When it comes to choosing the best dog food for your Chihuahua, there are a whole host of things you have to take into consideration first before you go with any brand, due to the special dietary needs that Chihuahuas require every day.
No two dog breeds are alike and, hence, it’s rare that you’ll find a specific dog food being recommended as the best dog food for Chihuahuas and as the best dog food for another specific dog breed. Each and every dog breed has its own nutritional needs and should follow a specific diet of its own.
Good news is, we’ve done the research for you and, if you’re looking for dog foods that will ensure your Chihuahua meets all their nutritional requirements for the day – then look no further, you’re right where you need to be.
- 1 Quick Look At The Top 5 Dog Food For Chihuahuas (Updated For 2017)
- 2 The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas
- 3 How To Tell The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas From The Worst
- 4 Ingredients You Don’t Want In Your Chihuahua’s Dog Food
- 5 Ingredients You DO Want In Your Chihuahua’s Dog Food
- 6 Chihuahua Health Problems
- 7 Chihuahua Feeding Schedule
Quick Look At The Top 5 Dog Food For Chihuahuas (Updated For 2017)
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas
Pick #1 – Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
The Wellness CORE also comes loaded with antioxidants which help improve your Chihuahua’s immune system and fight off diseases, probiotics which keep their digestive system flowing as smooth as can be, Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids to keep your Chihuahua’s coat in perfect shape, and all the vitamins and minerals your Chi needs in a well balanced diet to thrive in life.
Its macro-nutrient breakdown is also very impressive, with protein content sitting at a near-perfect-Chihuahua-diet-recommended 28%, plenty of fat content (15%), and abundant complex-carbohydrate source vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots and spinach.
What better can you ask for? This gets our #1 recommendation for your Chihuahua, hands down.
Pick #2 – Artemis Fresh Mix – Small Breed Adult
Not to mention that it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and essential fatty acids for your small buddy, just like our #1 pick above.
One thing we love about this specific dog food is that it’s designed with small-sized dogs in mind, and is not an attempt at some one-size-fits-all dog food for every breed out there no matter what the size difference is.
This also means that this food is manufactured in smaller bite-sizes in order for your Chihuahua to be able to properly chew them with their tiny mouth and small teeth and not cause any unwanted dental damage. Their stomachs will also better be able to process smaller bite-sized dog foods.
Again, and just like our #1 pick, the Artemis Fresh Mix’s first 3 ingredients are meat-based, which means that your Chihuahua will be getting all the high-quality protein it needs during the day.
After the first 3 ingredients which are all high-quality meat based ingredients, you’ll find carbohydrate-sources such as barley and brown rice, both of which are high-quality carbohydrate sources that are included in many premium dog food products, unlike useless filler like wheat, soy and corn.
Pick #3 – Orijen Adult Dog Food
Orijen is available in many different varieties, all of which have meat dominating the first 2-3 ingredients on the list. You can have your choice between chicken, turkey, salmon, etc … Whatever your Chi desires!
The only reason we’ve included it as our #3 choice for this list is that, with its price, you’re better off going with one of our first 2 options mentioned above, as you’ll be giving your Chihuahua all the nutrients and minerals it needs and saving money while at it.
Pick #4 – Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food is free from “trash” that can be found in low-quality dog food, such as artificial flavors, preservatives, and coloring.
When you choose the Toy Breed Adult Formula, you’ll be getting your Chihuahua a dof good with a very well balanced mix of high-quality protein and carbohydrate levels to make sure they meet their nutritional needs for the day.
Even though this dog food is dominated by meat ingredients in the top 2 spaces on the ingredients list, our #1 and #2 picks are dominated by meat ingredients in the top 3 spaces on the ingredients list, which is obviously better when it comes to protein content.
One thing we also like in this particular dog food is that it’s manufactured with Chihuahua’s tendency to develop joint problems down the line, and has ingredients that are known to fight these problems.
Not taking anything away from Blue Buffalo, this is definitely an excellent choice for small dog breeds like Chihuahuas, coming in #4.
How To Tell The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas From The Worst
Remember how we said in the introduction to this article that no 2 dog breeds are alike when you’re shopping for dog food?
To make this point more clear, Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds on earth, weighing at an average of 10 lbs and standing at an average of 10 inches tall. You wouldn’t go ahead and feed your Chihuahua the same dog food that worked when it came to feeding your 50 lbs Labrador Retriever now, would you? It just doesn’t make any sense. Your Chihuahua would need somewhere around 400 calories during a day, while your 50 lbs Labrador Retriever might need somewhere around 1500 calories during a day. See the difference?
While there are different Chihuahuas out there with different ages (Chihuahua puppies tend to consume more calories during a day than adult Chihuahuas because their bodies need these extra calories for growth) levels of activities, different metabolisms and different activity levels (all of which dictate a little less or a little more calories during the day), the average Chihuahua needs just about 400 calories every day.
When it comes to choosing the best dog food for your Chihuahua, you’re going to have to fight off a whole lot of hype and marketing noise that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Some brands want you to believe that the higher price you’re paying for a certain dog food, the better suited it is for your Chihuahua, but that’s not always the case.
Even if the premium dog food at hand is high quality in and of itself, it might not be the best option to feed your Chihuahua.
