Chihuahuas are 5lbs of pent-up energy wrapped in an enormous personality, quick intelligence, and a cocky attitude. To say they might be sassy is an understatement.
But what do Chihuahuas eat to keep them in the best of health? Because of their size, they might not eat a lot of food, but what they eat must be top-quality.
Puppy Chihuahuas require 25-30% protein and adult Chihuahuas 25% protein (minimum requirements). Fat content for a puppy should be 7%-9% and 5%-6% for Adult Chihuahuas. Carbohydrates should be controlled and limited. Figures from The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
When fully grown protein will support lean muscle mass. As they get older, they need protein for growth and development. Fat will help to sustain their metabolism and keep their bodies in the best condition.
What do Chihuahuas Like to Eat?
There’s no point in trying to group together an entire breed of dogs and say they will eat, or they will not eat these foods. Chihuahuas are like every other breed in that they have unique personalities and tastes.
But they have a reputation for being picky eaters. Or what we should say is they are discerning eaters. Because these little dogs have a forceful personality and know what they want. Later in this article, we will talk about some specific food that’s good for a Chihuahua and also what is bad for them.
As humans, we are guilty of eating food that our bodies don’t need. We eat food that’s inherently bad for us. When we are a pet parent, the responsibility falls on us to feed our pets the best quality food we can. They can’t pop downstairs to the fridge for a midnight snack if the mood takes them. They can only eat what we provide.
The question should be, “what do they like that we feed them”? It might be their size, but Chihuahuas have certain frailty with food. If they don’t eat nutritious food, it shows.
When their diet doesn’t supply the nutrients they need, their health suffers. For example:
- They have no energy.
- They get fat.
- They become susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.
- They shed hair, but not normal shedding, but shedding in patches over their body.
Those conditions are bad enough, but an unhealthy diet can lead to serious life-threatening diseases:
What can Chihuahuas Eat?
Food that’s good for Chihuahuas will have certain characteristics.
Choose only foods manufactured in countries having strict quality controls. We know there can be food recalls, even when it’s manufactured by reputable manufacturers, but there is still less risk. A Chihuahua is a very tiny animal and if they eat something toxic, it’s going to have a much more aggressive effect on their system than say a 150 lb dog.
We mentioned protein should take center stage in their diet. This should be animal protein, fish, poultry, beef, pork, and lamb. Yes, they need a balanced diet, but dogs need more meat in their diet than anything else. This is a high quality human standard meat.
Try to buy food with extra fatty acids – Omega 3 and 6. They will help fight against various allergies.
Read the ingredient list on your store-bought pet food. Animal by-products and all that entails will be bad for your Chihuahua. Some less scrupulous manufacturers come up with some ingenious names to hide the rubbish food they are putting in your dog’s food. Don’t get caught out.
Beware of triggering food allergies in your dog. Some additives and even colorings are unnecessary, they are there to make the food look more palatable for your dog.
How Much Food Should an Adult Chihuahua Eat?
The first thing you need to know is his weight. It has a direct correlation to the amount of food he should eat. And how active he is. If he’s a bundle of energy, he will need more food than a more sedate Chihuahua.
By the time he’s nine months old, you should have started him on adult food.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s 35-40 calories per pound weight. They cannot eat a lot at one sitting, so split up the food to as many sittings as you think necessary (usually 3).
Can Chihuahuas Eat Bananas?
Can Chihuahuas eat bananas and do they? The answer is yes!
They are a highly nutritious fruit and contain potassium, vitamin B6 and C. Much more healthy than store-bought processed treats. Those contain high levels of salt and fat.
Keep in mind though, they are not part of his regular diet. We use them as a treat. And treats shouldn’t be over 10% of his daily calorie intake. So I know it doesn’t seem fair, but deduct treats from his daily calorie allowance. If only we could be as strict with ourselves!
They contain sugar, so if your dog has a weight issue or is diabetic, please consult your vet and take their advice. Bananas have a reasonable amount of fiber in them. Which is useful for dogs having problems with constipation.
We know you won’t do this, but we feel we have to mention it. Don’t feed your dog banana peel. He probably won’t want to eat it anyway, but just in case, they aren’t toxic, but they might block his gut.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Apples?
