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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.

Senior Chihuahuas
chihuahua puppy in a basket
What You Need for a Chihuahua Puppy

Evelyn Wright

Monday 3rd of August 2020

My senior chihuahua is 14. She is in renal failure(BUN 103) the last time it was taken. Creatinine elevated but holding. She also has severe arthritis in her hips. I need tips on keeping her comfortable. I know she has pain from her whimpering and shaking. I can’t give her anything orally but I do keep an electric blanket for her the heat helps. I rescued her 4 years ago. She was an active dog until a year ago then she went into renal disease


Monday 3rd of August 2020

I'm so sorry Evelyn. Have you asked your doctor for a prescription for pain killers? If you haven't, I would. Also some canine CBD oil may help with pain.


Friday 10th of July 2020

How do you get chihuahua to stop barking when guests come in and leave the house?


Friday 10th of July 2020

You can train them but it takes a lot of work and consistency. We have an article on it here: Your other options is to separate them to a different room or use a humane barking collar.

Joan B.

Thursday 9th of July 2020

I have a 7 & a 10 yr old Chi & I have been wondering for a while about my 10 yr old. I want to thank you for the great info. It is very useful.


Thursday 9th of July 2020

I'm so glad you found it useful Joan!

MelISSA Sargent

Thursday 9th of July 2020

Thank you I have 11 year old and 7 year old the info was informative!


Thursday 9th of July 2020

I'm glad it was informative!

Christine Holmes

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Hi. My ?Bella? just turned 10 May 29th. She is the light of my life. Unable to have children I got my furbaby when she was only 8 weeks old and we've been inseparable ever since. I do have a question, you briefly touched on it in your article. Bella's only ever known one home and due to some health issues I've moved in with family. She doesn't seem to be adjusting well at all. Do you have any tips? I would appreciate it so much. Thank you! Christine Holmes ??

MelISSA Sargent

Thursday 9th of July 2020

@Christine Holmes, we have always had multiple chi's they always have a buddy but still like that one owner affection, maybe get your chi a brother or sis♥️♥️


Thursday 4th of June 2020

The only suggestions I have are probably ones you already do. Try to keep routines as much as the same as possible. Keep things around that are familiar to her and just give her extra love and cuddles. Eventually she will get used to the new place.