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.
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.
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.
Vaccinate your chihuahua on the schedule recommended by your veterinarian.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chihuahuas are amenable to training and like to learn new tricks.
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