Holding a baby Chihuahua in your hands feels like handling expensive chinaware. This exceptionally small breed is skinny and fragile by nature, so you may wonder how you can keep your new puppy healthy. Luckily, it's not a difficult task if you prepare yourself by taking a few simple precautions.
Get basic supplies for your new Chihuahua before you introduce him to your home. This allows you to spend more time with him, rather constantly running to the store to get something you forgot. A small crate, bowls, quality wet and dry food as well as a collar and leash are all necessary. You can also get bathroom supplies, like newspaper or a absorbent pad, if you want a bathroom area indoors.
Chihuahuas are easily stressed out. When you first bring your puppy home, isolate him from any other animals in the house in a quiet area. Make sure he has access to his food, water and bathroom area at all times. Be sure to pick him up and carry him past your other pets, who will surely be curious about their new future friend. Slowly introduce him to your animals over a few weeks. Once everyone is comfortable, you can move his crate, food and bathroom area to a more convenient location.
Watch your puppy closely for the first few weeks after his arrival. Hypoglycemia is common in young Chihuahuas and the stress of a new environment increases the risk. Puppies between six and ten weeks old are the most vulnerable to hypoglycemia, according to Blueboy Chihuahuas. Missing meals can diminish his blood sugar levels, causing muscle spasms, unconsciousness and convulsions. Dab a little corn syrup on your fingers and swish it across his gums and tongue if he loses consciousness suddenly, then take him to the vet right away. Take him in for a checkup if he starts scratching or has digestive problems.
Feed your baby Chihuahua four times each day until he is three months old, then decrease it down to three meals, according to Happy Trail Chihuahuas. Ask your vet about wet and dry foods for your dog. Many Chihuahua owners occasionally give their dog wet food to encourage him to put on some pounds. Consult your vet frequently about your dog's dietary needs. Chihuahuas often have problems with lack of appetite, but overfeeding them is hazardous too.
Grooming and Hygiene
Ask your vet to recommend grooming tools for your dog's size. Since Chihuahuas are so tiny, it is important that you don't use a harsh comb that might irritate his skin. Soft-bristled brushes usually do the trick, although long-haired Chihuahuas may need something a bit less flexible to get mats out. Brush your Chihuahua's teeth regularly and take him in for annual dental checkups. Bath your puppy with dog-safe shampoo to prevent dandruff and skin problems.
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.