How long do Chihuahuas live

3 chihuahuas sat on the ground

‍As Chihuahua owners, we often find ourselves asking "how long do chihuahuas live?" The answer to this question is not a simple one. Various factors such as diet, health care, genetics, and lifestyle significantly impact a Chihuahuas lifespan for these little companions. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into everything you need to know about extending the lifespan of your Chihuahua.

Understanding the Chihuahua lifespan

The average lifespan of a Chihuahua ranges from 12 to 18 years. This lifespan makes them one of the longest living dog breeds.

However, it's essential to remember that these are averages, and some Chihuahuas may live beyond these years, with the oldest recorded Chihuahua named Megabyte living up to 20 years and 265 days.

Factors affecting the lifespan of Chihuahuas

Numerous factors can influence how long chihuahuas live. Let's discuss some of the primary elements that can impact their lifespan.


A balanced diet is crucial for your Chihuahua's health. Feeding them a high-quality dog food with no artificial flavours or preservatives can significantly impact their lifespan.


Maintaining an ideal weight is essential for your Chihuahua's health. Overweight Chihuahuas are more prone to health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Regular vet check-ups can help identify potential health concerns early. Most veterinarians recommend wellness checks at least once a year for adult Chihuahuas.


Genetics plays a significant role in a Chihuahua's health and lifespan. If you're adopting a Chihuahua, it's crucial to look at the health of the parent dogs.


Regular exercise is essential for Chihuahuas. Even though they are small dogs, Chihuahuas still need a fair amount of physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being.

Oral care

Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems, which can significantly affect their health. Regular dental care, including teeth brushing and dental health treats, can help prevent these issues.


Statistically, female Chihuahuas tend to live longer than their male counterparts. Studies suggest that female Chihuahuas live 1 to 2 years longer than males.

The Chihuahua life cycle

Understanding the life cycle of a Chihuahua can provide insights into their lifespan and specific care needs at each stage.

Newborn Chihuahuas

Newborn Chihuahuas are tiny, often weighing less than 5 ounces. They are born without their senses and grow rapidly until they are about two weeks old.

Chihuahua puppies

From two months onwards, Chihuahua puppies become active and curious. They require more socialisation during their puppy years than other dogs due to their naturally hesitant and fearful nature.

Adult Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas are considered adults when they reach one year old. At this age, they have developed their personalities and preferred levels of activity.

Senior Chihuahuas

Senior Chihuahuas, usually around the age of 7-8, face fewer health issues than larger dogs. However, they can still be affected by common senior dog issues like arthritis and dental health problems.

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Tips for promoting a long Chihuahua life

There are several ways you can help your Chihuahua live a long and healthy life.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is crucial for your Chihuahua's health. Daily walks and playtime can help keep your Chihuahua at a healthy weight, which is essential for their overall health.

Dental care

Dental care is one of the most critical aspects of Chihuahua care. Regular teeth brushing and dental health treats can help prevent dental diseases.

Keeping your Chihuahua warm

Chihuahuas prefer warmer temperatures. Keeping them warm with clothing or a cosy bed can extend their life and keep them comfortable.

Training your Chihuahua

Training your Chihuahua can keep them mentally stimulated and help strengthen your bond. Chihuahuas are smart and eager to please, making them excellent students.

Watching out for your Chihuahua

Due to their small size, Chihuahuas are prone to injuries. Always be aware of where your Chihuahua is to prevent any accidents.

Chihuahua health concerns

Several health concerns are common in Chihuahuas that can affect their lifespan.

Dental problems

Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems, which can significantly affect their health and lifespan. Regular dental care can help prevent these issues. Check out our blog for 17 quick tips to help look after your dog’s teeth.


Obesity is a growing problem among Chihuahuas. It can lead to various health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can be a problem for Chihuahuas. Regular feeding and maintaining a balanced diet can help manage this condition.

Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition where the kneecap slips sideways. It's a common issue in small breeds like Chihuahuas.


Hydrocephalus, a condition where spinal fluid builds up in the brain, is a serious health concern in Chihuahuas. It's usually present at birth, and many Chihuahuas with the condition don't survive past four months.

Heart problems

Chihuahuas are prone to various heart conditions and heart diseases, which can significantly shorten their lifespan. Regular vet check-ups can help detect these conditions early.

Collapsed trachea

Collapsed trachea is a condition where the windpipe collapses, making it difficult for the dog to breathe. It's a common issue in small breeds like Chihuahuas.

The oldest Chihuahua on record

chihuahua sticking tongue out

The oldest, non-crossbred Chihuahua on record is Megabyte, who lived to be 20 years and 265 days old. While this is an exceptional case, it shows the potential for Chihuahuas to live long lives.

The longest (on record) living Chihuahua crossbreed is stated as being Spike, born in 1999 and was 23 years old when granted the title of 'Oldest Dog'. It's believe that Spike is still alive and kicking! (as of late 2023).

Chihuahua age in human and dog years

Understanding your Chihuahua's age in human and dog years can help you better understand their stage of life and care needs. The following table provides a rough estimate of Chihuahua age in human and dog years.


Age in human years

Age in dog years



















































*This chart can be used for all dogs under 9 kilograms.

As pet parents, ensuring our Chihuahuas live a long and healthy life is our primary concern. By understanding the factors affecting their lifespan and providing them with proper care, we can help our Chihuahuas lead a fulfilling life.

Lastly, it's worth considering getting your furry friend a dog insurance to provide the best possible health care for them. You can get a quote for your Chihuahua through our website or get in touch with our dog insurance team on 0330 102 5748.

Remember, every Chihuahua is unique and may have different health needs. Always consult with your vet for the best care for your Chihuahua.

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