It takes a special sort of person to raise a healthy, well-adjusted Chihuahua.
Despite their small size these feisty characters have an independent streak a mile wide and it’s all too easy for the dog to take control.
In addition, they can be fussy eaters which mean they defy your efforts to feed a balanced diet.
Caring for a Chihuahua means looking after both their mental and physical health.
It’s important to socialize your Chihuahua puppy from the start and treat them like a dog rather than a cuddly toy.
In addition you need to feed a good high quality food that is tasty enough to appeal to picky appetites and small enough for tiny teeth to chew.
Quick look: Top 6 Best Foods for Chihuahua Puppies in 2018
What is the best food for a Chihuahua puppy?
First, you have the choice of feeding a dry kibble or a wet food.
Both have options pros and cons for the puppy and for your wallet.
Next, you need to choose a food with a named meat high on the ingredients list.
This is a reassuring sign that the food includes good quality protein and carbohydrate rather than cheap filler such as grains or soy.
And finally, when choosing the best food for Chihuahua puppy, a make-or-break factor is palatability.
The tastiness of the food matters because Chihuahuas, along with other toy dogs, have a reputation for being fussy eaters.
So when you bring that darling puppy home, start a sensible feeding regime from the start, and they will grow into an adult that clears their plate.
Key to this is not allowing the strong-minded Chihuahua to use food as a bargaining chip.
By this, we mean that if the puppy doesn’t eat and you make a big fuss, you reward them for not eating.
This sets a train of thought moving, which goes along the lines of ...if I don't eat Mom gives me lots of attention...
From the puppy’s point of view, better still is after a while an even tastier food appears on the menu.
Thus the reward for not eating goes up.
See where we’re coming from?
The best thing is to set meal times, put the food down for ten minutes and leave the room.
When you return, remove the bowl and throw uneaten food away.
Then don’t offer anything else until the next mealtime.
Bingo! The dog knows he must eat food when it’s offered or go hungry until the next meal.
Watch him woof that food down!
So, now we have meal times sorted, let’s look at what to feed.
Nutro describes itself as a holistic wet puppy food, using only the finest natural ingredients to provide for your growing puppy’s needs.
The main ingredients are chicken broth, chicken meat, and chicken liver.
These are good sources of protein and much healthier than chicken meal which is processed chicken from any part of the bird.
The carbohydrate in Nutro puppy comes from a range of starchy foods including potato, wheat, rice, and oats.
All of these are natural and good for a dog, although to some people the inclusion of wheat is controversial.
Some people argue wheat has no place in pet food as it isn’t something a dog would eat a lot of in the wild.
The opposite argument is that there’s nothing harmful in wheat and indeed, and our pet dogs are descended from animals that have been domesticated around the hearth for tens of thousands of years.
This means they’ve been fed scraps for human food for equally as long and their digestive systems are able to cope.
However you feel about wheat, this is a best puppy food for Chihuahua because it’s moist (and therefore easy to eat), made from natural ingredients, and great quality.
We consistently found it was accepted well by even the fussiest eater, with the bonus that even the sensitive stomachs were happy with this diet.
Nutro puppy is designed to be fed for the dog’s first 12 months of life, after which you should take a few days to slowly transition the youngster onto an appropriate adult food.
Hills are a pet food company with a long and respected history.
They started out in 1951 when a veterinarian, Dr Morris, was researching the best diet to support a friend’s guide dog that had failing kidneys.
Since then Hill’s have remained a market leader developing foods designed to maximize good health or extend the life of those with a health problem.
Thus Hill’s Science Plan is the best dog food brand for Chihuahua puppies for the pet parent who doesn’t want to leave good nutrition to chance.
Let’s say straight out that Hill’s has a 100% money back guarantee.
If your pup doesn’t like it or turns his nose up, then you can return the can for a full refund.
This makes this a no risk option when it comes to feeding your Chihuahua pup!
This chicken and barely wet food is balanced to provide optimum nutrition for puppies of toy breeds.
To this end it has the pooled knowledge of Hill’s team of over 200 nutrition specialists and vet behind the recipe.
In addition, it uses only the highest quality ingredients, in order to ensure consistency of quality across each batch.
There is no doubt Hill’s food is excellent, but the purists do raise an eyebrow over one or two of the ingredients.
As already mentioned, grain is out of fashion in dog food and this diet does contain corn, and also soy products.
These are nutritious but with many dogs increasingly recognized as having gluten allergies or sensitivity to soy, this can count as a slight black mark against it.
