The Lifespan of Chihuahuas: Understanding Their Life Expectancy

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world and a popular pet that has won people’s hearts worldwide. Even though these little dogs may seem weak, they may have healthy and lengthy lives with the right care. Any owner wishing to give their furry buddy the finest care possible must know about the Chihuahua’s lifespan.

Chihuahuas are well-liked dog breeds all around the globe because they are little and make excellent companions. Given their tiny size and anxious temperament, you may be wondering how long Chihuahuas live. Like any breed, a Chihuahua’s lifetime varies based on various circumstances. While some of these elements are under the owners’ control, others are not. Owners should get acquainted with these elements to provide their Chihuahua with the longest, most fulfilling life possible.

A loving owner may expect their Chihuahua to live for an average of fifteen to twenty years, but there is no foolproof way to estimate how long they will live. In this post, we’ll examine the many variables that affect Chihuahua longevity and provide advice on how you may ensure that your pet has a long and happy life.

The Chihuahua Lifespan

Chihuahuas live 12 to 18 years on average. Although many live an average of fifteen years, some Chihuahuas are known to live longer. One of the factors contributing to the long lifetime of chihuahuas is their tiny size breed. Since they live longer on average than other dog breeds, chihuahuas have the longest lifespans. The average lifespan of other dog breeds is 12 years; the Chihuahua is 15, and the oldest Chihuahua is 20 years old!

Megabyte, the oldest Chihuahua, lived for 20 years & 265 days. Since Chihuahuas have one of the greatest life expectancies of any dog breed, and many other dog breeds live above 20 years, this record may soon be beaten! Apple-headed or deer-headed chihuahuas are popular variations of this little breed, typically weighing between 5 and 7 pounds when purebred. Although it produces some extremely adorable puppies, it may also harm your little dog. To protect your Chihuahua from harm, keep a watchful eye on it.

Chihuahua Dog Breed Life Cycle

chihuahua lifespan

Are you interested in learning more about your pet chihuahua’s typical life cycle? Let’s find out about their lengthy and fruitful lives right now!


Chihuahua puppies are born blind and may weigh around 5 ounces or less. At this age, they increase their bulk by approximately seven percent of their body weight each day as they develop. Up until the Chihuahua is somewhere two weeks old, this happens. They must have their senses by about 6-7 weeks and be able to move around independently. They still choose to nap most of the day and breastfeed or eat for the remainder.


Your chihuahua puppies will be energetic, inquisitive, and growing from two months on. By the end of the third month, your puppy has developed by around 30–40% toward its complete adult size and weight. Chihuahua pups need more exposure and socializing during their puppy years than other dogs. Since they have a propensity for hesitation and fear, it’s critical to support their courageous sides throughout these formative years. Additionally, neuter and spay your pet.

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Once your Chihuahua becomes one year old, it is considered an adult. Up to 2-3, the dog will still be a puppy. Still, most Chihuahuas have established their personalities and desired amounts of care and activity by this time. Undoubtedly, your mature Chihuahua adores cuddling and pranks. As an adult, taking care of your Chihuahua’s teeth is crucial since dental health is crucial for them. After all, they are dogs and want to be at your side regardless of the activity.


Compared to bigger dogs, senior chihuahuas have fewer health difficulties. However, they are still susceptible to typical conditions that affect elderly dogs, including dental disease and arthritis. Your Chihuahua is most likely considered senior at 7-8 years old. Older Chihuahuas should be kept comfortable and warm. They may be less inclined to play and appreciate cuddling with you more than ever. Getting sweaters or apparel for your Chihuahua is advised since they cannot keep themselves warm.

Individual Oldest Chihuahua

Most Chihuahuas don’t make it into their teens. However, there have been instances of several living far into their 20s. However, only some of these claims have been verified by independent sources.

Megabyte, a Chihuahua that lived for twenty years and 265 days, is the oldest documented Chihuahua. Megabyte died on September 23, 2013, after getting born on January 1, 1993. While there may have been older Chihuahuas, the Guinness World Records officially confirmed and certified Megabyte’s lifespan. It’s crucial to remember that a Chihuahua’s lifetime might vary based on variables, including heredity, nutrition, activity, and general health.

There are a few additional rumors of 20-year-old Chihuahuas circulating the web, but we need help discovering something to back up these claims, as we did with Megabyte. There have even been rumors of 30-year-old Chihuahuas, although such claims are difficult to take.

What Makes Chihuahuas Live So Long?

chihuahua lifespan

There is no true secret to the longevity of Chihuahuas; it is simply a combination of environment and genetics.

Smaller Dogs Live Longer

Most of the time, smaller dogs live longer than bigger types because their metabolisms are slower, and they don’t have as many health problems. Many things make Chihuahuas live longer, but their small size may be the most important. Chihuahuas only weigh a few pounds, so they don’t have the slowness and poor circulation of bigger dogs. This lets them move around and stay busy for longer.

