For being considered one of the smallest dogs in the world, the Chihuahua. This breed is one of the most sought after by people looking to have a dog but who live in tight places like apartments. Many people do research before having an animal and one of the most frequently asked questions is how long does a chihuahua dog live? To answer this question, let’s talk about the characteristics and the main care to keep the chihuahua healthy.
Average life of a chihuahua
Chihuahua dogs have an average life expectancy of between 12 and 20 years. They are very healthy and intelligent dogs and when they receive the necessary care for the breed, these animals can live for many years.
These little companions can share many stories and moments with the tutors as they can live for many years. But for the animal to survive well all these years, at least annual visits to the veterinarian for checkups and evaluations of the animal’s health are necessary.
About the Chihuahua breed
One of the theories about the origin of the Chihuahua believes that these dogs lived wild in Mexico. These small dogs were captured and domesticated by the indigenous people of the region.
The head is very round and small, and the eyes are round. The ears are large and are always on alert. It is a dog with a compact body, short and muscular limbs, its tail is moderately long, carried high, arched or in a semicircle.
The Chihuahua’s coat can be short-haired or long-haired and can be found in many shades and combinations except for the merle color.
Behavior / Temperament
Chihuahuas have a strong personality. They are small dogs but agile, alert, restless and very courageous. It’s a dog that can bark a lot. They can react to any strange movement, always calling the tutor’s attention. Therefore, it is considered a good guard dog.
Chihuahuas are very healthy animals, but they need to do physical activities such as playing and going for walks to burn off some energy. This breed can have some genetic diseases such as:
- Patellar deviation;
Patellar deviation is a disease where the animal may limp and feel local pain, as the patella leaves the anatomical place, which may lead to injuries from temptation and other complications.
Cryptorchidism is the disease present in males where one or both testicles are not observed in the scrotum. The puppies are born with the testicles in the cavity and until 8 months these testicles tend to be in the scrotum.
After 8 months of the absence of one or more testicles the animal is considered cryptorchid. In these cases, castration of the animal is indicated, since the testicle in the cavity has a greater predisposition to become a tumor that can worsen the health of the animal.
Hydrocephalus, on the other hand, has no well-described causes. It is the disease that happens in the intra uterine life where there is a large accumulation of liquids in the puppy’s skull. Thus, the bitch may have difficulties when giving birth to the animal in a natural way, being a necessary cesarean section. Puppies often die due to neuronal complications generated by hydrocephalus.
Dogs with these genetic disorders are discouraged from breeding. And there must be veterinary monitoring for better resolution of the cases.
These animals do not have so many reproductive problems, but gestational follow-up with a veterinarian is advised due to the high incidence of hydrocephalus, which can lead to dystocia, resulting in the mother and the offspring’s death.
Animals must have a routine of being vaccinated and dewormed. In addition to care with ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks. When these preventive cares are not applied, the animals can present health problems.
Illness, happiness, excitement, or fear can cause the animal to shiver; this same sign can be seen when they are cold. If constant tremors are observed, a veterinarian should be sought.
Short-haired dogs do not need clipping, while long-haired animals may need clipping. Bathing these animals must be done constantly and they must have their fur brushed at least twice a week.
Baths in this breed are indicated with specific shampoos for dogs and neutral shampoos. Bathing should be done very carefully, especially to avoid getting water into the ear. The animal must always be very dry after bathing to avoid the growth of microorganisms that can lead to dermatitis.
Brushing the dog’s teeth is necessary to prevent tartar buildup. Brushing the teeth should be done every 48 hours, using specific toothpaste for dogs. As for nail clipping, the nail should be cut once or twice a month. Cutting the nails prevents the animal from getting hurt or even hurting the tutor.
Even small chihuahua dogs can live many years, reaching up to 20 years of age. This small and charming dog attracts the attention of many people. Because it is a very healthy breed, it makes many want to have a Chihuahua as a pet. Basic care should be taken with this breed in addition to visits to the veterinarian, ensuring a good quality of life for the dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Average life of a chihuahua
How heavy is a chihuahua?
The Chihuahua’s weight should be between 1 and 3 kg.
How long does a chihuahua live?
Chihuahuas usually live between 12 and 20 years, depending on their genetics and general care.
Do the chihuahua bark a lot?
Yes, because they are dogs that have great hearing and any noise they find suspicious they will bark. Thus making them good dogs to guard.
CBKC – Brazilian Canine Confederation, 2015 Official Breed Standard: chihuahua. Available at: https://cbkc.org/application/views/docs/padroes/padrao-raca_187.pdf, accessed January 22, 2022.
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