How Long Do Chihuahua’s Live & How To Determine Their Age By External Signs

how long do chihuahua's live & how to determine their age by external signs

Chihuahuas are considered centenarians, they adapt perfectly to any conditions, and their immune system easily copes with viruses and pathogenic bacteria. This is confirmed by the statistics of dog handlers, according to which small breeds live much longer than large ones.

And this is due to the fact that miniature dogs have less weight, which means less stress on the joints and on the heart. The owner can only help the pet to fight the aggressive environment, maintaining its health.

Chihuahua Lifespan

Chihuahuas live for a long time, like all decorative dogs. On average, their lifespan is 15-18 years.

The oldest Chihuahua, a male Megabyte, who lived for 20 years, died in 2014.

The lifespan of a Chihuahua depends on gender and size. According to statistics, females live 1-3 years longer.

The smaller the pet, the worse its health. Therefore, mini dogs (from 600 to 1800 grams of weight) usually die at 9-12 years of age.

How To Find Out The Age Of a Chihuahua


Dogs grow up differently from humans. Their life flows much faster, which is why 1 year turns into 5 or even 7. Sometimes it happens that the “human” age of a Chihuahua is much older than its owner.

Indeed, in the first year of life, the puppy reaches 15 years old, after which maturation is inhibited, but still proceeds at an accelerated pace (in relation to the human pace of time).

It is difficult to accurately determine the age of an unfamiliar dog. But you can understand at which stage it is: youth, puberty, or aging.

The easiest way to do this is due to the condition of the teeth. The sharper the canines, incisors, and toes, the younger the pet.

Chihuahuas can signal old age:

  • gray wool;
  • inactivity;
  • apathy;
  • bad reaction;
  • age-related diseases (cataracts, glaucoma, weak joints).

How To Extend The Life Of a Chihuahuas

Although Chihuahua dogs live long enough, quality nutrition and proper care will help extend this period by a couple of years and avoid health problems.

It will be enough for healthy Chihuahua puppies to maintain strong immunity with timely vaccination, regular check-ups with a veterinarian, and compliance with the rules of keeping.

If the dog was sick from birth, then the owner will have to fight for the life of the Chihuahua with the help of supportive therapy, special care, and constant attention.

Correct diet

The correct diet for puppies is the basis for the formation of the skeleton and all organ systems. The puppy needs to gain weight evenly and on time. To do this, it must receive the required amount of vitamins, minerals, and substances. The dog is transferred to dry food after 3 months.

For Chihuahuas, you only need to purchase super-premium products marked “mini”.

Chihuahuas can also be fed with natural food. But in this case, the owner must independently balance the portion.

An adult dog needs at least 30-50 grams of food per meal (only 2 feedings), 50% of this volume should be protein, 40% – carbohydrates, and 10% – fats.

chihuahua barking

Important! The introduction of vitamin supplements is mandatory. Ready-made feed contains it, and natural nutrition rarely includes the required amount of trace elements.

Chihuahuas should not be overfed – overloading the stomach and intestines is dangerous for them. It is forbidden to give foods that clog the esophagus:

  • bones;
  • beans;
  • cabbage;
  • potatoes;
  • bread.

Fatty foods hit the liver and pancreas, while salty foods have a positive effect on the growth of deposits on the joints.

Walks and games

Chihuahuas should live only at home, without being exposed to hypothermia or overheating. But it is important for them to walk and play outside, just like large dogs.

It is recommended to take the dogs out at least 2 times a day, walking for 30-50 minutes. Active games and training (no more than 2 times a week) will help to properly form the skeleton and nervous system.

Timely treatment and deworming

Deworming is a mandatory preventive procedure for all dogs. It is carried out every 3 months using tablets or suspension. Severe helminthic invasion gives complications to the main organs: heart, liver, lungs, and stomach.

Important! The dog must live clean. To exclude a repeated attack of worms after cleansing, it is necessary to wash the bowls after each meal, and regularly wash the lounger and toys.

Timely treatment of acute diseases will prevent their transformation into chronic ones.

