What Should You Feed Your Chihuahua?

Feeding your Chihuahua

Like most animals, Chihuahuas have special dietary needs, and it is important to understand those needs so that your Chihuahua gets the nourishment that he requires in order to remain healthy and live a long life.

Obviously, your Chihuahua needs dog food. The brand usually doesn’t matter. It is the ingredients that matter the most. Your veterinarian may suggest a particular brand of dog food for your dog, as well as a specific amount of the food that you should be feeding the dog. Usually, it is best to follow this recommendation.

If no recommendation is given in terms of the brand of dog food that you feed your Chihuahua, go with a food that’s main ingredient is meat. The food should be made up of at least 30 percent protein, at least four percent fiber, and 20 percent fat.

Your Chihuahua should have three meals a day. These small dogs burn off a lot of energy very quickly, and just feeding him once or twice a day won’t be enough. However, because he will eat three meals a day, you don’t want to over feed him at those times, as this can quickly and easily lead to obesity. Again, ask your veterinarian how much you should be feeding the dog at each meal.

Chihuahuas are actually very picky eaters, and you may have to experiment with different brands of foods to determine which brand he prefers. He will indeed have a preference. Pay attention to how much of each brand the dog eats and how he approaches the food to determine which brand he seemingly prefers.

Obviously, you will want to give your Chihuahua snacks, and treats are essential for training. Choose healthy snacks and treats. Never feed the animal sugary foods, and avoid processed foods designed for human beings. Good snacks for Chihuahuas include cheese and peanut butter, as well as snacks that were designed for dogs.

Don’t over do it with the snacks! This can also lead to obesity. Reserve cheese and peanut butter for special training treats, and give the Chihuahua dog snacks just once each day.

Don’t leave food down for your Chihuahua. Instead, feed him at certain times of the day, and stick to a feeding schedule that he can count on. Make sure that he has a constant supply of fresh water, and as for supplements, check with your veterinarian to see if your particular dog needs any supplements or special vitamins.

49 Comments on "What Should You Feed Your Chihuahua?"

  1. Jasmine Parker | November 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm |

    Is there a specific brand that you can notify me of?

  2. My Chipom loves Scienece Diet.

  3. Lori Barnett | November 24, 2011 at 4:33 am |

    My chloe has been fed Blue Buffalo food since I got her at 6 weeks old and she loves it!

  4. Can anybody assist me with an advice of what can i feed my newly acquired chihuahua. She wont eat anything from tins to our food off the table.

  5. I just change my pups diet n mixed wet food with the dry and she’s been getting a tad bit of diarrhea, HELP what can I do @ home?

  6. Pure pumpkin can help just make sure its 100% pumpkin no added sugar or anything.

  7. my chihuahua eats the brand beneful and he loves it the only thing is that he gets loads of diarreha and i dont know what to do…HELP

  8. wait y pure pumpkin what does it do???

  9. I have done extensive research on dog foods that are balanced and palatable for my chihuahuas. My babies are very picky eaters. Even to the point of having to give them honey to keep up their blood sugar. Chihuahuas usually don’t like anything that smells like dog food. After tons of money and brands the best food on the market with everything in it being good enough quality for my babies is ‘WELLNESS SUPER 5 MIX SMALL BREED.’ This food is amazing how it turned our world around. They are now 5 years old and doing GREAT!!!

  10. I have two chihuahuas, Trixie is 5 years old and weighs 8 lbs., Coco is 2 years old and weighs 4 lbs. I think they are a little overweight and I want to start feeding them cooked homemade dog food. I have been reading a lot of info on the internet and am finding that Chef Micheals dry food is not good for them because they are shedding a lot!!! Does anyone have any good recipes to share?

  11. I have a 4 year old Chi that I rescued in April. She loves the Science Diet Adult Small Bites, which is the same food I feed my 4 year old Pug. I have seen major improvements in her coat since changing her diet. Our 7 year old Pug is a rescue also. His hair was very thin when we got him 2 years ago, & changing his food to Science Diet made a world of difference after only a couple of months.

