Getting a New Chihuahua Puppy
You have several options when you decide to get a new Chihuahua. If you want a purebred puppy then check with your local veterinarians for breeder recommendations. If you don’t mind your puppy being a Chihuahua mix or if you decide to get an adult Chi then animal shelters or rescue organizations are great places to look.
Whether you pick a short or long haired Chihuahua, the basic behaviour and expectations will be the same. Try to have everything ready before bringing the puppy home so that the transition to your house will be as smooth as possible. Supplies such as bowls, bedding, and toys can be purchased ahead of time.
Think about your house and where you plan to set out your puppy’s things. Chihuahuas are small dogs, and the puppies are even smaller and can be easily injured if stepped on. It’s important to make sure that you set up an eating and sleeping area that is away from the busiest parts of the house. Starting your new life with your Chi puppy should not involve a trip to the veterinarian because of injury!
The First Day
When you pick up your dog, be prepared for the trip home. The safest way for your Chi puppy to travel is in a carrier. There are several available that strap into the car’s seat belt system. These types of carriers help to ensure your puppy’s safety when travelling. Due to their small size, make sure to use an appropriate restraint device. Carriers or harnesses meant for bigger dogs may hurt your Chihuahua or not provide the protection your puppy needs.
When you arrive home let your puppy explore the new surroundings but be sure that the home is puppy proofed. A tumble down the stairs is serious for a Chi and using baby gates to block areas is a good idea. Show the puppy where to find food, water and its bed within the first little while but expect to have to show these areas again several times.
Young puppies often sleep a lot and Chihuahuas are no exception. In fact, because of their small size they may become overwhelmed more easily and need a quiet area to rest. They are very social little animals who develop fierce loyalties to their owners so putting their bed in an area where they can still see you is best.
Be sure to take the puppy to its designated bathroom area within the first half hour. Chi puppies need to go to the bathroom frequently and may experience accidents in your house. Be patient and try to take the puppy out more often until it gets better at holding it.
The First Week
Book an appointment with your veterinarian within the first week of bringing your puppy home. This is the opportunity to discuss vaccines and have a general check up. Many Chihuahua breeders insist on a vet visit within 72 hours. This is for your protection and theirs. They want to make sure there are no health problems before you bond with the pup.
After the puppy has settled into your home for a few days, you can introduce Chihuahua collars and leashes. Make sure to have a small, lightweight collar so that it doesn’t irritate your Chi. Use the collar in the house for the first few days before attaching a leash. When you try the leash for the first time, let the pup drag the leash around but don’t leave your Chi unsupervised. Chis are very intelligent and will soon realize the collar and leash are not harmful.
Introductions to family and friends should be done gradually so your Chi doesn’t become fearful. Chis aren’t known to be good with children so be extra careful if you have youngsters coming to meet your pup. Children often don’t know how to be gentle enough with such tiny dogs.
Finally, give your new Chihuahua puppy lots of love. Speak to experts and do your homework about diet, Chihuahua training tips, and health care. You’ve got a lot of years together ahead of you, make sure they are good ones.