As you prepare to welcome a new Chihuahua into your home, budgeting should be on your to-do list. In fact, there are many expenses to consider when raising a dog: vet fees, training costs, food, supplies, medical costs, grooming and more. To help make things easier for you as well as your Chihuahua, we have come up with a cost calculator that will give you a personalized estimate as to how much it should cost you to raise your furry friend.
A Chihuahua puppy is likely to cost between $375-$2,420 with the average price being $800. First-year expenses are around $3,330 and will be about $1,045/year (or $87/month) after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Chihuahua is $17,960.
As detailed in this post, these figures include most essentials. But you may incur additional optional costs such as insurance, dog walking or boarding services. You might also decide to spay or neuter your dog. All this could bring the overall cost of ownership between $72,925 (for less expensive areas and/or wallet-friendly products and services) and $141,660 (in more expensive areas and/or for more sophisticated purchases).
Through the course of the article, we discuss how these costs factor in and delve into why many of them may prove necessary. You will also find professional opinions from a licensed veterinarian, a dog trainer, a certified groomer as well as a dog walker and various tips to help you with your Chihuahua. At the very end, we have added our cost calculator that will generate an accurate estimate as to the overall cost of purchasing and raising a Chihuahua according to your situation.
What is the price of a Chihuahua puppy?
Our team has combed through almost 900 ads from sources like the American Kennel Club and Puppy Find, to find the average price of purchasing a Chihuahua puppy to be $800, with 80% of prices ranging from $375 to $2,420. For a purebred with documents, the price goes up to $6,800.
|Puppy Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Chihuahua||$375 – $2,420||$800|
Adoption might be a more affordable alternative, with rehoming fees ranging from $50-$500. And you would be saving an animal. If you are actively looking for a dog, we strongly recommend doing some research and finding a reputable breeder or shelter. This will make a big difference in terms of your Chihuahua’s health and well-being.
|Puppies Price Range||Ads Reviewed|
|$50 – $800||456|
|$801 – $1,550||267|
|$1,551 – $2,300||85|
|$2,301 – $3,050||54|
|$3,051 – $3,800||23|
|$3,801 – $6,800||14|
This data is 100% original and has been collected by PetBudget’s team.
“As a veterinarian, I think Chihuahua breeding dogs should be evaluated or tested for the following conditions prior to breeding and throughout their breeding years: patellar luxation, eye examination by an ophthalmologist, cardiac evaluation. Buyers should ask the breeder about health screening tests performed.”Leslie Brooks, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
Factors affecting the price of puppies and why prices vary for the same breed.
- Purebred or mixed. Usually, mixed-breeds are sold at a lower price than purebred dogs
- Bloodline and breeder’s reputation. If the parents are purebred show quality dogs from a reputable breeder, the price will be substantially higher. These breeders also tend to invest more money than others to take care of their breeding dogs and puppies.
- Registration papers/pedigree. Some breeders are members of kennel clubs, the most famous being the American Kennel Club (AKC). They can also have their breeding dogs and puppies registered which would also add to their fees.
- Health screenings and medical expenses. Serious breeders will have their breeding dogs and/or puppies evaluated/tested for different medical conditions. This obviously drives the price higher but also reduces the risk for the buyer to get an unhealthy dog. Moreover, some breeders will take their puppies to the veterinarian for an exam, deworming, vaccines, and/or microchip implantation prior to selling them. Whether the dog is a purebred or not, this aspect is probably the most important. A breeder that is willing to invest in his dogs’ health is more likely to be trustworthy.
- Training and socialization. Some breeders sell their dogs after they are trained and socialized. It will increase the puppy’s price but generate savings as you most probably won’t have to invest in more training and also gives a better chance to get a well-behaved dog.
- Breed popularity in the buyer’s location. Local supply and demand will have an impact on puppy prices. For example, small dogs tend to be more popular in metropolitan areas where people live in apartments or smaller houses. The same logic applies to bigger dogs in rural areas. Some breeds might be more in demand in colder climates, others where hunting is more popular, etc. It is worth looking for prices in different locations to find a dog, but it is risky to buy one without having seen it before or at least have met with the breeder and visited his kennel.
