If you’re preparing to become a new Chihuahua owner, you’re likely wondering, ‘how much do Chihuahuas cost, and what expenses can I expect?’
In the end, money is an important thing to consider when raising a dog. There are many expenses involved, such as vet fees, food, supplies, grooming, professional training, and many others.
In short, the average price of a Chihuahua puppy is $800. During the first year, you can expect to spend around $3,330 and approximately $1,045 for every consequent year during your time together.
Since the average lifespan of this tiny dog that originated from the Techichi dog breed in Mexico is around 15 years, you can count on spending approximately $18,000 on your dog. However, this number can be much higher, as high as $140,000!
To make things much easier for new dog owners, we have compiled a list of all the expenses that await you when purchasing a Chihuahua. We have also listed some of the most sought-after Chihuahua breeds and sizes, so you can know how much you need to pay for your new puppy.
If you want to know the details and the answer to ‘how much do Chihuahuas cost?’, you’re in the right spot. Let’s get right into it!
How Much Do Chihuahuas Cost?
Chihuahua Price Table:
|Type of breeder||Price range||Average cost|
The price of a Chihuahua varies depending on many things. For example, you cannot expect to pay the same for a puppy as you would an adult dog. However, as we’ve mentioned, the average price is around $800.
The price of a Chihuahua depends on many things, such as where you’re getting your dog from, the age and bloodline, the area you live, and so on.
If you’re looking to adopt a Chihuahua, prices can be much lower. In fact, you’ll only need to pay adoption fees that (depending on the humane society, adoption center, and your area) range anywhere between $50 and $500.
While you’ll be saving an animal this way and doing a good deed, you need to keep in mind that you don’t know the background of these dogs. In the end, you might pay more than you would if you bought a high-quality puppy – but more on that later on.
You may also look for a Chihuahua puppy at a local backyard breeder. These breeders are called this not because they literally breed dogs in their backyard but because they don’t have the needed experience in dog breeding and likely don’t follow any breeding practices.
In fact, many backyard breeders are simply Chihuahua owners dealing with unexpected pregnancies who have decided to make some quick cash or get rid of the puppies responsibility. While their intentions are usually pure, they often unknowingly sell pups with severe health issues.
Chihuahua dogs cost less at backyard breeders, so you can find them being sold for as low as $300, with the prices rarely going over $500 – but you have to think about the expenses in the long run.
You may also find cheap Chihuahuas at puppy mills or pet shops. Puppy mills usually don’t provide good conditions for both the parents and the puppies, and they are reproducing puppies without adequate health screenings.
In fact, dogs from puppy mills usually lack proper socialization and training, so they might have plenty of behavioral issues alongside health problems. However, this allows them to sell their dogs for the low price range of $100–$300.
Most pet shops purchase their dogs from puppy mills, so the price range and other dangers stay the same.
Because of this, if you want to get the best dog you possibly can, you should always aim to buy your new family member from a reputable breeder.
Male Vs. Female Chihuahua Cost
There are many differences between a male and a female Chihuahua. For example, males are more dominant and affectionate, while females tend to bark louder but are overall a bit calmer.
However, when it comes to the price, you don’t have to think about it too much. Both male and female Chihuahuas tend to cost the same if you’re looking for a pet.
If you’re looking to breed your Chi, then be prepared that good, healthy females for breeding can cost a bit more than males. This is because they will be the ones to carry and give birth to puppies.
This price difference will depend on the breeder, and it all comes down to pure mathematics. Whether you like it or not, breeding is a business, and sellers look at it as such.
Other than that, however, there is no reason why a female would cost more than a male Chihuahua or vice versa.
How Much Do Baby Chihuahuas Cost?
Most people wonder about the price of the puppy when they’re wondering, ‘How much do Chihuahuas cost?’ If you’re looking to buy a Chihuahua puppy from a reputable breeder, the costs are usually anywhere between $375 and $2,420.
This price depends on many factors. Here are the most important ones.
Are They Purebred Or Mixed Breed?
Some breeders sell mixed-breed Chihuahuas, and they will almost always cost less than purebred dogs – unless the dogs are one of the recognized and popular crossbreeds, such as the Chi Dane Dane or Malchi. These crossbreeds tend to have prices that can be extremely high!