  12. My Zorro eats Royal Canin dog food for small, indoor breeds. He loves it and I top it with organic chcken that has been cooked in unsalted chicken broth. He loves to eat what I eat. Now he has an allergy of some sort. Not sure if it’s food-related or environmental. Are there symptoms that define one or the other?

  13. Hi i have a chihuahua and he is goin on 3 years old, when he was a puppy the vet recomended softening his food with warm water as it is difficult for him to eat hard things. We have a cat in the house and we leave his food out for him and my chihuahua started eating it ( he started this when he was 1) we tried to stop him by moving the food but then he stopped eating his food and we didnt want him hungry so we gave him the cat food, he is still eating cat although we got him dog food that was smaller and easier to eat but he never ate it. im worried that he isnt healthy although he is a good weight he sometimes eats my other dogs food ( he is a rottweiler) but he doesnt eat alot. should i stop him from eating cat food?

  14. Cat food is made with more meat, and is closer to “real food” than dog food is. Dog food is filled with too many fillers– and dogs know that. When ever they get an opportunity to eat cat food, they will, because it tastes better to them. I feed my dogs cat food all the time. The vitamins in it are closer to living food because cats are obligate carnivores, and dogs are omnivores– but they are omnivores who can only take so much filler. Dogs would not be overweight, or have diabetes if they did not eat wheat, corn, or other fillers which they were not physically meant to eat. I feed my dogs, chihuahuas, a mix of home made food (chicken meat and green vegetables only) and raw food. I would never touch dry or canned food because the companies that make them are more interested in making a profit then keeping my dog healthy. Dogs, like humans, should eat real food, or they will be under nourished.

  15. No cat food! It will shorten the life of your Chi. The hard part is now your Chi is hooked.Making eating dry food next to impossible. Pick a premium small dog food. Your aiming for 40% lean meat 30% veggie, 30% starch (brown rice whole grain pasta) If your chi will rather stave then eat the dry alone look up a homemade stew that can be mixed in following this ratio. Good luck but no cat food!

  16. Paula Roudenbush | November 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

    my vet, told me to get my little dog off beneful dog food he, said it was harmful to dogs as it would cause bladder infections.

  17. Do not let your chi eat the cat food . It has far too much protein in it for a dog. It willl shut his kidneys down. Vet told me this. Hope it helps.

  18. Katy,I have a 4 year old chi.He is a rescue dog,I have had him 2 months,I have been feeding him boiled chicken w/veg.I have just been told that they can get pancretitis on this diet.Have you ever heard this,I noticed that you feed yours the same.Thank You,Janice

  19. We got a chihuahua puppy 12/28/13. He is very picky and we have had problems with him not eating.. He was on LLoyal when we got him which is not good quality. We tried to transition him to Blue and he wouln’t touch it, the manager at our neighborhood Petco suggested Wellness and that has worked. He said he has had other customers with picky dogs who were successful with Wellness brand. We are using the core for small breed puppies, however Wellness has something for all needs. Blessings.

  20. Your article was very helpful thnx

  21. I have a 2 year old long-haired chi. She is on Wellness too and does awesome! She never has diarrhea and it seems like every time I feed her it disappears almost as quickly! We started her out with the wellness puppy for small breeds and now are on wellness small breed complete health for toy breed! She is a frisky little thing!

  22. Oh. p.s. the wellness small breed complete health for toy breed has very small kibble sizes, making it easier for them to eat! 🙂

  23. I feel stupid answering to this bc I feel that it is a stupid joke but just in case you are just that naive..chocolate and onions are toxic to dogs. Your dog will surely die if it hasnt already.

  24. i use brown rice cooked in chicken broth.i use peas grated carrots and scrambled eggs added after the rice is done i use chicken in a can an i make enough for two days to keep it fresh they love it.you can also add string cheese for change.

  25. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area
    . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i

  26. Pumpkin will correct both diarrhea and constipation it adds more fiber to the diet. You use 100% pure pumpkin because it doesn’t have any spices added to it.

