The 8 Best Dog Foods for Chihuahuas

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

Chihuahua’s are popular modern-day dogs, thanks in no small part to television and the movies. Gidget, better known as The Taco Bell Chihuahua, appeared in commercials for the fast-food chain from 1997 to 2000. And Gidget’s housemate Moonie was better known as the protagonist Bruiser from the “Legally Blonde” series of movies with his co-star Reese Witherspoon.

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds, but its outsized personality and all-around charm make it a favorite in households worldwide. To feed this famous canine, you need a quality, well-balanced dog food that focuses on the needs of very small dogs. It must be easy for small jaws to chew while delivering quality nutrition without packing on the pounds. To help you choose the best food for your Chihuahua, we’ve created this list of what we think are some great options.

To find out what to feed your Chihuahua, read on!

The 8 Best Dog Foods for Chihuahuas

Top ProductsRatingTop 5 Ingredients
1. Acana Puppy and Junior Formula Dry Dog Food4.8Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Whole Green Peas
2. Orijen High Protein Dry Dog Food for Puppies4.7Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, flounder, Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel
3. Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Recipe with Deboned Chicken4.6Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Rice, Oatmeal
4. Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Feast4.3Beef Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture
5. Nutro Utra Toy Breed Adult Dry Food4.9Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Lamb Meal
6. V-Dog Kind Mini Kibble Bites4.6Dried Peas, Pea Protein, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potato Protein
7. Stella and Chewy’s Beef Meal Mixer Topper4.7Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe
8. Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison and Brown Rice4.7Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat 

1. Acana Puppy and Junior Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Whole Green Peas

This puppy food from Acana has numerous fresh ingredients, providing a digestible, nutritious meal for your chihuahua puppy. It doesn’t use some of the more common allergens, making it great for a puppy with a sensitive stomach. It has the extra calories that a growing puppy needs and contains plenty of lean protein to build your puppy’s developing muscles.

2. Orijen High Protein Dry Dog Food for Puppies

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, flounder, Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel

This puppy food from Orijen is made up almost entirely of quality animal ingredients. It contains plenty of protein, fat, and calories to help keep your Chihuahua puppy healthy. It also has numerous antioxidants to protect your puppy’s organs from damage by free radicals and provides the calories a puppy need.

3. Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Recipe with Deboned Chicken

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Rice, Oatmeal

This recipe from Wellness provides high-quality protein in the form of deboned chicken. It also has omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin and includes glucosamine and chondroitin to protect and lubricate the joints.

4. Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Feast

Top 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture

This recipe from Nature’s Logic does not contain any grain or gluten, making it great for dogs with allergies. It is also free of synthetic additives. What it does have is lots of vitamins and minerals. This soft diet is perfect for senior dogs or others who have problems chewing kibble. If you are looking for dog food with lots of protein, this could be your answer.

5. Nutro Utra Toy Breed Adult Dry Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Lamb Meal

This Nutro recipe contains three separate sources of premium protein along with a rich blend of superfoods to provide your Chihuahua with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, this dry food is also easy for your dog to digest. Finally, it contains lots of minerals that will keep your dog’s metabolism going strong.

6. Royal Canin Canned Dog Food for Chihuahaus

Top 5 Ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken By-Products, Pork By-Products, Chicken, Pork Liver

This canned dog food from Royal Canin is great for dogs with a history of dental problems. It also has plenty of nutrients to help you keep your dog’s bones and joints healthy. Finally, this recipe also has lots of lean protein that will help your dog’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments remain strong. It is a bit expensive, but it contains all the nutrients your dog needs.

7. V-Dog Kind Mini Kibble Bites

Top 5 Ingredients: Dried Peas, Pea Protein, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Potato Protein

This recipe from V-Dog is a mini-kibble vegan bite containing no animal products. Your dog will get to enjoy a tasty treat packed with a variety of nutrients from plant sources. This recipe includes vitamins, minerals, and non-animal sources of protein. It is a bit more expensive than traditional dog food; however, it could be the right option for your Chihuahua if your vet has recommended that he or she avoid animal products.

8. Stella and Chewy’s Beef Meal Mixer Topper

Top 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe

This mixed beef toper from Stella and Chewy’s is a great source of lean protein and has numerous vitamins and minerals for your dog’s immune system, skin, and fur coat. The pieces might be a bit large for some dogs, but for those dogs without problems chewing it, it could be a great addition to just about any meal!

9. Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison and Brown Rice

Top 5 Ingredients: Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat 

This food from Solid Gold uses a unique, lean protein from bison. It also has a lot of fiber, which will help you keep the digestive tract of your Chihuahua happy and healthy. This recipe includes antioxidants to reduce inflammation and brown rice to provide a great source of complex carbohydrates. 

10. Instinct Real Chicken Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay

This delicious chicken recipe from Instinct is grain-free, which is great for dogs with allergies. This wet canned dog food is ideal for toy breeds of all ages; however, it is particularly helpful for older dogs that may have difficulty eating dry food. It also contains plenty of healthy fats that will keep your dog’s fur coat shining nicely! 

11. Nulo Salmon and Red Lentils

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb Meal, Red Lentils

Your dog needs plenty of omega-3 fatty acids for its skin and coat, and this recipe from Nulo delivers! It features plenty of meat and a relatively low carbohydrate count. It also contains plenty of amino acids from animal products that will help your dog build and maintain healthy muscle tissue. Finally, this recipe also has a relatively low-calorie count, which is great for dogs with weight issues. 

12. Adult Dry Dog Food for Chihuahuas, 8+

Top 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat

This adult dog food from Royal Canin is for adult chihuahuas. It has plenty of lean protein, which is important for keeping your dog’s muscles and bones healthy. It also contains a lower calorie count, making it great for dogs with weight issues. The recipe also has complex carbs and plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog’s fur coat healthy. 

13. Nulo Canned Food for Puppies

Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

This option from Nulo is great for dogs that have a difficult time with dry food. It does not contain any grain, making it great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Furthermore, it has plenty of lean protein from lamb. It also has a great mix of vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates from sweet potatoes. This food is more expensive than other choices; however, it contains a wide variety of beneficial nutrients for your dog. 

14. Blue Buffalo Carnivora Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Lamb, Chicken, Pork Liver, Mackerel

This wet food made by Blue Buffalo is specifically for senior dogs. This wet formula is easy to chew and digest, making it perfect for your older Chihuahua. The protein comes from chicken, turkey, mackerel, and duck. In addition, it has a low-calorie count, helping you keep your dog’s weight in check. 

15. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed for Toy and Small Breed

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Millet, Whitefish Meal

This option from Dr. Gary contains plenty of chicken and whitefish as healthy protein! It also has a great mix of vitamins and minerals that will keep your dog healthy. This recipe is also less expensive than many other choices. The smaller kibble is easy for small dogs to chew.

16. Halo Holistic Chicken Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken (Natural Source Of Chondroitin Sulfate), Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Oat Bran, Pea Flour

This holistic dog food choice from Halo is formulated specifically for smaller breeds; however, it does come in a can, so it will still be easy for your dog to eat. It contains a wide variety of nutrients that are important for your dog as he or she gets older, including chondroitin and glucosamine to support your dog’s joints.

17. Nulo Turkey and Grain-Free Dog Food for Adults

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat 

This Nulo dog food has been made specifically for adults. It contains a wide variety of healthy amino acids and lean protein from turkey. It stays away from ingredients that usually cause allergic reactions, such as grain. Finally, this dog food also has numerous vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is great for your dog’s bones. 

18. Instinct Small Breed Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat 

This dog food from Instinct does not contain any grain at all. The main ingredient is beef, which is a great source of lean protein. This dog food also contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. It has a relatively low-fat content, which is great for helping your dog keep its weight under control. This dog food will also take care of your dog’s digestive tract. 

19. Solid Gold Mighty Minis

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat

This food from Solid Gold is a moist, canned dog food that is great for dogs with dental problems. Made specifically for toy and small breeds, it is high in protein from lean chicken. It also has many superfoods to provide your dog with numerous vitamins and minerals that can protect your dog’s immune system, kidneys, liver, and skin. 

20. Royal Canin Dry Dog Food for Adults, Chihuahuas

Top 5 Ingredients: Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Wheat Gluten, Oat Groats

This dog food is specifically for adult chihuahuas from Royal Canin. It contains plenty of natural ingredients, including numerous sources of lean protein. It also has a small kibble size, which is perfect for chihuahuas. This recipe also has magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium to keep your dog’s bones healthy as he or she gets older.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas

A few of the most common questions people ask about the best dog food for a chihuahua include:

1. How much should my Chihuahua weigh?

The recommended weight for a chihuahua will vary depending on his or her age; however, a chihuahua should weigh about five or six pounds after it reaches adulthood.

