Caring For Your Chow Chow

Feeding

After the Chows is at least a year old it is fine for them to eat one meal a day. Although many choose to feed them twice a day. The feeding time should be consistent as much as possible to maintain proper health. For those who feed once a day it is recommended to feed in the evening, since an animal tends to settle down quietly to sleep after a meal.

When choosing the correct feed for your chow, it is important to remember that the Chow cannot be fed a lot of meat, if you do the dog tends to have skin problems. A good source of protein for them is eggs, rice, cottage cheese, and maybe a small spoonful of meat per meal (but don’t overdo it, it will be more harm than good). One of the most common is rice. Rice is very good for their digestive system and great for a shiny coat. A well recommended dog food is “Solid Gold” (proper vitamins and protein) for the adult. This should be mixed with warm water (no gravy stuff). If you do feed a meal dry, make sure it is a ready-expanded meal otherwise the gases produced in the stomach when the dry food becomes wet could well produce the very serious problem of torsion and cause death of the dog. Most of the food you find in supermarkets tend to be filled with preservatives and added products that can be bad for your dog in the long run. It is best to stick to the same general diet with minor variations (chicken or vegetable stew mixed with meal) to assure a good healthy dog.

The amount of food can vary from dog to dog. Most Chows eat about four cups of food a day, two in the morning and two in the evening or just four in the evening. what ever fits your own commitments. It is very important not to self feed, if the dog eats to much it’s stomach will bloat and can lead to death.

Raw hides are not recommended for any dogs at all. These have killed a good number of dogs due to the fact that the dog can not digest them properly, also from choking on them. If you wish to give the dog a something to chew on the best thing is a cow hoof (they like them better too!).

Clean fresh water should always be available, it’s good to have water inside and out side in case they get locked out for some reason.

Grooming

Regular grooming with the correct tool is important. You will need steel toothed comb with teeth spaced about an eighth of an inch apart. Stand the Chow on a sturdy, non slip table. First give the coat a lite brushing to remove dust, ect. If there are any tangles, be gentle. Whilst holding the coat flat with one hand, gently part the coat by brushing towards the head. Go over the whole Chow, starting from the head end and working systematically towards the tail. Remember to groom the chest and underbody gently. Pay particular attention with your comb behind the ears and under the forelegs, since knots will occur there unless you take care of it. Also use the comb for the short leg hair, remembering to comb the hocks up an upward direction. Check that the ears are clean, wiping if needed gently with a damp wash cloth. Make sure the eyes are wiped dry. The final finish is a brushing if the coat so that it lies in a tail to head direction enhancing its glamour.

Like other dogs, the Chow will shed twice a year and will also go into heavy shedding after whelping. Naturally, when the dog is shedding , grooming will need to be more frequent. Excerpt from “The Chow Chow”. Author Diana Phillips

Bathing

Bathing your Chow should not be undertaken too frequently. Unless required for a special reason, it is better not to bath you Chow more often than two or three times a year. An adult Chow outer coat should be harsh to the touch. Too much bathing takes oils the natural oils leaving is soft to the touch and floppy.

Special dog shampoos, including medicated ones, are easily obtainable. A tearless shampoo work real well. Stand you Chow on a rubber mat in the bath to prevent slipping. Wet him/her all over with warm water. Then shampoo, being very careful not to get it in his/her eyes or ears. Rinse thoroughly with warm water (be sure that there is no shampoo left when your done, otherwise you might have skin problems and “hot spots” can start) Wrap him/her in a towel and remove to a grooming table. Be sure that he/she is dry as can be before letting him/her outdoors. Excerpt from “The Chow Chow”. Author Diana Phillips

Heat Prostration

The Chow is subject to heat prostration if left in a hot closed-in area or the sun. They are particular bothered by extremely high humidity above 80 degrees. Never leave any dog in a car in hot weather. Symptoms of heat prostration are constant panting followed by heavy rasping breathing. If this does happen you must act in immediately ( it will be a matter of life or death), take your Chow into the bath tub with cool water (not ice water at first). Start pouring cool water over the Chow constantly and drop the temperature ever five minutes till the dog is recovered to normal. While cooling the Chow take his/her temperature every few minutes to monitor the cooling progress. After words keep the Chow in a cool area and let him/her rest.

If you need to travel with your Chow in hot weather the car should have air-conditioning. Do not take any unnecessary risk if it is real hot and humid when traveling. At home make sure that there are cool shady places for the Chow to rest. Also keep water bowls full all the time.

