Grain & carbohydrate is making your chihuahua fat
Because they are so small chihuahuas are easy to overfeed. Just a small calorie fluctuation in the wrong direction, over time, can cause your chihuahua to get tubby, laying fat around essential organs and causing a range of health problems. One of the main culprits for causing your chihuahua to get fat is grain & carbohydrate in their diet. Both these ingredients are present in kibble (dry dog food).
For years the pet food industry has been adding these cheap filler ingredients to dry dog food to make them cheaper to produce.
It would be an error to think that the large brands at the top are better quality, some of these brands have a terrible line up of fillers and cheap ingredients. There are some good quality dry foods available, but you need to read the ingredients very carefully.
Grain free is better?
Well, it’s not worse, but before you rush out and buy expensive designer bags of grain free dry dog food understand that any kibble requires starch for the cooking process. Starch is a carbohydrate that will turn to unwanted sugar your chihuahua can’t process. This starch will appear on the packet as tapioca and pea starch, among others.
Dogs don’t need either grain or carbs (starch) in their diet, as well as making your dog fat it also causes an issue call ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’.
What is leaky gut?
There is a membrane, that acts like a sieve, in your dog’s gut (and yours) that allows tiny parts of appropriate nutrients to pass through into the blood stream. This membrane (mucosa) also acts as a barrier to stop toxins and particles that are not required from getting through.
Feeding your dog inappropriate food puts this membrane under stress and it becomes inflamed and the holes become enlarged. The gut then ‘leaks’ larger particles and undigested food into the blood stream.
Your dog’s immune system will see these particles as invaders which will in turn trigger an immune response and yay an allergy is born!
Obviously, you can’t see leaky gut syndrome, but chances are that you will be seeing the result in the form of:
- itchy skin
- yeast infections
- ear infections
- gloopy eyes
- swollen joints
So, if your chihuahua is suffering from continual scratching, paw licking or ear infections the chances are the grain and carbohydrate in his diet is causing an allergy or yeast infection.
If your chihuahua is not showing any visible signs of intolerance to grain or starch, don’t relaxed and assume everything is OK. Feeding grain and carbs will be putting your dog’s liver and organs under strain laying the foundations for future serious illness.
Carnivore not omnivore
The fact is your cute little chihuahua is a carnivore not an omnivore or herbivore. If you are not sure what the difference is:
Carnivores eat meat and have sharp pointy teeth for tearing and eating flesh, no flat molars for grinding plant matter.
Herbivores are set up with the correct teeth for grinding plant matter and saliva that helps digestion by breaking down the cellulose.
Omnivore can eat both and has both sharp teeth for tearing, flat molars for grinding and the saliva that will help digest meat protein and plant matter.
Dogs do eat veggies and fruit
It is true that dogs eat vegetable and plant matter, in the wild this would be the partly digested in the stomach of their kill. They are also scavengers and would eat plants and fruit in times of food shortages. They can survive on plant matter only, but don’t thrive.
Veggies and fruit do play an important part in the nutritional balance of your dog’s diet and do a lot holistically to help with worms and parasite control.
But dogs are unable to digest lumps of raw vegetables and it will sit in their gut and cause wind and stomach ache. This is because they don’t have the molars to grind them up and break down the cellulose. So, serve them cooked or pulverised and in the correct proportions to their protein intake.
Grain & carbohydrate (starch) found in poor commercial dog food is making your dog fat, itchy and is laying the foundations for serious illness in the future. It also contributes to bad teeth and gum disease.
It may feel more expensive to feed your chihuahua home cooked or raw and it is more time consuming, but you should think about the offset of future vet bills and the trauma of your chihuahua being ill.
Switch to raw, home-cooked food or some of the better quality dry and semi moist foods that are now available. Read 9 healthy reason to homecook for your chihuahua.
Here are a couple of recipes for some delicious home cooked meals. We are developing more and will post them soon.