Meet Gypsy, Read All About The Little Red Chihuahua Fron Virginia, Her Owners and How She Lives.

 

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CHUBBY CHIHUAHUAS....ARE YOU KILLING YOUR PET?
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I am seeing far too many Chihuahuas out there who are being slowly killed by their loving owners! Go, look at your little darling right now with an objective eye and ask yourself, "is my baby overweight?" I know how easy it is for this to happen because this photo shows I have been guilty myself.

The Chihuahua breed is particularly susceptible to this problem for several reasons. First, Chihuahuas are indoor pets and sometimes they lead sedentary lives. (they do love their naps) But the biggest culprit by far is their ability to lull their owners into a habit of babying them, especially with food and snacks. This breed is a master at manipulation and can train its' owner in no time to feed it all sorts of human snacks and treats. I know you think it's cute when your cute little pets beg for one of your potato chips, but trust me, you're putting a stake right through their tiny hearts!

What is the correct weight for your Chihuahua? The Chihuahua breed standard calls for them not to exceed 6 pounds. The "before" photo above was taken in January 2000 when Gypsy was over 6 pounds and well on her way to 7. Her more desirable weight is shown in the "after" view at about 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Look closely at her "before" photo and you'll see the extra weight around her chest and the rolls of fat settling around her hindquarters. I had to get control of this situation or it would only get worse!

Why should you be concerned about what your Chihuahua weighs? For the same reasons obesity is harmful to humans or other animals...it will lead to coronary heart disease and shorten pets' lives!

How can you turn this situation around in your pet/pets? First of all, cut out all those snacks, especially any human food. The biggest cause of overweight Chihuahuas is being fed food designed for human consumption. It's a dog! Feed it food formulated for dogs.

Read pet food labels. Look for dog food brands which offer the lowest possible fat content. Gypsy eats diet canned food prescribed by her veterinarian under the brand name Hill's Prescription Diet Canine R/D®. (R/D stands for "reduced diet") It has a lower fat content than any OTC commercial food and she eats it with gusto. She has been on this prescription diet for over four years and is in excellent health. If it's impractical for you to buy prescription food, at least use commercial food with the lowest possible fat content. Your local pet shop employees can guide you in which brands are top quality with proper nutrition and low fat content.

Measure the amounts you are feeding and feed on a regular schedule. Now, honestly, think about how much you're feeding your pet/pets per day, including snacks, and you'll probably come to the same conclusion we did. No wonder it's overweight! We now use a 1/4 cup measuring utensil to be accurate and feed Gypsy 3 times a day. Occasionally she gets a couple of little pieces of dry chow added for "crunch", but that's all.

Yes, your pet may pout a few days and it may not eat at first, but trust me, it's not going to starve! It will take some time to get your pet back in shape depending on the severity of the abuse. (and it is abuse)

Last of all, weigh your pet. Veterinarians use a digital baby scale, but you can simply weigh yourself, then pick up your Chihuahua and weigh together and you'll figure it out. Weigh it periodically even after it gets back down to its' proper weight just to keep the situation under control.

I have probably stepped on a few tiny toes by posting this article, but my heart breaks every time I visit a web page displaying a helpless overweight Chihuahua. I know their owners love them or they wouldn't have a website! Please take an honest look at your Chihuahua today and ask yourself...am I killing my pet?

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