Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world, but they are also brave, affectionate, playful & fun-loving pets with small bodies and large personalities
These tiny creatures with big eyes, teeny paws and pointed ears may look like little toys as they nervously peer out from a jacket pocket or handbag, but don’t let their size fool you; like jalapeno chillies, they are small but fierce. Like a pocket-sized Doberman, Chihuahuas are courageous and protective.
They are small in stature but large in personality. The average Chihuahua stands between 15-23 centimetres tall and weighs between one and three kilos. They make fantastic pets for families living in apartments, and their sweet, loyal nature will enamour the whole family.
As a breed, Chihuahuas are known to be highly intelligent, whilst having a tendency to become fussy and demanding if spoilt and over-indulged. As long as they receive proper training from a young age, they make fun-loving, faithful pets that become very attached to their owners. They keep their puppy-like temperament even into adulthood.
Originating from Mexico, Chihuahuas are one of the oldest breeds of the New World and are still in high demand today. If you would like to own one, you must only go to a registered breeder who can guarantee the health and pedigree of the pup. They don’t come cheap, as having all the guarantees in place comes at a price.
With proper care, Chihuahuas can live to be eighteen years old. When it comes to diet, it’s important to feed them twice a day and keep snacks and treats to a minimum, as they can become overweight easily. To keep their fur healthy and shiny, they need no more than one bath a month with a delicate shampoo suitable for puppies. Long-haired varieties will need careful grooming to avoid tangling. Their ears also need checking regularly to clean away trapped hair or gunk and avoid otitis.
Typically their beautiful big eyes tend to tear up regularly. Although this stops them from drying out, it causes a crusty discharge in the fur around their eyes. An effective solution is to clean the area with gauze moistened with saline solution.
Common illnesses to watch out for include hypoglycaemia, not uncommon in smaller dogs; fontanelles and, in males, cryptorchidism (retained testicles). They are also prone to joint problems.