If you are a fan of very small dog breeds, then you might be interested in the Chihuahua and the price of this breed. Due to its tiny size, some might even think that it comes cheap, but is this factual?
Just like with other breeds, the Chihuahua cost is dependent on a lot of factors, and being familiar with these aspects will help you conduct your research to get the best deal possible from reputable breeders.
As you go through this article, you will gain more knowledge about the Chihuahua price, the factors affecting it, its initial and annual maintenance expenses, where to find one, and even ways to save money as you own one.
How Much Does a Chihuahua Puppy Cost?
The prices of Chihuahua puppies vary depending on multiple factors, such as age, gender, color, type, bloodlines, location, and the breeder’s reputation. Its cost may range between $500 to $2,000, with rare colored variants and champion bloodlines costing upwards of $3,500.
Its distinction as the smallest dog breed by most kennel clubs, like the American Kennel Club (AKC), even makes the Chihuahua a more popular breed, which adds to its market demand.
Further, Chihuahuas cost differently depending on their type. Here are some of the most common varieties of Chihuahuas and their price ranges:
|Chihuahua Type||Price Range|
|Short Haired Chihuahuas||$500 – $2,000|
|Long Haired Chihuahuas||$500 – $1,500|
|Apple Head Chihuahuas||$500 – $1,000|
|Pear Head Chihuahuas||$500 – $1,500|
|Deer Head & Deer Legged Chihuahuas||$500 – $2,000|
|Teacup Chihuahuas||$1,200 – $2,000|
Aside from the usual factors affecting the Chihuahua price, the cost of these different types of Chihuahuas is further influenced by their acceptance in kennel clubs, the difficulty of breeding them, and their rarity.
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Chihuahua From a Shelter?
Though the cost of buying a typical Chihuahua is not as high as other dogs, adopting one from a legitimate animal shelter or rescue organization can be another option for how to acquire this small breed.
In fact, not only is adoption cheaper, but it is also a noble deed to provide homeless dogs another chance at living a happier and more comfortable life.
Adoption fees for Chihuahuas range between $100 and $600 and are mostly inclusive of vet care expenses, vaccinations, microchipping, spaying or neutering, and all other rehabilitation costs before being put for adoption.
Additionally, expect the average price of adopting adult Chihuahuas to be cheaper than those of puppies.
First-Time Expenses of Chihuahua Ownership
For a first-time Chihuahua owner, note that buying a puppy is not the only expense you need to prepare for at the start. There are initial costs involved in bringing your new dog home in line with its health and comfort.
Below is a comprehensive list of all the possible initial expenses associated with the ownership of a Chihuahua puppy, which is also applicable to most dogs:
- Food and Treats: Though food and treats are the largest maintenance expense in dog ownership, especially for larger dogs, this is much more manageable for tiny dogs like Chihuahuas. Setting aside $30 to $80 can get you top-grade dog food and healthy treats.
- Bowls: The Chihuahua’s small size means that it has a small stomach and may not eat much, but its high metabolism means that it eats often. Hence, a sturdy food and water bowl is necessary for this task. A good set made of stainless steel or ceramic may cost around $10 to $30.
- Toys: The Chihuahuas can be mischievous if not given the proper physical and mental stimulation they need. Toys are essential tools for this purpose. For about $20 to $30, you can get durable ropes, balls, and chew toys for your Chihuahua.
- Beds: A good-sized, snug, and comfortable bed for small dogs like the Chihuahua can hold you back by $30 to $200. This is a good investment to prevent your pet from developing bone and joint problems in the future.
- Collars and Leashes: For $15 to $50, you can purchase a reliable collar and leash set that will help in your Chihuahua’s identification, security, and training.
- Crates and Carriers: No matter how small your new pet is, you need a tough crate or carrier that will make it secure and comfortable during travel. Prices vary for this item depending on the pet store, but $30 to $200 can get you one that will fit this dog’s size.
- Grooming Essentials: The Chihuahua is one of the easiest dog breeds to groom, but getting a nice grooming kit for about $50 to $150 should further help in its maintenance and in creating varied hairstyles for the breed. This kit should include brushes, combs, a clipper, and other basic hygiene items.
- Initial Vet Visits: Chihuahuas may be prone to certain health conditions, such as patellar luxation, low blood sugar, and mitral valve disease. This makes initial vet visits very important to detect the onset of such health problems early and prevent them from getting worse. Prepare around $100 to $500 for each trip to your trusted vet.
- Initial Vaccine Shots: For $50 to $300, you can get your Chihuahua vaccinated to protect it from the most common yet lethal diseases that most puppies that are not inoculated are prone to.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: Parasites, such as worms, fleas, ticks, and mites, can bring all sorts of health problems to your Chihuahua. Hence, heartworm and flea prevention medications, along with mite and tick inhibitors, can have longer-term benefits for your Chihuahua’s health. Set aside $40 to $300 for these preventives.
