The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas: Reviews and Ratings of the Top Wet and Dry Brands

Just like all canines, Chihuahuas need high-quality food to stay happy and healthy. However, it can be challenging to choose a great dog food for your Chihuahua due to their small size. Many dog foods that are perfect for larger dogs just aren’t edible for these pint-sized pups.  Their mouths are just too small!

Plus, Chihuahuas aren’t going to be eating very much. There is only so much food you can stuff in a 5-pound-dog, even if they would prefer to keep eating. This makes choosing quality food even more important. The bites they do take need to count.

How to Choose the Best Food for Your Chihuahua

Selecting the perfect food for your Chihuahua isn’t that much different from choosing high-quality dog food for any other dog. A quick look at the back of the dog food bag or can will tell you all you need to know about the food’s nutritional value and ingredients. Here are a few things to look out for when you’re hunting for high-quality food:

Aim to feed your Chihuahua a food that lines up with their macronutrient needs as closely as possible. Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fats – the primary nutrients every animal needs to survive. Different animals need different levels of macronutrients to survive and thrive.

Luckily, scientific studies have shown us that domestic dogs need a macronutrient ratio of approximately 30% protein, 63% fat, and 7% carbohydrates. This is surprisingly accurate for all dog breeds out there, showing us that their dietary needs must have come from a period far back in their evolutionary growth.

Based on this information, you should choose a dog food that is high in protein and fat, but low in carbohydrates. Sadly, many dog foods on the market today do not line up with this suggestion, so be sure to check out our reviews below for fitting dog food.

You should also have a look at the ingredients of the dog food. Meat should be the first ingredient and preferably appear multiple times in the ingredient list. By-products and meals are necessarily unfortunate as long as their source is listed. “Meat meal” could be anything, but we know that “chicken meal” is just ground up chicken.

Don’t get pulled in by grain-free foods unless your Chihuahua is allergic to grains. Most grain-free foods don’t contain any more meat than grain-inclusive dog foods. Instead, they are stuffed with cheap veggies like peas. Some of these foods have also been linked to health problems, and they’re more expensive.

In many cases, it is in your best interest to choose a food that includes high-quality whole grains.

On top of macronutrients and ingredients, Chihuahuas also have unique needs that need to be met in their dog food. These tiny dogs need tiny kibble to eat without potentially injuring their teeth. This can take the form of Chihuahua-specific dog food or dog food designed for small breeds in general.

There are also a few diseases that Chihuahuas are prone to. A correct diet can help prevent some of these potential health problems.

Chihuahuas do seem to be more prone to coat and skin problems, so it might be in your best interest to avoid common allergens like soy and corn. However, this is not true of all Chihuahuas. Many also suffer from joint problems, so food with a proper amount of chondroitin or glucosamine is vital.

Reviews of the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas

Our Pick

Nom Nom Now Turkey Fare

  • Fresh, human-grade ingredients including fish oils
  • Near-perfect macronutrients
  • No common allergens

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1476 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Eggs, Brown Rice, Carrots, Spinach.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 36.67% Protein
  • 16.67% Fat
  • 20% Carbohydrates

Best Fresh Wet Dog Food for Chihuahuas

Out of all the dog foods we reviewed, this one by Nom Nom Now is the best available for Chihuahuas. It is not a “wet” food in the traditional sense. Instead, the food is fresh and shipped right to your door in proportioned amounts. Since Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, this is a huge plus.

The food is a ground-up mixture of turkey, eggs, and various veggies, so your pooch will have no trouble eating it. We also loved that the only meat source is turkey, which is not a common allergen. Chihuahuas do have allergies in many cases, so this is extremely helpful.

This food is grain-inclusive, but the only grain included is brown rice – an excellent choice for any dog food. This grain is very nutritious.

The macronutrient content of this food is excellent. Protein is very high at over 36%. Plus, you can rest assured that the vast majority of protein is coming from the turkey based on the ingredient list, not a filler veggie like peas. This means that the protein is complete and contains all the amino acids your pooch needs. An excellent food choice.

