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Should You Prepare Homemade Meals For Your Chihuahua?

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In the pet food aisle, dog owners are faced with an overwhelming array of commercial food choices, compounded by frequent recalls that can leave pet parents feeling uneasy.

fawn chihuahua puppy eating food

The alternative? Homemade dog food. But the question remains: can homemade meals meet all your Chihuahua’s nutritional requirements?

This article delves into the benefits and considerations of both feeding methods to help you make an informed decision for your furry companion.

Understanding Veterinarian Recommendations

For years, the majority of veterinarians recommended commercial diets for dogs, praising their convenience and nutritional balance. However, the tide is turning, with more vets now acknowledging the potential benefits of carefully planned homemade diets.

If you’re leaning towards preparing your Chihuahua’s meals at home, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. This ensures your pup’s diet is balanced and tailored to their specific health needs.

little girl feeding chihuahua

Can I Make Healthy Home Made Dog Food At Home?

Yes, you can! But, it is important that you do not attempt to do this on your own without the guidance of a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist.

Dogs have different nutritional requirements from humans, meaning a meal that’s healthy for you might not be suitable for your pet. Some human foods can actually hurt or kill your dog.

A veterinarian can help you design a diet that includes all the necessary nutrients, and in some cases, recommend supplements to fill any gaps.

You need the guidance of a veterinarian to ensure that your dog is eating foods that are safe for them and that the diet is well-balanced with all the nutrients they need. While you may believe that you are giving him a healthy meal, your veterinarian may want your dog to take a daily vitamin to ensure his nutritional needs are fully met.

I’ve experienced the benefits of homemade dog food firsthand with my four dogs, combining commercial food with homemade meals for a balanced diet. For those interested, I’ve shared my homemade dog food recipe online.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Commercial Diets?

Commercial diets have remained a popular choice for pets for a long time because of these pros:

  • Commercial diets are easy to store and have lengthy expiration dates.
  • They are easy to prepare.
  • Some commercial diets are very inexpensive and many manufacturers offer coupons regularly.
  • Veterinarians often recommend them and state that the crunchy kibble is beneficial for the oral health of dogs.

However, commercial diets have some drawbacks too:

  • The lengthy expiration dates are achieved with preservatives and other undesirable ingredients.
  • Recalls often occur, and sometimes result in the death of beloved pets.
  • The source of the ingredients is often questionable.
  • The standards for commercial pet food quality and safety are not as stringent as the requirements for human-grade food.
  • Eating the same dry kibble daily can be boring for your dog.
  • Ingredients used for dog food are often the by-products of meat used for human food production.

small chihuahua looking at a salad

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Home Made Diets?

Homemade diets offer benefits that commercial diets simply cannot:

  • Dogs love homemade diets! They are always excited to eat real meat, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Owners know exactly what is in their dog’s food.
  • Owners can be confident in the quality of their dog’s food.
  • Dogs who are finicky eaters or who have allergies can be catered to.
  • Preparing meals for your dog is an act of love and a fun bonding experience.

While the benefits of homemade diets cannot be denied, they are not perfect. The cons of homemade diets are:

  • You cannot save some of your dinner for your dog if the ingredients are not dog-safe, which means you must prepare special meals just for your dog.
  • The preparations are not convenient for busy schedules or people who do not enjoy cooking (although I don’t like to cook, it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare dog food for 4 small dogs for a week).
  • You may need to provide your dog with a vitamin to ensure that she receives proper and complete nutrition.
  • Dog’s tummies may take weeks to acclimate to the change in their diet, and they may suffer from digestive upset during the transition period if not done properly.
black yorkie and orange and white chihuahua eating dog food

Tips for Transitioning to a Homemade Diet

If you’re considering homemade meals for your Chihuahua, here are some guidelines to ensure a smooth transition:

Slow Feed

Naturally, your Chihuahua will be very excited about the change in their diet.

Commercial kibble forces dogs to have to chew their food because of texture, size, and shape. When your dog eats a homemade meal, they may eat quickly because it requires less crunching and chewing.

If your Chihuahua is a voracious eater, purchase a slow feeder dog bowl to help slow them down and prevent them from choking. This is also good mental stimulation, as they has to think about the best way to get the food out of the grooves of the bowl.

Don’t be afraid to freeze

Due to their small stature, a batch of homemade dog food would cover many more meals for a Chihuahua than a larger breed. Therefore, keeping a batch in the fridge may result in the food going bad before your Chihuahua is able to eat all of it.

If you prepare a meal in advance and freeze the remaining portions, you may take some out and thaw it out for your Chihuahua to eat when needed. This makes less daily work for you and saves money by preserving food for your Chihuahua to eat.

Check your sources

Although the internet is a wealth of knowledge, do not begin your homemade diet journey by preparing meals for your dog you discovered online before discussing the recipe with your veterinarian.

Many well-meaning pet parents publish recipes, but the ingredients may not be vet-approved.

When you search for recipes to discuss with your veterinarian, always look for recipes published by trusted sources, such as veterinary websites or published in books. Here are some sources to get you started:

Transition slowly. If your dog has only eaten commercial diets for their whole life, switching to homemade food quickly is not a good idea.

To prevent digestive upset, a very slow transition from commercial to homemade must be implemented. Commercial diets often recommend switching over a period of 5-7 days.

When switching to homemade, adding a beneficial bacteria supplement such as fortiflora may assist your dog’s digestive system adjust to the new normal.

