Few animals on this planet are as opinionated as Chihuahuas, and that extends to their food as well. If you try to give them a kibble they don’t like, you’ll hear all about it.
Of course, finding one that you both can agree on is no easy task. Many options out there are filled with junk and will only serve to make your dog fat — and obesity is absolutely terrible for these little dogs. However, it’s difficult to tell a quality food from a bad one, especially since there are so many different health claims on the bag.
In the reviews below, we’ll walk you through which foods we think are best for Chihuahua puppies. Our top picks will help your dog grow up big and strong — and hopefully, they’ll even earn you a respite from your dog’s judgmental gaze (not likely).
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dry||
|Best Value||Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Dry||
|Premium Choice||Merrick Grain-Free||
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed||
The 8 Best Dog Foods for Chihuahua Puppies — Reviews 2020
1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Puppy Dog Food — Best Overall
Puppies need omega fatty acids, regardless of their breed, as these antioxidants help them develop healthy brains and eyes, as well as a powerful immune system. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is packed with omegas, thanks to a mixture of salmon, fish meal, canola oil, and salmon oil.
All that fish creates a solid base of lean protein as well, and while this stuff doesn’t top the charts at 27%, that’s still a good amount of protein for a smaller pup like a Chihuahua. It also has adequate amounts of fat and fiber (15% and 5%, respectively).
It’s not all meat, though. There are quite a few healthy fruits and veggies in here as well, like blueberries, raspberries, and sweet potatoes. The kibble does a good job of providing a balanced meal in every bowl.
We also like the inclusion of taurine, which is important for heart health. That’s something that’s often overlooked in food intended for smaller dogs, but that’s not the case here.
If we had to find something to nitpick in this food, it would be the relatively high amount of salt in it. That certainly adds flavor, but at the risk of increasing blood pressure or even the risk of diabetes.
As long as you keep your pup’s weight at a healthy level, though, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue — and it’s not a big enough concern to knock Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream out of the top spot.
2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Puppy Dog Food — Best Value
Let’s get something straight: Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy is definitely not a perfect food. However, when you factor in just how inexpensive it is, it’s a wonder they can pack so much good stuff into such a cheap bag.
The first two ingredients are real chicken and chicken meal, which is unusual for foods in this price range. Typically, you’d see animal by-products of some kind listed among the first few ingredients, as well as cheap fillers like corn or wheat.
You will find fillers in here — it’s a cheap food, after all. However, they’re pushed further down the list than they would be on most budget kibbles. Still, if your dog has problems processing soy or corn, you might want to give this food a miss.
The company offsets the problematic ingredients somewhat by including superfoods like cranberries, flaxseed, and fish oil. It also has a good amount of protein at 16%, which is more than many higher-priced options offer.
The problematic ingredients make Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy clearly inferior to our top pick, but this is a remarkably good food, considering what it costs. It’s enough to earn it the silver medal here, as well as the title of “Best Dog Food for Chihuahua Puppies for the Money.”
Merrick Grain-Free is one of the best dog foods around, as far as we’re concerned. It’s also incredibly expensive, which is why it doesn’t rank higher here.
It offers a wide nutritional profile, especially regarding the protein sources. You’ll find beef, lamb meal, pork fat, salmon meal, and salmon, ensuring that your little pup gets all the essential amino acids they need.
The fruits and veggies are equally impressive. Blueberries, apples, sweet potatoes, flaxseed are all inside.
You’ll also be impressed by what’s not in here: namely, cheap fillers like corn and wheat. The lack of grains makes this recipe good for dogs with sensitive digestive systems, and since those grains are often full of empty calories, this kibble’s also good for keeping off excess weight.
Our biggest issue with this food (other than the price) is that it gets most of its protein from plant sources, which lack important nutrients found in animal meat. That’s not a huge deal, given the wide array of animal sources it boasts, but it’s a flaw nonetheless.
Overall, Merrick Grain-Free is one of our favorite dog foods. If it were a little cheaper, it would likely compete for the top spot, but for now, it’ll have to settle for third.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Formula Puppy Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula includes their proprietary “LifeSource Bits,” which are chunks of vitamins and nutrients mixed in with the regular kibble. It’s a great, easy way to ensure that your growing dog gets all the nutrition they need.
The food doesn’t stop there, however. It’s fairly high in protein at 29%, and it reaches that number with a mixture of real chicken and fish meal. You’ll also find chicken fat and fish oil, both of which are full of omega fatty acids.
This food relies heavily on peas, which is both good and bad. You’ll find regular peas and pea fiber here, and both those foods are filled with important nutrients. There’s pea protein in here too, though, which isn’t ideal.
The kibble itself is small enough that a little Chihuahua puppy should have no issue getting their mouth around it, and it does a good job of clearing away plaque and tartar.
