Whether you’re already the proud owner of a Chiweenie or someone who’s just begun thinking about purchasing one, it’s important to educate yourself on their health. Pet owners who are aware of the signs have a higher chance of catching a medical condition early on. The earlier the detection, the quicker you can begin treatment, and the longer your pet will live. In addition, knowing the average lifespan of your Chiweenie and any medical conditions they may be predisposed to will give you a fuller perspective in the event of an emergency. Knowledge is power, so let’s discuss how long Chiweenies typically live and review six common health issues they may face.
Chiweenie: A Brief Introduction to the Breed
As you may already know, the Chiweenie is a mix of two breeds: the Chihuahua and the dachshund. Because of this, this designer breed has many nicknames, such as the “Choxie,” “weeniehuahua,” and “Mexican hot dog.” Although the Chiweenie is popular in the United States, this breed isn’t quite as widespread in other places around the globe yet. Despite this, they’ve been picking up steam in recent years and have begun popping up in many European countries.
Anyone who’s ever met a Chiweenie can say with certainty that these dogs are balls of energy. Much like their two parent breeds, these charismatic dogs love to spend their days running, jumping, and playing! Due to this, this breed is well suited for people who live active lifestyles. Chiweenies will also fare well in homes with other animals and older children. Despite their high energy levels, these dogs love to relax and snuggle after a long day of bouncing around.
Average Life Expectancy of a Chiweenie
Your Chiweenie‘s lifespan will depend on many factors. Diet, exercise level, and even the breeder you purchase from can all influence how long they live. On average, Chiweenies will live to be between 12 and 16 years old, although many go on to live even longer than this. Compared to other dog breeds, their long lifespan is very impressive. According to the World Animal Foundation, these dogs have an “incredibly long lifespan,” and “most Chiweenies, if taken care of properly, live up to twenty years in their fittest form.”
That being said, you and your Chiweenie will likely enjoy many years together before the two of you eventually part. That being said, stay in the moment and live each day you spend with your Chiweenie to the fullest!
Health Problems Common in Chiweenies
Compared to their two parent breeds, the Chihuahua and the dachshund, Chiweenies tend to be in better health, which is true of many mixed breeds. Despite this, there are still certain health concerns that Chiweenies are predisposed to that you should be aware of. One of the most common medical conditions is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Dogs with hypoglycemia may experience fainting spells, collapse, and in severe cases, even seizures. Diabetes is another medical condition that is commonly diagnosed in Chiweenies. Bring your dog to the vet if you notice that it becomes extremely thirsty or begins urinating more frequently.
Degenerative disc disease is a health condition that affects certain breeds more than others, one of those being dachshunds. As the name suggests, degenerative disc disease occurs when a disc in the spinal cord begins to deteriorate. This is painful for the dogs it affects, and as a result, their movement will begin to slow. Symptoms such as a lack of energy and decreased motivation for physical activity may indicate something is brewing. This condition isn’t a huge concern for younger Chiweenies, but older dogs may be at risk.
Other Health Concerns to Be Aware Of
Certain conditions that Chiweenies face are less serious than others. Despite this, they should still be addressed as they may decrease their length and quality of life. All toy breeds are vulnerable to dental issues. According to the American Kennel Club, “Toy breeds have tiny mouths, but their teeth are relatively large. This combination results in very crowded conditions that lead to dental disease. The crowding creates more crevices and surfaces where tartar and plaque can accumulate, and as we all know, tartar and plaque buildup leads to periodontal disease.” In order to avoid this, take your Chiweenie to the vet to develop a dental care plan. Each dog is different, so there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
In addition to dental issues, the weight of your Chiweenie must be monitored. Much like humans, dogs that are overweight are at higher risk of developing different health issues. An overweight dog may not display symptoms of failing health initially. However, the chances that additional medical conditions will develop increases the longer an owner allows them to maintain an unhealthy weight. John P. Loftus and Joseph J. Wakshlag authored a paper in which they explored the effects of canine and feline obesity. In this study, it was found that “Obesity has been associated with other health problems, including osteoarthritis, renal disease, skin disease, insulin resistance, and neoplasia in dogs.”
How Your Chiweenie Can Live a Long and Healthy Life
Although some of these medical conditions may seem scary, don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily. Chiweenies are healthy dogs who often enjoy long and happy lives. If a medical emergency does take place, early detection will be a great benefit. Even if nothing seems out of the ordinary, something could be brewing under the surface. This is precisely why yearly checkups are paramount. Dogs are good at hiding their pain, so an annual veterinary check-up could detect something that may go unnoticed. In addition, carefully monitoring the behavior of your dog is important. Any changes in their personality could signal something is amiss, so document and discuss these concerns with your vet as well.
On average, healthy Chiweenies will weigh between five and twelve pounds and grow to be between six and ten inches tall. If you notice your dog begins to gain weight rapidly or develop any abnormal growth, contact your vet immediately. As long as you remain diligent in protecting the health of your Chiweenie, there isn’t much to worry about. In order to make sure that your dog has the best life possible, it is important to make sure you feed your Chiweenie a healthy diet, meet their exercise needs, and take them in for yearly health screenings. This will ensure that they will live until a ripe old age!
Because they are easy to care for, very loving, and typically have good health, Chiweenies are excellent pets for first-time dog owners as well as experienced ones. Despite this, it’s always important to stay on top of their well-being and ensure that they maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you have any concerns about your Chiweenie, don’t hesitate to schedule a vet appointment. Although it may seem overcautious, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if they’re in perfect health, your veterinarian can provide you with information and insight into your dog’s individual needs.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Hannah Carl/Shutterstock.com
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