The Older Chihuahua
Caring for the older Chihuahua is very different to caring for a Chihuahua puppy. As your dog gets older you still want him or her to live a happy and comfortable life. You will need to adjust your usual routine to accommodate your aging Chi and there are many things you will need to consider.
Chihuahuas and small breed dogs in general tend to have a longer lifespan than larger dogs. The life expectancy of a Chihuahua has been known to range between 10 – 18 years.
As they get older, you will notice that their movement is slower and they may be suffering from stiff joints. Make sure they have a comfy soft bed at a level they don’t need to jump up to. If they insist on joining you on the couch, you could invest in a set of special pet steps to make the jump up less of a strain.
They will still enjoy their walks but they won’t be able to manage those long ones you used to go on when they were younger. You’ll also find they will go at a slower pace. If you drive your Chi to the dog park, help them into the car rather than have them jump in.
It is important to have regular vet check-ups and continue to keep up to date with vaccinations and flea and worming treatments. Older dogs can suffer from gum disease and a build up of plaque so you need to stay on top of your dog’s dental care too.
The nutritional requirements of senior Chihuahuas change. As their metabolism slows down and they are less active they don’t need to consume as many calories. There are many dog food brands available that have specially developed ranges for senior dogs. They include particular vitamins and minerals that help with joint care.
The Chihuahua Calorie Calculator is an excellent online tool to work out the amount of calories you should be feeding your dog.
Hearing, vision, smell and taste may deteriorate and they may sleep a lot more than usual. Just be sensitive to their needs and enjoy every minute you spend with them.
If you would like to know more about caring for the older Chihuahua, a fantastic site to visit is:Looking for more Chihuahua info?
My Old Dog
A site just for senior dogs. Friendly, helpful information on all aspects of older dog care by a senior dog owner.
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