The typical Chihuahua price from most reputable breeders may not be the most expensive, but they also aren’t the cheapest.
Although the Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds, the rarer varieties of the breed can even cost more than some large breeds such as the Dogo Argentino and the Rottweiler!
Apart from the Chihuahua price, they also require a lot of expenses for their initial, monthly, and annual needs.
If you want to learn about all these and more, stick around as we discuss their puppy prices and expenses and provide you with some tips to save money.
The Average Cost of a Chihuahua Puppy
The average price of a Chihuahua puppy from reputable breeders can range from $1,000 to $3,500. These prices vary depending on the type of Chihuahua, the breeder’s reputation, and the bloodline. Chihuahuas that came from champion lines are much more expensive.
If you want to learn about the price of a Chihuahua according to its type, check out the table below:
|Type of Chihuahua
|Short Haired Chihuahua
|$1,000 – $3,500
|Long Haired Chihuahua
|$1,000 – $4,000
|Apple Head Chihuahua
|$1,000 – $3,500
|Deer Head & Deer Legged Chihuahua
|$1,000 – $2,500
|Pear Head Chihuahua
|$1,000 – $2,500
As seen on the table above, long-haired and apple head Chihuahuas can reach quite a hefty price.
If you don’t want to spend this much, you can always choose another type, or better yet, find a rescue or shelter that offers this breed.
READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Chihuahua: Which Is Better?
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Chihuahua Puppy
You might be wondering why some Chihuahuas cost more than others. That’s because the Chihuahua price will depend on factors like age, gender, appearance, bloodline, and more.
Knowing these factors will help you budget accordingly and set an expectation of what Chihuahua you will get.
Here is a comprehensive list of the factors that affect the pricing of a Chihuahua:
- Age: More often than not, week-old puppies are more expensive than those that are already a few months old because they require a lot of tending — from vaccinations, training, socialization, etc. There is also a high demand for very young pups because most owners want to experience raising them on their own.
- Appearance: Short-haired Chihuahuas are more commonly found than their long-haired counterparts, with the latter sporting a higher price tag. Similarly, the rarity of coat color also impacts the pricing. For instance, the merle Chihuahua may cost up to $10,000.
- Size: The size of a Chihuahua is a significant factor in determining its price. For instance, the teacup Chihuahua is arguably one of the most expensive varieties of Chis. Its specialized breeding will cost you around $1,200 to $5,000, so expect that they will be relatively more costly when they are marketed.
- Bloodline: While the average puppy price ranges from $1,000 to $3,500, this may drastically increase with champion line dogs. Recurring championship winners and purebred dogs can produce Chihuahua puppies that are more expensive because they are high-quality in terms of appearance, agility, and temperament.
- Registration Papers: If you plan to have your Chihuahua participate in dog shows, they should have registration papers. You can buy puppies recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but they are priced much higher.
Apart from the factors listed above, you should also take into consideration the supply and demand of the breed within your area.
There are also reservation fees, delivery and shipping costs, and other things that breeders may charge you.
It is really in your best interest to sit down with a professional breeder for a thorough consultation before purchasing. That way, you can know exactly what to expect with your new pet and how much they would entail.
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Chihuahua From a Rescue?
Compared to professional breeders that offer a higher price due to special fees and services, a rescued Chihuahua is only between $300 and $600. Shelters can even offer adoption fees for as low as $100.
As mentioned in the previous section, adult dogs cost less than puppies because they often have a lot of health problems and are no longer in their prime years.
Thus, if you plan to adopt, you must know what you are getting into. Alternatively, you can also see if you can get a puppy for free. Check out our 13 tips on finding free puppies in your area.
Initial Cost of Chihuahua Ownership
The price of your Chihuahua is just one of the many things to keep in mind as a responsible dog owner. You also need to account for the initial costs of their essentials so that you can keep your pup in tip-top shape.
In this section, I have listed the initial expenses that you need to spend for your Chihuahua pup:
- Food and Treats: A high-quality brand of dog food that can give your Chihuahua the daily balanced nutrition it needs can cost $50 to $80. Chihuahuas can be picky eaters, so make sure to choose from only the best kibbles and dog treats.
- Food and Water Bowls: Tiny bowls for your small pup will suffice, but make sure that their materials are not made of cheap plastic. Opt for stainless steel bowls as these will last you longer and are easier to clean. Food and water bowls cost around $10 to $25.
- Bed: Being comfortable and fully rested is necessary for your Chihuahua’s health, so invest in a small quality dog bed. This will help avoid possible joint problems in the future. A sturdy bed will cost around $30 to $150.
- Crate: A small crate will allow you to travel with your Chihuahua more efficiently. This will help avoid triggering anxiety behaviors in your pup during transit and serve as a “dog home” when they get too overwhelmed. A small, durable crate can set you back around $30 to $200.
- Leash and Collar: Your Chihuahua should wear a leash and a collar when walking around your community so they won’t get lost. This will help you manage them if they become unruly. A good leash and collar cost around $15 to $50.
