Do you have a Chihuahua and want to know what dog food is best for them? Maybe you’re getting a new Chihuahua puppy and want to know what you should feed them? Here’s everything you need to know about what Chihuahuas eat.
What Do Chihuahuas Eat? Chihuahuas eat both wet and dry dog food, natural dog food, fresh dog food, home cooked food or raw dog food. You just need to make sure you buy the ‘complete’ versions of the dog food you choose so your Chihuahua gets all the nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy.
Read on to find out more about the different dog foods Chihuahuas can eat, what ingredients you should avoid, how often to feed your Chihuahua, and what dog treats are the most suitable for small breeds.
Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years.
What Dog Food Do Chihuahuas Eat?
Some Chihuahuas can be picky eaters so you need to find food they’ll really enjoy. Whatever food you choose for them, you need to make sure it contains everything they need to keep them healthy.
These are the different types of dog food you can feed your Chihuahua:
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is most commonly available in baked biscuit form known as kibble.
You can also get freeze-dried kibble, which is arguably more nutritious because it’s not been cooked at high temperatures.
Both varieties come in various different shapes, sizes and qualities.
Dry dog food is a popular choice for Chihuahua owners because it lasts a long time and doesn’t have any special storage requirements.
Any dry food you choose for your Chihuahua should be a ‘complete’ diet.
This basically means you don’t need to add any other food to it as it already contains everything your Chihuahua needs.
If you don’t feed a complete diet, your Chihuahua will be missing vital nutrition.
Wet Dog Food
Wet dog food is usually available in cans, trays and cartons. Many wet foods available now are nutritionally complete.
This means you can feed your Chihuahua just wet food without any added extras.
However, wet food alone can be detrimental to their dental health.
Plaque and tartar can quickly build up on their teeth, without anything hard or crunchy to chew on.
So be sure to keep a close eye on your Chihuahua’s teeth if they’re only being fed wet food.
Natural Dog Food
Natural dog food is made with higher quality, often human-grade, ingredients.
It’s less likely to contain fillers and cereals, which can aggravate your Chihuahua’s digestive system.
Natural foods can either be wet or dry and are nutritionally complete.
Brands like Scrumbles and Lily’s Kitchen are good examples of natural dog food manufacturers here in the UK.
Fresh Dog Food
Fresh dog food is one of the newer additions to the dog food market. It’s similar to home-cooked food, but it’s made commercially.
This means it’s been carefully formulated to ensure it contains all the proper nutrition your Chihuahua needs.
High-quality ingredients are lightly cooked before being frozen to lock in the goodness.
Home Cooked Dog Food
Some Chihuahua owners choose to cook their meals at home for them. However, you need to ensure they’ve got the correct amount of nutrients in.
Because Chihuahuas can be fussy, feeding them a home-cooked diet can make it even more challenging to get them to eat a traditional dog food diet should you need to switch.
Raw Dog Food
You can purchase ready-made raw food that usually comes frozen.
It usually comes in mince or meat chunk form and is nutritionally complete.
Or, if you prefer, you can make your own raw recipes for your Chihuahua.
However, extra care must be taken if you decide to create your own raw diet. It’s essential it’s carefully balanced to contain everything your Chihuahua needs to stay healthy.
How Much Should I Feed My Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed, weighing in at only 6lbs or less! Because of this, their portion sizes should be small.
It’s not possible to say precisely how much to feed your Chihuahua as there are many different factors to think about. Their age, activity level, health, weight and the type of food they’re being fed should all be considered.
One thing’s for sure, you shouldn’t feed your Chihuahua too much in one go. It’s always best to feed them little and often instead of in one big meal.
Feeding a higher quality dog food meal mean you won’t need to feed them as much of it.
If your food is low quality and contains lots of fillers, then it’s likely you’ll need to feed more to fill them up.
Although many Chihuahuas can be fussy, once they find food they really like, they can easily overeat.
So it’s important not to let your Chihuahua become overweight as this quickly puts strain on their tiny limbs and organs.
How Often Should I Feed My Chihuahua?
Adult Chihuahuas should be fed three times a day. Once in the morning, once at lunch and once again in the evening. It’s much easier for your Chihuahua to digest smaller meals than one big one.
Chihuahuas have a high metabolism which can make it more difficult for them to regulate their blood sugar levels.
So, giving them 3 meals a day can help provide them with consistent energy throughout the day.
If you’re out of the house at lunchtime, you may want to ask a friend or family member to pop in to feed your Chihuahua. Or, you can get timed feeders that automatically dispense their food at your chosen time.
Chihuahua puppies should be fed 4 to 5 times a day with specially tailored puppy food. They too can’t regulate their blood sugar levels very effectively.
Senior Chihuahuas may have a reduced appetite, so they may be happy having two meals per day when they get older.
However, if your senior Chihuahua suddenly goes off their food, then you should get them checked by your vet.
What Ingredients Should I Avoid In My Chihuahuas Food?
No matter which food you choose to feed your Chihuahua, there are some ingredients you should definitely avoid.
Chihuahuas can have sensitive digestive systems, which can sometimes be upset by beef, dairy, and wheat.
You should also avoid food made with any artificial ingredients, particularly colours, flavours, preservatives or additives.
All of these are unhealthy for your Chihuahua, especially if they’re eating them every day.
You can look up the nutritional rating, ingredients and more information about your chosen dog food on www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk
This can help to give you an idea of how suitable it’ll be for your Chihuahua.
What Treats Can I Give My Chihuahua?
Treats should only be around 10% of your Chihuahuas daily food allowance.
It’s important not to give them too many, so they don’t gain too much weight.
Giving them too many tasty treats can make them fussier with their food too, so they should be given in moderation.
Always make sure treats are a suitable size for your Chihuahua. They only have tiny mouths and teeth, so they can struggle to eat large treats.
Here are the types of treats you can give to your Chihuahua:
Fruit and Vegetables
Chihuahuas can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables like blueberries, bananas, carrots and green beans.
Fruit and veg are low in fat and calories so they’re great for keeping your Chihuahua’s weight in check.
Vegetables can be given raw or cooked, whichever your Chihuahua prefers.
You can also buy fruit and vegetable treats from brands like Soopa.
Pre-packed dog treats can be bought from pretty much any shop, making them really convenient.
However, they often contain low-quality ingredients, so be sure to check them carefully.
Chihuahuas can have sensitive stomachs, which can be upset by some shop-bought treats.
So try to choose pre-packed treats made from high-quality ingredients.
Natural treats are usually air-dried meat or fish.
They retain a lot of their nutritional value because they’re not cooked and don’t have extra ingredients added.
Chihuahuas often really enjoy natural treats like dried tripe, fish skins and dried chicken fillets.
You may want to make your Chihuahua’s treats at home. There are loads of recipes available online for you to choose from.
Making your own treats means you know precisely what’s gone into them.
This can be really useful if your Chihuahua has food intolerances or allergies.
So, there you have it! Chihuahuas do like food but can be a bit fussy! They can eat dry food, wet food, natural food, fresh food, home cooked food or raw food. But, regardless of the dog food you feed them, just make sure you feed a ‘complete’ meal to keep your Chihuahua healthy.
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