Qualified, reputable dog breeders typically sell Chihuahua Terriers for between $400-$1,500, though the average may be closer to about $800. Chihuahua Terriers cost this much because they are a designer dog breed and because they are naturally prone to serious health problems that a breeder has to watch out for.
The rest of this article will go into more depth about the cost of a Chihuahua Terrier mix.
Table of Contents
- Why are Chihuahua Terriers So Expensive?
- How to Reduce the Chances of Buying a Chihuahua Terrier with Health Problems
- One Way You Could Save Money on a Chihuahua Terrier Mix
- Ways that Owning a Chihuahua Terrier May Cost Less
- Another Way to Save Money for a Chihuahua Terriers
Why are Chihuahua Terriers So Expensive?
Chihuahua Terriers are a kind of “designer dog.” Unlike mutts, designer dogs have been deliberately bred to combine the attributes from two separate pure breed dogs. Designer dogs, including Chihuahua Terriers, naturally come with a higher price tag to make up for the difficulty and care required to successfully breed them.
Severe Health Issues
One of the reasons that Chihuahua Terriers cost so much relative to many other dog breeds is that they often suffer from numerous health problems even from birth. Serious conditions that Chihuahua Terriers can receive from their parent breeds include:
- Luxating Patella (aka a “trick knee”), which can affect a dog’s walk
- Hydrocephalus (aka “water on the brain”), which can cause increased pressure inside of the dog’s skull
- Heart Disease, which inhibits the ability of the dog’s heart to circulate blood and can lead to lethargy, fatigue, and breathing problems
More Minor Health Issues
In addition to the above health issues, a Chihuahua Terrier can also suffer from genetic diseases that are common to either Chihuahuas or whichever Terrier mix was used by the breeder, including difficulty regulating body temperature, dental disease, obesity, eye issues, and epilepsy.
How to Reduce the Chances of Buying a Chihuahua Terrier with Health Problems
While a Chihuahua Terrier’s health problems may not show up while it is still owned by its breeder, any trustworthy breeder will nevertheless arrange to have health checks performed on the potential parents for any Chihuahua Terriers. This will nip the risk of any serious health issues in the bud.
While it may be tempting to spend less money for a Chihuahua Terrier by buying the dog from a cheaper source, doing so runs the risk of purchasing a pup that could pose serious health problems later on. Regardless of who sells the dog to you, make sure that you receive a health certificate that legally proves that the dog has been screened for any serious ailments.
The breeder should let you see the puppy play with its mother and the rest of the litter. It’s a good sign you’re dealing with a legitimate breeder who has taken care to watch out for health problems if he or she shows a high level of knowledge about the breed, the needs of the specific litter, and the progress of the puppies’ socialization.
One Way You Could Save Money on a Chihuahua Terrier Mix
As with many dog breeds, a Chihuahua Terrier dog at a pet shelter or rescue will likely be available at a much lower cost than you would find from a breeder. In addition, you can still have peace of mind regarding the dog’s potential health issues as long as you work with a shelter that gives its dogs behavioral and medical screenings before putting it up for adoption.
If you decide to adopt from a pet shelter, you should understand there may be extra requirements you wouldn’t have to worry about with a breeder. For example, a shelter employee may visit your home ensure that it is suitable for the rescued dog, and you may have to sign a contract with the shelter that commits you to use only certain kinds of discipline with the dog.
Ways that Owning a Chihuahua Terrier May Cost Less
Thanks to their small size, Chihuahua Terriers require much less food than a larger breed of dog. Feeding requirements will vary even from dog to dog, but according to Animal Corner, most Chihuahua Terriers will only need to consume about 40 calories per pound of bodyweight daily.
A more active dog will need to consume more, of course, and a more sedentary dog should be fed less. Chihuahua Terriers are a more active breed, but it is also easy to overfeed them, so you should keep a close eye on how much food you give your dog throughout the day.
Since you don’t want to risk overfeeding your Chihuahua Terrier with either too much food or too many treats, you can actually end up saving money overall on food and treats because you won’t have to buy as much as you would for a larger dog. However, this comes with the caveat that you should buy your dog high-quality, protein-rich food.
Different Chihuahua Terriers may have different coats, from short to long to everything in between. A dog with a shorter coat will require less grooming than a dog with a longer coat, and it will shed less to boot. Especially if you like to have your dog professionally groomed, overall grooming and cleaning costs could cost less for a short-coated Chihuahua Terrier.
Routine Medical and Dental Care
Like any dog, Chihuahua Terriers are far less likely to suffer from health problems if you take steps to meet its needs. Keep up a regular schedule of routine visits to the vet, and whip out a dog-appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste every day to keep your canine friend’s teeth clean and shiny.
Another Way to Save Money for a Chihuahua Terriers
In light of the Chihuahua Terrier’s tendency to experience health problems, one thing to consider if you want to save yourself money down the road is purchasing pet insurance. Like other forms of insurance and savings plans, pet insurance can help pay part or even all of a pet’s vet visits or other medical treatment.
While paying an average of $50 every month may seem like a lot, it could save you a bundle later on if your Chihuahua Terrier experiences an injury or needs medical intervention such as surgery. If you take good care of your dog, a Chihuahua Terrier can live up to 15 years.