It’s not unusual to be a little overwhelmed about how to look after your chihuahua puppy. They’re so tiny yet so vulnerable. This dog that – for now – can fit in the palm of your hand has the needs of a puppy and the heart of a warrior.
This post is a guide to the important responsibilities that come with caring for a chihuahua puppy. You’ll learn how to protect without overprotecting and how to give props to the smallest ball of true loyalty you’ll ever own.
#1. Set Loving Limits
The instinct to let a tiny dog like a chihuahua have the run of the house is easy and understandable. Looking after your chihuahua means setting boundaries to keep them safe. Puppies, like babies, explore the world through touch, taste, and smell. Unfortunately, that sometimes means getting into trouble with toxic plants, swallowed toy parts, etc.
Very small dogs like chihuahuas don’t need as much living space as a large dog. One room is plenty of space to run and play in. Consider purchasing a quality baby gate to section off a part of your house to keep your chihuahua in sight.
You might be interested in reading: Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Dogs?
#2. Look After Your Chihuahua Puppy Around Kids
It seems counterintuitive that small children and chihuahuas don’t mix. The reality is that small children don’t always understand what it means to be “gentle” around tiny dogs. The excitement and energy of a chihuahua doesn’t translate into rough play.
When children are involved you have to think about how to look after your chihuahua AND how to best protect the kids. This isn’t the case all the time. In fact, some families will argue that their chihuahuas and children were just fine together. It’s not an impossible duo, but it’s important to be careful.
Generally speaking, chihuahuas are less tolerant of a curious toddler than other breeds. Chihuahuas need a lot of loving attention and security. Anxiety, fear, and insecurity can turn any dog into a biter. If you already have small children and are considering your first dog, the chihuahua might not be the best option.
#3. Do Chihuahuas Need Much Grooming?
Grooming is an essential component to how you look after your chihuahua puppy. The amount of grooming a chihuahua needs is relatively low; however, if you live in an area where ticks are endemic, you will need to do daily tick checks.
Chihuahuas generally have short coats that help keep shedding to a minimum. Short-coated chihuahuas should be brushed at least once per week and long-coat chihuahuas should be brushed a few times per week. Make sure to invest in a high-quality brush that will do a good job and last for years to come.
Highly Recommended Grooming Brushes:
The #1 top grooming brush available is the Furminator for small dogs. These brushes come in a variety of sizes and do an excellent job of removing loose fur from the undercoat.
The furminator should be used gently with very little pressure applied. It will only take a few minutes to look after your chihuahua puppy grooming needs with this brush.
Read about Furminator Dog Grooming Tools!
#4. Buy Food Made for Chihuahuas
It’s always tempting to treat your dog with human food. Unfortunately, chihuahuas are so small that they can easily consume too many calories.
It’s easy to overfeed a chihuahua so be sure to follow veterinarian recommendations regarding how often and how much you feed your dog. Looking after your chihuahua puppy takes a lot of love, but only a little food.
Table scraps aren’t formulated in the best interest of chihuahuas (or any dogs!). Look after your chihuahua puppy with dog food made especially for the breed.
Not sure where to start?
Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy Dry
Chihuahuas are sometimes picky eaters and that makes it difficult to make sure he/she is getting a nutritionally balanced diet. In addition, chihuahuas don’t break-down proteins in their diets as easily as other dogs. Royal Canin formulates a chihuahua dog food that meets their nutritional requirements while keeping their interest with a flavorful, can’t-resist, dry dog food.
Purina Custom-Made Dog Food
Look after your chihuahua puppy by feeding him/her the best dog food you can find. Purina has been in the dog business for a long time. They know how to mix the perfect blend of vitamins and minerals to keep ANY dog healthy. All you have to do is visit their sight and fill out the questionnaire to begin your dog’s journey on a custom-made, top of the line dog food.
Not all dog breeds are the same. Some breeds are more prone to allergies and other breeds, like Chihuahuas, need the perfect blend of protein and carbohydrates to stay healthy.
The best way to get started with a custom diet is to visit JustRightbyPurina.com
#5. Go Easy on the Neck
Small breeds like Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, Poodles and Chihuahuas are at risk of tracheal collapse. This tends to happen when the dog is heading towards his/her senior years. However, it’s good to know what it is and what to watch for from the start.
Overweight dogs and dogs subjected to second-hand smoke seem to be at higher risk. Tugging on the neck doesn’t cause tracheal collapse. However, if your dog is already showing signs of the disease, you’ll want to be very careful around the esophagus.
10/10 Score on Dog Harnesses
Dog harnesses are a safer alternative for small dogs like chihuahuas. In order to adequately look after your chihuahua puppy, you’ll want to make sure you can quickly and safely guide him/her while on outings. A harness offers security and a safe way to correct dogs from pulling, tugging, and lunging.
An even better way to avoid over-exercising your tiny chihuahua while being mindful of his/her safety is to put them in a secure carrier like the one in the image below.
Chihuahuas love to travel everywhere you go and with this type of carrier, it’s possible. These carriers are made especially with chihuahuas in mind and can be used to transport your pup on bike rides, hikes, city transit, planes, mall walking, going to school, etc.
Chihuahuas might be small, but they pack a punch when it comes to owning their territory. The mighty chihuahua will let you know when someone is near the house, on your doorstep, or just walking down the road. Unfortunately, it’s not a behaviour to be rewarded.
Entering friends and/or family can be a trying experience with a dog who just won’t stop barking. It’s best to get on top of chihuahua behaviour as early as possible. While anti-barking devices shouldn’t be the first choice towards good pet manners, they can certainly help.
Be the Boss of Your Chihuahua
It sounds ridiculous but you’d be surprised how fast a chihuahua will take over the home if you don’t show him/her who’s the boss. It’s tempting to “correct” bad chihuahua behaviour by saying “bad boy!” in a sing-songy voice. Unfortunately, dogs relate the tone of your voice and your actions as rewards if they’re not done properly.
No Shock Collar
A stern touch and a quick, sharp tone performed at exactly the right time will go a long way in showing your chihuahua that you’re the boss. Dogs need good leaders and it’s important to establish this from day one.
Looking after your chihuahua puppy’s behavioural needs shouldn’t be so harsh that they scare your dog. Instead of buying bulky, heavy shock collars to deter barking, consider something a little gentler like the humane DogRook Bark Collar. This collar provides a vibration designed to take your chihuahua out of that protective mindset.
When ordering a DogRook Bark Collar, be sure to get one appropriate to the size of your dog.
#7. Tiny Teeth Still Need Cleaning
Chihuahua puppies lose their baby teeth between three and seven months of age. Once their adult teeth have come through, it’s time to determine the best way to keep your chihuahua’s teeth clean.
Tiny dogs need just as much dental care as large dog breeds and the best thing is that it’s easier to do. Tiny mouths need gentle care and if you feed your chihuahua properly, he/she might only need a good canine dental wipe to keep plaque and tartar down.
Don’t waste time on over-priced dental products for your chihuahua. The best place for quality dog dental care is through TruDog, a reputable company that started from the ground up.
Wait, There’s More!
Raising a puppy is hard work. There’s a lot more to looking after your chihuahua puppy than the list on this post! Luckily, there are many valuable resources available online, through books, videos, and courses.
Remember that tiny dogs like chihuahuas have huge personalities. Let them be the dogs they’re meant to be while maintaining your status as leader of the pack. Feed your dog good, healthy food made especially for chihuahuas.
Enjoy your dog and remember….it’s okay to spoil a dog as long as you’re always the leader.
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