- Chihuahua Puppy Diet Requirements
- Our 2023 Picks: Best Puppy Foods for Chihuahua Puppies
- Overall Best Chihuahua Puppy Food
- Our Most Popular Pick
- Our Most Affordable Pick
- Our Pick for Chihuahua Puppy Allergies
- Our Pick for Chihuahua Puppy with Sensitive Stomach
- Another 4 More Top-Rated Chihuahua Puppy Foods
- Our Chihuahua Puppy Feeding Guide – Frequently Asked Questions
- Chihuahua Puppy Food – A Final Word
Easily one of the smallest dog breeds out there, the Chihuahua doesn’t eat a lot of food, in terms of volume. That doesn’t mean, however, that what you feed him isn’t important! Quality nutrition is essential for all dogs, especially if you want to maximize their lifespan.
Chihuahuas are one of the most popular toy breeds and they make wonderful companion pets. If you’re fortunate enough to bring home a Chihuahua puppy, you should start him off with a nutritious diet as soon as possible.
But what exactly goes into a healthy Chihuahua puppy food? Keep reading to learn more about your Chihuahua puppy’s nutritional needs and to see our top 9 picks for the best Chihuahua puppy foods!
Chihuahua Puppy Diet Requirements
The Chihuahua breed clocks in at a maximum of 6 pounds, making it one of the smallest breeds out there. As small as they are, however, these dogs pack a punch when it comes to personality and energy. In fact, they are so energetic that they need a surprising number of calories just to keep their metabolism going all day long.
So, what kind of diet is best for your Chihuahua puppy?
All dogs require a balance of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals in their diet and it matters significantly where those nutrients come from. Dogs are primarily carnivores which means that their bodies are adapted to deriving nutrition from animal sources more than from plant sources. Simply put, the more animal-based ingredients in your Chihuahua puppy’s food, the better.
Start by looking for a puppy food that features a high-quality animal protein (or two) as the main ingredient(s). Things like poultry, meat, and fish are a good foundation for a healthy puppy food. Just keep in mind that Chihuahuas are prone to food allergies, so common proteins like chicken, beef, and pork may cause a reaction. Look for novel proteins like salmon, turkey, duck, lamb, or more exotic proteins like venison.
After the primary source of protein, most Chihuahua puppy foods will feature one to three carbohydrates. Again, you want to make sure that these carbohydrates are from high-quality sources and remember that grains like wheat, corn, and soy are likely to trigger a reaction. Some Chihuahuas are able to tolerate grains, but you should stick to whole-grain sources to ensure digestibility. If you’re not sure, consider a grain-free recipe made with ingredients like sweet potato, peas, or other legumes.
Fat is especially important for your Chihuahua puppy because it is the most concentrated source of calories in his diet. At least 8% of his diet should come from fat and at least 22% from protein (though something closer to 25% is better). Remember, 8% is an absolute minimum but you don’t want to go so high that you risk obesity. It is best to find balance between protein and fat, and to make sure that most of the fat in your Chihuahua puppy’s diet comes from animal sources like chicken fat or salmon oil.
Finally, your Chihuahua puppy needs a balance of essential vitamins and minerals in his diet. Most dog foods are supplemented with synthetic supplements to ensure nutritional completeness, just make sure that there are some natural sources as well – fresh fruits and veggies are more biologically valuable sources of vitamins and minerals than synthetic supplements. When it comes to beneficial supplements, chelated minerals are a great addition, as are dried fermentation products which act as probiotics.
Our 2023 Picks: Best Puppy Foods for Chihuahua Puppies
Now that you have a better understanding of your Chihuahua puppy’s nutritional needs, what puppy food is the best? Don’t worry! We’re here to help with our picks for the 9 best Chihuahua puppy foods:
Overall Best Chihuahua Puppy Food
If you’re looking for a protein-rich, grain-free diet formulated for small-breed puppies like your Chihuahua, consider this Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Recipe. This formula features deboned turkey, turkey meal, and salmon meal to ensure high levels of protein as well as plenty of healthy fats, including omega oils. At least 59% of the calories come from protein and there are no byproducts, fillers, or artificial additives. You’ll also be glad to know that there are plenty of beneficial supplements including chelated minerals and dried fermentation products for probiotic support.
- Pros: Rich in animal protein, grain-free carbohydrates, plenty of healthy fats, DHA for brain development, probiotics for healthy digestion, no fillers or artificial additives
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, not toy-breed specific
Our Most Popular Pick
Though it may not be a small-breed-specific formula, this Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe is a popular choice for puppies and it will more than meet your Chihuahua puppy’s nutritional needs. Featuring protein-rich salmon and ocean fish meal, this formula is also high in healthy omega oils which provide a concentrated source of energy and omega fatty acids. This recipe also contains grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas as well as fresh fruits and vegetables and beneficial supplements like probiotics and chelated minerals. It is free from fillers and artificial additives as well, so there is a relatively low risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities.
- Pros: Rich in healthy animal proteins, plenty of omega fatty acids, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotics for healthy digestion, chelated minerals
- Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)
Our Most Affordable Pick
Not everyone can afford to feed their Chihuahua puppy top-shelf dog food, but you should certainly buy the best food you can consistently afford. If you’re looking for an affordable option that still offers decent quality, we recommend Simply Nourish Chicken & Brown Rice Small Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe features both deboned chicken and chicken meal as the primary proteins with digestible whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal. It also contains a balance of omega fatty acids with dried fruits and veggies for nutritional balance.
