Dog breeds have different costs, and Chihuahuas are no exception.
Some of the factors that influence the price include breeding-related challenges and the overall demand for the dog.
I’m regularly asked by people who see me with my pups, what are the costs involved in raising them.
They ask how much do Chihuahuas cost?
It can get complicated so I’ve put together some information below so you can learn what to expect from getting one of these dogs.
What is the Average Cost to Buy, Adopt & Own a Chihuahua?
What will you pay to get and drive home with a Chihuahua?
Reputable breeders charge an average of $500 to $1,500 per puppy.
Some of the factors influencing the price include the dog’s pedigree and whether they originate from show lines.
Some Chihuahuas bred from smaller parents, known as Teacups, may cost $2,000 or more.
All dogs and puppies carry initial costs, like first shots, and recurring expenses like food. Most dog owners can expect to spend $500 to $1,000 on routine costs every year.
Veterinary costs for routine care can vary by region and whether the practice is independently or corporately owned.
Chihuahuas are a breed that can have particular needs related to their size.
These dogs can be very fussy about the foods they prefer, and they sometimes experience dental issues at an early age.
Food that comes in smaller kibble sizes will usually meet these dogs’ needs.
These dogs are loyal to their families and interested in learning what their owners expect of them.
Chihuahuas’ small size makes them ideal for apartment residents and those with little time for high exercise demands.
These dogs enjoy a lot of time spent on laps, increasing the demand among people who like affectionate dogs.
We’ll dive into a closer look at the costs of acquiring and living with a Chihuahua.
We’ll explore the factors surrounding what breeders charge and any health need particular to the breed that can be expensive.
Owning a dog requires some considerations that you must keep in mind.
Keep reading if you’re considering adding one of these perky little dogs to your family and want to know more about the costs.
The information that you’ll discover about these costs is most helpful. You’ll be glad you took the time to learn.
How Much Do Chihuahua Puppies Cost?
Most Chihuahua puppies cost around $1,000, with some breeders selling puppies for prices as low as $500.
Some puppies that sell for less than $500 have been crossed with another breed and are not eligible for registration.
Selling puppies for $1,000 or more is typical of most breeders.
Some breeders, especially those who sell the so-called “Teacup” Chihuahuas that weigh less than five pounds when grown, will charge $2,000 or more.
If the dog comes from a line of other dogs of a similar size, a breeder may charge more than $2,000.
Many breeders do not consider “Teacup” Chihuahuas to vary much from other Chihuahuas in lineage, but only by size.
A Chihuahua would usually cost much less than a Pomsky.
Price variations will depend mostly on issues like the breeding line and age. For example, some might prefer older puppies or even adult dogs.
Prices for older puppies or adults might be a little lower than the costs of acquiring a puppy.
We’ll examine some of the factors that affect Chihuahua prices below.
Pedigrees and Lines
A Chihuahua’s pedigree and the parents’ lines might significantly influence a Chihuahua puppy’s price.
Puppies from parents with several show titles are likely to have a higher price than other dogs.
Even dogs that come from parents that don’t show dogs will have a higher price tag if the grandparents or dogs further back in the line were show dogs.
Although most Chihuahuas have a uniformly small size, dogs from show lines are likely to be among the smallest.
Purebred Chihuahuas can include a broad range of color patterns and have either smooth or long coats.
Dogs from certain lines are often bred to preserve their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents’ characteristics.
Breeding or Pet Quality?
Whether a Chihuahua is breeding or pet-quality will have a lot to do with the cost.
Chihuahuas from better breeders will usually have passed recommended health tests that certify their cardiac, ophthalmologic, and joint health.
Breeders who use dogs that meet these standards will usually have healthier puppies.
Puppies that are pet-quality instead of show-quality might lack an AKC registration or have limited registration.
With a limited registration, the dog must be spayed or neutered for the registration to remain in effect.
Some breeders might sell pet-quality puppies or dogs already spayed or neutered.
Characteristics and Appearance
A Chihuahua’s characteristics and appearance may impact the breeder’s price, along with their lineage.
The closer a dog conforms to the breed standard, the greater its appeal for people looking for a dog to breed.
Even for dogs with full registration, conformity to the standard impacts the price.
The Chihuahua’s size will have a significant role in whether they meet show standards. As an example, the breed standard calls for a Chihuahua to weigh no more than six pounds.
Show and breeding-quality Chihuahuas will also have rounded or apple-shaped heads.
What is the Demand Like?
The demand for Chihuahuas is high. In fact, among the breeds that the American Kennel Club recognizes, these dogs rank 11th in popularity.
As such, the odds of funding Chihuahuas in need of homes from either reputable breeders or rescues is high.
Depending on where you live, you might have a good chance of finding a Chihuahua through a shelter or rescue.
