chihuahua health and nutrition

Chihuahua eating problems

chihuahua health issues
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Chihuahua eating problems are more common than people think. Anorexia is a term used to describe the loss of appetite. They exist two types of anorexia. True Anorexia is when the dog refuses to eat because of serious illness issues. The second type is pseudo-anorexia is when the dog suffers from some difficulties such as chewing issues, picking up, or swallowing food. And these difficulties prevent the dog from eating even if he wants to.

Your little chihuahua will be diagnosed with Anorexia if he changes his eating attitude and refuses to eat his meals. You should take it seriously when your chihuahua has always been super healthy and a good eater but unexpectedly refuses to eat.

Causes of my chihuahua not eating or drinking

There are many reasons why a chihuahua won’t eat, for example when there is a change in the household or the environment, pregnancy, stress, some drugs, and nausea. In addition, dental issues, and pain can also cause chihuahuas to go off their food. When you notice that your dog refuses to eat for no reason you have to visit your vet. 

In some cases, just like humans, there are some serious health issues that cause chihuahuas to lose their appetites such as cancer, pyometra, and liver or kidney problems. 

Q & A Questions

In this article, we gathered up all the most common questions that we received on our Facebook page about the chihuahua’s eating problems. Bellow, you will find the answers.

It’s hard to find food my chihuahua likes?

chihuahua eating issues

All chihuahua owners are trying their best to give enough, healthy, and delicious food to their little friends. The most important is that you have to try no more than 2 manufactured brands.

Concerning home cooking, maybe your chihuahua is picky if so try to find and experiment with ingredients. For example, your dog prefers peas to carrots or pasta to rice.

Your chihuahua doesn’t eat enough or never eats?

A rule you should keep in mind is that chihuahuas do not need so many calories.

If your chihuahua seems that he never eats. This means that he is eating enough and exactly as much as he needs.

An estimate, which can be higher or lower by 20%:

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

As you can see, a small amount of food is indeed appropriate For a tiny toy breed. Additionally, if your chihuahua is losing weight or your puppy is not growing, there may be a serious health problem, So your chihuahua must be checked by the veterinarian ASAP.

Another thing that may be the cause of the loss of appetite is the bowl, sometimes the bowl is too deep, the chihuahua may have a hard time eating in a comfortable position or can hump his forehead on the edge of the bowl.

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Chihuahua Calorie Requirements

Does your chihuahua only eat if you hand-feed him?

This is a bad habit that some owners do with their chihuahuas, so they must stop it and get things back on track. Never do it if you are a new owner because when you hand-feed your dog just a few times he will expect it all the time.

If suddenly your chihuahua is asking you to hand-feed him, you have to reassess his bowl to make sure that it is comfortable.

To stop this bad habit give the food to your chihuahua in his bowl. while he will resist at first, be sure that at some point he will become so hungry that he will eat the food.

Be patient because it’s a pet’s instinct to survive.

My chihuahua only likes freeze-dried food, is that okay?

freeze-dried food

yes just with 4 or 5 start food.

My chihuahua eats too fast is that okay?

Eating food fast is not good for the stomach and digestive system, it is the cause of gas in some cases, and it can even cause vomiting right afterward.
In order to avoid that your chihuahua eats his food as if he thinks it’s his last meal, use a slow-food dog bowl or by placing stainless steel balls into the dish that you already have.

Why does my chihuahua hide his food or bring it to a different place?

Dogs, in general, hide their food for some reason because it’s not common for them to do so.

1. it’s common for rescue dogs to protect their food because they were always hungry.

2. As we know for some small breeds like chihuahuas for example if they were the runt of the litter this could have reinforced this type of behavior. Because of their size, they have always been pushed aside. Keep in mind that a puppy can die from starvation or dehydration. A puppy who used to fight for food may have an urge to hide its food.

3. If there is noise or other dogs in the eating room, your chihuahua will feel insecure and their food is not safe so he will move it to another room, where he can feel that his food is protected.

The fix :

  • As an owner you should take your chihuahua’s eating time seriously, try to offer a nice and quiet place for your chihuahua to eat, it means a place without loud noises, with no one walking by side, and without people talking to your dog while he eats. This will send a clear signal that his eating area is indeed a place where his food is safe.
  • Sometimes your little chi will try to test you, he will take food out of the dish, take the food immediately, and put it back into the dish, he may try to move it a lot of times before obeying your request.
  • Try to keep an eye on your chihuahua and not allowing him to eat outside of the designated area will be a good signal for him that he wants his tummy full, he must eat where you ask him to.