However we found pet parents were consistently impressed by how well this diet suited little dogs, even those with sensitive tummies.
So this may be a case of trying the diet and if it doesn’t suit, send it back for a full refund.
Dry kibble diets tend to be more economic to feed than canned food and easier to store.
In addition kibble lends itself to being used as training treats over the course of the day (Simply set some of the dog’s daily allowance aside in a separate container to avoid overfeeding.)
Purina is another of the ‘big boy’ manufacturers that uses science to tailor diets to the individual needs of different breeds and life stages.
Indeed, this is a best brand of food for Chihuahua puppy because it is balanced with the nutrition of small, fussy eaters in mind.
It has a good calcium phosphate ratio to nourish growing bones, and is rich in antioxidants (to strength the all-important immune system) and omega oils for healthy skin and muscle, plus the development of the nervous system.
What we found was that it had a universal ‘yum’ appeal to even the fussiest of eaters.
Owners who had thrown up their hands in despair at finding a diet their toy dog liked, when they discovered Purina ProPlan felt like it was an answer to prayer.
In addition, the small kibble size is ideal for a small bite mouth, where normal kibble would seem like chewing on boulders.
And what clinches the deal is the competitive price, which makes it an affordable option for most pet parents.
Looking at the pedigree of the Solid Gold, they were the first American pet food manufacturer to make holistic food, and were established over 40 years ago.
Indeed, you could say Solid Gold led a basic shift away from highly processed foods to those with recognizable ingredients.
Solid Gold use natural ‘super foods’ to produce a nourishing food aimed at giving a dog everything they need for a glossy coat and active mind.
With a named meat as first ingredient (always essential in a dog food) the rest of the ingredient list is enough to make your mouth water.
It includes such goodies as chickpeas, blueberries, carrots, pumpkin, dried kelp, and thyme.
These are some of nature’s super foods with superior antioxidant properties without the addition of chemicals.
We found that even the fussiest of eats rushed to the food bowl when they heard the bag rustling.
That has to be good!
The limited number of named protein sources in this food (i.e., chicken and fish, rather than which meat happened to be cheap at market that day) means this is a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
The recipe remains constant, therefore if it suits your dog now, then the next bag, and the bag after that should also be tasty.
Our next best food for Chihuahua puppy is Taste of the Wild’s grain-free puppy food.
This is a top end food with a top end price tag attached.
However, the good news is that since a Chihuahua has a small appetite, the initial financial outlay for a bag will be spread over a long time.
As the name “Taste of the Wild” suggests, this food aims to be as natural as possible, and does not contain artificial flavoring, colors, or preservatives.
The food is formulated using named meats (which keeps the recipe consistent) as the main ingredients, in this case it is buffalo and lamb.
Of course you puppy also needs carbohydrates for energy, but instead of being supplied by wheat, this gluten-free recipe uses sweet potato and potato.
OK, we’re opening a point for debate here.
The argument against wheat is that dogs wouldn’t eat it in the wild, but couldn’t the same be said of sweet potatoes?
It is a great tasting puppy food packed with natural antioxidants and balanced for growth.
Our main quibble is the kibble size.
For a small Chihuahua mouth, even though the kibble is reduced in size compared to regular, some of the more delicate eaters may struggle to chew.
That said, one option is to wet the food with a little warm water or salt-free gravy, to soften it and make it easier to cope with.
When you like the idea of a natural food but are on a budget, then Wellness Complete Health puppy food is a good solution.
With a similar outlook on nutrition as Taste of the Wild, this food uses slightly less exotic ingredients which make the price more competitive when compared to other premium products.
What we especially liked about Wellness is that the puppy food is chicken and sweet potato, both of which are nutritious and considered by many as low allergen.
This makes for a lesser chance of upset tummies because of food allergy.
You can also rely on it to be tasty and gobbled up by even the fussiest of pups, meaning clean bowls all round.
There is also an equally high quality adult food, which comes in a range of flavors, so you can keep the pup on a quality food they like for life.
Feeding your Chihuahua puppy a healthy diet isn’t hard with these recommendations.
Wet food is extra tasty and super-easy to chew, but it tends to cost more and is more bulky to store.
In addition, what comes out of the other end of the pup tends to be bigger and bulkier on wet food.
Modern dry foods are excellent, as long as you provide plentiful drinking water so the puppy can take in all the fluid they need.
For a picky eater, choosing a food with an ultra-small kibble size can help (such as the Purina or Solid Gold foods) or else moisten the kibble with salt-free gravy or warm water to make it easier to chew.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.