How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas are a breed known for their sassy, confident nature. A breed that enjoys excellent longevity, and a high-quality diet can help keep the Chihuahua healthy, strong, and enjoying an excellent quality of life for 15 years or longer.
A toy breed, Chihuahuas can easily become overweight if care is not taken to feed them appropriate food in carefully measured portions.
Chihuahuas are also a breed that can develop skin conditions or allergies. Affected individuals may benefit from a hypoallergenic diet containing hydrolyzed proteins or novel proteins and carbohydrates.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Chihuahuas
Adult Chihuahuas require approximately 200 calories of the best dog food for Chihuahuas per day.
This will vary depending on their size, activity level, and if they are spayed or neutered. The Pet Nutrition Alliance calorie calculator is an excellent guide but remembers to consult your veterinarian for more detailed nutritional information.
Food should be divided into three to four mini-meals which are fed throughout the day to maintain optimal energy levels. Since Chihuahuas will overeat if given the opportunity to do so, free-feeding is strongly discouraged.
Dietary Requirements for Chihuahua Dog Foods
A toy breed that can be plagued with dental issues, a food that is designed specifically for dogs of this size is an excellent choice for the Chihuahua.
Kibbles with bite-sized pieces are much easier for the chihuahua puppy to eat and are far less likely to present a choking hazard.
Protein should be the foundation of any diet for the Chihuahua. Whole, lean meats are the best choices; however, meat meals are also a very good option. Chicken by-product meal, lamb meal, and fish meal are excellent sources of animal protein.
Puppy food that is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can help combat skin issues by contributing to the development of healthy skin and coats.
When wet food is introduced, it should be low in carbohydrates and provide a balanced nutritional profile.
Wet dog food usually contains higher levels of proteins and fats than kibble, so it should be used to supplement the diet rather than replace any meals.
Senior dogs need an adult dog food that is specifically tailored to their needs. Senior dog food usually contains higher levels of dietary fiber to support a senior dog’s digestive system.
It should also contain glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint health. Senior dogs also need a balanced diet (low-fat, low-calorie) to help maintain a healthy weight.
No matter what type of food you choose, it should always be formulated for tiny dogs and contain no fillers or by-product meals.
An ideal diet should include a blend of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to provide your Chihuahua with the best nutrition possible.
It is also important to remember that small-breed puppies need tiny amounts of food, so always measure out the portion according to your dog’s size.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for Chihuahua puppies:
Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
One of the first ingredients in a suitable diet for a Chihuahua should be protein. Whole meats that are lean and derived from animals are the preferred choice.
Meat meals are also an excellent source of protein and can be the first ingredient in good quality food or act as a secondary protein to whole meat.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements can greatly enrich a dog’s ability to process its food and utilize it appropriately.
Among the most desirable supplements added to food for a Chihuahua are prebiotics, probiotics, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Chihuahua should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.