When compared to other dog breeds, Chihuahuas are regarded as having fewer health issues. However, Chihuahuas are susceptible to the same dental health issues that plague most tiny canines, including gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and even stroke. A contributing factor is that their mouths are too small to accommodate the eruption of all of their teeth, so many of them become impacted.
A minority of Chihuahuas may go their entire healthy lives without ever needing veterinary care for their teeth, but the vast majority will experience some sort of dental issue at some point. Fortunately, there are steps pet owners can do to ensure their Chihuahuas keep healthy teeth and gums, including feeding a diet tailored to their dog’s specific needs.
What Makes Chihuahua’s Teeth Bad
Chihuahuas are noted for their small size, huge personalities, and poor teeth. Due to their small jaws, genetics, and neglect, many Chihuahua owners worry about their pets’ dental health. And this section discusses why Chihuahuas may have terrible teeth so that you’ll have a better understanding of your chihuahua’s dental health.
🟦 Tiny jaws
The tiny jaws of Chihuahuas may be adorable, but they come with a big challenge – dental health. The small jaw size leads to overcrowded and misaligned teeth, making it difficult for them to clean properly and resulting in plaque and tartar buildup. Moreover, genetics can also play a role, with some Chihuahuas having a predisposition to dental problems like missing or abnormally formed teeth.
Don’t let diet sabotage your Chihuahua’s dental health either. Overindulgence and a diet high in sugar and processed foods can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Maintaining a healthy weight and feeding your Chihuahua a balanced diet is crucial for their oral health.
🟦 Neglecting dental care
Neglecting dental care is the biggest threat to your Chihuahua’s teeth. Regular brushing, dental chews, and regular check-ups with the vet can prevent dental problems, but many Chihuahua owners neglect these crucial steps. Keep your furry friend’s smile bright and healthy with proper dental care.
Dental Diseases In Chihuahuas
Dogs, especially small breeds like Chihuahuas, frequently experience dental issues. While the enormous personalities of these little dogs are undeniable, their small lips make it more difficult to treat dental problems. Chihuahuas frequently experience the following dental issues:
🟨 Accumulation of tartar
Tartar is the hardened by-product of plaque and bacteria buildup that can cause periodontal disease. Because of their tiny mouths as well as the way their teeth are positioned, Chihuahuas are prone to tartar accumulation. Tartar buildup can be avoided with consistent oral hygiene practices like brushing, dental treats, and professional cleanings.
🟨 Dental caries
If your Chihuahua has a sweet tooth, they are more likely to suffer from tooth decay. If left untreated, decay can lead to tooth pain, abscesses, and even bone loss. Visits to the dentist twice a year for an examination and cleaning are important steps in maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities.
🟨 Gum disease and loss of teeth
Gum disease, tooth decay, and traumas are just a few of the many causes of tooth loss in geriatric Chihuahuas. Prevention of tooth loss in your Chihuahua can be achieved by routine dental care, including brushing and examinations.
Due to the size of their mouths, Chihuahuas are susceptible to dental crowding. Tartar accumulation, tooth decay, and periodontal disease are all linked to overcrowding. Your Chihuahua may have trouble eating and chewing as a result.
Chihuahuas often experience dental issues due to malocclusion (bad bite). Tartar accumulation, tooth decay, and even jaw issues might result. Malocclusion can be detected and avoided with the help of routine dental examinations and cleanings.
Best Foods For Chihuahua With Bad Teeth
The tiny dogs with big personalities, Chihuahuas, are famous for their fragile teeth. Tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay are all dental issues that can affect these small dogs, just as they can affect humans. If your Chihuahua has poor oral health, you might be looking for a diet that does more than just nourish your dog. Several foods are beneficial for your Chihuahua’s dental health.
🟩 Cut-up apples
Apples are not only beneficial for the health of your Chihuahua, but also for the cleanliness of his or her teeth. Apples’ crunchiness helps clean teeth by scraping away tartar and plaque. Just make sure to peel off the skin and cut out the core before feeding it to your dog.
Due to their high fiber content and low-fat content, carrots make a great treat for Chihuahuas with dental issues. Carrots are great for your Chihuahua’s oral health since their crisp texture cleans teeth and massages gums.
🟩 Vegetables that are green
Since they are low in calories and high in fiber, green beans are a portion of good food for Chihuahuas with tooth decay. Green beans are great for your Chihuahua’s oral health because of their crunchy texture, which helps clean teeth and soothe gums.
🟩 Those tasty yams
Your Chihuahua’s dental health can be improved by feeding it sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A Chihuahua’s mouth might benefit from the soft texture of sweet potatoes, which can be used to clean teeth.
🟩 Snacks made of rice
Carbohydrate-rich rice cakes not only benefit your Chihuahua’s diet but also his oral hygiene. To maintain a healthy mouth for your Chihuahua, try giving him rice cakes once a day.
