Considering their picky appetite, you may wonder what could be the best dog food for Chihuahuas. Their picky nature makes it hard for most dog owners to decide a suitable commercial dog food brand for them.
However, they may be prone to illness especially if they lack the right balance of nutrients in their food. It is therefore vital to feed them a properly balanced diet to prevent them from being overweight or getting malnourished.
This article will look at what Chihuahua dietary requirements, best dog food for them and how to choose the best food for them.
Best Dog Food Brands For Chihuahuas
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Formula
- IAMS Proactive Health Small and Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
- Wellness Complete Health Natural Toy Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
- BLUE Wilderness Adult Small Breed Grain Free Chicken Dry Dog Food
- Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipe Dog Food
- CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Foundations Fresh Chicken Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Small Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Ultra Puppy Canned Puppy Food
- EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Chihuahua Dog Food
- ROYAL CANIN Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food
What Is A Chihuahua?
About Chihuahua: A Chihuahua is a tiny dog believed to be of Mexican origin with wide and big ears being its best-known features. The ears are always erect and relatively large as compared to its small head and body. The dog has a petite and fragile appearance and loves to give and receive attention. If satisfied, this unique dog breed can be quite affectionate and loyal companion dog.
Appearance: An adult Chihuahua weighs 4 to 6 pounds and ideally stands not more than 9 inches. You can get a Chihuahua with either a smooth or long coat which are all equal. The tail is long and full and feathering on the feet and legs is normal. They boast talon-like feet with long, curved nails. They have an easy-to-care coat which can be found in almost any color. Note that it’s common behavior for Chihuahua to shiver when nervous, excited or in the cold.
Temperament: No one can tell how a Chihuahua turns out as that is mostly dependent on the generic temperament of the parents. It’s therefore important to be careful when choosing a Chihuahua that does not show bad temperament. However, with good training and socialization, you can overcome the bad genes in your dog.
Trainability: The ease of training a Chihuahua is partly dependent on the dog itself. As mentioned above, how this dog breed turns out depends on the dog’s bloodline. If he has high struck parents, then it may be difficult to train him. There should be consistent training as well as plenty of reinforcements and plenty of treats. You, therefore, need to avoid (by all means) using a harsh hand when training a Chihuahua.
Best Chihuahua Food Comparision Table
Nutritional Requirements for Chihuahuas
Just like with all other dogs, properly feeding your Chihuahua is essential for building muscle, organs, and bones. Here are important nutrients to include in a Chihuahua’s diet:
A suitable dog diet must include proteins. Proteins enhance the building of muscles and help repair old body tissues. While most dog foods include sufficient protein, vitamins, fats, and minerals, the amount of each nutrient may vary from brand to brand.
Therefore, experts recommend that you go for a food brand that has at least 25% of protein, but the ideal protein amount in a Chihuahua diet should be at least 35% protein. This is important to enhance its overall physical growth. Make sure that the protein in his diet comes from high-quality lean meat sources such as fish, bison, chicken, turkey, and venison. You can also go for lamb and beef meat ingredients.
Protein sourced from meat by-products or bone is not a suitable meal for a Chihuahua and could be harmful. This may be the lowest form of proteins as it may come from slaughtered animals and road kills which may come with diseases.
A majority of dogs specifically the energetic and quirky types like a Chihuahua require enough fats in their diet as a source of energy. AAFCO recommends that the minimum fat content requirement for a Chihuahua should be 10%, but ideally it may rise up to 25%.
Apart from energy, fats in his diet will help maintain a shiny and healthy coat and is also essential for their general health. It’s however, important to choose the good fats as these will not cause obesity to a dog. Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 aid in regulating the cholesterol levels and enhance the immune system.
Carbs are essentially energy sources, and there is no minimum required level of carbs for dogs. It’s however, advisable that they should be of high quality such as the ones in barley, brown rice, oatmeal and even sweet potatoes. Carbohydrates from good sources help to promote good digestion for Fido and may help keep him safe from food-related allergies.
Since Chihuahua has a tiny stomach, you may avoid giving him wheat-based carbohydrates as well as corn and soy as they may be difficult to digest. These are low-quality grains, and some brands use them as fillers; they may result in food allergies for your Chihuahua.
High-quality dog foods contain sufficient amounts of minerals and vitamins. The essential nutrients are essential for Chihuahuas as they keep their coat healthy. They also act as immune boosters and may help prevent anemia and other diseases.
