The Chinese Crested, a breed known for its distinctive appearance and endearing personality, captures the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. Whether in its hairless variety or the powderpuff with a full coat, this breed is cherished not only for its unique look but also for its affectionate, playful nature. Chinese Crested dogs are adaptable, thriving in various living situations, and making excellent companions for families, singles, and seniors alike. Understanding the lifespan and common health challenges of the Chinese Crested is crucial for prospective and current owners aiming to provide the best possible care for these charming dogs.

Lifespan Expectancy of a Chinese Crested

Chinese Cresteds typically enjoy a long lifespan, with many living 13 to 18 years. Their longevity is influenced by genetics, diet, environment, and the quality of care they receive. By ensuring a healthy lifestyle, regular veterinary check-ups, and addressing any health issues early, owners can help their Chinese Crested dogs lead a full, vibrant life.

Common Health Challenges in Chinese Cresteds

Despite their generally robust health, there are several conditions to which Chinese Cresteds may be predisposed:

Dental Issues

The Chinese Crested, particularly the hairless variety, is prone to dental problems, including early tooth loss and periodontal disease. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, is essential to maintain oral health and prevent associated health risks.

Skin Care

The skin of hairless Chinese Crested requires special attention to prevent acne, sunburn, and dryness. Using sunscreen, moisturizers, and protective clothing, along with maintaining proper hygiene, can help keep their skin healthy.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This genetic condition leads to blindness over time. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist can help detect PRA early, though there is no cure.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

Affecting the hip joint, this condition can lead to lameness and requires surgical intervention in severe cases. Early detection and management are crucial for maintaining mobility.

Patellar Luxation

Common in small breeds, this condition involves the dislocation of the kneecap, which can cause pain and lameness. Treatment ranges from conservative management to surgical correction.


Chinese Cresteds can be prone to skin allergies, which manifest as itchiness, redness, and discomfort. Identifying and avoiding allergens, along with appropriate medical treatment, can manage this condition.

By proactively addressing these health challenges and collaborating closely with a veterinarian, owners can significantly enhance their Chinese Crested’s quality of life and longevity. Regular check-ups, a balanced lifestyle, and immediate attention to any signs of illness are crucial components of caring for a Chinese Crested, ensuring they enjoy a full and happy life.


How Can I Extend the Lifespan of My Chinese Crested?

The Chinese Crested dog, with its striking appearance and affectionate demeanor, is a beloved companion known for forming strong bonds with its owners. Whether you’re captivated by the hairless variety’s elegant lines and soft skin or the powderpuff’s luxurious locks, these dogs offer a unique blend of beauty, loyalty, and charm. Owners of Chinese Cresteds are often deeply committed to their pets and seek ways to enhance their health and extend their lifespan. This guide explores comprehensive strategies to maximize the well-being of Chinese Crested dogs, covering nutrition, exercise, healthcare, and more, aiming to ensure these delightful companions enjoy the longest, happiest lives possible.

Regular Veterinary Care

Consistent veterinary check-ups are vital for monitoring your Chinese Crested’s health, vaccinating against diseases, and catching any health issues early. These appointments are opportunities to discuss and adjust preventive care strategies, including dental care plans, which are crucial for this breed.

Optimal Nutrition

Feeding your Chinese Crested a balanced diet that’s appropriate for their age, weight, and health status is key. For hairless varieties, extra attention might be needed to incorporate foods that support skin health. Consulting with a vet about the best dietary options can ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Skin and Dental Care

The skin of a hairless Chinese Crested requires protection from the sun and cold, along with regular moisturizing to prevent dryness or acne. For both varieties, maintaining dental health through regular brushing and professional cleanings can prevent periodontal disease, which is particularly prevalent in this breed.

Regular Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Despite their small size, Chinese Cresteds benefit from regular exercise to maintain their physical health and mental stimulation to keep their minds sharp. Activities should be tailored to their physical capabilities and interest levels, ensuring they stay engaged and happy.

Monitoring for Common Health Issues

Be proactive in monitoring for signs of health issues common to the breed, such as dental problems, skin conditions, progressive retinal atrophy, and patellar luxation. Early detection and treatment can significantly impact their quality of life and longevity.

Emotional Well-being

The emotional well-being of your Chinese Crested is just as important as their physical health. These dogs thrive on companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety. Ensuring they have plenty of social interactions and are not left alone for extended periods is essential.

Socialization and Behavioral Training

Proper socialization from a young age is vital for Chinese Crested dogs. It helps in developing a well-rounded and confident dog that is less likely to exhibit behavioral problems. Introducing your Chinese Crested to a variety of people, sounds, environments, and other animals in a positive manner can aid in their social development. Additionally, consistent behavioral training strengthens the bond between you and your pet, ensures they are well-mannered, and promotes mental stimulation, all contributing to their overall well-being.

