Basic Grooming Of Your Chihuahua
Each breed of dog has definite requirements for grooming based on the standard. Fortunately, the Chihuahua being the smallest breed and one type being smooth coat, coat care is fairly simple even if one has a long coat Chihuahua. The type of hair a dog has helps ascertain how often it should be groomed. Dogs need grooming all year round.
Bathing helps remove dead skin in a canine’s coat. Many people choose to bathe and condition their Chihuahua once a month, less often or more often with show dogs that may be bathed once a week. It is important to select a quality dog shampoo and conditioner that does not dry out the skin. A healthy dog has natural conditioner in the oil the coat produces.
Most likely the long coat Chihuahua needs more frequent baths. Dirty hair on any dog becomes easily matted and tangled. Trimming in the form of clipping and scissoring should be performed as needed. The nails should be clipped regularly. The more frequently nails are trimmed on a young Chihuahua, the sooner the dog becomes used to the procedures and handling. Some owners choose to use a filing tool to file the nails rather than small dog nail clippers.
Begin bathing at the puppy age (about 10 weeks or older) so the Chihuahua becomes used to grooming procedures. Talk to the dog, praising and reassuring during these processes so the Chihuahua understands what is happening. Introduce a hair dryer gradually to the Chihuahua so that the sound and air force is not frightening. It will be easier for the dog to adjust to a quieter dryer.
Some grooming safety tips include:
- Never leave your Chihuahua unattended on any surface or table by itself in a tub of water.
- Pretest all water before applying it to the dog.
- Protect the ears so they do not take in water. Cotton balls may be used.
- Use non-tear dog shampoo on puppies and/or adult Chihuahuas.
- Remember a wet Chihuahua becomes “very slippery.”
- Dry your dog carefully and thoroughly with towels and a low-setting dryer.
- Brush out excessive hair on a shedding dog before bathing.
- Preventative measures make grooming easier. Work out any mats before they become big entanglements, especially on long coats. Check the ear fringes and “pant fringe” areas.
- For cleanliness reasons trim around the anus and urinary areas.
- Purchase safe, adequate grooming tools. Be cautious of sharp, pointed scissors, rounded are easily available.
- Professional groomers should have clean, safe shops with firm rules, and should be familiar with the chi breed.
- Never allow a groomer to give any form of anesthetic to your dog.
- Keep your dog’s vaccinations current including rabies.
- Advise your groomer of your dog’s particular fears, unusual habits, injuries or allergies.
- “Quick Stop” should be readily available in case a nail is trimmed too short. Do not cut into the quick of the nail.
Show dogs are more meticulously groomed. Check with an experienced breeder or handler for information. One learns from observation and practice as well as asking questions.
It is typical for dogs to shed their winter coat in the spring and again in the fall to acquire a heavier winter coat. The coat is warmer if it is “matt free.” an early October trim prepares a dog for winter coat growth.
It is normal for puppies to shed out their fuzzy puppy coat as their adult coat begins growing.
If you have an expectant Chihuahua mother, it is wise to trim and/or shave her belly and vaginal areas about a week before her pups are due, for cleanliness reasons. Bitches often lose coat after raising a litter.
Make grooming time a fun, personal time for you and your Chihuahua to spend a relaxed happy time together!