If you've recently obtained a chihuahua puppy, you might be wondering what you should feed your new four-legged friend. Chihuahua puppies are notoriously finicky when it comes to their diets -- therefore, a little experimentation may be required on your part. However, there are a few bits of information you should know when it comes to feeding a chihuahua puppy.
If you've obtained the puppy from a breeder, pet shop or rescue centre, there's a good chance it is already eating a certain brand of food. If you plan to switch the food to a different brand, do so slowly. Abruptly changing your chihuahua puppy's food can cause intestinal upset and the puppy may reject the food. Feed the dog a mixture consisting of 75 per cent of its current food mixed with 25 per cent of the new food for a week. If the puppy tolerates this, add a little more of your food and take away some of the current food until the puppy is eating half and half. After a week, make a mixture that consists of 75 per cent of the new food and 25 per cent of the old. During week four, add a bit more of your food until the ratio is about 90 per cent new food and 10 per cent old food. Finally, allow the puppy to eat the new food exclusively at week five.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to the amount of food your chi puppy should ingest daily is 28 g (1 oz) of dry food for every 450 g (1 lb) in body weight of your chi puppy. That is, if your chi puppy weighs 1.36 kg (2 lb 15 oz), it should eat 85 g (3 oz) of food daily, distributed among several meals.
Dry or wet food
Puppy food comes in a variety of textures and consistencies, including dry, semi-moist and canned. Semi-moist food is soft to the touch and contains about 30 per cent water, whereas canned food is 85 per cent water. Dry food is hard, but contains the same nutrients that the wet varieties do. Wet formulas tend to cause a build-up of tartar and plaque on the chi's puppy teeth, while dry food helps keep them clean. Since the different types have their own benefits and disadvantages, consult with your vet about which might work best for your puppy.
Chihuahua puppies under three months old and that weigh less than 900 g (2 lb) should be free-fed, meaning they should eat whenever they want. After that, you should take away any food they don't eat after 30 minutes so that they do not come back to it and snack, which can lead to obesity. When the puppy is between three and six months of age, it should receive three to four meals a day. From six months of age to one year, the puppy should eat two to three meals daily. After that, feed your chi twice daily.
Go with a well-known brand that produces high-quality food. All high-quality brands will carry the "complete and balanced" statement on the bag. Talk to your vet about which food she recommends. Start with a small bag or a few cans and pouches and see how your pup reacts. If it doesn't like it or gets sick, slowly try another brand.