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7 Facts About Senior Chihuahuas

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Whether you have just adopted a senior chihuahua (and bless you if you have!) or have had your little fur ball for most of their life, there are questions you may have about this stage in your chihuahua’s life.

7 Things To Know About Senior Chihuahuas

We do have a more in depth article on senior chihuahuas but this post is good for a quick read.

Check out our main post that showcases all our chihuahua facts articles!

1- At what age is a chihuahua considered a senior?

Chihuahuas are considered a senior when they reach 10.

This is much later than other breeds who reach senior citizen status at around 7 or 8 and in the case of giant breeds 5 to 6.

2- How long does a chihuahua live?

12-20 years but they have been known to live into their early 20’s.

older chihuahua

3- Any health advantages to being an older chihuahua?

Yes, there is a neurological condition called GME which is becoming more and more common.

It is believed to caused by over vaccination and targets mostly small breeds.

For some reason, dogs over 8 years of age do not develop this disease.

4- What are common health problems in elderly chihuahuas?

Many are the same issues other dog breeds, and even people get as they age including:

  • cataracts
  • glaucoma
  • dementia
  • arthritis
  • gum disease and dental problems
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • hearing loss
  • congestive heart failure
sleeping senior chi

5- Does my older chihuahua need clothes?

Most likely yes. Chihuahuas in general tend to be cold natured.

Just like people tend to get cold more often in their senior years, well chis do too.

So do keep a few cuddly sweaters on hand for your dog along with lots of soft blankets.

senior fawn laying down

6-Will my chihuahua’s personality change?

It may change as they age.

Of course, they won’t be as active as they were when they were younger.

Some chihuahuas get a little crotchety as they enter their senior years and don’t handle stressful situations as well as they did when they were younger.

Sometimes things that didn’t bother them when they were younger, suddenly scare them such as thunder storms.

And sometimes dementia sets in and changes their personality drastically.

If you notice signs of dementia such as confusion, staring into space for long periods of time or other personality changes, get your dog to your vet as soon as possible.

There are drugs available that can help with dementia and for some reason, they have a better success rate with dogs than humans do with their drugs with dementia.

7- What else should I do to keep my senior chihuahua happy?

  • Keep an eye on your fur baby for any health problems that need veterinary care. If you can afford it, you might want to switch to vet visits every 6 months instead of once a year.
  • A good joint supplement can help a lot with arthritis.
  • Your dog still needs some exercise, just not as much as when he was younger. Do try to take him for a daily walk for 15-20 minutes. If you like to go for longer walks, bring a pet stroller with you and just put your dog in it when they get tired.
  • Don’t move the furniture around as it can be confusing and frustrating for dogs that are losing their site or are developing dementia.
  • Keep a check on your chihuahua’s weight and don’t over feed them.
  • Don’t let them jump from high distances such as from the bed or couch. Get them pet steps and teach them how to use them.
  • Keep them away from crowds,  (unless you have them secure in a stroller or sling) as they can be scary or too much stimulation for an older dog.
  • Keep small children away from them as much as possible.

Leave a comment and tell me about your oldster.

Caring for your Senior Chihuahua

Understanding your Aging Chihuahua

Nancy Cleland

Sunday 6th of August 2023

After reading all these sad comments, I feel so blessed. Maggie wil be 13 in a couple of months. The biggest change I have seen is she sleeps more. She also is very close to me since my husband died 2 years ago. It is just the 2 of us now, but she still loves company. Am so thankful for her. She is not a yappy girl. Good appetite and enjoys our fenced in yard (all hers). Loves to ride in the car. So for now, I am enjoying every minute with her.

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 6th of August 2023

I'm glad you two have each other Nancy.

Rita Gordon

Sunday 4th of June 2023

My chihuahua needs a hip replacement. He is 10. How will he weather the operation and how much will it cost?

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 4th of June 2023

If it's just one hip, it can run between $3,000-$7,0000. Both hips can go up to $14,000. Only your vet can give you an idea of how well he will do with the surgery.

Judy Moriarty

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

Hi I just very recently lost my little baby Barney. He was a little 7pound chihuahua. I had him for only 10 years from s puppy. He was the love of my life. He had congestive heart failure and finally his little heart couldn’t take anymore. I am beyond heartbroken my heart is hurting so much. I’m 76 and I need to feel his little heart beat against mine when I hold him. I have a little pug and I love him but it’s not the same as him. I miss him so much. I need a little baby that I can hold and feel their heart beat against mine. It’s true what they say at least in my situation. I have CHF and my baby had the same thing. If anyone knows someone that needs to regime an older chihuahua please let me know. Thank you. Judy

Cathy Bendzunas

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

I'm so sorry you lost Barney Judy.

Susan Ferrell

Tuesday 9th of May 2023

My chi is vomiting yellow bile. She is rather tired and refusing to eat anything. Someone told me to give her a blue drink and she did drink. Now she is drinking bottled water but has not eaten anything for a few days. She has done this a couple of times and got over it but seems different this time.

Cathy Bendzunas

Tuesday 9th of May 2023

Yellow bile could mean something is going on with the liver. She needs to get to the vet as soon as possible. What is a blue drink?

Lds Faneite

Friday 10th of March 2023

I have a Chorky and he's turning 10 years in April. He is my very special boy. I noticed changes years back and was blessed to find a great Vet for him. We are having to watch what he eats because weight gain comes easy for him. Eating vegetables he likes helps. Anyway I enjoyed reading this.


Saturday 11th of March 2023

I'm glad you enjoyed it!