How Long Do Chihuahuas Live? Find Out The Average Life Expectancy

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 19, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Brown chihuahua sitting on the floor.

Are you aware of the total lifespan of a Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas have been considered or known to be among the breeds of the smallest dogs and they have been named Chihuahua, which is after a state in Mexico. They were very rare until the early 20th century and were not even registered by the American Kennel Club until 1904.

They are defined as an 'apple head' skull formation, they have large eyes, erect ears, and this small size dog breed is 5.91-9.84 in (15-25 cm) in length and weighs around 3.97-5.95 lb (1.8-2.7 kg). They have a long and smooth coat over their body and they live for 12-20 years.

Chihuahuas are prone to some diseases like periodontal disease and they may also suffer from patellar luxation.

Sometimes the chihuahua's dog breeds show a bit of aggression towards humans.

Therefore, if you have a Chihuahua as a pet try to keep your Chihuahua away from people mostly if you are taking them to any public place. These small size dogs are available in all kinds of color combinations now whether they are strong, light, marked, or splashed.

Chihuahuas are from the 19th century and live around 12-20 years and are also counted in those dog breeds who live the most.

Many dog breeds are very strong, but still can not manage to live longer but these small dogs have a great lifespan.

Chihuahua owners are very lucky to have a Chihuahua as a pup because they are very cute, intelligent, and have a great lifespan but this is possible only when they are taken proper care of and are living a healthy life.

But in some rare cases, a Chihuahua can also live more than 20 years.

All this depends upon the lifestyle they are living in, the diet they are getting and the environment they are adapted to. Some factors help your pup live more and be healthy.

Even though Chihuahuas are small dogs, they still have the capability of gaining weight and therefore owners should keep a check on their waistline and fitness to keep them away from any kind of health issues.

There are various reasons through which Chihuahuas may suffer from different health problems and obesity is one of them as it may cause other problems like arthritis, heart disease, and many more.

It is a good idea to take a Chihuahua as a companion on a trip as they add spice to one's life. They are easy to carry, are highly energetic, and intelligent.

They are apartment-friendly, cat friendly but are not so familiar with children.

For more similar factual content, you can also visit these how long do rottweilers live and how long do bulldogs live.

The Average Lifespan Of Chihuahuas

The average Chihuahua's lifespan is around 15-20 years and this is considered to be one of the longest living dog breeds. Even though they are small in size, those dogs who are small tend to live longer as compared to the larger dogs.

To give your dog a long and healthy life, you should take care of some health measures like their diet, weight, vaccinations, oral care, and activity levels which play a very important role to keep the dog active which also keeping their blood sugar levels balanced.

Now discussing each factor in detail let's begin with the diet they follow to maintain their health as well as their oral health. The diet of a Chihuahua is directly related to their lifespan, and therefore it is suggested to dog owners to feed their Chihuahua with a healthy diet including well-balanced premium dog food.

Make sure you avoid giving them any food with filters, preservatives, and any form of artificial flavors.

Do not feed them with your leftover dinner as it may result in obesity, toxicosis, and other health problems. Weight is another factor that directly effects a Chihuahua's lifespan.

For example, obese chihuahua lifespan may get lower because of poor health conditions which also consist of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Those Chihuahuas who are underweight may also suffer from a lower average lifespan. This situation may occur due to malnutrition and a weak immune system.

People often wonder how long do chihuahuas live because it is hard to believe that this small dog can live up to 20 years but there are several factors which are needed to keep them healthy.

Healthcare is an important factor that should be kept in mind, routine checkups with a vet are a must, to avoid the health problems at an early stage rather than taking a risk to increase their illness and then diagnose it.

If you have a 10-year-old Chihuahua then it needs a check-up at least twice a year.

Genetics is one of the natural factors that should be ensured if you are thinking to adopt an adult Chihuahua as good genes can be a chance that your Chihuahua lives longer.

If the parent Chihuahuas live a happy and energetic life then there is a greater chance of the baby chihuahua to live the same and healthy life.

Vaccinations are very important in maintaining a Chihuahua's lifespan as it protects against dangerous diseases like the parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella bronchispetica (kennel cough), canine influenza, distemper, rabies, and soft spots on their skull.

Oral care is another factor because chihuahua dogs are prone to dental problems like tooth decay, tooth toss, and gum disease, a Chihuahua's lifespan may also decrease if they suffer from dental problems and later the infection may reach till heart and kidneys and can infect that too.

The bacteria may enter from their teeth and could reach their bloodstream which may cause serious oral health issues.

Take your Chihuahua to the vet immediately if you find any serious condition or problem which can not be cured with home remedies.

How to improve the life expectancy of chihuahuas?

One could improve the life expectancy of chihuahuas through different methods.

A Chihuahua's lifespan can be increased by giving them some playtime and making them do exercise which will keep them fit and will also keep their immune system healthy.

Regular exercise is not important for Chihuahuas but to make sure that they do not gain excess weight, a bit of exercise is required or you may take them to a park for a walk or you may also allow your baby Chihuahua to play with another pet dog who lives nearby.

But make sure that they do not bring any disease home from other pets.

Proper grooming is required for a dog's better health.

To maintain their average lifespan, give them a bath with their favorite shampoo which is also good for their coat, and be careful while making a baby chihuahua bath as they have sensitive skin.

Therefore, buy a shampoo accordingly, brush their teeth daily as recommended by a vet so they will be able to fight against any teeth-related disease or any kind of dental problems. Like we visit our doctors for a routine check-up, the same facilities should be there for your Chihuahua.

