How Long Do Chihuahuas Live? (Lifespan and Caring Tips)

Chihuahua LifeSpan Guide

Chihuahuas are excellent pets, but a dog owner must bear in mind that the Chihuahua lifespan is shorter compared to the human lifespan. The owner must make sure that his/her Chihuahua has a long and happy life.

How long do Chihuahuas live, you ask?  Your average Chihuahua has a lifespan of 15 to 20 though this depends on various factors. Some of those factors can be prevented or mitigated. Other, however, comes with the dog’s physical nature.

Knowing the factors that impact the Chihuahua’s length of lifespan is important for dog owners like you. A happy, healthy Chihuahua with a long lifespan is the best kind of pet you can own. Hence the importance of knowing how to make sure that your dog’s lifespan lasts a long time.

What are the primary causes of death in adult and puppy chihuahuas?

Every living thing sooner or later dies, and the Chihuahua dog is no exception. How long do Chihuahuas live depends on how the dog was taken care and most often, a Chihuahua will die at a ripe old age. However, neglect, mistreatment and ignorance of a Chihuahua lifespan can cause the dog to die before its time. The primary causes of Chihuahua deaths listed here apply to both adults and puppies.

Physical Trauma – The small size of the Chihuahua can lead to the dog’s physical injury if not properly watched or prevented. There are a lot of ways that a Chihuahua can be hurt fatally, but the three top things are being stepped upon and crushed by feet, run over by a car and dropped from a high distance.

Sepsis – This is a severe infection caused by bacteria, infection in the prostate and pneumonia. Expect the Chihuahua to have liver failure, respiratory distress syndrome, kidney and liver failure.

Leptospirosis – An infection caused by drinking water that has been contaminated by the urine of wild animals. It can cause kidney as well as liver damage that can turn fatal. How long do Chihuahuas live with this kind of infection varies, assuming they don’t die from it.

Parvovirus – If you’re Chihuahua has not received its vaccination, the chances are high that it can get infected with this infection. Parvovirus causes your dog to have diarrhea and severe vomiting due to its immune system and gastrointestinal tract. Having direct contact with a dog infected by Parvovirus or via the feces of said an infected dog can spread the infection.

Cardiovascular diseases – A lot of Chihuahuas suffer from this illness and can severely reduce the Chihuahua lifespan. Heart valve problems, arrhythmia, and heart failure are some examples of cardiovascular diseases. A Chihuahua that died from cardiovascular diseases is mistaken by some to have died of old age.

DistemperAnother infection that can lead to a Chihuahua to death. Distemper is very contagious and will cause problems in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. As the disease progresses, the dog’s central nervous system, spinal cord, and brain will be affected. Finally, it dies, but not before the Chihuahua experience seizures and paralysis.

All of these can be fatal to your dog, but the good news is that they can be prevented and mitigated so that it won’t or has little effect on the Chihuahua lifespan.

Full Grown Teacup Chihuahua

How to have a happy Chihuahua that has a long lifespan?

A healthy Chihuahua is a happy pet that you can love and cherish. Also, if your dog has a long Chihuahua lifespan, you will have an excellent pet companion for a long time. How long do Chihuahuas live if their owners take good care of them? A very long time and here are some tips on making your Chihuahua live longer and happy.

1. Keep your dog safe – As mentioned earlier, a Chihuahua is very vulnerable to any physical hurt due to its size. Some safety measures you can do are:

  • Leash your Chihuahua whenever you go out for a walk with it. This way, you can steer clear or rein in your dog away from potential harm.
  • Train your dog to obey your basic commands like “Sit!”, “Stay!” or “Come.” The lease is all well and good when going outdoors, but when you need something else to rein in your dog, and obedience training is best for this situation.
  • If your household has lots of children in it, be sure to teach them how to handle a Chihuahua lest they drop the dog. The kids should also learn to be careful when moving around lest they step of the dog.
  • Give your pet its personal space and bed away from the hustle and bustle of the household.

2. Make sure that your dog has received vaccinations. How long do Chihuahuas live is dependent on their health. Some of the infections that were earlier can be prevented by vaccination.

3. Exercise is another good way to extend your dog’s lifespan. Playing and walking can build muscles, ward off illness, burn excess fat and enhance their immune system. Exercise can also prevent obesity in Chihuahuas.

4. A balanced and proper diet is another contributing factor to a Chihuahua’s long life. The nutrients found in some dog foods can benefit the dog. Steer clear from feeding your pet leftover scraps since they are not right for it. Also, try a well-balanced diet with no artificial or preservatives for your Chihuahua.

