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Is My Chihuahua Too Skinny? And If So, Why? 7 Reasons + 5 Tips

Why Is My Chihuahua Too Skinny

With small dogs (like Chihuahuas) it’s hard to see if they…

A) Are too skinny.


B) Have a healthy weight.

That’s why a lot of people wonder if their Chi is too thin.

In this article you’ll discover:

  • How to tell if your Chihuahua is too skinny.
  • How exercise can help your Chi gain weight.
  • 7 possible reasons why your Chihuahua is too skinny.
  • What makes Chihuahuas similar to toddlers (reason #2 explains it all).
  • And more…

Is my Chihuahua too skinny?

You can tell that your Chihuahua is too skinny if the ribs and pelvic bones are easily visible. Another way to tell is when your Chihuahua has little or no discernible fat around the hips, shoulder bones, and spine.

Why is my Chihuahua too skinny?

Reasons why your Chihuahua is too skinny include: underlying health problems, being a picky eater, poor nutrition, loss of appetite, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, and intestinal parasites.

Let’s discuss each of these reasons in detail below…

7 reasons why your Chihuahua is too skinny

#1: Underlying disease

You feed your Chihuahua enough and yet they are still skinny. It can be frustrating, right? 

What could you be doing wrong?

The answer can be an illness or disease. 

There are diseases that affect dogs of any size, age, and breed. Take, for example, cancer and parvovirus.

Puppies that had Canine Parvovirus are at a greater risk of diarrhea when they are older. Diarrhea is caused by food allergies and food intolerance. 

Another disease is cancer. Needless to say, cancer can wreak havoc in the body. It can make your Chihuahua skinny even with enough food intake.

#2: Picky eater

 Why does your Chihuahua refuse to eat?

Just like a toddler, your Chihuahua may be choosing what they want to eat.

They may not like what you give them. No matter how delicious you think the dog food is. 

Sounds like you have a picky eater in your hands.

The best course of action: Get to the bottom of the problem.

Are you giving the same food every time you feed them? They can get tired of eating the same food. 

Every. Single. Time. 

Just like we humans do.

#3: Poor nutrition

If your dog’s a picky eater, they don’t get the necessary nutrients for a healthy body.

Do you feed them treats even before meal times? Maybe you don’t give them enough food.

Or you give them the same food over and over again.

The good thing is, it’s not too late to change this pattern. 

#4: Lack of appetite

Chihuahua Lack Of Appetite

Your Chihuahua’s lack of appetite stems from many reasons. Again, an underlying illness might be the culprit.

Or stress. Maybe they are scared or in pain. Do they show excessive droolingshaking, or hiding?

Dental disease may also keep your dog from eating. It can be an inflamed gum, broken tooth, or wounds in the mouth.

Behavior issues also lead to a lack of appetite. When dogs are not comfortable when you feed them, they won’t eat. 

You might have placed their bowl from a height they can’t reach. Or they are around aggressive dogs.

Always check other possible reasons.

#5: EPI

A dog with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is unable to digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  

This leads to a host of other problems such as:

Maldigestion, malabsorption, and diarrhea.

And because the dog’s body cannot digest food, they don’t get the right nutrients. This leads to weight loss and vitamin deficiencies.

#6: Intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites can cause mild irritation or life-threatening conditions.

Your Chihuahua may have roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, or coccidia. 

It is easy to spot signs if your Chihuahua is infested. They may have worms in their feces. They scratch or rub their rear. They have distended bellies. They have diarrhea.

If left untreated, it can affect your dog’s appetite.

#7: Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is more common in cats. But when it affects dogs, it can be pretty serious.

What causes hyperthyroidism in dogs is a cancer called thyroid carcinoma. Your dog produces an excessive amount of the thyroid hormone.

This, in turn, increases your dog’s metabolic rate. That’s why they will experience increased appetite but still lose weight.

The good thing is, there are a few tips you can do to avoid worsening the problem.

What to do when your Chihuahua is too skinny? 5 tips

#1: Consult with your vet

I know. This isn’t what you want to hear. I mean…this tip is boring and you probably already thought of it, right? 

Well, here’s the thing:

Your Chihuahua is unique. And it’s impossible for me to see your Chihuahua while I’m typing this on my keyboard.

Sure, there are some things that help in general if your Chihuahua is too skinny. And I’ll discuss this gladly down below.

But just to be on the safe side, it’s a smart idea to talk to your vet about this.

It’s no joke when your Chi is too thin. And it’s important to take this seriously.

That’s why I highly recommend calling your vet right now. Or even better – pay them a visit.

And after that, feel free to continue with…

#2: Buy the right food

Did you know that Chihuahuas have weak teeth? That makes them prone to a host of dental issues.

Aside from making sure their teeth are taken care of, buy the right food. Some dog food might contain ingredients that further erode teeth’s enamel.

You may consult with your vet about the best food for your Chihuahua.

Come on, don’t skimp on your furbaby. They deserve the highest quality of food.

#3: Feed them properly

This means no treats galore. Don’t give too much food or too little. Just enough.

Set a regular eating schedule. And stick to it.

Ask your vet about the right amount of calories that your Chi must get each day. It’s always good to ask if you’re not sure.

And this is why it’s very important that you consult with the vet. They are a tremendous help when it comes to your Chihuahua.

#4: Exercise

Dog Meme Exercise

You might be surprised by the amount of energy your Chihuahua has. That energy packed in a small body.

Chihuahuas may be small, but they still need exercise.

It’s better to walk your Chi just before meals.

They’ll be famished by the time you get back home.

#5: Keep food exciting

As mentioned, your Chihuahua will get tired of eating the same food repeatedly.

Keep in mind: variation in food. It’s a way of making food exciting for your Chihuahua.

How about mixing dry food with canned food? Or feed them dry food today, then canned food later on?

You can also feed them fresh food such as vegetables and real meat. This is a fantastic way to break the monotony of dog food.

Your Chihuahua will love you more for it.

Your Chihuahua loves you unconditionally. It’s only right that you take care of them the best way you can. 

Is your Chihuahua too skinny?

The reasons and tips discussed will be your first step in solving the problem.