How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

Updated on November 12, 2010
K.B. asks from Dulles, VA
10 answers

Our dog from the shelter is getting slow and sleeping a lot, up to 18 hours per day. Plus, in spite of going outside plenty, she is peeing at night in the guest bedroom. The vet said she is at least 11, maybe more. He also said she was not given care all those years. How long do they live? I am doing all the right things for her, but her perkiness comes in very short spurts. Is that a small dog thing? She is a normal weight, has all her shots, and walks(though maybe a mile on a good day, then she gets carried).

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answers from Detroit on

That is kind of like asking how long humans live for - we have averages, but that is not a guarantee of their lifespan. I've had to explain that to folks whose pet is 8 years old and has cancer and are shocked - they seem to think that they "all live to 13", or tell me their aunt's dog lived to 18.

Average for chihuahuas and other toy breeds seems to be 13 to 15, I've seen some older than that (16, 17). It does depend on many factors, especially their overall health. I've seen 10 year old little dogs that were "older" than some 15 year old dogs, just because of them being in poor health (dental disease, heart disease, obesity, etc.)

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answers from Minneapolis on

I just heard this on TV today. About 15 years, with up to 20 years depending on genetics and health care. She might be older than you think or maybe she didn't get adequate care before you got her? Good luck. It's hard when they get old--I lost two dogs recently, one was 17 and one was 15. My old dogs slept a lot too in their later years.

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answers from Philadelphia on


There are general/averages that say small dogs live longer than larger dogs, but really it depends on the overall health and well being of your dog. 11 is getting "old" for any dog, but if you continue to provide good food, exercise and vet care you can give her good quality for the time she still has with you. I know you are probably trying to prepare yourself for " the worst", but try not to worry about how long, but quality. Good nutrition, rest, appropriate exercise all go a long way at keeping our furry friends healthy and happy!

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answers from Orlando on

My Mom has always had chihuahuas & they have lived anywhere from 13 to 15 years.

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answers from Anchorage on

On average they live between 11 and 15 years, with some living up to 21, but that is rare. Just do a yahoo search and you will get lots of links about it all.

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answers from Wichita on

my mom had one just die at 12, and his littermate is still alive, but you can tell she's elderly.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Our long-haired chihuahua (best dog EVER by the way) lived about 10 years. We knew something was going on w/ her health when she started urinating in the house at night -- I'm sorry to say. Turns out she had diabetes and a tumor in her bladder. You may have your vet run some tests on her just to see what is going on w/ the incontinence. Hang in there!



answers from Atlanta on

its not age. they sleep a lot that it probably why they can live for twenty+ years. with lots of exercise there stamina increases. and puppy food is high in protein only good if they are very active or else they will be over weight.



answers from Portland on

We have a chihuahua mix that is 15-16 yo that we also got at the pound. He sleeps alot and is sometimes incontinent but seems happy when he's awake. We're emotionally preparing for his demise, based on the way he acts and not just on his age. It is sad to see his health decline and just as with our children and their health we'd like to protect him from old age. I see this as being a teachable moment about how to treat aging.


answers from Biloxi on

A dog year equals 7 human years so your "puppy" is 77 years old!! Of course she is slowing down. I also think the "average" life span is 13 to 16....although pets can live longer. If vet doesn't see any problems with her then try not to worry.

We have 4 dogs and 3 cats ranging in age from 3 to about 13. The 13 year old dog still runs and chases squirrels in the the yard - I think having the younger dogs helps keep her active - but they all sleep a lot - right now, out of seven pets, I think 5 are sound asleep. We have a 4 year daschund that is carried more than walks - my son's "baby" - so it sounds like your puppy is way more active than her.

Bottom line, if she is happy, and has quality of life, she is fine. Just love her and spoil her and I bet she is with you for years to come.

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