Foods That Can Damage Your Chihuahua Teeth
These tiny pups pack a big punch when it comes to potential health problems, including dental disease. Neglect their teeth and they may suffer tooth loss and more. Don’t fall for the myth that Chihuahuas don’t need attention, their delicate teeth require special care, starting with avoiding harmful human foods.
Protect your Chihuahua’s health with a no-onion policy! These pungent bulbs pack a double punch, roughing up delicate teeth enamel and wreaking havoc on their digestive system. Raw onions are particularly dangerous, causing redness, irritation, and stomach upset. Don’t let these unwanted side effects take over your furry friend’s life. Keep onions far from your Chihuahua’s reach and give them the gift of good health.
🟥 Macadamia nuts
Keep your Chihuahua away from the dangers of macadamia nuts! High in fat, these nuts threaten your pup’s pearly whites and can cause serious digestive distress. Pancreatitis, stomach lining breakdown, and even allergic reactions are just a few of the unwanted consequences of indulging in this tempting treat. Don’t let a moment of indulgence turn into a lifetime of health problems.
🟥 Grapes and raisins
These unsuspecting treats pack a toxic punch and can cause serious kidney damage to your furry friend. The exact cause of their harmful effects is unknown, but one thing is for certain: the risk is not worth the reward. If your Chihuahua has indulged, don’t wait. Call your vet immediately and take action to protect their health.
🟥 Dried fruit
These sweet treats are tempting, but they can lead to serious health problems for your furry friend. From tooth decay to gingivitis, dried fruit is a sugar overload waiting to happen. And let’s not forget the choking hazard they pose, if your pup decides to swallow them whole. Don’t take any chances with your Chihuahua’s health, keep dried fruit out of reach and enjoy safer snacks together.
Chihuahuas may be pint-sized, but their love for food is larger than life. Unfortunately, their tiny mouths can’t handle big bites and that’s why hard crackers should be avoided at all costs. They may break their delicate teeth and cause pain during mealtime. Instead, opt for soft and easy-to-swallow options like cheese and peanut butter. These tasty treats are gentle on their teeth and will keep your Chihuahua smiling, bite after bite.
Don’t let its convenience fool you, this long-lasting treat can wreak havoc on your Chihuahua’s teeth. Unlike other candies that are quickly consumed, gum’s stickiness prolongs its contact with their teeth, allowing sugar or artificial sweeteners to attack their enamel. Protect your pup’s pearly whites and steer clear of this sticky surprise.
Aside from food, you must be also aware of the toys you give because these might break your Chihuahua’s teeth.
Toys Not Suitable For Chihuahua’s Teeth
🟪 Tennis Ball
Tennis balls may seem like a fun toy for your Chihuahua, but they can cause serious harm to their delicate teeth. The hard exterior can damage their pearly whites if they’re allowed to chew on them for extended periods of time. Keep your furry friend’s smile shining bright and opt for toys that are safe for their teeth.
🟪 Hard plastic toys
Chihuahuas have tiny teeth that need extra TLC, and hard plastic toys can cause serious harm. These pint-sized pups have a tendency to bite down hard, and if they sink their teeth into something too tough, they could end up cracking or chipping their own teeth. Keep your Chihuahua’s smile shining bright and choose toys made from soft, gentle materials, and never leave them unsupervised while they play.
Your Chihuahua’s tiny teeth may seem tough, but they’re actually quite delicate. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that bones make great toys for dogs. In reality, bones can be a recipe for disaster, breaking your furry friend’s teeth and causing them pain. Keep your Chihuahua’s dental health in mind and opt for a variety of soft and safe toys instead. Give them a variety of playthings to choose from to prevent boredom and protect those precious teeth!
🟪 Squeaky toys
Squeaky toys may bring joy to your Chihuahua’s playtime, but beware of the hidden dangers within. Those tiny plastic squeakers can be a threat to your furry friend’s health if ingested. Don’t let a playful moment turn into a trip to the vet, choose toys wisely and supervise your Chihuahua while they play to prevent any unwanted mishaps.
Taking Care Of Your Chihuahua’s Teeth
It is crucial to control the health of your Chihuahua and its teeth as part of responsible pet ownership. Because of their size, Chihuahuas, like all other dog breeds, can experience dental issues. Gingivitis, tooth decay, and even cardiovascular disease can develop from poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, maintaining the health and beauty of your Chihuahua’s smile is as easy as following a few basic guidelines.
🟧 Provide chews and toys
Giving your Chihuahua toys and chews that clean their teeth and gums is an excellent method to maintain their oral health. Your Chihuahua can benefit from the use of dental chews, rawhide bones, or hard rubber toys to maintain healthy teeth and gums. These toys and chews help keep your Chihuahua’s teeth and gums healthy by scraping away plaque and tartar as your dog plays.
🟧 Nourish your Chihuahua’s smile with a nutritious diet
A radiant grin is vital for your Chihuahua’s overall health and well-being. To keep their pearly whites shining, it’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet. Opt for high-quality kibble or dry food, specially crafted for small breed dogs. This not only keeps their teeth clean but also provides them with the essential nutrients they need. Wet food is also an excellent option, as its moisture content helps to keep gums hydrated, wash away plaque and tartar, and promote oral hygiene.