Reputable breeders who work with high-quality bloodlines have more expensive puppies than breeders who reproduce ‘ordinary’ dogs.
Show quality dogs tend to be sold at a much higher price compared to pet quality dogs. While reputation plays a part, there is more to it than this.
Breeders invest a lot of money into show quality bloodlines, and they take great care of their canines. This means that a lot more cash is invested into producing these puppies, and they have to make up for this by raising their prices.
Most reputable breeders are members of at least one kennel club – the most well-known being the American Kennel Club (AKC). These owners usually register their dogs, which would add to the fee.
Keep in mind that most reputable breeders offer puppies with limited registration. They save their full registration pups for exclusive sellers. In other words, if the breeder immediately offers you puppies with full registration, chances are they are backyard breeders.
All serious breeders will evaluate their breeding dogs, as well as every litter, for different medical conditions. This way, you’ll know you’re getting a healthy pup that will likely live for a long time and won’t cost you much in medical bills.
Not just that, but many breeders will even take their puppies to the vet for deworming, vaccinations, microchip implantation, and a regular exam.
While this will lead to a dog costing a lot more, it’s still cheaper than getting yourself a sickly dog that will have to go for monthly vet visits.
If you purchase an older puppy, a responsible breeder should already have completed some basic training and socialization. If anything else, your baby Chihuahua should be potty trained!
While this will increase the price of the pup, it will save you the trouble of having to deal with a badly behaved dog or even having to resort to professional trainers for help.
Most aspiring dog owners would love to adopt their dogs as young as possible. Because of this, a dog’s age will have a high impact on its price.
In other words, you’ll almost certainly pay more for a puppy that is 8 weeks old compared to a 6 month old one, but this will give you more room to mold your dog according to your liking.
Chihuahuas in rare colors, such as blue, merle, or pure white, tend to cost more than Chihuahuas in common, everyday colors.
However, there is one catch – most rare colors aren’t recognized by kennel clubs, which might lead to some breeders reducing the price, especially if it wasn’t their intent to breed a dog in one of the faulty colors.
Finally, a dog breed’s popularity highly impacts the cost of puppies. While this is mostly up to trends, some patterns are easy to notice.
For example, small dogs such as Chihuahuas are trendy in urban areas where most people live in apartments and condos. You’ll rarely see such tiny dogs in the countryside! In these places, large breed dogs such as German Shepherds will be much more popular.
A good idea to save on the price is to order your puppy from a location where the prices are lower. However, this would usually mean that you’d be purchasing a pup without ever seeing it or its parents in person, which can come with its own risks.
How Much Are Teacup Chihuahuas?
Since you know the answer to ‘how much do Chihuahuas cost on average?’, you’re probably wondering about the price of the tiniest of them.
Teacup Chihuahuas are toy dogs that have become incredibly popular in recent years. However, this small breed comes with a considerable price, as you’ll rarely find these pups for less than $1,200.
In fact, some breeders sell them for up to $11,300!
Not just that, but these dogs cost you a lot of money as time goes by. They are prone to plenty of health problems, so you can expect to spend approximately $2,000 on raising your Teacup Chihuahua.
How Much Does A Miniature Chihuahua Cost?
Many people ask this question, wondering if Miniature Chihuahuas are more or less expensive than Teacup Chihuahuas.
The truth is, Miniature Chihuahuas are the same as Teacups. This is just a less fancy term for dogs of the same size.
If the breeder insists that its dog is Mini and not a Teacup, ask to see the health testing results. Chances are they’re simply selling the runt of the litter or dogs with dwarfism.
How Much Do Long Haired Chihuahuas Cost?
Many people looking deeper into the Chihuahua breed for the first time might be a bit surprised to learn that this breed can also come with a long coat.
While they are a bit rarer than regular Chihuahuas with a short coat, long-haired Chihuahuas do exist – and yes, they are purebred.
One of the reasons why these dogs are rare is because this is a recessive gene. This means that the only sure way to breed them is to mate two long-haired Chihuahuas.
However, it can happen that two short-haired Chis have a long-coated pup in a litter. A breeder can sometimes be surprised to notice a hairy dog among the offspring.
