chiweenie Top Health Issues

Chiweenie Breed: Grooming | Health Issues | Characteristics

What is A Chiweenie?

The Chiweenie is a very popular designer dog, the offspring of Dachshund and Chihuahua parents. Highly sought after due to their compact size, low maintenance trait, and friendly demeanor, Chiweenies are energetic and loving, preferring to stay close and cuddle with their owners. They exude pure big dog energy despite their tiny frame. Aside from being the stereotypical lapdog, a Chiweenie pup is also a reliable watchdog.

Some Chiweenie owners call their pets silly nicknames like Mexican hotdog, German taco, or Doxiehuahua. Whatever they may be called, the Chiweenie breed is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world right now.

We are going to talk about Chiweenie Health Issues, their grooming and exercise basics, and every other thing you need to know about the Chiweenie breed.

Let’s jump right in!

Chiweenie Care Essentials

Chiweenie Exercise

An energetic breed, Chiweenies need regular physical activity as an outlet for their excessive energy. If you don’t take them out for walks or a run around the yard, you risk the wrath of wild indoor zoomies knocking over your furniture. Some Chiweenies channel their unspent energy on excessive barking, chewing, or other destructive behaviors. Two trips outside for 30-60 minutes of doggy fun and play is great for their health, and by fun, we mean a hike, swim, or walkies around the block. Chiweenies are prone to gaining weight when not exercised routinely.

Chiweenie Grooming

Most small dog breeds don’t like water, so giving your Chiweenie a bath might be a challenge. It’s important to bathe them thoroughly at least once every 2-3 months to avoid matting and to clean dirt and gunk from their fur. But if your pup rolled around on a dead bird or other stinky stuff, then it’s a must to give them a bath more often.

How frequently do you need to brush Chiweenie’s fur? Daily, if you got one of the longer-haired kinds. It’s advisable to brush shorter-haired Chiweenie rascals at least 2-3 times a week to promote healthy fur growth.

Chiweenie Diet

Choose a dog food recipe that’s chock-full of needed vitamins and minerals needed by high-energy small breed dogs. Make sure you’re measuring their food out correctly as unintentional overfeeding can make your Chiweenie overweight and prone to joint issues. Stick to a regular feeding plan and don’t allow them to graze on filled food bowls the whole day. Don’t overdo dog treats and snacks.

Exercises Chiweenies love

Treat Hunt – this kind of game is fun and stimulating for an active breed like the Chiweenie. A Kong stuffed with their favorite treat and hidden from view will activate their sense of smell and the thrill of hunting down “prey.” Running to all corners of the house and under furniture to look for the scintillating treats you hid burns off energy and prevents boredom. There are now so many treat-dispensing puzzle toys on the market right now that engage a Chiweenie’s problem-solving skills, as well as their persistence. Our favorite is the Nina Ottosson which is perfect for curious Chiweenies.

Classic Kong: We recommend the classic Kong (small size) as it’s so easy to hide the treat inside them. The Kong toy is well known for its safety and chew-resistant material so the possibility of Chiweenies choking on a chewed-up Kong while searching for treats inside it is seldom heard of. Try to reduce your dog’s kibble consumption if you’ve given them multiple calorie-rich treats in the course of this game.

Chasing the Flirt Stick – also known as a flirt toy, the flirt stick toy can be looked on as a rudimentary treadmill that entices your Chiweenie to run and hop while chasing the lure at the end of the stick. I always thought this is more popular among cat owners but I was wrong. Choose a flirt stick with a sturdy nylon cord that your dog can’t pull off. A squeaky toy mouse or little rattle at the end will drive them crazy. Most popular toys used by flirt pole manufacturers are furry to simulate a dog’s natural prey – the mouse. Endless fun!

