US Vet: “This is the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas”

Picking the best dog food for your Chihuahua can be a challenging task. As you know, your furbaby, sometimes, can be quite a picky eater for no reason when it comes to eating her breakfast and dinner, which can cause an unbalanced diet. Therefore, you have to make plenty of decisions, from considering Fido’s life stage and health requirements to ensure that she gets all the proper nutrients from the highest quality sources. All of this with the abundance of information might be overwhelming.

I used my 12 years of Veterinary experience and reviewed over 100 dog food products to find the best dog food for Chihuahuas.

After considering the nutritional needs and genetic health conditions that Chihuahuas tend to have, I found that “Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Deboned Chicken Recipe” is the best overall food for adults Chihuahuas. In addition to meeting my dietary criteria for Chihuahua, it has the best combination of nutrients and quality sources.

But I understand that no two Chihuahuas are alike, and your Chihuahua might have a different life stage or have different needs. That’s why I prepared a shortlist of the best Chihuahua foods that address the most common Chihuahua needs. 

In addition to picking the best products for your pooch, I outlined my process for choosing dog food. I want you to know what gets inside the furry stomach. The process is written in plain & simple English that will help you make wiser dietary decisions for your Bulldog.

I also encourage you to read our review process and check out our in-depth reviews below so that you’ll be able to come up with your own dietary decisions.

Let’s get started.

Before You Pick The Best Food For Your Chihuahua

A cute Chihuahua is sitting on a chair an checking on her mom how she prepares food for her
Close-up of the head of a small black and white dog Chihuahua. The dog is waiting and bored

There’s no such thing as one food that fits all Chihuahuas. While we did our best to find the best food for most Chihuahuas, you might prefer to pick a more specific formula.

That’s why I elaborate here our main considerations while reviewing the best dog foods for Chihuahuas.

You can divide your research journey into 3 steps:

The rest of the guide will show you how to pick the right food for your Chihuahua’s life stage, how diet helps in common Chihuahua health issues, and what to look for on the label.

For your convenience, I (Dr. Libby Guise) shortlisted 14 dog foods. These foods were carefully selected and should satisfy your Chihuahua’s needs. I also noted which food is best for certain life stages or particular health issues.

After going through the shortlist, you can find additional considerations that might be of interest to you and your fur-baby.

Finally, I answered the most popular questions that I’m being asked regarding Chihuahuas’ nutrition and diet.

Please keep in mind, while I tried to do my best to find the best food for your Chihuahua, it would be a good idea to understand how and why we made our decisions.

The recommendations in this review are not intended to replace the doctor-patient relationship. Always consult your veterinarian before making significant adjustments to your furbaby’s diet.

The Right Diet For Puppies, Adults, And Seniors Chihuahuas

Two Longhair Chihuahuas are marching together to eat their favorite meal

These small pups top the list of toy breeds. But don’t let their size fool you. They may be tiny, but Chihuahuas have a larger-than-life attitude!  With endless energy, a mind of their own, high intelligence, and a friendly attitude, these dogs require time, attention, and a strict diet to grow happily and stay healthy.

Essential considerations for all life stages

Chihuahuas may top out around 6 pounds as adults so that they won’t need much food. That makes picking high-quality dog food a high priority. Choose products with higher protein content from animal sources and low to moderate fat from healthy sources. Puppies will need more protein and fat than adults to help fuel their growth. 

As for carbohydrates, the key is to use products with digestible carbs and fiber, such as whole grains, fresh fruits, and veggies. These whole food sources will help to provide a balanced blend of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E for immune support and calcium and phosphorus for strong bones.

Like most toy breeds, Chihuahuas can be prone to health issues and dietary challenges. These dogs have an extremely high metabolism, which makes them vulnerable to hypoglycemia. It’s best to offer multiple meals a day to provide a steady energy supply. Avoid overfeeding them because they can gain weight quickly and are at risk of becoming obese. 

