When your short haired friend that is prone to shaking is in need of a diet change you only want to give them the best. Our Chihuahua pals are great at being quiet about their nutritional needs but really do have a variety of health concerns that diet can address.
These little guys do not share a lot in common with other small dogs and are a further cry from sharing very much with medium or large sized dogs.
They do not have problems maintaining a healthy weight usually and don’t have the facial features that can affect other breeds.
But, one thing that Chihuahuas do share is the need for high nutritional value and a diet catered to them. So we’ve done the digging and found five best dog foods for Chihuahuas that fit the needs of these small family friends.
- 1 Recommended Option Summary
- 2 Top 3 Best Food for Chihuahuas In-depth Reviews
- 2.1 #1 – IAMS Proactive Health for Toy and Small Breeds Adult Dry Dog Food
- 2.2 #2 – Royal Canin Breed – Chihuahua Adult Dog Food
- 2.3 #3 – Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free: Best Food for Chihuahua Puppy
- 3 Which brand is the winner?
Recommended Option Summary
Through a variety of research, some practical application and a lot of feedback we can say that there isn’t one brand that caters to only Chihuahua’s that’s worth it.
You may see other breed-specific formulas on the shelves or in your recommended items on online store but, not many options just for Chihuahuas. This is fine because unlike many other breeds they don’t have very many commonly occurring health problems.
You do not see a ton of Chihuahuas with hip dysplasia and if they didn’t come from a puppy mill odds are they aren’t prone to seizures either. They are a very hearty breed!
So, what is the best out there for these guys?
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Grain Free Chicken Dry Dog Food;
- Royal Canin Breed – Chihuahua Adult Dog Food;
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food;
- Orijen Adult Dog Food;
- IAMS Proactive Health for Toy and Small Breeds Adult Dry Dog Food
Blue Wilderness Adult Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Is there a time when discussing dog food that Blue Wilderness does not come up? This brand is becoming well-known for using only high-quality ingredients, and nutrient dense proteins.
Here are our highlights on what Blue Buffalo has to offer in their grain free adult formula:
- 6 flavor variations;
- “Healthy Weight” option;
- No grains at all, only meat vegetables and fruit;
- All protein is from real meat, not byproducts;
- There really is no downside here
Although there are a lot of benefits that could be had here, nothing stands out as amazing. All of these are what is expected from any bag of Blue Wilderness.
The only breed-specific brand on this list and for a reason. When we said earlier that breed-specific formulas really are not worth it for Chihuahua’s we didn’t mean Royal Canin.
- Formula made to satisfy an ongoing appetite;
- High in fiber and carbs for digestive health;
- Lots of Omega 3 and 6 for a healthy coat.
This seems like a short list but what is on it is pretty meaningful. The few issues that Chihuahuas face are usually surrounding their appetite and digestive system.
Royal Canin is known for using science to break down an understanding of why these issues exist and working on lifelong solutions.
Wellness is another brand that is always associated with high-quality. Although this particular formula is for any adult breed it provides a lot of value to your Chihuahua’s overall health.
- 7 varieties including a puppy as well as a small breed option;
- Completely grain-free;
- Protein from high-quality meat, no by-products here;
- No Fillers
Orijen is really up and coming. It offers food that is based on regionally sourced ingredients. While there really is no one-size-fits-all option for dog foods Orijen certainly tries.
- Multiple varieties;
- Meat is always the first two ingredients;
- The obvious downside to this product is the price.
After looking around further the price doesn’t seem to get any better for Orijen and you can probably find it easiest on Amazon. I wouldn’t bet on being able to find this one in your local pet shop.
IAMS Proactive Health for Toy and Small Breeds Adult Dry Dog Food
This is one of those brands usually you see and think; well that’s what any standard dog owner goes for. Some may even think that IAMS is of lesser quality and should be avoided. Let us gladly say that we were also proven wrong!
- Small and Toy breed-specific;
- The first ingredient is real chicken – no byproduct;
- Lots of fiber;
- Probiotics to aid with long-term digestive health;
- No Fillers
Imagine IAMS has almost all of the same highlights as any of the other, much pricier brands listed here! We couldn’t find any downfall with this product.
Top 3 Best Food for Chihuahuas In-depth Reviews
#1 – IAMS Proactive Health for Toy and Small Breeds Adult Dry Dog Food
IAMS has really increased their quality and is becoming a serious contender when compared to the higher shelf dog food brands. It stands on its own here because of the lack of Fillers, digestive aid, and real meat.
These ingredients along with its price make it a great value and the first choice for any Chihuahua owner on a budget. Even a first choice for those who are not!
Everything You Want, and Nothing You Do Not
When you are thinking about what to give your little shaking Chihuahua friend most people go immediately for real meat, and then on to eliminating grains.
However, grains aren’t the enemy here. In fact, if your Chihuahua does not suffer from a grain allergy some grains can be beneficial. Now the real enemy is soy, wheat and corn Fillers.
