How to care for a Chihuahua – Food, clothing, maintenance

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The tiny Chihuahuas dogs are ideal dogs for urban life, since they adapt to living in any type of house, both large and small. Of course, given their nervous and restless nature, Chihuahuas need you to dedicate enough time to them daily.

In addition to their daily walks, these intelligent and loving dogs require other attentions. If you want to know what is the recommended care for a chihuahua, read on and discover everything you need to know to make your little friend a healthy and happy dog.

Index of contents

  • 1 Basic care of a chihuahua
  • 2 Diseases, vaccines and antiparasitic treatments
  • 3 The training of a chihuahua
  • 4 Feeding a chihuahua
  • 5 Exercise and recommended walks for a chihuahua
  • 6 Keeping a Chihuahua
    • 6.1 Should I shelter my Chihuahua?
    • 6.2 How many times should I bathe the dog per month?
    • 6.3 How should I brush her hair?
    • 6.4 How to cut a Chihuahua’s nails?
    • 6.5 How should I clean his ears and eyes?
    • 6.6 How to care for a chihuahua’s teeth?

Basic care of a chihuahua

The Chihuahua breed has a long life expectancy, being able to live up to 18 years if the dogs remain healthy. However, this breed also stands out for other aspects, such as its tendency to withstand the cold very badly and its predisposition to obesity.

Next, we present a list with all the aspects that you should take into account if you are thinking of adopting a chihuahua. If you follow these tips, your puppy will be cared for in the best hands.

Diseases, vaccines and antiparasitic treatments

Your dog’s health will depend, to a large extent, on prevention. Follow the schedule of vaccines and antiparasitic treatments recommended by the specialist, be it pipettes or necklaces. Similarly, you should go to the vet regularly to check his health.

  • Schedule and mandatory vaccinations for dogs
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Although they are long-lived dogs, it is common that they suffer from diseases such as heart problems, herniated disc, hydrocephalus and epilepsy. Likewise, if you observe any abnormality such as lumps, inflammation, redness or another symptom, do not hesitate to consult your vet.

In addition to genetic diseases, these dogs are susceptible to joint injuries and fractures, as is the case with all toy breeds, especially if the dog is obese. Therefore, abrupt games and jumps from high places, such as the sofa, should be avoided.

The training of a chihuahua

We know that it is difficult not to fall in the charms of your chihuahua, because they are very affectionate and funny. However, if you allow him to do what he wants without teaching him some rules, it is not surprising that he takes too much trust, because it is a very dominant and intelligent breed.

Therefore, we recommend that you train and socialize your chihuahua as a puppy. In addition, training will help control race-specific nerves and anxiety. This does not mean that we should not give him affection, because these dogs need a lot of attention and affection.

However, overdoing it will not be beneficial either Because, despite its tiny size, your dog can become aggressive, grumpy, reject the presence of other dogs and depend on you for everything, even feeling abandoned when you are not with him.

  • Dog socialization techniques

Teach him rules as if it were a game and in this way, in addition to educating him, you will create a bond between the two. Don’t be shy about correcting your misbehaviors with an angry and strong tone of voice, never using physical punishment, and congratulate and reward your successes.


Feeding a chihuahua

Due to its small size, if we opt for a dry diet like the well-known dog food (kibble), you must make sure that it is specific for small breeds / toy. Since the size of the croquettes will be adapted to your small mouth, thus avoiding choking.

If you opt for natural food, remember that being so small we cannot give them big pieces like we would with a medium or large dog. The ideal is to pass everything through the crusher (minipimer) and make a puree that can be easily swallowed.

  • Natural dog food recipes
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Remember that they do not need large amounts of food or they will be overweight, small breeds, very contrary to what we generally think, require very small servings of food divided into two or three meals a day.

Exercise and recommended walks for a chihuahua

Although Chihuahuas adapt perfectly to the interior life, they need to go out three or four times a day to exercise, socialize with other dogs, calm their anxiety and relieve themselves.

Remember that they are animals with a lot of energy, so you should exercise your chihuahua, although always in moderation, since their small legs are very sensitive. Best are short walks and finishing before you get tired to avoid injury.

Also, you must make sure that at the time of the walk the harness of your chihuahua is comfortable and does not tighten. This breed is prone to tracheal collapse, so feeling pressure in the trachea area with the collar will be counterproductive, opt for a comfortable harness.

Keeping a Chihuahua

And now that you know the basic tips for taking care of your little chihuahua, let’s see how to keep him healthy and happy with these simple tips.

Should I shelter my Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas, both long and short hair, They are especially cold, they do not withstand temperatures that drop below 4ºC, so in winter it is highly recommended that you use specific dog clothes, available in specialized stores.

On very cold days it will be better to go a little shorter than normal, always avoiding exposing them to temperatures below 1ºC. At home you can also help him get warm by providing him with a blanket on his bed.


How many times should I bathe the dog per month?

With a bath a month will be enough for your little one as long as it doesn’t get dirty long before. But be careful, if you bathe him very often you can damage his skin, causing dryness and dandruff.

You should use a special shampoo for its pH and coat and rinse it off with lukewarm water. In addition, it prevents water from entering your ears, as it can cause infection. Then, wrap it well and use the dryer, since they are very cold and your little one will surely start shaking.

  • How to bathe a puppy at home
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How should I brush her hair?

Depending on the type of hair your chihuahua has, it will need one care or another. In the case of a short-haired chihuahua, its coat will not need any special care, just to keep it clean.

In the event that you have a long-haired chihuahua, you should brush his hair several times a week with a soft rubber spiked brush that does not damage his skin or pull out his hair.

How to cut a Chihuahua’s nails?

You should cut your chihuahua’s nails at least once a month with a special nail clipper for small dogs. Start doing it as a puppy to get used to it and not be afraid. Reward him for his good behavior.

  • When and how to cut a dog’s nails

Tip: if you don’t dare to cut them yourself, ask your vet to do it for him.

How should I clean his ears and eyes?

Sometimes, under the eyes of the Chihuahuas we can see leganes, secretions or tear stains that darken the hair around the eyes, especially in light colored dogs.

To keep the area clean and your eyes healthy, you can gently clean the area with saline or cold chamomile tea.

  • Chamomile to clean the eyes of a dog

As for the ears, you can clean them with cotton and a little special cleaning solution for dogs. Avoid going too deep, clean them only superficially. Do not use a cotton swab as you will only push the dirt deeper.

How to care for a chihuahua’s teeth?

Minis breeds tend to suffer from dental problems, such as accumulation of tartar and bacterial plaque and, consequently, subsequent complications, such as bad breath and tooth loss. To avoid this, you should brush your teeth several times a week.

If you want to get your dog to allow you to brush his teeth, you must educate him as a puppy to get used to it. Also, remember to use a specific brush and toothpaste for dogs.