If you are considering adding a Chihuahua to your family, there are several issues you need to understand about the breed that can have a huge impact on your finances. While the media has perpetuated the myth that you can simply carry the dog around in your purse like an adorable accessory, the truth about Chihuahuas can stun new owners and make for a bad experience for both you and the dog.
Here are four surprisingly common expenses you need to consider before adopting a Chi, as well as a word of caution about choosing a gender.
Considering A Chihuahua – Four Suprising Expenses
Need For Warmth
A lot of people are not comfortable with a dog on their bed, let alone under the covers. If this is the case in your household, a Chihuahua is a terrible idea.
Bred in the heat of Mexico, a Chi wants to be warm at all times. This means he will lay on heating vents, burrow under the covers, and even crawl under a hot engine in July.
It is not uncommon for owners to keep their dogs clothed throughout the autumn, winter, and most of the spring. Contrary to popular belief, most dogs of this breed do not shake without a reason. Most of the shaking you see in Chihuahuas is due to being cold.
If you live in a four-season climate and are considering adopting a Chi, you need to understand their need to be kept warm and make a commitment to it. You will need to budget money for clothing and a heated dog bed if you live in a four-season climate.
Just because a dog is tiny doesn’t mean his vet care bill will be! Plenty of vets are not comfortable spaying or neutering such tiny dogs and may refer you to a vet that specializes in toy breeds.
Chihuahuas are also known for their poor dentition and may require more dental care than the average child.
Finally, you need to be prepared for the possibility of broken bones. This breed is very fragile and a single misstep on your part can snap a leg bone like a twig. They are also incredibly brave, and can hurt themselves leaping off of furniture or porches. Accidents happen, and you need to be financially prepared.
Chihuahuas have very tiny jaws and, usually, bad teeth. This means that pouring out some standard kibble is not going to work.
This breed also has a proclivity for developing pancreatitis, which can be set off by foods that contain too much fat. You will need to purchase or make food specifically for toy dogs. Treats and chews need to be tiny enough to fit into his mouth and soft enough to be gentle on his teeth.
Some owners have to order specialty food online, while others resort to cooking their dog’s meals on the stove. If you aren’t comfortable with this level of dedication to a dog, a Chihuahua is not the breed for you.
Other Pint-Sized Supplies
This breed is known for being small, but you may not realize just how small until you buy a cat collar and find it is too large. Collars, clothing, brushes, combs, and harnesses need to be small or extra-small.
You may need to purchase or build a set of stairs for the dog so he can get up and down from your bed, the couch, or other furniture. Depending on your area, all of these items may be difficult to obtain. Online shopping can be pricey, and some retailers do not accept returns. Purchasing items marketed for ferrets can sometimes be a brilliant alternative, as these items will often fit easily.
A Word Concerning Gender
A lot of supplies for Chihuahuas come in pink or purple only. The female of the breed is usually much tinier than the male, which can make owning a male Chi an exercise in frustration. He will be too large for a female’s clothing, but too small for clothing made for other small dogs such as the Maltese or Miniature Poodle. If you do decide to go with this breed, a female is easier to outfit.
The financial ramifications of purchasing or adopting a Chihuahua can be larger than you may expect. However, with some planning and savvy shopping, he can make a wonderful addition to your family. Research the options in your area carefully to see if this pint-sized breed will be a good fit before you make a decision.
Read more: Best Dog Foods For Chihuahuas – Reviews And Buying Guide 2018