Other than some teacup breeds, Chihuahua dogs are among the smallest of breeds. Which makes them adorable for one, but also susceptible to a slew of health issues. Chihuahuas come in a variety of colors and some even come with long fur!
A type of Chihuahua is known as the Apple Head Chihuahua, this means they have an apple-shaped dome skull. Buying a dog is a huge commitment and not one to be taken lightly.
Giving all of your love and attention to a small fur baby such as this breed and looking into how to properly puppy-proof your home and get your house ready for a Chihuahua are important steps to take.
What to Look for When Buying Chihuahua Puppies
Look at the puppy you might potentially take home with you. Pictures often don’t do justice for and won’t show all the characteristics clearly. The best way to is to see the pup so you can discern whether his or her personality suits you and how well you two get along.
If you get to a look at the parents, you should make sure they are healthy and remember that dogs take after the mom. A Chihuahua, and especially Toy Chihuahuas are extremely susceptible to cold weather. So if you happen to see them shivering, don’t be alarmed.
Chihuahuas are generally easy to groom and should have clean eyes and ears without any discharge or odors.
Chihuahua pups should be energetic, curious and active. Don’t go for the sickly or shy and reserved pups. Take a quick check of their noses and gums to make sure it’s moist and pink.
A reputable breeder should provide you with the necessary time, documents and information for you to make the right decision.
Chihuahua Life Stages
Chihuahuas are a small to toy breed. They reach maturity a lot faster than other larger pups. Chihuahuas generally stand at a height of 5 to 8 inches (so small) and don’t weigh over 6 pounds! Due to their small stature, the Chihuahua lifespan is longer than most other breeds at about 14 to 16 years! So get ready to spend more than 15 years with this adorable companion.
Chihuahua Health Concerns
Small dogs often suffer from loose kneecaps, or the more commonly used term, patellar luxation. As mentioned in other breed summaries, small dogs also tend to have eye diseases and Chihuahuas also suffer from heart problems.
You should choose a breeder who routinely screens the health of their pups to make sure the puppies they produce are genetically sound.
Professional breeders should provide you with health records. You should be able to see the health status of the entire lineage of your dog.
Recommended health tests:
• Patella Evaluation
• Ophthalmologist Evaluation
• Cardiac Exams
Chihuahua Breeder Information
Puppy shipping is an option nowadays because breeders tend to live further out in rural areas. This is a good thing because this means they have large enough land for the puppies to thrive.
However, puppy shipping is not something you should look to as your first choice. We would suggest flying or driving out to the breeder and taking the puppy home yourself. Responsible breeders would not allow puppy shipping, especially for such young fur babies.
Dog breeders should be recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) or the equivalent in your country. Trusted dog breeders should have references (previous clients) who can attest to their dependability. They should also have a proper website, Instagram or Facebook page. The number of litters a year is a dead giveaway if they are an illegal puppy mill.
Some breeders may ask for a deposit and make a trip out to where you are and deliver the puppies themselves. Otherwise, they should welcome home visits. A good breeder has nothing to hide.
The breeders should do their job in socializing, immunizing and raising the puppies well for the first two months before letting you take them home.
Chihuahua Puppy Diet
It can be extremely hard on their loose little knees if a Chihuahua is overweight. They will have much more joint issues and pain. Regulate their meals and their optimal nutritional intake.
When you first get a new puppy, feed him or her four times a day and when they get to half a year old, decrease the amount to three times a day. When they enter adulthood, a quarter to half a cup of Chihuahua-friendly dog food twice a day should be enough.
Is A Chihuahua Right For You?
If you live in a cold country with a temperature that could reach the sub-zeroes, you should reconsider. If you decide on one anyway, you need to have the heater on and wrap your Chihuahua in thick clothes.
They aren’t that easy to housebreak as well and are extremely fragile creatures. However, they are alert, courageous and confident dogs. They are the perfect definition of a little dog with a big personality and will be fiercely loving and loyal.