Chihuahua Grooming Guide _Hair, and Nails

chihuahuas are the so special pets available on the planet. You should probably have to be a little more extra caring with your dog. Their small size makes it difficult sometimes when it comes to caring for pets. There are a lot of articles that are available on the internet about how to groom your little dog. His hair, teeth, and nails have to be taken care of especially. They are quite sensitive to the environment and can catch a cold very easily. So it is your responsibility to take care of the health condition of your dog and protect them from bad surroundings. Here are some tips on the chihuahua grooming guide- hair, teeth, nails, just read the article.

In this section we will cover:

  • The Chihuahua nature
  • Chihuahua care
  • Chihuahua brushing
  • Cleaning the eye and the eye area
  • Anal glands
  • Nail trimming of your chihuahua

Chihuahua nature

Some Chihuahuas prefer to stay inside the house and they are not at all a dog who is athletic. Its cold nature sometimes shows signs of aggressiveness when not feeling up to the mark. They have a tendency to bark also when they are at a very young age. However, you can make a comfortable environment for your chihuahua by taking care of him and his needs. The nature of dogs to live inside the house helps you as they do not get dirty from dust outside.

The chihuahuas caring

This small dog comes in a lot of different variants. However, it is difficult to do the grooming of some compared to others. Chihuahuas with long hair have to be washed and combed regularly. If you have one with little or no hair then it is probably the easiest task to take care of your dog. Moreover, given the size of the dog, it really doesn’t make any difference which one you have. Just a little extra effort for the one with long hair.

Chihuahua Brushing

Brushing a chihuahua

It is good that you brush your chihuahua to avoid tangles and knots in her hair. It also depends on how nice you want to make your dog look. Brushing also depends on the amount of your dog shed. If your chihuahua plays outside a lot then you gotta wash them every two days and brush their hair regularly. The long hairs of your dog are also a factor in brushing the hair. If they are long enough and shed rarely then you probably do not have to worry about combing.

There is also another factor that will determine the brushing schedule for your chihuahua, and it is the type of chihuahua: long-haired chihuahua and short-haired chihuahua.

Short-haired chihuahuas don’t need a lot of effort in terms of brushing. Therefore, you can brush them just once a week and it is enough. You should brush them gently without forgetting any spot on their little body, including the lower belly and tail. Also, make sure to use a damp cloth to clean their coat. Brushing your short-haired chihuahua every week will keep him in a good shape and healthy.

On the other hand long-haired chihuahua and because of their long coat may need more effort in terms of grooming. Their long hair may face some bad situations if not well brushed such as the risk of knots that can grow larger and larger, sometimes to the point of needing to be snipped off. So, the owner must pay attention to his dog’s hair.

Here are some tips and tricks to maintain a healthy coat:

  • Brushing your long-haired chihuahua 3 time a week is a must.
  • Mist the Coat Use an appropriate spray before brushing because a damp coat will make it easier for your and your dog when brushing.
  • The goal of brushing is to remove any dead hairs, or debris and to stimulate natural skin oil(that keeps a healthy coat), so we advise you to brush down deep enough.
  • A good brush will take only 10 minutes. 
  • When you finished you must check gently with your hand the whole body of your dog for any knots.

Bathing your chihuahua

chihuahua taking a bath

source: pexels

A clean dog in the house is healthy, both for the dog and your family. If you are one who likes to keep things clean then you are probably going to clean your puppy too. There are a lot of benefits of bathing your chihuahua like it sheds less and the allergens are also cleaned. It will also help you to examine the body of your dog to whether any bug or parasite is attached to his body or not. It will make your dog’s skin less itchy and rashes-free. You are advised to use lukewarm water to clean your chihuahua so that the puppy does not catch a cold. It is also a lot easier to clean them because their size is very small.

A chihuahua and regardless of her type needs a bath once a month. Because, bathing multiple times your little pooch will lead to some issues, like dry skin problems, even if you use the top-quality canine shampoo and conditioner that are available on the market.

However, there are some cases when you need to bathe your dog immediately such as a muddied coat, or when your female chihuahua is in her heat cycle and once it has ended. We do always this for hygiene purposes.

