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What’s The Best (Dry & Canned) Dog Foods For Chihuahuas

Ai! Chihuahua! Here’s a breed that’s both sweet and spicy! They’re loyal, charming, sassy, graceful, great for small homes and just plain adorable!

With their big ears and short coats they’re more suited to hot, arid climates. Good thing Little Chiquita looks cute in sweaters!

Even the long haired variety can be susceptible to chill. They’re small enough to fit in a purse and taken anywhere.

What's The Best Dog Foods For Chihuahuas

Please consider that these are not fashion accessories. They are living beings who must be treated as such.

 

That means, among other things, feeding them. But what’s the best food for Chihuahuas?

 

In this article, we’re going to review the following dog foods for Chihuahuas:

Why Nutrition Matters to Your Chihuahuas: A Special Outline

First of all, your Chihuahua does not “quiero Taco Bell” to quote the late Gidget, a Chihuahua used in Taco Bell ads back in the Nineties.

In fact, onions, garlic and other spices used in Mexican cuisine could make her very sick.

 

Chihuahuas are very small but have high energy levels so they need a high calorie count. About forty calories per pound that little Chiquita weighs is about right.

Because they have tiny stomachs Chihuahuas need lots of calories in small portions. Chiquita is prone to heart trouble so she needs a diet low in sodium.

 

She’s also prone to tartar and other tooth problems so she needs a hard kibble shape to keep her chompers clean.

 

Recommended Caloric Requirements of Chihuahuas

It’s easy to overfeed a Chihuahua. For one, they have those big eyes that they stare at you with until you feel compelled to feed them.

They’re just so little and cute, it makes you want to spoil them! For another, Chihuahuas naturally have stick thin limbs that make them look underfed.

 

Don’t look at the limbs; look at the ribs. If you see ribs, then the Chihuahua is underfed.

If you can’t even feel ribs, little Chiquita is becoming a little gordita. The average adult chihuahua needs about 240 calories a day.

 

An elderly chihuahua may get by on 160. A very active, still growing puppy might need 325, but consult your veterinarian.

Running around the house and indoor games is enough exercise for little Chiquita.

 

From: MNN.com

Free-Feeding vs. Scheduled Meals For Chihuahuas

Free feeding is fine for growing puppies. They need all the calories they can get.

However, once Chiquita reaches two pounds (generally at about three months of age) it’s time to start cutting back and get her on a schedule.

 

This will keep her from overeating or suffering from bloat. Giving her separate meals will also keep her energy levels up.

Chiquita might not like this part of growing up. Don’t give in.

 

Give her one meal in the morning and one in the evening. She’ll get used to it.

 

Chihuahuas Unique Calorie Requirements

Chihuahuas burn energy easily and don’t need much exercise.

Remember that once Chiquita is a grown up dog, even though she’ll never be very big, she needs to eat dog food formulated for grown dogs.

 

Puppy food has a high fat content. That’s fine for a growing puppy who needs to put on weight.

However, everyone knows that when you get to a certain age the only growing you do is sideways.

Here are a few things you should be looking for in food for a grown up Chihuahua.

 

Protein

They look like sweet little dogs, but they’ll eat like little pigs if you let them.

 

While Chihuahuas aren’t strict carnivores they still need a protein rich diet. Their food should have at least thirty percent protein.

 

Fats

If your Chihuahua isn’t trying to lose weight she needs a little fat in her diet. It will give her a healthy skin and a shiny coat.

A Chihuahua’s diet should be twenty to thirty percent fat.

 

Complex Carbohydrates

Quality sources of carbohydrates include brown rice, flaxseed and root vegetables.

They’re easy on a sensitive stomach and a good source of fiber and antioxidants.

 

Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a great way to give your Chihuahua vitamins, antioxidants and roughage.

 

You’ll be surprised how much she likes them! Just don’t give her avocados, grapes, cherries, raspberries or green tomatoes. 

 

Necessary Nutrients

Your Chihuahua needs chondroitin and glucosamine for joint support.

For a healthy heart, skin, coat and good cognitive function she needs Omega-3 and Omega-6.

She needs antioxidants to support her immune system. Probiotics will aid in digestion.

 

Things You Should Consider When Buying Chihuahuas Dog Food

It can be confusing sometimes choosing the right kind of food for your Chihuahua.

