As pet owners, we all want our beloved pets to look and feel their best. This especially applies for Chihuahuas as they are known to be an icon of hollywood ‘s high class. We want their coat lustrous and shiny! Grooming them however, can be complicated since their coat and skin requires special attention and care.
Worry not, because we have the answer for you! To keep your chihuahua’s skin and coat lustrous and healthy, you need to focus on three areas which are mainly:
- Routine Bathing and Brushing
- Living Conditions
This article will first discuss the things that makes your chihuahua’s coat ugly and dull. We will then proceed to the ins and outs of the three areas mentioned above so that you could know how to keep your Chihuahua’s coat, skin, tip-top shape!
What makes your chihuahua’s skin and coat ugly and dull
A healthy skin and coat not only makes a dog look beautiful, it also reflects its health. If you’re chihuahua’s skin and coat look dull, then it should be a sign that something is not in balance.
Here are the possible reasons that make your chihuahua look less than beautiful:
1. Not getting enough nutrients – Your chihuahua’s coat is made up of protein called keratin, Omega-3 acids, and minerals among other nutrients. If they are not getting enough of these, then their skin would look dull compared to what it should.
2. Medication – Your dog’s skin is very sensitive to many common medications especially those that are anti-bacterial. Thus, if your chihuahua is under medications, this would probably be the reason why. Consult the veterinarian and raise this concern when possible.
3. Skin conditions such as mange and allergies – These are very common for dogs with sensitive skin. Thus, if your chihuahua is scratching itself or loosing hair in some parts of their body, then this could be the reason why. Consult the veterinarian and make sure you provide them with all necessary information (e.g breed, symptoms) so they can properly diagnose your pet and take the appropriate course of action.
4. Stress – While it might not be obvious, stress can also affect the condition of your chihuahua’s skin and coat. Stress will make them more vulnerable to irritations and allergies which would in turn lead to a duller coat. If you notice that they start scratching themselves a lot then do consider if there is anything in their environment that stresses them out
5. Poor hygiene – If you can’t keep a clean chihuahua, then this is a problem. If your dog feels so uncomfortable about being dirty and smelly, it would probably scratch itself more often or lick its skin excessively which will turn to be one of the reasons why their skin and coat look unhealthy.
If you notice your chihuahua’s skin and coat look dull, then immediately take action on this concern. One of the best things you can do is to consult your veterinarian and let them examine your chihuahua. However, if you do not have the means to do so at the moment, you should try the guide below.
Nutrition is everything!
Yes, really. Nutrition is the most important thing in making sure that your Chihuahua has a healthy coat and skin from the inside out! Your chihuahua should be fed with balanced food that contains high quality protein and fats so make sure that you feed your chihuahua high quality dog food.
While most dog foods can provide your dog with sustenance, you should focus on giving them more protein.
You might notice that chihuahua’s with protein deficiency have dry and brittle fur. This is because they’re not getting enough protein in their food in order to produce healthier and more lustrous coat.
Chihuahua’s fur are made up of 75% protein. Because their coats are made up of protein, it is therefore crucial to feed them a high protein diet if you want a healthy coat. You could try adding another protein source for your chihuahua other than dog food such as eggs, fish and meats.
It is a common misconception that fats are generally bad for your dogs. However, this is not the case since there are also healthy fats that your chihuahua needs in order to have a healthy coat such as Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids are important for a healthy coat. Omega 3s reduce general inflammation, which can cut down on dander and combat any allergies while omega 6 stimulate hair growth to produce strong lustrous fur. The right balance between these two essential fats results in an elegant looking coat.
Unfortunately, commercial dog foods generally go through a heating process that reduces the amount of these fats in the final product. Only high quality dog food has the right balance of this so be sure to check the nutrition facts the next time you buy your dog food.
An additional source of these essential fatty acids would be from human foods such as fish, eggs, soybeans and flaxseed. You could try incorporating these foods to your chihuahuas diet. Be sure however, to feed them in moderation!
Another source of these fatty acids is from supplementation. While it is tempting to just buy one over the counter, you should first consult your veterinarian for the best supplements to take.
Routine Bathing and Brushing
While unhealthy skin and coat is a result of unhealthy lifestyle, it is also a result of dirt and debris. If your chihuahua often walks outside then they will tend to get dirty from time to time. Therefore, you should bathe them regularly not only at times when you notice that their fur look dull compared to usual.
Take note however that you should never over-bathe them since this will strip their natural oils. While the recommended frequency may differ from each dog, chihuahuas will require a bath at once or twice every two weeks to maintain a perfectly clean and healthy coat. You may want to increase the frequency to two to three times if your chihuahua has a particularly long coat.
Make sure to use high quality products as well because low grade commercial products usually contain an unnecessarily high amounts of alcohol which could cause dryness.
Brushing is also important since it not only keeps their fur lustrous and shiny, it will also remove dirt and debris that chihuahua might pick up from time to time. Brush your chihuahua’s coat at least once a day and this way you can prevent them from developing tangles and mats.
If you have a long haired chihuahua, then it is important that you brush them more than often since brushing stimulates the production of natural oils which they need to keep their long coats lustrous and healthy!
You can also consider getting a grooming table and brush so that you can groom them more efficiently and effectively.
Living conditions can also impact your chihuahua’s skin and coat just as good as their nutrition.
You should make sure that the environment they are living in is neat and tidy. Allergens such as pet dander, dust and dirt can also accumulate in an unclean environment which will result in your dog developing skin problems. Be sure to clean up your house at least once a week or at least vacuum it daily so that these allergens, dust, and dirt stay away.
Moreover, if for instance your chihuahua is confined to a small space and has little chance of going out to interact with the sun then it is perhaps not surprising that they would develop skin problems. Sunshine stimulates the production of needed vitamins not just for the skin but for the bones as well. Thus, it is important that they get to interact with the sun every day since this will help keep their skin healthy.
In order to have a healthy coat and skin on your chihuahua, be sure to feed them high quality food with the right balance of protein and fatty acids. In addition, you should also give them routine baths using high quality products if possible. Remember to frequently brush their coats to stimulate oil production. Lastly, make sure that they are living in a clean environment while getting enough vitamin D from the sun on a daily basis.
Not only will these make your chihuahua’s skin and coat healthy but also will make them extra adorable! With these in mind, your chihuahua should be able to maintain a healthy skin and lustrous fur coat for years to come!