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A fun fact that not many people will know is that the breed Chihuahua is named after the state Chihuahua in Mexico. However, you have arrived here looking for dog food, which needs to be small yet high calorie for their high energy levels.
The best dog food for Chihuahuas is the Royal Canin Breed Specific Dry Food that contains customized kibble size and shape designed to make it easier for them to eat.
Due to the size, Chihuahuas require a completely different type of food to that of medium to large breeds. Each kibble needs to contain a high-calorie count and have no kibbles because after all, there is not a lot of room in their stomachs.
Table of Contents
Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas
|Chihuahua Dog Food||Designed For||Grain Free|
|Royal Canin||Easy Eating & Healthy Diet||No|
|Wellness Core||Sensitive Stomach||Yes|
|Nature's Variety Instinct||High Protein||Yes|
|Orijen Original||Sensitive Stomach||Yes|
|EUKANUBA Breed Specific||Healthy Diet||No|
Your Chihuahua will require high levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3, and 6, antioxidants, and probiotics from their food in order to stay healthy. Cramming all these vitamins and minerals into such a small portion is a hard task and its important you avoid food full of fillers such as wheat, corn, and other by-products.
There are problems that the breed can face such as diabetes, obesity, hair loss, dull coat, weak jaw or teeth, and more. However, ensuring they are kept active and fed the right food, these health issues are easily avoided.
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed and extra research needs to be taken to ensure their diet is perfect. Below is a list of the best dog food for Chihuahuas that are high calorie and contain all the vitamins and minerals they require.
Royal Canin Chihuahua Dry Dog Food
The Royal Canin Chihuahua dog food is designed especially for Chihuahua’s over eight months old. The formula features a special miniature jaw kibble which is smaller than others so that it is great for Chihuahua adults.
As Chihuahua’s are known for their pickiness, this formula is highly palatable which is sure to fully satisfy them. The exceptional flavors and aromas along with the kibble shape and size will be great for satisfying your Chihuahua’s appetite.
The pros and cons of Royal Canin’s Chihuahua Formula include:
- Premium quality
- Produced in the U.S.
- Great even for picky eaters
- Helps to maintain weight
This dog food formula is designed to help in reducing the fecal volume and smell. It will also help your dog’s digestion with high-quality carbohydrate sources, appropriate content of fiber, and highly digestible proteins.
The coat of a dog can truly reflect their health. So, this formula contains nutrients, including biotin, Omega 6 fatty acids, and Omega 3 fatty acids. All of which are great ingredients to help maintain your Chihuahua’s shiny coat.
Overall, it is the best dog food for Chihuahua’s and being breed-specific, it contains all the nutrients that are specific to this breed, which many alternatives will not have.
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Wellness Core Natural Grain Free
This soy-free, wheat-free, corn-free, and grain-free formula is great for smaller breeds, like Chihuahuas. It does not contain any preservatives nor does it contain artificial flavors or colors. It will allow your dog to sustain high energy levels through high-quality protein sources, such as chicken and turkey.
The formula is also great for boosting their immune systems as it’s enriched with vegetable and fruit-based antioxidants. The Wellness Core Dog Food has a range of pros and cons, which include:
- Reasonably priced
- Small-sized kibble
- No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
- Might not be suitable for chihuahuas with sensitive stomachs or chicken allergies.
The live prebiotics and probiotics, along with the high-quality fiber sources, give your dog slow-burning energy, which allows them to keep on going for longer. It also includes flax seeds and fish blend that provide the essential fatty acids to keep their skin healthy and their coat shiny.
Chondroitin and glucosamine join to help keep their bones and joints healthy. There have even been reports about this dog food helping with their pets oncoming arthritis.
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Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
If you’re in the market for a grain-free formula for your Chihuahua, then this formula by Nature’s Variety will be a great choice. It allows your dog to have a rich, high protein diet through frozen raw kibble as well as some frozen raw pieces.
