Grooming Your Chihuahua 101

how to groom a chihuahua 101
Discover our tips and tricks for grooming and cleaning your chihuahua in the most efficient manner, with the best shampoo and conditioner.

Grooming your dog is a maintenance activity that is important for their health. Your dog could end up smelling bad or with some serious health issues if you do not put in the effort. Keep your pet clean and smelling fresh!

How often should I brush my chihuahua?

  • Long haired Chihuahuas should be brushed 3 times a week.
  • Short haired Chihuahua dogs should have a good full body brushing at least once a week. 
  • Be sure to cover key areas: lower chest, legs and tail.

Bathing a Chihuahua : All You Need to Know

Bathing a dog can be a tedious affair. Most dogs do not necessarily enjoy being bathed. It can take a little while to get the hang of bathing your dog so be patient. If you have a chihuahua, you can bathe them in your kitchen sink.

Tip: How to Bathe Your Chi?

When using shampoo, work up a lather starting with the chest to the top of the head, then go down the back, tail and all the way to the hind legs. Be careful not to get any of that shampoo in your eyes or your Chi’s eyes.

Use a dog shampoo for your dog rather than your own shampoo

Shampoo for human hair is super harsh and irritating to your dog. Dog shampoo is specifically formulated to suit the sensitivity of the skin and fur of dogs.

Do chihuahuas need special shampoo?

Chihuahuas need a gentle shampoo that won’t irritate their big eyes.

Best Shampoo for Chihuahuas

Best Shampoos for Chihuahuas

When grooming your chihuahua, you should look for a shampoo that has the following elements:  

  • Hypoallergenic to help deal with sensitive skin
  • Avoid shampoo made with harsh chemicals, artificial additives like colors, fragrances, parabens, phosphate, and sulfate. Labels can be tricky on this so Google well!
  • Moisturizing shampoos with ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and almond oil.
  • Soap-Free : soap can dry out the skin
  • pH Balanced for dogs (between 6.5 and 7.5).

What shampoo can I bathe my chihuahua with?

Your Basic Shampoo

Look for a shampoo made with natural ingredients and designed to gently cleanse and moisturize your Chihuahua’s skin. Avoid smells and ingredients dogs do not like such as lavender or tea tree oil.

Puppy Shampoo

Puppies have extra-sensitive skin and this specific breed has big eyes so you should aim for a tear-free formula made with soap-free cleansers and natural ingredients.

Anti Flea & Tick Shampoos

You should have a shampoo to kill fleas and ticks (it is more useful in summer). This shampoo should never be considered a replacement for a preventive flea treatment.

Medicated Dog Shampoos

There are shampoos designed to soothe itchy, irritated skin caused by allergies and infections. Your dog may not need them.

Nice Smelling Shampoo!

Some dogs can get pretty stinky so splurge on a shampoo with a nice scent.

Our pick is the Malin+Goetz Dog Shampoo.

We love a shiny coat and this gentle formula is made for that. This dog shampoo is packed with natural botanical extracts and hydrating amino acids for soft, shiny fur. They are for sale online if you are in the US and for sale at if you are in Canada (that’s what their website says).

shampoo and conditioner for chihuahuas

How do I keep my Chihuahua smelling good?

When you give your pup a bath, scrub and wash away your pup’s body oil. You need to clean both the coat and the skin.

How often should a chihuahua be bathed?

Chihuahuas must be bathed once a month. Do not bathe them too often as it dries out their skin. All chihuahua types must be bathed to prevent build-ups of dirt.

Help! I need to clean my dog on the go!

Short on water and time? You can still keep your chihuahua smelling good! If you don’t have proper shampoo where you are, here are some alternative products you can use to bathe your pup:

  • Dry foam or dry shampoo: we recommend Pet Head Dry Clean Spray Shampoo by Bed Head. We love this easy-to-use spray shampoo for quick touch ups in between washes.
  • Pet grooming wipes can help to refresh your chichi. You remove bad odors and they come with a nice little smell to keep your pup smelling fresh. 
  • Use cornstarch as a DIY dry pet shampoo. Massage it into the fur and then brush it out.
  • Bonus: Use Burt’s Bees Dog Paw and nose lotion. Yes, the iconic lip balm brand is not making pet beauty products and they are awesome! This lotion will hydrate your pup’s sensitive paws.

Clean your dog’s ears

Ears get smelly if not cleaned regularly. Put a little baby oil on a cotton ball. Gently wipe the inside of your chihuahua’s ears going from inside to outside of the ear. Your dog’s ears are sensitive so check with your vet how to properly go about it the right way. If your chihuahua’s ears stay smelly, make an appointment with the vet. It could be due to an ear infection.

Clean dog beds and blankets

Your dog spends a lot of time hanging out on its bed. Cleaning the bed and blankets your dog uses. Keeping these areas clean to help keep your chihuahua smelling good. Wash these items regularly and your dog will stay cleaner and fresher smelling.


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