The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas: Ranked and Reviewed

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: January 3, 2023
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Key Points:

  • The #1 Best Overall dog food for Chihuahuas is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food.
  • Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds and require extra-small kibble.
  • DHA from fish oil is important to keep their skin and coats healthy.
  • A high-quality diet in the right portion size and plenty of exercise will keep these obesity prone pups healthy.

Chihuahuas are among the smallest dogs, weighing no more than six pounds per the breed standard. But these little dogs are known for their big-dog attitudes. They love to play and follow their favorite human around the house. So, it’s important that you select the right dog food for your Chihuahua to keep their energy levels up while maintaining a healthy weight.  

The right food for other toy dogs may not be right for Chihuahuas. This breed, which is one of the oldest breeds from the Americas, has specific needs and potential health conditions that we’ll address below. It’s important to purchase the best food based on their current stage of life since puppies, adults, and seniors have different nutritional and caloric requirements. And be sure to adapt your Chihuahuas’ food to her changing needs as she grows.

We’ve compiled a list of the best options for Chihuahuas based on their stage of life and whether they tend to prefer wet or dry foods so you can select the best food for your tiny-but-mighty friend.  

  1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Chihuahuas
    • Features an exclusive kibble that is easy for Chihuahuas to pick up and chew
    • Support your pup’s skin and coat health with omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin
    • Highly palatable
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice
    •  Tailored to the developmental needs of the puppies of small breed dogs
    • Supports your pup's brain and eye development using DHA from fish oil
    • High-quality protein helps your toy pup build lean, strong muscles
    • Balance of minerals promotes strong teeth and healthy bones
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
    • Formulated for the specific aging needs of small dogs seven years old and older
    • Delicious chicken flavor
    • Easily digestible ingredients
    • Contains balanced minerals for heart
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Chicken
    • Deboned chicken, chicken and fish meal recipe with peas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes
    • Antioxidants from fruit for immune health
    • Promotes muscle development, high energy, and joint health
    • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Loaf In Sauce
    • Created specifically for purebred Chihuahuas
    • Highly palatable
    • Includes omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin to support skin and coat health
    • Comes in a convenient pouch 
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas Today

#1 Overall Best: Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua

Our choice for the best overall dog food for adult Chihuahuas is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food. This dry dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Chihuahuas eight months and older.

This recipe features an exclusive kibble that’s easy for Chihuahuas to pick up and chew. It’s highly palatable and enticing with delicious aromas and flavors to satisfy picky appetites. It will support your pup’s skin and coat health with omega-3 and biotin. It will even help to reduce stool odor with highly digestible proteins and precise fiber content.

Royal Canin partners with pet experts to develop formulas perfect for each particular breed. They study the breed’s lifestyle, life stage needs, and their tendency for health issues. From facial and jaw structure to skin and coat type, they consider every detail so your dog can be his best.

Pros and Cons of Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua

ProsCons
This dog food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of Chihuahuas eight months old or older.Some dogs refuse to eat it.
The kibble is designed to be easy for Chihuahuas to pick up and chew.
Its delicious aromas and flavors will entice picky eaters.
Omega-3 and biotin support skin and coat health.
Highly digestible proteins and precise fiber content reduce stool odor.
Overall Best
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Chihuahuas
  • Features an exclusive kibble that is easy for Chihuahuas to pick up and chew
  • Support your pup’s skin and coat health with omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin
  • Highly palatable
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Puppies: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food is formulated with natural ingredients to meet the developmental needs of small breed dogs under a year old. It features high-quality protein to help your puppy build lean, strong muscles in small kibble that’s easy for them to pick up and chew.

Because skeletal development is so important for puppies, this food includes a balance of minerals that promotes strong teeth and healthy bones. It will support your pup’s brain and eye development with DHA from fish oil. And Science Diet Small Paws contains a proprietary antioxidant blend to support the immune systems of small breed dogs.

Hill’s pet foods are developed by a team of specialists to ensure that they include all the essential nutrients that your pet needs. Plus they never contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or chicken by-product meal.

Most reviews were positive, but some buyers reported that their puppies didn’t like it.

