Feeding a senior Chihuahua can get complicated pretty fast. After all, you have to consider the specifics of feeding a Chihuahua, such as needing a very small kibble size, on top of the needs of a senior dog. Plus, all dogs are a bit different. Therefore, what works for one senior dog won’t work for another.
For example, some senior pets lose weight, likely because they stop absorbing nutrients like they used to. However, other dogs slow down a lot, which makes them gain weight. These two types of senior dogs will not need the same dog food.
Therefore, you must research to pick a dog food for your canine properly. We’ve reviewed the top dog foods for senior Chihuahuas. Below, you can read our reviews and determine which option is best for your canine.
A Quick Glance at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Ollie Fresh Dog Food Subscription||
||CLICK TO SAVE 50%|
|Best Value||Country Vet Naturals 24-10 Senior Dog Food||
|Merrick Lil’ Plates Senior||
|Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food||
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula||
The 11 Best Dog Foods for Senior Chihuahuas
1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Main Ingredient:||Lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, chickpeas|
|Calories:||1804 kcal ME/kg|
If you’re the proud parent of a senior Chihuahua, you know that these small dogs need extra attention and care to stay healthy and happy. Chihuahuas can eat dry kibble, but a wet food diet may fare better with them. Things like liver, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and bison are perfect options for your small pup. Not only will they get the protein they need, but the addition of a few vegetables and grains will give them the carbs and fat that they need to stay fit—which brings us to Ollie dog food.
Ollie is the perfect choice for senior Chihuahuas, offering a balanced diet tailored specifically to their needs. The fresh, human-grade ingredients provide all the nutrition your pup needs, helping them stay active and healthy. We’ve included the stats on their Lamb with Cranberries recipe, but they also have chicken, beef and turkey options available.
Plus, it’s made without any fillers or artificial flavors, so you can rest assured you’re giving them the best. Ollie is also designed to be easy for your young pup to digest, helping them get the most out of their meals. And with pre-portioned meals, it’s easier than ever to get your pup the perfect amount of food every time. With Ollie, you can be sure that your senior Chihuahua is getting all the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy!
2. Country Vet Naturals 24-10 Senior Dog Food – Best Value
|Main Ingredient:||Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Grain Sorghum, Brewer’s Rice, Pork Meal|
While this food isn’t designed for extremely small dogs, the Country Vet Naturals 24-10 Senior Dog Food is a great option for larger Chihuahuas and those without dental issues. Plus, it is much less expensive than other options out there. Unlike many other dog foods that have seen a heavy increase in cost over the last few years, this food hasn’t gone up.
The main protein in this food is chicken meal, a concentrated form of chicken. Therefore, this protein is a great option for our older dogs. Brown rice, brewer’s rice, and sorghum are also included. These ingredients are high-quality and whole grains. They include a lot of fiber, which is a good option for nearly all dogs.
Furthermore, both prebiotics and probiotics are also included so this formula is great for dogs that have stomach problems overall. Because of these benefits, we highly recommend this dog food as the best dog food for senior Chihuahuas for the money.
3. Merrick Lil’ Plates Senior Dog Food
|Main Ingredient:||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes|
If you have some extra money to spend then the Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Chicken & Sweet Potatoes is another great choice. While this formula is quite expensive, it is worth the extra money. It includes chicken and chicken meal as the first few ingredients. Plus, turkey meal is included, as well. These are quality protein options that include plenty of amino acids for senior dogs.
Furthermore, omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin are included in high amounts. Therefore, this is a good option for your canine, especially if they are older. Plus, the kibble size is very small, so tiny canines shouldn’t have any issues eating it.
Plus, all Merrick food is crafted in Texas and cooked in the USA so you can rest assured that this option is pretty high-quality.
4. Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food
|Main Ingredient:||Water, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Chicken, Chicken Liver|
Our fourth pick for older chihuahuas is Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food. This formula is specifically made for dogs that are older than 8 and most older Chihuahuas will fit into this category. Because it is canned food, it is easier for many older dogs to eat. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the kibble size since this food isn’t made of kibble.
However, this food does contain some lower-quality ingredients. For instance, by-products are the first meat ingredient. While pork by-products are named, so you know where they come from, by-products are generally lower-quality than other meats out there. However, pork liver, chicken, and chicken liver are included, too.
Most of this food is simply made of meat, making it a better option than most foods.
