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Do Chihuahuas Help With Asthma? 11 Things You Should Know

Do Chihuahuas help with asthma

You finally found it:

The real answer to ‘Do Chihuahuas help with asthma?‘.

(Just so you know, I have a light form of asthma so I’m talking from experience).

Keep reading to discover:

  • How having pets influences allergies.
  • 11 facts about Chihuahuas and asthma.
  • Whether you can you have asthma and a Chihuahua.
  • And much more…

Do Chihuahuas help with asthma?

Chihuahuas do not help with asthma. There is no evidence that backs up the claim they do. Research shows no link between Chihuahuas and asthma relief. It’s an urban legend that Chihuahuas can help asthma sufferers by healing their symptoms. These rumors are estimated to go back to Aztec times.

While there is not much to back the idea that Chihuahuas help with asthma, they often don’t hurt it either. 

If you have a person with asthma in your home, they may not trigger it. Also, there are steps you can take to lower the chance of asthma attacks from pet dander.  

11 things you should know about Chihuahuas and asthma

Chihuahuas are amazing pets, despite their inability to cure asthma.

In fact, they offer many benefits to their owners.

We have comprised a list of 11 unique facts about Chihuahuas, this urban legend, and the health benefits these pups do offer. 

#1: Aztecs may be to blame for this myth

It is hard to pinpoint where this urban legend came from. However, some believe that Aztecs started this Chihuahuas as a remedy myth. 

The Aztecs thought this breed had the power to cure a variety of illnesses, including asthma. While this has been written about, there is little proof behind it. 

You will find that Aztecs did enjoy the breed but not for its health benefits. 

Actually, there is a chance that Chihuahuas started as a source of food for Aztecs. 

Over time, the Aztecs began using the breed as a spiritual guide. It was thought that they guided the dead into the afterlife. The animal absorbed the sins of the person who died. 

This idea of absorbing these sins may contribute to the second reason why this rumor has become popular. 

#2: Some believe Chihuahuas absorb asthma

Chihuahuas Absorb Asthma Meme

A second reason some believe Chihuahuas can cure asthma is that they believe the dog absorbs it. 

This was first written about in 1956 folklore and later even a medical journal. Specifically, people believed that Chihuahuas would absorb asthma from children in the home. 

This belief actually has some strong support. Young asthma sufferers will often see a decrease in symptoms over time. 

Since Chihuahuas have a long life span, it can appear that they slowly absorb the condition over the years.

As you can see, this goes hand in hand with the Aztec belief that the pups absorbed sins. This belief only fueled the rumor of asthma absorption more. Many today still believe Chihuahuas can absorb illness. 

#3: Chihuahuas sound as if they have asthma

Another reason many believe this is because Chihuahuas often sound like asthma sufferers. 

The dogs do something referred to as reverse sneezing or wheezing. These sounds are similar to someone who is struggling to breathe with asthma. 

This can make it even more believable that the dog has taken on the condition. However, there is no real proof that the reverse wheezing is asthma. Instead, it is a genetically common sign of the breed. 

Though it sounds nose related, this condition is actually related to a Chihuahua’s mouth. The soft palate or roof of the mouth can become irritated. 

If your dog is suffering from an irritated or misaligned soft palate, it can lead to these issues. 

#4: Chihuahuas can be treated for wheezing

The best way to figure out your Chihuahua’s reverse sneezing is to get to the bottom of the issue. Some common causes of these episodes are:

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Drinking or eating quickly.
  • An infestation of nasal mites.
  • Pulling on their leash while on walks.
  • Growth deformities in the soft palate.
  • Sensitivity to dust, pollen, pollutants in your home.
  • Harsh chemical use around the home can be a trigger.
  • Polyps or blood-filled sacs that can develop in the throat or mouth.

You may be able to lower the number of wheezing episodes your pup has with vet help. Look for common irritants if allergies may be the cause. 

You may not be able to get to the main cause of these wheezing or sneezing episodes for your pet. 

