In this article, I will review the best dog food for Chihuahuas in 2022.
Despite their small size, Chihuahuas have a huge personality and activity. Therefore, providing them with the best nutrition is key. You need to look for dog food that is nutritious, and the kibble size is also formulated for this toy breed.
Luckily, I also have personal experience with these dogs, but I learned a lot about their needs in my individual research.
I found that the best possible dry food for Chihuahuas is the Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food.
However, it is worth checking out my full list, as I have collected a total of 12 products based on different perspectives. Examples are the life stage (puppy, senior) or certain nutritional requirements (grain-free, weight management, etc.).
What are the best dog foods For Chihuahua?
- Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health – Overall best
- Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe – Runner up
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato – Premium option
- Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula – Budget option
- Merrick Lil’Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food – Best wet food
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy Formula – Best for puppies
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Senior Formula – Best for seniors
- Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken – Best grain-free option
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Small Breed Formula – Best for allergies
- Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food – Best breed-specific option
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Dog Food – Best for joint problems
- Eukanuba Fit Body Weight Control Small Breed – Best for weight management
Why you should trust me
Whether you’re experienced in dog and other pet topics or not, I’m sure you’re in the right place. I do my best to provide the best and most reliable information possible to my readers.
My name is Peter Laskay, and I have been a pet lover since I was a child. One of the most important places in my life is to gain as much knowledge as possible about pet care. And I want to pass this knowledge on to my blog visitors.
Should you have any questions at any time, feel free to contact me using the contact information on the website.
Best Chihuahua dog food reviews
Below you will find excellent foods for Chihuahuas. All products comply with AAFCO nutritional guidelines for dogs.
Because different canines have different needs, I collected the products based on separate categories. In addition to the overall best dog food, you’ll find a budget option, puppy and senior formulas, weight management, and grain-free diet, and more.
I hope you find the one that works best for your Chihuahua.
If you are looking for the best dog food for Chihuahuas in overalls, be sure to consider this formula. The Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult Food has been developed to meet the nutritional needs of toy breeds.
It is high in calories (462 kcal/cup), meaning it is developed for a faster metabolism in small dogs. In addition, the small kibble size allows Chihuahuas’ tiny teeth and jaws to have no trouble chewing.
The 30% protein content is very positive because this way, you can be sure that quality ingredients give this product’s high-calorie content.
The main protein sources are Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal. Not only are they well digestible, but meals also contain glucosamine and chondroitin. These two compounds have an excellent effect on joint health.
Rice and Oatmeal are whole grains that are low in glycemia. This is important as it provides your pup with energy all day long. Thus, they not only support an active lifestyle but prevent the development of hypoglycemia, to which Chihuahuas are quite prone. In addition, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Chicken Fat and Flaxseed are sources of fat that will make the product delicious and healthy. Because of them, your dog gets the right amount of omega fatty acids. These fatty acids play an important role in the health of dogs’ skin, coat, and brain.
Speaking of health: The recipe includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, added vitamins, and minerals. These ingredients support the health of your Chihuahua, contributing to a happier and fuller life.
Most owners are happy with this Wellness food. Dogs generally love the taste. Moreover, this formula is ideal for canines with heart problems due to its low sodium content.
Although some believe that the product is of impeccable quality, it could be a little cheaper. Very picky dogs don’t like the taste, but some tricks can easily help with this (mixing with wet food, moistening, etc.).
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.8
This Instinct product is a real runner-up when it comes to the best Chihuahua food. Although the price is a bit high, because of its quality, you should definitely consider it.
35% protein and 20% fat are nutritious for toy breeds. This is also shown by the fact that this food supplies your pup with 469 calories. But let’s see the ingredients.
The main sources of protein are Chicken and Chicken Meal. The latter is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is good news for the joints. Plus, chicken is a really well-digestible and nutritious source of protein that every dog loves.
The product has no problem with its taste anyway. Because of the freeze-dried raw coat, even the pickiest Chihuahuas will love this recipe. Additional protein sources include Turkey Meal and Herring Meal.
The product is otherwise grain-free and contains carbohydrates such as Chickpeas and Tapioca. (I will also reveal the best grain-free version in my article later.) These are ingredients that provide a lot of fiber and other useful nutrients.