5. Chihuahuas are very susceptible to dental problems. Make sure that you clean your dog’s teeth to prevent harmful bacteria from destabilizing its health.

6. Finally, get your dog checked by a veterinarian regularly. Your vet might detect something you missed or will suggest further improvements to the dog’s health.

Which has a longer lifespan: The Chihuahua or the Teacup Chihuahua?

That would be the Teacup Chihuahuas. For all purposes and intent, Chihuahuas are relatively healthy breeds, but toy dog breeds like the Teacup Chihuahua tend to live longer. According to experts, toy dog breeds’ growth rate is one contributing factor though for now, this is just a possibility.


At what age was the oldest Chihuahua on record?

There are various reports of Chihuahuas reaching the ages of 20, 21 and 22, but unfortunately, they are not verified. However, the verified Chihuahua that has been recorded as living to the age of 20 is named Megabytes. As of New Year’s Day in 2014, Megabytes has passed away, but the dog is proof that a Chihuahua can live beyond its average lifespan.

Today Megabytes Still hold the “World Oldest Chihuahua.”

We, humans, are long-lived compared to our Chihuahua pets. Still, we humans can make sure that the Chihuahua lifespan is made longer as possible to enjoy their company and companionship with love and care.

source: wileypup

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20 thoughts on “How Long Do Chihuahuas Live? (Lifespan and Caring Tips)”

  1. Love the long haired chi. Want one so bad but I just can’t afford one. Been looking all over but to no avail.

      1. Stop buying dogs. A ton of chihuahuas can be found at shelters that are awesome. Supporting breeders is immoral.

        1. It’s not wrong to go to breeders just better to help the ones in shelters, my chihuahua is a survivor of a disease that 1 in 10 dogs survive. I’m so happy to have her! She’s a mix between chihuahua and wiener dog, I love her!

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  3. We rescued our long hair Chihuahua from a shelter…she was in rough shape as she was rescued from a puppy mill where she’d been for 6 years churning out puppies. After some much needed TLC and vet care she was on her way to a comfortable, healthy life. We’ve had her for 7 years now and she’s one of the best dogs (family members) I’ve ever had.

  4. Don’t get a dog from a puppy mill. There are lots of great dogs to be rescued from your local shelters for FREE.. I rescued two dogs from Animal Care and Control. in San Francisco California. That is the best thing I have ever done.

  5. Chi’s are ALWAYS at the pound! And they are so weird initially but a few weeks later, they are the most loyal baby that you have ever seen. End of story. I have done this twice…

    1. Yes I got my chiwawa from a animal humane society in Albuquerque n.m. 3 years ago she was 5 years old when I got her now she’s 7 she’s my best friend & companion she sleeps in bed with me every night some times she Likes to cuddle & Lay by me & she is my Emocinal support Dog her name is Rosie she is my Baby I Love her alot

  6. I got both of my chihuahuas from an Animal Rescue. They are the perfect pet for me. They do not like a halter and leash, nor do they like to ride in a car because they get motion sick. They are content to stay home and play in our fenced backyard . They love to cuddle and sit on my lap . Wouldn’t take anything for either of them. They are family.

    1. I rescued my chi (Gilbert) from a girl with a toddler and one on the way. Her toddler had taunted him into fear. He was 3. He’s 10 and he’s bigger than his breaches type of guy!

  7. I am writing this holding my 21 year old chihauhua . Her health has just turned recently . She beat cancer in December but it has returned . I’m asking for prayers please . Her name is Esperanza we call her Espy . Shes my heart . Thank You

  8. I have three chi’s. One is a long haired apple head, one is a short hair fawn, and the most recent is a long hair. All of them are rescues. The apple head was abused horridly. She was rescued with 12 other dogs in an outdoor pen with no food or water and a temperature well below freezing. She has attached herself to my wife. The other two one male, one female, think everyone we let into our home is there best friend!! All are spayed or neutered with all appropriate shots and routine vet visits. I have had several breeds of dogs in the past and I can say these guys are the most loving and loyal pets I could ever ask for.

  9. I have a 2yr old deer head Chihuahua purrs when i love him. Very affectionate, and does not have a sharp bark like most. When he sniffs the floor or ground or his favorite blankets he comes up snorting like a pig. It scares me cause he sounds like his breathing is hurting him. I read it’s an inverted sneeze pretty weird. His name is Pepper i hope to have him for a long time. Best dog I’ve ever owned.

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