Despite this, long-haired Chihuahuas don’t cost much more than regular Chihuahuas. In fact, they’ll rarely be sold for more than $1,500, although exceptions always exist.
Keep in mind that, due to their long coat, they might cost you a bit more in yearly expenses, as regular visits to a groomer are a must.
How Much Do Blue Chihuahuas Cost?
Blue Chihuahuas are one of the rarest Chi colors out there. This makes them very sought-after, and these puppies can be sold for a really high price. In fact, a genuine blue Chihuahua pup can be sold for up to $10,000!
Some breeders might try to sell their gray Chihuahuas as blue ones, but always look for that icy gloss real blue Chihuahuas have. Also, if a blue dog is sold for the same price as a regular one, chances are he isn’t a true blue Chihuahua.
Other than the coat color, these pups won’t be too different from regular Chihuahuas, so don’t expect higher yearly expenses, despite the high initial cost.
How Much Does A White Chihuahua Cost?
Another very popular and not-so-common color in Chihuahuas is white. People will do all they can to get their hands on a pure white Chi!
Despite this, white Chihuahuas only have a slightly higher price than Chihuahuas in some of the standard coat colors. They’ll mostly be sold for anywhere between $500 to $2,500, which isn’t a significant difference.
Keep in mind that some white Chihuahuas might have underlying health issues, especially if they come with blue eyes. This color combination can often mean sight and hearing problems. Some dogs can be entirely deaf or blind! This can lead to increased vet bills.
How Much Do Applehead Chihuahuas Cost?
Applehead Chihuahuas have gotten their name because, according to some people, their heads are shaped like an apple – thus the phrase ‘apple head.’ They have large, round heads, and while this might seem unusual, they are the hallmark of the Chihuahua breed.
In fact, only Applehead Chihuahuas can participate in all dog shows!
If you’re looking for information to the question, ‘how much do Chihuahuas cost?’, you’ll be happy to know that most Applehead Chihuahuas don’t cost more than regular ones. However, plenty of these Chis have a pedigree that makes their price skyrocket.
Because of this, a lot of Applehead Chihuahuas cost several thousands of dollars! If you’re looking for a cheap dog, then this certainly isn’t the dog breed for you.
Despite their unusual head shape, Applehead Chihuahuas don’t require any additional care, so yearly expenses will likely stay the same.
Are Applehead Chihuahuas Rare?
Due to their unusual name, many inexperienced dog buyers will think that this is a rare type of Chihuahua. In fact, some breeders might even try to convince you that this is so.
Don’t let this fool you – Applehead Chihuahuas aren’t rare. In fact, many Chihuahua owners have an Applehead Chi without even being aware of it!
How Much Does A Deer Head Chihuahua Cost?
Deer Head Chihuahuas tend to cost less than their Apple Head counterparts. This is because they are ineligible to participate in most dog shows, so they aren’t attractive to luxury buyers.
Deer Head Chihuahuas have sharper facial features, and they are usually a bit larger than their Apple Head counterparts.
The only difference between these two Chihuahua types is their appearance, so don’t expect long-term expenses to be any different.
Are Deer Head Chihuahuas Rare?
Just like Applehead Chis, Deer Head Chihuahuas aren’t rare. Fortunately, not many Chihuahua breeders will attempt to convince you otherwise, as they are aware that these little dogs aren’t registered by the AKC and that they can’t sell them for a high price.
Cost Of Supplies
Once you’ve learned the answer to ‘how much do Chihuahuas initially cost?’ you may wonder how much they will cost throughout their lifetime. We’ll begin with supplies.
Overall, you’ll need to make an initial investment of around $335 for your pup’s first year. You can find the details of this in the table below.
|Food and water bowls||$15|
|Plastic poop bags||$55|
|House training pads||$25|
|First aid kit||$30|
Don’t worry – as your Chi grows older, this price will lower. In later years, you can expect to pay anywhere between $55 and $260 for additional supplies, making the average cost around $140.
This includes any products that might need to be repurchased or products that aren’t meant to last a long time.
Of course, the quality of the product and the brand will impact this a lot. Also, you might want to purchase additional items, such as dog clothes, playpens, and anti-chew sprays.
