A lot of owners seem to overlook the importance of having their Chihuahuas spayed or neutered. When you are busy looking at puppies trying to find the one that's right for your family, it's easy to forget about future issues like spaying and neutering. Unfortunately, this results in a large number of Chihuahuas growing up without getting fixed. The fact is that there are countless reasons why you should spay or neuter your Chihuahua.
Some owners are still stuck in the mentality that spaying and neutering is bad because it causes pain and unneeded stress on Chihuahuas. While there have been incidents of infections taking setting in after the surgery, they are few and far between. The American Humane Society states that fixing your dog is one of the best decisions you can make regarding their health and well-being. Most professional veterinarians will also agree that spaying and neutering is a safe, healthy procedure that owners should have performed on their canines.
Is Spaying and Neutering Really Necessary?
The benefits of having your Chihuahua spayed or neutered far outweigh the disadvantages. With that said, there are a few special circumstances when you may want to avoid having the procedure done. If you plan on breeding your Chihuahua at a later date, then you obviously wouldn't want to have them fixed. Of course, this is a big decision that shouldn't be made lightly. Breeding a Chihuahua will require a great deal of time and money, both of which are difficult to come by in today's fast-paced world.
Another instance where you might want to avoid spaying or neutering your Chihuahua is if your veterinarian advises against it. If your Chihuahua has a compromised immune system, is too young or old, or if they have some other underlying health condition, a veterinarian may advise against spaying or neutering. However, contrary to what some people may believe, there's no such thing as a dog that's too small to fix. Always follow the advice of your veterinarian to ensure the safety and well-being of your Chihuahua.
Spaying and Neutering Saves Lives
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 5-7 million animals enter animal shelters each year, and a staggering 60% of these animals are euthanized (3-4 million annually). It's a grim statistic that's only made worse when owners neglect to fix their pets. As a Chihuahua owner, you can do your part to lower these numbers by having your Chihuahua spayed or neutered.
Having your Chihuahua spayed or neutered will prevent them from breeding, which in turn will help deal with overpopulation. Even if you don't plan on breeding your Chihuahua, the hormones set off by a female in heat is a powerful attractant to unfixed males. It's all too common for family Chihuahuas to away from home in search of a mate, which is why you need have yours spayed or neutered.
Neutering Helps To Prevent Males From Running Away
If you've owned unfixed male Chihuahuas or other dogs in the past, you are probably well aware of how eager they are to run off, especially if there's a female in heat nearby. I guess you could call it mother nature's dating service, as it brings the male and female together to propagate the species. Unfortunately, though, shelters and rescues throughout the country are overrun with far more puppies than they can handle. Neutering your male Chihuahua will eliminate their instinctual desire to roam the neighborhood in search of a mate.
With the desire to roam now gone from your male Chihuahua, there's less chance of them becoming injured from other cars, dogs, people or getting into poisonous chemicals. This alone should be reason enough for you to get them neutered.
Neutering Reduces The Chance of Prostate Cancer
As lesser-known benefits of having a neutered Chihuahua is the reduced risk of developing prostate cancers. Each year, thousands of male dogs die from this horrible disease. While having them fixed doesn't completely eliminate their risk of developing prostate cancer is does significantly lower it.
Studies have shown that prostate growth is directly linked to the amount of testosterone a Chihuahua produces; therefore, the more testosterone a Chihuahua has, the higher the risk of developing prostate cancer. Having them neutered removes the testosterone-producing testicles, which lowers their chance of developing this cancer.
No More "Territory Marking" On Your Furniture
One of the biggest complaints owners have about male Chihuahuas is their instinctual behavior that results in them lifting their back leg and and peeing on the sides of furniture. Even if they are potty-trained, they may still have the desire to mark their territory on your furniture. Behavior such as this simply can't be tolerated in the house, especially if you want a clean home without the dreaded smell of pee.
You must understand that male Chihuahuas, or all male dogs for that matter, have the instinctual desire to mark their territory because of the testosterone hormone. By neutering them, their testosterone levels decrease significantly, which should curb their desire to pee on the sides of your furniture, walls and other areas inside the house.
Spaying Eliminates Heat Cycles
Female Chihuahuas go into their heat cycle about once or twice a year. During this time, they will be more sensitive, territorial, and they will bleed. Caring for a Chihuahua in heat requires extra care and attention. By spaying your female Chihuahua, however, you will eliminate their heat cycles altogether.
The truth is that these are just a few of the many benefits of having your Chihuahua spayed or neutered. If there's one reason that draws you to fix your Chihuahua, it should be to help control the population of Chihuahuas that end up in shelters.
*In the words of the famous Price is Right host Bob Barker "Help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered."