How long Do Chihuahuas Live For?

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If you are interested in getting a Chihuahua, it is important that you know how long these dogs live.

There are other things related to this dog’s lifespan that will be useful for owners.

The more you learn about this breed, the easier it will be to care for it.

Average Chihuahua Lifespan

The average Chihuahua lives for about 15 years, though there have been reports of these dogs living upwards of 20 years. There is a wide range of things that can affect how long your dog lives, including its diet, genetics, and physical activity level.

Common Health Problems

There are certain health problems that many Chihuahuas are prone to that you’ll want to know about before getting one. These issues can significantly shorten your dog’s lifespan if you don’t get them proper treatment.

Weight Gain

It is fairly easy for Chihuahuas to become obese due to an improper diet and/or lack of regular physical activity. If you want to keep your dog healthy, it is important that you keep them on a strict diet. Make sure that you give them treats in moderation as well.

The more overweight your dog becomes, the more likely they are to develop joint problems. They can also experience issues with their kidneys, liver, and heart. Many of these chronic health issues can be difficult to treat effectively, but they are easily avoided.

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Problems with Teeth

Chihuahuas are also prone to developing numerous dental problems, including periodontal disease. This can ultimately take a toll on your dog’s heart, so it is important to stay on top of their oral health.


Osteoarthritis is a real issue for this breed as well. This occurs when the dog’s cartilage wears away, so that eventually the bones make contact against each other. It can be incredibly painful and limit mobility for your pet. 

While this particular issue may not decrease your dog’s lifespan, it can significantly lower their overall quality of life. There are medications that your doctor can prescribe to help with managing pain and increasing mobility.

Cardiovascular Issues

There are numerous heart problems that a Chihuahua can develop over time. Many of these issues are fatal, especially when left untreated. There are a variety of treatment options available for most heart problems your dog might have.


Hydrocephalus is caused by an accumulation of spinal fluid in the brain, and it is very serious. While there isn’t any cure for this condition, it can sometimes be managed using steroids. The most obvious sign of hydrocephalus is an enlarged head due to swelling from fluid buildup.

Patellar Luxation

Some Chihuahuas develop a condition that is known as Patellar Luxation, which is when their knee joint is not aligned correctly. It is a condition that dogs have from the time they are born, and there is currently no cure. There are medications and procedures that can help with managing the symptoms.

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How to Extend Your Chihuahua’s Life

There are plenty of different things that you can do to ensure that your Chihuahua lives a long and healthy life. While there is no telling what the future holds, these tips can improve your dog’s chances of living longer.

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It is absolutely crucial that you get your dog vaccinated against rabies, distemper, parvo, and other potentially lethal diseases. Your veterinarian will let you know when these vaccinations are necessary. This is one of the best ways to help your dog live a long life.

Keep them on a Leash

While it can be tempting to let your Chihuahua off the leash once in a while, it is never a good idea. The fact is that this is just not safe for your pet. There is always a chance that they could run into the road and get hit by a car, or run up to an aggressive dog and become injured.

Put them on a Strict and Nutritious Diet

It’s also very important that you keep your dog on a nutritious, well-balanced diet. There are many different dog food options available, so you’ll want to do your research. This will make it a lot easier to keep them healthy over the years. You’ll want to look for a food that is specifically formulated for small dog breeds. 

Make sure that you don’t give your dog too many treats, especially ones that are high in calories. As we mentioned above, Chihuahuas are prone to obesity. It is absolutely crucial that you help your dog to maintain a healthy weight.

Take them in for Regular Checkups

It is important to take all dogs in for regular checkups at the vet. Since Chihuahuas are prone to so many serious health issues, this is doubly crucial. The sooner that you catch a disease or medical condition, the sooner you can get your pet the necessary treatment.

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Get them Outside Each Day

Regular physical activity is an essential part of maintaining your dog’s health. Chihuahuas are high energy dogs that need a lot of exercise each day. This means that you will want to take yours for a walk at once every single day.


  • The average lifespan for Chihuahuas is 15 years, but they can live over 20 years.
  • These dogs are prone to various dental problems, so it is important that you take good care of their teeth.
  • Chihuahuas frequently become obese when they are not kept on a strict diet and given the opportunity for exercise each day.
  • Make sure that you always keep your dog on its leash to avoid potentially fatal accidents.
  • It is crucial that your Chihuahua gets all of its vaccinations, as they drastically lower their risk of contracting many serious diseases.
  • A nutritious, well-balanced diet can go a long way towards preserving the overall health of your dog.
  • It is also important for you to take your Chihuahua to the vet for regular checkups. This will ensure that any health problems are caught early.
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