Protecting Against Environmental Hazards

For the hairless variety, protection against environmental hazards is particularly important. Their exposed skin makes them vulnerable to sunburn in summer and hypothermia in winter. Using pet-safe sunscreen, and protective clothing, and limiting exposure to extreme weather conditions can safeguard their health. Similarly, for both hairless and powderpuff varieties, keeping living environments clean and free from small objects that could be ingested is crucial to prevent gastrointestinal blockages.

Allergy Management

Chinese Crested dogs can be prone to allergies, which may manifest as skin irritations, digestive issues, or respiratory discomfort. Identifying and managing allergies—whether they’re related to food, environmental factors, or contact allergens—is essential. Working with your veterinarian to pinpoint the specific allergies and developing a management plan can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life.

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming goes beyond aesthetic maintenance; it’s a health requirement for Chinese Crested dogs. For hairless varieties, this includes skin care regimens to prevent acne or blackheads, while powder puffs benefit from brushing to avoid matting and promote skin health. Nail care, ear cleaning, and dental hygiene are also integral parts of the grooming routine that contribute to overall health.

Quality Rest

Ensuring your Chinese Crested has a comfortable and quiet place to rest is essential. Proper rest contributes to their mental health and stress management. Especially for older dogs, orthopedic beds can provide support for joints and help in preventing arthritis pain.

Engagement in Suitable Activities

Engaging Chinese Crested dogs in activities suitable for their physical capabilities and interests keeps them active and prevents obesity. This might include gentle walks, play sessions tailored to their size and energy level, and activities that stimulate their mind, such as interactive toys or training challenges.

By focusing on these additional aspects of care, owners can further enhance the well-being and lifespan of their Chinese Crested. Attention to diet and exercise, regular veterinary care, and management of breed-specific health issues, combined with the strategies outlined above, lays a comprehensive foundation for a long, joyful life with these charming companions.

By adhering to these care guidelines, owners can greatly contribute to the health and happiness of their Chinese Crested, potentially extending their lives and enhancing their quality of life. Each aspect of care, from diet and exercise to regular veterinary visits and emotional well-being, plays a crucial role in the overall health of these unique and loving companions.


Frequently Asked Questions About The Lifespans of Chinese Cresteds

1. What is the average lifespan of a Chinese Crested?

The average lifespan of a Chinese Crested dog ranges from 13 to 18 years. This relatively long lifespan is attributed to the breed’s small size and generally robust health. To maximize their years, it’s crucial to provide them with a balanced diet, regular veterinary care, and ample mental and physical stimulation. Like all breeds, individual health, genetics, and the level of care they receive significantly impact their longevity.

2. Are Chinese Cresteds prone to any genetic health issues?

Yes, Chinese Cresteds are prone to certain genetic health issues that could potentially affect their lifespan. Common concerns include dental problems, particularly in the hairless variety, which may experience early tooth loss; skin conditions requiring careful management; progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), leading to vision loss; and patellar luxation. Regular health screenings and preventative care can help manage these conditions and contribute to a healthier life.

3. How can I extend the lifespan of my Chinese Crested?

Extending the lifespan of your Chinese Crested involves comprehensive care: ensuring a nutritious diet, maintaining regular exercise, and keeping up with preventative veterinary care. Protecting their skin from sunburn and injuries, managing dental health with regular cleanings, and providing mental stimulation to prevent boredom are also key. Early detection of health issues through routine check-ups allows for timely treatment, significantly impacting their overall health and longevity.

4. What diet is best for Chinese Cresteds?

A balanced diet tailored to their specific life stage, size, and any health conditions is best for Chinese Cresteds. High-quality commercial or homemade food approved by your veterinarian can meet their nutritional needs. For hairless varieties, incorporating foods that support healthy skin can be beneficial. Always ensure fresh water is available, and monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, which can lead to other health issues.

5. How much exercise do Chinese Cresteds need?

Chinese Cresteds require moderate daily exercise to stay healthy. Despite their small size, they enjoy being active. Daily walks, play sessions, and opportunities for mental stimulation are important. Exercise not only maintains their physical health but also helps in managing energy levels and preventing behavioral problems. Tailor activities to their individual needs and interests, and consider interactive toys and games to keep them engaged.

