These substances quickly pass right through the body (since they have no nutritional value and the body does not absorb them). This can lead to nutritional deficiency and also behavioral issues such as eating grass
or eating feces.
In addition, you will want to keep away from brands that contain:
- Artificial coloring - a trigger for allergies
- By-products - Legally, by-products can be hooves, snouts, ears, animals that have died on route to facilities and road kill.
- A high preservative count - Chihuahua digestive systems are sensitive to these types of chemicals.
Take you time in choosing which food you will offer for main meals. A Chihuahua's main diet will almost immediately change his activity level and will have long lasting health effects, for the rest of his life.
Home Cooking- The Best Food for a Chihuahua
We highly suggest home cooking food for your Chi. By doing so, you are in charge of the ingredients, you know that you are not giving your dog any fillers and you can offer your Chihuahua the best of nutrition. You will be ruling out coloring, by-products and preservatives.
Meals are simple, nutritious and easy to make. When you take out all of the merchandising, fancy labels and debate about meat vs meat meal, feeding a puppy or dog high quality meals is relatively easy and stress-free.
Home cooking can also save you money. Many of the ingredients are those which you would normally purchase. For example, if you will be buying chicken to make a meal for your family, you can set aside a certain amount for your Chi's dinner.
You can make a large amount and then refrigerate or freeze servings. In this way, you can prepare your dog's dinners once per week and not need to be cooking every day (Unless you love the kitchen!)
Feeding your Chi in this way is not the same as allowing your dog to eat table scraps. It is important that each meal be prepared correctly and with the proper ingredients.
Some of the best ingredients that you will want to use are:
- Organs - such as liver, kidney and brain
- Lean meats - such as lean hamburger, white breast chicken meat and fish
- Vegetables - Chihuahuas usually love potatoes (either regular potatoes or sweet potatoes), baby carrots, spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Corn is not recommended.
- Fruits - Fruits are an important ingredient and some are super healthy for dogs, providing vitamins and with some, anti-oxidants. Blueberries, raspberries and apple (without any core) are great choices.
- Carbohydrates are very important as well as it fuels the body. This does not need to only rice (white or brown).; though dogs do love this and it is easy on the stomach. Chihuahuas generally also love pasta and there are many ways that you can incorporate this into meals.
Meat should be the # 1 ingredient. Dogs must have this protein as their main food source. Vegetables. a bit of fruit and then starch will round out the meals.
Rations will change slightly depending on which recipes you use, however you will want to keep it roughly: 40% meat, 30% veggies, 30% starch. Also see:
The Healthy Home Cooking for the Chihuahua
If you choose to not home cook for your Chi, we would then recommend: Orijen or Health Extension. With commercial brands, we recommend dry over wet. Let's look at an overview of these:
This brand comes in a variety of formulas based on age. All essentially contain the same meats. There is also a fish based formula.
One of the top rated manufactured brands, Orijen contains wholesome real foods that include: chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, herring, turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver, eggs, walleye, salmon, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, herring meal and salmon meal.
Other ingredients which are found in small amounts - but enough to really affect nutrition- are: chicken liver oil, both red and green lentils, green peas, yams, pea fibre, chickpeas, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach greens, carrots, apples (apples are safe as long as the core is not eaten), pears, cranberries and blueberries.
Rating: Being a meat-based food with 10% fruit and a low level of coloring, this is a good choice. We give this a 4/5.
Whole Earth Farms
This is a top rated food, and has varieties for both puppies and adults. The main protein comes from notable amounts of concentrated chicken and turkey; both of these are great for Chihuahuas.
Ingredients: Aside from meats, this rounded out food has healthy barley (both pearled and whole) and some good extras including white fish and dried blueberries for antioxidants.
Rating: With zero artificial coloring , preservatives, flavoring or corn and being made in the U.S.A. we give this a 4/5 as well.
For low pricing on these top products, check out the
Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
Wet vs Dry
It is suggested to feed your Chihuahua mostly dry kibble and you can add a bit of wet dog food mixed into the menu if your Chi is resistant to only kibble. Alternatively, drizzling a bit of low salt broth over kibble can encourage a Chihuahua to eat his or her full meal. Eating only wet commercial food may affect the bowels.
Because a dog can quickly come to love wet dog food, you will not want to feed your dog solely wet even for day or two; he will put up a big fuss if you try to switch him back over.
If you are currently feeding your Chihuahua only wet dog food and your dog is having very runny bowel movements, you should plan a slow switch over to dry food. You can begin by providing a mixture of 50% dry and 50% wet.
Be sure to mix well, so that the wet food covers the dry nuggets. As time goes on, you can add less and less of the wet, ending up with a balanced diet of 80% dry dog food and 20% wet dog food.
For puppies, snacks should be reserved to use as rewards when housebreaking or command training.
For adults, snacks can be given to reinforce good behavior.
Here are some tips for giving your Chihuahua health snacks:
Keep away from brightly colored treats. Orange or red dog treats contain very high levels of unsafe coloring.
Stay away from rawhides. These have been shown to cause quite severe digestive problems with many dogs. These are not digestible and cause blockage problems.
Try to offer wholesome, fresh foods for snacks including: raw baby carrots, raspberries and blueberries.
Plain white yogurt is a great snack food for the Chihuahua. Trying mixing a 1/3 cup of yogurt (regular -not low fat) with a few fresh pieces of fruit
As long as you are giving your puppy or dog a treat, why not have it be one that promotes clean teeth and fresh breath