Chihuahua PicksFood & Treats

Best Dog Food For Small Chihuahua

Despite their smaller stature, do you think you are feeding your small chihuahua correctly while they are growing? When it comes to feeding your small chihuahua, you want to ensure it’s getting the proper nutrition. After all, chihuahuas are omnivores, meaning they have a diverse range in their diets. However, there are some considerations that you’ll want to take into account when deciding what type of food to feed your little pooch. 

Lucky for you, this will precisely be our topic for this article. We will be recommending different types of diets and foods that you would want to either promote or avoid for said diet. Specific factors that affect how you should feed your small chihuahua will also be discussed in later sections. But first, we need to discuss why proper nutrition is important for small chihuahuas and how it can impact them later in life.


Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy chihuahua. Feeding your pup a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals will help them maintain their weight, which can be difficult when you’re trying to watch what they eat. You should also avoid feeding your pet too many treats because these foods can cause obesity, leading to other problems like arthritis and diabetes later in life.

small chihuahua
Photo credits: Claudia Wollesen

🟩 Weight problems

Keeping an eye on the amount of food you give your chihuahua is also important so that he or she doesn’t become overweight or develop health issues related to being overweight (like heart disease). If possible, try not giving him any human food items, chocolate, or caffeine drinks. 

These foods could make him sick if ingested by humans but may not harm chihuahuas themselves due to their digestive systems being different than ours! Finally, remember never to give alcohol directly into an animal’s mouth. Instead, pour it into its water bowl before giving it anything else so there won’t be any accidental ingestion during feeding time.

🟩 Homemade vs. commercial

Feeding your chihuahua kibble (or any other commercial brand) may not be as nutritious as homemade food. Owners of small chihuahuas need to understand their pets’ nutritional needs to avoid common conditions such as obesity and diabetes later in life. For this, it is highly advisable that you choose the dog food you will be buying wisely (by consulting your vet or checking its nutritional contents) or simply cook the meal yourself.

See also
8 Best Dog Food For Shedding Chihuahua

It should also be noted that most small dogs (including all chihuahuas and their smaller variants) have different nutritional needs than larger dogs. Of course, it may be rocket science to you that the bigger a creature is, the more sustenance it will need. However, it is important to see the comparison by observing the number of calories they will typically need based on many factors.


In the case of small chihuahuas, you’ll want to ensure that your pet gets enough calories per pound. This can be quite tricky for a lot of people who are used to feeding their larger pets the same amount of food as a large breed dog would need, but it’s essential! 

small chihuahua

For example:

  • A 40-lb (18kg) chihuahua will require approximately 500 calories per day, while an 80-lb (36kg) Rottweiler requires around 1600 calories per day.
  • The same amount of food in a bowl will weigh more on a smaller chihuahua than it does on one with more girth because there’s less surface area for water or other liquids to seep through when you’re holding your pet down by its paws. This means that more nutrients need to be taken into account when calculating how much your pet needs daily.

To accurately determine the number of calories your small chihuahua will need, you can refer your vet to do the math. Besides knowing the amount of food they need to eat to get the nutrition they need for their size, you should also consider the number of dangerous foods they will have to avoid.


Chocolate, grapes, raisins, and avocado are just a few examples. If your chihuahua eats any of these things, you should take them to the vet immediately. Onions are another toxin that can kill a small chihuahua. Onions contain thiosulphate, which damages red blood cells in the body, causing anemia (lack of red blood cells). The symptoms of anemia are pale gums and pale skin tone, which could lead you to think your pet is healthy, but this isn’t true. It’s just that their bones aren’t getting enough calcium from their diet, so they’re not growing properly, which means they may die.

🟥 Risk

The thing with being smaller is that it will take much less to poison you compared to larger creatures. This logic applies to small chihuahuas because being poisoned by a toxic substance is mainly determined by a creature’s body size. For example, it would take around 50 milligrams of chocolate per kilogram of a chihuahua’s body weight to poison it. Though more than 2 ounces of chocolate can cause fatal poisoning to most dogs, the risk is higher if the dog is smaller.

See also
The Right Amount Of Meals For Chihuahua In A Day

This means that your small chihuahua is much more prone to being poisoned by toxic substances than larger dogs. Hence, you have to be extremely observant when it comes to feeding your precious companion. One measure you should be taking is never feeding your chihuahua what you are eating because you never know how many onions or traces of theobromine are in your food.


