Your Puppy’s Development: 7 Weeks

At seven weeks old, your puppy is nearly ready to come home! Some puppies need just one last week to develop alongside their littermates, with their mom as a guide. Seeing how active she can be during this stage, though, it’s clear that she’s almost ready for a new chapter in her life.

During week seven, a puppy is becoming much more coordinated and is getting used to how far and fast her little legs can take her. She uses her abundant energy to move around the room freely and skillfully. As her motor skills improve, she becomes more receptive to training and she is better able to figure out what you’re asking of her.

Your puppy is learning to control her bladder at this age as well, but it will take a lot of work on her future owner’s part before she is fully house trained.

A Typical Day
A puppy can be quite restless during bedtime, and her dream activity can look a bit startling to someone who’s never seen it before. Your puppy may have a twitch in her legs, paws, ears or facial muscles. She may also let out barks, whimpers or cries. These are all normal signs of a dreaming pup, and will continue with less frequency as she grows older.

You may also see puppies eating grass at this age, but it should not be a cause of concern. It is normal for a puppy to eat fresh or recently cut grass, and this behavior is harmless as long as the grass is free of pesticides and other chemicals. You may want to discourage this behavior if the puppy eats enough for the grass to come back up again, but small quantities of grass will not hurt her.


There are critical lessons a puppy must learn before making it out into the world by herself. By seven weeks of age, your puppy has learned a lot from her environment and the humans and animals around her. Her caretaker has made an effort by now to socialize the puppy and handle her daily, while also giving her ample time to spend with her fellow littermates. It’s very important not to separate puppies from their original homes before seven weeks because puppies who leave their litters too early may become nervous and show signs of biting, barking, and other unwanted behaviors. Any discipline puppies receive at seven weeks of age should be from their mothers, as the puppies are still too young to process human reprimands.

Though just seven weeks old, a puppy is already growing and learning enough to achieve independence from her puppy family. While she may be leaving her mother and littermates soon, she won’t be alone. Puppies are born and bred to be among others, and she will quickly take to her new family.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe This Memorial Day

Above all else, Memorial Day is a day to recognize our fallen soldiers. But for many Americans, Memorial Day also means spending time with family and friends under the hot, nearly-summer sun. Because the long weekend is typically spent outside and dogs are often invited to join in the fun, it’s important to keep dog safety in mind. Follow these tips to keep Fido safe during the busy holiday festivities.

1. Beware at the BBQ.

The food at a barbeque or picnic can be awfully tempting to your curious pooch, who doesn’t know the difference between food he can and cannot eat. It’s your job to keep your pup away from foods that can be toxic to him, such as onions, avocados and grapes. Bring your dog his own food and keep him away from people food and drink, including alcohol, which can be extremely dangerous to your dog even in small amounts.

2. Choose your bug spray wisely.

Bug repellent keeps away pesky insects that can harm both you and your dog, but certain sprays might have an unintended effect on your pup. Human insecticides can cause neurological and respiratory issues in dogs, so make sure to choose a spray that’s Fido-friendly, especially if he’s not up-to-date on his flea and tick medication.

3. Don’t keep his identity a secret.
During this crowded and noisy holiday, it’s easy for your pup to get startled and run off. If at home, make sure the yard is fully gated or closed off so your pup doesn’t escape from your sight. If he’s in a place where he can run far and wide, the worst thing that could happen is that your dog gets lost without any identification to help him get back home. Make sure your dog has an ID tag with updated name, address and telephone number, or better yet, is microchipped to help locate him easily.

4. Keep him cool and comfortable.

Dogs can get dehydrated pretty quickly, and flat-faced dogs like Pugs and Bulldogs are especially prone to breathing problems in hot weather, so it’s important to keep an eye on a panting pooch. Make sure he has access to plenty of clean water, and keep him in the shade or indoors as much as possible to avoid overheating.

5. Watch out around the water.

While some dogs love to swim, others are not so fond of the water, and might not even know how to swim. Like you would with a young child, you should supervise your pup around the pool and not leave him unattended around a pool or lake. Similar precautions should be taken at the beach so as not to let your pup get washed away by strong ocean currents. Let him get wet if he wants, but just monitor the activity.