They should also be taken to the vet for routine check-ups and make sure they are fully vaccinated with every dose of vaccine which is good to maintain the average Chihuahua's lifespan.

Sometimes we provide our dogs with treats but we should not give them it in excess as it would harm them and can also affect their health.

A vet always recommends a high-calorie food diet for your pet which will make them live even longer and also ensures that they do not take a high amount of sugar as it is not good for their health.

They may also suffer from hypoglycemia because of low blood sugar, you may identify that whether your chihuahua is suffering from hypoglycemia by seeing various changes in their body like sleepiness, lethargic body movements, or fainting.

So you have to be very particular about the amount of sugar you are giving to your Chihuahua. The next step advises you to not let your Chihuahua wander alone as they may get exposed to any natural accidents, food poisoning, or any disease which will be very harmful to them.

The last step is to keep your Chihuahua stress-free because stress is bad for them, and will not let them live a happy life.

Ensure that your Chihuahua is not exposed to any of these stress creators which include an unbalanced routine, lack of mental stimulation or your dog getting bored, excess of noise, new crowd around them, and separation anxiety.

According to research in 2014, Megabytes, the oldest Chihuahua passed away giving the statement that Chihuahua can live even beyond its lifespan.

Causes For Death In Chihuahuas

Mostly Chihuahuas die due to some disease but a lot of diseases are curable, so if you find any signs or symptoms of any of the diseases immediately visit your vet, and no need to panic.

So let's start with cardiovascular disease, this could be the main reason why your Chihuahua is ill.

The factors leading to this disease are heart valve problems as they regulate the blood flow and you may hear a murmuring sound from your chi as they may suffer from restriction of the flow and if this problem remains untreated then it may lead to heart failure and as per studies heart failure is the reason for 75% deaths of Chihuahuas.

Arrhythmia is also somewhat the same as heart failure but it shows no symptoms and in this case, it is important to visit a vet regularly.

The next major factor is trauma, it is caused due to depression, anxiety, aggression, poor appetite, a dog having a height or water phobia, or any incident related to any car accident that may traumatize your Chihuahua, and around 16.8% of Chihuahuas die because of trauma.

Chihuahuas also suffer from infections like sepsis which can affect the kidney and liver of a dog, parvovirus is another infection that directly affects the immune system causing diarrhea therefore you should vaccinate your dog to prevent this, distemper is a kind of respiratory infection whose symptoms include coughing, weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting and the last infection is leptospirosis which also affects the kidney and liver and can be cured by giving them filtered water and keep them away from rat's area.

Bladder and kidney stones could also become a reason for a Chihuahua's death as older Chihuahuas often suffer from this.

If you find your dog having difficulty in urinating or if you notice that their urine s bloody, then rush to your vet or it may become the cause of your dog's death.

A tracheal disease is another factor but it is not dangerous like other factors, in this your dog will faint because they usually face difficulty in breathing.

To keep your dog away from all these diseases and infections make sure that you get them vaccinated and ensure proper routine check-ups by your vet.

Now if we talk about the average age at which dog's die it is considered to be 15.5 years for male Chihuahuas, research tells that the oldest Chihuahua named Megabyte who died at the age of approximately 20 years, and Maverick who is the longest living Chihuahua lived up to 22 years old.

According to the Chihuahua age chart, you can identify how old your dog is, and sometimes people also figure out how long their dog is going to live and can also compare it by human age.

The dying age of Chihuahuas also depends upon the category in which category your dog falls, the smooth coat (short-haired) and long coat, and the lifespan varies in both categories.

Who is the longest-living Chihuahua?

A Chihuahua known as Maverick is the longest living chihuahuas found in the published required fields and Megabyte is the oldest chihuahua in the world's history, usually, the lifespan of a Chihuahua is around 12-20 years old but maverick lived for 22 years old, which is the highest record in any dog's life.

Sometimes it also happens like the vet has said that there are fewer chances of your dog to remain alive still in rare cases they manage to live and cases like this had happened years ago with some families and their Chihuahua.

This dog breed is one of those breeds which have the highest average lifespan and because this breed dogs have a slow aging process, they are good pets to be kept, friendly, and even affectionate, you just need to make sure that you take proper care of your dog because some diseases are very dangerous and harmful to the dogs as they could also lose their lives.

They suffer mainly from low sugar problems or hypoglycemia which needs to get cured soon by the vet, the American Kennel Club also claims that most dogs from any breed will live up to 8-17 years.

Chihuahuas live between 12-20 years old and you can also improve their life expectancy by several methods as discussed above like grooming, brushing, keeping away from infections and diseases including health problems caused because of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and many more.

They should be fed with a proper diet and should be spayed and neutered as it increases the chance of your dog living more.

Proper healthcare should be taken, routine check-ups and most important factor that is very natural, the genetics, if the parents are healthy and lived a good long life then the same genes are passed to their baby which is a good sign for a Chihuahua owner who had adult Chihuahua as a pet and now keeping the baby Chihuahua as a pet as well.

If you are thinking to keep a dog as a pet that has a longer lifespan than a Chihuahua and Shiba Inu (maximum lifespan around 16 years) are two good options to be considered.

They are a loyal breed of dog, good and even intelligent, healthy, but they are quite prone to allergies that can be cured by vaccinating them.

This is the duty of the owner to keep a routine medical check-up of their dog and ensure that they remain happy and live a healthy and long life.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do chihuahuas live, then why not take a look at how long do pugs live or chihuahuas facts.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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