  27. Hi All,
    I rescued a 5 mo. old puppy…at first I thought he was a Yorkie. As he grew, I thought he was a Chorkie! But since he is now nearly 2 years old, I am certain that he is a long-haired black and tan Chichuachua. He weighs about 4 lbs and is fleshed out perfectly and I want to keephim at this same weight.
    . I feed him Wellness for small breeds( I love Wellness). I put down about 2/3 cup in the morning, puncture and squeeze an Omega 3 Fish Oil pill on his food since he has dry skin and he “grazes” all day. I give him 6 treats a day, but those are “small breed” treats and even at that, I CUT the treats up into 4 PORTIONS; with “penny scissors” he gets 1/4 of each treat , except for the Teenie Greenies to help keep his teeth clean; he gets 1/2 Teenie Greenie each day. The other treats amount to 1/4 of each of the following: cut Liver Bites( cut into 4 pieces, one tiny piece a day);Sam’s Yams Bichon “Fries” (cut into tiny pieces, as many as 6-8 pieces per strip…one teeny piece per day) and Doctors Foster and Smith Fresh Breath tablet, (cut into 4 pieces, 2 pieces per day, morning and night..
    I clean his front teeth( I can’t get to his back teeth because his moutn is so small) clean around his eyes, and brush him daily. Once a week he is shampooed with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and I clean his ears gently with pads and q-tips. He likes to be clean and he does a wonderful job of accepting all of his grooming….but, he isn’t all that fond of his baths!!!
    I live in the middle of nowhere whith no dangers of other dogs or any other critters that would hurt him, so I just let him out on his own accord. He comes back quickly since I give him one of these teeny treats the minute he barks at the door. This has helped with housebreaking problems, although if he does have an accident, the Wellness Sm. Breed Dogfood is formulated for an easily-picked-up stool that I can pick up with 2 sheets of toilet paper and flush down the toilet in a second or two.
    MY QUESTION IS THIS…I would love to give him something he could chew on all day or for several days. I’m afraid to give him anything made of rawhide. I tried it once, and he hacked and coughed. Is this a legitimate fear? Will all of you Chihuachua owners respond? This is my first Chihuachua. I’ve always had Schnauzers before, but I absolutely adore this little guy! He’s a big dog in a little dog body….full of love and oh-so-hilarious!

  28. I have a shelter Chi that is now 5. it was assumed she was 6 wks when she was brought to the shelter. She has such hard stools. I want to make it easier for her to have her movements. what can i give her and what is the best dog food for little dogs. I also got a 6 wk Pom from the shelter at the same time I got the Chhi. no problems there. They get Nutro small bites

  29. Hi from Australia. I have a 5 month Chi who is my first Chi. She eats a mix of homemade stew which is kangaroo meat veg and rice with small amounts of dry my dog puppy mixed in. I am not sure how much she should have. She has gone to 2 meals a day and sometimes eats her dish clean other times hardly any? Any or have a formula to use for amounts at all? Thanks.

  30. Try Fresh Fetch, partially cooked frozen meals for dogs. I buy mine at Whole foods but you can also go to the website http://www.freshfetch.com. My Chi loves it!

  31. Benitful is bad for little dogs it has too much of a a ingredient that poison you little dog kidney that dog food only good for regular big dog’s

  32. I love all the info I get here. This is my first Chihuahua.

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  34. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this info.

  35. Please dont givr your dog Beneful. No matter what size or breed, theyre have been thousands of bad reviews and videoss on illnesses and even deaths, because of Beneful. My dog responded fine but after those reviews, ill never give it to them again.

  36. When I got my Chico o-most two months ago they was feeding him pedigree dog food. I started giving him part pedigree and part Blue Buffalo to wean him off of pedigree. He now only eats Blue Buffalo and he loves it. My Chico will be five months June 1st. Blue buffalo is no cheap but he is well worth it.


  38. My chihuahua has a smell we not sure if it’s tummy gastro wind but breath smells too …. Also what suggestion feed a chihuahua …..

