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The Surprising Reasons Why Chihuahuas Are So Expensive

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When you think of Chihuahuas, I’m sure you could think of a lot of words to describe them, but “expensive” is probably not a description that immediately comes to mind. After all, they’re the tiniest dog breed in existence and they generally cost very little to feed each month, making them an appealing choice for people who want to own a dog but can’t afford much.

I get messages from people every week asking me to find them a cheap or free chihuahua because they can’t afford much. I have to tell them that I don’t do that. I write about chihuahuas, I’m not a chihuahua broker and I don’t sell them or breed them.

I then tell them to look into a chihuahua rescue or their local shelter but many times they tell me that can’t afford the fees from those places either which are usually a few hundred dollars or less. I want to also tell them (but I’m too chicken) that if they can’t afford to buy or pay the fees to rescue a chihuahua, they probably can’t afford the costs involved in owning one

Although Chihuahuas can be an affordable breed to own, it’s important to understand why they can sometimes be expensive and take preventative measures to minimize potential costly issues as a Chihuahua owner.

adorable chocolate chihuahua puppy on white fluffy blanket

Buying from a reputable breeder is expensive!

If you want a purebred Chihuahua puppy, sure you probably could find a litter of Chihuahua puppies for sale for not much money, but buying a cheap purebred puppy could do you more harm than good.

Purebred puppies that cost a few hundred dollars or less do not always but generally come from backyard breeders, people who don’t put a lot of forethought into their dogs’ breeding but are simply into breeding dogs for a money motive.

Why should you care about your dog’s genetics rather than settling for any available puppy of your preferred breed?

Suppose one of your puppy’s parents had an impatient, moody temperament and a bite history. Suppose your puppy’s other parent was affected with a couple of the most common health issues to plague Chihuahuas. When you mate those two dogs together, you’re going to run the risk of ending up with a litter of puppies that aren’t healthy physically or mentally.

If you acquire a well-bred Chihuahua, the chances of your dog developing serious health or behavior issues are lower than if you bought from a breeder that was only in it for the money.

You can learn more about finding a reputable dog breeder here.

Small dogs seem particularly prone to dental problems.

Small dogs are often more likely to end up at the vet’s office for expensive dental procedures due to their small mouths. Dental issues can be costly and painful for your Chihuahua.

It’s important to take good care of your Chihuahua’s teeth by regularly brushing them and providing dental chews and chew toys. This can help prevent dental problems and save you money in the long run.

blond female veterinarian with braid holding fawn chihuahua

Baby animals often have to see the vet more regularly than adult animals do.

Puppy health problems can be a significant expense for new dog owners. Puppies are more prone to health issues than adult dogs, and may require more frequent visits to the vet for vaccinations, check-ups, and treatments.

Common puppy health problems include digestive issues, respiratory infections, and parasitic infections. While some of these issues can be prevented with proper care and nutrition, others may require expensive medical treatment.

It’s important for new puppy owners to budget for these potential expenses and to consider investing in pet insurance to help offset the cost of unexpected veterinary bills.

Lack of proper training and socialization will cost you!

It’s common for people to assume that smaller dogs are easier to own if you’re an inexperienced dog owner. While this can be true, a dog’s size is no substitute for properly educating yourself. If you acquire a dog, regardless of size or breed, and you know little to nothing about dogs and proper dog ownership, you will find yourself overwhelmed very quickly.

There is a reason why small dogs often get a bad reputation for being yappy, snappy little ankle biters. Many people that own small dogs make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need to take their dogs out for walks on a regular basis or that they don’t need to put much effort into training and socializing them, so not getting them out in public as much as they should.

finger in front of brown and white chihuahua puppy

If you don’t teach your small dog that you’re the boss and he is to mind you the first time every time, your small dog will assume the role of pack leader in ways that you’re not going to like.

One of the most common examples of this is his becoming overly protective of his primary caregiver. An overprotective dog will cost you very quickly, such as if he bites your child or your neighbor’s child for getting too close to you.

While small dogs may seem easier to train, Chihuahuas can be stubborn and difficult to train. Professional training can be expensive, and owners should also consider the time and effort required to train their Chihuahua.

It is normal for puppies to be destructive!

People that are new to the world of dog or puppy ownership are often unnerved by a puppy’s jumpy, nippy personality. A puppy can end up costing new owners way more than the new owners bargained for when they find that they have to repair a hole that the puppy tore in a shoe, replace expensive furniture that’s been chewed and shredded, or pay a few thousand dollars for emergency surgery because the puppy swallowed an inappropriate item.

If you educate yourself on appropriate training and management techniques prior to bringing your puppy home, you can greatly minimize the chances that your puppy will harm herself or your personal belongings.

Some examples of the best management techniques are crate training, muzzle training, and using belly bands or doggy diapers. Not all of these measures are necessary, but they can be helpful if needed in making your journey toward a potty-trained, well-mannered dog easier.

You can get some tips for training your puppy here.

The cost of Chihuahua food and supplies.

While Chihuahuas are generally inexpensive to feed, it’s worth noting that certain types of food and supplies can be expensive.

For example, high-quality dog food, toys, and grooming supplies can add up over time. It’s important to budget for these expenses when deciding to own a Chihuahua.

The cost of Chihuahua health issues.

While you touched on the cost of dental issues, it’s worth noting that Chihuahuas can also be prone to other health issues such as luxating patellas, hypoglycemia, and heart problems. These health issues can be expensive to treat and should be taken into consideration when deciding to own a Chihuahua.

The cost of Chihuahua grooming.

Chihuahuas require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and clean. This can include regular baths, nail trims, and teeth brushing. Owners should consider the cost of grooming supplies and professional grooming services when deciding to own a Chihuahua.

tan and white chihuahua puppy being held

As I close this out, I want to say that I adore the chihuahua breed and I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from getting one. I just want folks to be aware of the costs involved.

Did I miss any reasons why Chihuahuas can be expensive dogs to own? Do
you have any suggestions for how to make small dog ownership as pleasant
and as affordable as possible? Let me know in the comments!

The Real Costs of Owning a Chihuahua: A Friendly Guide

Cathy signature with cartoon chihuahua
blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.

Doreen Cherf

Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

Cathy , thank you for all you do . Wishes of good health to you .

Cathy Bendzunas

Thursday 4th of May 2023

Thanks Doreen!


Friday 28th of April 2023

Have a mixed breed Chi that is the love of our life! Came from a puppy pound in St Louis and sent to the Denver Dumb Friends League with 100 other dogs rescued from that horrible place. She's intelligent, affectionate and loyal. We couldn't ask for a better dog!

Marcia Musial

Saturday 22nd of April 2023

Thank you so, so much for taking the time to create this newsletter. We’ve been Chi parents for 36 years and I still learn something new when I read this newsletter. I like the photos too🙂. Enjoy your nice weather. It’s beautiful here, so sunny but we’re still unseasonably cold 😔 (northeast PA). Thank you again, take care and many blessings to you and your Chis.

Cathy Bendzunas

Saturday 22nd of April 2023

Thank you so much Marcia! I'm so glad you enjoy the newsletter!