How to Groom a Chihuahua

by Jennifer Lynn
With few grooming requirements, the Chihuahua is a low-maintenance breed.

With few grooming requirements, the Chihuahua is a low-maintenance breed.

chihuahua image by jonnysek from Fotolia.com

The small yet robust Chihuahua is the perfect dog for anyone who is looking for a pooch who is loyal, happy and energetic. The Chihuahua also offers easy maintenance when it comes to coat care and grooming. This little dog's loving temperament and loyalty to his owner typically make him an easy dog to groom. Whether you have a long- or short-haired Chihuahua, regular grooming that includes brushing, baths, dental care, nail and fur trimmings and cleaning around the eyes and ears will make your little friend look his cutest.

Step 1

Brush your Chihuahua regularly with a soft-bristle brush. Brushing between baths will keep your dog's coat shiny and remove excess hair. If your Chihuahua has long hair, a good brushing once or twice a week should suffice. However, even short-hair Chihuahuas will benefit from a thorough brushing several times each month.

Step 2

Bathe your Chihuahua with a mild shampoo formulated for dogs. Chihuahuas have delicate skin and do best with a gentle shampoo. Use a soft cloth and warm water to wipe around your dog's ears and eyes during his bath.

Step 3

Rinse your Chihuahua thoroughly after you have shampooed him. Apply conditioner, and rinse again. This will keep his skin and coat soft and shiny and help prevent his skin from becoming dry.

Step 4

Dry your dog thoroughly with a soft towel once his bath is complete. Chihuahuas get cold easily and are prone to chills and shivering when they are wet. Careful drying will keep him cozy and warm and will also remove loose hairs.

Step 5

Trim your Chihuahua's fur as needed. Long-haired Chihuahuas typically have soft coats that do not tend to tangle or shed excessively. Therefore, trimming is a matter of preference. Trimming is only necessary if you prefer to shorten the length of your dog's coat or if you need to remove a matted section of fur.

Step 6

Brush your Chihuahua's teeth. By using a small toothbrush with soft bristles to clean your dog's teeth and gum line, you will reduce plaque buildup and provide stimulation needed for healthy gums. Warm water will be adequate to use for brushing your dog's teeth, but toothpaste specially formulated for dogs is available at most pet supply stores.

Step 7

Check your dog's toenails and have an expert such as a veterinarian or a professional groomer clip them if needed, unless you are experienced at cutting dog's nails. It is easy to cut into the quick of the nail and cause pain and bleeding.

Items You Will Need

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Soft cloth
  • Towel
  • Small, soft toothbrush
  • Dog toothpaste (optional)
  • Nail clippers

Tips

  • Unless your Chihuahua spends a lot of time doing outdoor activities, bathing him about once every three months should be adequate to keep him clean.
  • If your Chihuahua stresses easily, try to reassure him with praise and treats before grooming him. Ask a friend to help when it is time to bathe your dog, clean his teeth or clip his nails to make these tasks easier and calm your little friend's nerves.

Warnings

  • Do not bathe your Chihuahua too often. Over-bathing can cause your dog to develop dry, flaky skin.
  • Do not use harsh shampoo or shampoo that is formulated for humans to bathe your Chihuahua. These products could irritate your little dog's sensitive skin.
  • Avoid getting shampoo in your Chihuahua's large, sensitive eyes.
  • Never use toothpaste that is formulated for humans' use to clean your Chihuahua's teeth. Human toothpaste is not meant to be used on a canine and may irritate your dog's gums or make him sick.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn has been writing as a correspondent and reporter since 1991. She has written for numerous newspapers and currently writes as a correspondent for Gannett. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on English from Ohio University, where she also studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.