While many owners don’t take action when their chihuahua is overweight, it is a serious issue. However, it is as dangerous for your chihuahua as it is to us. Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, wearing of the joints, arthritis and unfortunately lowers life expectancy.
Overweight pets are a problem in the United States, but what is more concerning is when owners don’t notice the problem. For any chihuahua, if you want a lifelong companion, you need to watch their weight and help them live a healthy lifestyle.
How do you know if your pup is overweight? The American Kennel Club standards identify that a healthy purebred chihuahua is approximately six pounds or less. While each chihuahua is different, feel along the sides of the ribcage and if you don’t notice the bones because of fat, then your pup is overweight.
What are the main problems associated with overweight chihuahuas?
- The excessive pressure around the joints and bones because of extra weight. Putting your pup at risk of developing arthritis.
- Higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Back and spinal issues because of more weight than your pup can handle.
- Increase in the risk of developing Type II Diabetes.
- Heart disease stemming from extra pressure placed on your pups organs.
How can you help your chihuahua?
Avoid table food. It’s so tempting to sneak your little one some scraps, especially with those cute eyes looking up at you. However, for each little scrap you give, it is leading to obesity at a higher rate. It’s important to remember that the digestive system of a chihuahua isn’t meant to process all of the food that we eat. Even common foods can be dangerous to your chihuahua’s health.
Did you know that the only acceptable table food to feed your pup is boneless, skinless chicken breast? Try this instead, but make sure it is only given occasionally and as a treat. Make your pup work for it!
Get them moving! Don’t forget that even though your pup is small in size, exercise is important. Increasing their overall activity level can lead to increased weight loss. Remember, your dog isn’t exercising if you keep them in your house or apartment and just take them out to use the bathroom. Chihuahuas need time to play and run around–also it will be good for socialization.
However, if your pup is obese, keep sessions short at first and never leave your chihuahua outside alone. Commonly, dogs will run themselves tired, but you don’t want an overheated and over-exhausted buddy.
Remember, obesity is treatable and by thinking about what you feed your chihuahua and the amount of exercise can increase the quality of life. Not to mention…reduced vet bills!