Best Dog Foods For Chihuahuas

The best dog food for Chihuahua is Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Formula.

Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. This is because they have a lot of personalities, and give their owners tons of love. They’re also very small which makes them perfect for living in an apartment or condo.

There’s nothing better than having your own little best friend around to greet you when you come home each day! But what should be on your list before buying that new pup? Your first priority should be finding out about the breed’s specific dietary needs.

These tiny little companions are picky eaters and will not just eat any kibble you place before them. They are highly sensitive to what they eat, how often they eat, and in which manner you feed them. What they need is a good diet that will accommodate their small frame and fast metabolism.

We know how important it is to keep your Chihuahua happy and healthy, so we’ve created a list of the best dog foods for Chihuahuas!

#1 Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Formula

This particular dog food is scientifically formulated for small breeds. Toy breeds like Chihuahuas burn calories faster than larger breeds, and the high protein and calorie content in the formula supplies this metabolic need.

Chicken is the first ingredient, with 26% protein for an optimal protein-to-fat ratio to ensure your chi stays in shape. Pet parents love this because the blend of shredded chicken and rice formula satisfies even the fussiest eaters. This small kibble has a complex texture and taste, with small tender and shredded pieces to chew on and keep them hooked.

What makes this the best dog food for chihuahuas is that it contains natural prebiotic fiber from whole wheat bran. As Chihuahuas commonly have sensitive stomachs, the fiber will do wonders to encourage a healthy digestive system. It is loaded with phosphorus, calcium, and other minerals to keep their teeth and bones strong and healthy. 

A delicious and savory recipe that is formulated just for small dog breeds. This is especially important for Chihuahuas – as they are notorious for being extremely picky eaters.


  • Purina’s shredded formula is fortified with guaranteed live probiotics and natural prebiotic fiber to provide support for the Chihuahua digestive system.
  • The high protein formula of the Purina pro plan, which utilizes chicken as the main ingredient, facilitates the release of nutrients that are essential for the proper growth and development of a dog.
  • The bite-sized and shredded design of the Purina pro plan kibbles ensures that Chihuahuas will have no issues with chewing and swallowing this food product.
  • This shredded formula is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and a host of other minerals that are important for the formation of strong bones and teeth in dogs.
  • Vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids contained in this Purina pro plan diet should provide the nutrition needed to maintain shiny coats on dogs.


  • Some customers have commented that this kibble has a rubbery texture that is difficult for dogs to chew.
  • The manufacturing inconsistencies of this dog kibble results in customers getting food bags that contain fewer amounts of shredded chicken than normal.

This is our top pick for feeding Chihuahuas because it is fortified with live probiotics and fiber to promote good digestion and contains real shredded chicken meat as its main ingredient, giving this dog food an extra punch of flavor and protein.

#2 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice Formula

If you love your Chihuahua but find yourself a little short on cash, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula with Chicken and Brown Rice is probably your best choice. We have scoured the market, and we have come to the conclusion that this formula offers one of the most reasonable rates without compromising on quality.

It is formulated especially for typically active toy breeds like Chihuahuas who need the macronutrient balance. The formula consists of both deboned chicken and chicken meal with fairly high carbohydrates like healthy whole grains in the form of barley, brown rice, and oatmeal, along with peas and potatoes.

As a “True Blue Promise”, it does not contain any chicken or poultry by-product meals, no wheat, corn, or soy, and no artificial additives or preservatives.

Cranberries and blueberries are great antioxidants that protect healthy cells from free radicals for Chihuahuas – as they can be prone to heart disease or cancer. The recipe also has a low dose of glucosamine which protects your little one from possible joint injuries.

You can find many Chihuahua dog food formulas like this one in the same price category. But none has as many high-quality benefits as the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula. It has real deboned chicken and many other quality ingredients like brown rice, flaxseed, blueberries, cranberries, peas & carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.


  • This Blue Buffalo formula is devoid of corn, wheat, chicken by-product meals, soy, and other ingredients that typically trigger food sensitivities in dogs.
  • The Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula contains glucosamine for enhancing joint health in small and active dog breeds like the Chihuahua.
  • This chicken and brown rice formula from Blue Buffalo features uniquely designed ‘small breed’ kibble for smaller jaws that are prepared to ensure convenient feeding for small-sized pooches.
  • This dog food product is formulated with increased levels of proteins and carbohydrates to provide the energy levels needed to sustain the active lifestyle of the Chihuahua.
  • This life protection formula from Blue Buffalo is packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants that provide additional support for the canine immune system.


