🐱 NEW!

Introducing the Cat Food Advisor!

Independent, unbiased reviews without influence from pet food companies

Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

Read more
&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

Read more

Updated: May 8, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

Read more

Laura Ward

DogFoodAdvisor is reader supported See how


All reviews are 100% impartial but if you buy using links on this page, we may earn a referral fee.

What’s the best dog food for a Chihuahua?

The answer to that critical question depends on the age of your dog.

That’s because…

Chihuahua puppies, adults and seniors EACH have different nutritional needs for optimal long-term health.

Which means…

A dog food designed for an adult Chihuahua may contain too little calcium for a growing puppy… or too many calories for a less active senior.

And there are other significant differences, too..

For example…

A Chihuahua puppy needs 1.0% arginine (an essential amino acid)… while an adult requires less… just 0.51% of the same nutrient.

In comparison…

A senior “Chi” benefits from more protein… and fewer calories.

Here’s the point…

Since there are no official nutrient standards for ANY particular breed…

And to optimize your dog’s long-term health…

It’s super important to choose a food that’s designed to match the AAFCO nutrient profile for your Chihuahua’s age… and stage of life.

Chihuahua Life Stages

Since dogs age at different rates, life stage ranges for any breed are never exact.

The ages and life stage data in the table below were derived from multiple sources and should be used to help you find the best possible food for your dog.

Life StageAge
PuppyUnder 9-12 months
AdultOver 9-12 months
Senior11+ years

Our Top Recommendations

On this page…

We’ll share The Dog Food Advisor’s safest and most recommended brands based on the age of your Chihuahua… and we’ll answer the 5 most frequently asked questions we get about feeding this popular breed.

The Dog Food Advisor - Editor's choice

Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas July 2024

Here are The Dog Food Advisor's best dog food brands for Chihuahuas for July 2024.

  • 1. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Small Breed Adult Turkey and Oatmeal is one of 13 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.

    Wellness Small Breed Adult derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh turkey and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 18% fat and 43% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

    We like the fact this recipe contains salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in EPA and DHA types of omega-3 fatty acids… which can help support healthy skin and coat. Highly recommended.

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

    Read our review of the full Wellness Complete Health Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, ground brown rice
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 31%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "I was looking for a truly healthy and complete dog food for my 2 year old ShihTzu/Maltese mix pup. Wellness checks all the boxes! He loves it and goes back to see if there’s more lol! I feel really good about feeding this high quality food."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 2. Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed with Real Chicken

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Instinct Toy Breed is one of 12 dry recipes covered in our review of the Instinct Raw Boost product line.

    Instinct Toy Breed gets the bulk of of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal in addition to other named species. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 22% fat and 32% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

    We note this formula is preserved with vitamin E and citric acid… and free of BHA or other high-risk chemical additives. A quality design. Highly recommended.

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

    Read our review of the full Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), chickpeas, tapioca, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 38%
    AAFCO Standards All Life Stages
    Best For Adult and puppy Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "I have never seen my dog love a dog food more. We usually have to put some meat or something on her dog food to get her to eat it but she plows right through this food! She especially loves the freeze dried bits. I have made her food for awhile but feel confident using this brand especially with the freeze dried chunks in it."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 3. Royal Canin Adult Chihuahua Wet Dog Food

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Adult Chihuahua is one of 7 wet recipes evaluated in our review of the Royal Canin product line.

    In addition to other named species, this Royal Canin Adult Chihuahua recipe gets the better part of its animal protein from pork by-products and fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the formula contains 37% protein, 22% fat and 34% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

    We note the inclusion of omega-rich fish oil to support joint and coat development. Readily recommended.

    Read our review of the full Royal Canin Dog Food range here

    Main Ingredients Water sufficient for processing, chicken by-products, pork by-products, chicken, pork liver
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 37%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "My 2 Chihuahuas pounced on this food like they hadn’t eaten in weeks. This food is Breed- specific and this company certainly knows what appeals to Chihuahuas. They recommend it. Chihuahua stamp of approval."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 4. Merrick Lil’ Plates Small Breed Wet

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Teeny Texas Steak Tips Dinner is one of 8 wet recipes evaluated in our review of the Merrick Lil’ Plates product line.

    This Merrick Teeny Texas Steak Tips derives the better part of its animal protein from fresh beef and beef liver as well as dried egg whites. Dry matter label analysis reveals the formula contains 44% protein, 17% fat and 31% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

    Complete and balanced nutrient design. Contains zinc and 4 other chelated minerals for superior nutrition. Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Dog Food (Cups) range here

    Main Ingredients Beef, beef broth, venison broth, beef liver, dried egg whites
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 44%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "We have two chihuahuas and they love their Merrick Lil' Plates! Oh my goodness, they jump and bark out of EXCITEMENT!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 5. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Small Bites

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Puppy Small Bites is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Hill’s Science Diet product line.

    More Choices: Best Puppy Foods

    Science Diet Puppy Small Bites sources most of its meat-based protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 17% fat and 48% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

    The formula also contains natural DHA from fish oil to support healthy brain development… and an antioxidant-rich blend of vitamin E and C to help support a healthy immune system. A classic puppy food with small size kibble. Ideal for Chihuahua puppies. Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum, whole grain corn
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 28%
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Chihuahua puppies

    Sample buyer review...

