Because of their small size, chihuahuas have a different diet compared to other dogs. As a result, they have slight variations in what they should or should not consume. Chihuahuas amount of food also includes how often and how much you should feed a chihuahua while still maintaining its health. A good diet is necessary for any creature, and it is one of the factors for our lifespan. So if you want to keep your chihuahua live a long and healthy life, you should consider these factors.
But firstly, let us look at the statistics of the diet issues of a chihuahua.
Chihuahuas Are More Prone To Being Overweight Than Malnourished
Chihuahuas have smaller intestines compared to other breeds of dogs. However, they are very active, and they usually have a fast metabolic rate. The problem usually lies with their feeding sessions while they are still young.
Puppies should be fed small portions while having several feeding sessions a day. Small quantities of food make sure they digest all of it properly and keep their metabolism in check. Overfeeding a chihuahua can cause problems for its metabolism, as it can slow it down significantly. So puppies should have multiple feeding sessions while adults get two sessions at best.
Keeping these feeding sessions consistently can keep your chihuahua’s metabolism balanced.
Because if they get overweight while still young, chances are they will keep those habits until their adulthood. So it is your responsibility to make sure your chihuahua does not get overfed. The ideal number of feeding sessions depends on the age of the puppy in months. But it usually ranges around 4-6 sessions per day and gradually decreasing to 1-2 sessions as they age.
The majority of the illnesses that can cause a chihuahua’s lifespan to deplete is obesity. In addition, they are prone to diseases such as diabetes which can cause them to suffer in the long run. So it is no doubt that this is something that you should be aware of as a pet owner.
How Much Should A Chihuahua Weigh?
Depending on age and health conditions, a chihuahua’s weight may vary. But generally, a chihuahua weighs around 4-6 pounds. However, this can only be confirmed by a weight scale. Weight should also be confirmed by a vet who can make sure that weight is actually safe. Each individual chihuahua can have a condition that can make an exception to their recommended weight.
Now we will go over the main topic on how much chihuahuas should eat. Because there are factors that can affect how much your chihuahua can eat on a daily basis.
– Weight Based On Age
Younger dogs tend to eat less than older dogs. However, their diet usually consists of more nutrition-based foods that contain the vitamins that they need to mature properly. Vitamin-rich foods can also be applied to much older dogs who are in their human equivalent of “senior” years. Since old dogs do not move around as much as they did before, they need less food to prevent obesity. And much like puppies, their diets need to focus more on nutritional value rather than quantity.
Meanwhile, if your chihuahua is in its middle ages, you still need to look at some other factors. This is because, like humans, each chihuahua has a certain quantity per day that it needs to follow for a balanced diet. Much like how humans follow the BMR and the calories they need to eat in order to maintain that weight. For those familiar with the BMR for humans, some of these other factors might ring a bell.
– Developed Metabolism
Much like humans, chihuahuas have different metabolic rates that differ from each individual. It may have been affected by their rating habits when they were young or solely by having it naturally. Some chihuahuas can eat a lot of food and still maintain an average weight. At the same time, some chihuahuas find it hard to keep weight despite eating less. Metabolism can be changed by some degree, but it is different for dogs compared to us humans. Changes in metabolism occur because dogs do not have the same level of self-control and consciousness that humans do. Therefore, it is impossible to tell a dog that they are eating too much or too little than they should. This is why you must consult your vet before planning these changes for your chihuahua’s diet.
– How Active Your Chihuahua Is
People who are generally physically active usually have a faster metabolism than other people. Active metabolism and built is the same for chihuahuas, as more active ones will need to eat more. Regular exercise is vital for chihuahuas because it ensures that they do not become overweight. It is important that you start making exercise a part of their routine while they are still young. Because some may grow up lethargic if you do not make them used to physical activity. However, there are some exceptions, such as chihuahuas that are biologically inactive. These chihuahuas (especially older ones) get tired quickly, causing them to become less active. So this is also a factor that you should be well aware of, especially since you are the one supervising them while they are performing their physical activities.
– Current Weight
Bodies that have more weight need more in order to maintain that current weight. Similar to the BMR of humans, which is why people on a diet need to eat less more than the required per day. For example, a 50-kilogram man needs 1,800 calories per day in order to retain his current weight. Meanwhile, those with a lower weight need to eat more than their BMR in order to gain more weight. For example, a 40-kilogram man would need to eat more than 1,400 calories (his BMR) in order to gain weight.
This same logic applies to chihuahuas as well. Simply adjust your chihuahua’s diet depending on their weight current weight. Adjusting weight would mean three most probable scenarios:
- Observe if your chihuahua is overweight, lessen the volume of food given per meal.