They have taken inspiration for how dogs would naturally eat and mimicked it with this formula. It is grain-free, gluten-free, as well as free of any fillers, wheat, soy, and corn. The pros and cons of Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Dry Dog Food include:
- Grain, soy, wheat, and corn free
- Small-sized kibble
- Contains antioxidants and probiotics
- The formula includes essential fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine
- Great for even the picky eaters
- Might not be suitable for those allergic to chicken
Nature’s Variety has ensured that this product is great for smaller breeds, such as Chihuahua’s, with their smaller kibble size. The kibble is also great for assisting in scraping tartar and plaque that might cause diseases. The main protein source, chicken meal is a great source of chondroitin and glucosamine which is great for their joint health as they grow.Check on Amazon
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food
As one of the most reputable and well-known brands, it’s no surprise that this formula is no different. Though this is not specifically for Chihuahua’s, it can suit their diet. The formula has 85% egg, fish, and poultry ingredients and 15% botanicals, fruits, and vegetables.
It does not contain any plant protein concentrates, tapioca, potatoes, or grain. It’s great for a large range of dog breeds, including Chihuahua’s. There are no synthetic sources added to foods by Orijen.
A brief overview of the pros and cons of Orijen Original Food include:
- A high-quality content of protein
- No antibiotics
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Low content of carbohydrates
- No preservatives
Since the natural diet of a dog contains few carbohydrates, this formula contains 38% of nourishing protein and 20% of carbohydrates. It contains a host of vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, and Niacin. It also contains minerals, such as Iron and Zinc.
It’s rich in animal fat, which is essential for achieving your dog’s peak health. The biologically appropriate fresh saltwater fish give a source for EPA and DHA, which are vital for their nervous and immune systems.Check on Amazon
EUKANUBA Breed Specific Dog Food
The Breed Specific Adult Chihuahua Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet a Chihuahua’s nutritional needs. This formula has been manufactured with guaranteed L-Carnitine levels, which make it great for helping your dog to burn off their fat naturally. For Chihuahua’s high metabolism, this formula will give your dog enough energy.
The patented 3D DentaDefense system that is in EUKANUBA adult dry dog foods is great for minimizing the tartar buildup, which is a unique selling point of this food.
The pros and cons of EUKANUBA Breed-Specific Food are:
- Helps at reducing tartar build-up
- Rich in antioxidants
- Provides a healthy and strong immune system
- Helps to naturally burn fat
- Promotes healthy nutrient absorption and digestion
- Not ideal for Chihuahua’s with food allergies
With all the ingredients this formula contains, your Chihuahua will get a strong and healthy immune system. It has an almost real chicken taste that is among the attractive features of this dog food. Every single bite will give your Chihuahua great-tasting nutrition. The premium fibers are obtained from the prebiotic FOS and natural beet pulp.Check on Amazon
Chihuahuas Dog Food Buying Guide
It can be difficult to find the best food for your Chihuahua, especially given the sheer number of products that are available on the market today. Some are geared especially towards Chihuahuas, while others are either geared towards adult dogs or toy/smaller breeds. Chihuahua’s have specific nutritional needs that can only be met through a proper diet.
Being the energetic dogs that they are, they need a fair bit of exercise, along with a diet that contains high-quality protein and carbohydrates to maintain those higher energy levels. Below are some factors that you should consider before purchasing any food at your local store.
How Much Food To Feed Chihuahuas
An average Chihuahua will need around two hundred calories per day. Since you’ll find that other dogs eat more than that per day, you might want to consider buying smaller bags of food to ensure that they won’t go bad. So, this also enables you to splurge on their food. The picky eaters are sure to appreciate that.
In terms of their daily calorie intake, it truly depends on their individual metabolism, activity level, and age. Generally, Chihuahua’s that are between four pounds to ten pounds, need to eat ½ to 1 ⅓ cups a day.
Below, we’ve included a sample feeding chart. Please note that this might vary across the different brands. Each dog is different, which means that their activity levels, age, and environment can change their feeding requirements.
The chart below serves as an initial guide. You should monitor your dog’s weight and adjust the amount to their needs. We recommend that you follow whichever brand you choose to go with.
|Weight Of Your Dog||Moderate Activity|
(Feeding Per Day)
(Feeding Per Day)
How Frequent Should You Feed Chihuahuas?
