On this page we will go deeper into the daily chichuahua care. The Chihuahua is a special type of dog breed and thus needs special attention. Given their ancestry there are several points that should be given extra attention.
On this page we will discuss the fur or coat of the Chihuahua, be it long or short. Chihuahua Care is also about the eyes, nails, ears and teeth. Last but not least we will discuss the anal glands! Something that shouldn’t be skipped when dealing with Chihuahuas.
Chihuahua Care is a summary of the basic factors.
For more information you can refer to the other health/Care pages:
- Chihuahua Nails
- Chihuahua Ears
- Chihuahua Eyes
- Chihuahua Coat
- Chihuahua Teeth
- A guide to grooming
- Common parasites
The first and largest area to cover in Chihuahua care is the fur.
Grooming consists out of regular brushing, combing and checking for pests such as fleas. How often a dog needs to be groomed dpends on the lenght of its fur. For grooming it’s important to use the right material. Combs should not be too sharp in order not to damage the skin underneath. It is wise to groom
your Chi at least once a week, regardless if its a short-haired or a long-haired. Always keep in mind that a well-groomed Chihuahua looks a lot happier and healthier.
The best way to groom your Chihuahua is to start by brushing the fur within the direction of the growth of the fur to remove superficial dirt. Afterwards you can brush against the direction of the fur to clean underneath the fur. To finish you can brush the fur within the direction of the growth of the fur to remove dead skin cells. It is important to start doing this at a young age. Your pup will get used to it very quickly and he will learn to love the moments of grooming. The weekly grooming can create a stronger bond between you and your Chi.
Only bathe your dog when it’s absolutely necessary. Bathing your dog too often can disrupt the natural functioning of the skin underneath the fur. When bathing be sure to always use special dog shampoo. Be sure that the shampoo does not get into the eyes or the ears of your Chi. Always rinse the fur thoroughly and make sure that no foam remains. After bathing it’s very important to make sure your dog is completely dry. Even dogs can get catch a cold and Chihuahuas are more susceptible due to their size. Chihuahua care needs to be thorough!
When you walk your dog on concrete (or other hard surfaces) its nails will wear automatically. If this is the case then there is no normally need to trim the nails of your Chi. There is no harm in checking the length of the nails at regular intervals. Especially if your dog is not regularly walked on a pavement it’s advised to check the nails regularly. In order to know whether the nails of your Chihuahua are too long, there is a simple trick. If you can slide a piece of paper between the surface and the nails, then the nails are short enough. Nails that are too long can bother a dog in different ways. He can even wound itself when he/she scratches him or herself. If this is the case then you should trim the nails.
Trimming the nails is best done with nail trimmers that are designed for dogs. When trimming nails it’s important not to cut too short. If you cut too short you risk cutting into the blood supply and not into the nails. When you cut too short the wound can start bleeding and you might potentially hurt your Chi. If you feel uncertain about how to trim the nails it’s best to always cut off a very small piece. The blood supply will retreat after a few days after which you can cut off another small piece until the nails are short enough.
The eyes of a dog should generally be cleaned on a daily basis. Tears and puss dry and end up in the corners of the eyes. This can be easily removed with your finger or with a tissue. When you see that your dogs are irritated you can clean the area around the eyes (but not the eyes itself) with lukewarm water and a tissue. If the irritation persists it’s important to visit a vet who can prescribe an ointment. Sometimes the irritation can only be cured with an ointment. Dogs with bulging eyes such as the Chihuahua require more care than other dogs. Cleaning the eyes only takes a few seconds per day and is a good habit. When you see yellow puss in the eye corners this can indicate that there is an infection. Eye drops can bring salvation to this problem.
When taking care of a dog the ears are often forgotten. It’s advised to check the ears at least once a week. If the ears are very dirty or contain a lot of ear wax it’s best to clean this. This is best done with a clean piece of cotton. Take the piece of cotton and put in a bit of lukewarm water. This is the best way to clean the ears and remove excess ear wax. It’s better not use cotton pads or swabs because some pieces can stay partly behind in the ears. Never go into the ears with objects! If you see that your Chihuahua is often scratching his/her ears it’s possible that he/she has an ear infection or ear mites. If this is the case you will have to visit the vet.
Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems, therefore it’s important to pay extra attention to this weakness. A lot of Chihuahuas have bad breath due to plaque buildup. Plaque buildup is a natural process because nature is full of bacteria. Because dogs eat on a daily basis there are always tiny bits of food that remain between the teeth. These small bits of food are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The combination of leftover food and bacteria is called plaque.
Plaque buildup can cause parodontitis which causes gums to bleed. Due to bleeding gums bacteria that settle on teeth can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the heart, kidneys and other organs. That’s why it’s important to brush the teeth of your Chihuahua, it is the only way to avoid a number of complications. When plaque has not been treated for an extended period of time you can visit the vet to have it removed with professional material.
Dental hygiene can be ensured with a few pointers:
- Brushing of the teeth
- Provide food that is designed to clean the teeth
- Add specially designed mouth wash to their water bowl
- Regular check-up by the vet
Signs of blocked anal glands include a swollen anus, a foul odour and your dog dragging its ass across the carpet. Left and right from the anus there are anal glands, the use of these glands are still quite unclear. If these glands become obstructed they can be the cause for itching and pain. For temporary relieve, you can take a tissue and manually squeeze the glands yourself. If the problem persists it is important to go to a vet so they remedy the situation with antibiotics.