- Neutering or Spaying: It has been proven that neutering or spaying your dog at the right time can prevent a lot of illnesses that unaltered dogs can experience, especially those relating to their reproductive system. You can get these surgeries done at prices ranging from $50 to $500, depending on the location and the vet’s fees.
- Microchipping: Small dogs, like the Chihuahua, are prone to getting lost, especially if they love to explore and move fast. Injecting a microchip into your Chihuahua’s back, having it scanned, and enrolling in a recovery database can save you a lot of worry. Microchipping costs around $40 to $60.
- Dog License: Depending on the state where you live, a dog license might be required. Prepare about $10 to $20 not just to comply with the requirement but to benefit from the proper identification and fast retrieval of your dog in case it gets lost.
- Other Essentials: Budget around $20 to $50 to ensure that you share a clean and safe environment with your dog. These other essentials may include deodorizers, sanitizers, poop bags, scoopers, and training pads.
Here is a summary of the first-time expenses you need to consider for the Chihuahua breed:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
As an owner of two Chihuahuas myself, I had to go through all of these expenses twice. However, a good tip that I can give is to go for high-quality items that are durable enough to last a very long time.
I ended up saving more in the process instead of having to keep repurchasing cheap items that my active and wily Chihuahuas could easily destroy.
Annual Cost of Owning a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have a very healthy lifespan, living to about 14 to 16 years. This means that you need to be financially ready to provide for the needs of your pet for this long.
These costs may appear large since they are yearly expenses. However, these should not be too overwhelming if broken down into monthly spending and if planned ahead of time.
The table below summarizes the annual cost of owning a Chihuahua:
|Type of Expense||Yearly Estimate|
|Food and Treats||$240 – $800|
|Routine Veterinary Care||$200 – $600|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$150 – $400|
|Vaccinations||$100 – $250|
|Grooming Essentials||$100 – $300|
|Leashes and Collars||$20 – $40|
|Beds and Crates||$100 – $400|
|Toys||$25 – $100|
|Pet Insurance||$500 – $600|
|Other Essentials||$30 – $50|
|Yearly Total||$1,465 – $3,540|
|Average Monthly Cost||$122 – $295|
Like with most purebred dogs, one of the most important recurring expenses for your pet is its health care. This gives a better chance for your dog to optimize its lifespan and remain active and thriving.
In this case, on top of the usual upkeep costs, routine veterinary care and pet insurance must not be missed. These are smart investments that will prevent you from spending more on unexpected future medical expenses.
Other Potential Expenses to Consider
While there are expenses that can be easily predicted, such as the initial expenses for bringing home a Chihuahua puppy and the recurring costs of taking care of one, there are some that can catch us by surprise.
Listed below are some of the potential expenses you might encounter while taking care of a Chihuahua::
- Emergency Medical Procedures: No matter how healthy a dog is, accidents or medical emergencies are sometimes unavoidable. For example, Chihuahuas may accidentally fall from a certain height, given their active nature, and hurt themselves. Medical emergencies can cost about $1,000 to $5,000 without any pet insurance to cover the costs.
- Daycare Services: Despite its small size, it is understandable that there are times when you might not be able to bring your Chihuahua along with you. This is when hiring daycare services becomes handy. For about $10 to $25, you can have someone look after the basic needs of your dog while you are away.
- Pet Boarding: In instances where you need to be away for a longer period of time, like a business or vacation trip, and bringing your Chihuahua along may not be an option, pet boarding services can help you with this. At a daily rate of $20 to $50, pet professionals will take care of your Chihuahua until you return.
- Kennel Club Registrations: The Chihuahua is a well-recognized breed by kennel clubs. Should you decide to have your pet join conformation shows and sporting events, or if you have plans of breeding your pet in the future, then registering your dog with prestigious kennel clubs, like the AKC and the Chihuahua Club of America, is something you need to consider. This may range between $80 and $200.
- Professional Training Services: The Chihuahua has a reputation for being reserved with strangers, noisy, not able to get along well with other pets, and temperamental. Hence, a dog owner may choose to employ the services of a professional trainer for proper socialization and behavioral training. Private lessons cost roughly $40 to $120 per hour, while group classes are cheaper.
The best way to handle these potential expenses is through financial preparation. In case they happen, it will keep your budget stable. Should they not occur, at least you would have more savings for yourself.
Best Places to Find Chihuahua Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Now that you have an idea of the Chihuahua price, the related costs to its health and maintenance, and even the potential expenses of owning one, it is time to find a reputable breeder of a Chihuahua puppy.
While searching for one, be sure to avoid dealing with puppy mills or backyard breeders who do not place too much concern on the overall health and well-being of the dogs.
To get you started, here are some of the most legitimate sources of professional breeders of Chihuahuas:
- AKC Marketplace – Catering only to breeders that are registered with the AKC, you can be assured that Chihuahua puppies posted here are born out of the strictest breeding standards and the most ethical practices.