The labels get confusing and it doesn’t help that the manufacturer will print what they want you to read in big letters and may try to hide anything else.

 

If you are a well informed shopper, you’ll know that the following are all things to consider when buying food for your Chihuahua.

 

From: AnimalWised.com

 Protein, Carbohydrate And Starch Ratio

For a Chihuahua, the Protein/Carbs/Starch ratio should be about 40/40/20.

The protein must come from high quality meat and fish sources.

 

The carbs should come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

 

Amino Acids

These are the building blocks of protein and essential for your Chihuahua’s well-being.

Chiquita’s food should list specific meat sources, preferably as the first ingredient, so that you’ll know she’s getting all the amino acids she needs.

 

Vitamins And Minerals

For a working immune system, healthy skin and a shiny coat your Chihuahua needs vitamins and minerals.

 

Look for the vitamins A, B-12, C and E to know that Chiquita is getting all she needs.

She will also need omega oils, calcium iodate, sodium selenite and folic acid.

 

Kibble Size

A chihuahua’s jaws and teeth are small. Her throat is also small and she chokes easily.

Kibble for Chihuahuas should be small and easy to bite. Dry food is better for helping her maintain healthy teeth and gums.

 

Wheat And Grains

The jury is out whether or not a healthy dog should completely avoid grains. Of course, if your dog is allergic you should avoid them.

 

Many dog foods tout themselves as wheat and/or grain free. If you think your Chihuahua can handle grains, at least go with fiber rich whole grains.

 

Age Appropriateness

“Don’t treat your puppy like a dog, dog, dog!” went Purina Puppy Chow jingle.

In one of their televised ads they compared feeding a puppy adult dog food to sitting a baby down to a plate of lobster thermidor.

 

It’s not far from true. Puppies have different nutritional needs from adults, so feed them appropriately.

 

Some Ingredients That Should Be Avoided When Choosing Food For Chihuahuas

Chiquita only has so much room in that little tummy so only fill it with good things.

Chihuahuas have much the same nutritional requirements as much dogs only they require smaller portions.

 

Do not feed a Chihuahua, or any animal for that matter, food that has gone bad.

Low quality dog foods may not include anything exactly poisonous but include ingredients that are not what your little amigo really needs.

 

Artificial Flavors, Colors And Other Non-Essential Additives

Dogs don’t see color as humans do and don’t really care what color their food is.

So, artificial color is more for attracting human buyers and not very necessary at all.

Flavor should come from freshness and be tasty enough so that nothing more need be added. Artificial flavor is not needed nor are preservatives.

 

In fact, a Chihuahua’s sensitive stomach can really be hurt by preservatives. Bone meal is quite unnecessary but meat meal is an acceptable source of protein.

 

Fillers

Wheat, soy and corn have no nutritional value for your Chihuahua.

They are just fillers that a Chihuahua not only doesn’t need but can lead to an upset tummy.

 

By-products

More often than not, meat by-products are meat considered unfit for human consumption.

They may not have been stored properly of the meat may come from an animal that was sick or DOA.

 

Remember: never feed a dog food you would not eat yourself.

While dogs are not as picky about organ meat as some humans (depending on culture) are, they should not eat anything spoiled, rotten or infected with disease.

 

Generic Meat Sources

Would you eat something if you didn’t know what it was? Even adventurous gormets would like to know what they’re eating before they dig in.

Wouldn’t you like to know exactly what your dog is eating?

 

True, your dog may not have any compunctions against eating pork and she won’t be bothered by chicken three days in a row.

However, you don’t want your dog eating just anything. An ingredient listed vaguely as “meat” could be anything.

 

If it goes only as far as to specify “poultry” it could be a pigeon scraped off the sidewalk for all you know.

It could be roadkill. It could be something that died of disease. It could even be a euthanized cat or dog! Don’t let Chiquita be a cannibal!

 

A Few Words On Water And Heat

The Chihuahua is bred for the desert regions of Mexico. And so, she will prefer to be nice and warm and may not drink water as often as she should.

Always have clean water available for her. Feeding her moist foods will help if you don’t think she drinks enough.

 

Some Chihuahuas will put up with being bottle fed if you think she’s being too negligent in her hydration.

