How Long Do Chihuahuas Live? Guide For A Longer Lifespan

How Long Do Chihuahuas Live? Guide For A Longer Lifespan

Chihuahuas became popular during the latter part of the 1800s. There are so many exciting things to know about Chihuahuas; if I name a few, these dogs are named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, and they are one of the world’s smallest dog breeds! Today, we will be discussing an important factor about these dogs: the lifespan of Chihuahuas.

If you own a Chihuahua or are planning to adopt one, you may have to think about their average life expectancy.

So, how long do Chihuahuas live? Chihuahuas have a longer lifespan than other smaller dog breeds. Typically, they have an average life expectancy of 13-18 years. Sometimes they could live more or even less than the average life span range. So, in my opinion, it is safe to say that they usually live 12+ years old. 

Many things determine the life span of a Chihuahua. For your ease, the article is divided into sub-topics as below. Read through to get a thorough understanding of the life span of this dog breed. 

What is the lifespan of Chihuahuas? Average Life Expectancy

As already mentioned, there is no fixed answer to the above question. However, considering things in general, we can admit that Chihuahuas have 13-18 years of average life span.

And that is quite a long life span for a dog. In fact, they are one of the longest-living dog breeds in the world. You may know how a dog’s age is calculated differently from how a human ages.

One year of a dog equals 7-12 years of a human. Suppose that your Chihuahua lived for 15 years, well that is almost 150 years from human age. Interesting, isn’t it?

When is Chihuahua considered a senior dog?

There are hundreds of dog breeds out there, and not everyone owns the exact life span. The life span of dogs varies according to their breeds, and factors such as genes, bloodline, body size function as crucial determinants.

Therefore, the age they become a senior dog also differs from one breed to another.

Chihuahuas have a long life expectancy range compared to many other dog breeds. Small dog breeds usually live above 12 years; hence, they become senior dogs by the age of 11 and above.

Though we cannot precisely say how long a Chihuahua lives, by analyzing data, we can come to the conclusion that the typical life span of these dogs is 13-18 years. So they reach their senior age by 11 years. 

When is Chihuahua considered a senior dog?

What is the average age for a Chihuahua to die?

Let me make this clear one more time. Chihuahua is a dog breed that has a relatively long life span. However, that is only an average range. So you cannot entirely rely on these numbers.

Nevertheless, depending on how you take care of your dog, how you treat your dog, the health of your dog, and some other reasons, your Chihuahua might die, surpassing their average life span, within it or even before it.

If you take proper care of your Chihuahua, and it stays healthy, it will most probably enjoy the maximum age of its breed.

But we also cannot deny that no matter how good we take care of them, they will undergo health difficulties as they age. So the average age of a Chihuahua to die can be considered 15-18 years. 

As mentioned before, once Chihuahuas reach the age of 11 and above, they are considered senior dogs. So usually, even a healthy Chihuahua may die by 15-18 years.

What Is the Oldest Living Chihuahua?

Born in 1994, Megabyte is the world’s oldest living Chihuahua. According to existing information, Megabyte died in 2014, and by that time, Megabyte was 20 years and 265 days old.

Some say that there are Chihuahuas who lived older than that, but none of them are formally recorded until today. Therefore Megabyte secures the title as the oldest living Chihuahua in the world. 

Factors that influence the lifespan of a Chihuahua

It is not solely the biological factors that influence the life span of your Chihuahua. Biological factors indeed play a crucial role, yet as a Chihuahua owner, there are certain things that you should do from your end to ensure that your little canine enjoys its maximum life span.

So here are some typical factors that influence the lifespan of a Chihuahua.

  • Exercises 

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, so you may think they do not need exercise. If you think so, you have to reconsider it.

Though they are little from their body size, exercise tends to be an essential fact that aids your Chihuahua to stay happy and, most importantly, healthy.

At the same time, you also should be mindful about how long you will provide exercise to your pet. Chihuahuas do not need intense and prolonged exercise sessions.

Taking them for a 30-minute walk is more than enough to meet their daily exercise needs. Due to their miniature size, you can also provide them with exercises in your house. 

  • Diet 

A well-balanced diet works as a decisive factor in your Chihuahua’s life span. You must give them good quality dog food, two times per day.

Ensure you don’t overfeed them or feed them with junk food and leftovers because it could make the Chihuahuas prone to many health complexities.

There are recommended pet food brands for Chihuahua pups and grown ones. You can learn about them through the breeder, vets, or simply search it on the internet. 

  • Health care 

Health care is essential for any dog, including Chihuahuas. Many health issues that a Chihuahua could potentially face can be addressed appropriately by following a health care routine.

Make sure you give them the vaccines on time; it prevents many diseases and boosts their immunity levels. Another vital thing is occasional veterinary checkups.

You must take your Chihuahua to the vet as soon as you notice sudden and frequent changes in them. However, though they look fine, once they reach old age, it is recommended to do veterinary check ups once or twice a year to ensure that they are in good health.

  • Genetics

While some facts that affect your Chihuahua’s health are controllable, there are factors that you can’t control as well. The ideal example would be genetics.

The genes of chihuahuas are significant when it comes to their life span. Hence they inherit their genes from birth; there’s nothing you can do with it.

But if you want to make sure that your Chihuahua inherits good genes, you can buy the dog from a reputed breeder. Depending on parents’ health and bloodline, their pups could be expensive but overall very healthy. 

What health problems does Chihuahua have?

Now let’s talk about some of the typical health problems seen among Chihuahuas. 

  • Seizures

Seizures are a condition that affects the neurological system, and this can be a common health issue among Chihuahuas. It is not clear what is the exact cause of getting seizures.

However, a chihuahua could get affected by seizures at a young age or an older age. In most cases, seizures last for a short period, but sometimes the dog may get constant seizures known as epilepsy.

If you notice that your Chihuahua suddenly loses control of their body, it’s advisable to take them to a vet. 

  • Dental issues

Dental issues are also a common health concern among Chihuahuas. Small dogs are vulnerable to gum issues and no exception for Chihuahuas.

Hence, they have tiny teeth; there’s more tendency to gather tartar on their gums, which creates oral issues.

It is essential to take care of their oral hygiene because not treating gum issues could ultimately lead to liver and kidney-related concerns. 

  • Patellar Luxation

The patellar is referred to the calf, kneecap, and thigh bone. In the simplest sense, Patellar Luxation is the dislocation of the calf, kneecap, or thigh bone.

This is a common health concern among many small breed dogs. This is not a severe health issue that threatens the life of your Chihuahua.

Nevertheless, in most cases, it requires surgery to treat this condition. Performing a surgery helps avoid conditions like arthritis which could happen in a long-term aspect. 

  • Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia which is low blood sugar also can be seen often among Chihuahuas. Genes are the primary reason behind this health concern.

Since Chihuahuas have small bodies, they find it pretty difficult to regulate their blood sugar. If you notice sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, and lethargy in your dog, that may be indicators of Hypoglycemia.

How long do Chihuahuas live? Answers sum-up

Today we talked about the lifespan of a Chihuahua. Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog breed; nonetheless, these tiny canines have dynamic personalities.

Generally, Chihuahuas are considered healthy dogs that own an average life span of 13-18 years. But the bottom line is just like any other dog breed.

Chihuahuas are also prone to health complexities that affect their life span; while some are controllable, others uncontrollable. If you take good care of your little companion, it will undoubtedly help them enjoy their maximum age.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

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