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Supplies (Shoppe)

Chihuahua Supplies

Please note: The Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe has been merged with this Chihuahua Supplies page, in order to give you a streamlined, easy method of finding the exact items that you are looking for. 
When you have a Chihuahua of any age, there are going to be supplies that you'll need to have for him. Some of these will be supplies that you'll need for a new puppy and others will be items that will be needed for routine care. In addition, as certain issues arise, you'll find that you will need to find supplies to meet those needs or resolve a problem. 

Here, we'll go over basic supplies you should have for your Chihuahua, as well as those that will help with certain issues. 

First, let's do a quick list of supplies you should have:
  • A quality dog bed
  • Body care items (paws, nose, full body)
  • Canine playpen or gate
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Food and water bowls
  • Food and treats
  • A carrier method
  • Leash, collar, harness
  • ID Tag
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Bathing supplies
  • Dental care items
  • Nail clipper or grinder
  • Brush
  • Separation anxiety aids
  • Supplements (if needed)
  • Car seat
  • Basic first aid items
And now, let's look at these in a bit more detail...
A quality dog bed
While you may want your Chihuahua to sleep in your bed, there are several reasons why this may not be the best idea. Also, having a bed is important for when your puppy or dog is home alone. 

Body Care Items
There are a few things that you'll want to use on a regular basis; it's always easier to prevent issues than try to treat them after they have already developed. 

Paw wax - This is so beneficial year-round. In the summer, it helps protect the paws from hot surfaces. In the winter, it helps protect from snowballing (when snow wedges between the toes, melts, turns to ice, and then stretches the skin), frozen walking surfaces, and gives good traction. And throughout the whole year, it helps keep paw skin in good health to prevent drying and cracking. 

For prevention, this should be applied 1 time per week. To treat paw issues, this can be applied daily. 
Nose balm - You want your Chihuahua's nose to soak up some sun; this helps it keep its dark pigmentation. However, in the summer, excessive sun exposure can cause the nose to dry out. 

In the winter, chapping can occur, which can result in peeling and even cracking, which can be quite painful. 

So, a quality nose balm can help prevent these common issues, as well as treat existing drying, peeling, and cracking. Note that if cracks are deep and there is blood or pus, this should be treated by the vet, as antibiotics may be needed. 

For prevention, this should be applied 1 time per week. To treat nose issues, this can be applied 2 to 3 times per day. 
Healing cream - The type that we recommend, by ResQ, can resolve a wide array of issues including cuts, insect bites, hot spots, sores, itching, rashes, dry skin, burns, and more. 
Grooming wipes - These are great to wipe the body down in between baths to keep a Chihuahua clean and smelling nice. These also indispensable in removing outside allergens if a Chi has allergies (wipe your puppy or dog down each time they enter back into the house). 

These are also great for spot-cleaning, such as when urine splashes up onto the coat, or if there are tiny bits of feces stuck to the fur. 
Recommended body care items are below. On mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4. 
Canine playpen or gate
It is not advisable to crate a Chihuahua puppy or a Chi of any age. Being in a closed, confined space can cause panic and/or stress. It is best to have a properly sized indoor, portable canine pen or to use gates to block off a small space. If your Chihuahua is not yet fully house trained, tends to chew on things, the house is not puppy-proofed and/or if he has trouble with separation anxiety, one of these two methods will be needed.

Read more about Chihuahua pens and gates.  
Cleaning Supplies
Enzyme cleaner - Urine contains certain enzymes that are not fully removed with soap and water. When some enzymes remain, humans cannot smell them, but dogs are able to. And, this sends a very strong signal that essentially says, 'This is the bathroom area!'. And, chances are high that a dog will urinate in that same spot again. 

So, any time that your Chi pees inside the house, you'll want to clean the area using an enzyme spray. A really good one that works on both carpets and hard flooring surfaces is Amazing Solution's Pet Odor Eliminator and Stain Remover
Food and water bowls
Having the right dishes for both food and water is vital for several reasons. With this tiny toy breed, size is crucial to promote healthy eating. In addition, material makes a big difference as well.

High Quality Food
Of course, you need food for your Chihuahua; however, ones you'll find in most grocery stores or even pet supply stores are not always the best ones. What you feed your Chihuahua will affect both his short-term and long-term health. In addition, you'll want to steer clear of foods heavily laden with chemicals (artificial coloring, preservatives, flavoring) which can cause upset stomach and/or allergic reactions. 