- Toys: During its puppy years, your Chihuahua will spend a good amount of time teething, so buying durable toys will keep them from munching on your shoes or furniture. Even as an adult dog, your Chihuahua will still need the exercise and mental stimulation that a good toy can offer. Chew toys and training toys will set you back $20 to $30.
- Grooming Essentials: Whether your Chihuahua is of short hair or long hair variety, shedding is often light to moderate and can easily be managed with the right tools. A modest set of doggy brushes, nail clippers, and a mild shampoo will normally be around $30 to $150.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: Heartworm and flea prevention is a must-need measure against both internal and external dog parasites. Long-haired Chihuahuas may be more prone to fleas, but even a short-haired Chi needs preventive medication as well. The cost of deworming and flea prevention medication is around $50 to $200.
- Initial Vet Visits: General vet checkups are important for your Chihuahua pup, not just when parasites attack. Your dog’s health should be observed as it transitions into its new home. Depending on the type of consultation, a vet visit will set you back between $100 and $300.
- Initial Vaccine Shots: While you can be confident that a professional breeder or rescue will have vaccinated their dogs before rehoming, you still can’t slack on the additional vaccine shots required. If you buy an unvaccinated puppy, the full set of vaccinations will cost you around $75 to $200.
- Neutering or Spaying: If you don’t plan on breeding your pooch, or if you happen to buy an older dog, it’s best to have them neutered or spayed. Depending on your dog’s gender, this procedure will cost between $50 and $500.
- Dog License: A dog license ensures that your pet’s information is readily available whenever needed. In case your pooch gets lost, you can be sure that it will be returned to you safely. The cost of dog licensing is around $10 to $20.
- Microchip: Microchipping is a simple, low-cost procedure that helps return lost pets to their owners. The chip is usually implanted in a discreet area, like your pooch’s ear, and it stores all the information about you as a Chihuahua owner. Microchipping normally costs around $20 to $70.
- Miscellaneous Supplies: There are a few supplies that are handy when you’re at home or on the go. This includes a poop scooper, poop bags, inducers, vitamins, and potty pads. These items usually range from $15 to $30.
Here is a breakdown of the initial expenses of owning a Chihuahua:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$50 – $80
|Food and Water Bowls
|$10 – $25
|$30 – $150
|$30 – $200
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$20 – $30
|$30 – $150
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$525 – $1,995
To prepare for your Chihuahua’s arrival, you will want to invest in the items provided in the table above.
Excluding the price of the puppy itself, your total initial cost for these essentials is around $525 to $1,995. However, your actual total spending may still vary from the estimates we’ve given.
Note that some breeders will provide you with freebies like food bowls, toys, leashes, and collars with each puppy, so you’ll get to save a few dollars.
Annual Cost of Owning a Chihuahua
Purchasing your Chihuahua isn’t just a one-and-done deal. You shouldn’t forget the ongoing cost of your pup’s very basic needs. After all, your Chihuahua is going to be your furry companion for the next 12 to 20 years.
The annual needs of a Chihuahua are basic and the same for other pets — food, toys, grooming items, and more. This sensitive breed also has medical needs, so be sure to make room for vet expenses in your budget.
Here’s a complete summary of the annual expenses of owning a Chihuahua:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$240 – $720
|$25 – $100
|Bed and Crate
|$60 – $360
|Leashes and Collars
|$20 – $30
|$100 – $250
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$150 – $250
|Routine Veterinary Care
|$200 – $400
|$500 – $600
|$80 – $250
|$30 – $50
|$1,405 – $3,010
|Average Monthly Cost
|$117 – $251
Note that your Chihuahua might have other health problems that are common in small dogs. The cost of annual visits to the vet can range from $200 to $400.
To avoid unforeseen medical bills, you should consider investing in a good pet insurance policy.
Depending on the coverage, most pet insurance will set you back around $500 to $600. While it seems costly at first, this will save you quite a lot in the long term.
Keep in mind that the table provided gives you only the estimated annual costs of Chihuahua ownership. This may differ from your actual yearly spending, depending on your circumstances.
Other Potential Expenses
Now that we’ve covered the basic costs of owning a Chihuahua, let’s move on to other potential expenses.
Like most dogs, your Chihuahua needs space in your budget for extra costs such as pet daycare, grooming, emergency medical care, and more!
Here is a list of other potential expenses for a Chihuahua:
- Pet Sitting: Dog sitting services are convenient when you need someone to look after your pooch when you’re away. Most dog sitters charge around $20 to $30 per day. Just make sure to check that the sitter has experience with Chihuahuas.
- Pet Daycare: Professional daycare services are a good choice for busy pet owners who need to travel but can’t leave their Chihuahuas with a sitter. They also offer group classes to keep your dog properly socialized. Leaving your pet in daycare can cost you around $30 to $40 per night.
- Grooming Services: Even dog breeds with easy-to-maintain coats need grooming, and Chihuahuas are no exception. The sensitive skin and frame of this small breed require professional care. Depending on the type of service, grooming costs normally range between $30 and $150.
