Chihuahuas are some of the popular dogs in the world. Known for their tiny size, they are highly in demand. Despite their small size, these celebrity-like pups are costly.
If you are considering bringing home one of these irresistible and cute dogs, you need to know all the costs involved in taking care of such a dog. Most people factor in the price of purchasing a puppy from the breeder and forget that there are other extra expenses involved in taking care of the pup.
Expenses such as health care, food, grooming, vet visits, pet insurance, entertainment, and environment maintenance can add up quickly. In addition, they are also variable and need to be planned for.
To help you plan for your Chihuahua, here’s an estimated budget of all the costs. Keep in mind that the actual charges may be more or less than these prices and vary according to different conditions.
Here’s a breakdown to act as a guide.
Bringing Home a New Chihuahua: One-Time Costs
Whether you are a first-time or repeat dog owner, there are expenses that you’ll need to pay for the first time you get your Chihuahua.
They require some items that fall under one-time costs for every new pup, such as bowls, leashes, and pet beds.
Even if you had other dogs, you might still need to buy your Chihuahua new gear instead of handing it down. This might add up to your one-time costs; therefore, you need to budget in advance to make things for yourself.
Let’s examine some of these one-time costs:
You could get a free Chihuahua from referrals from friends who have a litter of kittens. This method looks cheaper because you don’t need to pay to get the pup. However, you’ll still need to take care of costs such as neutering and spaying if it had not been done earlier.
Free Chihuahuas can also be strays. Before taking on the responsibility of taking care of a new dog, try and find the owner first. A stray is challenging to take care of, especially since you don’t know whether they are vaccinated, neutered, or have any medical conditions.
A free pup becomes expensive in the long run.
Adopting a Chihuahua provides it with a home. The costs vary depending on where you got the puppy from.
The rescue groups tend to be a bit expensive because you need to cover the costs incurred in rescuing and taking care of the dog. Before allowing you to take the Chihuahua home, these groups need to do many interviews and home visits to ensure the dog will have a good home. With every barrier, you’ll need to incur some costs.
Adopting a Chihuahua from a pound might be the cheaper alternative. They often waive the fees and give services such as neutering and spaying. All these save you a few dollars.
Getting a Chihuahua from a professional breeder comes with its costs. The price changes based on the breeder’s location, reputation, and Chihuahua type.
The most expensive breed is the very tiny Teacup Chihuahua, which can go up to $2,000. Mixed breeds sell at a lower price than purebreds. The bloodline also matters; if the parents are purebred show quality dogs from a reputable breeder, the price goes up. These breeders also tend to invest more money taking care of the Chihuahua.
If you get a Chihuahua from a breeder registered to a kennel club such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), the price will be higher, especially if the dog is also registered. Reputable breeders also carry out health screenings and socialize your Chihuahua. They add a mark-up on the total price because you don’t have to invest more in training and medical check-ups.
Chihuahuas also get priced according to age and coat colors. Younger puppies are less expensive, and some coat colors are more in demand.
Initial Setup and Supplies
As you bring your Chihuahua home, you need to have some supplies to make them comfortable. Puppies are more costly and need more than the older ones. As they grow older, their needs start reducing.
Items such as toys, beds, shampoo, tooth brushing equipment need to get repurchased often. Therefore, they need to get factored into the budget.
The price of these items will depend on the quality you go for and the choice of store. To avoid incurring high costs, consider checking online websites and second-hand stores. You can get all the necessities at half the price for your Chihuahua. If you are on a budget, you don’t have to go for expensive high-end products.
List of Chihuahua Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$5 – $20|
|Spay/Neuter||$50 – $300|
|X-Ray Cost||$250 – $450|
|Ultrasound Cost||$200 – $500|
|Microchip||$25 – $50|
|Teeth Cleaning||$100 – $250|
|Bed/Tank/Cage||$15 – $65|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$5 – $20|
|Brush (optional)||$5 – $45|
|Litter Scoop||$10 – $30|
|Food and Water Bowls||$15|
How Much Does a Chihuahua Cost Per Month?
- $50-$300+ per month
The total amount you spend on your Chihuahua can be as low or high depending on your dog’s needs and where you shop. Ensure that your dog gets every item necessary for their survival first, and you can add more as they grow older.
In addition, you can take advantage of some alternatives, such as taking your dog to the park or a hike for exercise. This can cut down on the costs you would have incurred on extra toys.
This total monthly cost can vary greatly depending on your personal preferences.
- $20-$55+ per month
The medical costs of a Chihuahua tend to be more in the first year. This happens because your dog needs to see the vet several times in the year for examinations, essential vaccines, a fecal examination, and the first three doses of heartworm and flea prevention.
