders and individual breeders alike, fail to see the bigger picture. Their mind is on the money and dogs are being bred for no apparent reason at all. In fact some dogs are being so over-bred that they come with a plethora of issues that usually the rescuers have to deal with once the breeders are done bothering with that particular dog.
This isn't just a problem that dogs face, but cats too. In fact cats face this even more since they can have up to 3 or 4 litters a YEAR. That is around 6 kittens per litter, that is around 20 kittens per year. Now throw in over 2 million+ cats you have 40 million cats. PER YEAR.
Dogs, we estimate around 1 million+ dogs on the street. Each female dog has puppies twice a year, a litter of 6 to 8 puppies. That is 16 puppies on the average. and if we even take a 50% female to male rate, that is around 8 million puppies being born a YEAR.
So why spay and neuter? because with every dog or cat you spay or neuter, you're potentially saving an entire generation of cats or dogs from being out on the streets, being mistreated, neglected, being used and abused as puppy mills AND you would be encouraging people to adopt.
This brings me to my second point, the health reasons. Many people do not believe in spaying or neutering, instead, they just have a contraceptive shot injected every few months into their pet. That contraceptive shot has known to completely mess up the reproductive system as well as lead to Pyometra, which is basically pus filling up in the uterus... leading to death unless spayed.
By spaying and neutering, you're also preventing uterian, ovarian, testicular cancer in your pet, which can surely develop, especially if you're NOT breeding your pet.
Every responsible pet owner, should definitely spay and neuter their dog or cat, it's the right thing to do in my opinion and you're not only giving them a better, healthier life, you're saving so many more to come.
A lot of people have argued that the dog or cat will feel bad, but it doesn't work that way. Animals breed on instinct, not because they love someone and want to have a baby with them. For the most part, the animal does not have a choice! He or she has been entrusted to you, for you to speak for them and do what's best.