Raising dogs, in particular providing care for the chihuahua, is old hat for humans across the globe. Historians say that dogs were domesticated between twelve thousand and 25,000 years ago—and that canines evolved from wolves. Since then, we have selectively bred more than four hundred different breeds, ranging in size from 4-pound teacup poodles all the way up to Irish wolfhounds, whose 3-foot stature earns them the distinction of the tallest canine. But the most popular canines are the non-pedigree dogs—the one-of-a-kind dogs known as mutts. The chihuahua is another popular pick among canine owners. Some owners are uninformed, however, of many common chihuahua care tips.
General cost of care for your chihuahua
The yearly cost of taking care of the chihuahua—including everything from meals, to doctor bills, toys and license—can range between $420 and seven hundred eighty dollars. This does not even include capital expenses for sterilization operations, dog collar and a leash, a dog carrier and a doggie crate. Tip: Be positive you have all of the required supplies before getting your chihuahua home.
Basic chihuahua Care
chihuahua Feeding Outline
- chihuahua pups between 8 and twelve weeks old need four bowls of food every 24 hours.
- Feed chihuahua pups three to 6 months old three meals in a 24 hour period.
- Feed pups 6 months old to one year two times in a 24 hour period.
- By the time the chihuahua hits his or her 1st birthday, 1 bowl per day is all that’s necessary.
- Some chihuahuas might eat two lighter helpings. It is your responsibility to learn your chihuahua’s eating schedule.
Premium-quality dry food ensures balanced nutrition for full-grown chihuahuas and can mix with water, broth, or canned food. Your chihuahua may also dig fruits and vegetables, cooked eggs, and cottage cheese, but these foods should be less than 10 percent of his or her daily nutrition. chihuahua pups need to be given premium-quality, name brand puppy food. Please try to limit “table food”, though, since it can cause mineral and vitamin imbalances, tooth and bone concerns, and may result in extremely picky eating habits and obesity. Give clean, fresh water always, and make certain to wash food and water bowls often.
chihuahua Care Tips: Your chihuahua needs exercise daily
chihuahuas need some daily exercise so they can burn calories, recharge their brains, and maintain good health. Exercise also tends to help chihuahuas avoid boredom, which would often lead to destructive behavior. Getting out and about can quench most of your chihuahua’s instinctual urges to retrieve, dig, chew, chase and herd. Exercise needs depend on your chihuahua’s level of health and his or her age—but just a walk around the block every day and 10 minutes in back of the house probably won’t do. If your chihuahua is a six to eighteen month adolescent, his requirements will be a little greater.
chihuahua Grooming Tips
You can help reduce shedding and keep your chihuahua clean with regular brushing. Check for ticks and fleas every day during the summer or other warm weather. Sometimes chihuahuas don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before a bath, cut out or comb any and all mats from the chihuahua’s coat. Rinse all soap from the coat, or the dirt will stick to soap residue.
Handling Your chihuahua
Pups are obviously the easiest to manage. To carry your chihuahua pup, place 1 of your hands beneath your dog’s chest, either with your forearm or other hand supporting her hind legs and rear. Don’t try to grab or lift your pup by his forelegs, nape or tail. When you have to lift a larger, full-grown chihuahua, lift from underneath, bracing his or her chest with 1 arm and rear end with your other arm.
Your chihuahua needs a warm peaceful spot in order to relax away from all the breezes and off the floor or ground. You may want to think about buying a dog bed, or feel like making one from a wood box. Put a clean comforter, blanket, or pillow inside the bed as cushioning. Wash your chihuahua’s bedding often. If the chihuahua will be outdoors frequently, make certain she has plenty of cool water and shade in hot weather, and a dry, covered, warm shelter during the winter.
Licensing and Identification for chihuahuas
There are licensing rules to heed in your area. You should affix the license to the chihuahua’s collar. The license, together with an ID tag or tattoo, can help secure your chihuahua’s return if she happens to go missing.
chihuahua Temperament Info
Training the chihuahua
Well-mannered, companion chihuahuas are truly a blessing to have. However, untrained, your chihuahua can be a big pain. Teaching your chihuahua the fundamentals—”Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, “Down”, “Heel”, “Off”, and “Leave it”—strengthens your relationship both with your chihuahua as well as the neighbors. If you own a puppy, begin training her on manners as fast as you can! Little bits of food can be used as incentive and a reward. Pups should begin obedience courses when they are sufficiently vaccinated. Call the local humane society or SPCA for details about obedience classes. Always walk your chihuahua leashed in public, even while a puppy. Be certain your doggie will come to you at all times whenever you say. A disobedient or aggressive chihuahua cannot play with others.
The Health of Your chihuahua
Your chihuahua should see the vet for a full exam, immunizations and a heartworm blood screening each and every year, and promptly if he is hurt or ill.
