When you got your new Chihuahua puppy it was probably love at first sight. Chihuahua’s tiny size and expressive faces invoke an almost instant response in most of us. Everyone loves a puppy. One of the best things about owning a Chi is that they never really outgrow this cute little puppy stage. Both short and long haired Chihuahuas seem to stay puppyish forever.
Owning a Chihuahua will add so much love and depth to your life that it will be hard to understand how you lived without one. However, the harsh reality is that the average human being lives about 80 years, and the average Chihuahua lives anywhere from 10-15 years. This means that sometime sooner than you will want, your Chi’s life will come to an end.
The oldest Chihuahua on record is hard to determine, but the data indicates somewhere between 17 and 18 years old. The good thing about owning a Chihuahua is that they live considerably longer than a large breed dog. Once your big dog turns 10 or 11 you are living on borrowed time. With a Chihuahua that point isn’t reached until 14 or 15 years of age.
Extending Life Expectancy
Preventive measures can help extend the life of your Chihuahua. The same things that are good for us are good for our Chis. Good nutrition and exercise are key elements in any health care program. Do your research and decide on the best food for your Chi and set up a program of daily physical activity.
Your veterinarian is an excellent source of information, as are Chihuahua clubs and the internet. Take all the information and make your most informed decision. Just remember that everyone has a different opinion and what works for them may not work for you.
Other preventive measures include regular veterinarian checkups and vaccination. If your financial situation allows it, periodic bloodwork also helps to identify potential problems as early as possible. If you are not happy with the type of care you are receiving from your veterinarian find a vet that gives you and your Chi what you need.
If a problem is identified follow your veterinarian’s advice about treatment and follow up care. Most veterinarians are open to you getting a second opinion if you wish so take advantage of this if necessary. There are also veterinarians who practice holistic medicine and sometime a combination of Western and alternative medicine is the best option for you.
As your Chi ages, there are steps you can take to make their life as comfortable as possible. If arthritis is a problem there are supplements that may help. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers used daily can make a world of difference and help your Chi feel like a pup again. Many owners have also found that acupuncture or massage can help ease the natural processes of aging.
If you have recently brought home your Chi puppy then worrying about their age is something that is a long way in the future. Just remember that when the time comes there are options available. In the meantime enjoy every moment with your Chi. Buy him or her as many Chihuahua gifts as you can, dress them up, play with them and generally share as much love as you can.