How long do Chihuahuas live?
Tender, charming, lovable, brave and reckless; that's how the Chihuahua is. This particular breed of canines is one of the oldest in Mesoamerica, since one of its direct ancestors, the Techichi, coexisted with the indigenous tribes of present-day Mexico during pre-Columbian times.
Chihuahuas, like all dog breeds, have breeding advantages and disadvantages; however, in this article we will talk about one characteristic in particular: its longevity. So, if you are interested in enjoying the company of this reckless puppy, then this article will be of great use to you. Next, we explain how long a Chihuahua lives.
With proper care and a balanced diet, the life expectancy of a Chihuahua can reach 19 years and even extend to 20 years. An extremely surprising milestone for a canine with a select’s pedigree, although less so for a non-pedigree dog.
It should be noted that not every Chihuahua will reach the maximum limit of longevity that his breed has. All this will depend on the care and attention that your breeder gives you, as well as the knowledge that he has regarding the breeding of Chihuahuas.
On the other hand, compared to other dog breeds, Chihuahuas are more vulnerable and prone to diseases, which are likely to significantly reduce their maximum longevity limit.
Generally, the pathologies and conditions that affect Chihuahuas have their origin in genetic abnormalities, which almost always lead to neurological problems that manifest themselves through epileptic seizures or hydrocephalus.
In summary, it could be said that, despite having the highest longevity (20 years) within the group of dogs that have pedigree, the Chihuahua is also one of the most vulnerable dog breeds of all, so, if you want to enjoy the company of a chihuahua as a pet, make sure you give him the necessary attention and care that this puppy deserves.
What is the origin of Chihuahuas?
There are different theories about the creation or appearance of the breed of Chihuahuas:
- One of them affirms, based on genetic research, that current Chihuahuas are the result of the cross between the Techichi breed, a native of Mexico, and different canine breeds from Europe.
- On the contrary, there are those who affirm that the Chihuahua was a canine breed that existed in the wild and that, later, it was domesticated by the Mesoamerican indigenous tribes.
How to properly feed a chihuahua
How you should not feed your chihuahua
As mentioned in the previous section, the health of a Chihuahua is extremely fragile, so it is very important to keep it healthy so that its life expectancy is not reduced.
On the other hand, it is important to clarify that the attention and care that must be given to a Chihuahua, as well as to any breed of dog, must be fair, that is, neither minimal nor excessive, but only necessary.
Unfortunately, many people who own Chihuahuas confuse love with overprotective or overfeeding; both, harmful to the health of these canines.
The Chihuahua ranks number one in the top of the smallest dog breeds worldwide, weighing between 3 and 6.6 lbs. on average, and measuring between 6 and 9 inches in withers. So, under no circumstances, try to apply the diet of a dog of another breed to a Chihuahua. That would be a terrible idea.
Overfeeding and all the problems derived from it can cause to Chihuahuas' ligament problems, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis and, of course, shorten its life expectancy.
How much and what should a Chihuahua eat?
Now, how much and what should a Chihuahua eat...? Generally speaking, a Chihuahua should eat 24 grams of food for every kilogram of body weight, although the latter can change depending on his age and level of physical activity.
Currently, there are dry feed and kibble variants that have been specially designed to offer Chihuahuas balanced nutrition and make it easier for breeders to design a balanced diet for their small dogs, making it a good option to consider if you want correctly feed your chihuahua and you don't know how.
On the other hand, if you are one of those who prefers to do without dry food and croquettes in favor of natural food, then you should know that at least 25% of the Chihuahua's diet must be of high-quality protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beef or game meat), 50% must be composed of carbohydrates, mainly vegetables for their high fiber content, and the other 25% must come from healthy fats.
Remember: under no circumstances should you feed your Chihuahua fried food.
Interesting facts about chihuahuas
It is the smallest dog in the world
Yes, as you have read, there is no other breed of dog that surpasses Chihuahuas when it comes to being small. Chihuahuas generally do not reach 6.6 pounds in weight or exceed 7 inches in height.
Their size is not proportional to their bravery
Despite being extremely small, Chihuahuas do not have a shred of cowardice. In fact, it is not uncommon to see a Chihuahua trying to intimidate cats and dogs that exceed both in size and weight.
They are not always sheltered for aesthetics, but for their vulnerability to cold
Have you ever seen a Chihuahua dressed in a coat? You may have found it ostentatious and even unnecessary. However, in the particular case of Chihuahuas, sheltering them is sometimes necessary.
The Chihuahuas use shaking as a way to increase their metabolic rate and warm up when temperatures are low enough to disable the ability to warm themselves offered by their thin coat of hair.
Do not be scared if your chihuahua shivers even when it is not cold
Chihuahuas can also use shaking as a way to release excess energy and stress when feeling stressed, anxious, or nervous.
It is the longest-lived dog breed of all
Generally, the smallest dog breeds have the longest life expectancy of all. Within this select group, the Chihuahua, which is the smallest breed of all the small dog breeds, is also the longest of all, reaching 20 years of life in optimal breeding conditions.
They prefer your company or the company of another Chihuahua
Although Chihuahuas can interact with all kinds of dogs and even cats, they will prefer to spend more time with you (their owner) or with other Chihuahuas than with other canine breeds or other animals.