Did your Chihuahua got fat? Well, you will have to admit — that wasn’t an overnight process. Gaining weight happens to dogs the same way it happens to humans — excess calories and not enough exercise. Dog owners often think that their dogs will feel loved if they give them to eat everything they want. However — you have to think about their health first. So if you own a fat Chihuahua, it’s your responsibility to bring your dog back to health.
Our dogs rely on us and our judgment. We are the ones responsible to keep them healthy. Obesity is just as dangerous to dogs as it is to us. It can lead to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and it will most certainly lower their quality of life and life expectancy. So if your Chihuahua is obese or on the verge of becoming obese, you have to take some steps to help him lose weight.
While the exact number is unknown, some studies suggest that as much as 40% of all pet dogs in the U.S. are overweight. So if your fat Chihuahua keeps eating your leftovers and laying the whole day at home — you are giving him no chance to live a balanced lifestyle.
But that’s definitely easier done than said. While a healthy diet is the most important step to your dog losing weight — we have two tips that could also help you treat and prevent obesity in dogs.
The first step: Stop feeding your dog table food!
Your dog didn’t gain all that weight out of nothing. Come one, be honest — you and probably the rest of your family too are feeding your dog table food. We know — it’s hard to say no when your dog is that cute! However — your dog is not there to eat your leftovers so you don’t have to throw them away.
We know it’s hard to deny them, especially when they look at you with their sad begging eyes. But you will absolutely have to. This is the first and most important step in helping your dog loose weight. Even if the food you are giving to your dog is healthy, additional calories would still make him gain weight. This pattern of behavior will make your dog gain weight without you realizing it.
It may only be a piece of chicken here or a burger scrap there, but those little pieces can slowly add up and take a toll on your Chihuahua’s health. In addition to that, you also have to remember that a dog’s digestive system isn’t meant to process most of the food that we eat. Vets would agree that the only table food that’s completely safe to feed to your dog is boneless, skinless chicken breast. Without any seasoning or additional fat, of course.
Also, you have to consider that there is some human food highly toxic for dogs! It’s not only chocolate that your dog should stay away from. Food like garlic, grapes and onions can be equally as deadly. But peanut butter, excess sodium, fatty foods can be dangerous as well.
Increase the activity level of your fat Chihuahua
Now this is a no brainer, right? Increasing your dog’s activity level will help him slim down.
Even though they may be of a small size, don’t underestimate the amount of exercise your Chihuahua needs. While Chihuahuas are a great choice for people with busy lifestyles or people who don’t enjoy exercise too much — Keeping them locked up in a small house or apartment and only taking them outside to use the bathroom isn’t acceptable.
Make sure your Chihuahua gets plenty of time each day to just walk outside and burn some calories. Otherwise, their muscles may shrink, their bones will become weaker, and, of course — they will gain weight.
Keep the exercise sessions short at first. Then gradually increase the amount giving your Chi time to get used to it. Additionally, don’t leave your Chihuahua outside unattended. That’s where their small size could make them a prey for different dangers.