Why my Chihuahua will not eat dog food? (9+ reasons)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Why will my Chihuahua not eat dog food? We will give you the top reasons why this happens and will provide you with a solution for each case. We will also give you a few helpful tips to make dog food more appetizing to your Chihuahua. 

When a Chihuahua will not eat dog food

If your Chihuahua will not eat dog food, it may mean that it has a poor appetite, which is due to illness or the use of poor quality food to feed your dog. Regardless of the reason, it is something that cannot be ignored, because in a very short time the health of your furry friend will deteriorate.

Before knowing what are the recommended home remedies for dogs that do not want to eat, you need to determine the cause that causes this behavior. Lack of appetite is abnormal in dogs, so pay attention to the following reasons that may explain why your dog does not want to eat anything.

Chihuahua will not eat dog food: causes

Stress: Stress can be a trigger for your dog to stop eating, in addition to causing various diseases or destructive behaviors. The causes that trigger it are varied, from changes in routine (a move, the adoption of another pet, the arrival of a baby, among others) to anxiety due to boredom or lack of exercise.

Indigestion: Indigestion is another reason that cuts the appetite in your furry friend, either because the discomfort prevents him from eating or that he himself prefers to deprive himself of food for a reasonable period (one day maximum) to improve himself.

Other stomach problems, such as constipation, gas, or diarrhea, can also reduce your dog’s urge to eat.

Respiratory diseases: From simple flu to more serious respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis, they cause the dog to lose its appetite. The mucus also prevents you from correctly perceiving the smell of food and, therefore, it does not attract you.

Parasites: A dog infected with intestinal parasites will also refuse to eat, in addition to showing signs of general discomfort, vomiting, worms in the stool, among others, depending on the type of parasite that is causing the problem.

Drug consumption: If your dog is being treated for a disease, one of the side effects of the drugs may be to decrease his appetite. Do not despair! Consult your veterinarian about what you should do according to the drug you are administering.

Trauma: Pain from bumps, falls and injuries can make the dog not want to eat. Before any injury that triggers a change in behavior, it is necessary to go to the vet immediately.

Old age: Older dogs tend to eat less. This happens because they start to do less physical activity, so they conserve energy and do not need to replace it as quickly.

Oral canal problems: Cavities, tumors in the mouth, and blockages (an object stuck in the gums or throat) do not take away the dog’s appetite, but the pain or discomfort caused by these problems discourages it from chewing food.

It doesn’t like dog food: It is very common for dogs to stop accepting feed, especially when they are given poor quality food. This does not mean that he is bored with the food, but if the food does not meet his nutritional needs, you have used him to eat the same as you or you provide him with a diet based solely on dry dog ​​food, it is very possible that at some point he will reject it.

Other reasons – Other possible causes that can cause your dog not want to eat are:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Tumors
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Vaccinations

When your dog has not eaten for 24 hours, you should take him to the vet to determine the cause.

Chihuahua will not eat dog food: Home remedies 

Having a sick dog at home involves various care and attention, including ensuring that it does not stop eating. Food is important for recovery, since a dog that does not eat has less energy and feels weak, which is only counterproductive during any illness.

“What to do if my sick dog does not want to eat?” or “what do I give my dog ​​to whet his appetite?” are frequently asked questions in these cases, but you should not despair. 

There are various options and home remedies to whet the appetite in dogs that you can apply in these cases. However, keep in mind that none of these remedies replace veterinary care, they are alternative methods that you can use in the company of those recommended by the vet, as long as he gives you his approval. 

Likewise, these recommendations are equally applicable to healthy dogs that do not want to eat. Of course, in these cases, it is important to determine if the problem lies in an incorrect or low-quality diet since the best remedy for these dogs is none other than offering a suitable diet.

Offer more appetizing food to your Chihuahua

Offer your dog a different food that catches his eye. You can serve your favorite food in the container or try with pieces of warm chicken or turkey meat. Another option is to get your feed with chicken broth or add a little yogurt.

The broth and meat are best heated and, when they are lukewarm, offer them to the dog, as hot food gives off more intense odors that will attract their attention. Also, if you are constipated or runny, this will help the phlegm to soften and you can expel it.

