Our Top 5 Food Choices For Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a tiny toy breed of dog that is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. These tiny mutts include both long and shorthaired varieties, although mating the two does not result in what is considered a purebred Chihuahua.

The high energy of a Chihuahua can make them skittish and seemingly nervous and so not necessarily great for a family home, while their tiny size makes them fantastic apartment dogs and easy to transport around, even in a purse a la Paris Hilton.


Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why It Matters

Many pet parents take one-size fits all approach to feeding their dogs. However, it should be clear by looking at them that a Chihuahua diet compared to a Rottweiler diet is going to have different nutritional requirements. So, why don’t we feed them that way? Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog on earth and they need special food to accommodate them.

Chihuahuas require a high-calorie count for a pup of their size due to extra high-energy levels. They are also prone to heart problems and a small, hard kibble shape is essential for scraping tartar and plaque off a Chihuahua’s teeth as these little rascals are ultra prone to dental problems.

Calories for Your Cup-Sized Canine

Chihuahuas have unique calorie requirements. Although they do not need much exercise, they still have high-energy needs. The average Chihuahua needs about 40 calories per lb of body weight, which is similar to what a puppy of a larger breed needs.

However, you can’t feed a Chihuahua puppy food because the fat content is higher than they should have. Toy breed dog food will usually combine a tiny size with some added calories. The average Chihuahua weighs about 10 lb, so should probably be consuming about 400 calories a day. 


Because a Chihuahua burns energy so quickly but is also prone to eat like tiny pigs and gain weight, a high protein diet is ideal for a Chihuahua. Protein should always be the first macronutrient on the crude analysis and food for a Chihuahua should have at least 30% protein to sustain those energy levels.


Despite the fact that Chihuahuas can get a little chubby, they still ne
ed fat in
their diet.
Fat provides a lot of energy, as well as supporting cognitive function. Oddly enough, fatty acids are good for your heart and will also provide your mini mongrel with healthy skin and a smooth shiny coat. Chihuahua’s food should be made up of ideally 20-30% fat.



There’s no required amount of carbs in dog food, but you should always check and ensure quality sources of carbohydrates. These include flaxseed, root vegetables, and brown rice. Not only are these easy on your pup’s sensitive stomach but they also provide fiber and have antioxidant properties.

Necessary Nutrients

Important vitamins and minerals to look for in you Chihuahua’s food include:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 for healthy skin, coat, heart and for cognitive function
  • Antioxidants for immune support
  • Probiotics to aid in digestion

No Way, Jose!

Like with all dog breeds, you should avoid dog foods with wheat, soy, or corn in the formula. These cheap fillers have absolutely no nutritional value to your pet and, as your Chihuahua has a very tiny tummy, you need to pack all the goodness you can in there.

Your Chihuahua’s digestive system is not designed to accommodate these kinds of fillers, so you could really create some problems for your pet if his food includes any of them.

 You also don’t want your dog’s food to contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Your dog’s food should be wholesome and tasty enough to eat without these useless additions. Also, the fresher the better. You don’t want your dog consuming chemicals made to keep their food fresh. Your mini mutt’s stomach is also particularly sensitive to preservatives.

Finally, meat not fit for human consumption (because it has expired or for another reason), as well as bone meal should be excluded from a Chihuahua’s diet. Bone meal is not to be confused with meat meal, which is actually just a concentrated version of meat and a great source of protein.

Bring It On!

Like any other dog, you want to search for high-quality ingredients in your dog’s food. This means high-quality proteins, as your dog is a carnivore by nature. You may want to steer clear of chicken if you dog is allergic to it, but venison, lamb, and fish are all great sources of protein.

You’ll also want to make sure your pup is getting the essential fatty acids it needs. Flax and fish are both great sources. A dog that is lacking Omega-3 and Omega-6 can suffer from dry, itchy skin, a lackluster coat, or hair loss, as well as heart problems down the road.

You also want to search for good quality sources of carbohydrates. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, let’s take a look. Dogs—especially Chihuahuas—shouldn’t have wheat, corn, or soy product in their diet.

However, they still need fiber. High-quality sources of fiber such as barley, brown rice, and sweet potatoes can help your dog’s digestive system stay on track and help it avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Antioxidant superfoods, such as cranberries, blueberries, and flaxseed can also get those bowels moving while providing a boost to your Chihuahua’s immune system and protecting him from disease and infection.

Problems for Your Pocket PupChihuahua

As the world’s smallest dog breed, your pet is prone to a whole slew of health issues. OK, so now you might be wondering what you can do to help prevent these problems. Well, nutrition actually plays a huge role in this.

Chihuahuas are prone to lots of problem with their teeth. Their tiny jaws mean weaker teeth, which can lead to decay and breakages.

To help keep your dog’s teeth in tiptop shape, always ensure to select a dog food brand made for a small breed, preferably a toy breed and always choose dry dog food. The size and hardness will help scrape disease causing tartar and plaque off your dog’s teeth, promoting good oral health. 

