Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. My favorite high quality foods are Merrick, Blue Buffalo (Into the wilderness), Natural Balance, and Wellness. Because these foods are at a higher quality and higher protein level your dog eats less to gain the energy they need. When your dog is on a lower quality cheaper food they eat more to gain the energy they need. So, you’re buying more bags of food and your dog is pooping more. Not to mention your dog’s overall health will not be as good so you may have more medical issues later in life. You will save money buying the more high quality foods. Search the brands I mention to decide which one you like best. Choose a small breed bag of one of the brands I mentioned.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The best diet for a chihuahua is one that is high in protein and fat, and low in carbohydrates. Chihuahuas are very active dogs, so they require a lot of energy to maintain their activity level.
Your Chihuahua puppy`s diet should be based around a high quality, nutritionally complete puppy food. You may also wish to introduce them to fresh, lean raw meat — however, don`t feed your puppy any meat you would not feed to a fellow human being.
Their diet needs to be completely nutritionally balanced for their age and weight. This ideal food then needs to be portioned correctly and given within three meals a day that has been appropriately spaced out. An adult Chihuahua should eat between 4-10oz a day, depending on their ideal body weight.
Chihuahuas eat a variety of muscle meats, organs, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. Chihuahuas eat a diet consisting of muscle meat from chicken, turkey, bison, beef, lamb or fish, organs, bones, eggs, vegetables, and fruit in the form of kibble, wet food, or home-prepared meals that are raw or cooked.
Some Table Food Is Toxic to Dogs. Human food often contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, almonds, onions and garlic are all dangerous for dogs to eat.
Cooked chicken is a healthy food that is safe for most dogs to eat. Chicken is one of the most common ingredients used in dog foods, as it is an excellent source of protein, which your dog needs to stay healthy.
Dogs should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.
Once chihuahua puppies are weaned, they should be fed four to six times a day until they are about three months old. When they are above three months old, it is recommended to feed them three to four meals a day. Adult chihuahuas (12 months and older) can be fed two to three meals a day.
If you`re feeding rice as an extra, feed no more than about a quarter cup for a large dog and just a tablespoon or two for a smaller dog. As part of a bland diet for stomach upset, rice is typically mixed with a small amount of lean protein, like plain, shredded chicken breast.
Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They`re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog`s main diet.
Wet food is a great way to give your dog a hydration boost, while dry food can support dental health. As wet and dry dog foods have many differing benefits, another option to consider is to feed a mixture of both to give your dog a well-rounded diet that targets all kinds of needs.
On top of this, if you free-feed, your dog may eat too much in one sitting, potentially predisposing him to life-threatening bloat. You may also be unaware of the amount he ate before, and therefore, if you decide to exercise him on a full stomach, that could potentially lead to bloat.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken And Rice Every Day? It is not a good idea to keep your dog on a daily diet of chicken and rice for long. While this dish is extremely healthy for dogs, it does not contain all of the nutrients they need, which they get from other sources such as red meats and vegetables.
So can I feed my dog chicken every day? As long as it`s cooked, the answer is yes. Because chicken is a safe, healthy and easily digestible form of protein, it is often the main source of protein in high quality dog food.
Yes, dogs can eat rice. In fact, you may have noticed rice featured as an ingredient in commercial dog foods. However, a rice meal on its own should not be a daily affair – rice should only be part of a varied diet that offers all the nutrients your dog needs.
Typically, Chihuahuas are picky eaters, but to rule out the possibility that your dog`s picky eating is caused by a sickness or an illness, monitor your dog. Take it to the vet immediately if inappetence, or a lack of appetite, is coupled with weight loss, or vomiting and diarrhea.
Can most dogs eat yogurt? Yes, but that doesn`t necessarily mean that they should. While yogurt is not toxic to dogs, many canines might have trouble digesting it because it contains lactose. And plenty of pups have trouble with foods that contain lactose, such as milk.
Although a loss of appetite in dogs doesn`t necessarily indicate serious disease, prompt veterinary attention is important because it could be a sign of significant illness, including cancer, various systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. Dental disease.
Good options are plain chicken, fish or a little low-sodium beef/chicken broth, steamed or boiled butternut squash, sweet potatoes or pumpkin. Just make sure you don`t give them any ingredients harmful to dogs, like onion or garlic.
If your Chihuahua is always hungry this may be an indication of underlying health issues. Though keep in mind, all dogs are naturally pre-dispositioned to be hungry and eat every meal as though it is their last.
Adult dogs – particularly the large and giant breeds – can be maintained on one meal a day, while small breeds, which have a higher metabolic rate may require two feeds per day to meet their energy requirements.
Once a day is standard, though some healthy adult dogs are known to go twice, or even three times, a day. Puppies, who are typically eating several small meals a day, poop more—sometimes four to five times per day. Similarly, young dogs can often poop more than three times a day.
When Do Chihuahuas Stop Growing? Chihuahuas usually reach their adult weight between 9-12 months of age. The average weight of a Chihuahua is between 2.5-4.5 lbs and 5-8 inches tall but this can vary between dogs. In general, standard Chihuahuas shouldn`t be over 6lbs in weight.
Feeding 3 oz Cans of Wet Dog Food Give your dog one 3 oz can per 3 – 3½ pounds of body weight daily, divided into two or more meals. Adjust this amount as needed to help maintain your dog`s ideal body condition.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I’m a breeder of Chihuahuas. I have been struggling for a long time to find nutritional balance food that is affordable. Which one so many?
ANSWER : A. My favorite high quality foods are Merrick, Blue Buffalo (Into the wilderness), Natural Balance, and Wellness. Because these foods are at a higher quality and higher protein level your dog eats less to gain the energy they need. When your dog is on a lower quality cheaper food they eat more to gain the energy they need. So, you’re buying more bags of food and your dog is pooping more. Not to mention your dog’s overall health will not be as good so you may have more medical issues later in life. You will save money buying the more high quality foods. Search the brands I mention to decide which one you like best. Choose a small breed bag of one of the brands I mentioned.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. I want to feed a homemade meal for my dog. What are the basics I need to follow?
ANSWER : A. Feeding your pet a homemade meal can be tricky, however there are several steps to take. The first is to begin by examining the ingredients of meals similar to the one you’d like to feed them. Many commercial raw and fresh food diets will feature complete ingredient lists to give you an idea of the portions and types of foods used. Looking up recipes that others have made can also help you find what ingredients are common.

