Some Chihuahua breeds grow up to only 15 inches tall. The typical US and UK breed standards state the Chihuahua shouldn’t weigh more than 6 lbs. However those standards are for show dogs; for pets, greater weights are allowed. When assessing Chihuahua size, weight is given more emphasis than height. Chihuahuas can have short or long coats.
While it is the world’s smallest dog breed, Chihuahuas are territorial. Most are loyal to only one master. If provoked, they will attack, so the dogs are not suitable as pets for small children.
In spite of their size the Chihuahua will fight other dog breeds if antagonized. Raising a Chihuahua with other dogs and small, noisy children is not recommended. It has been observed that long haired Chihuahuas tend to be less hyper.
Caring for a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas love being the center of attention. They are loving towards their master. Like other active dogs, they require exercise. If you’re planning on raising the smallest dog breeds, it’s best to train them very early.
Owing perhaps to their size, the Chihuahua’s initial reaction is to bite when frightened or irritated. As with other dogs, proper training can make the dog get along with other breeds.
The Chihuahua needs to be checked by a vet regularly. Among the most common ailments that afflict it are neurological in origin. These include seizures and epilepsy. Several toy breeds are susceptible to hydrocephalus and the Chihuahua is no exception. The most common symptom is a puppy having a large head.
They also have erratic skull platelets. Other conspicuous signs are lack of energy and slow growth. Hydrocephalus is a disease that often affects the smallest dog breeds, not just the Chihuahua.
Feeding and Lifespan
The average lifespan of a well cared for Chihuahua is 10 to 17 years. It’s essential to avoid overfeeding. Human food should never be administered to them. Sweets and chocolates should be avoided. Their small frame means they will get overweight easily.
That could lead to several health problems, including diabetes. An overweight Chihuahua will be susceptible to joint aches, breathing problems and even reduce their lifespan. When choosing a dog food, conduct some research. If necessary, consult a vet for the proper nutrition.
Because the dog is small, its metabolism is higher than other dogs. Since heat dissipates more quickly, it gets cold. Make sure the Chihuahua has a blanket or sweater on when it gets cold.
It’s not unusual for pet owners to give the Chihuahua a sweater during the winter seasons. It is also a good idea to give Chihuahua blankets when they go to sleep during cold seasons.
As the smallest dog breed in the world, Chihuahuas have become very popular in the US and other parts of the world. Properly nurtured, they can be very affectionate pets.