Homemade Dog Food For Chihuahuas Guide: Recipes, Nutrition & Tips

chihuahua homemade dog food

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This is the most comprehensive guide to learning how to make homemade dog food for Chihuahuas.

Cooking for Chihuahuas requires planning and understanding your dog’s breed-specific essential nutritional requirements and more. This guide lays out everything to know about cooking for your chichi, including essential steps you might have overlooked.

So, what can I cook for my Chihuahua? Here is how to put together a balanced homemade diet for Chihuahuas that is also tasty!

Chapter 1: Nutrition, Benefits & Risks

Ch 2 

Chihuahua Homemade Dog Food Benefits

Are there appreciable health and nutritional benefits that make home cooking from your Chihuahua appealing?

Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, say some of the benefits you can expect when you start feeding your dog homemade dog food include:

  • Diet management
  • Appeasing picky dog eaters
  • Combatting food intolerance and allergy issues
  • Avoid concern over food recalls
  • Bond-building

Additionally, a homemade dog diet is generally the healthiest alternative. It’s free of additives or preservatives, unlike regular kibble. It promotes healthier digestion and can prevent many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin and coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

Food & Chihuahuas Health: Why Feed Homemade?

As a Chihuahua dog owner, you need to know the relationship between food and your Chihuahua’s health and how homemade food can help keep your Chihuahua free from food-related health conditions.

Dan Carey, D.V.M., with Iams Research and Development division, says one of the biggest problems found in pet Chihuahuas is obesity. Due to their small size, one snack or table treat can easily wind up being 1/3 of the daily food (calorie) intake of a Chihuahua, which can lead to obesity quickly.

Chihuahuas are also highly susceptible to food allergies and intolerances that tend to manifest as chronic ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, and red, inflamed, and flaky skin. Hair loss and a dull, dry coat are also symptoms of food allergies in the Chihuahua breed.

Other common health problems in Chihuahuas include heart valve problems, joint problems (hip dysplasia), hypoglycemia and tooth and gum disease.

How Can A Homemade Diet Help Chihuahua Health Issues?

  • Increased lifespan. Research shows that dogs that eat fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those who don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.[1]
  • Avoid allergies. Cooking for your dog allows you to pick ingredients that won’t trigger allergies in your Chihuahua. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy test before selecting the ingredients for your dog’s next meal.
  • Obesity & joints. Switching to homemade dog food allows you to easily calibrate the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity in dogs can increase their risk for bone and joint problems (i.e., hip dysplasia) and subsequent osteoarthritis. Studies show that dogs maintaining their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer (with significantly fewer diseases) than their overweight siblings.[2]
  • Bioavailability. Home-cooked dog food is easier to digest — more digestible food means dogs can absorb nutrients more efficiently and faster. Quicker nutrient absorption means minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids act quicker in the body to carry out different functions, such as decreasing inflammatory responses that can help prevent allergies or help boost overall health.
  • Cancer prevention. When it comes to cancer, homemade dog food removes the highly processed food from the equation, which is often linked to cancer issues in dogs. Food processing has been shown to cause free radicals and carcinogenic chemicals to be released. With homemade, you no longer have to worry about oxidative stress due to processed food.[3][4]
  • Fresh ingredients with no chemicals. Homemade meals ensure your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and chemical-free foods without additives, fillers, high-glycemic carbs, or colorants normally found in kibble.
  • Easy digestion. Homemade dog food is easier to digest than those hard-kibble mystery balls. Feeding your pet freshly made food puts less stress on their digestive system and liver, reducing the likelihood of bloating or other digestive issues.
  • Excellent taste and smell. Dogs love the taste, smell and texture of fresh dog food.

