Neutering and spaying is the term used for animal castration. The procedure involves surgically removing the reproductive tubes in order to eliminate that animal’s sex hormones. This surgery is primarily done for animals who are not yet sexually mature, as it can prevent undesirable behaviors associated with mating.
As a pet owner who is looking to neuter or spay a Chihuahua, you might find yourself wondering when is the best time to do this?
The short answer to that question is that you should neuter / spay your Chihuahua between 2 to 6 months of age. There are however some nuances we need to discuss before you make the decision to go along with these procedures for your Chihuahua.
In this article, we’ll first outline the benefits of spaying or neutering your Chihuahua and then discuss the reasons of doing it within the said time frame along with some common medical concerns that these procedures prevent.
Benefits of spaying or neutering your Chihuahua
It is helpful to understand that these surgeries are not just done as a means of sterilizing your Chihuahua. In fact, there are a number of reasons why it can be beneficial to have your pet neutered or spayed within the first couple of months after birth.
Some of the reasons why you should spay or neuter your Chihuahua include:
1. Prevention of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior
Many people who have owned a pet dog might be familiar with this common problem. The hormones that are produced when dogs reach sexual maturity can cause them to become more aggressive and even destructive.
In Chihuahuas, you might notice signs of aggression such as excessive barking and nipping at people’s feet. In some cases, a sexually mature dog may also try to escape the house or yard in order to look for a mate.
Allowing your Chihuahua to become sexually mature before neutering it can result in all of the previously mentioned behaviors. The hormones that are produced by sexual maturity can cause your Chihuahua to be more aggressive and territorial, which is why it’s so important to get the surgery done before this happens.
2. Prevention of Unwanted Litters
Another reason for spaying or neutering your dog concerns unwanted lit ters. If you don’t plan on breeding your dog, then this probably isn’t an issue for you. However, if you are thinking about producing puppies in the near future, it’s important to note that Chihuahuas can mate as early as 6 months of age, meaning that the surgery should be done before this time.
3. Prevention of Certain Health Problems
Spaying and neutering your Chihuahua can help prevent certain medical problems from developing. In females, these issues may include false pregnancy, uterine cancer, and pyometra. In males, prostate disease can develop once they reach sexual maturity. By having these surgeries done at a young age before any of the health conditions develop, you can help ensure that your Chihuahua stays healthy.
Spaying your female Chihuahua
Female chihuahua will enter her first heat at around six to eight months of age. Some studies suggest when a female Chihuahua is spayed prior to her first heat cycle, she has zero chance of developing mammary tumours, an aggressive and deadly form of the disease which affects 50% of unspayed female dogs .
Other studies have shown that if a female is spayed after her second heat, the risk of developing a tumor increases. If she enters and leaves season four before surgery there’s only a 1 in 4 chance she’ll get this type of cancer. It is for this reason that female Chihuahuas are usually spayed before their first heat cycle.
Neutering your male Chihuahua
There are reasons for why a male chihuahua sould be neutered between 2 – 67 months of age. Studies have shown that neutering at an early stage can cause issues with joints and can cause the leg bones to grow faster than the growth plates. This results in false joints forming, causing an increase in hip dysplasia .
Moreover, unneutered Chihuahuas are more prone to developing undesirable behaviours such as urine marking and roaming in search of a mate. This is known as the ‘Neutering Paradox’ and it states that when neutered, dogs tend to calm down and become more stable in temperament .
You can be rest assured that practically all dog experts will agree that neutering is essential and should be done before puberty around 6 months of age. This procedure will prevent your Chihuahua from displaying undesired behaviors, and can also help prevent certain diseases.
It is expected that Chihuahuas will live between 15-20 years, so they can give you years of love and joy. Taking this step to neuter your pet will help ensure it remains healthy for the duration of its life!