Every Chihuahua owner is usually amazed by how small and yet how imposing this tiny dog can be. Its personality speaks volumes, and its presence is addictive. However, what should also be put into greater perspective is its overall health, as they are generally a delicate breed.
According to PetchiDog, your Chihuahua’s health is dependent upon key elements such as:
- Grooming and Feeding
- Training, and Physical Exercise
All these elements, when carefully considered, can make your dog comfortable, happy and healthy.
Key Health Issues to Look Out For when it comes to Chihuahua’s health
Chihuahua Rescue Victoria states that some of the commonly reported health issues in the dogs include:
- Obesity which can cause heart attacks, arthritis, and diabetes among other conditions
- Excessive watering of the eyes
- Sugar drop
- Ears and paws hygiene
- Dental hygiene
- Feeding issues
- Training and Physical exercise issues
Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy
According to Exotic Pets (video below), the tiny size of Chihuahuas can predispose them to some health issues. However, these can be halted with quick prevention measures. Some of the common susceptibilities, restorative, and preventive measures are as follows:
Hypoglycemia or Sugar Drop
The condition happens suddenly and often needs immediate treatment. Common symptoms are sleepiness and a wobbly unstable walk. Immediate first aid which you can do at home involves rubbing a little honey onto the gums of the dog, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. If left unattended, the condition can be fatal.
Exercise and Physical Fitness
Physical exercise ensures your Chihuahua’s health is good and prevents cases of obesity and related illnesses. Still, you must take into consideration how tiny and much further to the ground this animal is. Obviously, there are a number of limitations when it comes to physical exercise, and you should take into account the following:
- A daily walk is important for it to release any pent up energy as well as to remain physically fit. But this should not be overdone especially during your pet’s first year. The reason is, too much exertion can affect and delay the growth plates of your tiny pup.
- The dog should also be restricted for jumping from heights as this could cause injury either to its hips or knees. Any height that is more than two feet remains dangerous for the animal.
- Avoid extreme weather situations, both cold and hot. Even surfaces such as hot or cold floor could affect them adversely. In hot circumstances, let the pet stay in a cool shade, or wear protective dog shoes.
- The shoes can also protect your dog in the winter seasons and from ice melt chemicals that are normally found splashed along the roadways.
- If you notice any abnormal panting from your Chihuahua, it could be a sign of over-exertion. Simply let your dog to immediately rest and give it some cool water.
Chihuahua Diet and Feeding
Chihuahua is naturally small in their size, yet they need to feed more frequently as compared to much larger dog breeds. The reason is that their minute size makes it impossible for them to digest food as fast.
But then again, feeding them also comes with so many factors; it depends on their age and weight, level of activity and general health of your dog. You can get this information from a reputable vet so that you do not experience any problems when it comes to overall diet considerations.
For instance, there are some foods that are a no-go zone and are to be avoided. These include some common spices and foods containing caffeine and milk. Basically, you need to be alert and have a checklist on the dos and don’ts of your dog’s diet.
Feed Fond clearly states that grooming remains one key area by which your dog can stay healthy. If left dirty and unkempt, your dog can be prone to misery, and health issues. Some of the following grooming considerations can be undertaken;
• Bathing: use a recommended gentle dog’s shampoo and conditioner to avoid dry skin which can make your pet to itch, crackle and lacerate. Once are done with their bath, make haste to dry them quickly including the ears.
It is because any remnants of moisture, especially in the ear canal, can result in serious yeast infections. Some people do place a ball of cotton wool in the ears to prevent water from going into the ear canal, but that’s for the unfussy dogs.
• Dental Hygiene: Because of its tiny size, Chihuahua is more prone to dental problems. But you can easily prevent this from occurring with a consistent routine that involves brushing their teeth daily. You can do this using specially designed small and soft bristle dog toothbrush and toothpaste.
The earlier you start doing this when they are young and innocent, the better. If you start at later period when they have developed, they may not be as cooperative and comfortable.
Nonetheless, just in case you need to clean at whatever age, a vet may come in handy to help clean up your dog.
• Ear hygiene: if not checked ears and the ear canal can be a perfect breeding ground for all types of bacteria, yeast, and mites which impact’s on your Chihuahua’s health.
Regularly check the ears of your pet to ensure that there are no long and stray hairs growing from the within the pet’s ear. Pluck out any stray hairs.
You can use either your hands or tweezers to get the job done. If your fingers slide and cannot hold the grip to pull the hairs out, use ear powder to give you a steady grip.
• Hair Care: Regular brushing, and not overdoing it helps your dog’s coat to stay in excellent and clean condition; while eliminating allergens and dirt that cause bacteria. Use a brush that is both soft and with bristles that are more natural to smoothen out the coat.
• Eye Discharge: There usually is a watery discharge that often comes from the eyes, and then spreads around the area of the eye. You can wipe this discharge using a soft cloth. It helps to keep the place clean and dry and eliminates any dry speckles that would go escape into the eye and cause injury.
• Paw Hygiene: Most people tend to escape this part of care unless the dog starts to show signs of limping and discomfort. Even so, it is important to regularly to the checking for the presence of any lacerations, sores or slivers. Again, some of the long coats Chihuahuas usually grow stray hair between the pads. When the dogs walk they step on these hairs; at the end of the day, it becomes quite painful to remove them.
Your Chihuahua’s health remains your greatest focus and priority. The most important thing, therefore, is to carefully consider what could bring the dog’s health in jeopardy. You can then take the necessary preventive measures to avoid anything untoward from happening.