Congratulations! You just got a Chihuahua! How cute. You’re having lots of fun caring for it and playing with it. Not to break your bubble, but do you know how long that happiness will last? How long do Chihuahuas live anyway? What are the main causes of their death?
These questions may not seem very important when you are a proud mama or papa of a new Chihuahua. But the answers to these questions will help you better appreciate what you have with your baby furball.
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?
Chihuahuas actually have a long lifespan, like a lot of other small breeds of dogs. Though different sources say different ranges, the average is 15 to 20 years.
Of course, not all Chihuahuas live this long, or this short. Some Chihuahuas only live to 12 years, while others breeze through their 20th year without a care in the world.
A lot of factors determine how long your Chihuahua will live. It’s important to learn about them if you want to have plenty of years with your beloved pet.
Common Chihuahua Health Problems You Have to Watch Out For
Like any other dog breed, Chihuahuas are more prone to some diseases than other breeds. We’ll discuss a few of them here. Don’t think that your dog may not be prone to other diseases not included in this list though. Chihuahuas can get other diseases, but these are the ones they are most prone to.
Oral Health Problems
Chihuahuas are very prone to dental problems. Part of the problem is because they live long lives. Their teeth become weaker as they age. And with weak teeth, eating becomes a problem, leading to terrible health. It’s a catch-22.
If you don’t want your pup’s life wrecked by dental problems, take very good care of them! It may not seem that serious, but did you know that, according to a Harvard study, periodontal disease is linked to heart problems? Besides, even if dental problems aren’t too serious, you should still want to prevent it in your Chi’s life if you care about his quality of living.
The next disease that Chihuahuas are prone to is obesity. Because they are very small, it is extremely easy for a Chihuahua to become overweight or obese. It doesn’t take many extra calories to get your tiny pup to become a fat tiny pup.
Obesity causes all sorts of heart, liver, and kidney problems. You don’t want your cute pet to have those. Additionally, being overweight adds a lot of stress on the joints of your poor furball, making them prone to arthritis.
To prevent obesity, carefully monitor your Chihuahua’s food intake. Make sure he has a healthy diet. And get him lots and lots of exercise – he needs it.
As was already mentioned above, Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, thus prone to arthritis as well. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joints wears down. This results in bone-on-bone contact – which is very painful.
If your dog has arthritis, he is not necessarily at risk of dying earlier. However, due to the pain in his joints, he might lack exercise and play. The lack of physical activity damages both his physical and mental health. He becomes lethargic, weak, and depressed.
All of the results of arthritis can lead to a significantly shorter life for your pooch. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from osteoarthritis, contact your vet. Your dog might still have hope as there are over-the-counter supplements (like glucosamine) that help treat the situation.
When your Chihuahua’s blood sugar level remains low for an extended period, he may develop hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia causes other symptoms, a lot of which are very subtle.
The main symptom of hypoglycemia is low energy levels. If your dog sleeps a lot or is lethargic, he may have the disease. Another very obvious symptom is excessive shaking. If you see these symptoms in your Chihuahua, take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Hypoglycemia isn’t a problematic condition if caught early. But if not caught early, it can be fatal.
A lot of Chihuahuas are susceptible to many forms of heart problems. These problems can reduce their lifespan dramatically. Of the many heart problems, murmurs are the most commonly observed among little Chihuahuas.
Murmurs are abnormalities in the flow of blood through the heart. In itself, it is not a big problem. But it indicates a more sinister problem with your dog’s health. But fortunately, the disease is treatable.
A regular check-up with the vet can help you catch murmurs if your dog has it. Medications or a special diet can cure your pup of the disease.
How Can I Make Sure My Beloved Pet Lives a Long, Healthy Life?
There are a lot of steps you can take to make sure your pet lives long and happy.
No matter what breed of puppy you have, it’s important that you get him all the vaccinations your vet recommends. A lot of the diseases that vaccines prevent are fatal. So this first step already saves you a lot of trouble and pain.
Visit the Vet Often
“How long do Chihuahuas live?” If you visit the vet often, you can have a good idea about your Chihuahua’s health. The vet is trained to notice a lot of the subtle signs of declining health in a Chihuahua.
This is an effective way of knowing about your Chi’s welfare and can help you keep track of and avoid diseases.
Plenty of Exercise
Chihuahuas are very energetic. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Make sure you get your Chi a lot of playtimes. If he doesn’t get this, he might become depressed and develop diseases. If you don’t have the time to play with him, getting him a toy he can play with helps.
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live? The Answer is Partly Up to You
If you want your Chihuahua to live a full and long life, you should be prepared to do everything it takes to take care of their health. Watch out for the diseases they are prone to. Feed them a healthy diet. Get them lots of exercise. Visit the vet often.