The Chihuahua’s lifespan is arguably the longest in the dog kingdom. These pups have some of the most exciting personalities, and that pairs well with having one of the longest life expectancies of modern dog breeds. But, just how long do Chihuahuas live?

How Long Do Chihuahuas Live For?

The average Chihuahua’s lifespan is about 12-20 years, while the Teacup Chihuahua’s lifespan is 15-20 years, granted they receive the proper care.

Female Chihuahuas typically live around 1 to 2 years longer than males, and this is probably due to their slow aging boom, delaying the onset of age-related diseases.

Medium and huge dogs live significantly shorter lives. Medium pups live for an average of 10 to 13 years, while large dogs tend to live from 8 to 10 years.

As furry companions go, that’s quite a long while to spend with your favorite lapdog! Small dog breeds tend to live longer than medium and large dogs, but that highly depends on the quality of life they have.

Chihuahua’s Age In Human Years

You’ve probably heard that one human year equals seven dog years. However, different dog breeds age at their own pace, so that calculation won’t always be accurate.

Chihuahuas and other little dogs don’t age as quickly as larger dogs, and they also tend to age faster in their first year of life as they move through puppyhood into adulthood.

Here’s a handy chart that’ll help you measure a Chihuahua’s age more accurately:

Age in Human YearsAge in Dog Years
Chihuahua years versus human years
Chihuahuas life expectancy illustrated by a vet holding a Chi
Chihuahuas life expectancy illustrated by a vet holding a Chi

Chihuahua Health Problems

Even though a Chihuahua’s life expectancy is high, they are prone to several lifestyle factors and health conditions that affect it. In this guide, we’ll lay out some factors that affect a Chihuauha’s life and provide you with some advice to help your pup.

1. Brain Trauma

Chihuahuas are famous (or possibly infamous) for their cocky, “big dog” attitude. While that is endearing, it does make them prone to some dangers, given their dimensions.

Because of this “by no means say die” attitude, Chihuahuas frequently show off a genetic situation known as “moleras”. Moleras are smooth spots inside the Chihuauha’s cranium wherein bone did not develop.

Because of moleras, a high percentage of Chihuahuas die from trauma, whether they stem from dog fights or accidents like being dropped or stepped on.

2. Cardiovascular Disease

A twenty-month study into canine mortality discovered that 18.5% of Chihuahua mortality can be attributed to coronary heart-related disease. This sets the breed among the top five of those maximum susceptible.

The onset of heart disease happens extraordinarily overdue in a Chihuahua’s life, typically around 14 years. Still, heart disease remains the finest contributor to reduced Chihuahua’s life expectancy.

The good news is that up to 70% of reported coronary heart disease cases in small breed puppies are degeneration of the mitral valve, a circumstance that can be prevented via a good diet and exercise.

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3. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas is a condition that causes blood sugar levels to stay at lower than healthful levels.

While the bodily effects are not straight away obvious, through the years, hypoglycemia causes a sluggish decline in physical attributes.

If your Chihuahua is sluggish, drowsing excessively, or liable to shaking, you may want to schedule an emergency vet visit and check them out.

Early treatment can arrest the onset of hypoglycemia. If you don’t get your pup treated in time, this condition will extensively reduce your Chihuahua’s lifespan.

Other Factors Affecting a Chi’s Lifespan

Other conditions that may reduce your Chihuahua’s lifespan include patellar luxation, Von Willebrand’s Disease, hydrocephalus, and retinal disease.

Patellar luxation in Chihuahuas essentially means a dislocated kneecap. This condition can lead to discomfort, pain, and in severe cases, the inability to walk. It’s more prevalent in small breeds like the Chihuahua. 

Chihuahuas are also susceptible to Von Willebrand’s Disease. This is a blood clotting disorder, similar to hemophilia in humans. Dogs with Von Willebrand’s Disease may experience excessive bleeding after a minor injury or surgery. It’s a genetically inherited disease, so it’s crucial breeders test for it. 

Another alarming condition that can affect Chihuahuas is hydrocephalus or ‘water on the brain’. Chihuahuas with hydrocephalus have an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within their skull, causing pressure on the brain. Symptoms can range from subtle to severe and can significantly impact a Chihuahua’s lifespan. 

Lastly, retinal disease is the final and most challenging Chihuahua health issue, which can lead to partial or complete vision loss. Although it’s more common in older dogs, certain breeds like Chihuahuas are predisposed to early onset. If you start to notice watery eyes, regular checkups can help in early detection and management.

How long do Chihuahuas live? Illustrated by a beige pup lying down
How long do Chihuahuas live? Illustrated by a beige pup lying down

Some practical things you could do to target these challenges and improve your Chihuahua’s lifespan are:

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

A healthy food regimen is your primary weapon in stopping Chihuahuas’ cardiovascular degeneration.

Chihuahuas are regularly choosy eaters, and it’s common for them to beg for that delicious “human food.” However tempting this is, you must be firm on refusing that.

Make sure your small pal gets nutritious and well-balanced canine food, preserving treats from your table to a bare minimum.

2. Have Regular Exercise

Chihuahuas generally love to play and go for walks in their neighborhood. Keeping your Chihuahua in shape and wasting their energy levels is usually easy to do.

While Chihuahuas want everyday walks, the walking distance and intensity are far less than required for larger dogs. A little bit of exercise goes a long way!

As you walk your pup, remember that Chihuahuas are huge puppies trapped in tiny bodies. They’ll frequently face significantly larger dogs believing themselves to be invincible. So, keep a close eye on their natural outgoing exuberance.

3. Invest in Preventive Care

As with all things, prevention is much better than a cure. Make sure your furry companion receives regular check-ups, at least every 12 months.

Make sure your Chihuahua gets all their vaccinations, especially their leptospirosis, parvovirus, and dog influenza shots.

You’ll also want to make sure your pups receive regular oral care. Chihuahuas are very much at risk of dental problems. Persistent problems with Chihuahuas’ oral fitness can introduce contamination and boost the probability of coronary heart disease.

Finally, keep in mind that spaying and neutering brings many benefits. Spaying and neutering your Chihuahua reduces the threat of cancer, lowers their aggression, and reduces the probability of them walking away.

So, with proper care, the average Chihuahua lifespan is excellent! As long as you take care of your pup, you can help your Chihuahua live a long life, filled with love, joy, and lots of cuddles!

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