Teacup Chihuahua Lifespan: 7 Factors Affecting Their Life Expectancy

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What is the average teacup chihuahua lifespan? This is a common question asked by many readers after we published our post on everything you need to know about teacup chihuahuas and how to care for them to have happy, strong, and healthy lives. So in today’s article, we’ll talk about their lifespan, the factors surrounding it, and how to make the most of their life expectancy.

Teacup chihuahuas can live between 15 and 20 years. This length of life expectancy is actually quite typical of most dog breeds. To extend their life expectancy and cherish the most number of years with them, be mindful of their diet, physical activity, dental care, weight management, and spaying or neutering, and vaccination.

This article aims to share vital information for pet owners to take care of their teacup chihuahuas and make them enjoy the most of their lifespan. We also recommend products that will aid in nurturing your pooch’s lifestyle.

7 Factors Affecting the Average Teacup Chihuahua Lifespan

Given that pocket or teacup chihuahuas can live an average life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, smaller is not always better.

Teacup Chis are genetically fragile dogs because of their radically small size. Aside from their territorial personality and barky nature, their genetics make them more challenging to care for, with plenty of areas that require precise methods.

But do not lose hope just yet! The more that you understand the everyday requirements of this tiny breed, the easier you will find it to provide for their needs and wants.

In this section, we list down factors that affect their average life expectancy, as well as actions you can take as a pawrent to prevent problems from occurring surrounding their vulnerable and tiny dispositions.

1. Genetics

By nature, teacup chihuahuas are small breeds that have an average weight of 2 to 3 pounds. Due to their size, they are referred to as “micro”, “mini”, “pocket” “tiny”, “miniature”, or, in this instance, “teacup”.

As discussed previously, teacup chihuahuas are not a breed variation of standard chihuahuas. They are their own breed, size, and behaviors. Their small size makes them susceptible to bone injuries and stomach issues, to name some common genetic problems. To prevent these issues from happening, teacup chihuahuas require a specific amount of calories for feeding, as well as regular exercise on a daily basis. These topics will be discussed further in the next sections.

As with gender considerations, articles show that female Chis outlive their male counterparts, although there is no strong scientific reason behind it. On average, females seem to live 1 or 2 years longer.

2. Weight & Measurement

A full-grown teacup chihuahua typically weighs less than 4 pounds or 2 kilos. In terms of body measurement, they are 6 inches or 15 centimeters on average.

Unlike regular chihuahuas, teacup chihuahuas will grow well into their adult dog years with the image of a puppy chihuahua. By this time, they have outgrown a drinking cup, which is where they get their trademark breed term.

Weight measurement should be prioritized when you own a teacup Chi. Their small size makes them vulnerable to a number of health issues, which you can stave off by feeding them mindfully and giving them their daily recommended exercise.

3. Nutrition

Teacup chihuahuas have a meticulous feeding routine with their recommended food intake of 40 calories per body weight as a full-grown teacup Chi. Unlike bigger breeds that can eat platefuls of serving, teacup Chis are more on the conservative side.

Serving small doses is the key to keeping their digestive system healthy and functioning. It is highly important for them not to be overfed as this can lead to rapid obesity – a big no-no for tiny breeds like pocket chihuahuas. They also require premium food to prevent health issues like hair loss, lethargy, poor dental hygiene, and stunted growth.

Similar to regular-sized chihuahuas, a teacup Chi’s diet consists mostly of meat. The choices are plentiful including beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and fish. Mineral and nutrient-packed vegetables and fruits are also great for them.

Carrots, apples, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, and blueberries are among the many delicious ingredients they can eat in a moderate serving. When it comes to treats, go ahead and pamper your teacup Chi with human food safe for pups like unsalted peanut butter, plain popcorn, bananas, and watermelon!

Suffice to say, feeding them high-quality food in the right doses can effectively help to prevent common health issues among teacup Chis such as hypoglycemia, heart disease, bone fractures, obesity, incontinence, and hydrocephalus – thereby enabling them to live longer!

4. Physical Activity

Teacup Chis may be adorable and cuddly, but behind their brave barks and sometimes snarky personalities is the need to go on daily walks of at least 30 minutes. This keeps them fit, able, and mentally alert.

Fortunately, there is no need to organize crazy obstacle courses and major hiking trips to keep your pocket-sized pooch fit and trim. It comes as a huge bonus if you naturally love the outdoors. Expect your tiny warrior to play along with you and bask under the sun for some physical activity. Otherwise, do not be surprised if they act extra sassy due to their pent-up energy!

5. Dental Care

Teacup Chis are prone to crowded teeth which lead to tooth decay. It is also common for them to experience growing “double rows”, which occurs when the adult canine grows alongside the milk tooth. This results in crooked or slanted teeth.

Chihuahuas have two types of bites: the scissors bite and the level bite. Having a level bite leads to higher chances of dental problems as the teeth easily tear down from the constant contact. Other dental issues include a wry mouth (jaw deformity) and malocclusion (bite misalignment), which can result in infections, eating difficulties, discomfort, and pain.

To combat all these dental issues and keep your pooch living the most comfortable life, make it a habit to brush their teeth regularly, give them quality dental chews, and visit the vet for regular cleaning and scrapings.

6. Spaying/Neutering

Many pawrents choose to overlook the benefits of having their pets spayed or neutered. However, in the case of teacup Chis, you want to go the extra mile in taking care of your pint-sized pooch and make sure that you are at the top of their health.

Male teacups are recommended to be fixed between 4 and 9 months, which results in lesser risks of territorial aggression and marking. This is because decreased testosterone levels lessen the urge for males to pee at random spots.

