No matter how long a dog lives, it’s never long enough in my opinion. Most small breed dogs live longer than large breeds and Chihuahuas are no exception. The average Chihuahua lifespan is 15 to 20 years.
Of course, there are precautions you can take when raising a Chihuahua to give your dog the longest life possible. There are some factors within your control and obviously things that are uncontrollable.
What Determines Chihuahua Life Expectancy?
Being a proactive dog mom is critical to increasing the lifespan of your Chihuahua. Here are some factors that you can implement to improve life expectancy.
1. Your Chihuahua’s Diet
Diet directly impacts your Chihuahua’s lifespan. You should feed your Chihuahua a nutritious, balanced premium dog food free of fillers, preservatives, and artificial flavors. My personal favorites are Wellness Small Breed and Halo Small Breed. I recommend checking with your veterinarian for the best recommendation.
2. Avoid Table Scraps
Your Chihuahuas begging eyes are quite tempting…but, avoid giving in and feeding them scraps from your dinner. This leads to obesity and potentially feeding them foods their small bodies cannot handle. There are foods such as grapes and raisins that are toxic to your Chihuahua.
Plus, it doesn’t take a ton of extra calories for your Chihuahua to pack on the pounds!
3. Manage Your Chihuahua’s Weight
Obesity leads to further complications which may lower the life expectancy of your Chihuahua. Complications from obesity include diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and more.
4. Regular Vet Checkups
We take Chuy for a regular vet checkup twice a year. Because the lifespan of a dog is accelerated compared to humans, twice annual checkups are a must. Checkups include required vaccines and booster shots to protect against life threatening diseases. I am extra vigilant about checking Chuy at home in between visits any new symptoms or things out of the ordinary.
BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to practice good oral hygiene with your Chihuahua! Your Chihuahua requires regular teeth brushing and professional cleanings. Bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause major health problems.
5. Spay and Neuter Your Chihuahua
We had Chuy neutered before he was a year old. According to the Humane Society, “Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs.” It also reduces their risk of certain types of cancers in the reproductive system.
6. Live an Active Life with Your Chihuahua
Chuy was the inspiration behind my blog AND he truly changed my life in so many ways. One of those ways was learning how to be more mindful and embracing life in the moment. Dogs just live their life like that. Chuy and I love to go on adventures together. Going for walks together is my stress relief…and his! Chihuahuas need daily exercise for their physical and mental health.
FUN Fact: The world’s oldest Chihuahua on record is Megabyte, who passed away on January 1, 2014 at the age of 20 years and 265 days.
To learn more about improving your Chihuahua’s lifespan, please check out all of our resources for raising a Chihuahua.
Tell me how old your Chihuahua is down in the comments below.