grooming a chihuahua

How To Groom A Chihuahua At Home

This is a comprehensive guide on how to groom a Chihuahua at home.

I am going to be showing you everything about grooming your Chi and give you some crucial tips for perfecting their looks.

Here is a quick summary of some of the areas we are going to cover in this guide:

  • Coat care
  • Shedding
  • Bathing
  • Nail Care
  • Dental Care

And so much more.

So without much being said, let`s get started.


Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world and it is quite easier for dog parents to assume that grooming a Chi is an easy task due to their size but this is not the case.

Keeping your Chihuahua clean and well groomed can be a daunting task if you consider the specifics of the process and the individual needs of the breed.

Grooming a Chihuahua is more than just brushing their coat or cleaning their teeth.

There are so many factors that contribute to a healthy coat and teeth.

All these activities like bathing, brushing and others are actually the second stage of grooming.

Providing a highly nutritious diet and a friendly environment is the first stage.

A good coat and healthy teeth actually start from the inside.

So before you start looking for some cleaning hacks and tricks for maintaining a healthy coat or teeth for your Chihuahua try to make sure that their nutrition and environment favors all of that.

good nutrition is the first stage of dog grooming

Benefits Of Grooming Your Chihuahua

There are many benefits of grooming your four-legged friend and once dog owners fully understand these advantages they would not hesitate to consistently invest their money and time to keep their dogs fresh and clean.

Here is a quick summary of some of the many benefits of grooming your Chihuahua:

  1. Creates a strong bond between the dog and owner
  2. Obviously the good looks and smell
  3. Maintains a healthy coat and skin
  4. Regular nail trimming can reduce the chances of infections
  5. Early detection of life threatening health conditions and problems your dog might be enduring.

Grooming can actually increase the lifespan of your Chihuahua and contribute a lot to their overall body and mental health.

How Often Should You Groom Your Chihuahua

The frequency of grooming your Chihuahua depends on a lot of factors but the main one has to do with coat type.

There are two distinct coat types for Chihuahuas namely the short coat and long coat.

Short haired Chihuahuas require a full body brushing for at least once a week since they do not have a lot of demanding needs. For long-haired Chihuahuas 3 times a week is a great spot.

Also remember cover all the areas when brushing your Chihuahua. The main ones are the lower chest area, legs and tail.

How To Groom A Chihuahua At Home

How to groom a Chihuahua at home

For most of you who would like to groom their Chihuahuas at home, this section provides some of the key details for keeping your Chi fresh and clean.

I am going to be giving a quick summary for each grooming aspect and how it should be done.

1.Chihuahua Coat Care

There are several types of Chihuahuas but they all generally have 2 major coat types.

There is the short smooth coat Chihuahuas and the long coat Chihuahuas. So coat grooming mostly depends on which of the two types your Chi belongs to.

Short Coat Chihuahua

Here is a short video from the Chris Boileau YouTube channel to help you to visually see how you can brush your short hair Chihuahua.

Short coat Chihuahuas generally do not have a lot of demanding needs when it comes to coat care and grooming.

As mentioned earlier, you can brush their coat everyday or if you have a busy life you can do that once a week.

And since they are short haired it is important that you use a soft bristle brush to avoid hurting their skin.

Once you are set to brush the Chi`s hair it is important to firstly brush against the lay of the coat in order to remove all dirt, oils and dander.

Soon after that you can then brush with the lay in order to remove any remaining loose hairs and equally distribute the natural skin oils of the dog.

A smooth wipe with a clean cloth or baby wipes is also necessary once you have finished coat brushing your Chihuahua.

Long Coat Chihuahua

There is a lot of variation in the hair types of many long coat Chihuahuas but their coat grooming requirements are mostly the same.

To help you to fully understand and visually see the many aspects of brushing a long haired Chihuahua I have found a YouTube video that does exactly that.

When brushing a long hair Chihuahua you do not use a bristle brush in order to avoid their hairs tangling to form mats…

That can then make your Chi to be susceptible to secondary infections since they gather and collect moisture as well as dirt.

Grooming can also be an unfavorable experience once mats form on your long coat Chihuahua and for that reason….

It is important to use a pin brush that can effectively reach the deepest parts of their coat and remove dead hairs thereby preventing the formation of mats.

2.Chihuahua Shedding

Common belief suggests that some dogs do not shed but unfortunately all dogs shed.

Every dog that has hair and fur shed.

Chihuahuas shed all year long but there are seasons like during spring and fall where they generally shed a lot.

There is no way of avoiding deshedding as part of your Chihuahua grooming routine.

Regular brushing and bathing is very crucial part of the deshedding process since it removes dead hairs and prevents the formation of mats.

You can use regular brushes for deshedding your Chihuahua but there are special grooming tools for gathering dead hair and reducing shedding.

Furminator brushes are a good example. They are effective and simplifies the whole process for dog owners.

3.How To Bathe A Chihuahua

chihuahua bathing

Short coat and long coat Chihuahuas generally do not need to be bathed often and it is definitely okay if you schedule their bathing for once a month depending on how fast they get dirty and catch smell.

If you are regularly brushing the dog, everyday bathing is not really necessary because the brushing actually helps to remove a lot of dust and multiple forms of dirt in the Chi`s coat.

The only downside to brushing is that it will not help you to remove bad smell from you Chihuahua so if you notice any funny smell that you do not like you will have to let a good bathe do its thing.

Just make sure that you do not use your normal bathtub as Chihuahuas are very small and can easily drown.