2. What are some of the reasons why a chihuahua might be too skinny?

There are several reasons why your Chihuahua might be too skinny, including chronic health problems, a loss of appetite, or a pancreas problem.

3. Is a chihuahua the smallest dog in the world?

A chihuahua is among the smallest dogs in the world, but there is some debate regarding which breed is the smallest.

4. Are chihuahuas mean dogs to have around?

It all depends on how they are trained and socialized. If you socialize your Chihuahua from a young age, it should be comfortable around other dogs and animals.

5. Why does my Chihuahua keep shaking?

Chihuahuas often shake because they are excited, nervous, or anxious. Because they are such small dogs, their shaking can be more pronounced than larger dogs. Also, Chihuahuas are a short-haired breed without a lot of body fat. Many of them shake or shiver when they are cold.

6. Is it okay for me to leave my Chihuahua alone at home when I go to work?

Yes, this should be okay. Of course, you need to set your dog up for success by training it that it’s okay to be alone. You might also want to get your dog a companion.

7. How long does it take a chihuahua to reach his or her full size?

The average time it takes a chihuahua to reach adult size is about six months; however, some chihuahuas will reach their adult size in three. When chihuahuas reach one year of age, they are considered adults.

8. How long should I expect my chihuahua to live?

The average lifespan of a chihuahua is between 12 and 20 years. A chihuahua is considered a senior dog when it reaches ten years of age.

9. Is it okay for me to sleep with my Chihuahua in bed?

You can sleep with your Chihuahua; however, you need to figure out how heavy you sleep at night and how active you are. If you roll over on top of your Chihuahua, you could end up suffocating him or her.

10. Why does my Chihuahua have to go to the bathroom so much?

A chihuahua is a small dog breed, so he or she doesn’t have a big bladder. Your Chihuahua is a smart dog and might realize that you pay attention to it when it needs to go to the bathroom.

11. Why does a chihuahua puppy require so much dog food?

A puppy is still growing, so he or she has a much higher calorie requirement. You need to make sure that your puppy has enough food to eat.

12. What does it mean when a puppy goes hypoglycemic?

Hypoglycemic means that your puppy has a low blood sugar level. A chihuahua puppy is tiny and does not have a lot of sugar reserves. You need to feed your puppy often to prevent low blood sugar levels.

13. How often do I need to feed my Chihuahua?

When your Chihuahua is a puppy, he or she needs to eat more often. A puppy chihuahua should eat four to six times per day. An adult chihuahua might only have to eat twice per day.

14. How many calories does my Chihuahua need to eat every day?

A chihuahua should eat approximately 40 calories per pound of body weight. If your Chihuahua weighs five pounds, he or she needs 200 calories per day.

15. How many times per day should my chihuahua poop?

It depends on what your Chihuahua is eating; however, the average Chihuahua should go outside to poop at least once per day. If you have a dog that is pooping twice per day, this is probably still okay if the stool is solid.

16. Should my Chihuahua eat wet food when he or she reaches old age?

As your Chihuahua gets older, he or she may have dental issues. You might want to switch to wet food when your Chihuahua gets older, so it is easier for him or her to eat.

17. Do chihuahuas have sensitive stomachs?

Yes, chihuahuas are known to have sensitive stomachs. If you give your Chihuahua the wrong food, he or she could start to throw up. The most likely reason why your Chihuahua is vomiting is that he or she is sick or stressed

18. Is it okay for me to give my Chihuahua a banana?

Yes, it is fine for you to give your Chihuahua a banana from time to time. They contain lots of potassium, fiber, biotin, and other vitamins. They also have a lot of sugar, so use them in moderation.

19. If my Chihuahua has an upset stomach, what should I give him or her?

If you notice that your Chihuahua has an upset stomach, then boiled chicken and potatoes or rice is a good idea. You want to go with a bland diet that can help your dog’s GI system calm down.

20. Why do chihuahuas need more food than the average dog per pound of bodyweight?

Smaller dog breeds, including chihuahuas, have a fast metabolism. They go through their calories quickly, so they need to eat again soon after they finish their meals. They require more calories per pound than the average dog.

A Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Chihuahua Dog Food 

If you are looking for the best dog food for your Chihuahua, you have a lot to think about. Find a dog food that has plenty of lean protein and a modest amount of healthy fat; however, there are a few specifics you need to remember for your Chihuahua.

When your Chihuahua is still a puppy, your dog will need plenty of lean protein to fuel the growth and development process. Your dog will expend energy playing, growing, and developing. Expect your chihuahua puppy to have significant calorie requirements.

