Dog ownership is almost perfect, and the only thing wrong about it sometimes is the fact that you are most likely to outlive your dog, which means you’ll have to let your dog go at some point. This heartbreaking day will come, and you’d probably want to know how long you have with your precious pooch.
Many people try to associate a year in a dog’s life with seven human years; however, this estimation is just that; an estimate.
The truth is, dogs have different lifespans from us and even significantly differ from each other. A Chihuahua can live 15 years, and some have been known to live 20 years, while a Bernese Mountain Dog has a lifespan of 6 to 8 years.
Applying the often sweeping 7-year rule, there really isn’t a human that has lived till 140, and a 42-year-old-in-human-years Bernese Mountain Dog is already considered a senior dog while a 42-year-old human isn’t even halfway through their lifespan.
If you’re thinking of making a Chiweenie your friend, we have all you need to know about a Chiweenie’s life on Earth.
Chiweenies are the adorable cross between a Dachshund and a Chihuahua. These hybrids take the best of both parents, and Chihuahuas have some of the longest lifespans of 12 to 20 years, while Dachshunds have a relatively long lifespan as well as 12 to 16 years. Chiweenies have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, owing to the relative longevity of both parent breeds.
Chiweenies are also a small breed. Small dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs for reasons that are still up for debate. However, several theories suggest that large dogs grow faster and have a strained physiological process, hence, aging quicker.
Commonly, larger breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs can gain about 100 lbs a year, while smaller dogs like Yorkies and Maltese gain 10 lb during their first year.
This growth rate seems to affect their longevity, and most large dog breeds have shorter lifespans than the medium breeds, which in turn, have shorter lifespans than small breeds.
For example, Saint Bernards and Rottweilers have 8 to 10-year lifespans, Bernese Mountain Dogs 6 to 8 years, and Australian Shepherds, which are medium dogs, can live 10 to 13 years.
In stark contrast, Maltese live 12 to 15 years, Chihuahuas 12 to 20, and Dachshunds 12 to 16 years, which makes the minimum age that a small dog should get to be more than the maximum age typically enjoyed by a large breed.
Are Chiweenies Healthy?
Chiweenies are known for being healthy and playful dogs that don’t have a lot of health issues. Yet, they can inherit some problems from their parents, and you’ll need to watch out for their symptoms to provide early medical care.
What Health Issues Do Chiweenies Have that Will Impact Lifespan?
Here are some common issues Chiweenies can encounter and how to deal with them.
Chiweenies have tiny bellies, which makes them prone to obesity. One thing you can do about that is carefully scheduling a Chiweenie’s meals. Don’t overfeed your dog, and always make sure you give top-quality dog food.
In addition, a good exercise regime should keep the extra pounds at bay. Chiweenies have modest exercise needs and will do well with about 30-minutes of exercise daily with plenty of playtime in between.
Chiweenies are prone to skin and food allergies. Skin allergies are either caused by flea bites, low-quality food, or environmental allergens like pollen or dust.
Symptoms of a skin allergy include:
- Excessive licking, especially at the paws
- Extreme itching in the ears
- Small red spots or a coagulated wound-like mark, especially on the belly
- Flea bite marks, especially behind the ears and hips
Dogs get food allergies, too, similar to humans. Some of the more common culprits of a dog food allergy are proteins found in beef, chicken, eggs, and dairy, as well as soy, gluten, and wheat.
Food allergy symptoms can appear on your dog’s belly or anywhere on their skin.
- Ear and foot infections
Chiweenies are prone to having diabetes, probably because of their diet, obesity, genetic conditions, or age. Diabetes is one of the most dangerous diseases for dogs because it can get life-threatening. Untreated diabetes can cause urinary tract infections, seizures, kidney failure, or blindness.
Symptoms of diabetes are similar to human symptoms and include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Weight loss
- Increases appetite
- Sweet breath
You should hurry your Chiweenie to the vet whenever you notice these symptoms to avoid complications.
Chiweenies inherit back problems from their Dachshund parents, who have long backs and small legs.
Back problems include either Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) or Disc Degeneration Disease.
IVDD happens when the disc that serves as bedding between every 2 vertebrae to decrease friction between two spine vertebrae slips out of its place, causing the vertebrae a lot of friction and the dog a lot of pain.
Disc degeneration disease is the same, but the disc degenerates and presses on the spine, which causes a lot of pain and loss of information transmission, which can cause paralysis.
Treatment is done by medication and confining the dog’s movement to rest for some time, or in severe cases, it might need surgery.
- Abnormal walking
- Unwillingness to jump
- Pain and weakness in rear legs (lameness)
- Severe pain in the neck and back
- Anxious behavior
- Hunched back or neck with tense muscles
- Reduced appetite and activity level
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of feeling
This is one of the most common issues that a Chiweenie can inherit. It happens when tartar builds up on the teeth, which causes gum infection afterward.
If left untreated, the infection can spread to vital organs and cause many more life-threatening complications.
To avoid this problem, you have to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week using dog-friendly toothpaste and brush. Also, provide plenty of dental chews and bones.