Choose your Chihuahua’s food very well

A sick dog needs different foods that inject that extra energy it needs to recover, so you must offer food according to each problem. In dogs with constipation problems, for example, it offers foods rich in fiber, dogs with diarrhea need protein and hydration, so a chicken broth will be ideal for them, whole foods rich in phosphorus are recommended for respiratory diseases.

Add spices to the dog food

Smells are very important to dogs, so adding novelties to their food will catch their eye if they have lost their appetite. Sprinkle the usual food with some leaves or crushed pieces of mint, alfalfa, dill, fennel, or ginger, these new aromas will be pleasant.

Mint and ginger can also be added to the water to hydrate your dog, another essential element during a recovery.

Get quality food for your Chihuahua

The quality of the food that you offer your dog is very important. It’s not just about buying the flavor you like the most, but buying quality brands that contain the nutrients you need in the right amounts. To know what food to buy, do not miss this article in which we show you the best feed in value for money.

A change of food should be made gradually, never switch abruptly from one brand of feed to another.

Try wet food for dogs

Another option is to alternate dry food with wet dog food. Wet food offers more intense smells and can be used to give your dog something different. Never mix wet and dry food in the same portion, it is better to alternate them during the week.

If your dog does not enjoy prepared cans, try moistening his croquettes with chicken broth or salmon oil, he will appreciate that extra flavor!

Vary the ingredients for your Chihuahua’s meals

A dog that only eats food does not have a completely balanced diet, it also needs to try and enjoy other foods. To do this, we recommend adding lean meats, such as chicken and turkey, pieces of unsalted ham, carrots, skimmed yogurt, and fruits to your furry friend’s diet. Not only will you provide her with extra nutrients, but she’ll also love trying new things.

Follow a homemade diet for your Chihuahua

On the other hand, and in relation to the previous point, a natural diet not only allows you to guarantee the quality of the products that you offer your dog but also offers you the possibility of varying its menu, which increases the richness of its diet. 

Likewise, home cooking provided the menu is well established, promotes digestion, regulates intestinal transit, improves the condition of the skin and hair, and general health. 

Check out all the benefits of homemade dog food in this article.

My Chihuahua doesn’t eat much. What should I do?

If your Chihuahua doesn’t eat much and has a lack of appetite, it may mean that your dog has anorexia. Unlike in humans, for whom this disease can be due to psychological causes, in dogs, it is almost always due to some physical reason.

There are many diseases that can cause a lack of appetite in your dog, such as parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, parasite problems, etc. It is important that you go to your vet to rule out these causes. Normally, the lack of appetite is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as sadness, apathy, diarrhea, … etc.

If, in addition to not eating, your dog drinks and urinates more than normal, it may be indicative of kidney failure, since in this case, the kidneys are unable to concentrate the urine, so the dog cannot control it, with consequent dehydration and thirst. You can also find suitable food and kibble for dogs with kidney failure or opt for natural food for dogs with kidney failure if you prefer to make it yourself.

A lack of appetite is often among the observable symptoms, as well as listlessness, depression, dry hair, or ammonia-smelling breath. Some medications and vaccines also cause a decrease in appetite. If your dog still doesn’t eat after finishing treatment or for too long after being vaccinated, take him to the vet.


Dog food is made from meat remains, that is, all parts of the animal that cannot be used for human consumption are used. They are literally burned and their ashes are used to make what we know as dog food.

Additionally, if your dog is not eating, it is usually due to some physical cause. Your feed may not have all the nutrients you need. You may also get bored of always eating the same thing. Try giving him some natural food that is suitable for him from time to time.

Pain in the mouth, teeth, or throat can cause your dog to refuse to eat. There are many illnesses that can make your dog refuse to eat. Some of these diseases are serious. Go to your vet at the slightest doubt. Moods such as sadness, depression, anxiety, or phobias can cause your dog to lose his appetite.

Remember to always put fresh and clean water at the disposal of your dog, especially if she eats dry feed, it is essential. Never feed your dog after exercising, you have to wait at least half an hour or an hour for it to calm down.

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