How to brush a Chihuahua’s coat? A comprehensive guide to Chihuahua’s proper grooming.
With all the joy, happiness, and unconditional love, our furry friends may bring specific issues and challenges into our lives. Shedding is one of them. Whether you have a long or short-hair Chihuahua, a standard or a miniature one, prepare yourself for the fact that finding hairs on your clothes, furniture, and the floor will become a pretty normal part of everyday life.
All animals shed one way or another. As for Chihuahuas, like all canines, they have their period of extreme shedding, but technically, you will find hairs everywhere all year round.
There are numerous ways you can stabilize your Chihuahua’s shedding and make it least impactful for your everyday life. However, brushing your dog is the essential and most efficient way to minimize the amount of dog hair on your trousers and furniture.
The good news, you are not alone. Moreover, imagine how lucky you are compared to a golden retriever’s owner who has to pay more time and energy to dog hair maintenance.
On the other hand, many owners tend to make fundamental mistakes in such a seemingly easy procedure as Chihuahua brushing. Eventually, they may not see the desired effect in the best case scenario or even traumatize their furry friend physically and psychologically.
Continue reading, and you will learn how important it is to brush your Chihuahua’s coat properly and how to take care of different kinds of Chi coats.
What is the purpose and nature of your Chihuahua's fur?
Although most of us look at dogs` fur mainly from the aesthetic point, pleasing is not the actual point of Chihuahua’s or any other dog’s fur.
From the dawn of times, animals` fur played numerous functions:
- It regulated temperature
- It helps to camouflage and hunt or avoid predators
- It holds scents helping animals distinguish and communicate with each other
- It indicates whether an animal is healthy and serves to attract or spook out its counterparts
Of course, Chihuahuas belong to heavily-breaded canines, which means that their fur does hold the aesthetics function. However, it is still one of the most efficient and essential system in your dog’s body that protects its skin, indicates its health condition, and regulates temperatures.
Many dog owners make the two crucial mistakes when they try to make Chihuahuas` grooming easier or find an alternative to regular, thorough brushing:
- They wash their dogs frequently
- They shave their dogs.
Let’s make it clear, even though a Chihuahua is an entirely domestic animal, your pet still preserves its natural needs and physiological functions. When you alter your dog’s fur by shaving, you maximize his or her risk of getting exposed to extreme temperatures, direct UV lights, insect bites, and more. Even with special products, frequent washing can cause skin dehydration, irritations, inflammations, dandruff, and heavier shedding as a result.
In other words, regular brushing has always been and will remain the most efficient way to take care of your Chihuahua’s fur and make the shedding process easier both for you and your pet. Attempts to alter or avoid it can otherwise lead to severe consequences and even crucial health complications.
Picking a perfect grooming brush for your Chihuahua.
You may work out an ideal brushing routine and stick to it, but your efforts will be pointless unless you manage to pick a grooming brush that fits your Chi’s fur perfectly.
Chihuahua is a very diverse breed. There are numerous different kinds of Chis, and all of them may have their physiological peculiarities. The type of coat is among the most significant ones.
It is the main factor you should consider while choosing a brush for your Chihuahua. In other words, what fits a long-fur Chi may appear to be useless and inefficient for a short-haired one. To get things a little bit easier for you, we made a Daily Care collection with all kinds of brushes, combs, and grooming gloves. You can check up that collection here.
The main mistake most owners make picking a brush for Chihuahua’s grooming is buying one of the standard hard-bristle combs, which are so popular among dog owners. Chihuahuas are pretty delicate dogs with very gentle skin and hair. Such combs can traumatize them significantly, causing physical pain and turning grooming into ultimate torture.
Soft rubber grooming brushes are the perfect variant for Chihuahuas a well as most other small breeds. You may find different variations of such brushes and have to experiment a little bit before you manage to determine the model that fits your Chihuahua’s coat type precisely.
However, mistakes are inevitable, and sometimes Chihuahuas get scared or traumatized by various combs even if we do our best to be gentle, careful, and pick the best grooming tools. If your Chi rejects the idea of brushing entirely and tries to hide and run away as soon as he or she sees the brush, try to use a grooming glove.
This instrument does the job perfectly, especially on such undemanding fur as Chihuahua's. At the same time, the dog will associate grooming with petting, and you will eliminate the traumatizing element from the procedure.
A step by step guide to Chihuahua's brushing routine.
To ensure that the grooming procedure will go smooth and both you and your Chi will benefit from it thoroughly, it is essential to make sure that both you and your pet see it as a pleasant and relaxing time together. Therefore, your dog’s state of mind and the place where you do the brushing are as crucial for the final effect as a proper grooming brush.
STEP 1 - TAKE YOUR CHIHUAHUA FOR A WALK.
The best way to eliminate stress and anxiety from your dog’s mind is to take your pet for a good walk. A walk around the block helps you both relax and connect.
It stimulates a dog’s brain, preventing it from focusing on stress or traumatizing experience. After all, a good walk will wear your Chihuahua off both mentally and physically, so eventually, your furry friend won’t have too much energy and desire to give a fight or run away when you start the brushing procedure.
STEP 2 - CHOOSE A COMFORTABLE LOCATION.
If Chi is already familiar with brushing and does not protest against it, you can do it wherever you want – at home, at a park, in your vet’s waiting room. In many cases, brushing is not stressful but, otherwise, a powerful relaxing therapy both for the dog and the owner.
If you are starting to introduce your Chi to grooming, or your furry friend was traumatized by a previous experience, it is better to take the procedure into the most comfortable and safe environment for your pet.
It can be your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. The only rule here is to make sure that your Chi feels safe there.
While grooming tables are much more comfortable for owners, it may not be a good idea to use them if your dog shows signs of stress or anxiety. After all, who wouldn’t freak out being lifted several times higher than their natural level?
You may start with brushing your Chi on the floor. When you notice that the dog enjoys the procedure, don’t hesitate to move him or her on the couch, your lap, or table. Of course, it is essential to ensure that your Chi is safe and does not risk falling off and getting injured while you do the brushing.
STEP 3 - BRUSHING YOUR CHIHUAHUA
There is no specific technique for brushing a Chihuahua or any other dog. However, there are certain fundamental principles:
- Start with gentle brushing from Chi’s neck down to his or her rear end
- Never brush the wrong way – against the fur, it can be excruciating, especially for the short-coated dogs
- If you got to a knot, never try to force the brush through it. Hold it with another hand and start releasing the knot gently moving from bottom-up
- The brushing procedure should take from 5 to 10 minutes. In less than 5 minutes, you won’t be able to thoroughly work through the dog’s fur. Brushing for more than 10 minutes, you may start irritating and damaging your Chi’s soft fur.
Now that you know how to brush your Chihuahua, you may naturally wonder how often you should repeat the grooming procedure. Each case is pretty individual:
- Long-haired Chihuahuas may need brushing more often than their short-haired brethren
- The frequency of brushing may vary due to your dog’s shedding schedule
- If you brush your Cho too often, you may damage his or her skin or coat. At the same time, neglecting the procedure for several weeks may lead to painful knots, more intense shedding, and additional stress for the dog.
Most experts recommend brushing short-haired Chis every other week, while dogs with long fur may need more frequent grooming to avoid additional knots. During the shedding season, you may want to double the brushing frequency.
Brushing is not all about taking care of your Chihuahua’s coat. It is essential for proper blood circulation and prophylactics of numerous diseases. Moreover, grooming is a very personal experience for you and your dog. It will help you both work on trust towards each other and build that special dog-owner bond based on unconditional love and affection.