Many Chihuahuas seem to always be hungry, but is this the case? Why do some Chihuahuas constantly beg for food, and is there anything you can do to help them?
Dogs are said to eat everything you place in front of them, regardless of whether they are hungry, and chihuahua is no exception. However, this does not necessarily mean that your chihuahua is always hungry.
There are several possible reasons why your chihuahua may seem to be constantly begging for food. This article will explore some of the most common reasons and what you can do to help.
Is an Always Hungry Chihuahua a Problem?
The dog’s nervous system controls an increased appetite in your chihuahua. If it is not functioning properly, your chihuahua will experience an increased appetite. Wherein they will beg for food more often than usual.
Polyphagia or increased appetite is not a disease but can indicate an underlying health problem. If your chihuahua is always hungry, it is best to take them to the vet for a check-up.
How Much Food Should a Chihuahua Eat?
Feeding a chihuahua the accurate amount of food is essential to keeping them healthy and at a good weight. Chihuahuas are small dogs and don’t need as much food as their larger counterparts.
There are some factors to consider when determining how much to feed your chihuahua. These include:
- Weight: if your chihuahua is on the smaller side, it will need less food than a larger chihuahua.
- Age: puppies and seniors need more frequent meals than adult dogs.
- Activity level: a more active chihuahua will need more calories than a sedentary dog.
- Metabolic rate: some chihuahuas have a higher metabolism and will need more food to maintain their weight.
- Food type: some foods are higher in calories than others. For example, a cup of dry food will have more calories than a cup of wet food.
A good rule of thumb is to feed your chihuahua about ¼ to ½ cup of food per day, divided into two meals. It is a general guideline, and you may need to adjust the amount depending on your chihuahua.
Signs and Symptoms of Chihuahua Increase Appetite
If you notice that your chihuahua is always hungry, there are other signs and symptoms you should look for. These include:
If your chihuahua begins eating more than usual and they are not getting enough exercise, they will start to gain weight. This is because they are consuming more calories than they are burning.
A chihuahua that is always hungry may also drink more water than usual. Their body is trying to eliminate the excess calories by urinating more often.
➥Panting and Restlessness
If your chihuahua is always hungry, it may also seem panting and restless as its body is trying to burn off the excess calories.
Some chihuahuas may become picky eaters when they are always hungry. They will only want to eat certain foods or beg for food more often than usual.
➥Begging for Food Constantly
One of the most common signs that your chihuahua is always hungry is if they are constantly begging for food. They may follow you around the house or whine when they see you eating.
If your chihuahua is always hungry, it may also seem lethargic as its body is trying to conserve energy.
Another sign that your chihuahua is always hungry is if its abdomen appears bloated. It is usually caused by eating too much food or drinking too much water.
If an increased appetite is due to some medical condition, these symptoms will also be present:
This condition is often seen in dogs with a chronic illness or pain. However, if your chihuahua is always hungry and has no other medical conditions, it may be due to depression.
Neurological signs such as seizures or circling can also be seen in chihuahuas with increased appetite. These signs are often caused by a brain tumor or other neurological condition.
➥Weak Muscle Tone
The muscles of a chihuahua that is always hungry may seem weak or flaccid since the body is trying to conserve energy by not using the muscles as much.
➥Panting and Trembling
Since the body is trying to regulate its temperature and burn off the excess calories, a chihuahua that is always hungry may pant and tremble more often than usual.
➥Diarrhea or Soft Stool
Diarrhea or soft stool is often seen in chihuahuas with increased appetite. It is because the body is trying to get rid of the excess food and water.
➥Regurgitation or Vomiting
It is a sign that your chihuahua is always hungry if they are regurgitating or vomiting after eating. This is usually caused by overeating or drinking too much water.
Possible Causes of Why Your Chihuahua Is Always Hungry
Once you have observed the signs and symptoms, you next need to find out the possible causes of why your chihuahua is always hungry. These include:
✔A Change in Diet
One of the most common reasons a chihuahua is always hungry is that they are not getting enough nutrients from their food. It can be due to a change in diet, such as switching to a cheaper brand of food or not eating enough.
Another possible cause of your chihuahua’s always hungry is a psychological problem such as anxiety or boredom. It is often seen in dogs that are left alone for long periods or do not have enough to do.
If your chihuahua is always hungry, it may also be due to poor nutrition. It can be caused by not feeding them a balanced diet or not giving them enough food.
As mentioned above, the central nervous system is responsible for regulating hunger. If there is a lesion or damage to the CNS, it can cause your chihuahua to be always hungry.
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when the blood sugar levels drop. This can be caused by not eating enough or if the body is not able to absorb the sugar from the food. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include weakness, tremors, and seizures.
Sometimes, your chihuahua is not the problem. You might be overfeeding them without realizing it. It can expand their stomach and make them always hungry. This is essential to measure the food properly and not to give them table scraps.
Your chihuahua may have learned they will get it if they beg for food. This can be hard to break, but it is essential not to give in to their begging.
✔Lactation or Pregnancy
Just like humans, dogs can also experience hunger during pregnancy or lactation. A mother needs to provide nutrients for their growing puppies.
