For Pups With Short Attention Spans…
Chihuahuas are beloved for being downright tiny. They average between 5-8 inches in height and only 6 pounds in weight! Pocket dog indeed. Because of their smallness, you might need to prepare your home to accommodate them, with things like doggy stairs and lots of warm blankets and beds.
Whether you’re in love with the Chihuahua breed’s “purse dog” reputation à la Paris Hilton, or you’re a huge Beverly Hills Chihuahua fan (2008 called and they’re still waiting on the fourth Beverly Hills Chihuahua installment), welcoming a Chi into your home is a wonderful step into dog-parenthood, especially if you’ve never owned a dog before.
But how big do Chihuahuas get, exactly?
The American Kennel Club reports that an adult Chihuahua grows between 5 to 8 inches and typically weighs about 6 pounds. While undoubtedly a toy breed, that’s a large range for your Chi’s size to fall into. Let’s discuss how you can best predict your Chi’s measurements and how you can keep your pint-sized pal at a happy, healthy size.
Chihuahua Puppy Growth Expectations
When you have a Chihuahua puppy, every dog owner you meet is going to try guessing how big your dog will grow to be. They may take one of your chihuahua pup’s paws in their hands, inspect it closely, and proclaim, “Just look at these grippers! She’s going to be at least 4.75 pounds!”
Or perhaps they’ll inquire about the size of your pup’s mom and dad, adamantly concluding that if your dog’s parents were small, then sweet little Potato is undoubtedly going to be just as much of a tiny dog.
Unfortunately, neither of these methods is 100% accurate. Genes can skip generations, so a small dog won’t always beget equally smaller dog babies. And some chihuahua dog breeds naturally have paws that require a double-digit boot size, regardless of their raincoat size.
Chihuahua Growth Milestones
However, when it comes to the Chihuahua dog breeds, they have a rather predictable development timeline. Whether your little dog is an apple head Chihuahua, deer head Chihuahua, Chinese crested Chihuahua, or a Chihuahua mix, they’ll usually reach their adult size by nine months old.
As your darling Tinkerbell grows, you can note their size and weight around these ages:
- 8 weeks – When they’re first born, Chihuahuas will spend the first 8 weeks of their lives with their mother, feeding off her milk and getting strong enough to come home with you. Chi babies will grow quickly during this time, sometimes doubling in size.
- 6 months – At 6 months, Chi puppies will usually be between 5 and 8 inches tall, and they’ll be close to their adult weight, measuring between 1.5 and 4.5 pounds. However, your Chihuahua may still have another 0.5 to 1 pound to gain before they’re fully grown.
- 9 months – Nine months marks the age at which Chis tend to reach their adult size, similar to other toy-dog breeds. Chihuahua growth afterward isn’t impossible, but it’s less likely, especially when feeding your pup a healthy diet.
- 10 months to 1 year – This is usually when you’ll see your pup’s physical development plateau. Chihuahuas may gain a little weight during this time, but it’s usually not a significant amount—so feel free to finalize your dog purse purchase!
Benefits of Understanding Your Chihuahua’s Size
Adopting a Chihuahua means you’re welcoming a fiercely loyal and—thanks to their pocket-sized cuteness—relatively low-maintenance companion into your world. And their fast-tracked development makes the welcome party nearly seamless. (Not to mention your exercise regimen is much more beginner-level.)
When you first bring your fur baby home, it’s easy to think that it’ll always be the tiny, yippy, clumsy, playful, adorable puppy you first met. But the reality is that their adult size isn’t too far away—in time, or in pounds.
Nonetheless, knowing how big they’ll get will help you:
- Choose the right supplies – Getting an appropriately adjustable bed, leash, crate, collar, and other accessories on the onset will save you from spending money on several sizes and versions. You’ll find yourself saying “he’ll grow into it!” far more often.
- Prepare your space – Knowing how large (or small) your pup will grow helps you prep your house for their bounding arrival. If your Chihuahua will be on the smaller side (like a teacup Chihuahua), you can prepare with tools like a doggy staircase that leads up to your bed. (Or should we say, her bed?)
- Monitor their health – Knowing the size most Chihuahuas similar to yours typically grow to be can help you ensure your little Eggbert is growing healthily. If he’s over or underweight, it might be time to take him to the vet for a check-up to make sure his health and wellness are in tip-top shape.
What Affects my Chihuahua’s Growth?
Having a newborn puppy is a lot like having a newborn baby. You’ll be hyper aware of your furball’s health, happiness, and comfort, and you’ll be just as worried if you start to notice that your canine best friend is either gaining too much weight or not enough according to the dog breed’s expected growth.