Apples contain many vitamins and minerals, so the answer is yes, Chihuahuas can eat them. They seem to like the crunchy texture. When feeding them to Chihuahuas cut them up into small chunks and don’t feed any seeds or the core of the apple.
As with all treats, don’t give them too much at once. They can cause diarrhea and even give your pooch a stomach ache.
You can also add some apple into baked treats or even dehydrate them for treats.
Don’t forget to wash them thoroughly before feeding them to your dog. You don’t want to feed them any lingering pesticides from the skin.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Grapes?
No! Don’t ever deliberately feed them to your Chihuahua. Not seedless, peeled, or dried as raisins. They are toxic and dangerous to any dog, not just a Chihuahua.
The exact reason they are toxic is unknown. It’s not understood if there are a safe number of grapes that can be eaten before the situation becomes dangerous. Even toxic reactions can differ in dogs. One thing is certain, the Chihuahua’s small size means the reaction will be greater in them.
Better be safe than sorry and keep them out of reach of your Chi.
If he snaffles a few, keep your eyes on him, and look for any warning signs:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomits within an hour of eating them
- Stomach ache
- Drinking and peeing a lot more than usual
- Or the opposite. He doesn’t go to the toilet at all
If you see any of these signs, take him to the vet for a check-up.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Oranges?
Not all Chihuahuas are going to enjoy the taste of oranges. Even though they are a sweet-tasting fruit, some oranges can be a little bitter tasting. But if they seem to like the taste, then give them some orange. Peel the orange and remove any seeds first.
Don’t overdo it, they have a sugar content and while they contain vitamins and minerals good for your pooch, too much sugar is both fattening and unhealthy. If your Chihuahua is already obese and diabetic, check with your vet before feeding oranges.
Don’t believe you need to feed your pooch oranges because of the vitamin C. Unlike humans, dogs can make vitamin C naturally. It won’t harm them because if they don’t require any extra it’s passed in their urine, not stored in the body.
Chihuahuas with liver disease may benefit from increased vitamin C, but that’s a call only vets should make.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Blueberries?
We classify blueberries as a “superfruit” for us humans. But what about our Chihuahuas?
The good news is they’re just as good for them. So give your Chihuahua some blueberries as a treat.
You can freeze them, but we advise against this with Chihuahuas. Blueberries are the right size for pooches to gulp them down without chewing, and when frozen they might be a choking hazard. This is of particular concern with the Chihuahua’s small size.
Here are some vitamins and minerals in blueberries:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
Phenolic compounds (quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and chlorogenic acid).
Fiber – 16% of the carbohydrate content in blueberries is fiber.
They are also good news for diabetic dogs because although they contain simple sugars, in the form of glucose and fructose, they are low on the GI (glycemic index). With a measured score of 53 meaning, they will not cause blood-sugar spikes.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Peaches?
Yes, you can give your Chihuahua peaches as a nice treat alternative. But, as with all fruits, there is always a but!
There are a few things to remember before you go ahead. Chihuahuas don’t need fruit. So if your pooch is one of those Chihuahuas that won’t go near a piece of fruit, it isn’t any concern.
They look at you with those eyes when you’re eating a piece of fruit, only to drop it and walk away in disgust when you share a piece. They don’t have a clue what you’re eating, and they’re only dreaming that it might be something they’re interested in.
They contain fiber and vitamin A. So good for them in small quantities. Wash them well (remove any pesticide residue) and don’t give them whole. The pit is harmful. It could choke a dog, or splinter if chewed, and inside the pit is amygdalin (sugar-cyanide compound).
Never feed your Chihuahua canned peaches. They have tremendous amounts of sugar and other not so nice ingredients for dogs.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Mango?
Yes, they can. Mangos contain vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Depending on your taste and your pooches, we can eat mangos from unripe until they are fully ripe.
They are more crunchy and chewy when a young fruit, and sweet and soft when ripe.
Peel them before you slice off a piece or two for your pooch. The skin doesn’t taste very good and it might put him off eating the fruit itself.
