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Care tips for your Chihuahua

Remember that Chihuahua’s require lots of one-on-one attention. They choose one member of the family as “their own” and miss you terribly when you are away.

Use a body harness instead of a collar to protect your dog’s neck on walks. This will also help prevent collapsed trachea and soft palate.

Have your Chihuahua vaccinated, and follow with yearly booster vaccinations to maintain the dog’s immunity to disease. Consult your veterinarian about flea control products and worming your dog.

Feed your Chihuahua dog food in which the first ingredient is meat. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent, and crude fat no less than 20 percent. Fiber content should be 4 percent or less. Solid Gold and Purina are recommended brands.

Feed your Chihuahua two or three small meals a day.

Give your Chihuahua plenty of attention. This breed requires a lot of human attention and love.

Brush a short-coated Chihuahua once a week with a soft-bristle brush, or wipe down with a soft cloth. Brush long-coated dogs twice weekly or as needed.

Bathe your Chihuahua monthly, being careful not to get water in their ears, as this leads to infections. Longhaired Chihuahuas will need more bathing than shorthaired dogs. After bathing clean their ears and clip their nails.

Exercise your Chihuahua daily; many times a Chihuahua will get plenty of exercise running around your house during the day, but remember that can be boring day after day.

Train your Chihuahua with a gentle hand, and socialize them at an early age with adults as well as humans and other dogs.

Dress your Chihuahua in a sweater if in temperatures below 40 degrees F. Chihuahuas are very sensitive to cold temperatures.

Chihuahuas can suffer from weak knees, colds, corneal dryness and secondary glaucoma. Talk to the breeder to find out what type of screening has been done for these health problems.

Be prepared to enjoy a full 11 to 18 years with your Chihuahua, as this is the breed’s average life expectancy.

Chihuahuas often shiver – not just when cold, but also when excited.

Chihuahuas often like to snuggle under pillows and blankets.

A number of Chihuahua owners find that their dogs are gagging or coughing. This often turns out to be “reverse sneezing,” a phenomenon related to problems with the soft palate or a collapsed trachea. Take your Chihuahua to a vet right away if these symptoms develop.

Some Chihuahuas many bark a lot, though some bark very little. Proper training can reduce excitability.

Chihuahuas tend to enjoy the company of their own breed.

Chihuahuas are more quickly to learn with patience and understanding, reinforcement of good behavior, rather then harsh words or treatment.

Talk to your Chihuahua. They might not understand your words, but they understand the soft tone of your voice.

Remember that the Chihuahua was breed for activity, both mental and physical and enjoy playing games, taking walks and an occasional good run.