A Good Diet = A Happy Chihuahua, so then, what do chihuahuas eat?
By: Queen D
Chihuahuas are unique dogs. So then again, what do chihuahuas eat? Their relatively delicate physique calls for careful diets.
Right now, we live in a world where the best option to get dog food is through an online service.
It really is easy to be misled by the advertising tricks dog food companies use to reel in customers, words like “ Premium” are often used to convince customers to buy a certain company’s product regardless of the fact if the food is best for your dog are not.
Now, of course, some products do live up to their names but even then, it’s important to find the very best food for your chihuahua.
Human Foods, Yes or No?
There are countless TV shows, movies, videos and basically anything you can watch with a pet dog shows an owner letting their chichi have some of the sweet treats they enjoy.
Or the mischievous child sneaking their pleading chihuahua the leftovers of the dinner under the table covers.
The question is though, should they be feeding their chihuahua human food? ..and what do chihuahuas eat?
The Veterinarian Would Probably Say…
No actually. Most veterinarians recommend not to feed your chihuahua human food.
Not only can it affect the behavior of your chihuahua (think a bad habit and begging), but it’s not really nutritional smart.
Not all human foods are toxic to chihuahuas, and any dog for that matter, but plenty are.
Some are sugary foods,(chocolate especially), animal fat, and extremely fatty foods, like fried chicken and bacon, food dyes, some nuts such as macadamia nuts, low-quality grains, and wheat /gluten, and all spicy foods.
You should also avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine.
Effects of Eating The Wrong Foods on A Chihuahuas
Feeding your chihuahua the wrong foods can really have unfavorable effects on their health.
It could be horrible for a dog owner to see their chihuahua go through something. Of course, there are instances where you don’t know that you may be feeding your chihuahua the wrong foods.
Some symptoms that your chihuahua is subject to and you should look out for are:
- Oral Problems in your chihuahuas such as losing teeth or tooth decay
- Abnormally losing or gaining weight
- Upset stomach (vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, etc;)
- A food-borne illness such as salmonella or e.coli
- Stunted Growth
- Hair loss
- A weakened immune system which makes your chihuahua more susceptible to diseases
- Your chihuahua having a dull coat due to losing their sheen
- Unusual lack of energy
- And in the worst-case scenario, feeding your chihuahua the wrong food can cause death
A Begging Chihuahua
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been subject to a begging dog. Sometimes it seems like they have us trained instead of the other way around.
Especially when it comes to food- what do chihuahuas eat?
I remember Poopy, my old neighbor’s chihuahua dog, running up to me in my youth when he saw me carrying some sort of treat.
I admit every now and then I would succumb to his whines and pleading eyes and I would let him have a piece of whether it be an icy pop or a few fries.
But looking back, I realized how fairly easy to turn down Poopy and eliminate the trouble I caused for myself and my neighbor.
A Picky Chihuahua
It became a habit, me, and all my other siblings would allow Poopy to have a lick or bite every now and then of our human treats. Unfortunately, my neighbor and my family became pretty close so “every now and then” was basically a daily exercise.
Thankfully, we never caused any problems for Poopy.
At least none that we know of, (mind you I was in my early years of school, hearing that I could have caused my neighbor’s tiny but playful chihuahua would have probably made me cry) but it comes to shows how loving gestures we give to our chihuahuas could become harmful.
After awhile Poopy developed a taste for the human food, and the neighbor told us about how he started turning down his dog food, but us being children didn’t seem to think the sharing we did with Poopy was the issue.
A Trip to the vet
Poopy’s pickiness actually got so bad that my neighbor had to take him to the vet several times.
I mean, the dog would literally walk past his bowl and run into our laps trying to snag a piece of the chicken from our burgers or something of the likeness.
You would think Poopy was too good for his “ordinary” dog food and only could eat our human foods, and it seemed like it wasn’t having an effect on him so he left the vet with nothing but a bad mood from being forced to undergo the physical exam.
Of Course, the vet couldn’t find anything. Poopy was the picture of health and no one was there to tell the vet about his human food habits.
Yes, even as children, we had a little hunch we weren’t supposed to be feeding Poppy our food, so his owner never found out about it until much, much, later.
Breaking A Chihuahua’s Habit:
It can be really difficult for humans to break a habit. So you can imagine it can be even more difficult with a chihuahua, who are notorious for their stubbornness.
Your Chihuahua could start to not eat all if you just withdraw human food completely from their diet. Us humans can develop serious problems from a withdrawal of food.
Not so surprisingly, the same thing can happen to your chihuahua if they aren’t fed properly.
This could have serious physical effects on your chihuahua as they aren’t getting proper nutrition.
What I recommend is that you take a more gradual approach towards your chihuahua. Like giving less and less human food.
Every now and then an occasional treat of human food is alright but to prevent any problems, it is best to stay away from it and just stick to dog food.
