Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas

best dog food for chihuahuas

Best dog food for Chihuahuas contains tailored nutrition based on your pet’s age, overall health, and weight.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach here.

Puppy Chihuahuas need plenty of protein and healthy calories for all-day-long energy. They also need calcium and phosphorus for their growing bones and developing teeth.

Older Chihuahuas might not need all that calcium but they definitely need a lot of protein to maintain lean muscle mass but with fewer calories to prevent excess weight gain.

Puppies also need DHA for brain development while adult Chis need fiber to produce healthier poops.

In short: puppy and adult Chis require different dog foods during different life stages.

To simplify matters for you, we are shortlisting 7 high-quality Chihuahua foods which will meet these different requirements based on your pet’s age.

We have included both wet and dry puppy and adult foods as well.

Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 7 reviewed products for the best dog food for Chihuahuas:

  1. Our Editor’s Pick: Royal Canin Chihuahua
  2. Best Dry Food for Adult Chihuahua: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Dry Dog Food
  3. Best Wet Food for Adult Chihuahua: Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Small Breed Wet Dog Food 
  4. Best Budget Food For Chihuahua: Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Lamb Dry Dog Food
  5. Best Dry Food for Chihuahua Puppy: Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food
  6. Best Wet Food for Chihuahua Puppy: CESAR CLASSICS Gourmet Wet Dog Food
  7. Best Dog food for Shedding Chihuahua: Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas – 2022 Top 7 Picks

best dog food for Chihuahuas

Royal Canin tailored nutrition for the small breed Chihuahua consists of high-quality, easy-to-digest protein in the form of chicken, oats, and brown rice.

Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food, 10 Pounds. Bag

It is also packed with fiber for enhancing your pet’s digestion and reducing stool odor.

While this food is for Chihuahuas 8 months and older, the brand also makes food for older Chihuahuas aged 8 years+.  They also have food for Chihuahua puppies.

Chis and their humans love this great food for the following reasons:

Firstly, this kibble is easy to pick up for their small jaws and has a highly palatable texture with aromatic flavor that even picky Chis find hard to resist.

Secondly, its high omega fatty acid content nourishes and softens coat and skin to keep it beautiful

Thirdly, it is suitable for all types of Chis: deer-head, apple-head, fawn, etc.

Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food, 10 Pounds. Bag

What we like about it

  • Highly digestible protein, optimal fiber content
  • Packed with omegas for healthy and beautiful coat
  • Great kibble size, flavor, texture – perfect for picky Chis

What we don’t like

  • Caused weight gain in some pets
Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food, 10 lb bag
  • FORMULATED FOR PUREBRED CHIHUAHUAS: Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Chihuahuas 8 months and older
  • SPECIALIZED KIBBLE: Unique kibble shape helps Chihuahuas easily pick up and chew their food
  • OPTIMAL STOOL: Helps reduce stool odor with highly digestible proteins and precise fiber content for little dogs
  • COAT HEALTH: Omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin support skin and coat health
  • HIGHLY PALATABLE: Exceptional aromas and flavors satisfy picky eaters
best dog food for Chihuahuas

Thanks to higher levels of protein and complex carbohydrates, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food for Small Breed is perfect for your energetic Chi.

Vets recommend this high-quality, all-natural food to pet parents for the following three reasons:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food , Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs , Chicken and Brown Rice , 15 lb. Bag

Firstly, the kibble size is small and easy to pick up therefore ideal for small dog breeds like Chis for they have small jaws.

Secondly, this all-natural dog food is great for dogs with sensitive stomach because it is packed with flavorful nutrition. In addition, it is made without unnecessary presence of colors, preservatives, fillers, chicken-byproducts, and other unnecessary junk. This makes it great for sensitive dogs.

