Chihuahuas, like a lot of other small dog breeds, are prone to cavities.
Here's how to address that:
Make sure you feed your Chihuahua only dry food. Kibble has a lot of texture which helps scrub their little teeth and prevent plaque from building up.
So what dog food should Chihuahuas eat? Check out the best ones below...
Chihuahuas have different health issues, and you should decide on a dog food based on that. You'll get good recommendations in this site for every kind of condition. Each and every dog 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, so look no further...
The Top 5 Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas (Our List For 2020)
Top Pick: Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Pick #2: Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food
Pick #3: Hill's Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Small Bites Dog Food
Pick #4: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food
Pick #5: IAMS Small and Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Small Breed
Overall Best Pick
Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed
Hill's Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Small Bites
Most Balanced Nutrition
Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Highest Level of Antioxidants
IAMS Proactive Health Small and Toy Breed
Best for Metabolism
*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 Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
The Best Chihuahua Food On The Market
Pick #1 - Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Greatly Limits Chihuahua Allergies
One of the first things you notice right off the bat when you look at the list of ingredients the Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food has to offer is that it contains absolutely no useless fillers such as wheat, soy, corn and meat by-products, as well as the fact that it doesn't come with any artificial coloring or flavors which cause allergies to your Chihuahua.
Boosts Immunity System, Digestive System And Improves Coat Condition
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.
Optimal Macronutrient Breakdown For Chihuahuas
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.
Specifically Formulated For Small Breed Dogs
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 Now Fresh's first ingredient is a meat, which means that your Chihuahua will be getting a high-quality protein it needs during the day.
Sufficient Amounts Of Complex Carbohydrates
After the first ingredients, you'll find carbohydrate-sources such as peas and potatoes, both of which are high-quality carbohydrate sources that are included in many premium dog food products, unlike useless filler grains like wheat, soy and corn.
Different Varieties For Different Chihuahua Health Needs
Hill's Science Diet is available in many different varieties, all of which have meat as the first ingredients on the list.
There is a variant that is formulated to maintain a healthy weight, another is for sensitive stomachs, and another is for those with oral health issues.
Full Complement of Fruits & Vegetables
This blend is formulated with a wide range of nutritious produce, including sorghum, barley, beets, apples, and even cranberries!
No Artificial Flavors, Preservatives, And Coloring
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.
Meat-Focused, But Not As Much As Other Options
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.
May Help Prevent Chihuahua Joint Problems
One thing we also like in this particular dog food is that it's manufactured with properties that take the Chihuahua's tendency to develop joint problems down the line in mind, and has ingredients that are known to fight these problems.
Brings Out Healthy Skin and Coat
One of the first things you'll notice in your Chihuahua right off the bat is healthy, soft skin and a beautiful shiny coat. That's thanks to all the wholesome ingredients in this food and the added omega fatty acids.
Promotes Healthy Digestion
IAMS has an optimum level of fiber and prebiotics which ensures good motility in the digestive tract and maximum absorption of nutrients.
The addition of L-Carnitine helps your Chihuahua burn off excess calories and maintain a healthy weight.
If you live in the UK and want to buy dog food online, you can check out dog food offers from Zooplus.
How to Know You're Giving Your Chihuahua the Best Dog Food
Remember how we said in the introduction to this article that no 2 dog breeds are alike when you're shopping for dog food? So what do Chihuahuas eat?
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 Do Not Want in Your Chihuahua's Diet
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 Chihuahua food 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).
Common 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.
- Hypoglycemia - 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.
- Joint damage
- Food allergies
Watch this video to learn more about the signs and symptoms of diabetes in canines:
How Much to Feed a Chihuahua
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.
My 3.6 lb adult Chi also had a problem with her blood sugar level. So I believe this can also be a problem in non diabetic adult tiny breeds.
My Chi 10 week old puppy isn’t eating very much. She will eat cooked chicken and her puppy treats . All she wants to do is sleep on me. I’m getting a little concerned.
Someone told me to add a little wet food with her biscuits?
Mine does same add a little gravy or dog youghurt helps
My biggest concern with these high protein diets is bladder stones. My last dog got bladder stones very badly and needed surgery for them. After the surgery the vet kept him on a low protein, low oxalate diet for the remainder of his life. I recently adopted another little Chihuahua boy and am very skeptical of these super protein rich diets for tiny dogs with narrow urethras. Although my last dog recovered and lived many years after the surgery he suffered a great deal and went through so much pain and I would never want that to happen again.