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Meet the Chihuahua

May 14th is Chihuahua Appreciation Day! This spirited pooch may be small, but he has a huge personality. In fact, these little guys are larger than life! Here, an Aurora, CO vet discusses the Chihuahua.

Basics

The Chihuahua, as you may know, is the smallest dog, weighing about 3 to 8 pounds on average. Named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, they usually live about 15 to 17 years. Playful and loyal, the Chihuahua loves to snuggle. Since they originated in Mexico’s warm climate, they can get chilly easily, and should be kept indoors as much as possible in winter. They often seek out warm, toasty napping spots, and love to burrow into blankets and pillows.

Types

There are a few different types of Chihuahua. You may see references to ‘apple heads’ and ‘deer heads.’ As one might expect, these refer to the shape of Fido’s skull. Chihuahuas also have different coat types. Some have short, smooth fur, while others have longer, silky coats. (Note: we recommend giving these little guys baths in sinks, instead of in tubs.)

Care

Like any other dog, Chihuahuas need good food, proper activity, regular veterinary care, and lots of TLC to thrive. That said, theses pint-sized pooches do have some specific needs. Fido should have a harness, instead of a collar, which can easily choke him. As for exercise, Chihuahuas do better with a few small walks, rather than one long one. Finally, because they are so fragile and tiny, it’s important to keep an eye out for them. For example, always check under blankets before sitting down.

Training

Because Chihuahuas are so small, they often lack obedience training. This can be a huge safety issue. For instance, teaching Fido to Come can stop him from running off, while the command to Stay can keep him from approaching a larger dog or dangerous area. Proper training and socialization are very important!

Temperament

The Chihuahua apparently never got the memo about size. These cute little guys can be quite overprotective and rather feisty! They bond very closely with their owners, and are extremely loving and loyal. However, though they do well with other Chihuahuas, they aren’t necessarily fans of other pets. Because of these traits, they really aren’t the best choice for families with young children.

Do you have questions about Chihuahua care? Call us, your Aurora, CO pet clinic, anytime!

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