Your Chihuahua seldom needs a bath if you brush him regularly. And that’s a good thing. Shampooing washes away the natural oils that moisturize his coat and skin, so bathe your Chi only when necessary- no more than once a month, unless he rolls in something smelly. Actually, many experts say, bathing Chihuahua puppies every two months is the best.
The well-equipped bath
Gather up all your Chihuahua’s bathing equipment before you get started so you won’t have to turn your eyes away from a soapy-slick dog after you begin. Here’s what you need:
- Old clothes for you. When your pup shakes, you get wet too.
- A tub, preferably with a drain, so your Chi won’t have to stand in soapy water. Many Toy dog owners use the sink for baths, because it’s much easier on the back. But if you put your dog in the sink, don’t take your eyes or hands off him for even an instant. A leap to the floor could be fatal.
- A rubber bath mat for traction in the tub or part of a rubber mat to line the sink.
- An unbreakable cup for dipping water or a spray hose attachment.
- A pH-balanced dog shampoo, or insecticide shampoo or dip if necessary.
- Coat conditioner for dogs (this is optional but nice-especially for long coats).
- Cotton balls.
- A washcloth.
- Mineral oil.
- A nice fluffy, terry-cloth towel.
Let’s get wet!
Before putting your Chihuahua into the tub or sink, take him for a walk outside and give him time to relieve himself. Otherwise, the excitement of bath time may make him want to or have to rush outdoors immediately after his bath, which is a bad idea. He needs to stay inside until he’s thoroughly dry, because Chis get chilled easily.
The following list presents the simple steps for bathing Chihuahua puppies:
- Begin by placing a cotton ball inside each of your dog’s ears (gently; don’t push it too far down) to keep the water out.
- Spray or pour warm water over his whole body, with the exception of his face and head. Massage him gently as you wet him, helping the water soak in to the skin.
- Put a few drops of shampoo on his back, spread it around, and massage the lather into his coat. Add a drop or two as needed to soap his legs, underbelly, tail, and neck.
- Now you’ve reached the most important part of the procedure: the rinse. Never rush this step. If shampoo dries in his coat, he’ll itch like crazy and you’ll rob his hair of its shine.
- After the rinse, use coat conditioner, following the label directions and rinsing it out well.
- After his body is rinsed, wet a washcloth in warm water, wring it out well, and wipe his face and head.
- Remove the cotton balls from his ears and clean each ear gently with a fresh cotton ball dipped in a tiny bit of mineral oil.
- Wrap him in a towel and dry him thoroughly-from his ear tips to his toes. Pay special attention to his easily chilled chest and underbelly.
Finishing touches for your long coat
After towel drying your long coat, you need to finish the job with a hand-held blow dryer. Don’t spend much time drying the same spot, and don’t hold the dryer too close to his body, because the hot air can burn a Chihuahua’s coat and skin. Use the warm setting (if your dryer has one) and blow his coat in the direction it grows-starting at his neck and working toward his tail.
When long-coated Pepe is dry, brush him with a natural-bristle brush. Then use a hard rubber comb on his ear fringe, furnishings (the long hair on his legs), and tail.
Is the thick hair around your Chi’s anus often dirty? Use a pair of sharp scissors and trim away just a little bit of hair from each side of the anus and from just below it. That should keep it from becoming soiled during bowel movements.