Pet
11 min read

A Beginner's Guide to Pet Insurance For Chihuahuas

Written by
Team Waffle - Ryan
Published on
January 20, 2023

Pet Insurance Guide For Chihuahuas

They're full of energy, personality, and are the perfect companions for those of us living in small spaces or looking for a lap dog. That’s right. It's the Chihuahua. But, as with any breed, Chihuahuas are prone to certain health issues. This post will shed some light on several important things to know that will help you understand this breed a bit better.

Summary:
1. Breed History

2. Unique Traits

3. Chihuahua health issues and average lifetime cost

5. Preventative care costs

6. Selecting the best pet insurance for Chihuahuas

Breed History

First things first, the origins of the Chihuahua are somewhat shrouded in mystery. It's believed that the breed dates back to ancient Mexico, where they were worshiped by the Aztecs and the Toltecs as sacred animals. These ancient cultures believed that the tiny dogs had healing powers and that they could protect the dead in the afterlife.

The first Chihuahuas arrived in the United States in the late 1800s and were a hit at dog shows. They quickly gained popularity and were recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club in 1904. The Chihuahua's small size, big personality, and unique appearance made them a favorite among celebrities and the general public alike.

In the early 20th century, Chihuahuas were used in advertising and movies, which helped to increase their popularity further. One of the most famous Chihuahuas in the movie industry was "Gidget," the Taco Bell Chihuahua, who starred in several commercials in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Throughout the years, Chihuahuas have been bred in different variations, such as the long-haired chihuahua and the apple-head chihuahua, which is the most common type today. The breed has come a long way from its ancient roots, and today, they're beloved pets that are known for their loyalty and affection.

Unique Traits

Personality: Chihuahuas are known for their feisty personalities. They may be small in size, but they're big in attitude. They can be pretty protective of their owners and can be very vocal when they sense danger or when they want to assert themselves. This trait makes them excellent watchdogs, but it can also make them challenging to train if they are not socialized properly.

Intelligence: Another trait that Chihuahuas are known for is their intelligence. They're quick learners and can be trained to do a variety of tricks and tasks. They are also known to be highly adaptable, which makes them great companions for people with busy lifestyles. They can adjust to different living situations and environments with ease.

Loyalty: Chihuahuas are also known for their loyalty to their owners. They form strong bonds with their owners and will often follow them around everywhere they go. They are also known to be very affectionate, they will often cuddle up to their owners, and they are known to be great lap dogs.

High Energy: It's also worth noting that Chihuahuas have a high energy level. They love to play and run around, so they'll need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They also have a tendency to become overweight if they don't get enough exercise, so it's essential to keep them active and engaged.

Appearance: Chihuahuas are also known for their unique appearance. They come in a variety of colors and coat types, including long-haired and short-haired. They also have apple-shaped heads, which gives them a unique look compared to other dogs.

Chihuahua Health Issues

Dental

One of the most common health issues that Chihuahuas face is dental problems. Due to their tiny mouths, Chihuahuas can develop overcrowding of teeth, which can lead to plaque build-up and eventually tooth loss. To prevent this, it's important to brush your Chihuahua's teeth regularly and to provide them with dental chews or toys to keep their teeth clean and healthy. Additionally, regular vet check-ups are a must to ensure that your puppy's teeth and gums are in good shape.

1. Average cleaning cost: $100-$300 (recommended twice a year for small dogs)
    a. 10 years of cleanings without anesthesia: $1,000 - $3,000

2. Average cleaning cost with anesthesia: $500-$1,000
    a. 10 years of cleanings without anesthesia: $$5,000 - $10,000
    b. 10 years of cleaning WITh anesthesia

3. Periodontal disease avg. cost: $520

Hypoglycemia:

Another common issue that Chihuahuas can face is hypoglycemia, which is a condition where they have low blood sugar. This can be caused by stress, changes in diet, or even by being too cold. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include lethargy, confusion, and seizures, so it's important to keep an eye out for these and to get your Chihuahua to the vet if you suspect they may be hypoglycemic. To prevent hypoglycemia, make sure to keep your Chihuahua's diet consistent, and avoid overfeeding them sugary treats.

