Chihuahuas - Not Just an Accessory for Cinco de Mayo

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Chihuahuas look cute in purses. Chihuahuas make great photo ops for Cinco de Mayo. Chihuahuas make adorable movies. But these cute pets are not accessories!

Not just a pretty face

Sadly, these little pups have been indiscriminately bred after being featured in movies, commercials and as movie-star accessories. Often their needs as companion animals are ignored. There are tons of Chihuahuas in shelters, and they take a long time to adopt simply because there are so many. Also, they do have some funny quirks. 

Now that we've fostered one Chihuahua and one Chiweenie (Chihuahua-Dachshund mix) here at BaxterBoo, we're starting to know what we're talking about! These are complex creatures. 

How do you know if a Chihuahua could be right for you? 

Here's what we've learned about Chihuahuas and what we like about them:

1. They are stinking cute! No doubt about it, these little guys have the adorable factor. Little packages with big personalities make us instantly want to cuddle them. It's easy to see why people have wanted one for themselves. 

2. They are good watchdogs. These little guys are vigilant about letting you know when something is out of the ordinary. This is usually a good thing unless you don't train them when to stop barking. 

3. They don't take up much room. With such a small stature, the Chihuahua doesn't need a lot of space. They are perfectly fine in an apartment, can get a lot of their exercise indoors and can make great travel companions. 

4. Grooming is a cinch. Occasional brushing, bathing and a nail trim is all that is required. Shedding varies within the breed, as we've learned. Long-haired Chihuahuas need more brushing. 

5. They live a long time. Chihuahuas often live over 15 years, even up to 20!

6. They absolutely adore their caretaker. The way a Chihuahua bonds to a person is the ultimate sweet devotion.

Here are some concerns and quirks that need to be considered before adopting a Chihuahua:

1. Being tiny can make them fragile. Though there are some size differences within the breed, the smallest ones can be vulnerable to injury. Falling off the couch can break a bone. If they are under your feet, stepping on them can even be fatal!

2. Chihuahuas can be yappy. The watchdog instinct needs to be curtailed or you might have a dog that barks way too much. This can be a problem in apartments.

3. They don't do well with young children. Not only can kids accidentally hurt small chihuahuas, but they don't like being chased by them. Growling and nipping could mean relinquishment or worse. One of our Chihuahua fosters got returned because of this situation.

4. They tend to be one-person dogs. Chihuahuas aren't usually family oriented because they bond with one person. They can also be possessive of their person and exhibit guarding behaviors (growling, etc.,) towards other dogs and people who try to get close.

5. They don't tolerate cold. Here in Colorado, we had to dress our Chihuahua fosters in sweaters and coats regularly. Of course here at BaxterBoo, that wasn't a problem! Even in hot climates, if you use air conditioning, plan on a layer of clothing for your Chihuahua.

6. They do shed. Even though Chihuahuas are small, they can shed a surprising amount of hair. Of course this varies between dogs, but we had one that shed considerably and one that hardly shed at all. A good diet can help with this.

7. Chihuahuas can have health issues. Like many toy breeds, Chihuahuas can have patellar luxations (slipping of the kneecaps.) Sometimes their skulls don't fuse properly and they will have a chronic soft spot. Chihuahua owners also must be vigilant about oral health as they can be prone to dental problems.

Rescuing a Chihuahua will be an amazing adventure for the right person, and there are tons of these cuties just dying for a home. Just make sure you're making an informed choice. They deserve a safe, stable forever home that is filled with love.

This entry was posted by Mary.
Bonnie F. on May 5 at 2:23 PM said:

I adopted either a long haired chihuahua or a pom-chi. The jury is still out on that one and I could care less. He was a rescue that was returned twice to the shelter - I can't figure out why. He is the sweetest little man and loves everybody. If you don't say hi, he will cry until you do. We are always going places together and he makes friends everywhere we go. He has five cat brothers and sisters (he also thinks he is a cat). He loves visiting my brother and sister-in-law's house where he plays with my nephews and their cats and dog. Also, thanks to Baxter Boo, he is the best dressed dog in Roanoke. I wouldn't hesitate to adopt another chi. They are the sweetest, smartest, cutest little angels!
diane on May 5 at 2:27 PM said:

LOVE MY CHIHUAHUA JAY-JAY, HE CAME TO ME FROM AN UNFRIENDLY HOME, HAD HIM 3YRS NOW AND LOVE HIM FOREVER, I HAD SOME RUN AWAY PROBLEMS WITH HIM, BUT ONCE HE FOUND OUT THIS WAS HIS HOME FOR LIFE, ALL IS WELL. HE IS A YAPPY DOG, BUT WE ARE WORKING ON THAT, IT'S ALSO GOOD JUST IN CASE SOMEONE GETS TO CLOSE TO HIM WHILE IN THE YARD, HE LETS ME KNOW. HE DOES LOVE TO BE CLOSE TO YOU, THATS OK, I LOVE TO BE CLOSE TO HIM. IF ANYONE LOVES THIS KIND OF DOG, GO FOR IT, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FROM THEM IS WHAT YOU'LL GET, GO FOR IT!!!.
Judy Hall on May 5 at 3:06 PM said:

I adopted an overweight 3 yr old pom/chi from a local shelter. I immediately brought him to the vet who prescribed Thyroid medicine and put him on a strict diet. Two years later, he's down 6 lbs and and getting his energy back. He is totally attached to me and and when I'm not home he parks himself next to my ex-husband. Otherwise, he's very selective in whom he allows to pet him. I don't know his past but it seems to me he was abused. He goes with me everywhere when possible and he especially likes his Chihuahua Meetup group every month. I'm not sure if his personality is more chi or more pom and it doesn't matter, he's my little guy and I love him very much.
Priscilla on May 6 at 7:37 AM said:

I rescued a little girl chihuahua, Gracie, last October who was 8 months old at the time. I have also rescued a second little girl, Willow, in April who was 5 years old, overweight and overlooked. I just love them both so much. They are so much fun to watch run and play together and Willow is getting back to a good weight being released from her caged prison. Gracie was so totally attached to me when Willow came to live with us, that she seems a bit jealous and depressed at times and hopefully she will outgrow this as time goes on and she sees there is enough love in our home to go around. Gracie sleeps with me in my bed while Willow is content to sleep in her own bed. I also have a 17 year-old rescue Shi Tzu, Omar, and will have to avoid temptation to bring home another chihuahua after it's Omar's time to go to doggie heaven, which doesn't look too far away. I've heard chihuahua's are like potato chips-you can't have just one. I know I have OCD (Obsessive Chihuahua Disorder). I can't get enough of those waggin' tails when I come home from work each day! Puppies, puppies, puppies, my sweet puppies!
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