Chihuahuas are also prone to diabetes, hypoglycemia, and obesity. You can prevent these problems by ensuring your dog food contains appropriate levels of fat, making sure your pooch gets exercised (even if you have to force them, a Chihuahua may not be naturally drawn to exercise like, for instance, a border collie) and that you keep a keen eye on them for unusual symptoms of lethargy. Get them to a vet if you notice this as hypoglycemia can be controlled.

Chihuahuas are also prone to itchy, flaky skin, hair loss, and a dull, dry coat. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, let’s take a look. This could be one of two things.

Either your dog is lacking fatty acids, which you can correct by changing his food. He may also be suffering from allergies, which Chihuahuas are prone to. You can also, most of the time, control this by changing his food. Some Chihuahuas also suffer from seasonal allergies.

Surprisingly, despite their tiny size, your Chihuahua can also suffer from joint damage. Choose a food with glucosamine and chondroitin, or use a supplement to prevent this.

When to Feed ‘Em

Chihuahuas have tiny tummies. This means that, in comparison to a larger dog, your pooch may require several smaller feeding to get all his nutrients. A puppy may require 4-6 feeds a day while an adult Chihuahua will probably do well with 3.

The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas


1. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed Grain Free Chicken Meal Formula Dry Dog Food

Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed Grain Free Chicken Meal Formula Natural Dry Dog Food By Nature'S Variety, 4.1 Lb. Bag
  • High protein, grain-free, freeze dried raw coated kibble plus freeze dried raw pieces provide a great tasting, naturally nutrient rich diet
  • Balanced levels of calories, fat, and protein perfectly tailored for the lifestyle of toy breed dogs plus the perfect kibble size for smaller mouths

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This grain-free formula features frozen raw kibble with additional frozen raw pieces, allowing your dog to enjoy a rich, high-protein diet that tastes amazing and mimics the way a dog would naturally eat. Besides being grain-free, this dry dog food is also gluten-free and free of corn, soy, wheat, and any type of filler product.

The kibble size is also ideal for small or toy breeds and offers the additional benefit of being well sized to assist in scraping disease-causing plaque and tartar off tiny teeth. Chicken meal, which is the main source of protein and has the added benefit of being an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin, makes this dog food ideal for promoting joint health as you pup ages.

Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids help to keep skin healthy, as well as promoting a soft, shiny coat while added probiotics and healthful sources of fiber, such as peas, chickpeas, and flax seeds assist in digestion. This Nature’s Variety formula also contains added antioxidants to help ward off diseases and keep your tiny toy breed’s immune system working optimally.

Doggy parents also reported that even the pickiest eaters hungrily gobbled this food down. Finally, this brand will appeal to your charitable side as instinct partners with Best Friend Animal Shelters and provides meals to the animals staying in their shelters.

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The Bottom Line? Although this formula does contain chicken, which is a common dog allergen, it is corn, soy, wheat, and grain-free. The kibble size is perfect for a smaller pet and will promote oral health. It is also enriched with a slew of extra vitamins and minerals for your dog’s ultimate health!

  • Corn, wheat, soy, and grain-free
  • Small kibble sizes ideal for small mouths and oral health
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains essential fatty acids
  • Contains probiotics
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Appeals to picky palates
  • Contains chicken, which is a common canine allergen
  • Expensive

2. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Small Breed, 12-Pound Bag
  • Grain Free: 100% Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Small Breed Dog
  • Small Breed: Naturally Grain Free And Protein Rich, Made With Premium Turkey & Chicken, And The Optimum Calorie Levels To Support Higher Energy Needs Of Small...

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This kibble designed for a small breed is grain-free, corn-free, wheat-free, and soy-free. It also contains no preservatives or artificial colors and flavors. This dog food is designed for toy breeds and contains high-quality sources of protein such as turkey and chicken to sustain high energy levels.

Enriched with fruit and vegetable-based antioxidant ingredients, this small breed dog food is a great secret weapon to boost your pup’s immune system and help keep your pet healthy. It also contains live probiotics, prebiotics, and high-quality sources of fiber, which not only keeps your dog’s tummy happy but also helps provide slow-burning energy.

Fish and flax seed blends provide fatty acids to help keep your dog’s coat shiny and his skin healthy. Every bite of this kibble will also provide glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain your pup’s bones and keep its joints healthy. Many users indeed claimed that this dog food helped ward off oncoming arthritis is their older pet.

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The Bottom Line? This small breed kibble is free of grain, soy, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. It features high-quality proteins and fats, as well as being enriched with a variety of healthful nutrients to promote and maintain your dog’s ongoing well-being.

