Chihuahuas, the smallest dog breed in existence originating from Mexico, have an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years. Female chihuahuas tend to outlive males by 1 to 2 years. Longevity depends on a number of factors including genetics, healthcare, and diet.
Table of Contents
- What Do Chihuahuas Usually Die From?
- How Long Do Indoor Chihuahuas Live?
- How Long Do Outdoor Chihuahuas Live?
- Can Chihuahuas Live Up To 20 Years?
- Is 15 Old For A Chihuahua?
- What Is The Longest Living Chihuahua?
- How Old Is A 15 Year Old Chihuahua In Human Years?
- What Is Considered Old For A Chihuahua?
- At What Age Do Chihuahuas Lose Their Teeth?
- Does A Dog Know When He Is Dying?
What Do Chihuahuas Usually Die From?
According to Aubrey Animal Medical Center, there are a suite of health issues that can plague chihuahuas if not taken care of properly. However, the most common problems that can lead to fatality if left untreated include hydrocephalus, heart disease, obesity, dental disease, and hypoglycemia.
Unfortunately there is no cure for hydrocephalus which occurs when spinal fluid builds up in the chihuahua’s brain and most dogs with this condition don’t live past 4 months of age.
Periodontal disease is very common in chihuahuas and is closely linked to heart disease. Taking proper care of a chihuahua’s teeth and alerting the vet to any heart murmurs present can easily quell dental and heart disease and extend the life of a chihuahua.
Obesity and hypoglycemia are both health problems that can be addressed by keeping a strict diet. However, if either of these conditions is allowed to proliferate, it can result in death for a chihuahua.
How Long Do Indoor Chihuahuas Live?
Chihuahuas are generally indoor dogs and can live up to 20 years if properly cared for. It’s preferable to keep chihuahuas indoors due to their vulnerable small size, low temperature range tolerance, and proclivity to get injured easily. Indoor chihuahuas are simpler to keep an eye on and keep safe and healthy in order to maximize their life span.
How Long Do Outdoor Chihuahuas Live?
In general, it is not recommended to have a chihuahua be an outdoor dog. While 30 minutes of outdoor exercise a day is necessary to maintain a healthy chihuahua, there are many dangers the outside poses that will significantly limit the longevity of a chihuahua.
Chihuahuas are intolerant to extreme temperatures because of their thin skin so very cold temperatures are quick to induce hypothermia while very hot temperatures to lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Due to a chihuahuas small size, they are easy prey for larger wild animals which both stalk from the ground and from the air. Their delicate nature also makes them extremely sensitive to loud noises so even a neighbor’s motorcycle or another bigger dog down the street can traumatize a chihuahua.
Can Chihuahuas Live Up To 20 Years?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, chihuahuas can easily live up to 20 years old if they are healthy. Overweight chihuahuas or those with genetic predispositions to serious diseases such as cancer or heart problems may not live to see 20 years old.
Is 15 Old For A Chihuahua?
Fifteen is old for a chihuahua and is considered the lower end of old age. While most medium-sized breeds only live 12-13 years, 15 years old is hardly unachievable for the average chihuahua as long as the dog is healthy.
What Is The Longest Living Chihuahua?
The longest living chihuahua in evidence was a dog named Megabyte. He was just shy of 21 years old – 20 years and 265 days old to be exact and passed away on New Year’s Day in 2014. It has been rumored that there are chihuahuas who lived to be 22 years old although these reports are unsubstantiated.
How Old Is A 15 Year Old Chihuahua In Human Years?
At the age of 15 years old a chihuahua is actually around 73 human years old. All small dog breeds under 20 pounds can follow a similar human to dog age ratio chart whereby ages 1 to 4 typically average the teens through twenties, ages 5 through 9 average the thirties and forties, and ages 10 through 14 average the fifties and sixties.
Long-lived chihuahuas that are aged between 15 and 20 years old equate to 73 through 93 human years old. For a chihuahua to live to be that old is quite a feat!
What Is Considered Old For A Chihuahua?
Most veterinarians considered chihuahuas to be in their senior years when they reach 10 years old – equivalent to a human reaching their fifties. There are a few life changes associated with seniority in chihuahuas including increased wellness check ups, less physical exercise, excess weight gain, weakened bowel and bladder control, osteoarthritis, and changes in hearing, vision, sleep, and coat.
At What Age Do Chihuahuas Lose Their Teeth?
While chihuahuas lose their puppy teeth around 12 weeks of age, they are replaced by a permanent set of adult teeth similar to humans. However, chihuahuas are extremely prone to periodontal disease and without proper dental care can begin to exhibit symptoms as early as 2 years old.
Gum disease can cause a chihuahua to lose his/her teeth before old age and can lead to other serious health problems that would prevent a chihuahua from obtaining old age at all. In order to avoid this scenario, it is recommended by veterinary dentists from the Purina Pro Club to ensure chihuahuas get regular dental check ups and owners brush their teeth daily.
Does A Dog Know When He Is Dying?
While it’s impossible to know exactly what a dog is thinking, according to Psychology Today, there may be indications that a dog does know and understand when he is dying. Dogs who are at the end of their lives tend to seek out safety and comfort and may exhibit more loving behavior than usual.
If there is more than one dog in a household, the other dog can almost sense that something is wrong with its companion and seek to provide extra comfort or find a way to alert the owner to the dying dog’s condition.
There is speculation that other dogs may be able to smell oncoming death in other dogs so it is also possible that a dying dog can detect the scent on itself as well.