Read more about choosing the best food for a Chihuahua.
Great Treats
You'll want to have treats on hand for several reasons. These are vital for when you are housebreaking or teaching commands to use as reward. You'll want to be able to give your Chihuahua a small snack if he's hungry in between meals. And, importantly, dental treats will help combat decay and can be a step in resolving bad breath issues

Fur Loss Help
Patches of thinning hair or actual bald spots on a Chihuahua is not uncommon; this can be due to a number of issues ranging from severe allergies to alopecia X (unfortunately meaning 'cause unknown'). 

Since some conditions that can cause fur loss are quite serious and need to be treated with prescribed medications, it is important to bring your Chihuahua to the vet to have the underlying cause diagnosed and treated.

Once this has been done, there are some things that you can use to help prompt the coat to grow back in. Typically, it is a combination of several or all of the following that can bring about the most success. 
Healing lotion - When a lotion contains soothing ingredients, just the very act of massaging it in can stimulate blood flow to the follicles, which can result in hair growth. Additionally, certain ingredients like tea tree oil, shea butter, aloe vera, can boost skin health and skin cell growth. And when the skin is healthy, fur often grows in much better. 

Specialty shampoos - Just as with lotion, a nourishing shampoo offers both hair follicle stimulation and skin restoration. 

Omega 3 - Specifically, omega DHA and EPA is known to greatly improve both skin and hair health. The source of this type of omega is fish, and we recommend a liquid fish oil made from wild fish. 

Melatonin - You'll want to check with your veterinarian first, since this can cause some drowsiness (it's a natural hormone in both people and canines that is only produced at night).

Studies look promising that this can prompt hair to grow. Dosage for tiny dogs like the Chihuahua is typically 1 mg; but, do check with your veterinarian. 
Our top recommendations for these aids are below. On mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4. 
A Carry Method
Since the Chihuahua is a very small dog, you'll find that having him walk at all times and at all places that you take him not feasible. It is best to have a secondary carrying method for when walking around will be for too far of a distance, when it is over hot or cold outside, and when circumstances dictate that your Chihuahua should not be on the ground (overly crowded areas, etc.).

Leash, Collar and/or Harness
Having a leash and accessory to attach that leash, whether this be a collar or a harness, is a must-have supply. Making sure that you have the right one will affect everything from your dog's safety to his willingness to be taken outside. 

ID Tag
An ID tag will be needed to both serve as a means of finding your Chihuahua should he somehow become lost, but also many states require that a pet wear one. Look for a tag made on stainless steel so that it is durable and sturdy, and due to this breed's tiny stature, choose one that is appropriately sized. 
Sure, your Chihuahua will look adorable in clothing; however, with this breed clothing plays an important role in keeping this tiny dog warm. Chihuahuas tend to shake and although some sources say this is due to a 'high metabolism',one of the actual real reasons is that the Chi is feeling chilly. 

With very little body fat, it can be difficult for a Chihuahua to regulate body temperature.

Read more about clothing for Chihuahuas
Effective Toys
Toys are a dog's one true possessions. And these are vital supplies to have to fit a wide variety of needs. Certain toys help with the intense teething that puppies must endure, others help with boredom and chewing urges and some are really helpful in either engaging a Chi to play or to serve as a companion toy for those that have trouble being home by themselves. 

Read more about picking the best toys for Chihuahuas.
Bathing supplies
A Chihuahua should be given a bath once every 3 weeks. If you do this too much, the skin and coat can dry out. If you don't do this often enough, a bad odor can start to develop. Having the right supplies for this will affect both the health of skin and fur, and a Chi's appearance.  The three most important products to have are a high quality shampoo, a moisturizing conditioner and a light-weight yet effective leave-in spritz. 

Toothpaste and a toothbrush
All dogs should have their teeth taken care of, both at home and professionally; however, this is especially true for this breed. The Chihuahua is prone to both tooth decay and resulting tooth loss. You'll want a really good canine paste that will be effective for removing plaque and an appropriately sized brush. And never use human toothpaste, as this is toxic to dogs.

Read more about dental care for a Chihuahua
Nail clipper or grinder
Nails typically need to be clipped or filed every 6 to 8 weeks. You may choose to have a groomer do this or perform this task at home. Clipping the nails can be a bit tricky, if you clip too far you can reach the quick, which is a vein that runs through the nail, resulting in quite a bit of bleeding. For this reason, we recommend a nail grinder, which files the nails down. This is the easier and more tolerated method. Our preferred grinder is the Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool.
Regardless of whether or not your Chihuahua is shedding seasonally, hair is constantly in a phase of regrowth. You'll want to brush the coat at least once per week to pull out dead hairs, massage the skin, distribute body oils and keep the coat clean. 