- Age. As most people want to get their puppy as young as possible, prices tend to be lower when the dog gets older. For example, on average a 6-month-old pup is likely to be less expensive than an 8-week-old one.
- Coat color and markings. Coat color trends can change quickly. For any breed, some colors are more popular than others, sometimes temporarily. When the interest for a specific coat color grows, puppies get more expensive as an increase in demand leads to a higher market price (when supply remains the same). Also, for purebred dogs, only certain colors and color combinations are accepted by kennel clubs. Finally, puppies with rare colors can be very expensive as well.
The cost of supplies for a small dog
Ideally, you will want to have a certain amount of supplies on hand to welcome your Chihuahua into your home. For small dogs, you will be looking at a $345 initial investment on average for the first year. This is based on the analysis of 250 products on famous marketplaces such as Walmart, PetSmart, and Amazon.
|Supplies Prices||Range||Average Cost|
|Food & Water Bowls||$5 – $20||$15|
|Dog Collars (x2)||$5 – $40||$20|
|Leash||$5 – $20||$10|
|ID Tag with Phone Number||$5 – $20||$10|
|Dog Bed (24″ or 30″)||$15 – $65||$35|
|Dog Crate (24″ or 30″)||$20 – $80||$40|
|Plastic Poop Bags (900-1080)||$15 – $110||$55|
|Pooper Scooper||$10 – $30||$20|
|House Training Pads (75-100)||$15 – $45||$25|
|Stains and Odors Removal Spray||$5 – $20||$10|
|Toys||$15 – $50||$30|
|First-Aid Kit||$15 – $50||$30|
|Brush||$5 – $45||$15|
|Shampoo||$5 – $20||$10|
|Tooth-brushing Kit||$5 – $15||$10|
|Toenail Clippers||$5 – $20||$10|
As your Chihuahua grows, the price of supplies does ease up. For each subsequent year, your expenses are likely to range between $55 and $260, putting the average cost at $140. This considers all the items that need to be repurchased, such as toys, bed, shampoo, sanitary bags, tooth brushing equipment and the like.
|Total Supplies Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|First Year||$150 – $650||$345|
|Subsequent Years||$55 – $260||$140|
The quality of products and the store choice will have a notable influence on prices. Additional equipment or items may be necessary in some cases, such as clothing, a play pen, fences, anti-chew sprays, muzzles, and harnesses, but are not included in our necessary expenses. Take that into consideration when planning costs. To help save, consider looking at second-hand stores and websites.
Training a Chihuahua
According to dog trainer and animal behaviorist, Alexa Diaz, Ph.D., professional training is recommended for a Chihuahua. Private lessons will help with positive leadership, potty and crate training. Additionally, group classes for basic obedience and socialization purposes should also be considered. You will be looking at anywhere between $750-$1,000 for 5-7 private lessons and $150-$200 for 5 group lessons, depending on your locality.
|Training Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Chihuahua||$900 – $1,200||$1,050|
Reading a dog training book and educating yourself on dog behaviors and psychology before welcoming the pet will also ease up the process.
“Chihuahuas are very smart and learn easily. They bond with one person more than a family. Chihuahuas are instinctively shy and fearful, therefore needing lots of training and socialization to help them relax in the world of giants (humans). They love to snuggle under the covers with their owner.”
Alexa Diaz, Ph. D. – Animal Behaviorist
Medical costs for a Chihuahua
Leslie Brooks, DVM, a licensed veterinarian estimates the medical costs to fall between $385 and $795 for the first year with a Chihuahua puppy and $280 to $645 every year after that. These costs are based on her experience and may obviously vary depending on many factors such as location, the clinic taking care of the dog and the dog’s health itself. A one-time $50-$300 expense must be planned for spaying/neutering a Chihuahua if the owner decides to go down that road. Most clinics would charge $100-$300 for the procedure but it is possible to find low cost alternatives that will run you as low as $50. In general spaying (female) is more expensive than neutering (male).
