How much food should a Chihuahua puppy eat is an important question to answer for your dog’s overall health.
Everyone who has dogs is likely to have different ideas about feeding, based on their experiences.
However, the needs of a puppy differ from adults, and Chihuahuas, in particular, have different food needs than many other dog breeds.
Understanding the amount to feed is important because these dogs are so small.
Feeding puppies that are as small as Chihuahuas require careful meal planning to ensure they receive the proper nourishment.
Giving a Chi nutritionally complete food makes all the difference in your pet’s overall health.
Read on to learn more about how much to feed a Chihuahua puppy and what you can do to meet these needs the best.
How Much Food Should a Chihuahua Puppy Eat?
Chihuahua puppies should eat four times daily to get the optimal nutritional amount that is required as they grow.
As these dogs achieve adult sizes, two or three times daily feeding will be sufficient for their needs.
Because puppies have a need for a higher caloric intake than adults, more frequent feeding is necessary.
Puppies who are still growing will consume 50 calories per pound of body weight.
During colder weather, you might find your puppy wanting to eat more, and there is nothing wrong with this.
If your puppy does seem hungrier than normal after having received the required amount of dog food on a regular basis, you might want to check with your vet to rule out any issues requiring attention.
A Chihuahua will be close to adult size by six months old. Once these dogs reach a year old, they are fully grown.
By adulthood, a Chihuahua’s calorie needs will be 35 to 40 calories per pound. Feeding your dog the proper amount of food will help them maintain a healthy weight.
Knowing how the calorie count your puppy needs translate to individual servings. This will make feeding your puppy much easier.
Most owners will find dry food, possibly served along with some wet food, the most convenient option.
When you understand how much food your puppy will require as they grow you will be setting the stage for having a healthy puppy.
How Much Dry Food Should My Chihuahua Puppy Get?
According to experts, younger puppies from six to eight weeks old will consume about 1/4 cup of food a day, split up into four meals.
When your puppy starts to approach four to six months, 1/2 cup will meet your Chihuahua’s nutritional needs.
This period will likely be the last growth period before reaching adulthood.
Although most Chihuahua puppies will transition to 1/3 cup by the time they reach six months, puppies that are likely to be bigger than the average Chihuahua size will eat more.
When these puppies are nearing adult size, a full cup a day in total is to be expected.
The individual puppy’s activity level will also influence food needs, with active puppies usually requiring more food to eat.
Don’t be surprised if you need to adjust your puppy’s feeding amounts a few times before they reach adulthood.
Growth spurts will usually bring about demands for more food. Once the growth spurt has started to subside, the pup will return to its usual meal habits.
When your pup becomes an adult, be aware that a pregnant Chihuahua may have different food requirements.
Is a Mixture Better for My Puppy?
Most puppies benefit from a mixture of wet and dry food, with Chihuahuas being no exception.
How you feed this mixture will depend on your puppy’s eating habits and might require you to experiment a bit to find the method that works best for your puppy.
A puppy’s preferences might change from one meal to the next.
For example, if your puppy has a marked preference for dry food, feed the wet food separately as a treat.
Should your puppy prefer wet food, give dry food as a treat. This is a win-win situation because your puppy will get both types of food.
Consider using a bowl with separate compartments if they are unsure of whether your puppy will eat the food mixed.
Chis have a reputation for being somewhat fussy about new foods.
Keeping the two foods separated will help eliminate waste that might occur if your puppy is uninterested in the new type of food.
When you feed wet and dry food at the same time, you can show some flexibility in how you feed the puppy, based on their tastes.
Some dogs like taking the food as a topper, which might be a good solution if you have a Chihuahua who is fussy about dry food.
You can also try mixing the dry and wet food together.
Regardless of how you mix the foods, getting your puppy used to both of them will help them benefit from better nutrition.
Wet Food Benefits
Chihuahua puppies require more protein than adults, and many canned or other wet foods have a higher protein content.
Protein is necessary for a puppy’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and hair to be healthy.
When a puppy receives the proper amount of protein, they are less likely to end up with injuries or develop skin and coat issues.
Another advantage of wet food is providing extra hydration. Because puppies are more active, they are at a higher risk for dehydration, especially during warmer weather.
Making sure your Chihuahua always stays hydrated also helps protect their heart and kidney health.
Chihuahuas have smaller teeth and jaws than most other breeds. Using wet food makes it easier for these little dogs to chew and enjoy their food.
Being able to chew more effectively helps support incoming adult teeth.
Some puppies can be picky eaters, and Chihuahuas are very likely to be selective. Giving puppies wet food is more likely to generate interest in meals.
Many wet foods have ingredients that are somewhat of an indulgent treat, such as real meat and gravy.
