The other day, my friend wanted to know which dog breeds live the longest. She was interested in having a small canine companion with floppy ears that would be able to spend many happy years with her. Among other small dog breeds, I also suggested that a Chihuahua would be perfect for her. My friend, like many Chihuahua owners, wanted to know how long do Chihuahuas live.
How long do Chihuahuas live? A healthy Chihuahua can live as long as 20 years. Chihuahuas have the lengthiest lifespans among dogs, making them ideal long-term companions.
How long do Chihuahuas live for?
How long a dog lives depends mainly on its size: the smaller the dog breed, the longer it lives. The small body size allows Chihuahuas to live for as long as 18 to 20 years.
What is the average lifespan of a Chihuahua?
Although there is no fixed rule for how long a Chihuahua lives, the agreed-upon average lifespan of a Chihuahua is 14 to 16 years. We’ll discuss Chihuahua’s lifespan in a bit more detail below.
When it comes to Chihuahuas, the most you can ask is for them to make it till 20 years, plus a few months. There aren’t many credible claims of a Chihuahua surpassing that age.
A healthy, happy, and active Chihuahua would naturally live longer. But Chihuahua owners and breeders should also know about several common health issues that can shorten their little dog’s lifespan.
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Common Chihuahua health problems
Chihuahuas are inherently susceptible to certain health issues. While not all of these are deadly, they can shorten your Chihuahua’s lifespan if left untreated. These health problems include:
Chihuahua dental issues
Although Chihuahuas are small, they are fierce and will bite strangers if they feel unsafe. Chihuahuas are not afraid to show their sharp little teeth in order to scare strangers away. You may agree with me when I say that our Chihuahuas think that they are Pit bulls or lions! Their teeth are their defense mechanism.
This is why it’s important that dog owners help their Chihuahuas maintain healthy teeth. Chihuahuas have tiny mouths with sensitive teeth and unfortunately, they are more prone to dental infections than bigger dogs.
If the dental infections worsen, the bacteria can spread to the Chihuahuas’ internal organs, damaging their liver, heart, and kidneys.
Since a proper diet is critical at later stages of life, you can see how dental issues can shorten your Chihuahua’s lifespan. However, brushing regularly and avoiding sweets can help keep these issues at bay.
Canine obesity in Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas don’t require too many calories to sustain their petite bodies, and feeding them in excess can make them fat.
Obesity is the mother of diseases in canines and can give rise to a myriad of life-shortening health complications. Obese Chihuahuas often suffer from joint, heart, kidney, and liver problems during the later stages of their lives.
To keep your little Chihuahua safe from these health issues, feed them sensibly and allow them plenty of exercise.
Osteoarthritis is when the protective coating between the dog’s joints deteriorates. As a result, the bones that are exposed rub against each other. This causes severe discomfort and pain, which makes it difficult for our Chihuahua to do any physical activities.
Arthritis also reduces a dog’s movement and can make him or her feel miserable. The combination of discomfort and depression can reduce a Chihuahua’s lifespan by a good few years.
Hypoglycemia in Chihuahua
Toy breeds such as Chihuahuas are more vulnerable to hypoglycemia — a condition in which the body is unable to retain sufficient blood sugar. This disease is a silent killer, and symptoms usually show when it has gotten out of control.
Giving your Chihuahuas a high-quality diet can keep their blood sugar at a healthy level throughout the day. Make sure that the diet is enough to keep them nourished, but not so much that it leads to obesity.
Patellar Luxation Chihuahua
Some Chihuahuas have a hereditary condition that causes their kneecaps to dislocate randomly. If this happens, your Chihuahuas will cry or whimper because they will be in pain the first time it happens.
If you notice them crying or whimpering in pain, be sure to contact your vet right away. This is a serious health concern and if it’s not treated in time, your pooch will try to get used to it after a while and this condition could get worse.
The Chihuahua patella luxation treatment requires surgery, but that route is only taken in extreme cases. Normally, physiotherapy is enough to keep the dog’s knees in place by strengthening the leg muscles. Alternatively, your Chihuahua could also wear a dog brace.
