Is The Chihuahua Right For You?
Chihuahuas make wonderful pets in part because they are almost childlike in their dependence upon their human families, and because they bond deeply with them. Don't get a Chihuahua on a trial basis. If you fire your dog and think it won't be bothered when you cast it aside, think again. After you have used up its irresistibly cute puppy months, there will be few people lining up to offer it a new home.

It's easy to imagine yourself with a loving companion, warming your lap and shadowing your steps, providing love on lonely days and security on lonely nights. And these scenes are very much a part of living with a Chihuahua. But there are also scenes of soiled floors, midnight walks in the rain, and trips to the veternarian. There is the daily absolute responsibility of feeding, exercising and loving your Chihuahua, no matter what else is happening in your life. Getting a dog will involve some sacrifice from everyone in your home, whether it be losing a favorite shoe, a night's uninterrupted sleep, or the freedon to take a trip around the world.

There are costs: food, equipment, boarding, and veterinary bills an be high. Check the veterinary prices in your area for office visits, a series of puppy vaccinations, deworming, yearly checkups, neutering or spaying, emergency clini visits, and monthly heartworm prevention. The small size ot the Chihuahua does bring some smaller bills, but many other services cost as much as they would for a Great Dane.

Spend a moment comtemplating just why you want a dog, and more specifically, a Chihuahua. Obviously if your list of priorities includes protection or hunting ability or jogging companionship, perhaps you should reconsider the Chihuahua as your first choice. Don't choose a Chihuahua because your neighbor has one, or just because it's small. Chihuahua aren't the only small breed of dog. Every breed has its good and bad points, and different breeds are more suited for different people.

Excerpt from: Chihuahuas-A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. Copyright 1995 Barron's Educational Series, Inc.