Vitamins A and E are rich antioxidants and help enhance your dog eye and skin health. An excellent source of these vitamins is the animal liver. Foods containing antioxidants are extremely beneficial for toy breeds as these are known to live longer than most other breeds. Antioxidants help them fight free radicals, and this can help keep them in superb shape.
Additionally, milk and eggs act as good sources of calcium which will help strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth. It also aids in maintaining a regular heartbeat.
On the other hand, you may offer your dog green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli and pumpkin as these contain essential nutrients that may enhance their growth.
Water is undoubtedly the most important part of any dog’s meal. Your Chihuahua will enjoy its benefits including proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Therefore, ensure that you keep a bowl of fresh and clean water to keep him in good shape.
Experts recommend at least 4 ounces of water per day, but this may depend on weight. Basically, for every pound of their weight, I ounce of water is needed. Note that water requirement is based on the dog’s energy and activity levels. Ensure that water is always available for them as dehydration can prove costly in dogs.
They may experience abnormal body temperatures which is life-threatening. Water is also vital in converting energy from carbs and proteins. Water also helps get rid of toxins as these may lead to other health problems such as kidney stones and organ failure.
Recommended Calories Requirements of Chihuahuas
Being an energetic dog, a Chihuahua needs high levels of calories to support his lifestyle. A typical adult Chihuahua needs about 240 calories in his daily diet. For older Chihuahuas, however, 160 calories per day is enough as they are less active compared to puppies and adults. Take note that an adult dog of this breed eats in relation to body size, activity and metabolism levels.
- Adult Chihuahua- 160 calories
- Typical adult Chihuahua- 200 calories
- Active Chihuahua- 325 calories
It’s however, important to consult your vet when making any significant changes in your dog’s diet.
In general, a Chihuahua needs 40 calories for every pound of their weight which is a higher requirement than in many other dogs as Chihuahuas need insane amounts of energy.
You don’t require exercising your Chihuahua too much, but you may need to monitor their diet as they tend to overeat and hence may become obese. Indoor games and other activities are enough to keep them fit.
Chihuahua Feeding Schedule
To ensure that your Chihuahua does not become overweight, you have to feed them based on their age and how active they are. You should do this following specific food amounts as follows;
For puppies that are four weeks of age and below, the best food with all the nutrients and antioxidants required is the mother’s milk. This is mainly because it is easy for them to digest and process.
For any young puppy past four weeks of age, manufactured dog food for puppies is best recommended. The feeding should be on a schedule of say 4-5 meals throughout the day.
Well, most Chihuahua puppies are known to suffer from low blood sugar levels, a case that is dangerous and fatal if not managed. Ensuring that they are fed 4-5 evened out meals throughout the day is an excellent way of stabilizing their sugar level.
Manufactured dog food for puppies are in smaller sizes and easily fit in their small mouths without too much struggle.
Unlike Chihuahua puppies, the adult Chihuahua should have 2-3 evened out meals throughout the day.
Chihuahua Common Health Problems
Some Chihuahua owners prefer going for cheaper food options instead of the premium dog food only to save a few expenses. A Chihuahua’s health is largely dependent on the diet they feed on and therefore a low-quality food may mean future health problems and hence more expenses to treat the problem.
However, this dog breed, just like any other breed has a set of health problems. Among the most common health issues of Chihuahuas include:
Most dog breeds suffer from food allergies. While it may be as a result of diet change, Chihuahuas may just develop a food allergy without any change in diet. It’s worth noting that an allergy may take time to develop and in dogs it may come as a result of high grain content such as wheat.
The symptoms may come in the form of recurrent ear infections, itchy skin and hair loss. If you think that a certain food is the cause of an allergy, it’s advisable that you do a food trial. If you are lucky to identify the cause of the allergy, the ideal long-term solution is to eliminate the food from his diet completely.
For dogs that can easily add weight and become obese, proper feeding is vital. Obesity may result in dangerous health issues such as low blood pressure, joint injuries, and diabetes. While Chihuahuas do burn calories more rapidly compared to other breeds, their nutritional requirements change due to the change in activity levels as they get older. It’s important to know when your dog is overeating in relation to its activity level.
Avoid offering them too much treats as most treats are made with too much sugar, fat and milk ingredients which may cause obesity. You should follow a strict meal schedule to avoid overfeeding them. Remember that proper nutrition will not only keep them looking fit and healthy but will also prolong their lifespan.