However, this food is quite expensive. Still, because Chihuahuas don’t tend to eat very much, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior
|Main Ingredient:||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal|
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Recipe is designed to handle various conditions that may affect senior dogs. It is also made with very high-quality ingredients—it is about everything you’d want in senior dog food.
Chicken is the main protein content of this food. Chicken is a great protein source for most dogs, as long as they aren’t sensitive to protein. Furthermore, as a grain-inclusive food, there are many sorts of whole grains included, as well. For instance, oatmeal and barley are both added high on the ingredient list.
This formula does include a small number of peas, though. Peas have been associated with heart conditions in dogs, so we generally don’t recommend them. There are several sorts of peas included, such as whole peas, pea starch, and pea fiber.
However, due to the high omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, and glucosamine, we still recommend this food for most senior Chihuahuas.
6. Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior Dog Food
|Main Ingredient:||Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice|
While it isn’t as popular as some of the other options on this list, we do like Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. This formula starts with real, whole chicken as the main ingredient. As a grain-inclusive formula, it also includes a variety of whole grains. For instance, barley is included as the third ingredient.
However, this formula does include some less-than-stellar ingredients, too. Split peas and brewer’s rice both show up pretty early on the list. In the end, this means that this formula isn’t quite as good as the others we’ve chosen, which is why it ended up later on the list.
With that said, these ingredients aren’t a deal breaker. This formula may still be a good option for your dog. For instance, it includes extra calcium to help your dog’s bones. It also doesn’t use any GMO ingredients, which may be important for some pet parents.
7. Eukanuba Senior Small Breed Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredient:||Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat, Chicken Fat, Corn|
Eukanuba is a very popular dog food company and they put a lot of research into their dog food. Therefore, Eukanuba Senior Small Breed Dry Dog Food designed specifically for small breeds may be a good option for your Chihuahua.
This food does include chicken as the primary ingredient and so it contains plenty of amino acids from named meat sources. However, there are some less-than-stellar ingredients as well that you may want to consider. For instance, the second ingredient is chicken by-product meal. This ingredient is named, but by-products are not the best option for most dogs.
Furthermore, wheat is also included. While we do recommend grains for most dogs, this ingredient is high in gluten, which can be a common allergen.
Luckily, this formula does include a lot of additions for senior dogs. Added DHA may prevent mental decline in older dogs, and there is plenty of glucosamine for joint support. Antioxidants are also added, which help prevent many different diseases.
8. Lotus Oven-Baked Senior Small Bites Dry Food
|Main Ingredient:||Chicken, Rye, Chicken Liver, Sardine, Brown Rice|
While it is a newer brand on the dog food stage, Lotus Oven-Baked Senior Small Bites Recipe does show quite a bit of promise. It includes chicken as the main ingredient, which works great for most dogs. Chicken liver is also included, improving the overall nutrition rating for this food. For extra omega fatty acids, sardines are also added pretty high on the ingredient list.
As a grain-inclusive formula, this recipe also includes various types of whole grains. For instance, rye and brown rice are added to improve fiber content. These also add carbohydrates, which act as fast energy sources for your pooch.
With that said, this formula is quite expensive. Plus, the value simply isn’t there, as you can find very similar recipes for cheaper. However, all products are made in small batches, which may be important for some pet parents.
9. VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredient:||Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat|
We love VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food for most dogs. However, it isn’t designed specifically for smaller breeds so the kibble size isn’t as small as we’d like for a Chihuahua. For this reason, we don’t expect that a smaller Chihuahua could easily eat this food, though one on the larger side may be able to.
Beef meal is the first and by far the biggest ingredient in this formula. Based on the protein in this food, this formula includes quite a bit of this beef meal. However, it is grain-inclusive, which means that there are plenty of grains included, too.
Luckily, all these grains are whole. Therefore, they contain more nutrients and are higher in fiber than refined grains. For this reason, they are a better choice for your dog.
This food is a bit pricey but it includes a lot of extra for larger dogs. Glucosamine, chondroitin, l-carnitine, and fatty acids are all added to improve your dog’s health.
10. NOW Fresh Small Breed Senior Weight Management Recipe
|Main Ingredient:||Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Flour, Pea Flour|
As the name suggests, NOW Fresh Small Breed Senior Weight Management Recipe is designed exclusively for older dogs that need a little help losing weight. Because it is a small breed formula, the overall kibble size is a bit smaller. Therefore, your Chihuahua should be able to eat it just fine.