Thirdly, your pet will benefit tremendously from its immunity enhancing LifeSource® bits that contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

With so many great reasons, Blue Buffalo is indeed a great choice for your beloved Chi.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food , Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs , Chicken and Brown Rice , 15 lb. Bag

What we like about it

  • Specially formulated with high-protein and healthy carbs for energetic dogs
  • Natural – without unwanted or filler ingredients
  • Supports joint health and mobility of older pets
  • Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

What we don’t like

  • Caused gas in some sensitive dogs.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles; Plus they contain wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
  • SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for small breed dogs, BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed dry dog food contains increased levels of protein and carbohydrates to meet the energy needs of smaller dogs with kibble size ideal for smaller jaws, Formulated with a precise blend of proteins and carbohydrates, this recipe helps support the higher energy needs of smaller dogs.
  • ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs and a healthy oxidative balance
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dog foods are made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals; BLUE contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains one (1) 15 lb. Bag of BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice
best dog food for Chihuahuas

Merrick Lil’ Plates grain-free dog food is ideal for your small pet with sensitive digestion because it is grain and gluten free and contains real protein like turkey or chicken as its first ingredient.

Moreover, it is ideal for picky eaters, which most Chis are.

Merrick Lil Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food Variety Pack - (12) 3.5 Oz. Tubs

Its texture is savory chunks in gravy which picky pets love to lick and eat. Furthermore, it is available in many different flavors, so there is something for every taste.

Each variety is also packed with probiotics for optimal digestion, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, and omega 3 and 6 to help maintain your furbaby’s coat.

In other words, Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-free canned food delivers big on high-quality nutrition for your small pet.

 What we like about it

  • High-quality, real nutrition
  • Great taste and flavor for picky Chis
  • Omegas for healthy coat
  • Optimal digestion

What we don’t like

  • Inconsistent gravy – too runny or too dry at times.
  • Price changes.
Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Small Breed Wet Dog Food (Case of 12)
  • Twelve (12) 3.5 oz Tubs - Merrick Lil' Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food Variety Pack, Small Breed Dog Food Recipes
  • Merrick Lil' Plates Mini Medley Wet Dog Food Variety Pack, Small Breed Dog Food Recipes
  • This small breed dog food wet variety pack includes 12 easy-to-open, single-serve trays in three popular varieties: Petite Pot Pie, Itsy Bitsy Beef Stew and Tiny Thanksgiving Day Dinner
  • Real deboned beef, chicken or turkey is the first ingredient in this small breed dog food ideal for adult dogs, to provide a high protein dog food for healthy muscles and energy levels
  • These grain free wet dog food recipes are made with no gluten ingredients, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives to provide a natural dog food your small breed dog will love
best dog food for Chihuahuas

Purina ONE is nutrient dense and protein packed dry dog food tailored for your small dog’s complete nutrition.

This is a smart-blend style of kibble which means that your pet will get an interesting combination of textures: meaty and tender morsels alongside crunchy, small-sized kibble that is ideal for small jaws.

Purina ONE Natural Small Breed Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula - 3.8 lb. Bag

You can actually see the rice triangles alongside meaty lamb chunks!

Purina ONE SmartBlend small breed dog food is tailored to meet your pet’s high-metabolism requirements and to meet its life-expectancy needs.

In addition, there are no fillers, preservatives, or colors in this high-quality, budget food. It is no wonder that vets recommend this food for small dog breeds all the time!

Purina ONE Natural Small Breed Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula - 3.8 lb. Bag

What we like about it

  • Vet-recommended food tailored for small dog breeds’ high energy needs
  • Inexpensive
  • Contains omegas for healthy skin and coat
  • Has glucosamine for joint health
  • Interesting taste and texture – meaty + tender and crunchy as well