|Medical Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|First Year Vet Cost||$385 – $795||$590|
|Spay/Neuter (optional)||$50 – $300||$175|
|Adult Year Vet Cost||$280 – $645||$465|
Vet cost for a Chihuahua puppy (first year)
Through the first year, Dr. Brooks suggests making at least three trips to the vet, with the first one scheduled at roughly 8 weeks of age. Each trip will cost you anywhere between $65 and $170 and they will cover exams, essential vaccines, a fecal examination as well as the first three doses of heartworm and flea prevention. Besides, she advises owners to pursue heartworm and flea prevention, each accounting for $50-$105 and $70-$105 for the rest of the year. Heartworm prevention helps prevent the development of heartworm disease which is problematic in the US especially in the Southeast part of the country.
Moreover, the Chihuahua may require vaccines that depend on its owner’s lifestyle and activities:
- Leptospirosis ($15-$25) for dogs exposed to wildlife, standing water, or taken on camping/hiking trips often.
- Lyme ($60-$80 including a booster shot) if the dog is exposed to ticks often.
- Influenza ($70-$90 including a booster shot) mostly if the daycare or kennels the dog is visiting require it due to intermittent influenza outbreaks.
If spaying (female) or neutering (male) is considered, the owner should expect a $100 to $300 bill in most clinics, depending on the area. It is also possible to find low-cost options as low as $50-$100 in some places. Note that, generally, spays tend to be slightly more expensive.
Medical expenses for the subsequent years
For an adult Chihuahua, one trip per year is recommended by licensed veterinarians like Dr. Brooks. The yearly visit price should range around $125-$265 and includes a general examination, necessary vaccines, heartworm test and, for older dogs, some blood work to detect any potential hidden issues. Recommended heartworm and flea prevention will run about $55-$70 and $100-$150 for every adult year, respectively.
Optional booster shots for the lifestyle vaccines (Lyme, Leptospirosis, and Influenza), could also prove to be necessary and cost $15-$45 each. In some cases, Leslie Brooks, DVM, also does a fecal examination ($40-$50), especially if the Chihuahua shows an inconsistent stool quality.
Chihuahua potential health issues
Chihuahuas can be prone to certain diseases or medical conditions like the ones listed by Leslie Brooks below.
|Health Problem||Likelihood||Treatment Cost Estimate|
|Hydrocephalus||Medium||$1,000 – $8,000|
|Patellar Luxation||High||$300 – $2,000|
|Collapsing Trachea||High||$250 – $4,500|
|Dental Disease||High||$400 – $800|
|Mitral Valve Disease of the Heart||High||$300 – $800|
Hydrocephalus: $1,000 – $2,000 for diagnostics and treatment with medications alone and $1,500 – $8,000 for diagnostics and surgery if medications alone are not sufficient.
Patellar luxation: the low end of the cost estimate covers pain management as needed and joint supplements, while the high end of the range is if surgery is needed. Not all dogs need surgery (only if it is causing them a lot of pain and if they cannot get their knee back in place on their own).
Collapsing trachea: a Chihuahua owner can expect to pay $250-$450 for diagnostic x-rays and medications to control symptoms. If the condition is severe enough, surgery might be needed and could cost $3,000 to $4,500. However, surgery is usually not recommended due to many severe complications post-surgery.
Dental disease: this is the cost estimate for the dental procedures to clean the teeth and remove any infected teeth if needed. It will likely need to be done two to four times throughout a Chihuahua’s life.
Mitral valve disease of the heart: the high end of the range is if an echocardiogram needs to be done on top of x-rays and lifelong medications expenses.
“Chihuahuas are fairly healthy dogs with minimal health concerns but will need dental procedures regularly throughout their life that should be budgeted for, or they may develop painful tooth root abscesses.”Leslie Brooks, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
Dog insurance cost
The latest North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s State of the Industry report puts the average price of accident and illness coverage plans at $565. For accident only plans, the average yearly cost is $190. Insurance can come in handy as it is impossible to predict some medical expenses. Check with pet insurance companies to get a quote and know more about coverage.