Inheriting this from their Chihuahua parents, a luxating patella is the dislocation of the kneecap, which happens when the kneecap moves from its place, causing pain in the knee.
If not treated might cause several complications in the knee like a ligament tear or cartilage damage.
Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty putting weight on one or two legs
- Abnormal walking
Just like humans, this means that the thyroid gland decreases its activity which causes the metabolism to slow down. The thyroid gland is an essential part of the body and should be treated by taking the hormone that the thyroid secretes orally through pills.
- Weight gain without an increase in appetite
- Lethargy and lack of desire to exercise
- Getting cold easily
- Dry hair and balding coat
How To Help Your Chiweenie Live Longer?
To keep your Chiweenie in tip-top shape, there are a few things you can do to give some TLC to your precious pooch.
Grooming is the number one step to ensure your dog looks and feels good.
Chiweenies with short hair should be brushed once or twice a week, while long-haired Chiweenies should be brushed daily or every other day.
When you brush, make sure to brush in the opposite hair direction, too, so you can check for any flees and prevent them from getting skin allergies.
Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly will keep infections, mites, wax, and bacteria at bay. Make sure to use a vet-approved cleaning solution and have those ears cleaned every week or two.
Brush Their Teeth
Good dental health will stave off periodontal disease, a prevalent condition in all dogs. Chiweenies have small mouths that cram their teeth together, leading to tartar and plaque being quickly built up.
Use a doggy toothbrush and a meat-flavored toothpaste, and get your dog used to getting its teeth brushed every day or two.
Use A Harness
Instead of using a collar, you might want to use a harness. Chiweenies have sensitive, fragile throats that can be hurt by a collar, especially if they like pulling on a leash.
Switch them over to a harness until your dog learns to walk nicely on a leash without pulling.
Chiweenies are playful and wild; they are magnificent jumpers which can increase the probability of them getting a back problem if not careful.
If you can, don’t let your dog make vigorous movements like jumping very high and landing on their small hind legs.
Also, don’t make them climb the stairs too often, and carry them up and down if they use them excessively.
Provide Loads Of Exercise
Activities are essential to a healthy lifestyle, be it for a dog or a human. It is crucial for Chiweenies, who can be prone to overeating and obesity.
Chiweenies need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily and will do well with a daily walk or swim.
Chiweenies also love to dig, inheriting the trait from their Dachshund parent, who was born to dig and hunt badgers. You might want to designate a portion of your lawn or an area for your dog to indulge in their digging before they decide to dig up your flower beds and plants.
We want them to be happy and healthy, which means monitoring their diet closely. This is especially important for dogs who are carrying a little extra weight.
While treating them to their favorite foods is tempting, doing so can contribute to health problems down the road.
Instead, it’s best to focus on helping them maintain a healthy weight by feeding them nutritious meals and limiting their treats.
Of course, this doesn’t mean your fat dog can never enjoy a delicious snack. Just be sure to monitor their intake carefully and ensure that most of their diet comprises healthy foods.
Give Them Love
One of the main things that make a healthy dog is their mental health, which can be enhanced by spending time with you.
Chiweenies are very affectionate dogs who tend to be attached to their owner and favor one person in the family. And every pat, look or call their humans give them will mean the world to the Chiweenie.
Chiweenies are prone to a few behavioral problems that should be nipped in the bud before they get out of hand. Dogs with behavior problems are not happy dogs, while well-balanced, calm dogs tend to have a longer lifespan.
They can be barky dogs that will yap at every strange sound. In addition, Chiweenies are also very attached to their owners and might be prone to separation anxiety.
To combat both conditions, proper socialization of your Chiweenie is vital. Dogs are social animals and need regular contact with other dogs to stay happy and healthy.
When a dog is only ever around a few humans, they can become anxious and stressed, leading to problem behaviors like barking, chewing, and digging.
Socializing your dog means exposing them to different types of people and dogs in a variety of settings so that they can learn to interact peacefully with others. This process starts when they are puppies, but it’s never too late to socialize an older dog.
Well-socialized dogs are more likely to be relaxed and confident in new situations and less likely to lash out in aggression.
So if you want your furry friends to be happy and well-adjusted, make sure to socialize them early and often.
Chiweenies are adorable little dogs that are lovely from the inside and outside. And because of their long lifespan compared to their peers, they can give you the best years of your life full of love and laughter.
Whether you choose a Chiweenie or another breed to be your friend, we wish you many long, happy years together!
More on Chiweenies
If you’re simply in love with Chiweenies and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:
- Are Chiweenies Hypoallergenic? [Do They Shed A Lot?]
- Do Chiweenies Bark A Lot? [Triggers & Training Guide]
- Are Chiweenies Good Dogs? [Yes! Here are the highlights]
- Can Chiweenies Swim? [Answer + Cute Video Inside]
- Why Do Chiweenies Shake & Shiver? [Crucial Clues Shared!]
- How Many Puppies Can a Chiweenie Have? [Answered Here]
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