Chihuahua Homemade Dog Food Risks

An important tip when cooking for your Chihuahua is to AVOID feeding your Chihuahua table scraps, says Sandra Whittle of Chesterfield, Virginia, Chihuahua Club of America past president.[5]

Overfeeding a Chihuahua with scraps, treats or dog food disrupts its normal fat composition. It can lead to problems in puppyhood that carry over into adulthood, such as abnormal bone development (bone weakening and bowing), obesity, skin problems, and rickets.

Remember, it doesn’t take much to unbalance their diet due to their size.

You need to understand other drawbacks of cooking homemade dog food to avoid them. These include:

  • Not understanding the nutritional needs of Chihuahua
  • Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Not preparing a balanced meal
  • Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
  • Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
  • Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs

Research by the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary, and two studies published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and The Journal of Nutritional Science found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.[6][7][8]

Here are the findings:

  • 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities
  • 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal
  • 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe
  • 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough
  • 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
  • 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.

It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Chihuahua’s dietary requirements and help you make nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.

Chihuahua Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

How do you ensure you meet your Chihuahua’s dietary requirements?

An important step is to consider your Chihuahua’s weight, health condition, size, and activity level.

Then, make sure the homemade diet for your Chihuahua has the six essential nutrients any dog meal should always have, according to The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO)

Protein Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggsBuilds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
Carbohydrates Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
Fat From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
Minerals Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc. Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
WaterWaterHydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
VitaminsA, B, C, D, E, and K Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.

You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Chihuahua pup gets the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.

If you need more advice on Chihuahua nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.

Recommended Supplements For Chihuahua

Here are the top recommended supplements for Chihuahua based on their main health susceptibility issues.

  • Hip & Joint: Chihuahuas are generally susceptible to patella luxation, a condition in which a dog’s kneecap moves out of place. To prevent or alleviate these problems, consider supplementing their diet with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help maintain an active lifestyle and support joint tissue.
  • Heart Problems: Some Chihuahuas might also develop mitral valve disease, which disrupts normal blood flow in your dog’s body and forces the heart to work overtime. A cardio dog health supplement can like FERA Cardiac Support may help reduce the risk of dog heart disease.
  • Teeth & Gums. All small breeds have naturally small mouths, predisposing them to overcrowded teeth that are hard to clean. A dental support kit like Bright can help your Chichi maintain healthy teeth.

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

Health Dietary Changes In Chihuahua

The following chart will show you the dietary needs and adjustments you need to make if your Chihuahua develops these food-related conditions caused by allergens. A fresh homemade food approach accompanied by the following suggestions can help manage these conditions. Let’s take a look!

ConditionDietary Needs & Adjustments

Coat Color Changes

Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)
Concurrent GI Signs

Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial

Chronic Itching and Dermatitis

Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial
Dull Coat and Scaling

Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc

Dandruff and Crustiness

Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

Chart Source: NomNomNow.com

Chihuahuas are prone to develop skin and coat conditions. If your Chihuahuas suffer from skin irritation, or dull or dry coat, adding a couple of squirts of fish oil to their meals can provide relief and nourishment to keep skin and coats in the best condition.

Chihuahua Calorie Requirements

The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight.

An adult Chihuahua usually weighs between 3.5 and 7 pounds, meaning most Chihuahuas need between 139 and 234 calories daily.

Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.

  • For instance, if a Chihuahua weighs 5 lbs., he would need 183 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 165 calories in food (90%) and 18 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you must split 165 into two meals of 83 calories each.

You can use our dog calorie calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight.

Pregnant or lactating Chihuahuas may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.

Homemade Dog Food For Chihuahua Puppies

A Chihuahua puppy’s diet varies from that of an adult Chihuahua.

Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus levels. Too few (or too many) of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.

Knowing how much your Chihuahua weighs is vital to determining the daily calories they require.

Here is how many calories Chihuahuas would need per pound of body weight.

  • 1lb. 67 calories per day
  • 2 lb. 104 calories per day
  • 3 lb. 144 calories per day
  • 4 lb. 174 calories per day
  • 5 lb. 209 calories per day

You must split the daily calories needed by your Chihuahua puppy into different meals throughout the day. For instance, if your Chihuahua weighs 3 pounds and requires 144 calories per day. You would do three homemade meals of 48 calories each.