The 20% fat content comes from sources such as Chicken fat and Coconut oil. Thus, the omega 3 fatty acid content of the recipe is lower than that of Wellness.
In addition, Coconut oil is a controversial ingredient, according to many experts. This is because the MCT content of Coconut Oil is actually lauric acid, which studies have shown is not suitable for weight loss.
Ingredients include added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. This way, you can be sure that you can support the immune system of your Chihuahua pup by choosing this product.
Dog owners are generally happy with the Instinct recipe. The very fussy eating dogs also enjoy eating all the bites.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.6
Premium Chihuahua Food:
If you choose the Merrick recipe, you certainly don’t have to worry about your Chihuahua not getting enough protein. The 38% protein content of the product provides toy breeds with the energy and amino acids needed for growth.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal are animal sources that are delicious, easily digestible, and also contain glucosamine.
The ingredients also include some vegetable proteins (Pea Protein, Potato Protein). This is not very beneficial, but fortunately, the first three places are meat and meat meal. From this, you can know that most of the protein content is from animal sources.
The product is grain-free and contains carbohydrate sources such as Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, and Peas. They contribute to healthy digestion with their fiber content. The added prebiotics are also intended to support the functioning of the digestive system.
The product has a fat content of 17%, which comes from ingredients such as Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, and Salmon Oil. I think you can also see that this gives the recipe a proper omega fatty acid profile, which is beneficial for all dogs.
The product contains a lot of healthy ingredients, thus maximally promoting the immune system of Chihuahua. Examples include added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals.
Most customers are delighted with the Merrick Lil ‘Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe. Picky dogs also eat it. People say the biggest problem with this recipe is the high price.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.7
Whether you want to or not, there are constant costs to keeping a dog. If you want to reduce these expenses somewhat, you may want to buy cheaper dog food. However, very cheap products contain low-quality ingredients, which can pose a danger to dogs in the long run.
Diamond Naturals is a brand that produces good quality dog food at an affordable price. In addition, the recipe currently reviewed also includes superfoods such as kale, chia seeds, and pumpkin. These superfoods are rich in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) and support the functioning of the Chihuahua’s immune system.
I especially like this food because the 27% protein content is mainly given by real meat. This is known from the first ingredient, Chicken and Chicken Meal.
Many low-cost products contain low-quality protein sources, which is why this formula is a pleasant surprise. In addition, the meal form contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which is a great help to the joints of toy breeds.
Barley, Ground White Rice, and Grain Sorghum are healthy whole grains that give your pooch energy all day long. This is essential to avoid hypoglycemia.
The fat content of the product is satisfactory (16%). The omega-3 content could be higher (0.4%), but I think at such a price-to-value ratio, it’s absolutely acceptable.
The formula contains 80 billion CFUs of live probiotics to help dogs digest. Most owners also report this in their reviews. However, it is worth noting that the recipe is not very ideal for overly picky dogs.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.4
Best Wet Dog Food for Chihuahuas:
If you want to buy the best wet food for your Chihuahua, be sure to consider the Merrick Lil’Plates Mini Medley. This is a variety pack that includes chicken, beef, and turkey flavors.
You should choose wet dog food if your dog is very picky or, for some reason, is unable to chew dry food.
Based on the macronutrients, these formulas may appear to contain few proteins and other nutrient sources. However, for wet foods, the 8% protein content is absolutely satisfactory. In addition, the amount of protein sources is also excellent.
Deboned chicken provides all the necessary amino acids for your pup. Ingredients also include internal organs (e.g., liver). They also have adequate protein content and also enrich dogs’ diets with vitamins (e.g., vitamin A) and minerals.
The product also contains grain-free carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, as well as added vitamins and minerals. This way, you can be sure that you are also supporting your Chihuahua’s immune system with this product.
Most owners say dogs are happy with the taste of this product. However, extremely picky dogs quite simply don’t like it.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.5
Best food for Chihuahua puppies:
Toy breed puppies have special nutritional needs. On the one hand, they need enough protein and calories for growth. On the other hand, their glycogen storage capacity is not very good, so they need a lot of energy from their diet (mainly carbohydrates). Third, small teeth and jaws are an important aspect of kibble size.
