Chihuahuas are known for their charming, sassy, and big personality in a tiny package. Named after the Mexican State of Chihuahua, the Chihuahua is considered one of the Americas’ most ancient dog breeds. Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds around, giving them the nickname “purse dog.
A Chihuahua puppy will gain between 1 and 2 ounces per week until between 8 and 10 weeks old. Then, weight gain can increase 2 ounces – or a bit more – per week, until maturity at 18 months. Puppies may gain weight in “spurts,” a fraction more one week, less the next. Monitor average weekly weight gain, with the optimum 18-month weight as a goal. Puppies that are larger at birth will generally be larger adults, and will gain more weight weekly than small puppies.
Chihuahuas love nothing more than being with their people — even novice pet parents — and require a minimum of grooming and exercise. They make excellent apartment dogs who’ll get along with the whole family. Just make sure any children who approach know how to play gently with a small dog.
General Features of A Chihuahua Puppy
- Choose a Chihuahua breeder who provides health clearances for patellas and heart conditions.
- The Chihuahua is a long-lived breed; expect to care for him for up to 18 years.
- Chihuahuas are prone to shivering when they are cold, excited, or scared. Provide your Chihuahua with a sweater or coat when he goes outdoors in cold or wet weather.
- Chihuahuas can be unfriendly toward other dogs if they’re not socialized when young. Chihuahuas don’t back down from other dogs and this can cause a problem if they encounter a large aggressive dog.
- Don’t leave your Chihuahua unattended in the yard. He could be attacked by a hawk, other birds of prey, or larger dogs or coyotes.
- Chihuahuas can be reserved with strangers. Choose a puppy that was whelped and raised in a home with a lot of human interaction.
- Chihuahuas are not the best dog to have when you have young children. Chihuahuas are fragile and a toddler may hurt the dog while playing. Most breeders won’t sell puppies to homes with children younger than eight years.
- The Chihuahua’s ears can be prone to ear wax build up and dry skin.
- Chihuahuas are happy as companions, but they do need 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily and can go for much longer than you might expect. Monitor your Chihuahua, especially when he’s a puppy, so that he doesn’t wear himself out.
At What Age Is A Chihuahua Full Grown?
Chihuahuas grow quickly within the first few weeks of their lives, frequently doubling in size during this time. As is the case with many toy dog breeds, Chihuahuas will usually reach their full adult height and most of their adult weight within nine months. After nine months, any significant weight gain may be due to overfeeding or other health problems and should be discussed with your pet’s veterinarian.
How Big Should A 6-Month-Old Chihuahua Be?
A 6-month-old Chihuahua will be close to their full height, usually between five to eight inches tall, and will have completed most of their adult weight gain, weighing in around 1.5 pounds to 4.5 pounds depending on their estimated adult size. Based on the Chihuahua growth and weight chart above, you can expect your Chihuahua to grow another half pound to pound and a half.
How Much Bigger Will My Chihuahua Get?
A Chihuahua will finish growing around nine months of age. They may continue to gain a little weight from 10 months old to 1 year old, but this weight should not be significant. If your Chihuahua is older than nine months, they are likely at their full size or close to it.
A puppy’s paws can indicate whether they have more growing to do as well. Take a look at your Chihuahua’s paws and assess whether they look large next to their legs and body. If their paws look a bit oversized, they may still be growing into them.
How Do I Make Sure My Chihuahua Is Healthy?
Preventive care is crucial in ensuring your Chihuahua has a long, happy lifespan. Start by taking your Chihuahua to regular veterinary appointments to make sure they are healthy and screened for potential health problems.
How Much Should My Chihuahua Weigh?
Chihuahuas can grow up to 6 pounds (3 kg), but they can also be as small as 4 pounds (2 kg), especially if they’re a Teacup Chihuahua.
These tiny Chihuahuas can be as healthy as their standard-sized counterparts if acquired from a reputable breeder.
Oversized Chihuahuas that grow over 12 pounds (5.4 kg) or more are most likely mixed and not purebred.
How Can You Tell How Big A Chihuahua Will Get?
According to professionals, you can “guesstimate” your dog’s final height by measuring it at six months old. Multiply the number with 100 and divide the final answer by 75.
For instance, a puppy that is 4.5 inches (11 cm) at six months old will grow to be 6 inches (15 cm) when he’s an adult. They should be 75% of their way to their final height at six months old.
When Do Chihuahuas Stop Growing?
Since you should already know that Chihuahuas do not grow very large, you might wonder how you can tell when a Chihuahua has reached his/her ideal size.
They will not make big leaps in growth like large breed dogs do, but they do grow steadily.
While your puppy is growing, he will be gaining a few ounces a week. He should be at his final size at around 20 weeks, or 5 months.
He might gain a little more weight after that, but you should not expect your dog to get much bigger than he is, even though he’s still a puppy.
What Affects My Chihuahua’s Growth?
Assuming your Chihuahua is purebred, he will typically grow at the same pace as defined in the chart. Note: some of the factors which may affect a Chihuahua puppy’s growth include:
- Genetics: The single most influential factor in determining a Chihuahua puppy’s rate of growth and subsequent adult size is genetics, including the type of genes present and the way in which those genes interact with one another. Because parents typically share the same genes as their pups, this is the basis on which growth charts work.
- Nutrition: Chihuahua puppies should receive all of the necessary nutrients — protein, amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, sugar, phosphorus, etc. — from their mother’s milk. After weaning off milk, however, they’ll need a well-balanced food to promote healthy growth and development. If a pup’s diet doesn’t include the right type and ratio of nutrients, he’ll grow more slowly.
- Physical Activity: While regular exercise is essential in building muscle and strong bones, too much can stunt a Chihuahua puppy’s growth. A pup’s leg bones grow from soft areas of undeveloped bone called growth plates (also known as epiphyseal plates). Intense and/or excessive physical activity can fracture these delicate structures, causing them to either stop growing or grow incorrectly
- Hormones: Growth hormone levels in a Chihuahua puppy will affect his growth. If a pup’s pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough of this vital hormone, he may grow more slowly to a smaller adult size.
- Health: Of course, the presence of disease and underlying health conditions can also affect a Chihuahua puppy’s growth. Parasites like roundworms, whipworms and hookworms live in the pup’s intestinal tract, restricting the pup’s nutritional intake and growth.