As much as they have big personalities, it’s still a fact that Chihuahuas are very small dogs. This means that they require a different nutritional approach than a larger breed. Aside from finding the most nutritious dog food, it’s also important that your doggo finds it appealing to its taste buds. The answer? The best dog food for Chihuahua.
Many Chihuahua dogs tend to be picky eaters. Unlike Frenchies and Pitbulls that will gobble just about anything, this little pooch needs a little more effort to feed.
Chihuahuas won’t settle in just about any kibble you give them. You have to be as meticulous as their taste when it comes to picking the right food.
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How much food does my Chihuahua needs?
Chihuahuas don’t need a lot of food since they have small tummies. Still, it doesn’t mean you can neglect their nutrition. Although they will be eating in small amounts, you have to ensure that they’re getting enough nutrition.
To give you an idea, an adult Chihuahua needs a meager 200 calories per day. Most dogs would need at least 400 or 500 calories. It just shows how small your Chihuahua’s diet is.
If you’re buying dog food, it’s best to opt for a smaller bag rather than going big with a 50-pound purchase. It’s not a good idea to stock up on dog food for long as it can go stale.
The fact that your Chihuahua isn’t demanding on the amount of food means you have the budget to splurge a little on the nutritional value. Although these doggos are small, they still need complete nutrition to stay healthy and happy.
How often should I feed my Chihuahua?
Like most dogs, Chihuahuas have to be fed with small amounts for about three to four times a day. Nursing dogs would have to eat more to sustain lactation.
When it comes to Chihuahuas, it’s always best to have a dish of food available all throughout the day. This means you’ll ration their day’s food supply evenly to avoid canine hypoglycemia. Since they can only eat small amounts at a time, Chihuahuas are prone to this condition.
A more frequent eating habit will help if your doggo has a history of hypoglycemia. A veterinarian may also advise about possible supplementations and home care.
No matter what, always watch out for your Chihuahua’s diet. Since they are small, their bones can’t bear a very heavy load. As much as a plump Chihuahua is cute, excess weight should never take place.
Nutritional requirements of a Chihuahua
Depending on your dog’s condition and age, diet options will vary. It’s always best to ask the opinion of a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist to get the best dog food for Chihuahua.
Generally, experts recommend a diet dense in protein and carbs. Due to their little bodies, Chihuahuas have a faster metabolism.
However, they can’t eat a lot in one sitting. Always look for food with a protein source as the number one listed ingredient.
Always remember that a 5-pound Chihuahua burns three times more calories than a 150-pound doggo. This is also the reason why they require a specially formulated diet.
The Chihuahua Club of America discourages feeding your dog with table scraps as these can easily make them obese. Table scraps are also associated with growth problems among Chihuahuas like rickets, bone deformities, and skin allergies.
Another thing you have to know is that Chihuahuas are considered senior by age 8 in terms of metabolic aspect. At this point, muscle retention should be a priority, thus the value of high-protein diets. Still, the protein content should always be in line with the dog’s weight.
Like other dogs, Chihuahuas need amino acids, vitamins, and minerals but in smaller concentrations. If you’re not confident in preparing homemade food, it’s best to invest in breed-specific dog food for your Chihuahua.
Common health problems of Chihuahuas linked to diet
Chihuahuas are generally healthy according to the American Kennel Club. In fact, they can live for as long as 15 years with proper care and in a favorable environment. Associated with their long life are various lifestyle-related conditions.
Here are some of the common dilemmas of Chihuahua owners:
Skin and coat issues. This breed has a relatively thin coat. However, they are also mired with food allergies that can make their coat appear dull and sickly. Food allergies can be inborn or acquired. Make sure that you feed this dog with food free of common allergens like soy, grains, milk, corn, beef, wheat, and others.
Joint problems. Since Chihuahuas are small dogs, excess weight can tax their joints. The likes of arthritis and luxating patella can be hereditary but poor diet can aggravate the symptoms. It’s best to feed the pooch with joint-supporting substances like glucosamine and chondroitin.
Picky eating. Chihuahuas are like finicky toddlers. It’s hard to find food that they’d love to eat. Some dog owners opt for home cooking but you can still find a delicious kibble in the market.
Dental issues. As small dogs, Chihuahuas have weak teeth. If you give them very hard kibble, they may chip a tooth or two. Dental problems may ensue if you don’t feed them with tooth-cleaning kibble.
Hypoglycemia. A lot of toy dog breeds are prone to this condition where the blood sugar level crashes. Shivering, extreme fatigue, and hair loss are just some of the signs that your Chihuahua has undiagnosed hypoglycemia. This can be prevented by spreading their meals throughout the day.
What to look for Chihuahua dog food?
We’re not pet nutritionists so we’re going to make things simple here. But if you’re pooch has a special medical condition, always ask the opinion of a vet before changing its diet. Although Chihuahuas can give you a hard time when it comes to feeding, you should always prioritize the nutritional value of their food over the taste.
