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Should you Spay or Neuter your Chihuahua?

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should you spay or neuter your chihuahua

Spaying is the common name of a surgical procedure that consists of the removal of the ovaries and the uterus of a female pet. On the other hand, neutering refers to the surgical removal of the male testicles.

In general, spaying or neutering your dog has several advantages for your dog, your family and your community. Unless you are planning on breeding your Chihuahua you should consider the surgery.

Unlike what is popularly believed, spaying or neutering your dog will not make your dog obese but could predispose them to weight gain. You should make sure that your Chihuahua is receiving an adequate diet and that he or she is doing enough physical activity as small breed dogs can easily become overweight.

Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Chihuahua

Save money. If you spay or neuter your dog you can save money on your veterinary bills because it reduces the risk of many diseases. You will also save the money needed to take care of a litter.

Prevent pet overpopulation. Each year millions of stray dogs are euthanized or die on the streets. There are homeless animals in every community and in every state.

In the U.S., there are an estimated 6.3 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted while the other half is tragically euthanized (The Humane Society of the United States).

Unless you plan on taking care of a litter or those beautiful Chihuahuas, spaying or neutering your small friend is the best option.

Prolong Your Chihuahua’s Life

Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-altered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs. (The Humane Society of the United States). Spaying and neutering reduces the risk of various diseases, including uterine infections, and mammary gland cancer, and eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer. In addition, the risk of testicular cancer is eliminated, and it decreases the incidence of prostatic disease. Spaying your Chihuahua before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

Your Chihuahua will behave better. When you spay your dog you will avoid heat cycles that can attract males to the house and cause trouble around the neighborhood. Your neutered Chihuahua will have less desire to roam, therefore less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents.

Potential Risks of Early Spaying or Neutering

A study made at the University of California Davis in 2013 showed that the risk of development of hip dysplasia doubles in dogs neutered or spayed before the age of 12 months. In addition, dogs that were neutered or spayed before sexual maturity were more likely to develop a disease called cranial cruciate ligament injury and a type of cancer called lymphoma (Torres de la Riva, 2013). Early neutering or spaying may also be related to an increased incidence of other types of cancers. The good news is that most of these orthopedic problems are more likely to occur in large breed dogs and are not commonly experienced in Chihuahuas. The recommended age of neutering small breed dogs is typically between 6 months to a year of age, as they enter sexual maturity earlier than large breed dogs.

Personally, I plan on waiting a few years before I neuter Ziggy. There is no chance of him getting anyone pregnant, he’s not aggressive, doesn’t mark and his vet feels it’s best to wait a little while.

But he will eventually be neutered.

Spaying or neutering your Chihuahua has many potential health benefits for your pet and it can reduce the costs of medical care. It also has various benefits for the community. Even though there are some potential health risks associated with early spaying or neutering, the scientific evidence against early spaying is not solid so you should discuss these risks with your veterinarian. Overall the benefits of spaying and neutering outweigh the risks.

If you want to see what can happen if you don’t spay your dog, check out this post (warning: it’s graphic)


ASPCA. Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet.

Torres de la Riva, G., Hart, L.B., Farver, T.B., Oberbauer, A.B., et. al. (2013). Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055937

The Humane Society of the United States. Why You Should Spay/Neuter Your Pet.

You may also want to read these posts:

 Human Medicines Safe for DogsClick to Read How to Get Your Chihuahua to Take Their MedicineClick to Read Common Chihuahua Health ProblemsClick to Read

woman kneeling in front of a dog outside in snow

Paula Simons


This article has been reviewed, fact-checked, and approved by Dr. Paula Simons DVM. You can read more about her on our About page.


Tuesday 21st of August 2018

I had a chi who had one testicle that had not descended. The vet recommended he be neutered because he could develop testicular cancer. I bred him once to my daughter's chi, and then had him neutered. He lived for 15 years and was a great little guy.

I elected not to spay my female I got 10 years ago because my male was neutered and I figured why put her through that surgery. BIG MISTAKE. When she was about 8 1/2, she developed a tumor near one of her teats and had to have surgery to remove that tumor and then a second surgery to another one located near another teat. The vet said the tumors could have developed because she had not been spayed. Did I learn? No. About a year later she developed pyometra and nearly died. Fortunately, my vet was able to save her. She was a little over 10 years old when she had that surgery, and she has had a heart condition for several years. She came through the surgery like a champ. She is now doing great, and I am praying she stays healthy for a long time! I will not make that mistake again.


Tuesday 21st of August 2018

Sorry she (and you) had to go through all of that June. I definitely think it's best to get them fixed, as long as it isn't done too early.

Dixie Greschuk

Saturday 13th of January 2018

I am totally FOR neutering and spaying!!!! The only exception would be if you want to stud your dog (which rules out spaying a female) or show your dog. If you have your little male neutered at an early age, he will never lift his leg, he will always squat and that is what I want for all of the little male Chi babies I have owned. Do it as soon as your vet allows. The little Chis that have died from the procedure or have died early because they were spayed or neutered is null/void. Increases their life span. If the expense of these two surgeries is over your budget, you should not have a Chi or any other breed.


Sunday 14th of January 2018

Well now they have so many spay/neuter clinics out there, you can get it done for a low cost or sometimes free. Thanks for posting Dixie!

Krystal Dawn

Friday 1st of December 2017

The breeder we got our brother and sister Chihuahua mix from insisted that they get fixed at ten weeks of age....she covered the cost. Both dogs have had broken and eventually removed legs and vet said it could be from super early neutering and spaying, the bones were like matchsticks! Both had lost a right front leg and three years after losing a leg, Bearbear jumped off hubby's chair and shattered the other front leg, he had turned 5 years old on Sept 1, 2011 and broke his other leg Dec. 29th 2011, vet felt it was in his best interest to be put down....Munchie broke her leg 10 days after her 6th birthday and has done well, she turned 11 on Sept 1st this year...of course we've been overly protective of her and if she is being held, we keep a leash on her to help guide her to the floor when she wants down. Her bones are also very thin.


Friday 1st of December 2017

Poor babies! Yeah 10 weeks is too early for neutering.

Lynnette Chopko

Tuesday 10th of October 2017

I have a 3 yr old tea cup chihua. She is peeing and pooping on the carpet, we have tried several attempts to potty train her without any success. She seems very hyper. Will spaying help ?


Tuesday 10th of October 2017

It doesn't help with all dogs but spaying has been known to help many with hyperactivity and wanting to "mark" everything. We have an article that may help on housetraining:

LINDA Brownholtz

Sunday 25th of June 2017

What are risks if my dog only has 1 testicle out and vet will have to go inside to get to the testcle?


Sunday 25th of June 2017

I'm not a vet Linda so I'm not sure what the answer is to that. I can tell you though, sometimes having the testicle inside can cause issues. My terri-poo Joey had both testicles inside and it was causing bladder issues and the vet said sometimes later it causes worse problems such as cancer. So we had his removed with no issues.