Feeding the Puppy
The care and feeding of a Chihuahua puppy is likened by some breeders to the nurturing of an egg. Their health can be profoundly affected by a missed or even a late feeding. For this reason, the Chihuahua puppy's meals must be monitored closely.
Most breeders will keep a very tiny or frail puppy under their watch until the puppy is thriving; however, you may be in a situation in which this didn't happen. If your puppy cannot eat much at a feeding or is particularly frail, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
If a Chi misses as little as one meal, her blood sugar level may drop low enough to cause hypoglycemia, a condition that can be fatal if untreated. Many breeders recommend keeping a high-caloric, easily digested product, such as NutraCal, on hand to rub on a pup's gums to re-elevate her blood sugar level in emergencies.
Arrange your puppy's meals as equally throughout the day as you can. A young puppy will eat four times a day, so feeding times could be at 6 A.M., 10 A.M., 2 P.M., and 6 P.M. When a puppy is eating well and obviously thriving, she can be fed three meals a day.
What to Feed
Puppies require nutrient-and calorie-rich foods to keep up with their rapidly growing bodies. Feed your puppy a high-grade, quality puppy food up until ten months of age, when puppies have almost completed their full growth. If your breeder has great success with a certain food, continue using this food and closely follow his recommendations as to amounts to feed and when to feed.
If you don't know how much your puppy should be eating, try this method. Measure a half cup of dry puppy food in a bowl, and allow your pup to eat as much food as she'd like. After twenty minutes, pick up and measure the remaining food to calculate how much your puppy ate. Continue feeding in this manner for a full day. You should have a good idea how much to feed at each meal, as puppies rarely overeat dry puppy food and will eat only what they need.
Your Chihuahua puppy will double her body weight within the first ten weeks that you have her home. A puppy weighing one pound, four ounces at eight weeks should weigh two pounds, eight ounces by the time she's eighteen weeks old.
Make sure the kibble is a comfortable bite-size for your Chihuahua puppy. Many puppy foods are geared toward small to medium breeds and don't take into account how tiny the Chi puppy's jaws really are. Manufacturers are producing quality foods specifically for toy-and small-breed puppies. You might also consider a puppy food that is tailored specifically to the Chihuahua puppy, such as that produced by Royal Canin. If your Chi's jaws aren't capable of managing even toy puppy food, you may want to moisten her food for her until she grows a bit more.