The soft nature of teeth of a Chihuahua makes them prone to decay and infection. The dog may experience pain and discomfort and may shed weight. If left untreated the infection may pave the way for other infection that may affect other body organs such as the heart and lung.
There are certain dog toys and dental-specific treatments that help loosen the plaque, but these are not sufficient to clean your dog’s teeth in a proper way. The ideal ways include professional scrapping and brushing which prevent tooth decay and infection. Ensure that you offer training on good oral hygiene your Chihuahua as early as possible.
Other common health conditions in Chihuahuas include:
- Hypoglycemia- a medical condition where blood sugar decreases rapidly.
- Retina Dysplasia- This is an eye infection that specifically affects the retina.
- Legg-Perthes Disease- A condition in the hip joint where there is improper blood circulation.
- Collapsed Trachea- A condition where the trachea collapses and flattens out.
- Kneecap dislocation
Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas
1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core Natural do food is of excellent quality and meets all the nutritional requirements for Chihuahua’s dog food. It is loaded with 34% protein, 29% fat as well as 37% carbohydrates which makes it a suitable food for your best friend. The main sources of protein include herring, whitefish, salmon and menhaden fish meal. These are among the best quality protein sources available.
The food helps in boosting the immune system, improves the coat condition and is friendly on the tiny digestive system of Chihuahuas.
Wellness Core is also loaded with antioxidants which help in boosting the immune system and aids in fighting opportunistic infections. The probiotics found in the dog food keep the digestive system flowing smoothly and the omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids keep the digestive system in perfect shape. The food also comes with minerals and vitamins that your Chi needs to thrive in life.
Better yet, there are no fillers, preservatives or colors. However, the food contains Tomato pomace which is considered a low-quality filler.
2. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Formula
Taste of the wild is a balanced and grain free diet that’s intended to nourish your pet.
The human grade dog food is formulated with proteins such as real venison and includes grain-free ingredients such as garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils which are not only easy to digest for your pet but ensures that he has enough energy to stay happy.
The food is loaded with antioxidants which are contained in fruits and veggies that make this food. Antioxidants will keep your pet’s immune system so strong.
3. IAMS Proactive Health Small and Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
The first ingredient is chicken to ensure Fido develops strong muscles. The recipe has been formulated with L-carnitine which helps burn fat to maintain a healthy metabolism. The dog food contains veggies such as carrots and fruits like blueberries and real apple. These are important in boosting your pet’s immunity.
Do you need a high quality small and toy breed adult recipe?
The dog food, however, does not contain enough of these veggies according to some experts.
4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
To maintain energy and overall health, full-grown adult dogs need high-quality protein. It’s the reason that U.S based pet food store makes chicken as their first ingredient in NUTRO adult dog food. Real chicken acts as a source of amino acids so that your dog can be the strongest dog around.
The food contains whole grains as a way to nourish your pet’s digestive system. It also contains vegetables and fruits to offer antioxidants needed for a healthy immune system. The food also contains Vitamin E and has no artificial flavors or colors.
The only concern is that the dog food may contain too much non-dietary fiber carbohydrates which are fillers.
5. Wellness Complete Health Natural Toy Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
If your small breed buddy like Chihuahua likes to act like the big bark on the block, here is food for him. Made with chicken, turkey, and salmon, the food offers lean and quality protein as the first ingredient; it’s a protein powerhouse. The recipe also contains wholesome whole grains which ensure that Fido keeps playing around.
The small breed formula contains a high calorific count to support the activities of a Chihuahua. Worried about his coat? The food is loaded with Omega 3 and 6 for a healthy, shiny coat. The formula has small kibble sizes just enough for a puppy and is fortified with antioxidants and probiotics. Better yet, there are no flavors, artificial and preservatives.
The only concern is that it may contain poultry, an ingredient some dogs are allergic to. Therefore, for people looking for the best food for chihuahua with allergies, this is not a good pick.
6. BLUE Wilderness Adult Small Breed Grain Free Chicken Dry Dog Food
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness small breed dry dog food with deboned chicken is made specifically for small breeds. It has all the necessary nutrients including protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates to help Fido thrive.
To support the urinary tract and the overall immune system, the dog food is loaded with antioxidants sourced from blueberries and cranberries. The recipe also contains sweet potatoes to offer energy all day long. It also contains glucosamine to keep his joints healthy. For healthy skin and smooth coat, it has Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
The disadvantage of this dog food is it contains white potatoes which may be too easily digested but also contains poor quality ingredients such as tomato pomace.
7. Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipe Dog Food
Merrick cares for the small dog breeds such as Chihuahua by making highly nutritious dog food in small kibbles. The merick Lil’ Plates dog food is a grain free dog food that has real chicken as the first ingredient to ensure your dog’s muscles grow healthy. It has been made into smaller kibbles that small breeds with tiny jaws find easy to pick and chew. The delicious dry dog food has 34% protein followed by real apples and sweet potatoes.
Better yet, smaller berries will easily digest this food as it has been made using probiotics. The presence of chondroitin, glucosamine, and antioxidants from blueberries means a stronger immune system for Chi.
The problem with this food is that while it has been made with small kibbles, some dog owners have reported that their dogs found it hard to chew.
Best Dog Food for Chihuahua Puppy
8. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Foundations Fresh Chicken Puppy Dry Dog Food
CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Fields is delicious dog food for small breed puppies that have been made with fresh chicken. It is a simple recipe that comprises of 9 ingredients only to ensure that even the most sensitive dogs find it great. Pet owners and experts alike have found this as one of the best dog food for allergies.
The first ingredient is a chicken and has been paired with whole foods as a way to improve the digestion of your pooch. The one main concern raised by experts is that most of its ingredients are not in their natural state.
9. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Puppy Dry Dog Food
Is your Chihuahua between 8 weeks and 8 months old? This Royal Canin formula has been designed for picky eaters’ such as Chi puppies, thanks to its taste and nutrition. The food is so easy to digest and helps support digestion. Yet, the food helps reduce the fecal smell and volume.
The food is packed with antioxidants which help support the immune system of your puppy. For puppy breeds with a small size of the mouth, the food has been made with optimal kibble size and texture for easy chewing.
The issue with this dog food by many pet owners is it has a higher price tag which may not be for a budget-minded Chihuahua owner.
10. Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
Hill science diet dog food offers your pup with the ideal nutrition needed for a healthy lifestyle. It has been made with wholesome ingredients such as savory chicken meal as well as rice which help in the good general health of your dog.
Made in the US, each of its ingredients meets all the strict requirements set by AAFCO and will see your Chihuahua puppy gain muscles, a healthy skin coat, and strong bones. The food contains no artificial colors and flavors because dogs between 1 to 6 years of age need proper nutrition.
However, some owners complain about digestive issues when their small dog breeds eat this food.
11. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra Holistic superfood blend comes with the perfect mix of premium lean proteins, antioxidants, and whole grains to keep your Chihuahua puppy at their best. The food is suitable for puppies up to 12 months with holistic ingredients to ensure rapid growth.
With 3 lean proteins from farm-raised chicken, salmon and pasture fed lamb, your dog will not only develop muscles but will also boast a lovely and smooth coat. It also contains naturally sourced chondroitin and glucosamine to ensure healthy joints. Yet, there are no artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
The food is low in fat as compared to other premium Chihuahua dog foods.
Best Dog food For Senior Chihuahua
12. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult Small Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult Dry Dog Food is a suitable formula for your adult Chihuahua as it includes a unique blend of nutrients. The first ingredient is a high-quality chicken protein which offers energy along with EPA, DHA, and arginine.
The dog food is full of antioxidants for immune support and omega 3 and 6 for a conditioned skin and coat. It also contains fortified vitamins to support your adult small breed pet for years to come.
Some of the reviews from customers on Amazon have commonly stated that their dogs experienced stomach issues.
Best Wet Canned Dog Food For Chihuahua
13. Nutro Ultra Puppy Canned Wet Food
Everything about Nutro revolves around quality and safety. The Nutro ultra wet dog food is yet another suitable dog food that has been formulated with almost every essential nutrient that your growing dog needs for healthy development. The dog food combines wholesome and natural ingredients and boasts a perfect combination of 3 lean proteins, fruits, veggies, sunflower oil and whole grains.
The formula is rich in DHA from egg and salmon to enhance the brain and cognitive development. Your dog will without doubt build strong teeth and bones as the food contains high levels of calcium. All their ingredients are natural with no artificial flavors and colors.
The canned food, however, contains low levels of proteins as compared to other premium products.
Specific Chihuahua Breed Dog Food Recipes
14. EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Chihuahua Dog Food
Eukanuba makes their dog foods with their nutritional philosophy that dogs are best fed as carnivores. It’s the reason that their dog foods use primarily high-quality animal-based proteins. This formula features the 3D DentaDefence system which reduced tartar build within 28 days.
It also contains a specialized fiber system that has been made from prebiotic FOS and natural beet pup to promote healthy digestion. The recipe has been loaded with antioxidants to help boost your Chihuahua’s immune system.
Some dog owners have however observed a rough coat for their dogs while some complaint of fillers.
15. ROYAL CANIN Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food
Do you want to cater to the precise needs of your Chihuahua? The Royal Canin food for Chihuahua is crafted with the aim to improve the appetite of your tiny companion. This recipe features small-kibble whose flavor is suitable to ensure easy eating.
The dog food is packed with omega 3 fatty acids to ensure a healthy coat as well as proteins to promote muscle growth. The formula also helps reduce fecal smell and volume while aiding proper digestion.
The food contains beet pulp which can bring about stomach upsets to your Chihuahua with a sensitive stomach.
How to Do Healthy Homemade Dog Food For Chihuahuas
Over the past few years, there have been numerous news stories on toxic dog foods and recalls of particular ingredients. You may also be aware that some dog food manufacturers may claim to use healthy ingredients but use unfit ingredients.
For some dog owners who know most commercial dog foods contain intestines, blood, and other waste parts, they may decide to offer them muscle meats.
With a balanced recipe, your Chihuahua will not only enjoy but also will have a shinier coat, fewer allergies, and more energy. It’s also good to learn that most homemade dog food must include healthy supplements to work best.
Here are 2 classic balanced homemade recipes to try out for your Chihuahua:
Boil 3lbs. Lean chopped chicken, hamburger or any other meat in 6 cups of water.
When the meat is ready, remove it from the water and boil 4 cups of rice in the same water. You may add some water if insufficient. Puree 1 cup peas, green beans or other vegetable and add a cup of yellow vegetables such as carrots. You can now mix all the ingredients.
Note that you need to add a multivitamin or other supplement to make this a complete nutrition.
Ask the vet before adding the supplement. You can make this in larger quantities to use it in future.
Raw foods are beneficial for dogs as they’ve not undergone processing. They may help your Chihuahua avoid allegories and are easier to digest.
You can make raw food for Chihuahua using 1 oz. of a liver, 2.5 oz. Chicken, 1.2 oz. Bone meal, and any blended green vegetable such as green beans. Chop the meat into small pieces and mix with the vegetables then add a ½ tablespoon of canola oil.
You can make this in large quantities and freeze for future use.
Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas – Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right food for your Chihuahua can be a daunting task because Chihuahuas have very specific nutritional needs.If you are not careful enough, you may introduce your Chihuahua into a whole world of health issues. The last thing you want is a dog with a rough coat, oral problems, weak immune system, obesity, food allergies and other side effects associated with feeding him the wrong food.
Here are ingredients to look for when choosing dog food for your Chihuahua:
Protein A good dog food must contain a couple of meat proteins which should be both whole meat and meat meals. Whole meats contain too much moisture while meat meals contain less moisture. Most companies use meat meals, but if you spot a byproduct in the list, you should ask questions. Ensure that the protein content is above 24%.
Essential Fats Due to their active nature, Chihuahuas need a good fat source. Go for named fat sources such as chicken fat. Look for the presence of omega fatty acids as they help keep the skin and coat healthy. Fat should make up for at least 5% of the dog food.
Vegetables To keep the immune system of your tiny friend strong, check the label to ensure the recipe includes them. You should avoid normal potatoes as these are fillers.
What to avoid when choosing a Chihuahua dog food:
To multiple pet stores offering dog foods, you need to be very careful on the food you purchase. Chihuahuas are very sensitive to low-quality food and is one of the breeds that cannot tolerate fillers.Therefore, if a dog food contains any of the above ingredients, you should not buy it for your favorite friend. However, by checking on the reviews of the products, you can gain great value for your money. If you notice any negative reaction such as vomiting, fever, tremors, lethargy, and diarrhoea, talk to your vet immediately.
It’s not always an easy task to choose the right dog food for your furry companion. With many pet food brands to choose from, you may not end up with the ideal option for the first time.
It’s the reason we have prepared a list of best dog food for Chihuahua based on users’ reviews and expert advice.
You can try them and determine which ones work best for your dog needs.