Based on the quality and quantity of ingredients, you can see that this Blue Buffalo formula meets these requirements to the maximum.
The first two ingredients in the recipe are Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal. These are not only well-digestible meats, but they provide 29% protein. This gives your Chihuahua enough energy and amino acids for growth.
Another source of protein is Menhaden Fish Meal, which is delicious and contains omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for the brain development of puppies. But they also have a good effect on the skin, coat, muscles, and eye health.
Other sources of fat are Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, and Fish Oil. Thus, the product’s fat content will be 17%, and the proportion of fatty acids will also be balanced. The high protein and fat content give the recipe 415 kcal/cup of calories, which is ideal.
However, the quality of carbohydrate sources is also important for energy. The product contains grains like Oatmeal or Barley, but we can also find Peas. These ingredients are low in glycemic, so they supply your Chihuahua puppy with constant energy. This, in turn, prevents the development of hypoglycemia, to which this breed is very prone.
The product contains many added vitamins and minerals, the most important of which are calcium and phosphorus. This is because these ingredients contribute greatly to the development of healthy bones.
Dog owners are satisfied with the quality of the product. Dogs love the taste of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Food. Most of the complaints are because of a vitamin blend called LifeSource Bits developed by Blue. This is because they are easy to separate from the food, and dogs sometimes spit it out.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.7
Best food for senior Chihuahuas:
In old age, dogs’ metabolism decreases, so they need lower calorie food. This is most easily achieved with moderated fat, sufficient dietary fiber, and low glycemic carbohydrates.
In addition, glucosamine and chondroitin, which support the joints and various vitamins and minerals, are important to them. Merrick Lil ‘Plates Grain-Free dog food meets these requirements to the maximum.
Thanks to its 12% fat content, its caloric content is 348 kcal/cup. On the other hand, protein content of 32% helps maintain lean muscle mass and proves to be an adequate source of energy and nutrients.
Ingredients include meats such as Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Salmon Meal as protein sources. Meals add plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin to food (1200 mg/kg).
We also find vegetable proteins in the recipe. I don’t usually find this beneficial. However, since these proteins are only in sixth and ninth place, fortunately, we can be sure that most of the crude protein is animal meat.
Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Potatoes are carbohydrates that are easy to digest and support digestion due to their fiber content. The added prebiotics serve the same purpose.
The product contains plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. These ingredients ensure that your senior Chihuahua’s immune system can function with adequate efficiency.
Customers are basically happy with the Lil ‘Plates recipe. Picky dogs love the product’s taste, and its micronutrient content brings a significant improvement in their health. Although there are those, who say this high protein content is not suitable for old dogs.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.7
Best Grain-free Chihuahua food:
There may be several reasons why you want to choose a grain-free diet for your dog. Whatever it is, you need to find the best alternative. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed dog food contains high-quality ingredients.
The impressive 36% protein content is provided by Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, and Chicken Meal. These are meats that are tasty and nutritious and contain plenty of glucosamine that supports joints.
Lentils, Peas, and Potatoes are carbohydrates rich in vitamins, fiber, and minerals. These perfectly supply your Chihuahua with energy.
What I specifically like about the recipe is the abundance of added vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.), fruits (apples, blueberries, etc.), vitamins, and minerals. These ingredients contribute greatly to the overall health of any dog.
Prebiotics serve a similar purpose as they support the health of the digestive system.
The manufacturer has also added taurine to this dry dog food, which experts say is important for grain-free diets.
Dog owners are happy with this product. Dogs basically really like the taste. Thanks to the high-quality ingredients, significant positive changes can be achieved for some health conditions. An example is tear stains, which often occur in small breeds.
The kibble size is perfectly suitable for smaller dogs. Of course, very picky dogs also tend to refuse this food. This can be easily handled by mixing or moistening wet food.
Overall, the product is a great grain-free alternative to Chihuahuas; but of course, many buyers will have a problem with the price.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.7
Best food for Chihuahuas with allergies:
Dog food allergies can occur in virtually any dog, including small breeds. This is an incurable condition. But don’t worry, once you’ve managed to find out the allergens, it’s straightforward to treat. You have to find the best dog food for allergies.