Muzzles and harnesses won’t often be needed for small dogs like Chihuahuas, but if you plan on using them, be aware that they also need to be added to yearly expenses.
Despite their small size, Chihuahuas need adequate training and socialization. They can be quite protective and dominant, to the point of becoming aggressive.
Of course, if you have the time, patience, and knowledge, you can train your Chihuahua by yourself. However, if something goes awry, you’ll need to contact a professional trainer.
For bossy dogs like Chihuahuas, it is recommended you pay for both private and group lessons. Private lessons can help with issues such as crate and potty training, as well as positive leadership.
Group classes are required for proper socialization.
Overall, you’ll be looking to pay about $750–$1,000 for up to seven private lessons and approximately $150–$200 for five group lessons.
This price can vary depending on the number of classes required, as well as your location.
Dog Food Costs
Chihuahuas are small dogs. They rarely weigh more than 6 pounds, which means you won’t have to worry too much about food-related expenses.
On average, a Chihuahua will eat around 50 pounds of dry food every year. Since puppy food is a bit more expensive than adult dog food, you can count on spending between $50 and $100 on food during the first year.
Later, this price will drop, and you’ll spend $55 on average feeding your adult Chihuahua.
Don’t forget to count treats when putting together your yearly food budget! In fact, treats can end up being more expensive than regular dog food, especially with dogs that eat so little.
If you give your Chi one treat every day, you can expect to pay between $40 and $240 on dog treats yearly, making an average cost of $150.
This huge discrepancy in price range is because dog food brands sell their products at very different prices.
There are many healthy treats you can give your pup that you probably already have in your kitchen, such as peppers, fig newtons, tuna, and paprika. This can help you save a bit on the cost and ensure you have a healthy dog that isn’t obese.
Grooming costs depend a lot on your dog’s coat type and how much free time you have to dedicate to brushing and bathing your dog.
For most Chihuahuas, it is enough to visit a groomer at most three times a year. However, for long-haired ones, this number should double up.
Overall, you can expect to spend between $105 and $330 per year on professional grooming costs, with the higher price range being reserved for longer-haired pups.
Just like training, grooming is something you can do on your own. To do so, you’ll need a proper dog shampoo as well as a good dog grooming kit. On Amazon and PetSmart, most of these kits range between $25 and $290, and they are usually a one-time purchase, so you’ll certainly save some cash.
We cannot answer the question, ‘how much do Chihuahuas cost per year?’ without mentioning the many vet bills you might need to pay.
Fortunately, the Chihuahua is a healthy dog breed that lives for a very long time, so if you’ve bought one from a reputable dog breeder, you won’t be looking at extremely high expenses. Still, we’ll go over all of the possibilities, so you can be financially prepared for any scenario.
In general, you can expect to pay approximately between $385 and $795 during the first year. This price drops to $280 and $650 for future years. Of course, this can vary greatly depending on your location, particular clinic, and the dog’s health condition.
If you want to spay or neuter your pet, prepare to pay between $50 and $300 for the procedure. Remember that spaying is significantly more expensive than neutering and that a female puppy will need a longer recovery from the procedure.
Throughout the first year, you should make at least three vet visits, the first being when your pup is around 8 weeks old.
During each of these three visits, you’ll need to pay for exams, vaccines, fecal examinations, and three doses of flea and heartworm prevention. This will cost you between $65 and $170 per visit.
A good idea would be to purchase additional flea and heartworm prevention. Each one of these can cost you between $50 and $105. Heartworm is a growing problem in the US, especially in the Southeast, so this is a wise move if you live in that area.
There are additional vaccines you might need to pay for depending on your and your pup’s lifestyle.
For example, dogs that spend a lot of time near standing water or those exposed to wildlife should get a shot for leptospirosis, which costs between $15 and $20. If you have to leave your pup at the kennel, you should give him an influenza shot, which costs between $70 and $90.
Also, it is advised you give your dog a vaccine for Lyme disease, especially if you spend a lot of time in dog parks or the wilderness.
During this time, you should consider spaying and neutering your dog as well.
Subsequent Years’ Expenses
In the following years, a healthy Chihuahua should still visit a vet at least once a year. This yearly visit usually costs between $125 and $265. This should cover a general exam, vaccination, heartworm tests, and bloodwork if your dog is older.
