If you want a pet that can literally fit in the palm of your hand, then a Chihuahua puppy is exactly what you are looking for. Young Chihuahuas may seem like the most helpless things in the world, but your baby will be fine if you care for it properly.
Chihuahuas are a bit high maintenance, but gathering adequate supplies for your new furry friend is a must regardless of the breed. New food and water dishes as well as an adjustable collar and leash are staples. Ask the puppy's original owner or caretaker what brand of food he was raised on and grab a bag of that, too. If your pup is going to be home alone for hours at a time on a regular basis, you may want to invest in some "piddle" pads or a litter box.
As Chihuahua owners across the world already know, this tiny breed is a bit picky about eating. They are naturally scrawny because their bodies store very little fat. This is why you need to feed your dog the same number of meals at the same times every day. Puppies between 1 and 3 months old should get four meals per day, according to Happy Trail Chihuahuas. Puppies between 3 and 6 months only need three daily meals, while adults only need to be fed twice. Feed your Chihuahua separately from your other dogs if he has trouble finishing his meals before his buddies come to help him out.
Schedule a vet appointment for your puppy as soon as you can. He may not be too pleased about it, but it is definitely in his best interest. Ask your vet what vaccinations are required or recommended. Almost every jurisdiction in the United States requires dogs to have at least a rabies vaccine. Other common vaccinations for young Chihuahuas include canine distemper and parvovirus, both of which are preventable and highly contagious illnesses. Chihuahuas have a lot of energy, so make sure you play with your puppy and take him for walks throughout the day so he can release some steam.
Hypoglycemia is one of the biggest health concerns for young Chihuahuas. Missing one or two meals can put their blood sugar levels dangerously low. If your pup suddenly becomes lethargic, dizzy or loses consciousness, then you need to consult a vet right away. You can treat the immediate symptoms of hypoglycemia by rubbing corn syrup or a sugar solution on your dog's gums, according to the Chihuahua Club of America.
If an orphaned infant Chihuahua has found his way into your care, then you have your work cut out for you. You will need to bottle-feed your puppy with a milk replacement solution for about a month. Ask your vet or an animal shelter representative to recommend a locally available milk replacement for your pup. You will need to feed your baby every hour or two throughout the day, so expect to become a stay-at-home parent for a while. Always wash your hands and wrap your puppy in a clean cloth when you feed him. Gently rub his stomach with your thumb for a few minutes during and after feeding to stimulate his digestive system.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.