6. When in doubt, keep him indoors.

The best way to keep your pup safe during the holiday is to leave him at home, but if he must come with you, then at least opt to keep him indoors as much as possible. Memorial Day weekend is often filled with sights and sounds that can overwhelm your sensitive pup, so avoiding the things that can upset your dog is sometimes the best option for everyone to have an enjoyable time.

Your Puppy’s Development: 6 Weeks

Your puppy is now six weeks old and one step closer to becoming independent! He is likely weaned, or very close to being weaned from his mother. Just as humans learn appropriate behaviors from their family and peers at a young age, puppies also must learn social cues during this period of development in order to integrate smoothly into the world. At this age he may even be learning to use the doggy-door! But there’s more for your pup to learn in the sixth week of his life.

Puppies begin getting first their vaccines between six and eight weeks old. This gives them a great start in life and ensures immunity to many common puppyhood illnesses, like distemper, parvo, and Bordetella. PuppySpot requires all breeders to perform a comprehensive health evaluation for every puppy and keep their puppies up-to-date on all vaccinations and de-wormings.

A Growing Appetite
At six weeks, many puppies can start to eat dry kibble and their feeding can be reduced to three times a day, now that they are old enough to go longer between meals. Puppies can start by eating kibble soaked in warm water for one meal a day and drinking their mother’s milk for the other two meals. The amount of food the puppy eats will gradually increase as he gets more comfortable eating solid food from a bowl.

Puppies at this age regularly interact with others, including their mom, littermates and breeder. A puppy greets his littermates with sniffing to the nose and tail. He also learns a lot from his mom—the best example of mature doggy behavior around. A puppy takes after his mom’s example, but he may still be quite rambunctious while he is learning.

A Typical Day
A puppy at six weeks will be curious about his surroundings, as well as those who inhabit it. He’ll sniff his littermates’ noses and tails the same way adult dogs sniff each other when they first meet. Humans may view sniffing each other’s rear ends as an odd way to say hello, but it’s just how dogs get to know each other. The stronger the scent, the more information is available for a pup’s nose to pick up!

Your six-week-old puppy is no longer glued to his mother, and is starting to spend more time interacting with his littermates. He likes to use his newfound mobility to learn from and form relationships with his family. But he’s still got a long way to go before adulthood!

Your Puppy’s Development: 5 Weeks

Week five is when a puppy is exposed to new faces other than his mom and littermates. At this age, your puppy appears more playful and curious by the day. She is exploring the world around her and learning how to interact with others. Socialization is all about learning how to interact with other dogs and humans and your puppy is just beginning this process. Since her eyesight is now well-developed, she is fully aware of her surroundings and eager to take her place in the big, busy world.


At five weeks old, a puppy begins to form relationships with people and other dogs. Her first interactions will be with her mother, but now that her eyesight is fully developed, the puppy will start getting to know her siblings, caretaker and other humans. She now interacts with people every day, getting to know their touch and scent. She also learns to identify and interact with her littermates. These early lessons on how to be a dog will be useful for years to come.


A puppy five weeks of age enjoys playtime with her littermates, mother and human caretakers. This is also when, as describes, your puppy learns the important lesson of “bite inhibition” and the difference between fighting and play biting. This lesson teaches a puppy the appropriate limits of play in her future interactions with others.

A Typical Day
Your puppy already looks more active—rather than sleeping all day, her open eyes give her more reasons to stay awake and explore. She enjoys activities like playing with humans and her littermates, and is learning more about the world every day.

A puppy at five weeks old takes in a lot of new information, while also enjoying herself as she gets to know the pups and people in her life. Socialization holds special importance during this period, and a breeder might accomplish this by encouraging her to spend more time with her littermates instead of predominantly with her mother. Giving the pup some alone time also helps prepare her for her eventual journey to meet her new family!

Your Puppy’s Development: 4 Weeks

During the first four weeks of a puppy’s life, integral development begins that will set the stage for the rest of his life. While still very young, the puppy takes his first step towards independence: weaning. It is during this period of time that your puppy starts to gain independence from his mother. The puppy no longer relies on his mother as his sole distributor of nutrition. This is where human intervention enters the equation to make sure the puppy grows and receives the best care possible. Your experienced breeder takes on a very important role full of responsibility at this stage.