Because of the breed’s popularity, unfortunately, they represent a large number of dogs that end up in shelters.
Although the high demand results in some dogs ending up homeless, the good news is that the breed’s popularity has contributed to several rescues being willing to help place these dogs.
How Much Do Chihuahuas Cost to Adopt?
The type of organization that the dog is adopted through makes a difference in the price you will pay to adopt.
In both circumstances, the age of the dog and vetting received might make a difference in the cost.
The area and access to sources for low-cost veterinary care might impact the adoption price.
Municipal shelters or pounds may charge anywhere from $25 up to around $100 or more to adopt.
Depending on the state, spaying or neutering might be required as an adoption condition.
Most pounds receive minimal government funding but may offer vouchers to help offset the spay or neuter costs.
Non-profit shelters or rescues receive private donations, which help cover the cost of the animals’ care.
Adoption fees through these organizations are often higher, ranging from $100 to $200 or more.
However, these dogs usually go to their new homes fully-vetted, saving the new owner these expenses later.
Are Chihuahuas an Expensive Breed Overall?
Chihuahuas can be an expensive breed because of their susceptibility to injury, special dietary needs, and medical issues common with this type of dog.
These dogs are worth the extra costs for those who decide to share their life with one.
However, prospective owners need to be aware of these costs, so they know what to expect.
Because most Chihuahuas are toy-sized, they can get injured playing with other dogs very easily.
These dogs can be very spirited and even feisty when playing with bigger pooches.
However, the rough play could result in strains, sprains, or even fractures, which might become expensive to treat.
Some Chihuahuas are fussy about what foods they will eat. Dental issues and delicate stomachs can be somewhat common for these dogs, too.
A toy-sized or small-breed food, or a formula for Chihuahuas, might be the best option.
Chihuahuas are also susceptible to conditions that may include epilepsy, tracheal collapse, heart disease, or eye disease.
Because some of these conditions might have treatment costs that run into the thousands, prospective owners need to prepare for the possibility of these problems.
Taking out a pet health insurance policy can help reduce some of these costs.
Costs of Raising Chihuahuas
The initial cost of acquiring your dog is the first of many costs!
Lifetime costs for keeping your dog will easily surpass the amount that you spend to acquire the dog.
If your Chihuahua should develop a condition that requires medications, this is an expense that you will need to plan for.
With most Chihuahuas reaching 15, 16, or older, owners will need to plan the costs of regular vaccines and exams, along with increased costs as the dog gets older.
Unexpected bills are to be expected with Chihuahuas, as with any other breed.
If you don’t take out insurance on your dog at a younger age, you may want to consider doing so once they reach middle or old age.
What Are Some First-Time Expenses for Chihuahuas?
Besides veterinary care, food costs are one of the biggest expenses you need to keep in mind.
If your Chihuahua develops special dietary needs, the food costs will end up being higher. Grooming, toys, and accessories are also expenses you will need to consider.
Although some owners are satisfied with feeding their dogs supermarket-quality foods, your dog will benefit from some care being given to the ingredients used.
Additives and fillers can cause health issues. Extra nutrients in food, on the other hand, can be beneficial.
High-carbohydrate or high-fat foods are not good options for small breeds like Chihuahuas.
Because these dogs can develop unwanted weight gain and resulting health problems like diabetes, you want your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Fatty foods of any kind are best avoided with Chihuahuas because of their ability to cause pancreatitis.
Choosing a food formulated for a small dog will help ensure that your pet receives proper nutrition and stays healthy.
Some brands of food have been formulated specifically for Chihuahuas’ nutritional needs. Other foods for small breeds feature kibble designed to help protect dental health.
Your dog’s breeder, if applicable, or your veterinarian can help you find the right food for your dog’s needs.
Most breeders will recommend that a dog stays on the food they are used to so that they avoid digestive upsets.
If your dog should have health concerns, your vet will guide foods to use.
Depending on the type of food you buy, the costs might average from $13 to $20 a month.
Many dog food brands are available through retailers that make monthly ordering easy. Being able to order food on a regular schedule can save you money in the long run.
Crates, Collars, and Leashes
Accessories will also account for much of the initial budget when you get a dog.
A crate is a necessary addition for proper “potty training” for your dog and provides a safe place to stay when you’re not at home.
The crate can become a place where the dog feels safe and secure when sleeping or trying to have some “alone” time.
A properly fitted collar is the ideal way to keep a license and ID tags on your dog.
Leashes are essential when you take your dog outside of a fenced-in area, and harnesses can be useful for Chihuahuas that try to escape their collars easily.
Collars, leashes, and harnesses will require regular replacement.
Although longhaired Chihuahuas are more likely to require grooming, occasional groomers’ services can help keep your dog’s coat healthy.