✔Too Much Exercise
If your chihuahua is always hungry, it might be because they are getting too much exercise. It can cause the body to burn off more calories than usual and make them always hungry.
✔Hyperadrenocorticism or Diabetes Mellitus
Hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s disease, is a condition that occurs when the body produces too much of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol regulates metabolism, and an excess can lead to an increase in appetite. Diabetes mellitus is another potential cause of hunger in Chihuahuas. This condition occurs when the body cannot properly use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood, causing hunger and weight gain.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. This hormone regulates metabolism, and an excess can lead to an increase in appetite.
Bacterial overgrowth is a condition that occurs when there is an abnormal increase in the number of bacteria in the intestine. This can cause inflammation and lead to hunger.
✔Maldigestion or Malabsortption
Maldigestion is a condition that occurs when the food is not properly digested. It can be due to a lack of enzymes or stomach acid. Malabsorption is a similar condition that occurs when the nutrients from the food are not properly absorbed. These conditions can lead to hunger since the body is not getting the nutrients it needs.
✔Empty Gastric Sleeve or Intestine
An empty stomach or intestine can also make a chihuahua always hungry. This is because there is nothing for the body to absorb and use for energy. As a result, the body will continue to feel hungry even after eating.
Cancer is a rare but potential cause of hunger in Chihuahuas since cancer cells can interfere with the hormones that regulate appetite.
Gastrointestinal problems such as gastroenteritis, colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease can also lead to hunger. Since these conditions can cause the stomach and intestines to become inflamed, making it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.
Certain medications such as anticonvulsants, sedatives, corticosteroids, or thyroid supplements can also increase appetite. If your chihuahua is taking any of these medications, it could be the reason why they are always hungry. It is not a cause for concern unless the hunger is accompanied by other symptoms such as weight gain or vomiting.
Diagnosing the Underlying Cause of Your Chihuahua’s Hunger
If your chihuahua is always hungry, it is important to find the underlying cause. This will help you determine the best course of treatment. Your veterinarian will start with a physical examination and review your chihuahua’s medical history. They will then likely recommend some or all of the following tests:
- Blood tests: This test will evaluate your chihuahua’s blood count, hormone levels, and glucose levels. An increased level of white blood cells could indicate an infection. An abnormal hormone level could indicate Cushing’s disease or diabetes mellitus.
- Urinalysis: This test will check for the presence of glucose, protein, and ketones in the urine.
- X-rays or ultrasounds: It may be necessary to take X-rays or ultrasounds of the abdomen to check for tumors or other abnormalities.
- Stool sample: A stool sample will be evaluated for parasites, bacteria, and inflammatory cells.
- Gastric emptying study: This test determines if the stomach is emptying properly.
- Endoscopy or biopsy: This procedure involves inserting a small camera into the stomach or intestine. A biopsy is a tissue sample that is taken during this procedure.
Treating the Underlying Cause of Your Chihuahua’s Hunger
Once the underlying cause of your chihuahua’s hunger is diagnosed, it can be treated. Not much can be done if the cause is something like pregnancy or lactation. However, treatment will be necessary if the cause is something like Cushing’s disease or diabetes mellitus. Treatment for these conditions may include:
- Medications: Medications can be used to treat infections, inflammation, and hormone imbalances.
- Dietary changes: Specialized diets may be necessary to manage gastrointestinal problems.
- Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to remove tumors or correct anatomical abnormalities.
- Weight Loss Program: If your chihuahua is overweight, a weight loss program may be necessary. Your vet can help you create the right plan for your chihuahua.
With the proper diagnosis and treatment, your chihuahua should no longer always be hungry. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
Tips to Help Curb Your Chihuahua’s Appetite
If your chihuahua is always hungry, you can do a few things to help curb their appetite.
🐾Reduce the Amount of Food
If you are overfeeding your chihuahua, try reducing the amount of food. It will help to shrink their stomach and make them less hungry. However, if your chihuahua has learned to beg for food, reducing the amount of food might be difficult without them getting upset. But you can try to feed them smaller meals more often throughout the day.
🐾Provide the Right Food
Making sure your chihuahua is getting the right food is also important. This means giving them food that is high in protein and fiber and low in fat. You should also avoid giving them table scraps as this can make them always hungry.
However, you can give them light cooking, fresh food like chicken, fish, lean beef, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. You should also avoid giving them processed food, which can worsen their hunger.
🐾Create a Feeding Schedule
Creating a feeding schedule can also help to curb your chihuahua’s appetite. It means setting specific times for meals and sticking to them. This will help train their body to expect food at certain times and make them less likely to beg for food between meals.
🐾Exercise Them More But Not Too Much
Exercising your chihuahua more can also help to curb their appetite since exercise can help to regulate hormones and reduce stress. However, you should not overdo it since it can drain their energy and make them even hungrier.
A good rule of thumb is to exercise them for 30 minutes a day. This can be done by going on walks, playing fetch, or going to the dog park.