Because puppies are in the care of their breeders until at least eight weeks old, we’ve put together a snapshot of developmental milestones your puppy experiences, starting at four weeks old.

Physical Changes
At four weeks, your puppy undergoes a major increase in growth. A puppy’s eyes open between two and four weeks old. Like human babies, puppies are born with bluish-gray eyes, but by this stage, their eyes settle into their adult eye color. Your puppy now has a full set of puppy teeth and can begin weaning. He starts to eat soft foods, and according to, some mother dogs will even regurgitate their food to give their puppies a soft form of nutrition. When not sleeping, your puppy spends most of his time eating and still needs food at least four times a day.

While your puppy’s motor skills are still limited at four weeks old, he shows the beginnings of playful behavior through his various human and canine interactions. Every breeder has certain practices for further preparing your puppy for socialization as an adult. A common practice among breeders is a method called “tolerance training,” which is a way of handling the puppy to make him more tolerant of future handling from new people. This training can be especially helpful to prime for your puppy for contact with young children who do not know their limits when it comes to handling living creatures. This training can include gently tugging on puppies’ tails, lightly squeezing their paws, turning the puppies over and rubbing their bellies.

A Typical Day
A four-week-old puppy spends most of his time sleeping and eating, but the rest of the time is spent exploring! He can stand up, walk around, wag his tail and test out little puppy barks. He interacts with his littermates and learns about his place in the world as a pup.

Between two and four weeks of age the puppy begins to gain independence from his mother, heightened senses and greater knowledge about his surroundings. The socialization that takes place naturally between him and his littermates and his increased ability to observe his surroundings will give him a good foundation for a healthy and happy future.

5 French Bulldog Facts You Should Know

What has big bat ears, a small body and a smushy, wrinkly face? That’s the French Bulldog, #14 on our list of most popular dog breeds! It’s not a surprise that the Frenchie is playful and energetic, but there are other facts about this trendy breed that might surprise you.

1. One is an award-winning actress.
In ABC’s Modern Family, Jay and Gloria own a French Bulldog named Stella. Brigitte, the dog who plays Stella, is the first French Bulldog to win a Golden Collar award. She beat out dog performers from Chelsea Lately, Hot in Cleveland, Entourage, and Suburgatory. She also beat out the only human competitor, Jason Gann, the star of Wilfred.

2. They’re not from France.

Despite their name, Frenchies are not originally from France—they come from England. Unsurprisingly, the ancestor of the French Bulldog is the English Bulldog. However, the breed’s popularity in France grew once Englishmen brought the dog there during the Industrial Revolution.

3. They like to be heard.

Frenchies aren’t big barkers, but they’ll make a range of other sounds to get your attention. They like to “talk” and might even “sing” along with you to a song. It’s a unique part of their endearing personality.

4. They’re adored by celebrities.

As the popularity of French Bulldogs rises, so does the number of celebrities who own them. Some famous owners of the Frenchie include Victoria Beckham, Lady GaGa, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

5. Their ears sparked debate.

Like their relative the English Bulldog, Frenchies originally had the same “rose-shaped” ear, but American breeders preferred the distinct bat-shape. American fanciers remained adamant in that the breed standard of the dog should have bat ears, forming the French Bulldog Club of America in order to reinforce this rule.

What do you think is the best feature of the Frenchie? Tell us below!

All About Designer Dog Breeds

Hear a kind of dog with a funny or unique name lately? It’s probably a “designer breed,” also known as a hybrid of two different dog breeds. The first generation of designer dogs are developed by crossing two purebreds, and the offspring of these crosses go by the same name. For example, the parents of a Goldendoodle can either be a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, or two Goldendoodles. Most designer breeds were developed in the early 2000’s and have become increasingly popular since then by serving different purposes. Learn more about 10 of our favorite designer dogs, below!

1. Goldendoodle

The Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. The breed hybrid was developed in the 1990’s to have the friendly, energetic nature of a Golden Retriever and the allergy-friendly coat of a Poodle and has since become one of America’s most popular dogs.

