If there is one thing we, pet owners, want, it is for our best friends to live longer. If only dogs have the life expectancy of the average man, we would be able to enjoy their company for as long as we shall live. Sadly, that is not the case.
Each breed has a different lifespan. The shortest life expectancy of a dog breed is between 5 and 8 years. But if your best friend is a Chihuahua, then this post will bring you a spark of joy! A Chihuahua can live between 12 and 16 years, and some owners reported that this type of breed can even go beyond 20 years, given that it is also kept healthy! Now, isn’t that some kind of wonderful?
Small Dogs Live Longer
This tiny breed may physically look delicate, but don’t judge the book by its cover. Studies say that small dogs live longer than large ones. Is there a valid explanation to this?
Dr. Ernie Ward—an active vet for more than 20 years—sheds some light on this common question. He said that during research about the life expectancy of canines in North America, scientists have observed that larger breeds tend to grow bigger and age faster than the smaller types.
This seems peculiar, but the study determined that for every two-kilogram weight gain, a dog’s life expectancy is lessened to around a month. The reason is not yet specific, but primary researcher Cornelia Kraus said that the life of large-breed dogs appears to unwind faster. Another feasibility for this faster-aging theory is that larger dogs begin to age earlier which results in acquiring age-related ailments quicker than smaller dogs.
Something You Want to Know
When you spay or neuter your dog, it will live longer. Most owners would spay their dogs to avoid pregnancy and regulate pet population within a household, but a study from the University of Georgia indicates that the process could increase the life expectancy of a dog and change the risk of certain causes of death, such as uterine infections and other types of cancer.
Things You Can Do to Increase Your Dog’s Life Span
If there is anything we can do to make our dogs live longer, we would definitely do them, wouldn’t we? While the pill for eternal youth is still unattainable these days, here are uncomplicated things you can do to make your Chihuahua’s life expectancy longer.
Give your doggie some playtime.
Chihuahuas don’t require much exercise, but to make sure they don’t gain weight, a little exercise would help. You can do regular walking to the park or allow your pet to play with the neighbor’s dog, whichever is better and workable.
Give them proper grooming.
By proper grooming, we mean all the things that will make your dog smell good and look tidy. Schedule a bath time and make sure it would be a fun experience so they would look forward to having showers. We recommend giving them a shampoo that is best for their type of coat.
Don’t forget to brush their teeth too. Vets say that regular brushing will keep tooth decay away and will prevent gum- and teeth-related diseases.
Visit your vet regularly.
Make sure your Chihuahua gets all the vaccines it needs. We humans visit our doctor to check on our health and keep diseases at bay. Your canine friend should have the same privilege.
Take it easy on the treats.
We love to make our dogs happy, so we give them treats. However, you should avoid indulging your dog too much as treats can be a cause of weight gain. Vets recommend a calorie-restricted high-protein diet for your dog’s health and longer lifespan. Also, don’t forget that sugar is the number 1 enemy.
Don’t let your Chihuahua wander alone.
Letting your pet free may seem to be a favor, but it could expose your dog to various types of peril. It could be vehicular accidents, predation, exposure to contagious diseases, food poisoning, and others.
Don’t stress out your dog.
Stress is bad for pooches as it is for humans. Make sure you do not expose your Chihuahua to any of these stressors:
- Disrupted routines—like when you forget to walk your dog
- Boredom, lack of mental stimulation
- Excess noise
- New people and crowd
- Separation anxiety
A Stress-free Chihuahua Will Live Longer
Extending your Chihuahua’s life expectancy is not a tall order. Just follow our tips above and give your pet loads of love.