If any pathology was noticed: a change in temperature, cover, abundant discharge from mucous membranes, vomiting or loose stools – you need to contact a veterinary clinic to diagnose the problem.

How Long Do Chihuahua's Live & How To Determine Their Age By External Signs

Care and hygiene

Adherence to simple rules of care and maintenance will help prevent many problems:

  1. Eyes are washed weekly with eye drops.
  2. The ears are cleaned with lotion.
  3. Dogs are bathed monthly.
  4. Claws are cut once every 3-4 weeks.
  5. A hygienic haircut is required around the anal canal, between the fingers, in the ears, and on the bridge of the nose.
  6. The owner is required to inspect the Chihuahua’s eyes, ears, and mouth daily.

Constant contact of a Chihuahua with a person will save the dog from stress.

Causes Of Premature Death in Chihuahuas

How Long Do Chihuahua's Live & How To Determine Their Age By External Signs

Dogs’ lifespan is influenced by hereditary and acquired diseases. Unfortunately, the list of predispositions in the Chihuahua is long:

  • dysplasia of the heart valves;
  • urolithiasis disease;
  • hypoglycemia;
  • pulmonary stenosis;
  • rheumatism;
  • inflammation of the eyes and ears;
  • problems with teeth and gums;
  • difficult childbirth.

In addition, there are a number of infectious deadly diseases for dogs:

  • distemper of carnivores;
  • enteritis;
  • hepatitis;
  • rabies;
  • leptospirosis;
  • parainfluenza.

Their appearance can be prevented only by timely vaccination.

Most often, newborn babies who do not have their own immunity die from viruses. Therefore, it is important to limit the Chihuahua’s contact with the outside world until the first vaccination.

A common cause of premature death of Chihuahuas, especially mini dogs, is the carelessness of the owner or children.

Any careless movement (tight hug, letting go) can cause serious injury to the limbs or head. And if after a paw fracture the pet can live, then after a serious concussion or bruising of internal organs, the dog will most likely die.

The owner’s unwillingness to train a decorative dog can also cause injury or even death. A Chihuahua that does not listen to commands will easily be run over by a car, fall into a ditch, or collide with a flock of stray animals.

Poisoning is deadly for a Chihuahua. Any gastrointestinal imbalances disrupt the supply of nutrition to the cells, quickly causing wasting due to the natural low weight of dogs.

Important! Recently, cases of poisoning of pets with rat poison and arsenic have become more frequent. The owner is obliged to monitor the dog during the walk, not to allow it to lift anything from the ground.

Signs of Aging in Chihuahuas 

How Long Do Chihuahua's Live & How To Determine Their Age By External Signs

Elderly dogs differ from young animals by reduced activity, changes in appearance, and the quality of health. From the fourth year of life, gray hair may appear on the face, head, and back.

It is determined that the Chihuahua has crossed the age threshold and began to grow old, according to the following signs:

  • changes in character (older Chihuahuas may become too affectionate or aggressive);
  • since childhood, these dogs do not show much interest in games, but by the age of 3-5 they completely cease to be interested in puppy fun;
  • the older the Chihuahua is, the less interested he is in communicating with other dogs, in “grooming” the opposite sex;
  • disorders in the work of the joints affect the gait of the Chihuahua, the dog can waddle or trudge, less often goes to run, it is more difficult to endure physical activity
  • the quality of the wool is deteriorating; in addition to gray hair, bald patches appear, in dogs the undercoat is thinning;
  • Chihuahua forgets learned commands, remembers new ones poorly, hears and sees worse, loses his sense of taste, may refuse to eat;
  • due to the development of senile diseases in chihuahuas, weakness of the urethra and bladder can progress, so urination becomes more frequent.

Interesting! To calculate the time at which a dog starts aging, you need to multiply the average lifespan of the breed by 2 and divide by 3. For a Chihuahua, the value is 8-10 years.

In order for a pet to live a long and carefree life, the owner must make every effort to provide ideal housing conditions.

And although Chihuahuas are considered dogs accustomed to luxury, it is not at all necessary to provide a baby with a chic wardrobe and diamond collars. It is enough to take care of him as a child and love him as another member of the family.

About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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