PUPPY INFORMATION AND CARE SHEET
You have just purchased a new Chihuahua puppy. Now you have a new “baby” and of course
you want that baby to grow up and be a healthy playful little bundle of joy. BUT there are certain
things that you need to know and do to make this happen. In the following paragraphs I have
tried to cover the basics of how to care for a new puppy and some information that may save
your baby’s life in an emergency situation. I will also try to educate you to be observant so you
may meet the needs of even the tiniest of my little puppies.
TAKING YOUR PUPPY HOME
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they purchase a new puppy is they immediately must take it visiting to show it off. NOT A GOOD IDEA !! Take your puppy straight home and try your very best to keep it there until it has adjusted to its new surroundings and its new “parents”. Don’t do anything that stresses the puppy out. If it is put into some sort of pen and allowed to “cry itself to sleep” you may awake to a dead puppy. I will provide you with a blanket that will have the scent of its litter mates to comfort the puppy and help make it feel more secure in its new surroundings. Make sure you put it with your new puppy wherever it will be sleeping. You can also put a plastic bottle of warm water securely sealed so it won’t leak into a soft blanket or towel and allow the your new puppy to cuddle up to it at night. This stimulates the body temperature of another puppy in the bed with your new baby so it doesn’t feel abandoned. When going to the vet use some common sense. Keep your puppy in a crate or in your lap when visiting the vets office. Do not let it romp on the floor or furniture and most certainly do not allow it to socialize with other animals that also may be in the office at the same time. Where do all people take sick dogs? To the vet! Where is the best place to pick up germs or contract disease? Naturally, it’s where everyone takes sick dogs. TO THE VET!!
Your puppy will already have its first series of puppy shots when you receive it. Make sure that
you complete the proper series of puppy shots as this could save your puppies life. If the vet you
choose says your puppy will have to be started over on its shots already given run out the door!
It is vital that you do not overload your little Chihuahuas immune system. This can cause just as
many problems as not receiving any puppy shots. Make sure you take your new puppy to someone you feel comfortable with. Make sure that you do not do more than one treatment in a visit. Also when your puppy is old enough for its rabies shot make sure that is the only shot it is receiving that day. The puppy series that your vet will give will protect it from catching several different viruses. Make sure that vaccination for your Chihuahua does not contain protection against leptospirosis. This vaccination has been known to have adverse reactions when given to Chihuahuas. Discuss this with your vet to see if leptospirosis is something your Chihuahua has to be concerned with catching in your area. Always remember to tell them when taking your Chihuahua in for its vaccinations that you do not want it to include “lepto”. It could be fatal to your Chihuahua.
DIET AND FEEDING:
If you were caring for a human baby you would be feeding it every few
hours and constantly changing its diaper and keeping the environment clean. Same thing for
your new Chihuahua puppy. You should keep the puppy on the same food that was provided for
you so that you don’t stress the puppy any more than necessary. If you decide that you do not
want to continue the puppy on the same food, you must slowly introduce the new food. Mix a little
of the new food in with the food the puppy is already eating. You can add a little more of the new
food and a little less of the old food each day. This should be done over a 10-day period until the
puppy is completely on the new food only. Don’t change the puppy’s diet or eating routine too
abruptly. The smaller a puppy the more times a day it must be fed. You must remember that
because of their small stomachs they have to eat more often to sustain themselves. Never
confine the puppy for any length of time with no food or water. This means during the night also.
Puppies have to eat and drink during the nighttime hours just to sustain themselves. Make sure
to confine them in an area that has enough room for a bed, food, water, and some paper down so
they can relieve themselves. Until they are older, they will not be able to go very long without
eating, drinking and going to the potty. They are babies. Do not put the puppy in bed with you to
sleep during the night. They will attempt to go as far as possible away from where they sleep to
relieve themselves and could fall of the bed. That is too far of a fall for a small Chihuahua.
I have provided access to dry kibble at all times for this puppy , so that is what it is used to.