Recall Info: Never been recalled

Also Great

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Chickpeas Recipe

  • Designed specifically for smaller dogs
  • Includes L-carnitine to prevent obesity
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1314 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Duck Broth, Turkey Liver, Chickpeas, Dicalcium Phosphate.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 45.45% Protein
  • 36.36% Fat
  • 4.55% Carbohydrates

Best Grain-Free Dog Food for Chihuahuas

This is another wonderful dog food for Chihuahuas. It is specially made for smaller dogs and comes in a smaller can. It is also grain-free and doesn’t contain soy, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. It also includes L-carnitine, which is an amino acid that helps regulate your dog’s metabolism and prevent obesity.

The primary protein source in this dog food is duck, which occurs two times in the ingredient list. Duck broth is included in this wet food instead of water, bringing up the protein content. Turkey liver is also included. Neither of these protein sources is a common allergen, making this a good option for Chihuahuas with allergies as well.

To be honest, there isn’t much in this dog food. It is mostly made out of duck and turkey with a few chickpeas thrown in. This makes it an excellent option for any canine, especially those with allergies.

The macronutrient content on the food is phenomenal and one of the best on the market. The carbohydrate content is shallow, while the protein and fat content is extremely high. We can not recommend this dog food enough. This brand also makes other dog food flavors in this line, which are also very impressive.

Recall Info: Never been recalled

Runner-up

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Grill

  • Formulated specifically for small breeds
  • Grain-Free
  • First 4 ingredients from meat

Doggypedia rating: 4/5

Calorie Content: 1382 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey Liver, Potatoes.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 45.45% Protein
  • 36.36% Fat
  • 4.55% Carbohydrates

We don’t particularly love the Blue Buffalo brand because of their many recalls. They were also pointed out in an FDA alert that connected certain dog food brands to DMC, a deadly heart condition. For these reasons, we had to mark this dog food down a point.

However, this dog food formulation itself is excellent. It is grain and pea free. The first four ingredients come from meat sources, and chicken broth is used instead of water, which increases the nutritional value of the food. This food is grain-free, but potatoes are included as the fifth ingredient. These are a starchy vegetable and isn’t the best choice.

The rest of the dog food is nutritional supplements, including folic acid and vitamin E.

The macronutrient content of this food is excellent. Protein and fat are both very high, which carbs are very low. This matches what our Chihuahuas would naturally eat in the wild.

Recall Info: Several times

Best Dry Dog Food for Chihuahuas

Our Pick

Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Small Breed

  • 11 animal sources
  • Contains nutrition-rich organ meat
  • No grain, peas, or potatoes

Doggypedia rating: 4/5

Calorie Content: 3943 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, dried chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, tapioca starch.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 48.49% Protein
  • 22.22% Fat
  •  20% Carbohydrates

Best Chihuahua Food for Seniors

As we have previously discussed, we do prefer the Blue Buffalo brand in most cases. This is because it has a long history of frequent recalls, usually because of salmonella contamination. It was also mentioned in an FDA alert regarding DMC, which is a severe canine heart problem that is linked to diet. Because of this, we only recommend their food when it is excellent, like this dry food.

In total, this dry food features 11 different protein sources. If your Chihuahua does not currently have any allergies, this is an excellent opportunity to prevent allergies from developing. It also helps them maintain a diverse diet, which plays a part in preventing nutritional deficiencies. With that said, the primary source of protein is chicken – something to keep in mind if your pooch is already sensitive to chicken.

The macronutrient content is pretty good. Protein is extremely high, with both fat and carbohydrates moderately low. This may make the food the right choice for older dogs or those who are prone to obesity. Protein takes a bit more energy to break down and is recommended for dogs who are overweight.

Recall Info: Many times

Runner Up

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe With Real Beef

  • Grain-free
  • Freeze-dried meat bits
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin

Doggypedia rating: 4/5

Calorie Content: 4287 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 36.81% Protein
  • 23.63% Fat
  • 30.77% Carbohydrates

The Instinct Raw line of dog food is owned by Nature’s Valley, which was implicated in the FDA DMC investigation. This company also has a few recalls, but the closest one happened back in 2015, and all recalls seem to deal with their raw chicken. These two factors make this brand a so-so option, but specific formulas might still be a good option for your Chihuahua.