Other common health issues include eye, dental, joint, and heart problems. Especially in the senior years, look for foods that contain natural sources or supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, taurine, beta-carotene, and vitamin A to support the body’s systems.

Daily Calorie Requirements

Chihuahua’s daily caloric needs will change as they get older.  Therefore, It’s best to feed puppy food to puppies and adult food to fully-grown pooches so that your pooch gets the balance of nutrients that he needs.

  • Puppies: To power growth and everyday activity, a Chihuahua needs about 50 calories a day per pound of body weight. 
  • Adults: Adults with average activity will need approximately 35-40 calories per pound.
  • Seniors: Around 8 years of age, your pooch will slow down. Energy needs will be about 30 calories per pound of body weight.

Feeding Quantity & Frequency

  • Puppies: Start newly weaned puppies with about 85% wet food. 

Transition to all kibbles by about 12 weeks or 3 months. At these young ages, divide your pal’s daily ration into four evenly spaced meals. Between 3 and 6 months, you can go down to three times a day. Follow the feeding guidelines on the product label to determine how much to feed. 

  • Adults: Chihuahuas reach adulthood around 1 year. You can slowly transition to adult food at this time. Generally, your pup will eat between ¼ to ½ cup twice a day. Check the package guidelines to find the best ration size for your pooch.
  • Seniors: Senior dogs can still be fed twice daily, but it’s best to switch to a senior formula. Follow package recommendations for the portion size.

The Appropriate Nutrition For Common Chihuahua Health Issues

White Chihuahua losing some calories while running to get her favorite food

Some health conditions are more popular among Chihuahuas than other dog breeds. Each breed inherits some genes that can be associated with certain health issues. 

It doesn’t mean that Fido is going to develop these conditions. It just means that Chihuahuas have a higher chance as compared to other breeds.

However, it’s possible to reduce the risk by proactively feeding Chihuahua with the proper nutrients. Here we list the most common Chihuahua health issues and how certain nutrients can reduce risk.

A quick reminder: if you think your special pal suffers from any of these conditions, schedule an exam with your veterinarian to confirm your suspicions. Even with healthy dogs, these dietary recommendations may help prevent future problems. Always check with Fido’s doctor before making changes in his diet.

Eye Problems

Chihuahuas are prone to two eye diseases that can lead to blindness. Glaucoma targets the optic nerve and causes extreme pain and a bulging eye. Progressive retinal atrophy occurs when photoreceptors in the eye slowly fail. 

To promote eye health, offer a varied diet and high-quality food. You may also choose to feed a fresh or raw food diet to support good vision and foster healing. Either way, important ingredients to look for include:

  • Foods rich in beta-carotene – orange vegetables including carrots and pumpkin
  • Blueberries and other antioxidant-rich foods
  • Green vegetables that are packed with phytonutrients like broccoli and kale
  • Sardines and other oily fish that are natural sources of omega fatty acids

Avoid poor quality, highly processed foods that contribute to eye problems. For example, commercial foods with excess carbohydrates, fillers, or artificial ingredients can cause weepy, crusty eyes and may trigger allergic reactions.

Joint Health

As a toy breed, Chihuahuas can suffer from a few inherited joint diseases:

When you’re dealing with a musculoskeletal system disease, your pup’s weight and muscle mass are important. Provide a high-protein diet with digestible carbohydrates and low to moderate fat to maintain healthy muscle mass and avoid obesity. 

You should look for formulas that include a balanced blend of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium for strong bones. Foods with glucosamine and chondroitin help to support cartilage health and repair. If your pup has a joint disease, natural sources of omega fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon, fish oil, or flaxseed provide important nutrients to fight inflammation.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

The Chihuahua is one of the breeds which is susceptible to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). With this condition, a spinal cord disc may bulge or rupture causing pain, limb weakness, or paralysis. 

Many of the same nutritional suggestions as for joint health above apply to IVDD. Keep your pal on a high-protein, low to moderate-fat diet with moderate carbs to stay lean and healthy. In addition, products with glucosamine, chondroitin and omega fatty acids can help support the joints and manage inflammation.

