How Much to Feed a Chihuahua (Feeding Chart)

Feeding Chihuahua puppy dog kibble

Chihuahuas are known for their small size and lively personality. However, despite their tiny build, feeding a Chihuahua is not just giving dog food. It requires an in-depth understanding of their nutritional needs.

Since they are also fragile, providing your Chihuahua with a well-balanced and nutritious diet can help prevent health concerns, ultimately promoting their overall health and well-being.

The appropriate amount of food to feed your Chihuahua is based on its age. Chihuahua puppies should consume ¼ to ¾ cups of puppy food per day, divided into three to four meals. Meanwhile, adult and senior Chihuahuas need ¼ to ¾ cups of food daily.

If you’re a Chihuahua owner or aspire to be, continue reading. This guide will provide information about feeding your pet, food portion sizes, and feeding schedules.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Chihuahua?

Chihuahua eating dog food on the ground

As a pet owner, it is crucial to ensure that your Chihuahua is getting the right amount of dog food and nutrients to maintain their health and well-being. 

However, determining how much to feed your Chihuahua can be challenging, as several factors can impact their dietary needs, regardless of their type.

Here are the factors that impact how much to feed your Chihuahua:

  • Age: Chihuahua puppies have higher calorie needs to support growth and development. As they become adults, transition them to adult dog food formulated for their size. Senior Chihuahuas may require fewer calories as their metabolism slows.
  • Weight and metabolism: Chihuahuas have a fast metabolism for their small size and burn calories quickly. But their tiny stomachs can’t hold large volumes of food. Overfeeding leads to obesity, which strains their joints. Feed an appropriate amount to maintain ideal body weight.
  • Activity level: The more active a Chihuahua is, the higher their caloric needs will be to fuel all that exercise. Chihuahuas that get regular walks, playtime, or participate in agility/obedience training will need more food than couch potato pets. Adjust food portions to match energy output.
  • Health conditions: Chihuahuas with certain health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease may need specialized veterinary prescription diets. Diabetic Chihuahuas often require food that is low-carb and high in protein.
  • Reproductive status: Pregnant Chihuahuas require more calories for the developing puppies. Neutered or spayed dogs often need fewer calories due to changes in metabolism from altered hormone levels.

With an understanding of these factors, you can regulate the amount of food your Chihuahua eats and ensure they receive the appropriate nutrition by selecting the best dog food.

How Much to Feed Your Chihuahua?

Chihuahua with a bowl of dog food

This section provides feeding guidelines that will explain the amount of food you should give such small dogs at different stages of their lives.

Chihuahua Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

At birth, Chihuahua puppies are reliant on their mother’s milk for sustenance and the essential nutrients and antibodies required for physical development and well-being. 

At around 3 to 4 weeks, reputable breeders begin the weaning phase of your Chihuahua puppy. At this stage, the puppies’ teeth start to emerge, and they become more active, signaling their readiness to transition gradually from their mother’s milk to solid dry, or wet food. 

Refer to the table below to determine the ideal amount of dry food to feed your Chihuahua puppy:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 4 months¼ – ½85 – 206
5 – 7 months¼ – ½105 – 234
8 – 9 months¼ – ¾130 – 297
10 – 12 months¼ – ¾130 – 297
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

During their first year of life, a Chihuahua puppy requires a higher calorie intake to support their growth and development since they are increasing in age and activity level. Thus, free feeding is highly advisable until three months.

Adult Chihuahua Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years)

Similar to other small breeds, the nutritional requirements of your Chihuahua will evolve as it matures into an adult dog.

Refer to the table below to determine how much food to feed your adult Chihuahua:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 7 years¼ – ½104 – 236
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

To enhance the overall condition of your Chihuahua’s coat, especially those with longer hair, it may be beneficial to provide fish oil or salmon oil that has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Additionally, people would also ask me questions if it is required to increase the diet of adult pregnant Chihuahuas, especially since they carry babies in their wombs.

When it comes to this aspect, it is still best to consult with your vet or pet nutritionist on the individual needs of your pregnant dog.

However, it is always best to go for a high-protein diet to take care of the growth and development of the puppies and to support the physiological changes happening in the mother’s body.

Senior Chihuahua Feeding Chart (8 years and above)

As an adult Chihuahua ages, its energy requirements decrease, and its metabolism slows down. 

With that said, senior Chihuahuas are at risk of becoming overweight or obese, so it is crucial to adjust their food intake accordingly. 

Refer to the table below to determine how much food to feed your senior Chihuahua:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
8 years and above¼ – ½ 83 – 189
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Moreover, due to the aging process, their bones and teeth may become more fragile, but providing supplements such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D can help maintain their bone health. 

How Often Should You Feed Your Chihuahua?

Happy Chihuahua sitting in front of dog food

Due to size, Chihuahuas need frequent small meals daily. A newborn Chihuahua puppy up to three months old can be free-fed, while 3 to 12-month-old puppies require four meals daily with small snacks. On the other hand, adult and senior Chihuahuas need three meals with small snacks in between.

