Like any other animal on the planet, not all Chihuahuas are born healthy. Some have worms, some have a bone disorder, some have growth issues, … Assuming you do not want to spend too much money on the vet, it is important to inspect the health of your puppy. A Chihuahua is a special dog which requires a specific health inspection. This checklist will help you in the process of assessing your future chihuahua’s health.
When you visit the litter you can start the health inspection yourself. Look closely at the litter and try to spot the characters of the Chihuahua puppies. Some will be curious, some will be shy. These are the first signs of their character developing. If you see a puppy you like, pick it up for a closer inspection. Is the puppy clean? Does it appear weak or strong? Rub over its coat, are there any inconsistencies in the fur? No ticks or fleas that you are able to spot?
These are all small tests you can do yourself when visiting the Chihuahua puppies.
Ticks & Fleas
Run your fingers through the coat before buying a chihuahua. Check for fleas and ticks. Respected breeders should have a tick/flea free environment. If this is not the case, a first alarm bel should ring and you should question the breeder’s efforts.
When comparing puppies you should be on the lookout for abnormally weak puppies. Some will be stronger then others or appear active relevant to others. Do not go for the weak puppy sleeping in the corner thinking it will be calm.
Take this with a grain of salt. Puppies should be presented clean and healthy. If you see that the breeder allows the puppies to roll around in their own feces it could be a sign of a neglect which is not what you expect from a respected breeder.
Check eyes, ears, nose for signs of mucus buildup or discharge. It is normal for puppies to have some mucus. Excessive mucus can be a sign of infections or the puppy being prone to infections.The breeder should take of the exessive mucus. If he does not, is says something about the quality of said breeder.
Weight and height
Do not try to find a Teacup chihuahua, nobody can guarantee their adult size and these pups are usually deformed. Teacup Chihuahuas are not a recognised breed of Chihuahuas. Please read the types of chihuahuas if you are not aware!
Furthermore, you should not go for pups where their ribs are visibly sticking out. This could be a sign of malnutrition which is crucial in the first years. Additionally, a large bloated belly could signal gastrointestinal issues or worms.
Vomiting & Diarrhea
For obvious reasons this should be a red flag. It could be a temporary sign of illness or malnutrition, however best not to take the risk. If you witness vomiting or diarrhea with the Chihuahua puppy ask the breeder what the issue could be. If it is temporary illness you could always revisit for a new puppy health inspection.
Open the puppies mouth and look at their gums and teeth. A healthy Chihuahua puppy has soft pink gums with white teeth. There should be no foul-smelling breath. If this is the case at this young age it could be a sign of proness to dental deficiencies.
That concludes the basic puppy health inspection. By now you should have inspected all the Chihuahua puppies. If there is one that pleases you and is willing to be your new best friend, then you should ask the breeder some final questions. Just to make sure you are making the right decision.
Read the article “Questions to ask the breeder” for a nice summary of questions you can take with – Or head back to “Buying a Chihuahua“