Some people are drawn to chubby things, but when your Chihuahua starts gaining weight, you should be worried. Most owners downplay their Chihuahua’s obesity as a non-concerning issue, but you shouldn’t.
Health effects arising from your Chihuahua being overweight can be far from cute. You wouldn’t want your pooch to suffer from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension.
Why is my Chihuahua fat, and what can I do about it? It’s easy for chihuahuas to gain weight due to their small body size. A little bit of overfeeding from every meal, an urge to pamper with dog treats, or a slightly prolonged period of days without exercising or movement can easily and subtly contribute to a Chihuahua’s weight gain.
The weight loss program for Chihuahuas would involve not only the pooch eating less and moving more, but also the owner feeding less and carrying it less.
If you have an overweight dog, you’re not alone. Studies suggest that overweight dogs in the United States, 40% of all dogs in the US are overweight.
Since a healthy Chihuahua can be your canine buddy for up to 18 years, it’s only right to do the right thing to control the situation before it escalates; being overweight, that is. If it’s not already overweight, you should take some precautions to avoid getting to that point, but we’ll look into that in a bit.
First, we’ll discuss how it’s weight determines its quality of life.
What Is The Ideal Weight For A Chihuahua?
The average weight of a full-grown Chihuahua ranges from 3 to 6 pounds. Although the American and British pet standards state that Chihuahuas must not exceed 5.9 pounds, some can weigh up to 12 pounds due to their bone structure.
How Do I Know If My Chihuahua Is Overweight?
Look or feel for your Chihuahua’s ribs. You should easily see or feel them under its skin for a Chihuahua with a healthy weight. If you don’t, then there is a high chance that it is overweight.
Another simple way of checking if your Chihuahua is overweight is by getting familiar with its body shape. Your pooch should have a waist and its body should be slightly smaller from the back of its rib cage to the hips. If you stand directly above your Chihuahua and do not observe this pear share, then there is a fair chance that your Chihuahua is overweight.
That said, we have made a tool to calculate your Chihuahua’s weight chart as it grows. You will be able to see the projected weight of a typical Chihuahua based on historical data from various sources. You will be able to check if your Chihuahua is overweight or not and keep track of the ideal Chihuahua’s weight. Head down to our puppy weight estimate tool to check it out.
Common Causes Of Obesity In Chihuahua
You love your furry companion, and you want it to have the best life, so you feed it what seems to be the right amount of food. But what looks like a decent serving can be too much for a Chihuahua. Since they are a smaller breed, they require fewer calories a day, and any excess can easily have a significant impact on their weight.
The question of how much food your Chi should eat in a day can only be answered by considering its weight. Since the average weight is between 3 lbs to 6 lbs, the daily calorie intake of a Chihuahua should be between 70 to 270 calories per day.
Letting It Eat From Your Plate
It may be tempting for dog owners to share their meals with their chihuahuas, but this can be detrimental to your Chihuahua’s health. The amount of calories, fat, and sodium in human food surpasses the recommended amount a dog should consume, especially so for the case of a small breed like the Chihuahua.
Lack Of Exercise
You may be feeding it the right portions, but without enough exercise, your Chihuahua still runs the risk of becoming overweight. A Chi should be walked 1 to 2 times a day, and Chihuahua owners should try to carry your pooches less.
However, take heed to not over-exercise it. Over-exercising will result in issues with your Chihuahua’s growth plates.
Failure To Change Its Diet As It Grows
Maintaining the same portions as the pooch ages may be the problem. As they age, Chihuahuas need fewer calories per day per pound of body weight. You will need to reduce its calorie intake by 10 to 60 calories per day while still helping it maintain an active lifestyle through regular walks.
Common Health Problems In Overweight Chihuahuas
Excessive weight is damaging to dogs, but more so to a Chihuahua.
It causes the Chihuahua to quickly get out of breath and limit its movements. This hampers efforts for it to exercise properly. Excess fat also puts strain and stress on its hips and knees, and such protracted but subtle torture causes back problems to develop.
How long a fat Chihuahua will live depends on how swift you are in getting it back to shape. If left unchecked, the excess weight can lead to one or all of the following complications.