This condition affects Chihuahuas under the age of 6 months and is usually fatal. It happens when the naturally occurring opening in their skull, called Molera, is abnormally large. This can lead to a fluid build-up in the pup’s head, resulting in seizures, swelling, and death.
Although uncommon, this disease usually occurs during the early months of a Chihuahua’s life. If you’re looking to adopt a Chihuahua puppy, get him or her thoroughly checked for hydrocephalus.
Chihuahua heart problems
Chihuahuas have very tiny hearts and are prone to several cardiac problems. The Chihuahua heart problem can be inherited or develop later on in life.
Valve disease is a hereditary heart problem in Chihuahuas. In this condition, the heart’s valves thicken and deform, hampering its function and consequently shortening the Chihuahua’s life.
Chihuahua collapsed trachea
This condition occurs when the dog’s windpipe collapses, making it difficult to breathe. Chihuahuas with a collapsed trachea may develop a chronic cough and make honking sounds when they inhale or exhale.
Collapsed trachea is common among Chihuahuas and can be treated with medications. Severe cases in which the dog can’t breathe require surgery.
How long do teacup Chihuahuas live?
Teacup Chihuahuas can live up to 7 to 12 years. Teacup Chihuahuas have very tiny bodies and are more prone to health issues that plague regular Chihuahuas.
How long do Chihuahuas mix live?
Chihuahuas mix can live up to 7 to 18 years, depending on the breed of their parents. While some mixes have a shorter lifespan, others can live for almost two decades.
How long do long haired Chihuahuas live?
Long haired Chihuahuas can live up to 14 to 18 years. Long-haired Chihuahuas share a similarly long lifespan with regular Chihuahuas.
How long do Chihuahuas live in human years?
Chihuahuas have a great life expectancy and can live up to 14 to 16 years on average, which is roughly equivalent to 100 human years.
How long do Chihuahua terriers live?
Chihuahua terriers can live up to 15 to 18 years. Chihuahua terriers live a much healthier lifestyle than their purebred counterparts.
How long do applehead Chihuahuas live?
Applehead Chihuahuas can live up to 14 to 16 years. Applehead Chihuahuas, despite being prone to health issues, can still live a good and lengthy life.
How long do deer head Chihuahuas live?
Deer head Chihuahuas can live up to 14 to 16 years. Deer head Chihuahuas aren’t much different from Applehead Chihuahuas when it comes to life expectancy.
Fun Fact: Both deer head Chihuahuas and apple head Chihuahuas come in various Chihuahua colors. There are tri-colored Chihuahuas, tan Chihuahuas, light brown Chihuahuas, and many more!
How long do toy Chihuahuas live?
Toy Chihuahuas can live up to 7 to 12 years. Toy Chihuahua is another name for teacup Chihuahuas, and they have the same life expectancy.
How long do Chihuahua poodle mixes live?
Chihuahua poodle mixes can live up to 12 to 15 years. Chihuahua poodles, or Chi-poos, may inherit genetic weaknesses from either parent.
How long do Shih Tzu Chihuahuas live?
Shih Tzu Chihuahuas can live up to 12 to 15 years. This adorable mix is pretty robust, but they are still not the longest-living Chihuahua breed.
How long do small Chihuahuas live?
Small Chihuahuas can live up to 7 to 12 years. When it comes to Chihuahuas, small breeds have a shorter average lifespan.
How long do reindeer Chihuahuas live?
Reindeer Chihuahuas can live up to 14 to 16 years. Reindeer Chihuahua is another name for the deer head Chihuahua and hence has the same lifespan.
How long do Chihuahua miniature pinscher mixes live?
Chihuahua miniature pinscher mixes can live up to 10 to 14 years. Chipins (Chihuahua-miniature pinscher mixes) are sensitive to extreme temperatures and don’t like living alone.
How long do Pomeranian Chihuahuas live?
Pomeranian Chihuahuas can live up to 12 to 17 years. The Pomeranian Chihuahua, or Pomchi, can live a long and healthy life.
How long do papillon Chihuahuas live?
Papillon Chihuahuas can live up to 10 to 15 years. This mix has a lifespan somewhere in between Papillons and Chihuahuas.
How long do Chihuahua terrier mixes live?