Running through the middle of every mango is a stone or pit, if you like, that gets harder as the fruit ripens. But, whatever the condition of the mango, don’t feed him any of the stone.
As with all fruit, when feeding it to your Chihuahua cut it into smaller pieces. It’s very important with Chihuahuas because of its size. Also, restrict the portions in size and quantity. Their little tummies cannot take as much as bigger dogs.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Carrots?
Carrots are a healthy treat for Chihuahuas, are low-calorie and high-fiber, with beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals.
Vitamin A is very important for your Chihuahuas’ health. Read what the British Journal of Nutrition has to say about vitamin A and growing dogs.
Your pooch can eat them raw or cooked, it’s his preference.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Corn?
Your Chihuahua can eat corn within certain conditions.
There has been concern that corn in commercially prepared dog foods can cause food allergies. But there shouldn’t be any issue with Chihuahuas eating corn.
The primary concern once again would be the size of a Chihuahua. Don’t feed your Chihuahua corn on the cob. The cob, if chewed, can be a real choking hazard for Chihuahuas.
Even the corn itself is hard and difficult to chew, which makes any pooch gulp it down. It might be an issue with Chihuahuas. Health-wise there’s probably nothing wrong with it, but it might not be a good idea.
Can Chihuahuas Eat Chicken Bones?
Bones come in two varieties. Cooked and raw. Chihuahuas can eat chicken bones, but only if they’re raw. Never feed them cooked bones, chicken or otherwise.
The heat generated when cooking bones makes them hard, drying them out, and they become brittle. When a dog crunches into a cooked bone, they can easily splinter.
They will cut the roof of your dog’s mouth and his gums. If he swallows them, which he will, they can do serious damage through the throat and into the guts. Dogs have died because of eating cooked bones. Don’t feed them!
Raw bones including chicken bones can be given to Chihuahuas. One proviso though, if you feed them bones don’t leave them alone to get on with it. Supervise them, please!
Raw bones contain a host of good nutrients for Chihuahuas and can help keep teeth and gums healthy.
Can Chihuahua Eat Watermelon
Yes, feed your Chihuahua watermelon, but remove the rind and any seeds. Cut them into small pieces first, because he’s only a small dog. It’s important to remember whatever he eats must be in smaller portions.
In the hot summer months, it can be a great way to keep your pup hydrated. Some Chihuahua owners freeze watermelon for their pups in the summer.
Watermelons contain excellent nutrients for your Chihuahua. Vitamins A, B6, and C. Plus, magnesium, beta-carotene, and potassium.
Can Chihuahua Eat Bread?
Can my Chihuahua eat bread is such a loaded question? On the surface, the answer would be yes. White bread and whole wheat, the two most common types of bread, are safe enough.
Who hasn’t watched a dog snaffle a sandwich or three from the dining table and wolf them down? They didn’t come to harm.
But these days, bread comes in many guises and with a multitude of ingredients, from fruit to nuts, etc.
So, I think the answer should be this. Check the ingredients for every type of bread you might think of feeding to your Chihuahua.
Whatever the situation is with bread, you must not feed bread dough to your Chihuahua. If you are busy making bread and waiting for bread dough to rise, keep it out of reach of your Chihuahua. If you would like more information, why this is so important read this article by the Merck Manual (veterinary manual).
Can Chihuahua Eat Cat Food?
No Chihuahua living with a cat or cats can resist the temptation of sneaking a few mouthfuls of cat food.
But you shouldn’t allow them to. A few times here and there will not hurt your Chihuahua. But, for example, if he’s eating enough cat food to suppress his appetite for his food, then it’s a problem.
Cats require a different diet from dogs. They are carnivores and have to eat meat at every meal. While dogs also need meat, they must have a balanced diet which includes carbohydrates and vegetables.
Chihuahuas love cat food because of the strong meat smell and taste. If your Chihuahua eats a lot of cat food, then his food balance is all out of whack. This will lead to health problems. Possibly even leading to pancreatitis. If your Chihuahua gets that, then he will need urgent veterinary care.
So the answer to the question is no! Don’t let your Chihuahua eat cat food!
Can Chihuahua Eat Strawberries?