What we don’t like

  • Some sensitive dogs developed diarrhea on this food.
Purina ONE Natural Small Breed Dry Dog Food, +Plus Lamb & Rice Formula - 3.8 lb. Bag
  • One (1) 3.8 lb. Bag - Purina ONE Natural Small Breed Dry Dog Food, +Plus Lamb & Rice Formula
  • Small dog dry food made with real lamb as the first ingredient to help support strong muscles, including a healthy heart
  • A SmartBlend of high-quality ingredients in this easily digestible lamb dog food formula supports small dog health and energy throughout a typically longer life expectancy
  • Purina small breed dog food includes four antioxidant sources for a strong immune system and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals for a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Deliciously crunchy bites and tender meaty morsels deliver great taste in a lamb dry dog food recipe made with no poultry by-product meal and no artificial flavors or preservatives
best dog food for Chihuahuas

Purina Pro Plan dry dog food contains chicken as its first ingredient and is especially formulated for energetic toy and mini dog breed puppies.

Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Toy Breed Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Rice Formula - 5 lb. Bag

We love the fact that this food is fortified with probiotics which are much-needed for enhancing the digestive health of sensitive tummies.

Moreover, they strengthen your growing puppy’s immune system to help it fight diseases and infections. In the same vein, Purina Pro Plan’s antioxidant-rich nutrients boost your Chi’s immunity further.

This food’s calcium and phosphorus content are great for your young pet’s developing bones and teeth.

Similarly, its high-protein content supports development of lean muscles.

Also, there is fish oil in this great food to nourish your Chi’s skin and provide it with soft and luxurious coat. It also supports the heart, vision, and healthy weight in your young Chihuahua.

Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Toy Breed Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Rice Formula - 5 lb. Bag

What we like about it

  • Contains all the nutritional building blocks for your young Chihuahua
  • Packed with DHA, omega, calcium, protein, phosphorus
  • Antioxidants and probiotics boost immunity

What we don’t like

  • Formula changes and inconsistent kibble size.
Purina Pro Plan High Protein Toy Breed Puppy Food DHA Chicken & Rice Formula - 5 lb. Bag
  • One (1) 5 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Protein Toy Breed Puppy Food DHA Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Formulated high in protein to meet the needs of highly active toy breed dogs
  • High protein formula, with real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health
  • Used to be known as FOCUS Chicken and Rice Formula
best dog food for Chihuahuas

Puppy Chihuahuas need plenty of protein which CESAR Classics provides through chicken as its number one ingredient. In addition, this top-rated canned puppy food is completely balanced for growing puppies.

It also contain vitamins and minerals that young pets need for developing bones and teeth.

CESAR Puppy Soft Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe, (24) 3.5 oz. Easy Peel Trays

You will love the fact that there are no grains in this food which makes it ideal for sensitive Chis.

Most importantly, it is made in the USA with high-quality ingredients so you know your pet gets nothing but the best.

You can use this food as is or mix it with your picky pet’s favorite kibble for interesting texture.

CESAR Puppy Soft Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe, (24) 3.5 oz. Easy Peel Trays

What we like about it

  • High protein
  • Balanced nutrition with vitamins and minerals for small breed pups like Chis
  • Convenient packing, peel-away-foil for preserving freshness

What we don’t like

  • Gravy tends to dry out sometimes.
CESAR Puppy Soft Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe, 3.5 Ounce (Pack of 24) Easy Peel Trays
  • Contains twenty-four (24) 3.5 oz. trays of CESAR Puppy Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in Sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe
  • Crafted without grains and with US Chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • CESAR Wet Dog Food is complete and balanced and fortified with vitamins and minerals to help dogs of all sizes, especially small breeds, stay healthy
  • Made in the USA with the world's finest ingredients, CESAR makes a great meal on its own or as a dog food topper mixed with dry food
  • This gourmet soft dog food is served in convenient trays with easy, peel-away freshness seals
best dog food for Chihuahuas

Hill’s has added Vitamin E and Omegas to promote luxurious coats in Chihuahuas and other toy and mini breeds. These nutrients prevent unseasonal shedding in long and short-coated Chihuahuas.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe

Gentle ingredients like chicken, Brewer’s rice, sorghum, etc. are packed with nourishment, proteins, and healthy carbs while also being gentle on your pet’s sensitive tummy.

