Your senior chihuahua : happy & healthy

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.


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.

But check with your vet as these suppliants are expensive and you could be wasting your money.


Keep your chis’ teeth clean.

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.

It’s so important that we wrote a book about it. You can download it to any device.

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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.

Did you rescue your chihuahua?

Celebrate your chihuahua’s gotcha day with a personalised celebration card. Only from Chihuahua Power.

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  1. patricia j knisely
    May 11, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    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
      May 11, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      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
      March 13, 2018 / 11:27 pm

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

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