Chihuahuas are big-eyed, bobble-headed, spunky little creatures with a penchant for chewing. While you can train them against destructive behavior, go in knowing a Chi is a chewer for life.
Why Chihuahuas Chew
Chihuahuas are nervous nellies by nature, and they take anxiety chewing to a new level. Chewing can help a Chihuahua chill out and relax, which is a good thing as long as he's chewing on the appropriate things. Always take away items your pup shouldn't chew on, like remote controls, your favorite softball glove or fancy pumps, and replace them with appropriate dog chews.
Tiny Teeth and Mouth
Chihuahuas have sharp, tiny teeth that are often crowded in their short-snouted mouths. They can actually be prone to dental problems if their puppy teeth don't fall out before their adult teeth come in. Chewing helps aid this process. Not only does chewing feel good on gums, it helps baby teeth come out when it's time and soothes the ache of adult teeth erupting.
Your Chihuahua loves being with you, and if you're not around as much as he would like, he might let you know how he feels about it through destructive or boredom chewing. If you're at work or play, make sure your Chihuahua is entertained, either with interactive toys that dispense food as he plays with them, or by keeping him in a crate with different chew toys. Otherwise, you could come home to find a bored Chihuahua sitting in a pile of chewed-up household rubble.
What to Chew
The good news is that a Chihuahua’s mouth is so tiny that a medium-size rawhide will take him months to gnaw through. The bad news is that he can get bored if he doesn't have a variety of toys, so it's best to find chew things your pup likes and provide him with a selection. Make sure you don't give your Chi anything too small that he could choke on, and avoid toys with noise makers inside. If your pooch chews them up and releases the noise-making mechanism, it could get lodged in his narrow throat and lead to choking.
Chihuahua Dental Health
As avid chewers, you need to keep special watch over your Chi’s dental health. Regularly brush his teeth with a canine toothpaste and take him for regular dental exams. This will help identify broken teeth or gum disease before it gets out of hand.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.