Early Chihuahuas feasted on small rodents and insects to control pest populations in ancient temples. It’s unknown when the first Chihuahua came into existence, but his ancestors may have existed as early as 8 A.D. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Mayan’s Techichi dogs may be among the Chihuahua’s first ancestors. The long-haired Techichis were likely bred with small hairless dogs to create a version of today’s Chihuahua. Unlike his ancestors, today’s Chihuahua does best when fed a healthy mix of meat, vegetables, and grain.
The Animals Modern Chihuahuas Eat
Unlike his ancestors, the modern Chihuahua does not feast on rodents and insects. He isn’t a hunter, but rather he waits for his bowl to be filled by his owner. The animals he eats are ground up, or processed in a dog food factory. These animals include: chicken, turkey, cow (beef), lamb, and fish. Eggs are another good source of protein, as are many vegetables, such as beans.
Warm Weather Proteins
Chihuahuas are dainty dogs, without a lot of stature. Healthy adult Chihuahuas typically grow to stand between 6 and 9 inches, and weigh between 2 and 6 pounds. Because of their size, Chihuahuas can freeze in cold weather climates. Many proteins have a warming effect. Feed your dog lamb, chicken, and shrimp when the weather is biting, and your Chihuahua will have an easier time keeping warm.
How Much Protein to Feed a Chihuahua
Because of his small size, a Chihuahua isn’t going to need as much food as a larger dog. Protein should be balanced with other nutrient sources, such as vegetables, to create a meal that’s appropriate for your little dog. As a spry pup, your Chihuahua is going to require a higher protein percentage. He needs more protein in his younger years because proteins facilitate healing by restoring body cells, as well as they help to regenerate muscle. Look for small dog puppy chow that’s rich in protein and all-natural ingredients. As your Chihuahua ages, the amount of protein he requires is going to change. Aging dogs will require higher quality proteins, such as organ meats and fresh tuna.
Basic Nutrition Helps Chihuahuas Avoid Obesity
Obesity and canine diabetes are real problems in the Chihuahua community. This is likely due to the high amount of filler that goes into many dog food brands, and a lack of exercise. Even some premium dog foods feature ingredients that offer no nutritional value. Read the ingredients before serving store-bought food to your Chihuahua to avoid common diet-related health problems. If you notice the ingredients are high in filler, such as corn and soy, switch to a more protein and nutrient rich food. Always consult with your veterinarian before switching your dog’s diet because only your vet is going to understand your dog’s specific dietary needs.