Chihuahuas are little, active dogs that weigh 6 pounds or less. They have a wide range of coat colors and have two different coat types: short or long. The Chihuahua’s hair may be straight and smooth or it may be wavy. Chihuahuas have round, dome-shaped heads and may have a soft spot where the bones do not close at the top of the skull. Chihuahuas have round eyes that do not protrude as the eyes of some small breeds do. Their ears point straight up and their tails are curled proudly.
While most Chihuahuas are bold, some are timid and need encouragement to experience new things. Although Chihuahuas are energetic, many are not as playful as other dog breeds, but prefer to watch. Chihuahuas are a sensitive breed, and harsh or inconsistent discipline is counterproductive and may encourage anxiety. Chihuahuas are capable of becoming spoiled unless they receive kind, consistent discipline, especially if they are having difficulty learning. By nature, Chihuahuas have light, lithe bodies, so they easily race out of sight before we’re able to react. Because they are alert, Chihuahuas are excellent watch dogs, but they may bark excessively unless taught how to remain quiet.
Chihuahua Health (dog breed health problems)
Chihuahua Tracheal collapse
Tracheal collapse is common in Chihuahuas because the cartilage rings that hold open the airway are fragile. To protect your pet’s throat and keep pressure off the airway, use a harness rather than a collar. If your pet develops a collapsing trachea, it may develop a cough. Use a Supplement with glucosamine to help keep the lining of the airway in a healthy, moist state—just as these supplements help keep the inside of joints healthy, moist , and smooth.
Chihuahua Bone and joint diseases
Bone and joint diseases such as arthritis are common even though the Chihuahua is very tiny. Arthritis occurs in the knees because many have knee caps that slip out of place (luxating patella). Between 75% and 80% of Chihuahuas that have luxating patellas have an inherited problem that causes the patella to slip medially (to the inside). Although Chihuahuas often develop knee problems, they are not prone to developing malformation of the hip and hip dysplasia. Chihuahuas can have bone disease in the hip if the circulation is poor (Legg-Perthes disease). Providing a natural, holistic diet helps your Chihuahua maintain healthy weight and healthy joints. Use Dasuquin or 1-800-PetMeds Super Joint Enhancer if your Chihuahua has arthritis or painful joints.
Chihuahuas are so adorable that we tend to over-feed them. Unfortunately, obesity shortens their lives and predisposes them to diabetes and other disease. Prevent obesity by encouraging your pet to exercise and feeding properly. Limit treats and feed Taste Of The Wild to help keep your Chihuahua at a healthy weight.
Chihuahua Heart conditions
Chihuahuas are prone to several forms of heart disease, so if your Chihuahua coughs—coughing is one sign of heart disease—visit your veterinarian. One of the common Chihuahua cardiac problems is an inherited heart disease called PDA (patent ductus arteriosus). The gums of dogs with PDA can be bluish rather than pink because blood doesn’t follow the normal route through heart and lungs, thus the blood contains more carbon dioxide than normal. Chihuahuas can also have heart valve disease (endocardiosis). Valve disease is made worse if your pet has dental disease because bacteria in the mouth circulate through the blood and grow on the heart valves. It’s important to brush your Chihuahua’s teeth and provide good oral care.
Chihuahua Bladder stones
Chihuahuas, especially males, have a genetic predisposition to developing cystine bladder stones. Visit the veterinarian if your Chihuahua is having difficulty urinating. If cystine stones develop, which is more likely in acidic urine, pets are put on medications, such as potassium citrate, that raise the urinary pH (alkalinize).
All Chihuahuas are bred to have soft hair whether their coats are long or short. If the coat is short, Chihuahuas require very little grooming, but if the coat is long, they should be brushed a couple times a week. If the coat is long, it will not be long on the head or around the eyes so that it isn’t necessary to clip the hair on the face or tie it back with a bow. This is unlike some of the other breeds with hair that grows long over the head and needs to be clipped or tied up.
Some Chihuahuas have tear staining around the eyes and need the folds below the eyes cleaned and kept dry with a product like Eye Clear. Chihuahuas that spend most of their time indoors will not wear down their nails. If your pet’s nails clack on the floor, they are too long and should be trimmed. Trimming nails every 4-6 weeks is best.
2 times a week if the coat is long
House pets need nail trimming every 4-6 weeks
|Eyes, Ears, & Face
Wash tear-stained areas around eyes. Brush teeth daily to prevent gum and dental disease that is common in breeds with tiny mouths.
Can develop anal sac problems if they are allergic, have itchy bottoms and scoot. If problems develop, visit your veterinarian rather than the groomer.