Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Chihuahua puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Chihuahuas, the best dog food diet for feeding Chihuahua puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Chihuahua dog breed

Chihuahua Health Problems and Raising a Chihuahua Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Chihuahuas:

The leading health issue in toy dogs is INJURY. You must keep Chihuahuas under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these small creatures in the blink of an eye.

  • Bone fractures or a concussion can occur from jumping off furniture, or falling or leaping from your arms, or being hit on the head by a thrown or falling object, or being stepped on.
  • Chihuahuas can choke on the tiniest object and it takes very little to overdose them with anything toxic.
  • Chihuahuas can squeeze through the smallest crack of a door or fence and be gone.
  • If you allow them to act foolishly aggressive toward larger dogs, their neck can be broken with a single grab.
  • If you let them off-leash, their excitable chasing instincts may send them under the wheels of a car.

The most common orthopedic problem in Chihuahuas is luxating patella (loose knees). Luxating shoulder occurs occasionally. Hip dysplasia has been evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation of American at 6%. That's high for a tiny breed and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease has also been reported.

Heart disease (especially patent ductus arteriosus and mitral valve disease) is occurring more frequently in Chihuahuas.

The most common eye problem in the breed is corneal ulcers. Occasionally reported are corneal dystrophy (and when it does occur, it's a particularly severe form in Chihuahuas), lens luxation, glaucoma, and dry eye.

Skin diseases include color dilution alopecia (in blue Chihuahuas) and demodectic mange (in Chihuahua puppies). Some Chihuahuas have pattern baldness, a gradual thinning or complete loss of hair around their temples and ears, underneath their neck and abdomen, and on the backs of their thighs. It's not itchy and the skin and coat are otherwise normal. Since it's only a cosmetic condition, there's no treatment required other than adding supplements that are good for the skin and coat, such as fatty acids (The Missing Link).

Other common health problems in Chihuahuas include hypoglycemia (especially in Chihuahua puppies and in adults under 4 pounds), collapsing trachea, and liver shunt.

Hydrocephalus occurs occasionally in Chihuahua puppies.

Chihuahuas are prone to dental disease and to harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.


You probably want to know if you can prevent those health issues from happening to YOUR Chihuahua.

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Chihuahuas today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Chihuahua puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental, which means they're caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Chihuahua puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Chihuahua puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Chihuahua lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Chihuahua
The best diet for feeding your Chihuahua is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Chihuahua. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Chihuahua
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Chihuahua. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Chihuahua puppy really need? Does your adult Chihuahua need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what some vets aren't telling you....


Information on choosing the best vet for your Chihuahua. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Chihuahua. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Chihuahua.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.