Pros and Cons of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy

ProsCons
This dry dog food is formulated especially for small breed puppies under a year old.A few reviewers said that their puppies wouldn’t eat it.
It features high-quality protein to build lean, strong muscles.
The small kibble is easy for them to pick up and chew.
It includes a balance of minerals that promote strong teeth and healthy bones.
DHA from fish oil support puppies’ brain and eye development.
It contains a proprietary antioxidant blend to support the immune systems of small breed dogs.
Hill’s pet foods never contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or chicken by-product meal.
Best for Puppies
Hill's Science Diet Puppy Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice
  •  Tailored to the developmental needs of the puppies of small breed dogs
  • Supports your pup's brain and eye development using DHA from fish oil
  • High-quality protein helps your toy pup build lean, strong muscles
  • Balance of minerals promotes strong teeth and healthy bones
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Seniors: Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Barley & Brown Rice

As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ small Bites Dry Dog Food is formulated to support the needs of aging small dogs seven years old and older. It features easily digestible ingredients in tiny, chicken-flavored kibble that’s easy for senior dogs with small mouths to eat.

This premium dog food for small breed seniors includes balanced minerals for heart and kidney health and high-quality protein for lean muscle. Plus, omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E will keep your dog’s skin healthy and maintain his shiny coat.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal is made from globally sourced, natural ingredients in the U.S.A.

A minority of reviewers reported that their dogs didn’t like this food and refused to eat it.

Pros and Cons of Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Barley & Brown Rice

ProsCons
This recipe is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of small dogs seven years old and older.Some buyers said that their dogs refused to eat it.
The tiny, chicken-flavored kibble is easy for senior dogs with small mouths to eat.
It includes balanced minerals for heart and kidney health and high-quality protein for lean muscle.
Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E maintain skin and coat health.
It’s made in the US from globally sourced, natural ingredients.
Best for Senior Dogs
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for the specific aging needs of small dogs seven years old and older
  • Delicious chicken flavor
  • Easily digestible ingredients
  • Contains balanced minerals for heart
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Dry Food: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food’s high-protein, grain-free recipe starts with delicious, protein-rich chicken. It features antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits and is enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

This formula’s high-quality protein plus complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables support your small dog’s high energy needs. Plus the special kibble is ideal for smaller jaws.

Blue Buffalo’s recipes are carefully formulated by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs, and a healthy oxidative balance. They contain no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

This food received mainly positive reviews, but a few pet parents said that their dogs wouldn’t eat it.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This high-protein, grain-free dry dog food recipe starts with protein-rich chicken.Some dogs won’t eat it.
It features Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which are rich in antioxidants and enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
This high-protein recipe includes complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables to support dogs’ high energy needs.
The kibble is designed for smaller jaws.
Blue Buffalo products are free from chicken (and poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives.
Best Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Chicken
  • Deboned chicken, chicken and fish meal recipe with peas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes
  • Antioxidants from fruit for immune health
  • Promotes muscle development, high energy, and joint health
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Canned: Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Wet Dog Food

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Wet Dog Food was created specifically for pure breed Chihuahuas that are eight months or older. This complete and balanced soft dog food features a smooth pâté texture that’s easy for your toy breed to eat.

This highly palatable soft dog food is moderately high in fat and energy density and includes Omega-3 and biotin to support skin and coat health. In addition, this dog food helps reduce stools and stool odor with soluble and insoluble fibers to support a healthy intestinal transit.

It can be fed alone as a complete and balanced diet or mixed with Royal Canin Adult or Adult 8+ Chihuahua Dry Dog Food.

A few reviewers reported that their dogs wouldn’t eat this food.

Pros and Cons of Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
This wet dog food is specially formulated for pure breed Chihuahuas that are eight months old or older.Some dogs don’t like it.
It offers complete and balanced nutrition in a smooth pâté texture that’s easy for small dogs to eat.
It’s moderately high in fat and energy density and includes Omega-3 and biotin to support skin and coat health.
Soluble and insoluble fibers reduce stools and stool odor.
It can be fed alone or mixed with Royal Canin Adult or Adult 8+ Chihuahua Dry Dog Food.
Best Canned Food
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Loaf In Sauce
  • Created specifically for purebred Chihuahuas
  • Highly palatable
  • Includes omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin to support skin and coat health
  • Comes in a convenient pouch 
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Special Food Considerations for Chihuahuas

Most Chihuahuas are healthy, but the breed is prone to the following health conditions: heart problems, eye disease, and patellar luxation (loose kneecaps). They are also prone to obesity, usually due to improper diet, overfeeding, and/or lack of exercise.

