Are Chihuahuas Good Apartment Dogs?

Chihuahuas make great apartment pets!

Chihuahuas are agile, intelligent, cheerful, and lively. They don’t require a lot of exercise. A daily walk will be enough.

When outdoor exercise isn’t possible, they are happy scampering around your apartment.

Chihuahuas take up very little space, and they meet any weight restrictions your apartment management may impose on pets.

Their quirky personalities make them great companion dogs for mature people, although they aren’t for everyone.

Five Reasons Chihuahuas Make Great Apartment Pets

Let’s start with the #1 reason Chihuahuas can be a perfect match for apartment living.

Chihuahuas are Small

A male Chihuahua stands just 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 cm) at their withers (shoulders). Females may be just 5 inches (13 cm) tall.

This means that your Chihuahua won’t take up much room in your apartment.

If you decide to create your dog, you can place the crate just about anywhere and it won’t be in the way.

You do need to make sure the crate isn’t in a noisy area, but it won’t take up very much space.

Chihuahuas like to cuddle

Although Chihuahuas like playtime, they also like to snuggle up with their people. They make great lap dogs.

They aren’t the kind of dogs that bounce off the walls when they get bored.

Chihuahuas don’t need strenuous exercise

Chihuahuas do need exercise, but a 20- to 30- minute walk every day, or a visit to a dog park every day, is enough.

Once in a while, an hour or two to run around or a protected patio or balcony will help your Chihuahua burn off enough energy to stay calm the rest of the day.

You shouldn’t take a Chihuahua to a new home where it is never possible to go out for a walk.

Chihuahuas that don’t get any outside time at all discharge excess energy by chewing on things, by barking a lot, or by becoming aggressive with people and other pets.

Chihuahuas are easy to train

Chihuahuas can be house-trained in just a few weeks.

Because of their size, they can use pee pads and artificial turf when taking a trip outside is not possible.

Chihuahuas aren’t noisy dogs

A chihuahua’s bark is more of a yip or a yap than a growl or a howl.

Chihuahuas don’t generate enough volume to disturb the neighbors.

You need to keep them occupied during the day with toys or food puzzles, or, better yet, a companion dog, but they are not dogs that disturb the neighbors or threaten anyone.

Three Potential Deal Breakers with Chihuahuas

On the other hand, there are some situations into which you really should not bring a Chihuahua.

Here are three reasons a Chihuahua may not be a good choice for apartment living, at least not for now.

Chihuahuas are fragile

Because Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, their bones break easily. Dropping a Chihuahua from a height of just three feet (about a meter) can cause serious injury.

That’s holding height for many children. If a child squeezes a Chihuahua a little too hard and she tries to escape the child’s embrace, broken bones can result.

For this reason, Chihuahuas aren’t a good choice for families with children under the age of eight.

They also aren’t a good choice for families that like to sleep with their dogs.

Rolling over on your Chihuahua in the middle of the night can suffocate it.

An additional disincentive for sleeping with a Chihuahua puppy is that they don’t always know how to tell you when they need to go potty.

You can wake up with a mess in the bed or on you and your bedclothes. If you like to sleep with your dogs, Chihuahuas are not a good choice.

Chihuahuas have issues with other pets

Dogs will usually realize that your new Chihuahua puppy is a dog, too.

But an 80-pound Black Lab will play too hard to be left alone with a Chihuahua puppy.

Cats, birds, and rabbits can frighten Chihuahuas. If you keep a bigger snake like an anaconda or a python, you should not be bringing a Chihuahua home.

Chihuahuas need a room of their own

If you live alone, you and your Chihuahua can find ways to share a studio apartment.

But if there are two or more humans in your household, you need to use a doggy gate to keep your Chihuahua confined to just one room.

You should keep your Chihuahua on an easy-to-clean floor.

You should give your pet a dedicated space where her toys are spread out, and where she can retreat into her crate to take a nap.

You may need to put out toilet pads for puppies and senior Chihuahuas. These are easy to deal with in just one room of your home.

Things to Do to Get Your Apartment Ready for Your Chihuahua

You have weighed the pros and cons of getting a Chihuahua, and you have decided that a Chihuahua is the pet for you.

Great! But before you get your Chihuahua, you need to take care of some safety issues.

Toilet seats. It is important to get into the habit of leaving the toilet seat down when it is not in use. There is no harm to your dog from drinking from the toilet. The problem is that a Chihuahua puppy, or even an adult Toy or Teacup Chihuahua, can fall in and drown.

