Keeping up with regular brushing is probably the easiest thing to neglect when it comes to grooming. It just doesn’t seem that important for your Chihuahua to be brushed compared to cleaning his ears or trimming his nails.
Unclean ears can lead to ear infections and nails that left to grow out too long can break so there is a sense of urgency there. The worst that can happen with not brushing a dog is that the hair can get matted. So most dog owners don’t even bother with it or don’t do it enough.
What they fail to realize is that they are missing out on a lot of benefits of regularly brushing their dog. They are just making their lives a little harder by not doing something so simple which only takes a few minutes.
Benefits of Brushing Your Chihuahua
Need a good reason to pick up that brush and groom your dog? Well I got a few good ones that just might convince you to do so.
Brushing your dog weekly gives you the chance to do a quick physical check on your Chihuahua – it is easy to miss small problems like slight hair loss, wounds, ticks or other pests until those problems grow and become very obvious. And as you probably know, most skin/coat problems are easier to treat the sooner you start. While brushing your dog you can do a quick check and spot things early before they get out of hand.
Your dog will feel more comfortable with you touching and examining him – if your Chihuahua won’t stay still during bath time or won’t let you touch his paws for too long, it’s because he doesn’t feel comfortable enough. Regular brushing will allow him to feel more comfortable with you handling him.
Brushing can be a good massage for your Chihuahua – Everyone knows how good and relaxing a massage can feel. Once your dog realizes how good it feels and has complete trust with you, he will have no problems staying still for his weekly massages.
Less dog hair on your clothes and furniture – No one likes having dog hair all over their clothes. Brushing your Chihuahua is a good way to get rid of loose and dead hair before it ends up stuck to your clothes and furniture.
Healthier and shinier coat – Not only will your Chihuahua will look healthier due to less dead hairs in his coat, but the hairs that are still attached and growing will be healthier. While you’re brushing him, you are essentially massaging his skin and increasing blood flow to his skin. The new blood will bring more essential nutrients for the hair to grow healthy and strong.
So if a healthier looking dog that feels more comfortable with you and less furry furniture is something that interests you, consider brushing your dog at least once or twice per week. It only takes a few minutes to do.
Brushing a Chihuahua
The whole process is pretty straight forward. First thing you need to do is figure out the best time and place to brush your dog. I like to do it either in the evening or in the morning because my dogs tend to sit still longer when they are tired. Puppies are especially guilty of getting distracted since they rather be playing games than sitting still.
The place you choose should be somewhere where you don’t mind making a little bit of a mess. You don’t want all the hair to fall on your carpet or bed after you brush him. I suggest to either to do it outside or place a towel underneath. Both options will make clean up time a breeze.
Once you have your dog sitting still in front of you, begin brushing him starting from the top and working your way down. Begin with the head and work your way around his ears and then down to his back, tail and eventually legs.
When done, flip him over on his back and gently, these areas tend to be a bit more sensitive, brush his chest and belly. While brushing your dog make sure you do a quick visual check for anything unusual (ticks, lice, scars, hair loss, thinning hair, new wounds or anything else that shouldn’t be there).
Be gentle enough to not hurt your pup but apply enough pressure so that the bristles actually go through the dog’s fur and reach the skin. If you notice any signs of discomfort such as yelping or your dog jerking away, stop. Either the brush is too hard or you’re using too much pressure. When done right, your Chihuahua should actually enjoy it.
When you’re finished just shake the towel off outside or vacuum up the floor if you didn’t use a towel. I also like to reward my dogs with praise or sometimes even a treat for being good and staying still for me. They tend to not fuss as much if they know they will be rewarded at the end.
Common Questions and Answers
Here are a few common questions that I’ve received about brushing.
Q: How often should I brush my Chihuahua?
A: Once every week or every other week is ideal. I also like to brush my dogs before giving them baths. If it’s that time of the year when your dog starts to shed, you can do it a little more often.
Q: Do I need a special brush or any brush will do?
A: You don’t need a special brush, but I highly recommend getting a good quality brush that is specifically designed for smaller dogs. They have softer bristles that will massage the Chihuahua’s skin instead of scratching it. You can find them at any pet store in the dog grooming section (if they are all too large there, check the grooming section for cats).
Q: Should I use a brush or a grooming glove?
A: It’s more of a personal choice. Personally I find that the glove is too big and uncomfortable to use on such a small breed and would recommend going with a nice brush instead.
Q: Help! My Chihuahua keeps running away every time I try to brush him?
A: If your dog won’t let you brush him then you’re probably doing something wrong. Is the brush you’re using too harsh? Try switching to a brush with softer bristles. Are you applying too much pressure? Try to be gentler in the future. Does your dog have other things he would rather be doing at this time? Try brushing him before his bedtime or after a walk outside. He will be a lot more likely to sit still when he’s tired.
If something was unclear or you have a question that wasn’t answered here, feel free to ask your own in the comment section below!