Here are some techniques to follow:

  • Always check the temperature of the water with your hand before bathing your dog, it must be warm(neither cool nor too hot).
  • It is advisable to use a sink and fill it with water to an appropriate level, because the noise that running water can make may excite the chihuahua’s anxiety.
  • Putting a small towel on the bottom of the skin will avoid your dog from sliding and getting hurt.
  • During bathing your chihuahua never let her along, so you have to keep all bathing supplies you need close to your hand.
  • Humans and dogs are different in so many terms, so please never use human shampoo or conditioner to bathe your dog, use instead a high-quality canine shampoo and conditioner. Because these products have a different PH balance.
  • Having a soft and dry towel can help, as it can absorb the water so that your chihuahua does not get cold after being removed from the sink.
  • Because chihuahuas are nervous dogs, bathing is not an easy task for them, so always praise them when you finished.

Your attitude and tone of voice are crucial to making any grooming element easy for your dog, don’t be aggressive, be fun and loving instead.

Cleaning the eye and the eye area

owner cleans his chihuahua's eye

Excessive tearing 

Some consider eye discharge as a health problem. Still, most dogs may have a small quantity of discharge after sleeping all night. The role of the owner is to clean it using a special soft, damp canine wipe as a first step, then do it again with a dry cloth to avoid letting small drops of water on the fur as it can result in tear stains.

Tear Stains

Tear staining is a change of color of fur around the eyes. Often, brown or red. To nature of fur may also change it can be hard and crusty. We bring some techniques to help you clear up the area.

  • Wipe and dry the area on a daily basis
  • After every meal, wipe the face of your dog with a damp cloth at first then with a soft dry cloth.
  • Instead of using colored plastic bowls for food or water, use ceramic or stainless steel.
  • Avoid tap water as it may contain chemicals and pollutants.
  • Severe staining could be a sign of a health issue.
  • If your vet ensures you that there is no health issue with your dog you can use a gentle product to remove the staining.


Chihuahua ears

source: pexels

Keeping the eyes clean is a crucial grooming element too. During cleaning your dog’s ears you can face 3 problems because of the curvature of the ear. Which are:

  • Too much wax could be developed
  • The wet can still remain in the ear canal.
  • Increase of debris and dirt

These tree issues if left intact can lead gradually to bigger issues such as blockage, yeast infections, and bacterial infections. 

To avoid these unwanted situations your dog’s grooming must include ear cleaning. Here are some tips that can help.

  • Put some cotton in the dog’s ears during bathing sessions to stop water from getting into the canals.
  • Clean the eyes once a week with a wipe.
  • Pick long growing hairs located in the ears, if you notice them, then if you are afraid to hurt your dog, you can hire a groomer for this task.
  • Remorse excess wax from your chihuahua’s ears once a month.

If you notice the following thing take your dog ASAP to the vet.

  • If you smell a bad odor coming from inside your dog’s ear.
  • Your chihuahua scratches his ears a lot of time.
  • excessive discharge


A lot of chihuahuas suffer from dental issues, and the problem caused b this fact such as bad breath due to plaque buildup. For this reason, the owner must spend enough time taking care of the chihuahua’s teeth. 

After eating there will be some tiny bits of food that remain between the teeth. if the owner skips brushing his dog’s teeth for a long time, the bacteria will do its work because it’s a natural process. This way we will have the so-called plaque.

Plaque buildup in chihuahuas can cause periodontitis, which leads to gums bleeding. Never underestimate this issue, because it will cause other big health issues to your dog such as heart disease, and kidney disease, as the bacteria that are on teeth can get into the bloodstream. To avoid these health complications you need to brush your chihuahua’s teeth. Things that can help to keep your dog’s dental hygiene good are brushing, foods that clean the teeth, some mouthwash, and systematic check-ups by the vet.


Just like humans, chihuahua puppies are born without teeth. By the age of 5 to 6 weeks, they will start growing milk teeth. 

Teething will start when the chihuahua ages 4 to 5 months. In this phase, the dog will start growing Permanent adult canine teeth, and losing the milk-teeth


  •  You must do it using a canine toothbrush, and never use toothbrushes or toothpaste designed for humans.
  • To make it easy for you and your dog choose a specific time of the day to do it. It will take only 5 min.
  • Hold your chihuahua gently
  • When your chihuahua is still a puppy, touch her mouth regularly, this way when she becomes an adult, she can tolerate this action.
  • Brush all the sides and areas of the mouth.
  • When you finished brushing wait 2 minutes and clean the mouth with a wipe.
  • Praise your chihuahua after this task.


