Oneway Chihuahuas

Home of "The Cutest Little Dog You'll Ever See"

You have just purchased a new

Chihuahua puppy.  Now you have a new “baby” and of course your want that baby to grow up to be a healthy playful little bundle of joy.  BUT there are certain things that you need to know and do to make this happen.  In the following paragraphs, I have tried to cover the basics of how to care for your new puppy and some information that may save your baby’s life in an emergency situation.  I will also try to educate you to be observant so you may meet the needs of even the tiniest of our little puppies.

TAKING YOUR PUPPY HOME  PLEASE take your puppy straight home and try your very best to keep it there until it has adjusted to it’s new surrounding and it’s new “parents”.  Don’t do anything that stresses your puppy out.  I will send home a stuffed toy that has been a played with here.  It will have all the familiar smells and will help to calm your puppy at bed time.  Please do not wash it until your baby has settled in.  You can also put a plastic bottle of very warm water securely sealed so as not to leak into a soft blanket or towel and allow the new baby to cuddle up to it at night.  This simulates the body temperature of another puppy in the bed with your baby so it doesn’t feel abandoned.  When you take your puppy to be checked out by the Vet use common sense; keep your puppy in a crate or in your lap when visiting the Vet’s office.  Bring your own blanket or towel to use on the table during the exam.  Chihuahua puppies should never be given shots and worming at the same time.  More than one shot should never be given within a 3-week period.  Nor should there be multiple shots given on any one visit.  You little chi’s immune system just cannot stand it.  You will be given a record of  what shots your puppy has been given before you picked it up and what shots will be due to come later.  If the Vet you chose says your puppy will have to be started on it’s shots all over again please find another Vet. 

DIET AND FEEDING  If you were caring for a human baby you would be feeding it every few hours and constantly changing it’s diaper and keeping the environment clean.  Same thing for your puppy.  If you choose to change the puppy’s food, please use this method.  Day 1 feed 0% new 100% old, day 2 feed 25% new 75% old, day 3 feed 50% new 50% old, day 4 feed 75% new 25% old, and day 5 feed 100% new.  Depending on the age and size of the puppy, it is wise to keep food and clean water for it 24 hours a day until it shows signs of being capable of going longer lengths of time without being fed.  It may be necessary to wet the food and add baby food for added flavor to encourage the puppy to eat better.  DO NOT change the puppy’s diet or eating routine too abruptly.  The smaller the puppy, the more times a day it has to be fed.  You have to remember that because of the small stomachs, they have to eat much more often just to sustain themselves.  NEVER confine a small puppy for any length of time with no food or water.  Puppies also have to eat and drink during the nighttime hours to sustain themselves.  They also have to go potty during the night.  Please do not put very small puppies in the bed with yourself or your small children.  They will attempt to move as far away from where they have to sleep to relieve themselves and could fall off the bed and break bones. Puppies have no concept of heights.  While we are on the subject of heights, please do not let your puppy jump down from the furniture.  Please continue this precaution into adulthood.   

YOGURT  The miracle drug for puppies.  Yogurt can literally save your puppy’s life.  I recommend to everyone that takes a new puppy home to make sure to have a supply of plain or vanilla yogurt on hand for several days.  This should be fed to your puppy a couple of times a day along with its normal diet.  Please check the label and make sure it has the acidophiles culture and not the aspartame.  Aspartame should not be fed to small dogs. Stress kills off the good bacteria in the GI tract.  When anything occurs out of the ordinary, it is stressful.  Worming, shots, shipping, riding—all create stress for small animals, including taking your new puppy out of its native environment.  Yogurt culture puts the good bacteria back into the system thereby supporting the health of your puppy during the transition into your family.  So feed them all they want for the first couple of days until they adjust to their new environment.  Yogurt can be force fed with a syringe in situations where your puppy has stopped eating and shows signs of being hypoglycemic.

