Chihuahua dog breed information

An iconic breed, the Chihuahua is known for its tiny build but big personality. Recognised as one of the smallest dogs in the world, Chihuahuas sprung to popularity in the early 2000s, notably by celebrities like Paris Hilton and Madonna.

Chihuahuas are a loyal, quirky, and playful breed that thrives in the company of their owners. While they tend to be vocal, their hyper-vigilant nature makes them great watchdogs, so they’ll always alert you if they sense something’s off.

If you want to know more about this small but mighty breed, read our guide below to see if Chihuahuas are the pet for you.

Chihuahuas dog breed information

If you’d like to get to know the breed a little more closely, here are a few key traits and facts about the Chihuahua:

How long do Chihuahuas live?

Chihuahuas have a lifespan of 10 - 12 years.

How big do Chihuahuas get?

Chihuahuas usually reach their full weight and height by 9 months. Healthy male and female Chihuahuas are between 15 - 22cm tall and weigh between 1.3 - 2.7 kg.

Do Chihuahuas shed?

Chihuahuas only shed small amounts, mostly around spring and autumn.

Should I get a Chihuahua?

If you’re looking for a fun, bold pet that doesn’t take up too much space, the Chihuahua might be the perfect match for you. Chihuahuas form close bonds with their owner/s and tend to get quite attached, which is shown through their affection and desire to play.

Intelligent and fast learners, Chihuahuas are easily trainable through positive reinforcement and food. Due to their size, a family with younger children might not be the best fit for a chihuahua, as there’s a higher risk of young children injuring them through play. 

Chihuahua personality

Like we mentioned before, Chihuahuas might be small, but they’ve got larger-than-life personalities. Sometimes they can forget their size and aren’t afraid to square up to dogs that are much bigger than them. That’s why you should socialise them from an early age and keep a watchful eye on them at the dog park. Tiny dogs require training just as much as larger dogs. Chihuahuas make great companions and are easily transportable, so if you want company sitting on the couch or while running errands, you’ll always have a friend by your side.

Taking care of a Chihuahua

Grooming

Chihuahuas have two distinct coat types - long and smooth. Long coated Chihuahuas (like the name suggests) have long and slightly curly flat hair that’s prominent around their ears, chest, and tail. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have shorter and more even hair that covers their whole body.

Chihuahuas should be brushed once a week with a grooming mitt or brush, which only takes a few minutes. Chihuahuas may develop build-up around their eyes, so regularly wiping down their faces can help curb this from happening. If you create a grooming routine around brushing and wiping, you should only need to bathe a Chihuahua every 1-2 months.

Exercise

Chihuahuas don’t have high exercise needs, but still have a lot of energy and can sometimes exert themselves too much. Their small size makes them ideal city pets or beloved pets for owners without much yard space. But if they don't have a yard to run around in, you'll need to take these little dogs out for walks—a 20-to-30-minute daily walk helps keep this tiny dog happy.

Diet

Chihuahuas have fast metabolisms, so opt to feed small meals several times a day. It’s recommended to buy high-quality food for Chihuahuas as they’re susceptible to dental diseases and obesity. A combination of lean meat like chicken or beef with small-sized kibble offers a balanced meal that will keep a Chihuahua full.

Common Chihuahua health conditions

Like most dog breeds, Chihuahuas are susceptible to certain health conditions. Here are some examples:

Luxating Patella

Luxating Patella is a common hereditary condition that affects a Chihuahua's kneecaps, causing them to dislocate or slip out of place. If your Chihuahua starts limping or avoids using a specific leg, that’s a sign they may be experiencing pain from this condition. The good news is Luxating Patella doesn’t cause on-going pain for dogs and is a manageable condition if treated correctly.

Tooth and Gum Disease

Smaller breeds often suffer from tooth and gum complications due to overcrowding in their mouths. With teeth close together, food can easily get stuck and cause build-up and tartar. It’s important to regularly brush Chihuahua's teeth to ensure good dental hygiene and avoid the risk of disease forming.

The cost of insuring a Chihuahua

If you’re thinking about getting Pet Insurance for your Chihuahua, factors like age and location will affect the cost of your premium. Woolworths Pet Insurance offers Basic, Standard, Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus cover that helps protect you and your furry friend. Check what each insurance cover includes.

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