Fetch – if your Chiweenie has learned to pick up a toy with its mouth and bring it back to you without dropping it on the ground halfway through the return trip, then playing fetch is a perfect game for your little one. Running to try to catch a toy, a balled-up sock, or some drooled-up shoe keeps your pup’s heart rate up, what with all the running back and forth. It chases away their anxiety, boredom, and it promotes pup-owner bonding time that’s incomparable to match. If you’re physically debilitated or not home most of the time, keep your pup healthy by investing in an automatic tennis ball launcher. Can you believe these new interactive ball launchers for dogs on the market right now?

Tunnel game – part of your Chiweenie’s DNA is a notorious tunnel-digging breed. Dachshunds were originally bred by Germans three centuries ago to hunt badgers. No wonder Chiweenies like to burrow and make mock tunnels out of multiple blankets and towels. Turn this trait into a fun game of “find my Chiweenie.” Chiweenies won’t say no to burrowing, wiggling their way under towels or blankets to sleep.

Blowing Bubbles – all dog breeds love playing with bubbles. The sight of a confused Chiweenie chasing a bubble as it floats in space and bursts is such a cute visual. There is peanut butter scented bubble toys for dogs, designed to emit the smell of bacon and peanut butter, making the bubbles even more irresistible to your Chiweenie pup. These bubble machines may come with wands and are specially made with non-toxic ingredients for safe playtime with your fur children.

Chiweenie Diet Routine:

Your dog’s diet requirements will vary as he goes through life stages. Feed your Chiweenie only the most appropriate dog food formulated for his age. Here’s a list of the ideal premium dry kibble for small breeds like the Chiweenie (Click Here)

Chiweenie Breed Characteristics

Lifespan: 12-16 Years: Coming from a line of long-lived breeds, the Chiweenie can reasonably be expected to live an average of 12-16 years when receiving ideal care from adoring pet parents. But there have been cases where a Chiweenie lived to the ripe old age of 22 years! Click on the story of Max the Chiweenie Here

Height: Up To 25cm: Chiweenies are compact dogs that can stand anywhere between 6-10 inches at the shoulder. Most vets caution owners that this is a relatively newer designer breed so expect a lot of variations in size as your dogs mature.

Weight: Up To 5kg (11 pounds): Chiweenies can be tiny terrors or angelic fur babies. Don’t expect them to weigh more than 12 pounds, otherwise, it’s safe to assume that another bigger breed managed to sneak into the mix.

Short, Medium, Or Long Coat: If one of the parent breeds is long-haired, then expect a long-haired Chiweenie offspring. Most Chiweenies are short-coated, with brown fur coloring. Other coat colors are solid black, white, and fawn. You’d feel special if you own a two-tone or a tricolor Chiweenie as they’re pretty and rare.

Characteristics: Extremely friendly to the point of being at risk for becoming dognapping victims as they suck up to all humans, even to strangers, Chiweenies are adorable little dogs that bark quite often. They tend to stay close to their owners and cuddle close, hence the term “Velcro dogs.”

Get On Well With Other Animals: Most Chiweenies love being part of the pack, to the delight of their owners with a collection of pets. Expect the Chiweenie to be the bossy pack member despite their size, they just can’t help it.

Health Issues With The Chiweenie

Diabetes: Chiweenies are generally a healthy breed but may inherit some health issues from their parents such as diabetes. Common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination, loss of weight, and an increase or decrease in appetite. Early-onset blindness due to cataracts is another common sign. Vets will diagnose diabetes with a simple blood sugar test.

Dogs with diabetes type 1 may require insulin injections and may need a special diet. Those with type 2 diabetes (acquired diabetes) don’t require insulin injections as their conditions may be managed by exercise, diet, and oral medications to control blood glucose. 

Intervertebral Disc Disease: IVDD is a condition of the spine where the discs found between the two vertebrae of the spine burst or bulge. The springy material that cushions shock between discs may be forcibly moved to the spinal cord area, causing severe pain, extreme nerve damage, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Early signs of IVDD include anxiety, pain when the neck or low back is touched, weakness of the hind legs, and hesitations and unwillingness to jump. Stages II and III of the condition can be treated by giving anti-inflammatory medications, pain relief medications, and restriction of exercise and physical activity.

