Chihuahuas are small dog breeds with special nutritional needs. Due to their small size, Chihuahuas are prone to health issues. Also, Chihuahuas are incredibly active and have a high metabolic rate, making them need about 40 calories per pound of body weight. However, Chihuahuas may not be able to eat large food quantities at once. Therefore, it is imperative to purchase dog food specially formulated for small dog breeds to satisfy your dog’s nutritional needs.
Nutritional Needs for Chihuahuas
There are several nutrients Chihuahuas need to satisfy their hyperactivity, metabolic rate and also prevent common illnesses. Essential nutrients Chihuahuas require in their diet include;
- Protein: this is a calorie-dense nutrient that can provide Chihuahuas with the required energy. Generally, Chihuahuas need a diet containing about 25% of protein.
- Carbs: food with carbohydrates over 20% are not suitable for Chihuahuas; a low carb diet is ideal for weight management.
- Fat: due to their high metabolism, Chihuahuas burn energy in no time. Fats are a concentrated source of energy, making them suitable for Chihuahua’s diet. High-quality fat sources include flaxseed, fish, or chicken fat.
- Vitamins and minerals: these provide antioxidants that boost the immune system. When purchasing food for your Chihuahua, look out for dog food containing vitamins and minerals. Whole food sources like blueberries, sweet potatoes, fish, beans, and leafy green vegetables are essential.
- Other vital nutrients a Chihuahua needs include Glucosamine, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and probiotics. These nutrients support joint health, skin and coat, and digestion.
Common Health Problems with Chihuahuas
There are several health issues a Chihuahua can develop, including;
- Hypoglycemia: Chihuahuas are at risk of developing low blood sugar, especially for puppies up to 10 weeks old. Hypoglycemia is common in Chihuahuas because they are small and they have difficulty in regulating their blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, lethargy, shivering, and muscle spasms. If you notice these symptoms, keep your Chihuahua warm and administer sugar water. Also, it is best to visit a vet immediately for an appropriate treatment plan.
- Obesity: this is very detrimental to a Chihuahua’s health as it can lead to severe diseases. You can prevent obesity by exercising your Chihuahua at least 30 minutes daily. Also, avoid giving your dog scraps and don’t overfeed them. Usually, dog food has feeding instructions suitable for every dog weight.
- Heart disease: thickening and degradation of the heart valve cause heart disease in Chihuahuas. Symptoms of heart disease include lethargy, fainting, coughing, and activity intolerance. Dog food rich in antioxidants and nutrients such as omega-3 oils is ideal for promoting heart health. You can also reduce the risk of heart disease for your Chihuahua by maintaining a healthy weight and dental health.
- Joint disease: Chihuahuas can develop joint disease in their kneecap when the joint slides out of place. Usually, this is hereditary, and jumping from a certain height may trigger joint displacement. Symptoms of kneecap joint disease include swelling, limping, and even extra weight around the affected leg. Vets will recommend bed rest and anti-inflammatory medications to speed up the healing process. For more severe conditions, surgery may be necessary. When purchasing dog food, look out for glucosamine and chondroitin. They can improve joint health.
- Dental disease: Chihuahuas have small teeth that can quickly develop tooth decay and infections. Leaving infections untreated can lead to permanent loss of teeth and even cause severe damages to other organs. Symptoms of dental disease include bad breath and bleeding gums. It is best to clean your Chihuahua’s teeth often and purchase dry food to clean their teeth as they eat.
When Should You Feed Your Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have tiny tummies, and they may not eat large quantities of food at once. Puppies may need about 4 to 6 feedings, while adult Chihuahuas require three feedings.
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The 6 Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas are Reviewed Below
Below is a review of the best dog food for Chihuahuas in 2021. Read on to see our top picks.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Dry Dog Food for Small Breed
The Blue buffalo dry dog food has a chicken and brown rice flavor; it is ideal for improving activity, teeth, joint, hip, and coat in dogs. The dog food is most suitable for small breeds, especially Chihuahuas. There are high-quality ingredients such as real meat, natural fruits, vegetables, brown rice, and sweet potatoes for quality protein and healthy complex carbohydrates. Also, there are essential vitamins, antioxidant-rich ingredients, and vital minerals for supporting the immune system
Blur buffalo dog food was cold-formed, and it comes in small-bite kibble sizes for smaller jaws. The dog food is vet-recommended, and it doesn’t contain poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, or soy. Also, there is no artificial preservatives or flavor present. The blue buffalo dog food benefits include supporting joint function and mobility and building strong muscles. The omega fatty acids present also improves skin and coat health.