The Best Food(s) For a Chihuahua
The number one food being meat. Yes, earlier I said a big no to fried chicken and bacon, but it is the animal fat in them that makes them less than ideal for a chihuahua.
However, the right meats, like fish, beef, or lamb, that are also prepared properly are essential in a diet of your chihuahua.
This is where your ingredient-reading skills come in handy.
Now, shopping is predominantly done through online services, so it is important while browsing through dog foods, you read the labels to see if they provide the right amount of nutrition, especially protein, for your chihuahua.
If the labels show some type of meat or several as the first three ingredients, it means that the product has a creditable amount of meat in it.
Vegetables for Your Chihuahua
Even though the diet of your chihuahua should consist of 40% meat, vegetables are also an important ingredient in your chihuahua’s diet.
They also provide needed nutrition for your chihuahua, with vitamins that are essential to the development and growth of your chihuahua.
Due to this, vegetables should also make up 40%of your chihuahua’s diet as well.
Some good vegetables to include in your chihuahua’s diet are carrots, squash, broccoli, green beans, and most green, leafy vegetables.
You should note that for easy digestion, the vegetables have to be cooked.
The other 20% of Your Chihuahuas Diet
As you can see, meat and vegetables should make up the majority of your chihuahua’s diet.
You should reserve the last 20% for foods that have a lot of carbohydrates in them.
Things such as pasta would be a good food to feed your chihuahua. You can also add some grains such as millet or gluten free-quinoa.
Making Food for Your Chihuahua
Humans sometimes do get tired of the food we tend to get at a local fast food place, and tend to find that a home-cooked meal can be just as good.
There are many benefits to food that you make in your own kitchen since the meal would probably be way healthier than something processed.
It’s the same for chihuahuas. Homemade meals can be a better alternative to something store-bought.
The fact that chihuahuas are somewhat delicate animals can also make home cooking more favorable.
However, it is very important that you cook your chihuahua the right foods that provide them with nutrients to maintain healthy lives.
Here are some key things to remember when preparing a meal for your chihuahua:
- Make sure your cleanliness is optimal while cooking for your chihuahua, for example, washing all the kitchen appliances you use beforehand, using separate cutting boards.
- Veterinarians recommend that you feed your chihuahua a low-fat diet with a lot of protein so it is important to avoid meats with high-fat counts and go after lean meats
- Spend time to ensure that you cook any meats for your chihuahua thoroughly to avoid food-borne diseases like salmonella and others affiliated with the consumption of raw meat
- If you want to minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, cook a lot of a food every few months and store them in some sort of single-serving packaging, that you will have ready-made meals for your chihuahua for a while
Feeding Your Chihuahua According to Age
Just like anything that grows, in its early days chihuahuas need more protein and other macro-nutrients than in its adult life.
There isn’t much of a significant difference but it is still important to remember. Male or female? … it doesn’t matter?
Typically, a chihuahua is considered a puppy up until it reaches one year old.
During this time is when the amount of calories your chihuahua eat is highest.
This is due to the high amount of energy chihuahuas display early on.
Over time, the energy level of your chihuahua reduces, this is usually in their adult years when they are in between 1-7 years old.
Another Story about Poopy
I’m happy to say that my neighbor’s dog Poopy never really lost his excitement throughout the years I knew him. He was always up for a little game of chase whenever he was with us.
However, that’s not to say we didn’t notice any change in his diet and his dietary options. I wondered what do chihuahuas eat?
Poopy was a hungry dog, let us not forget how he always tried to steal a lick from my sweat treats, but he did start eating less and less over the years. When we first moved, he was eating at least 5 times a day.
Once we moved 3 years later, Poopy would eat maybe 3 serious meals a day and still operated at the same energy level.
Poopy was still a very healthy dog, he was, like I said before, the picture of health. It is that with age, the energy level of a chihuahua becomes more consistent and energy bursts are pretty infrequent.
Towards the End – What Do Chihuahuas Eat?
I’m sad to say that at some point in your chihuahua’s life your chihuahua will become more prone to infections and diseases.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always just a food-borne illness but it could just be from growing old.
When your chihuahua reaches this point in their life, typically around 8 years old or older, their diet will undergo a few changes.
At most your chihuahua would eat 2 meals a day and be less than moderately active, so it is very vital that the foods they do eat will benefit their health greatly.
In Conclusion-What Do Chihuahuas Eat?
By now, I hope you understand the importance of maintaining an adequate diet for your chihuahua.
Remember it’s only you that can control what your chihuahua consumes and what he doesn’t. Hopefully, you answer the question – what do chihuahuas eat?
Of course, medical consultation is ideal if your chihuahua is having health problems, but chihuahuas aren’t usually picky eaters.
Focus all your energy on your chihuahua’s food into finding the food with the most nutritional value.
If you have any questions for me feel free to contact me through any of the socials below.
Remember my fellow chihuahuas’ owners, a healthy diet equals a healthy chihuahua.