For smooth coats (short haired) Chihuahuas, a bristle brush is best. And we like the Li'l Pals Bristle Brush; this is ideally sized, has soft bristles, and has a nice rubber-grip handle. 
For long coats, a double-sided pin and bristle brush as well as a comb can be a good choice, since you can use each side as needed for areas with short or long hairs. The 2-in-1 Double Sided Grooming Tool by Furrep is sized great for Chihuahuas, has coated pin tips (important to have as to not cause discomfort), and even comes with a free flea comb. 
Separation Anxiety Aids
There are quite a few things that you can do to help a Chihuahua that struggles to be home alone. Some top aids include:

A playpen - Creates the sense of a 'den' which instinctively gives sends the signal that it's a place of safety. This also ensures that a Chi's belongings stay close within reach.  

Engaging toys - Keeps a dog occupied and focused on playing. Those that speak and/or react to a dog work well, as do treat-dispensing toys. 

Companion toy - Mimics a living creature in order to provide a sense of comfort. This will have a rhythmic heartbeat and soothing warmth to come as close as you can get to a living, breathing second pet. 

Petcam - Not for everyone's budget, but can be a helpful tool in combating loneliness. This can allow you to see your Chi, talk to him, and toss treats with a tap on your phone. 
Our recommendations for these are below. Please note that on mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4 items. 
If you are feeding your Chihuahua a high-quality food, supplements are not needed. However, if you are home cooking or if your Chihuahua has an issue (dry coat, thinning hair, upset stomach, trouble gaining weight, knee/hip/back/joint issues), a supplement can often help.

Here are some that you may want to consider: 
Daily vitamin and mineral supplement - Even top dog foods add in vitamins and minerals; it's near impossible for any combination of foods to contain all that is needed. So, if you are home cooking for your Chi, you'll want to add this too. We recommend Pet MD's Advanced Multivitamins for Dogs, which are tasty liver chews that meet daily requirements. 
Omega 3 fatty acid - The right omega can help quite a bit with a range of skin and coat issues. This is often given to dogs that are suffering with allergies. It can also be beneficial for dogs with severe dry skin or poor coat health.

For this, omega 3 DHA and EPA (from fish) is the best type. And, wild fish seems to be much more beneficial than farmed fish. We recommend Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs, which is a liquid fish oil that's super easy to add to meals. 
Joint supplements - For Chihuahuas that have had previous joint issues including hip dysplasia and patella luxation, and for all dogs age 7 and up, joint supplements that contain glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM can help prevent arthritis. 

We recommend Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs; these are small tasty chews, contain maximum potency, and are safely made in an FDA regulated, USA facility.
Nutritional gel - For Chihuahua puppies that are struggling to gain weight (and health issues have been ruled out) and for adults that are struggling to maintain (and health issues have been ruled out), a high-calorie nutritional gel can be very helpful.

This allows you to offer your Chi nutrition in the form of a gel, which is usually well-received even with dogs that do not want to eat a lot. We recommend Tomlyn High Calorie Nutritional Gel; there are 28 calories in one teaspoon; and for the Chihuahua breed, this is a good amount. Just 2 teaspoons can offer 1/5 to 1/4 of a small Chihuahua's daily requirements. And, this is a great, concentrated source of vitamins and minerals in a malt flavor. 
A Car Seat
Trauma is the leading cause of death for both Chihuahua puppies and dogs. This includes terrible accidents such as dropping or stepping on the Chi. However, it also includes trauma from car accidents, both being hit and being injured as a passenger.

Every day there are 27,000 vehicle accidents and there is a fatality every 15 minutes; This is just in the U.S. alone. If a puppy or dog is not buckled in, he will be thrown, often with enough force to cause broken bones, internal injury and even death. 

So, making sure that your Chihuahua is safe while in the car is paramount. In addition, the right car seat can dramatically reduce motion sickness while traveling. For this breed, booster seats are the way to go. 

Basic First Aid Items
It's always smart to keep a little kit at home and to bring it with you when you are heading out with your Chihuahua on a moderate to long excursion and also when visiting other homes.

Some of these supplies can literally save your puppy or dog's life. Others will come in handy should something happen, as you can immediately take care of your chihuahua instead of rushing around looking for needed items. 

A list of things to keep in a small bag or first aid box:
  • Betadine solution, gauze pads, paw bandages (all for treating cuts)
  • Canine thermometer, petroleum jelly (for taking your Chi's temperature)
  • Activated charcoal tablets, hydrogen peroxide, medicine syringe (used to treat ingestion of toxins, poisoning. Do NOT give unless you are given instructions by the vet to do so) 
  • Eye wash and/or artificial teats (to treat irritation to the eyes)
  • Bendadryl and baking soda (to treat bee/wasp/hornet stings)
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