Chihuahua Care

October 7, 2009

Chihuahua Care is much like caring for a dog of another breed with some important differences. One of the main challenges is the small size of Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas are generally the smallest of the dog breeds. But the small size is one of the reasons you like Chihuahuas, right? And small size has it’s advantages too. There is no reason why a small dog can’t be healthy and happy, just like a bigger dog.17935461_1

Just how small is a Chihuahua? The breed standard lists no minimum weight. The standard weight required by The Chihuahua Club of America is 6 pounds or less, but many dogs are as heavy as 10 pounds or even a little more. Of course, The Chihuahua Club standard is a requirement for show dogs, but heavier are certainly OK. Extra small miniature Chihuahuas are often called “teacups” or “miniatures”, but there is no official standard recognition of these smaller dogs as a separate type. But, there is no minimum size for Chihuahuas either so an extra small dog can still meet the breed standard. The only official distinction within the breed for different types is long or short hair length.

Often very small dog breeds have a bit of an attitude and Chihuahuas are no exception. The breed standard refers to the temperament as “terrier-like” and who could argue with that description? A little dog with a fiery temper needs training to insure that the adult dog won’t become a nuisance or even dangerous. But firm, consistent discipline will help your pet be happy and well-balanced. Chihuahua potty training is also very important to help your dog fit into your home. Start early with housebreaking, but be sure your puppy is old enough to control elimination. Consult with your breeding on the best age to start.

Gentle training is essential especially for very small puppies. One of the challenges with dealing with Chihuahua puppies is the danger of injury to a puppy. A very small puppy can be seriously injured or killed by someone sitting or stepping on the puppy. Even dropping the dog can lead to injury.

Very small dogs also can’t handle cold weather very well either. The little dogs don’t have enough body mass, and fat in particular, to stay warm in really cold weather. Be careful about walking the dog in cold weather and certainly beware of leaving your pup outside in very cold weather.

Another challenge for small dogs is feeding. Hypoglycemia, an inability to deal properly with sugar, is a common ailment of overweight Chihuahuas. Be especially sparing with treats and snacks to avoid an overweight pet. Also make any diet changes gradually to avoid digestive system problems. You can avoid many problems by consistently feeding your dog a moderate amount of quality food and providing your pet with proper exercise.

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