Foods with limited ingredients are a good solution, as they usually contain a single source of protein. Chicken is a common allergen, so you may want to choose chicken-free dog food in many cases.
The product is grain-free, which is important because grains are also relatively common allergens. There are carbohydrate sources among the ingredients like Sweet Potatoes and Cassava Flour. The former is an extremely healthy and nutritious plant.
Ingredients include fat sources such as Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed, and Menhaden Fish Oil. These add additional omega fatty acids to the recipe.
Dried Yeast contains a lot of nutrients. However, if your dog is sensitive to this ingredient or often has a yeast infection, you may want to look for a yeast-free dog food option.
The added vitamin and mineral supplements support your dog’s immune system, which can also help relieve allergic reactions.
Buyers love this product as the dogs are happy with the taste. Several customers have reported a reduction in allergic reactions. The kibble size is perfectly formulated for small and toy breeds.
The most common “complaint” about a product is its price. On the other hand, I think the quality has to be paid for, and Natural Balance is a really high-quality brand.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.7
Breed-Specific Dog Food for Chihuahuas:
Royal Canin is one of the few brands that have breed-specific formulas. The presently reviewed recipe specifically meets the nutritional needs of Chihuahuas.
The main nutritional considerations in these dogs are tiny jaw and tooth size, as well as pickiness.
The kibble size of this product is small, so Chihuahuas will have no problem chewing. And the experience has shown that the taste is also favorable for really picky dogs. This is important because if your Chihuahua does not eat enough and often enough, he will become prone to hypoglycemia.
So the above benefits are quite clear. On the other hand, I need to talk a little bit about the quality of the ingredients, which, unfortunately, I am not overly happy with.
The first ingredient in the product is corn and does not contain real meat. Instead, the main protein source is Chicken By-Product Meal, which, while not explicitly harmful, is not considered a premium animal source. But the good news is that we find added vitamins and minerals among the ingredients.
Pet Worshiper rating: 8.5
Best Chihuahua food for joint issues:
Not only large breeds are prone to joint problems. For Chihuahuas, you may also need to choose food that is appropriate for such issues.
This Hill’s Science product contains ingredients that protect and support the vulnerable joints of Chihuahuas. The protein content is not very high, but its source is high quality.
This is because Chicken Meal is well digestible and nutritious, and rich in glucosamine and chondroitin. These two compounds have been shown to have good effects on joint health.
Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, and Cracked Pearled Barley are the main carbohydrate sources. These are whole grains that are very nutritious and provide energy to your pup all day long. However, some contain gluten (e.g., wheat), so this recipe is not recommended for sensitive dogs.
Ingredients include sources of omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., Fish Oil). These fatty acids are great anti-inflammatory. In addition, the added vitamin E has an antioxidant effect that helps cell regeneration and can prevent joint damage.
The recipe also contains added vitamins and minerals, which are always an important consideration for me. After all, a strong and well-functioning immune system is essential for a full and happy life.
Dog owners often report improvements in the joints of their dogs when using this product.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.0
Best Chihuahua food for weight management:
Chihuahuas can be very picky, so there is a high risk that they will not eat enough. However, due to their small stature, there is also a chance of excessive calorie intake. This can lead to obesity and a lot of health problems in the long run.
This formula from Eukaneuba is an excellent option when it comes to weight management for your Chihuahua. At the same time, thanks to its valuable ingredients, it provides all the nutrients that toy breeds need.
The 29% protein content and whole digestible carbs provide enough energy for your pup. The main protein sources are Chicken and Chicken By-Product Meal.
Although the by-products are not as good quality, they can be valuable ingredients in the diet of dogs due to their glucosamine content. This is because this compound has a good effect on the joints of overweight dogs. And chicken is very nutritious and delicious meat.
In addition, the product has a fat content of 10%. As a result, it has a calorie content of 320 kcal/cup, which guarantees that your Chihuahua will not gain extra weight.
Another weight loss ingredient is L-carnitine, an amino acid that promotes fat burning.