  • Made in the USA
  • Grain-free, corn-free, wheat-free, soy-free
  • No artificial flavors or colors and no preservative
  • Contains prebiotics, probiotics and healthy sources of fiber
  • Contains antioxidants and fatty acids
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains chicken, a common pooch allergen
  • This rich food can cause diarrhea in pups with sensitive stomach

3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs – Chicken and Brown Rice – 4 lb. Bag
  • HIGH QUALITY DOG FOOD: Blue Buffalo always features real meat as the 1st ingredient. BLUE Toy breed dog food features high-quality, protein from Deboned Chicken...
  • TOY BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for the wellness of adult toy breed dogs, BLUE Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Dog Food contains an optimal blend of...

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Blue Buffalo dog food is specially formulated for a toy breed. This means that it has ideal fat and protein content to support the typical high energy of a toy breed, as well as containing fatty acids to soothe dry itchy skin and a flaky coat and that the extra small kibble is perfect for a tiny mouth and scraping tartar and plaque off tiny teeth.

A healthy mouth means a healthy hound! This food also encompasses high-quality, complex carbohydrates like brown rice and oats, which provide slow burning energy as well as fiber to help keep your dog’s digestive tract regular.

This toy breed kibble also contains Blue Buffalo’s unique LifeSource bits, which contain an exclusive blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The LifeSource bits are cold-pressed with the intention of preserving as much nutritional potency as possible! This dry dog food contains no artificial colors or flavor and also contains no preservatives.

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The Bottom Line? This small breed dog food has tiny kibble sizes for a healthy mouth and easy feeding. It also has high fat and protein levels, as well as being enriched with an assortment of other nutrients for a supremely healthy dog!

  • No wheat, corn or soy
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • No preservatives
  • LifeSource bits contain dense vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant nutrients
  • Contains fatty acids
  • Contains high levels of quality protein
  • Contains high-quality complex carbohydrates
  • Contains chicken, so may set off dog allergies
  • Some dogs don’t like the LifeSource bits

4. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Organix Small Breed Recipe Dry Dog Food, 4-Pound
  • Grain Free With Real Organic Chicken As The #1 Ingredient For 32% Protein
  • Features Organic Chicken, Organic Peas, Organic Potatoes And Organic Lentils

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This grain-free dog food is also free of wheat, corn soy, and fillers. It contains high levels of protein to support a toy breeds special energy needs, sourced from 100% organic chicken. This healthy dog food also contains high-quality complex carbohydrates for energy maintenance, derived from all organic vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and lentils.

This delicious dog kibble is also enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin, which will not only maintain your dainty pups bones but also support joint health as your dog ages. This balanced formula also provides your dog with essential fatty acids, which keeps its skin healthy and its coat luscious and silky.

This organic dog food is also formulated in the USA, using only ingredients from the USA. This food apparently appeals to even the pickiest pet palate. This dog food also features a smaller kibble size, so your petite pooch will have no trouble consuming this food and, as an added bonus, this hard kibble will help keep your dog’s mouth healthy by scraping tartar off their teeth.

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The Bottom Line? If eating organically is a priority for your family, your dog should be included! This food is sourced from all-organic ingredients and prepared in an organic certified kitchen. In addition to this, this dog food is made in the USA and enriched with a multitude of additional nutrients for a healthy, happy pup!

  • Organic
  • Made in the USA
  • Grain free, soy free, wheat free, and corn free
  • Contains complex carbohydrates
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Appropriate for fussy dogs
  • Contains chicken, a common dog allergen

5. Taste of the Wild, Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Formula with Venison & Garbanzo Beans

Taste Of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food Appalachian Valley Small Breed - Venison
  • A taste of the wild with REAL VENISON as the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This dog food is high in protein and based on your dog’s ancestral diet, meaning this brand tries to stay as close to what a canine would naturally eat in the wild as possible. This high-protein and high-fat formula is ideal for a toy breed as it supports their higher energy needs and best of all it contains no chicken!

This feature makes it ideal for a dog that suffers severe food-related allergies. The small kibble size of this food also makes it perfect for your minuscule mutt, as it will be easy to consume and also will promote oral health.

Even fussy eaters wolf down this tasty food. It also contains complex carbohydrates that supply a high-quality source of fiber, as well as pro and prebiotics to aid in digestion.

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The Bottom Line? Although expensive, this dog food is the only one on the list that does not contain chicken, so if your dog suffers from severe allergies, this food may be the magic bullet for him. The small kibble size keeps a dog’s teeth clean and is easy to eat. This food contains high levels of protein, fat, and complex carbs, which are all important to factor in when you consider a Chihuahua’s additional energy needs.

  • Contains no chicken
  • High protein and fat content
  • Small kibble size
  • High-quality sources of complex carbohydrates
  • Contain pro and prebiotics
  • Expensive

Chihuahuas are picky by nature and it may take a few tries to select the best food for yours. Consider your budget, as well as any particular health problems or allergies you worry about in your Chihuahua when picking a food.

We hope this list will assist in selecting chow your dog loves! Do you have a Chihuahua? Let us know if you think we missed anything, what grub your pup loves, or even a funny dog story in the comments below!