Even well-fed Chihuahuas look like they are starving compared to other breeds. Their body does not store much fat and their appetite is anything but voracious. Feed your dog on a regular schedule, and with appropriate food, according to his current size and age to keep him healthy.
Feed your dog the same number of times every day to keep his digestive tract and metabolism in sync. The number of meals your Chihuahua should have depends on his age. Dogs younger than 3 months should eat four times each day, while those between 3 and 6 months old should have three meals a day, according to Happy Trail Chihuahuas. You can switch to two meals a day when your pup is around 6 months old, although you should ask a vet if your dog is actually ready for the transition.
Healthy Eating Habits
Consistency is important for Chihuahuas. They are anxious dogs that get stressed out easily. Feed your dog at the same place and same times every day if possible. It is also a good idea to feed your Chihuahua separately from your other pets. They tend to eat slowly and feel threatened by larger dogs, so they may shy away from their bowl if others come to investigate. Separate your dogs' bowls immediately if any of them act aggressively during mealtimes.
Appropriate Dog Food
Ask your veterinarian to recommend a variety of wet and dry food for your Chihuahua. Every dog's dietary needs are different, especially if they are allergic to some types of food, but Chihuahuas generally benefit from a balanced diet. Each meal should consist of at least 30 percent protein, about 20 percent fat and 4 percent fiber, according to Chihuahuas as Pets. Chihuahuas have no problem rejecting certain types of food if it doesn't appeal to their delicate palate. You may have to try different flavors or brands to find one your pup is enthusiastic about.
Hypoglycemia is a diet-related illness that occurs when your dog's blood-sugar reaches a critically low level. Chihuahuas are at very high risk for this disorder, especially during the first few months after weening. If your puppy missed a meal or isn't finishing his food, you should keep a close eye on him to make sure he's not having blood-sugar problems. If he begins to act lethargic, dizzy or disoriented, then he may have mild hypoglycemia, according to VIP Chihuahua. If the condition is serious, your dog may lose consciousness, convulse or lose control of his muscles. Put a few drops of corn syrup on your fingers and dab it on your dog's gums and tongue if you notice any of the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Take him to the vet or animal hospital immediately in case he needs immediate treatment.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.