Feeding your Chihuahua high-quality dog food that includes balanced minerals will help to protect their heart. Vitamin A, fruits, and vegetables may help to prevent certain eye diseases, so make sure they’re included in the food that you select, too.

Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce pressure on your dog’s joints and heart. So feed your pup breed-appropriate dog food in appropriate quantities.

Choosing the Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas: What to Look for

When choosing the best dog food for your Chihuahuas there are three factors you should consider: price, quality, and type (dry or wet). Here is how to consider the best dog food across each of these factors:

Price

Inexpensive dog food usually includes ingredients that you wouldn’t want to feed to your precious Chihuahuas. On the other hand, quality dog food doesn’t include inferior ingredients like poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Quality

High-quality dog foods include real food such as meat as their first ingredients. They also list vegetables and fruits, and a precise balance of vitamins and minerals to enhance your pet’s health. Dog food that is formulated specifically for Chihuahuas will also include omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and biotin for healthy coat growth.

Type (Dry or Wet)

The dog food discussed in this review is available in dry (kibble) and wet (canned) varieties.

The Different Types of Dog Foods for Chihuahuas: Pros and Cons Compared

When choosing the best type of dog food for your Chihuahuas, first you need to understand the different types. There is dry dog food (kibble) and wet (or canned) dog food. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type:

Our Criteria and Experience

We wanted to provide you with the best food options for your Chihuahua. By combing through the many options and by reading reviews, we were able to make these outstanding selections. The food had to be specially formulated for the nutritional needs of these tiny dogs and be easy for them to chew. Most reviewer complaints pertained to Chihuahuas that didn’t like the food. As one said, “Sadly, my fussy little guy refused to eat it, even when I mixed it in with his regular dry food. He literally ate around the kibble! He had several teeth pulled last year, so I figured this smaller kibble would be easier for him to eat. Guess I’ll never find out. Will donate this to the local shelter.”

The majority of the reviews, however, were overwhelmingly positive, “I love this dog food for my Chihuahuas. One of my Chihuahuas is very finicky but she seems to like this food and will eat every time I put it in front of her. This food is also easy on their little tummies. Ralph normally throws up after eating, but not with this food.”

Another exclaimed, “We’re on our fourth 10 pound bag. So, they have eaten 15 pounds each, over a short period of time. I couldn’t believe the results! Penny and Izzy are sisters, going on only six years old. But Izzy had begun to show signs of low energy and, possibly, joint pain. Penny was healthy, but she always seemed a little sad. Now, it’s like they’ve both been recharged, running around and jumping. They’re much more playful, too!

Up Next…

About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas: Ranked and Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much should I feed my Chihuahua?

Feeding charts for Chihuahuas recommend giving them 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of food a day depending on their age, size, and activity level. A tiny adult teacup Chihuahua, for example, would thrive on 1/2 cup, while a 5 pound adult Chihuahua may require up to 1 1/2 cups.

Chihuahua puppies require 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food per day divided into three to four meals. Because their bodies are growing and they’re very active, they require puppy food that’s formulated to meet their nutritional needs.

Senior Chihuahuas require less food because their metabolism is slowing down and they need less calories. You should feed them 1/4 cup of a senior dog food that fights the effects of aging three to four times a day.

 

Can I feed my Chihuahua human food?

Human food should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. The rest of your Chihuahua’s calories and nutrition should come from a high-quality breed-specific food or one formulated for small dogs. The foods featured in the review above are all excellent choices.

Apples, bananas, beans, carrots, and cooked steak are just some of the human foods that you can feed your dog in moderation. But not all human food is safe for your furry little friend. Chocolate, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, and Xylitol are all toxic to dogs and can even lead to death.

For a comprehensive list of foods that dogs can eat safely — and which are dangerous — please refer to this article: What Foods Can Dogs Eat Safely, and Which are Dangerous? We recommend bookmarking this article in your browser so you can refer to it whenever you’re unsure whether you can feed a particular food to your precious Chihuahua.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.