Spaying and neutering is one of the valuable decisions a dog owner can make. With this single choice you are increasing your Chihuahua’s potential life span, as well as helping to control the ever-growing pet population. With the number of unwanted animals entering US shelters each year totaling upwards of six to eight million, this is a problem that demands each and every pet owner’s attention.
Prime time for spaying or neutering is when your Chihuahua is between 4 and 6 months old. Avoid waiting until 8 to 10 months of age to spay or neuter. Many dogs experience a fear development period at this time, and a surgical hospitalization can plant an ingrained fear of going back to the hospital. It can also lead to aggression.
Females spayed before their first season are at much less risk of developing breast cancer than unsprayed females. And because spaying removes the female’s reproductive organs, spayed females never suffer cancers or infections of the ovaries or uterus. And they don’t have unwanted pregnancies and won’t drip blood all over your carpet and furniture.
Spayed females dog also are nicer to live with. Her sexy scent won’t entice males to serenade in chorus on your front lawn. Spaying helps to keep your dog’s disposition consistent and lets her participate in competitive canine events such as obedience and agility without taking three weeks off every six months.
In a nutshell, spaying your Chi when she’s young gives her a healthier life, presents you with fewer hassles, reduce the risk of a big dog mounting her, and doesn’t add to the pet overpopulation problem.
Neutering your male dog before he’s a year old can save him the pain of prostate problems when he ages, including cancer.
Male hormones make dogs desire every female in season whose scent wafts by on the wind. Male hormones also make dogs more aggressive toward other dogs and may contribute to house training problems, such as scent marking. Although neutering won’t immediately cure a frustrated, aggressive Chihuahua with a house training problem, it will eliminate the production of male hormones, which almost always will start your dog on the road to improvement.
Common myths about spaying and neutering
Several myths about spaying and neutering began circulating long time ago, and every one of them is false. The reality is:
- Spaying or neutering does not make a dog fat and lazy. The truth is, altered pets are often the top performers in competitive events. Neutered males can keep their minds on their work, and spayed females can compete throughout the year without losing several weeks because of being in season.
- A female dog does not need to go through her first heat or have a litter of puppies before she is spayed. Dogs who have never experienced a heat cycle or had a litter prior to surgery actually have a decreased risk of developing malignant breast cancer later in life.
- Dogs do not need to wait until they are between six months and a year old for spaying or neutering. Most veterinarians recommend having your dog sterilized shortly after the completion of his or her puppy vaccines, around the age of five months.
- Having a dog sterilized does not detract from his or her personality or gender. Although some research suggests that neutering male dogs can lower aggression levels, there will be very little – if any – difference in your dog’s general temperament as a result of surgery. Sterilized animals will remain just as loving as they were before surgery, and the same will hold true of their protective instincts over their homes and families.
- Male dogs don’t get sad or resentful about being “castrated”. In reality, dogs don’t have human feelings about romantic love and sex. Males never miss the hormones that made them feel frustrated and constantly steered them toward trouble, and females don’t feel unfulfilled because they didn’t have litters.