You might also consider giving your pup booster shots for all the lifestyle vaccines we’ve mentioned, and these cost $15–$45 per shot.
If a fecal examination is needed, this will cost you an additional $40–$50. This might be necessary if your dog has inconsistent stool quality or if you suspect he has a stomach or digestive issue.
Potential Health Issues
Unfortunately, even Chihuahuas are prone to a certain number of health problems. While not all dogs will develop one or more of these conditions, you need to be prepared for some expensive treatments if this does happen.
Here are some of the common health issues for Chihuahuas and how much you should expect to pay if your dog develops them.
Chihuahuas have a medium chance of developing congenital hydrocephalus or a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid. This puts pressure on the brain, leading to an abnormally large skull, chronic pain, or even loss of brain function.
Most Chihuahuas that develop hydrocephalus will first exhibit signs of the illness in puppyhood, which will only progress as time goes on. Luckily, treatment exists, but it can be very difficult.
It can cost you up to $2,000 just to get a proper diagnosis. After this, expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $8,000 for the medication and surgery that may be necessary.
Patellar luxation is just a fancy term for a chronically dislocating (luxating) knee cap (patella). It is fairly common in small dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Jack Russell, Beagle, and Dachshund.
Dogs that suffer from patellar luxation will have a knee cap that tends to fall out of the femoral groove during knee fixing. Most small dogs are prone to it, including Chihuahuas. In fact, this is one of the most common orthopedic issues in all dogs.
If your dog develops patellar luxation, treatment will vary depending on his condition and treatment method. If you and your vet decide that pain management is enough, then you can expect to pay around $300–$800 on medication.
However, on some occasions, surgery might be necessary. This is usually required if a dog is in severe pain or cannot get his knee back in place without help. If this happens, you can expect to pay up to $2,000 for the procedure alone.
Chihuahuas are prone to collapsing trachea. This happens when the membrane of the windpipe sags or the cartilage loses rigidity. The trachea will flatten, making it difficult for dogs to breathe as their lungs won’t get enough air.
For a dog to be diagnosed with this condition, you’ll need to pay for an X-ray and medication that can help your pup to breathe. This will cost you between $250 and $450.
If the condition is mild, managing the symptoms might be enough. However, more severe cases require surgery that can cost up to $4,500.
However, most vets don’t recommend surgery as the chances of post-op complications are extremely high. If anything else – the recovery will cost you more money.
Mitral Valve Heart Disease
This is a cardiac disease that causes dangerous heart murmurs that can progress into a heart failure. Even young Chihuahuas can get this condition.
Just because your dog is diagnosed with mitral valve disease doesn’t necessarily mean your pup will experience heart failure any time soon. However, the heart will weaken over time, and heart failure is imminent.
Since there is no cure for this disease, the price for treatment varies greatly. For Chihuahuas, you can only count on giving your dog medication to manage the condition, and this will usually cost you between $300 and $800.
Chihuahuas are prone to developing plenty of dental diseases throughout their lifetime, especially if you don’t clean their teeth regularly.
Overall, a vet will need to clean your Chi’s teeth around four times throughout their life. This will usually cost you up to $800. However, if your pup gets a more severe dental condition, you can expect to pay more.
Chihuahuas can experience low blood sugar levels that can even be deadly. Hypoglycemia can affect dogs as young as three months old, and if not treated in time, it can cause you to lose your family pet.
The treatment of hypoglycemia itself isn’t too expensive, and the vet exam and medication usually won’t cost you more than $800. However, most of the time, there is an underlying issue that caused blood sugar levels to drop.
If hypoglycemia continues, the search for the cause and the ongoing treatment can end up costing you up to $8,000 – although the prices are usually lower.
Dog Insurance Cost
Many dog lovers pay insurance for their four-legged companions. No matter the breed of dog you have, accidents and diseases can happen. While insurance sounds unnecessary or expensive, it can save you a lot of money and stress if something bad occurs.
The median price of an accident and illness coverage plan is approximately $565 per year. If this sounds like too much for you, you can get a plan that covers accidents only for around $190.
The price depends on the insurance company and type of plan, so don’t be surprised if the prices you find are much higher than what we’ve listed.
