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How Often Should You Bathe A Chihuahua? The Truth + 5 Tips

How Often Should You Bathe A Chihuahua

According to an AOL Health poll, 69% of Americans shower everyday.

But how often should you bathe a Chihuahua?

Here you’ll discover the answer, plus:

  • How bathing can make your Chihuahua feel closer to you.
  • Whether it’s okay to bathe a Chihuahua several times a week.
  • 3 dangers of overbathing (1 of which could worsen an owner’s allergy).
  • And more…

How often should you bathe a Chihuahua?

You should bathe your Chihuahua either once a month or once every three months. If you bathe your Chihuahua for more than once a month, you risk over-bathing them. This can lead to dry skin because the natural oil that protects it will be washed out. 

Some Chihuahua owners could go for bathing their dog as much as once or twice per week.

They consider it fine as long as they use a gentle moisturizing dog shampoo. 

To be on the safe side though, I do not recommend you do this unless your Chihuahua has a medical condition that you need to address.  

How often should you bathe long-haired, short-haired, and teacup Chihuahuas?

Bathing A Chihuahua

You might think that the shorter the hair of your Chihuahua is, the less maintenance it requires in general. That’s not necessarily true.

But when it comes to bathing – the longer the hair of your dog, the more chance it has of gathering debris.

All in all, your Chihuahua (be it a long-haired, short-haired, or a teacup one) doesn’t need to be bathed too often when it lives indoors.

This means you can bathe them in even longer intervals than once every three months. 

A long-haired Chihuahua should be fine with being bathed once per month. Short-haired and teacup Chihuahuas could be bathed once in a three-months time.

It’s your call depending on the needs of your Chi.

That being said, let’s talk about the benefits and dangers of bathing your Chihuahua…

Benefits of bathing your Chihuahua

#1: Reduces bad odor from rolling in grass, poop or soil

Your Chihuahua could live in an apartment but don’t be deceived – that won’t stop them from acting like a wild dog. Meaning – you’re likely to see them roll on the grass or in some poop.

Why would they do that?! Especially if they’ve recently been bathed…

Well, the smell of poop, soil and grass is natural for your Chihuahua.

If they’re not used to the smell they have after a bath, it might feel weird for them to have it. They might even want to get rid of it.

And what best to do it than merge their own smell with nature’s smell?

After all, that’s how they feel secure from being smelled by any animals that could pose a threat to them.  It’s what their instinct tells them.

#2: Plays an important role in the health of your Chihuahua’s coat and skin

You can make the coat softer if you use a moisturizing dog shampoo. Some people would also add coconut oil as a conditioner. That preserves the moisture in the fur.

Besides that, bathing can reduce inflammation, infection, and damaged fur.

#3: Removes dirt from the coat

You’d be surprised how many things such as bacteria, fungi and allergens could stick to your Chihuahua’s coat over time.

Allergens include dander, your Chihuahua’s own saliva left on the coat after they’ve licked themselves, tree and grass pollen, bug droppings, and dust mites.

So how could these be an issue for your Chihuahua?

When they stay on the coat for a longer period of time, they will make your Chihuahua itch. This will remain until you wash them away by giving your Chihuahua a bath.

#4: Bathing your Chihuahua benefits your health

With that being said, removing such irritants from your Chihuahua’s coat will also benefit your health.

Bathing your Chihuahua once a month will ensure that your immune system wouldn’t be exposed to excessive discomfort. This will reduce the chances of you getting an allergic reaction if you have a dog allergy and are in the process of treating it.

In case you don’t, it’s better to stay on the safe side and ensure you won’t get one if you’re predisposed to such.

#5: Can strengthen your bond with your Chihuahua

You and your Chihuahua could use bathing time as bonding time.

Look at it like this – your Chihuahua loves spending time with you. Whether it’s cuddling or going for a walk, or playing a fun game such as fetch.

So, the equation for a good time is:

You and your Chihuahua + a favorite activity of theirs.

Be sure you make bathing your Chihuahua as enjoyable as possible. That way it will be hard for you to get your Chihuahua out of the bathroom instead of vice versa.

Reading tip: Do Chihuahuas Like To Cuddle? Surprising And Fun Facts

#6: Serves as a home health-check

After you wet your Chihuahua it becomes easier to spot anything that might be off with them. It’s the perfect time to check their nails, paws, skin, ears.