You need to find high-quality dog food using real sources, whole foods, and no by-products. Your dog food should have lots of meat and healthy sources of fat, such as omega fatty acids. While you do need to find food that has carbs as well, these should be relatively limited. Try to find complex carbs instead of simple carbs.

Important points to know about Chihuahua include:

  • The average weight of a chihuahua is supposed to be about six pounds. A dog this size will not be able to eat a whole lot of food in a single sitting. Compared to other dogs, chihuahuas need more calories per pound than a larger dog, even if this is still a relatively limited amount of food overall.
  • The average dog requires approximately 30 calories per pound of body weight every day. Therefore, a chihuahua should eat approximately 150 to 180 calories per day. In contrast, a chihuahua requires approximately 40 calories per pound of bodyweight, which comes out to 240 calories of food per day for a dog that weighs six pounds.
  • Chihuahuas have a fast metabolism. This dog breed can go through the calories they just consumed in a matter of hours. If chihuahuas do not have enough calorie intake, they will develop low blood sugar levels, which is dangerous for all dogs; however, it is a particularly serious issue for puppies. You need to stay on top of your Chihuahua’s nutritional requirements, particularly when they are still puppies.
  • Find a dog food for your Chihuahua that not only meets the nutritional requirements but also has the right number of calories. You may need to feed your Chihuahua more often than you might feed an average dog. If you can find a dog food that meets these requirements, you should be able to keep your Chihuahua happy and healthy.

Consider the age of your Chihuahua. When a chihuahua is still a puppy, it will have different nutritional needs than an adult or senior dog. Low blood sugar levels are called hypoglycemia, which you need to avoid in all dogs; however, it is more common in puppies. You can do this by making sure you feed your chihuahua plenty of calories, including carbs, to maintain a healthy brain function.

This breed also has a hard time regulating its body temperature, which is harder if your dog does not have enough calories. It is even more important for puppies.

As your Chihuahua continues to grow, the focus will shift from providing enough calories to providing too many calories. Older chihuahuas are prone to developing obesity, leading to a wide variety of health problems, including heart issues and joint concerns. A chihuahua is a senior dog when it reaches 10 to 12 years of age. There are health issues that could develop, including joint issues and dental problems. When your Chihuahua reaches old age, you may want to switch to soft, canned food. You should choose a dog food with “senior” or “toy breed” written on it. That way, you know your Chihuahua is getting enough chondroitin and glucosamine, which are both important for taking care of your dog’s bones and joints.

Additional points about Chihuahua:

  • Find a chihuahua dog food with plenty of animal protein, which should be the first ingredient, so you know it is the main component of that specific dog food. Ideally, find a dog food that has plenty of fish, meat, or poultry.
  • Pick a dog food that also has a fat content that is slightly higher than average. 15% fat is considered average, but if you find dog food for your Chihuahua with 18% fat, that is better.
  • Stay away from synthetic supplements. Additives and flavorings are not good for your dog and can lead to an upset stomach. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, this is going to lead to more health problems.
  • Find a dog food that has plenty of whole fruits and vegetables as well. You do not want to get food that has by-products in it. You should stick to whole foods instead. Fruits and vegetables are important because they contain vitamins and minerals that your Chihuahua needs to remain healthy. They are also a great source of fiber, which is critical for your Chihuahua’s digestive tract.
  • If you are giving your chihuahua dry dog food, that is fine, but you need to make sure the kibble size is small enough. A chihuahua has a small mouth. They are not going to get their jaws around pieces of dog food that are large. Pick a small kibble size.
  • Finally, look at where the carbs are coming from. As your Chihuahua gets older, he or she will not need as many carbs, as his or her energy level is going to drop. Complex carbs are better than simple carbs, as they can prevent your Chihuahua’s blood sugar level from spiking.

The calorie content of your chihuahua dog food can vary. You need to look at the number of calories per cup, not just the number of calories that are present per serving. You need to see how many calories you are giving your Chihuahua in a single cup of dog food. This will help you decide if you are giving your Chihuahua too much dog food, too little dog food, or the right amount of dog food

It is not unusual for dog food for chihuahuas to be expensive because of the unique nutritional requirements; however, do not be afraid to shop around. Ask the pet store or your vet to help you find dog food for your Chihuahua that is more affordable. If you keep these tips in mind, you should find a healthy option for your furry friend.