Buying the best dog food for a Chihuahua is important. But when it comes to choosing the best food for Chihuahuas, owners must understand the unique nutritional needs of small breed dogs (e.g. the teacup Chihuahua) in order to pick a good product that will help your Chihuahua puppy or adult grow and stay healthy. Furthermore, finding a top dry or wet dog food gets even more complicated if you have a Chihuahua with a sensitive stomach, skin allergies, or other health problems relating to their diet.
Below, our guide will help you compare different brands and products in the market to figure out what companies are producing the healthiest foods for your pet. In addition to learning about a Chihuahua’s proper diet and nutrition, we’ll discuss common health issues to look out for as well as what makes a high-quality dog food. Finally, we’ll provide several recommendations for the best dog food for Chihuahuas, Chihuahua puppies, and mixes.
- 1 About Chihuahuas
- 2 Chihuahua Diet and Nutrition
- 3 Tips For Feeding Your Chihuahua
- 4 Common Chihuahua Health Problems
- 5 What Makes A Good Dog Food For Chihuahuas?
- 6 The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas
- 7 The Best Dog Food For A Chihuahua Puppy
- 8 Best Dog Food For Chihuahua With Sensitive Stomach
The smallest of small dogs, Chihuahuas are often described as big dogs in a small body. These little dogs are full of spunk and personality, not to mention endless energy. While they can sometimes be a challenge, their affectionate nature and friendly temperament makes them a popular choice. In fact, this breed has ranked among the top 30 most popular breeds in the country for several years.
While Chihuahuas have many wonderful qualities, all breeds come with their challenges. For this particular breed, these challenges come in the form of health problems and dietary issues.
To ensure that your Chihuahua enjoys a long, healthy life you should learn how to account for his veterinary and dietary needs. Keep reading to learn more and to receive tips for choosing the best dog food for the Chihuahua breed.
Chihuahua Diet and Nutrition
Because the Chihuahua is a toy breed weighing no more than six pounds as an adult, you can’t expect your dog to eat a whole lot. Though that’s great for your wallet, it does present a certain challenge – it is that much more important that you choose a high-quality dog food to provide balanced nutrition.
Your dog needs a blend of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in his diet to provide for his energy needs as well as his needs for essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
All dogs need high-quality, animal-based protein as the foundation of their diet. Protein ensures proper muscle development and growth, among many other health benefits. Good proteins can come from sources like poultry, meat, fish, or even game meat. While protein is essential, fat is just as important – especially for a toy breed like the Chihuahua.
Fats offer your dog a highly concentrated source of energy and, because smaller dogs have faster metabolisms, your Chihuahua’s needs may be higher than those of a larger dog. Quality sources of fat for dogs include things like chicken fat and salmon oil – again, animal-based is better.
In terms of carbohydrates, your dog has no specific needs but digestible sources like whole grains and fresh veggies can provide dietary fiber as well as essential nutrients.
Tips For Feeding Your Chihuahua
Feeding your Chihuahua starts with choosing a high-quality diet. Once you pick the best dry dog food for your Chihuahua, you should plan to feed him two or three small meals per day. For small and toy breeds, three meals a day is generally preferred because dogs of this size have fast metabolisms and require a steady influx of energy.
Your best bet is to choose small or toy-breed formula to ensure that the product provides a higher amount of fat (for increased energy) than traditional adult dog food recipes.
Follow the feeding recommendations on the package according to your dog’s weight but keep an eye on his body weight and condition – if he starts to gain weight, you may need to cut back.
Another option to consider is canned or wet dog food. Canned foods can be too expensive to feed larger dogs since they cost more per ounce than kibble. However, for a small dog the size of a Chihuahua, buying a top-rated wet food made for small breeds can be a good option.
Common Chihuahua Health Problems
The Chihuahua is a toy breed that tops out around 6 pounds. This is good in a lot of ways – it means that he adapts well to apartment life and you can even carry him around in your purse, if you want to. Unfortunately, his small sized and compressed skeletal structure predisposes him to a number of significant health concerns. These dogs are prone to musculoskeletal issues like patellar luxation as well as dental problems.
Chihuahuas are also prone to hypoglycemia, congestive heart disease, eye problems, collapsed trachea, portosystemic shunt, and a few other inherited conditions. Because they are so small, Chihuahuas are also highly prone to obesity.
Furthermore, Chihuahuas can have a problem with tracheal collapse. This can occur as a result of your Chihuahua pulling against the leash, causing him to start cough. For this reason, many owners recommend buying a harness instead of a collar.
What Makes A Good Dog Food For Chihuahuas?
When it comes to dog food formulas, the options are limitless, so how do you know which product is best for your Chihuahua? Your first place to look is a high-quality product formulated for toy or small breeds.
These formulas contain plenty of protein to maintain your dog’s lean muscle mass with higher levels of fat than standard adult formulas – this is important for your Chihuahua since his metabolism burns through energy very quickly.
Though Chihuahuas and other small breeds need higher levels of fat in their diet than the average dog, you still need to be mindful of how many calories you are feeding your dog to prevent obesity.
When shopping for dog food, start by looking at the guaranteed analysis to see how much protein, fat, and fiber the product contains. You want at least 18% crude protein and a minimum of 5% crude fat to meet your dog’s basic nutritional needs but, again, Chihuahuas may need a little more fat. You’ll also want to take a look at the calorie content which should be included in the guaranteed analysis.
