Animal file: Chihuahua
Chihuahuas or Chihuahueños are very small dogs that do not reach 3 kilograms and with a life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years, so they are very long-lived. It is a very widespread breed throughout the world, since it is a highly sought after pet for its ease of adapting to life in cities among many other qualities..
If you already have or are thinking of sharing your life with one of these cheerful and affectionate companions, pay attention to this AnimalWised article about all the chihuahua care.You may also be interested in: Caring for the Pomeranian Index
- What food should I give my Chihuahua and how?
- How to help them regulate their temperature?
- Do they need a lot of physical activity?
- Behavior and education
- Hygiene and special care
- Most common illnesses and health problems
What food should I give my Chihuahua and how?
Being the smallest canine in the world, it is very important to carefully monitor the amounts of food that we provide. These should be small, because we have to think about the size of your stomach, and distribute them in two daily servings. If you have doubts about the amount, find out about the amount of food recommended for a Chihuahua.
The best type of food is a feed that is correctly adapted to the needs of our pet. Today there are feed specially designed for this breed. Some brands that already have this product are Royal Canin and Eukanuba.
You can also choose to find out about types of homemade diets such as BARF.
How to help them regulate their temperature?
These little ones come from tropical climate so their coat of hair is not of great density and they are mostly short-haired, although there is also the long-haired variety. Because of this and their size, they are a breed prone to cold.
If we live in a warm climate simply by providing them shade, fresh shelter and abundant water, we will no longer have to worry about regulating their body temperature, as it will occur in a very natural way..
On the other hand, if we live in rather cold areas and with low temperatures, it is essential that we observe if our companion is cold, which we will know more safely by touching him and not only by being guided by his tremors, as this breed tends to tremble for more reasons. than cold such as stress, fear, anxiety and even joy and excitement.
In this case, we must provide them with blankets and warm places inside the house where they can snuggle up and in the street we must shelter them with some type of special sweater for them, without having to overdo it and ensure that the pads of their feet do not freeze, with shoes for dogs of your size and special for snow or and easier, taking them at times in our arms.
Do they need a lot of physical activity?
It may seem to us that being so small they do not need a lot of physical activity, but in reality they are very active and nervous dogs so it is not convenient for them to accumulate energy.
Thus, we must provide at least a couple of walks a day that will help them tire and play with others of their kind, just as we must play with them indoors or exercise them from time to time..
We must also bear in mind that they are not very resistant, compared to larger dogs, to prolonged physical activity, so we must let them rest whenever they need it and if we take them on excursions, take into account their rhythm and resistance..
Behavior and education
These little ones are very clever at the same time very affectionate with their owners and companions. Being very intelligent and observant, they immediately take the measures to get away with it and become what we could say "capricious children ".
Thus we find that many are overly spoiled, dogs that have a jealous behavior and often take advantage of their owners from there, asking for more food, more attention, more displays of affection and more blatantly marking what is theirs to third parties.
They are also a breed with very little fear of other dogs despite their difference in size, so we have to educate them so that they do not look for problems in which they can easily lose out. For this same quality of defending what is theirs and theirs, Chihuahuas are also very good watchdogs..
It's necessary that let's take care of your education from the basic issue of where to relieve themselves, to the fact that they learn to share with other dogs and that they will not always get their way, setting limits and giving them prizes when appropriate.
Hygiene and special care
- The bath and the fur:
It is very important to keep our pet in good hygienic conditions. In the case of Chihuahuas, one bath a month should be enough. It is not good to bathe any dog more often. We must take into account the type of hair of our partner to choose a suitable shampoo, always used for dogs, whether it is special for short hair or long hair, for white hair or for black hair, or simply a special soft oatmeal for puppies.
The water temperature should never exceed 27ºC and it is preferable that they dry themselves with towels and running around, they also have a great time drying themselves like this.
In the case of long hair, we must ensure periodic brushing to avoid knots and tangles that lead to skin problems, in addition to cutting it when necessary. In addition, special attention must be paid to the hair on the inside of the ears in long-haired specimens, ensure that it is not damp and is always clean and trim it when necessary, thus avoiding unwanted otitis.
- The eyes:
As is easy to see, its eyes are remarkably large in proportion to the rest of its face and head. This causes their eyes to be somewhat exposed and they always tear, because that way it is always wet and hardly dries out..
This constant tearing makes the surrounding hair darken and dirty, so it is very important that we keep this area clean and free of blemishes. We can help ourselves with physiological saline or with an infusion of thyme or cold chamomile and with a sterile gauze wrapped around our finger and moistened in one of these liquids, gently clean the eyes and their contour of our little one. In this way we will keep the hair clean and the eyes healthy and without conjunctivitis or other complications..
Small dogs have a poor quality of teeth compared to medium or large dogs, so their teeth deteriorate much earlier than normal in dogs..
It is normal for Chihuahuas to have tartar on their teeth since they were young and their oral health is complicated by bad breath and tooth loss. It is very important to help them maintain a healthy mouth although it may seem complicated, but it really is not. We must provide them with special edible treats for mouth care and special toys that help them clean their teeth simply by playing.
Some of these things contain products that help them remove plaque and keep their breath fresh, but also simple toys with strings help them clean and brush their teeth, similar to when we floss..
If this is not enough, we always have the option of brushing their teeth ourselves with a small brush and a few drops of chlorhexidine (similar to our mouthwash) special for dogs that we can buy at our veterinarian. If our friend's mouth is still in poor condition, we should go to the vet for a professional mouth cleaning, thus avoiding possible diseases and tooth loss..
Most common illnesses and health problems
There are certain diseases to which this breed is prone for example:
- Double teething or retention of baby teeth
- The split or cleft palate
- Fontanelle or slightly open area of the skull that does not close properly during growth
- Cryptorchidism or retention or lack of testicles
- Secondary glaucoma
- Herniated disc
- Joint dislocation
- Hoarseness or problem in the windpipe that produces a slight choking similar to a passing cough
- Hemophilia A
- Heart problems: mainly mitral regurgitation
Faced with all these diseases and more that these canids can suffer, it is very important to keep veterinary check-ups and ensure that the same veterinarian always performs the examination since he will be aware of the particular problems that may exist in each case..