Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating?

“Why is my Chihuahua not eating?” is one of the most common questions for these tiny pups’ owners. If you’ve ever had a Chihuahua who won’t eat the food you give them, you’ll know how frustrating this can be.

Since they can’t explain why they’re not eating, it’s natural for pet owners to feel frustrated and worried. There will be so many things going through their head. Maybe their dog isn’t eating because they’re sick, maybe it’s one of the signs that your dog’s health deteriorating. Maybe they’re just a fussy eater!

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most common reasons Chihuahuas won’t eat, so you can better navigate your dog not eating.

Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a white pup next to a food bowl
Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a white pup next to a food bowl

Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating?

Most Chihuahuas love eating. In fact, they’ll eat anything they can get their paws on. Whether it’s dry kibble, wet food, dog treats, or human food, it’s not easy to find a dog who is a picky eater. But sometimes, a Chi will go through a lack of appetite, worrying about their owners.

There are many explanations as to why your puppy isn’t eating. But eating small amounts or refusing to eat altogether isn’t always a sign of a deadly condition.

Stress, an upset stomach, or other environmental factors could be one of the possible explanations for a Chihuahua not eating. But if your Chihuahua refuses to eat for more than 24 hours, it could be one of the telltale symptoms that your puppy is sick.

In any way, you should be attentive to any changes in your dog’s diet. If your Chihuahua isn’t eating as much as it used to, you should call your vet and ask for their opinion. In doing so, you could be preventing your doggo from becoming sicker.

6 Reasons Why a Chihuahua Doesn’t Eat

Is your Chihuahua not eating? Well, there are a lot of reasons why dogs won’t eat. They range from not severe to concerning, depending on the severity of the lack of appetite. Here’s how you can identify the reasons why your dog isnt eating:

1. Change of Surroundings

If you’re just moved with a puppy, it’s not uncommon for them to skip one or two meals. They aren’t used to their new home and may feel stressed about the change.

This is especially true if you drove your Chihuahua to the new home. Some dogs get motion sickness, which affects their appetite for some hours.

Recently adopted dogs may also go through appetite issues if they’ve left their shelter or previous home to start their life in a new one.

2. Behavior Issues

Another reason for a Chihuahua not eating could be stemming from a behavioral issue. It may be that you’re feeding your pup during bad times. If you’re placing their bowl on an aggressive dog’s territory, your pup might be too anxious to eat.

To prevent this, make sure you leave the dog food in designated places. Each Chihuahua should have their own little space to enjoy a fulfilling meal, or they can become scared of their bowls.

Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a long-haired Chi with its tongue out
Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a long-haired Chi with its tongue out

3. Recent Vaccination

If you’ve just taken your puppy to the vet to get vaccinated, this could be why they’re not eating. Vaccines save thousands of puppies each year, but they can have negative side effects on some dogs. One of the less severe ones is a lack of appetite.

Loss of appetite in Chihuahuas usually goes away some hours after the vaccine, but it’s not uncommon for Chihuahuas to skip a meal or two. This is especially true if your Chihuahua is dealing with a stomach ache or other gastro issues.

4. Dental Disease

Did you know one of the more common explanations for Chihuahuas refusing to eat is dental disease? If your dog’s mouth has a problem — it could be a rotten tooth, a cut, or even infected gums, eating would cause pain.

You should get them checked out at the vet. Otherwise, it’s quite possible that your puppy will stay away even from canned food until their problem is solved.

5. Upset Stomach

Dogs are just as curious as cats and will try to eat everything that’s put in front of them. Sometimes, this means eating socks, underwear, wood, or even bugs!

This will upset their intestines, causing stomach pain and discomfort. They won’t want to eat until whatever they ate that was bad has passed through their system. To check whether this is the case with your pup, refer to a poop color chart.

If you see your Chihuauha vomit or have diarrhea, it could be a sign that they’re coming down with a gastrointestinal illness.

Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a white Chi munching on a food bowl
Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a white Chi munching on a food bowl

6. Blockage or Other Illnesses

A Chihuahua not eating could be a sign of other underlying Chihuahua health issues. Sometimes, a Chihuahua may ingest a foreign object such as a sock that is blocking their digestive tract. A dog will often stop eating if this is the case.

Other causes of loss of appetite in dogs include illnesses such as kidney failure, cancer, liver disease, or even infections. If they’re sick, refusing to eat is one of the telltale signs of their discomfort.

This is especially true of older dogs. If they continue to not eat for long periods of time, it could be very dangerous for your pet. Opting for an emergency vet visit is recommended.

When Should I Take My Chi to the Vet?

If your Chihuahua is not eating for quite a while, then it could be a sign that something is particularly wrong. If you see your puppy skipping more than two meals, and puking or vomiting, definitely take them to the veterinarian.

Since dogs don’t diet as we humans do, dogs don’t stop eating because they want to lose weight. It’s almost always a sign that something is wrong. If you haven’t changed up their food and turned it into a bland diet, it might be best to take them to the vet.

Appetite Stimulants for Chihuahuas

Sometimes, puppies will stop eating their food not because they’re sick but because they’re sick of it. That’s when the “Why is my dog not eating” question comes up most.

If you were always given bland, tasteless food your whole life, you’d probably eventually lose interest in it too! The same thing happens with dogs! So what’s a pet parent to do?

If your dog is used to eating dry food, buy them some wet, canned food for a change. Many dogs will see this as a treat and will be curious enough to start eating.

Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a Chi drinking water in a garden
Why is My Chihuahua Not Eating? Illustrated by a Chi drinking water in a garden

Just make sure you offer them food in small portions so as not to overwhelm your pup. You might even try rolling up the food into small meatballs.

If they don’t like the flavor, try a new brand. It may seem tiring and frustrating, but once you find what your dog likes, you can stick to it. 

Another great option is to offer your dog human foods like boiled chicken breast and white rice, or white rice mixed with chicken broth.

Conclusion

If your dog skips too many meals and becomes lazy or weak, take them to the vet immediately. It’s possible they may have a blockage in their digestive tract from eating a foreign object, or they may be dealing with a serious issue. Your veterinarian will be able to get to the bottom of it and hopefully have your pup feeling better in no time.