It has been weaned from mom for several weeks and is eating dry food with no problems. It is
very important to make sure the puppy is eating once you get it home.
Do not be concerned with your puppy eating the same kind of food every day. You should decide
on a good puppy food and keep it on it. When you offer different kinds of food all the time “trying
to find one he likes” you are actually creating a picky eater. The food I sent home with your new
puppy is a great new puppy food.
Certain foods are toxic to your chihuahua and should not be fed. These include: chocolate, onions, xylitol (found in candy and other sugar-free sweets), raisins, grapes, raw bread dough, large quantities of garlic, raw potato, mushrooms, coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, apple seeds, pear/peach/plum/apricot cores, avocado, tomato leaves and stems, large amounts of broccoli, cooked chicken bones, cooked meat fat trimmings/drippings (can lead to pancreatitis) and large amounts of beef liver (can lead to excesses of vitamin A and certain minerals. Safe in small amounts). Milk or table scraps can cause diarrhea in a puppy.
-This is the scientific name for a condition where the sugar level suddenly
drops. The first signs of this problem are usually staggering and falling over as if they are drunk.
Or they can be observed lying on their side paddling with their front feet as though they are
swimming. If these symptoms are observed, you must act very quickly to save your puppy’s life. You must get the sugar level up to bring the puppy out of this situation. And it must be
done quickly. I suggest you have a tube of nutrical on hand. You can get this at any pet food
store. If you puppy does show any signs of low blood sugar or if it is not eating, give it some
nutrical. If the puppy is not willing to lick the nutrical you can put some on your finger and rub it
on the puppy’s gums. Sometimes when they get like this their mouth will clinch shut and you will
have to pry it open. This should help get the puppy’s blood sugar back to a more normal level.
Once the puppy is responsive, you must get it to eat. If your puppy has an episode like this it is most likely
not eating enough food. It could also be an underlying problem that may need medical attention. This is not something to take lightly. If this happens and the pup has been eating, you should take the pup to the vet right away. The first week of the puppy going to its new home is the most stressful on the puppy as it gets to know its new family, new environment and new schedule. is the most important to watch and make sure it is eating. Before the puppy leaves, it is eating on its own and maintaining sugar levels with no issues. This does not mean the change of going to its new home will have the same results. This is stressful on such a tiny baby. Please make sure to give your puppy plenty of rest and a safe place of its own like a paly yard. The first week is the most critical time to make sure the puppy gets acclimated as stress free as possible.
Small puppies eliminate frequently and with little or no warning. They are like babies and can’t hold it! Constant supervision is key. Never let a puppy have free run of your home if you are not supervising every move, every minute. The more accidents your puppy makes when you are not watching, the more ingrained this bad habit becomes, and the harder it will be to housetrain your puppy. Prevention, supervision, and rewarding the desired behavior are the way to train your puppy. A puppy will need to eliminate after each meal, after play periods, and after waking from a nap. Small puppies may need to urinate as often as every 15 minutes! Sniffing the ground and circling can be signs that it is time to take your puppy outside, or to his litterbox, newspaper or potty pad- whichever method you have decided on. If you catch the puppy starting to squat, bring him to the correct place, and reward and praise after he has eliminated in the correct spot! Never punish a puppy for an accident you find after the fact- he will not remember doing it and will not understand why you are angry. Besides, the accident will be your fault for not having supervised him well enough. When you cannot watch your puppy, you can keep him in an exercise pen with a bed and food at one end and a potty pad, newspaper or litterbox at the other end. The puppy will naturally not want to soil his sleeping/ eating area and will walk away towards the appropriate spot to eliminate. It may to helpful to place a small piece of soiled newspaper or potty pad, or a handful of soiled litter in the spot where you want your puppy to eliminate. Puppies naturally want to eliminate where they can smell urine.