A small breed puppy will need less than an adult chihuahua. And a large breed puppy will need more than an adult dog.

🟦 Age

Your pet’s age may also influence how much they eat per day. If it’s a newborn or a very young puppy (less than six months old), then feeding them less can help keep them healthy and grow at a healthy rate. If your older pet has been overweight for some time, then increasing its food may help them shed excess weight and maintain its health. But only if it doesn’t make them over-fatigued from the digestion process!

🟦 Weight change

The weight change process starts with monitoring the body condition score every few weeks after starting new foods or treatments such as appetite stimulants or other medications used for arthritis treatment.

Your vet will typically measure the amounts of calories your chihuahua will need by considering its age and weight. If your chihuahua has other health conditions, those will also be factored in. However, this can vary if it is suspected that your chihuahua has higher activity levels than what you would typically expect from their breed.

🟦 Activity level

Because of this, another thing to consider is their activity level, which also impacts their metabolism. Chihuahuas that are more active burn more calories and thus need more food. This can easily be recognized if your chihuahua seems not to be gaining enough weight, in which case it is favorably advisable to confer with your vet to revise your dietary plan. Weight scales can be your best friend in this situation because it is also important to monitor your chihuahua’s weight without needing the guidance of a vet.

See also
Best Harness for Chihuahua Puppy - 6 Must-Haves!

In the case of metabolism, this will typically be covered by the caloric recommendation from your vet, as most dogs will have a general rate regarding their metabolism. However, if, for some reason, your chihuahua has a significantly higher metabolism than its fellow canines, it can be easily remedied by adding a few calories or healthy treats now and then.


Your chihuahua is a small dog with a big personality, and you want to make sure that he or she is eating healthy food. You also need to ensure that your pet doesn’t become overweight. Here’s what you need to learn about providing different types of foods to your chihuahua:

🟧 Essential content

When it comes to the best dog food for small chihuahuas, you should be looking for:

>>High-quality protein

This means that the foremost ingredient listed is a meat source and not grains (which are not as digestible).

>>Low fat

Dog foods with less than 10% fat are recommended. Fat does not provide nutritional value to your pet, so less is better!

>>Low carbs

Carbohydrates break down into sugar in your chihuahua’s body, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other ailments. Look for foods with less than 4% carbohydrates per serving on average, preferably closer to 1%.

>>Low sodium

Sodium causes bloating and water retention, which can lead to serious health issues over time if left untreated – so keep an eye out when reading labels!

🟧 Fruits

Small chihuahuas are not big fruit eaters, and for good reason. Fruit is high in sugar and can cause weight gain, especially if you feed them the same fruit over and over again. It’s also not a primary source of nutrients for chihuahuas, so they don’t get much out of eating it. They just end up getting diarrhea from eating too much fruit! So it’s best to avoid feeding your Chi fruits as treats or as part of their regular diet.

🟧 Vegetables

Chihuahuas love to eat vegetables. While you should feed your chihuahua a diet that has a balanced protein and fat, there are certain types of vegetables that are good for them. Vegetables are good for your chihuahua because they provide fiber and vitamins. They can help with digestion, too! Here’s a list of healthy veggies for your small dog:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Spinach (not too much)
  • Tomatoes (not too much)
  • Cucumbers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Green peas

🟧 Eggs and meat

Eggs and cooked meat provide a good source of protein. Chihuahuas are small dogs, so they don’t need as much protein as larger dogs. They’re also prone to pancreatitis, a serious condition that can occur due to eating too much protein. The most reasonable way to feed your chihuahua is by providing him or her with the right amount of healthy food every day!

See also
Top 4 Bones For Your Chihuahua - Best Picks!


Overfeeding can lead to obesity in dogs, especially in chihuahuas, prone to all sorts of physical conditions. chihuahuas who are fed too much food may gain weight quickly and become overweight or obese. Obese chihuahuas have an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes mellitus (diabetes), arthritis, and digestive tract disorders like bloat or gastric dilatation/volvulus (GDV). They also have an increased chance of cancer due to their higher body mass index (BMI).

With the abundance of health conditions that your small chihuahua is prone to, explain why you should get a weight scale readily available in your home. Vet visits will typically be done every month (for puppies), every few months, or even annually, which should not be the only instances that your chihuahua will be weighed. Being able to monitor your chihuahua’s weight and adjusting their diet accordingly is one of your responsibilities as their owner.

