Your dog is special! She’s your best friend, companion, and a source of unconditional love. Chances are that you chose her because you like Chihuahuas and you expected her to have certain traits that would fit your lifestyle:
Alert, curious, and busy
Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions
Confident and self-reliant
Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark
Doesn’t need much exercise
Has a short, easy-to-care-for coat
However, no dog is perfect! You may have also noticed these characteristics:
Can be aggressive, fearful, or snappy if not socialized properly
Needs early socialization to accept other pets and strangers
Fragile and easily injured because of her small size
Needs frequent attention from her family
Bold and fearless, may attack much larger dogs
May have a tendency to bark excessively
Is it all worth it? Of course! She’s full of personality, and you love her for it! She is a loyal and alert member of the family that demands attention at all times. Her small size makes her an excellent traveling companion.
The Chihuahua is the smallest of all dogs breeds and has 2 coat varieties: smooth and longhaired. Originating in Mexico, they were bred for companionship and are known for their big, erect ears and prominent large eyes. The Chihuahua’s personality could be compared to a terrier’s, as she is fearless and devoted. The Chihuahua is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years. They are known to suffer from some common conditions like luxating patella and cataracts. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.
Your Smooth Coated Chihuahua’s Health
We know that because you care so much about your dog, you want to take good care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Chihuahua. By knowing about health concerns specific to Smooth Coated Chihuahuas, we can tailor a preventive health plan to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks.
Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pet’s breed. There is a general consensus among canine genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners that the conditions we’ve described herein have a significant rate of incidence and/or impact in this breed. That does not mean your dog will have these problems; it just means that she is more at risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in Smooth Coated Chihuahuas to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. Of course, we can’t cover every possibility here, so always check with us if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.
This guide contains general health information important to all canines as well as the most important genetic predispositions for Smooth Coated Chihuahuas. This information helps you and us together plan for your pet’s unique medical needs. At the end of the booklet, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Chi looking and feeling her best. You will know what to watch for, and we will all feel better knowing that we’re taking the best possible care of your pal.
General Health Information for your Smooth Coated Chihuahua
Dental disease is the most common chronic problem in pets, affecting 80% of all dogs by age two. And unfortunately, your Smooth Coated Chihuahua is more likely than other dogs to have problems with her teeth. It starts with tartar build-up on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth. If we don’t prevent or treat dental disease, your buddy will lose her teeth and be in danger of damaging her kidneys, liver, heart, and joints. In fact, your Chihuahua’s life span may be cut short by one to three years! We’ll clean your dog’s teeth regularly and let you know what you can do at home to keep those pearly whites clean.