Chihuahuas – they are small and they are fuzzy. They are cute. Named after a Mexican state, the Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds of dogs. Therefore, the Chihuahua is also one of the lightest dog breeds there is. This brings the question to concerned Chihuahua parents, “How heavy should my dog be?”
How Heavy Should My Dog Be?
Your typical grown Chihuahua weighs 3 to 6 pounds (around 1.4 to 2.8 kg). You can certainly have a lighter Chihuahua. But Chihuahuas lighter than 3 pounds tend to not be very healthy. The same goes for heavier Chihuahuas – they are most likely overweight.
However, there can be some Chihuahuas that may be lighter or heavier than average. This may be due to their genetics. If your Chihuahua is just a pup, there are steps you can take to figure out what their ideal adult weight should be.
Ask the breeder. If you purchased your Chihuahua from a breeder, ask the breeder how heavy your dog will be in adulthood. Good breeders should have a good knowledge of the dog’s ancestry. Therefore, they can give a fairly accurate ballpark of how heavy your dog should be when fully grown.
Examine the parents and siblings. Genetics plays a big role in a dog’s weight. If you have the chance to see one of your Chihuahua’s parents or one of the siblings, seize the opportunity. Seeing how big the parents or the fully grown siblings are will give you an idea of your dog’s potential healthy weight.
Now that you know how heavy your Chihuahua should be, you should ask more questions that answer how to maintain your Chihuahua’s proper weight. Continue reading to learn the answers to the following questions:
- How do I know if my Chihuahua is overweight?
- How much should my dog eat daily to maintain his/her weight?
- What’s the best feeding schedule for my Chi?
- How can my Chihuahua lose weight?
- Do size and weight really matter?
How Do I Know If My Chihuahua is Overweight?
Some Chis have the genes to be heavier than the average but still remain healthy. If your Chihuahua’s weight is above 6 pounds, and you’re not sure whether he/she is still healthy, do this test.
Look or feel for your dog’s ribs. You can easily feel the ribs under the skin of Chihuahuas with a healthy weight. If there is a layer of fat under the skin and you can’t feel the ribs, your Chihuahua is definitely overweight.
How Much Should My Dog Eat Daily to Maintain His/Her Weight?
Chihuahuas are very sensitive to what they are being fed. You should put very careful thought into what they eat and by how much.
If you are feeding your Chihuahua food as suggested by a veterinarian or food considered by Chihuahua communities as acceptable, you should know how much of it to feed your Chihuahua.
For Chihuahuas within the average weight, about 1/2 to 1 and 1/3 cups of food per day is ideal. If your Chihuahua is just 3 pounds in weight, half a cup of food evenly distributed throughout the day is optimal. For 4 lb Chihuahuas, around 2/3 cup of food is ideal, for 5 lb Chihuahuas 1 cup, and for 6 lb Chihuahuas 1 and 1/3 cup.
If you’re concerned over how heavy your Chihuahua should be, this diet measurement is part of the answer. The proper amount of food per day is necessary for maintaining a healthy weight.
What’s the Best Feeding Schedule for My Chihuahua?
For Chihuahua puppies (under 3 months old or below 2 lbs), free-feeding is recommended. Free-feeding is leaving food constantly accessible to your pet. Just make sure that you refresh the food several times a day to keep it from becoming dry and stale.
For most adult Chihuahuas, three meals and a day and a lot of snacks in between is the best feeding schedule. However, if you’re working away from home, you may struggle with midday feeding. If you leave food on an open bowl, your Chi may just play with it or scatter it instead of eating it.
A food dispenser can easily solve this problem. The problem is most food dispensers for dogs are too big for small Chihuahuas. Make sure that you buy a food dispenser that works well with the size of your pet.
Another consideration in the feeding schedule is the timing of your Chihuahua’s morning bowel movement. You may have to adjust the time of the evening feeding depending on your furball’s morning bathroom necessities.
How Can My Chihuahua Lose Weight?
“How heavy should my dog be? Three to six pounds?! But my Chihuahua weighs 10 pounds! What can I do to rectify the situation?”
Obesity among dogs is a common problem. Here are two simple steps you can take to make your Chihuahua less overweight.
Stop Feeding Chihuahuas Table Food
Chihuahuas don’t have the digestive system to process human food. The only type of human food they can eat is boneless and skinless chicken breast. And that should only be given as an occasional treat.
If you want to give healthy treats to your Chihuahua pup, try Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream for Dogs! Although dogs can’t eat ice cream in general, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is uniquely suited for your little furball.
Increase Their Physical Activities
Dogs need their playtime and exercise. Even the small Chihuahua needs plenty of physical activity to maintain its health. Lack of exercise and running around shrinks their muscles, weakens their bones and causes them to gain a lot of weight even if their food consumption is regulated.
Do Size and Weight of a Chihuahua Really Matter?
The short answer is yes! Chihuahuas are meant to be small and light. If they are big and heavy, it’s not natural for their breed. It will cause diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and more.
Make sure that your Chihuahua has a healthy weight. Giving them good health is key to giving them a good life. This is one of your responsibilities as a Chihuahua parent and as an animal lover.
For the latest stories and tips about how to care for your Chihuahua, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter here.