We recommend that you just leave food out all the time for Chihuahua puppies that are under three months old, allowing them to eat whenever they need to. After three months, you should split the food into three or four meals a day.
When they get to six months, you can reduce it to two to three meals a day. After they reach one year, simply feed them twice a day with equal portions based on their daily feeding requirements.
How Much Food To Feed Chihuahua Puppy
The first step to finding a dog food for a Chihuahua puppy is to ensure that it is a good quality brand that is specifically designed for your dog’s breed. If you are unable to find one that is specific to your dog’s breed, then try looking for one that is geared towards small or toy dogs.
This will suit your dog better due to the smaller sized kibble, which will fare better in your Chihuahua’s small jaw.
Once you’ve found the right brand and product, you’ll need to follow the included feeding guidelines by adjusting the quantity based your Chihuahua’s individual needs. Generally, feeding charts are based on the weight of your dog, so just weight them regularly to ensure that they are being fed the right amount of Chihuahua dog food.
Please note that puppies that are 1 ½ to 3 months old, will be fed twice the adult’s amount. When they reach three to six months, they will need to be fed 1 ½ time more than the adult. At six to eleven months, they will need to be fed at 1 ¼ time the adult’s amount.
What Is The Ideal Weight Of Chihuahuas?
There are variations of the ideal weight range of a Chihuahua depending on the country. The American Kennel Club states that a Chihuahua should not weigh more than six pounds. They do not have a minimum weight requirement set for Chihuahua’s.
The British Kennel Club states that Chihuahua’s should range from four to six pounds, but not more than that. The Federation Cynologique Internationale, expects Chihuahua’s to be somewhere within 3.3 lbs. and 6.61 pounds. They say that the minimum weight should be 1.1 lbs.
Though there are some slight variations, the general consensus seems to be that a Chihuahua should ideally weigh between three to four lbs.
Generally speaking, Chihuahuas are quite a healthy breed, which means that they often have quite long lives. Some might even exceed fifteen years or more. With this, you’ll often find that since they have longer lives, they are more susceptible to health problems that are related to their lifestyles, such as obesity, diabetes, and arthritis. Some of the most common ones are:
- Coat and Skin Related Conditions
Some might face these issues due to hereditary reasons, but others might face them due to food allergies. You should look for food that contains novel protein sources but does not contain any common allergens, such as wheat, poultry, beef, milk, soy, corn, and others.
- Develop Joint Problems
Some conditions are hereditary, such as luxating patella, which is a dislocated kneecap, but others you are able to prevent, such as arthritis. You can do this by purchasing food that contains glucosamine or chondroitin.
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Some Chihuahua might suffer from Patent Ductus Arteriosus, which is a heart condition that prevents blood from reaching your dog’s lungs efficiently.
- Dental Diseases
Chihuahua might often suffer from dental diseases. However, this can be avoided by brushing their teeth regularly and giving teeth cleaning treats. You might also want to consider feeding them kibble, rather than semi-moist or wet dog foods.
- Eye Disorders
Chihuahuas are quite susceptible to getting eye disorders, such as glaucoma, lens luxation, and corneal dystrophy. These are not associated with their diet.
Chihuahuas often face Hypoglycemia, which is why breeders often advise owners to feed their Chihuahua’s smaller, more frequent meals, such as three to four times a day. Or you can also feed on an ad libitum basis, which basically just means that you keep food out at all times for them to eat whenever they feel like it.
Ingredients To Look Out For
With Chihuahua’s having quite specific dietary needs, they can also be quite fussy eaters. So, it’s important to find food that has everything that they like and need. High-quality food must not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, nor should they include nutrient-poor fillers. Instead, they should have meat as their key ingredients and have calorie rich fillers.
Whole Grains, Vegetables, and Fruit
Being energetic, Chihuahua’s need higher levels of protein along with complex carbohydrates in order to keep their energy levels stable and muscles healthy. If they have food that is packed with processed carbohydrates, then they’ll experiences falls and rises in their energy levels, thus negatively affecting their temperament and physical health.