Adding up to one of these responsibilities is cooking a homemade diet for your chihuahua if the circumstance leads you to do so.

You can click here to know how much must your chihuahua weighs.


We cannot blame you if you are skeptical of some of the commercial dog foods and have found them to be less healthy than homemade food. Many dog owners would rather cook for their canines to account for their chihuahua’s dietary needs that are not thoroughly present in commercial dog food. Here are some benefits and a downside if you were to switch to a homemade diet for your chihuahua:


A homemade diet is healthier than a commercial one. The main reason why most chihuahuas are fed commercial dog foods is that they’re cheaper, easier to store and prepare, and quicker to prepare (you don’t have to cook the food). But there are also many other reasons you should consider feeding your chihuahua something other than kibble.

See also
The Best 7 Comfy Winter Coats for Chihuahuas


It’s more natural! Foods like fruits and vegetables contain vitamins that can help keep your pup healthy, so if you want them to stay healthy, then it’s best not only when but how much food they eat too.


One big downside of preparing a homemade diet is that it can tax your time and energy. Since you cannot always share a homemade diet with your chihuahua (because they are restricted from a lot of common ingredients such as onions), it cannot be easy to manage to prepare an extra meal, especially if you do not have a lot of time in your hands. There is also the risk that your chihuahua may become picky with homemade food, especially if they have been accustomed to eating commercial dog food.

🟨 Some examples of the best homemade dietary setups:

  • The most typical dietary setup consists of one good chunk of meat (usually red meat like pork or beef) with a side of vegetables and fruits. This makes for a balanced diet that can provide the majority of the nutrients that your chihuahua needs. However, one notable difficult vitamin to find in meat-heavy diets is ascorbic acid or vitamin C.
  • Raw meat diets are advisable for chihuahuas who can properly eat them. But it requires the owner to disinfect the meat thoroughly to prevent foodborne infections.
  • Most vets and chihuahua owners do not usually recommend vegetarian diets, but they are entirely viable. There have been chihuahuas who lived their whole lives on a vegetarian diet, so as long as the necessary nutrients are included, you can try going for this diet.


When transitioning from a commercial diet to a homemade one, you must gradually introduce the new food to your chihuahua. You cannot just decide to suddenly give them a completely different diet one morning and expect them to be hunky dory for the whole day. Like humans, not being accustomed to a new food can cause digestive problems and nuisances such as diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.

To prevent this, you can gradually transition your chihuahua’s diet by retaining a portion of their diet for a few days. This means that for the first few days, the homemade food should only consist of about a quarter of their meal. After a few weeks, you can slowly replace commercial dog food with homemade food through portioning.

See also
Best Dry Dog Food for Chihuahua: 6 Top Picks!


There are also common over-the-counter (medical products that can be bought without prescriptions) supplements to keep your small chihuahua healthy. It can also cover some nutrients and vitamins that would otherwise be harder to gain from commercial or homemade diets.

🟪 Vitamins

Vitamins, especially Vitamin C (the only vitamin that is hard to obtain through eating meat), are welcome as long as you know the dosage that your chihuahua needs. This is another instance where weight scales become very useful because vitamins require you to know your chihuahua’s weight to determine the right dosage.

🟪 Antioxidants

Antioxidants are very important compounds that are not always present in common foods for chihuahuas (especially when it comes to commercial dog foods). These supplements can often come in chewable that will be much simpler to measure in dosage and can come across as a healthy treat for your chihuahua. 

🟪 Glucosamine and chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin (which help with joint health). You can find this in the supplement aisle at your local drugstore or grocery store. But you’ll want to make sure it’s the right formulation for chihuahuas’ diets before you buy it (some products are not as effective for small breeds).

If you are looking for a more organic and natural approach, try giving your chihuahua grass-fed meat (or even rawhide) instead of cookies or treats that may contain high doses of sugar and other ingredients that aren’t good for them.

🟪 Probiotics

Probiotics are very important, especially for younger chihuahuas, to improve the diversity of their friendly and beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria can benefit your small chihuahua by preventing indigestion, improving the immune system, and helping your intestines process vitamins and minerals.


We hope you now understand better what you can and should feed your small dog! We’ve covered the basics of choosing the right food for your furry friend’s nutritional needs and tips for avoiding common problems.

Since chihuahuas are not conscious of their nutritional needs, it becomes your responsibility as their owner to provide for said needs in their diet. Fortunately, there are already ready-made options for you through the lists we provided in this article!