2. Labradoodle

Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. Developed in Australia in the late 1980’s, this breed hybrid continues to gain popularity for its easy trainability and outgoing personality. They were originally bred as allergy-friendly aids to the blind, and they are now a favorite companion dog among many North American homes.

3. Maltipoo

This popular mix known as the Maltipoo is a combination of a Maltese and a Poodle. The breed was specially created to be a small-sized companion dog with an allergy-friendly coat. They are clever and quick to learn, and make great watch dogs, often barking at anything suspicious in sight! The Maltipoo will charm your socks off, and then curl up on your feet to keep your toes warm.

4. Cockapoo

The Cockapoo is made by breeding a Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. This breed is one of the older “designer” breeds, likely resulting from an accidental breeding in the 1960’s. Cockapoos are people-oriented, compassionate, intelligent and make excellent pets for families with children. They are prized for their intelligence, low-shedding coat and easygoing nature.

5. Frenchton

The Frenchton is a mix between a French Bulldog and a Boston Terrier, but unlike other designer dog breeds which are half one breed and half another, Frenchtons are 75 percent French bulldog and 25 percent Boston Terrier. This dog was developed in the 1990’s to create a healthier, more energetic breed than its parent breeds. These dogs are friendly, loving and intelligent, and are well suited for apartment living.

6. Morkie

The Morkie is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. Both parent breeds are known for having a lot of personality, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Morkie does as well! They love to play and exercise, and are eager to please their owners. As long as they have a lap to sit on, they do equally well in apartments or larger living spaces.

7. Pomsky

A cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, the Pomsky has achieved rapid popularity in recent years. Usually active and energetic, this rarer designer breed tends to be highly intelligent, loving, playful and self-assured. Pomskies can also make great guard dogs, like both of their parent breeds. The appearance and size of a Pomsky can vary greatly, but very often they look like miniature Huskies.

8. Puggle

The Puggle is a cross between a Beagle and a Pug. Originating in the 1980s, Puggles combine the Beagle’s boundless energy and the Pug’s warm, loving personality. These dogs also have the Beagle’s incredible sense of smell and desire to track, and the Pug’s slightly pushed-in face. They vary in color and size, but are consistently popular family dogs and easy to take care of and train.

9. Shihpoo

This crossbreed is a mix between a Shih-Tzu and a Poodle. Shihpoos are very loving and playful, and get along very well with other pets and children. Also known as “Shoodles,” these are easy to train, intelligent dogs that do well in any size home. The appearance of a Shihpoo may vary, but this dog consistently has a cute, alert expression and a devoted, people-oriented personality.

10. Aussiedoodle

The Aussiedoodle is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle. Each of those parent breeds is considered one of the more intelligent breeds, so crossing the two makes for a super-smart pup! Aussiedoodles are wonderful for families with small children, but watch out: they sometimes bump into children with the intent to “herd” them! While Aussiedoodles love to be active, they are just as happy curling up at your feet as they are happy playing outside.

These are just 10 of the many adorable designer breeds out there. Do you have a favorite designer dog that didn’t make the list?

3 Reasons to Thank Dog Moms This Mother’s Day

Mothers are our everything, raising their children with endless love, care and compassion. While their children are of a different species, dog moms also deserve recognition for the time and devotion they put into raising their fur babies. This Mother’s Day, let’s look at the top three reasons for celebrating our fabulous dog moms!

Reason 1: Unconditional Love
There’s no love as unconditional as that between a mother and her child. Except for maybe, the love of a dog mom for her precious pup. A dog mom will see past her fur baby’s flaws and love her dog simply for being her faithful companion. Through all the messy accidents, chewed up socks and stubborn moments, a good dog mom will always stand by her pup. Many human relationships cannot boast the same kind of pure, long lasting love.

Reason 2: Responsibility
Whether you’re a mother to a human or a canine, you’re responsible for the welfare of a living, breathing creature who depends on you for survival. Your presence means the world, and no one knows how to take care of your baby like you do. Dog moms want the best for their pup, and will be there through sickness and in health. Many dog moms will invest in dog insurance to protect their pup’s health, training classes to improve their pup’s behavior, and doggy daycare for times when Mommy can’t be around. Owning a dog is like working a second job, and it takes a special kind of person to take on that level of responsibility.

