In addition, many rescued Chihuahuas did not receive enough dog food or had to fight to hold onto their food before they found their way into loving homes. They were taught that dog food may not always come to them. With enough time, understanding and a bit of training, your rescued Chihuahua can learn to trust you and the fact that yes, their dog food is theirs, and there is no reason to be over protective.
The Food Bowl
A Chihuahua may not only try to protect his food, but in some cases a Chihuahua may also protect an empty bowl and the area around it. The dog food bowl itself is very important
to the dog; it is seen as the “magic” element in which their food will appear.
Therefore, the bowl is just as important as the dog food itself. For dogs that protect to this degree, the area surrounding the bowl is also important to them.
How can empty space be so important? Long ago dogs in the wild would live in dens. These were very small, enclosed spaces. This was a dog’s safe haven, where food was brought out of the way of any other animals who may try and take it.
Even now, domesticated dogs may have the instinct to consider the whole area around their dog food to be their “den”.
Other Reasons for Protecting Dog Food
While excessive protection behavior is the #1 reason for a dog barking
, growling or even snapping if someone gets too close to their “den”… some dogs may behave this way if they are not receiving enough food.
How can loving owner not feed their dog enough? The media focuses very highly on overweight humans and the need to stay healthy.
This has trickled down to veterinarians and other dog breed experts to warn about the dangers of overweight dogs. When a dog is overweight, this can cause many health issues
and more is being learned every year.
Loving owners, concerned about this, may tend to feed their dog less than normal in an effort to keep the dog trim and fit. However, in some cases, the Chihuahua will simply not be receiving enough calories for the day. This, in turn, can cause a Chihuahua to become overly possessive of their dog food.
Is Your Chihuahua Getting Enough Calories?
Each dog has a completely different metabolic rate at which they burn calories. Active dogs will of course, burn more. Dogs who sleep and rest a lot will burn less. However, other factors change this also such as:
- The age of your Chihuahua
- If your female Chihuahua is in heat or is pregnant
- The intensity of their daily exercise - for example walking vs. running
Standard weight = calorie guidelines have been set by canine experts and are generally agreed upon. However do keep in mind that the number of calories your Chihuahua needs
can vary greatly depending on the above factors. The best way to determine if your Chihuahua is getting enough calories is to look at his or her ribs.
If you can feel bones sticking out, your Chihuahua is underweight and should be fed more. If you have a very hard time feeling any ribs at all, and there is a thick layer of fat on the dog’s rib-cage, you would want to cut back on calories.
How many calories does a Chihuahua need? The numbers can vary by 20%. We are showing all weights, even if this, of course, does not apply to your Chihuahua, so that you can get an idea of what an enormous dog needs.
3 pounds (1.36 kg) = 125 calories 5 pounds (2.26 kg) = 175 calories 10 pounds (4.53 kg) = 370 calories 20 pounds (9.07 kg)= 700 calories 30 pounds (13.60 kg)= 938 calories 50 pounds (22.68 kg)= 1329 calories 80 pounds (36.28 kg)= 1780 calories 100 pounds (45.35 kg) = 2100 calories