Chihuahua terrier mixes can live up to 15 to 18 years. 15 to 18 years is also the average lifespan of a Chihuahua terrier mix. Chihuahua terrier mix is a sturdy breed that can outlive most other dogs.
How long do rat terrier Chihuahua mixes live?
Rat terrier Chihuahua mixes can live up to 12 to 18 years. This mix, also known as a Rat-Cha or Rat-Chi, can live well into their late teens.
How long do pekingese Chihuahuas live?
Pekingese Chihuahuas can live up to 10 to 14 years. This mix is also called the Cheek or Pekachi and can live a long life, but may inherit the same health complications from their parents.
9 Factors that impact the Chihuahua lifespan
Chihuahuas are tiny dogs and hence require sensible feeding. An excessively rich diet with regular sugary snacks can easily make them fat, whereas insufficient nutrition can cause them to develop deficiencies.
2. Physical fitness
Obesity leads to a host of diseases. Besides sensible feeding habits, a Chihuahua needs to stay active and get their recommended daily exercise in order to have a long and healthy life.
Cross and selective breeding with the right dog species can alter a Chihuahua’s lifespan. Toy breeds are the most delicate, while Chihuahua-terrier mixes live the longest.
On average, female Chihuahuas live a couple of years longer than male Chihuahuas. Scientists have varying opinions on why that is so, but the exact cause is unknown.
5. Emotional health
Chihuahuas who live happily will live longer. Love and care greatly impact a Chihuahua’s lifespan, and depressed or neglected Chihuahuas perish much earlier.
Unvaccinated Chihuahuas are at the mercy of their natural immune system, which isn’t usually strong enough to ward off some nasty viruses. As the Chihuahua dogs ages, their immune response also weakens, making them an easy target for viruses.
7. Dental health
The long years take their toll on a Chihuahua’s teeth. As the Chihuahua loses its teeth, his or her diet is also affected. Tooth pain is also very irritating, and the stress may shorten the Chihuahua’s lifespan.
8. Sexual health
Spayed or neutered Chihuahuas live longer than their fertile counterparts. Keep in mind that each Chihuahua pregnancy and birth can take years off a female Chihuahua’s life, whereas males that aren’t neutered are more violent, reckless, and likely to wander off.
9. Cardiac health
Chihuahuas have naturally sensitive hearts, and dogs with heart issues have a tough old age. That’s why ensuring optimum cardiac health is crucial for a Chihuahua’s long life.
7 Ways to Help Your Chihuahua Live a Long, Happy, and Healthy Lives
1. Dental hygiene
Regular brushing, avoiding sweets, and bi-monthly dental visits can ensure the Chihuahuas keeps their pearly whites healthy and holds onto them well into old age.
2. Regular exercise
Physical fitness is critical in maintaining a healthy body for your little pooch. As long as your Chihuahua is young, keep them physically active. It will strengthen their bodies and bones for the hardships of old age.
Vaccination will give your Chihuahua immunity from diseases that may cause an untimely demise. Any virus will have a hard time troubling your dog if he or she is vaccinated.
4. Regular checkups
Regular visits to the vet give you the inside scoop of how healthy your Chihuahua is. The vet may be able to catch diseases before they spread throughout the body. Routine checkups also allow the vet to check whether your canine friend has any deficiencies.
5. Sensible diet
A clean, low-calorie diet is the key to a long healthy life. Feed your Chihuahua in moderation, and keep them away from sweets, snacks, and other human foods.
6. Spaying and neutering
Spaying prevents female Chihuahuas from bearing the burden of an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy, whereas neutering makes male Chihuahuas calmer, less likely to engage in fights, or run away from home.
7. Safety precautions
Despite their frail bodies, Chihuahuas can be very temperamental and often get into situations where they can get hurt. Keeping your Chihuahuas on a leash and away from trouble will ensure they don’t foolishly risk their lives.
Oldest Chihuahua in this world
Megabyte, a Chihuahua who lived to the ripe old age of 20 years and 265 days, is considered the oldest Chihuahua that ever lived. While people have come forward claiming to have even older Chihuahuas, none of them have been verified.
I’m a pet lover who has years of pet sitting and grooming experience. I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience with all pet owners so they can also keep their canine companions healthy, happy, and clean!