Keep in mind that, no matter how healthy your pup might appear to be, you can never be entirely certain he won’t develop a severe genetic condition. As you’ve seen, the prices for disease treatments can cost up to several thousand.
Dog insurance is a good way to ensure you always have the money necessary to save your pup’s life or have yourself covered if an accident happens.
Of course, take all factors into consideration, especially when deciding on the right coverage plan for you and your pup. Find the right amount and deductible type of insurance, and check for any limits. Also, look for when the coverage will start, as you cannot use all insurances right away.
Dog insurance isn’t necessary, but it might be a good idea. Just be smart about it, and compare prices and services before making a financial obligation.
When calculating how much do Chihuahuas cost, you need to count on some additional costs that aren’t mandatory but are likely to happen. We’ll list just a few.
A license isn’t mandatory in most states and countries, but it is in some. Even if your dog appears harmless, the government wants you to register it.
The average cost of a license in the USA is $15, but it can be higher if you own a dog that isn’t neutered or spayed.
If a license isn’t mandatory, you can choose whether you want to register your pup or not. Keep in mind that a license can help you find your dog easier in case he gets lost.
Another thing that can help you find a lost dog is a microchip. A microchip also plays a crucial role when it comes to dog identification.
Similar to the license, some countries and states require all dogs and cats to be microchipped. Make sure you’re well-informed before you purchase a dog so you don’t end up paying a hefty fee.
Overall, a microchip will cost you between $25 and $50 depending on the location and ordination.
Dog Walking Costs
Chihuahuas aren’t an overly active breed, but they still need a moderate amount of exercise. Sadly, in the busy world we live, we may not always be able to walk our dogs as much as we are supposed to. This is where dog walking services come into play.
For small dog breeds such as Chihuahuas, a 30-minute walk costs between $15 and $25. If you’re looking for an hourly walk, you may have to pay up to $50.
If you need a dog walker most days, these costs can quickly pile up. If you fear this might happen to you, try to find a company that offers a long-term service, as you might get a discount.
When we think of Chihuahuas, we think of small dogs that peek out from a woman’s purse. However, traveling with Chis can cost you a good amount of money.
If you plan on being outside of your city or country for a while, you might consider dog boarding. The price of this service varies depending on the location, but you can expect it to cost anywhere between $20 and $85 daily.
Keep in mind that sometimes you might need to book these services a few weeks in advance. This can happen during the holiday season when many people travel. During such busy times, you might not find a service available the same week as your (un)expected trip.
Of course, the cheapest option would be to just call your best friend or a family member to do some dog-sitting while you’re out of town. This would cut your expenses drastically.
You may also decide to take your dog with you on a trip. This is common among Chihuahua owners.
Many airline and train companies allow you to take dogs with you, especially smaller dog breeds. Of course, there are provisions for this service, and they vary drastically depending on the company and mode of transport.
How Much Do Chihuahuas Cost Without Papers?
After learning the answer to ‘how much do Chihuahuas cost when buying from registered buyers?’ many aspiring dog owners will attempt to get a dog without papers.
First off, you need to understand the difference between puppies with and without papers.
The main problem that comes with paperwork is registration. Registered dogs are allowed to participate in dog shows and competitions, while those that aren’t registered cannot.
Also, when a dog breeder registers their puppy, he receives a paper detailing all the information about the pup’s health condition and bloodline. Because of this, getting a Chi with papers is the only way of knowing you’re buying a healthy dog.
While this might seem unimportant now, these papers could come in handy when your pooch is older and starts exhibiting signs of aging.
Since the registration process costs money, it is only natural that Chihuahuas with papers will cost more than those without them. If you get a dog without papers, you won’t have any information about possible genetic issues or even the precise age of your pup!
A pup without papers usually costs several hundred dollars, while, as you’ve seen, registered Chis can cost several thousand. So, is it worth getting a Chihuahua without papers?
This entirely depends on you. When you buy an unregistered dog, you risk spending thousands more in the long run. Not to mention that these dogs cannot be further bred legally or participate in dog shows!
If this is something you’re okay with, then you’ll be fine purchasing a dog without papers. However, if you want to ensure you’re getting a healthy, purebred dog, then paying more for a registered dog will be entirely worth it.