Joanie Simone

My chihuahua won't eat dog food

My 4 year old chihuahua only eats cat food. Is there any health risks in this? I'm pretty sure the reason why she doesn't eat dog food is because of the size. They are to big for her to eat and she can only eat one at a time. She is a large chihuahua. But hardly eats. Is there any reason for this?

Asked by Joanie Simone on Mar 17th 2009 in Food & Nutrition
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Bam-Bam, CGC

What about switching to a canned dog food or a fish based dog food? I know lots of cat foods are fish flavored, so maybe thats what she likes!

Bam-Bam, CGC answered on 3/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Yes there are health risks...For one thing cat food has too much protein for dogs & is formulated for cats.
If you go over & post about foods with small kibble in the Dogster Food & Nutrition Forum I am sure there will be people there who can help you find a good food with small kibble.

Member 73926 answered on 3/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Pipin is right. Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. They make small breed dog food just to solve that problem.

If the dog never did eat very well, and has seen the vet since the problem existed, you may be over feeding it. A vet check still won't hurt. Many dogs will snarf down more than is good for them and look for more. Others refuse to eat more than than they need. Evaluate the dog as illustrated in this link, You may want the vet to confirm your judgment. Adjust the dogs food and exercise as needed to reach its ideal body condition. Some German Shepherds and other breeds may refuse to eat enough to completely hid their ribs. As long as you are feeding a concentrated, meat based chow, the best thing is to accept it.

The worst thing you can do is to bribe a dog with rich foods into eating more than it needs. Instead, Put down the dish with what the dog should eat, and give it 15 minutes to eat. Then take it up. Do not give it anything to eat until its next scheduled meal. In a few days, it should be eating what it needs. Continue to check its ribs and adjust the food as needed. This is not easy. I had a Shepherd go 3 days on a few nibbles. I was a wreck, but she was fine. It is almost unknown for a healthy dog not to eat what it needs. Unfortunately, in too many cases, it is less than the package says, and less than the owner thinks the dog should have. Many dogs are quite good at holding out for tastier chow. Like kids, sometimes it calls for tough love.

Member 811694 answered on 3/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You can look for small kibbles. Sometimes you have to feel the bag. But there are brands for little dogs out there.
I think Evo is small in size.
Also don't forget to have the vet annually check her teeth. He can see if any are loose, damaged or if she has build up on her teeth.
I think I have seen some teeth on this breed not close together and when that is so they can't knock off the tartar build up by chewing hard food. So that is worth having her checked for.

Dieta answered on 3/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You should find Joanie a dog food that she loves! I would recommend Nutro's Ultra Small Breed Adult food. It has a small kibble size specifically for small breed dogs and has three protein sources so, it is very flavorful. There is chicken, lamb, and salmon so I bet she would be impressed! The best thing about food,at least to dogs, is the smell! Small breed dogs are notorious for being picky eaters because they have less receptor cells in their tiny noses. With Ultra there is cranberry and garlic to help entice them as well as probiotics for their immune system and kelp for minerals such as iodine. Of course there is no by-products or ground yellow corn in the food as well as no artificial colors and preservatives that can sometimes be found in other dog foods!

It is a great food and my brother Twizzler loves it!

Let me know if you decide to let Joanie try it or have any questions?

Maverick answered on 3/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer