Chihuahua nutrition – feeding advice and best food This article is verified by a vet

Chihuahua dog eating from dog bowl

In contrast to large breeds, there is the danger of overfeeding small breeds.

Chihuahuas make up for their teeny size with big personalities that needs the appropriate food to shine. According to the breed standard, the Chihuahua is spirited, alert, intelligent and utterly charming (and we are inclined to agree!)

Seemingly unaware of their tiny stature, many Chihuahuas come with a hefty dose of sass and a ‘big dog’ attitude.

Read here what to pay attention to when it comes to Chihuahua food.

How to feed your Chihuahua: Size matters

Providing your pint-sized companion with high quality, breed-appropriate nutrition is a must. Luckily, even the high end foods won’t cost you a fortune, thanks to the very modest daily amounts needed by a Chihuahua.

The smaller the dog, the higher the risks of suffering ill-effects from toxic ingredients. This means ensuring you purchase from a reputable manufacturer, with high quality controls in place.

Measure portions carefully. It’s super easy to overfeed a dog as small as a Chihuahua, so no ‘guesstimating’ quantities for these guys! Always use a set of scales to measure the daily ration.

Kibble size is another important factor if you want to feed your little pal a dry food. Look for a formula that comes in a small or extra-small kibble shape. It will be perfect for dainty Chihuahua jaws and minimises the risk of choking associated with larger kibbles.

Early days: Best food for Chihuahua puppies

Feeding recommendations for puppy foods are dependent on the dog's current weight and their expected weight as an adult dog. You can consult Chihuahua feeding charts online to check whether your pup is overweight or underweight for their age.

Young Chihuahuas need a lot of energy to fuel their rapid growth. Check that your Chihuahua puppy food contains lots of high quality animal protein (ideally as the first ingredient).

Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy dry and Royal Canin Mini Puppy wet dog food are both great options for your new Chihuahua puppy. The amount you feed should be divided into several small feeds a day at first, and always provide your pup with plentiful fresh water.

All grown up: Feeding an adult Chihuahua

Once your Chihuahua is fully grown you can switch them over to a diet suitable for small or mini adult dogs. Chihuahuas are less likely to become obese than other breeds, but you should still keep a careful eye on their waistline.

As a toy breed with a short snout, Chihuahuas can find warmer temperatures uncomfortable. Try to keep your Chihuahua inside in a cool area of the house on hot days. Being overweight could intensify this problem and also lead to joint issues over time.

The golden years: Diets for senior Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas are blessed with a longer than average life-span, that can double or even triple that of their larger canine cousins. Because of this, your furkid may spend more years of their life as a ‘senior’ dog than they will as a puppy or adult.

As your Chihuahua’s metabolism and activity levels drop, their diet should be changed too. A tasty, suitably adapted food with high acceptance can support the wellbeing of older Chihuahuas.

Your OAP’s (Old Aged Pup!) food can be changed to meet specific problems that may accompany the ageing process. For instance, there are diets available to assist dogs with poor dental health or joint issues.

Wet or dry food for your Chihuahua?

You’ll find plenty of dry kibble and wet food options to feed your Chihuahua. Dry food is more economical but your furkid may not find it as appetising as a moist and meaty wet food.

When it comes to dry food, small-sized biscuits adapted to the teeth of small dogs are recommended. Some brands offer Chihuahua-specific dry food.

Chihuahuas have a tendency to suffer from dental health problems, especially in later life. Many owners believe that dry food is better for dental health as the crunchy texture has a cleaning action.

Having said that, regular brushing with a specialist dog enzyme toothpaste is the most effective way to combat dental disease, and should be part of your dog’s daily routine.

What treats should I feed my Chihuahua?

It’s hard to resist the dramatic performances of a cute Chihuahua who simply must have extra treats… But even a couple of extra calories added to a small dog’s diet can make a huge difference. Every gram counts when you only weigh a couple of kilos!

Get into the habit of putting aside a few kibbles from your pup’s daily ration and feed those as treats instead.

Food for Chihuahua with Sensitive Skin

Chihuahuas often suffer from sensitive skin. If your vet believes the condition is caused by a food allergy, they may suggest switching to a sensitive or hypoallergenic diet. These foods avoid common allergens such as wheat, beef or soy.

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