Small dogs make excellent companies, but unfortunately, many pet parents are not prepared to deal with their unique needs. For starters, a Chihuahua needs much less food than many people realize, and a free feeding Chihuahua can quickly get overweight!
This is due to a combination of ..
- Feeding them an unhealthy diet
- Feeding them too much
- Not giving them enough exercise
Let’s take a look at each of these points and see how we can help our tiny companions to live a better life, shall we? First on our list is..
Many people are perplexed by the world of dog food. One dog food is just as good as the next one right? Well, no, not really. There are a lot of really crappy dog foods out there, and if people knew exactly how bad they were, they wouldn’t feed them to their dogs, ever.
If you’re worried about your Chihuahua’s health and weight, then step one is getting them on to a healthy diet. That can mean a lot of things depending on the dog, and it’s a little outside the scope of this article, since it’s such a big subject, but I think this article about healthy dog foods can help you.
It gives a short but helpful explanation of why commercial dog foods are bad, and then offers some stellar suggestions in several price ranges to help you pick a better dog food. Okay, our next topic is..
Feeding them too much
Ah, the main topic of our article! Do you really know how much your Chihuahua should be eating? That answer is likely no, but don’t worry, because I’m here to help you out.
The ideal weight for an adult Chihuahua is somewhere between 3 and 6 pounds. I know this is a pretty wide margin, but you have to take into account that some Chihuahuas are larger than others.
So, how do you know if your Chihuahua is over weight? A visual inspection is best here, and if your pup is healthy, you should be able to see and feel the outline of the waist and ribs.
If you need help figuring out how much to feed your dog, then I would recommend this calculator. It’s tough to give a real estimate due to the size variance of the breed, and even small errors can result in obesity in an animal this small!
If you believe that your Chihuahua is overweight, you should refrain from severe calorie restriction! This can be very dangerous for small animals, and you need to slowly allow them to lose weight. Try some of these ideas.
- Add more exercise to their day (20 mins per day, 2x per day)
- Add veggies to their meals for more bulk with less calories
- Switch to a healthier and lower carb dog food
- Avoid snacks, treats, and table scraps
- Cut a very small amount of food
While a Chihuahua is not a sports superstar like a cattle dog, they still need exercise! Don’t allow your pup to become a couch potato, or their healthy could suffer for it. Some dogs also won’t exercise on their own, but they’ll be much more inclined if you play with them.
You can take them for an extra walk everyday as well, which your pup will love you for, but make sure not to overdo it. Chis are tiny, and they get tuckered out quickly. Make sure to give them lots of breaks and to give them plenty of water as well.