Itty-bitty teacup Chihuahuas' tiny size makes them quick to wash, but it also makes them prone to chilling. Puppies under 8 to 12 weeks old may not be able to handle flea medicine, but special puppy shampoos are available and can clean these tiny pups while destroying the fleas.
Apply a flea and tick killer to your pup's blankets, bed or anywhere she frequents, or vacuum them thoroughly and throw them in the wash. Flea eggs will attach to the surfaces she frequents and eventually hatch into little biting monsters ready to attack her again. It doesn't do any good to treat her for fleas if you still have them in your house ready to attack you and anybody else they come across!
Place all-natural dog or puppy shampoo, a small cup, a fine-toothed comb and a soft towel within easy reach of your kitchen sink.
Run the tap to a warm, comfortable temperature and fill up your kitchen sink with a couple of inches of water -- it should reach her knees. The water shouldn't be hot, a little warmer than lukewarm will keep her from chilling without burning. A large, plastic bowl will also fit your little pooch and can be substituted for a bathtub.
Place your pup in the water while the tap is still running at a slow to moderate trickle. If this is her first bath, or one of her firsts, praise her thoroughly and remind her she's a good girl. Bath time can be scary, especially to such a little dog who's seemingly trapped in a stainless steel basin.
Place cotton balls in her ears to keep the water from going in there. Water in the ears isn't only uncomfortable, it could lead to pain or upset her balance.
Use the cup or your kitchen sink sprayer to pour the warm water over her little body until she is wet from head to toe. If she's resisting, gently hold her in place with one hand while you wet her down.
Lather her up, starting at her jaws, ears and head then work your way down her back, belly and feet. Don't get any shampoo in her eyes, mouth or nose. As you're lathering her fur, you'll notice the fleas start to rush to safety wherever they can.
Pick off any fleas you see, or use a fine-toothed comb to comb them out into the soapy water below her. These pesky little insects may start jumping for dear life, so use the comb and your fingers to get them into the water as soon as possible. The water and soap that gathers on the comb can help as the fleas will get stuck for a moment or two.
Rinse her off using clean water from the tap and the cup or spray nozzle. If she's not opposed to it, use the tap itself to let the water run over her. Again, start at her head and work your way down. To keep the soap from running into her eyes and nose, hold her chin gently upward with one hand so the water runs down the back of her head instead of toward her face.
Rinse her thoroughly and continue combing off any of those nasty fleas you see. Rinsing is particularly important because the soap can irritate her skin if it dries -- an uncomfortable pup is no fun.
Gather her in the soft, warm towel and dry her off completely. Her small size makes her especially prone to cold chills, so hold her tight while you're gently rubbing her in the towel and drying her off.
Give her a treat and let her know how good she was during the bath. The positive reinforcement will help her through bath times in the future.
Apply flea and tick medication according to the package's and your vet's instructions if she's old enough. If she's not old enough for the medicine, she should be flea-free after her bath.
- For additional warmth and quicker drying, a blow dryer on low to medium heat can help. Hold it about 10 to 12 inches from her body to prevent any burning.
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.