Caring for a Chihuahua: Basic Tips

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If there’s one breed that can be described as “fragile,” “microscopic” or “dainty,” it’s the chihuahua. Don’t get us wrong, these feisty little munchkins should not be underestimated. They’re known to have quite the temper and at times, even a nasty attitude.

However, like all dogs, they do have needs that are specific to their breed. So, if you’re planning on getting a chihuahua, here are a few basic care tips that you should be aware of.

Grooming
Now, chihuahua’s come with two types of coats. Some have a long coat while others have a short coat. The latter is smooth and shiny while the former is curly and soft. The short coat requires some brushing every now and then. The long coat, on the other hand, needs to be brushed more often – around thrice a week. This is done to remove all the loose hair.

Similarly, Chihuahuas need to have their ears cleaned regularly. Due to the larger size, their ears tend to accumulate more debris and foreign bodies. The nails need to be trimmed quite often too because Chihuahuas have fast-growing nails.

Baths don’t have to be regular. Chihuahuas tend to stay clean if they’re indoors all the time.

Lastly, make sure you brush your little friend’s teeth to avoid dental issues.

Health
Chihuahuas can live up to the age of 18. They need very little exercise. In fact, they don’t need to step out at all for exercise. These are extremely small dogs and moving around the house is enough activity for them. To make things a little more intense and enjoyable, you can throw in a toy or two. You can also take them out for walks if you feel its necessary.

Now, Chihuahuas are susceptible to certain health conditions more than others. This includes patellar luxation, hydrocephalus, keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS, and hypoglycemia. They’re also prone to Molera, which is a condition characterized by a hole in the skull.
So, to keep your little chihuahua hale and hearty, make sure you carry out regular visits to the vet and are updated on vaccinations.
As for dietary needs, talk to your vet for a clearer idea.

No Collar Leashes!
As stated in the introduction, chihuahuas look fragile and the truth is, they are. This is exactly why collar leashes need to be avoided for this particular breed. Collar leashes can lead to a collapsed trachea, which can cause breathlessness and severe discomfort.

You see, collar leashes can end up creating focused pressure on the windpipe when tightened, which is what happens when the dog pounces or pulls on the leash. The focused and concentrated pressure can end up causing the trachea to collapse.

However, a body harness distributes the pressure across the chest, back, and shoulders. This is a much safer and more convenient option.