Since we published our article about ‘Chihuahuas in Shelters‘ and ‘Could You Rehome a Chihuahua‘, a lot of people have been asking how to adopt a chihuahua and who to contact. Here is some information on the adoption process and what to expect when you apply to adopt a chihuahua.
How to adopt a chihuahua
There are various organisations that rescue and rehome dogs. Understandably their adoption process can be rigorous. Some people are put off by this process, but when you consider what these dogs have gone through you can understand why organisations want to make sure that they are placing the dogs into safe home situation.
At the time of writing this the Dogs Trust (UK) had 19 chihuahuas on their website. But most of them are not puppies, there can be a reluctance to adopt older chihuahuas, they are not so cute and often have behaviour problems that will require patience and understanding to overcome.
But older chihuahuas have a lot to offer and in a lot of cases, are more suitable than a puppy. It is easy to underestimate how much work a chihuahua puppy can be.
If you want to adopt a chihuahua then you need to fill in an application form. In most cases this would be at the centre local to you. The questionnaire is going to ask you about your lifestyle and your expectations. Staff at the centres are very knowledgeable about different dogs and will be able to advise you if the dog you feel you want is the dog you should have. A lot of people have an idea in their head about chihuahuas and their expectations may not be close to the reality. They will not reserve a chihuahua for you on-line and expect to drive to meet him.
Protecting the dog
People must understand the process is about protecting the dog, finding a good home so he doesn’t end up out on his ear again.
They will do a home visit to evaluate if your home situation is suitable for a chihuahua. They are not looking for diamond encrusted dog beds and top of the range accessories, they are looking for a safe stable environment. A motivated chihuahua can squeeze through the smallest gap or escape at lightning speed through an opened front door. If you live in rented accommodation they will most likely want proof that you can have a dog. So, expect them to contact your landlord.
How much is that doggy in the window?
Don’t expect to pick up your dog for free, Dog Trust charge £120 adoption fee, Battersea Dogs Home charge £135.00 and Chihuahua Rescue UK £300.
But your chihuahua will be:
- neutered (if they haven’t been already)
- wormed & flea treated,
- provided with a collar & ID tag and
- 4 weeks of pet insurance.
If this sounds like a lot of money consider that it can cost over £200 to have your new chihuahua puppy spayed or neutered at your local vet. Flea treatment is £10.00 per month per dog, plus worming. Nail clipping another £9.00 a month. If you are unlucky and your dog has issues with anal glands (common with chis) this can be £20 + on a regular basis. But some vets do run clubs that can make these common expenses cheaper so shop about. You also must consider pet insurance which can be £30-40 per month per dog.
If you have read this far and are not put off, then maybe you are the right person to adopt a chihuahua. But if you are not familiar with the breed there are a few things you need to understand about their characteristics.
Why not get a chihuahua
They are noisy and bark a lot. Chihuahuas are watch dogs and consider it their duty to warn you that a leaf has fallen off a tree! If you think I am being dramatic, our post ‘Help My Chihuahua Barking is Driving us Mad’ has been read thousands of times. They can be curmudgeonly, snappy with strangers and don’t always get on with children and bigger dogs. *
That said, anyone who understands the breed knows they are loyal to a fault, spunky, funny, super intelligent and easy to train.
The point of this article is to give you a realistic overview of the adoption process and an insight into the characteristic of the breed. If you still want to adopt a chi then good luck to you and please let us know how you get on.
In the UK, you can contact:
Check for local rescue centres there are too many to list.
*There are, of course, exceptions to this and it is also possible to train your chi not to bark constantly. But they are noisy dogs so if you work undercover they may not be the dog for you.
We love your feedback, please tell us about your adoption experience good or bad.