Raising a Chihuahua puppy inside your home is an exciting and memorable time that you're certain to never forget. Just the sight of these energy-filled balls of fur is enough to put a smile on anyone's face, regardless of what kind of day you're having. However, the decision to raise a Chihuahua puppy on your own isn't one that should be made lightly. You'll need to offer them a safe and healthy environment with everything they need for proper growth and development.
It's all too common for people to take Chihuahua puppies into their home based on their cute looks alone, without fully realizing just how much work goes into caring for them. As a result, the puppies needs aren't met and they are the ones who suffer from their owner's mistake. If you're willing to invest your time, money and energy into one, keep reading and we'll reveal how to raise a healthy Chihuahua puppy.
Bringing Your Chihuahua Puppy Home
Once you've found a Chihuahua puppy from a breeder that you simply can't live without, you'll need to first make some preparations before bringing them home, one of which is getting plenty of premium puppy food. While some veterinarians may recommend specific formulas, it's usually best to stick with the same type of food the breeder has been feeding them. When you're checking out new puppies, ask the breeder what they've been feeding them. Most breeders will even be more than happy to send some of the food home with you.
It's hard not to instantly fall in love with a cute Chihuahua puppy, but you have to refrain from taking them away from their mother too early. Doing so may increase their risk of developing certain health conditions, and it also places unnecessary emotional stress. So when is it okay to take a Chihuahua puppy away from their mother? There's really no one single answer to this question, as all puppies develop both emotionally and physically at different rates. A good rule of thumb, however, is to wait until they are 10 weeks old before bringing them home.
Here's a rough outline of what you'll need to do BEFORE bringing your Chihuahua puppy home:
- Pick up a bag or two of premium puppy dog food and two bowls (one for food and the other for water).
- Create a safe and confined area where your puppy can roam, play and rest when you aren't there to watch them. Ideally, the area should have hardwood, laminate, tile or linoleum floors that are easy to clean, as your puppy will probably have some accidents here.
- Purchase a soft bed and some blankets for them to snuggle up in. Puppies need the comforting feeling provided by blankets even more so than adults, so make sure you have a nice bedding area set up for them.
- Unless you want all of your furniture and clothes chewed on, pick up a few small chew toys the next time you're at the pet store. Chihuahua puppies will go through a teething stage where they will have the desire to chew.
- If you haven't done so already, start stockpiling newspapers to lay in your Chihuahua puppy's play area. This will help protect the flooring underneath by soaking up some of urine.
Scheduling Their First Veterinarian Visit
Once you bring your Chihuahua puppy home, you'll need to call and schedule their first veterinarian appointment. Don't just take them to the first veterinarian name you come across in the phone book or online, but instead call around and ask some of your friends and family members who they recommend. You want to choose an experienced, professional vet that's naturally good with animals. Once you've found one, call them up and tell them you'd like to make an appointment for your newly-born Chihuahua puppy.
During your pup's initial vet visit, they should administer a vaccination for the deadly Parvovirus. As you may already know, the Parvovirus is deadly viral disease that takes the lives of thousands of dogs each year. To make matters worse, it seems that puppies are at a greater risk to the Parvovirus than older dogs. Once they come into contact with it, the virus spreads to the intestinal lining where it feeds on the living cells, causing diarrhea, weakness and dehydration. Thankfully, this virus is easily preventable through a series of vaccinations administered by a vet.
Of course the veterinarian should also perform a thorough checkup and inspection to see if there's any medically-concerning issues with them. Typically, this consists of checking in their ears for mites, in their coat for fleas, and making sure all of their bones have developed properly. While you're at the vet, be sure to talk to them about follow-up vaccinations, as your Chihuahua will need several more sets in the months to follow.
Potty-Training a Puppy
If there's one thing you can count on with a Chihuahua puppy it's that they are going to have accidents. No matter how many times you take them outside or keep them cooped up in their crate, there will be times when they use the bathroom inside the house. Don't punish or scold them for this behavior, but instead use it to teach them the boundaries of what's acceptable and what's not. When your Chihuahua puppy has an accident inside the house, say “No,” and immediately take them outside for a couple minutes. Even if they don't use the bathroom while they are outside, they will still begin to associate being outside with using the bathroom.
When you finally see your Chihuahua puppy do their business outside, be sure to give them lots of praise followed by a small treat. Positive reinforcement goes a long ways with training a Chihuahua puppy, and it will essentially be your most important tool. If they are having a problem using the bathroom inside, try to confine them in a room or area of the house where they can't escape from. Puppies like to sneak away to do their business where their owners can't see, so you should take this option away from them.