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Obese Chihuahua Facts

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Are Overweight Chihuahuas Unhealthy?

fawn chubby chihuahua

Just as with humans, being overweight can bring on a number of health issues that your dog may have to deal with.

Check out our main post that showcases all our chihuahua fact articles!

Because additional weight can put stress on joints and bones, your pup may have to deal with arthritis from a very early age. They could also be at a higher risk of developing Type II Diabetes, which could mean they are in need of an increased amount of insulin.

It is important to have your overweight chihuahua looked at by your local veterinarian. If they do in fact have diabetes and do need insulin, it is important that they get it or they could go into shock. There could be other medical conditions too that can cause a weight issue so it’s best to get your fur kid checked.

The added stress on joints and bones can also cause issues with their back and spine that will be important to address with your veterinarian as well.

All of these issues could result in the need for additional medications be taken as well being placed on a healthy diet to help them lose the excess weight.

In addition, being obese can put your little friend at higher risk of developing high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This is very dangerous for your pet, as it will cause added stress to be placed on their organs and tissues, which in turn can increase their chances of having these organs fail.

However, this is not even the worst that can happen. Obesity increases your pet’s risk of heart disease. In order to handle all of the extra fat within the body, the heart must work overtime, pumping additional blood.

When combined with the added stress placed on their organs, your pet is more likely to develop heart disease.

How Can I Help My Obese Chihuahua

While it is not impossible to help your chihuahua to lose weight, with some careful preparation and extra time put in by you, your chi should be able to return to a healthy weight.

One easy suggestion to carry out first is to cut out any treats that your pet is given. Because treats typically do not have any health benefits, they really should be cut out altogether until a healthy weight is achieved.

If you cannot stop giving them treats altogether, consider a healthier alternative, such as tiny pieces cooked chicken breast pieces. They are high in protein and very low in sugar and fat.

Because chihuahuas are small it is easy for them to gain weight.   Many people over feed them, not meaning to but not realizing what a small amount of food they actually need.


Please be careful with what you feed your pet. They should not get many table scraps, if any at all as these can easily add to extra weight gain for such a small animal.

It is important to remember the digestive system of this type of dog cannot handle people food in the same way as ours, so giving too much of this type of food can be harmful.

The exception is if you are cooking for your dog and you cook them healthy plain, non-processed foods such as meats (chicken, tuna, beef, lamb, etc.), and plain veggies and fruit (such as green beans and watermelon).

Because they are such small dogs, chihuahuas do not require a large amount of food to be healthy and full throughout the day. In fact, just one to two small (1/8 cup to 1/2 cup) feedings a day is all they need.

Anything over that could be considered overfeeding and could allow them to become overweight very quickly.

If you need to reduce the amount of food your pet is consuming, do so in small amounts until you get down to a healthier amount, rather than cutting it out all at once.

This will help your pet to get used to eating smaller portions. If too much is cut out at once, the body will go into survival mode and actually hold onto fat, which in turn will not help them to lose weight.

Another way for your pet to easily gain weight is by being carried around. Instead, you should have them walk on their own as much as possible.

Ensuring they have enough exercise throughout the day is quite possibly the most important step to ensuring they are able to slim down to a healthy weight.

Taking them for a daily walk or if the weather is bad, playing indoor games with them will give them the exercise they need.

In fact, exercise will not only help them lose weight but will also actually increase their life span, giving you lots of extra time with your favorite little fur kid!

I do want to mention, if you know your chihuahua is getting enough exercise and you are sure you are not overfeeding them, do get your dog checked by the vet.

It could be a medical condition causing the problem. Often it’s something like a thyroid disorder that can be easily and cheaply controlled with medicine.

Is your chihuahua chubby? Or have you helped your chi to lose the weight they needed to lose? If so, we’d love to hear about it so leave a comment below.


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TM Rosner

Sunday 28th of February 2021

Don't forget about Cushing's disease, our dog fought Cushing's disease for four years before we lost our chubby little lover. :( Anyway, he gained massive amounts of weight from a pituitary tumor (which causes Cushing's). I know you mentioned that it could be a medical condition. But it's so important to have your obese pup checked out.


Monday 1st of March 2021

Very good point TM.


Friday 1st of January 2021

I have a friwend who fostered my Daughters Chihauhau and spoiled her with treats and food. The poor thing must weigh 40 lbs. cant exercise she gets exxerted, my friend wont stop treats and lg. amouts of cooked meals..what should I do? im afraid the dog is going to drop dead.


Friday 1st of January 2021

As long as the dog is still with the person who fostered her, there's probably not much you can do. If the dog is back with you, cut way down on the treats. In fact, I have cut the treats into tiny pieces so I can still give my dogs a treat now and then, but they only get a tiny bite. They don't know the difference. As for food, give her a weight control food and don't give her more than 1/2 a cup twice a day. She may balk at it and not want it. But she will eat when she gets hungry enough. I'd start off slow with exercise. If you have a yard, take her out and walk around it a few times a day. You can work up gradually to longer walks in the neighborhood.

Rena Hall

Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

We inherited our 7 year old ling haired Chi. She should be around 6 pounds and weighs just shy of 8. She literally has anxiety if we try to walk her off of our property, shaking, crying, and fighting us. She gets less than 1/4 cup of dry (divided into 2 meals)food each day plus 1/2 greenie at each of her 2 feedings.


Saturday 12th of December 2020

@Rena Hall, My Chi eats like yours, just not much. She is also overweight and she has been to the vet recently, so I’m at a loss as well. I guess they all can’t be the same .


Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

Has she been tested for thyroid issues? For that small amount of food, she shouldn't have a weight problem. Also trying playing some games within your yard and house if she won't go for a walk. This article will give you some ideas:


Thursday 9th of July 2020

I have two Chi girls. One is perfect, another one is the the only one survived from 6, weighted 73g when born, breeder was spoiling her so much, because she was not planning to sell her. We took her when she was 3 months old, when she was 6months old, bee bit her, so we took her to vet, immediately dietologist came and said that she NEEDS to loose weight. So we started a diet, her weight was 3,9kg!!! Target is 2.3kg. She is 11 months now, on a diet, cocumber as a snack and she became other dog! She is running like crazy, playing all the time! Every second week we are visiting our dietologist to see how she is loosing her weight and she is very happy! Now she is 3.4! 0.5kg in 5 months! Not wow but we and our GG is happy with the progress!


Thursday 9th of July 2020

She's definitely going in the right direction! Good job Greta!


Saturday 28th of December 2019

What if you have a pack of dogs and there are only a couple of them that are on the chunkie side? Also if you try and separate them, feed them less, they go out in the back and eat tootsie rolls!!!(not the real ones) They are very active but BIG! I feel I would rather have them eat the food then go out and eat it second hand!


Saturday 28th of December 2019

I laughed at the tootsie roll comment Lisa. You don't need to feed them a weight control food but they should all be on a high quality food. And limit their treats. I would say give the chubby chis less food but if they are going to eat poop, I'm with you. I'd rather they eat food instead of poop.