  • Do not bring home products that can include artificial colors or byproducts. Because chihuahuas show high sensitivity towards these sorts of things.
  • Instead, buy products that have natural ingredients like mint, parsley, and dill. These ingredients will also freshen your dog’s mouth breath.

YOU CAN ALSO READ THIS ARTICLE: The best snacks for a Chihuahua.

Anal glands

Feature image express dog's anal glands

They are a pair of glands that we can spot on a canine’s anus regardless of his gender, they are parallelly situated. They are also called scent glands, as the dogs realize slight amounts of secretions to mark their territory. In addition, these scent glands are like an ID, when the dog sniffs another the scent allows the dog to know some information about the other dog, such as gender, health condition…

In a chihuahua’s case, the anal glands are very small that the owner can’t even notice them.

There is a situation when these anal glands can tear, which will lead to a quiet mess as the odor becomes too strong. For this reason, expressing these glands is a crucial part of grooming a chihuahua. When you bring your dog to a vet or a groomer, they do their tasks including this one.

If you notice any issue or infection in this area, take your dog to the vet. In some cases, the vet will suggest surgery to remove these glands.

Nail trimming of your chihuahua

Because the nail area of any dog is quite sensitive. Your chihuahua may not like you to handle their paws and trim their nails. In the process of taking care of your chihuahua, nail trimming is the toughest task to perform. I would suggest you go to a professional groomer who can trim your dog’s nails as they are the expert. The professional trimmer can make the task easy, they know how and where to touch your chihuahua so that they are comfortable. If you are yourself performing the trim operation then make sure that you trim very few dog nails. Always make sure that the vein in the nails is not touched as it may bleed and make your dog uncomfortable.

Nail trimming is a task that the chihuahua owner must do every three months. When their nails become longer and longer it may lead to some health issues including canine arthritis, discomfort, growth deformities of the toes, and pain.

Some owners avoid this grooming element because they are afraid of accidentally hitting the quick, which will lead to bleeding.

What to know:

If your chihuahua is energetic and hyperactive you may need to forget about this task and hire a professional groomer as we said before. For some owners, this is the best choice even if it will cost them some extra money.

If you are sure that you can do it by yourself at home, make sure to have all the necessary tools.

You should never your human standard clippers, use special canine clippers, and during this process keep always a powder near your hand, which we use to stop bleeding. After cutting the nails you will need to file them using a grinder or a nail file. And we advise you to use a nail file because the grinder makes some noise which could be very frustrating for your dog.

There are two methods of cutting your chihuahua’s nails: the first one is to Cut no closer than 2mm, and the second is to cut them gradually small piece after another. If it is your first time you should follow the second method.

Dew Claws

dog's Dew Claw

Some Chi’s will have dewclaws already removed while a newborn, long before going to their new home. However, in some cases, this procedure has not been done and it will be up to the owner to weigh the benefits of having them removed. 

Some breeders remove dewclaws long before sending a puppy to his new home. However, there are some puppies whose dewclaws were not removed, and it is up to the owner to take care of them.

They are extra nails that you can spot above the dog’s paw. They have located very high and some breeders believe that they are situated on the dog’s leg. When a chihuahua is still a puppy the owners can’t notice them because they are small, soft nails. But, when the chihuahua gets older dewclaws get bigger and bigger into what we qualify as an extra thumb.

The majority of breeders remove them when the puppy is very young(one week old), it may also cause little pain and discomfort for the puppy. However, It is advisable to do it at this very young age for a reason, when a chihuahua becomes older the operation becomes very dangerous especially for a small dog breed like a chihuahua because removing dewclaws will be considered an amputation.

When they are not removed, you have to expect some issues such as catching on fabrics all the time, and injuries that cause discomfort for the dog. The injuries located in this spot take time to heal which can lead to the risk of infection.


         All of the above-mentioned techniques for Chihuahua Grooming- Hair, teeth, and nails should be taken care of. These are some of the best ways in which proper care of your canine could be made. Areas like the underfoot and the paw region have to pay special attention to as they are quite sensitive. It might also be possible that sometimes your puppy gets irritated and may growl at you. So a piece of advice would be to say “NO” once to your dog as it may add to their aggressive nature.

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chihuahua Nail Trimming Guide – How to Trim Their Fragile Toe-Nails


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