What Is The Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas?
What is the best dog food for Chihuahuas? The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed (and if you didn't already know, fun fact, they get their name from the Mexican state of Chihuahua). So as they are so small, we need to be careful about what kind of dog food we feed our little Chihuahuas. Their little digestive systems will require a different diet to the dog food that you would feed a Pitbull, for example.
We also need to keep in mind that dog breeds like Chihuahuas might have different nutritional requirements, have allergies to specific ingredients and will need food portions that support their size and metabolic systems.
So keeping all those considerations in mind, let's have a look at how to choose the right type of dog food for Chihuahuas, what we should perhaps avoid, how much we should feed our little Chihuahuas and how often.
How To Choose the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
In general, Chihuahuas are a healthy dog breed. When searching for the best dog food for Chihuahuas, make sure you buy a premium brand labelled “complete and balanced nutrition” and you can’t go wrong. Read this article to be aware of typical health issues of Chihuahuas.
Complete means it contains all the essential nutrients your dog needs. And balanced means that these nutrients are present in the right proportions. There are laws and regulatory bodies monitoring dog food brands with this label, so you can rest assured that your dog is following the best diet possible.
It’s tempting to buy a cheap dog food brand, but this is not ideal. You might save a little bit now, but the health problems that might pop up will cost you more in the long run. Pick a high-quality dog food brand that you can use for your dog from puppy age to senior. This way you give your dog a consistent diet its whole life.
Side effects associated with feeding your Chihuahua the wrong kind of dog food:
If You Feed Your Dog the Wrong Food
- Dull coat
- Possible tooth decay or loss and other oral problems
- Weak immune system
- Stunted growth and development
- Canine obesity and diabetes
- Increased chance of developing food allergies
- Could potentially contain life-threatening strains of food borne-illnesses, such as salmonella
What to Avoid When Choosing Dog Food for Chihuahuas
Just because a brand is labelled “premium” does not necessarily mean it’s the best dog food for Chihuahuas. Carefully inspect the label before you choose a dog food brand to become loyal to. You should be able to trust your veterinarian’s recommendation, but make sure that they are not just recommending a brand that they are selling. Rather do your own research about the dog food brand recommended before just blinding trusting their suggestion.
Ingredients To Avoid
- Food dyes
- Corn and low-quality grain filler products
- Corn and wheat gluten
- Corn syrup
- Animal fat
- Cooked chicken
What to Look Out For When Buying Dog Food
You might find a higher quality dog food brand at your local pet shop rather than grabbing one at the grocery store just labelled “premium”. You need to find a well-balanced dog food formula. Dogs lean towards the carnivore side, but are in actual fact more omnivores. So the dog food needs to contain the right amounts of meat and vegetables.
The meat content should make up about 40% of the dog food formula. You can check the product label for this. Check that meat is listed in the top 5 ingredients to ensure that the product contains a substantial amount of it.
Together with the meat content, vegetables are just as important. Healthy vegetables include sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, broccoli, peas and carrots. Normal potatoes are a filler ingredient that should be avoided. The vegetables should make up a further 40% of the dog food formula. The remaining 20% of the formula should consist of healthy starches.
What Should You Feed Your Chihuahua
Being the smallest dog breed, Chihuahuas are very sensitive. This is why it’s crucial to find the best dog food for Chihuahuas. Toy breeds burn up calories faster than larger dog breeds. As they mature their needs will change with regard to how much they eat and how much physical activity they require.
Best Dog Food for Chihuahua Puppies
Puppies are little bundles of energy and need lots of food to sustain their energy levels and growing bodies. You want to find a high-quality dog food brand to make sure you create a healthy foundation for your puppy’s whole life.
How Much Should You Feed a Chihuahua Puppy
While your Chihuahua is under a year old, it should roughly take in 50 calories per pound of body weight each day. Example: a puppy weighing 2 pounds = 100 calories in total.
How Often Should You Feed a Chihuahua Puppy
For the first 3 months, your puppy should have constant access to food, so a self-feeder is the best solution. Once your puppy is 3 to 6 months old, you should feed it at least 3 to 4 times per day.
Best Dog Food for Chihuahua Adults
By now your dog’s body has matured and its energy levels are settling down a bit more. Try to stick to the same dog food brand to create consistency in your dog’s diet.
How Much Should You Feed an Adolescent Chihuahua
Adult Chihuahuas between 1 and 7 years old will start needing less calories per day, dropping to 35 calories per pound of body weight each day.
Tip: give your Chihuahua snacks during the day and cut down to only two meals a day.
How Often Should You Feed an Adult Chihuahua
When your Chihuahua is over a year old, you can switch to 2 to 3 meal times per day.
Best Dog Food for Older Chihuahuas
The older your dog gets, the more nutrition it will need to help sustain its aging body. It’s important to not just continue with adult dog food, but to switch to senior. Chat to your veterinarian about giving your dog extra supplements as well.
How Much Should You Feed a Senior Chihuahua
Senior dogs Chihuahuas over the age of 8 years old need even less calories per day, only 30 calories per pound of body weight each day.
How Often Should You Feed a Senior Chihuahua
Adults Chihuahuas should only be fed twice a day.
How Food Quality Affects Your Chihuahua
The reason why you should search for the best dog food for Chihuahuas, is because food is transformed into energy. The lack of healthy carbs, fats and proteins will affect the amount of energy gained from eating the food and can in the long term influence the maintenance of muscles.
Chihuahuas might be small and not eat that much, but the food quality is crucial. Food that contains healthy fats can for instance help to keep the dog’s coat and skin in a good condition. The nutritional value of the food can affect four canine health conditions: heart disease, bladder stones, pancreatitis and canine obesity. Luckily the last condition is rarely found in the Chihuahua breed.
Wrapping Up - The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
Dog food is mass produced and to cut down on costs, many brands opt to compromise the quality. Just because a dog food brand is well-known, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a high quality product. Look out for the following ingredients in inferior dog food brands.
Artificial ingredients. Check the label for artificial flavoring and coloring, plus chemical preservatives. These kinds of unnatural ingredients can cause gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting. They can also cause various allergies. Allergic reactions will include poor coat health, dry skin and itching.
Fillers. These include cellulose; oat, peanut or rice hulls; soybean or wheat mill run and corn bran. These are products with no nutritional value. Because the body can’t absorb them, they quickly pass through the digestive system, not offering any health or energy benefits. Unbalanced dog food can cause nutritional deficiency that can lead to unhealthy habits such as eating grass or feces.
By-products. Various by-products have been deemed legal such as snouts, ears, hooves and road kill. They are not necessarily unhealthy, but just make sure you check the dog food label to estimate the ratio of by-products vs. high-quality meat.
Have you noticed how your Chihuahua’s food intake affects its energy levels? Found any dog food brands that you are loyal towards?