Chihuahua Price & Cost to Own One





Many people buy a Chihuahua thinking that it is easy to care for given its small size. However, that isn’t the case at all.

Chihuahuas need a lot of care, attention, and training. They also cost quite a bit of money to raise and owning one is a huge financial commitment.

Chihuahuas usually live for 12-20 years, and owners must prepare themselves emotionally, physically, and financially for their pets’ care.

In this guide, we discuss the costs that come with Chihuahua ownership.

How Much Does a Chihuahua Cost?

The average price of a Chihuahua puppy from a reputed Chihuahua breeder is nearly $1000.

In the first year, most Chi owners are known to spend around $2500 on their dog – mainly on food, medical care, training, etc.

The annual cost, after the first year, can come to $1000-$1200 (without including special costs like travel, grooming, pet deposits, dog walker, etc.)

This brings the total lifetime cost of keeping a Chihuahua to almost $15,000-$25,000.

Find out about the cost of Chihuahua mix breeds.


What is the Cheapest Price of a Chihuahua? Is Chihuahua Dog Expensive?

Chihuahuas are expensive in the USA due to their popularity. People love small and compact dogs like Chihuahuas and are willing to spend on them.

Our team analyzed over 80 ads to bring you the latest Chihuahua prices:

  • We found the cheapest price for a Chihuahua to be $450.
  • The maximum price for puppies born to show winning Chihuahuas and title owners was $1500. Some rare coat colors like blue Chihuahuas cost almost $2000.
  • The price of adopting a Chihuahua is about $200-$400 and some rescue homes and animal shelters even cover the dog’s basic vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, etc. Some shelters take a deposit of $100 for a spay/neuter contract.


Price of Basic Equipment – What Items do Chihuahuas Need?

Before bringing your Chihuahua puppy home, here are some basic things to buy for it:

  • A collar – this should be around 3/8th inch wide and adjustable. It costs around $5 to $15.
  • ID tag and leash – $10-$25. Choose a lightweight leash of 5 ft in length.
  • Harness – since Chis are prone to tracheal collapse, it is better to use a harness for their walks. It costs around $10-$25.
  • Grooming tools – Chihuahuas are known for dental issues. So a toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs are a must-have for daily care. Other grooming tools include a brush/comb, shampoo, conditioner, nail clippers, etc.
  • Playpen or crate – $50-$300. A crate is useful during housetraining. It also provides a safe place for your pup to nap.
  • Reusable pee pad – $20-$50.
  • Washable bed – $50-$100.
  • Blankets – Chihuahuas love to burrow, so buy plenty of blankets for it. Cost around $10-$50 each depending on their quality.
  • Food and water bowls – don’t get plastic bowls. Stainless steel or ceramic works best. Cost around $10-$30 each.
  • Toys (balls, chew toys, and soft toys) – $5 to $20 each.
  • Enzyme cleaner and pee deterrent spray – $10-$45.


Dog Food Costs – How Much Does it Cost to Feed a Chihuahua Dog?

Purebred Chihuahuas weigh just 5 lb. and measure about 6-9 inches at the shoulders. This small dog does not need too much food, but you must still make it a point to feed it premium or high-quality dog food. 

Many Chis are prone to stomach issues and food sensitivities. They may need hydrolyzed protein-based hypoallergenic foods, a grain-free diet, or special vet-prescribed easy-to-digest dog food. These special foods can cost nearly $35-$50 a month.

Most Chihuahuas need around 3.5 lb. of food a month. Here are the different costs based on the type of dog food you feed:

Type of foodCost per poundMonthly costAnnual cost
Budget food$1.75-$2$6 to $7$80-$100
Mid-range food$3-$5$5 to $15$60-$180
Premium food/special diet$7-$10$28 to $35$300-$450


Dog Training Costs for Chihuahuas

Training your Chihuahua is very important to prevent bad behaviors. All dogs, irrespective of their breed, need basic obedience training to follow commands like Come, Sit, Stay, etc. Dog training costs can vary from city to city and on the basis of the type of training you opt for.

Here are some costs:

Type of dog trainingWhat it entailsCost
Private dog trainingIt is either in your home or at the trainer’s facility. Effective for people short on time. Teaches basic obedience but can be useful for specific behaviors.
  • PetSmart- $89 an hour
  • New York City – $200-$400 an hour
  • In SFO- $125/hour
Group trainingYour pet will learn to socialize with other dogs. Basic group training entails obedience classes for adult dogs, curbing aggression, etc.
  • PetSmart charges $119/6 week packages.
  • For difficult dogs, it can be almost $200-$600 for 5-6 weeks.
Board and train (also called day training)You drop your Chihuahua at the trainer’s and pick it up at the end of the day. Covers basic obedience, potty training, etc.
  • Starts at around $900 per 2 weeks.
YouTube videos and BooksMany expert trainers have free training videos. You can also pick up some books on dog training from the local library
  • $0-$40


Medical Costs for Chihuahua

Here are some medical costs that Chihuahua owners could incur:

  • Spay and neutering – $150-$200
  • Emergency services – $1000
  • Surgical procedures – $1000-$3000
  • Hip dysplasia surgery – $1200-$2500
  • Annual vaccinations – $45-$100
  • Teeth cleaning – $50-$300
  • Parasites Prevention – $100-$200 a year (deworming, flea, tick prevention)
  • Care of chronic diseases and conditions – $500- $1000
  • Dog chemotherapy – $150-$600 per dose
  • Microchipping – $25-$45

Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs with a lifespan of 12-20 years. Some Chis develop issues like spinal injuries, patellar luxation, tracheal collapse, heart-related issues, and hypoglycemia. These can cost thousands of dollars to diagnose and treat. 

Pet insurance can help offset some of these costs. Most plans start from $7 a month and can help cover many emergency and routine medical costs.

Other Costs of Owning a Chihuahua

In addition to your Chihuahua’s dog food, training, and veterinary costs, you could also incur the following expenses from time to time:


Chihuahuas with long coats may need special grooming and de-shedding. A basic grooming package can cost $20-$45 for these small dogs. Special medicated baths can cost around $45. Other services like haircuts, nail trimming, and ear cleaning can cost around $20.

Pet Boarding/Travel Expenses

Chihuahuas are easy to travel with, but round-trip airfare could cost $125-$250, based on the distance. Boarding your Chi at a pet hostel can cost $20-$45 per night. Even if you board it just for 5 days, your annual expense can be over $100-$200.

Pet Deposits

Chihuahuas are excellent pets for apartments due to their compact size. However, if you’re renting, your landlord could ask for a pet deposit of 40 to 85 percent of the monthly rent. So, if your rent is $2000 a month, your pet deposit could go to $800-$1700!

Dog Walker Costs

You can always save money here by opting to walk your dog yourself. If you’re too busy for that, hiring a dog walker can increase your dog-related expenses by over $300 a month.

Summary and Key Takeaways – How Much Does a Chihuahua Cost?

The average cost of purchasing a Chihuahua puppy from a reputable breeder is $1000.

The first-year cost of raising a Chi puppy can come to almost $2500 – mainly on their dog food, medical care, training, etc. We have not included special costs like dog walking, pet deposits, etc. in this amount.

The annual cost of keeping a Chihuahua comes to $1000-$1200 (without including emergency vet bills, travel, dog walking costs, etc.).

This can bring the lifetime cost of Chihuahua ownership to 15,000-$25,000.

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