  • Several customers have reported that their pooches developed gastrointestinal problems after consuming this Blue Buffalo recipe.
  • Some dogs, reportedly, don’t find the flavor of this Blue Buffalo formula to be appealing and have, consequently, refused to eat the kibble.

#3 NUTRO Ultra Superfood Small Breed Dog Food

This small breed weight management formula comes in two different types and three different sizes so that you can customize it for your dog. Your Chihuahua will get complete and balanced nutrition with a Trio of Proteins – Chicken, Lamb, and Salmon. Chicken is the #1 ingredient.

This superfood plate is also formulated with a blend of 15 vibrant superfoods like blueberries, kale, chia, coconut, and much more to help your chi lose weight and boost the immune system. This is a complete and balanced nutritional formula that will take a lot of trouble off your hands when taking care of your pup’s diet.

With 15 vibrant superfoods, it is a well-designed diet for Chihuahuas. It comes in two different types and three sizes so you can customize it exactly as your dog wants.


  • The protein-rich formula – includes chicken, lamb, and salmon – of NUTRO’s superfood product provides the nutrition required for the proper growth and development of Chihuahuas.
  • This recipe is specifically prepared to provide nutrition for small dog breeds, such as the Chihuahua, with the ingredients gotten from reputable sources and rigorously tested to ensure that they are safe for pooches to consume.
  • This dog food is devoid of artificial preservatives, flavors, wheat, soy, chicken by-product meal, and other ingredients that are either harmful or non-beneficial for dogs.
  • The blend of superfood ingredients – including coconut, blueberries, and kale – contained in this dog food product releases nutrients that work to facilitate healthy development in various parts of the pooch’s body.
  • This dog food product contains a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which are needed to ensure proper formation of the Chihuahua’s bones and joints.


  • NUTRO Ultra Superfood’s kibbles tend to become dusty and crumby, thereby making them difficult for dogs to chew.
  • The constant change in this dog food product’s kibble texture and color isn’t suitable for dogs that are picky eaters.

#4 Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Dry Dog Food

The Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Dry Dog Food for Chihuahuas is made using real farm-raised chicken in the US. The ingredients in this formula are simple and straightforward – perfect for maintaining the optimum health and well-being of your pup. This protein-rich chicken dog food is beefed up with wholesome, micronutrient-dense veggies and fruits.

Unfortunately, it includes soybean, corn, and some slightly glycemic ingredients in the formula. The top 5 ingredients are real chicken meat and meal, soybean meal, dried peas, and whole-grain corn. All ingredients are all-natural with no artificial preservatives or flavors.

You won’t have to worry about your chi’s sensitive tummy because there are no fillers or wheat gluten.

This is a well-rounded dog food formula for your Chihuahua that supports their high energy levels thanks to the farm-raised chicken. The presence of antioxidant-rich cranberries is also ideal for helping reduce the stress levels that are common in small breeds.


  • Rachael Ray’s Little Bites are packed with added vitamins, minerals and taurine to provide support for the canine immune system and heart.
  • The crunchy texture of the small, bite-sized kibble of the Rachael Ray dog food prevents plaque and tartar buildup on the pooch’s teeth when consistently chewed.
  • The use of chicken as the main protein source in this dry dog food product supports the formation of lean muscle mass, as well as the proper functioning of a Chihuahua’s organ systems.
  • This dry dog food doesn’t contain wheat, gluten, poultry by-product meals, and other ingredients that are generally unsafe for pooches to eat.
  • The antioxidant-rich cranberries contained in this dry dog food product contain nutrients that are effective at managing heightened stress levels in small pooches like the Chihuahua.


  • The flavor of this Rachael Ray product is unappealing to several dogs, and this results in the pooches in question refusing to eat their kibble.
  • Some customers claim to have received Rachael Ray food packages that were very close to getting expired and unsuitable for canine consumption.

#5 Merrick Lil Plates Small Breed Grain Free Dry Food

Merrick Lil Plates is perfect for smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas with its highly nutritious small kibble. The size is perfect for tiny jaws to pick and chew easily. This is a grain-free, gluten-free dog food formula with real deboned beef as the #1 ingredient to encourage healthy muscle growth in your dog.

The recipe is poultry-free for those dogs that are sensitive to poultry ingredients. Other noteworthy ingredients include essential fatty acids for healthy coat and skin and probiotics and prebiotic fiber for better digestion.

This product is a great choice for dogs with sensitivities. The grain-free, gluten-free ingredients make it perfect for chis with sensitive tummies. It is also a poultry-free recipe for dogs that are sensitive to any poultry ingredients.