Heart Disease

Some inherited heart diseases that Chihuahuas may have include:

  • Pulmonic Stenosis – a narrowing of the pulmonary artery as it exits the right ventricle that can cause exercise intolerance or may contribute to congestive heart failure.
  • Mitral Valve Disease – the edges of the valves in the heart degenerate and thicken, causing a heart murmur and potential congestive heart failure

When considering heart-friendly foods: 

  1. Start with a product that helps your four-footed friend maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on the heart.
  2. Choose protein-rich diets from quality, animal-based sources that provide nutrients for healthy lean muscle mass. 
  3. Look for food that’s low-salt or has restricted sodium levels to help prevent fluid retention.
  4. Pick products with supplements that support heart health
    1. Taurine 
    2. Omega 3 fatty acids 
    3. Coenzyme Q10

Hypoglycemia

With their high metabolism, Chihuahuas can suffer from hypoglycemia or dangerous drops in blood sugar. When this happens, a pup may act dizzy or disoriented or become drowsy even in the middle of a play session. 

It’s imperative to take immediate action and get calories in your pup when they show signs of hypoglycemia. First, try feeding them a meal. If they’re not interested, offer honey or corn syrup. You can rub some on their gums or roof of the mouth if they’re already too weak to help themselves. Once they revive a bit, feed them a regular meal. Contact your veterinarian immediately for an examination to rule out underlying diseases.

To help prevent episodes of hypoglycemia, feed your dog high-quality, protein-rich food with real meat to helps sustain blood sugar levels. In addition, a moderate-fat diet featuring healthy omega fatty acids and complex carbohydrates from whole grains or garden vegetables provide energy stores for your pup. You should also consider increasing the number of meals you give your furbaby during the day. Frequent feedings provide more consistent energy input rather than a few larger spikes.

Canine Epilepsy

Canine epilepsy is another condition that can affect Chihuahuas. Dogs affected by epilepsy present with repeated seizures. This condition can usually be managed with anti-seizure medications through your veterinarian. 

If you’re giving your chihuahua on drugs for epilepsy:

  • Feed foods with B vitamins, quality proteins, EPA, and DHA to help support brain function 
  • Look for food that’s low in salt because chloride may interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. 
  • Avoid foods with soy, complex carbohydrates, corn, gluten, and dairy, as these substances may trigger seizures.

Studies suggest that dogs on either a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb) diet or a diet that relies on whole-food ingredients and is lower in carbs may also help manage seizures. 

Respiratory Problems

Chihuahuas can suffer from respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia, and these are usually easy to treat. Fortunately, diet can help your pup’s body battle and prevent disease. Omega 3 fatty acids work to reduce inflammation. Many vegetables and fruits are phytonutrient and antioxidant-rich and promote cellular health and immunity. Certain yellow-orange and leafy-green veggies may help battle cancer. Feeding a high-fiber diet promotes digestion and boosts overall immunity.

Collapsing Trachea

Another problem that affects the respiratory tract of this minute pooch is tracheal collapse. Pups with this condition will show difficulty breathing, may have a loud, honking cough, and may have exercise intolerance. The condition is often more pronounced in overweight dogs.

The main way diet can help manage your pup’s condition is to prevent obesity. Feed a higher protein diet with low to moderate fat and carbs to avoid unwanted weight gain. You can also look for products rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids to fight inflammation. When you feed your pooch, make sure he doesn’t gulp his food. Try a slow-feed dog bowl if you have a pup that inhales his meals.

Mouth and Teeth Problems

With their tiny mouths, Chihuahuas can suffer from overcrowding of their teeth or malocclusion. These conditions increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You can help prevent dental disease by feeding a quality diet that includes a balanced blend of minerals to keep the teeth and bones strong. Products that include vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids help boost immunity and fight inflammation. In addition, feeding a hard diet rather than soft food and providing regular dental care will help keep the teeth and mouth healthy.

