It may come as a surprise to most pet owners to learn that neutering can save an animal's life.
Every year vets treat thousands of pets suffering from complex illnesses, such as pyometra (a life-threatening infection of the womb), prostate disease and cancer of the mammary glands - conditions that could be prevented by neutering.
The process is widely associated with stopping unwanted pregnancies, and therefore reducing the numbers of stray and abandoned pets.
But there are other surprising advantages that should be considered.
"It is upsetting for owners when pets become critically ill with conditions that could have been prevented by neutering," explains PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sean Wensley. "Neutering is a vital part of responsible pet care, and it has important health benefits. It also allows very social animals, such as rabbits, to be kept together without producing unwanted offspring."
Aggressive behaviour can also be reduced when an animal is neutered, particularly male cats who are less likely to roam or fight, which in turn reduces their chances of getting feline AIDS (FIV) which is spread by bites and scratches.
Owners should always speak to their vet for advice about reducing aggression though, as there are many options available for improving behaviour, which may or may not include neutering.
Pet owners interested in finding out more can get a free copy of the PDSA's Neutering leaflet by logging onto www.pdsa.org.uk/leaflets. It is also available from PDSA PetAid hospitals and charity shops across the UK, or by calling freephone 0800 917 2509.
The PDSA itself offers affordable preventive services, including neutering, microchipping and vaccinations to eligible clients.
To be eligible, pet owners must be in receipt of either Council Tax Benefit or Housing Benefit and live within the designated catchment area of a PDSA PetAid service.
PDSA recommends all owners speak to their vet about the benefits of getting their pet neutered.
For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk or call freephone 0800 731 2502.