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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.

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Eva

Monday 26th of April 2021

My 10 years chihuahua is starting to having some problems is happens 4 times he crying loud it one time and then he’s pass out so we have to take and give son air and then he back.

Cathy

Monday 26th of April 2021

Oh wow, has he seen a vet yet?

Jeannette Sagrestano

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

My Chihuahua, (Bradley) was a rescue. I have had him for 4 years now. He is about 7. I am finding that he is gaining weight. How can I safely try to lose some weight. He is on a bit of wet food, the balance is dry.

Cathy

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

How much are you feeding him? Chis don't need much, only about 1/2 cup of food a day.

Michele Thompson

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

My Chi Bobbie is 8. He just had a bout with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis which is very commen in small dogs. I did not know what this was and how dangerous it is to them. I had to rush him to the emergency vet and he had to stay overnight with meds and fluids. Sooo scary! Maybe let your readers know what to look for because if I had known more I would have took him earlier. Love the newsletter! Bobbie is doing much better. Michele Thompson

Cathy

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

I'm so glad Bobbie is doing better. Lucas had this a few years ago and it as terrifying to come downstairs one day and see a pile of blood on the floor. It looked like a crime scene. Lucas was in the hospital for 3 days and thankfully hasn't had a reoccurrence of it. They couldn't tell me what caused it. Do they know what caused Bobbie's gastroenteritis?

Anna

Thursday 8th of April 2021

I have a chihuahua that we got when she was about 6 weeks old, she is now 10 years old. Her name is phoebe She likes to run around for a bit, but the only sign I see of her old age is that she’s grumpy and she has a heart murmur.

Cathy

Friday 9th of April 2021

Thanks for sharing about your little Phoebe.

Patrice Barrett

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

My dog is 12 years old. About 12 pounds. I like the rule about keep them away from children. In his older age I do not try to pick him up at all. Wow this article provided some insight. Currently he has a yeast infection that turned bacterial.. and his skin was supper reddish instead of his black fur with white underbelly. Thanks for sharing.

Cathy

Wednesday 7th of April 2021

Poor little old man. I hope his skin feels better soon!