7 Things You Should Know Before Fostering a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are fun and loving dogs and require adequate care and attention. They are high on energy, so lack of attention can cause them separation anxiety and depression. Therefore, you need to be extra careful about socializing and pampering this breed. This small dog breed has an amazing personality established through its protective and loyal relationships with humans. Because they are highly energetic, you have to take additional care about their nutrition and activities. You need to take them for a walk every day and help them socialize with other dogs as well. The best thing about this dog breed is that they also positively interact with other animals such as cats. So if you already have a feline at home, consider this small dog breed.
Maintaining the behavior of these cute, little hounds will not be a problem as they do well with training and love to play. Furthermore, they do not hesitate to explore the new home, as all they care about love and attention. It seems like Chihuahuas are the perfect dog breed for your home, right? Sure, they are, but only if you treat them well and nurture all their needs. Let’s understand how you can make your new Chihuahua pup an adorable family member:
1. Personality of Chihuahuas
The Chihuahua breed is tiny but has an energetic personality that will brighten up your life. With sassy behavior and a fun-loving personality, they are one of the liveliest breeds among other hounds. Their unique quality is they develop a strong bond with one person in a family and are highly protective about them. Because they are friendly, responsive, and smart, training them will not be an issue. However, if you develop a positive training routine, they will learn even better and faster. These pets are fearless, and you will not find them nervous while defending their owners or themselves. This makes them fun and loyal.
2. Training Your Chihuahua Puppy
Initially, a Chihuahua can be aggressive and stubborn, but with patience and little house training, they can develop an obedient personality. The training session may take as little as three to four weeks. However, it depends on what training technique you follow. For instance, adding few commands such as "come," "down," "stay," and "sit" in your daily routine will help them recognize and remember what you want them to do.
If your pup is not adapting to indoor pee-pad training, they might be comfortable with peeing outside. Therefore, you need to understand them and let them choose the right spot for themselves. Flexibility with this breed is essential. You should make strict schedules and rules while considering their instinct.
For grooming your Chihuahua, you need to understand what type of coats they have. There are two types: long and smooth. If your pup has a smooth and shiny coat, you need to brush them occasionally. But, if they have a long coat, brush their coat thrice a week. That way, you can brush away the loose hair from their body. Furthermore, you should clean their ears and brush their teeth regularly. Brushing the teeth will avoid any dental problems.
4. Health and Nutrition
The average lifespan of a Chihuahua can be 14 to 18 years. To maintain the health of your Chihuahua, you can play with them every day inside the house. That way, they will meet their daily exercising needs. Also, regularly take them to walk to keep them fit and healthy. They undergo the same conditions as other dog breeds. However, Chihuahuas has some common diseases, including patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, hydrocephalus, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Take your dog to the vet for a routine checkup and proper vaccination.
The Chihuahuas are a small dog breed, but they need plenty of food. They have a better diet than other larger dogs, especially when they are young. This means that you should leave food around them, so they can eat whenever they are hungry. Make sure that you swap the food every day, or else it will become stale. You should free-feed them till they are three months old.
You can schedule their meals once they are three months old. Feed them three to four times a day from 3 months to 6 months. When they are six, you can bring them down to two to three meals every day. The amount of meal depends on the build, age, and activity level of your hound. To check if they are eating enough, you can conduct rib testing. In this testing method, simply place your fingers on the ribs and feel them. If you cannot see the ribs and feel them, you are feeding them the right amount of food.
6. Energy Level
Never underestimate the energy of a Chihuahua. Even though they are small, they never get the fun out of their lives. This small dog breed is energetic and always ready to go for a walk, run, and play. Even so, they can play until they completely drop. Therefore, it is crucial to supervise them and set up a schedule. Also, it would help if you never left your pup outside all by themselves. A hawk, coyotes, or other birds will likely attack and hurt them.
7. Decide sleeping arrangements
In the first week, after bringing a Chihuahua into your home, you should decide where you want them to sleep. Whatever location you choose, during the first week, your pup will follow that every day. As you read in the above section, a Chihuahua can be stubborn in the initial days. Therefore, you need to make strict rules while considering that instinct. Sometimes, your Chihuahua may cry and whine until you bring them to your bed. This happens when they know you will listen to them. You cannot change this behavior while listening to their whining. So, they will make it a routine.
The Chihuahuas take some time to adjust to the dynamics of your family. Even though they are good with learning, you need to give them some time to adapt to the environment of your house. Therefore, if you are willing to foster a Chihuahua, be patient. You can consult with a veterinarian, friend, or dog trainer if you need any help or advice.