Very little about the chihuahua can be described as big - except that is when it comes to the bill for owning one.
Research suggests that looking after one of the diminutive dogs can set you back almost £90,000 over its lifetime. That may explain why the world's smallest canine breed is so popular with the rich and famous.
Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Sharon Osbourne are all known to be fans of the Mexican dogs.
Chihuahua owners are twice as likely as keepers of other breeds to fork out on fresh meat, vegetables and gravy for their dog's dinner.
They also have a pronounced weakness for costly jewelled collars for their pets, designer doggie-outfits and bespoke beds.
The total bill, including veterinary costs, food, grooming, kennels and insurance, is said to come to £6,081 a year - or £88,691 over the chihuahua's 13-year average lifespan.
That compares with the £31,000 typically spent by owners of other breeds - £2,388 a year.
Mike Pickard, head of pet insurance at esure, which commissioned the research, said: "Today's household pets are treated more like members of the family and this new attitude is reflected in the amount owners spend on their pet's lifestyle. Scroll down for more...
"Despite this, many pets remain uninsured. Vets' fees can be very expensive and owners should bear in mind that, ultimately, their pet's health is more important than the latest dog accessories or expensive treats."
He added that 20 per cent of owners faced an even bigger financial challenge because they had more than one dog.
The greyhound was the second most expensive breed with a lifetime bill of £82,797, followed by the mastiff, which costs £81,619.
The boxer was a distant fourth at £49,896 with the English setter just behind at a cost of £49,548.
The survey, which included the initial cost of buying a puppy, found that veterinary fees, food and kennels were, in that order, the three most costly areas of expenditure.
It found that 39 per cent of owners had no idea how much their pet was costing them. More than 3,000 people were questioned for the study.
Chihuahuas top list of most expensive dogs, costing pet owners £90,000 over lifetime | the Daily Mail