This formula, in particular, is one of the better ones on the market. It includes multiple sources of protein in the first five ingredients, including beef and herring meal. It also includes turkey meal, which is a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of these nutrients are important for joint health and can prevent your Chihuahua from developing the joint problems so prevalent in their breed.

The ingredient list as a whole is mostly just meat ingredients and eggs. This makes the formula an excellent option for most Chihuahuas – as long as they don’t have any sensitivities to certain meats.

Recall Info: Three Times

Runner Up

Annamaet Original Small Breed Formula

  • Contains Algae – an excellent source of omega-3s
  • Includes L-Carnitine for a healthy metabolism
  • DHA for cognitive development

Doggypedia rating: 4/5

Calorie Content: 4228 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole dry eggs, herring meal.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 35.56% Protein
  • 22.22% Fat
  • 33.33% Carbohydrates

Inexpensive Chihuahua Food

Many of the foods on this list are expensive. While you usually get what you pay for when it comes to dog food, we understand that some pet owners are on a budget. This dog food by Annamaet is inexpensive and a suitable choice for Chihuahuas.

It includes chicken meal as the first ingredient, as well as a slew of other meats throughout its ingredient list. It also includes essential ingredients like whole dry eggs and brown rice, which is one of the better grains for our canines.

The macronutrient content is decent, though it could be better. Carbohydrate is far too high for our liking at 33.33%. Protein and fat levels are okay. However, we would have liked to see them a little higher. With that said, if you’re going for inexpensive dog food, you really can’t beat this one despite the macronutrients being slightly off.

Furthermore, the calorie content of this dog food is a little more than most. This means your dog will have to eat less to meet their nutritional needs, which means that you will spend less money overall.

Recall Info: None

Best Puppy Dog Food for Chihuahuas

Our Pick

Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Small Breed And Puppy

  • Smaller cans for tiny dogs
  • L-carnitine to support a healthy immune system
  • Lamb and turkey as the first ingredients

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1300 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Turkey, Lamb Broth, Turkey Broth, Lamb Liver.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 47.73% Protein
  • 38.64% Fat
  • 0% Carbohydrates

Best Chihuahua Food for Puppies

This Nulo formula is designed for puppies and small adult dogs, so you can start feeding it to your puppy and keep them on it as they reach adulthood. This is one of the best foods we’ve reviewed and is an excellent choice for your puppy or adult Chihuahua.

The ingredient list is fantastic. The first five ingredients are all meat-based, and this formula uses two types of broth instead of water. These ingredients help boost the nutritional content of the food, which you can see in the macronutrient breakdown. Further down in the ingredient list, sweet potatoes are added. However, this is one of the very few veggies used. Most of this dog food is meat and nutritional supplements, like vitamin D3 and vitamin A.

The macronutrient content is also fantastic. The protein content is almost at 47.73%, and the fat content is also high at 38.64%. The carbohydrate content is so low that it comes out to 0%. Because of the sweet potatoes, there are likely a few carbohydrates in this dog food. However, it is so low that our formula just doesn’t pick it up. Most of this dog food is meat – plain and simple.

We recommend this dog food to any small breed puppy, including Chihuahuas. This brand has never been recalled, which makes us even more confident in recommending it.

Recall Info: Never been recalled

Also Great

Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Lentils Recipe Small Breed & Puppy

  • No wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Pea fiber and inulin for a healthy digestive system
  • Real turkey as the first ingredient

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1321 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Lentils, Dicalcium Phosphate.

 

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 47.73% Protein
  • 38.64% Fat
  • 0% Carbohydrates

Best Chihuahua Food for Allergies

This is another formula by Nulo. It is grain-free and contains turkey as the first ingredient. Turkey is the only meat ingredient in this dog food – besides salmon oil, which appears further down in the ingredient list. This formula also does not include many veggies or other ingredients at all. Because of this, it is suitable for dogs with allergies who can eat turkey. The low number of ingredients lowers the chance that your dog will react to this food, and it is unlikely that your canine will be allergic to turkey.

The macronutrient content of this food is also excellent. Protein and fat are both very high, with carbohydrates so low that they don’t even register when we run this food through our formula. This formula has plenty of protein and fat to help your puppy grow and sustain them through adulthood.

