how to prevent and get rid of fleas & ticks

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 2 Comments

does your chihuahua have fleas?

the warm weather is here.  it’s the ideal season to take your chihuahua to the park to play or go for long walks.  unfortunately, it’s also the season for fleas and ticks.  fleas emerge from their larvae as adults and migrate to the nearest mammal for blood meals.

tick or a flea?

has your chihuahua got fleas or ticks? here are the signs and symptoms:

  • excessive or constant scratching and itching
  • biting or chewing, especially at the rear, tail and inside or outside of thighs
  • inflammation
  • hair loss
  • skin lesions
  • red, raised bumps that look like pimples
  • flea dirt, black gritty material in coat

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why does my chihuahua eat grass?

nadia chihuahua health concerns, featured chihuahuas

chihuahua eating grass

it’s a common behavior that puzzles many chihuahua owners, but why do they do it?

pica is the medical term that refers to a dog’s craving of a non-food item and the subsequent eating of that item.  occasionally pica indicates that your dog has a nutritional deficiency, but it can also be a sign of boredom, which is common in puppies and younger dogs.

your chihuahua may act frantic, whimper and cry when they eat grass, then shortly after they throw up, they will show signs of relief because they feel better and just had to clean out their system.

reasons why your chihuahua is eating grass:

  • gastrointestinal upset
  • improving digestion
  • nausea
  • gas or bloating
  • they ate something they shouldn’t have
  • a virus or bacteria
  • intestinal worms
  • a need for fiber
  • they’re under fed
  • simply because they want to!

what to do if your chihuahua eats grass frequently

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helpful tips to keep your chihuahua safe and happy this thanksgiving holiday!

nadia chihuahua health concerns

chihauhua thanksgiving safety tips

when you treat your chihuahua just like a member of the family, you want them to be around for all the holiday festivities.  of course, chihuahuas don’t understand the reason for the season quite like we do.  to them, thanksgiving means lots of great smells, extra food, and people, which can be very overwhelming.

in order to keep them safe and happy, it’s important to remember a few simple tips.  from using a dog fence to prevent kitchen accidents, to keeping table scraps out of their bowl, here are a few easy ways to ensure thanksgiving goes smoothly for you and your chihuahua.

keep your chihuahua out of the kitchen while cooking

did you know that kitchen accidents involving dogs are fairly common, and even more so during the holidays?  the kitchen can be a dangerous place for your chihauhua, especially when activity is increased to prepare thanksgiving dinner.

if you want to keep your chihuahua away while you’re cooking, but don’t want to lock them in a room or crate, you can consider an indoor wireless dog fence as a barrier.  this works well because when you use an invisible dog fence, your own path to and from the kitchen isn’t blocked by a gate you need to step over.

with you chihuahua out of the kitchen and out of harm’s way, you won’t worry about tripping and injuring them or yourself with hot food or sharp knives.  cooking for thanksgiving is stressful enough without worry about accidents.

beware of what your chihauhua eats

once everyone sits down to enjoy thanksgiving dinner, you can bet your chihauhua will want to get in on the deliciousness, too.  the safest bet, however, is to avoid feeding your chihuahua any of the meal, especially things they’ve never eaten before.  new foods and overfeeding can cause a stomach ache for your chihuahua.  fatty foods, especially turkey skin, can cause pancreatitis.


chihuahua turkey dinner

turkey bones can choke your dog or pierce their throat or insides.  grapes, nuts, raisins, etc. can cause choking.  the sugar substitute xylitol and chocolate are poisonous to dogs.  a smart idea is to take the garbage out immediately after the meal, so your chihuahua can’t get into it later.

travel safe

if you opt to travel with your chihuahua this thanksgiving, be sure to do so safely.  your chihuahua should wear a special dog harness or have a travel safe dog seat in the car.  this protects them in accidents and prevents them from getting into the front and distracting the driver.  a small crate works, too, if you don’t have a car harness.

when staying with relatives, inquire about their home and yard.  for example, ask if they can provide a quiet space for your chihuahua, and find out if their yard is protected by a traditional fence or an electronic dog fence.  if you own a portable electric fence for dogs and your chihuahua is trained on it, bring it with you.  if you go to a house that isn’t dog-proof, look carefully for hazards, such as cleaning products or medications within reach.