It is also possible to get complete health coverage with some insurance companies but it gets much more expensive.
As mentioned, some medical conditions can be expensive to treat. Although purebred dogs may have a higher incidence of some inherited disorders, mixed breed dogs are also likely to develop health conditions, such as cancer and heart disorders. No dog owner should have to make critical decisions about their pets based on their ability to afford care. That’s why pet insurance is more popular every year in the US.
When comparing pet insurances, price is a significant factor, but it is also essential to consider:
– Deductible type (per incident or per year) and amount
– Reimbursements percentage and limits
– Services included (emergency visits, hospitalization, surgery, medications, specialists, cancer treatments, pre-existing conditions, etc.)
– When coverage will start
The price will vary depending on multiple factors, including the dog’s breed, age, location, and the plan chosen. You can compare pet insurance prices on comparison websites like PetInsuranceReview.
The cost to feed a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are very small dogs, averaging 5 lb. on the scale (usually 3 to 6 lb.). As a result, your food-related expenses are not likely to be high. A Chihuahua eats around 50 lb. of dry food every year, putting your expenditure in the $50-$90 range for the first one and $25-$90 for every adult year. These figures are based on the prices of four popular brands available in most stores (see details below).
|Yearly Food Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Puppy||$50 – $90||$70|
|Adult Dog||$25 – $90||$55|
After reviewing 27 best sellers on Walmart, Amazon and PetSmart, owners using treats to train or reward their dog should expect to pay an extra $150 every year on average for a small breed.
|Treats Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Yearly Treats||$40 – $240||$150|
This cost estimation for treats is based on the premise that the dog gets one treat every day. If you give your dog a treat every other day, you can divide these amounts by two. If it is once a week, divide them by seven, and so on. Enter the relevant information in the calculator at the end of the article to get your personalized cost estimate.
With food and treats, you must be ready to pay much more if you opt for premium grade products compared to regular ones.
Four dog food brands compared
A Chihuahua puppy will need to eat about 50 lb. of dry food during the first year.
|Puppy Food Brands||Quantity per Bag||Number of Bags / Year||Unit Price||Total Price|
|Purina – Puppy Chow||36 lb.||2||$27.78 (Walmart)||$55.56|
|Purina One – Smart Blend Puppy||16.5 lb.||4||$21.98 (Walmart)||$87.92|
|Pedigree – Puppy||36 lb.||2||$25.83 (Walmart)||$51.66|
|Blue Buffalo – Puppy||30 lb.||2||$44.08 (Amazon)||$88.16|
Every year after that, the owner will still feed his dog close to 50 lb. of food.
|Adult Food Brands||Quantity per Bag||Number of Bags / Year||Unit Price||Total Price|
|Purina – Dog Chow||50 lb.||1||$22.98 (Walmart)||$22.98|
|Purina One – Smart Blend||40 lb.||2||$40.36 (Walmart)||$80.72|
|Pedigree – Adult||50 lb.||1||$25.83 (Walmart)||$25.83|
|Blue Buffalo – Adult||30 lb.||2||$44.98 (Amazon)||$89.96|
Ask your veterinarian for the most suitable food for your dog. Also, buy in bulk when possible to save money.
Example for a more expensive premium brand
|Royal Canin – Size Health Nutrition||Quantity per Bag||Number of Bags / Year||Unit Price||Total Price|
|Small Puppy||13 lb.||4||$44.99 (PetSmart)||$179.96|
|Small Adult||14 lb.||4||$41.99 (PetSmart)||$167.96|
This illustrates the price difference between budget-friendly and premium dog food.
Grooming cost for a Chihuahua
According to Corryne Smith, certified groomer, professional grooming for a Chihuahua should cost around $35 to $55 per visit. She would recommend 3 to 6 visits per year depending on your dog.
|Yearly Grooming Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Chihuahua||$105 – $330||$220|
Usually dog grooming services include a bath and shampoo, hair removal (if needed), brushing and styling, nail trimming, teeth brushing and eye and ear cleaning. Several variables affect the amount of grooming time, such as dog’s size, coat condition, health and age, behavior and the services requested.
