Chihuahuas are known for having tiny bodies, big eyes, and even bigger ears that point straight out of the sides of their heads.
But when you bring a little chi puppy home from the breeder, you might notice that their ears aren’t always pointy.
This is because chihuahuas are born with floppy ears that don’t stand up until they get a little older.
Why do Chihuahua ears stand up like that?
The process of a chihuahua’s ears standing up is natural, but many new pet owners end up wondering exactly how long it will take.
Don’t be afraid; your puppy’s ears will stand up as soon as they’re big enough to hold them aloft.
When Will Your Little Pup’s Chihuahua Ears Stand Up Straight?
All chihuahuas are born with floppy ears.
As the puppy gets older, their ears start to stand up straighter. This usually happens when the puppy is about 5-6 weeks old.
Some puppies take longer to develop, but most chihuahua ears are straight by the time the dog is 6 months old.
Another way to tell if your chihuahua’s ears are about to stand up is to see if they have finished teething.
Chihuahua ears require calcium to hold them straight, but puppies without teeth usually can’t eat calcium-rich foods.
Once your puppy starts eating solid food, you should see its ears stand up within a matter of weeks.
How to Help Your Chihuahua Puppy’s Ears Stand Up Sooner
Some people see that their chihuahua has floppy ears and start wondering if there’s anything they can do to help.
Although there isn’t a lot you can do, there are a few steps you can take to help your puppy’s development.
DOs for Straighter Chihuahua Ears
Helping any puppy grow up faster is all about treating them right.
These tips will help make sure that your chihuahua gets its pointy ears at a healthy and natural age.
Feed Healthy Foods
The cartilage that holds up your chihuahua’s ears needs calcium and protein in order to grow properly.
You can give your little puppy a head start by feeding them a balanced diet full of cooked low-fat meats, calcium-rich foods like cheese and yogurt, and fibrous vegetables like green beans.
Consider replacing their dog food with home-cooked meals at least once a day.
Remember to check with your vet to make sure you’re feeding an appropriate amount of the healthiest foods.
Give Ear Massages
Some breeders recommend improving the growth of your chihuahua’s ears by gently massaging them at the base.
The idea is that this will help the muscles become stronger and develop more quickly.
Although there is no research to confirm this effect, the truth is that giving puppies ear massages is a great way to make sure that they will let you give them ear exams and medicine later on in their lives.
Once a day, pick your puppy up and gently rub their ears at the tips and at the base.
If you do this carefully, your puppy will become used to the feeling of someone touching their incredibly sensitive ears.
See Your Vet
If your puppy’s ears haven’t stood up by the time they are 3 months old, consider taking them in to see your vet.
Floppy ears can occasionally be caused by nutritional deficiencies or other problems that can be treated if they are noticed early enough.
Let your vet know that you’re worried about the status of your chihuahua’s ears, and they’ll tell you whether you have anything to be concerned about.
DON’Ts for Straighter Chihuahua Ears
Some people aren’t satisfied with the normal tricks to help their puppy’s ears stand up straighter.
Unfortunately, the tactics that they use instead can be downright dangerous.
Whatever you do, make sure to avoid these methods, as they can cause serious harm to your little pup.
Taping the ears
Taping is a popular way used to straighten chihuahua puppy ears, but the truth is that no evidence has been found that this method actually works.
In fact, taping your puppy’s ears tightly might actually damage them.
Even in the best-case scenario, your little puppy might not like you anymore after you’ve put a bunch of tape on their incredibly sensitive ears.
Over-massaging the ears
Putting too much pressure on a puppy’s ears always runs the risk of damaging them.
Although it’s fine to lightly massage the base of their ears, don’t try to force the ears to stand up straight.
Chihuahua puppies are very small, and they can’t handle nearly as much pressure as you might think.
Feeding calcium supplements
Many owners are tempted to feed their chihuahua calcium supplements to help their ears stand up faster.
Unfortunately, dogs are incredibly sensitive to the presence of calcium in their diet.
If you crumble a calcium pill into your puppy’s food bowl, there’s a very good chance that they could sustain immediate stomach damage.
In the long run, the presence of too much calcium might also cause a serious medical condition known as hip dysplasia.
To keep your puppy safe, make sure not to feed them any supplements without your vet’s direct recommendation.
What if Your Chihuahua’s Ears Never Stand Up?
Most chihuahuas have pointy ears, but that doesn’t mean that every member of the breed will share this feature.
Once in a while, a chihuahua is born with floppy ears that never stand up properly.
If your chihuahua is approaching a year old and its ears haven’t stood up yet, consider taking them to the clinic.
Your veterinarian will run tests to see if your pet has a nutritional deficiency.
They may also check your chihuahua’s ears for any damage at the base that might be causing the flop.
After these tests are completed, your vet will probably inform you that your chihuahua has naturally floppy ears.
This could be because your pet isn’t purebred, or it could simply mean that they were born with a slight genetic abnormality.
Either way, having floppy ears doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your pet; it just means that they have a special feature that none of their brothers and sisters share.
Whether your chihuahua’s ears stand up straight in the first few weeks or stay floppy after the first year, remember to love and treasure your pet.
A good dog is there to be your best friend and constant companion, no matter what their ears look like.