Chihuahuas are the tiniest dog breed on the planet, and on International Chihuahua Appreciation Day, the world celebrates them. Chihuahuas have been celebrated every year on May 14th since 2010, thanks to former Miss British Columbia, Nadia Alterio. She announced that this day would be celebrated along with her Chihuahua’s birthday, and it has been ever since.
Chihuahuas are a whole lot of fun, and so is celebrating them! Keep reading for some celebratory ideas, along with everything you need to know about these little rascals.
Top 3 Ways to Celebrate International Chihuahua Appreciation Day
You can celebrate your Chihuahua in so many different ways. Buying them a new toy, making special dog treats, playing their favorite games, taking them to a park, or giving them extra cuddles are all great ways to show your dog your appreciation. Below are a few more fun ideas:
1. A Puppy Party
If you have a Chihuahua, you could throw them a puppy party. Puppy parties are a good way for dogs to interact and socialize with other dogs and people. Make sure that all the decorations and food that you put out are dog-friendly and not small enough for a curious pup to choke on. You can order or make your own dog treats, shaping them into little Chihuahuas. For the humans, coming dressed up to the party matching their Chihuahua could be a fun twist.
2. Spread Awareness
You can use May 14th as an opportunity to spread awareness about this breed on your social media. Encourage others who are looking to get a dog to adopt from their nearest Chihuahua rescue shelter and share your personal experience with your little best friend.
Whether you’re a Chihuahua owner or not, you can celebrate this day by donating to a Chihuahua rescue shelter. Supplying food, veterinary care, shelter, and staff to care for these dogs is a costly business, and any donation, regardless of how small, will help the shelter immensely.
If you don’t have money to give, donate your time by volunteering at the shelter. You can help groom these dogs, play with them, give them cuddles, and take them for walks.
The History of Chihuahuas
It is believed that these dogs originated from the Techichi, which lived around the 9th century A.D. but is sadly now extinct. The Techichi was a bit bigger than the modern Chihuahua but had similar large ears, eyes, and heads. These dogs were believed to have magical powers by the Toltec people and are seen on artifacts that date back to this ancient time.
Chihuahuas are well-loved in Mexico and were named after a Mexican State. Chihuahuas became popular in the 19th century when they were brought to the United States and bred by American dog breeders. Two types of Chihuahuas were produced—a smooth coat and a long coat. They became a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club in 1904.
Chihuahuas are around 5–8 inches in height and can weigh up to 6 pounds. Although small, healthy Chihuahuas have a life expectancy of between 14–16 years. Their bodies are compact and can boast many color combinations, which can be mixed or solid. They can also be spotted, tricolor, bridle, or merle. These dogs don’t shed much and don’t require extensive grooming.
These dogs have “apple” heads with large eyes that can protrude and ears that stand up straight on their heads. They have little snouts, and although their teeth are smaller than those of larger dog breeds, they’re sharp and snappy.
Although known to be cheeky and sometimes aggressive, this isn’t the case for all Chihuahuas as their personalities can vary greatly depending on their environment, age, and experiences.
Of course, many Chihuahuas are confident and have a bit of an attitude, but others can be shy, anxious, happy, playful, friendly, and outgoing. Often, you’ll find a whole mix of emotions in your dog, depending on the situation they’re in. Regardless of their personalities, these dogs crave lots of cuddles and attention.
Chihuahuas are great watchdogs because they tend not to be scared of much, including larger dogs. Due to this trait, it is important to socialize your dog from an early age so that they feel comfortable around other pets and people. Unsocialized Chihuahuas can be snappy if they feel threatened or anxious.
Chihuahuas typically bond with one person but can enjoy the company of other family members. They get on well and may even be happier with other Chihuahuas, so consider adopting two instead of just one.
These intelligent and strong personalities like to take charge, so it’s important to let them know that you’re the boss by being consistent in your commands and expectations. Thankfully, they are easy to train and do well with positive reinforcement, such as rewarding them with treats and praise.
Are Chihuahuas Good Family Dogs?
Chihuahuas are great family dogs. They might be a bit wary of strangers, but they have a lot of love to give to those they consider family. Their small size is great for children as they aren’t big and daunting, but children should be properly taught how to interact with their dog to avoid any injuries to their pet or nipping from them.
When it comes to adding new pets to the family, you might have a bit of pushback from your Chihuahua. They are territorial and have a prey drive, so never leave your dog alone with any other type of pet. However, with the correct introduction and supervised interactions, your Chihuahua will learn to adapt.
Chihuahuas are picky eaters and tend to have sensitive stomachs. It’s necessary to feed them good quality, nutritious food. Thankfully, they don’t eat much, so you won’t be buying large bags of food every week!
Chihuahuas have a lot of energy and need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be a run or walk around your neighborhood; playing in your backyard is enough of a workout for those little legs. Make it fun for both of you by playing fetch or tug-of-war. Watch out for signs of overexertion because these little pups don’t know when to stop. When they start to pant, overheat, or become tired, it’s time to pick them up and carry them home or bring playtime to an end.
Training is another essential for these intelligent dogs as they need mental stimulation. They are quick to learn because they’re so eager to please their owners.
Fun Facts About Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas have dabbled in a little bit of everything, from acting in T.V. shows and movies to breaking world records. Here are a few fun facts about Chihuahuas:
This year, International Chihuahua Appreciation Day is on Sunday, May 14th. This is a day to go the extra mile for your Chihuahua and make them feel celebrated. You can do this by buying a sweet gift for them, like a new toy. You can also use this occasion to create awareness through your social media about this incredible dog breed and encourage people to adopt from rescue shelters or make a donation. Although tiny, this breed has made an impact on the world and the people in it!
Featured Image Credit: Jairo Alzate, Unsplash