TEACHING PUPPY TO “DROP IT"
-A very important command a puppy can learn is to drop any
object it has in its mouth on command. The command: NO” is not adequate. Always give a
command with the puppy’s name. Whatever command is intended the command words must
always be the same. Getting a puppy to drop an object is not an easily learned lesson. Teaching
this command is against its innate nature. Teaching this command should be started as a playful
training. Give the puppy a toy or other treat and do not release it when the puppy tries to take it.
As the puppy holds the toy stroke it’s head and give the command drop it. Of course, the
untrained puppy will not respond. While still holding the toy repeatedly tap on side of the pups
muzzle. Begin with very light taps and increase in pressure until the puppy releases its treasure.
Praise the puppy once it drops it. After a few moments return the toy to the puppy and let it play
with it for a few minutes and then start the process over again. Once they realize that the toy will
be returned it will be immediately released. There will be several times throughout our dog’s life
that it will have something in its mouth that it shouldn’t. If I say drop it to any of my dogs, it’s as if
they will spit it out-no matter what it is. I say it often.
Chihuahuas usually have their full set of puppy teeth by six weeks of age. But some
of them lack jaw muscles strong enough to crush dry kibble. I will not send home a puppy until I
know they are eating dry food without any problems. When Chihuahuas are about 13 weeks old
they start to cut their permanent teeth. This process can go on for 3 to 6 months. It can affect
puppies differently. Sometimes their ears will droop, or they will have one ear up and one down.
This can change from day to day. At this age they will want to chew on everything so make sure
to provide a lot of puppy safe chew toys. This will discourage them from chewing on your good
shoes or nice leather couch.
Occasional bouts of sneezing, snorting, honking and wheezing are not
unusual in Chihuahuas, and is sometimes called a reverse sneeze. This is usually caused by an
elongated soft palate that is thought to become temporarily misaligned. It is a common trait in toy
breeds. Pulling hard on a leash, drinking too fast or getting overly excited can lead to an episode
of reverse sneezing. Reverse sneezing should not be confused with a different condition call a
Although reverse sneezing may be scary, it only lasts a short time and can be ended by
massaging the dogs neck and throat and encouraging the dog to swallow or lick. Another way to slow the reverse sneeze is to clap your hands to distract the dog, or pinch closed the dogs
nostrils with your fingers, forcing it to breathe through its mouth and to swallow.
LUXATION OF THE PATELLA
Luxation of the patella or dislocation of the kneecap is a common
hereditary problem with Chihuahuas and other small breeds. Patella luxation can occur in
varying degrees from minimal to debilitating. Very young dogs may be able to compensate for
this deformity but the condition tends to worsen over time. Most of the time the Chihuahua is
older before symptoms of patellar luxation are obvious.
The dislocation is most commonly found on the inner side of the patella. The attached ligaments
become stretched over time until the patella is rarely where it is supposed to be, and may pop in
and out of place very easily.
Recent studies have shown that immediate treatment is recommended, rather than waiting until
the dislocation has crippled the dog. The reasoning is that while the knee is dislocated the entire
body of the dog is compensating for it causing deformations of many other skeletal areas.
Historically the Chihuahua as developed in Mexico and the United States has
displayed a soft spot on the top of its head. In the Chihuahua this spot, or fontanel, is known as
the molera, and is the same that is found in human babies. In the past this molera was accepted
as a mark of purity in the breed and is still mentioned in most Chihuahua breed standards all
over the world. American Kennel Club (AKC) lists it as an acceptable breed standard.
It is important to note that while many Chihuahua puppies are born without the molera, there are
probably just as many born with one and its presence is nothing to become alarmed over. The
molera in a Chihuahua will occur on the top of the head and may vary in shape and size when
Unfortunately some veterinarians are not familiar with the Chihuahua breed standards and
have tried to link the presence of a molera with the condition known as hydrocephalus. The truth
is that a domed head with a molera present does not predispose the Chihuahua to this condition.
