Some facts that you need to know about Chihuahuas, the world’s smallest breed of dog are listed below:
Chihuahuas Physical Attributes:
Chihuahuas have an average life expectancy of fifteen to eighteen years. This is however not a standard and may vary from one animal to another. They grow up to a height of nine inches and can weigh anywhere between five to seven pounds. They are characterized by large eyes which are not protruding, large cocky ears and a curled tail. There are two categories of this breed. One is a long haired breed and the other has a short coat. It is often believed that the long haired Teacup Chihuahua sheds more hair in comparison with its lesser furry brother. This is not true. In fact, the long haired one doesn’t shed as much hair as the other though it needs constant brushing and bathing.
Grooming Your Chi
Chihuahuas when it comes to grooming are easy maintenance. Since they are small, they can be bathed easily. As they are sensitive to strong chemicals, they need to be bathed with a mild shampoo. They can be bathed once in two weeks though teacup Chihuahuas with long hair need more frequent brushing and bathing.
Teacup Chihuahuas are usually good natured pets. Always active and full of life, they make good companions. They are very sentimental and sensitive. One harsh word can hurt them a great deal. This is true for all teacup Chihuahuas without exception. They must hence be handled with care but do not spoil them or you may end up with a tyrant on your hands. It is important to show them who is boss without being cruel. Do not let them get away with any behaviour you wouldn't accept from a larger dog. Chihuahuas can be extremely loyal to its owner but aggressive towards animals and people that they don't know. It is important to socialize them while they are still young.
Feeding You Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are not fussy eaters and because of its small size you must be careful not to overfeed it. Providing your teacup chihuahua the proper diet is one of the most important aspects of dog care. Carefully research which diet is best for your chihuahua, your local veterinarian will help you decide. Due to their small size, Teacup Chihuahuas ideally require three meals a day which contain sufficient amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fiber to meet its energy requirements. They should be fed quality dog food, dry or mixed, with some supplements. Chihuahuas also enjoy some fruits and vegetables. Always provide clean water for them to drink.
Health Related Facts About Chihuahuas
Chihuahua puppies can suffer from hypoglycemia which is a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. The main symptom is weakness. Emergency treatment of this condition can be achieved by rubbing Karo syrup on the dog's gums, so that it can be absorbed immediately into the bloodstream. Then, the pup should be taken to the closest vet or animal hospital for testing. Sometimes IV intervention is required. Without treatment, the puppy can slip into a coma and die.
Two common skeletal health issues occuring in the chihuahua breed are hip dysplasia or luxating patella. Tiny dogs mean tiny bones! Hip Dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint slips out of place. Luxating patella occurs when the knee cap slips out of place. These types of injuries can be caused if your chihuahua jumps off furniture that is too high. Not allowing your dog to climb on the furniture may save them from these dibilitating injuries.
Another common health problem that can be easily prevented is a collapsed trachea. The trachea is made up of rings of cartilage. When too much stress and pressure is put on this area, the rings can collapse inward causing pain and breathing difficulties. This can be prevented by using a harness rather than a dog collar when taking your chihuahua for a walk. With a dog harness, any pressure is distributed on the back and chest rather than on their fragile neck.
Chihuahuas Make Good Watch Dogs
Although their size would not deter a burglar, chihuahuas make very good watch dogs. Chihuahuas are very protective of their owner and their home and will let you know if someone is coming or knocking at the door.