An occasional sneezing or wheezing fit is often not a major concern. If your pet is experiencing these often, take them for professional help. A vet can help find the root cause and help remedy the issue.

#5: Dogs can develop asthma too

While Chihuahuas are not the cure for asthma, they can get it. This health condition is more common in cats but has been seen in dogs.

Smaller dogs, in particular, are more likely to develop asthma. 

Similarly to the wheezing issues mentioned earlier, asthma is a serious health concern. For some pets, it can even be life-threatening. 

Some common signs of asthma are extreme difficulty breathing. 

If your Chihuahua has developed asthma, they may have inflammation and mucus narrowing the airways. When they have a bad attack, it can stop breathing entirely. 

Clearly, this is something you will want to avoid. 

Asthma is often triggered by a reaction to something in the home or environment. 

You will want to take your dog to the vet if you suspect they have asthma. They will do x-rays and provide you with medications. 

You will want to look for signs of an asthma attack to protect your dog. Some common reasons for attacks are:

  • Cooking smells.
  • Pesticides or cleaners.
  • Pollen or mold spores.
  • Candles or air fresheners.
  • Smoke from fireplaces, stoves, or tobacco.

#6: Dogs can actually make your asthma worse

Chihuahua Allergy Meme

Unfortunately for many asthma sufferers, adding a Chihuahua can actually make things worse. 

Many people believe animal hair is an asthma trigger. However, for most, it is actually the animal’s flakes of skin or dander, spit, or urine. 

If you are regularly touching these allergens, your asthma will get worse. These triggers can be caused by many pets, but especially dogs. 

Chihuahuas may not be the worst breed for this, but it is something to keep in mind. 

Allergies to animals can develop at any stage of your life. This means adding a pet as an adult can cause allergies. Even if you did not have a reaction as a child, you could be at risk. 

Most people with pet allergies will see a reaction quickly. This can be within minutes or within the day of bringing a pet home. For some, it may take a few hours or even a couple of days. 

Some signs to look for are:

  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Clammy feelings.
  • Increased trouble breathing.
  • Faint feeling or even collapsing.
  • Extreme reactions can lead to anaphylaxis.

The only true way to know if pets are the cause of your reaction is to go to the doctor. They will do a skin prick test or a blood test to look for the allergy. You will then know if your pup may be the cause.

#7: Asthma sufferers can still get pets

There are several dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic. These dogs are less likely to cause allergic reactions or increase your asthma symptoms. 

The breeds are easily found online and are listed by AKC or UKC breeds. 

Chihuahuas are actually not on this list of hypoallergenic dogs, but they may not harm you. 

Since the pups are so small, they do not affect many individuals. There are both short and longhaired Chihuahuas, which may also affect you differently. 

It is important to remember that no dogs are considered completely hypoallergenic. The only bad part of this is that you often will not know your reaction until you own the pet. 

#8: You can lower allergic reactions to pets

Reduce Dog Allergy Meme

Another important thing to note about Chihuahuas is that they shed all year long. This shedding increases in the spring and fall, with spring leading to a lot of extra hair. 

This is simply because the dogs have a change of coat during this time. 

The problem with this is that those with asthma may react to the shedding. Due to their smaller stature, the amount of hair is minor. 

You can often do some basic cleaning to avoid a buildup of the issue. 

If you have noticed some allergies to your pet, specifically your Chihuahua, do these steps:

Vacuum the hair often

Not only will this lead to a cleaner home, but it will reduce the amount of hair. Make sure to vacuum the furniture and even curtains regularly. Use sticky tape rollers on your clothing as well. 

Groom your pet during shedding seasons

During these bigger shedding months, groom the dog often. This will minimize the hair floating around your home. This also avoids hair pickup on your bedding or clothing.

Try de-shedding products

You can find shampoos and other products that are meant to help lower the amount of shedding. These often work for a variety of breeds and coats. Just ensure you pick something safe for your pet. 