Obesity

Because these pups top out around 6 pounds of body weight, it can be easy to overfeed them. But obesity sets your furbaby up for several health problems, including arthritis, back problems, and heart disease. If you can’t feel your pal’s ribs through a thin layer of fat and muscle, he’s probably overweight.

What to do? For starters, don’t give your pup treats from the table. Instead, offer food that’s higher protein and lower in fat and carbs to help them drop weight. You want to feed a quality product with whole foods that provide essential nutrients, antioxidants, and digestible fiber.

Ensuring High-Quality Nutrients

Cute Chihuahua is sniffing her dog bowl and reviewing the quality of the food

Now that you have information about the basic nutritional needs of Chihuahuas and how to adjust their diets if they suffer from some common conditions, we can talk about dog food. 

  • Kibble Size – Tiny mouths need tiny bites. So look for a kibble that’s sized to fit your furbaby’s mouth and is easy to munch.
  • Age Appropriate – Each stage of life has different nutritional needs. It’s important to feed puppy food to Chihuahuas that are under one year of age. Fully grown dogs need adult food. As your furbaby ages, his energy needs dwindle. Senior food is formulated to prevent obesity and may include supplements for the heart and joints.
  • The Main Ingredient is Whole Protein – Chihuahuas need protein-rich food to maintain healthy muscles. The best source is real muscles that provide essential amino acids. Look for lean meats such as salmon, chicken, and lamb.
  • Contains Low to Moderate Fat – With a rapid metabolism, Chihuahuas need healthy fats for energy. Look for sources of omega fatty acids that support the heart, brain, skin, and coat. The content should be in the low to moderate range.
  • Has Whole Food Ingredients – Whole foods are easy to digest and provide a rich source of nutrients. Look for healthy grains, fruits, and vegetables in the ingredients. Superfoods offer antioxidants and a blend of essential minerals and vitamins for balanced nutrition.
  • Ingredients to Avoid – Meat and animal derivatives and poultry by-products are vague terms that cover all parts of the animal. It can include parts that are not fit for human consumption such as beaks, hooves, and feathers. Other ingredients you may choose to avoid include soy, cereals, and corn. These products do not provide the same nutritional value as animal proteins and whole grains.
  • Free of Chemical Preservatives – In addition to avoiding the ingredients mentioned above, stay away from chemical preservatives such as BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, and nitrates/nitrites. These substances have been linked to some cancers. Instead, look for natural preservatives like tocopherols and herbs.
  • No Artificial Additives, Colors, or Flavors – Look for natural products. Artificial ingredients can trigger allergies or other health problems in your pooch.
  • Includes Useful Supplements – Depending on your furbaby’s age and general health, look for foods that include supportive supplements:
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    • Taurine for the heart
    • B vitamins, EPA, and DHA for cognitive function
    • Omega fatty acids to support skin, hair, and brain
    • Vitamin E for immune support
    • Probiotics to support gut health
  • Limited Ingredients – Some Chihuahuas can suffer from food sensitivities or allergies. In this case, choose products with a limited number of whole food ingredients to help avoid problem materials. Corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and fillers are some common allergens to avoid.
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements – The AAFCO is an organization of nutritionists, veterinarians, and other scientists. They conduct scientific research to develop requirements for complete and balanced nutrition in various pet foods. Look for a statement on the product label indicating that the food is in compliance with these guidelines.
    Manufactured in a Limited Number of Countries – You want to know you’re feeding a quality product to your pup. Check the label to find out where the product was manufactured. Countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and many European nations follow good manufacturing practices to ensure dog food is safe for your furbaby to eat.

Our 2022 Review For 14 Dog Foods For Chihuahuas

White Chihuahua went for a swim because she's tired of waiting her mommy to make a decision on her food

We reviewed over 100 products by following the process presented above and classified the best of them based on everyday Chihuahuas needs. 

We considered the life stage, common Chihuahua health issues for each pick and ensured it has the best nutrient sources.

Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Deboned Chicken Recipe

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Rice
  • Key feature: toy breed, high-protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 462kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: small kibble, all-natural
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Best Overall Pick
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

Starting with real animal protein, this product provides a complete nutritional profile for your Chihuahua. The high-protein content gives your pooch the essential amino acids he needs to maintain healthy lean muscles. Chicken and turkey meals offer natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint function.

The moderate-fat content features healthy omega fatty acids for the skin, coat, and brain. With whole fruit, grain, and vegetable ingredients, the formula has rich sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients.

There are taurine supplements for heart health and vitamin E to support immunity. Probiotic cultures and prebiotic fiber boost digestive function.

Customers who feed this food to the Chihuahuas say the pea-sized kibble is just right, and their pups like the flavor.

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Formula

  • First 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, ground white rice, cracked pearl barley
  • Key feature: moderate fat, high-protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein,16% Crude Fat,3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 345cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry small breed adult food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Budget
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

This food has chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients on the list to provide a protein-rich formula for lean muscle maintenance. The chicken meal also provides a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

With moderate fat coming from flaxseed and salmon oil, the formula includes healthy omega fatty acids for brain, skin, and coat health. Digestible whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide antioxidants, phytonutrients, and a balanced blend of essential vitamins and minerals.

The kibble has prebiotic fiber and probiotics for gut health. B-vitamins help to promote cognitive function and vitamin E supports immunity.

Customers who feed this product to their dogs say it’s gentle on the stomach, poops are firmer, and the hair looks shiny and healthy.

Nutro Ultra Toy Breed Adult Dry Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Lamb Meal
  • Key feature: Protein-rich formula for adults
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 371 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Toy Breed Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Premium 
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance

With chicken as the first ingredient and three animal protein sources, this product offers essential amino acids for healthy lean muscle mass. The protein and fat contents are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your toy breed.

Whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruits provide rich sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients. The formula has a balanced blend of minerals and vitamins to support strong bones and a healthy body.

The food includes a prebiotic fiber to aid digestion. There are no artificial ingredients in this food.

Owners say the kibble is the perfect size for tiny mouths, and their dogs love to eat it.

Orijen Puppy High-Protein Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel
  • Key feature: High protein, grain-free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 20% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 449 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free, dry
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Best for: Chihuahua Puppy
  • AAFCO Statement: Orijen is formulated to meet the nutritional level established by the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for all life stages 

This food starts with lean proteins as the first several ingredients in the formula to offer a rich source of essential amino acids and other nutrients for your growing puppy. The fat comes from healthy sources and features omega fatty acids including EPA and DHA for cognitive health.

With whole food ingredients including carrots, apples, and lentils, the food uses digestible carbohydrates to provide the energy your furbaby needs to develop and remain active. Fruits and vegetables also offer a rich source of antioxidants for cellular health and immunity.

There’s a balanced blend of essential nutrients including minerals for strong bones. The formula also has natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. Prebiotic fiber and probiotics offer support for healthy digestion.

Customers of small breed puppies say their dogs love the food, have healthy skin and coat, and they have no digestive issues.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice
  • Key feature: Natural Ingredients for Small Breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 408 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Adults
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

Designed with small breed dogs in mind, this food has the right balance of protein and fat for your Chihuahua. Three lean protein sources provide the amino acids to support healthy muscle mass.

Omega fatty acids and other essential fats help foster cognitive function, healthy skin, and a smooth coat. Whole grains provide digestible carbohydrates to fuel your pup’s energy needs. Probiotic cultures and prebiotic fiber boost digestion.

The formula includes the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health. Taurine supplements help to foster heart health. 

Customers share that their dogs love the food, and it keeps them energized and active.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Key feature: No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein,13% Crude Fat,6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 371 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: small breed dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Seniors
  • Best for: Senior Chihuahua
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

This formula starts with chicken as the first ingredient to provide healthy animal proteins that support your pup’s lean muscle mass. A moderate fat content comes from healthy sources of omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients to fuel your pup’s energy and support hair, skin, and brain health.

