Chihuahuas are among the tiniest dogs in existence. Just because they are small doesn’t mean they have to be thin. The most heard issues with Chihuahuas are about them being overweight. But, how can you tell if your Chihuahua is very skinny and what can you do about it?
You can know whether your Chihuahua is skinny through virtual assessment. If you can feel his vertebrae, the hip bone stands out, the abdominal line is sunken, and his hair is dull. You can also measure his weight using a weighing scale.
Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Is Skinny
When the food you are feeding your Chihuahua is of poor quality, your dog will be underweight. You should review the nutrition facts before making a purchase. Also, it is important to feed a dog according to his age and breed needs.
Consult your vet to know the right amount of food you should feed your Chihuahua to avoid underfeeding.
When your dog is picky, he will only eat his preferred type of food and will boycott the rest of the food. When he misses some meals while waiting for his preferred meal, he will be underweight.
You should not encourage this picky eating behavior by changing the food to his preferred food when he boycotts eating. Train him to eat various types of food. Also if you keep feeding him the same food every day, he will get tired of it and refuse it.
Underlying Health Condition
Bad health can undoubtedly lead to massive weight loss. Diseases can make your dog unable to tolerate food in their stomach leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
Dental health can also contribute to weight loss in that a dog has pain while eating, he might end up eating little or no food at all.
In some instances, your Chihuahua might be suffering from rare dog diseases like canine parvovirus. This disease leads to diarrhea, and loss of appetite among others.
When dogs are in their senior years, they tend to lose weight because of a lack of appetite, digestion issues, and at times difficulties when chewing food.
Supplements and mixing wet food with dry food can be of great help to your dog. Before introducing new food to your dog, enquire from your vet.
When a dog is infested with intestinal parasites, it will be deprived of the nutrients found in food. Other parasites can make your Chihuahua lack appetite, have diarrhea, and vomiting.
You can easily know whether your Chihuahua has parasites by checking whether the skin and fur are dull, he keeps on scratching his ears, or there are worms in their poop.
Underweight Related Problems
When a Chihuahua is too skinny, he will be prone to the following problems:
Many dogs that are too skinny are at a higher risk of getting heart problems. Their bodies are very weak which overworks the heart muscles leading to damage.
Diabetes is more likely to develop in underweight dogs. The hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels and allows cells all over the body to use nutrients, is produced in insufficient amounts in dogs with diabetes.
Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, is one of the most prevalent ailments in underweight dogs. Your dog is more vulnerable to infections like pneumonia when its immune system is compromised. When a dog is severely underweight, its body lacks the resources to effectively fight infection, which can result in a weakened immune system.
When a Chihuahua is very thin, his bones have little or no fat covering them. This means that the bones can easily get broken or fractured complicating issues even more.
The money needed to treat fractured bones is high, and the dog will be in pain and stressed. Preventing underweight can spare your dog pain and save the money needed to reverse the condition.
My Chihuahua Is Skinny, What Should I Do?
Visit The Vet
Visiting your vet should be your priority before deciding what else to do. The vet will inform you whether of any illness has and prescribe the best medicine.
He might also advise on the best food for your Chi and any food supplements.
Buy The Right Food
As per the vet’s instructions, buy the right food for underweight dogs. If he has any issues with his dental health, ensure that you buy him soft food.
Always remember to purchase the highest-quality food you can. Giving your dog the same type of food from Jan to Dec will not help in any way. Have a variety of food but as instructed by the vet.
Ensure that your dog is dewormed regularly to prevent intestinal parasites from multiplying. Your vet will give the best deworming medicines, it is not advisable to buy in the stores without any prescription.
A Chihuahua can be skinny because of many reasons like diet, age, and health among other things. Being Underweight can lead to more health issues than anyone can imagine.
Ensuring your Chi has a healthy weight can save him pain, discomfort and spare you the medical bills related to it.
Have a written record to show the weight of your Chi so that you can take action immediately whenever there is a gradual decrease.