Caring for Chihuahuas

Ten questions to ask yourself before becoming a Chi parent

Caring for a Chihuahua is not hard, but it does require a strong commitment. Ask yourself these questions to see whether you are ready.

I know you will find, like me, that having a Chi puppy is a great experience. Chihuahuas are fun, they are great stress relievers and put a smile on your face daily, but like any living creature they are a responsibility.

So before you move on to thinking about how exciting owning a puppy can be, what you will name your pup, you need to think about what caring for a Chi will mean for you and your family.

These questions will help you think through what caring for a puppy entails and some important aspects. I chose to create this page because Chihuahuas are one of top breeds surrendered to shelters and rescues, just behind Pit Bulls as they are a commonly misunderstood breed. Love, affection, attention, training and socialization are a must for Chihuahuas. 

I have listed ten important questions. You may have solutions to questions that you are unsure about, but it's better to think about them now.

If you answer "No" to even one of these questions you should consider what the solution could be before the problem arises.  

Take the Quiz to see if you are ready to be a Chihuahua parent. 

1.         Do you have the commitment to care for a Chihuahua?

Having a Chihuahua requires a strong commitment to love and care for your pup that depends on you, no matter what is going on in your life. This includes spending quality time with your Chihuahua on a daily basis. You will need to provide a safe environment with food, water, exercise, and shelter every day.

Chihuahuas bond very closely with their owners, so you must be completely committed to your Chi. They are intelligent, but strong headed dogs which can be challenging when they are a puppy. You also may find it difficult to train them in the beginning, but if you stick with it and use positive training, you will have an extremely rewarding relationship with your Chi.

Keep in mind, dogs are for life, not just for Christmas and birthdays,

2.         Can you afford a Chihuahua?

Even if you plan to adopt there are costs involved with a new puppy or adult dog. If you adopt from a shelter or rescue, the cost can be anywhere from $40- 400, while a purebred will cost you $750-$1500. Initial supplies for your new pup will run you anywhere from $250-$1000. This includes food and waters bowl, crate, bed, carrier, harness, leash, registration, tags, grooming supplies, gates, accessories, toys and food. If you rent, also factor in a pet deposit that can range for $100- $300 or more.

Your annual costs will include vet visits, food, toys, pet sitter if you travel, pet insurance, an emergency fund with a cost range of $750-$2000 per year. This will vary depending on where you live.

3        Do you have the time required for a Chihuahua?

Initially, up until your pup is one years old, you will need to invest time with your Chi to build a bond and train her. Training should be short learning spurts, not forced that are fun and will continue to build a strong bond. If you can, try to take a few days off when you bring your Chihuahua home, to help them get acclimated and comfortable in their new surroundings.

4.         Do you have the space for your Chihuahua?

Although Chihuahuas do not require much space, they do need a place in your home to call their own. A spot for their food and water bowls, their bed(s), toys, and a crate, if you are crate training at a bare minimum. If you are like me, your Chi will have a bed in every room.

5.         Is your family committed to caring for your Chihuahua?

If you live on your own, this is an easy question to answer, but if you have roommates or a partner, then this can be a more serious question. Chihuahuas need to be treated need with special care as they can’t protect themselves from a mean human. Living with someone who does not like or care for dogs, can cause serious issues.

6.         Can you provide a protective environment for your Chihuahua?

Your Chihuahua needs to be kept in a protective environment. They cannot be left outside or left alone outside even for  a few minutes because they could  fall prey to domestic animals or wildlife. They need to feel safe and comfortable in your home including having their own space in your home.

7.         Will your other pets get along with your Chihuahua?

If you have other pets in your home, you will need to monitor closely an use common sense to decide if they can get along. Its important to treat each animal with the same love and respect so there is no jealously which can lead to bad behavior.

8.         If you have kids, will you be able to monitor all interactions with your Chihuahua(s)?

As a general rule, young children in particular, should never be left alone with a Chihuahua. Children will need to be taught that they must treat your Chihuahua with extremely gentle care. They should never pick up a Chihuahua unless they are both sitting on the floor. You will need to monitor all children that may interact with your with your Chihuahua always, as too many accidents can easily happen.

9.         Will you enjoy a puppy/dog that will always want to be by your side?

You and your Chihuahua will build an awfully close bond, so if you plan on becoming a Chihuahua owner, this is something you must enjoy. Your Chi will want to be with you all the time, no mater what you are doing. If you are busy cleaning the house across multiple rooms, they will place themselves so that they can easily see you as you move throughout the house.

10.   Will you be committed to your Chihuahua throughout their life of 15-20 years?

Most Chihuahuas live long healthy lives. On average, they will be a part of your life for at least 13-15 years, possibly 20 years. This question is the most important, because you need to be able to commit to love and care for your Chihuahua(s) for their entire lives. When they are a senior dog, you need to be there for them no matter what. It can be completely devastating for a Chihuahua to be separated from their owner permanently especially in their senior years.

This list is by no means inclusive, but it’s a great starting point.

There are many other factors to consider but, if you answered yes to all 10 questions or have solutions in mind to questions that are not a definite yes, then you have a great head start on searching for your new Chihuahua and becoming a Chi parent.  

Chihuahua Dog Care

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