Chihuahua Lifespan: How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

Written by August Croft
Updated: November 4, 2022
© Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com
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Known to many pet parents as a compact companion animal, Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed around the world. Given their small size and nervous nature, you may be wondering how long do chihuahuas live?

Understanding the Chihuahua life cycle may give us a better understanding of their overall lifespan as well. Plus, there are many ways that you can increase your dog’s quality of life and years of living. Let’s learn about how to increase the chihuahua lifespan now.

How long do chihuahuas live?
Known to many pet parents as a compact companion animal, chihuahuas are a popular dog breed around the world.

©iStock.com/Lesia Kapinosova

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How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

Chihuahuas live an average of 12-18 years. Some Chihuahuas have been known to live longer, though many live an average of 15 years total. Their small size breed is one of the reasons the chihuahua lifespan is long.

It would seem that Chihuahuas are one of the longest living dog breeds, with their average old age higher than other dogs. Most other breeds of dogs live an average of 12 years- the Chihuahua is 15, with the oldest Chihuahua living until the age of 20!

The oldest Chihuahua was named Megabyte and lived 20 years and 265 days. With many other dog breeds living past 20 years and Chihuahuas having one of the longest lifespans of any dog, its likely this record could soon be broken!

These small dogs weigh an average of 5-7 pounds when they are purebred- apple headed or deer headed chihuahuas are common. This leads to some very cute dogs, but it can also be dangerous for your tiny pup. Keep a close eye on your chihuahua to prevent it from injury.

How long do chihuahuas live?
Chihuahua lifespan is 12-18 years.

©Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

The Average Chihuahua Life Cycle

Curious what the average life cycle is like for your pet chihuahua? Let’s learn about their long and fulfilling lives now!

Newborns

Newborn chihuahuas are born without their senses, and many weigh a whopping 5 ounces or less. They grow daily at this age, gaining roughly 7% of their body weight in mass per day. This occurs until the chihuahua is around two weeks old.

By around 6-7 weeks, they should have their senses and be capable of moving around on their own. However, they still prefer to spend most of their time sleeping, with the rest of their time spent nursing or eating.

Chihuahua Puppies

From two months onward, your chihuahua puppy will be active, curious, and growing. By the end of three months, your puppy will have grown roughly 30-40% toward its full adult weight and size.

Chihuahua puppies require more socialization and exposure during their puppy years than other dogs. They have the tendency to be hesitant and fearful, so it is important to encourage their brave sides during these first years. Spay and neuter your puppy as well.

Adults

How long do chihuahuas live?
Chihuahuas are the smallest of all purebred dogs.

©iStock.com/TRAVELARIUM

Your chihuahua is considered an adult once it has passed one year old. It will still be a young dog until the age of 2-3, but most chihuahuas have developed their personalities and preferred levels of affection and exercise by this point in time.

Your adult chihuahua no doubt enjoys snuggling and performing tricks. It is important to care for your chihuahua’s teeth as an adult, as dental hygiene is very important for them. You should also understand that they are dogs that enjoy being by your side, no matter the activity.

Senior Dogs

Senior chihuahuas face fewer health issues than larger dogs do. However, they can still be afflicted by common senior dog issues, such as arthritis and poor dental health. Your chihuahua is likely considered a senior at the age of 7-8.

Senior chihuahuas should be kept warm and comfortable as they age. They will not want to play as much and may value snuggling with you even more than ever before. Given their inability to warm themselves, purchasing sweaters or clothing for your chihuahua is recommended.

Tips for Giving Your Chihuahua a Long Life

How long do chihuahuas live?
It is important to care for your chihuahua’s teeth as they age.

©Lesia Kapinosova/Shutterstock.com

While chihuahuas live a longer life than the average dog, there are many things you can do to give your chihuahua a long and happy life. Some of these things include:

  • Exercise your chihuahua regularly. Keeping your small dog at a healthy weight is easier said than done. Chihuahuas often don’t require as much exercise as large dog breeds, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t beneficial to their health. Walk them daily, and have a healthy amount of playtime should they enjoy toys. One key factor to a dog’s healthy and long life is their weight. Keeping it low is always a good idea.
  • Brush your chihuahua’s teeth. Dental care is one of the most important things any dog owner can provide to their pets. This is especially true for chihuahuas. They suffer from infections and diseases that start at the gumline, and many chihuahuas are notorious for their poor teeth. Brush their teeth regularly, or provide treats for dental health often.

Chihuahua Care Guide

  • Keep your chihuahua warm. This particular dog breed doesn’t just shake when it gets scared. Chihuahuas prefer a temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and this is simply not acceptable to most humans. Keep them warm in clothing or a cozy bed. Doing so will extend their life and keep them comfortable for years to come.
  • Teach your chihuahua some tricks. Many chihuahuas love to perform. Giving them the opportunity to learn something new is a fantastic way of keeping your dog young. They are smart, eager to please, and often treat motivated. By training your chihuahua, both practically and for fun, you are forming a strong bond with your dog and allowing them to use some of their brain skills through training.
  • Watch out for your chihuahua under foot. Given the small size of chihuahuas, one of their main causes of injury is physical harm and trauma. This is usually caused by humans stepping on them or otherwise not noticing them, and a boot can hurt a dainty chihuahua very easily. Always take the time to pay attention to where your chihuahua is, including outside or in the home.

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The Featured Image

Three little Apple Head Chihuahua puppies walking outdoor on the grass in summer.
Three little Apple Head Chihuahua puppies walking outdoor on the grass in summer.
© Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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