How to Bathe a Chihuahua in 8 Easy Steps

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to bathe a Chihuahua properly, this article will cover it all!

Chihuahuas usually aren’t fond of baths, but they are an important part of grooming so that your dog’s coat and skin stay healthy.

Your dog’s fur traps dirt, bacteria, and allergens so bathing will wash those particles off and help prevent itchy skin. This makes bathing critical to your Chihuahua’s overall health and happiness. 

We will lead you through the process of how to give your Chihuahua a bath so that you can turn it into a positive experience for your pup. 

You’ll get the answers to all your questions such as how often to give your dog a bath, what supplies you’ll need, and where the best locations are to wash your dog. 

Black long-haired Chihuahua wearing a white robe sitting next to a bath tub, rubber ducks, and towels.

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How Often Should You Bathe Your Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas require regular grooming (including nail clipping) to stay nice and clean, especially if you have dog allergies.

They can be bathed as often as once a week up to every 6 weeks, or somewhere in between. Typically, you don’t want to bathe them more often than that because it tends to dry out their skin. 

But, some dogs with allergies and certain medical conditions may need baths daily.

If your dog ends up getting dirty too quickly and it’s not time for a bath yet, you can easily spot clean with a washcloth or clean their paws with a wipe. 

What Do You Need to Bathe a Chihuahua?

There are several supplies you will need to give your Chihuahua a bath. Make sure to have all your items set out before you start running the bathwater. 

Items needed:

If your pup doesn’t like baths, definitely give them a few treats afterward for some positive reinforcement!

Where to Give Your Chihuahua a Bath?

Dark long-haired chihuahua with soapy fur in a bath tub

Since Chihuahuas are so small, you have quite a few options for bathing them in your house: the sink, the bathtub, or the shower

The most popular choice is the sink since Chihuahuas fit perfectly inside. We use the sink because our faucet has a sprayer, making it super easy to rinse our dog. If yours doesn’t have a sprayer, you can easily use a cup for rinsing. Don’t forget to put down a non-slip pad!

Another alternative is the bathtub. You’ll only need to fill the tub up 1-2 inches. A drawback of using the tub is that it might be harder to control your dog in such a big space.

This sprayer that attaches to your showerhead will make scrubbing and rinsing a breeze.

If you’d prefer to use your shower or you don’t have a bathtub, then that is an option as well.

We recommend you get an elevated dog tub to place right inside your shower. The great thing about this tub is you won’t get a backache from bending over to wash your dog. 

What Temperature Should I Bathe my Chihuahua?

The temperature of the water should be lukewarm. Chihuahuas get cold easily so the water needs to be warm enough but not scalding.

Making sure the water is at the correct temperature is important or else your dog could have an unpleasant experience. 

How to Bathe a Chihuahua in 8 Easy Steps

1. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide where you’re going to bathe your Chihuahua from the options above and gather all your bath supplies

2. Give your dog a good brushing to remove excess fur that would end up in the bathwater. 

3. Heat up your water to lukewarm then fill your sink or tub with 1 inch of water.

4. Place your dog in and get them nice and wet using the sprayer or by filling a cup.

5. Lather them up with shampoo and soap up their back, belly, tail, head, neck, and paws. Be careful not to get shampoo in their eyes.

6. Rinse thoroughly so that no shampoo is left behind. Use a washcloth or your hand to shield their eyes. 

7. Use conditioner and leave on for a couple minutes then rinse well. 

8. Drain the water and then wrap your Chihuahua in a fluffy towel right away (they get cold very easily). Rub their fur to get excess water off and wipe their ears out. Then let them shake off. Next, you can blow dry them.

Now you can feel relieved that you have a fresh and clean pup. Give a couple treats to reward your dog for doing a good job!

How to Dry Your Chihuahua

Tan and white chihuahua wrapped in a fluffy pink towel after a bath

A dog can shake about 70 percent of the water from its fur in around 4 seconds. But since Chihuahuas get cold so easily, you will want to get the rest of them dry, especially during winter.

There are a couple of options for drying your dog. You can either use a blowdryer for dogs on low or let them air dry, preferably somewhere warm like in the sun.

It’s important to wipe inside their ears with cotton balls after a bath. If not dried properly, they can get an ear infection. This is especially crucial for floppy-eared Chihuahuas.

What Kind of Brush Do You Use on a Chihuahua?

Since this breed of dog is so small, hard-bristle brushes will be too rough. It’s best to use a small rubber curry brush, which is gentle and won’t irritate their skin.

While your Chihuahua is drying, you can start brushing them to get rid of any tangles and smooth the fur.

If you have a long-haired Chihuahua, you might need to spray some leave-in conditioner to make it easier to brush.

Tips For a Less Stressful Bathtime

Most dogs, like our Chihuahua, hate getting baths. It can be a stressful experience for both you and your dog, but it is important to have a clean pup. Here are some tips to help bathtime be more enjoyable!

A light colored Chihuahua is having bathtime with soap bubbles on his head

1. Provide a reward

You should always provide lots of treats during bathtime to encourage your dog and afterward as a thank-you for being well-behaved!

This will create a positive experience and make things easier the next time you give your dog a bath.

2. Add some toys

Make bathtime fun and interesting! Most dogs don’t like standing still with nothing to do.

Bring some of their favorite waterproof toys into the tub and let them have a bit of fun playing around. 

You can attach a lickmat with some peanut butter to the side of the bathtub to keep your dog busy while you bathe them.

3. Keep a positive attitude

If your dog doesn’t like baths, don’t take it out on them! It is easy to get frustrated so instead try to stay positive.

Bathtime will go much more smoothly if you are calm and patient with your dog. 

4. Use the right water temperature

You don’t want the bathwater to be too hot because your dog could get burnt. You also don’t want it too cold because Chihuahuas hate being cold.

Lukewarm water is the key and will make for a more pleasant bath.

5. Gather all supplies ahead of time

It is very helpful to have all of your supplies ready ahead of time. The quicker you have all your supplies ready, the quicker bathtime will go.

If you put your dog in the tub and then realize you forgot something, it will just prolong the bath and you’ll be dealing with a wet dog that’s trying to escape.

It’s best to gather everything first before you even start running the water.

6. Start gradually

If your dog is terrified of baths, start with a paw soak. The move on to a quick rinse with no soap. This will help them get more comfortable with water.

Once they are calm and used to the water, you can move forward with a regular bath.


There you have it! We hope by following these steps, you’ll be better equipped on how to bathe a Chihuahua properly.

Remember that you can turn this into a positive experience for your pup by giving them treats and lots of praise. 


What Shampoo Do I Use for a Chihuahua?

Look for a shampoo with simple ingredients.  You want to avoid any harsh chemicals that will affect your dog’s sensitive skin. If your dog has itchy, red or sensitive skin, using a shampoo with oatmeal or aloe vera will help soothe their skin. 

At What Age Can You Bathe a Chihuahua Puppy?

You can begin giving a Chihuahua puppy a bath with shampoo once they are 3 months old (12 weeks). Up until then, it’s best to spot clean with a wet washcloth. 

Do Chihuahuas Like Water?

There are some Chihuahuas who love water and others who hate it, so it depends on your specific dog.

Lots of Chihuahuas enjoy swimming in pools and lakes as long as the water isn’t too cold. Some Chihuahua puppies tip over or dig in their water bowls for fun.

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