Chihuahuas are uniquely different from most dogs with their small stature accompanied by a similarly sized stomach deviating from the ordinary nutritional needs of the average dog. Therefore, standard foods available in the market will not cut it as you need to pick out a nutritional regime particularly suited to their energy and physiological requirements. And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing today as we help you separate the wheat from the chaff and pick out suitable chihuahua food in a market brimming with options:
The typical Chihuahua weighs about 6 pounds, give or take two, which according to an in-depth analysis means that the standard adult might need about 200 calories every day. That figure drops by 30 for older, neutered, or inactive dogs conversely rising for their active counterparts who need to about 25 calories more. When picking out your dog feed, match your dog’s energy needs to that of the product.
You can find more info on this calorie calculator right here and use it to get your pet’s exact needs: https://animalso.com/dogfood/breed/chihuahua/
Dry kibble food is advised
Wet foods are often not recommended for this toy-sized breed since it tends to result in dental and digestive complications. Consequently, dry kibble food is often heralded in most circles as the go-to for the animal. Since Chihuahua teeth are quite soft and especially susceptible to infection which can spread to internal organs, dry hard foods come in handy with regards to cleaning the teeth.
Moreover, the kibble should be sufficiently small as overly large particles mean that the dog will have trouble eating which may result in him not eating to his fill. Worse yet, massive chunks can easily constrict their small throats leading to chocking.
It explains what to avoid (ex. garlic, onion, etc.). The video also contains other useful pointers on grooming and general care.
Nutrient-dense is the gold standard for excellence
A tremendously high metabolic rate is the consequence of a tiny digestive tract which is why you need to prioritize nutrient-compact foods that pack powerful punches within minute bites. The calorie, fat, protein, and other nutrient levels need to be higher than that of a standard adult dog in order to keep with up with what he needs.
Be careful not to overfeed him though, as an even a slight increase of one pound can have considerable effects. To elaborately illustrate this, picture the case of two dogs one weighing 120 pounds and the other 12. While a weight gain of 3 pounds might be inconsequential for the former, it proves dire for the latter as percentages translate to a 25% increase in weight. This results in more stress on the bones and internal organs which invites various issues such as Legg-Perthes disease. (Reference)
Carbs ought to be at a minimum
Grain and carbs should constitute no more than a fifth of your feed of choice with protein preferably taking the lion’s share of occupancy. The former pair of ingredients is often used as filling material and thus has very little to offer your best friend from a nutritional point of view.
Prioritize feeds rich in antioxidants and minerals
Chihuahuas have a long life span stretching up to 18 years which makes them vulnerable to free-radical damage that triggers the onset of aging illnesses such as heart disease, joint problems, and cancer. An abundance of antioxidants in foods negates the free-radical effects and, by extension, keeps the aforementioned complications at bay. (Source)
Now that we’ve established what exactly goes into picking out the perfect feed for your little furry companion, we’ll leave you with a little heads up on the how. Chihuahuas naturally have smaller stomach volumes than most which mean that they eat in small quantities providing sufficient energy to last five hours at most. Therefore, to avoid hypoglycemia, feed yours regularly throughout the day and be sure to be consistent in your approach i.e. don’t switch foods too often. About half a cup of dry food per sitting is the general rule of thumb for an adult chihuahua though this might change by a quarter cup in either direction depending on your dog’s stage of development. (See here for reference)