There is a tremendous benefit to feeding your Chihuahua strawberries. They are packed with healthy nutrients and it’s a low-calorie snack, which is always a good thing.
Because you are the pet parent of a Chihuahua, keep portions small and restrict the amount more than you would if you were feeding them to a bigger dog.
If you still worry about him choking on the pieces of fruit, you could always mash them up and add them to his food, or feed them to him from a spoon.
Other than the healthy nutrients, they say strawberries contain a teeth-whitening enzyme.
Can Chihuahua Eat Eggs?
Eggs are great for Chihuahuas. They contain protein, selenium, and fatty acids. They are great snack food for Chihuahuas.
You should always cook them. You can scramble or boil them. Probably not a good idea to fry them. You might try small pieces of the boiled egg as a training treat. If you scramble the eggs, keep them natural and add nothing, is best.
Can Chihuahua Eat Beef?
Yes, without a doubt, a Chihuahua can eat beef. One ingredient in quality dog food will be beef.
Your Chihuahua needs an excellent source of protein to give him energy, and lean beef is perfect for this. Good quality beef will supply your Chihuahua with all the nutrients he needs to keep his coat, joints, skin, and muscles healthy.
Can Chihuahua Eat Broccoli?
Yes, you can feed broccoli to your Chihuahua. Feed it cooked or raw, it’s fine. Something to remember, though.
Broccoli florets contain “isothiocyanates“. If you feed your Chihuahua too much broccoli, it may cause gastric irritation. Because of a Chihuahua’s small size, reduce the amount of broccoli even further.
Veterinary advice suggests keeping the amount of broccoli in a meal to only 10% of the meal. It might be better to reduce that for Chihuahuas down to only 5%-6%.
If you intend feeding your Chihuahua the stalks and not just the florets, then make certain the pieces are tiny to avoid any choking accidents.
Can Chihuahua Eat Cheese?
Yes, Chihuahuas can eat cheese. Many trainers use it in positive reinforcement training. But there is always the necessary proviso or two. Too much cheese can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
The cheese will provide protein, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin C.
I know that many people blame cheese for constipation, but that’s not the case. Constipation comes from a lack of fiber in the diet. The reason we mention this is that some owners don’t feed cheese for this reason. As long as your Chihuahua has a good, balanced diet it won’t affect him in this way.
Dogs love the taste of cheese, and a lot of treats you buy off the shelf have a cheese flavor. An excellent choice of cheese for your Chihuahua is aged cheddar. The levels of lactose are lower. Have you ever tried giving your Chihuahua any pills inserted in a piece of his favorite cheese?
Can Chihuahua Eat Human Food?
When we talk about human food, let’s say right away what is dangerous, for Chihuahuas or any dog. Never feed these foods onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and spicy foods.
We would also add any food bad for humans will be bad for Chihuahuas. Think – soda, deep-fried foods, chips, and anything with high fat or high sugar content.
If you are going to prepare “homemade food” for your Chihuahua then use lean beef, chicken or fish, eggs, potatoes, oats, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, and pumpkin.
Chihuahuas have a very high metabolic rate, and they need double the amount of calories per pound of body weight than most other dogs. They also cannot eat a lot at each sitting, so they need feeding 3 times a day.
Speak to your vet and get advice on what you should feed your Chihuahua.
It can be difficult for Chihuahua parents to understand the complexities of feeding the best food to their pooch. There’s so much conflicting advice.
Stick with what is good for Chihuahuas and only introduce something new to his diet, slowly. It’s prudent to ask your vet what he thinks about certain foods.
We’ve covered quite a few foods that Chihuahuas can eat in this article. Most foods on this list are good to feed your Chihuahua with some provisos. Please regard those when feeding any of the foods mentioned.
There are also some foods we never feed to Chihuahuas and hope you take our advice on those. However, when in any doubt always get veterinary advice before you feed it to your Chihuahua.
Brad Davenport would love to live in a world where dogs rule (a kinder more caring society). As an experienced writer about dogs he’s been published on numerous websites. When he’s not writing about dogs you can find him with his wife and son on long walks with their feisty, little Havanese, Biscuit.