Back And Spinal Problems
A Chihuahuas body is designed to handle a certain amount of weight. Once the limit is exceeded, the extra weight puts a strain on the sensitive areas on their back. The result is either fractured bones, torn ligaments, or slipping of the spinal disc known as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
Excess fats in Chihuahuas can cause insulin resistance and prevent muscle cells from absorbing sugar in the bloodstream. This puts your Chihuahua in danger of Mellitus (Type II Diabetes) and its associated health complications.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
If the Chihuahua develops hypertension, which is highly probable if it’s overweight, some organs can fail due to the excess strain put on them. Hypertension also makes it susceptible to other diseases.
Excess fats inside a dog’s body force its heart to pump blood faster and at increased intervals to reach vital organs. This and the extra weight placed on the vital organs puts the pooch at a higher risk of developing heart diseases.
How Can I Help My Chihuahua Lose Weight?
Change Its Diet
Helping a Chi lose weight requires careful planning and extra effort, but one sure thing, you will have to cut down on food. To effectively reduce the diet while increasing nutrient intake, you should add Bernie’s Perfect Poop Digestion & General Health Supplement to its diet. Besides other health benefits, it contains high fiber, which helps reduce your Chi’s food intake as it makes it feel full faster.
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Feed It The Recommended Portions
This is crucial as it applies to both overweight and “regular” Chihuahuas. Since Chihuahuas are small, it is easy for them to gain weight. Most of the time, Chihuahua owners do not know the recommended amount to feed their Chihuahuas. Once you know your dog’s weight, you can consult your vet or use it at the back of your dog food packaging to identify the appropriate daily serving.
Treats may be the reason why you’re here in the first place. Some dog treats have no nutritional value, but we still feed them to our dogs. You can cut them out altogether or consider a healthy alternative with low sugar and fats. Grain free dog treats are also good alternatives.
Avoid Feeding It Table Scraps
Human food can be dangerous to your Chi. Its digestive system cannot handle some human food as our digestive system does. You can cook for them, but ensure the food is plain and non-processed. Food like meats and plain veggies (you should increase the number of vegetables in its diet) are recommended.
A Chihuahua will become fat due to inactivity. Ensure it gets enough exercise throughout the day. You can take it for a walk on good days, and during bad weather, you can engage in indoor games.
How Can I Prevent My Chihuahua From Becoming Overweight?
You can avoid the problems that come with a Chihuahua being overweight by taking the necessary steps to keep it in shape. It takes dedication to keep it healthy but requires less effort than is needed to help it lose excess weight.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Knowing what to feed your Chihuahua and in the right portions is how you keep it fit. Ollie is the one of the best customised human grade dog food suppliers in the market. It uses all natural ingredients and its formula provides only the nutrients that your dog needs. It is free from additives and contains essential vitamins, protein (chicken), and antioxidant-rich foods like kelp, blueberries, flaxseeds, and freeze-dried toppers for picky eaters.
On top of feeding the right food, it is also critical to maintain a regular feeding schedule. Abiding by routine meal times will train your Chihuahua’s stomach to get accustomed to meal times. In this way, it will not feel hungry at odd hours because its stomach is not programmed to expect any food then.
Exercise helps keep the dog’s physical and mental health in check. Frequent walks are refreshing for the Chi; they love it outside. You should alternate between leisure and power walks. In fact, this will be beneficial to you too.
When you’re busy and cannot be around your Chihuahua, you can still ensure your pooch puts in the miles using Yvelife Laser Interactive Toy. It is an affordable e-toy that will play catch with your Chihuahuas using a laser point. This rechargeable e-toy is ideal for indoor use and will help keep your dog active with it’s five adjustable circling ranges.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Regular visits to the vet help you keep tabs on your pooch’s weight and body condition score. This helps you identify up or down trends early on, helping you make feeding adjustments on time.
What Is The Heaviest Chihuahua? The heaviest Chihuahua we know of was Gracie. She weighed a whopping 42 pounds. Her weight was detrimental to her because she couldn’t even complete short walks; her owners had to carry her home after walking short distances. But with the help of an expert and utilization of the tips mentioned here, she was able to shed excess weight.
What Do Most Chihuahuas Die From? Most Chihuahuas die from cardiovascular diseases. They either experience heart failure, arrhythmia, or heart valve problems. All these issues are directly related to being overweight. What you feed your dog directly impacts it’s heart health. A wholesome diet will keep the body, including the heart, in good shape.
What Human Food Can Chihuahuas Eat? Chihuahua-friendly food includes lean meat like beef, fish, pork, and chicken. You can also add in veggies like broccoli, zucchini, and grains like oats. Avoid adding meat by-products of these foods, and high-fat foods to its diet. It’s best to stick to feeding your Chi a high-quality kibble.