Moreover, this highly digestible food contains prebiotic fiber that fuels your pet’s gut microbiome and intestinal bacteria to further enhance its digestive system.

You will find that stool pickup is a lot easier once you switch your pet to this food.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe

What we like about it

  • Packed with omegas and Vitamin E for softer, smoother, and luxurious coat
  • First ingredient is protein
  • Contains plenty of antioxidants
  • Gentle on sensitive stomach
  • Great flavor and scent

What we don’t like

  • Large kibble pieces.
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe, 4 lb. Bag
  • This dry dog food uses prebiotic fiber to feed your small dog's microbiome for optimal digestive health
  • Vitamin E, omega 6 fatty acids and other nutrients in smaller kibble help nourish skin & promote a lustrous coat
  • Dog food formulated with little dogs in mind to provide an optimal balance of nutrients specifically for miniature and toy breed dogs. Calorie content: 3734 kcal/kg (392 kcal/cup)
  • Precise balance and highly digestible ingredients for sensitive stomachs and for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Made with natural ingredients

Important Nutritional Needs of a Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a beautiful small breed dog – highly active and energetic.

Whether you have a puppy or an adult Chihuahua, it is important to meet their dietary requirements through the best dog food for Chihuahuas to keep them in optimal health.

Chihuahua Puppies:

Chi puppies need a high-quality dog food that provides them with plenty of protein for optimal growth and development.

They also need calcium and phosphorus for their developing bones and teeth.

Furthermore, they need balanced omega fatty acids (both omega 3 and 6) for maintaining their coat and nourishing their skin. Omega fatty acids are also important for healthy vision.

Young Chis also need DHA for their brain development and cognition.

Above all, your growing pet needs a very high quality dog food.

It should contain premium ingredients without fillers, preservatives, or colors.

This is due to the fact that many Chihuahuas have very sensitive tummies and some cannot withstand grains, gluten, and even certain proteins.

Chihuahua Adults

Adult Chihuahuas need easy-to-digest protein-rich foods.

Obesity is a major issue in this breed and it can worsen if your pet does not get adequate exercise.

That is why, the best dog food for Chihuahuas should be low calorie, fiber-rich, and protein rich. This can help enhance your pet’s satiety so it needs fewer meals while maintaining its lean muscle mass.

The food should provide your pet with probiotics and prebiotics to enhance its immunity and also to improve digestive function.

To maintain its coat health, it needs Omegas and antioxidants.

To summarize, your adult Chi needs food packed with balanced nourishment in the form of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and Omegas.

How To Choose The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas Have?

Whether you are feeding a young Chi or a senior pet, there are a number of characteristics to look for in the best dog food for Chihuahuas:

1. Protein should be the first ingredient

Your chihuahua is a carnivore and it depends on you to feed it high-quality meat.

Chis need easy-to-digest proteins like chicken, turkey, salmon, etc. for maintaining lean muscle mass.

Both puppy and adult Chihuahuas need balanced nutrition according to their age, weight, and overall health profile.

In short, you must see a ‘real meat’ as the first ingredient on the label of the food you choose.

2. Should contain balanced nutrition

 Apart from protein, your pet needs omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids to prevent unseasonal shedding and maintain that luxurious coat.

The food should be packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to enhance your pet’s immunity to diseases.

Furthermore, it should contain fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics, for healthy digestion, and firm and odor-free poop.

3. Should be free from fillers and byproducts

Learn to avoid foods containing meat meals, poultry meals, corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, additives, and colorants.

These do not provide any real nourishment to your pet and could even lead to allergies and food intolerance in sensitive Chis.

4.  Should have small kibble size

If you choose to feed dry food, select one that makes kibble tailored for small breeds with small jaws.

The kibble should be easy to pick and chew for your Chi.

Older Chis with missing or broken teeth can also benefit from softer, small kibble or you can consider wet or canned food for them.

5.  Should account for picky tastes and flavor preferences

Many Chihuahuas are very fussy eaters.