Your chihuahua’s Oral Health
While many of us may object to our chihuahua’s bad breath, it’s important to be aware of what it may represent. Foul-smelling breath is a symptom that your chihuahua needs an oral check up. Plaque brought on by bacteria results in a bad stench that can only be eliminated by the help of a professional. After a professional dental cleaning, the teeth and gums can be maintained in a healthy state by brushing regularly, feeding a special diet focused on dental health, and eliminating table food. Your vet can supply you with additional guidance on reducing oral ailments and halitosis. You should clean your chihuahua’s teeth with a doggie toothpaste or a paste made of baking soda and water once or twice per week. Brush them with a piece of nylon pantyhose stretched over your finger, a gauze pad, or a soft, child’s toothbrush. Some chihuahuas can develop periodontal disease, a pocket of infection between the gum and tooth. Often, teeth loss occurs due to periodontal disease. Diseases will sometimes also spread to other areas of your chihuahua’s body. Veterinarians may clean your dog’s teeth as a regular part of your chihuahua’s health checkup.
chihuahuas with Bad Breath
If your chihuahua has foul breath, gum disease might simply be a symptom of another condition. Diseases of the liver or intestines can also cause smelly breath, and a pleasant, even fruity smell may often be a sign of diabetes. Kidney disease may be the cause if your chihuahua’s breath smells like ammonia or urine. Set an appointment with a veterinarian whenever your chihuahua has halitosis along with other signs of disease like excessive urinating or drinking, depression or lethargy, weight loss, nausea, or decreased appetite.
Fleas and Ticks in chihuahuas
Regular, daily inspections of your chihuahua for fleas and ticks in the summer are important. You can find and remove fleas with a flea comb. There are many new technologies of flea and tick mitigation. Visit your chihuahua’s doctor about his options.
chihuahuas With Heartworm Issues
Your chihuahua is at risk of heartworms if he is exposed to mosquitoes often. The insect transports this parasite from dog to dog. Many chihuahuas die yearly as a result of heartworms. It is critical to make sure your chihuahua submits to a blood test for heartworms annually in the spring. You should also give your chihuahua a monthly tablet during mosquito season in order to protect him from heartworms. Should you ever travel in warmer climates with your chihuahua during the winter, he needs to be on the preventive medicine during the trip. In some of the warmer regions, vets recommend preventive heartworm medication be taken continuously.
Poisions and Medicines
If you’re considering giving your chihuahua medicine that was not prescribed for him by his doctor, don’t do it. One little ibuprofen tablet can possibly cause stomach ulcers in chihuahuas. Make sure your chihuahua is never exposed to rat poison and other rodenticides. When you believe that your doggie has eaten a toxin, contact your veterinarian or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 24 hours per day for instructions.
Neutering and Spaying chihuahuas
It is recommended that male chihuahuas should be neutered – the removal of the testes – and females spayed – the removal of the uterus and ovaries – by 6 months old. You will usually significantly diminish your female chihuahua’s chance of breast cancer by spaying before maturity. The chance of a diseased uterus, which is another serious condition that affects more mature females, will be eliminated by spaying before six months. Neutering males prevents prostate and testicular diseases, certain aggressive behavior and some hernias.
- The combo vaccine (also known as a “five-in-1 shot”) must be given to your chihuahua at two, 3, and four months old and again once yearly. This vaccine protects your puppy from parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis, hepatitis, and distemper. Your chihuahua must be innoculated for at least the first four months of his life.
- If your chihuahua has not been innoculated and is older than four months, he will need to be given two innoculations immediately, two to 3 weeks apart. Then you must immunize annualy.
- chihuahua puppy socialization and innoculation should go hand in hand. Most vets recommend that new owners take their chihuahua pups to socialization courses, as early as 8 or 9 weeks of age. They should have already received their first vaccinations by then.
Laws are so different around the country, the best thing is to call your community doctor to get rabies vaccination details. For instance, NYC laws declare that pets older than three months must be immunized for rabies. The original rabies vaccine must be followed by a subsequent shot a year later, and then every 3 years. There are many innoculations that may or may not be appropriate for your chihuahua. Your veterinarian can give you her opinion. Note, if your chihuahua gets ill because she is not vaccinated, the vaccination should be administered once your pet has recovered.
Roundworms in chihuahuas
chihuahuas are often exposed to worms and possible infestation—in all areas, both rural and urban. Microscopic eggs made by hookworms and roundworms are transmitted through an infested dog’s stool. Most puppies, even from healthy mothers in good homes, carry intestinal worms. Getting an accurate, early detection is the secret to treatment. Early, accurate diagnosis maximizes the possibility that prescribed medication will be successful against your dog’s worms. A dewormer that eliminates roundworms, for example, won’t kill tapeworms. Your veterinarian can best determine the culprit—and prescribe the effective medication.
Additional chihuahua Care Tips
Checklist of chihuahua Supplies
- High-quality dog food and snacks specifically for chihuahuas and similarly-sized dogs
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- As many safe toys as you can provide, especially chewable
- Comb and brush for grooming, including flea comb
- Collar with license and ID tag
- Quality leash
- Carrier (for pups)
- Training crate
- Box or dog bed with sheet or towel
- Dog toothbrush
The no-no list
The following items should never be fed to chihuahuas:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Chocoloate or any food with caffeine
- Grapes or raisins
- Moldy or spoiled food
- Onions, chives & garlic
- Bones of chicken, turkey, or any other animal (choking hazard)
- Salt & salty foods
- Tomato leaves, stems or unripe fruit
- Yeast dough
Unless you are at home, or in a secured, fenced-in place, always keep your chihuahua on a leash. And please, when your chihuahua defecates on your neighbor’s lawn, remove it! Don’t forget to check out these other articles about chihuahuas
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