#9: There are many benefits of picking a Chihuahua

While you may not have your asthma taken away by a Chihuahua, this should not stop you from getting one. 

These tiny dogs are some of the absolute best you can buy. Their small size makes them a great choice for apartments and any size home. 

Just some of the many benefits of adding a Chihuahua to your home are:

They have a very long life span

Chihuahuas can live between 13 and 15 years. This is much longer than most larger breed dogs. 

They are loyal to their owner

Chihuahuas can become very affectionate with their owners. They are loyal true and true to their family. 

They love to play

Children often love Chihuahuas as they are hyper enough to have fun. However, their small size makes them less destructive. 

They are easy to train

Chihuahuas are a brighter breed. This intelligence makes them easy to housebreak and obedience train. 

They can be great guard dogs

This may seem silly due to their size, but the breed is actually very protective. They are wary of outsiders and can alert you to trouble. 

They are super affordable

These small dogs do not need much food, leading to lower costs. They also do not have many health concerns, meaning less vet bills. 

Plus, they do not need much exercise

Chihuahua Exercise

What they do need is about 20 minutes of exercise each day. This means they need a small yard or even just a decent sized area to run about. 

#10: Having pets can lead to fewer allergies

While these dogs may not help with asthma, having a pet can lower allergies.

Research shows that when children are raised in homes with pets, they are less likely to develop allergies. 

 For example, a home with a dog can lead to fewer dog allergies. 

This seems to be more effective if the child is with a pet from an infant on. 

However, most who are raised with pets will never show pet allergies. Exposure to pets from the first year of life on leads to fewer allergens. 

Some studies also show that exposure to pets during pregnancy leads to fewer allergies. 

If you have a pet in your home while pregnant, your child may have fewer allergies. This may also be attributed to the fact that these babies are born into homes with pets. 

#11: Pets can have other health benefits for humans

Chihuahuas may not rid you of asthma, but they can give you a variety of other benefits. 

For example, they are truly good for your heart. 

The American Journal of Cardiology has done a study on heart attack patients that were provided with a pet. The survival rate of pet owners was much higher than those without pets. 

In other words, the bond between humans and dogs can truly heal the heart. 

In fact, it has been proven that dogs lower stress. Stress is a major cause of heart problems. When you bring a dog into your home, it can help keep stress under control. 

These heart benefits are just one of many health benefits Chihuahuas can offer. Some other health benefits are:

Dogs can actually be trained to detect prostate cancer

There have been recent studies that show dogs can alert this issue. Early detection can lead to quicker treatment and essentially save lives. 

Dogs can also be trained to smell allergies

If someone in your family has a deadly allergy, such as those to peanuts. You can have a dog trained to detect these ingredients in foods and alert the owner. 

Dogs can be trained to alert diabetics to low blood sugar levels

They are often used to help diabetic patients. 

Dogs will make you feel less lonely

Many who are suffering from depression can see a reduction of these symptoms with pet ownership. They serve as a forever friend to their owner. 

Going hand in hand, they lead to more socialization

When you have a dog, you are bound to meet more dog owners.

Whether you take them on neighborhood walks or dog park trips, it is a great way to break the ice with new friends. 

You will get more exercise 

Even smaller dogs like Chihuahuas require some exercise and routine walks will become part of your schedule. When you add a pet to your home, you will also get more exercise in turn. 

Final Thoughts

While Chihuahuas having asthma healing abilities are just myths, they are still great pets!

These myths date back for years but have no medical backing to show they are true. There are several other health benefits to adding a pup to your home. 

Whether you need companionship or the heart benefits, Chihuahuas are a great pet to have. They have a long life and are great for any home. 

You do want to watch out for health concerns in your pup. However, Chihuahuas are relatively low maintenance and can work for even those who have pet allergies. 

While you should always weigh the pros and cons for your family, Chihuahuas can be a great addition to the family. Learn more about these amazing pets, and you too may want one for your home.