How to make your older chihuahua gain weight

Any time a chihuahua loses weight, it’s a cause for concern, but when an older chihuahua does it, owners are often especially worried. Is it a symptom of a more serious illness? Is it normal for older chihuahuas to lose their appetite? How do I make the dog eat again? How to make your older chihuahua gain weight? Does this affect the way my senior chihuahua lives?

Often, all a chihuahua needs to do to gain weight is eat a different kind of food. Sometimes, you must deal with specific health problems causing weight loss, such as tooth problems, thyroid problems, or kidney diseases.
Let’s look at how to get your old chihuahua to put on weight.

Is it Ordinary For A Senior Chihuahua To Get Slim?

senior chihuahua staying between a patient owner in hospital

source: pexels

No, it is not normal for an old chihuahua to lose a lot of weight all of a sudden. This is especially true if your chihuahua really looks skinny.

Even though a chihuahua losing weight is a common sign of getting old, you should never ignore it. Most of the time, there is a reason for this change, which can be fixed by taking your chihuahua to the vet for a full checkup and possibly changing his diet.

Unfortunately, our chihuahuas cannot tell us when something is bothering them or hurting them. So, it’s up to the owner to keep an eye out for any signs or symptoms that could mean he’s not feeling well. If you notice a change in your chihuahua’s behavior or health, take him to the vet to find out what’s going on.

The 5 potential causes of why your senior chihuahua losing weight even though he is eating?

source: pexels

Without giving your chihuahua a physical test, you can’t be sure why he is losing weight. Several common causes are:

1. Kidney disease

As chihuahuas get older, their organs can start to work less well. Chihuahuas that are getting old often get kidney disease, which can cause them to lose weight. Other common signs are having more thirst and going to the bathroom more often. If you think your old dog might have kidney disease, take him to the vet to get checked out. This condition can be well taken care of with the right medicines.

Drinking too much water can be another sign of kidney disease. You shouldn’t stop your chihuahua from getting water, to stop him from having potty accidents. At night, dogs should be able to drink. Talk to your vet if your chihuahua drinks a lot more than usual.

2. Pains

Chihuahuas that are getting old often have joint pain. After a lifetime of running around and being active, your dog’s hips, knees, and shoulders may hurt. Joint pain can make older chihuahuas not want to eat, which can cause them to gain weight. With supplements made just for older dogs, your senior chihuahua will be able to enjoy life again without any pain.

Don’t make your old chihuahua do anything that will be hard on him, like walk up and down stairs or go for a run with him. He needs to sleep a lot and move around slowly.

YOU CAN ALSO READ: What You Need To Know About Joint Health In Chihuahuas

3. Dental issues

All aging dogs including chihuahuas eventually develop dental issues. These can make their mouth smell bad and make it hard and painful to eat. If you have other dogs, your older chihuahua (known for their big personality) may look like he’s eating the same amount, but he’s only nibbling and his other dogs are eating most of his food.

He could also put kibble pieces in his mouth but also spit them out.

If you haven’t taken your old chihuahua to the vet in a while, take him for a checkup and have his teeth checked. With some quick dental work, he can get back to eating normally, and his mass will just go up.

YOU CAN ALSO READ THIS ARTICLE: How to Prevent Gum Disease in Chihuahuas

4. Cancer

Sad to say, your chihuahua’s sudden weight loss could be caused by cancer. The number of dogs who get cancer is going up, and it is becoming more and more common for dogs to get it.

The good news is that this is a sign that dogs are getting healthier as a whole.

Cancer is a condition that usually affects old animals(including dogs) that have never been sick with anything else. Cancer is more likely to happen to an animal as it gets older.

It’s hard to tell when a dog has cancer. Chihuahuas may display symptoms that are tough to detect, like small changes in how they act or what they do every day. Weight loss in chihuahuas is usually the first sign of a problem with the body.
If nothing else seems to be wrong, your vet might suggest an ultrasound or x-ray, to look for tumors. The good news is that if cancer is caught early, it can often be treated successfully, giving your older chihuahua several more years of life.