One of our favorite features of this formula is that it is suitable for both puppies and small adult dogs. Because of this, you won’t have to switch your dog’s food once they get out of the puppy stage. Even if you don’t have a puppy, we recommend considering this dog food for your Chihuahua, as well as other small breed formulas by this company.

Recall Info: Never been recalled

how much should a chihuahua eat?

Chihuahuas are small, feisty dogs that are very long-lived. The average Chihuahua lives for 15 years. Because of this, they are more prone to many obesity-related health problems, like arthritis. These disorders take a little bit of time to show up, and Chihuahuas have plenty of time available. Many larger breeds are usually short-lived enough that they may not develop these problems at all.

To prevent arthritis and other obesity-linked problems, it is essential that you only feed your Chihuahua the amount of food they need. They are tiny dogs and do not need much food at all. It is effortless to overfeed them. Furthermore, they are tiny dogs, to begin with, so just a little bit of extra weight can cause some severe problems.

Always go off of the recommendation on the back of the food they’re eating and keep a careful eye on your dog’s size.

Chihuahuas are also prone to hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, because of their petite size. They don’t have enormous stomachs and therefore don’t hold much food at a time. In this way, they’re very similar to human babies. Hypoglycemia can be deadly if not treated. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, lack of coordination, trembling, muscle twitching, and weakness.

To prevent your dog’s glucose from dropping, you should feed them often. This is especially true for Chihuahua puppies, who are even smaller than adults.

It is recommended that you leave food available to your Chihuahua at all times. This allows them to “graze” all day and prevents their blood sugar from spiking. However, you should still ensure that they aren’t overeating by only allowing them to eat a specific amount each day.

If your dog tends to gobble up the food as soon as you put it down, you should set out four to five small meals a day.

Nutritional Requirements

We discussed this briefly earlier, but nutrition is so vital for these tiny dogs that a complete discussion is necessary.

Chihuahuas need the same nutrients as any other dog. However, their small size sometimes makes it difficult for them to get all of these nutrients. They eat a minimal amount of food, so you need to make every bite count. This means limiting table scraps to the bare minimum – or nothing, preferably.

Furthermore, Chihuahuas are so tiny that they can very quickly die from eating foods dogs are allergic to, such as onions and grapes. Many common seasonings and food items humans eat can harm our dogs, especially super little dogs like the Chihuahua. It is better to skip on the table scraps altogether.

On top of the regular nutrients every dog need, there are a few vitamins and minerals Chihuahuas particularly need.

These tiny dogs are prone to arthritis and similar joint issues. This is mostly because they’re small dogs and live longer. Their joints just get used for longer when compared to other, larger dogs. Nutrients that support the joints can be essential for this reason. Glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3s, and hyaluronic acid are all nutrients to keep an eye out for while you’re shopping.

Chihuahua food portions

Obesity is a big problem for most Chihuahuas. A little bit of extra weight can wear their joints down more and cause other obesity-related problems. If you skip on the table scraps, half the battle is won already. However, you also need to choose a high-density, nutritious food.

Chihuahuas can only fit so much in their tiny stomachs, so you need to ensure that you choose a nutrient-dense food. Otherwise, they simply won’t be able to eat enough to meet their needs. Check out the foods in our review section for some great options.

chihuahua Allergy Information

Chihuahuas are prone to a variety of allergies. Unlike people, dogs tend to get itchy when they have an allergic reaction. This leads to scratching, which creates sores and can lead to secondary infections. Chihuahuas are also prone to infections, complicating this problem even further.

There is no cure for allergies. Instead, your best bet is to avoid the allergen itself. Very few dogs are born allergic to certain foods. In almost all cases, these allergies develop over time after the dog continually eats the same food. If your dog eats chicken every day, they are much more likely to develop an allergy to chicken, for example.

The easiest way to combat this is to switch your dog’s food often and pick food with multiple protein sources. Various foods fit this bill in our review section. Select three to four foods and switch every time you stock the pantry. In many cases, you can stick with the same food line – just pick a different flavor every time. 

Read More Dog Food Reviews: Best Pitbull Food and Best Dog Food for Small Breeds

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