You must teach your chihuahua where he is allowed to eat, even for small dog treats.

YOU MAY ALSO CHECK: When Your Chihuahua is Overly Protective of His Food

My Chihuahua is underweight, how can I push him to eat more?

Chihuahuas are not supposed to weigh a lot nor have An appearance of being heavy and sturdy. The owner should stop being concerned about their chihuahua being underweight.

The only one who can say that your chihuahua is underweight is your veterinarian, if the vet said your dog is underweight then you have a valid reason to be concerned and take actions to encourage some weight gain.

Some rules to keep in mind

1. There are a lot of medical issues that can cause weight loss.
2. When all health issues are ruled out, there are some steps you can take.

with health issues ruled out, you can start the following steps:

1. keep up with exercise. daily walks can burn some calories, it’s the food intake that matters here, this exercise can trigger the appetite to kick in.
2. start adding about 150 calories more per day under your vet’s approval.

Try to weigh your chihuahua once per week to check for an increase. Just a kitchen scale could be useful.

Does my Chihuahua eat everything? Two things are at play here.

1. If your chihuahua tries to eat everything, even non-food items, this can be a blend of boredom, curiosity, or chewing obsession.

  • Puppies sometimes are mouthing items, chewing on them, trying to move to new place items including shoes, remotes, books…
  • Keep electrical cords out of sight.
  • if your chihuahua is teething, try to find some quality teething toys.

YOU MAY WANT TO READ: chihuahua Chewing Issues

2. if your chihuahua eats food non-stop, this is a whole other problem

There are 6 reasons why your chihuahua is always hungry

1. Increased activity-just like us when a dog burns more calories, the body will need more fuel. keep always a closed eye on your chihuahua’s exercise level, if he is exercising more, it is perfectly okay for him to have a higher appetite.

2. type of food is always low-quality food that is packed with cheap filler, which means that your chihuahua is not receiving enough food which is real that can be a major problem. change the low-quality dog food to a better quality brand.

3. A need for water-Try to keep always clean and available water at all times because there will be an increased hunger if a chihuahua is not drinking enough water.

4. weather-During summertime it’s common for the dogs to not eat a lot and it’s totally normal.

5. The need to chew– it’s normal for puppies who are teething to chew. The behavior can often present as eating more food, giving proper teething toys can help.

Stress and anxiety are causes for adult chihuahuas that seem to always be hungry.

6. health conditions-there some medical problems that can be the cause for a chihuahua to overeat and gain weight.

Other possibilities if your dog is eating a lot but is still skinny:

  • canine diabetes- because of this disease the chihuahua can eat a lot but lose weight.
  • cushing’s syndrome- this disease has other signs. Including increased appetite such as fur loss, a darkening of the skin, increased thirst.
  • bacterial overgrowth- this issue is known to cause damage that results in nutrients from food not being absorbed. so a chihuahua becomes very hungry without gaining weight.
  • Worm- if your chihuahua eats a lot but is still skinny, he may have worms, your vet can inspect for worms by examining a stool sample.
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency- this issue is rare with some small breeds, In this condition, there are not enough enzymes being created to properly digest food. So the food passes out of the chihuahua’s body without absorbing nutrients and this causes a dog to always be hungry.

Sometimes, owners may not see that their chihuahuas eat a lot of food. Because extra food is being offered too often.

You should follow a strict feeding schedule and not offer any food except during meal and snack time.

My Chihuahua eats everything on walks

Dogs always mouth things first and then they make a decision if it’s worth their time. However, if a chihuahua eats all things while out on walks. This behavior will be the cause of a lot of issues. Bellow, some tips to stop this bad habit

  • Have your chihuahua on a harness and always keep the harness taut. Before your dog eats anything by moderately tugging on the leash.
  • Remember you are the leader of the pack. So when your chihuahua tries to eat something prevent him by using the “leave it” command

YOU MAY ALSO CHECK: Steps to Stop chihuahua Coprophagia?

Last word

Dealing with chihuahua eating problems may be difficult and frustrating, However it is possible by implementing some of the aforementioned recommendations and consulting with a trusted veterinarian.


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Keys to an Excellent chihuahua Diet

Keys to an Excellent chihuahua Diet


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