Look for anything abnormal such as redness or swollen places. Make sure your Chihuahua is free of fleas and ticks.

#7: Can minimize the amount of medication

If your Chihuahua has a skin decease, you should bathe them more often (weekly or even daily).

Frequent bathing reduces itching in dogs who suffer from skin allergies. It also kills organisms and parasites that cause infections such as ringworm, fungi, yeast.

The shampoo has a greater effect if it stays longer on your Chihuahua’s body.

Since this is sometimes easier said than done, we’ll aim for something achievable. Hence, you can leave it there for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Dogs who get bathed with soothing shampoos need less medical intervention.

Note: Consult with a veterinarian if your Chihuahua suffers from a condition that requires frequent bathing and the use of medication. Select an appropriate shampoo with the help of a professional.

Dangers of over-bathing your Chihuahua

  • #1: Dry skin.
    If your Chihuahua has a skin disease, bathing them could dry the skin out. That’s why it should be avoided.
  • #2: Skin rash.
    In case your Chihuahua has a skin rash, it’s important to talk to your vet and pick a shampoo that eases the condition of your dog. Some shampoos to consider are ones that contain aloe or oatmeal.
  • #3: Dander.
    Dander is an issue when the owner suffers from dog allergy. That doesn’t mean you should get rid of your dog.

    One way to go about this is to regulate the allergy which can be done by bathing your Chihuahua once a month or once every 3 months.

5 tips on how to safely bathe your Chihuahua

#1: Start bathing your Chihuahua from puppyhood

Old Chihuahua Meme

Nothing to get your Chihuahua used to bathing like introducing it to them while they’re young.

Try to do your best to make your Chihuahua’s first encounter with bathing enjoyable.

This can become a major factor how they view bathing from there on.

Refrain from:

  • Using rash movements.
  • Raising your tone of voice.
  • Forcing your Chihuahua under the shower.

Do use:

  • A calm tone of voice.
  • Rewards such as snacks.
  • Controlled assertive movements.

After you take care of that, you can schedule a bathing routine every few months so your Chihuahua can learn this is something normal.

Tip: Get some popcorn and your favorite drink. And check out these 101 funny Chihuahua memes.

#2: Get a natural or an organic shampoo

I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of a natural shampoo.

As the name suggests, these types of shampoos contain few chemicals and are made up mostly of natural ingredients.

You should bear in mind however that although that’s good it still doesn’t make the shampoo totally safe.

Caution: Before buying a shampoo labelled as ‘natural’, check the ingredients. Make sure it doesn’t contain any of these: potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, disodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate.

To feel even safer with your choice, you can settle for organic shampoo.

What’s the difference between natural and organic shampoo?

Products that have the label ‘certified organic’ cannot be sold before meeting strict standards.

One of these is that such products should be manufactured without the use of chemicals.

Some other benefits to organic shampoos is that they’re environment-friendly, cost-effective and will treat your Chihuahua’s skin gently.

#3: Place a rubber mat on the bottom of the bathtub, floor, basin or sink

A rubber mat will help your Chihuahua have a better grip of the surface they’re placed on.

They will keep their balance and are less likely to stress out before bathing has even began.

This will also make it easier for you, as you won’t have to think of how to catch your Chihuahua in the middle of the process with foamy slippery hands.

#4: Keep water and shampoo away from the nose, eyes, and ears

This is a must because if water gets into the ears, it can lead to an infection.

 Your Chihuahua could develop fungi and a damp dark place such as the ears is a perfect environment for hosting them.

You should be careful to not let water get into the eye of your Chihuahua as it can irritate the dog. Especially if it’s mixed with shampoo.

If that happens, your Chihuahua could hurt the cornea of their eye by rubbing it against surfaces in attempts to get rid of the eye pain.

That could lead to a cornea ulcer and potentially endanger your dog’s sight.

#5: Wash away any shampoo and conditioner

A bath could do your Chihuahua much harm instead of good if you don’t wash the coat good after putting shampoo (and conditioner).

The dangers you could be exposing your Chihuahua to, if you don’t do this are:

  • Damaged hair follicle.
  • Damaged and irritated skin,
  • High risk of fungal and bacterial infections.