If you are considering owning a Chihuahua, then having these essential items may make your life a little easier. Just a simple exercise pen can make potty training so much easier. Read through this list to make sure you are properly prepared for Chihuahua ownership.
Not just Chihuahua owners, but any dog owner needs a certain amount of patience to properly train them, especially in the early months when the dog is not yet potty trained. Chihuahuas sometimes need extra training when it comes to barking. They are a small dog in a big world, and they make up for it by barking!
- Exercise Pen
An exercise pen is one of the best ways that I have found to potty train a young Chihuahua. If you are getting a puppy Chihuahua (as opposed to an already grown one), one of these will make life a lot easier. It may not be practical to take your little Chihuahua outside every time they need to go to the bathroom. Instead spread out a tarp or other waterproof liner on the floor and line the bottom with newspaper and place the Chihuahua inside, when they wake up in the morning to go to the bathroom. It is also a great place to keep them when you are busy doing other things. You can even place it in the living room so that they won't feel isolated. Place their bed and food and water dish inside the exercise pen. We use a metal wire exercise pen for our Chihuahuas, but there are also really nice looking plastic exercise pens that are lighter weight.
While it is sometimes nice to let your Chihuahua ride with you in the car as Co-Captain, there may be other times when it is not practical. A small travel crate makes handling your Chihuahua easy for trips to the vet and many other places. If you are not the type of person who likes to sleep with your Chihuahuas, then a regular crate is a great place for them to sleep so that they will not go potty at night. Just make sure you don't use it as a place for punishment as well. We just use a regular plastic crate, but there are also some very nice duffel bag style carriers.
- Doggy Sweaters
Chihuahuas are a very small dog, and have a tendency to get cold very easily. It does not take much to get them shivering and shaking. Even on what most would consider a warm day, a Chihuahua can still get cold while you are fine. The winter time is even harder on a Chihuahua and it will be quite thankful for a warm sweater, even though it takes them a while to get used to it.
- Small Toys
Most people would probably not consider a Chihuahua the most playful breed in the world. After all, you don't usually see them playing Frisbee or running obstacle course, but Chihuahuas do like to play on occasion. However, their mouths are quite small, even for their size, and so they need a smaller toy. Stuffed toys seem to their favorite.
- Lint Roller
For being such a small dog, the Chihuahua can shed quite a bit for their size. Some of the smooth-coat varieties can even have an undercoat and will actually shed more than a long-coat. Being a lap-dog, their hair is also much more likely to get on your clothes than with a bigger dog. Sometimes a Chihuahuas hair can seem like it is magnetized to your clothes and so a lint roller or a lint brush is indispensable. The stickier the better!
- Doggy Stairs
A set of doggy stairs is optional as most Chihuahuas have a good vertical leap for their size, but depending on the height of your furniture, you may want to consider getting some stairs. Even if they can jump up on the furniture, the jump down can still be dangerous because of their skinny legs. As Chihuahuas get older, the risk of injury to their legs increases.
A harness is definitely recommended over a collar. Being so small it would be quite easy to unintentionally pull too hard on the leash and hurt or damage your Chihuahuas neck. It takes some time for your Chihuahua to adjust to the harness, but soon it will be like it's not even there.
- Lightweight Leash
Once again their size is a factor. A heavy leash will place extra weight on their neck and body and can cause discomfort. Most metal leashes will be too heavy, so pick a nice nylon or cloth leash.
- Doggy Bed
This item is purely optional, but who doesn't want their Chihuahua to be comfortable? Chihuahuas will always seek out the softest place to sit and sleep, and they will forever love a doggy bed. You can place one beside your bed so they can sleep along side you, or just have one placed in the living room, or maybe even have 2 or 3.
See number 2. If you are paper training your puppy, then having a good supply of newspaper will be necessary. Newspaper is pretty easy to come by. There are many free papers in circulation, and many newspapers will give away their waste paper if you call and ask. Check craigslist and ask around.