Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world, and are known for their big personalities. If you are considering bringing home a new chihuahua, whether it be a puppy or a rescue, there are some things you should know to ensure that you are prepared to provide the best care possible. Here are 12 things to keep in mind:
1. Chihuahuas Can Be Fragile
Due to their small size, chihuahuas can be quite fragile. They can be easily injured by rough handling or accidental falls, so it’s important to be gentle when handling them. Make sure to supervise children and other pets when they are interacting with your chihuahua.
2. They Have a Lot of Energy
Despite their small size, chihuahuas have a lot of energy and love to play. They need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Consider taking your chihuahua for daily walks, and providing them with toys and games to play with.
3. Chihuahuas Can Be Vocal
Chihuahuas are known for their high-pitched barks and can be quite vocal. This can be a problem if you live in an apartment or have close neighbors. Training your chihuahua to be quiet on command can help minimize excessive barking.
4. They Can Be Difficult to Housebreak
Chihuahuas can be difficult to housebreak, especially if they are not trained consistently from a young age. It’s important to be patient and consistent with training, and to reward good behavior with treats and praise.
5. Chihuahuas Can Be Prone to Dental Issues
Due to their small size, chihuahuas can be prone to dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental checkups and cleanings, as well as daily tooth brushing, can help prevent these issues from occurring.
6. They Need Proper Socialization
Proper socialization is important for all dogs, but especially for chihuahuas. Exposing your chihuahua to different people, places, and situations from a young age can help prevent fear and aggression as they grow older.
7. Chihuahuas Can Be Sensitive to Cold
Due to their small size, chihuahuas can be sensitive to cold temperatures. It’s important to provide them with a warm, comfortable place to sleep and to dress them in a sweater or coat when taking them outside in cold weather.
8. They Can Be Stubborn
Chihuahuas can be stubborn and may be difficult to train if they don’t see the value in it. Using positive reinforcement techniques and being patient and consistent with training can help overcome this stubbornness.
9. They Need Regular Grooming
Chihuahuas have a short coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and shiny. Regular brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning can help prevent skin issues and other health problems.
10. Chihuahuas Can Be Jealous
Chihuahuas can be very loyal and protective of their owners, which can sometimes lead to jealousy. It’s important to establish boundaries and to provide plenty of love and attention to your chihuahua to prevent jealousy and possessive behavior.
11. Look into Pet Insurance
Just like any other pet, chihuahuas can experience unexpected health issues that can be costly to treat. Consider looking into pet insurance to help cover the cost of vet bills and provide peace of mind in case of emergencies.
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12. Look into Dog Training
Training your chihuahua is important to ensure that they are well-behaved and obedient. Consider enrolling your chihuahua in obedience classes or working with a professional dog trainer to ensure that they receive the proper training and socialization they need to thrive.
Check out the Best 7 Online Dog Training Programs here.
13. Make Sure These Products Are On Your Shopping List!
Bringing home a new pit bull can be overwhelming, so we compiled a comprehensive list of every product you’ll need for your new chihuahua here.
FAQ for First-Time Chihuahua Owners
What should I feed my chihuahua?
Chihuahuas have small stomachs and may need to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Choose a high-quality, balanced dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid feeding your chihuahua table scraps or human food, which can be unhealthy and lead to weight gain.
How often should I exercise my chihuahua?
Chihuahuas need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, which can include short walks, playtime, and games. Be sure to supervise your chihuahua during exercise and avoid overexerting them, as they can tire easily.
What should I do if my chihuahua is barking excessively?
Excessive barking can be a problem with chihuahuas, but it can be corrected with proper training. Consider enrolling your chihuahua in obedience classes or working with a professional dog trainer to address this behavior. Avoid yelling or punishing your chihuahua for barking, as this can make the behavior worse.
How can I prevent my chihuahua from getting cold in the winter?
Chihuahuas can be sensitive to cold temperatures, so it’s important to provide them with a warm, comfortable place to sleep and dress them in a sweater or coat when taking them outside in cold weather. Consider using a heated dog bed or blankets to provide extra warmth during the winter months.
What should I do if my chihuahua is not responding to training?
If your chihuahua is not responding to training, it’s important to remain patient and consistent with your training efforts. Consider working with a professional dog trainer to address any issues and to provide additional training and socialization. Avoid using punishment or physical force, which can be harmful to your chihuahua and damage your relationship with them.
Bringing home a new chihuahua can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. By keeping these 12 things in mind, you can provide the best care possible for your new chihuahua and help them live a happy, healthy life.