Chihuahua

Chihuahua​ - Small Dog Breed

Quick Facts

OriginMexico

Height: 5”-9”

Weight: 2-6 lbs

Color: Many colors, most commonly: Black, Black & tan, Blue & tan, Chocolate, Chocolate & tan, Cream, Fawn, Fawn & white, Red

Lifespan12-18 years

Temperament: Feisty, sassy, opinionated, loyal

 

Overview

Miniature in size, gargantuan in personality, Chihuahuas (Chis) are one of the most easily recognizable and memorable dog breeds. Happy owners will tell you a Chi that is exercised both mentally and physically with dogged regularity (see what we did there?) have the happiest outcomes.

Chis should be socialized early with both humans and other animals. If you are going to introduce your pup to a child you will need to be on high alert until the relationship is cemented. Children and be erratic and Chis can be nippy, a fraught combination if unmonitored. Chis are known to be fiercely loyal to their owners.

Celebrity Owners

Britney Spears, Demi Moore, Paris Hilton, Madonna, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Duff, Marilyn Monroe, Alyssa Milano, Katharine McPhee, Christina Ricci, Ashton Kutcher, Rosie O’Donnell, Mickey Rourke, Paula Abdul, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sharon Osbourne, George Lopez, Anne Heche, Kimberly Stewart, Agyness Deyn, Cesar Millan, Lisa Gastineau, Xavier Cugat, Brian Littrell

Fun Facts

  1. In 2014, Chihuahuas made the news in Maryvale, Arizona when a group of strays banded together and terrorized the townspeople.
  2. Chihuahuas have a soft spot on their heads with never hardens.

Health

Chihuahuas are bred for hot climates. Always monitor your pup’s temperature in cold weather. Common issues for Chis include:

  • Patella luxationLuxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
  • Collapsing tracheaThis condition occurs when the cartilage rings on the trachea weaken, which causes the windpipe to collapse when they breath in.
  • Hydrocephalus: This condition occurs when there is a cerebrospinal fluid buildup in the brain. This places potentially grave pressure on the brain. This condition is typically congenital, meaning they were born with it.
  • Hypoglycemia: Here, your blood sugar is lower than the typical range. This can lead to lightheadedness and shakiness.
  • Pulmonic stenosis: This heart defect specifically relates to the semilunar valve, which is the valve that controls the pressure and flow of blood from the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery
  • Heart murmur: With a murmur, one can hear the irregular blood flow through the heart, be that from exercise or some kind of irregularity or valve in the heart.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: Also referred to as dry eyes, this refers to the dryness of conjunctiva that lines the eye under the eyelid.
  • Molera: Similar to a soft plate on a baby’s head, the Chihuahua has a soft spot on the top of their head. Unlike in humans, this spot doesn’t harden with maturity.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?

Grooming

Chis have two different kinds of coats. The first is a smooth-coat which is short and easy to maintain. A weekly full body brushing will remove any dead hair and redistribute natural oils. Long-coat will require brushing several times a week. It is best to mist the coat before brushing to prevent split ends.

Work through the hair slowly and methodically making sure the hair is free of tangles. Tangles can be worked out by applying a small amount of conditioner and working the knots out with your fingers. With both types of coats bathing should occur no more often than once every 3 weeks.

Over bathing can dry out skin and leave pup feeling itchy and irritated. Make sure to keep your pups eyes clean and clear of crust or debris. Trim your pups nails regularly. Brush their teeth several times a week.

Exercise

People assume this little pup does not require much exercise. However, these tiny pups need about 30 minutes of exercise a day, which can be broken up into two or three mini sessions.

Chis have a tendency to overeat and combine that with being carried around all day; it’s a recipe for ending up overweight. These tiny pups have loads of energy, give them a chance to use it and everyone in the house will be happier for it.

Chis were bred for warm weather, so if you live in seasonal weather get your pup a sweater for winter.

Nutrition

Chihuahuas are so tiny that you cannot rely on eyeballing their food intake. They are prone to weight gain that can exacerbate health problems to which they are predisposed.

The exact amount your pup will eat will depend on the age, size and activity level of your pup. On average Chis eat somewhere between 1/8 -1/2 cup of food per day.

A well-balanced premium dog food can make huge differences to your pup’s overall health.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?

Training

Chis are notoriously opinionated. It is of the utmost importance to train your pup early and establish a clear pack order in your home.

People who make excuses for a badly behaved pup, will only reinforce that difficult behavior, which once it sets in may likely never leave. Many will think small dog, small training, wrong. Training is the same size for all dogs, and should not end until your pup respects you and your commands. 

As with all pups, your dog should be socialized with other people and animals early. Training should be consistent and filled with positive reinforcement to be successful.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pups life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.

Supplements

A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend. Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

The Good

  • Fiercely loyal to owner
  • Small in stature they are comfortable in any sized home

The "Ruff"

  • Prone to barking
  • Bossy and opinionated
  • Not good with kids or other dogs that are not Chihuahuas