Gain peace of mind knowing that the weight of dogs is always slightly variable, especially due to these factors:
- Nutrition – Growing puppies need a lot of nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, protein, amino acids, and more. They’ll initially absorb these from their mother’s milk, but as they grow, they need nutrients from kibble and other food. Your pup will need high-quality dog food with all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need to grow successfully. Be sure to feed them a formula uniquely designed for Chihuahuas, like BARK food for Chihuahuas, which is specially made for Chihuahuas’ digestive system and nutritional needs.
- Over-exercising – Your puppy is going to want to play, but it’ll be up to you to put appropriate boundaries on the amount he or she runs around with their favorite tennis ball. Too much exercise on a developing four-legged body can affect the growth plates in a puppy’s legs, which may cause your dog to be shorter than it would have naturally grown to be.
- Health issues – Puppies are particularly susceptible to common Chihuahua health issues as their immune system matures, including parasitic infections and inherited diseases. It’s incredibly important to stay up to date on all vaccines and inoculations for your dog, as any infection may cause weight loss or reduced appetite.
If your Chihuahua isn’t growing as expected, don’t panic. Reach out to your veterinary care team for support. They can run the necessary tests to deduce the issue and prevent any long-term effects on your darling’s health.
How to Help Chihuahuas Achieve a Healthful Size
We know that dog parents, especially those of a charming Chihuahua, will go full mama- or papa-bear protective mode over the notion of their pup’s unhappiness.
No need to pull out the claws or stress about your Chihuahua achieving a healthy weight and lifestyle. You can easily keep little Wonton on developmental track by paying close attention to her diet and food-related habits.
Food is the fuel that energizes the living room Parkour sprees, snuggle sessions, and fetch rounds. It’s also the supplier of all the crucial nutrients and vitamins your dog needs to ward off illness, grow a shiny coat, keep their joints healthy, and so much more.
To help your Chi achieve and maintain a healthy size through their food habits, follow these tips:
- If you need to switch your dog’s type of food at any point, mix together the old food and new food until the old food runs out. This slow roll will be easier on your dog’s stomach, prevent tummy aches, and helps the food taste more palatable.
- Partner with your vet to determine how much food is the right amount for your Chihuahua. According to their unique health conditions and needs, your Apple Head Chihuahua might need 8 oz of food per day, while the Teacup Chihuahua down the street might only gobble up 4 oz in a day.
- Puppies have small stomachs, so they can’t usually eat a lot at once. This is especially true for toy-breed puppies, like Chihuahuas, who will have even tinier tums. If your four-legged friend is having digestive issues or not finishing her food, try feeding her smaller meals throughout the day. Bonus: If your Chihuahua is food motivated (which many of them are), you can use meal times as a training opportunity.
- Other dogs in the house? If your puppy isn’t gaining weight and he eats with the rest of your dogs, he may be having to compete for his food. If this is the case, your puppy should be fed separately so you can make sure he’s getting his baby lion’s share.
Steering your puppy on the right diet track can sometimes feel like a guessing game. But spending the time to master it will set your Chi on track to grow into the healthy, vivacious, big-personality-ed pup he’s destined to be.
Help Your Chihuahua Achieve A Healthy Size with BARK Food
Chihuahuas deserve a life that’s as special, spunky, and one-of-a-kind as they are. Your sassy little perro or perra will grow up in the blink of an eye. And in between all the pets, games of fetch, wee sweaters, and late-night cuddles with your little buddy, it’s imperative that you’re taking the best care of your pal as you can.
Now that you know the answer to the question: “how big do Chihuahuas get?”, you should understand that the best care starts with the best food.
BARK makes food that’s scientifically formulated to satisfy all of your Chihuahua’s needs. Their small-bite Chi food is packed with chicken and brown rice for maximum flavor, L-carnitine to help maintain a healthy weight, and omegas to support their pint-sized joints.
And, at BARK, high quality doesn’t mean a high price. You can get 4 pounds of Chi food for $14 with free shipping. Order your pup a bag today.
- American Kennel Club. Chihuahua. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chihuahua/
- Pawlicy Advisor. Chihuahua Growth & Weight Chart: Everything You Need To Know. https://www.pawlicy.com/blog/chihuahua-growth-and-weight/
- We Love Doodles. Is My Chihuahua Too Skinny? (2022). https://welovedoodles.com/chihuahua-too-skinny/
- MasterClass. 6 Types of Chihuahuas: Guide to Chihuahua Breeds. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/types-of-chihuahuas