Reason 3: Give and Take
From the moment your puppy arrives home, you will have to give, give and give. This often starts with putting in time for training. Housetraining a dog is much like potty training a child—both instances require a lot of patience and encouragement. Much of your life with your pup will consist of obedience training, teaching right from wrong and offering guidance every step of the way. A dog mom will give her all to her fast-growing pup, expecting nothing but love in return, and still, her dog will reciprocate with affection, quality time and lessons of her own. Not only are there proven human health benefits to owning a dog, but your pup can also teach a thing or two to other members of your household. The best types of relationships, after all, involve some give-and-take.

Who said Mother’s Day is only for the caretakers of humans that walk on two legs? This Mother’s Day, take a moment to recognize the super dog moms for all they do too! And if you’re a dog mom, give yourself a pat on the back—thanks to you, the life of a pawsome pup could not be better.

Puppyhood Illnesses: What to Watch Out For

Your puppy’s first year is sure to be filled with high energy, cuddles and wet kisses, but because of your pup’s still-developing immune system, he is more vulnerable to sickness than an older dog. It’s important to keep a watchful eye out for symptoms such like coughing, diarrhea, and digestive distress that could point to illness. Here are a few common puppyhood illnesses to watch out for.

Parvovirus, also known as “parvo,” has gained notoriety in the dog world for being the most common infectious dog disease in the U.S. The illness often results in hospitalization and is contracted through contact with contaminated feces or unvaccinated dogs. Symptoms of parvo include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. While it can be a serious and extremely contagious virus, parvo is completely preventable with a vaccine and all PuppySpot puppies are vaccinated for Parvo before they arrive at their forever homes.

One fairly common illness that you may encounter is the coccidia parasite. Coccidia are single-celled organisms that can infect a puppy or adult dog’s intestinal tract. It may sound scary, but it is generally mild and easily treatable. Like many puppy illnesses, the main symptom is diarrhea. It is important to bring your puppy in to the vet any time he displays signs of digestive distress to ensure prompt treatment. This will also help prevent the problem from spreading to other pets that your pup may encounter.


Giardia is a single-cell parasite that frequently infects the intestines of puppies. While giardia is rarely serious, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms in dogs such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and overall poor condition. Though these symptoms are concerning for any dog owner, PuppySpot Veterinary Consultant Dr. Brandon Sinn says “this is not a scary illness as dogs and cats can get this and recover relatively easily and lead normal lives.” Since giardia is spread through contaminated water, owners should make sure their dog’s drinking water is clean and their environment free from feces.


Heartworm affects dogs in all 50 states as well as internationally, and can be difficult to treat. Dogs do not typically show any symptoms from heartworms until the parasites have moved to their lungs, which will cause the dog to start coughing. Heartworm can be very serious, so it is important to get your pup immediate treatment if he or she gets sick. Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes and can be prevented by giving your pup regular tick, mosquito, and flea repellent treatments.


Distemper in dogs is often mistaken for a “cold,” but it is actually not normal for a dog to have nose mucus, sneezing and eye discharge. It’s important to consult a veterinarian if your dog shows these symptoms and to provide comfort until the illness passes. The good news is that the vaccine for distemper is highly effective, and is administered before your PuppySpot puppy arrives home.

No one wants to see their precious pup come down with an illness, but with early prevention and treatment, there is nothing to worry about. Awareness and proactive intervention are key to keeping your pup healthy and happy for years to come.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Labradoodle

They’re furry with a funny name, and they’re #13 on PuppySpot’s list of most popular dog breeds! We’re talking about Labradoodles, the “designer dog” cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. Developed in Australia in the late 1980’s, this breed hybrid continues to gain popularity for its easy trainability and outgoing personality. Below are 5 facts you need to know about Labradoodles!

1. They’re a good choice for people with allergies.

While Labradoodle fur varies from dog to dog, the hybrid tends to be a good choice for those with allergies to shedding dogs. Because of its Poodle-like fur, Labradoodles hardly shed and are virtually hypoallergenic.

