Can Chihuahuas help ‘Heal’ Asthma?

….Well, I guess everybody here knows we now have our longed for Chihuahua….

But I’ve been totally bowled over by the amount of information-well, heresay mainly, or folk lore if you like, that I’ve been reading lately, saying that Chihuahuas can actually help ‘heal’ people with asthma.

Sounds completely intriguing for somebody like me who suffers to such an extent with asthmatic lung disease, and I hasten to add, this was not why we wanted a Chihuahua and actually, I’d never heard any of these reports before now!

Whilst there is of course NO MEDICAL OR SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE to support such claims, we have had our little girl for just over 3 weeks and I can already attest to feeling ‘better’ in many ways-some by chance, physically, but especially emotionally.

  • I spend a lot of  time stuck resting indoors with my illness-something that in turn can and does get me down.
  • My Chihuahua is very good company and an excellent playmate and does not require me to use a lot of puff playing ‘fetch’ with her at the other end of the room.
  • Chihuahuas are cold by nature, and like to keep themselves close and snuggled up to their human companions at all times. This is so gently comforting and forgiving and purely unconditional.
  • I no longer feel lonely when Julian is at work, or isolated when my chest is rather off or my head is exploding. She doesn’t even flinch when I cough-and boy do I cough!
  • When she lies on my chest for a cuddle, the warmth from her tummy is quite incredible, like a personal living hot water bottle. This is 100% soothing for my aching, coughing, spasmy asthma ridden chest muscles.
  • She is giving me something to focus on besides my health issues. This has had an immediate calming effect on the both of us.
  • She does so many funny things I can’t help but smile even when I’m feeling really grotty.
  • She is the most incredible source of emotional support for me-already!

Of course, whether we sufferers really admit to it or not, Asthma has a very strong psychological weight on its causes. And just as pets can help psychologically by giving and receiving love, they might help in dealing with asthma. Chihuahuas are just so loyal to their owners.

As far as Julian is concerned, and he has had a horrible long lasting virus of unknown origin since last summer and has been feeling so very anxious and totally rotten, I can already see a difference in his wellbeing. Again, nothing scientific, but I do know that his anxiety has already decreased, so however/whatever- it works!!!

Bizarrely, this will the first Easter break in over 10 years that we have not been planning a trip to Palm Springs, California. And Jeez, do I feel relaxed about that. When there were just the two of us and of course, we have no children, life had become one great big selfish existence. But now we have somebody else to think about all the time instead. It is such a breath of fresh air! Plus, it’s been one totally big bad Winter health wise for the both of us and this dog has got us firmly grounded in one place caring for her and not just routinely and expensively travelling half way across the globe. Yes we need a holiday, but we are going to have a few days break here somewhere we can take her with us, like a proper Family. We will all be able to bond, love, heal and grow in strength on home turf. Julian and I just aren’t up to it and Anna-Bell needs us at the moment, 100%. In that respect, she IS curing us of lots of our stresses and strains. Planning and undertaking foreign travel is not for the faint hearted, and we both feel pretty awful at the moment. God moves in mysterious ways, I always say.

Did you know: Even though Chihuahua’s are the most hypoallergenic of all dog breeds as they have so little hair, no dander and shed very little, if at all, in an English climate, they do sometimes have respiratory problems and may make wheezing sounds similar to asthmatics. How funny is that! Ours does, and it takes us by surprise-maybe she is just copying me, who knows?! We keep remarking she sounds coldy like me-and she snores!

Whatever: Whilst our little Chihuahua makes an excellent pet and a loyal friend for an often housebound asthmatic like me, she is not a substitute for my long-term control medications, quick-relief medications, allergy treatments, and steroids! All of which are in my daily arsenal for asthma care and avoidance! Remember there is no medical or scientific proof to the above.

….I leave you to sum up your own thoughts. There is loads on the www, it floored me that such a little dog could be so important and so healing: something first documented by the Aztecs. Amen to that….


11 Responses to Can Chihuahuas help ‘Heal’ Asthma?

  1. Clarebear says:

    My little doggy really has helped me! He has helped me lose weight, start exercising and just made me feel better in myself, which in turn has improved my asthma. He can be a pain at times but I can’t imagine life without him now.

  2. Steve says:

    Wow Those ears! How could you not love a creature like that. He’s your version of my Winston…a great stress reliever!

    • I totally agree-wow she hears stuff we don’t even know exists! She is really helping J got through quite an anxious time with his health at the moment too. He is equally besotted and she has turned out to be quite a Daddy’s girl! x

  3. Sara C. says:

    She’s ADORABLE…I’m glad she’s having such a great affect on your home. AND the fact that she’s hypoallergenic is great…if we were ever to get a dog, we’d go hypoallergenic…as I’m allergic.

    I can tell you’re in total love with her. Congrats on the new member of your family.

    • Aw, thanks, Sara. And there really aren’t any shedding hairs to notice either. We are happy to let her burrow down the bed in the morning-neither of us have itched, scratched or sneezed. She’s a complete joy! x

  4. Asthmagirl says:

    I could not agree more. I have the three Chihuahuas and have just as much asthma as ever. However, it’s undeniable that Chihuahuas are very cuddly and when you’re down with your lungs, they’re incredibly cuddly and comforting.
    The Chihuahua cough is actually a spasm in their soft palette and particular to the breed. When they get too excited or happy, their palette (back of the throat) spasms and they make a sound that is similar to a honk or a cough. All three of my girls do this. I’ve found a little soft throat massage helps a little.
    And my little Madeline, who looks a lot like Anna Bell snores like a demon! How funny!

    • Wow, AG, your 3 Brute squad members are all fabulous. Such a difference between them all too. Thanks so much for explaining about her occasional honk! It took us quite by surprise when she first did it. I have noticed it doesn’t cause her any distress and she is usually going bonkers crazy running around having fun when she honks!
      I’ll keep checking your blog for pictures, too! xx

  5. Elisheva says:

    While there may not have been a scientific correlation made between Chihuahuas and asthma, there is scientific proof that pets aid in healing. My mom used to take our long departed dog Mickey (who was a Cardigan Welsh Corgi) to a pet therapy program at a local hospital. He had to get trained for it and pass some tests and stuff. But he was loved by the whole hospital. When he died, we got cards of condolences from the whole Pet Pals crowd.

    You’re going to take her with on trips?? We’ve never taken any of our dogs anywhere. You just get someone to look after her. Taking dogs back and forth from the US to the UK is very problematic…

  6. Pet Pals are great. I know Steve met a dog on that programme when he was last incarcerated. Such a comfort when you’re unwell to stroke a gentle loving dog. How lovely you were involved with that programme.

    We are not taking her to the US, it requires quarantine and small dogs don’t do well in quarantine. But we will get her rabies vaccinated this summer and she will then be able to get a European pet passport after a further 6 months which means we could take her to France on the tunnel or ferry. We’d like to do that, a week in a cottage on the French coast would be fun one day in the very distant future when she is much older and settled. Maybe next summer when the olympics are in town. Avoidance tactic! xx

  7. fun photo says:

    fun picture…

    […]Can Chihuahuas help ‘Heal’ Asthma? « My Musical Lungs[…]…

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