give safety tips to your relatives

discuss your chihuahua’s safety with anyone you spend the holiday with so they can watch out for your chihuahua too.  it’s easy to get distracted with all the hustle and bustle and your loved ones might notice your chihuahua acting funny before you do.  ask them to inform you if they notice anything odd.

chihuahua eating turkey

also, remind them not to feed your chihuahua any table scraps and not to leave their plates or drinks unattended.  if young children are present, tell them that they shouldn’t hug, kiss, or chase your chihuahua.  if you leave your chihuahua with relatives, make sure they have your vet’s phone number.

watch for environmental hazards

there are some additional environmental hazards that you should recognize.  if you decorate for thanksgiving with things like corn stalks or pumpkins, keep them out of reach of your chihuahua.  while they are nontoxic, your chihuahua could choke or get an intestinal blockage by eating large pieces.

lit candles are one of the biggest dangers; make sure your chihauhua can’t knock them over.  if you’re plugging in any decorations, keep the cords hidden so your chihuahua won’t chew on them.

look out for stress signals from your chihuahua

finally, make sure you can recognize signs of stress in your chihauhua.  chihuahuas are often stressed out by all the activity of the holidays, especially when there are a lot more people around than usual.  if you think your chihauhua is getting stressed out, move them to a quiet area with toys, food, and plenty of water to allow them to relax for a bit.

signals to look for include:

  • panting
  • growling
  • staring
  • jumping
  • pacing
  • hiding
  • cowering
  • raised fur
  • or showing the whites of their eyes

leaving a stressed chihuahua in the presence of children is a recipe for danger, so give your chihuahua the space and quiet they may need to de-stress from the holiday hubbub.

most of these ideas may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to forget or overlook things when there is already so much going on.  thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything we have, so be sure to show your chihuahua how grateful you are for them, too, with lots of extra affection, attention, and love.

these turkey day tips come to us thanks to the ongoing educational efforts of;  dog fence diy provides dog owners with options when trying to keep dogs contained without incurring the huge expense of installing a fence.

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common signs of illness in your chihuahua (and what you can do about it)

nadia chihuahua health concerns 3 Comments

chihuahua vet exam

regardless of how old your chihuahua is, you play a key role in helping them defend against illness and remain healthy.  your chihuahua can’t speak, but they can show signs of illness, so having an awareness of the most common signs of illness will help you know what to look for.  unfortunately, at least 10% of chihuahuas that appear healthy have underlying health issues.

here are the most common signs of illness to look for:

  • bad breath or drooling
  • excessive drinking or urination
  • appetite change associated with weight loss or gain
  • change in activity level (e.g., lack of interest in doing things they once did)
  • stiffness or difficulty in rising or climbing stairs
  • sleeping more than normal, or other behavior or attitude changes
  • coughing, sneezing, excessive panting, or difficulty breathing
  • dry or itchy skin, sores, lumps, or shaking of the head
  • frequent digestive upsets or change in bowel movements
  • dry, red, or cloudy eyes

if you see any of these signs in your chihuahua, then take them to see a veterinarian immediately.  if the signs are not obvious, then your veterinarian will likely recommend preventive care testing during an annual screening which can include:

  • chemistry and electrolyte tests to ensure your chihuahua isn’t dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance
  • heart worm testing, tick-borne or other infectious diseases testing
  • a complete blood count test to rule out blood-related conditions
  • urine tests to screen for urinary tract infections and kidney issues
  • a thyroid test to determine if the thyroid gland is producing too little thyroid hormone
  • an ECG test to screen for an abnormal heart rhythm

preventative testing doesn’t only help to catch underlying health issues, it also helps to avoid large vet bills and medical expenses if an illness does go undetected.  in a nutshell, if you want the best healthcare for your chihuahua, don’t blame old age and play a blind eye to any noticeable signs of illness and be sure to take your chihuahua in for regular check ups.

further reading:

signs and symptoms of a sick chihuahua:  know when to see a veterinarian!

common health issues and health problems in the chihuahua breed

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