Chihuahuas come in two different coat types: smooth and long. The smooth-coated Chihuahua has a smooth, shiny coat that fits close to the body with a ruff of thick, long hair on the neck. The hair on the head and ears is thinner, and the tail is furry.
The long-coated Chihuahua has a soft coat that’s flat or slightly curly. On the body, it’s almost as smooth as that of a smooth-coated Chihuahua, but the ears have a fringe of hair, and the plumed tail spreads out like a fan over the back. He also has a ruff on the neck and longer hair called feathering on his feet. The hind legs are also covered with long hair that resembles pants — and that’s what it’s called.
On the stomach is longer hair known as a frill.
Besides coming in two coat types, Chihuahuas are found in a range of colors and markings. They can be solid colors such as black, white, fawn, chocolate, gray, and silver as well as tricolor (chocolate, black, or blue with tan and white, for instance), brindle, spotted, merle, and a variety of other markings. Shades can be very pale to very dark for all the colors.
Chihuahua is a wash-and-go dog. Grooming him takes only a few minutes each week. Brush him weekly with a rubber grooming mitt or a brush with short, natural bristles for a shorthaired Chihuahua and a pin brush for a longhaired Chihuahua. A fine-toothed flea comb helps remove loose or dead hair.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Chihuahuas shed small amounts year-round and may shed somewhat more heavily — a relative term for a dog this small — in the spring and fall. The longhaired Chihuahua’s undercoat may come out in little clumps. Regular brushing will help keep shedding under control.
With regular brushing, a Chihuahua shouldn’t need a bath more than every month or two. Use a shampoo formulated for dogs so you don’t dry out the coat and skin.
Ears are an important area to check when you are grooming your Chihuahua. If you smell an odor or see wax, clean the inner ear with a cotton ball, using a cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. Avoid going into the depth of the ear, past where you can see. If the ears are dry along the edge, rub a baby or coconut oil onto them.
Some Chihuahuas develop tear stains beneath their eyes. You can carefully wipe the eyes to remove a discharge, and there are products available to remove the stains.
A Chihuahua’s nails grow quickly. Keep them trimmed short. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. The earlier you introduce your Chihuahua to nail trimming the less stressful the experience is. At the same time, check the pads for any foreign objects or injuries.
Like many small breeds, Chihuahuas are prone to poor dental health. Brushing their teeth can help their mouths stay healthy. Brush the teeth at least two or three times a week — daily is better — to remove tartar and bacteria.
Start when your puppy is young so he’ll be used to it.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Ears should smell good, without too much wax or gunk inside, and eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.