5. Diabetes

We usually think of diabetes as a disease that only affects people, but dogs including chihuahuas can also get it.

Especially when they are young, these chihuahuas will have a big appetite and eat more than they used to, but they will still lose weight. This is because their pancreas stops making enough insulin, which is needed for the body to take in blood sugar. Your chihuahua is really hungry even though he is eating.

Other signs that your senior chihuahua has diabetes are:

  • increased thirst and urination as a result
  • Somber eyes
  • Persistent infections, especially skin infections or urinary tract infections.

Diabetes is not a disease that goes away on its own or can be cured. So that your diabetic chihuahua can keep living a happy and healthy life, you will need to give him insulin shots.

Diabetes can be controlled well in chihuahuas, which is good news. If you think your chihuahua might have diabetes, you must see a vet immediately. Putting off treatment can be dangerous.

How to Make your senior chihuahua Gain weight

woman holding her senior chihuahua

source: pexels

Once you’ve ruled out diseases, the best way to help your older chihuahua gain weight is to make his food extra tasty and give him time to eat in peace. If you just got a puppy, which isn’t always fair to your older dog, you have to feed them separately and give your older chihuahua enough time to eat at his own pace.
There are various methods to make your senior chihuahua’s daily meals taste better. Here are a few suggestions:

Wet dog food

Wet food is what most old chihuahuas like best. On the one hand, it tastes good (almost all dogs like wet food better than dry food), and on the other, it is easy to chew. If your chihuahua has lost weight because of dental issues, feeding it soft, wet food will make it easier for it to get better.

Don’t choose the worst wet food for your chihuahua when you’re looking for it. Even though it may be cheaper, it usually has a lot of fillers and not much meat.

Treats in between

Chihuahuas can get a lot of extra calories from snacks, just like people can. Give your chihuahua plenty of treats in between meals. This is particularly crucial for older chihuahuas that can’t eat big meals at once anymore. Having a lot of snacks and treats throughout the day will add a lot of extra calories, which will help them gain weight quickly.

YOU CAN ALSO READ THIS: Chihuahua Calorie Requirements

Soak his kibble

You can soak an older chihuahua’s kibble to soften it and make it taste better. Use a broth made especially for chihuahuas, that is low in salt. Many dogs enjoy their food a lot more and eat a lot more when it has more flavor.

Also, soaking it makes the dry food softer so your dog can chew it better. Again, if he lost weight because of dental issues, the best thing to do is give him soft food.

Be careful

When you want your older chihuahua to gain weight, you should be very careful not to feed him foods that are high in fat. Unfortunately, fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas that is very painful and often needs to be treated in the hospital.

Here are some foods you should never give your senior chihuahua:

  • Peanut butter
  • Pizza
  • Butter, grease, and oils
  • Meat scraps

THIS ARTICLE MAY HELP YOU: Foods a chihuahua Can’t Eat

Feeding a high-fat diet to an older chihuahua is a much less healthy way to make him or her gain weight. At your local pet store or on the Internet, you can find many dog foods that are made for older dogs.

Last word

Before you try to make your senior chihuahua fat again, you should find out why he lost weight in the first place. Various things can make older pets lose weight. If your chihuahua has one of these health problems, giving him more food won’t help. Before you give him more calories, he needs to be checked out by a vet.

Senior chihuahuas are especially prone to Kidney disease, Dental issues, Diabetes, Joint pains, and Cancer

If you’re able to control these conditions, then you can make your chihuahua’s food taste better again.

You can try giving your dog wet food by soaking his kibble in soup and giving him treats during the day.

Even though it might be promising to feed your chihuahua high-fat foods to help it gain weight faster, don’t. This could cause pancreatitis, which is very painful and costs a lot to treat. Instead, feed your chihuahua healthy foods that are made for older dogs. This way, you will be sure that your chihuahua is getting all the nutrients he needs to help him gain weight.


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