If you have the skills and knowledge and would like to handle the grooming yourself, an all-inclusive grooming kit costs between $25 and $290 and averages around $75 at Walmart, PetSmart, or on Amazon.
Additional costs to consider
|Additional Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|License||$10 – $20||$15|
|Microchip||$25 – $50||$40|
|Dog Walking (per walk)||$15 – $25||$20|
|Dog Boarding (per day)||$25 – $85||$40|
On average, the cost of a license in the U.S.A ranges between $10 and $20. The cost of a license could be slightly higher if your dog is not spayed or neutered. In many states and territories, it is against the law to have an unlicensed dog, so we highly recommend getting your Chihuahua licensed as early as possible. In the unfortunate event that your dog is lost in the future, a license will also make locating it that much easier.
Microchips play a crucial role in the identification of your dog. Many states require pets to be microchipped, making it a necessity depending on where you live. This can run you $25-$50 on average.
Chihuahuas need a moderate amount of exercise. If you cannot walk your dog during the day, Tamaria Reddick, a well-reputed dog walker and dog sitter, would recommend hiring a dog walker for a daily 30-minute walk. On average, these are affordable. A 30-minute walk usually costs between $15 and $25 ($20 to $50 for 1 hour) depending on your location. But you must be aware that those costs add up very quickly if you need a dog walker five days a week all year long. To find a dog walker in your area and validate the price, you can use apps like Rover or Wag. If the dog is not properly socialized, it might need private walks which are more expensive.
If you are traveling for an extended period, you will also need to consider the price of pet-services, such as dog boarding. Prices vary depending on location, the time of the year and the level of service but you can reasonably expect to pay somewhere between $25 to $85 per day of dog boarding.
During particularly busy times, such as the holiday season, we recommend booking such services in advance, as you are likely to get better rates, while also guaranteeing a safe and secure place for your dog to stay. The most affordable and sensible option, however, is to see if any family and/or friends might be comfortable with hosting your dog, as this drastically cuts your costs.
Apart from these types of services, taking your dog with you is also an option. These days, many airlines and train companies can make provisions for dogs provided you submit a request ahead of time. The cost varies drastically and can only be assessed on a case-by-case basis, as it depends on several variables such as location, destination, mode of transport, etc.
Yearly and monthly cost for a Chihuahua
The cost of a puppy during the first year
Using the metrics and explanations detailed above, the cost of raising a Chihuahua puppy for the first year falls within the $2,040 to $5,795 range, with an average cost of $3,280. Most of this amount will have to be spent before or shortly after welcoming the pup.
|First Year Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|Puppy||$375 – $2,420||$800|
|Supplies||$150 – $650||$345|
|Training||$900 – $1,200||$1,050|
|Medical||$385 – $795||$590|
|Food & Treats||$90 – $330||$220|
|Grooming||$105 – $330||$220|
|License||$10 – $20||$15|
|Microchip||$25 – $50||$40|
|First Year Total||$2,040 – $5,795||$3,280|
The owner’s situation and preferences might require him to pay some of the optional expenses listed below.
|Optional First-Year Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|Spay/Neuter||$50 – $300||$175|
|Insurance||$350 – $780||$565|
|Dog Walking (30 minutes per day)||$15 – $25||$20|
|Dog Boarding (per day)||$25 – $85||$40|
To illustrate this, the average cost of $3,280 will rise to $8,500 if the dog is spayed/neutered, enrolled in an insurance plan, professionally walked five days a week for forty-two weeks and boarded for seven days during the year.
|Potential First Year Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|With Spay/Neuter and Insurance||$2,440 – $6,875||$4,020|
|With Spay/Neuter, Insurance, Dog Walking and Dog Boarding||$5,765 – $12,720||$8,500|
Yearly and monthly cost of a Chihuahua for the following years
As welcoming a new pet entails initial costs that do not have to be renewed, expenses go drastically down for the following years. In fact, the yearly budget falls between $515 and $1,585 for all the essentials ($43-$132 monthly).
