A Chihuahua is fully grown around the age of 1 year to 1.5 years.
The first year the Chihuahua mainly grows in height, the last six months he only becomes slightly wider and more muscular / fatter.
If you are the proud owner of a Chihuahua puppy, you may be wondering how big your furry friend will grow.
Chihuahuas claim to be the smallest dog breed in the world and typically weigh between two and six pounds when fully grown. That’s a pretty wide range, of course, which makes many owners wonder: how big or small does a Chihuahua puppy get?
While you can look to the size of your pup’s paws and parents to predict his future weight, this isn’t the most accurate method. Just because a puppy has small paws and small parents doesn’t necessarily mean it will be small when fully grown. However, assuming he is a purebred Chihuahua, you can usually predict a puppy’s adult weight by referring to the growth chart below.
Why do I need to know my puppy’s adult size?
Predicting your Chihuahua puppy’s future weight is important for several reasons, including the following:
- It helps owners make better decisions when choosing accessories such as crates, beds, collars, harnesses, leashes and clothing.
- Larger Chihuahuas need more food, water and exercise.
- Smaller Chihuahuas are more prone to physical injury.
- You can spot health problems early if your Chihuahua is underweight or overweight.
Chihuahua Puppy Growth: What to Expect
Chihuahua puppies come into this world without seeing, smelling or hearing and are completely dependent on their mother for their nourishment. Over the next few weeks, they spend 90% of their time sleeping and the remaining 10% breastfeeding, allowing them to grow significantly in a very short period of time.
- Birth to 2 Weeks : With an average weight of just 70 to 150 grams and a length of 7 to 10 cm, newborn Chihuahua puppies are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. However, they grow rapidly during their first few weeks, often doubling in size while adding 5-10% of their body weight daily.
- 11 to 15 weeks : Your Chihuahua puppy will likely go through a growth spurt during this time, putting on significant weight in just a few weeks.
- 3 months : By the end of three months, your Chihuahua puppy will reach about 30% of its adult weight.
- 6 to 9 months : Growth begins to slow with most Chihuahuas reaching their adult height of about 6 to 23 inches within 9 months. Your Chihuahua can still “fill in,” but he shouldn’t gain any significant amount after this point.
- 10 to 12 months : Like most dwarf breeds, Chihuahuas usually reach adulthood and stop growing by 10 to 12 months. However, you can still expect your Chihuahua’s weight to fluctuate depending on his diet, health and physical activity.
How to use the growth chart
The following growth chart predicts the adult weight of a purebred Chihuahua puppy based on its current weight.
- If you don’t know your puppy’s current weight yet, use a digital kitchen scale to weigh him. In newborn puppies, wait for the mother to leave her nesting area to avoid being bitten.
- Find your puppy’s current age in the left column.
- Follow this row to the right until you find his current weight.
- Follow this column down where you will find his expected adult weight.
|Expected adult age||907||1134||1361||1588||1814||2041||2268||2495||2722|
What Affects My Chihuahua’s Growth?
Assuming your Chihuahua is purebred, he will generally grow at the same rate as shown in the table.
Note: Some of the factors that can affect a Chihuahua puppy’s growth include:
- Genetics : The most influential factor in determining a Chihuahua puppy’s growth rate and subsequent adult size is genetics, including the type of genes present and the way those genes interact. Since parents typically share the same genes as their puppies, this is the foundation on which growth charts work.
- Nutrition : Chihuahua puppies should get all the necessary nutrients – proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, sugar, phosphorus, etc. – from their mother’s milk. However, after weaning from milk, they need a balanced diet to promote healthy growth and development. If a puppy’s diet does not contain the right type and ratio of nutrients, he will grow more slowly.
- Physical Activity : While regular exercise is essential for building muscle and strong bones, too much can stunt a Chihuahua puppy’s growth. A puppy’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 break these fragile structures, causing them to either stop growing or grow incorrectly.
- Hormones: The growth hormone levels in a Chihuahua puppy will affect his growth. If a puppy’s pituitary gland does not produce enough of this vital hormone, it may grow more slowly to a smaller adult size.
- Health : Of course, the presence of a disease and underlying health conditions can also affect a Chihuahua puppy’s growth. Parasites such as roundworms, whipworms and hookworms live in the puppy’s intestinal tract and limit the puppy’s nutritional intake and growth.
What should I do if my Chihuahua puppy is overweight?
Not all Chihuahua puppies follow the same growth rate as defined in the chart above. Some grow more slowly than others – and that’s okay. However, if your Chihuahua consistently weighs less than it should, you’ll need to take precautions to make sure no underlying health condition is to blame.
First, be sure to feed your pup “puppy” formulated dog food. It has a higher calorie content to meet the growth requirements of the puppies. If your pup is still breastfed, make sure his littermates aren’t restricting his access.
You should also ask the vet to perform a physical exam on your pup when you use him for his first vaccination (about 5 to 6 weeks). During this visit, the vet can check to see if your pup is suffering from parasites, malnutrition, or other issues that may be stunting its growth.