Considering the above benefits, I think it’s clear that you should consider this product if you want a weight loss recipe for your Chihuahua.
Pet Worshiper rating: 9.3
Finding the best diet for your dog is not easy. You have to consider several aspects, e.g., activity, breed, age, health condition, etc. If you want to make the best decision possible, check out my comprehensive guide on how to choose the best dog food.
Diet-related health issues in Chihuahuas
Experts agree that the basis of a dog’s health is a proper diet. Chihuahuas are basically healthy and can have a very long, meaningful life. (Like other small breeds, the average lifespan of these dogs can be up to 15 years).
Therefore, most diseases they are prone to can be linked to changes in their lifestyle and life stages. It follows that these conditions are highly likely to be avoided or treated with an appropriate diet.
Of course, there are also congenital diseases in the Chihuahuas. Even in such cases, it is important to find the best possible diet. After all, improving the health of overalls makes it easier to endure all problems.
So let’s look at diet-related health conditions:
You should never give your dog too little food. This is because malnutrition can cause a lot of health problems in the long run.
However, you should know that most small breed dogs, so Chihuahuas are also prone to obesity. Of course, there is no need for low-calorie dog food, as Chihuahuas consume many calories compared to their body weight (I will write more about this later).
But be careful with rewards and treats. The extra calories from these can quickly cause excess weight gain. The situation is even worse if your pooch is lazy and not very active.
What is the solution? You should know the exact amount of calories your Chi needs. In addition, do some exercise together regularly.
Toy breeds are basically prone to joint problems. However, in the case of the Chihuahuas, these are especially common. This is because their small joints find it very difficult to withstand high levels of load.
One such condition is Patella Luxation, in which the knee knap is deformed and causes lameness, among other things.
Another common joint problem is arthritis.
These diseases are inherited in many cases and can also develop when the puppy does not receive enough nutrients during growth. Therefore, dog food containing glucosamine and chondroitin is important. But micronutrients like vitamin D, calcium, or phosphorus also help.
Another joint problem that Chihuahuas are prone to, is Intervertebral disc disease. It is a fairly serious disease that can cause back pain and movement disorders.
Of course, achieving the right weight will also help you avoid joint and bone problems. Therefore, your dog mustn’t be obese.
Skin and coat conditions
Small breeds (including Chihuahuas) are very prone to skin and coat conditions. These are sometimes hereditary but can be caused by dog food allergies, environmental allergies, or lack of certain nutrients.
A good idea can be good dog food for allergies or shampoo for similar purposes. Among the ingredients, omega-3 fatty acids have an excellent effect on inflammation and skin and coat problems.
Chihuahuas often have a heart disease called Patent Ductus Arteriosus. In this condition, the heart is unable to deliver enough blood to the lungs.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus is hereditary, but you can promote your dog’s overall health with the right diet, which will also help treat the disease. Ingredients with omega 3 fatty acids also help.
Hypoglycemia refers to the abnormally low blood sugar that often threatens toy breeds. Chihuahuas have too little muscle mass to store glycogen efficiently. this is mainly due to the high risk of developing hypoglycemia in this dog breed.
Quite clearly, diet plays a key role in the development of this condition. Strive to choose a dog food that has enough calories and good quality whole carbs.
Glaucoma, Corneal Dystrophy, and Lens Luxation. These are three eye-related diseases that are quite common in Chihuahuas. Vitamin A has a good effect on the condition of the eyes. The best sources of vitamin A are liver, carrots (carotene), and sweet potatoes. But many manufacturers also add this micronutrient to their recipes as a supplement.
Small teeth can be very vulnerable. Chihuahuas easily develop dental problems. But don’t worry, these are very easy to prevent. Regular brushing and small kibbles formulated for toy breeds keep your Chihuahua’s teeth perfectly healthy.
