Chihuahuas are miniature dogs that many children dream of. Mature people do not remain indifferent to them, for whom these charming devoted crumbs become real family members and joys in life. But before you start such a baby, you need to know how to properly care for her and how to feed a Chihuahua at home. It is wrong to think that the dog is small, and a spoonful of porridge a day will be enough for it. This animal is very active, temperamental, inquisitive, spending a lot of energy, which must be replenished with the help of a properly balanced diet.
For the dog to be healthy and happy, it is important to create comfortable living conditions for it, provide proper care and feed it with quality food.
When feeding a Chihuahua, you need to adhere to the following rules:
- Food should not be cold or hot, only removed from the stove. You need to feed the dog a little warm, room-temperature food.
- The pet must have constant access to clean, perfectly filtered, water. Change it several times a day.
- In the summertime, it is better to regale the dog once a day.
- You cannot regale your pet with food from the master’s table: food flavored with spices can cause liver, kidney, and stomach diseases.
- The Chihuahua should receive food at the same time in a permanent feeding area.
- You need to feed after a walk, when she played enough, ran over, and got hungry.
- It is better to divide the daily amount of food into several feedings.
- If the dog licks the dishes for a long time, there is not enough food for it. If there is food left in the bowl, reduce the portion. Overfeeding should not be allowed: it causes disruption of the musculoskeletal system, leads to obesity.
- The food must be fresh. You cannot cook for several days in the future – stale food can cause poisoning. A few hours after cooking, all nutrients from food disappear.
- Cannot be used to promote candy and cookies. For this, low-fat cheese, slices of carrots, fruits are suitable.
- Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before serving.
- Food and water bowls should not stand on the floor. They are installed on special stands, adjusted in height to the level of the pet’s chest. This will save the spine from unnecessary stress.
- After feeding, the dishes with the remaining food are removed. This will allow the animal to work up the appetite until the next feeding, and the whole dish will be eaten.
- The last meal should be no later than 19.00 hours. Before sleeping, the dog needs to use up all the calories it has accumulated.
The Chihuahua’s diet should include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vegetable fats, minerals, and vitamin supplements.
How much and how often to feed
An adult Chihuahua needs to eat 50 to 80 grams of food daily for each kilogram of weight. If the dog weighs two kilograms, it needs 100-160 grams of the food. Most of the food should be proteins, the rest – crop products.
How to properly feed Chihuahua dogs? Veterinarians recommend feeding the doggie in the morning and in the evening – twice a day, you can – three times. Between main meals, it is allowed to treat the dog with a special bone or biscuits.
Do’s and Don’ts: Food List
There are almost no bans on Chihuahua food. But feeding should include foods that are good for the body and health of the animal and exclude those that are not good for health, which can be harmful. Let’s figure out, together with Chihuahua’s nutrition, what is possible and what is not.
What can you give
The list of permitted foods for feeding small dogs is long. This includes:
- Low-fat meats (boiled beef, veal, horse meat, chicken).
- Fillet of fish (river can not be given – it is infected with helminths, bony). Pollock causes kidney stones. The bones are removed before eating.
- By-products (boiled liver, stomachs, heart).
- Eggs (1-2 times a week) in the form of omelets.
- Grits, chopped or grated after cooking (buckwheat, millet, oat, rice, corn).
- Sometimes you can give croutons (for the development of chewing muscles), bread, well-boiled pasta in small quantities.
- Fermented milk (fat-free) products for calcium replenishment: yogurt, kefir, sour cream, cheese, cottage cheese (with care-cause fermentation). If a dog’s tummy grows, it is swollen, some foods need to be excluded from the diet. To understand this, you do not need to mix different foods at the same time. Then, determining the cause of the digestive upset will be difficult.
- Vegetables, chopped on a grater and stewed without salt (carrots, zucchini, beets, pumpkin). Boiled potatoes are given.
- Fruit puree (apple, banana, peach, apricot).
- Watermelon, melon.
- Chopped greens.
- Vegetable oil (add a little to food).
What can not be given
If you regale your pet with forbidden food, it may develop digestive problems, develop gastritis, inflame the pancreas or liver, and decay teeth. Chihuahua’s diet should not include the following foods:
- Pork meat. It is fatty, often infected with helminths.