Healthy whole grains including brown rice and oatmeal provide digestible sources of carbohydrates to keep your pup fit and active. A blend of garden vegetables and fruits adds balanced nutrition including a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Prebiotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms also help to support the gut. 

With supplements and natural sources of glucosamine, chondroitin, and taurine, this product has nutrients to support the joints and heart as your pal ages. The formula includes L-carnitine to help boost metabolism.

Owners say the kibble is the right size for a small mouth, and older dogs have more energy when they eat this food.

Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison & Brown Rice Recipe Small Breed

  • First 5 ingredients: Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Peas, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
  • Key feature: Moderate protein, lower fat for maintenance
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein,18% Crude Fat,10% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 326 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Heart Health
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

With red meat and fish as the top two ingredients in this product, your pal will have the amino acids he needs for healthy lean muscles. The formula includes taurine from natural sources and supplements for heart health.

Healthy whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruits offer rich sources of antioxidants and other essential nutrients. With flaxseed and sources of fish meals and salmon oil, the formula has a rich source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote a healthy brain, skin, and coat, and to fight inflammation.

Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin support cartilage health and repair. The product includes prebiotic fiber and probiotic cultures for gut health.

Customers say their dogs love to eat this food, it’s easy on digestion, and it keeps their furbabies healthy.

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free 

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
  • Key feature: high protein, grain-free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein,14% Crude Fat,5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 390 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: grain-free dry food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Low Blood Sugar
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for all life stages

With three sources of real animal protein, this product has the essential amino acids to sustain your pup’s muscle mass. The moderate fat content features healthy omega fatty acids including DHA.

The formula includes complex carbohydrates from chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and peas to provide the sustainable energy your furbaby needs. Whole food ingredients including garden vegetables and fruits offer digestible fiber. Prebiotic fiber and probiotics also support healthy digestion.

Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin offer joint support. The product also has supplemental taurine for heart health and a balanced blend of minerals to keep the bones strong.

Owners say their dogs love the flavor of this food, and it helps them stay active and healthy.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Healthy Weight 

  •  First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Lentils
  • Key feature: high protein, moderate fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein,13% Crude Fat,8.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 426kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free, protein-rich dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Adult Dry food
  • Best for: Weight Loss

With moderate fat and moderate crude fiber, this product is designed to help your pup reach and maintain a healthy weight. The formula is protein-rich to support healthy lean muscle mass and keep your pup active.

Nutrient-rich superfoods offer antioxidants and a balanced blend of essential nutrients. Digestible complex carbohydrates provide the energy your pup needs without adding unwanted pounds.

Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin support the joints, while flaxseed and fish oil provide omega fatty acids for healthy skin and hair. Prebiotic fiber and probiotic cultures boost digestion.

An owner of two overweight Chihuahuas shared that feeding this formula helped her pups lose unwanted pounds and have a healthy coat and more energy.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites 

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Potatoes
  • Key feature: limited ingredient
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein,10% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 393cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry LID adult food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Sensitive Stomach
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

With digestible lean protein and potatoes as the top ingredients, this product is designed to be easy on the stomach. The formula contains no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients.

A protein-rich, lower fat profile provides essential amino acids and healthy omega fatty acids for your pooch’s muscles, skin, and coat. The omega 3 fatty acids also help to manage inflammation.

Prebiotic fiber from flaxseed helps promote healthy digestion. A balanced blend of vitamins and minerals supports overall health. 

Customers say the kibble is the right size, and it’s easy to digest for pups with a sensitive stomach.

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Pea Starch
  • Key feature: high protein, low fat 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein,12% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 336 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Allergies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance

This grain-free food features digestible protein sources from salmon meat and fish meal which provide essential amino acids for your pup’s muscles. The ingredients also add omega fatty acids to the diet to promote a healthy coat and skin and to fight inflammation.