If your Chihuahua is outdoors and panting, it’s too hot for her and probably too hot for you. The both of you need to go inside and drink some water.

 

Chihuahua Dog Breed Info, Pictures, Characteristics

Recommended Best Dry And Wet Dog Foods For Adult Chihuahuas

Here are some dog food specially formulated for toy breeds such as Chihuahuas. Toy breeds in general lose body heat faster than big dogs.

 

The desert bred Chihuahua more so. That means Chiquita needs more calories per pound than bigger dogs.

 

Toy breeds are also prone to hypoglycemia and need a lot of protein and fiber. Be careful not to overfeed her.

 

#1 Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Dry Dog Food

Here is something specially formulated for not just toy breeds but specifically Chihuahuas over eight months of age.

The kibble is tailor made for the tiny jaws of a Chihuahua. The digestible proteins and fibers are formulated to reduce stool odor.

 

The omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin all support a healthy skin and coat. It’s tasty, too!

 

Pros:

  • It is easy to digest.
  • Chicken is specified as the protein source.
  • Chihuahuas seem to love the taste.

Cons:

  • The first ingredient is corn.
  • It is rather pricey

>> Check Price On Amazon <<



#2 Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dog Food

This food is made with a 3D Dentadefense System, which has been proven to reduce tartar build-up within twenty-eight days.

 

This premium Chihuahua dog food provides a special fiber system put together with all natural beet pulp and prebiotic fos which furthers nutrient absorption and healthy digestion.

 

Pros:

  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • Dogs seem to like the taste.
  • The kibble is the perfect size for toy dogs.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t seem to have any coat healthy nutrients.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#3 Iams Proactive Health Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

The recipe for this dog food is farm bred chicken and wholesome grains and vegetables. It was formulated especially for toy breeds with easily digestible ingredients.

 

The ingredients in this food have what it takes to give your dog healthy skin, a strong immune system, a shiny coat and strong bones.

 

Pros:

  • The first ingredient is chicken
  • Dogs seem to like it.
  • It has lots of healthy vitamins and minerals.

Cons:

  • Tomatoes are listed as one of the ingredients. Dogs should only eat ripe tomatoes if at all.
  • A bigger size bag would be nice, or at least resealable.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#4 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs

This dog food is formulated from easy-to-digest ingredients that are just right for a tiny dog’s stomach.

The small kibble is ideal for a little canine’s mouth.

 

This food includes high-quality protein suited for lean muscle maintenance as well as nutritious omega-6s and vitamin E to promote healthy skin and a healthy coat.

 

Pros:

  • Chicken meal is the first ingredient listed.
  • The size of the kibble is perfect for little dogs.
  • Some dogs like it.

Cons:

  • It’s a little pricey.
  • The bag is not resealable.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#5 Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food

This food is made up of a combination of simple and natural ingredients with extra vitamins and minerals.

This particular recipe always contains authentic U.S. farm-raised chicken, turkey or beef as the primary ingredient.

 

Mixed in are a lot of wholesome grains and vegetables that provide one of a kind benefits for the health of the toy breed dogs.

 

Pros:

  • Chicken, beef or turkey is the first ingredient listed.
  • There is nothing artificial in this food.
  • There are no fillers or wheat.

Cons:

  • The bag is not resealable.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#6 Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed & Toy Breed Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

Possibly due to controversy over whether or not raw meat is good for dogs, Instinct has started selling the freeze dried meat bits separately.

Whether or not you add the raw bits, this food is highly nutritious for small dogs such as Chihuahuas. There are no by products, wheat or grains and the meat is free range.

 

Pros:

  • The ingredients are all natural.
  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • The kibble bits are small.

Cons:

  • The smell is a bit strong.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#7 Purina Pro Plan Small & Toy Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

With an ideal pairing of nutrition and flavor, this crunchy and tender blend of chicken and rice delivers a taste and texture that dogs love.

A perfect protein-to-fat ratio assists your best buddy in maintaining a healthy physical condition.

 

Meanwhile, vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 acid, help to keep your dog’s coat shiny and maintain healthy skin.

 

Pros:

  • The shredded pieces are easy to eat.
  • Dogs seem to like it.
  • It smells nice.