2. They serve a special purpose.
The Australian Guide Dog Association first bred Labradoodles in 1989 as an allergy-friendly seeing eye dog. Their smart, social nature and low-shedding coats make them perfect for visually-impaired people who suffer from pet allergies.

3. They have good genes.
As a cross between two different breeds, Labradoodles have a healthy genetic pool of variation. According to, first generation (F1) crosses (the product of a Labrador Retriever and Poodle) have the highest “hybrid vigour,” which is the idea that the first generation offspring are healthier than each of their individual parent lines.

4. No two Labradoodles are alike.
Since Labradoodles are not purebreds, the characteristics of any one Labradoodle cannot be predicted. A first generation Labradoodle may look more like its Poodle parent or its Labrador Retriever parent, and may possess any variation of personality or genetic qualities from either of its parents. These qualities become more consistent as Labradoodles are bred between each other.

5. They love the water.

Labradoodles don’t mind getting their paws wet. In fact, they love to play around in the rain, jump in puddles and go swimming, too.

Learned something new about the doodle? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Why Do Dogs Lick? Your Pup’s Wet Kisses Defined

A signature characteristic dogs are known for is their long, slobbery tongue. But, there’s more to a dog’s licker than just lapping up water and tasting kibble. Dogs lick for all sorts of interesting reasons. Read on to find out what your dog’s licking means, and just how much licking is too much.

Sensing the World
Dogs lick as just another way to get to know their surroundings. The same way they use their sense of smell as a way of getting information, dogs also use taste to learn a bit more about the world around them. They might lick your face to get a taste of your salty skin, or they might find the taste of your lotion delicious after you hop out of the shower. While it might seem strange to us at first, licking is a natural way for our curious canines to explore their environment.

Natural Instinct
Both in the wild and in domesticated dogs, mother dogs will lick their babies right at birth. They lick to clean their puppies as well as to stimulate them to breathe and move. Newborn puppies will also lick their mother’s mouth as a sign of respect for the mother’s dominance. Puppies might lick their human superiors to show submissiveness. From an early age, licking plays an important role in a pup’s life.

Affection and Attention
Why else might dogs lick us? Because they love us, of course! Dogs lick their owners as a sign of affection, and because they get something in return by releasing feel-good endorphins in the process. And by showing affection, they know that they will get your attention in return. After all, you’re likely to reward your pup’s kisses with a loving caress, some friendly words or maybe even a treat. The gesture of licking can express an abundance of love.

Medical or Behavioral Issues
While you might see your pup’s licking as a cute way to say hello, too much or obsessive licking can point to an underlying problem. If your dog licks an object such as a piece of furniture repeatedly, it could point to an issue with anxiety or boredom. Dogs that compulsively lick their paws might be suffering from allergy itchiness. You should consult with a veterinarian if you notice your dog displaying these types of excessive licking.

When the Kisses Become Too Much
A few welcome-home licks are perfectly harmless, but if your dog’s licking becomes so excessive that it bothers you or your guests, there are things you can do to stop the behavior. Plus, considering where else your dog’s mouth has been, you might want to discourage your pup from licking your face. If your dog’s licking is mostly attention-seeking rather than indicative of an underlying issue, you can lessen the behavior by choosing not to reward your pup’s licking with praise or touch. Instead, leave the room for a few minutes each time the behavior occurs, and your dog will get the hint that licking does not equal something good in return.

Some dogs are huge lickers, while others reserve the lapping for their food and drink. What kind of licker is your dog?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is small, sassy and #12 on our list of most popular dog breeds! Chihuahuas are the tiniest dogs in the world, but they have big personalities and aren’t shy when they have something to say. These adorable pups are a family favorite for their loyalty and love of cuddles, but there’s a lot more to Chihuahuas than their reputations as lap dogs. Read on for 10 facts you need to know about the Chihuahua!

1. They vary in coat length and color.
Chihuahuas come in two varieties: smooth coat and long coat. They also come in a number of different colors and markings. One can look tan and short-haired, while another is red and furry.

2. They’re named after their place of origin.
Chihuahuas come from Mexico, specifically—the state of Chihuahua. Ancient paintings of Mexico display dogs that resemble the Chihuahua as we know it today.

