How long do Chihuahuas live for?

This blog post will answer the question: “How long do Chihuahuas live for?” Other facts about the Chihuahua dog breed will also be answered. 

How long do Chihuahuas live for? 

Chihuahuas typically live pretty long lives relative to other small breeds. According to different authorities who cite dogs’ lifespans, the Chihuahua lives between 15 and 20 years. 

Of course this is only the average range and chihuahuas may live longer or shorter than 15-20 years. A lot of factors determine the length of time any dog will live. 

How old is the oldest chihuahua ever? 

A Chihuahua named Megabyte reportedly lived 20 years and 265 days old. However, this is a report that cannot be verified nor authenticated because no documentation can back this up. There have also been reports about 30-year old chihuahuas, all of which do not have documentation or any evidence to back such claims up. 

What are common chihuahua health problems? 

  • Dental Problems
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Heart Problems
  • Collapsed Trachea

Dental Problems 

Chihuahuas are susceptible to dental problems because they live such long lives. Dental problems can easily wrench a dog’s quality of  life, so make sure to take good care of your pup’s teeth and visit your vet at the first sign of problems.

And while dental problems are rarely considered life-threatening, they can cause long-term changes to your dog’s eating habits, which may very well lead to more serious health problems. Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to heart problems, which further illustrates the importance of good oral health.


Because chihuahua are so small, they can also be very susceptible to weight gain and obesity. It does not take a lot of extra calories to cause a nimiety when dealing with such tiny pups so it is also important to watch your pet’s waistline and ensure that it stays fit and trim. 

Obesity not only imparts extra stress on a dog’s joints, it can lead to serious health problems involving the heart, liver, and kidneys, among other things. But, if you feed your Chihuahua a sensible diet, allow her to get plenty of exercise and limit the high-calorie treats, she’ll probably stay within the recommended weight range without difficulty.


When the cartilage of a dog’s joints wears down over time, this is when osteoarthritis can easily occur. This leads to bone-to-bone contact which can be damaging and extremely painful for your chihuahua. Arthritis can occur for many reasons, including obesity which is a problem chihuahuas can be susceptible of. Repetitive activities can also lead to arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis doesn’t directly contribute to a shortened lifespan, but it can make dogs depressed (which reduces their quality of life and potentially shortens it) and it can make exercise difficult.

Consult your vet if you suspect that your pooch is suffering from osteoarthritis, as there are a number of treatment options available, including over-the-counter supplements, such as glucosamine.


When a dog’s blood sugar remains at subpar levels, hypoglycemia can be the root cause of this. Hypoglycemia can cause a number of different symptoms, and most of these symptoms can be very subtle. 

For example, many dogs with hypoglycemia are sluggish or sleep excessive amounts, and they frequently shake or tremble. Just be sure to visit your vet regularly to catch the disease as soon as possible.

With prompt veterinary assistance, hypoglycemia isn’t a terribly problematic condition, but it can be fatal without treatment. It is usually a good idea for owners of hypoglycemic dogs to keep a bit of honey on hand, to help treat dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Patellar Luxation 

This is a medical condition that occurs when the bones that form the knee joint fail to align properly. This can be a common medical problem for many small dog breeds like chihuahuas. Although this is typically present at birth, it often fails to trigger symptoms for some time. 

Patellar luxation can alter your dog’s gait and cause limping. If left untreated, it can also cause arthritis. There are a number of different treatments for patellar luxation, which vary depending on the severity of the disease.

Like most of the other appendage-related health problems described here, patellar luxation is unlikely to shorten your dog’s lifespan, but it will reduce the quality of her life.


When the spinal fluid builds up in the brain, this could be as serious as the hydrocephalus condition. This is a condition typically present from birth and is characterized by a swollen head. There is no present cure for this condition and many chihuahuas who are born with this condition die before they reach 4 months of age. 

However, mild cases may be treatable with steroids, and moderate cases may partially resolve if a shunt is installed to divert some of the fluid away from the brain.

Heart Problems

Heart conditions can be something chihuahuas are very susceptible to. These can easily shorten their lifespans. Murmurs which are disturbances or abnormalities in the flow of blood through the heart are one of the commonly observed problems. This is not necessarily a big problem but they can indicate the presence of other, more serious issues of the heart. 

Fortunately, most heart murmurs are treatable. Some will require your dog to take medications, while others will require special diets. Some heart problems may require your dog to take it easy, which can, unfortunately, limit the amount of exercise she gets.

Collapsed Trachea

Small dog breeds, not just chihuahuas are susceptible to a condition called collapsed trachea. This can be a frightening event to see because a collapsed trachea can make it difficult for a dog to inhale or lead to strange coughing sounds. This condition is believed to be inherited in some cases but it is also thought to occur in conjunction with other respiratory conditions or obesity. 

Surgery is occasionally necessary to treat collapsed tracheas, particularly in severe cases. However, some dogs respond to medications and manage to live somewhat-normal lives with the condition.

More about chihuahua-susceptible diseases are elaborated by K9 of Mine in this article.  


This blog post answered the question: “How long do Chihuahuas live for?” Other facts about the Chihuahua dog breed were also answered. 


  1. Marrs, Meg. “How Long Do Chihuahuas Live For? Expected Chihuahua Lifespan.” K9 Of Mine, K9 Of Mine, 4 May 2020,

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