🐾Avoid Kibbie With Water and Air Fillers
Kibble is a type of dry food made with water and air fillers. These fillers can make your chihuahua always hungry since they are not getting the nutrients they need. Instead, you should give them food that is high in protein and fiber and low in fat.
You can also add some wet food to their diet to help them feel fuller. Wet food is more nutrient-dense and will help to keep your chihuahua satisfied for longer.
🐾Give Them a High-Quality Dog Food
Giving your chihuahua high-quality dog food is also essential. This means avoiding foods made with fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Instead, you should give them food made with whole, natural ingredients.
A fiber diet can also help to curb your chihuahua’s appetite. This is because fiber can help to regulate hormones and make them feel fuller for longer. You can give them high-fiber dog food or add some pumpkin to their diet.
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and is safe for dogs. Just make sure to avoid giving them the canned pumpkin, as this can cause diarrhea.
How to Tell if Your Chihuahua Is Satisfied
Once you have implemented some of the tips above, you should start to see a difference in your chihuahua’s hunger. But how can you tell if they are satisfied?
There are a few things you can look for, such as:
❕Stops Eating When Full
If your chihuahua is no longer eating when they are full, this is a good sign that they are satisfied.
Eating slowly, instead of gulping their food down, is another sign that your chihuahua is satisfied.
If your chihuahua is regularly eating, they are getting the right amount of food and are not over or under-eating.
❕Has a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight is another sign that your chihuahua is getting the right amount of food. You should be able to feel their ribs without them being too visible. If you can’t, this means they are overweight, and if you can see their ribs, they are underweight.
Frequently Asked Questions
◻️Why does your chihuahua always want to eat?
Any pet owner will tell you that their furry friend has a bottomless appetite. But why is that? Well, there are a few reasons. First, animals have a higher metabolism than humans, meaning they burn through energy more quickly. This is especially true for puppies and young dogs, who are growing at an accelerated rate.
In addition, many breeds of dogs, including chihuahuas, have been bred to be hunting dogs. As a result, they have a strong instinct to eat as much as possible to survive. And lastly, some dogs simply enjoy the taste of food! No matter the reason, it’s important to ensure that your dog is getting the proper nutrition to maintain a healthy weight.
◻️Why is your chihuahua always hungry all of a sudden?
One possibility is that they are going through a growth spurt. Puppies and young dogs tend to eat more as they grow and develop, so if your chihuahua is in this stage of life, it may be hungrier than usual. Another possibility is that they have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or a thyroid issue. If you’re concerned that your chihuahua’s hunger is due to an illness, it’s best to talk to your vet.
Lastly, some chihuahuas simply have a higher metabolism than others, which means they burn calories more quickly and need to eat more often. If you’ve ruled out any medical causes for your chihuahua’s hunger, you can try feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day.
◻️What if your chihuahua puppy is still hungry after eating?
If your chihuahua puppy is still hungry after eating, there are a few possible explanations. First, it is possible that the food was not nutritious enough, and your puppy still feels hungry. In this case, you may want to switch to a food with more protein or fat. Another possibility is your puppy is used to being fed small meals throughout the day and is expecting another meal.
If this is the case, you can try slowly increasing the amount of food at each mealtime. It is also possible that your puppy is restless and needs some exercise. A short walk or play session may be all that is needed to tire out your puppy and reduce its hunger.
◻️How do you stop your chihuahua from eating everything?
Small breeds like chihuahuas are known for being particularly curious and resourceful. If you’re finding that your chihuahua is constantly getting into things they shouldn’t, you can do a few things to help prevent it. Ensure all food and trash are properly stored and out of reach. You may also want to keep your chihuahua on a leash when you cannot closely supervise them or create a designated “safe space” where they can’t get into trouble. With a little patience and effort, you can help your chihuahua learn what they can and cannot chew on.
◻️Is your chihuahua hungry or just begging?
One way to tell if your chihuahua is truly hungry or just begging for food is to observe their behavior. They may be trying to tell you that they’re hungry if they are pacing around the kitchen, whining, or pawing at you. On the other hand, if they are sitting calmly by their bowl or stealing food from your plate, they may just be begging for a treat.
◻️Is it cruel to feed a chihuahua once a day?
Many believe it is cruel to feed a chihuahua only once a day. However, there are several reasons why this may be the best diet for your pet. Chihuahuas are very small dogs, and their stomachs are correspondingly smaller. As a result, they can’t eat as much food as larger breeds. They also have a very high metabolism, which means that they burn calories more quickly.
For these reasons, it’s often best to feed them smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Additionally, chihuahuas are prone to obesity, and feeding them only once a day can help to control their weight. You should consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet.
◻️Should you let your chihuahua puppy eat as much as it wants?
Most experts recommend against letting your chihuahua puppy eat as much as it wants. Chihuahuas are very small dogs, and their stomachs are correspondingly small. As a result, they can’t eat as much food as larger breeds.
If you’re wondering why your chihuahua is always hungry, a few possible explanations are mentioned above. If you’ve ruled out any medical causes for your chihuahua’s hunger, you can try feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day. Follow the suggestions above, and if you have any concerns, be sure to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice for your pet’s individual needs.
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.