Your senior chihuahua : happy & healthy


Now you have a senior chihuahua

Like a lot of small breed dogs, our chihuahuas can enjoy a long life and can live for 18-20 years. Like people, as we grow older, their needs will change. In this article, we are looking at how to keep your senior chihuahua happy and healthy.

Chihuahuas become senior chihuahuas when they get to 10 and middle aged when they are 7 human years. The idea of seven dog years to one human year can be misleading as it depends on the breed. Dogs will age a lot faster than humans in the first years of life so after 1 human year your chihuahua is equivalent of 15. Well that would account for a lot!

Growing older is inevitable for all of us so, what do we need to look out for to keep our senior chihuahua enjoying life.

Changes in temperament

A warm cosy bed in a quiet spot.

As he gets older you may find your chi plays less and spends more time asleep. He will not want to be plagued by children or young puppies and it is important that he has a comfy warm place to retreat to. If he has stiff joints he may appreciate an orthopaedic bed to snooze on.

Think about noise, he may be less tolerant, especially if his vision or hearing is starting to diminish. So, keep excitable children away.

Your elderly chi is unlikely to want to exercise as much, but it is important that he does get some exercise, so maybe slightly shorter walks more often rather than one long ramble.

Body temp

He may find it harder to keep himself warm and might appreciate an extra blanket at night and a warm jumper during the day if it’s on the cooler side. A good coat in winter is essential.

Food and nutrition

It may be best to change to a lower fat food as your chis’ metabolic rate is going to change, discuss this with your vet. It is always important to feed your dog a high-quality food. You may find that he finds eating dry food or kibble difficult so changing to a wet food, raw or home cooked might help.

Supplements

There are a wide range of supplements available on the market. It might be a good idea to start your chi on some from middle age.

  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Critical brain function, boost the immune system, anti-inflammatory.
  • Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulphate: Maintain and repairing joints
  • Probiotics: Maintaining healthy gut bacteria.

Cognitive decline

As our dogs get older they may experience some cognitive decline, this is a huge worry and something I’m keen to avoid. Mika is now 10 and while that’s not old, it is senior and somthing I am aware of.

I have been using the Calm K9 Senior Boost and have been really pleased with it. It does the same as the normal Calm K9 but has been specially formulated for older dogs to help with cognitive function.

For Mika the benefit has been massive sis eyes are clear and not staining, his coat is smooth and shiny and he seems to have a real spring in his step. And if that’s not enough it seems to be helping with anal gland issues. We have had one episode in the last six months which has saved me ££££££ at the vets. It also helps with stress & anxiety and reduces the stressy barking. I’m sure he’s less of a grump with Prince and Macy’s running about.

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Teeth

Establishing good dental hygiene early in your chihuahua is important, but sometimes difficult I admit. But like most small dogs, chihuahuas are prone to dental problems. Brushing may not be an option but there are other things you can do to keep their teeth clean, but of course we do recommend speaking to a dental veterinarian to make sure you follow professional advice.

Keep your chis’ teeth clean.

Your senior chihuahua needs a good dental routine as they are going to be vulnerable to infection which is painful for your dog and expensive for you. Make sure you have regular dental check-ups at the vets.

Chihuahuas are blessed with a long-life expectancy and their senior years can be 8-10 years. So, it is important to do right by our pets and make sure they are given a good life.

In our next article, we are going to be looking at some of the health issues that can affect the senior chihuahua.

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3 thoughts on “Your senior chihuahua : happy & healthy

  1. patricia j knisely Reply

    we have a mixed chihuahua who will turn 6years old in Oct. He is sweet but has severe separation anxiety when we leave him. He becomes a destroyer, and hurts his paws, and teeth. we sedate him. Any advice would be welcome.

    • loukir47 Post authorReply

      Hello, That sounds awful. Any advice I could give might be a bit too general. I would suggest desensitising him to your going out by lots of little short trips. Starting with 10 minutes and building up and doing this on a regular basis. Also, keep calm and your voice low when you leave and don’t make a fuss so he doesn’t pick up anxiety. Don’t make a fuss when you get home so again it is not built up into a really big thing. But my feeling is that he may need more help than this and it might be better to speak with a local dog behaviour specialist who can observe you all together and give more informed advice. It sounds like you are all trapped in a destructive cycle that must be making you all anxious and stressed. What a shame. let me know how you get on.

    • Adrian Dewayne Carty Reply

      Mine does the same thing just curious of what you sedate him with?

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