After checking the guaranteed analysis, take a look at the ingredients list to make sure there are no red flags. You want to choose a product that lists a high-quality source of animal protein first and that any carbohydrates are digestible for dogs.
Look for quality fats, ideally from animal sources, and healthy supplements like vitamins and chelated minerals. This breed can also benefit from probiotics to support healthy and regular digestion.
The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas
Merrick Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe
Merrick is one of the most reputable dog food companies in the United States, and their small breed recipe certainly does not disappoint. Owners who love their dogs will appreciate this grain-free formula that comes with your Chihuahua’s choice of beef, chicken, or salmon as the top ingredient. We specifically recommend the salmon option as it is real and deboned, and paired with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, blueberries, and peas.
Additionally, Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids will offer your Chihuahua a healthy skin and coat, and the glucosamine and chondroitin can maintain hips and joints. For peace of mind, Merrick also makes sure no ingredients come from China. As one of the highest-rated small breed dry dog foods, your teacup Chihuahua will love this product.
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is another company well-known for their attention to quality and delicious-tasting dog food. As a respected brand, this high-protein formula based on venison is protein-rich for lean muscle growth. With added vitamins and minerals, fruits, vegetables, natural antioxidants, a fatty acid blend, and a mix of proprietary probiotics, Taste of the Wild relies on trusted food sources for all their ingredients.
Similarly, you won’t find any grains, corn, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives in their formula. If you truly care about your Chihuahua’s health and longevity, this top dog food will fulfill your pet’s nutritional needs completely.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Toy Breed Chicken Recipe
This Nutro Wholesome Essentials Toy Breed Chicken Recipe is made with farm-raised chicken, brown rice, and sweet potatoes so you can rest assured that it is a quality source of nutrition. It features healthy fats like chicken fat and it is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption. Your dog will also love the natural flavor!
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Toy Breed Adult Formula
Blue Buffalo offers a wide variety of different products formulated for breeds of different sizes and this Blue Buffalo Life Protection Toy Breed Adult Formula is a great option for your Chihuahua. Made with real chicken and brown rice, it has plenty of protein to support your dog’s lean muscle mass without compromising flavor or nutrition. It also features whole grains for carbohydrate energy as well as fruits and veggies for nutritional balance.
The Best Dog Food For A Chihuahua Puppy
The best dog food for Chihuahua puppies would be made from high-quality ingredients with plenty of protein to support growth and development as well as healthy fats for energy. Here are some recommendations on the top foods for a Chihuahua puppy.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Small Breed Puppy Food
Made with deboned turkey, oatmeal, and salmon meal, this Wellness Complete Health Natural Small Breed Puppy Food is an excellent choice for your Chihuahua puppy. It contains all-natural ingredients with no corn, wheat, soy, or by-products so you can feel good about feeding it. You’ll also love that it contains supplements to support healthy brain development as well as strong bones and muscles. It even contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
Canidae is a dog food brand with exceptional quality and taste. Their grain-free dry dog food formula is complete with fresh chicken and whole foods such as peas, lentils, potatoes, dried eggs, flaxseed, and suncured alfalfa. With limited ingredients for dog’s with sensitive stomachs, your pet will enjoy this product.
The company has also added a mix of probiotics for healthy digestion, antioxidants to build a strong immune system, fatty acids to support a beautiful coat, and other vitamins and minerals to avoid deficiencies. If your Chihuahua puppy loves chicken and needs a good dog food, Canidae is a great choice.
Nutro ULTA Small Breed Puppy Food
With real chicken as the first ingredient, this Nutro ULTA Small Breed Puppy Food makes a smart choice for any small-breed puppy. This recipe features three premium proteins, whole grains, and a blend of superfoods to guarantee healthy and balanced nutrition to start your Chihuahua puppy off smart. Plus, it is very affordable and full of natural flavor.
Solid Gold Small & Toy Breed All Life Stages
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching your Chihuahua puppy from one formula to another when he reaches 12 months, you might consider a product like Solid Gold Small & Toy Breed All Life Stages. This formula is designed specifically for toy- and small-breed dogs and it is made with quality ingredients like real chicken, chickpeas, and sweet potato. It contains 30% protein and 20% fat, so you can rest assured that it will meet your Chihuahua’s nutritional needs throughout his life.
Best Dog Food For Chihuahua With Sensitive Stomach
The best dog food for a chihuahua with a sensitive stomach can help reduce allergies, diarrhea, and gas. Many dog owners don’t realize it, but dogs can develop food allergies just as easily as humans and Chihuahuas are one of the breeds that can be affected.
If your dog has allergies, you need to find him a formula that doesn’t contain anything that might trigger his allergies. Here’s our recommendation on the best dog food for chihuahuas with allergies and sensitive stomachs.
Natural Balance LID Small Breed Bites
This recipe is not only formulated for small-breed dogs like your Chihuahua, but it is a limited ingredient diet (LID) which means that it has a low risk for triggering food allergies. It features salmon and fish meal as the primary proteins and sweet potatoes for digestible carbohydrates. You’ll also be glad to know that it is supplemented with healthy fats like salmon oil as well as chelated minerals.