Where Did the Chihuahua Originate?
Chihuahua origins trace back to Mexico. In fact, the breed is a namesake for the Mexican State of Chihuahua it comes from. The breed was first recognized in the 19th century, but is believed to be a descendent of the Techichi, a similarly small dog that dates all the way back to the 9th century AD.
What Are Chihuahuas Bred For?
Today, Chihuahuas are primarily bred for companionship. While they can’t haul you across the arctic on a sled, they can keep you warm, cozying up on your lap like it’s their personal throne.
How Big Do Chihuahuas Get?
Chihuahuas typically reach five to nine inches tall, measuring at the shoulder. Perfectly compact and crazy cute, they’re great for small living spaces like city apartments. But watch out – they’re escape artists, squeezing through the tiniest openings in fences and gates.
How Much Do Chihuahuas Weigh?
Chihuahuas typically weigh between three and six pounds. The Chihuahua can have a predisposition to obesity, so watch for overfeeding, which is especially hard on their small frame.
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?
Healthy Chihuahuas typically have a lifespan of 14 to 16 years, with some living as long as 20 years. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routine healthcare will help ensure your little one lives long and strong.
How Energetic Are Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas are very energetic and playful. They’re easily revved up and often looking for adventures, which means they have a habit of getting into things. Keeping your eye on them is important.
Chihuahuas are socially inclined and friendly, but they’re also strong willed and can be high strung. When uncomfortable or feeling threatened, they’re often quick to nip and get defensive.
Consistent training is key. The bad news? They can be difficult to housetrain, so the more consistent and patient you are, the better the training will go. The good news? Chihuahuas are wildly intelligent and fast learners.
If you think your Chi has a bit of a Napoleon complex, you’re probably not far off: Chihuahuas don’t have a good sense of their size and often take on dogs and situations that are too big for their britches, as some might say.
While many Chihuahuas live long, healthy lives, we’ll be frank: little Choo Choos can have issues. From general caretaking to medical problems, Chihuahuas can chew through your cashola – which is why pet insurance comes in handy. Insurance can cover the costs associated with health issues like the ones mentioned below.
Being the smallest dog breed, they often suffer from size-related issues, including breathing problems due to a collapsed trachea, overfeeding and obesity, and injuries, especially when playing with bigger dogs.
And as a purebred dog, Chihuahuas are more susceptible to genetic health issues than mixed breed dogs. Luxating patellas, which is medical speak for the dislocation of the kneecap, are especially common. In severe cases, they may need to be corrected surgically.
Given the small size of their mouths, dental problems like tooth and gum disease are more frequent in the breed.
Chihuahuas can suffer from hydrocephalus, a result of a molera, a soft spot on their head. Typically these soft spots close throughout their first year as the skull develops. When they don’t, the situation can lead to hydrocephalus, a condition where spinal fluid builds up around their brain causing their head to swell. Plenty of Chihuahuas, and dogs in general, lead perfectly normal lives with hydrocephalus, but some experience seizures, bad coordination, and additional neurological symptoms.
Finally, Chihuahuas’ long lifespan means joint degeneration and age-related illnesses are more likely to develop.
Risk Factors and Costs for Common Chihuahua Health Issues
From luxating patellas to cryptorchidism, find out what to plan for when it comes to the most common Chihuahua health issues. Information based on Embrace claims data.
Average Cost to Insure Your Chihuahua
For comprehensive accident and illness coverage, the majority of our Chihuahua pet parents pay between $19 and $43 per month.*
Pet insurance may cost more or less depending on where you live, your pet’s age, and what policy parameters you choose.
Policies for Chihuahuas can cost more than those for mixed breed dogs because Chihuahuas are much more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Chiquita, the gregarious Chihuahua, was just trying to make friends when she learned the hard way that a Blue Heeler did not play well with others.
Luckily her pet parent responded quickly and Embrace had her back throughout her scary emergency vet stay.
Vet Bill: $1,636
Embrace Reimbursed: $1,266
*Insurance cost based on a policy for a 3-year-old male Chihuahua with a $10,000 annual maximum, $500 annual deductible, and 80% reimbursement rate.