It is not uncommon that your puppy will have a systemic reaction to its vaccinations. This can include a low-grade fever or muscle aches and pain. They may be really sleepy for the next 24 to 48 hours after their vaccinations. A more severe adverse reaction would be characterized by hives, swelling of the face or even vomiting. This reaction can be prevented by administering an antihistamine at the time of the vaccination. Please check with your vet about this option. In some rare cases dogs will have a more severe reaction leading to death. Leptospirosis, the component most likely to produce such severe reactions should always be left out of your Chihuahuas vaccinations. Chihuahuas do not respond well to this component so unless the area you live in has a leptospirosis concern please ask you vet not to include it in its vaccine. If your dog has had a vaccine reaction in the past, don’t skip future vaccinations but do warn your veterinarian so he can take the proper precautions when vaccinating your pet. If your dog does have an adverse reaction to its vaccinations always contact your veterinarian immediately.
Your veterinarian can advise you on how to continue to keep your puppy free of fleas, heartworms and other parasites.
Dr. Jean Dodd’s vaccine protocol is recommended:
9-10 Weeks -Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)
14 weeks - Same as above
16-18 weeks -Same as above
20 weeks or older-Rabies
1 year -Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
1 year-Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)
Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus annually thereafter. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. Leptospirosis and Coronavirus vaccines are not recommended. The usefulness of vaccinating for adenovirus, hepatitis, Lyme disease, giardia, Bordetella, and parainfluenza is debatable.
It is a good idea to have a rectal or special pet ear thermometer just for your dog (normal temperature is 99° to 101°).
This is a trait of the Chihuahuas. It is usually a communication of sort. They may be
scared or unsure of something or someone. Or they may just be cold. Young dogs often shiver
after they have been fed. Shivering is generally caused by the fact that the Chihuahua is so
small that its body temperature changes very quickly. Shivering is a way for their body to
compensate for this difference. Please make sure your chihuahua is nice and warm during the
winter months. It doesn’t take much for these little guys to catch a chill. You will notice that
Chihuahuas love to bury themselves under blankets or when its warm they love to bask in the
Grooming Your Chihuahua
Puppies should be bathed as needed with a mild, puppy-safe shampoo and kept warm and out of drafts until completely dry. Great care should be taken that no water gets into a puppy’s nose or mouth during bathing. Inhalation of water can lead to pneumonia.
Long coat chihuahuas should be brushed regularly.
Brush your chihuahua’s teeth regularly and provide appropriate chew toys. Have your veterinarian check his teeth yearly. Poorly maintained teeth may lead to other health problems.
Clean ears with a cotton ball and mild ear cleaner made for dogs. If the inside of the ear is red, irritated, has a foul odor or a dark brown residue, have your dog checked by a veterinarian.
Trim your chihuahua’s nails regularly. If you do not feel comfortable with this procedure, have your veterinarian or a groomer do it. Dewclaws left untrimmed can cause painful injuries. Untrimmed nails can also create splayed feet and make walking uncomfortable for your pet.
General Safety Tips:
Do not allow puppies to jump off of furniture or steps as they can break a leg or be seriously injured. Never leave a chihuahua puppy on a bed, chair, or couch unattended! Letting your chihuahua puppy sleep in the bed with you can also be dangerous- if you roll over on him or he falls off the bed this can cause serious injury or even death.
Young puppies chew and ingest everything! Many plants are harmful and should be kept out of a puppy’s reach. Electric cords should also be out of a puppy’s reach. Puppy proof your house before bringing your puppy home.
A tiny dog is easy to lose. Never leave a puppy outside unattended. It is easy for someone to steal a tiny dog and large birds of prey have been known to carry off tiny puppies and small adult chihuahuas. Check fences regularly for repairs or open gates. An exercise pen or a playpen is worthwhile investment to safely confine your puppy.
Have your puppy microchipped or have him wear a collar with an ID tag at all times.
Take care that you do not let your puppy play on a lawn that has been treated with toxic insect repellents, fertilizers, cocoa mulch, salt in winter, etc. Insect or rodent bait, carpet fresheners, floor cleaners and other cleaning supplies can also be toxic to your chihuahua.
Remember a large dog can kill a chihuahua in one bite! Pick up your dog if another dog approaches and always have your dog on lead.