There are no corn, wheat, or artificial ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin offer digestible carbohydrates with healthy beta-carotene for the eyes. 

Other whole food ingredients provide a balanced blend of nutrients including antioxidants to promote cellular health. The formula includes taurine supplementation for heart health and essential vitamins.

Customers report that feeding this food to their dogs helps to clear up ear infections and firm up poop.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Chicken & Brown Rice 

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Flaxseed
  • Key feature: low fat, high-protein for weight control
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein,15% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 345kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Small breed dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Joint Health/IVDD
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

This product features high protein from animal sources that provide essential amino acids to support your pup’s muscles. The Chicken meal also provides glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and cartilage health.

With flaxseed and fish meal as natural sources of omega fatty acids, the product provides healthy fats to support the skin and coat and to fight inflammation. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits add powerful antioxidants and help to provide a balanced blend of essential nutrients.

There’s a proper balance of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. The formula includes vitamin E for immunity, taurine supplements for the heart, and a blend of prebiotic fiber and probiotics for digestive health.

Chihuahua owners say the kibble is a perfect size, their pups like the flavor, and it helps them maintain a healthy weight.

Nulo Small-Breed Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Salmon meal, Red Lentils
  • Key feature: Protein-rich 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 31% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat,5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 431 cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free Dry Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Grain-Free
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance

The first four ingredients on the list of this food are from animal sources to provide a protein-rich diet. The protein and fat content are well-suited to the needs of your toy breed. 

Natural sources of omega fatty acids support the brain, coat, and skin. Vitamin supplements include A for vision and C and E for immunity. Fresh whole vegetables and fruits provide a rich source of antioxidants for cellular health.

With prebiotic fiber and probiotic cultures, the formula is designed to promote healthy digestion. There are no artificial ingredients, grains, white potatoes, or soy in this product. 

Owners say picky eaters like this formula, it helps clear up allergy symptoms, and it helped improve the attitude of one Chihuahua.

Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Broth, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ground Flaxseed
  • Key feature: ground loaf
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 11.5% Crude Protein, 7.5% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 431 cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free Wet Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: 
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance

This grain-free wet food starts with real beef as the first ingredient to provide essential amino acids for your pal’s muscles. The liver adds a natural source of taurine to support heart health. 

With healthy fat sources, including omega fatty acids, the product provides nutrients to support the skin, brain, and hair.

Wholesome fruits and vegetables help to provide a balanced blend of essential minerals and vitamins as well as antioxidants. There are no artificial ingredients, potatoes, or other potential allergens in the formula.

Customers say this dog is a wholesome option for dogs with dietary restrictions and food allergies.

Foods That a Chihuahua Shouldn’t Eat

Who can resist sharing a little something with your furbaby? But there are some foods that aren’t safe for dogs:

  •  Alcohol including beer, hops, liquor, and wine
  • Stimulants including caffeine in coffee and tea and theobromine in chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Garlic and onions
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pits or seeds from apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, and nectarines
  • Nutmeg
  • Xylitol sweetener- found in some candy, chewing gum, peanut butter, and baked items

Is Grain-Free Food a Good Option for Chihuahuas?

If your Chihuahua has a grain sensitivity or food allergy, grain-free can be an acceptable option. However, the FDA had expressed concern that these foods may be a causative factor in a form of heart disease. A further study in 2018 found that there may be additional factors in combination with the grain-free diet that lead to this problem. 

If you’re considering a grain-free diet, some things to watch out for include exotic meats (for example – alligator, bison, ostrich) and the presence of potatoes, lentils, or peas in the top five ingredients. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Cute Chihuahua lying on bed and tired of watching mommy picking her food all day long

How do I change my chihuahua dog’s diet?
In a word, gradually. Whenever you transition foods, it’s best to do it slowly over a week or two to avoid digestive upset. Start by mixing about 25% of the new food with 75% of your pup’s current diet for a few days. Then you can try a 50/50 mixture for another few days. By about day 5, offer a 75% new, 25% old mix. At the end of the week, your pup should be ready for 100% new food.