    "My puppy loves this! The rescue we adopted her from had her on this food and she has done so well. Her stools are well-formed and she cannot wait to eat it. Her coat is so shiny and healthy as well."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 6. IAMS ProActive Health MiniChunks

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Minichunks is one of 12 dry recipes contained in our review of the Iams ProActive Health product line.

    Iams ProActive Health Adult Minichunks derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken by-product meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

    The recipe contains a prebiotic (not a probiotic). Prebiotics help support the natural growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine… which can lead to improved digestion. An exceptional, budget-friendly option ideal for smaller dogs. Highly recommended.

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

    Read our review of the full Iams Proactive Health Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal, dried plain beet pulp
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 28%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "My 2 dogs have been eating this food for a few years now, and they maintain very well on it. I always add a little snippet of something to give them a different flavor other than just kibble. They like it all by itself, though. It's also reasonably priced compared to other nutritious dog foods."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Small Breed Senior is one of 21 dry recipes rated in our review of the Blue Buffalo Life Protection product line.

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior draws the majority of its meat protein from deboned chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 52% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

    A nutritious senior formula containing just the right balance of protein, wholesome grains and micro nutrients. Reasonably priced. Ideal for older chihuahuas and other small breeds. Easily recommended.

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

    Read our review of the full Blue Buffalo Dog Food range here

    Main Ingredients Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 26%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "Very nutritious for my senior dog. She loves it! I love that its for small breeds so it gives her more manageable sized pieces."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 8. The Farmer's Dog Turkey Recipe

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    This Turkey Recipe is one of 4 human-grade wet formulas covered in our review of the The Farmer’s Dog product line.Our 14 year old could hardly get up and walk due to so much pain in her hips, after eating your food she’s now running again! I was hoping it would help her but I wasn’t expecting that big of an improvement. Good food reduced her inflammation. You truly are what you eat.

    The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh turkey. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 19% fat and 40% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

    A fresh, human-grade recipe custom designed and packaged to fit the nutritional needs of your particular chihuahua. As close to a homemade dog food as you can get. Not cheap. Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full The Farmer’s Dog (Fresh) range here

    Main Ingredients USDA Turkey, chickpeas, carrot, broccoli, parsnip
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-free, human-grade
    Protein Percentage 33%
    AAFCO Standards All Life Stages
    Best For Chihuahua adults and puppies

    Sample buyer review...

    "Our 14 year old could hardly get up and walk due to so much pain in her hips, after eating your food she’s now running again! I was hoping it would help her but I wasn’t expecting that big of an improvement. Good food reduced her inflammation. You truly are what you eat."

    Read more buyer reviews at TheFarmersDog.com
  • 9. Eukanuba Small Breed Adult

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Small Breed Adult is one of 14 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Eukanuba product line.

    Eukanuba Small Breed Adult obtains much of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken by-product meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 20% fat and 41% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

    A time-proven, classic formula that features wholesome cereal grains. Small kibble size, perfect for adult chihuahuas. Nutritionally complete and balanced. Reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

    Read our review of the full Eukanuba Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn, chicken fat, wheat
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 31%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Adult Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Eukanuba small breed dry food! I have 2 little furry family members, a Yorkie mix and a Chihuahua. I never worry that they are not getting the right balance in their diet and they sure do eat well with Eukanuba!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 10. Nature's Recipe Grain Free Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin

    Rating:
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star

    Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Nature’s Recipe product line.

    Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin acquires the bulk of its meat protein from fresh salmon and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 13% fat and 51% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

    Loaded with omega-rich, fresh salmon for healthy skin and coat. Also contains zinc proteinate and 3 other chelated minerals for superior nutrition. Free of BHT and other high-risk preservatives. Fairly priced. Highly recommended.

    Read our review of the full Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Salmon, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, tapioca starch, canola meal
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 28%
    AAFCO Standards All Life Stages
    Best For Adult and puppy Chihuahuas

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dogs eat this right up , makes there coats shiny, Low fat so they don't gain weight , high in protein so it keeps the healthy, Not allot of unneeded fillers ."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I switch to a new food... without making my dog sick?

In this video

Dr. Gary Richter shares a simple feeding tip that can help lower your chihuahua’s risk of getting sick… when you switch to a new food.

Do Chihuahuas need special dog food?

That depends on the age of your Chihuahua. After about 9 to 12 months, your “Chi” is considered an adult… and can eat just about any quality dog food. Wet or dry. But for optimal health, a Chihuahua puppy should be fed a food that meets AAFCO guidelines for either “Growth” or “All Life Stages”. A senior “Chi” may benefit from a recipe made for seniors.

When can I safely switch my Chihuahua puppy to adult dog food?

Adult dog foods can be deficient in protein and other essential nutrients. Chihuahua puppies don’t stop growing and aren’t ready for adult food until they reach 9 to 12 months of age.

When is a Chihuahua considered a senior?

According to VCA Hospitals, small breed dogs tend to live longer than large breeds. So, Chihuahuas aren’t considered “senior” until they reach 11 years of age. If your Chi is 11 years (or older), you may wish to visit our best senior dog foods page here.

How much food should I feed my Chihuahua?

Since every dog is unique, it’s impossible to predict the exact serving size that’s “ideal” for every Chihuahua. So, start with the feeding amount printed on the package. Then, over time, adjust that quantity up or down… to reach and then maintain your Chi’s ideal weight.

Final word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Share via
Copy link