They have strict preferences in the texture, flavor, and aroma of their food.

You might have to try out different foods until you find something that your pet loves.

6. Should be made in a country that has high safety standards

Look for food made in Europe, New Zealand, or USA.

These countries have very high-quality testing standards and ensure that the kitchens that manufacture dog foods meet those safety standards.

All the foods above are made in the USA.

How Much Food to Feed a Chihuahua Each Day?

Chis generally weight between 1.5 to 3 kg or 3 to 6 pounds.

They are a breed that does not eat as much as their larger counterparts.

You won’t find too many Chihuahuas that eat more than 2 cups of food per day unless they are larger than the average size for the breed.

How Much Should I Feed my Chihuahua Puppy a Day?

Puppies up to 4 months of age or about 2 lb. weight need 4-5 small meals to maintain their energy levels throughout the day.

The amount of food your growing Chi needs will depend upon its individual calorie needs.

These calorie needs can vary based on the amount of activity or exercise your pet gets, its height and weight and overall health, as well as the season. Puppies tend to demand more food in winters.

As a general rule of thumb: your growing Chi needs 50 calories per pound of body weight. For example, a puppy weighing about 2lb will need 100 calories per meal.

How Much Should I Feed my Chihuahua Adult a Day?

Adults above 4 months and up to 6 lb. need slightly fewer calories compared to puppies.

In general, you can look to feed 35-40 calories per pound of its body weight.

How Often Should You Feed Your Chihuahua?

Feed your younger Chi 4-5 small meals a day with 1-2 treats and your older or adult Chi 2-3 meals a day with 1 treat per day.

These quantities can be varied based on the season, your pet’s age, activity levels, kinds of food you feed, and your pet’s overall health. Also check with your vet about the exact feeding schedule and quantity.

Checklist for Feeding Your Puppy/Adult Chihuahua

In addition to using the general guidelines above, you must also factor in the following when feeding your Chi:

1. Wet/dry food

How much to feed your Chihuahua (puppy or adult) and how often also depends upon the kind of food you feed.

Canned or wet food is higher in protein and can be more satiating than kibble.

So, you might find your dog demanding fewer meals on wet food.

2. Nutrition-rich food

The quality of food also matters.

High quality food – both wet and dry – is richer in nutrition than mediocre or poor quality foods. If your pet is getting all the nourishment it needs, it won’t be hungry too often.

3. Free feeding

You can also opt for free feeding.

This involves leaving out kibble in an easy-to-access area free from bugs, dust, moisture etc. That way, your pet can help itself whenever it gets hungry.

The problem with free feeding is that it can lead to obesity which Chis are especially susceptible to. Speak to your vet whether free feeding is right for your little buddy.

4. Feeding when you are not at home

In case you are not at home during the middle of the day, you can use a pet food dispenser to dispense your pet’s meals at scheduled times.

Automatic food feeders are especially beneficial for feeding puppies that require more number of feeds.

They are also beneficial for feeding canned or wet food as they come with ice packs that keep gravy-based food fresh longer.

Cepheus Automatic Cat Feeder, Auto Dog Food Dispenser with Stainless Steel Food Bowl,1-4 Meals per Day Voice Recorder & Portion Control for Small/Medium Pets

5. Between meal treats

You can also feed your Chi some nutritious treats in between meals.

Treats provide your pets with the energy they need for their rapid metabolism and also keep them occupied and satiated between meals.

Check out our guide on the Best Treats for Chihuahua.


The best dog food for Chihuahuas is rich in easy-to-digest protein and also tailored to meet your puppy or adult Chi’s nutritional needs.

On the whole, it should contain balanced nutrition in the form of proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omegas, fiber, probiotics, and other nutrients.

We recommend the Royal Canin Chihuahua which comes in different categories like Chihuahua puppy food and food for 8+ year old Chi as well.

Don’t forget to check out our other recommendations as well.

Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food, 10 Pounds. Bag

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