Although they are tiny, teacup chihuahuas demand lots of attention and care. This pint-sized breed is prone to developing health and behavioral problems if not cared for properly. Therefore, teacup chis need owners who are dedicated to their well-being. Although caring for a teacup chihuahua takes a bit of effort, many owners find it is well worth the work.
Keep your teacup off of high objects, as jumping down from them can cause physical problems. Teacup chihuahuas are susceptible to having luxating patellas, or knee caps that pop out of place. Stress and trauma to the legs can exacerbate the condition and cause pain for the teacup chi. Place ramps or miniature stairs in front of high furniture to make it easier for the dog to access them.
Feed your teacup chihuahua several times a day. Like many tiny breeds, teacup chis are prone to developing hypoglycemia---a condition that occurs when blood glucose levels drop below normal. If left untreated, hypoglycemia is potentially life threatening. Feed your chi two or three times a day and offer it healthy snacks, such as carrots or green beans, in between. Always keep an eye out for signs of hypoglycemia, which include shivering, lethargy, disorientation and weakness.
Exercise your teacup chi to keep it at a proper weight. Teacup chihuahuas are prone to becoming overweight. The excess weight can cause arthritis and exacerbate any physical problems, such as luxating patellas. Walk your teacup chihuahua daily and feed it the amount of food your veterinarian suggests.
Brush your teacup chihuahua's teeth every day. Small breeds such as the teacup chis are at risk for developing gum and tooth disease. Prevent this by brushing the dog's teeth with toothpaste made for dogs and a small, soft toothbrush daily. You could also use a fingerbrush---a brush that fits over your finger---to clean the dog's teeth if it doesn't like the brush. Keeping your chi's mouth healthy can prevent gingivitis, periodontal disease and other dental problems.
Assert your dominance over your teacup chihuahua. Although your teacup chi is small, it probably thinks it is the boss. If your teacup chi thinks it is running the show, it may become aggressive and disobedient. To prevent undesirable behavior from occurring, show your chi that you are the alpha in your pack. Place the chi on its back a few times a day either in your arms or on the floor. This puts the chi in a vulnerable position and asserts your dominance over it. Moreover, never move out of your chi's way, always have it move out of yours and do not allow your chihuahua to eat unless you give it permission. Practicing these techniques daily can prevent your little dog from becoming a giant problem.