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Chihuahua grooming 101

Are you grooming your Chihuahua the right way?
This small breed needs more cleaning than you might think simply because they are closer to the ground. Chihuahuas come in two varieties; smooth coat which is the short hair closer to the skin and the long coats which are fine guard hairs with usual undercoat that gives them a fluffy appearance. Each will have the need for a proper care.

1. Brushing – both varieties will benefit from everyday brushing. Smooth coats shed more than long coats; therefore a good brush helps remove those loose hairs. The effect of brushing your dog also helps your bond with your pet as it will appreciate the timing you spend together not forgetting the stimulation to the follicles and massage receiving while you brush. A recommended tool for this is a baby brush for its soft bristles. For long coats a deshedding tool like the FURMINATOR in small size can be very helpful.

2. Bathing – You should not bathe your Chihuahua weekly. This dries their skin. You should not leave your Chihuahua without a bath. Ideally you can wash them once every 2 weeks. While in the market are many shampoo brands, look for one properly PH balanced for dogs or use my own personal favorite; non tear- Johnson Baby Shampoo. Yes, baby as in human. It was once suggested by a vet and I never looked back. Like the smell, the lather and if it falls in their eyes won’t bother them. Bathing starts by placing the dog in a tub, with a pitcher gently pour Luke warm water over the entire body (shield the head with your free hand). Lather the shampoo into the coat, use both hands and here you can do some massage motions that your Chihuahua surely will enjoy. Then fill the pitcher with more water and rinse out the shampoo. As the water pours, run your hands to help work out the shampoo. Repeat. For rinse water I make a mix of apple cider vinegar that assist on removing or avoiding getting fleas because they can’t handle the odor-taste. Dry with a towel or use your hair dryer. Make the bath time a playful moment for the dog to enjoy and it will want to be bath all the time. Use toys and treats.

3. Ears and Eye Cleaning – With a new batch of water mix of apple cider vinegar, soak a cotton ball and gently wipe the ears. The anti-bacterial properties of the Apple Cider Vinegar make it ideal to clean the little dogs ears and coats. Some dogs eyes have tear stain, please rule out any medical condition such as inflammation, a foreign object stuck in the eye, obstructed tear ducts, allergies or other abnormalities of the eye. The stains are formed when tears accumulate around the eye and cause bacteria to growth in the damp area. Over-the-counter products are available to offer a safer alternative for treating these tear stains. Meanwhile simply clean often, I use only the non-tear shampoo with luke-warm water. Keep dry and clean.

4. Nails – One of the bigger tasks for many. The best time for me is right after bathing, starting with the front paws working my way to the back paws. Is easier if another person holds down the Chihuahua while the other use a dog nail trimmer –clipper. Clear nails are easier to cut than black nails. Keep some QUICKSTOP always available for emergency. You can always ask your vet for advice on how to do at home.

Not sure how to do any of these? In NYC there is a Pet Spa that will happily teach the NYC Chihuahua members how to properly keep your pet clean. They call it the 101 grooming and basically they allow you at their location to participate in the grooming. It is a special offer for our Chihuahuas and comes with a small fee.

For those interested Venus & Dalila Pet Spa is located at 90-12 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, NY. A hop at the # 7 train. Please call for a reservation and let them know you are a NYC Chihuahua member wanting to do the 101 grooming. Phone number is (718)644-7072 or email to

Watch our video of the week with Miguel R. , owner of Venus & Dalila Pet Spa

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