Cons:

  • Some people may not like the corn meal and gluten.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#8 Solid Gold Small & Toy Breed Wet & Dry Dog Food with Real Protein

This is a grain and gluten free meal that is large on flavor and nutrition and small on kibble size. That makes this ideal for small breed dogs such as Chihuahuas.

 

This recipe is created with fresh USA-raised turkey (a tasty and mild protein) and fiber-rich farm grown vegetables.

 

Pros:

  • Turkey is the first listed ingredient.
  • It has a good moisture content if your Chihuahua doesn’t drink enough.
  • It is grain and gluten free.

Cons:

  • It smells pretty bad.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#9 Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food

Created from a measured list of premium protein and carbohydrate sources, these Limited Ingredient Diets dog food formulas are just the thing when you are searching for preferred ingredients for your dog’s food.

 

Natural balance keeps things simple with one protein source and one carb source but plenty of vitamin supplements.

 

Pros:

  • It has no gluten, grains or fillers.
  • The vitamins can improve the health of your dog.
  • Dogs seem to like the taste.

Cons:

  • Two of the varieties have more potatoes than meat, but are still rich in protein.
  • The sweet potato and fish has been known to have bits of bone in it.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#10 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs – Chicken and Brown Rice

To aid in supporting the unique needs of small dogs, BLUE Life Protection Formula dog food for Small Breeds is formulated with high protein and enough carbohydrates to conform to higher energy requirements.

 

Based in the United States, Blue Buffalo makes first rate pet foods that feature defined meat, fruit and vegetables.

 

Pros:

  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient.
  • The kibble is small and easy to eat.
  • No fillers, but plenty of nutrients.

Cons:

  • Whose bright idea was it to put garlic in dog food?

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#11 Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal

This is a healthy and natural dog food for adult small breed dogs.
It features a smaller kibble size for smaller mouths.

And is formulated out of carefully selected authentic ingredients for everyday health.

 

Wellness Complete Health Natural Canine Food also offers a perfect balance of nutrient rich whole foods to sustain the special health needs of your dog, delivering entire body nutritional promotion to support complete health.

 

Pros:

  • Deboned turkey is the first ingredient followed by chicken meal and salmon meal.
  • The vitamins make fur softer.
  • The kibbles are the right size for a little dog.

Cons:

  • Recent repeat customers have reported an undesirable change in formula of late.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#12 Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Small Breed Recipe Dry Dog Food

Castor & Pollux has spearheaded the evolution of an organic ingredient supply chain for pets in order to have the ability to cause Purposeful Pet Food to be a reality.

 

Formerly, ingredients simply were not available in a decent quality nor was there an ample and reliable supply until now.

 

Pros:

  • Organic chicken is the first ingredient listed.
  • The kibble is small enough for a Chihuahua.
  • It is grain free.

Cons:

  • Much of the protein comes from chickpeas and lentils.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#13 Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Toy Breed dogs like Chihuahuas have unique nutritional needs.

Nulo’s health aware Small Breed recipe offers staying power plus it is specially made with a small breed dog’s higher metabolism in mind.

 

A good chunk of the protein in this food comes from real meat such as turkey, lamb and salmon.

 

Pros:

  • Deboned salmon is the first ingredient on the list.
  • The bag is resealable.
  • The vitamins make the dog’s fur softer.

Cons:

  • It has a bit of a fishy odor.
  • The kibble really should be smaller.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#14 Merrick Classic Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Merrick Classic offers dogs the best natural nutrition from a healthy balance of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

This particular dry dog food recipe begins with authentic deboned meat or poultry as the primary ingredient to offer premium levels of quality protein.

 

Also included are farm-fresh fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, peas, carrots, apples, and more.

Recipes also come with a nutritious blend of whole grains like quinoa.

 

Pros:

  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient.
  • The kibble bits are small.
  • The Omega 3 and 6 acids are good for a healthy coat.

Cons:

  • The bag is not resealable.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#15 Cesar Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This gourmet dog food is made with real beef or chicken plus healthy vegetables.

It has no less than twenty-six of the nutrients that little dogs need for good health.

 

The crunchy kibbles will keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. This nutritious and delicious dog food is just what little dogs crave.

 

Pros:

  • Beef or chicken is the first listed ingredient.
  • Dogs love the taste.
  • It’s not as expensive as you’d think it would be.