Care of the Veteran

The Chow is a slow maturing breed, coming to it’s best at around three to five years old. Many are still very active at twelve or more years old and they can live till fourteen or fifteen. Their eyes and ears may not perceive things as sharply as of old but, in appearance, a Chow does not usually go gray around the muzzle and the coat usually stays dense and thick. An older dog will be happier with two smaller feeds a day rather than one large one. Be watchful that he/she does not become wet, cold or chilled, since the blood circulation is now slower. As they age they seem to sleep more deeply and can become unaware that it is raining. Watch for any arthritic problems and being patient if he is slowing down. Whilst he still need companionship of the dogs he/she is used to, do not let young ones tease him/her. Above all, give your veteran as much love and attention as always…. more, in fact, for he/she has been your loved pet for many years and needs to know that he/she is still important to you.


Always remember the well known maxim:

“A DOG IS FOR LIFE, NOT FOR CHRISTMAS.”
—Diana Phillips, The Chow Chow

39 Comments

  1. Reynaldo B. Gole Cruz on July 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Very helpful information.

  2. Lies Dobbelaere on October 11, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I heard that you can wash your ChowChow only once a year, is that true? Can you give me more information about this please?

  3. don alazo on March 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    bathing the chow 2 -3 times a year??? is that normal?
    how about in tropical countries like Philippines
    which is very hot during the summer time, it will stink!
    and it might die
    please give more
    info, thanks a lot.

  4. arlene c. hayes on March 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Greetings! Ive got an 11month female Chow that I love to pieces, and hate to admit Ive spoilt her but will make things right starting now because I dont want anything bad to happen to her! I’m talking about food – she wont have pellets (dog food) since she’s tasted human food. I give her quite a lot of chicken breast, and at the grocer’s i have them mince the neck so she has them ground w her rice… also, I chop a chicken bone to pieces or mash it -(she likes this a lot!). lastly, she adores powdered milk (Bear Brand) which she has daily (1 tsp in 1/5 cup water).
    Which among these are not good for her?
    Thank you so much!! Awaiting your reply.. 🙂

    • Lisa on January 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      You should NEVER give your dog a chicken bone, even if it is ground up. Chicken bones splinter and can get puncture their esophagus, small intestines or stomach, It can even go undigested and get caught in their colon.

      Please be a responsible pet owner. You are not doing them any favors.

      • Vincent Russo on July 4, 2018 at 8:44 am

        I stopped reading the article after I saw not to feed chow chows meat. And it reccomend dry dog food which is terrible for dogs. If anyone has Netflix watch petfooled and you will never feed your dog kibble ever again. I have my chow on a strictly raw meat and vegetables diet and he is the most healthy dog. The raw diet or BARF diets are the best for dogs especially chows which are at least 2000 year old breed and dog food didnt come out until the 1900s.

      • Vincent Russo on July 4, 2018 at 8:51 am

        Dogs can and easily digest raw chicken bones due to their low ph levels on the stomach the bones never make it to the internal organs. In fact it is very healthy to feed your dog raw chicken on the bone. I prefer drumsticks because it’s good for them to tear the meat off. Do research instead of making false claims and scaring people away from what is actually healthy for dogs. And not that processed junk pet food companies sell.

      • Alissa on November 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

        Raw chicken bones only. It is the cooked bones that splinter. Raw is very easy for them to chew and digest.

    • Ariadna on June 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Maybe trying to give her dog food with warm water mixed together. Maybe she’ll like it.

  5. Ingrid on January 1, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I have a very important question. I just got a Chow and I want to know if it’s a must that ALL dry food has to be mixed with warm water?! I used to have a French Papillon dog and he never had bloating problems. Of course, he didn’t like any dry dog food. He ate cooked food. Should I just be giving her cooked food?! Can they actually eat rice?
    I’m very co fused about how her diet should be.
    Right now she is on ANF, because that’s what she was given by her breeders. I researched this and it said its a grade 4 food. I want to feed her something even better, but was wondering if I should just go with cooked food and if so, how much and what should I be feeding my lil’ girl?

    I would greatly apprecite your help!

    Thanks!