When transitioning your Chihuahua to the Blue Buffalo dry dog food, use 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food for days 1 to 4. For days 5 to 8, use 50% of both old and new food. Afterward, from day 9 to 11, use 75% of new food and 25% of the old food. Transition completely between days 12 and 14.
Food requirement varies due to age, environment, and activity level. Always use a standard 8-ounce measuring cup when feeding your dog and also provide clean drinking water. Standard measurements include to cup for dogs up to 5 lbs weight. Use to 1 cup for dogs between 6 and 10 pounds weight and 1 to 1 cups for dogs between 11 and 15 pounds. For dog’s between 16 and 20 pounds, use 1to 1cups and 1 cups for dogs between 21 to 25 pounds weight. For dog’s between 26 and 30 pounds of weight, use cups of blue buffalo dry dog food daily.
- Dry dog food
- High-quality ingredients
- Life source bits
- Blue life protection formula
- Small-bite kibble size
- Vet and animal nutritionists recommended
- No poultry by-product meals
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- Fish oil
- Vitamins and minerals
- Brand: Blue buffalo
- Flavor: Chicken and brown rice
- Dimensions: 20 × 13.25 × 3.75 in
- Weight: 15.16 lbs.
- Although Blue buffalo dog food is available in wet and dry options, the dry dog food is long-lasting
- The dog food contains high-quality ingredients like real meat, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and natural fruits and vegetables
- The high-quality ingredients provide a quality Protein source and healthy carbohydrates
- Blue Buffalo dog food is enhanced with vitamins and minerals to satisfy the nutritional needs of small breeds.
- The life source bits include essential vitamins, vital minerals, and antioxidant-rich ingredients; these supplements support the dog’s immune system.
- The Blue life protection formula contains the finest natural ingredients specially formulated for small breed dogs.
- Blue buffalo dog food is cold-formed to preserve its potency
- The dog food has increased levels of carbohydrates and proteins to satisfy the higher energy needs of small need dogs
- The kibble has a small size to suit smaller jaws and also improve chewing
- Vets and animal nutritionists specially formulate Blue Buffalo dry dog food. They have a unique selection of enhancing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- There are no poultry by-product meals present
- The dog food is grain-free. There is no soy, wheat, or corn present
- There are no artificial flavors or preservatives
- The fish oil provides omega fatty acids that support the coat and skin health of dogs.
- The vitamins and minerals improve joint function and mobility. They also build strong muscles
- Blue buffalo dog food is available in four flavors
- There are two size options
- Some reviewers complain that their dogs have allergic reactions to dog food. Discontinue the product if your dog gets sick.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food for Small Breed
The Wellness Complete dog food is a natural good that promotes total wellness in dogs. The dog food contains high-quality protein, flaxseed, spinach, and blueberries. These ingredients provide optimal energy, improve immunity, and support digestive health. The kibble is crunchy and easy to chew, especially for senior dogs.
The wellness complete dry dog food has glucosamine that supports joints and bone health in dogs. The dog food satisfies the unique health needs of small dogs, and there are no meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives present.
Dog food requirements vary with age, activity level, size, and environment. When using the wellness dry dog food, give dogs between 2 and 4 pounds of weight to cups and for dogs between 5 and 8 pounds of weight, give to cups. For dogs between 9 and 12 pounds weight and 13 to 16 pounds, give cups and cup respectively. Also, for dogs between 17 and 20 pounds, give cups and cups to dogs between 21 and 25 pounds of weight. Use a standard 8hounce measuring cup to measure dog food and always provide clean drinking water.
When combining dry and wet dog food, reduces dry food by cup for every two tablespoons of wet dog food.
- Deboned turkey and peas recipe
- High-quality protein
- Crunchy kibble
- No meat by-products
- No artificial fillers or preservatives
- Brand: Wellness Natural Pet Food
- Flavor: deboned turkey and peas
- Dimensions: 3.75 × 8 × 13.5 in
- Weight: 3.94 lbs.
