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WATER: is necessary for good health and should be available at all times. If you choose to feed only dry food, it should be taken into consideration that the puppy cannot digest his or her food without adequate water. You may want to consider soaking their food in water in order to help them get all that they need. It also makes it more enticing, especially if you warm it up.

FOOD: If possible, a set schedule is very helpful, especially as you work on house training. Put the food down for approximately 15 minutes and then take it away. If you have to be gone over a meal time, put the next feeding out. Leave fresh water out at all times. Remember that every puppy is different. How much and how often he feeds will depend upon his size and metabolism. The following recommendations are just that--recommendations. It is your responsibility to monitor and adjust your puppy’s food intake.

WATER: is necessary for good health and should be available at all times. If you choose to feed only dry food, it should be taken into consideration that the puppy cannot digest his or her food without adequate water. You may want to consider soaking their food in water in order to help them get all that they need. It also makes it more enticing, especially if you warm it up.

FOOD: If possible, a set schedule is very helpful, especially as you work on house training. Put the food down for approximately 15 minutes and then take it away. If you have to be gone over a meal time, put the next feeding out. Leave fresh water out at all times. Remember that every puppy is different. How much and how often he feeds will depend upon his size and metabolism. The following recommendations are just that--recommendations. It is your responsibility to monitor and adjust your puppy’s food intake.

PICKY EATERS: The smaller size puppies can be picky eaters. We normally hold onto these little ones until they’re past this stage, but in case you end up with one, here are a few suggestions of things that may help whet their appetite. Offer Gerber baby meats such as veal, chicken, or turkey. It is easy to slip some onto the puppy’s tongue to get those saliva glands working. A good supplement that puppies love is Fortical, or nutri-cal which can be purchased through Revival Animal Health. It is a supplement high in calories designed to stimulate hunger. Avoid giving your puppy people food as their system is not able to handle sugars, starches, etc., except for meat such as chicken, turkey, or hamburger

VACCINATIONS: We provide the first vaccination shot for all of our puppies. This shot needs to be repeated every three to four weeks until he or she has had four sets all together. Avoid exposing him to other pets that may not be vaccinated particularly at pet stores and parks. Remember that your puppy is not fully immunized until he has had the fourth and final shot. He will then need a yearly booster shot thereafter.

WORMING: Your puppy has gotten a start on worming, but it is up to you to continue the schedule. When you meet your puppy, they will come with documentation of their last worming. They should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old, then monthly until they reach 6 months. After that, depending on your living circumstances, your dog should be wormed every 3 to 6 months. If you are in an environment where your dog could be exposed to worms, like being around other dogs, then you might need to worm your dog every 3 months. Talk to your vet to establish a schedule that works for your unique situation.

ENVIRONMENT: Your puppy must be kept warm and away from drafts but not overheated. A little known fact for new puppy owners is that most puppies like their pet carrier, especially when it is padded with a soft blanket (like a den). It is their haven for relaxation and sleep. If you limit the daytime use hours, he will be ready for bed at night. By nature, he doesn’t like to soil his den. This can help teach him where and when it is appropriate to go potty. A good pet carrier is well- ventilated and suited to the size of your puppy. He or she should have plenty of room to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably, but no more, as this will allow for room to potty and room to sleep. There should only be room to sleep.

HOUSE TRAINING: It isn’t hard; you just have to be consistent. He is already partially paper- trained. At first, confine him to a small paper- covered area. Put his food and water on the paper and the pet carrier/bed in the corner. Gradually allow him in more areas of your house as he becomes consistent with going potty on the paper. Feel free to move the paper a little at a time if you want to change his potty location. For example, if you want him to start going potty outside, move the paper several inches a day toward the door and eventually put it outside. Once he is used to going outside, timing is everything. He will probably need to “go” after waking up, eating, and playing. Remember, until your puppy is 3 months old, he will have to relieve himself quite frequently (every couple hours). However, he is naturally less likely to do so in a confined area and may be able to “hold it” until the next potty break. If your puppy is consistently having accidents in a specific area of the house, try putting paper there. Then if you want, try moving it to a more desirable location over a period of time.

EXERCISE: Chihuahuas love to romp and play and get most of their exercise this way, but some may need to be walked on a regular basis. Some benefits of daily physical activity include building muscle mass, keeping their heart strong, and maintaining healthy joints and an appropriate weight. However, be sure to avoid extreme temperatures.

GROOMING: Bathe your puppy only when necessary and make sure he doesn‘t get chilled. Several baths per month are sufficient. To avoid ear infections, keep all soap and water away from his ears. If necessary, wipe the ears with a warm cloth. Use a soft brush on his coat daily and keep his nails trimmed.

TEETH CLEANING: Be sure that you know how to clean your dog’s teeth at home regularly so that going under anesthesia can be avoided. If your dog needs to go under for other reasons, like spaying or neutering for example, ask your vet to perform any necessary dental work at the same time. To help in this area, it’s important to minimize the feeding of canned dog food because the dry food helps to reduce tartar build up and promotes healthier teeth. You can also get chew toys and treats that reduce tartar build up.

SOFT SPOT or MOLERA: Most puppies, just like babies, have a soft spot on the top of their head also known as molera or fontanel. This is especially true of the smaller puppies, and is considered a breed characteristic, not a defect. It normally closes in the first year and a half, but until it closes, it’s extremely important to protect that spot from injury. To help prevent injury, keep your puppy from bumping his head and playing too rough. In addition, don’t allow anyone to touch the soft spot. The Chihuahua is the only breed that a soft spot can be normal. And sometimes a soft spot will never close, only shrink, which is perfectly ok.