Good and acceptable carbohydrate sources include whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Your Chihuahua’s food should be made up of at least 40% of vegetables.
As an important part of digestion for your Chihuahua, it’s important to ensure that your dog is getting enough. If they do not get the right amount, then they are likely to suffer from constipation or bloat.
Having a high meat content is quite important for your dog’s diet. They should be the first item on the product ingredient list. You should also try to avoid dog foods that have meat by-products as they do not have much of any nutritional value.
Ingredients To Avoid
Not all brands make great dog foods, which reiterates the fact that they all are not created equally. There are some ingredients that can harm your dog, especially ones that contain higher levels of fillers. Though they have low to none nutritional value, they are quite high in calories which can lead to a higher risk of degenerative joint disease and obesity.
There are some other ingredients that you should avoid feeding your dog, including:
Though obvious, it should be stated that your dog should not be given alcohol. You should be aware that alcohol can be present or created in your dog’s stomach by other things, such as Yeast.
Bones (especially chicken bones):
Bones can splinter and then cause problems along with their digestive system. On top of that, they might also catch in your dog’s gums and teeth. It all leads to causing tummy problems and diarrhea.
As they are already an energetic breed, they do not need additional stimulants. Caffeine can be quite dangerous for them as it raises their heart rate.
Cherries, Raisins, Grapes, Avocado, and Macadamia Nuts:
All of which are toxic to your Chihuahua. Raisins and grapes are also likely to cause kidney failure.
You should avoid feeding them all sorts of chocolate, but especially dark chocolate, as it contains higher levels of theobromine which can be poisonous to dogs. If your dog is experiencing seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting – it might be signaling to a poisoning. You should consult your vet immediately if that is the case.
These can cause your Chihuahua anemia.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener):
This is can drastic drops in your Chihuahua’s blood sugar levels and cause liver damage. For smaller dogs, like Chihuahuas, it won’t take much to create a toxic dose, so it’s recommended to be avoided altogether.
Factors To Consider For Chihuahua Food
There are various things that you should consider before purchasing dog food for your Chihuahua. Food labels especially can be quite confusing as they might contain various terminology as well as be quite lengthy. Here are a few things that you should be aware of while researching for the best food.
Starch, Carbohydrate and Protein Ratios
If a product is high-quality, then they’ll have a 20: 40: 40 ratio of starch: carbohydrate: protein. Protein will need to come from quality fish and meat sources. There should be complex carbohydrates present that can come from vegetable, fruit, and whole-grain sources.
Though regular potatoes are not included within complex carbohydrates, it is considered a starch along with the pasta.
They are the foundation of protein, therefore making them essential to your dog’s diet and wellbeing. You should look for dog foods that have a list of specific sources of meat to ensure that they will get the right amounts of amino acids.
Vitamins and Minerals
Similar to other dogs, Chihuahuas need to have a diet that contains all the minerals and vitamins they need in order to have a healthy development, healthy coat, healthy skin, and a healthy immune system.
Within the foods ingredient list, you should see Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, along with Folic Acid, DHA Omega Oils. The minerals contained in the food should include Sodium Selenite and Calcium Iodate.
It’s no surprise that Chihuahua’s have smaller jaws and teeth than other breeds. Therefore, it’s important for you to purchase dog food that reflects their needs. The kibble should be easy and small for them to bite. Dry food will be better for Chihuahua’s as it helps them maintain healthy gums and teeth.
Grains and Wheat
There is an increasing number of Chihuahua dog foods that are grain-free. However, there is no real requirement for your dog to omit grains from their diet unless they have an allergy issue or have a stomach issue.
Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, and Colors
You should avoid these three at all costs. Along with this, you should avoid refined grains, fillers, and corn syrups. None of these will be of any benefit to your dog. In fact, they might even be quite harmful, which would prevent the uptake of nutrients. Thus affecting the speed of transit through the digestive system.
Your Chihuahua’s age can also affect the balance of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that they need. If you have them as a puppy, it is recommended that you buy food that is specially designed for that stage of their life. If your dog is nursing or pregnant, then they will have different food, feeding patterns, and different amounts of food.
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)