‘You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.’
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Chihuahua is right now the smallest dog breed in the world. They have big eyes, an apple shape head, big ears and they are sometimes so little, that they fit in a mug. But Chihuahuas are dogs, not toys and have survived many centuries. Their origin is still some mystery, but some archeological finds show that the Chihuahua breed comes from Mexico and most likely their ancestor is Techichi. In Mexico’s province Chihuahua, there are still gangs of tiny dogs, looking like Chihuahuas or mixed breeds of Chihuahuas with some other breed that live there freely.
In the mid of 19th century, the small dogs started their expansion over the USA to Europe. Today, you can find Chihuahuas almost everywhere in the world. The film ‚Naturally Blond‘ with Reese Witherspoon and the It-girl Paris Hilton pushed the fame of the Chihuahua breed to unknown heights. With many good and bad consequences. Now, everyone knows what a Chihuahua looks like and almost every child, especially girls want to have one.
The size of the dog makes this breed a great dog to be kept in a flat in the city. You don’t need a big house or a garden to keep one Chihuahua happy. The Chihuahua hype created a big demand. New puppies had to be produced almost daily, and the price depended on the size, the smallest puppies with almost no birth weight are the priciest ones. So many private or professional breeders took the risk of health problems or even death to achieve the tiny birth weight or sold puppies with false birth date, feigning that the puppy is older than it actually is. The results of this development are devastating till today, although the hype is not so strong any more. Today, you can buy for almost no money a Chihuahua puppy on ‚Craig’s List‘. These puppies usually have no papers, are not vaccinated and not socialized. They are parted too early from their mommy and their litter, and the mommy is usually treated very badly. She is used as a birth machine to gain profit and then thrown away when useless. This is a realistic and sad truth of a puppy mill or a private vendor Chihuahua mommy. An avalanche of ill and mental unstable Chihuahuas were brought to shelters or were left on streets, parking lots or other places as a takeaway for someone else. Overcrowded shelters euthanized thousands of Chihuahuas. A heartbreaking development.
Luckily not all breeders are money obsessed monsters, and not all Chihuahua buyers treat their dogs bad! There are simple rules to follow that guarantee you a happy life with your new Chihuahua.
Ask yourself these questions before buying a dog, especially a Chihuahua and answer them truly!!!
Do I have the time? Chihuahuas are small, but they are dogs; so they have to go out at least 3-4 times a day. The cat toilet solution does not suit a dog! A Chihuahua doesn’t like to stay home alone during the whole day, so 3-6 hours are max depending on the size. If you have a cup sized one, they can get easily hyperglycemic, so feeding and supervising every 3 hours is a must.
Don’t forget that peeing in the middle of the night is sometimes their specialty.
What to do with a dog on holiday or when a business trip comes up and packing your Chihuahua into a suitcase is not an option? Having a super cute four-legged monster at home is fun, but what to do with it, when you have to leave the house for a couple of days or weeks, and you can’t take your dog with you? Before taking a dog home, ask your family and friends if they can and will help you out in such a situation. It is always better to have more than one dog-loving party at your side that will take your beloved ones. Dog hostels are not always as good as they promise, and the luxury ones are very expensive. And there is no guarantee that your dog will like it there. So friends and family members you can trust your dog with are the better solution.
Do I have the money to buy a dog and to provide for it? Chihuahuas are not cheap. If you get a cheap offer don’t go for it!!! Because, in the end, you’ll lose your shirt on this. Vets can be so expensive, and a forever ill dog at home will get on your nerves. Even in the shelters you have to pay a certain fee to take a dog home.
To keep the health of your Chihuahua on the best level, you have to treat him/her with good quality food. It doesn’t matter if you buy dog food or give him raw meat or cook meat and veggies yourself, it is still money you have to invest. Chihuahuas often face dental problems. A dentist for dogs may have to be consulted over short or long. I wish all dog owners a healthy dog, but even a healthy dog has to get vaccinations and get anthelmintic therapy once in a while. And if something bad happens the vet bills can easily get to a 4 figure number. Besides that some states and countries force you to pay taxes on dogs and have insurance – no matter the size of the dog.
# Getting Older
Is it clear to me (and you), that a Chihuahua grows from a puppy to an old Chihuahua, and a Chihuahua can live for about 16- 18 years? It is a very serious question because having a Chihuahua isn’t a short pleasure. And as we grow old, a dog does too. The time as a baby is quickly over, and soon you have a grown up dog in your house, that claims his or her rights and discusses every little order with you, when he / she is in the mood for that. When Chihuahuas grow old they can lose their teeth or their eyesight or they can become deaf – will you still have the wish to provide for this dog? If deep inside of you, you are not sure, don’t buy a dog. A lot of old and ill Chihuahuas are sent to shelters because their owners don’t want to pay the bills, or want a fresh dog or are tired. Chihuahuas love and adore their owners. They are brave, they protect you and will give their life for you. They admire you with all their tiny hearts and will take and share all good and bad moments in your life. They will never leave you. They love you because you are there. So if you decide for a dog, especially a Chihuahua don’t break his or her heart by leaving him or her, no matter what happens!!!
# Scrupulous cleanliness
Do I have a mania for cleanliness? If so, don’t adopt a dog, no matter small or big, long hair or short hair. Dog’s hair will be everywhere, wet or dirty footmarks, food stocks and so on… Your beloved sofas and couches will be occupied and sometimes your furniture can get chewing marks. And wet dogs smell like wet dogs. Just as you smell like you! If you can not live with that, please don’t take a dog, buy some fishes instead. It is not a question of education, if your dog loses hair, you can’t teach him or her to pick it up. Washing dogs paws after every walk is time-consuming and not good for the paws. Imagine 4x 365= 1460 times a year. Now washing takes at least 3 Minutes. That makes 4380 Minutes a year if you are quick. So 73 hours of your year you are washing paws. With 5 minutes per washing, you wash even longer. Pretty idiotic! It is easier to vacuum clean once in a while. Washing a dog with shampoo every week or more often causes real harm to their fur and also takes endless time. Because you have to clean and dry not only the dog, but the whole bathroom too. So don’t do that! Save your time and energy for feeding some fishes!
Look inside yourself and answer these questions honestly to yourself. No-one is going to judge you or think that you are a bad person if one of these points are a real issue for you. But in the end, if you lie to yourself this once who will suffer is your Chihuahua and why should a great tiny dog being hurt. There is no need. If you have the wish and longing for a dog, but don’t have the money or time or space for being a full-time owner. No problem become a part-time owner by helping your friends out when they have a dog or your neighbors. You can also visit a shelter and help there, by taking dogs for a walk or playing with them. Get creative, find another good solution that suits you. I’m sure all your ideas will be very welcomed by various dog owners, who will be more than happy to share their loved ones with you. Be happy, have fun!