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Supplies (Essential)

Chihuahua Supplies

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
  • Canine playpen or gate
  • 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
  • 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. 

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.  
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

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. To see recommended products, look to 'Grooming' in the Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
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. See recommended dental supplies in the Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
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. Preferred grinders can see seen under 'Grooming' in the Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
Brush (and comb for long coats)
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) Chihuahua, a bristle brush is best. For long coats, a double-sided pin and bristle brush as well as a comb is recommended. To see recommended brushes and combs, look to 'Grooming' in the Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
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 or has had an issue (dry coat, thinning hair, upset stomach, trouble gaining weight, knee/hip/back/joint issues, your veterinarian may recommend a nutritional supplement. We have a list of some recommended supplement in the Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
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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