Chihuahuas live anywhere between 12 to 17 years of age on average. In some rare cases, they can live to be 20+ years old. The oldest Chihuahua on record — record being the keyword — was Megabyte who passed away on January 1, 2014, at the age of 20 years, 265 days. Some have claimed their Chihuahua has lived longer, but Megabyte is the oldest known Chihuahua on record.
Many wonder what the stages of a Chihuahua’s life are and what to expect at each stage. This article will answer that question and more!
Puppy — Birth to 8 Weeks
From birth to 8 weeks, puppies should be with their mother and siblings. This period of time is when puppies do most of their growing, developing, and changing. The socialization process should begin at about 5 weeks and continue throughout puppyhood and adolescence.
It’s during this time that they learn such things as body language signals from the interaction with their siblings. This is when they learn the proper way to play. During this stage, puppies go through a “fearless” stage. It’s during this stage that socialization with people, children, and other dogs is so important.
They should be introduced to unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells, a little at a time so as not to become overwhelmed.
Puppy — Week 9 – 5 Months
By now puppies are eating solid food exclusively. During this stage, a puppy is generally ready to be separated from their mom and siblings. It is usually safe to go to their new forever home. However, individual puppies differ and it may take some longer before they are ready.
A healthy diet is important at any stage of a dog’s life, but, especially so as soon as they begin eating solid food. This is when I would start them on Spot & Tango. Spot & Tango is a fresh nutritious dog food that is personalized for your puppy and his or her needs at this stage of life and delivered directly to your door.
Spot & Tango’s recipes are all certified by AAFCO to ensure that your Chihuahua’s food fulfills the dietary requirements for Chihuahua puppies and throughout their entire life. They only use the highest quality fresh ingredients so your Chihuahua can live a longer and happier life.
Adolescence – 16 Weeks to 12 Months
Adolescence or puberty usually begins at 16 weeks. During this time, your Chihuahua puppy will experience a remarkable growth stage. By the end of this stage — about 12 months, your Chihuahua will be as big in size as he or she is going to be.
A lot of hormonal changes take place during this stage and it is during this time that females have their first cycle and males are fully intact. It is highly recommended that you get your Chihuahua spayed or neutered before that happens. Most veterinarians recommend getting a Chihuahua spayed or neutered at 6 months.
Your puppy’s ears may go up and down during this time and there will be a lot of excessive teething. This is the time to teach your Chihuahua appropriate chewing unless you don’t mind your furniture, pillows, and bedding being destroyed.
Because of all the changes and growth taking place, you will want to have their Spot & Tango diet re-accessed. You may see an increase or decrease in your Chihuahua’s activity level also. Thankfully, Spot & Tango have made that very easy to do.
You can adjust your Chihuahua’s age, weight, and activity level at any time to assure that they are getting the proper nutrition for each stage of their life. When the adolescent stage is over your Chihuahua puppy will be a beautiful adult Chihuahua!
Adulthood – 2 to 3 Years
By two years of age, you can begin to relax. Your Chihuahua puppy should begin to outgrow his puppy antics, (biting, chewing, etc.) and should be completely housetrained.
This is the time that you and your Chihuahua can really enjoy each other, play together, and go on lots of long walks together. But, it’s not the time to stop socializing and training your Chihuahua. These two things should continue throughout his or her life.
Adulthood – 4 to 10
At this stage in your Chihuahua’s life, they gradually slow down and are more likely to be curled up on your lap or under a blanket than rambunctiously running around the house. Your Chihuahua will be much calmer and just be your best friend and watchdog.
Be careful, at this stage, if you haven’t been diligent about training and socialization he or she might just take over the house and become a little tyrant. This is because they are generally a one-person dog and very protective. They may bond with everyone in the family, but they will choose their favorite and he or she becomes their “property” in their little brains. That person is usually the one that is the primary person in the house that feeds and trains him.
There is no definite age that a Chihuahua is considered a senior, however, it is generally thought to be around the age of 11.
At that time your Chihuahua will begin to show subtle signs of getting older. He or she may be getting gray or the color of their fur gets a little lighter. Almost all Chihuahuas at this stage lose some teeth and develop arthritis and some joint pain. They begin to slow down considerably and sleep more.