Never let your chihuahua run loose in a hotel room. Insect and rodent poison may be hidden under beds or behind furniture where your chihuahua can reach and ingest it.
Never leave a dog in the hot sun or outside in extreme cold. Never leave a dog in a parked car when it is warm outside!
Be careful of swimming pools – a chihuahua that falls into a pool can easily tire and drown.
Always hold your chihuahua with both arms, one securely under the dog supporting it against your chest and the other on top of the dog. Squeeze with your elbow if the dog wiggles and kneel quickly to the floor. (A dog dropped from this height has less chance of injury than if dropped from a standing position.)
Never attempt to hold two chihuahuas at once or something else along with the dog.
Tiny dogs are easily stepped on- watch your step and keep your puppy in a safe place when you have visitors! They will not be used to having a small puppy underfoot and are more likely to step on the puppy.
Special Precautions for Children and Chihuahuas
Children can easily drop or injure a tiny dog. Children should only be allowed to hold a chihuahua while they are sitting on the ground. Toddlers must be constantly supervised around a chihuahua puppy! A toy thrown at a chihuahua’s head may prove fatal. A toddler tripping and falling on a chihuahua puppy may also lead to serious injury or death of the puppy.
Young children that are left unsupervised with chihuahua puppies may tease or scare the puppy, leading to fear aggression and biting even in a puppy with a genetically stable temperament. This type of situation should be prevented by constant supervision of children interacting with your puppy. Chihuahuas are defenseless with small children and again, they must be constantly supervised around the dog and kept separated when direct supervision is not possible.
If you are consistent with your puppy from day one, you can teach him to be a quiet companion. A squirt bottle is a safe deterrent for avid barkers, but it must be used consistently and with a stern command. Be careful to avoid squirting water into the nose or mouth. Praise your puppy when he is quiet and calm. Praising good behavior is just as important as correcting bad behavior.
Behavior, Training and Socialization
Although chihuahuas are small dogs, that is no excuse to let them get away with poor behavior or treat them as helpless little beings. Chihuahuas should be raised to have self-confidence. Never soothe your chihuahua and say “it’s okay, good boy” if he is barking or growling at another person or dog or acting fearful around something harmless like a plastic bag on the ground- this is actually rewarding negative behavior. Displays of aggression should be corrected with a firm “no”, and you should act calm and confident and ignore displays of irrational fear. Your puppy should be praised anytime he is calm, relaxed, curious about new things and outgoing.
Socialization is very important! As soon as your puppy has been vaccinated, bring him to different places to meet lots of people, children and other small dogs as often as possible. Have strangers and children give your puppy treats to create positive associations. Puppy playgroups and basic obedience classes are strongly recommended! Chihuahuas are just as able to learn commands and tricks as big dogs are. Positive training techniques are recommended.
To avoid separation anxiety in your puppy, make sure to not make a big deal of coming and going. If you must leave your puppy alone at home for a few hours, do not make a big display of hugging and kissing the puppy goodbye and reassuring him that he will be okay. Simply place him in his pen or crate and leave. If you hear the puppy whining when you close the door, do not go back in and soothe him- this is a reward and is teaching the puppy to whine and cry while you are gone. When you get home, the same rule applies- do not make a big deal out of coming back and do not let the puppy out of his pen or crate if he is whining- wait until he is quiet and calm and then let him out and praise him. He will learn eventually that you always come back, that it is not a big deal when you leave, and that quiet, calm behavior brings him rewards- but only if you are consistent with these rules.
You have just made a major commitment in your life and accepted a loving, living responsibility that is looking to you for care, comfort, food, protection and attention. Your rewards for fulfilling your obligations to your chihuahua are endless and he will be a loyal devoted companion to you for life. Please treat him as an important member of your family at all times. Remember a chihuahua can’t talk or fend for itself so he is dependent on you!
Ears Early development
New born Chihuahua puppies are born with ears that are folded over or floppy, and it takes several weeks for their ears to develop and grow the strong cartilage and muscle that causes the ears to point upwards in the manner that we associate with the breed.