HYPOGLYCEMIA  This is the scientific name for a condition where the sugar level suddenly drops in a small animal’s system.  The first signs of this problem is usually staggering and falling over, as though they are drunk.  Or, they can be observed lying on their side paddling with their front feet as though they are swimming, or unresponsive.  If these symptoms are observed, you must act very quickly in order to save your puppy’s life.  YOU HAVE TO GET THE SUGAR LEVEL UP TO BRING THE PUPPY OUT OF THIS SITUATION. AND IT MUST BE DONE VERY QUICKLY.  Usually you do not have time to get them to a Vet before they suffer irreparable damage.  Honey is the best remedy for this situation.  But if honey is not available, use Karo syrup or anything that is super sweet.  If you don’t have any of this on hand, then run about an inch of water in a coffee cup and stir in 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar and stir quickly until it dissolves.  Then you must get some of this mixture into the puppy. At this point, you will find the puppy clenches it mouth shut and will not lap it up on it’s own.  By inserting a finger in the corner of the puppy’s mouth you can pry it open far enough to get a fingertip covered with honey into it’s mouth.  Or in the case of the sugar water, an eyedropper, straw, or even dropping it through the opening in the mouth one-drop at a time from a spoon.  Once the puppy gets a good taste of the sweet substance, it will usually start licking it’s tongue out and will start to recover in a very short time; after which protein of some sort should be given.  Peanut butter works well.  Please note that if it was necessary to use Karo syrup, this mixture is also a natural laxative.  Do not be surprised if diarrhea should follow when relieving itself. If your puppy is experiencing episodes of hypoglycemia, it is usually a sign that it is not taking in enough food or it has an underlying problem that may need medical attention.  Sometimes, this problem can be corrected by just stirring in a teaspoon of sugar to the puppy’s water supply daily until the episodes subside.

COCCIDIA  This is an “opportunist protozoa” that lives in the bowels of all dogs.  ALL dogs carry coccidia.  Something has to weaken the immune system of an animal for the protozoa to have an opportunity to take hold and start multiplying.  That something is usually stress of one kind or another.  Coccidia is usually accompanied by a loose, stinky stool that can even have streaks of bloody mucus in it.  Some Vets will explain coccidia to their clients by saying the animal is loaded with parasites.  Coccidia is not exactly a parasite but can be just as hard to get rid of.  A daily supply of yogurt prevents coccidia from getting a foothold as it keeps a good balance of bacteria in the G.I. tract.  So long as good bacteria exist in an ample supply in the gut, coccidia can not grow.  Coccidia is shed in the stool like a virus.  If the animal is not shedding it when a stool sample is taken, the animal can be misdiagnosed as being free of the protozoa.  If your puppy is put on antibiotics of any sort feed yogurt to replenish the good bacteria that are killed off by the antibiotic.  It will in no way affect the antibiotic from completing its job but may save your animal from secondary infections caused by an imbalance of good bacteria.  When coccidia does exist in the GI tract of your puppy, it can easily spread up through the system and into the lungs and if unchecked, it can cause pneumonia and eventually death.  The first signs of coccidia is usually a lack of eating properly accompanied by a loose stinky stool and sometimes escalating into bouts of hypoglycemia.  Coccidia can be transmitted to humans if hands are not washed and contaminated utensils are handled improperly.  Coccidia should never be allowed to progress to a point that the puppy’s life is threatened.  If your puppy shows signs of this disease, immediately seek professional advice and treatment.

HOUSE TRAINING  Sometimes too much emphasis is placed on training a puppy not to urinate on the floor instead of making sure it gets proper nutrition.  It is possible to train your puppy and feed it properly at the same time.  Never withhold food from a puppy in an effort to teach it not to evacuate in the house.  Feeding is and always should be your first priority in trying to raise a healthy puppy.  To continue with their potty training at your home I would have you get a small crate.  Then go to the “Potty Training Continued…” page.  I endorse everything in the article.  

HAIR LOSS OR THINNING  With Chihuahua puppies, you may notice a sudden thinning splotchy pattern in the coat.  Some breeders call this the “hen pecked look” others call it “the uglies”.  This has very often been misdiagnosed as mange of one kind or another.  Please note that this is a very normal condition and will completely clear itself up with time.  The changing of the coat causes it.  Smooth coats look like they have bare places and some long coats will shed off their coats until they are nearly as slick as an onionskin.  It will grow back and is perfectly normal.  It may occur again when they are about a year and a half old.  Females will blow coat when they experience heat cycles and when they are recovering from nursing puppies.  You should only be alarmed if the shedding is also accompanied with some sort of rash or what appear to be pimples on the skin.  This is usually a sign of demodectic mange mites or some sort of allergy.

TEETHING AND ITS EFFECTS ON PUPPIES  Chihuahuas usually have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are 6 weeks old.  But some of them lack jaw muscles strong enough to crush dry kibble in order to get enough nutrition.  You should watch your puppy for signs of hunger and make sure it is getting enough to eat even if you have to feed it “soft” food for a couple of weeks.  When Chihuahuas get about 12 weeks old, they usually start to cut their permanent teeth.  This is a process that sometimes goes on for 3 to 6 months.  It can affect different puppies in different ways.  You may notice some that had very erect ears now resemble Beagles.  Or you will see them with one ear up and one ear down.  Tomorrow it can be the other ear up and the mate down.  It is not uncommon to see one or both ears actually roll up backwards like window shades.  This is all perfectly normal and if given enough time the ears will stand erect again all by themselves.  There are cases of puppies coming from lines with “weak” ear leather where you may have to tape the ears in order to help them keep them erect until they can again hold them up on their own.