  • This Merrick recipe utilizes real deboned chicken as the first and major source to provide a protein source that not only facilitates proper development but also releases sufficient energy for a Chihuahua to go about its daily activities.
  • The inclusion of prebiotics and probiotic fibers in this dry food recipe offers immense benefit to the canine digestive system and ensures that this kibble can be digested without issues.
  • The crunchy texture of the Merrick Lil Plates’ kibble helps remove existing plaque from a pooch’s teeth and also prevents subsequent tartar buildup on the teeth.
  • Merrick Lil Plates dry food is manufactured with significant amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin to assist the Chihuahua with maintaining healthy hips and joints.
  • This Merrick Lil Plates recipe is manufactured in a US-based facility to ensure that the kibble is produced according to certain safety standards and regulations that have been established to keep pooches out of harm’s way.


  • Multiple customers claim that the Merrick Lil Plates kibble they received were too crumbly for their pooches to effectively pick up and chew.
  • There are several reports of customers receiving food bags that are only half full and don’t offer value for money.

#6 Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal

Does your tiny Chihuahua act like the biggest bark on the block? Wellness Complete Health is the food for him. This one is a protein powerhouse with lean and quality protein sourced from deboned Turkey, Oatmeal, and Salmon. The wholesome whole grain from oatmeal and high calorific count ensure that Fido keeps up with the active playtime.

Worried about his skin and coat? This formula is loaded with omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals. This dog food has small kibbles to fit its little jaws and is fortified with superfoods like antioxidants. Better yet, it has probiotics, prebiotics, healthy fiber, and chicory root extract to support a healthy digestive system.

This one provides an optimally balanced nutrient-rich diet to improve your dog’s overall health. The formula is designed to offer overall vitality and health, natural nutrition, healthy body mass, and improved bone and joint functionality.


  • The nutrient-dense, small kibble size of the Wellness Complete small breed recipe is specially formulated for comfortable chewing by smaller sized pooches.
  • The omega fatty acids contained in this small breed formula provide the nutrients needed to keep a Chihuahua’s coat polished and shiny at all times.
  • Taurine contained in this small breed recipe strengthens the Chihuahua’s heart and ensures that the pooch can actively go about its daily activities without experiencing difficulties.
  • Wellness Complete’s turkey and oatmeal food product doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, gluten or chicken by-product meals, thereby making it suitable for consumption by dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.
  • This dog food product is manufactured in the United States, with ingredients gotten only from high-quality and reputable sources around the world.


  • These kibbles occasionally come with a powdery texture that makes them difficult for dogs to eat.
  • Some owners of picky dogs have claimed that their pooches wanted nothing to do with this small breed recipe.

#7 Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dog Food

Wellness Core Natural comes loaded with 54% high-quality protein ingredients, 37% carbohydrates, and 29% fat. The main sources of protein are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal.

If your Chihuahua is allergic to grain, this one is 100% free from grain products. The formula improves your dog’s skin and coat condition with omega-3 fatty acids sourced from salmon oil and flaxseed. The chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride help to maintain healthy bone and joint health.

Better yet, there are no artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. It is made of all-natural ingredients with no corn, wheat, soy, and meat by-products.

Wellness Core Natural is perfect for those Chihuahuas that are allergic to grain. The high protein content sourced from turkey and chicken contains optimal fat and calorie levels that are just perfect for everyday feeding.


  • Wellness Core’s recipe for small dogs is packed with proteins and wholesome grains that provide optimal calorie content needed to fuel a Chihuahua’s day.
  • This dog food product is fortified with a host of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and probiotics that strengthen a pooch’s immune system and carry out several other crucial tasks in a dog’s body.
  • The Chihuahua’s skeletal system, which includes bones and teeth, will benefit immensely from the inclusion of chondroitin and glucosamine in this recipe.
  • The absence of corn, wheat, soy and poultry by-products in this recipe’s ingredient list ensures that this is a food product that is safe for pooches with food sensitivities to consume.
  • Optimal taurine levels contained in this grain-free dog food product promotes a healthy canine heart.


  • Multiple dogs have reportedly gotten sick and developed diarrhea after consuming this small breed food product.
  • The grain-free recipe of dry dog food products, like the Wellness Core recipe, has been linked with the development of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.

#8 Cesar Filet Mignon Flavor With Spring Vegetables Garnish

The Cesar Filet Mignon Flavor is a unique take on what a kibble should taste like. It features the tasty flavor of filet mignon and is garnished with the freshest spring vegetables that you could possibly get. Think of it as a kibble version of juicy grilled steak served with fresh vegetables on the side.