- Raw sea and any river fish (bony, infected with parasites).
- Sausages, sausages.
- Pickled foods, pickles, smoked foods (disrupt the digestive tract, kidneys, lead to gastritis, increase blood pressure).
- Raisins, grapes.
- Nuts (cause stone formation in the bladder and brittle bones due to high phosphorus content).
- Legumes (beans, peas – cause flatulence in the intestines).
- Tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks.
- Chocolate and other sweets (cause obesity, type II diabetes, put a heavy load on the pancreas).
- Butter products.
- Cabbage, radishes, bell peppers, onions (raw causes anemia), nuts.
- Canned food.
- Tubular, sharp chicken bones.
- Fresh cow’s milk (causes indigestion, gas, diarrhea).
You can feed your dog with traditional natural food, ready-made dry industrial food, and wet canned food sold in pet stores. It will be correct to ask the breeder about the nutrition of the dog. He will tell you what type of food was used and what you can feed your pet.
You can not abruptly switch from one diet to another, this should happen gradually. It is unacceptable to mix different types of food in one feeding.
You may need to experiment, try all three nutritional options. Sometimes you have to combine and change the diet due to the lack of the desired result. What food is best for the pet is up to the owner. But you need to take into account the taste preferences of the pet, its physiological characteristics, reaction to a particular product.
Features of feeding dry and ready-made feed
Feeding with dry food has a number of advantages: the product is stored for a long time, there is no need to spend time on cooking, preparing a diet, calculating the necessary balance of nutritional and useful components. The composition and the necessary feeding rates are indicated on the package, and the amount of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and necessary substances is as balanced as possible, taking into account the breed, age, and weight of the animal. Therefore, there is no need to buy special supplements.
Such food is suitable for busy owners who do not have time for the hassle associated with the constant purchase of food and cooking. Industrial feeds are stored for a long time, they are convenient to take with you. If you sprinkled food on your pet in the morning, you don’t have to worry about the food spoiling during the day.
The choice of feed is huge. But, stopping at feeding “drying”, you need to take food premium or super-premium class, suitable for dogs of small breeds. They are costly. But Chihuis are small dogs, they need little food. One pack of feed will last for a long time.
It is impossible to save money by purchasing cheap economy feed. All of them consist of animal waste and low-grade cereals, contain many harmful chemicals: dyes, flavor, and odor enhancers.
The composition of high-quality feed includes natural meat, healthy grains, vitamins, minerals, drugs for the prevention of diseases of the joints and cartilage. “Drying” well removes the deposits of dental calculus in dogs, serves as prophylaxis of its formation.
Dry food can be fed naturally or soaked in water or broth. The size of the granules and the taste are selected according to the taste and desire of the pet.
Animals like canned food for dogs more than “drying”. Chihuis are delighted with them. They are given in their pure form. In terms of the content of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, such feeds are balanced, unless they belong to economy class products.
The rating of decent feeds is headed by brands: Proplan, Royal Canin. Producers producing the best and most expensive feeds – hollistik containing whole meat, cereals, vegetables, and fruits of the highest category, suitable for human nutrition: Akana, Monge, Hills, Origen. All well-known companies produce food lines for animals of different breeds, weight, and age categories. There are brands of dietary products and hypoallergenic foods for sensitive animals prone to allergies.
Features of feeding with natural food
Natural feeding is suitable for less busy owners who have the opportunity to purchase products frequently and formulate balanced diets for feeding their pets. There is no doubt about the quality of natural products. They are almost completely absorbed by the body of dogs, do not cause allergic manifestations.
But you will need to additionally purchase mineral supplements and vitamins for the Chihuahua with natural nutrition if they are not enough in ordinary products. They buy them at a veterinary pharmacy. Use strictly in the doses indicated on the package, mixing in food for animals. The dog especially needs vitamins of group B, E, C, A, minerals: calcium, phosphorus, iron.