Here are some of the important ingredients you should look for the best dog food for Chihuahua:
Meat or protein source
Protein is very important for Chihuahuas to keep their muscles in check. However, don’t just pick any meat. Always opt for high-quality meat from lean cuts. On the same note, don’t choose by-product protein sources as these are stripped of some important minerals. It could be cheap but it’s not ideal for your doggo either.
Fruits and veggies
Aside from protein, Chihuahuas also need a daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Veggies and fruits are also good sources of carbs and fiber to promote better digestion and excellent energy levels. For a healthier option, it’s best to opt for Chihuahua dog food made with 40% fruits and veggies.
Still, make sure that it’s well-balanced for your dog. Limit any allergy-inducing ingredients which can piss your dog’s stomach and skin.
Some special formulas will be infused with various substances that can help give your dog a shinier coat, better joint health, dental care, and so on. Always check this part to know if it suits your pooch.
Considerations when buying Chihuahua dog food
After finding the two major components of your Chihuahua’s dog food, it’s also important to consider a few aspects. Here are some of the ingredients that you should consider if it will do any good for your pet:
Amino acids. Almost all dogs need the right balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Fishes like salmon and tuna are packed with amino acids. If your dog like fish, find a dog food infused with these fatty acids.
Protein/carb/starch ratio. Always check the proportions of your dog’s food components. When it comes to protein, carbs, and starch, experts recommend the 40/40/20 ratio. You should look for high-quality meat that will comprise the 40% of protein and complex carbs like oatmeal and other whole grains. Although potatoes are usually used as carb sources, it’s better counted as starch.
Kibble size. Take note that Chihuahuas have small teeth, jaws, and tongues. You may want to give them food that can easily fit on their mouths for chewing. A very large kibble is a choking hazard plus your pooch may find it hard to chew.
Dry food. Experts say that dry food is the best dog food for Chihuahua as it promotes dental health for dogs. Paired with regular brushing, kibble may help remove plaque and tartar.
Zero preservatives. Like humans, you shouldn’t feed dogs with artificial preservatives, coloring, and fillers. These chemicals don’t have any health benefits aside from prolonging shelf life and giving the food better appearance.
Avoid these when feeding a Chihuahua
As a fellow dog parent, I always emphasize the value of good nutrition in raising a healthy pooch. Not all dog food products are made equal and not each one will suit your pooch. With that, here are some additional points to guide you in picking the right food for your doggo:
Avoid Xylitol. Watch out for this artificial sweetener which can induce sugar level crashes on your pooch. If taken for long periods, Xylitol can also damage the kidney and liver of your pooch. Xylitol comes in little dosages in dog food products but since you also have a small doggo, it wouldn’t take much time before it takes its toll.
Skip the bones. Tiny bones can choke your dog and cause lethal digestive issues for Chihuahuas.
No caffeine. Caffeine can speed up the heart rate of a Chihuahua to dangerous levels. Since this breed is already energetic by nature, there’s no need for this substance.
Top 2 Chihuahua dog food products
Are you looking for the best dog food for your little Chi? Here are two that were dog-tested by my own pooches.
Royal Canin Adult Chihuahua Dog Food
The Royal Canin is a leader when it comes to making breed-specific dog food. This is the same with their Adult Chihuahua Dog Food. It’s designed for eight-month-old doggos and up with the best possible nutrition profile they can ever get.
This dog food comes with the right balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Its highly digestible protein also makes it a top choice for many dog owners. The excellent fiber content helps promote better digestion and reduced poo smell.
However, I only recommend these to doggos with no allergies with corn. It’s a chicken meal with lots of corn in it which could be an issue to some paw-rents.
The good thing is that this dog food comes in smaller bags of 2.5 and 10 pounds. It’s quite expensive but worth the splurge if you’re going to ask me.
✔️Specially formulated for Chihuahuas
✔️Great aroma and flavor that Chihuahuas will like
✔️Packed with DHA, biotin, and Omega fatty acids
❌A bit expensive for small bags
❌Contains lots of corn which can be an issue for some
Eukanuba Chihuahua Dog Food
If you want a dog food with lesser corn content, don’t miss the Eukanuba Chihuahua Dog Food. It’s also a chicken meal with Eukanuba’s 3D DentaDefense System that can help reduce tartar buildup in just 28 days.
It’s also packed with fiber sources like natural beet pulp and prebiotics to have your doggo’s tummy in check. This food is also rich with antioxidants that help boost your pooch’s immune system.
Worried about your pet’s weight? The Eukanuba dog food comes with L-Carnitine that helps burn belly fat. If you have other toy dogs like Miniature Pinschers and terriers, this Chihuahua formula will also be great.
Take note that this dog food is best for Chihuahuas that are at least a year old. Also, take the time to measure the servings based on your pet’s weight.
✔️More affordable than Royal Canin
✔️Promotes dental health
✔️Packed with prebiotics and fiber
✔️Less corn content
❌Some dogs may have watery stool during the first days
❌Not advisable for young Chihuahuas
The best dog food for Chihuahua should answer their nutritional needs. Aside from being yummy, your finicky eater should also get the right nourishment to stay healthy.
Planning to get a Chihuahua dog? Here’s what you need to know first: