Ten things to know before owning a chihuahua are:
- They have a long lifespan.
- They don’t get along well with little kids.
- They shed.
- They bark a lot.
- They are prone to health problems.
- They are possessive and may attack friends and family if not properly trained.
- They are hard to house train.
- They are not outdoor dogs.
- You need to find a reputable breeder.
- You have to be ready for the commitment of owning a dog.
Are you considering getting a chihuahua? Here are some things to think about!
Table of Contents
- Are you looking for a breed that has a long lifespan?
- Do you have a little kid?
- Are you okay with having a dog that sheds?
- Are you okay with having a dog that barks a lot?
- Are you ready to take care of a dog with health problems?
- Do you have friends and family over often?
- Do you have the patience to house train a chihuahua?
- Do you want an outdoor dog?
- Are you prepared to find a reputable breeder?
- Are you ready for the commitment of owning a dog?
Are you looking for a breed that has a long lifespan?
Chihuahuas can live for an average of 15 to 20 years!
This depends on many factors. Some of them are in the owner’s control and some are not.
If your chihuahua has good genes, goes to the vet regularly, eats the correct diet, and gets enough exercise, he is likely to live for a long time.
Do you have a little kid?
Chihuahuas don’t tend to like small children.
Kids under the age of six will likely get growled at and bitten. This is because chihuahuas do not like the carefree, high energy of young kids.
Even worse, this is an age at which children likely won’t have the foresight to read a dog’s body language. This can be dangerous if they try to pet or pick up the chihuahua.
Are you okay with having a dog that sheds?
Some dogs shed seasonally, but chihuahuas shed year-round.
Because of this, you’ll need to brush your chihuahua often. Depending on how much he sheds, you will have to brush him weekly, a couple of times a week, or even daily.
Since chihuahuas are small, brushing them doesn’t take very long. You can just do it while watching TV at night.
However, if you have a very busy schedule, are allergic to dogs, or like a completely clean house, shedding is something to consider.
Are you okay with having a dog that barks a lot?
Chihuahuas bark for many reasons.
One common form of barking is territorial. This is when a person or another dog comes into the area that the chihuahua considers his territory.
Another reason chihuahuas bark is out of fear. This kind of barking is at any object or noise that scares them. Usually when this happens the chihuahua will have his tail tucked and his ears back.
Lastly, chihuahuas bark when they want attention, whether it be going outside, getting a treat, or playing.
Are you ready to take care of a dog with health problems?
Chihuahuas are so fragile that even falling off the couch can injure them. This is because they are small and thin, particularly their knees and legs.
Hypoglycemia is a condition when someone has low blood sugar, and is common in small breeds. Symptoms include tremors, shuddering, slow motion, and sluggishness. Serious cases can cause convulsions, comas, and even death.
Chihuahuas are also vulnerable to allergies, especially in the fall and spring. Your vet may suggest Zyrtec or Benadryl. Don’t give your chihuahua any medication without talking to a professional.
All of this considered, you should probably have some extra money to spare for when health problems arise.
Do you have friends and family over often?
According to Pet Helpful, a website with guides to help pet owners, chihuahuas are so possessive that they likely won’t get along with your friends and family.
You have to be willing to put in a lot of training hours to get your chihuahua to be okay with other people. Even after a lot of training, your chihuahua may still be possessive. The goal is to make it so that he is not dangerous or violent towards others.
The same thing happens at dog parks. Chihuahuas don’t want other dogs to come near you and can attack other dogs for coming too close.
Do you have the patience to house train a chihuahua?
Chihuahuas are very hard to house train. You need to have a lot of patience, time, and understanding in order to house train a chihuahua.
However, it is definitely possible. The main thing you need to do is be consistent. You can’t be overly harsh. Your chihuahua needs to understand you and listen.
Chihuahuas want to please and don’t respond well to punishment. Don’t use your play voice, but speak directly and clearly.
Do you want an outdoor dog?
Chihuahuas are indoor dogs and shouldn’t sleep outside. If you want an outdoor dog, chihuahuas aren’t the dogs for you.
Here are some pros and cons of having an outdoor dog.
- Living outdoors is enriching for dogs.
- Dogs get more exercise when they live outside.
- Outdoor dogs have more freedom.
- Outdoor dogs tend to be healthier because they get more exercise and fresh air.
- Outdoor dogs are more exposed to the extreme elements.
- Outdoor dogs risk being lonely.
- They are at risk of getting hit by a car, lost, or stolen.
- They can develop bad habits.
- If there are health problems, it may take longer to notice.
Are you prepared to find a reputable breeder?
If possible, you should rescue a chihuahua instead of buying. But there aren’t always chihuahuas that need rescuing in your area. In that case, you need to find a reputable breeder.
A reputable breeder breeds dogs ethically. They give their dogs proper nutrition, vet care, and a high quality of life.
Their dogs usually live in their home as part of the family, and breed dogs because they have a love for the breed.
Are you ready for the commitment of owning a dog?
A lot comes along with owning a dog.
You can’t go on vacation without boarding your chihuahua or getting hotel rooms that allow pets. You can’t stay out for too long because you need to let your dog out. You need the budget for food and vet bills.
You also need to be ready to commit 15-20 years of your life to caring for a chihuahua. Never get a dog unless you are ready for that big of a commitment.
All in all, you need to be ready to be a loving chihuahua owner. Start there and everything else will fall into place.