Grain & carbohydrate is making your chihuahua fat!
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.
Chihuahuas are tiny and very easy to overfeed. Adding the burden of grain and carbohydrate into the mix, you can see how our dog get chubby. Being overweight for any dog will cause health problems as fat lays around the organs causing disease. Being overweight can also cause anal gland issues as fat lays around the glands and they don’t express in the normal way.
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, rice or carbs (starch) in their diet, as well as making your dog fat it also causes an issue called ‘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 bloodstream. 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 bloodstream.
Your dog’s immune system will see these particles as invaders which will in turn trigger an immune response and 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.
Your dog is a carnivore not omnivore
Pet food manufacturers like to tell you that dogs are omnivores but 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 & 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 a part in the nutritional balance of your dog’s diet and can help holistically 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 or the enzymes in their saliva to break down the cellulose.
Also, large lumps of tough fibrous plant matter like broccoli stalks can cause a blockage. So, serve them cooked and pulverised and in the correct proportions to their protein intake. (10%)
Never rely on plant matter to provide your dog with the correct calcium levels or plant oils for omega 3, dogs are unable to convert them into a usable form. This is why you should never feed your dog a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Basic takeaway about grain & carbohydrate
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 good quality wet and home cooking is more time consuming and you have to make sure it contains all the nutrients that your dog needs, but you should think about the offset of future vet bills and the trauma of your chihuahua being ill.