Often we see Fillers really high up on the ingredients list of most common dog foods. This not only allows them to stay cheap but often masks the fact that their meat is minimal. But IAMS just isn’t working that way anymore.
This formula has:
- High fiber;
- Extra Omega-6 fatty acids;
- Natural probiotics;
- Real Meat
This is everything a good pet owner looks at for in a generalized dog good.
What doesn’t this formula have?
- Corn Fillers;
This means your pet isn’t getting a ton of unnecessary chemicals in each serving.
Coat Maintenance for the Short Haired
One of the benefits of extra Omega-6 fatty acids is the natural side effect of a softer and shinier coat. Short hair dogs can struggle with over shedding, and their coat losing its luster. The solution for that is usually diet.
By adding extra Omega-6, you will probably see an increase in coat quality over time. If not, your dog could be stressed, biting or have skin issues! That may be a reason for a quick trip to the vet.
Again we really could not find anything wrong with this IAMS formula. It misses out on some opportunities to better serve the Chihuahua breed.
But, for all extents of a good generic dog food for small breeds, it is an excellent choice.
#2 – Royal Canin Breed – Chihuahua Adult Dog Food
Royal Canin continues its breed-specific line by identifying key issues that in this case, Chihuahuas, experience and tackling those issues first.
One of the primary issues that Chihuahua owners see time and time again is digestion.
What is worse for both the pet and owner is that these issues begin exactly where digestion begins… with appetite.
Working as an appetite stimulant this can be helpful for Chihuahuas that have had a lifelong struggle of putting on weight. This would have been great to have around when our own Chihuahua just had no interest in anything that was not people food!
Someone slips one time and then they’re hooked. But, this works to build a healthy appetite. All the while the ingredients and formula are healthy enough to not put your dog at risk of too much gain. What you should see is increased energy.
More food intake means more energy, which means they are hungry again. The cycle continues on.
After stimulating your dog’s appetite this formula keeps working where other’s stop. It offers high quality, meat and filler free ingredients to support easy digestion. This particular formula also claims to minimize or at least lessen the fecal smell.
We cannot speak to this part because we’re not willing to get that close. We’ll take Royal Canin’s word for it. They use a combination of simple carbohydrates and high fiber to help with digestion.
Now do be aware, transitioning from another brand to this one could cause digestive issues in the beginning. Pet owners should know there is this same risk whenever you change your pet’s food. Dogs are best introduced to a new diet slowly by mixing it with their old food first.
Kibble Shaped for Chihuahuas
Here is what really makes this brand special. The kibble is specially designed for the jaw strength, and size of a Chihuahua. Where other adult dog foods fail is usually in dental needs of this small toothed breed.
They are bite size and soft, but dense enough to promote chewing. We’re pretty sure that everyone has heard their dog inhale a whole bowl of food in less than a minute. We would like for them to take the time to chew first.
#3 – Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free: Best Food for Chihuahua Puppy
Wellness is neck to neck in price with Royal Canin and offers a lot of similar benefits. However not being tailored to a specific breed it has some key differences.
All the Variety You Could Ever Ask For
Unlike breed-specific formulas, generalized formulas often offer a variety of slightly customized options. Wellness offers options for whitefish, herring, turkey, chicken, duck, boar and rabbit. But, besides the flavors, they also have varieties tailored for puppies, small breed and low fat.
There literally is not much more you could ask for. Often owner searching for this type of variety have a pet with an allergy. If your Chihuahua has an allergy this might be your best choice.
Quality Ingredients with Long-term Effects
Wellness keeps its focus on its namesake. Nutrition is clearly one of the top priorities here and they start with all natural food made right here in the USA.
When you are asking what the best dog food for Chihuahua’s is Wellness definitely deserves a spot in the top three based on ingredients alone!
With no corn, no soy and no wheat it starts to sound great, but when you add no artificial flavors or preservatives, it becomes amazing. Diets like this are usually associated with happy healthy dogs.
Which brand is the winner?
The winner here is clearly Wellness. With the best value for what it offers and it having so many options for a breed that is prone to allergies there couldn’t be a better choice.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food is about so much more than just eliminating the unnecessary. By promoting quality ingredients they are building a following that will allow them to rival against breed-specific formulas. Just as it did here.
Wellness can claim what many breed-specific formulas can’t. Such as having 80% more meat than most other available dog foods, and high-quality carbs for great, long-lasting energy.
The one thing to watch out for if you make the switch to Wellness CORE is an increase in appetite. Your Chihuahua may be asking for more, and more often! This just means that their body is processing all that nutrient dense food and it is properly aiding in digestion.
Next time, you are wondering what the best dog food for Chihuahua’s is kept in mind you aren’t limited to breed-specific formulas. Don’t pass up a great formula just because it says “small dog”.