You can use your home sink or a special plastic bin for the bath.

Here is a step by step process for bathing you Chihuahua:

  • Run lukewarm water in your sink or plastic bin and make sure that it is not too hot or cold. To avoid scaring the Chihuahua with the fast running water you can run the water before you get the dog .
  • Put your dog in the sink or plastic bin– You can double check the water temperature by dipping your finger in the water before you get your dog inside.
  • Wet up your Chihuahua with water– This will make it easier for you to apply shampoo.
  • Rub the dog with shampoo from the neck down– Be careful not to get shampoo into your dog`s eyes and also take note of the fact that you are not supposed to use human shampoo for bathing a Chi. Human shampoos can hurt their skin and so it is important to only use dog shampoo as dogs have different pH to their skin than humans.
  • Use clean water to wash off the shampoo from your Chi– Remember to avoid getting the shampoo in your dog`s eyes.
  • Bathing is done. Get the dog out of the sink.

Drying The Dog

You can easily dry your Chihuahua after bathing by using an all-cotton towel for faster absorption.

If you have a canine dryer the drying process will be much faster and easy for your Chi as they get cold easily.

Just make sure that you us moderate temperatures that are not too hot for the dog.

4.Trimming Chihuahua Nails

Trimming your Chi`s nails does not only help them to feel and look good;

It also has a lot of health and safety benefits for your dog. Long nails forces a dog to walk on the balls of their feet and this can cause them to fall and potentially break a leg.

But oftentimes dog owners do not cut their dog`s nails not because they are bad pet parents but they rather do not know when is the best time to give their dogs a good nail cut.

The rule of thumb is that if you can hear a dog`s nails making some click sounds on the floor they are now too long and if they begin to curl an emergency trimming session should be scheduled.

To keep your Chihuahua`s nails at an optimum size it is advised that you should trim their nails once every week.

If it is the first pedicure session for your Chihuahua it is important that you firstly give them a mental preparation for the trimming and allow them to be in the right state of mind before you can start exposing them to a new experience.

If you are using an ordinary nail trimmer for dogs you can prepare them by showing it to them for several days before the actual trimming session…

And if you are using a dog nail grinder you can prepare the Chi by switching the grinder on and then switching it off for several days in order to help them get familiar with the sound produced by the grinder.

So now for the actual trimming session…

Chihuahua nail trimming diagram
Image Credit: VetBabble

Dogs generally do not like to have their feet being handled so it might actually be difficult to get the session starting on a good note.

At first it will be difficult to actually cut the dog`s nails but you can help ease the process with time by giving them a treat and a very warm hug after every nail cutting session so that they get used to the nail trimming routine.

A dog`s nail is made up of the dog itself and the quick which is usually visible as pink.

The quick bleeds and is very sensitive so it is important to avoid it when cutting your Chihuahua nails.

A properly trimmed nail is one that only cuts the nail and leaves the quick untouched.

If you cut the quick by chance make sure that you help your Chi with easing the pain by either applying heat or styptic powder.

Most dogs remember the pain from quicking (cutting the quick) even after a very long time so it is also important to comfort the dog and help remove the fear of future nail cutting sessions.

5.How To Clean The Eyes

Big protruding eyes are very common in Chihuahuas and they kinda tear a lot so it is a great thing to regularly clean them.

The tears are very common but if you happen to notice any signs of irritation in the eyes you should immediately visit your vet.

Regularly wipe your dogs eyes using a cotton ball soaked with saline solution in order to remove their tear stains.

Saline solution is mostly used to wipe lens but it is also not a bad thing to us it for dog`s eye cleaning.

6.Cleaning Chihuahua Ears

It is extremely important for Chihuahua parents to consistently check their dog’s ears every day to make sure they are clean and healthy.

Healthy dog ears are mostly odor free, pink and free of splits or tears on the edges.

A black substance forming and bad odor in your Chi`s ears is a sign of a waxy buildup that needs to be cleaned or there might be ear mites in your dog`s ears.

Ear mites mostly cause your dog to constantly shake their had, scratch their ears continually and frequently tilt their head to one side.

If you notice these signs in your Chi you should immediately take them to a vet for an ear checkup.

To clean your Chihuahua`s ears you gently wipe the visible part of the ear canal and the outer ear using a cotton ball or a cotton pad.

7.Brushing Chihuahua Teeth

Brushing your Chihuahua`s teeth is important for their oral health and regular brushing can help keep their teeth healthy as well as prevent some oral diseases.

Periodontal disease is very common in Chihuahuas but it can be prevented by some good oral care procedures.

If you have never brushed your Chi`s teeth before it is recommended that you firstly use a rubber-knobbed finger brush and introduce them to a toothbrush once they have accepted the experience associated with the activity.

Also remember that you should only use toothpaste that has been made specifically for dogs as ordinary human toothpaste contains fluoride and other chemicals that can’t be swallowed.

Dogs generally swallow toothpaste when their teeth are brushed so it is a health precaution to only use dog toothpaste for your Chihuahua.

Another upside for using dog specific toothpaste is that it comes in chicken and beef flavors so it can actually make the brushing fun for your dog and free you from a lot of fighting with your Chi.


There are many benefits of grooming to dogs and as dog owners it is our responsibility to consistently contribute to the good looks and health of our fury friends.

Regularly grooming your Chihuahua is a big factor that contributes to the overall health and hygiene of your Chi.

But you should take note that all these grooming processes are actually the second stage.

Good nutrition is the first stage of grooming since all health start from the inside.