Are you wondering why your Chihuahua is too skinny? This guide will have what you need to understand the problem entirely if this question constantly comes to mind. There is no doubt that Chihuahuas are small dogs. While they may come with an aggressive and lively personality that makes them think they are, they are still relatively small. They can make perfect purse dogs and be well suited to live in small living spaces such as in an apartment or other small rooms. Their small size can undoubtedly come with some great benefits. Even though they are inherently small, that does not mean that they can be healthy at whatever weight they want.
A Chihuahua can be either quite skinny or overweight, both of which can result in some adverse health effects. While most dog owners are concern with their dog being too heavy, such as a weight that is well above the healthy range, there can also be serious side effects to being well underweight and very skinny. It can bring on unintended health conditions that you never anticipated them developing. As you seek to provide the best care for your Chihuahua, which includes regulating their diet and exercise, it’s essential to know when your dog may begin to be too skinny. To help you support their overall health, here we share how you can tell if your Chihuahua is too skinny, as well as what action steps to take if they are significantly underweight.
How Big Are Chihuahuas?
Before diving into determining whether or not your Chihuahua is too skinny, it’s helpful to identify the Chihuahua’s actual size. While they are well-known for being the smallest breed, they should be in line with a typical height and weight range to confirm their health status. Fully-grown Chihuahuas only reach a height that is between 6 and 9 inches tall. Similarly, their weight only gets up to be between just 2 to 6 pounds. That is one small dog. Yet don’t let their small size deceive you into thinking they aren’t just as lively and energetic as other dogs of a larger size. Their stubbornness and high energy make them very entertaining to have around– and you can even take them with you in your purse.
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How To Tell If Your Chihuahua is Too Skinny
Yet, with their small size, there is always the concern that they can become too underweight. You can typically tell that your Chihuahua is too skinny by just a visual assessment, in addition to knowing their weight. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even if they fall within that 2 to 6-pound range, they could still be too skinny. For example, if the Chihuahua is tall at 9 inches but only has a weight of 2 or 3 pounds, they may lack overall health.
Suppose you notice that your Chihuahua has their ribs and pelvic bones very obviously outlined on their body. In that case, that is perhaps the clearest way to determine whether or not your Chihuahua is too skinny. They may also have no apparent extra fat around areas like their shoulders or hips, where other dogs may carry some extra cushion. You may also be able to feel their actual bones at the base of their tail. Typically, there should be a soft cushion over the bones, but they do not have that extra support when a dog is underweight.
When looking at your dog, you can also see if they have a very apparent curve or dip in between their ribs and their hips. While most often, this should be more of a gradual change in body structure, a too-skinny dog will have a more dramatic change from ribs to hips. These visual keys are essential to keep in mind as you assess your dog’s overall health and wellness. If you notice any of these visual cues, it’s important to connect with your veterinarian or discover ways you can improve their health by helping them gain some much-needed weight.
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Reasons Why Your Chihuahua is Probably Too Skinny
If you’ve discovered that your dog is too skinny, you may be wondering why they may not be able to keep their weight on. Here we share some common reasons for why your Chihuahua may be in such a skinny state.
One of the most apparent indicators of a Chihuahua that is too skinny is an imbalance or deficiency in vital nutrients through their diet. If a Chihuahua isn’t given regular, wholesome meals, they may miss key ingredients. Dogs should receive consistent, regular meals comprised of whole dog food or other whole foods that are designed to support the health and wellness of the canine body.
In extreme cases, a very skinny Chihuahua may be a result of an underlying health condition. Things like parasites, diabetes, infections, diseases, and even dental problems can make your dog lose their appetite or not take advantage of the nutrients that they ingest through the food they do eat. They may be suffering from hyperthyroidism, which is a form of cancer that affects the dog’s metabolic weight.
This can be the case if they increase their diet but still seem not to put on weight. If you suspect their skinniness is due to a medical concern, be sure to connect with their veterinarian as soon as possible to help identify the situation and develop an effective treatment plan. Even if you try to feed them more, their underlying health condition may prevent them from absorbing those valuable nutrients and finding strength and restoration during mealtime.
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What To Do If Your Chihuahua is Too Skinny
If your dog is too skinny, for whatever reason, keep in mind that addressing this concern can be a relatively straightforward approach. Here we share some helpful tips in boosting your dog’s health by gaining weight.
1. Feed Your Chihuahua More
You’ll want to assess their dietary habits as you consider your approach to helping them gain weight. Assess the dog food you are currently feeding them and consider any other options you may want to consider as you support their weight gain. Dog foods rich in substantial ingredients like healthy oils and fats can do wonders for their diet. You may also want to start feeding them more hefty snacks and treats, such as a scoop of peanut butter or plain chicken. Choose the foods you provide them carefully as they work to regain their weight. If your dog tends to be a picky eater, be sure to experiment with different food options to keep things entertaining and exciting for them. This can also help you identify types of foods, treats, and snacks that they do like so that you can continue to incorporate those into their diet.
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2. Monitor Your Chihuahua’s Exercise
If your Chihuahua especially loves activity and staying outside until the very last moment, make sure they accommodate for their exercise by increasing the quantity of food they eat. With their exceptionally high metabolism, Chihuahuas can burn through food quickly. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure they can recover from their exercise and regain those calories they may have lost.
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3. Watch For Health Concerns
Keep in mind that severe weight loss or persistent weight loss can also indicate some other underlying medical concern. Things like anxiety, diseases, or parasites may drastically negatively affect their health. Even if you feed them more, these medical issues can still prevent them from gaining weight. Be sure to rule out these potential considerations as you move toward a healthy resolution for your Chihuahua.
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Conclusion For “Is My Chihuahua Too Skinny”
The weight of your dog can be a key indicator of their overall health and wellness. If they are not healthy, they may lack energy or enjoyment in life or may also be suffering from some other medical concern. Please pay attention to your dog’s overall health and wellness to ensure that they thrive at a healthy weight. As you provide the healthiest environment for your dog to thrive in, their diet is a crucial part. Please do your best to monitor their health and keep a close eye on their overall healthy habits. By keeping their health and wellness top of mind, you can identify a solution to their skinniness and get them on the path toward better health.
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Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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