As explained in our nutritional guidelines above, a Chihuahua puppy’s homemade diet should properly balance proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, water, and vitamins. For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppy’s diet must include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

Do you want to provide your Chihuahua with the benefits of a homemade diet but don’t have the time or the foggiest idea of where to begin? The Farmer’s Dog can help!

They deliver vet-designed, fresh-prepared homemade dog food tailored to your Chihuahuas’ dietary needs straight to your door. Everything is made from real, human-grade, all-natural ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.)

Let the experts do the cooking for you so you never have to worry about using the wrong ingredients, counting nutrients, portion sizes, and more. It’s worth the cost after you add up the prices of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a recipe. It’s a huge time-saver, and you can spend your time on more important things.

Our readers have access to save 50% off their first The Farmer’s Dog order. No code is needed, just use this link, and the discount will be applied!

Chapter 2: Recipes, Cooking Tips & More

Ch 1

Chihuahua Homemade Food Tips

Once you decide on a recipe for your Chihuahua, it’s time to make it. We recommend following these tips.

  • Set a consistent feeding schedule
  • Feed your Chihuahua twice daily (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian)
  • Meal prep weekly or monthly
  • Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs
  • Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days
  • Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low
  • If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals
  • Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra easy)
  • Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows
  • Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories

Cooking Homemade Dog Food For Chihuahuas

This video will get you started if you’ve never made food for your canine companion.

Best Chihuahua Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Whether you are looking for homemade dog food for a senior Chihuahua, an overweight Chihuahua, or a Chihuahua puppy, these are the best homemade dog food recipes for Chihuahuas!

We’ve also added a special treat recipe for your Chihuahua that is tasty and packed with remarkable health benefits. This recipe has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil. CBD oil can help with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness and other health problems.

Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.

CBD-Infused Dog Treats

Treat your Chihuahua with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.

Just be sure to check with your vet before to ensure CBD is safe for your pup and that you are giving the correct dosage.

You can also purchase already-made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience CBD’s benefits without the cooking.


  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 apple, cored and grated
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 120 mg CBD oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
  5. Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press them into the dog treat baking pan. Bake for 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden brown on the outside.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe from: Truth Theory

Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie

This recipe is a healthy and vibrant alternative to traditional dog food. Your Chihuahua will be delighted with this simple yet delicious beef mixture, build eggs, vegetables, and tender herbs. It’s made with 100% human-grade ingredients.


  • 6 cups cooked organic brown rice
  • 2 pounds ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
  • 3 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1/4–1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried herbs
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil


  1. Start with cooking the eggs
  2. While the rice is cooking, you can brown the sirloin and get all the fresh ingredients together.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large container and stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.

Recipe from: This Messisours

Turkey & Vegetable Dinner

This a great recipe for making sure your Chihuahua is fit, trim, well-fed, and full of energy. It’s ideal for overweight Chihuahuas that want or lose a few pounds.

This basic dog food recipe includes fish oil to make sure your pet gets his Omega-3 fats, which are great for the immune system. It comes with turkey for protein and vegetables for added vitamins and minerals.


  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fish oil


  1. Cook the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the meat is cooked through
  2. Add the brown rice, turkey, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the rice is soft and tender
  4. Add the carrots and green beans and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender
  5. Allow cooling before serving
  6. Store extra dinners in the fridge for up to five days

Pro tip: Avoid using heavy oil to brown the turkey. Its high-fat content may upset your dog’s stomach.

Recipe from: Moneycrashers

Banana, Peanut Butter & Yogurt Smoothie

Dog-friendly smoothies make a delicious and nutritious treat for Chihuahuas.

This fun banana, peanut butter smoothie is a great way to provide your Chichis with a burst of vitamins and beneficial minerals. Remember, this is an occasional treat and shouldn’t be a meal replacement.