If you need your pup spayed or neutered, you’ll incur more costs during that specific month. However, there are low-cost options for up to $50.
- $5-$10+ per month
Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, weighing about 3-6 pounds. Because of this, their food-related expenses are low. A Chihuahua will eat about 50 pounds of dry food in a year, which can cost about $50-$90 when they are still young and $25-$90 as adults.
You also need to factor in the costs of treats that you feed your dog occasionally. As you source food, ensure your dog gets high-quality food.
- $8-$20+ per month
Grooming for your Chihuahua is essential. Depending on your dog, you can visit a professional groomer 3 to 6 times per year, costing you around $35-$55 per visit. These costs include hair removal, nail trimming, bath and shampoo, styling, and ear cleaning.
However, if you want to do the grooming at home, you can purchase a kit to use on your dog.
Medication and Vet Visits
- $100-$200+ per month
Chihuahuas are prone to medical conditions such as collapsed trachea and patellar luxation. Because of this, your dog might require diagnostic X-rays to ensure they stay healthy.
They also get dental diseases and heart conditions that require medical attention. The vet might need to do an echocardiogram plus X-rays to diagnose these conditions. In addition, the Chihuahua might need long-life medications.
- $10-$20+ per month
Insurance comes in handy for medical expenses. Some conditions are costly to treat; therefore, insurance helps offset these bills. Mixed breeds are more likely to develop inherited medical conditions such as cancer and heart conditions more than purebreds.
Select a company that will cater to your Chihuahua’s needs. The plans will differ according to your dog’s age and health.
- $5-$10+ per month
Dogs are relatively cheap in this area. Unlike cats, they don’t need litter boxes. You require a steady supply of poop bags if you live within the city. However, if you have your own yard, you need to purchase a trash can and a poop scooper.
Disposing of dog waste is much cheaper, especially since it’s recurrent.
- $5-$20+ per month
Chihuahuas need toys for mental stimulation. Also, get some chew toys to keep the dog engaged. Toys are good, especially if you don’t have enough time to spend time with your dog.
When shopping, go for high-quality ones that will last longer to reduce buying new ones each time.
Apart from toys, incorporate daily exercises and walks with your Chihuahua to keep them active and happy. You need a leash, and you are good to go.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Chihuahua
- $50-$200+ per month
Welcoming a pet entails a lot of costs. The total expenses go down in the coming years. However, the costs can significantly go up, especially if your Chihuahua has medical conditions requiring repeated attention and vet visits.
Therefore, try and cut down on the expenses if you can on the supplies but ensure your puppy gets the best.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Once you get a Chihuahua or any other pet, you wouldn’t want it to be bored. Therefore, when you are at work or on vacation, you can get a pet sitter to keep the pet company and take care of it. You’ll need to pay the sitter an hourly rate for ensuring your pet is well-fed and exercised.
Some medical emergencies might arise that require an unplanned trip to the vet. For instance, if your dog takes bad food which causes constipation or diarrhea, they’ll need urgent medical care, which costs money.
Your Chihuahua might also need additional behavior training from a professional. You should have an extra budget for these kinds of arising costs.
Owning a Chihuahua on a Budget
Chihuahuas are typically expensive breeds. However, you can find ways to lower your costs by purchasing supplies on a budget.
When sourcing for a puppy, you can also choose to go for the dogs that don’t have a superior bloodline that makes them expensive. You can also get a pup from a rescue instead.
A dog is also a companion; therefore, you can also give them more time than material items. By spending more time with your pup going for walks and runs, you’ll spend less money on pet sitters and expensive toys.
Apart from medical expenses that you can’t control, try and lower the other costs.
Saving Money on Chihuahua Care
If you want to save more money, it’s better to take care of the dog by yourself. You can groom the dog, take them for walks, brush their teeth and feed them a healthy diet to reduce your expenses. On top of saving money, you spend more time with your Chihuahua and bond.
Chihuahuas make excellent pets. Due to their popularity, they are quite a costly breed. If you want to get one of these, you can get them from a breeder, a rescue, or even for free. All these sources come with specific expenses.
The initial costs of owning a Chihuahua in the first year are higher and decrease as the dog matures. You can keep the one-time and monthly costs low by opting to buy high-quality items from second-hand stores or online. This tactic will save you a few dollars.
By doing most things by yourself, such as grooming and exercising with the dog, you’ll also cut down on the expenses. Owning a Chihuahua is not cheap, but you can save by being smart.
Featured Image Credit: HG-Fotografie, Pixabay
- Bringing Home a New Chihuahua: One-Time Costs
- List of Chihuahua Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Chihuahua Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Chihuahua
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning a Chihuahua on a Budget