Puppy Nutrition

Proper nutrition for your chihuahua puppies:

chihuahua puppy foodPound for pound your puppy needs twice as  much calories as an adult dog of the same breed. Puppies need a lot of calories to fuel their rapid growth, they grow the fastest the first five months. Providing proper nutrition is essential to a puppy's health, they are building bone, muscle, and organs. They need good nutrition to grow up strong and healthy and all that playing and learning! I free feed my pups, that is allowing food all times of the day, so they can eat when they want  and as much as they want. This also helps prevent hypoglycemia, which Chihuahuas are prone to getting.

Treats do not usually provide the nutritional requirements puppies need, so limit their treats. If you want to give them something special, real meat is a high quality treat that they will love. At that young a age it is a treat for your puppy just spending time with you. Obedience training, learning tricks are also treats for them, as long as you make learning fun!

Commercial Puppy Foods

Commercial puppy foods can be range in quality from good to extremely poor. Unfortunately most of well known, big brand puppy foods that you'll find in the stores are not of high quality. 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. 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 puppy. This is not to say that your puppy will die from eating, but there will likely be long term effects down the road.

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 puppy 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 puppies are eating properly is to make your own dog food. For those that do not have the time or the inclination, these puppy foods are highly rated and use very high quality ingredients:

Large breed requirements are different than small breeds, so please buy those specifically for small breeds. Roughly speaking it should be 40% meat, 30% veggies, 30% starch, the starch should not be corn, white or brown rice is fine. Making your own dog food is great, you know exactly what is being ate.

There are some foods you should definitely avoid giving to your Chihuahua puppies. First and foremost is chocolate (which should not be given to adult dogs either), followed by avocados, alcohol, mushrooms, grapes, coffee, tea, caffeine, grapes, raisins, currants, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, pits from fruit,  raw eggs, rhubarb leaves, salt sugary foods, Xylitol, yeast, white potatoes, and all dairy products.

There is a great website called Dog Food Adviser that you can use to find 5 star puppy foods for your Chihuahua. Alternatively you can make your own puppy food to ensure that your puppy is getting all of the nutrition and calories that they need. You may use our homemade dog food recipe. Remember puppies need more calories than an adult dog, so you may need to increase the amount you are feeding your puppy. Please note that this recipe is for puppies that have been weened from their mother and are capable of eating whole foods.

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