Foods require a balanced level of nutrition that is made up of proteins (your meat source and “slow” energy), carbohydrates (short-term energy and needed for brain health), and fats (for stored energy as well as flavor). Carbohydrates can be in grain form which is most common in commercial diets, or in non-grain sources such as potatoes, peas or sweet potatoes (more common now in “natural” or “holistic” diets). Proteins can come from plant sources, but are most commonly found in animals, and fats can be from many things.

When starting a homemade diet, it is always a good idea to add in an extra vitamin supplement to fill in any gaps or holes in the diet while you find the right balance for your dog. Working with your local veterinarian is also good as they can monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, and may also recommend bloodwork to check for any nutrient deficiencies.

While homemade diets are a nice alternative to commercial ones, they are not under the same standards as commercial diets. For a diet to be fed as a commercial product, it must have an AAFCO certification on it. This is usually listed as a statement on the packaging which mentions whom the food can be fed to (adults, seniors, all life stages, puppies, etc) and ensures that the food is nutritionally balanced. This means that your dog would be able to survive fully on eating only this food. While it may seem the food is balanced, it does not mean the food is healthier than others, and may still contain ingredients that dogs with sensitivities or allergies can have a reaction to.

Q. What is the best limited ingredient dog food for a dog with allergies? Can I buy it online or do I need to get it from a vet? Thanks
ANSWER : A. I’m going to recommend a dog food that is extremely expensive, but absolutely worth the price. It is a food that is fantastic for dogs with many allergies because it is essentially just air-dried raw meat, muscles, vitamins, and kelp. It is called Ziwipeak http://ziwipeak.com/ and it is the best dog food on the market! I feed it to my dog so I do not have to worry about getting raw-food portions right. If you’re worried about the price, there are so many other types of food out there you’ve probably never heard of. You do not have to get food through the vet in order to find the right food for your dog. Many grain-free foods are typically good for dogs with allergies, brands like Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Orijen, etc are great kibbles. It may be pricey, but it’s all about trial and error here unless your vet can tell you exactly what the allergy is and how to manage it.

Q. My cat can only eat strained baby food consistency food. What do I add to strained meat to give her what she needs? She is a torti Persian 5 lbs
ANSWER : A. You should be offering her some wet cat food. Any brand is okay, but you could find a high quality food if you look hard. Cats prefer getting their water from their food, so it’s important to use wet food for a cat instead of just dry food. It’s okay to feed her white meat chicken, and things like that if you want, but you should definitely be feeding some sort of CAT FOOD.. and I bet wet food would be appealing to her considering it’s very moist, like baby food. You can even mash it up further, and look for a food that is really liquidy.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. How much dry kitten food should my 16 week old kitten be eating?
ANSWER : A. It would actually be better to feed your kitten canned food, as dry food has a lot of carbohydrates. Cats are obligatory carnivores, and not carb-eaters. In order to give you an amount to feed for dry food I would need to know which food you are feeding as they are all different. I suggest you check on the cat food bag. If the bag does not give you an amount, I would not trust it to be a complete food. You should then get a food from a reputable company such as Hill’s Science diet, or similar. As for wet food feed three times daily around 2oz each time, best to feed the pate style food.

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

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