Degenerative Disc Disease: this involves the spontaneous degeneration of the outer part of the vertebral disk, resulting in derangement of the disk’s shape and/or extrusion of the central nucleus leading to nerve entrapment, pain, or paralysis. This most commonly happens among older dogs, and the unique body shape and elongated spinal column of the Doxies and Doxiehuahuas make them especially vulnerable to this condition. Frequent jumping, jarring, and landing in awkward positions can lead to DDD.

Seizures: Canine seizures are much the same as the ones experienced by humans. This can manifest as uncontrolled tics, flailing, or bodily convulsions which can be mild or severe (full-body). Your dog might lose control of his bladder. This is one of the scariest experiences a Chiweenie owner can have, and it’s beyond your control. Take your pup to the vet immediately as this is considered a medical emergency.

Hydrocephalus: A congenital condition resulting in the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the dog’s skull, increasing pressure on the brain. Treatment involves surgery with shunt placement or medications with milder cases. Hydrocephalic dogs have prominent eyes (bug eyes) and domed heads with an unusual shapes.

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid glands begin to malfunction, leading to poor health and reduced activity. Common signs of hypothyroidism in dogs are thinning fur, a dull coat, shedding of fur, dry scaly skin, weight gain, and reduced tolerance to cold or warm weather. Most dogs that develop hypothyroidism also develop skin infections, which can cause skin sores that are itchy and inflamed. 

Hypothyroidism is managed by taking hormone supplements for the remainder of your pet’s life. Regular checkups are necessary to monitor the effects of the medication.   

Luxating patella: Luxating patella is when the kneecap moves from its normal position. When a dog displays painful walking behaviors like skipping a step or suddenly walking on three legs and then back to walking on four, then this could be a sign of a luxating patella. 

Surgery may not be needed, and most small dog breeds like Chiweenies can live with this condition. A vet may recommend bracing or using physical manipulation to treat stage 1 and 2 luxating patella. But in some cases, a luxating patella can lead to inflammation, pain, cartilage damage, and tears in the knee ligaments. In advanced cases, surgery is always the best option. 

Related: What To Do If Dog Ate Rat Poison

How long can I expect my Chiweenie to live?

Chiweenies can live 12 to 15 years old. However, a few pet owners shared on the I Love Chiweenies group on FaceBook their Chiweenie pups living to the ripe old age of 20 . . . one even living up to 22 years old!

You can help your pet avoid common illness and health problems by making sure they follow a regular exercise regimen, eat the right diet for its breed, and not shirking from vet visits. Understanding your dog’s parent breeds can also help you identify other health issues common to the adorable Chiweenie mixed breed. 



Deciding to get a dog is a lifetime commitment. Don’t fall into the fad of securing a designer dog just to keep up with the times. When your cute Chiweenie puppy grows fangs (kidding!) or shows glimpses of demonic destructiveness, you still have to take care of it. Adoption is for life, and we challenge anyone who says otherwise.

They may look super adorable and you’ll fall in love with their super cute short legs at first sight, but be aware that Chiweenies are not for everyone.

Chiweenies require lots of exercise, playtime, and bonding time. If you live in an apartment, this isn’t a deal-breaker as you can arrange for a regular dog walker to exercise your Chiweenie if you spend long hours at work.

Don’t deprive yourself of the unmatched loyalty and loving companionship a little lapdog brings by focusing only on the bad traits a Chiweenie may show. If you’re looking for a loving lapdog with an independent streak, then a Chiweenie is the right dog for you.

Devote time to train your young Chiweenie to learn basic commands and most importantly, potty training. Give them a chance to adjust to your routine and learn the ins and outs of your home, get to know each and every member of the family whether two or four-legged. This will ensure you raise a well-behaved pup and minimize your headaches as a dog owner as your Chiweenie grows.

Good luck! May the odds be ever in your favor (to get the best Chiweenie match that’s perfect for you)!

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Lovelia Horn


Every Creature Counts is passionate about animal rescue! We are a family of rescuers who have worked with small animal shelters around the Southern Illinois

Lovelia Horn