3. They’re one of the oldest dog breeds.
Chihuahuas became registered with the AKC in 1904. They are descended from the Techichi, a breed indigenous to Mexico that existed as early as the 9th Century AD.

4. They live very long lives.
Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans of dogs, living 10-18 years on average. Some even go into their 20’s!

5. They like the limelight.

You’ve probably seen this feisty breed on television and in movies. Before her passing in 2009, a Chihuahua named Gidget graced our TV screens with her role as the “Taco Bell Chihuahua.” This same dog also made appearances in Legally Blonde 2 and a GEICO commercial. All those roles from just one Chihuahua!

6. They were once considered sacred.
In the Toltec and Aztec cultures of modern-day Mexico, Chihuahuas were regarded as holy and even mummified with their owners with the belief that they would help their owners reach the afterlife safely (Totally Chihuahuas).

7. Their anatomy is similar to a human baby’s.

Both humans and Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot on the skull called a molera. Unlike humans, however, many Chihuahuas maintain their moleras throughout their lives. Don’t poke a Chihuahua’s head!

8. They have two different head shapes.

Speaking of skulls, Chihuahuas can have one of two different head shapes: deerhead and applehead. Applehead is the breed standard accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

9. They’re big brained.

Relative to their body size, Chihuahuas have the largest brains of any dog breed. Their big brains result in their high intelligence and easy trainability. They can even be trained to be service dogs.

10. They make great watchdogs.
Intensely loyal to their owners, Chihuahuas will act contrary to their small sized bodies by going to great lengths to protect their family members. This includes barking to alert their owners when a stranger comes to the door.

Are you a Chihuahua fan? Tell us why in the comments below!

What to Do If You Find a Tick on Your Dog

Ticks season is coming up; are you prepared? Ticks are a nuisance, but they also pose a danger to you and your pets when they carry diseases, like Lyme disease. If you suspect your dog has a tick, don’t panic. We’ve got the tips to help you deal with these pesky arachnids (that’s right, they’re related to spiders!) and keep them far away from your precious pup.

Know the Signs
The first thing you’ll need to know is how to determine if your dog has a tick. You may see them in your dog’s fur, or they may drop off in the house, but sometimes they can be hard to spot. It’s always a good idea to thoroughly check your dog for ticks any time they’ve been running in tall grass or sniffing about in the underbrush. Ticks are attracted to a dog’s furry coat, so seeing a tick in your surroundings means it’s worth taking a closer look at your pup. Other signs your dog may have had a tick bite include an otherwise unexplained fever, small scabs, or frequent head-shaking, which could indicate a tick (or other problems) in your dog’s ears.

Removing the Tick
One classic but misguided piece of advice is to hold a flame to the tick. We do not recommend this, as it could cause the tick to burrow further under the dog’s skin and could also hurt your pup in the process.

Tick removal can be done at home or with the help of a veterinarian.  The best way to remove a tick is using a specific tool designed for tick removal, although you can also use tweezers if you are gentle. Put on protective gloves and be prepared with some rubbing alcohol for cleaning the bite and a jar to keep the tick in until you can take your pup to the vet.

Using your tick-removal tool (or tweezers), grasp the tick as close to its head as possible and gently twist it to encourage the tick to let go. Once you’ve released the tick, get it immediately into that jar and seal it up tight. This way, if your dog does show signs of illness later, you can take the tick with you to the vet to test for tick-borne illnesses. Keep an eye on your pup for the next few days and check the bite location for swelling or redness, which are signs of infection.

The high season for ticks is spring and summer and they thrive in tall grasses and shrubby areas. You can decrease tick populations in your yard by mowing regularly and keeping your yard free of their favorite types of habitats.

If your pup spends a lot of time outdoors in the summer months it’s best to check them for ticks every day. Ticks can stay on a dog for several hours before latching on, and most tick-borne diseases can be avoided as long as the tick is removed within 12 hours of the initial bite. Many flea medications such as Frontline Plus also deter ticks, and flea collar options like this one can further decrease the likelihood of a tick bite.

While annoying, most ticks are largely harmless, especially if you know what to look for and how to remove them.