Make A Dental Date

Many veterinarians state that crunchy commercial kibble may contribute to dental health. Since Chihuahuas are prone to dental disease, be sure to discuss other ways to maintain your Chihuahua’s oral health with your veterinarian and schedule professional dental cleanings regularly.

4 chihuahuas in front of food bowl

Keep it Cooked

Raw diets are becoming increasingly popular but they may not be the best option. If you are new to the homemade diet game, keep it cooked.

Many people believe that dogs were designed to eat raw meat, so there is no food safety risk to them.

However, the risks of raw diets often outweigh the potential benefits. After your dog eats raw meat, if they lick your fingers and face, you are cross-contaminated with raw meat germs, which could make you sick.

Households with young children are at a much higher risk, as children often like to assist with a dog’s meal preparation and may touch the bowl that contain raw meat, then return to playing with their toys.

Meal Subscription Services: A Convenient Alternative

Some owners opt to have human-grade food meals prepared for their dogs delivered to their homes to take the hassle out of preparing more meals.

Before you write off this idea, thinking that only the rich and famous can afford this, your Chihuahua would like you to visit these websites and browse their meal plans:

  • Ollie offers five yummy vet crafted recipes made with no by products or artificial flavors. You can get 50% off your first box going through my link.
  • PetPlate is formulated by a veterinary nutritionist. You can get 30% by getting it through my link.
  • A Pup Above is gently cooked, with added bone broth for extra nutrition.
  • The Farmer’s Dog makes veterinarian approved meals in USDA standard kitchens and delivers the deliciousness to your door.
  • Nom Nom Now offers meals (get $60 off 3 orders by going through my link) for all life stages of dogs (and cats too) that exceed AFFCO standards.

We have used Ollie, The Farmer’s Dog, A Pup Above, and Pet Plate with good results. The dogs loved it (even my picky Ziggy and Bear) and the cost wasn’t that bad considering the small amount of food chihuahuas need to eat. And we alternate between the homemade food I make and the food from these services to make it last longer and be more affordable.

Final Thoughts

Nutrition is an important part of your dog’s overall health and may contribute to a longer life with fewer illnesses. As one of the longest-living breeds of dogs, good nutrition is especially important for the tiny and mighty Chihuahua.

Ultimately, the decision between commercial and homemade diets boils down to your lifestyle, your dog’s health needs, and your ability to commit to meal preparation.

Consulting with veterinary professionals can help you navigate these choices, ensuring your Chihuahua receives the best possible nutrition for a long, healthy life. Remember, nutrition is not just about feeding; it’s about nurturing your dog’s overall well-being.


The homemade food I make for my dogs

Fruits dogs can eat

Benefits and dangers of homemade dog food

Fruits and Veggies to boost your dog’s nutrition

Homemade dog food for dogs without teeth

blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.

Rev Angela Fifer

Saturday 18th of April 2020

I have a rescue Chihuahua who is a bit picky about his food. There are a couple commercial brands he will not eat. I tried Nom nom and then Ollie. He loves Ollie I just have to be careful to remove the chickpeas.


Monday 20th of April 2020

Can you order it without chickpeas?


Saturday 18th of April 2020

My chi who is 15 and now weighs about 3.8 lbs has always been a very difficult eater. Over the years I have tried so many things to interest her. As she got older she ate less and less and became harder to get her to eat. I did try making homemade but she wouldn’t eat it.About 2 years ago I happened to talk to someone who had an older chi who told me to find a good with a strong smell. I finally found a wet food ( she has never liked kibble called Wellness Core for small breeds. It comes in small packages and I have to warm it in the microwave to entice her. When I discussed with my vet who has been her vet for years, she said with my dog the most important thing is just to get her to eat something. She has now been eating Well was Core chicken pate for 2 years. Now some days she still has no interest in eating but I have learned not to stress over it and within a day she will eat again. And her weight has stabilized. So I am thankful for that.


Monday 20th of April 2020

That's good to know Irene. Thanks for the tip!


Saturday 18th of April 2020

I have found, through many years of feeding different dogs, both purebred and mutts, that switching back and forth between several different kinds of dog food, helps with the dogs becoming bored with the food. I used to camp and hike quite a bit with my dogs when I was much younger. Nature likes to surprise people with sudden rain and wind storms sometimes, which can mean ruined dog food, and if your dog gets used to eating only one type of food, it can mean having to travel from store to store to find that certain food. When your dog is used to the variety of different kibble, you can pick up whatever brands the closest store sells, and get back to hiking, fishing, or whatever it is you like doing while camping. Adding pumpkin puree, fresh or frozen vegetables, garlic powder, cooked eggs, ect. can also help when a dog becomes bored with their food. One trick I learned through fostering malamutes for about 10 years, is when they are overweight and kibble has to be cut back to help them lose pounds, is add some thawed out green beans to their food so they think they are still getting a lot, even though it helps cut down their calorie intake.


Monday 20th of April 2020

I have heard other people mention that about green beans. I think that's a great idea. The only thing about switching their food often is are you doing that gradually? It can upset their tummies if you do it suddenly.


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Although article was interesting and something I may look into , I thought it would also have some good brands of commercial dog foods to buy. Starting with freeze dried, kibble , even canned food. I’m not too excited about the raw food for the reasons you named. So if you could advise me on some of these brands It would be most appreciated. Thanks


Saturday 3rd of February 2024

@Lauren, I use to alert me with recalled dog food and listings for best dog food on the market. They also have a website for cats.


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Funny you should mention commercial foods Lauren because that's the article I'm working on now.