As a dog owner, you need to know the average life expectancy of your dog; different dog breeds have different lifespans. Different factors affect the lifespan of all dog breeds; you also need to know things that can shorten and increase your dog’s lifespan.
Chihuahuas have a total life expectancy of about twelve to twenty years; this is longer than most dog breeds, including the Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, and Shih Tzu. Although Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans, most Chihuahuas pass away before they pass their teenage years.
The average life expectancy period of a Chihuahua is 15 years; one of the reasons they live long is their size. However, their size is also why most do not live long because they are prone to various health issues.
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?
Considering that Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breeds, someone might easily assume they do not live as long as other dogs. Well, that assumption is wrong. It would interest you to know that for dogs, the larger the size, the shorter the life expectancy, and vice versa.
So, for a dog like Chihuahua, being the smallest dog breed recognized, then it is expected to live long. Generally, Chihuahuas can live to about 15 to 20 years old. Owners of Chihuahuas can confirm that truly, these dogs live long. The oldest Chihuahua dog lived for 20 years and 265 days.
Tips on Helping Chihuahuas Live Longer
Truly, Chihuahuas can have a longer life expectancy than some other dogs, however, you need to understand that how long your dog could live sometimes depends on you. The dog’s diet and exercise frequency, amongst other factors, affect its lifespan. Let us look at a few tips to help a Chihuahua live long.
It is important to feed your dog a healthy and balanced diet. The kind of diet you feed your Chihuahua strongly affects its life span. You should avoid feeding your dog with food or ingredients made with preservatives or artificial flavors. Feed your dog meals that are recognized and approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Also, leftover foods at night might not be best for your dog. It could make the dog add weight, thereby causing obesity. Obesity, in turn, could lead to other health conditions, such as diabetes which could cause your Chihuahua not to live long. If you are unsure of the best type of diet to feed your Chihuahua, you could meet with your vet for professional recommendations.
It is better to prevent illnesses in anything than to cure them. You should know that various supplements for dogs prevent various health issues like arthritis and keep the dog strong, fresh, and healthy. Before giving your Chihuahua any supplement, ensure you have conducted in-depth research and consulted the vet.
Also, under no circumstance should you give your Chihuahua humans supplements. Give the dog only canine supplements. You need to look out for the essential ingredients in the supplements. It is best to stick with well-researched and common ingredients like chondroitin, glucosamine, and Methyl Sulfone Methane (MSM).
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Thanks to Chihuahuas’ small size, they do not necessarily need as much exercise as other dog breeds. An exercise for just an hour or two could do. With regular exercise, your Chihuahua would be able to maintain a healthy weight. A dog without a good muscle tone as its mobility decreased.
There are various exercises you could choose to engage your dog in. You could take it for a walk, hide and seek, or even get some toys for playtime. Regardless of the form of exercise you choose, the goal is to ensure your dog stays healthy. You need to train your dog to exercise every morning as early as possible.
If your Chihuahua is not properly vaccinated, it will be prone and vulnerable to many diseases, which could be deadly, including distemper, parvovirus, rabies, and Leptospirosis. So, to enable your Chihuahua to live long, ensure it gets all necessary vaccines needed. Also, if you are getting it from a breeder or an adoption center, ensure to ask if the dog has been fully vaccinated.
Small-sized dogs like Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems such as tooth loss and tooth decay. When these diseases are not treated properly, the infection could spread to other parts of their body, leading to more health complications. A dog’s teeth and gums can become the secret pathway to diseases and bacteria if not properly cared for.
So, you must give your Chihuahua good dental care. Also, you could help your Chihuahua by brushing its teeth regularly. However, if you eventually notice any sign of a dental problem in your dog, ensure you contact a vet immediately. Various water additives, dental chews, and diets will protect your dog’s dental and prevent diseases.
Regular Health Checkup
A very important tip to ensuring your Chihuahua lives long is taking it to a vet for regular health checkups. Most times, when a dog is suffering from an illness, the earlier it is detected, the better it is for treatment. However, when you do not take your dog for checkups, you might not easily know if it is suffering from an illness. This occurs more especially if the sickness does not show noticeable symptoms quickly.
Veterinary visits are very important, and you should take your dog to the vet for a medical checkup at least once annually. However, once your Chihuahua is 1o year old, ensure you take it for a checkup a minimum of twice yearly. Do not wait until you notice something odd before taking the dog to the vet.
How Long Do Teacup Chihuahuas Live?
Teacup Chihuahuas have the shortest lifespan of all Chihuahua dogs; they have a total life expectancy of about seven (7) to twelve (12) years. They do not live as long as other Chihuahuas because they are prone to hypoglycemia.
How Long Do Long Haired Chihuahuas Live?
Long-haired Chihuahuas live as long as a regular Chihuahua; they have a life expectancy of about fourteen (14) to twenty (20) years. If a long-haired Chihuahua is not well cared for, it may not live up to 14 years, but it can live for more than 20 years if it is well cared for.
What do Chihuahuas Usually Die From?
Some diseases could lead to the death of a Chihuahua. Most times, some of these diseases could be treated. However, it might be too late to treat such a dog when you refuse to take your Chihuahua to the vet for timely treatment when showing signs of illness. Some diseases that could cause death in a Chihuahua are:
Cardiovascular diseases occur in Chihuahuas when their heart valve has a problem, and it is unable to regulate blood flow. You are likely to hear your Chihuahua making a murmuring sound when this happens.
Examples of this disease are heart failure and arrhythmia. According to studies, heart failure is responsible for 75% of Chihuahuas deaths. So, if you notice your dog displaying any sign of heart failure, ensure you call on a vet immediately.
Keep reading: Do Chihuahuas Shed? Complete Chihuahua Shedding Guide
If your Chihuahua is not properly vaccinated, it could get a very contagious infection – distemper. Distemper is deadly in dogs and often attacks gastrointestinal tracts and the respiratory system. However, a way of avoiding this is by vaccinating your dog.
The assumption that because Chihuahuas are small, they will not live as long as other dog breeds is false and should be discarded. In fact, they have one of the longest life expectancy periods among all dog breeds. With proper care, your Chihuahua can live for a long time, even beyond its life expectancy period.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.