  6. Ingrid on January 1, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I have a very important question. I just got a Chow and I want to know if it’s a must that ALL dry food has to be mixed with warm water?! I used to have a French Papillon dog and he never had bloating problems. Of course, he didn’t like any dry dog food. He ate cooked food. Should I just be giving her cooked food?! Can they actually eat rice?
    I’m very co fused about how her diet should be.
    Right now she is on ANF, because that’s what she was given by her breeders. I researched this and it saida grade 4 food. I want to feed her something even better, but was wondering if I should just go with cooked food and if so, how much and what should I be feeding my lil’ girl?

    I would greatly apprecite your help!

    Thanks!

  7. wanita on August 11, 2016 at 9:19 am

    hi you have said in your post that chows need feeding once per day.. then you go on to say they need feeding twice in the morning and twice in the evening.. this has left me very confused.

    • JH on May 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      The article says once a day (4 cups) or twice a day (2 cups, then 2 cups). I can see how this could be misread & misinterpreted, though.

    • Ariadna on June 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      I’m very confused too I feed my dog 2 tim s a day. Every time I give him about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dog food.

    • Jean simpson on July 31, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      feeding 4 times a day is for puppies. Older chow chow should be fed morning and evening.

  8. Lewis on January 7, 2017 at 8:05 am

    I have a chow for one year now and he was not used to being groomed.
    Should I saudade him ? He doesn’t like to be groomed.

    • Jessy on May 8, 2018 at 7:33 am

      I bought a kiddie pool & leashed my chow, walked him out when it was peak sun, after taking a walk, i let him run a little bit & when he was panting (just a little, i knew he was getting a little tired & slowing down) i then walked him to the kiddie pool(i filled it & had it in the shade on my patio before going out to my backyard). 1st he drank out of it, i think he saw it as a giant water bowl lol but i walked him closer & coached him to get in, i let him see a treat in my hands so he knew he had to get in to get the treat, so he did & he sat down in the water lol & 2 minutes inside the pool, he started to like that he was cooling down & got a treat so he laid down. It was fun because i took my time before i began washing him. I let him enjoy the water for a minute then after washing him took out the hose to rinse him off, by then he was fully engaged & fine with it all. Just take your time, all chows react differently, but they usually all don’t really like bath time lol And yes persuading is good, bribe em with a treat. Good luck

    • Sherlisa barrientos on October 25, 2020 at 10:34 pm

      Hi, i have chow and she’s 2 months and 3weeks i buy her today, can i feed her rice?

  9. Ricalyne Diego on March 5, 2017 at 4:14 am

    I have a chow. And I need help. What approach should I do to her? She’s being aggressive to think that she’s still 2months old. Should I spoil my pup? Need advice everyone. Thank you

  10. Ariadna on June 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Hi. I have a 8-10 month old male chow chow. He loves to play in the dirt and mud. Specially when it rains. Sometimes he just stands there in the rain. After that he STINKS! Can I please get help on this? Do I really just need to shower his once a year. That’s a bit too little isn’t it?

    • Sarah on January 5, 2020 at 7:39 am

      Bathing 2-3 times a year is ok with medicated shampoo anymore than this amount can cause skin problems, my chow is 2 years it’s the first time iv owned one and iv come across many issues with her including her skin an diet, she’s severely allergic to rice so she has pasta an sardines now due to her food allergies that’s all she has, I wasnt aware they could have chicken as there kidneys struggle to filter byproduct proteins but I will be trying her with chicken from now on, she is very playful and will tolerate been groomed if she’s in the mood, she’s never become aggressive when been groomed if she’s not in the mood she just walks away, she does like to hold my hand or my arm in her mouth she doesn’t bite whilst doing it it’s like it brings her comfort she loves cuddles an attention an loves to lay on my knee on sofa probably not like other chows but she has been treat like my baby not spoilt with food treats but spoilt with love an attention an honestly she’s grown into a perfect personality I hope my experience shared has been useful to other owners I would be happy to hear anyone elses experiences or opinions on this an also happy to answer any questions if I can thanks for reading

    • Jean on July 31, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      Rinse him well with garden hose; instead of using shampoo that will take the oils out of his fur. 3 times a year is fine.