- Monitor your chihuahua if is at a healthy weight, maintain the volume of food given per meal.
- If your chihuahua is underweight, increase the volume of food giver per meal.
But this should all be advised by a vet who has assessed your chihuahua’s weight. They will be able to classify if they are in a healthy range through the use of a weight scale and physical examination.
– Your Pup’s Appetite Towards Certain Types Of Food
Some dogs are notorious for eating every food that catches their eyes. It is true that many dogs can’t precisely control themselves when it comes to food. But the real question is actually “is their appetite for healthy food larger?”. This is because a lot of dogs absolutely love dog treats, and that mainly includes your chihuahua. Treats are tasty and delicious for dogs, but they are not exactly the healthiest options for their diet. Therefore, you should only give the recommended amount of treats that your dog can eat per day.
This predominantly affects how much they can eat because of their appetite for certain foods because they might favor something less healthy than their usually nutritional dog food. In this case, you need to adjust them to a more nutritious diet so they can eat more of the healthy stuff. Since chances are you will feed them less of their typical food because they are already full from indulging those dog treats. If your chihuahua has a big appetite for treats, you really need to get it back on a balanced diet because not everything that tastes good is actually good for one’s body.
– Underlying Physical Conditions
Some dogs who have certain conditions such as diabetes need to follow a strict diet. Other conditions will require you to either lessen or increase the food that you give. Another condition is known as hypoglycemia which lowers the sugar levels in their body. These dogs may need to take medication and adjustments to their diet. A hypoglycemic chihuahua that weighs 5 pounds does not have the same diet as a 5-pound healthy chihuahua.
This is why it is very important to have your chihuahua have its annual check-up. You can also bring them whenever you notice something is off or different in their behavior or littering habits. Vets will be able to run tests and tell you what is best for your pet. They are able to save hundreds of lives every year due to early diagnosis of these conditions. Chances are, these conditions are almost inevitable because most of them are affected by age and genetics. So if you are willing to give your dog a long lifespan, take them to your vet regularly.
– What Type Of Food Are You Feeding Them
Some dog foods have more nutritional and calorie contents than other dog foods. Always consult your vet or check at the back of the pack for the dietary values when buying dog food. When a dog food brand has more calories than others, you would need to give less than other dog food brands. This is because the primary value of energy used even in pet foods are calories. But calories alone will not be able to determine the nutrition that the dog food will be able to provide. Always check if the nutritional values are well-rounded or if they fit your chihuahua’s needs. It would be best if you also watched out for harmful contents such as excess fat or fillers that can boost your chihuahua’s weight. Be mindful of what you feed your chihuahua because it will definitely reflect its future weight.
How Much Should You Feed Your Chihuahua?
Although, on average, it is recommended that you should feed 1/2 to 1 a cup per meal, it still depends. It is very important to note that all of these factors can affect each individual chihuahua. Consult your vet on what types of food your chihuahua should eat. There is no actual average, much like how humans depend on these factors for their diets. You are responsible for everything your chihuahua consumes, so be mindful of these factors. However, it would help if you also kept these things in your mind:
* Learn To Say No To Your Chihuahua
Your chihuahua is most likely going to beg for food even if it had the maximum amount. You have to distract them with something else or try to portion their snacks. It is for your chihuahua’s own good, and saying no does not mean you are neglecting them. Chihuahuas are pretty unaware of their own diets, and you are the only one controlling that. Much like humans, a lack of self-control with indulgence can lead to consequences.
* Quality Food Can Lead To A Quality Life
Try to go for quality food that is approved by vets and have proper nutritional values. This means it should contain a minimum amount of additives and a lot of necessary nutrients. There is still quality food that can be bought at a budget-friendly amount. However, it is essential to note that you have to have the patience to look for that.
* Less Is More: Healthier Treats With Lower Calories And Additives
Try to find treats that are healthy and do not contain excess fats or sugar. For example, some pet owners usually feed their dogs carrots as treats as they are easy to digest. But it is very important to remember that not all fruits and vegetables are good for your chihuahua.
* Always, always Consult Your Vet
This should be stressed enough that pet owners remember it by heart. Vets can point out which treats and meals are ideal for your chihuahua. So always consult them before
making significant changes to your pup’s diet.
Your chihuahua depends on you for almost anything. Pet owners are affectionately called “Pet Parents” for a reason, after all. Much like how parents pick out what they feed their children, pick your dog’s food too. You can be picky about it, as it ensures you chihuahua’s long-term health and time spent with you.
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.