This food includes many premium ingredients that are often useful for older dogs. For instance, New Zealand Green Mussels are added for their omega-fatty acid content. These fatty acids help improve brain functioning, which can be vital for older dogs.
However, this formula is also more expensive than most and so it isn’t for all dog owners. Furthermore, despite being grain-free, this formula doesn’t include much meat. Instead, it is very high in starchy veggies, which we don’t recommend. Some of these veggies, like peas, are associated with some health issues in dogs.
11. Hill’s Science Diet 7+ Senior Vitality
|Main Ingredient:||Chicken, Brewers Rice, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats|
The first ingredient in Hill’s Science Diet 7+ Senior Vitality is chicken. This ingredient provides much-needed protein and amino acids to your older dog. However, the ingredient list begins to go downhill from there. While there are some whole grains included, the main source of grains is brewer’s rice.
Yellow peas are also included in high amounts, which are associated with some health problems by the FDA. Therefore, while chicken is the main source of protein, the rest of the ingredient list is lacking.
This recipe is much more expensive than others, as well. You’ll pay triple the cost of most other dog foods, and you simply aren’t getting better ingredients to make it worth it. You can find better recipes for much cheaper.
Therefore, despite the popularity of this recipe, it simply isn’t the best option on the market.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food for Senior Chihuahuas
Dog food can be surprisingly complicated. For this reason, there are quite a few things you should know before choosing dog food for your aging Chihuahua. Below, we’ve gone over some of the more important aspects and questions to consider.
When Should You Switch Your Chihuahua to a Senior Dog Food?
Not all dogs age the same way. Therefore, not all dogs will need to switch to senior dog food at the same age. It all depends on when your dog begins to act like a senior.
Unlike puppy and adult food, dogs technically never need to switch to senior food. The nutritional needs of an adult and senior dog are the same, so you don’t need to switch your dog if they’re doing great on their adult food. If your dog is aging gracefully, leave them on whatever food they currently consume.
However, for dogs with health problems, senior dog food may help them age a bit more gracefully. Many senior dog foods are full of nutrients that combat some of the most common signs of aging, such as joint problems. Therefore, dogs with these problems often benefit from senior dog food.
Simply put, there isn’t an exact age you should switch your dog’s food. Instead, it all depends on what health problems they have and how their overall health is.
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog in the world. Therefore, they need to consume very small kibble pieces. Even formulas designed specifically for “small breeds” may use a kibble size that is too big. You often need to explicitly look for “mini breed” formulas.
Sadly, there aren’t many formulas with small enough kibble designed for senior dogs (and still high-quality). Most formulas we included in our reviews should have small enough kibble for most Chihuahuas. However, some may only work for larger Chihuahuas. We made sure to include this information in the review.
When you pick a dog food, keep in mind exactly what sizes it was designed for. You should also consider how well your Chihuahua is eating as they age. Dogs that already have dental problems may do best on wet dog food.
Older dogs often suffer from protein absorption problems. This issue is why many dogs lose muscle mass as they get older. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With higher-quality protein that is more absorbable, older dogs may keep more of their muscle mass.
The most absorbable protein comes from meat. Therefore, we highly recommend choosing meat-based foods. However, you should also look for plant-based protein concentrates. These are typically less absorbable, but they can bump up the overall protein content significantly.
We recommend that all dogs consume grain-inclusive food unless they are sensitive to grains. Grain allergies are quite rare. Instead, dogs are more likely to be allergic to chicken or a similar protein.
While many dog food companies advertise that grain-free foods are better, this isn’t the case for most dogs. Grains provide an array of nutrients, an easy source of energy, and fiber (which is commonly overlooked in dog food). Plus, the FDA has linked grain-free foods with health issues in dogs.
However, the type of grain does matter. Whole grains are the best option, as they include the fiber and nutrients that make grains so good for dogs. Refined grains do not include these benefits.
There are tons of things to consider when feeding your older Chihuahua. Generally, we recommend Ollie Fresh Dog Food for most dogs. It starts with healthy animal protein as the main ingredient and includes a number of whole grains. A range of senior-friendly nutrients is also included.
For those on a budget, we recommend Country Vet Naturals 24-10 Senior Dog Food. This formula contains quality ingredients and is very meat-based. However, it is also far cheaper than most.
Don’t compromise by feeding your Chihuahua subpar foods just because they’re older. With our reviews, you should be able to find the perfect food for your Chihuahua.