  11. SAW on July 5, 2017 at 11:01 am

    My chow chow (runt) turns 17 this month. She’s mostly blind, but I think she can make out faint light…and she’s mostly deaf, although I contend some of it may be “selective hearing.” I can’t seem to settle on a good, dry, small kibble. I’ve had her on Royal Canin…Blue Wilderness…and a few others. And I do mix her dry w/wet (2 tablespoons) to help her process the food as she’s mostly toothless, now, too. Any ideas? It must be made in the USA, and preferably as natural as possible. – Thanks

    • Lai dalusung on September 11, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      I have chow chow whose 5 months old. What is the good dog food to him , can i fed him a rice? I want to take him a shower but he is unquite when you touch him.

    • jean on July 31, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      boiled chicken with rice. Do not fry or bake the chicken they dont need the grease. For diarrhea I use canned pumpkin mixed in .

  12. katie on September 15, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    hello! I recently adopted a 4 yr old chow chow retriever mix and she is dominantly chow! i want to give her the best care possible. with this research, is there a specific rice you recomend? and I have learned about chow chow possible health issues and I was wondering if anyone on the forum could recommend vitamins or just ANYTHING that can help prevention of all of the diseases, eye problems, and other things that can go wrong!
    concerned new chow chow mommy

  13. feb on November 2, 2017 at 7:51 am

    my chow chow had colds and bloodstool.what can i do?

  14. spikedoggie on January 13, 2018 at 1:46 am

    All breeds of dogs are prone to an array of health problems, and so too with Chow Chows. Of them, hip dysplasia, luxating patella and entropion are the commonest. But the chances of your pup not being dysplastic or having a mild problem with it are minimized if you buy him from a registered breeder who Xrays the hips of animals and examines them for dysplasia before they can be bred.

  15. Gilbert joe Oller on February 12, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Hi there! I have a male chow 3months old but it is only 3kilo on weight, can you please advise me what kind of diet can i give since 3 months old suppose to be on 8-9 kilograms? Thanks…

  16. Angela Lambert on February 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    My chow loves to roll…. all the time on every surface and then he smells!!! He is brushed regularly but we need to bath him once a month, otherwise the smell is unbearable.

  17. Jessy on May 8, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Oh my Lord, poor baby. I’d definitely recommend boilded chicken cut up & mixed with rice. Its very soft to eat, super easy on digestion, easy to chew & swallow & they seem to love it as soon as they smell it even if she cant see it, she’ll definitely smell & taste it. It wont cause any unnecessary gases or pains in their tummy.

  18. Mary Ann on June 9, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I have a question. My daughter has a chow and he’s is 14 months now. He has constant diarrhea and it’s really bad, yellow in color. She’s had him to the vet, they’ve kept him in the vet hospital and they can’t find anything wrong with him. He’s up to date on all shots. We’ve tried everything, even the boiled chicken and rice diet. He is losing weight and she is just devastated. Has anyone else had this experience and can anyone offer us some advice? Thank you. Mary

  19. Vincent Russo on July 4, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I stopped reading the article after I saw not to feed chow chows meat. And it reccomend dry dog food which is terrible for dogs. If anyone has Netflix watch petfooled and you will never feed your dog kibble ever again. I have my chow on a strictly raw meat and vegetables diet and he is the most healthy dog. The raw diet or BARF diets are the best for dogs especially chows which are at least 2000 year old breed and dog food didnt come out until the 1900s.

  20. Marie Tan on July 20, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Good morning, I have a chow chow 9months its almost 4 days that shes not eating anything. I don’t know what to do, already tried a lot of food but she still not eating. please help.

  21. Andrea on January 6, 2019 at 10:18 am

    What’s the best type of harness to walk my chow chow with? She is almost 5months and weighs 11.5kg so she pulls hard.

  22. Alba Kambouris on December 23, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Does anyone know the cause of my chow willow having the runs, we gave her the same food the breeders were using, we are introducing him to artists supplements but she had the runs of and on since before.

  23. Adaobi Udoye on January 20, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Can you feed your dog raw snail?

  24. Ayokunnumi A. E on January 23, 2020 at 2:20 am

    Wow! Very insightful comment, practically addressing the need for pet parents to ensure that their canine buddies are exposed and given the right meals.

    I’ll like to add that given the bond between pet parents and their pets, they are tempted to let their pets eat part of their meals. While the intent isn’t questionable, the consequence sometimes is. Animals are composed of a different anatomical structure with different nutritional requirements.

    In that regards, be certain that whatever you feed your dog, isn’t toxic and harmful to his health.

    Great job once again!

  25. Adaobi Udoye on January 27, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    Can dogs feed on raw snail.it is a healthy source of iron

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