How to Take Care of a Chihuahua

By Britt Kascjak

Do you have a love for the sassy personality of the Chihuahua? Have you recently added a Chihuahua to your family?

If so, you may be curious about the basic care needs of this pint-sized breed.

Don’t let their small size fool you. Chihuahuas do have some important care needs that you will need to provide for.

But the love and joy they bring to your life will make your efforts worth it!

Basic Care Needs of a Chihuahua


One of the biggest mistakes made by new Chihuahua owners is overfeeding their dogs. Even the smallest change to their meals can have a major impact on their weight.

As a result, many Chihuahuas struggle with obesity and the health complications that come with it.

This includes an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. It can also contribute to joint problems, which the breed is already at risk for.

When feeding your Chihuahua, pay careful attention to the feeding instructions.

You should also track your dog’s weight and body condition. This will help you identify and address problems early.

Don’t forget to include any treats in your dog’s daily calorie intake! These little treats may be small, but they can contribute to unwanted weight gain.


The grooming needs of a Chihuahua are less than many other dog breeds out there. But, that doesn’t mean that they can be overlooked.

Grooming your dog properly will not only keep him looking nice but also keep him healthy.

Short-haired Chihuahuas will need to be brushed occasionally but are relatively low-maintenance. If your Chihuahua is a long-haired variety, he will need to be brushed more frequently.

Your dog should also be bathed regularly to keep him clean and fresh.

One problem that we see often in Chihuahuas is long nails. Make sure to trim your dog’s nails regularly or make appointments to have it done professionally.

Finally, dental care is essential for your dog’s health.

Introduce him to the toothbrush early and brush his teeth daily. He will also need regular professional cleanings booked through your veterinarian.


Despite their small size, Chihuahuas do need daily exercise to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Most experts recommend dividing this exercise into 2 smaller walks.

When you are walking your dog, give him the opportunity to sniff and explore his surroundings. This provides much-needed mental stimulation.

You can also introduce food puzzles and treat toys for a mental challenge indoors.


Too often poor behavior is shrugged off or seen as entertaining in Chihuahuas. But, overlooking these problems will only make the situation worse.

You may think your little dog growling is cute, but this is often a sign of discomfort or anxiety.

In these moments, your dog is suffering and trying to communicate that he is unhappy. It is your responsibility, as his owner, to identify and address the problem.

Early socialization is a great way to help prevent anxiety. This allows your dog to become familiar with different environments, smells, and sounds.

The breed is also known for being highly vocal. Training your dog to be a polite member of the household is good for the mental well-being of the whole family.

Remember, owning a dog is a responsibility and a commitment!

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.