It’s obvious that chihuahuas are the smallest of all dog breeds in the world, this is why their owners are always concerned about their receiving nutrition, and their chihuahua calorie requirements.
While adults need calories to maintain, puppies need enough calories to grow, but there are some cases when adults need calories to decrease in order to lose weight. In addition, unlike other dogs, Chihuahuas, with a super-fast metabolism burn a great amount of energy so as you’d imagine.
This article is about calorie requirements for your chihuahua
Factors that affect Chihuahua Calorie Requirements
There are several elements that control calorie requirements for pets. Therefore, you should know that there is not a single number for all chihuahuas but there is a range, and this range is affected by some factors.
1. Health status:
An injury or illness affects directly the dog’s ability to be exercised as normal which means that this affects too how many calories need a dog.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, pregnant dogs need a big amount of calories, especially for the second half of pregnancy, also nursing dogs that need a big boost of calories to fuel milk production, a pregnant dog will need 25 percent more calories than a normal dog by the time she is ready to give birth. a chi that is nursing puppies will need about 15 percent more calories each day for each puppy, then, with a litter of three pups, she will need 45 percent more calories.
Age is a huge factor, for example, we should notice that a puppy needs more calories compared to an adult.
The growth in a short time means the need for a lot of calories. Chihuahua newborns double in size with days. when a chihuahua is 1-year-old she or he is considered to be an adult, so calorie needs will change at that time.
When a chihuahua becomes a senior dog, he often needs fewer calories than his younger counterparts, this is because the dog exercises less.
3. Activity level:
Every second dog burns calories even when they are sleeping. In other words, the rate of calories that are burned throughout the day is not the same. Activities in a dog’s life are so crucial because without any activity your dog will be at a high risk of getting sick or suffering from a health issue such as obesity, depression, etc.
4. Diet’s quality
Some owners think that the quantity of food is crucial, it is but the quality is an important part too. All dogs including chihuahuas need a balanced amount of protein, minerals, vitamins, and healthy carbohydrates. While adult chihuahuas may need fibers, protein, and probiotics for their digestive system and nourishing muscles. Puppies will need Omega Fatty Acids, DHA, to help them grow in a healthy way.
Some chihuahua owners prefer to feed their dogs homemade dog food meals. However, it is advisable to seek for your vet’s advice to see if your dog needs some supplements to be sure that he is getting all the calories he needs.
There are 2 activity types that affect the number of calories burned.
Exercises such as running, walking, playing fetch, will raise the chihuahua’s heartbeat will burn calories
There have not been a lot of studies done, but we have some rules, for example, a 20-pound dog walking for 15 minutes at a good pace 4 miles/hour will burn 64 calories. therefore, a recommended 30-minute walk would equal 128 calories.
If we apply this to a chihuahua, a 5-pound chi walked at a toy breed’s pace of 2 miles/hour for a calorie burn of approximately 25 calories.
This refers to the calories a body needs even at rest and sleep, in order to maintain itself a body burns calories.
Naturally, there are some dog breeds that are super active. This means that they will burn an incredible amount of calories without counting exercises and programmed activities and animated ones such as playing, walking outside, etc. If you are the parent of a very active dog, you will notice that he has a very high metabolism.
Does neutering or spaying affect a chihuahua’s calorie needs?
A lot of people think that dogs gain weight after being fixed, so they think that their dogs may need fewer calories if he or she has been fixed.
The answer is that a dog may be less active due to urges to take a chase, to run away, etc. So, the number of calories burned by a dog carrying out his hormonal urges is very minimal.
How many calories does a chihuahua puppy need?
There are no clear-cut answers to this question. Because from a veterinary standpoint, determining how much food a chihuahua need is related to his body weight.
In general, puppies need about 5 calories per day, for each pound of weight.
Weight = Calories per Day
For optimal growth and development, experts recommend feeding puppies 3-4 smaller meals. It is also advisable to feed them high-quality food to guarantee that they get all the required nourishment.
1 lb. (0.45 kg) = 40 to 60
1.5 lbs. (.68 kg) = 64 to 96
2 lbs. (0.90 kg) = 80 to 120
2.5 lbs. (1.13 kg) = 111 to 165
3 lbs. (1.36 kg) = 120 to 180
3.5 lbs. (1.58 kg) = 154 to 232
4 lbs. (1.81 kg) = 160 to 240
4.5 lbs. (2.04 kg) = 198 to 298
5 lbs. (2.26 kg) = 200 to 300
5.5 lbs. (2.49 kg) = 243 to 363
6 lbs. (2.72 kg) = 254 to 396
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when a chihuahua is an adult. Which means that he will need fewer calories per pound of the body to maintain his weight.
Let’s take a look at the guidelines:
Weight = Calories per Day
2.5 lbs. (1.13 kg) = 80 to 120
3 lbs. (1.36 kg) = 96 to 144
3.5 lbs. (1.58 kg) = 112 to 168
4 lbs. (1.81 kg) = 128 to 192
4.5 lbs. (2.04 kg) = 144 to 216
5 lbs. (2.26 kg) = 160 to 240
5.5 lbs. (2.49 kg) = 176 to 264
6 lbs. (2.72 kg) = 192 to 288
6.5 lbs. (2.94 kg) = 208 to 312
7 lbs. (3.17 kg) = 224 to 336
7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg) = 240 to 360
8 lbs. (3.62 kg) = 256 to 384
8.5 lbs. (3.85 kg) = 272 to 408
9 lbs. (4.08 kg) = 288 to 432
Senior chihuahua dogs
Calorie needs may fluctuate in the 30 to 35 calories per pound of the body weight range, this is for a senior chi that is much less active.
In some cases, your vet will ask you to increase the calories intake for your senior dog if he notices that the dog is losing weight.
Now that you are aware of how many calories your little dog demands, you will have to consider the number of calories in each cup of food you feed your chi.
Please use this calorie chart if you feed homemade dog food, to know how much food to give your dog.
However, when you choose to feed your dog the commercial dog food, you will find the calorie value per cup on the label.
Calories in dog food
As a rule, you should take note of the quality of the food and not the calorie count. Because some cheap brands pack the food with fillers, which makes the meal as a whole contain fewer calories. for this reason calorie count alone does not tell you how good a particular food is.
Decreasing calories for a chihuahua
In this case, this is done only if a veterinarian has recommended that your chi needs to lose weight. However, this is not done with less food, it is done with a combination of lower calories and an increase in exercise.
Sometimes the vet may suggest a supplement to encourage the absorption of nutrients. In cases, when a chihuahua is undersized and struggles to grow or maintain.
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