Cabinets. cleaners, and chemicals. Dogs explore the world by tasting and smelling. It is extremely important to keep cleaners and chemicals in locked cabinets, out of your Chihuahua’s reach.

Electrical cords. Chihuahua puppies find the texture of electrical cords irresistible when they are teething. Either tape cords down or plug in lamps and appliances in outlets your dog cannot reach.

Falling objects. Chihuahuas can be seriously injured by books, laptops, plates, bowls, and games that fall on them. The whole family needs to get into the habit of leaving these kinds of items where they will not fall to the floor.

Houseplants. Any kind of lily, including aloe, is toxic to Chihuahuas. Eveh the pollen of an Easter lily can kill a Chihuahua. This breed also needs to be kept away from cacti, dieffenbachias, oleanders, pothos, English ivy, cycads, and Sago palms.

There is one more set of things to think about before you get your Chihuahua.

Things to Think About When You Are Picking Out a Chihuahua for Apartment Living

Once you are ready to bring a Chihuahua home, then it’s time to start looking at puppies available for sale or rescue.

The more you can focus your search, the easier it will be to find the perfect pet.

One Chihuahua or two?

You might speculate that getting two Chihuahuas would give each of them a playmate so they would need less of your attention. You unfortunately would be wrong.

Chihuahuas still want attention from their humans even when they have other dogs as playmates.

Keeping two Chihuahuas just means they want twice as much attention. If you don’t have the time to devote to one dog, you will not have the time you need for two.

Male or female?

Male Chihuahuas tend to be more affectionate than females. Female Chihuahuas naturally direct their attention to puppies, if they are left reproductively intact.

Even when they have been spayed, they are protective of their territory toward other pets and even people.

Males can be aggressive if they aren’t neutered. Females tend to want to be the alpha dog whether they have been spayed or not.

If you want to breed puppies, of course, you will need a male and a female.

But if you just want to have two dogs, a neutered male and a spayed female can become good friends.

When you have two Chihuahuas of the same sex living together, they will always be fighting to become the alpha dog.

Two puppies from the same litter?

Siblings from the same litter will become best buddies for life.

However, because they are not afraid of each other, they will be extremely rambunctious and destructive until they reach adulthood.

Is itty bitty better?

We will devote more time to this last consideration because it has so much to do with the health and happiness of your dog.

One of the reasons Chihuahuas are so popular as apartment dogs is they absolutely, positively meet maximum weight requirements landlords set for pets.

Most apartment complexes exclude dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms).

The AKC breed standard for Chihuahuas is under six pounds (2700 grams).

One of the reasons so many people find Chihuahuas to be lovable is that they are so small.

From time to time, dogs raised by responsible breeders will have a litter of puppies with an obvious runt.

You may be attracted to the tiny, helpless, adorable Chihuahua puppy and think about taking him home. You need to know a general rule:

With Chihuahuas, tiny is not better.

The American Kennel Club makes a distinction among Chihuahuas on coat color, not on size.

Except for the standard that no Chihuahua in an American Kennel Club show is allowed to weigh more than six pounds (2700 grams), there are no distinctions by dog breeding professionals on the basis of size.

Even so, there are Chihuahuas that are described as “tiny,” “teacup,” “pocket size,’ “toy,” “tiny toys,” and “tiny teacup” Chihuahuas.

These Chihuahuas weigh just 1 or 2 pounds (about 500 grams to a kilogram) when they are fully grown.

These Chihuahuas require special care to avoid accidents, but they can make great pets and lead healthy lives. There are breeders who specialize in Teacup Chihuahuas.

Problem Chihuahuas are smaller than that. These would be the puppies that look small even in a litter of Teacup Chihuahuas.

Underweight Chihuahuas will take longer to wean away from their mothers.

They will develop more slowly, and they usually never catch up to their siblings.

Chihuahuas that are underweight at birth get sick more often than their bigger brothers and sisters, and they are more vulnerable to complications from accidents and surgery.

Tiny Chihuahuas often suffer from being stepped on.

No responsible breeder intentionally breeds underweight Chihuahuas.

A responsible breeder of Tiny, Toy, or Teacup Chihuahuas will only sell you a puppy that can be reasonably expected to thrive.

If someone makes a pitch along the lines of “have I ever got a tiny Chihuahua for you,” treating extreme smallness as a sales point, let someone else adopt that puppy.

A Final Note on Rescue Chihuahuas

Rescue Chihuahuas can make wonderful canine companions.

Give your rescued adult Chihuahua the same patient attention you would give a puppy, and they will become a welcome member of the family in your apartment home.

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