- Pros: Two sources of quality animal protein, digestible carbohydrates, blend of omega fatty acids, dried fruits and veggies for natural source of key nutrients
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, no chelated minerals or probiotics
Our Pick for Chihuahua Puppy Allergies
If you suspect that your Chihuahua puppy has food allergies, or if you simply don’t want to run the risk of triggering any, you may want to choose a recipe like this Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Recipe. This formula features deboned turkey as the main source of protein with eggs, salmon, and duck as supplementary sources. It contains peas and potatoes as grain-free carbohydrates with canola oil and coconut oil as the main sources of fat. There are also fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, and dried fermentation products for probiotic support.
- Pros: Novel sources of animal protein, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics for healthy digestion
- Cons: Main sources of fat are plant-based (canola oil and coconut oil)
Our Pick for Chihuahua Puppy with Sensitive Stomach
If your Chihuahua puppy has a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid grains as well as fillers and artificial additives. The closer your puppy’s diet is to raw food, the better – at least when it comes to nutrition and digestibility. That’s why this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Puppy recipe is such a great choice. It features salmon and salmon meal as the main ingredients (and as novel sources of protein) with lentils and peas for carbohydrates. This is also a limited ingredient diet which means there is a lower number of main ingredients with beneficial supplements for nutritional balance.
- Pros: Limited number of main ingredients, single source of novel protein, grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products for probiotic support
- Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)
Another 4 More Top-Rated Chihuahua Puppy Foods
If the five recipes above don’t seem like the right fit for your Chihuahua puppy, don’t worry! There are still plenty of delicious and nutritious options out there – here are four more for you to think about:
This Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Puppy Health Recipe is a great choice for your Chihuahua puppy because it features high-quality animal proteins in a formula designed for small puppies. It is rich in healthy fats for concentrated energy with fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion. It also contains fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, and vitamin supplements for nutritional balance.
- Pros: Formulated for mini puppies, quality animal proteins, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and veggies, fiber and probiotics for digestion, chelated minerals
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
If your Chihuahua puppy tolerates chicken well, you should consider this Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Food. In addition to deboned chicken, it also contains chicken meal as a concentrated source of animal protein and it is grain-free as well. This recipe features nutrient-rich chicken fat as a source of energy with chelated minerals for nutritional support. It also contains plenty of fiber as well as dried fermentation products as probiotics for healthy digestion.
- Pros: High-quality sources of animal protein, grain-free carbohydrates, plenty of healthy fats and omega oils, rich in fiber and probiotics for digestion, chelated minerals
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, contains some plant protein (potato protein)
Blue Buffalo offers a wide variety of different recipes and this one is a good option for your Chihuahua puppy. This Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small-Breed Puppy Formula features both deboned chicken and chicken meal as the primary proteins with digestible carbohydrates like oatmeal and barley. It also features Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits which contain a proprietary combination of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. Plus, it contains 29% crude protein and 17% crude fat, most of which comes from nutritious animal sources like chicken fat, menhaden fish meal, and fish oil.
- Pros: Two quality proteins as primary ingredients, digestible carbohydrates, rich in omega fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, contains some plant protein (pea protein)
Developed specifically for small breeds, this Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Recipe is made with natural ingredients and super nutrients. It features deboned turkey, oatmeal, and salmon meal as high-quality sources of protein with plenty of essential fatty acids for healthy brain, skin, and coat. It is a concentrated source of energy for growing puppies and supported with a balance of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones. Plus, it contains fresh fruits and veggies as well as chelated minerals to ensure balanced nutrition.
- Pros: Quality sources of animal protein, digestible carbohydrates, fresh fruits and veggies, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products for probiotic support
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, not grain-free
Our Chihuahua Puppy Feeding Guide – Frequently Asked Questions
Chihuahuas are known for being a little finicky when it comes to feeding. Not only are they often sensitive to certain food ingredients, but they need to be fed more often than larger dogs due to their fast metabolisms. Keep reading to learn the answer to three common questions about feeding your Chihuahua puppy:
How Much Should I Feed a Chihuahua Puppy?
The amount you feed your Chihuahua puppy will depend on his individual calorie requirements. Generally speaking, dogs need an average of 30 calories per pound of body weight on a daily basis. You may be surprised to learn, however, that small and toy breeds need closer to 40 calories per pound of body weight because their bodies burn through calories so quickly. You also need to remember that growing puppies require more calories than adult dogs to fuel their growth and development. A Chihuahua puppy may need as much as 50 calories per pound of body weight until he reaches his adult size – at that point, you can reduce his intake a little bit. In terms of how many cups of food this equates to, you’ll need to check the calorie content of whatever puppy food you select to find the answer.
How Many Times Should a Chihuahua Puppy Eat a Day?
Because your Chihuahua puppy has a very fast metabolism, he’ll do better with multiple small feedings throughout the day than with one or two larger meals. The general recommendation for Chihuahua puppies under 3 months or 2 pounds of weight is free feeding – this means you simply keep your puppy’s food bowl full and he’ll eat as much as he needs to. Between 3 and 6 months, switch to 3 meals per day. After that, you can choose whether to feed your Chihuahua two or three meals per day.
How Long Should I Feed a Chihuahua Puppy Food?
Most veterinarians recommend feeding a puppy a recipe designed for puppies until they reach 12 months of age. Some veterinarians suggest that you keep larger dogs on a puppy diet until they grow to about 80% of their maximum size, but your Chihuahua puppy will reach his adult size very quickly, considering that it is only a maximum around 6 pounds. Just to make sure your puppy grows and develops properly, you should consider keeping him on a puppy diet until he’s a year old.
Chihuahua Puppy Food – A Final Word
By now you should have a good idea what and how to feed your Chihuahua puppy, but what dog food recipe are you going to select? The choice is up to you, but you should keep in mind what you’ve learned here and put it to use when you start shopping around. If you still don’t know where to start, try one of the 9 top-rated brands recommended above!