Keeping a pet Chihuahua (abbreviated as Chi) can be really rewarding. When people see my adorable babies with me, they are often interested in knowing the fees of taking care of them.
Through my experience and comparison with other owners who decided to walk with the Chi way of life, I can tell you the estimated cost of these cute companions.
How much does a Chihuahua puppy cost? The average price of Chihuahua puppies taken from professional breeders ranges from $500 to $1,500. However, these costs are subject to change considering factors such as breeder location and reputation. A more expensive breed is the very tiny Teacup Chihuahua, which costs about $2,000.
Apart from these initial payments, you should also take note of other costs especially when you’re a first-time owner. This is the main reason why I created a list of what to expect in taking care of Chihuahuas.
Average Cost of Chihuahua Puppies
Opting for Chihuahuas requires a large amount of dedication and cash. While some types go as low as $500, others could also reach $2,000 or more due to medical tests and vaccinations that come before they are sold.
There are also many factors that affect Chihuahua’s cost, and here are some of them:
Some Chihuahuas that come from a bloodline that has won several amounts of championships could reach prices up to $4,000!
These types of dogs have been made famous in various stock shows and competitions, boosting their costs.
Generations of Chihuahuas coming from outstanding bloodlines improve their genetic make-up, and the results are less temperamental breeds that have attractive features.
Chihuahuas could get a certification to prove that they are purebred. If the pet you want has this certification, they could cost more than regular Chihuahua for sale.
Furthermore, the parent Chis have separate certification with the pups, and it can vary the price. An example of an organization that certifies pups is AKC or American Kennel Club.
Small dogs such as Chihuahuas are very prone to health problems. To ensure that the pups are healthy, several disease tests are made before they go to their owners.
Some tests include Orthopedic tests to ensure that their knees are fine and Canine Eye tests to see if there are eye problems. Without these, owners like us could stumble into problems in the long run.
Type of Breeder
This is a factor I consider greatly. The breeder from where the pups came from greatly determines their price in the market. For example, being a reputable breeder that the quality of your pets is top-notch, making it more costly.
Despite the additional cost, it will surely be worth the extra buck. Top breeders are a source of healthy and strong puppies that provide the foundation of good pet ownership. Additional information about this will be included below.
Some breeders provide complete vaccination before selling puppies. Others also ensure deworming and tick removal for quality assurance. This before-care of your puppies will surely increase their cost.
Usually, Chihuahuas from reputable breeders complete most if not all the factors considered above. It is important to look at these when buying your first Chi.
Scam sources don’t include medical expenses in consideration since they aim to sell the lowest price to attract future owners. Remember that anything lower than $100 is most likely a red flag!
Types of Chihuahua Breeders: From Cheapest to Costliest
There are lots of places to get Chihuahua puppies. This is a ranking-slash-list of where to get the best quality pups in the market:
Puppy mills are commercial establishments that breed dogs in high volume. Most of the time, these businesses are not concerned with quality but with quantity.
Pups taken from puppy mills usually face harsh living conditions just so they could be sold off to unsuspecting owners. They are also priced low ranging from $100 to $300. Never ever buy Chihuahuas or any pups from puppy mills as they are most likely scams.
Additionally, puppy mills don’t include proper medical care before ownership since as said before, they are focused on the cheapest dogs.
In the long run, cheaply bought Chihuahuas will damage your pockets due to severe medical costs. Also, buying from them means supporting their businesses, so we should be wary of them.
These are breeders who have little to no experience in breeding and most likely are met with unexpected dog pregnancies.
To make some cash or lift-off some responsibility in taking care of pups, they sell pups without proper consideration of factors.
Their intentions are mostly pure, but due to lack of training and knowledge, some of their pups pose health risks.
While not all of them are bad choices, most do not consider health issues or genetics when breeding due to said inexperience.
Similar to puppy mills, they might offer lower prices ranging from $300 to $500, but you can end up paying more in the long run due to health issues. In many cases, they will never guarantee a pup’s quality.
This is where you want to get your pups from. Reputable breeders are proven and tested through the years and they are known to take care of puppies with love, care, and proper socialization.
Chihuahua puppies from reputable breeders usually cost around $500 to $1,500. But the tiny teacup version of Chihuahua can cost up to $2,000 due to its desirable cute looking appearance.
Even if puppies from these sources cost more than $500, you can always assure that they are free of any health issues and that their breeds are pure and good.
Chihuahuas that come from reputable breeders include certifications on health and breed as well as proper vaccinations.
Initial Costs of Chihuahua Ownership
Knowing the things above, I’m sure that you’re itching to get your hands on these cute little companions. But before that, let us take a look at additional expenses you need after buying the puppy itself.
Here’s the list of items I compiled through the years to help you get a glimpse of the starting costs of your beloved Chihuahua:
Item Type Cost High-quality Dog Food $35 Grooming $25 Pet Insurance $40 Dog License $10 First Vaccinations $80 Washable Beds $20 Toys $25 Bowls, Harnesses, and Leash $30 Deworming and Flea $30 Treats $15 First Veterinarian Visit $70 TOTAL COST $380
Keep in mind that these prices are only dollar estimates and they are subject to change varying also in your area.
