The Chihuahua is one of the most popular dogs in the toy breeds. With a tiny apple shaped head and a pointed muzzle, the Chihuahua is an interesting looking dog, but can also be a wonderful and loyal companion. It takes a dedicated owner to take care of a Chihuahua puppy because of his pint size. It is well worth it when you receive the love and affection of this amazing animal.
Be fully prepared to take on such a small dog breed ahead of time. Before bringing the Chihuahua puppy home have an exercise crate or pen to confine the puppy when needed, plenty of newspapers or potty pads, a litter box, small food and water bowls, soft bedding, premium food and safe chew toys for a small dog.2
Start house training immediately. Chihuahuas need extra work with house training. In general, they eliminate frequently with no warning, so constant supervision in the first few months is essential. Plan on taking the puppy out after every meal, after a few hours of play, after waking up from a nap and when you get home from being out. Place plenty of newspapers and potty pads throughout the most-used rooms of the home, or confine the dog to the kitchen for a few weeks until you can trust your puppy to be out alone.3
Implement crate training. A Chihuahua puppy benefits greatly from using a crate to keep him safe and secure. At first a crate may seem like a bad thing to the puppy, but eventually it will become his place of refuge, where he can run into and not be bothered. Do not pick him up or let him out of the crate in the beginning, or he will cry every time. Instead, ignore the behavior and praise him when he is quiet and calm inside the crate.4
Feed a Chihuahua puppy three small meals a day. This breed of puppy has a smaller stomach and higher metabolism than most breeds, so they need to be fed little amounts more times during the day. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is often a concern with Chihuahuas, so it is important to keep their blood sugar at an even keel by making sure dry food is available when they are hungry. Do not get into the habit of feeding table scraps because Chihuahua puppies can become very finicky, and may eventually turn away from regular puppy food.5
Keep your puppy safe from different elements. A Chihuahua is very susceptible to cold weather so she should be properly dressed or wrapped up when going outside. she should also be kept warm when she is stressed. You will know when your puppy is stressed by the way she shakes, which is common in this small breed. Do not allow her to jump off high furniture. Do not let her sleep with you in bed as she is small enough to be rolled over on and injured. Never let her outside without a leash. As a puppy, a Chihuahua needs constant supervision near small spaces, cars, and in rooms with small toys, plants or anything she can ingest.6
Groom your puppy routinely. He should be brushed daily, especially if you have the long haired variety. This breed does not shed as bad as other breeds, but it is best to get rid of loose hair to make the puppy feel more comfortable. Bathe him at least monthly, and have his nails trimmed regularly. Also get into the habit of brushing his teeth at least twice a week. The younger the puppy is when you start grooming, the more comfortable the puppy will become with the routine into adulthood.7
Socialize your Chihuahua puppy regularly. This breed by nature is aggressive. The earlier you socialize her, the better she will be with other dogs, other adults and children. Displays of aggression should be corrected immediately. Never allow her to get away with bad behavior with anyone. She may think she is protecting you, but this can become a nasty habit. As soon as your puppy is vaccinated, go to dog parks, obedience classes and even puppy play groups to get her used to being with other dogs, especially larger dogs, to ease any fear or correct bad behavior.