One of the most important decisions you will have to make every day will come when feeding your Chihuahua. Should you opt for dry or canned dog food? What about home made dog food? Is it a good idea to feed your Chi your leftovers? It is vital that you know what to leave out of your Chihuahua’s diet, since foods which we commonly eat, such as onions, chocolate and candy, may be toxic and kill him.
Unlike a larger dog, a Chihuahua will eat small portions, therefore it is vital that your Chihuahua’s food contains the right nutrition, which will maintain its stamina, teeth, skin and coat. Care must be taken that they are not overfed, or given too many high fat or sugary treats, since this could lead to your Chi becoming overweight. Treats can contain a lot of sugar, milk and fat, so it is a good idea to ensure that they are never more than 15% of your dogs total calorie intake. If you use treats regularly and are worried about the weight your dog may put on, you may reduce the portions you are feeding it. An overweight Chihuahua is prone to health issues, such as joint injuries and an overall shorter life span. Achieving the right balance however, will enhance its life and prolong its lifespan.
Feeding your Chihuahua the right amount is also of the utmost importance if it is to stay healthy, since Chis are prone to suffer from hypoglycemia, and must not be allowed to go too long without a meal. The following is a basic guideline, though an individual dog’s requirements may differ:
0 – 8 weeks
Puppies up to 3 weeks old receive all the nutrition they need from their mother’s milk. At the 3 or 4 week point, puppies should start to eat solid food. By watering this food down, it will make it easier for your puppy to digest.
6 – 8 weeks
From the 6 – 8 week point, puppies need to be fed 3 – 4 times a day. It is important however, that when feeding your Chihuahua you choose a puppy food and not an adult food, since their nutritional requirements are different.
8 weeks to 1 year
Throughout this time your puppy will experience teething, and will grow in size. Despite this, you must still feed him twice a day and ensure that you are using puppy food for the added nutrition required.
At about this age, you should start feeding your puppy adult food. Before doing so, ensure you consult your vet.
Your adult Chis diet should consist of ¼ cup to 1 cup of food a day, split into two separate feedings. As a basic rule, you should feed your Chihuahua ½ oz of food per pound of weight.
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