Related Dog Food Guides For Specific Breeds:
- Best Dog Food For Bulldogs
- Best Dog Food For Blue Heelers
- Best Dog Food For Cocker Spaniels
- Best Dog Food For French Bulldogs
- Best German Shepherd Treats
- Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers
- Best Dog Food For Hunting Dogs
- Best Dog Food For Maltese
- Best Dog Food For Labs
- Best Dog Food For Pitbulls
- Best Dog Food For St Bernards
- Best Dog Food For Yorkies
- Best Dog Food For Pomeranians
Nutritional needs of Chihuahuas
Based on the above, I think it’s clear to you, too, that you definitely need to find the best dog food for Chihuahuas.
But what are the characteristics of a good diet for this breed? The most important things are the quality of the ingredients and the right ratio of macro and micronutrients. I will write about these in detail below.
A decent amount of animal protein
Chihuahuas (like all dogs) thrive best on animal nutrient sources thanks to their wolf ancestors. But, of course, that doesn’t mean they can’t digest carbs. In turn, proteins will be the macronutrients that supply them with energy and the amino acids needed to build muscle.
A healthy Chihuahua needs at least 24% crude protein from his diet. So make sure the first ingredient in the dog food of your choice is real meat or meat meal.
A lot of protein results in healthy muscles. And muscle mass can store glycogen more efficiently. In addition, adequate amounts of glycogen are essential for toy breeds that are prone to hypoglycemia. This is why your Chihuahua diet must include the right amount of protein.
Healthy and digestible carbs
Many dog owners think their pups are unable to digest carbohydrates. This is not entirely true. However, you must pay attention to the quality of your carbs.
Whole grains are excellent sources of nutrients, high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Suitable examples are rice, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, and oats.
If for some reason, your dog is sensitive or allergic to grains, you should choose the best grain-free dog food.
These products contain carbohydrate sources such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, or legumes (beans, peas, lentils). They provide your dog with energy, and their vitamin and fiber content is also satisfactory.
Moderate healthy fats
Fats are great sources of energy, help utilize certain vitamins, and play a key role in many bodily processes.
By the way, animal fats taste very tempting, so even the best tasting dog foods contain many such fat sources. The best for this purpose is chicken fat or beef fat.
However, too high a fat content causes obesity. The right Chihuahua food contains 10-20% fat.
Intake of omega-3 fatty acids is also important for healthy skin, coat, brain, and heart. Their best sources are fish oil and flaxseed.
Fiber is not an essential source of nutrients for Chihuahuas. In turn, it creates the right environment for beneficial gut bacteria. Thanks to this, it improves digestion and overall health, as well as prevents constipation.
The best fiber sources are whole carbs, beet pulp, or coconut.
Be aware that too much fiber can cause too much poop. If you experience something like this in your dog, choose low residue dog food.
You can find out about the nutritional requirements for dogs in the AAFCO guideline. This guide describes the right amount and proportion of vitamin and mineral requirements.
Vitamins support the immune system, just like minerals, which are essential for proper development and growth. Dog food without calcium and phosphorus can cause joint and bone problems in your dog in the long run.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are very healthy for canines, and they also contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The latter protects the cells from free radicals and aid in regeneration.
Most manufacturers also incorporate these micronutrients into their products as supplements.
For safety, always read the label to see if the dog food of your choice contains the essential nutrients mentioned above.
Caloric dense food
Toy breeds, of course, eat tiny amounts of food. However, they need a lot of calories compared to their size. (I’ll write about this in detail later.) That’s why it’s essential to choose dog food for your Chihuahua that contains enough calories to provide him with all-day energy.
What to look for in the best Chihuahua food
We have reviewed the nutritional needs of Chihuahuas above. Now, instead of ingredients, I’m going to write about what proper food should be for this breed.
Small kibble size
Small and toy breeds have very tiny teeth and jaws. Because of this, they need a kibble that is sized for them. Look for a small breed or toy breed formula so your Chihuahua won’t have a problem with chewing.
Dog food from reliable countries
Dog food is made with very strict standards in the US, New Zealand, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia. Therefore, it is worth looking at a product that comes from one of these countries.
Dogs of different life stages have different nutritional needs. For example, puppy Chihuahuas need more protein and energy to grow. In addition, they are much more prone to hypoglycemia. This can be easily prevented with a slightly higher carbohydrate content.
Adults also need the right amount of calories due to their fast metabolism. So look for food for them that is high in protein and moderate in fat.
