How to Care for a Chihuahua under 5 lbs

by Terri Lynn Coop
    Small chihuahuas are charming and loving companions.

    Small chihuahuas are charming and loving companions.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    The American Kennel Club describes a chihuahua as a "graceful, alert, swift-moving compact little dog with saucy expression, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament." A member of the AKC Toy Group, chihuahuas should be well-balanced little dogs not to exceed 6 pounds. Caring for one of these little powerhouses requires extra attention.

    Step 1

    Choose a premium quality dog food, with a veterinarian consultation if needed. Get the smallest kibble possible to make eating easy. Feed adult dogs once or twice a day at about the same time. Chihuahuas require very little food, so minimize table scraps. Always have fresh water available. Chihuahuas drink very little so change the water daily.

    Step 2

    Exercise and play with your chihuahua every day. Most chihuahuas get enough exercise romping around the house with toys. If you take your chihuahua outside, use a harness instead of a collar to prevent neck injuries. Pet-proof fences and pens. A 5-pound Chihuahua can easily slip through a picket fence.

    Step 3

    Vaccinate your chihuahua on the schedule recommended by your veterinarian.

    Step 4

    Groom your chihuahua with monthly baths, and regular checks for fleas and ticks. Use high- quality anti-parasite medication that is dosed correctly for a 5-pound dog. Overdosing can be fatal.

    Step 5

    Check your house for potential fall hazards. A fall from a sofa can kill or seriously injure a 5-pound chihuahua. Use dog steps or ramps if your dog is to be allowed on the furniture. Never leave a chihuahua unattended on furniture unless it is well-trained to use the steps or ramp.

    Step 6

    Educate your children, family and guests about how easy it is to injure a 5-pound chihuahua. Slammed doors, careless footsteps or rough play can have tragic results.

    Tip

    • Chihuahuas are amenable to training and like to learn new tricks.

    Warning

    • Chihuahuas and children are not always a good mix. Do not allow children to tease or scare a chihuahua and always supervise children around a very small chihuahua.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Terri Lynn Coop is an attorney by day and a writer by night. She began writing professionally in 2006 and her work has appeared in Dream People, Whispers of Wickedness, Flashshots and "The Flash 40 Anthology." She has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from University of the Pacific and a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa.

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