1. Average monthly cost for insulin (small dogs): $30-$150
    a. 7 years of insulin treatment: $2,520 - $12,600

Luxating patella:

Chihuahuas are also prone to Luxating patella, which is a genetic condition that causes the knee cap to slip out of place, causing pain and lameness. This can be treated with surgery, but it's best to consult with a veterinarian to discuss the best course of action for your pup.

  1. Average surgery cost for luxating patella: $1,500 - $4,000 per affected knee

Obesity: 

Obesity is another common problem, which can lead to other health issues such as diabetes, joint problems, and heart disease. It's important to monitor your Chihuahua's weight, and to provide them with a healthy diet and regular exercise to keep them at a healthy weight.

Preventative Care Costs For Pets

Regular check-ups, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, flea and tick prevention, and other health screenings can help us catch any potential issues before they become serious. But, as pet owners, we may be wondering about the cost of all of this preventive care. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for typical preventive care expenses. Keep in mind that these costs may vary depending on your vet and location.

Common Preventative Care Costs For Pet Health & Wellness

*Be aware that the fees are subject to change depending on your location and veterinary clinic. These are estimates based on average market prices across the US.

  • Vet Check-Ins: $50 - $250
  • Vaccines per shot: $15 - $28 (parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus, rabies, & more)
  • Physical exams: $45 - $55
  • Fecal exam: $25 - $45
  • Deworming: $25 - $50
  • Heartworm test: $45 - $50
  • Dental cleaning: $70 - $400
  • Spay/neuter: $160 - $220
  • Microchip: $25 - $60
  • Blood tests: $80 to $200
  • X-rays: $150 to $250
  • Flea & Tick preventative medicine: around $60 for 3 month's supply

Types Of Pet Insurance:

With so many options out there, it can be hard to know which plan is right for you and your pet. Generally, pet insurance plans fall into two main categories: accident-only and comprehensive.

Accident-only pet insurance is just what it sounds like - it covers medical costs for accidents and injuries such as ingestion of a foreign object, broken bones, or torn ligaments caused by physical trauma. It's a great option for pet owners who want to have peace of mind in case of unexpected accidents or injuries.

Comprehensive pet insurance, on the other hand, is a bit more extensive. It not only covers accidents and injuries, but it also covers illnesses. This type of plan can provide coverage for routine care such as dental cleanings, vaccinations, flea/tick treatments, and spay/neuter surgery. It's a good choice for pet parents who want to have a broader coverage for their pet's health.

It's important to keep in mind that the cost and coverage of each plan can vary depending on the provider and the location, so it's always good to do your own research and compare different plans before making a decision. But, by understanding the different types of pet insurance plans available, you'll be better equipped to choose the right one for your furry friend.

Tips For Choosing a pet insurance plan

  1. Coverage Options: It's important to do your research and evaluate the coverage options available for your pup's specific health conditions. Make sure to read through the fine print of any policy you're considering to fully understand what's included in the protection plan.
  2. Pre-existing conditions: Chihuahuas are more prone to specific health issues, so it's crucial to investigate whether or not pre-existing conditions are covered in the insurance plan. Unfortunately, some plans may not cover pre-existing medical problems, so it's essential to read through your policy carefully to understand what's covered.
  3. Price & coverage: Chihuahuas are generally considered a low-risk pets, so you may be able to get coverage at a lower rate than other breeds. However, it's still important to compare prices and coverage among providers to ensure you're getting the best deal.
  4. Reimbursements/co-pays & deductibles: Knowing how these work can help you plan accordingly. Additionally, make sure to check if there are any lifetime or annual limits on the coverage offered by the plan, as these can impact your coverage in the long run.

To sum things up

With a little bit of research and careful consideration, you'll be able to find the perfect pet insurance policy for your Chihuahua. And with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your furry friend is properly protected, you can enjoy all the snuggles and tail wags to the fullest. Happy Pet Parenting!

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Waffle, with offices located at 43 West 23rd Street, New York, New York 10010, USA is a licensed insurance producer and not an insurer. Waffle operates through Waffle Labs Inc (National Producer Number: 19499260). Waffle does business in California as Waffle Labs Insurance Agency. Coverage is subject to all the terms, exclusions and conditions of the insurance policy. Please see the sample policies for further information.