- The Wellness complete health dry dog food has a deboned turkey and peas recipe that is appealing to dogs
- The dog food contains high-quality protein sources that give optimal energy
- The spinach in the dog food is antioxidant-rich, and it supports the immune system
- The dog food gives dogs required energy, improves digestive health, and helps the teeth, eyes, and gums health
- There are antioxidant-rich blueberries. The blueberries are also rich in vitamin A and C, potassium, fiber, and carotenoids
- The flaxseed provides fiber and omega-3 acids to improve the dog’s skin and coat
- Peas also provide protein, fiber, and antioxidants
- There is a prebiotic and probiotic healthy fiber chicory root extract that improves digestive health
- The kibble is crunchy and easily chewable for small dogs
- There are no meat by-products
- The dog food does not contain any filler or artificial preservative
- Glucosamine supports the joint and bone health of dogs
- Wellness Complete Health dog food satisfies the unique health needs of small dogs.
- Some reviewers complain that it affected dogs with allergies
- It gives dogs flatulence
Canidae Pure Small Breed Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
The Canidae limited ingredient dog food is grain-free. It contains less than ten key ingredients to suit dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs. The dog food has several flavors, and it contains premium clean protein for lean and strong muscles. The first ingredient is real meat, poultry, or fish as a quality protein source. The dog food also contains omega fatty acids that improve a dog’s coat and skin. There are antioxidants present to enhance the immune system and vitamins and minerals, to improve the coat.
Canidae limited ingredient dry dog food is grain-free; there is no soy, wheat, or corn present. Also, there are no additives, fillers, or by-products. The whole foods present are sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, or chickpeas.
When feeding your Chihuahua with Canidae limited ingredient dry dog food, take note of its weight and age. For senior and less active dogs, reduce the quantity of dog food. The general quantity of dog food should be cup for dogs up to 2 pounds weight and cup for dogs up to 5 pounds of weight. Dogs up to 10 and 15 pounds should get cup of dog food. Also, dogs between 20 and 25 pounds should get between cups of dog food. For dogs that weigh up to 30 pounds, give cups of food. Always use an 8-ounce standard measuring cup and provide clean drinking water
- Limited ingredient
- Premium and clean protein
- Omega fatty acids
- Vitamins and minerals
- No additives, fillers, or poultry by-products
- Whole foods
- Several flavors
- Brand: Canidae
- Flavor: Chicken, potato, and egg
- Dimensions: 4.94 × 7.63 × 11.44 in
- Weight: 4 lbs.
- Canidae limited ingredient dog food contains probiotics that support dogs digestive health
- The dog food is grain-free. There is no corn, wheat, or soy present
- There are less than ten key ingredients in the dog food, making it suitable for dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs
- The dog food contains premium, clean protein that gives dogs lean and strong muscles
- The first ingredient is real meat, poultry, or fish
- There are omega 3 and 6 fatty acids present to improve the coat and skin
- The antioxidants boost dogs immune system
- There are vitamins and minerals present to provide the required nutrients for dogs
- There are no additives, fillers, or preservatives present
- Canidae dry dog food contains whole foods such as sweet potatoes, lentils, or peas
- The dog food is available in several sizes and flavors.
- The dog food is quite pricey
- Some reviewers complain that the kibble size is large and difficult to chew
Royal Canin Chihuahua Breed Dry Dog Food
The Royal Canin dry dog food is specially formulated for adult Chihuahuas. The dog food has a chicken flavor and an easily chewable kibble size. There are omega-3 fatty acids present in the dog food to improve coat health.
Royal Canin dry dog food is highly palatable, especially for picky eaters. The dog food is vet recommended. It comes with highly digestible protein and fiber content that reduces stool and odor. Also, there is a 100% guaranteed satisfaction with this product.
Feed Chihuahuas up to 2.2 pounds in weight cup of dry dog food. For dogs up to 4.4 pounds, give cup and dogs up to 6.6 pounds, give cup. For dogs up to 7.7 pounds in weight, feed cup of dry dog food. For combination feeding, add cup of wet dog food. It is important to note that the feeding plan is dependent on weight and activity level. Also, always measure dog food with a standard 8-ounce measuring cup
- High palatability
- Stool and odor reduction
- Vet recommended
- Unique kibble shape and size
- Omega-3 fatty acid
- 100% guaranteed satisfaction
- Brand: Royal Canin
- Flavor: Chicken
- Dimensions: 4 × 7.5 × 12 in
- Weight: 2.5 lbs.
