A stop at your local PetsMart can be an overwhelming and EXPENSIVE trip. But did you get high quality items? Do they work, or are they junk? I have an entire cabinet of dog products that don’t work, and I hate being wasteful!
Over the past 10+ years breeding chihuahuas, we have discovered a few items that are essentials. We’d like to thank all of those who have recommended these to us so we can share this Best of the Best for a new chihuahua puppy.
One of the things I love so much about helping people find their perfect chihuahua puppy is talking to people who love dogs, all around the world. So I thought I’d share some of the fabulous knowledge that I’ve picked up from some awesome dog professionals.
I have to thank my local groomer, Linda, for this recommendation. When our longhair chi babies are around 8-10mo they begin to “blow” their puppy coat. Our smooth coats do this too, it’s just much less noticeable. They spend a few months looking like gangly teenagers, this time has been aptly named the Puppy Uglies. The best way to speed up this time and to encourage new hair growth is with normal massages. Linda changed my world when she recommended the Kong Zoom Groom. It makes bath time an easy way to help remove all that loose fur and boost adult hair growth. No need to throw the Zoom Groom away after they have all adult hair it helps to speed up bath time. It makes rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of their coat much, MUCH easier.
A few years ago we met a man when he came to look at a litter of puppies. After he and his wife fell madly in love with a little smoothcoat male, the quick visit turned into a very long visit when we learned that he was a Veterinary Nutritionalist. Dr. Jim told me he recommends Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats for toy size dogs. When I’m not bribing my ankle biters with human food (shame on me, I know) we use Zuke’s, it’s the perfect size for a tiny chihuahua. They like all the flavors but prefer the salmon & wild rabbit best. Plus, they are wheat, soy and corn free and made in the USA. After some of the horrible stories about treats made in China, knowing where it’s made is very important!!! You might get tired of hearing me say “natural” but it’s really just about avoiding junk and chemicals.
I met a natural minded vet at a dog show in 2006. Dr. Christine recommended Nutri-Pet Nupro, it’s a natural supplement with “16 vitamins 15 minerals 23 amino acids 9 enzymes 4 essential fatty acids, norwegian kelp, ground flaxseed, imported nutritional yeast culture, desiccated liver, bee pollen, garlic, steamed bone meal, lecithin and lactobacillus acidophilus”. That is a serious list of super helpful ingredients. She has seen it help coats, skin, internal parasites, ear infections, allergies and stinky puppy gas. If you know a few dog owners, chances are you know one who travels monthly (or weekly) for steroid shots. I’ve seen this help more than a couple dogs avoid the steroids! I say that it can be a little bit of a pain to feed, but I have a delicious (or so my dogs tell me) solution. We all know that coconut oil is great for dogs, so take the recommended amount of coconut oil and mix it with the appropriate amount of Nupro and put it in these (super cute) silicone molds and freeze. Remember that the coconut oil will be liquid when warm solid when cool. Dogs LOVE the flavor and will gobble it right up!
If you own a chi, you already know that a dog trainer can be an amazing asset. Susan is a dog trainer we first used years ago with our first chi Chloe. That dog was the hardest to house train, a total hot mess. I still have nightmares about her peeing on the one rug in the entire house. Susan told me about the bell by the door, it took a few weeks but it’s the only thing that worked! She then taught the next dog and so on, I don’t really have to teach any dogs to do this. I do reinforce a new dog or young puppy in the beginning but they learn so fast from the others. Thankfully they’ve improved in looks since 1999, these are way nicer looking than what I originally used. Enter Tinkle Bells…I know the name is so awesome. My kids think it’s hilarious, I love them because they work.
I’ve never needed a dog walker because we have a huge backyard and lots of places for puppies to run and play with my two legged children. My brother on the other hand, lives in the city, in a high-rise. I was fortunate enough to meet Dave, his dog walker last year. I was fascinated at the couplers he used called the Caldwell’s No Tangle Dog Coupler Leash. He explained that he really liked that each side was adjustable because the alphas always wanted to be in front. So he could let them walk a little ahead of the other dogs. If you’ve had a chi, you know they are addicting. You can never have just one, so this is necessary!
We love chis but they can be naughty when left unattended. We love these cute x-pens because there is room for a bed, litterbox or pee pad, food & water with plenty of leftover space for playing. I own three, if you don’t count the one I’m hiding from the hubby!
If you haven’t had a chi before, then you don’t know their deep need to steal blankets. Mine LOVE these types of beds. It all started with our old lady dog, Marci. She got hers first, because she’s spoiled. The other girls keep stealing her bed or trying to snuggle with her. Marci doesn’t snuggle with anyone. Ever. So I was guilted into purchasing a few more of these. Puppies really like these when they are away from their litter for the first time. Makes them feel safe, like the others are still snuggled up around them.Susan Lanci Harness
Or anything from Susan Lanci, her stuff is to-die-for. This ultra suede makes the price so worth it. It’s like butter, and everything is just perfect. I have a couple of the regular collars with bows for pictures, but we already know the importance of walking your chi on a harness. Those tiny necks are just too sensitive for a collar while on a stroll.
Some little boys don’t feel the need to mark anything and everything with the scent of their pee. Some do. Like my man Outlaw. I have more trouble with this because I have females that come into heat and boys who are constantly trying to impress them. Now, if I put this on Champion Phoenix, that is all I have to do and he will behave himself. For Outlaw, I’ll place a small feminine pad on the inside of the band to catch any pee. I’d be mad at him, but just look at that gorgeous face of his! Thank goodness he’s passing that face on to all of his kiddos, they are fabulous.
I can’t admit to first hand knowledge of these BUT so many of our BonBon families have this stroller and sing it’s praises! I’ve heard this one is superior to other pet strollers because it uses snaps and not zippers. If you have a longhair chi, you can see why this make a difference. Plus, it has a much larger mesh area, so multiple chis can all look out at the same time. This brand makes a larger one at more than double the price but I’ve heard this “Lite” will fit 3 chihuahuas at the same time. For those Elite BonBon Families (4+ BonBon Chis), you might need the larger stroller. Pet Gear makes the best dog stroller!
***I’m not a vet and I don’t play one on the internet. Do your own research. If symptoms continue or worsen, see a veterinary specialist.***