Cons:

  • Contains by-products and ground corn.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

Best Puppy Foods For Chihuahuas

Puppies have different nutritional needs from adults. Here are some of the best.

 

#1 Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin made something formulated not only specifically for Chihuahuas but for growing Chihuahua puppies.

 

At this stage of life, your puppy needs lots of vitamins and calories because they burn energy just by growing.

 

Pros:

  • Even picky puppies love it.
  • The kibble bits are the right size.
  • It has plenty of antioxidants and vitamin E.

Cons:

  • While it is technically meat as the first ingredient, it’s chicken by-product.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#2 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Small Paws for Small Breeds, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

This dog food is made with natural ingredients tailored to the developmental needs of small breed dogs younger than one year.

Utilizing a small kibble size designed for your tiny puppy, this high end pet food enhances your puppy’s brain and eye development utilizing DHA from fish oil.

 

A premium quality protein aids your miniature pup in building lean, strong muscles.

 

Pros:

  • Chicken meal is the first ingredient listed.
  • Dogs like the taste.
  • The bag is sealable.

Cons:

  • There are really too many fillers.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#3 Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food

This food is high in protein with chicken as the first ingredient in order to give highly active small dogs what they require.

Each ingredient is meticulously chosen for a particular nutritional or functional purpose.

 

This will give your puppy specific nutrition to give him what he needs at his current stage of life.

 

Pros:

  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • The kibble is bite sized.
  • Puppies love it.

Cons:

  • Corn gluten is the second ingredient.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#4 Pedigree Complete Nutrition Puppy Dry Dog Food

This food is made with the purpose of helping your pup keep up with the big dogs. This puppy food is formulated with DHA for healthy brain development.

It also comes with all the calcium and phosphorus your puppy needs for healthy teeth and strong bones.

 

Pros:

  • There is no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or added sugar.
  • Puppies like it.
  • It is not expensive.

Cons:

  • Ground corn is the first ingredient followed by poultry by-product meal.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

 

#5 Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

This natural dog food delivers specialized nutrition for your small breed’s unique requirements and is formulated with Omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA for healthy growth and development for your puppy.

 

Also included are essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

 

Pros:

  • Chicken is the first listed ingredient.
  • The food is nutritious and healthy.
  • The kibble pieces are small.

Cons:

  • The batches are not consistent.

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

Chihuahuas Dog Food Related FAQs

Do you have more questions? Here they are with some answers.

 

# When Do I Switch My Chihuahua Puppy To Adult Food?

At about six months, your chihuahua’s growth may begin to slow as she reaches her final adult size. She will reach her full growth by her first birthday.

Switch the foods gradually as a sudden switch can cause her to go on a hunger strike. Start by switching one quarter of her old food with the new food for one week.

 

Feed her a half and half mix the next week. The week after that should be three quarters new food.

The next week should have only one eighth of the old food. By then, she should be ready for a full transition.

 

# What Dog Food To Get For Chihuahuas With Sensitive Stomachs?

First, you want to take Chiquita to the vet to find out what the underlying cause of her tummy troubles are.

A puppy under a year old may throw up yellow foam if they’re not fed enough.

 

Your Chihuahua needs kibble small enough to digest and no artificial additives or mystery meat.

 

# My Chihuahua Is Picky. How Can I Find A Food My Chihuahua Likes?

Personally, I never had that problem. I had one named Pablo who stared at me while I was preparing potatoes for dinner.

I told him “They’re just potatoes. You won’t like them.” He stared until I gave him a piece to prove he wouldn’t like it.

 

He did, and wanted another. (Don’t follow my bad example. Dogs really shouldn’t eat raw potatoes)

One fall afternoon I was tearing up a dried out leaf for the heck of it and he came along an ate the torn bits of leaf I tossed aside.

 

But, if your Chihuahua is not so adventurous you first want to see a vet to make sure she’s healthy.

It could simply be that she was spoiled on treats of people food or other bad eating habits that must be curbed.

 

Conclusion

I found it hard to believe myself, but it was the celebrity chef that has the best of the bunch.

It seems that Rachel Ray is as good at cooking for dogs as she is for people!

 

Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food is made with fresh, wholesome meat and vegetables suitable for a human table plus some extra vitamins.and minerals for health.

The other foods are serviceable and if your Chihuahua is particularly sensitive, read the label.

 

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