Chihuahua Care in 10 Steps
#1 - Chihuahua care must-do #1: have your chihuahua vaccinated and closely follow through on her vaccination schedule. Your puppy should be kept inside and away from other animals until she has received all her shots (around 12-16 weeks old).
Provide adequate preventive treatment against fleas and worms. Your 8-inch high teacup is an easy prey for parasites roaming on the ground.
#2 - Feed your chihuahua high quality food and treats. This will ensure the longevity of a healthy dog, with minimal shedding and pooping. Unlike bigger breeds, chihuahuas eat so little that we all can afford to pay the price for quality. Read
chihuahua food : the good, the bad and the truth
to know what to look for on a food/treat ingredient panel. Follow the feeding guidelines on the bag according to your dog's ideal weight to prevent weight gain. Go easy on the treats!A quarter pound weight gain is equivalent to 6-10 extra pounds on a human.
#3 - Embrace socialization! Socializing means getting your little one accustomed to your environment, your activities, and all living creatures she will eventually encounter. You need to teach her how to behave in presence of other animals, people and kids, while respecting her personality. A lack of socialization will make a very unhappy chihuahua that is easily frightened and overly aggressive. You do not want your chi to be scared and miserable. Your leadership is very important to develop a curious, active and outgoing little chihuahua.
#4 - Start training your dog as soon as you bring her home for the first time. Any behavior that you will expect from your chi has to be taught and trained. Every step of chihuahua care will be a breeze when your chi trusts your leadership. Learn more about
#5 - Provide daily exercise including walks and a few sprint running episodes. Exercise will reinforce your chi's body components, however jumping from certain heights may affect their fragile kneecaps. 60 minutes of exercise will drain enough energy for your chi to be docile and well behaved around the house.
#6 - Develop an obsession about oral care! Toy dog breeds like chihuahuas are prone to plaque and tartar build up from their earliest age. This may quickly lead to bad breath, gingivitis and tooth decay. Moreover, a receding gum is the perfect entry door for bacteria into the bloodstream. Provide your chihuahua care by brushing her teeth every day with dog toothpaste, or give her a Teenie size
Greenies every day to help prevent tartar and plaque buildup.
#7 - Learn the basics on chihuahua grooming. Use doggie wipes, or dog shampoo and warm water, to clean your chi when needed. Do not bathe more than once every three weeks as you will affect your chi's natural oil balance. Be very gentle when brushing her, using a grooming glove, a slicker brush or a soft bristle brush. Clean her ears with a gentle specialty product when needed. Perform nail trimming and anal gland releasing every 2-3 months, or have it done by a professional groomer. Ask your groomer about more chihuahua dog care tips.
#8 - Provide your puppy chihuahua care and attention. A quiet place to rest will represent shelter and protection and will be your chi's safe spot. Chihuahua puppies will need to relieve themselves often, and taking charge of house training very early will avoid a lot of mishaps later on. Puppies eat very little but they need to eat often. They are also prone to hypoglycemia (sudden drop in blood sugar), so you should always have an appropriate dietary supplement on-hand such as karo syrup or Nutri-Cal. Chihuahua care for puppies requires a lot of attention, as any expected or unwanted behavior needs to be taught. Your puppy also needs to learn to become independent while you are not giving her attention.
#9 - Here is the fun part: go ahead, dress up your chihuahua! (to keep her warm). Chihuahua clothes and fashion are evolving as fast as human haute couture, and you should keep a little room in your wardrobe for a few chihuahua sweaters. They will be very handy for walks on chilly days or for carrying her during the cold season. Visit our
Chihuahua Fashion Store (now live!)
to find the cutest chihuahua clothes and fashion accessories.
#10 - Be aware of the most common chihuahua health issues. Chihuahua care will be more effective when you know what to look for, what to do and what to avoid. Limit the heights from which your chi jumps to prevent luxating patella (kneecap dislocation). When suitable, use a harness instead of a collar to avoid collapsed trachea. Do use a harness when your chi is tied up in the backyard or handled by kids. Provide shadow and fresh water in hot weather to prevent overheating.
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