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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.

Tanya Campos-Gracia

Friday 24th of June 2022

I have 2 chis, they're 13 and healthy. One has dental issues and I try my bedt to upkeep his teeth cleaned with his vet but, its genetic and he's list several.This is quite is quite expensive but I try my best, even with insurance! I don't know what I'll do when the time comes to cross the rainbow bridge, the were babies when I rescued them in Puerto Rico, (puppies months old!) so, to me they're my babies! I feel for those that have lost theirs from the bottom of my heart. I send you all hugs, love, blessings, and light.


Friday 24th of June 2022

You sound like a wonderful dog mom Tanya. And I don't know what I'll do when mine pass either. I love them so much.


Thursday 16th of June 2022

Our senior chi is somewhere around 13 or 14, and he's truly the exception. He's very good with strangers and incredibly patient with children who don't know how to pet him correctly. He even loves fireworks. I think it's because he is showered with love and kindness so he feels totally safe and secure. We understand this may change with time, though. He has lost most of his teeth. I thought this was probably common with seniors.


Thursday 16th of June 2022

Wow, he is definitely the exception! It is common for chihuahuas to lose their teeth as they get old.


Tuesday 14th of June 2022

Hello! I have had my little Jalapeño since he was 3 weeks old and in April he turned 17 years old. He doesn't see very well, doesn't hear very well either. He does not do much anymore, just sleep, eat a little bit and drink a little water. When he sleeps he lays on his stomach with his legs spread out to his sides. Is that normal?

My last chihuahua Opie was 19 when he passed away and he just did not eat at all and developed a tumor on his arm.


Tuesday 14th of June 2022

He sounds like he may be double-jointed to spread his legs to the side. Most will spread their legs to the back.


Friday 29th of April 2022

My Chihuahua was adopted when he was four years old from a shelter in San Francisco. I named him Churro. He has been with me for 14 years. He is celebrating his 18th birthday today. He has been such a blessing. We do a good job taking care of each other. He has saved my life more than once. I am a senior with health issues. I make sure he gets his regular visits with the vet and takes the medicine that was prescribed because of health issues that he has developed. Going for daily walks is good for both of us. Sometimes we go on bike rides. I am so grateful and happy that he is doing so well despite his age.


Friday 29th of April 2022

Happy Birthday to little Churro! He sounds like a great little guy.

Ruth Black

Thursday 24th of March 2022

I put my 17 year old chi to slept this morning at 11:30 going to miss him so much the house is empty with out him


Thursday 24th of March 2022

I'm so sorry Ruth! It's so hard to lose a fur baby.