Real beef is the first ingredient to this gourmet dog food, and it has 26 nutrients that your Chihuahua needs.

A notable feature of this dog food is its H-shaped flavorful crunchy kibbles with tender, meaty pieces. Each kibble bears the shape of the letter “H”, which doubles up as a pseudo brush that will help, albeit minimally, to remove tartar and plaque from your dogs’ teeth.

If you want to serve your dog a gourmet meal, the Cesar Filet Mignon flavor is the perfect choice for you. Imagine finely roasted beef garnished with healthy vegetables for a palatable taste and well-rounded nutrition.


  • The H-shaped design of this product’s kibble is effective for getting rid of plaque and tartar on a pooch’s teeth.
  • Cesar Filet’s food product comes in a resealable bag that can be used for as long as is needed, to store and keep kibble fresh after the package is initially opened.
  • The Mignon flavor of Cesar Filet’s kibbles contains spring vegetable garnish to increase palatability and ensure that pooches have no objections when it is time to feed.
  • The inclusion of 26 essential nutrients in this dog food recipe facilitates healthy growth and development in small dog breeds.
  • Customers can either serve the Cesar Filet kibbles as a dry meal or mix the kibbles with Cesar wet food to improve the flavor and provide even more nutrition for their pooches.


  • Despite the special preparation process, which includes the addition of spring vegetable garnish, some dogs show little or no interest in eating.
  • Stomach upsets and vomiting are some of the bad reactions some dogs have after consuming the Cesar Filet Mignon recipe.

Dog Food For Chihuahuas Buyer’s Guide

Getting the best dog food for chihuahuas is very important. You need to find something that gives them what they need, a formula that gives them the energy to their active body, and most importantly, something they will enjoy eating on a daily basis.

Here is a definitive buying guide to help you make the best dog food decisions for your little pooch.

Related: 37 Hidden Colors & Patterns Of A Chihuahua

Factors To Consider

Reading pet food labels can be intimidating. There are so many terminologies and long lists of food ingredients that can easily confuse you. Fortunately, you don’t need to understand every single one of them.


A Chihuahua’s vitamin, nutrient, and mineral requirements change according to age. Puppies, mature dogs, pregnant or nursing dogs all have different nutrition requirements, feeding patterns, and the amount of dog food they need.

Simply buying age-appropriate dog foods will go a long way in taking care of your pooch’s nutritional requirements.

Protein, Starch And Carbohydrate Ratios

A good diet for your Chihuahua should have a protein-carb-starch ratio of 40:40:20. Protein sources must come from good quality fish and meat sources. Carbs should come in the form of complex carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, and whole grain.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are considered the building blocks for proteins. They are therefore vital to your chi’s wellbeing. Go for those that list specific meat sources so that you know your dog is getting the right amount of amino acids.

Vitamins And Minerals

To make sure your Chihuahua maintains a healthy immune system, healthy skin and coat, and a healthy body, their food should contain vitamins and minerals. A quality dog food should have vitamins B-12, A, E, and C among others. It should also have minerals like Sodium Selenite and calcium Iodate along with folic acid and DHA omega oils.

Wheat And Grains

Many chi owners are confused because there is an increasing rise of dog foods that either contain wheat or are absolutely wheat and grain-free. There is no definitive answer to whether your pooch should avoid grains altogether unless they are allergic to them. If you decide to buy food that has grains, opt for whole grains because it contains good fiber and is more beneficial.

Kibble Size

We all know Chihuahuas have tiny jaws and teeth. The kibble size should be small enough for them to be able to chew without straining their jaws. Buying the right kibble size is very important because it helps to promote their overall mouth health like getting rid of tartar and plaque, etc. Smaller kibbles will be kinder on sensitive jaws and even motivate picky eaters to eat because it requires less physical effort to chew.

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How Much Food Should You Feed Your Chi?

When you think about how much food to feed your Chihuahua, you are probably thinking in terms of measurement. However, what matters is not the number of kibbles you feed but the calorie count.

It is important for you to read the label because every dog food formula is different and hence the calorie count varies.

The good news is, most of the labels provide feeding recommendations as per the calorie content of the formula. The number of calories your Chihuahua needs will depend on his age, level of activity, and individual metabolism. We can safely judge the first two things, but the metabolism of each dog will vary. The guidelines will generally vary about 20% lower or higher.

The type of food you feed your Chihuahua will also affect the amount of food you give because of this. Different types of food contain different amounts of calories. The amount of food you give will depend on whether you give your Chihuahua dry food, wet food, or a home-cooked meal.