- Good Dog – Good Dog is an organization that implements high breeding standards and a stringent screening process for breeders advertising on their site. You can screen the available Chihuahuas through their site, along with detailed information about their breeders.
- Greenfield Puppies – Established in 2000, Greenfield Puppies has been connecting responsible breeders to loving families looking for healthy and quality puppies, including Chihuahuas. This user-friendly platform does not condone unethical breeding practices from puppy mills, but the buyer is still encouraged to visit the breeders personally before dealing with them.
Meanwhile, another option for acquiring a Chihuahua puppy is through adoption. With the popularity of Chihuahuas, it is easy to source legitimate animal shelters or rescue organizations that focus on the breed.
Below are just a few rescue organizations you may want to check for the adoption of Chihuahuas:
- Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (CRT) – Established in 1996, CRT is a foster-based organization that has been active in the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of neglected and abused Chihuahuas and their mixes in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest regions in the United States. Their adoption fees are $300 for adult dogs, $250 for seniors, and $350 for puppies up to a year old.
- Ay Chihuahua Rescue – Run by an all-volunteer group. Ay Chihuahua Rescue is a non-profit organization that caters to the rescue of Chihuahuas in Central Texas, where the breed places second highest in terms of euthanasia rate. They also ensure owner education for the proper care of the breed.
- Chihuahua & Small Dog Rescue, Inc. – Founded in 2005, this non-profit organization caters to the rescue and rehoming of Chihuahuas and other small dogs that are less than 15 pounds upon maturity. Before adoption, they ensure that each dog under their care is given the proper medical attention through their network of volunteer foster homes.
Many of these Chihuahuas for adoption are already adults who have been neglected or abandoned by their previous owners.
Hence, most of these rescues ensure that the dog is also properly socialized and rehabilitated prior to adoption. This includes giving it proper vaccination, microchipping, and spaying or neutering the dog, as needed.
Money-Saving Tips for Chihuahua Owners
Even with its small size, raising a Chihuahua at home is still a big financial responsibility. However, there are effective and practical ways to save money without compromising your dog’s quality of life.
You can consider these money-saving tips while taking care of your Chihuahua:
- Look for the best deals on food and supplies: Pet stores, even online ones, will have differences in terms of their pricing of dog food and supplies. Before deciding to buy from the most convenient option, it is smart to research first and compare offers so you can get the best deal for your money.
- Invest in pet insurance: Pet insurance may be a recurring amount, but you will be thankful you have it in case of a medical emergency for your Chihuahua. Having one can save you thousands of dollars from vet expenses and emergency treatment and give you peace of mind.
- Groom your Chihuahua yourself: Chihuahuas are one of the easiest dog breeds to groom, which is primarily due to their small size. With the help of videos and online references, you can do this at home and save up on expensive grooming costs. You can even master the nail clipping, ear cleaning, and tooth bruising of your dogs.
- Train your Chihuahua at home. Training Chihuahuas is a critical task to ensure that they do not grow into some unwanted behaviors that are naturally present in the breed. To save on high training costs, begin training your Chihuahua early with the help of easy-to-follow online instructions and videos.
To assist you in training your Chihuahua to be friendly, check this video:
These are just a few examples of how one can save on the costs of raising a Chihuahua without sacrificing its health and happiness. You might even discover more as you go through your daily routine with your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Chihuahua the Cheapest Dog?
With the typical Chihuahua’s size, good health, and manageable maintenance needs, it is possibly one of the cheapest dogs to own compared to other breeds.
However, should you decide to go for Chihuahuas with champion bloodlines or those with rare colors and features, prepare a budget of around $3,500 and up with its acquisition alone.
Are Chihuahuas Worth It?
Depending on one’s fondness for the breed, Chihuahuas are definitely worth it. In fact, they are a very practical choice for first-time dog owners due to their small size and their loving, affectionate, and loyal nature.
What Is the Rarest Chihuahua Color?
The rarest color for a Chihuahua is pure white, otherwise known as snow white. The price of a solid white Chihuahua without any spots or markings is upwards of $2,000.
Other rare Chihuahua colors include solid black, brindle, merle, and lavender.
As the smallest dog breed recognized by kennel clubs, the Chihuahua is a great choice for those who want purebred dogs that are easy to care for, compact, and not as financially heavy when it comes to maintenance.
Although the Chihuahua is not an expensive breed of dog, they are still deserving of the best care and comfort that can be given to them. This will help them to be more responsible and well-behaved members of the family.
Further, ensuring that you only deal with the most reputable breeders as your source for one should help you get the healthiest and the best quality Chihuahua that would suit your lifestyle, preferences, and environment.
Are you already a current owner of a Chihuahua? What are your best strategies for your Chihuahua’s expenses? We are interested to learn from your approach through the comments section below!