The company uses white potatoes in this food, and those spuds add flavor but little else. They can also be difficult for some dogs to digest.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula has everything that your dog needs to grow up strong and healthy, but it also has a few key flaws that prevent us from ranking it higher on this list.
5. American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food
American Journey may not be as well-known a brand as some of the other options on this list, but that’s a shame, because they make high-quality, affordable food for dogs of all sizes.
The ingredients list starts with a bang, as real chicken and chicken meal are the first foods listed. After that, you’ll find rice (which is a concern) and peas. The rice is gentle on stomachs, so dogs with digestive issues should tolerate this food well.
The problem with the rice, however, is that there are three different types of rice listed: brown rice, rice bran, and brewers rice. This indicates ingredient splitting, which is a tactic that manufacturers use to disguise how much of a certain food is in a kibble. If you lumped all the rice together, you may discover that there’s more of it in the bag than chicken.
The numbers support this somewhat, as the food only has a mediocre 25% protein. That’s not terrible but you can do better.
It does have other things going for it, like high amounts of glucosamine and omega fatty acids. We also appreciate the inclusion of foods like cranberries, blueberries, and kelp, all of which are packed with vitamins and minerals.
The only other quibble we have with this food is that it uses dried egg product, which can irritate some dogs’ tummies. That should be offset by all the rice and the oatmeal inside, though.
American Journey makes a good-but-not-great food, though it’s certainly one of the best in its price range. We like it, just not enough for it to crack the top four.
6. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food
Each bag of Purina Pro Plan Focus brags that it’s made with an eye on cognitive development, which is apparently why it has fish oil and meal. However, it’s hard to see exactly why they think this formula will do wonders for your Chihuahua’s brain.
The first ingredient is chicken, followed by brewers rice — so far, so good. After that, though, the wheels fall off, as you encounter animal by-products, cornmeal, wheat, and other less-than-stellar ingredients.
The protein and fat levels are good at 28% and 18%, respectively, but this food has little fiber (only 3%). You’ll need to watch your dog to make sure everything is moving properly.
What’s most confusing about this kibble is that for all its cheap fillers, it’s not a particularly inexpensive food. Sure, you can find more expensive options, but this is definitely not a budget food. It makes us wonder why the company skimped on quality ingredients.
Purina Pro Plan Focus has a few things going for it, but that’s not enough to overcome its serious flaws. It would take a drastic re-working of this kibble for it to rise any higher on this list.
7. Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Chihuahua is specifically formulated for the breed, so you’d think it would do better on this list. However, a quick scan of the ingredients list makes us wonder if they’ve ever actually met a Chihuahua, let alone try to feed one.
You don’t have to wait long to encounter a problematic ingredient, as chicken by-product meal is the first thing on the list. By-product meal is made using the leftover meat that they should have thrown away, and while your dog will likely eat it, that doesn’t mean they should.
The bad foods don’t stop there, either. This kibble is packed with corn and wheat, which means empty calories while also increasing the likelihood that it will irritate your dog’s stomach. It has quite a bit of sodium too.
That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to like about it, though. It has both fish and vegetable oil for antioxidants, and the overall protein and fat levels are good.
You’d expect a food expressly designed for the breed would top this list, but Royal Canin Chihuahua has too many serious flaws.
8. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Bites Dry Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet is another misleadingly-named option, as we’re not sure what “science” the manufacturer followed in making this food.
Chicken meal is the first ingredient, which is good, as it’s full of glucosamine and other important nutrients. Past that, there’s little worth recommending here.
You’ll find tons of wheat and corn in here, which is probably why it’s relatively high in calories for a small breed kibble. If you choose to feed this to your dog, we recommend keeping a close eye on their weight to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.
It does have high-quality fruits and veggies, but these are all at the very bottom of the list, so we can assume there are only trace amounts inside. There’s soybean oil as well.
As you can probably tell, we’re not especially high on Hill’s Science Diet. It’s simply hard to recommend a food that doesn’t seem to have a small dog’s best interests at heart.
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is our favorite food for Chihuahua puppies, as it has all the nutrients they need, including lean protein and omega fatty acids.
For a food that’s nearly as good (but not nearly as expensive), try Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy. It has a few ingredients we don’t like, but it makes up for it with real chicken and high-quality fruits and veggies.
Buying a dog food isn’t easy, but we hope that our reviews have taken some of the stress out of your decision. The important thing is to give your dog something they like and that has all the nutritional support they need — and no matter what your Chihuahua tells you, never give them Taco Bell.
Featured Image: wkn from Pexels
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 8 Best Dog Foods for Chihuahua Puppies — Reviews 2020
- 1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Puppy Dog Food — Best Overall
- 2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Puppy Dog Food — Best Value
- 3. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Food — Premium Choice
- 4. Blue Buffalo Life Formula Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 5. American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 6. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 7. Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 8. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Bites Dry Dog Food