Do chihuahuas need special dog food?
A Chihuahua’s nutritional needs are mostly based on its size. Unless your pup has a special health consideration, a small or toy breed dog food should provide the required nutrients. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions.

Should I Feed My Chihuahua dry or wet food?
We recommend dry food for Chihuahuas to help prevent dental disease.

When can I safely switch my chihuahua puppy to adult dog food?
Chihuahuas can safely switch to adult food around a year of age.

When is a chihuahua considered a senior?
Around 8 years of age, chihuahuas enter the senior years and often have less activity and lower energy requirements

Does my Chihuahua puppy need a puppy-specific diet?
We recommend you feed puppy food to your Chihuahua puppy. It’s designed to meet the unique needs of a growing dog including higher protein and energy content.

My Chihuahua is a picky eater, is it ok to free-feed him?
Because of their size and small body weight, we don’t recommend free feeding. It doesn’t take much for these tiny pups to overeat, and it’s harder to monitor intake with free-feeding. If you have a picky eater:

  • Try using a little wet food as a topper to stimulate his appetite
  • Stop giving your furbaby treats and table scraps to encourage him to eat his food
  • Make mealtime interesting by using a Kong or puzzle toy to feed your pal or feed him after going for a walk to simulate hunting and feasting on his prey

How long can a chihuahua go without eating?
Most dogs can go 4-5 days without eating food as long as they continue to drink water and stay hydrated. However, with Chihuahuas’ high metabolism and the tendency for hypoglycemia, even a few skipped meals can be serious. If your pup isn’t eating, monitor him closely for signs of disorientation or weakness, and call your veterinarian.

Is milk good for chihuahuas?
Adult dogs don’t have the enzyme to digest lactose in milk, so giving large quantities can cause digestive upset and diarrhea. You may be able to safely give small amounts. 

What human food can a chihuahua eat?
There are several human foods that chihuahuas and other dogs can safely eat. Acceptable lean meats, fruits, and vegetables include:

  • Fish such as salmon and tuna
  • Poultry including chicken, turkey, and duck
  • Yogurt with live probiotic cultures
  • Apples and apricots with seeds removed
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries including blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Peas
  • Mango
  • Green beans

Why won’t my chihuahua eat?
Some of the reasons your pup may not be eating include:

  • Stress or anxiety from a change in their routine or environment
  • Dental disease is making eating uncomfortable
  • Upset stomach 
  • An illness that’s causing upset
  • Intestinal blockage or obstruction

Some of the causes of anorexia can be life-threatening. If your pup suddenly stops eating, call your veterinarian and schedule an exam.

Dry vs Wet Food – Which is better for your Chihuahua?

The debate over wet or dry food has been around for a while. Truly, if you’re feeding a quality product, both can provide the nutrition your pal needs. However, there are pros and cons to both forms.

Wet food is often more flavorful to dogs. It includes moisture that provides hydration for your pup. But it can be more expensive. Dry food, on the other hand, can help to clean the teeth and prevent food build-up. You can also use the kibble in puzzle toys, and it’s more cost-effective.

Because Chihuahuas are at risk for tooth decay and gum disease, we recommend feeding dry kibble. If your pal is a picky eater, you may be able to add a dab of wet food as a topper to encourage eating.

The Final Woof

Two Happy Chihuahuas enjoying themselves after eating a quality meal
little chihuahuas posing in the nature in summer

Chihuahuas can have boundless energy and need quality protein from lean muscles, moderate fat, and wholesome carbohydrates. 

These tiny pups can suffer from hypoglycemia and are prone to joint disease and IVDD. Therefore, supplementation with Glucosamine and Chondroitin is beneficial. In addition, foods rich in omega fatty acids also help to support healthy systems and manage inflammation.

We recommend Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Deboned Chicken Recipe as the best dog food for Chihuahua pups based on these needs and other health concerns. 

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