Commercial Dog Food
Commercial dog food labels can be as confusing to read as reading human food labels, but usually the more expensive the dog food the better the quality. The fewer the ingredients the better. The first ingredient in a lot of dog foods is corn. Corn is not digested well by dogs and is of low nutritional value by the time it's processed into dog food, it is the most commonly added ingredient in commercial dog food. My female dog actually suffered hair loss due to an allergy to corn. Low quality dog food is also stuffed full of filler ingredients like processed wood chips (called powdered cellulose) and artificial flavors to make the inferior ingredients appealing to your dog. This is not to say that your puppy will die from eating, but there will likely be long term effects down the road. When the food has better nutrition they need less food to get the same nutrition as a cheaper dog food product. The wonderful bonus is their is less waste to pick up in your yard!
The dog food industry is loosely regulated. It is very difficult to get straight answers. The Food and Drug Administration-Center for Veterinary Medicine have no say in the sourcing of the ingredients in dog food. The Association of American Feed Control Officials have no authority to enforce standards. The Pet Food Institute is almost totally run by representatives of pet food manufacturers.
To select a high quality dog food it is essential that you read the ingredients list. Avoid dog food that has corn or corn meal as the first ingredient. Avoid foods that have a lot fillers and a lot of byproducts. As a rule of thumb (for human food as well), try to get dog food which has ingredients that you know what they are. Do some research on sites like Dog food advisor or Dog food analysis. If you live in a small town with limited access to specialty pet food, you may need to shop online to find high quality food.
High quality Dog foods:
As the general public has become more informed and aware of the need for higher quality dog foods, many companies have answered the call, but they can still be hard to find. Big stores like Wal-mart and Petsmart do not always carry them (depending on your location). The best way to ensure that your Chihuahuas are eating properly is to make your own dog food. For those that do not have the time or the inclination, these dog foods are highly rated and use very high quality ingredients:
Bench and Field
Bully Max High Performance
Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient
Castor and Pollux UltraMix Grain Free
Chicken Soup For The Soul (dry)
Dave's Dog Food
Dog For Dog Dogsfood
Dog Lovers Gold
Evangers Grain Free
Halo Spot's Stew (dry)
Nutro Farms Harvest
RedPaw Power Edge
Taste Of Wild
These are all 4 star rated dog foods. There are a few more not listed, and each brand has its own varieties.
Home Made Adult Chihuahua Dog Food Recipe
Making your own dog food is the only way to know exactly what your little Chihuahua is eating and to know that they are getting proper Chihuahua nutrition. Your home made food should consist of:
- 60% of protein from lean turkey, lean beef, chicken, a little chicken fat is good, fish (mackerel or herring but no more than twice a week) organ meats, lamb, eggs in moderation,
- 40% vegetables carrots, green beans, broccoli, peas, spinach, pumpkin, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers (broccoli and cauliflower may cause gas) Pumpkin is excellent for diarrhea and soothing the tummy.
- 40% carbohydrates white rice, brown rice, potatoes (must be cooked), oatmeal.
- Cook one whole chicken
- Separate the bone and fat, save about 1/2 cup of fat, save the broth
- Add chicken to 2 cups of rice (after cooking, brown or white)
- Mix in 2 cups of veggies, peas add extra protein
package all together and scoop out as needed or put in individual containers, store in the fridge, or the freezer if not used in a week.
Veggies and fruits good for dogs, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, blueberries, asparagus, green beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples. (cored seed free)
How much to feed your Chihuahua
A 5 pound Chihuahua would need approximately 4% of their body weight = 3.2 ounces of food daily.
Five pounds (5 pounds x 4%= 3.2 ounces)
The percentage is lower for large and medium breeds (2% to 3%)
Cottage cheese and yogurt are the only recommended cow dairy food for dogs. Yogurt is excellent for diarrhea and calcium. Cottage cheese is great for extra calcium, nursing mothers need.
Time vs Cost
It is time consuming to cook up some chicken, throw in some rice and veggies,right? You must prepare, cook, sort out the bones and most of the fat, mix all the ingredients together, then bag it and store it. It is more time efficient to make a big batch all at once and then store it. You can store all in one big bag, scooping out what is needed, or individual storage. This should keep in your fridge for about a week, longer than a week, keep in your freezer.
The cost of making your own dog food is equivalent to or cheaper than buying premium dog food. Commercial premium dog food saves time and is more convenient.
Give raw bones in their diet twice weekly for teeth cleaning (again raw), or buy commercial chews.There is some controversy over splintered bones causing health problems.
There is also the option of supplementing their diet, either with commercially bought or you prepare.
Do your homework and pick the dog food you believe is best for your Chihuahua.