Table of an approximate menu of a Chihuahua weighing 2 kg for a week
|Day of week||Dishes|
|Monday||Boiled beef meat, cut into pieces — 50 g, kefir — 50 g, rice porridge — 30 g, raw grated carrots — 20 g, a teaspoon of sour cream — 10 g.|
|Tuesday||Boiled liver, ground – 50 g, low-fat cottage cheese – 50 g, buckwheat porridge – 20 g, stewed pumpkin – 20 g, vegetable oil – 10 g, greens -10 g.|
|Wednesday||Boiled hake – 50 g, millet porridge – 30 g, omelet from 1 quail egg – 30 g, grated boiled carrot – 20 g, 1 teaspoon of sour cream -10 g, fermented baked milk – 20 g.|
|Thursday||Boiled chicken fillet – 70 g, hercules porridge – 30 g, stewed zucchini – 20 g, fermented baked milk – 20 g, banana puree – 20 g.|
|Friday||Boiled beef heart, ground – 60 g, corn porridge – 30 g, grated cheese – 20 g, boiled grated beets – 20 g, peach puree – 30 g.|
|Saturday||Boiled cod, pieces – 60 g, chopped greens – 10 g, buckwheat porridge – 20 g, melon (puree) – 30, boiled chicken yolk – 20 g, cottage cheese – 20 g.|
|Sunday||Boiled rabbit meat, in pieces – 60 g, rice porridge – 30 g, fermented baked milk – 40 g, greens – 10 g, stewed cauliflower – 20 g.|
The indicated daily amount of food is divided into 2 meals: at 7.00 and 19.00. In the morning feeding, it is better to give fermented milk products and herbs. In the evening, porridge is given, grated with chopped or ground meat, offal, fish, stewed vegetables, and fruits.
Features of feeding during pregnancy and after childbirth
For pregnant and lactating dogs, nutrition should be special. During this period, you need to increase the amount of calcium in food. Low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, apples, cauliflower, sea fish rich in high-value protein, boiled until the bones are completely softened will be useful.
From the very beginning of pregnancy, vitamins A, B1, E, D are needed. A large amount of raw meat and egg yolks are introduced into the diet.
A week before giving birth, a future woman in labor can be fed dry food without restriction. In order to avoid satiety of the pregnant mother’s body with its own animal protein and a serious disease – eclampsia, typical for dogs of this breed, which causes mortality in 80% of cases, fish and meat are stopped.
In the first week after giving birth, a whelping bitch is given tea with milk and honey to enhance lactation. Often it is necessary to force-feed mommy due to lack of appetite after pupping or to choose food according to the dog’s liking.
The dog is fed 4-5 times a day. They give porridge, boiled meat, boiled fish, fruits, vegetables, raisins, dried apricots, nuts, zero-fat cottage cheese, phytin, and calcium gluconate daily.
After weaning from puppies, the dog’s diet is drastically reduced to quickly stop milk production, completely stopping feeding on the first day. Gradually, within a week, they return to the usual amount of food. Water is given without restrictions.
Refusal to eat: possible causes
Dogs often refuse to eat. This happens for various reasons. It is very important to distinguish manipulation, cunning, inherent in small dogs from a situation requiring medical intervention.
Refusal to eat is often due to the habit of the owners pampering their pet with treats from the table. The animal becomes capricious, demanding, constantly begs for food from the owner, gets used to forbidden food.
Sometimes dogs arrange fasting days for themselves. Pets often refuse food due to heat, hormonal changes during estrus or pregnancy. Males lose their appetite during mating or when they feel the close presence of a flowing individual of the opposite sex. The reason for refusing to eat can be stress associated with a change of residence or separation from the owner.
But if your little pet has become lethargic, then the temperature is or, conversely, he has hypothermia; he is in a fever; he has discharge from the nose, eyes, ears, repeated vomiting, bleeding; feces acquired a putrid fetid odor; there was a strong rumbling in the tummy, and the stool became frequent and thin, the problem is serious. There is no need to hope that things will come to their senses on their own. In such cases, urgent veterinary intervention is required.
The well-being of a pet largely depends on how attentive the owner is to him. Proper care and good nutrition are the foundations of your Chihuahua’s health and good mood. Regardless of what food you feed your pet, the products must be fresh and of the best quality. Love and care will make your dog’s life long and happy, will keep him active and good-natured until the last days.