Feeding a Chihuahua Puppy
Nutrition is extremely important in the development of a dog and feeding a Chihuahua puppy in the correct way can make the difference between an animal that is susceptible to health issues and one that is not. With all the dog food choices it can be difficult to determine which one is best suited for the dog, however certain simple guidelines can help the owner to sort out the good from the bad.
The First Days
Immediately after the Chihuahua is born, it should be feeding from its mother. Because it is extremely important that dogs drink the milk of their mother immediately after being born in order to acquire the immunity from disease that she can pass on, it is necessary that the owner ensure this is taking place. If it is not, the baby must be encouraged or bottle fed its mother’s milk, preferably within the first hours after its born. Feeding a Chihuahua puppy is crucial in the early hours of its life and can make the difference between a sickly adult and a healthy adult.
Read the Bag
This is the most obvious thing to do when purchasing dog food but is sometimes overlooked. It is important to look for certain key ingredients to make sure that you are feeding a Chihuahua puppy what it needs, rather than what dog food companies could buy cheaply. The most important ingredient to look for is chicken or lamb. Chicken is more easily digestible than lamb, so this is usually preferable for younger dogs.
Another important thing to look out for is that the Association of American Feed Control Officials has tested the product and given its seal of approval. This should be clearly marked on the bag and is the surest way of knowing that the dog food has what a puppy needs.
It is also important that you are feeding a Chihuahua puppy the right food for its age. Most of the more reputable dog food manufacturers will provide guidelines on their products, indicating which offerings are best for which age.
Alternative Dog Foods
There are a wide variety of alternatives to traditional dog foods. Many people choose to feed their dog only raw meat and bones. Proponents of this diet claim that feeding a Chihuahua puppy what it would naturally consume in the wild is healthiest and will lead to a lean, vigorous and healthy adult. Others claim, however, that bones may become fractured and enter the digestive track, causing disease or even death. There is also some question about the health of eating raw meat, overrun with bacteria. Although most dogs are healthy enough to resist the bacteria some, particularly if they are young, do not fare as well.
Many people choose to supplement their dog foods with tastier human foods. Feeding a Chihuahua puppy a small amount of chicken broth can make dry food more palatable and easier to eat. It is important not to overdo the feeding of human foods to dogs, though, as this can lead to overweight dogs with increased risk of arthritis and other health issues.