Raising Chihuahuas

 

An adult Chihuahua can be as small as three pounds. This makes Chihuahuas especially vulnerable to household accidents as well as the weather. Their short fur makes it harder for them to regulate body temperature in cold weather. Many Chihuahua owners dress their Chihuahuas in sweaters or even tiny dog coats to help them stay warm.

Preventing Household Accidents

The small, fragile Chihuahua can be killed in accidents at home if precautions are not taken. This is true particularly of puppies, who may weigh a pound or less. Dropping a heavy object can severely injure, if not kill, a Chihuahua. With a Chihuahua in the house, the best course of action is to avoid carrying anything large and heavy when possible. If this must be done, the Chihuahua should be banished to another room for the duration.

A small dog bed or crate should be supplied in an out of the way place for every Chihuahua. This prevents people in the home from tripping on the dog or even stepping on him and causing injury.

Falls can also be dangerous for Chihuahuas. Their small size and light weight makes them vulnerable to falls from furniture or from the hands of an owner. A Chihuahua puppy should be held securely to prevent dangerous falls. They should also be prevented from sitting on furniture by themselves. Blocking a piece of furniture to prevent a fall can keep a Chihuahua puppy from injury.

The Long Lifespan of the Chihuahua

Someone adopting a young chihuahua as a puppy should be prepared to have the dog for more than a decade. Chihuahuas live much longer than many dog breeds. It's not unusual for a chihuahua to live for 15 years or longer. Chihuahuas are generally given a life expectancy of 17 years if there are no health complications.

A Big Dog Personality

It's sometimes said that Chihuahuas don't know they're small. And when faced with a big dog, it can be true. Chihuahuas are courageous and confident and will challenge a dog as large as a Doberman Pinscher. Chihuahuas should be kept close to the owner when there are other dogs around, or one of those dogs may just accept the challenge.

The big-dog personality also means that Chihuahuas make effective guard dogs. They become highly attached to their owners, and often just one or two people in the household. When anyone else gets near the home, a Chihuahua will alert everyone to the newcomer.

The Smallest Dog Breed Needs Special Care

As the smallest of all breeds recognized by the AKC, the Chihuahua requires a few precautions to keep it from harm.

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