My chihuahua is a picky eater, what do I feed her?

I just got a chihuahua and I have no history on this dog. my concern is that she is a picky eater and am not sure what to feed her with. The past family was giving her table food because they could not afford dog food. I brought her Alpo dog food and she is not eating it. I gave her some homemade chicken and she just barely eats a little. She is sniffing around the house so I feel she is hungry. This moring I gave her some brown rice, she just ate a few grains. What do I do? Is it natural for this size dog to only eat a teaspoon full of food. Help. What is the best vitamin to purchase for her.

It does sound like you have a picky eater! The good news is that I have never known a dog to starve herself willingly, so don’t worry. If you leave food out for her, she will eat it eventually, I promise. I know it’s agony to see your dog not eat, but it’s the only way to break her out of this bad habit and get her onto a healthy diet. Alpo is not the best food you can feed your dog. It has a lot of preservatives and the protein and fat contain meat by-products. Meat-by-products are composed of chicken beak, bone, cartilage, things that are not easily digestible and have lower nutritional value than real meat. A good brand of dog food is expensive, but a bag will last you a long time because chihuahuas are so small. They do eat more than a teaspoon though. To give you a frame of reference, my 7 lb chihuahua eats twice a day, 1/4 cup of dog food each time. I have another chihuahua that weighs 8 lbs and she also eats twice a day, 1/3 cup each time. They are not that different in size, but they have different appetites.

I would get several good brands of dry dog food, and let her try them out over several days. When she is hungry, she will eat it. A good brand to try is
Solid Gold Just a Wee Bit (Small Breed) Dry Dog Food.


Solid Gold Just a Wee Bit (Small Breed) Dry Dog Food 4 lb. Bag
The kibbles are perfectly small for a chihuahua mouth and many chis I know love the food. Buy the smallest bag to keep the food as fresh as possible. Another brand I recently discovered is Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Puppy Dry Food.
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Puppy Dry Food Formula 6 lb. Bag

I have 3 chis, two of them are extremely picky eaters, and all 3 of them ate every kibble within 5 mins. If you want, you can add a very yummy treat on top to lure your dog to the food. I can’t believe she’s refusing homemade chicken. Maybe some cottage cheese or some liver treats? I use those as “bait” sometimes for picky eaters. Once I lure them to the food bowl, they eat the yummy treat which gets them even hungrier and they end up finishing the rest of the food.

As for vitamins, I highly recommend
Missing Link Canine Formula.


Missing Link Canine Formula 1 lb.

The ingredients are human-grade and all natural. It fills the gap between what’s provided in nature to what’s available in commercial pet food. Just sprinkle a little over their food and mix in.

It’s frustrating when your baby doesn’t want to eat, but you are doing the right thing by giving her the best nutrition possible. Table scraps is the worst thing you can give your chihuahua. I see overweight chis with rotten teeth all the time that are fed table scraps. Let me know how it works out.

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7 Comments

August 13, 2008

Joann :

I have two Chihuahua’s one will eat anything and very quickly and the other is so picky and slow eating, the difference is amazing. I do leave dryfood out for them to eat whenever they want, and I give them each 1/4 - 1/3 of the small can of wet for dinner. I finally found something she likes, it is called WELLNESS from Petco. She loves the Whitefish,
It is natural with fruits and veggies added. She eats the dry (which is a first) and will eat most of the time the wet.
She is almost a year old and I have tried every kind of food, from raw to dry to canned.
Good Luck and try not to worry, like Cindy said, she will eat. :)

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September 23, 2008

Abraham :

I have a chihuahua that one day eats chicken perfectly and the next day he just smells the food without eating it, he is so picky. I have tried different foods from table foods to dog food and he is always doing the same thing, but when we are eating he is always around trying to get what it is in our table, when we give him the food he does not eat and we are worried about him, because we think that he is losing weight.Help what should we do?

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October 7, 2008

Cindy :

Hi Abraham, you have to stop catering to your chihuahua. Pick one brand of high quality dog food and stick to it. Give it to him day after day, meal after meal. He might not eat at first, and he might put up a hunger strike for a few days, but I’ve never known an animal to starve itself to death willingly. I know a cat that put up a fight for 14 days straight, but even that cat gave up eventually and ate the cat food. You must not give in to him, for his health’s sake. To get him to start eating the dog food, you might want to put a little something super yummy on top to lure him to the food. A super yummy “starter” could be a small piece of plain chicken, a piece of veggie, a small dallop of yogurt, something like that. But it should not be his whole meal, just a bite to get the appetite going. Be strong and don’t give in! He will eat, I promise!

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January 24, 2009

JoeM143 :

We just bought a Chauyork dog about a month ago and had the same problem feeding her - She would not eat! she would sniff the food then snort out the smell as if it stinks - We tried numerous brands of dog food - and even got to a point where we were mixing her kibbles with Gerbers Baby food just to get her to eat it. (after a couple of days she even stopped eating that) and was getting sick/skinny to a point where she was pooping out diarrhea. So we asked one of the workers at Petco - and they suggested we buy some Lamb/Chicken Sausage. We bought it and cut little chunks of it so she could eat. She LOVED it! - however they also suggested that we not use this to substitute her regular kibbles. So we tried mixing it in with kibbles….. needless to say - she figured out which was which - and started fishing out the kibbles (leaving them out on the floor). I eventually just ended up buying a grinder and mixed 1 slice of sauce about 1/4 inch thick - with about a handfull of kibbles (science diet) and just crushed and mixed it together fine (crumblike). — Now she eats both and has been for the past couple weeks now. - Try that out.

Sausage Link from Petco:
http://www.petco.com/product/7133/Natural-Balance-Dog-Food-Rolls-Lamb-Formula.aspx

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September 7, 2013

Troi :

Hello I have Chihuahua and I can’t get her to eat I’m Feeding her Iam dog food I’m mixing with can food she still Won’t eat help !!!

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May 11, 2014

Nancy :

I have a 12 year old with established eating habits. And they are poor. Whether he is getting a treat or dinner we have to act like we are going to take it away or he won’t eat. He is only 5lbs and it is a concern that we always have to play like we are taking his food or he ignores it. It is a game to him. Now we are trying to put food down and ignore him but the barking is loud and constant. So he ultimately wins and we play steal the food with him.

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November 10, 2014

Mark :

We have a rescued Chihuahua who is 5 years old. When we got her she weighed 3 lbs.. She wouldn’t eat anything except table scraps. When we took her to her first Vet visit we were told that some enzyme in her liver was slightly elevated and the Vet asked what we were feeding her. When I told her she Freaked….. Our Vet recommend “Royal Canin for Adult Chihuahuas Dry Food.” She also said I could give her lean chicken. So she eats a tablespoon of cubed cooked chicken breast and two tablespoons of her dry food 3 times a day. She is only 4.5 lbs. now but very active. She is very healthy and the Vet is very pleased.

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