Chihuahuas are Strong

People often think of Chihuahuas as small and weak, but they have many traits that make them perfect for a long time. First, chihuahuas are tough and strong, even though they are small. Because they are small, they can easily handle changes in humidity and temperature. This makes them very strong and hardy animals.

Chihuahuas Only Need Very Little Activity.

Chihuahuas need less exercise than bigger dogs, which helps keep their joints from getting too stressed. Large dogs are always on the move and may need several hours of exercise daily, but Chihuahuas get by with much less intense play. Because of this, Chihuahuas have far fewer physical problems than other types, which means they generally live longer.

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Factors That Influence a Chihuahua’s Lifespan

A Chihuahua’s lifetime may vary based on several circumstances. Here are several elements that may shorten their life expectancy.


It should not be a surprise that a Chihuahua’s longevity is influenced by healthcare. By identifying problems early, before they develop into serious conditions, periodic checks at the vet will help them live a long, healthy life. According to most veterinarians, adult Chihuahuas between the ages of seven and ten should have a wellness examination once a year. However, if your senior Chihuahua is older than 10, you must take them in for a health checkup twice a year.


Weight has an equal impact on a Chihuahua’s longevity. Obese Chihuahuas are more likely to develop harmful health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which might shorten their typical lifetime. Underweight people may also have shorter lives on average due to malnutrition and reduced immune systems.


The diet of a Chihuahua will directly affect its lifespan. Owners ought to feed their beloved four-legged companions premium dog food that is nutrient-rich, well-balanced, and free of additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Avoid the temptation to feed your Chihuahua table crumbs, as doing so can cause toxicosis, obesity, and other health issues.

👉Spaying or Neutering 

Spayed and neutered Chihuahuas tend to live longer than unaltered Chihuahuas. Male Chihuahuas who are neutered before their first heat cycle have a lower chance of ovarian & uterine cancers. In contrast, male Chihuahuas neutered before their initial heat cycle have a lower risk of testicular & prostate cancers. There are additional health benefits related to neutering and spaying a Chihuahua, such as reduced aggression, decreased risk of running out, and decreased number of puppies abandoned at animal shelters.


Because “excellent DNA” can extend a Chihuahua’s lifespan, examining a puppy’s parents is crucial if you’re seeking to adopt. Their puppies are likelier to live a long, robust life if their parents are healthy, active, and content.


Chihuahuas must be vaccinated and receive supplemental injections to prevent potentially fatal diseases such as parvovirus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospirosis, canine influenza, distemper, & rabies.

👉Activity Level 

Keeping your Chihuahua active is essential for ensuring a long and healthy life. Give your Chi plenty of daily exercise by playing retrieve, tug-of-war, or walking around the neighborhood. This will eliminate excess fat, develop muscle, fortify their immune system, and protect them from disease, increasing their average lifespan.

👉Oral Care 

Like other compact dog varieties, Chihuahuas are susceptible to dental issues such as tooth erosion, loss, and periodontal disease. Some studies indicate that as many as nine out of ten Chihuahuas will have dental issues. Allowing your Chihuahua’s oral health to deteriorate can shorten its lifespan. Through gingivitis-caused oozing gums, bacteria infiltrate the bloodstream and travel directly to the heart & kidneys.


According to statistical evidence, females live longer than males. According to studies, female Chihuahuas live one to two years longer than males on average. The precise reason for this difference is uncertain.

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Tips to Help Your Chihuahua Live a Longer Life

While you won’t be able to shield your Chihuahua from every health risk, there are several that you can prevent or, at the very least, lessen. Apply the following recommendations to offer your Chihuahua the greatest chance of living a long, healthy life. Here are some tips to help your Chihuahua live longer.

✔️Healthy Diets

Throughout a dog’s life, what you feed him directly affects his health. While heart failure is the greatest cause of mortality for this breed (18.5%), giving your dog a healthy diet helps keep their body, especially their heart, in top condition. Avoid kibbles that include grains, soy, and maize as fillers. Also, avoid byproducts, generic meats and oils, artificial flavoring & coloring, and chemical preservatives.

Antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids should be included in your Chihuahua diet to support immunological function. Most dogs should only consume grains with low grain quantities or especially low grain values.


The general health of dogs is significantly influenced by regular exercise. Regular exercise improves a dog’s immune system, regulates metabolism & appetite, protects the lungs, heart, as well as other major organs against illness, including diabetes and certain types of cancer, and enables a dog to keep healthy muscle mass & blood flow.

