Why adopt a senior chihuahua?
Chihuahuas are super cute, and when puppies or young dogs end up in shelters they are often the first out the door. A senior chihuahua, who is a bit grey around the muzzle, may find it harder to find a new forever home. A chihuahua can be considered senior from the age of 10 but can live for many years beyond.
But there are many good reasons that make adopting a senior chihuahua a better decision than taking on a chihuahua puppy.
Chihuahua puppies are a lot of work
You can’t underestimate the work that goes into a chihuahua puppy. All puppies are hard work but chihuahuas can be especially difficult and are not always suitable for the first-time owner. Read: So you want to buy a chihuahua
- Difficult to toilet train: Chihuahuas can take ages to get this right. Often not getting it until they are about 2 years old.
- Require a lot of socialisation: You have a very short time span to get your chihuahua puppy socialised. If you don’t get this right, you can end up with a chi-zilla. Read: Dealing with Chihuahua aggression
- Cannot be left: You cannot leave a puppy for longer than a couple of hours, they have very tiny tummies, get hungry and they may also suffer from separation anxiety.
- Can be very destructive: Don’t underestimate how destructive that tiny mouth can be. All puppies like to chew. Chihuahua puppies take this to a new level!
Not his fault
An older chihuahua may find himself in a re-homing centre for many reasons, a family break up, their owner dies or has moved into sheltered accommodation and must leave the dog behind. Don’t assume it is because of behaviour.
What you see is what you get!
An older dog’s personality will already be shaped so you will know straight away if he is friendly and what his quirks are. You can train an older dog but in general his temperament will be set. You will know if he is friendly with children or good with cats. There are a host of other positive reasons to re-home a senior dog.
- Unlikely to be up at the crack of dawn: although chihuahuas do like a snooze, a puppy gets hungry and needs to pee and are more likely to want you to get up.
- Good to go out of the box: no need to wait weeks for vaccinations, your senior chihuahua is ready to share your adventures.
- Settle in more easily: they already understand how to live with people and assuming he hasn’t been mistreated, he should be more relaxed and mellow.
- Cheaper: there is likely to be an adoption fee. But it is going to be cheaper than buying a puppy, which can be £500-600 sometimes more, plus the cost of vaccinations and training.
- Older dogs are more likely to be toilet trained!
- Years on the clock: chihuahuas live a long time, a chi in good health can live until they are 20 years old.
The aging process takes its toll on all of us and your chihuahua is no exception. He may develop some age-related issues, but the good news is you will already be aware of any long-term health issues and you can make an informed decision. Never assume that your puppy is going to be fit and healthy. Very tiny chihuahuas can have a range of health issues that become apparent as they get older. Read: Tiny chihuahuas, health problems to watch out for.
Contrary to the saying, you can teach an older dog new tricks. Especially if they are food motivated, and chihuahuas generally are! An older chi will love spending time with you and learning new things.
So, if you are ready to open your hearts and home to a senior chihuahua. Let them into your life and you will be rewarded with a faithful companion.
There are specific charities that help re-home older dogs. The Oldies Club has foster homes all over the UK. You can also contact Battersea Dogs Home or Chihuahua Rescue. There will also be many animal rescue centres near you locally. Do a Facebook search or just Google it!
If you want more information read: How to adopt a chihuahua.
We love your feedback, if you have adopted a senior chihuahua we would love to hear your story.