This also puts a stop on male teacup Chi’s drive to hunt for a female partner however long it takes. “Roaming” – it is worth knowing that males tend to run away from their homes in search of a long-life companion. Having them fixed at an appropriate age will curb these desires. Most importantly, neutering reduces the risks of them getting testicular or prostate cancer.

For female Chis, spaying is recommended before they get their first heat, which is around the time before they turn 5 months old. Without this, they would naturally get one or two heat cycles every year upon reaching adulthood. Aside from bleeding profusely, this makes them more sensitive and possessive. Spaying will rid them of these concerns. It also reduces the risks of breast cancer and uterine infections.

Based on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a staggering 5 to 7 million animals are sheltered every year. 3 to 4 million of them are euthanized due to former owners’ negligence or humans’ refusal to take in dogs like teacup Chis into their homes due to their reputation as “temperamental” and “aggressive” breeds.

If you are concerned about spaying or neutering your teacup Chi, we are here to assure you that it prevents overpopulation and manages your dog’s hormones all with a pain-free and completely safe procedure. Oh, and for every pawrent’s peace of mind, it will not make them lazy and fat!

7. Vaccinations

Just like for humans, vaccinations work wonders for teacup Chis to live longer and healthier lives. Here are the types of shots both teacup chihuahuas need from their puppyhood to their adult dog years.

1st shot: This is given when your Chi-pup is at 6 weeks old. This is followed by a session of shots every 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the recommendation of your vet.
Rabies shots: This is often administered when the Chi is still a pup at 3 to 4 months old and given every 3 to 4 years.
5-in-1 or 7-in-1 shot combination: The 5-in-1 combination includes protection against hepatitis, canine distemper, adenovirus cough, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. The 7-in-1 combination includes the same protection as that of the 5-in-1, but with added immunity against leptospirosis.
Two shots for immunity: After a year that the shots above are administered, full immunity will be given to your now-adult teacup chihuahua.

Recommended Products for a Healthy Teacup Chihuahua

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

When it comes to a teacup chihuahua’s dental care, their first line of defense is diligent home care. The Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste Dental Care Kit is available in a “toothbrush + gel” pack and “toothpaste” only. The toothpaste has a generous combination of enzymes, baking soda, aloe, neem oil, and grapefruit seed extract to keep your pooch’s pearly whites healthy and strong.

Some pawrents are concerned with the allegedly toxic effect of neem oil, but it is actually safe for dogs and cats according to ASPCA Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline. You can use the gel in three ways: dab on the tongue, finger-brush on teeth, or use with the toothbrush included in the set. By caring for your teacup Chi’s tiny choppers, they can eat properly hence live longer.

Nutro Crunchy Natural Biscuit Dog Treats

All dogs love treats and teacup chihuahuas are not one to miss delish biscuits tossed their way especially when training! The Nutro Crunchy Natural Biscuit Dog Treats has all the nutrients, flavors, and natural ingredients their tiny bodies yet big appetites would surely love.

Made with no artificial flavors, colors, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, soy protein, and chicken by-product, every crunch and whiff of this biscuit is a delight that will not only satisfy their palates but help them enjoy life more. Choose from flavors apple, banana, chicken & carrot, mixed berries, and peanut butter in sizes 10 ounces or 16 ounces for your beloved micro chihuahua.

PetHonesty 10-in-1 Dog Multivitamin with Glucosamine

When you notice your teacup Chi losing its bounce, give it an extra boost with this 10-in-1 Dog Multivitamin from PetHonesty. It is suitable for dogs of any age ranging from 1 to 75 pounds and is available in smoked duck, chicken, and peanut butter flavors.

Taken once daily, this multivitamin will help your tiny pooch get stronger joints, improved digestion, healthier skin, a shinier coat, and a stronger heart and immune system. Help your pooch build a stronger body while in their prime years by giving this multivitamin packed with probiotics, vitamins, omegas, and glucosamine.

PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs

Teacup chihuahuas have sensitive bones, which is why it is important to pay close attention to their mobility and flexibility among others. Beyond 4.5 months, start giving your micro Chi the PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs once every day for the next 4 to 6 weeks, followed by maintenance chew every other day.

This product focuses on strengthening the hips and joints while providing a kick of Vitamin C for antioxidants. Enjoy more years ahead with your pint-sized buddy with vitamins designed for their hip and joint strength.

Fun Fact: World Record’s Oldest Chihuahua

When it comes to the longest lifespan of chihuahuas, a particular dog by the name of Megabyte reached 20 years and 265 days before passing away in January 2014. This is fascinating trivia, considering that he has surpassed the life expectancy of standard chihuahuas of 12 to 20 years.

Now with teacup chihuahuas, we will just have to keep our eyes out on the longest one to live. At least, which will make it to the world record.

Final Thoughts

Teacup chihuahuas have a handful of medical problems that come with their miniature build. This often leads to a shorter teacup chihuahua lifespan. On the bright side, nothing stops them from living their best life especially when they got a pawrent that would provide all the love and care they deserve and more.

Whether you already have a teacup chihuahua or are just about to adopt from the shelter, make their overall health a priority and you would surely have a furry companion for the next 15 years or beyond. Have a fun time with your teacup chihuahua!

Sheena Mai

I started out with the intention of finding out all I can about dogs because I love dogs but it has now turned into a mission to share my findings and experience with as many people as possible. Dogs are loyal animals but they also have their needs and it's our job to keep them happy and healthy! I hope you will find the information to be useful and thanks for stopping by!


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