Spaying and neutering are the most popular forms of birth control for animals. Spaying is a procedure used for female pets in which the internal reproductive organs are removed. Neutering, a less invasive procedure, is used for male pets and involves the removal of the testicles. Both operations are very common and offer relief from unwanted pregnancy and pet overpopulation. In addition, having your female pet spayed will prevent the occurrence of the heat cycle, which often attracts unwelcome male animals into your yard. Neutering will usually lessen the tendency of a male pet to roam and spray its territory. Many animal shelters require that all adopted animals be spayed or neutered to help diminish pet overpopulation. If you are not planning on breeding your pet, you may consider these procedures to protect against unwanted litters. For more information on spaying and neutering, contact your veterinarian.