This means that if you go to view a litter of Chihuahua puppies when they are young with a view to reserving one to buy later on, you might get to see the litter with floppy ears.
The ears of Chihuahua pups don’t go from floppy to upright overnight, and the process takes several weeks to complete. Generally a twelve week old pup’s ears will be beginning to stand up, but there is no set timeline for this and some pups may develop upright ears a little earlier, or a little later.
How teething can affect your Chihuahua’s ears
Even if your Chihuahua pup’s ears seem to be following a fairly linear progression to becoming upright, you might find that this all changes when your dog starts teething. Some Chihuahua pups whose ears are beginning to become erect or whose ears seem to have made it all the way will actually begin to droop again as they start to grow their adult teeth in, at between four and five months of age.
This is common within the breed, but doesn’t happen to every dog – and it might only affect one ear and not both, to further compound the confusion!
However, if your pup’s ears were already erect or beginning to become erect before they started teething, they will almost certainly do so again once your pup has all of their adult teeth in place.
When will I know if my pup’s ears are going to stand up?
If your pup gets to the age of around eight to nine months old and their ears are still floppy and aren’t showing any signs of starting to stand up, there’s a good chance that they’re not going to.
AKC CHIHUAHUA STANDARD
A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with a saucy expression, compact, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.
Size, Proportion , Substance:
Weight-A well balanced little dog not to exceed 6 pounds.
Proportion- The body is off squared, hence , slightly longer when measured from point of
shoulder to point of buttocks, than height at the withers. Somewhat shorter bodies are preferred in males.
Disqualification-Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Head; A well rounded apple dome skull, with or without a molera.
Eyes-Full, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or ruby(light eyes in blond or white colored dogs is permissible)
Ears-Large, erect type ears, held more upright when alert, but flaring to the sides at a 45 degree angle when in response, giving breadth between the ears.
Muzzle-Moderately short, slightly pointed. Cheeks and jaw lean.
Nose-Self colored in blond types, or black. In moles, blues and chocolates they are self colored. In blond types pink nose is permissible.
Bite-Level or scissors. Overshot or undershot bites, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault.
Disqualifications-Broken down or cropped ears.
Neck, Top line, Body:
Neck- Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders.
Body- Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much barrel shaped)
Tail- Moderately long, carried sickle either up or out in a loop over the back with tip just touching the back.
Disqualifications- Cropped tail, bobtail.
Shoulders- Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight forelegs that set well under, giving a free play at the elbows. Shoulders should be well up, giving balance and
soundness, sloping into a level back (never down or low). This gives a chectiness, and strength of forequarters, yet not of the bulldog chest.
Feet- A small, dainty foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned,
Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy. The feet are as in front.
In the smooth coats, the coat should be of soft texture, close and glossy. (heavier coats with
undercoats permissible) Coat placed well over body with ruff on neck preferred, and more scanty on head and ears. Hair on tail preferred fury. In long coats, the coat should be of a soft texture, either flat of slightly curly, with undercoat preferred.
Ears-Fringed (heavy fringed ears may be tipped slightly if due to the fringes and not to weak ear leather, never down)
Tail-Full and long (as a plume) Feathering on feet and legs, pants on hind legs and large ruff on the neck desired and preferred.
Disqualification- In long coats-too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Any color-Solid, marked or splashed.
The Chihuahua should move swiftly with a firm, sturdy action, with good reach in front equal to the drive from the rear. From the rear, the hocks remain parallel to each other, and the foot fall of the rear legs follows directly behind that if the forelegs. The legs, both front and rear, will tend to converge slightly toward a central line of gravity as speed increases. The side view shows good, string drive in the rear and plenty of reach in the front, with head carried high. The top line
should remain firm and the back line level as the dog moves.
Alert, with terrier like qualities.
Disqualifications: 6 pounds in weight/ Broken down or cropped ears/Cropped tail/ thin bare coat(long)