Senior Chihuahuas have a slower metabolism. However, they also need an adequate amount of protein to maintain muscle mass. In addition, the omega fatty acid content of the food is important, which promotes heart, skin, and coat health. Glucosamine and chondroitin are responsible for joint integrity.
Feel free to spend more on your small chihuahua food
Keeping a dog is a serious investment. So it’s important to know in advance how much you need to spend on your pooch. Of course, a significant percentage of the costs is dog food.
However, it matters if you have a huge Danish Dog or a Chihuahua. The latter dog eats significantly less. So I think you can safely buy a better quality product that may be more expensive.
But with this, you can perfectly establish the health of your Chi, which is not a negligible aspect.
What ingredients should you avoid?
Not all dog food is of equal quality. The worst dog food brands put ingredients and chemicals in their products that can even harm your pooch. The same is true for bad treats. Let’s see what the ones you should definitely avoid are:
Some manufacturers use artificial chemicals to improve the quality of their food.
Preservatives increase the shelf life of dog food. However, these ingredients can cause digestive problems in dogs. In addition, a preservative called BHA is a known carcinogen.
Artificial colors and flavor enhancers can make products more attractive; But only for you. Think about it: your dog won’t care about the color of the food. It’s also worth noting that if all the ingredients are high quality, there’s no need for a flavor enhancer.
In addition, these compounds can cause digestive problems in your little Chihuahua. Avoid any ingredients that are not natural.
Meat by-products are unfit for human consumption. So why would you give them to your dog?
These mostly contain parts of the animal that are leftover during food production. Examples include chicken legs, claws, intestines, lungs, and the like. How bad does it sound?
In many canines, by-products cause sensitivity. Plus, you’ll never know exactly which part of the animal is in the blend. Thus, the quality is also uncontrollable. The situation is even worse for unnamed meat meals.
So, avoid these from your dog’s diet.
Wheat, soy, corn, and their various parts (hull, husk, etc.) are usually considered fillers. This is because they have little or no nutrient content. In addition, the ingredients mentioned above often cause sensitivity or allergies in dogs.
How much should you feed your Chihuahua?
It is not easy to determine how much food a Chihuahua needs a day. This is because the right amount of calories depends not only on the breed but also on age and activity. Below you can find some tables about Chihuahuas caloric needs in different life stages.
Chihuahua Puppy Caloric needs
Lots of calories are very important for puppies because of proper growth. This is about 45-50 calories per pound of body weight.
|Chihuahua Puppy Weight||Daily Calories|
|1 lb||50 Calories|
|2 lb||100 Calories|
|3 lb||150 Calories|
|4 lb||200 Calories|
|5 lb||250 Calories|
|6 lb||300 Calories|
Adult Chihuahua Caloric needs
For an adult Chi, 35-40 calories per pound of body weight are ideal. For an average-sized Chihuahua, that means about 1/2 to 2 cups of food. This may seem like a lot but remember: toy breeds are metabolized faster.
|Adult Chihuahua Weight||Daily Calories|
|3 lb||120 Calories|
|4 lb||160 Calories|
|5 lb||200 Calories|
|6 lb||240 Calories|
|7 lb||280 Calories|
Senior Chihuahua Caloric needs
The metabolism of senior dogs is slower than that of adults. Therefore, Chihuahuas over the age of 7 need about 30 calories per pound of body weight.
|Senior Chihuahua Weight||Daily Calories|
|3 lb||90 Calories|
|4 lb||120 Calories|
|5 lb||150 Calories|
|6 lb||180 Calories|
|7 lb||210 Calories|
Remember that the above numbers are only recommendations. The exact amount of calories also depends on your dog’s activity and health. It is best to consult your veterinarian.
How often should you feed your Chihuahua?
The frequency of feeding also depends on the age of your Chihuahua.
Puppies under three months of age should eat 4-6 times a day. Older puppies also need to get food at least 3-4 times a day. There are Chihuahua owners who keep food out all day. This is called the ad libitum method.
And why is frequency so important? Because it greatly reduces the chance of developing hypoglycemia.
After the age of 6 months, it is enough to divide down your Chi’s daily food into 2-3 meals.
