Any living organism sooner or later ceases its earthly existence.
And the time interval between the date of birth and death is commonly called life expectancy. The size is not constant, depends on several factors.
Longevity rating among dogs is occupied by ornamental breeds such as Yorkshire Terrier, German and Pomeranian Spitz, Pug, Chihuahua. For comparison, the average lifespan of a Labrador is 10-13 years. “Then how many years do Chihuahua live?” – you ask.
To find the answer, you can look at the official standard of the Chihuahua breed. It is written in black and white that the average life expectancy of the Chihuahua is 12-16 years. Figures are the result of social surveys and statistics, and in reality, can vary greatly. Some authoritative publications stick to the values: 15-18 years. As you see, there is no single answer to the question asked.
Factors affecting the Chihuahua lifespan
- Diet. The diet should be balanced, rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, have a high energy value, fully meet the nutritional needs of the dog.
- Mass of the body. The normal weight of the chihuahua varies between 1.5-3 kg. Deviation from normal, obesity, or dystrophy increases the risk of developing severe ailments that reduce the life span of the chihuahua.
- Health care. Regular preventive examinations of the animal at the veterinarian contribute to timely diagnosis and treatment of diseases at the initial stage. Dogs under the age of 8 years are enough to be observed in the veterinary clinic annually, in older age – 2 times a year.
- Genetics. Progeny obtained by crossing genetically healthy parents is most likely to inherit the positive genetic qualities of ancestors.
- Care and maintenance conditions. The breed is only for home maintenance, afraid of sudden changes in temperature and cold, requires careful care and a caring attitude towards itself. It is prone to dental problems: tooth decay, loss of teeth, gingivitis.
- Sex. According to statistics, females of Chihuahua live 1-2 years longer than males. The reason for the universal injustice is not clear. However, the active participation of the bitch in tribal work reduces her life expectancy by a couple of years.
- Level of activity. Movement is life. Wise words said by Aristotle. Indeed, any living creature that is subject to moderate physical activity every day, lives a long and healthy life. Chihuahua is no exception. Physical activity contributes to the burning of excess fat, building muscles, strengthening ligaments and joints, maintaining immunity.
We, humans, longevity compared to our pets, but the caring and attentive attitude of the owner forms a strong foundation for a long and quality life of the dog.
Implicit causes of premature death
Chihuahua lived for almost 15 years. The high level of early mortality is more often due to lack of competence and proper care of the ward by the host. An animal can get physical injuries that are not compatible with life due to the negligence and inattention of the owner.
Lack of competence in tribal work often leads to the birth of sick offspring. Treatment of unhealthy litter is expensive, so sick puppies are often thrown out on the street. In the best case, they get to dog shelters. Stray dogs are caught and put to sleep by specialized services.
A non-socialized animal is a threat to society. A dog can throw itself at people passing cars, which can lead to tragedy. A trained and socialized dog is friendly to others and behaves adequately and predictably. Understanding and execution of basic commands can help to avoid accidents, unauthorized escape from the owner.
Infectious diseases are rightly one of the main causes of the early death of an animal. Threats to the health and life of the chihuahua are the following diseases: sepsis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, the plague of carnivores, and rabies. Timely vaccination reduces the risk of these infections to a minimum.
Sterilized/castrated dogs of the Chihuahua breed are not prone to nervous disorders, cancer of the uterus and ovaries (in females), testicles, and prostate (in males), so they live longer.
The oldest chihuahua in the world
The oldest officially registered chihuahua called Megabyte lived to be 20 years and 265 days, he died in January 2014. However, there were a lot of reports about Chihuahua around the world, who lived to 21 and even 22 years.
Tips for life extension
To a greater extent, the life expectancy of the Chihuahua depends not only on general health but also on emergency (unforeseen) circumstances, care, and attention. Here are some tips that will help to avoid tragic cases, to keep your pet healthy for many years:
- Walking your dog on the street strictly on a leash. Use a harness instead of a collar;
- Optimum duration of walks in the fresh air is 1-2 hours daily, provide the animal with moderate physical activity;
- Teach the pet basic commands: “Come to me!”, “Sit!” and others. The dog must be obedient and socialized;
- Educate children about the treatment of the animal. Contact with children under the age of 4-5 years should be carried out under close supervision of the owner;
- Cleanliness is a guarantee of health. You should more often do wet cleaning in the apartment;
- Organize a private space, where the dog can be alone, away from the noise and domestic fuss;
- Give the necessary vaccinations, timely revaccination;
- Do not allow the body to overheat, avoid drafts and prolonged stay in the sun;
- During cold periods of the year, before going out, put on special warm clothes for the dog;
- Feed a balanced and wholesome nutritious meal;
- Visit the veterinary clinic every year for preventative health checks;
- Pay special attention to the oral cavity, check and clean it regularly;
- Move around the apartment carefully, watch under your feet;
- Eliminate possible contact with potentially dangerous household appliances and chemicals.
Tips may seem trivial, but for some reason many people neglect them, which often leads to tragedies. Pay attention to the health of your chihuahua, and cherish, then he will live a long and happy life.