A Chihuahua puppy has a higher metabolism, so it needs to eat more frequently than adult and senior Chihuahuas. That said, for seniors, a well-balanced diet given frequently is enough to get them through the day. 

Check the chart below for the feeding frequency of your dog’s food based on the Chihuahua’s age:

AgeFeeding Frequency
0 – 12 weeksFree feeding
4 – 12 monthsFour times a day
1 – 7 yearsThree times a day
8 years and aboveThree times a day

A balanced and consistent diet, coupled with appropriate feeding intervals, is essential for the overall health and well-being of your Chihuahua puppy. 

Furthermore, having your Chihuahua regularly checked by a licensed veterinarian can help detect any possible health issues and make necessary adjustments to a more proper diet.

How to Transition Your Chihuahua to a New Food

Chihuahua waiting for feeding

Many factors can cause you to consider changing your Chihuahua’s food. Chihuahuas can be picky eaters. Perhaps your dog is not enjoying the taste of the current food, or you want to address a specific health issue. 

Here is the recommended schedule to help your Chihuahua transition to a new food:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25% 
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

One must remember that every individual dog is unique and may have different needs when transitioning to a new type of food. 

While some dogs may adjust quickly and easily to the new diet, others may require a more extended transition period or different ratios of old and new food. 

Therefore, it’s vital to pay close attention to your dog’s response to the new food during the transition phase and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Chihuahua

If your Chihuahua is overweight, it’s essential to take a careful approach to help it lose body weight while still ensuring it receives the necessary nutrients.

Here are some tips on how to help your dog go back to its healthy weight:

  • Use treats sparingly. Giving your dog treats aside from rewarding them for good behavior may be tempting. Still, to prevent overfeeding your Chihuahua, it’s important to use treats in moderation and avoid using them as a meal substitute. Limiting the number of treats given each day is crucial in maintaining a healthy diet for your furry friend.
  • Opt for premium quality, low-calorie food. Low-quality food and most manufactured food from dog food companies might be cheap, but these have artificial coloring and flavoring, fattening ingredients, and high-fat content, and may not be helpful for weight loss of your Chihuahua. You should switch to low-calorie, high-quality food with healthy ingredients specially designed to promote weight loss. 
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. It’s crucial to monitor your Chihuahua’s weight and body condition to avoid overfeeding. By closely monitoring your dog’s weight, you can adjust your Chihuahua’s diet and exercise routine as needed.
  • Stick to a feeding schedule. Consistency is crucial in feeding your Chihuahua to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding. Stick to a feeding schedule and give your dog food with great nutritional value at the same time every day. This approach helps your Chihuahua develop a routine and prevents the tendency to overeat, especially when the food is left out all day.

Overall, ensuring a healthy weight for your dog involves a well-rounded approach focusing on providing balanced nutrition and controlling portion sizes. 

With dedication and consistency, you can help your small breed dog maintain a healthy weight and enhance their overall health and happiness.

Pro Tip: My cousin used to own a long-haired Chihuahua who loved to eat until the point that it became obese and had sluggish movement.

The first thing I advised so that she can easily monitor her Chihuahua’s weight is for her to choose a proper haircut for Toby, preferably shorter, so it is easier to monitor its body shape and weight reduction progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman feeding Chihuahua puppy outdoor

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Chihuahua Enough?

You can check if you’re feeding your Chihuahua enough by monitoring its weight and body condition. A healthy Chihuahua should have a defined waist and be able to feel its ribs without them being visible. 

However, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian if you’re uncertain about your Chihuahua’s feeding needs. They can provide accurate feeding recommendations based on your dog’s needs.

Why Is My Chihuahua Not Eating?

There can be several reasons why your Chihuahua is not eating even though it has good food. They may be suffering from dental problems, illness, stress, anxiety, or changes in their environment. 

It is best to consult a veterinarian to rule out if your Chihuahua suffers from an underlying medical condition. 

Can I Feed My Chihuahua With Human Food?

While some human foods can be safe for Chihuahuas, other foods are not, so it is generally not recommended to feed them human food regularly. 

Feeding your Chihuahua food for humans can increase their calorie, salt, and fat intake, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in Chihuahuas, like heart disease.

Do Chihuahuas Eat A Lot?

Chihuahuas have small stomachs and do not require a lot of food. However, their feeding requirements depend on their age, weight, and activity level. 

That said, although they do not eat a lot, they still require frequent small feeding to thrive daily.

Can Chihuahuas Eat Bones?

Chihuahuas should not be given bones to eat as they can be a choking hazard or cause damage to their teeth and digestive system. 

Additionally, cooked bones can splinter and cause blockages or perforations in the intestines of your small breed dog, which can be life-threatening. Instead, it is best to give them safe, digestible chew toys or dental chews.

Do you have any other tips or advice for feeding a Chihuahua? We’d love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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