- The Royal Canin dry dog food is suitable for senior Chihuahuas
- The dig food is highly palatable. It has exceptional aromas and flavors to suit picky eaters
- There are highly digestible protein and precise fiber content that improves stool and odor reduction
- The Royal Canin dog food is vet recommended
- The unique kibble shape, size, and texture suits Chihuahuas facial and jaw structures
- The kibble is easily chewable for Chihuahuas
- There are Omega-3 acids and biotin present to improve skin and coat health
- There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee on the Royal Canin dry dog food
- The Royal Canin dry dog food is quite expensive
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food
Hill’s science diet dog food contains high-quality proteins for building lean muscles. The dog food has DHA from fish oil that aid s healthy brain and eye development in Chihuahuas. The food is vet recommended, and it has an extra-small kibble size. There are balanced minerals, quality protein, and natural ingredients present in the dog food.
Hill’s science diet dog food has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and there are no artificial flavors or colors present. The dog food has antioxidant benefits, and it supports the heart health of dogs. In addition, Hill’s food shelter and love program donate food to animal shelters. Purchasing this dog food helps feed pets in shelters.
When transitioning your dog to Hill’s science diet dog food, mix an increasing amount of the new pets food with decreasing amount of the old dog food over seven days
- Fish oil
- High-quality protein
- Balanced minerals
- Extra-small kibble size
- Vet recommended
- Natural ingredients
- No artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
- No chicken by-product meal
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Brand: Hill’s science diet
- Flavor: Chicken and barley
- Dimensions: 16.5 × 12 × 5 inches
- Weight: 15.5 lbs.
- The Hill’s science diet dry dog food is especially suitable for puppies
- The chicken and barley flavor makes it palatable for dogs
- The fish oil present gives DHA that supports healthy brain and eye development
- The dog food contains quality protein such as real chicken, lamb, or salmon as the first ingredient
- The high-quality protein helps in building lean muscles
- The balanced minerals strengthen bone and teeth
- The extra small kibble size makes the dog food easily chewable
- The natural ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids have antioxidant properties that boost immune health
- There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives present
- Hill’s science diet dog food does not contain any chicken by-product meal
- The product has a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- The dog food is expensive
- The packaging is not strong enough
Nulo Small Breed Dry Dug Food
The Nulo Small Breed dog food is grain-free, and it has low carbs. The dog food has a seafood flavor with an extra-small kibble size. The first five ingredients are deboned salmon, turkey meal, lamb meal, menhaden fish meal, and red lentils. Probiotics promote digestive health, and the dog food promotes a healthy weight. Also, there are no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavoring present.
For dogs weighing up to 5 pounds, give them cup, dogs between 6 and 10 pounds of weight should have cups. For dogs between 11 and 15 pounds, give cup and fir dugs between 16 and 20 pounds, give cups. Furthermore, digs between 21 and 25 pounds should have between cups and dogs weighing between 26 and 30 pounds should have between cups. Note that food measurements are subjective to the weight and activity levels of dogs. Also, always provide clean drinking water.
- Extra-small kibble size
- Animal-based protein
- Low carbs
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Brand: Nulo
- Flavor: Seafood
- Dimensions: 20.75 × 12 × 3.5 in
- Weight: 11 lbs.
- Nulo dry dog food has an extra-small Kimble size that promotes proper chewing for Chihuahuas
- The dog food is suitable for promoting a healthy weight
- There is a patented BC³⁰ probiotic that promotes digestive health
- The first five ingredients are deboned salmon, turkey meal, lamb meal, menhaden fish meal, and real lentils
- The animal-based protein supports lean muscle development and keeps a healthy heart
- The dog food is grain-free. There is no corn, soy, or wheat present, making it suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies.
- There are low carbs present in Nulo dog food. They promote lean body mass and weight management.
