It's common to see a dog hair bow on a Maltese, spaniel, or Yorkshire terrier because their long hair makes styling a breeze. There's no reason a short-haired Chihuahua can't join in on the fun. It just takes a little more effort. With some careful planning and a little creativity, your Chihuahua can have her choice of dog bows and turn some heads.
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Time for a bath
Give your dog a bath before you style her hair to get rid of dirt and excess oil. A few inches of lukewarm water is enough to get her nice and clean. Fill the tub first so she's not startled by the running water. Use a small amount of dog shampoo mixed with water to clean her body but avoid getting water in her ears or on her face. Use a damp washcloth to gently wipe her face clean and make sure you rinse all the shampoo off her body.
To prevent an accidental injury, keep one hand on your dog in case she decides to try to jump out early while she's wet and slippery. Try to make bath time a positive experience and reassure her if she's nervous (treats help too). If she gets anxious or agitated, slow down and give her a toy or a cuddle, and if she's still upset, wrap it up and style her hair another time. A Chihuahua's small body doesn't retain a ton of heat, so keep her warm until she's completely dry.
Adhesive dog bows
Adhesive dog bows are your best bet for a very short-haired Chihuahua. Don't use just any glue, though, as some types of glue cause skin irritation or intestinal blockage if eaten. You can find a variety of hair bows for dogs online or in stores, or you can make them yourself. Spring for high-quality bows that won't fall apart and become a snack for your dog.
Apply a drop or two of nontoxic hair glue to the back of a bow and press it into your dog's hair until it dries. After a few hours, when it's time for the bows to come off, use warm water to gently remove the glue. Better yet, if you only need the style to hold for a short time, a drop of corn syrup is a safe and effective alternative to make those dog bows look sweet enough to eat.
Clip-in hair bow
If your Chihuahua has a bit of hair to work with, clip-in hair bows just might work. Your dog might have some longer pieces of hair to work with in front of her ears. If your bows aren't already attached to your clips, get those ready first by either sliding half of the clip through the bow or using a little nontoxic glue to stick the bow onto the clip. Gently pinch a small amount of hair, slide it into the clip, and pinch to fasten it. If you're having a hard time getting the clip to grip the hair, a little drop of corn syrup might give it something to hold on to.
Elastic dog hair bow
Elastic hair bows are most often seen on dogs with longer hair, but you might be surprised by how little hair you need when you use this tip. It requires the help of a tool called a hemostat, which is a surgical tool that looks like a small pair of scissors without the blades or a pair of needle-nose pliers. Elastic dog bows are tricky to use on short hair because they never seem to grip the small tuft of hair no matter how many times you manage to twist that tiny elastic around it. Instead, place the elastic with the bow around the tip of your tool, twist, and repeat until the elastic is wrapped snugly around it.
Gather as many strands of your dog's hair as you can and widen the tip of your tool very carefully, just enough to push the hair through the elastic. Once it's through, slide the elastic off the tip so it quickly tightens around the hair and lands near the base. Make sure the elastic isn't pulling your dog's hair. Remember to remove all hair accessories when it's time for bed.