- Kennel Club Registration: Registering your Chihuahua with the American Kennel Club (AKC) is a must if you plan to have your pooch compete in canine shows and sporting events. The registration cost is around $80 to $200.
- Emergency Medical Procedure: Even if your pup is from the healthiest lineage, Chihuahuas are still susceptible to health problems like other small dogs. Depending on the health issue and treatment, the cost of emergency medical procedures is between $1,000 and $5,000.
The above-mentioned potential expenses may or may not apply to you, but we recommend setting aside a budget. All of which are optional, except for emergency medical bills.
Places to Find Chihuahua Puppies for Sale and Adoption
If you’re looking for a quality Chihuahua pup, avoid puppy mills and opt for professional breeders who meet all the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards for the breed.
This will guarantee that your pooch won’t have the behavioral and genetic issues that come with irresponsible breeding.
Here, I handpicked only the most trusted reputable breeders as well as rescue organizations in the United States.
Let’s begin with the most reputable Chihuahua breeders:
- Terlingua Chihuahuas – At their home base in Middle Tennessee, Terlingua Chihuahuas offer only the highest quality pups. As a preservation breeder with over 40 years of experience in canine events, you can expect champion-lineage Chihuahuas that are strictly bred to the AKC standard.
- Salem’s Finest AKC Chihuahuas – As hinted in the name, this breeder’s Chihuahuas are up to the AKC standard. Their male Chihuahuas’ lineage can be traced through the AKC, with six generations and counting. They also home-train puppies and provide proper socialization to ensure that future fur parents will get a loving addition to their home.
- Brislin Chihuahuas – Brislin Chihuahuas is a family team of professional breeders and active AKC show exhibitors stationed in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Their ultimate goal is to produce purebred Chihuahuas that are loyal to the AKC standard. Their puppies are bred, raised, and socialized in a loving environment that prospective fur parents can even visit!
If you don’t plan to compete in events, you’ll want to consider animal shelters and rescues. This is also a great choice if you want to provide a forever home to abandoned and homeless dogs.
Here are some Chihuahua shelters and rescue centers you can check out:
- Texas Chihuahua Rescue (TXCR) – The passionate folks at TXCR work hard to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome the second most euthanized breed in Texas. They even do daily transports of rescues into their new homes to Canada and the Northeastern States.
- Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County (CRSDC) – This group is a non-profit, foster-based animal shelter that actually started because of a surplus of Chihuahuas in the San Diego area. Here you can find Chihuahuas of any age and coat color. Just take note that when rescued, the dog is automatically neutered or spayed. They also provide adoption counseling.
- Yankee Chihuahua Rescue and Adoption Inc. (YCRAA) – The volunteers at the YCRAA have been rescuing Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes for over 20 years. An owner assessment is done as a part of the adoption process. The rescued dogs are also rehabilitated and socialized in foster homes. Note that you must be in New England to apply for adoption.
For more options, we also have a guide on the recommended places to find Chihuahuas for adoption.
In addition to checking out the above rescues, make sure to read our ultimate dog adoption guide for the needed tips to prepare yourself as a rescue owner.
Money-Saving Tips for Chihuahua Owners
Now that we’ve gone over the basic costs, pricing, and expenses that come with your Chihuahua, it’s already pretty clear why this is an expensive breed.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce these expenses without cheapening out on your Chihuahua’s care. I have compiled a few simple ways to make caring for your dog less costly.
Here are some cost-effective tips for you as a Chihuahua breed owner:
- Invest in high-quality essentials. It helps that Chihuahuas are tiny and don’t require heavy-duty essentials the way larger dogs do. However, investing in high-quality items guarantees durability, which can help you save money in the long run.
- Make food and treats for your dog. It’s no surprise that quality dog foods and treats are pricey. Rather than strictly sticking to expensive brands, you can alternate this with your own homemade dog food. Just make sure to consult your veterinarian so that you can accurately assess your Chihuahua’s nutritional requirements.
- Groom your dog at home. Grooming is an important part of keeping your fur baby happy. While your Chihuahua may need a groomer’s services for events, it won’t always require the whole nine yards of professional grooming. Instead, you can pick up those techniques yourself.
- Exercise your pooch. All dogs need exercise, and Chihuahuas are no exception. Regular exercise strengthens bones and muscles, helping avoid health conditions like patellar luxation, which is common in Chihuahuas. This is especially true for puppies since they’re still developing! This will save you more money than spending on dog walkers.
- Visit the vet regularly. Chihuahuas are a sensitive bunch, and they need regular checkups to keep them in the best shape. This will save you hundreds of thousands of dollars on potentially pricey medical expenses.
While it is generally a good idea to stay within budget, Chihuahuas are not a breed you can be stingy with. You can cut costs, but you can’t cheap out on the quality of care.
The Chihuahua cost is not that affordable when we compare it to other dogs of the same size, but they are definitely worth it.
Hopefully, this guide has shown you why this popular breed warrants such careful budgeting. We recommend reading this guide once more to fully prepare for your financial responsibilities.
Remember that whether you buy your Chihuahua from a reputable breeder or adopt it from a rescue organization, you are in their life for the long haul.