- The dog food provides staying power and supports Chihuahuas high metabolism
- The dog food is natural. There are no preservatives, artificial flavorings, or colors present
- Some reviewers complain that the dog food has a strong smell
- Nulo Small Breed Dry dig food is pretty expensive
Buying Guide Questions
Kindly check out the following answers to FAQs regarding Chihuahuas.
Do Chihuahuas need special food?
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed. Therefore, they require a special diet that is nutritionally balanced to suit their age and weight. The best Chihuahua diet should be of high quality and from whole food sources.
What should Chihuahuas eat?
Chihuahuas are a small breed of dogs that are very energetic and active. How we, they have a weak digestive system and they are picky eaters. On the other hand, a Chihuahuas diet should be able to provide the required nourishment to suit their health needs.
A typical Chihuahua diet should include protein, fruit, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Protein sources should be lean meats with low fat, from chicken, fish, lamb, or beef, while the fruits contain antioxidants. Furthermore, vegetables should have a high fiber content suitable for sensitive stomachs dogs. The best fruit and vegetables for a Chihuahuas diet are peas, leafy greens, blueberries, raspberries, and apples.
Complex carbohydrates are absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, which helps prevent blood sugar and other health issues. The best complex carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, peas, and beans.
What foods are bad for Chihuahuas?
Some toxic foods can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and in worst cases, death. Most foods to avoid for Chihuahuas are majorly human recipes. Unhealthy foods for Chihuahuas include leftovers, garlic, onions, grapes, and seeds. Always ensure you remove seeds from healthy fruit before feeding them to your Chihuahua.
Also, avoid chocolate and chemical sweeteners such as xylitol. Fillers and additives are difficult to digest and can also cause terrible health problems. Fillers and additives include soy, wheat, and corn. Always check guarantees analysis of dog food to ensure it doesn’t contain fillers, additives, and artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
Why do Chihuahuas attach to one person?
Generally, Chihuahuas enjoy lap time than spending time outdoors. Chihuahuas attach to one person because they are more inclined to people with similar temperaments and personalities.
Why do Chihuahuas shake?
There are several reasons why a Chihuahua shakes. Generally, Chihuahuas have a high metabolism rate, which causes them to shiver, especially when they get anxious or excited. Also, the increased metabolism makes it difficult for them to retain body heat or regulate body temperature. Chihuahuas shivering may also be from medical conditions such as allergies, injuries, poisoning, kidney disease, or generalized tremors syndrome (GTS).
You can visit a vet to check out the main reason for your Chihuahua shivering. Furthermore, if you notice that your Chihuahua shakes whenever you are outside, it may be due to cold. Try to warm your dog up to reduce shivers.
Should Chihuahuas sleep with you?
Letting your Chihuahua sleep with you is your choice. However, you should ensure that both you and your Chihuahua are healthy and parasite-free before snuggling together. Although sleeping with your Chihuahua makes them more comfortable, it is not the best choice for active sleepers because you may roll over and kick your dog.
A more suitable alternative is to allow your Chihuahuas to sleep in your room but their crate.
What is the rarest color Chihuahua?
The rarest color of a Chihuahua is all white, with no markings. However, you should not mistake an albino Chihuahua for a white one.
What can Chihuahuas drink?
Water is still the most fundamental drink a Chihuahua can have. Nevertheless, there are days when you want to give your dog a treat. You can provide a Chihuahua with milk, Yogurt, or ice cream as an alternative to water.
For milk, some dogs are lactose intolerant. Therefore, you shouldn’t give your Chihuahua milk often because it may cause digestive issues such as loose stools, vomiting, and flatulence. On the other hand, Yogurt has a high protein and probiotic content; it is especially suitable for promoting digestive health. However, it is best to avoid Yogurt with artificial sweeteners. The best type of Yogurt for dogs is plain Yogurt. You may also add raspberries or blueberries when giving a Chihuahua yogurt.
For ice cream, less is more. A high quantity of ice cream can cause digestive issues. It is best to avoid low-fat and low calcium ice cream because they contain chemical additives. Whole vanilla bean ice cream is the best ice cream to serve your Chihuahua on a hot day.
Chihuahuas have several health needs due to their small size and fragile nature. It is best to visit a vet to identify your pet’s unique needs. The best dog food for Chihuahuas has high-quality protein sources, is rich in antioxidants and probiotics.