🟧 Brush those teeth
Brushing your Chihuahua’s teeth is the most critical aspect of oral care. Regular brushing removes plaque and tartar, massages their gums, and prevents gum disease. Aim to brush their teeth at least twice a week, and more frequently if possible. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste specifically made for dogs to keep their dental hygiene in check. Remember, human toothpaste is not suitable for dogs, so make sure you choose the right one.
🟧 Regular vet check-ups
It is essential that in addition to brushing your Chihuahua, you also take it to the veterinarian on a regular basis for checkups and cleanings. Just as with humans, taking your pet in for regular checkups at the dentist can help detect potential dental issues early on, before they develop into something more serious. At these examinations, your veterinarian will be able to thoroughly clean your Chihuahua’s teeth, get rid of any plaque or tartar that has built up, and address any other dental issues that may manifest themselves.
How To Brush Your Chihuahua’s Teeth Properly
Step 1: Be calm
Place your Chihuahua in your lap while you relax in a chair that offers adequate support, and then take a seat. It’s possible that brushing your Chihuahua’s teeth will make some of them apprehensive and nervous, especially if it’s the first few times you’ve done it. Throughout the procedure, you should keep talking to, praising, and petting your Chihuahua in order to make things easier on yourself. Assure them that everything is fine and make an effort to keep a happy mood at all times, as your Chihuahua will most likely pick up on your disposition.
Step 2: Let your chihuahua open its mouth
Transform your Chihuahua’s dental routine into a delightful experience with a touch of flavored toothpaste. No more struggling to pry open their mouth. Just let the irresistible taste do the work. With a smear of toothpaste on your finger, entice your pup to open wide and enjoy a brushing session they’ll love. And when they do, hold their mouth gently with one hand to ensure a thorough clean. Make your Chihuahua’s dental hygiene a treat, not a chore
Step 3: Brush
With their jaw wide open, inspect their teeth and gums for any signs of decay or disease. The key to a sparkling smile is thorough brushing. Start by placing a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush, and gently glide it over each tooth. No two Chihuahuas are alike, so find the technique that works best for your furry friend. If they try to close their mouth, target the larger canines first and then work your way to the smaller teeth.
Step 4: Praise
After you give your Chihuahua a sparkling smile, show them just how proud you are with heaps of affection and kind words. Positive reinforcement is the magic ingredient that will make teeth brushing a delightful experience for your four-legged companion. Keep up the praise and pats, and soon enough, your Chihuahua will be grinning from ear to ear – not just because their teeth are clean, but because they love the special time they get to spend with you.
If you do not brush your Chihuahua’s teeth properly, it may cause bad breath that will be hard to eradicate. But it’s also important to know other causes of bad breath to know which part of the body needs to be addressed.
Causes Of Bad Breath In Chihuahuas
Bad breath in dogs is a notorious issue that’s not only unpleasant but can also be a warning sign of underlying dental issues. Don’t ignore your Chihuahua’s bad breath, as it could be the key to unlocking the secrets behind their oral health. Could it be plaque build-up, gum disease, or tooth decay? Get to the root of the problem and ensure a fresh, healthy smile for your furry friend.
🟫 Dental cavity
Dental issues are the silent culprit behind your pup’s bad breath. With their small mouths and teeth, it’s easy for plaque and bacteria to build up, leading to painful gum disease and tooth decay. Don’t let this smelly issue fester, if your furry friend’s breath has gone from sweet to stinky, or they’re experiencing discomfort while eating or drinking, it’s time to see the vet and get to the root of the problem.
An infection can wreak havoc on your pet’s mouth, leading to inflammation, painful ulcers, and a pungent odor that’s a far cry from their typical playful pant. Don’t let spices like garlic add insult to injury, causing them discomfort during mealtime.
🟫 Stomach upset
Stomach troubles like diarrhea, vomiting, and even sneaky snacking on things they shouldn’t, can lead to an upset tummy and unpleasant odors wafting from their mouth. Don’t let these common causes take over your furry friend’s well-being. Give them the gift of good digestion and sweet-smelling breath.
🟫 Liver disease
While bad breath may be the first clue, a closer look could reveal much more. Yellowed eyes and skin, sudden weight loss, and a bloated belly are all red flags that indicate a struggling liver. Don’t let these symptoms go unnoticed, take your furry friend to the vet for a liver check-up and protect their health!
Finally, feeding your Chihuahua the appropriate nutrients is essential for tooth health. Chihuahuas are beautiful and loving, but they need nutrition care just like larger dogs. Avoid offering them hard or abrasive meals because their tiny jaws and teeth can’t tolerate them.
Feeding your Chihuahua carefully might help them stay healthy and avoid dental issues. You may keep their teeth and gums healthy for years by feeding them nourishing, soft foods and avoiding onions, macadamia nuts, and dry fruits!
You can also click here to know other foods that your Chihuahua might or might not need!
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.