|Adult Year Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|Supplies||$55 – $260||$140|
|Medical||$280 – $645||$465|
|Food & Treats||$65 – $330||$205|
|Grooming||$105 – $330||$220|
|License||$10 – $20||$15|
|Adult Year Total||$515- $1,585||$1,045|
|Estimated Monthly Cost||$43 – $132||$87|
This time, the average cost of $1,045 will rise to $6,890 if the owner adds insurance, dog walking services (five days a week for fifty weeks) and dog boarding for seven days during the year. It is a major difference as your monthly budget for the pet would be $574 instead of $87.
|Potential Adult Year Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|With Insurance||$865 – $2,365||$1,610|
|With Insurance, Dog Walking and Dog Boarding||$4,790 – $9,210||$6,890|
Chihuahua total cost of ownership
Chihuahuas like other small breeds tend to have a longer lifespan. They will bring happiness to their families for 15 years on average (usually 14 to 16 years) and the total cost of raising them can be placed in the $9,250 to $27,985 range ($17,910 on average).
|Total Cost of Ownership (15 years)||Range||Average Cost|
|Chihuahua||$9,250 – $27,985||$17,910|
Once again, these amounts can change drastically depending on additional expenses incurred by the owner. Using the scenarios detailed previously we have calculated the total cost of owning a Chihuahua in the table below.
|Potential Total Cost of Ownership (15 years)||Range||Average Cost|
|With Spay/Neuter and Insurance||$14,550 – $39,985||$26,560|
|With Spay/Neuter, Insurance, Dog Walking and Dog Boarding||$72,825 – $141,660||$104,960|
PetBudget Chihuahua cost calculator
The cost of a Chihuahua – A summary in 7 questions
1- How much is a Chihuahua puppy?
On average a Chihuahua puppy will cost $800 in the USA. Most puppies can be found between $375 and $2,420. The price will vary depending on the breeder and location as well as the dog’s bloodline, color, and age among other things.
2 – How much are dog supplies?
A new owner can expect an initial investment between $150 and $650 in supplies when welcoming a small dog. Every year, the cost to renew some of them should be between $55 and $260. Prices vary depending on location, stores, brands, and products quality.
3 – Does a Chihuahua need training and how much will it cost?
Having a Chihuahua professionally trained is usually recommended (both private and group training) and should cost around $1,000 to $1,200. For this breed, training should mainly focus on basic obedience, socialization, potty training, crate training, and positive leadership.
4 – What is the cost of preventive medical care for a Chihuahua?
Preventive medical care should amount to around $385 to $795 for a Chihuahua puppy during the first year and around $280 to $645 every adult year. This does not include a spay or neuter procedure (usually between $100 and $300).
5 – How much food does a Chihuahua eat and how much will it cost?
A Chihuahua will eat around 50 lb. of dry food yearly (it varies for each dog and food brand). Annual expenses should be between $50 and $180 for a puppy and $25 to $170 for an adult dog. Other types of food and treats would increase the costs.
6 – How often should a Chihuahua be professionally groomed and how much will it cost?
A Chihuahua should be professionally groomed 3 to 6 times every year. Most dog owners will not be able to groom the dog themselves. Each visit to a grooming salon should cost from $35 to $55 for this breed depending on the dog and the services offered.
7 – Are there any other expenses to expect?
In the United States, a dog license usually costs between $10 and $20. The cost could be slightly higher if the dog is not spayed or neutered. Having the dog licensed is mandatory almost everywhere.
A dog microchip costs $25 to $50 on average in the US and is generally implanted during a medical appointment. It is placed under the skin usually between the shoulder blades. Dogs adopted from a shelter or bought from a breeder sometimes already have a microchip.
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s latest State of the Industry Report, the average annual price is $566 for accident and illness coverage plans or $190 for accident only plans.
Dog walkers usually charge $15 to $25 for 30 minutes group walks and $20 to $50 for 1-hour long ones. Prices vary mainly depending on location. Private walks are more expensive.
A dog owner should budget $25 to $85 per day for dog boarding services. Prices vary depending on location, time of the year, and the level of service among other things.