The world’s smallest dog is also one of the most popular breeds on the planet. What this dog lacks in size they more than make up for in personality. They have gained worldwide popularity with films like Legally Blond or being seen on the arm or Paris Hilton in the 2000s. Even the Aztecs adored small dogs and kept a cousin of the Chihuahua as companion pets. In this article, we will be looking at the pros and cons of Chihuahuas.
They are small and fragile and rarely grow taller than 9 inches. They also only weigh around 3-5 pounds meaning they are classified as a toy breed. Owners love the vast array of colors they come in including black, white, fawn black & tan, and chocolate. They also have 2 distinct head shapes, the deer and the apple. Deer-shaped heads have more elongated muzzles and apple-shaped heads have shorter muzzles with an indented scull.
There are many perks to owning a pocket-sized pooch but have you considered the downfalls? Take a look below at things to consider before falling in love with a tiny Chihuahua.
Pros of Owning a Chihuahua
1. Long Life Span
These little balls of energy have incredibly long life spans, some of the longest of any dog breed. On average, they live around 15 years but it is not uncommon for them to live as long as 20 years, a huge pro of owning Chihuahuas.
This is partly due to them not suffering from many serious illnesses. They are in fairly good health but can be prone to obesity if they are overfed. They do not require a lot of exercise so even if an owner can not physically manage to walk the dog, they will still get enough exercise around the house.
2. Easy Grooming
Their tiny bodies are very easy to wash and you can simply pop them in a basin and rinse them off. They mostly have short coats that are easy to maintain and a quick brush once a week will get rid of excess shedding.
There are exceptions though. Some Chihuahuas have longer coats with silky curly hair around their ears, tails, feet, and hind legs. Even so, they are still easy to maintain. These longer hairs might just need an extra brush every now and then after a roll in the grass. Their nails grow fast so those might need to be trimmed ever so often. The ears of your Chihuahua also need to be cleaned once in a while as their bat-like shape is prone to wax build-up.
The smaller your dog, the smaller your food bill. It’s quite simple. A huge advantage of owning Chihuahuas is they only eat about half a cup of food per day and a bag of small food could last you weeks. The same goes for your vet or grooming bills. Small dogs take much less medicine and their time at the parlor would also be minimal. Make sure to buy from a reputable breeder that checks your dog’s family history. This should eliminate the worry of heart disease and knee and joint problems that might arrive later in life.
Considering they are a special breed, they are not as expensive as many other dogs. Pedigree dogs usually cost well over a thousand dollars but Chihuahuas cost around $500. There are also many shelters dedicated to Chihuahuas where you can adopt a pooch for much less.
4. Efficient Size
These tiny Chihuahua are loved for their size. Not only is it adorable, but they are also very easy to travel with. They easily fit into an over the shoulder doggy bag or a doggy backpack. They are light and can be carried almost everywhere as they are easy to have in your car and cages for driving and flying are also small.
Chihuahuas can also be trained to use a litterbox or pee-pad in your house as it is not always safe to let them outside alone. Their small size makes them perfect for apartment living too and they do not need too much exercise outside.
Cons of Owning a Chihuahua
1. Your dog is never safe
You will never be able to let your dog play outside alone. To a bird of prey, your dog looks much more like a delicious snack than somebody’s pet. You will always need to supervise your dog outside or keep them on a leash.
They are also very fragile and should not be left unattended around children, a huge con of Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas are the only breed in the world that is left with a molera into their adulthood. This is a soft spot or opening in their skull at the top of their head. It is what gives them their distinct apple-shaped head with an indent in the middle of their skull between their ears. It is susceptible to injury so if people are not aware of this your dog can easily be injured.
2. They can be noisy
They might be small but they have a might sharp bark. Chihuahuas also don’t recognize the limitations of their own size and they quite often engage in barking sprees to ward off what they view as an intruder. Another con of Chihuahua is that they tend to bond with one person and don’t take too kindly to strangers stealing the attention from their owners. Chihuahuas are hyper alert and very aware of their surroundings even when taking a snooze.
They are also fearless when it comes to larger dogs and can be very vocal when trying to assert their dominance. This can annoy larger dogs and cause unnecessary quarrels amongst them. They need to be socialized young with people and other dogs to make sure they don’t showcase their territorial behavior later in life.
3. Very sensitive to temperatures
Chihuahua’s originated in Mexico in a city with the same name. Mexican weather tends to be dry and warm and quite stable. Chihuahua’s have very short coats and little to insulate them in terms of fur or fat. They are not suitable for cold climates and you will need to invest in a doggy wardrobe if you live in a cool region. They cope much better with heat but also be carefull of extreme temperatures.
I hope that this article on the pros and cons of Chihuahuas was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Dog Category!