To satisfy the breed’s activity needs, the Chihuahua should take at least two 20-minute walks each day at a reasonably quick pace that maintains your dog jogging along without heavy breathing. There must also be fetch or other cardiac exercise sessions at least a few times weekly, ideally daily.


Whatever breed of puppy you’ve brought into your household, you’ll want to ensure she gets all of the immunizations your vet prescribes. Many illnesses that immunizations prevent, such as rabies, parvo, & distemper, may be deadly. Additionally, as your dog grows, be careful to keep her shots up to date. She’ll require boosters regularly to ensure their immune system is ready to fight off any illnesses.

✔️Dog Tag

Even if your dog never leaves your yard, all dogs should wear a collar & ID tag. Escapes are constantly possible, and you’ll want to maximize your chances of reuniting with your dog if she flees. Although it cannot be guaranteed, wearing an ID tag increases the likelihood that your dog will be returned to you safely.

Many pet owners go one step further and have their veterinarian implant a tiny microchip beneath their animal’s skin. Veterinarians (and many shelters) can read this chip to retrieve contact information and return your dog to your care. So that you can always know where your pet is on your phone, you could even attach a GPS tracker to her collar.

✔️Keep Them Leash

Many Chihuahua owners let their dogs roam freely, but this is never a good idea. Even though your dog usually follows you around at all times, unusual things may happen, & dogs can get into a lot of trouble quickly. All it takes to send the dog into a rage that might lead to severe injury or worse is one passing automobile, dog, bike, or squirrel.

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In light of this, you should always keep your dog securely leashed whenever you are outside of an enclosed location. However, you don’t have to accept a dull leash, so don’t worry. You may choose from many wonderful and stylish harnesses and leashes that will allow you to showcase your dog’s individuality & fabulousness.

✔️Visit your Veterinarian

Treating medical issues as soon as they arise is one of the most crucial things you can do to give your Chihuahua a healthy and long life. And the easiest way to achieve this is to schedule regular veterinary visits. Your veterinarian is qualified to recognize the subtle indicators of sickness that you are likely to overlook, which will assist in guaranteeing that your dog receives the care she needs.

Additionally, by taking your dog to the vet often, the doctor will get to know your dog better and be more likely to spot unnoticeable symptoms and indications.

✔️Dental Care

One of the most crucial things a dog owner can provide their pet is dental care, particularly regarding chihuahuas. Many chihuahuas are infamous for their bad teeth and often have infections and ailments that begin at the gum line. Regular tooth brushing or frequent dental health treatments are recommended.

Common Medical Conditions That Affect the Lifespan of Chihuahuas

chihuahua lifespan

A Chihuahua’s lifespan normally ranges from 12 to 14 years. However, it may vary greatly based on a wide variety of circumstances. Although chihuahuas are mostly healthy, they are prone to certain health issues like other dogs—some of the most typical health problems in Chihuahuas.


Being obese is a medical issue that affects Chihuahuas, which have an abnormally high body fat percentage. While you may believe that a little additional weight is not a huge concern, it may shorten a Chihuahua’s life.

Obesity strains the skeletal system, resulting in lameness and joint discomfort. Additionally, it may worsen breathing problems and raise the risk of diabetes. Additionally, Chihuahuas with obesity have trouble exercising and may overheat in warm weather.


Low sugar levels are a defining characteristic of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas may result from several conditions, including pancreatitis, diabetes, and several drugs. Idiopathic hypoglycemia also exists, which means that the etiology is not known. Small dog breeds like Chihuahuas are more prone to hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia may cause weakness, trembling, lethargy, and seizures. Hypoglycemia may cause a coma and death if it is not treated immediately. To treat hypoglycemia, IV glucose or other glucose-containing fluids are often given. A veterinarian should constantly examine Chihuahuas with hypoglycemia to avoid a recurrence of the disease.

🔎Gum and Tooth Disease

In Chihuahuas, tooth disease is a prevalent issue that may result in various major health issues. Plaque and tartar accumulation on the teeth causes dental decay, which may ultimately result in tooth loss. Gum disease, mouth infections, and quite a heart disease are more likely in Chihuahuas with tooth problems. As a result, it’s crucial to frequently wash your Chihuahua’s teeth and take them to the doctor for regular dental exams.

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Chihuahua Health Problems: What to Watch for and How to Help

Bad breath, frequent drooling, trouble eating, and mouth-pawing are signs of dental problems in Chihuahuas. Take your Chihuahua to the vet for a diagnosis and care if you think they may have dental issues.

🔎Tracheal Collapse

The trachea, known as the Chihuahua, is afflicted by a tracheal collapse disorder. A set of cartilage rings that make up the trachea maintain it open. These cartilage rings deteriorate and collapse in Chihuahuas that have tracheal collapse, which narrows the trachea. Small dogs like the Chihuahua are most often affected by tracheal collapse.