  39. The food that my chi eats is called CaninSource. As far as I can see she loves it and all is good with her

  40. My Chihuahua was 4 months old when my bf found an advertisement to purchase her. Shes now a year old and I’m having issues when it comes to her eating. She won’t eat her dog food and I have tried a lot of different brands. She just eats a few pieces here and there. Mostly she tries to eat the cats food. I think it has to do with the fact she came from a home that had serial Chihuahuas adults and puppies running around all eating together from the same bowels. When she sees the cat eating she wants to eat with him and when the cat eats her dog food again she will eat with him, but not by herself. I know dogs naturally hid food, but shes really bad with it. She will horde food to eat it later. I find items hidden all over the house in random spots. She acts as if she doesn’t know when she will get food again. I also have concerns with getting her fixed finally today the vet said she weights enough at 2 pounds 8oz, but I’m just really scared for her. She also needs 4 baby teeth pulled that never fall out on their own. Are the risks high for a Chihuahua to die while being under for this or am I just being to protective of her. I know she needs fixed and her teeth pulled sooner rather then later or she will have a whole another set of health issues.

  41. I would like to know if I can give my 4 yr. old Chi small bits of fresh carrots or other veggies and what types of fresh fruits can she have? If so how do you serve? She is getting a little overweight and I’m cutting back on her food and trying less treats that is why I’m wondering if fresh veggies and fruits might help.

  42. Ivan rodriguez | August 20, 2016 at 2:46 pm |

    My little lady chihuahua is 13 yrs. old we have on merrick canned food since little. She love it and seems to be in good health. About 7 to 8 ibs , not overweight

  43. Saw on Twitter that one of my friends was raving about your blog. I agree that it is just great & I love that you take the time to respectfully get to know your subjects. Have just posted about Advanced Style & look forward to checking it out now & then to meet your latest & greatest.Lisa

  44. Thanks for all the info my chi is very fussy only eats chicken ham most meats cut up very small carrots some rice and fish but definatley NO dog food, we have tried to put dog food down but I cant leave him starve. The last few days he has been sick and you can hear his belly gurgling but he is well in himself running around what do you suggest

  45. linda pretty | November 18, 2016 at 5:00 am |

    l have 2 chiw’s and live in Australia so cannot get some products you might mention.I am trying to find a healthy treat for keeping their teeth clean.They live dentabone but l read its not healthy. They let me clean their teeth so l do them bout 3 x week.
    They wont eat carrot,peas or anything healthy so l have just got on to a new dried food called ‘Artemis’ which has all good ingredients in it.They have dried food during the day and a baked chicken leg each for dinner (no skin on leg)
    i bake their legs on a rack so they r healthy.
    Can anyone give some additional advice please

  46. To: Linda
    You mention chicken legs. Make sure you give them the chicken meet and remove the bones. They splinter.

  47. Lynn Balaski | December 23, 2016 at 1:04 am |

    There are some great ideas on what to feed my 11 year old healthy Chihuahua, Lola. Healthy, except she’s putting on a bit of extra weight – 6 lbs, vs. her more healthy 5 lbs, LOL. So, I’m not sure anymore how much to feed her per day. I think I’ve been letting her eat too much. Any suggestions? Approximately, of course. She eats kibble for dinner and cooked chicken meat for breakfast.

  48. We have a Chi and he has started eating cat boop and we feed him Royal Canin and he is getting where he wants only to eat treats, like the peanut butter chew stick kind, and wants to eat the cats temptation, I Like the reading of you other owners of wellness but where can we in Ada,Ok purchase it, wanting him to eat a healthy amount of food and yet help him not shed hair a lot, or look at us, as if he wants to eat treats a lot. Am 75, and he is 4 years old and we have only owned him 2 years. my password to the email has messed up, so facebook me Gloria and Lonnie White.

  49. Hi everyone.
    I live in Thailand and my wife’s daughter bought her a female Chihuahua.I would like to address the people who say that they are having difficulties feeding their Chihuahua with tinned food and table scrapes. Our Chihuahua, named Joy is similar. She prefers being hand fed. But having said that, I am retired and have time to give to my tiny Bodyguard. What Homo-sapiens need to realize is that these little creatures also have feelings and brains but cannot speak the Lingo. Take Care. M.

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