Is it a good idea to adopt a Chihuahua? Things you should know before adopting a Chi.
Chihuahuas are trendy dogs. Celebrities` pets, devoted partners, joyful playmates for children and grownups – those are Chihuahuas, and those are the reasons why you see them everywhere today.
However, popularity has also become an ultimate curse for those sassy dogs. Seeking profits, numerous breeders arrange ultimate puppy mills. Not only the conditions there are unbearable for the dogs, but they inevitably lead to market overstocking. Eventually, unwanted puppies often end up in shelters. And as sad as it is, it is the best-case scenario for them. The fate of most dogs that go through puppy mills is genuinely devastating and tragic.
Adopting a Chihuahua is a great way to contribute to raising awareness about this problem and helping to stop it. However, there are several things people should know about adopting Chihuahuas or any other dogs to make this experience a truly happy ending both for them and their pets.
Are Shelter Chihuahuas Different From Those Bought From The Breeders?
Most of the time, they are, but not the way you think. As we have already mentioned, breeding is a business. And a pretty vicious one. Many breeders will eagerly sell you an overbred or genetically sick Chihuahua, claiming that only the industry can guarantee you are getting a healthy pet.
In fact, shelters Chihuahuas often tend to be much healthier simply due to the reasons why they appeared in the shelter:
- They end up in shelters because they are not “pure-breed”. In fact, it means that those dogs have fewer chances to carry notorious genetic issues common for all bred small dogs
- A breeder had more pups than he could handle, so he preferred to send them to the shelter
- A fully healthy Chihuahua was sent to shelter due to misbehaving or because previous owners lost interest in their pet
- Some people send their dogs to shelters because they cannot take care of them for various reasons.
As you see, there is no guarantee that you will get a healthy Chi from a breeder as well as a shelter. Chihuahua does not have to be sick or troubled. Getting a pet is always a kind of a lottery, but love, care, mindful attitude, and dedication can really do wonders both for dogs and their owners.
Are Adopted Chihuahuas Harder To Deal With?
In a way, yes. While everything depends on the dog’s original personality, the shelter environment is pretty devastating for any animal. Therefore, it is pretty natural and normal to witness some behavior issues and deviations once you adopt a shelter in Chihuahua.
However, it is essential to understand that dog’s psychology differs from a human’s. Dogs never hold grudges and have a different memory structure than we do. While you can remember the day you were traumatized and offended in detail for the rest of your life, your Chihuahua will forget about a traumatizing atmosphere or even almost as soon as it gets out of the picture. Dogs remember things when they face them again.
Therefore, once you bring your adopted Chihuahua home, the memories will start fading away. It is entirely up to you whether you will help your Chi with the rehabilitation or nourish those traumas, turning them into serious behavior issues and psychological deviations.
Once you adopt a Chihuahua, make sure to treat your pet like any other dog. Train your Chihuahua, practice obedience and discipline, become a pack leader – a person who will embody confidence and protection, granting an adopted Chihuahua a long, happy, and healthy life.
What to Expect From Your Adopted Chihuahua?
Although adopted dogs are no different from any other, and bringing them home starts a new chapter in their lives, there are certain specific things you may want to consider while adopting a Chihuahua.
It is highly recommended to take your adopted Chi straight to a vet and make sure to visit a healthcare professional at least once in half a year since then.
Hardly shelters can provide a healthy and beneficial environment for the dogs. Most of the time, they spend all day long in cages, where they don’t even have a chance to stretch, not to mention walking or running. It naturally leads to problems with joints and bones that may eventually lead to serious chronic diseases.
Chihuahuas are genetically prone to such health issues, and spending some time in the shelter definitely won’t benefit their condition. Therefore, it is important to make sure a qualified vet examines your adopted Chihuahua thoroughly, pointing out all the concerns and possible health issues you will have to keep an eye on and prevent.
Another thing common for Chihuahuas that get exaggerated with the shelter experience is seizures. Chihuahuas are among those dogs that tend to have seizures. Sometimes those are singular cases; sometimes, they get pretty severe and regular. While the true nature of those issues is still a subject of research, all vets agree that the stress and anxiety that a dog may experience while being in a shelter will only worsen this condition.
Once again, all Chihuahuas are prone to seizures, and buying your puppy from a breeder does not guarantee comprehensive health. However, it is crucial to have a vet’s checkup as soon as possible after you adopt your Chi to be thoroughly aware of his or her true health condition.
Can Adopted Chihuahuas Get Along With Other Animals?
Many people think that dogs that come from shelters are naturally more aggressive as they are used to fighting for their place under the sun. It is partly true, and from the very beginning, your adopted Chi may demonstrate some unwanted behavior or even aggression, especially once exposed to other pets that may already live in your house.
However, you should not think that this problem is common for adopted Chihuahuas only or that there is nothing you can do to “teach an old dog some new tricks”.
It is not so much about the Chihuahua’s previous experience as the personality of the dog and another pet that you have in the house and the circumstances of their first acquaintance.
Once again, animal psychology is different from humans. Yes, you adopted Chi will behave according to the patterns he or she worked out living in the shelter. But the difference between dogs and humans lies in the fact that dogs can let go easily and start every new experience from a blank page. And as the responsible one, as the pack leader, you are the one who has to take care of the fact that your pets will get along.
In other words, once your adopted Chihuahua and another pet won’t manage to find common ground, you will naturally blame it on the shelter experience. And it is a big mistake. It is in your power to help your dog make new friends and start a happy life as soon as you open your house for him.
Here are some basic rules of bringing your adopted Chihuahua home:
- Make sure that your existing pet has experience with other animals, especially dogs. You may want to practice it before you bring home the adopted Chihuahua. Ask your friends or family members to bring their pets to your home and see the dynamics
- Create a safe and relaxed environment. Animals have a different concept of positive attitude, comfort, and joy. While you may be happy with greeting, laughter, hugs, and kisses, dogs are big fans of personal space and respecting borders. Therefore, while introducing your pets, it is crucial to eliminate excitement and create a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Let your pets meet, get acquainted, and learn about each other’s presence the way. Never try to “encourage” or enforce physical contact. It may simply provoke a fight
- Arrange the first date on neutral ground. Animals are territorial creatures. Whether you have another dog or a cat in the house, they can see your adopted Chihuahua as a threat to their resources and habitual lifestyle. Therefore to avoid misconception and unwanted aggression, it is better to arrange the first acquaintance outside of your pet’s territory. Let them meet in front of the door, get acquainted, and accept each other’s existence. In most cases, your pet will willingly let your adopted Chi into the house.
Know What You Are Dealing With.
The main thing you should remember about adopting a Chihuahua is that you are saving a life and getting a chance to become a knight in shining armor for another living being.
However, hardly is there anything more devastating than animals who return to shelters because their new owners or their families appeared to be unready for the experience.
The best thing you can do for your adopted Chihuahua is to dedicate some time and effort to thoroughly research the breed, evaluate all pros and cons and make sure that both you and your family members are ready for a new friend.
Adopting a Chihuahua may become one of the best decisions in your life. While dogs don’t really have memory in the way we understand it, the fact that you rescue another living being will build a bond between you two that will naturally grow into a lifetime friendship.