An activity intolerance, a dry cough, and breathing difficulties are all signs of tracheal collapse. Although there is no known treatment for tracheal collapse, many Chihuahuas may live long lives with medicine and weight management. In rare circumstances, surgery could be a possibility. Many Chihuahuas with tracheal collapse may have happy, healthy lives with the right care.

🔎Luxating Patella

You may know the phrase “luxating patella” if you own a Chihuahua. This ailment develops when the kneecap slides, resulting in discomfort and lameness. In Chihuahuas, a luxating patella is a typical issue that may be brought on by various things, including heredity, trauma, or even weight.

Skipping, hopping, or limping are signs of the luxating patella in Chihuahuas. The disease may be minor or severe. It’s critical to get your Chihuahua medical attention as soon as you believe that it has luxating patella. Most dogs have luxating patella that may control their illness and have a decent quality of life with prompt treatment and diagnosis.


A medical disease called hydrocephalus is brought on by an abnormal buildup of fluid in the brain. The fluid surrounding and supporting the spinal cord and brain is called cerebrospinal fluid. The normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is obstructed in hydrocephalus, resulting in fluid buildup. This might result in increased intracranial pressure, harming the Chihuahua’s brain.

According to estimates, up to one in every five chihuahuas born will have hydrocephalus, making them especially vulnerable to the ailment. The signs of hydrocephalus in Chihuahuas might vary from person to person. However, they can include headaches, nausea, seizures, and developmental abnormalities. Hydrocephalus may be lethal if neglected. Several potential causes of hydrocephalus include genetic anomalies, infections, and head trauma.

A shunt is often surgically implanted as part of treatment to drain the extra fluid from the brain. Most Chihuahuas that have hydrocephalus have normal lives with therapy. Hydrocephalus, however, may result in long-term consequences, including cognitive decline or learning difficulties.


Cataracts are among the most prevalent eye conditions in Chihuahuas. The eye’s lens becomes clouded due to a cataract, which reduces vision. Cataracts may affect one or both eyes and often develop gradually. Cataracts normally start to develop in Chihuahuas between the ages of 3 and 5.

Chihuahua cataracts have a hereditary component, albeit the specific etiology is unclear. Surgery to remove and replace the clouded lens using an artificial one is the normal course of treatment for cataracts. Chihuahuas often recover their eyesight after receiving the right care. Chihuahuas with cataracts have unclear or fuzzy vision, light sensitivity, and trouble seeing in dim light.

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🔎Heart Problems

Due to their diminutive stature, Chihuahuas are considered vulnerable to cardiac issues. A disorder known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which happens when the ductus arteriosus, a blood artery in the heart, does not naturally shut after birth, is the most prevalent form of cardiac issue in Chihuahuas. Congestive heart failure may result from blood flowing backward through the heart as a result of this. Surgery is used to treat PDA, and most Chihuahuas recover completely.

PDA, however, may be lethal if untreated. It’s important to get your Chihuahua to the doctor as soon as you feel they may have a cardiac condition so they can be evaluated. Breathing difficulties, coughing, and exhaustion indicate that a Chihuahua may have cardiac issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Chihuahuas suitable as indoor pets?

When given proper care and attention, chihuahuas are loyal, amiable, and loving household pets. They may work out to their heart’s content at their home or apartment.

Do Chihuahuas have a 30-year lifespan?

Even rumors of 30-year-old Chihuahuas have surfaced, although it’s hard to trust such claims at face value. However, Chihuahuas can almost surely live to be 20 years old, and some may even live a little longer.

Chihuahuas have such long lives; why?

Although many live an average of 15 years, some Chihuahuas have been known to live longer. One of the factors contributing to the long lifetime of chihuahuas is their tiny size breed. Since they live longer on average than other dog breeds, chihuahuas seem to have the longest lifespans.

Which breed of dog lives the longest?

The oldest dog was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records by surviving to the ripe old age of twenty-nine years and five months.

How Much Sleep Should a Chihuahua Get? 

Chihuahuas are notorious for sleeping the bulk of the day, and although most breeds are satisfied with twelve to fourteen hours of sleep per day, Chihuahuas often sleep 14 to 18 hours per day.

Final Thoughts

Any future or present owner of this breed must know the Chihuahua’s lifespan. As a result, it’s crucial to provide your Chihuahua with a healthy lifestyle that includes frequent veterinary visits, balanced food, and the right kind of exercise. Additionally, by knowing how long they may anticipate them to live, owners can be ready for the commitment and responsibility of caring for a pet that might live for up to 20 years. Chihuahuas may live long, fulfilling lives as cherished companions if given the right care and attention. Do you want to know why chihuahua is the best dog? Click Here!