HYDROCEPHALUS: also know as water on the brain is not something that can be taken care of with out consulting your vet. An abnormally large head could be due to the swelling that causes hydrocephalus, but other signs include frequent falling, seizures, a lot of white showing in the eye, an unsteady gait, and east-west eyes (the opposite of crossed eyes). A dog with this condition is in pain and won’t live long. For some, unfortunately, the humane solution is euthanasia. However, a veterinary consultation is the place to start, before you get all worked up. Just because your puppy has a big head, does not mean that it has hydro. If you are concerned, talk to your vet, but chances are, there is nothing wrong.

DIARRHEA: It has numerous causes and is serious especially in young puppies because it may cause dehydration very quickly. Some home remedies include feeding cooked rice with the puppy’s food mixed in, and soaking hard food instead of feeding canned food. We have also found that Pepto-Bismol is a great help. It doesn’t take much however, and it’s best to start off with very little and increase it slowly if you don’t see results. Start with 1 ml for puppies and dogs under 4 lbs. Two mls for 4 to 6 pound dogs. If the diarrhea continues for 2-3 days, it may be necessary to have your puppy tested for coccidia or giardia. If the diarrhea persists, or is accompanied by vomiting and lack of appetite with little to no water intake, these could be signs of a very serious disease, requiring prompt medical attention. Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, they are vulnerable to diseases. Please make sure your puppy is fully vaccinated and kept away from other animals as much as possible until they have finished their vaccines.

VOMITING: As with diarrhea, there are many causes for this. In my experience, if the vomit is nothing but undigested food, the dog simply over ate, or was too active too soon after eating. If the vomit is yellow with a bit of foam, try feeding your dog promptly and this usually takes care of the problem. However, if the puppy has no interest in food that is something you should call your vet about. It‘s probably nothing, but you need to keep a close eye on the puppy until they are eating and no longer vomiting. It could also be that your puppy is nervous so he doesn’t eat, and then you have the yellow puke, or maybe he vomits when he’s stressed. Vomiting can be very serious in small puppies just as diarrhea and should be monitored closely. If it persists or gets worse, call your vet. Vomiting also will cause dehydration very quickly if not treated.

SUBLUXATION OF THE PATELLA: slipped stifles or loose kneecaps, refers to the hind legs, when the knee cap slips out of its groove. Some cases are more severe and it happens more often than others. If your dog is one of those unlucky ones that it happens to often, surgery maybe needed. A dog with a mild case can live a normal life. This is a relatively common problem in small breeds. The dog’s hind legs may seem bow legged, or they might have problems jumping, or if they play too rough or too hard, their leg might go out and they will limp. Others the case is not sever enough for you to even notice.

REVERSE SNEEZE: Occasional bouts of sneezing, snorting, honking, and wheezing are not unusual in chihuahuas, and it is sometimes called a reverse sneeze. This is usually caused by an elongated soft palate that is thought to become temporarily misaligned. It is a common trait in toy breeds. Pulling hard on a leash, drinking too fast, or getting over excited can lead to an episode of reverse sneezing. This should not be confused with a different condition called "collapsed trachea". Although this episode may seem scary, it only lasts a short time and can be helped by massaging the dog's neck and throat and encouraging the dog to swallow or lick. Something else you can do is put your fingers carefully over the dog's nose. This may seem harsh, but all your doing is forcing the dog to breath through their mouth and to swallow. You can also try distracting your dog by clapping or making other loud noises.

(To find out more about collapsed tracheas, please visit: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2=2096&aid+410.
It will tell you everything you need to know about this condition.)

HYPOGLYCEMIA (low blood sugar): This is a central nervous system disorder caused by a low blood sugar. It occurs mainly in toy breeds between 6 and 12 weeks of age, but for some it will be a danger throughout their lives. It is often caused by stress, exhaustion, over- activity, etc. Hypoglycemia can occur without warning when a puppy is placed in a new home, or while being transported. It might even appear if a puppy misses a meal, has an upset stomach, or chills. The first signs are those of listlessness and depression. They are followed by muscular weakness, tremors (especially in the face), and later convulsions, coma and death. Other symptoms include a staggering gait, glassy eyes, and sometime limpness or rigidity. The entire sequence is not always seen. The dog may simply appear depressed, wobbly or jerky, or may be found in a coma. Prolonged or repeated attacks may cause permanent damage to the brain. Treatment is directed at restoring blood levels of glucose and should begin Immediately. CALL YOUR LICENSED VETERINARIAN FOR SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS! If the puppy is awake, karo syrup, or honey, rubbed onto the gums or roof of the mouth should help. The puppy should begin to improve in minutes. If the puppy is unconscious he will have to be given a Dextrose solution (IV) intravenously. In this case, a veterinarian should be seen IMMEDIATLEY. Recurrent attacks may be prevented by feeding a high quality puppy food diet several times a day, rather than two or three times a day. Fortical or nutri-cal is a good thing to try and can be given as a daily supplement if you suspect the hypoglycemia is triggered by not eating enough. Pedialyte may also be given. Sugary treats should be avoided, as they can make the blood sugar go very high and then crash to dangerous levels (look at the ingredient list on your puppy treats).

*Again, see your licensed veterinarian for specific instructions.

NOTE: THE INFORMATION ABOVE ARE SUGGESTIONS ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO TAKE THE PLACE OF VETERINARIAN ADVICE. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LICENSED VETERINARIAN FOR EXTRA ADVICE.