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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 diabetic 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 to be taken as well as 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 of 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 overfeed 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 any 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.


female vet holding fuzzy dog

Dr. Sara Ochoa


This article has been fact-checked and approved by Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM. You can read more about her on our About page.


Thursday 2nd of December 2021

My daughter Dog is very over weight and the dog does not walk much. Very like to do her thing an that is all. What is the out come of the dog. She is a small Dog looks like a fat grandhog

Elizabeth Fischer-Noah

Thursday 26th of May 2022

@Beth, that is a very god description of your dog. I get told my dog looks like a wombat.


Wednesday 20th of October 2021

My chihuahua is 12 and developed a continuous cough due to congestive heart failure. She had always had a murmur. The vet had her take a heart pill and a water pill. It helped some but the problem was still there. I was worried I was going to loose her. I didn’t think she was over weight. We went on vacation for 10 days. My friends son watched my dog. I did not give him any dry food just soft food for her. He did not feed her from his plate like I did. She only ate soft food. Nothing extra was given. She also played with their dog. When I returned she had lost a pound and her coughing was as gone! She still takes her medicine especially the water pill. She is no longer fed from the table and her treats are only meat 🥩 I cook. An amazing difference with only one pound weight loss. Ten pounds down to 9.


Wednesday 20th of October 2021

That's great Shelly!

Susan E Fore

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Cathy, we must have been on same wave length. Just inquired about diet for overweight chi and here it is in new news letter. Thanks.


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Great! I did answer your email though too.


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

I know I am very wrong but I just love those chubby chibabies like the one pictured. Mine have never been overweight but I would love to hold and cuddle an obese chibaby, especially female. They are not healthy but they sure look lovable!


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

@Dixie, it's true, they are cuddly.

Teri Hopkins

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

I’ve been trying to get my chi to loose just a couple of pounds and it never goes down. He’s 8.5 lbs. and he’s a apple head. I read that he shouldn’t be more then 6 lbs. I cut out all human food and feed him Health Extension from chewy. He eats about a 1/2 a cup a day and recently started a lean treat from the Vet. He’s been this weight for 2 yrs. it never seems to change. I’ve recently bought a dog treadmill and hopefully it will help him. I don’t know what else to do. Anyone have something else I could do?

Teri Hopkins

Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

@Cathy, I’m going to get that checked. Thanks for your reply.


Tuesday 15th of June 2021

It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Has his thyroid been checked? That can cause weight problems. Some dogs (just like some people) have slow metabolisms and it makes it very hard to lose the weight.