I got pet insurance for my puppies in case of health problems, but there are also other insurance plans depending on your wants.
My First Year as a Chihuahua Owner
Apart from these initial costs, there are also little day-to-day expenses that I met in my first year of Chihuahua ownership. I tried to make a list of it to guide aspiring Chihuahua owners on their path to being full-time parents.
To be frank, the first year of Chihuahua ownership is by far the most expensive one especially if you’re a first-time owner.
Personally, I didn’t meet any problems regarding my Chihuahua’s health, so my expenses didn’t bloat any further.
Since I got my pup from a reputable breeder, the initial costs were higher, but they definitely worth it. As I said earlier, the higher the pup quality, the lesser the money will be spent in the long run.
Here is the list I have gathered in my first year:
Item Type Cost Chihuahua Puppy $500 Vet Check $140 Pet Insurance $120 Dog License $10 Training $150 Doggie Items (Toys, Bed, Leash, Collars) $300 Grooming $300 Flea, Tick, and Deworming $100 Treats $180 Additional Vet Visits $80 TOTAL COST $1,880
I rounded this figure to the tens to give a better approximation of the costs. Some other factors which could have lessened or increased my first-year expenses include:
- Choosing to groom my pup myself: Back then, I was really afraid of grooming my Chihuahua because they seemed very fragile and easily hurt. I was concerned and conscious of how to properly treat them, and this caused me a visit to grooming stations for proper services. This is common for first-timers in the craft. However, as time goes by, you will learn the needs and wants of your Chihuahua as you build a better connection with them. Give it some time, and you will be able to learn how to groom them yourself.
- Buying fewer treats: I could’ve opted for lesser treats, but I can’t bring myself to do it since I love making my Chihuahua happy and filled with treats. Treats for dogs vary, and it depends on the owner on what they want to give their pups.
- Cutting on training costs: My Chihuahua at first was very temperamental, so I went to a trainer for a few sessions on how to properly deal with it. At first, the aggressive behavior of my dog was too much for me and I decided that I need professional help from a reputable trainer. This expenditure depends on your Chihuahua’s trait.
Monthly Expenses of My Chihuahua
As time went by, the maintenance of my Chihuahua became lesser and lesser since I also grew as an owner. I learned better budgeting for my Chihuahua compared to when I was inexperienced.
This cut high costs in my monthly maintenance. Also, since most products are one time buys such as leashes and collars, there was no need to purchase them again.
By making the needed initial payments, my monthly spending only consisted of food, treats, and small medicines.
Here is the cost breakdown of my Chihuahua every month:
Item Type Cost Food $35 Grooming $25 Dog Insurance $40 Medical Flea Treatment $5 Treats $15 TOTAL COST $120
Since Chihuahuas don’t eat a lot, a bag of food could last up to one and a half months or even two months. Other owners that I talked to even stated that some bags last up to three months.
This was not the case in my part as my Chihuahua loves to eat. Similarly, grooming costs could be lessened as you learn how to groom.
Also, insurance plans vary from region and the inclusions they have. Some packages are priced a bit higher than others and include more perks for your pets. This also depends on your personal preference.
Some Chihuahuas also have longer coats or thicker furs. Coated Chihuahuas require additional grooming expenses because they need fur styling and designing.
Longer coats mean more work for grooming stations as they charge added costs on maintenance. In my case, my Chihuahua was short-coated and did not need a lot of extra trims in the station.
Remember to always save some extra cash for emergency purposes! You’ll never know when an accident may strike. Chihuahuas are very prone to these events due to their size.
Preparing miscellaneous funds for your babies is a must so that you will not be shocked by unexpected expenses. As for me, I kept an extra $30 fund in my wallet exclusively for emergency costs.
But I did not include it in the breakdown because I did not meet any accidental situations in my first month (thankfully).
There are other costs that could increase your monthly Chihuahua maintenance which I did not include in my list since I was not able to use them. These are highly situational, and you may or may not utilize them.
Dog Care Services – If you work for more than 8 hours a day and you don’t have anyone to leave your babies with, then you might need someone to take care of them while you’re away. Trusted neighbors are often good candidates for this type of activity. It is important that you leave your Chihuahua with someone who you know and trust to ensure that they will be taken care of properly.
Pet Insurance – Some pet insurances go up to 100$ per month. As for mine, I chose the 40$ one since I felt like it would my Chihuahua’s needs. Cheaper is not always better in this faction. Plans on the higher ends, as I said before, have more perks and you might get more benefits in the long run.
AKC Registration – AKC or American Kernel Club offers a registration option for dogs that are not yet registered. This comes with perks such as your dog’s very own certificate and eligibility to join sporting events. AKC Registration costs around $30-$40. This is an additional expense since most reputable breeders always include certifications when you decide to get pups from them.
Shipping – If you got your dog from somewhere far, shipping fees might be added. However, I don’t recommend shipping Chihuahuas due to their mostly fragile build. Face-to-face interaction with your breeder source is always better for you to better gauge their authenticity and dedication in breeding.