What should you give your picky Chihuahua to eat?
Chihuahuas are usually quite picky dogs. In this case, feeding can become very difficult, and the most important goal is to find the best tasting dog food.
The products on my list are not only good quality and healthy, but they also taste great. But before you try it, you can’t know for sure if your dog will love that particular recipe.
Here are some tips to share with you on how to make any dog food more appealing.
- Moistening: If your dog doesn’t like the dry food you choose, you can try this method. First, moisten the food with warm water. Make sure it is not too hot as dogs are sensitive to heat.
- Mixing wet food with dry food: Dogs basically find wet food much more desirable than dry food. Therefore, choose a good quality wet dog food next to the product of your choice and mix the two. The Merrick Lil ’Plates in my article are perfect for this purpose.
- Fats: Fats have a really mouth-watering taste, especially animal fats. Therefore, choose dog food that contains such ingredients. You can also add fat sources to the recipe, such as duck fat, chicken fat, or a little cheese. (The latter can cause digestive problems in many dogs due to lactose, so you should pay close attention to this.) However, please don’t overdo it. Fats are high in calories, and you may not want your dog to become obese.
- Change to wet food: Sometimes it’s simply the case that your Chihuahua doesn’t like dry dog food. In this case, you should completely switch to a wet formula.
Frequently asked questions about Chihuahua nutrition
I hope you can find out more about the right dog foods for Chihuahuas with the help of the buying guide above. Below I will answer additional questions that usually arise on the topic.
What is Chihuahuas’ favorite food?
Chihuahuas can be pretty picky, but one thing is for sure. They love meat. Therefore, choose a dog food whose first ingredient is some kind of meat or meat meal. The best and tastiest sources of protein are chicken, lamb, turkey, fish, beef, or fish. The best dog foods made for Chihuahuas have a meat content of about 40%.
Does my Chihuahua Need Special Food?
Chihuahuas have tiny teeth and jaws. Therefore, they need dog food formulated for small or toy breeds. Diets of this nature are appropriate for the physique of these dogs and even meet their nutritional needs.
Should Chihuahuas eat wet food?
Dry dog food is much more beneficial to the dental health of Chihuahuas. However, there are situations where you may want to consider switching to wet dog food. Such is the case, for example, when your Chi is very picky. Since wet food is much tempting, it’s a good idea to mix different textures or switch completely. Another such possibility is when your Chihuahua has some dental problem and is unable to chew dry food.
What food is bad for Chihuahua?
What kind of meat can Chihuahuas eat?
Chihuahuas can eat almost any meat that does not cause sensitivity or allergies. Chicken and beef are common allergens in dog food, but if your Chi has no problem with them, feel free to choose a formula that includes such meats. The best animal sources are chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, duck, and fish.
Is banana good for Chihuahua?
Bananas are a valuable source of nutrients for all dogs (including Chihuahuas). They contain a lot of potassium, biotin, vitamins, copper, and other micronutrients. However, pay attention to moderation, as this fruit is high in calories, so that large amounts can cause obesity in the long run. Also, be careful not to give your Chi banana peel. This is because it can cause suffocation and bowel obstruction.
How many times a day does a Chihuahua poop?
An average healthy Chihuahua poops 2-3 times a day. This number can be more; it is not uncommon for 5 times a day. It mostly depends on the fiber and other nutrient content of the dog food you choose. If your dog poops more than 5 times a day, you may want to check his diet and consult your veterinarian.
Can Chihuahuas eat eggs?
Eggs are a very high source of protein of biological value. It contains not only many proteins but also linoleic acid, vitamin A, and omega fatty acids. So feel free to include in your Chihuahua’s diet this source of protein.
So what is the best dog food for Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas have special needs. In addition to their pickiness, they need enough nutrients and energy. You have seen that even more serious diseases can develop in the absence of these requirements (e.g., hypoglycemia).
I found the Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food to be the most suitable for this tiny breed. In addition to the small kibble size, this product contains natural and healthy ingredients that support the development and health of your Chihuahua.
Of course, you should also check the other members of my list if you have individual needs.
You should consult your veterinarian before starting any new diet.