You might find that some grooming tasks are easier completed by a professional.
Bathing most short-coated dogs is easy, but you might find it easier for a groomer to handle a longhaired dog for bathing and brushing.
Nail trimming can also be a challenge with some Chihuahuas, making the use of a groomer a good idea.
Each time you need to take your dog to a groomer, expect to pay around $30 to $50 for a visit.
Toys are helpful for puppies that are teething and adults to provide more mental stimulation. Dogs that receive adequate stimulation are less likely to become destructive.
Even though Chihuahuas are small, you want to make sure they won’t tear up the toys too quickly and swallow any pieces.
Pieces of toys can present a choking threat or even a digestive tract blockage.
Small balls or chewing sticks or rings are good ways to keep your pet busy. Your dog will be able to play with these toys with or without your involvement.
You might need to try your dog out with a few types of toys to see what they like the best.
If your dog is still a puppy, toys will require more frequent replacements than toys for adults.
How Might These Costs Vary?
Barring a special diet or unexpected medical expenses, most expenses for your Chihuahua will be predictable.
However, there are some other expenses you might have to think about based on your circumstances.
If you’re a first-time dog owner or have been struggling to teach your Chihuahua basic commands, some training sessions might be in order.
Although Chihuahuas are cute dogs that can be very amusing, not all of their antics are funny all the time.
You will want to take steps to correct their behavior when they bark a lot, bite, or refuse to come when called.
There are many training options, ranging from group or private training sessions to kennel training.
Classes with a group or one-on-one with a trainer average $30 to $80 per class.
Boarding-based training, which is less common for dogs that serve primarily as companions, averages $500 to $1,000 per week or more.
Busy pet parents who work long hours might consider the benefits of doggie daycare.
Most kennels that offer dog daycare charge between $15 to $40 per day for each dog.
These prices mostly depend on the dogs’ size, resulting in a lower cost for Chihuahuas to attend.
Dog daycare options allow dogs to spend time in a supervised setting in the company of other dogs where they can play and socialize.
Most dog daycares place Chihuahuas with other dogs of a similar size to reduce the risk of injuries.
In this setting, dogs will also have opportunities for individual attention.
Where Can You Buy a Chihuahua?
Reputable breeders are a good source for buying a Chihuahua.
These breeders understand the dog’s needs, as well as what prospective owners expect from sharing their home with a Chihuahua.
Experienced breeders know which types of homes are best-suited to these dogs’ needs.
Good breeders are concerned with having their dogs conform to the breed standard and have them healthy.
Breeders concerned with the health of the dogs they raise will make sure they have received the necessary health tests that the Chihuahua Club of America recommends.
The CCA is possibly the best resource for those who want to buy a Chihuahua.
In addition to CCA listings, you might also receive recommendations from members of local or regional kennel clubs.
Look for breeders who will allow you to see their litters’ parents. Consider whether they are open to answering your questions or seem to avoid answering your questions.
Avoid breeders who advertise puppies for sale at very low prices through classified ads, public parking lots, or other locations like flea markets.
Also, be wary of Internet sales where puppies are shipped to buyers sight unseen.
Many puppies raised under these circumstances come from inhumane conditions without access to proper nutrition or veterinary care.
Where Can You Adopt a Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas available for adoption are available through municipal shelters known as pounds or non-profit rescues or shelters.
One of the most helpful things about adopting from a shelter is that many are convenient for most prospective adopters.
Many shelters or organizations have an Internet presence through pet adoption sites and social media networks.
Here are some popular Chihuahua adoption centers:
- Chihuahua Rescue & Transport (CRT)
- Rescue Me!
- Chihuahua Rescue Indiana, Inc.
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®)
An advantage of adopting a Chihuahua through a pound is that you might be saving a dog’s life.
Municipal shelters in many locations have a high intake and can only keep dogs on their premises for a specific time before they are at risk for euthanasia.
Local non-profit organizations often help coordinate rescue pulls to get dogs in pounds placed into no-kill rescue organizations.
Adopting a Chihuahua through a no-kill shelter or rescue organization is an excellent way to find a family companion.
These organizations often have a reasonably thorough application process to ensure the dog goes to a good home.
You can expect to have to provide veterinary and personal references as a part of the process.
Depending on Chihuahuas’ local demand, some areas might have breed-specific rescues that place Chihuahuas and possibly Chihuahua mixes.
These organizations have the same placement criteria as other no-kill rescue organizations.
The most significant difference between these groups is that they specialize in placing Chihuahuas rather than a range of breeds.
Although the costs for buying or adopting a Chihuahua are often predictable, additional costs can vary a lot.
The most important thing for would-be Chihuahua owners to remember is that committing to getting one of these dogs will be a long-term commitment.
Planning to pay for even unexpected expenses throughout your dog’s life