If you've recently obtained a chihuahua puppy, you might be wondering what you should feed it. According to petchidog.com, 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.
Switch Foods Slowly
If you've obtained the puppy from a breeder, pet store or shelter, there's a good chance it is already eating a certain brand of food. If you plan on switching the food to one of your liking, do so slowly. Abruptly changing your chihuahua puppy's food can cause intestinal upset and the puppy may reject the food. Petchidog.com suggests feeding the dog a mixture consisting of 75 percent of its current food mixed with 25 percent of the new food for a week. If the puppy tolerates this, add a bit 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 percent of the new food and 25 percent of the old. During week four, add a bit more of your food until the ratio is about 7/8 new food and 1/8 old food. Finally, allow the puppy to eat the new food exclusively at week five.
How Much to Feed
According to petchidog.com, a good rule of thumb when it comes to the amount of food your chi puppy should ingest daily is this: feed one ounce of dry kibble for every pound in body weight of your chi puppy. That is, if your chi puppy weighs 3 pounds, it should eat 3 ounces of food daily, distributed among several meals.
Dry or Wet?
Puppy food comes in a variety of textures and consistencies, including dry, semi-moist and canned. Chihuahuapuppiesguide.com states that semi-moist food is soft to the touch and contains about 30 percent water, whereas canned food is 85 percent water. Dry food is hard, but contains the same nutrients that the wet varieties do. Wet formulas tend to cause a buildup 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, it is best to consult with your veterinarian as to which might work the best for your puppy.
How Often to Feed
According to petchidog.com, chihuahua puppies under 3 months old and that weigh less than 2 pounds 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 3 and 6 months of age, it should receive three to four meals a day. From 6 months of age to 1 year, the puppy should eat two to three meals daily. After that, feed your chi twice daily.
Which Food Is Best?
It seems that everyone has their own opinion as to what brand is the best, but it is always a good idea to go with a well-known brand that produces high-quality food. According to chihuahuapuppiesguide.com, all high-quality brands will carry the Association of American Feed Control Officials--or AAFCO--"complete and balanced" statement on the bag. It is always a good idea to 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.
- Photo Credit chihuahua image by agoxa from Fotolia.com
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