For dog owners looking for a pet they can keep for a long time, Chihuahua is your go to breed. Chihuahuas are one of the dog breeds with a long lifespan. They mature quickly and live as adults for many years. Find out a lot more about the different stages of growth in Chihuahuas, right in this article.
Chihuahua Growth Stages
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There are four growth stages your Chihuahua goes through; they are: infancy, puppyhood, adulthood, and old age.
A Chihuahua weighs just about 2 to 5 pounds and is about 4 to 5 inches tall at birth. The new born Chihuahua has no teeth and no sight nor hearing. They are mostly asleep and only wake up to eat.
Within the next 10 days, your Chihuahua grows twice as big as he was at birth and within this period, he begins to grow milk teeth, have clear sight and take his first baby steps. At this point, your Chihuahua’s diet is majorly breast milk, with an occasional solid food to help in his development.
Growth is still rapid, and the Chihuahua pups learn to pee by themselves or on their own. You can start introducing solid foods, but milk would still be a major part of its diet.
Your infant Chihuahua would be totally dependent on its mother from the time of birth until it is about 4 weeks old.
From the moment your Chihuahua crosses his fourth week, he enters into puppyhood, until he is one year old. From one month to five months, your Chihuahua is in his young puppy stage and growth in this stage is very rapid.
Chihuahua puppies become very curious about their environment from 6 weeks, and it is perfect to begin to socialize them with people and other pets at this time. This is also a good time to start leash training.
At six weeks, you should begin to take your Chihuahua away from its mother and siblings to help him get over the shock of being separated from them in future. Also, your Chihuahua gets his first vaccine administered to him at 6 weeks.
Once your Chihuahua reaches 2 months, he has all of his milk teeth complete and his diet changes completely to solid foods. Since your Chihuahua is still at a learning stage, you can use this period to get him accustomed with routines such as cleaning, social walk, grooming, and so on. This is usually the stage where teething begin.
At 3 months old, your Chihuahua loses all his milk teeth; he should also have his final vaccination at this stage. It is important that you being to train your dog at this point to avoid having a Chihuahua with a nasty attitude as he matures. You must also show him who the boss is so that he does not grow up thinking he is in charge or he can walk all over you as he likes.
The male Chihuahua goes through puberty at 4 months of age and begins to produce sperm. Despite his ability to produce sperm, it is not advised that you begin breeding him at this stage, as he is not yet mature enough mentally to breed.
At 5 months of age, your Chihuahua puppy is so full of energy and hyperactive; you would want to take him on walks to keep him busy. Of course, at this stage, your Chihuahua isn’t growing as rapidly as before. To keep your 5 months old Chihuahua puppy well nourished, feed him 3 times a day.
Between six to twelve months, your Chihuahua goes into adolescence. Growth in this adolescence stage is not as rapid as in the young puppy stage and it gradually slows down to a stop at 1 year.
The female Chihuahua attains sexual maturity at 6 months and has her first menstrual period. However, just like the male Chihuahua at puberty, it is not advised that you begin breeding your 6 months old female Chihuahua just because she has seen her first period.
She is still mentally immature to raise any puppies of her own. At this stage, your puppy becomes more difficult to train due to their rebellion; adolescent exuberance are beginning to show.
At 9 months, your puppy is no longer as hyperactive as he used to be and his growth further slows down. Any growth that occurs in your dog is most likely weight wise and not height wise. When your Chihuahua puppy is 9 months old, he must have grown his 32 permanent teeth.
Your 1 year old Chihuahua becomes an adult at this point and reaches the peak of his body size. In comparison to human years, 1 Chihuahua year equals 15 human years.
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Adulthood is the longest stage in the Chihuahua growth stages. From age 2 to 3, your Chihuahua goes into the young adult stage. Every trace of puppyhood in your dog are no more present as from his second year, although your Chihuahua is still sure to be vibrant and energetic.
At this stage, your Chihuahua goes into maturity and growth stops since his body has gotten to its zenith. The recommended age to start breeding your Chihuahua dogs, both male and female is when they are between 2 to 3 years old.
From the time your Chihuahua reaches 4 years of age until he is 10 years old, some health issues may begin to arise but he should be generally okay.
At this stage, breeding your female Chihuahua is not advised as he body is not as strong as before to handle pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. We recommend spaying to eradicate any chances of her getting pregnant.
A Chihuahua who has gotten to full adulthood would weigh between 2 pounds to 6 pounds.
- Old age
Chihuahuas have a very long lifespan and some can spend the most of their years in old age. From the moment your Chihuahua crosses into the double number age (10 years), he is in the old age stage and he remains in this stage until death which is usually between the ages of 14 to 16 years. Some Chihuahuas can however live to be as old as 20 years old.
At this point, your Chihuahua’s health would be greatly determined by the nourishment and exercises he got during his young age, although, he is prone to suffer some health issues like physical weakness and arthritis due to old age.
Factors Affecting Growth In Chihuahuas
Although, there is a general standard for the growth stages in Chihuahuas, there are factors that can affect these stages. Some of these factors are:
Genetics: This is one of the major factors that can affect growth in your Chihuahua. How big or small the Chihuahua puppy’s parents are would determine how big he will end up becoming.
Nutrition: If your puppy is not well nourished, he is likely to have stunted growth. On the flip side, over feeding your Chihuahua puppy with foods containing excess calories and fats could be harmful to his health and result in health issues.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The Human Years Equivalents Of Chihuahua Years?
This is the easy calculation of the human year equivalents of the Chihuahua age:
1 Chihuahua year equals 15 human years i.e. they grow in their first 12 months the way humans grow in 15years. A Chihuahua’s second year is equivalent to 9 human years.
Every year after the second year is equal to 4 human years. This means that a 1 year old Chihuahua is equal to a 15 years old human; a 2 years old Chihuahua is equal to a 24 years old human; a 3 years old Chihuahua is equal to a 28 years old human; a 4 years old Chihuahua is equal to a 32 years old human, and so on.
How Old Is A Full Grown Chihuahua?
A Chihuahua will begin to gain most of its weight as from 5 months and continue to gain some more until it gets to full growth at 1 year.
It is a known fact that the Chihuahua breed does not grow very big like other dog breeds and so their small size is very well expected as this is passed down to generations.
However, with this guide, you can very well monitor the growth process and stages in your Chihuahua, know what to expect at each stage and be able to point out any abnormality.