Ingredients You Don’t Want In Your Chihuahua’s Dog Food
The first thing you should do when shopping for dog food for your Chihuahua (or any other dog breed you might have) is to make sure that the ingredients list is free from any low-quality or filler ingredients that offer no nutritional value to your Chihuahua whatsoever. Your Chihuahua’s digestive system was not designed to absorb any of these fillers at all, and they very well might lead to nutrient deficiency in your Chihuahua. Fillers that can be found as part of some dog foods are:
- Dyes and artificial colorings, which will cause allergies
- Preservatives, as your Chihuahua’s digestive system is very sensitive to these
- Corn gluten
- Corn syrup
- Wheat gluten
- Animal by-products
If you see these ingredients anywhere among the top listed items on the ingredients list, run away from that product as fast as you can!
With that said, as long as you go with any of the 5 dog foods mentioned in our list of the best dog food for Chihuahuas above, you’ll be more than fine.
Ingredients You DO Want In Your Chihuahua’s Dog Food
As for the ingredients you’ll want to make sure are found in any dog food you want to get for your Chihuahua, the dog food should ideally be made up of mostly high-quality meat (for the proteins) and vegetables (for the carbohydrates).
Meat is the ingredient that should be found in most quantities in any dog food you feed your Chihuahua, which means any meat content (be it lamb, chicken, beef or fish) should ideally be #1 on the ingredients list.
If the dog food you’re examining doesn’t have meat listed as 1 of the top 2 ingredients, then put it away because it doesn’t contain enough protein levels to meet your Chihuahua’s nutritional requirements in that department.
Protein levels are essential when it comes to your Chihuahua’s diet, as you will need to feed your Chihuahua a diet with 22% protein if they’re still a young, growing puppy, and 18% protein if they’re an adult Chihuahua.
And, when talking about proteins for your Chihuahua, you’ll want to make sure that the dog food you’re giving them to eat comes is animal-based, not plant-based and definitely not a result of an animal by-product.
As for vegetables, these are what’s going to be providing your Chihuahua with high quality carbohydrates that are going to be fueling their bodies throughout the day and helping them maintain their energy levels. Unlike useless carbohydrate filler like corn and wheat, you’ll want to look for high-quality, complex carbohydrates that are on the ingredients list, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, brown rice and peas. There are a whole host of other vegetables that can be found in certain dog foods, all which would be counted as high-quality carbohydrate sources for your Chihuahua, but we won’t list them all here for the sake of not going on forever with an endless list. As long as you stay away from the useless filler like corn, wheat, soy and regular potatoes (remember, sweet potatoes are fine, regular potatoes aren’t), you’ll be fine.
And finally, as far as fat is concerned, fat is a very important macro-nutrient for your Chihuahua’s diet and should make up at least 8% of it if your Chihuahua is still a young, growing puppy, and 5% if your Chihuahua is an adult dog. Besides making the dog food you’ll give your Chihuahua way more yummy, fat goes a long way in helping your Chihuahua maintain its healthy activity levels during the day. The best source of fat in dog food for your Chihuahua would come from fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids).
Chihuahua Health Problems
When you slack off on your Chihuahua’s food and opt to go with the cheaper options instead of the premium dog food just because it saves you on a few expenses, you’re actually doing the opposite. Why? Because your Chihuahua will suffer from many health problems for which you will have to help them get rid of, which means more and more money spent from your pocket.
So, even though the premium dog food you’re going to be buying for your Chihuahua will cost you more than the lower-quality dog food, you’re actually saving money down the road by not having to go to the vet nearly as much!
So, what are some of the most common health problems that a Chihuahua being fed a low-quality diet might suffer from, you may ask. Well, here they are:
- Loss of coat gloss and color
- Excessive shedding
- Dental problems – This is why the list of 5 best dog foods for Chihuahuas we listed above contains only dry dog foods, as dry dog food is known to be a tiny bit more beneficial to your Chihuahua’s teeth than canned dog food because of its texture. If you opt to feed your Chihuahua wet commercial food instead, bear in mind that it will be much more calorie dense than dry dog food.
- Weak immune system that’s not able to fight off diseases
- Slow physical growth and development
- Rapid weight gain that might easily lead to obesity, especially given the fact that Chihuahuas aren’t the most active of dog breeds out there, unlike Pitbulls for example.
- Joint damage
- Food allergies
Just like many other dog breeds that are exceptionally small in size and light in weight, Hypoglycemia (or the rapid decrease of blood sugar) is a very prominent health problem Chihuahuas often suffer from, especially at a very young age.
Chihuahua Feeding Schedule
When they’re still young puppies, it’s recommended that Chihuahuas are fed dog food specifically manufactured for puppies, and with a schedule of around 4-5 small, evened-out meals throughout the day.
This is very important to keep in mind because, as we discussed above, Chihuahua puppies are very prone to suffering from low blood sugar, and feeding them a frequent schedule of 4-5 small meals throughout the day will make sure their blood sugar levels remain stable.
Dog food specifically manufactured for small-sized dogs contains more calories and macro-nutrients that your Chihuahua needs in fewer weight of food, which is very useful due to the fact that older, heavier dogs have larger stomachs than younger, growing puppies and can eat more amount of food in one sitting. Also, dog food specifically manufactured for small-sized dogs comes in smaller sizes and is much easier for your tiny Chihuahua to fit in their tiny mouths without getting into too much trouble.
As for adult Chihuahuas, 2-3 meals throughout the day should be fine for a dog their size and weight, as opposed to young, growing puppy Chihuahuas.