How Long Do Chihuahuas Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 12 – 20 Years

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds of dog weighing about just 2 to 10 pounds and standing 5 to 10 inches tall. It is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. They are one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the Americas. Chihuahuas typically have a fairly long lifespan. It is quite common to see them living up to 20 years. Of course, not all Chihuahuas live this long, and some might as well surpass this 20 years mark.

This cute breed of dogs has short and extremely flexible bodies that are surprisingly quite muscular for a small breed. Chihuahuas have round heads like apples with dark and rounded eyes, very pointed ears, and a distinctly sloping muzzle. This breed was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904.

Chihuahuas occur in virtually any color combination. Common colors are fawn, red, cream, chocolate, brown, mixed, white, and black.

How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

Health Of ChihuahuaTime
Obese12 years
Healthy20 years

Chihuahuas have a long lifespan but they have a tendency to develop several health problems like hypoglycemia, joint ailments, eye infections, and bronchitis. Also, the top of their skulls never fully develop, leaving soft spots called moleras that should be well protected.

On average, one can expect the Chihuahuas to live for anywhere from 12 to 20 years. This is considered a pretty long lifespan for a small dog breed. Chihuahuas don’t need exercise as vigorously as a larger breed, but they still must be taken for a walk every day.

Thus, it can be concluded that Chihuahuas live for a significantly longer time and have a larger lifespan than that of an average dog. In certain cases, Chihuahuas have been known to live up to 22 years.

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However, dog years differ from human years as all dogs age at an accelerated pace as compared to humans. The lifespan of Chihuahuas is 12 to 20 years calculated in humans years, whereas it is around 61 to 93 years in dog years.

Chihuahuas can easily over-eat which could trigger diabetes in them and shorten that otherwise impressive long lifespan.

Why Do Chihuahuas Live This Long?

The exact scientific reason behind why Chihuahuas live so long is unknown, but there are is some speculation as to why this is the case. The secret to their longevity is believed to be due to their small size. Chihuahuas grow at a slower pace, live for a comparatively longer duration and thus, the progression of age-related diseases is also slow in them.

There are myriad factors that can impact how long a Chihuahua is likely to live. Some of the well-known factors are genetics, gender, weight, diet, healthcare, vaccinations, oral care, etc.

Genetics determine a great deal of how long any dog is expected to survive. This is no different in the case of these small Chihuahuas.

Generally, female Chihuahuas live longer than males on average. There is no scientific reason explaining this, but it is a proven fact that female Chihuahua outlives males by 1 to 2 years.

Obese Chihuahuas have a short lifespan as they are susceptible to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. On the other hand, an underweight Chihuahua can be malnourished and with a compromised immune system which can potentially shorten its lifespan.

As it is always said, “One becomes what one eats”, and thus, so is the case with Chihuahuas too. The dog’s diet has a direct impact on its lifespan. Good and high-quality dog food for Chihuahuas will ensure that their tummy stays full and they get all the essential nutrients required for living a long and healthy life.

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Chihuahuas must be taken to the veterinary doctor for regular visits to ensure their good health and well-being. A routine checkup can help identify potential threats to the dog and thus can help in identifying health problems long before they can endanger their health. Chihuahua of age 7 or 8 must be taken to the veterinary hospital at least once a year while those of age 10 and above must be taken at least twice a year.

Conclusion

The Chihuahuas are one of the longest-living dog breeds. Lifespan directly depends on how well a dog is taken care of. If Chihuahuas are kept healthy and nourished, they can live for a pretty long time.

Most veterinarians recommend taking Chihuahuas regularly for a walk to ensure that they stay healthy and fit. Typically, they live for 12 – 20 years which can easily be extended to a few years longer by taking proper care of them.

The title for the oldest Chihuahua goes to Megabyte which was a 20-year-old Chihuahua that lived a long a happy life. It almost made to 21 years too but died at 20 years 265 days. Thus, it is perfectly safe to say that the average life span for a Chihuahua is up to 20 years.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1367877912464539
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2021.709967/full
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