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 (16 ounces) package of frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower
  • 103 grams (about ¾ cup) sliced, frozen banana
  • ⅛ cup smooth peanut butter (make sure there is no xylitol, here are your best options)
  • 3 cups of plain, low-fat yogurt


  1. Freeze your banana for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Measure out the above amounts of yogurt, peanut butter, and frozen banana and blend until smooth.
  3. Once prepared, the smoothie can also be frozen to make a fun frozen treat.

Nutritional Content:  834 calories; 27% protein calories (225 calories); 31% fat calories (259 calories); 42% carbohydrate calories (350 calories); 80.4% moisture.

NOTE: Remember not to exceed your Chihuahua’s calorie needs per day. Consult your veterinarian before feeding any new foods to your dogs or if you are unsure.

Recipe from: Pet Central

Fiber Filled Meal

Fiber is pretty awesome for your dog! If your Chihuahua stool has any irregularities or maybe Fido has digestive function issues, chances are fiber can help. This recipe provides a burst of vitamins and beneficial minerals. You shouldn’t give this to your dog more than twice a week as they need protein in their diet.

Beware: Too much fiber in your dog’s diet will cause her to poop way too much.

homemade food for golden retrievers


  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • 1 lb. Shredded Chicken
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 medium Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup Lentils
  • 2 tbsp. Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup Chopped Spinach
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil


  1. Boil turkey and chicken in 3 cups of water over medium heat for 20 minutes
  2. Remove the meat from the water and set aside
  3. Add rice, lentils, and sweet potato to the water and return to a boil – Cook for 15 minutes
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Mix in the cooked meat and serve warm
  6. Freeze unused portions and feed as directed by your vet

Source: Withasplashofcolor

For even more Chihuahua homemade food recipes and cooking options, check out Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.

Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices

With these tips, you can ensure that your Chihuahua’s meals are safe and nutritious.

  • Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
  • Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
  • Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
  • Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
  • Research every ingredient before using it for safety
  • Follow recipes as instructed
  • Add supplements to their diet if needed
  • Run any questions by a vet nutritionist

Monitor Weight And Health

It’s vital to monitor your Chihuahua’s weight when feeding him a new food.

This breed can quickly become overweight, so you need to make sure his diet positively impacts him. Track and monitor your weight for changes over time.

If you notice symptoms such as lack of energy, skin or coat disorders, malnutrition, or obesity, you must revise your dog’s diet immediately.

What Foods Should Your Chihuahua Never Eat?

Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients dogs need to avoid.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

Here is the complete list of toxic ingredients your Chihuahua should never eat. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Chihuahua Raw Diet (BARF)

A raw dog diet is meant to be similar to the diet of that dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy.

Several raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated). Preparing a BARF diet for your Chihuahua requires extra care and planning since the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods.

Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coats, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article to learn more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Chihuahua.

Best Raw Dog Food Delivery

Should You Feed Homemade Food to Chihuahua? Alternatives

Can I feed homemade food to my Chihuahua? 

Yes, cooking and feeding your Chihuahua homemade food is okay as long as they get the levels of nutrition they need to live a healthy, allergy-free life. Just be sure all the ingredients used are safe for dogs and that all of your Chihuahua’s nutritional requirements are met in every meal.

Remember, switching your Chihuahua’s food from kibble to homemade is slow and should be done progressively. You need to consider factors like your Chihuahua’s eating history, weight, and overall health before giving homemade food to your pet.

Vegan dog food is gaining popularity in dogs that suffer from food intolerance, allergies, digestive issues, or any other food health-related condition. If your Chichi is one of these dogs, it might be worth reading about vegan dog food for Chihuahuas.

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Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

[1] Lippert & Sapy [2] AVMA [3] Lyka, [4] Hardvard [5] Pet Central [6] NCBI, [7] PubMed, [8] UC Davis

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