Keeping Up Appearances

Skin and Coat Care for Your Chi

A Chihuahua’s coat is pretty much low maintenance. Giving your pup a light daily brush will keep her coat healthy and shiny. This will also give you a chance to identify any skin issues. Skin problems can be uncomfortable for your Chi and can lead to hair loss. Skin issues can be caused by parasites, allergies (including food allergies), bacteria, fungi, endocrine disorders, and many other issues, so be sure to examine your pup’s skin regularly and contact your vet for abnormalities.

Most dogs shed during springtime, even though Chihuahuas don’t shed much, you can give a more vigorous brushing during this time using a rubber bristle brush to loosen dead hairs. More hairs will also shed after you have given your Chi a bath. The best time to brush to dislodge loose hairs is when her coat is almost dry after her bath.

It is a good idea to get your Chihuahua used to the grooming process right away, so they get used to be touched all over. After the daily brushing, which you can do with your pup in your lap on a blanket, also slowly and carefully examine their paws, mouth, and ears in a way that your Chi feels comfortable and happy.

For long coat Chihuahuas, carefully brush the hair out of tangles and not tangles out of the hair. If you cannot comb out the tangle, you may need to cut the tangle out. You will notice that tangles typically occur behind the ears, under the elbows and hind legs.

When bathing your Chihuahua, note that dog and human hair have a different pH, so make sure you get a good dog shampoo that will clean as well as moisturize their coat and skin. I love Biosilk pet shampoo because it cleans well and leaves the coat soft and shiny. If your Chi has dry skin, an oatmeal-based shampoo will help as well.

The best place to bath your Chi is in the sink, especially if you have a handheld spray faucet. Make sure you add a non-slip pad on the bottom of the sink, so your Chi feels safe and comfortable. Your pup will appreciate the use of warm water which also opens up the hair follicles and help loosen dead hair.

Make sure you monitor the water temperature by keeping one hand under the spray. Ensure that water does not get in your pup’s ears and that shampoo does not get in her eyes. Make sure you soak both the top and undercoat down to the skin and give her paws and in between a good soaking as well.

When you rinse, make sure you get all the soap out of her coat, as any remaining soap can cause dry itchy skin. Have a towel ready for the initial drying. If you don’t live in a warm environment, you will need to blow dry the coat until almost dry, where you can give a good brushing to remove loose hairs. If you live in a warm environment, you can take your Chi outside for a minutes of play time in the sun, where her coat will dry quickly and then brush her.

If blow drying, make sure you monitor the heat of the blow dryer by keeping your hand in front of the blown air. If it gets too hot, the intense heat can damage the coat and even burn your Chi’s skin.

Your Chi may not like the initial prospect of a bath, but once they feel the warm water against their skin and feel clean afterwards, they will feel happy. My Chi loves her baths and runs around the house afterwards, also knowing a treat or chewy bone is waiting for her. 

Chihuahua Dog Care

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