For instance, one cup of dry, low-quality kibble may contain 100 calories while the same quantity of wet food may contain double the calories. In this case, recommending you to feed one cup would not be helpful.

Having said that, those Chihuahuas that are 4 to 10 pounds in weight will generally eat 1-1/3 cups of dog food in a day.

That’s right! They are a very small breed, and they don’t eat a lot which is why you need to feed them high-quality food.

Keep in mind that these are just recommendations. Every chi is different, and yours might need more or less than the general recommendation based on his metabolism, level of activity, and age. If you find he is gaining too much weight, you should feed him less and if he is too thin, feed him more.

Image from Darwin’s Pet

Ingredients to Look For When Buying Chihuahua Dog Food

Besides being extremely fussy eaters, Chihuahuas have very specific dietary requirements which is why you should not compromise on the quality of food you give them. Here are a few things to watch out for when buying food for your little one.

Vegetables, Fruits And Whole Grains

Chihuahuas may be small, but they are very energetic. They need high protein levels and complex carbohydrates to keep their muscles healthy and energy levels stable. If you feed them fully processed carbohydrates, they will experience extreme rise and fall in their energy levels. Good sources of carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Your Chihuahua’s food should consist of 40% vegetables.


Fiber is important for a healthy digestive system. If there is too little fiber in your dog’s diet, he will suffer from constipation. The wrong type of fiber can also leave them bloated. This is why vegetables and whole grains are important.


It is very important that your Chihuahua’s diet consists of not only high meat content but also high-quality meat. Meat should be the first ingredient in the list of food ingredients. Avoid those that have a high content of meat by-products. Ideally, you should opt for those dog foods that have no animal by-products because these have no nutritional value.


Antioxidants are very important for small breed dogs like Chihuahuas because smaller breeds have a longer life expectancy. A good supply of antioxidants will protect your dog from free radicals and keep them young longer.


The good kind of fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet. These are rich in calories and will provide the right level of energy. Unless your Chihuahua is overweight, you don’t need to look for low-fat dog food because he will typically burn it off.

Specialty Formulas

Dog food manufacturers have started selling breed-specific dog food formulas. Dog foods formulated especially for Chihuahuas generally have chicken as the first ingredient. Other top ingredients for Chihuahuas include barley, probiotics, and prebiotics for digestion, antioxidants, and fish oil like omega-3 fatty acids.

Image from Darwin’s Pet

What Food to Avoid When Feeding Your Chihuahua?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying dog food for your Chihuahua is putting your trust in brands that are sold at the grocery store. This can be confusing because some brands are labeled premium and it instantly makes you think they surely must be better. Most times, these “premium” dog foods are loaded with junk and fillers that add little to no nutritional value to your Chihuahua’s diet.

Does that mean you should avoid all dog food labeled premium at the grocery stores? Not really. But you need to be careful and inspect the ingredients before you feed them to your little one.

Another mistake you need to avoid is following the advice of your chi’s veterinarian. Sure there are some ethical vets, but some are simply in the business to make money. If a vet is recommending your Chihuahua a dog food that is sold in their office premises, there is a high chance that they are getting a commission out of it. You should politely turn down their offer and look elsewhere.

Here Are Some Ingredients To Avoid

Artificial Ingredients

This includes artificial coloring, preservatives, and flavoring. Your chihuahuas could have sensitive tummies, and it can cause a lot of gastrointestinal issues like upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.

They can also cause allergies like itching, dry skin, poor coat, and other similar allergic reactions due to poor quality food.


Fillers have no nutritional value, and so the body does not absorb them. The result is that these types of food will pass through the body quickly. It will leave your chi nutritionally deficient and cause behavioral issues like eating feces, grass, etc.


Animal by-products are those parts of meat that are not fit for human consumption. It can include bone, beaks, fatty tissue, lungs, hooves, spleens, ears, snouts, etc. Feeding your dog animal by-products can be highly detrimental to their health.

Generic Meat Sources

Generic meat sources are probably one of the most disturbing ingredients present in inferior quality dog foods. It’s a wonder that this is even legal. This means any animal meat, including roadkill, animals that died during transportation, and even euthanized cats and dogs that lived in shelters.

Final Thoughts

It will surprise you how strong-willed these tiny Chihuahuas can be when it comes to food. Good quality is the way to go because they have sensitive digestive health and specific nutrient requirements.

The Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Formula strikes a fine balance between budget and quality. It is a stand-out because it features natural ingredients and the top-recommended protein for Chihuahuas – chicken. This is by far the best dog food for Chihuahuas and we strongly recommend it.

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Pete Decker