High-quality puppy food can give your Chihuahua the level of nutrients that they need to grow up healthy.
Regardless of whether you feed canned food by itself or combined with dry food, you can feel confident about your choice.
Your puppy’s health as an adult has many of its foundations in nutrition at the puppy stage.
Dry Food Benefits
Dry food is beneficial for dogs’ oral health. Kibble and other dry forms help clean Chihuahuas’ teeth in ways that wet food alone cannot.
The dry food helps clean plaque and other unpleasant buildups from your puppy’s teeth, reducing the chances of dental disease that can be costly to treat further down the road.
Many dogs, particularly puppies, have a habit of gulping their food without chewing it properly first.
When eating dry food, your Chihuahua puppy will be more likely to chew their food properly.
There are fewer digestive issues when a dog chews their food, instead of swallowing it only partially chewed.
High-quality dry foods are as nutritionally complete as wet foods. An ideal choice would be a puppy formula intended for Chihuahuas or small dogs.
Even in cases where you are unable to find breed-specific puppy food, high-quality food for puppies is what you will need to use.
Should I Allow my Puppy Unlimited Amounts of Food?
Although puppies are great at begging and making you think they require more food, extra feedings beyond usual meals are not a good idea.
A Chihuahua puppy will require more feeding than an adult.
However, feeding your puppy whenever they demand food can lead to weight problems and related health issues, as well as encourage bad behavior.
Many people think that because Chihuahuas are small, they are unlikely to overeat. However, many dogs will overeat if given the opportunity, particularly puppies.
Feeding your puppy the amount of food required and figuring any snacks that you provide into this amount will help you keep your puppy at a healthy weight.
If you notice that your Chi has put on additional weight, and is 5 months or older, she might be pregnant. How will you know how long your Chi will be pregnant for?
Small snacks, especially table scraps, can easily cut into your puppy’s daily food allotment.
If you give your puppy too many treats like these, they will be unlikely to get the proper nutrition that they require.
The effects of poor nutrition on puppies can be detrimental to their development and jeopardize their health in the long run.
When puppies are receiving poor nutrition, bones may develop abnormally, resulting in bowing and weakening.
Rickets, a type of bone softening, may also become an issue.
Chihuahua pups need healthy bone development to help prevent injuries during play and when they are running around.
Skin problems can also arise through poor nutrition.
Feeding a balanced diet that includes all the nutrients your puppy needs for healthy skin and a healthy coat.
A diet that includes too many treats can give your Chi a poor skin and coat appearance.
Be careful not to underfeed your puppy in the evening. If your Chihuahua cries at nighttime, you’ll need to rule out hunger when trying to figure out what the issue is.
Overfeeding a puppy can disrupt fat composition, which increases the likelihood of adult obesity.
One of the conditions that an obese dog can develop later in life is diabetes, requiring lifelong insulin injections.
Keeping your Chihuahua at a healthy weight from an early age is an ideal way to ensure good health.
Is Feeding my Puppy on a Schedule a Good Idea?
Your Chi puppy will benefit from eating on a regular schedule.
You will not only be able to control your dog’s food intake, but you will also be able to establish a regular routine, discourage behavior issues and conflicts with other pets, and help your puppy get housebroken more easily.
Feeding a puppy on a regular schedule, as opposed to free-feeding, makes it easier for you to make sure your puppy gets the proper amount of food.
You can make sure your puppy is finishing their meals and enjoying their food.
If your Chihuahua puppy is not finishing a meal, you can work on finding a different food that they will like better.
Another advantage of feeding at set times is helping your dog learn a routine. Puppies usually do better in a new home when they have a routine that they follow.
Enjoying meals at set times helps puppies get used to activities in the home taking place at certain times.
When you feed a puppy on a regular schedule, one of the things you will be able to do is discourage your Chi from scavenging under the table or begging.
In multi-pet households, you can make sure the other dogs allow your pup to eat without going after the puppy’s food.
You will be in a better position to prevent food-related conflicts between your puppy and the other pets.
Feeding on a regular schedule is also a good way to help aid your puppy’s housebreaking process.
Most puppies are easier to housebreak when they eat on a regular schedule.
You can time the trips out to the backyard to take place after meals, so your puppy understands what they are supposed to do.
Final Thoughts on Feeding Chihuahua Puppies
Knowing how much food should a Chihuahua puppy eat and actually needs is one of the most crucial steps that you can take towards taking charge of your dog’s health at an early age.
Providing the right amount helps your puppy grow and develop at a healthy rate, as well as ensure that your dog has optimal nutrition to ensure better health in adulthood.
The choices that you make when your dog is a puppy will have life-long consequences for your Chi’s health, so you need to make them wisely.