Dog Adoption: Is It a Free Way to Get a Chihuahua?
Apart from Backyard Breeders and Reputable Breeders, the adoption of Chihuahuas is also an option. Compared to buying from a breeder, you can save a hefty sum of money as most adoption plans only cost around 300$.
The money given is to cover for the dog care before adoption starts. Some establishments that offer Chihuahua adoptions include Chihuahua Rescue Centers and Adoption Communities.
Rescue centers are communities dedicated to providing homes for rescued or stray Chihuahuas. Often, their goals are to ensure that a Chihuahua ends up in a loving family.
These organizations screen their dogs and applicants for match compatibility in hopes of creating perfect pairings. Chihuahua adoption from these centers ranges from $100 to $300.
Rescue center Chihuahuas also include rehabilitation in case that the dog is aggressive. They also employ neutering and spaying to improve overall health. Additional services from rescue centers cover vet exams, vaccines, and deworming treatments.
Some of these services could be compared to services from reputable breeders. By adopting Chihuahua’s from these establishments, you open your home for homeless dogs by providing them with a caring family.
Popular and trusted Chihuahua adoption centers include:
Finding Products for Your Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are known for their very small builds and lightweight. Due to this, picking the appropriate items for your pups require additional care since you might end up buying stuff which is massive for them to use.
Pet stores usually have one-size-fits-all products which might not be suitable for your cute Chis.
These are the usual products you need in the course of taking care of your Chihuahua pet:
- Quality dog bed
- Chihuahua body care
- Canine gate
- Water bowls
- Leash, collars, and harnesses (Small size)
- ID tag (Small)
- Small clothes
- Chihuahua-friendly toys
- Bathing supplies and dental care
- Clippers and grinders
- Car seat
- First-aid kit
Research is needed to find the most appropriate items for your Chihuahuas. In my experience as an owner, I have gathered clothing, toys, and treats sites that display the best products to use for your Chihuahuas.
These sites and companies use Chihuahua specific products to maximize comfort and usability.
Chihuahua Wardrobe is a site that offers the best clothing for your Chis. This site is made by Chihuahua owners, meaning that they know exactly what you want or what you need.
Usually, it is tough to find small clothes for Chihuahuas, but this site offers many clothing designs from leading shops around the world.
Aside from the fact that your Chi would look undeniably cute when wearing clothes, they also offer fabrics that protect your dog from insects, regulates warmth, and protects against allergies. Furthermore, their clothes are 100% cotton making it soft, comfy, and easy to clean.
I usually buy my Chi’s clothes in this store due to the many size ranges they offer. They have very stylistic designs that fit my tastes and my Chihuahua’s coat color.
Amazon is my go-to online shop for my Chihuahua treats. As an owner, we should ensure that our treats are meet the following requirements:
- No artificial additives
- No extra sweeteners
- Sized properly for small dogs
One of my personal favorites for treats is Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Dog Treats. Made in North America, this treat has the perfect size for Chihuahua, making it easy to eat and digest.
Furthermore, natural ingredients are used in this product. My Chihuahua likes the chicken flavor, though there are other flavors such as cheddar and char tar.
Fruitables Crunchy Dog Treats are fruity alternatives to treats. Similar to the product before, these treats are also all-natural have zero extra ingredients. Some flavors include pumpkin & apple, pumpkin & bananas, and pumpkin & cranberry.
Toys are important tools for Chihuahua’s enjoyment. Usually, there are three types of toys to consider buying for your pet. Let’s take a look at each of them.
- Teething Toys – Teething toys help Chihuahuas fight the urge to chew as it’s their instinct to do so. In choosing one, we should consider texture, temperature, and size to avoid harm for our puppies. A personal favorite of mine is the PetSafe Busy Buddy Bristle Bone Chew taken from Amazon, as it provides a Chi-friendly toy during your pup’s teething months as well as later in their adulthood.
- Anti-boredom toys – These are basic toys to keep your Chihuahua busy in their playtime. Chihuahuas are quick to go restless when they don’t do anything, so diverting their attention is usually a good thing. A good toy grabs your dog’s attention and is durable. My Chihuahua’s personal favorite is the Kong Frog Dog Toy, bought again from Amazon.
- Companion toys – Chihuahuas, similar to kids, can easily develop separation anxiety when away from their parents. As social pets, they want to be always accompanied in homes. Important things to note when getting these are the feeling of comfort and safety your dog has with the item. Usually, soft stuffed toys will do the trick and help your Chihuahuas relax comfortably.
Final Thoughts: Is Chihuahua Fits Your Budget?
Living the Chihuahua parent life requires dedication and commitment. With this effort also comes expenses to provide your beloved pet with the high-quality life they deserve.
By reading this article, you are given a glimpse of what to expect on your journey as a full-time Chihuahua Mom or Dad.
While it might be a little pricey, it’s still worth every ounce of effort, as Chihuahuas are one of the most loving and adorable dog breeds in the world.
My Chihuahua is a companion I can’t live without, and surely, you’ll feel the same way too. Get ready for a fun-filled life with your future Chihuahua!