6. How can I protect my Chinese Crested from skin issues?

Protecting your Chinese Crested from skin issues involves a combination of regular grooming, proper nutrition, and environmental management. For hairless varieties, daily skin care should include cleaning to remove dirt and oil and moisturizing to prevent dryness. Use a gentle, dog-specific sunscreen when spending time outdoors to protect against sunburn. Both hairless and powderpuff varieties can benefit from a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support skin health. Additionally, keep their environment clean and free of irritants that could cause allergic reactions or skin infections. Regular vet check-ups can help identify and treat any skin conditions early, preventing further complications.

7. What signs of dental problems should I look for in my Chinese Crested?

Signs of dental problems in Chinese Cresteds include bad breath, difficulty eating or chewing, pawing at the mouth, excessive drooling, red or swollen gums, and visible tartar buildup. Due to their predisposition to dental issues, especially in hairless varieties, it’s crucial to start dental hygiene practices early and maintain them consistently. Regular brushing with dog-specific toothpaste, dental chews, and professional cleanings as recommended by your veterinarian can help prevent periodontal disease. Ignoring dental health can lead to serious systemic issues, so prompt treatment of dental problems is essential.

8. Can Chinese Cresteds live comfortably in cold climates?

Chinese Cresteds can live in cold climates with appropriate care. The hairless variety, in particular, needs protection from the cold with sweaters, coats, and booties during outdoor activities. Even the powderpuff variety can benefit from extra warmth when temperatures drop. Indoors, ensure they have a warm, cozy place away from drafts. It’s also important to limit their time outside in extreme cold to prevent hypothermia. With these precautions, Chinese Cresteds can enjoy a comfortable life in colder environments.

9. How do I socialize my Chinese Crested puppy?

Socializing your Chinese Crested puppy involves gently exposing them to a wide variety of people, other animals, environments, and situations from a young age. Positive, controlled experiences help them become well-adjusted adults. Puppy classes can be an excellent way to socialize in a safe setting, as can planned playdates with friendly, vaccinated dogs. Remember to reward your puppy for calm, curious behavior and gradually increase the range of their experiences. Avoid overwhelming them and always prioritize their comfort and safety during socialization activities.

10. What is the best way to exercise a Chinese Crested?

The best way to exercise a Chinese Crested involves activities that cater to their physical abilities and mental interests. Daily walks, play sessions with toys, and agility training for mental stimulation are excellent. Hairless Chinese Cresteds may need protection from harsh sun during outdoor activities, so consider timing walks for cooler parts of the day. Remember, they enjoy being with their owners, so interactive games that strengthen your bond while exercising are ideal. Balance physical activities with rest periods to avoid overexertion.

11. How often should I bathe my Chinese Crested?

The bathing frequency for a Chinese Crested depends on their variety and lifestyle. Hairless Chinese Cresteds may require weekly baths to keep their skin clean and healthy, while powder puffs might need less frequent bathing, depending on their coat condition and activity level. Use a gentle dog shampoo to avoid drying out their skin or coat and follow up with a suitable moisturizer for hairless varieties. Always ensure they are thoroughly dried after bathing to prevent chills or skin irritation.

12. Are Chinese Cresteds good with children and other pets?

Chinese Cresteds can be excellent with children and other pets, especially if raised with them or properly introduced. They are known for their affectionate nature and can form strong bonds with family members. However, interactions with very young children should be supervised to ensure gentle handling, as Chinese Cresteds are small and can be injured easily. With proper socialization, they can also get along well with other dogs and pets in the household. Training both the dog and children on how to interact safely is key to harmonious relationships.

13. What are the grooming needs of a Chinese Crested?

The grooming needs of a Chinese Crested vary between the hairless and powderpuff varieties. Hairless Chinese Cresteds require regular skin care, including cleansing, moisturizing, and protection from the sun, while powder puffs need frequent brushing to prevent matting of their soft, double coat. Both varieties require regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care. Establishing a consistent grooming routine early on can help your Chinese Crested maintain good hygiene and overall health.

14. How can I ensure my Chinese Crested is mentally stimulated?

Ensuring your Chinese Crested is mentally stimulated involves providing a variety of activities that challenge their intelligence and satisfy their curiosity. Puzzle toys, training sessions, and games that encourage problem-solving can keep their minds active. Chinese Cresteds also enjoy learning tricks and participating in dog sports like agility, which can offer both physical and mental stimulation. Regular interaction, play, and new experiences can help prevent boredom and promote a happy, well-adjusted dog.

15. Can Chinese Cresteds adapt to apartment living?

Chinese Cresteds are well-suited to apartment living due to their size and relatively moderate exercise needs. They thrive in environments where they can be close to their owners, making them ideal companions for apartment dwellers. However, it’s important to provide daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and content. Regular outings and social interactions can help meet their physical and psychological needs, ensuring they remain well-behaved and happy in an apartment setting.

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