Until your dog is about seven months, you will need to feed it 3 times a day. By 12 months you can change from twice a day to once a day. Or continue two small meals day and night. In the wild, a dog might only eat every other day.
Food can be supplemented with goats milk which can be found in the long life milk section of your local supermarket. It will not replace water, however, and your puppy must have access to clean water at all times. Pups will drink from bowl or a rabbit water drip feeder, which is particularly useful when they are crated as it means fresh water they can’t spill and wet the bedding.
Our dogs are raised on a raw diet and we recommend you continue with a reputable raw food diet. This is what dogs eat in the wild, what their digestive systems have evolved to cope with and it is what they enjoy most.
Do and don'ts
NEVER GIVE A DOG A COOKED BONE OF ANY KIND. The process of cooking the bone makes it brittle and easy to shatter, resulting in a high risk of your dog ingesting a bone sliver which, at best will cost thousands to remove, at worst, could kill them.
Raw feeding does not just mean buying your dog chicken or beef mince at the supermarket, however. It refers to a special type of diet fed to dogs (and cats) which totally excludes all commercial canned or processed dry dog foods, but is complete and includes all the nutrients your dog needs to thrive.
These benefits of a correct raw diet include:
no doggy odour
naturally clean teeth
much less stools produced - and they are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of hours
mirrors what a dog would be getting in the wild – remember your Chihuahua has a digestive tract exactly the same as a wolf
puppies will develop at an appropriate rate so quick growth spurts are avoided.
allergies dogs suffer on commercial foods, disappear once they start with the raw diet
incidence of canine arthritis is significantly reduced
better weight control
dogs live longer on a raw diet
bitches manage pregnancies better
better weight and survival figures in puppies
If you wish to use commercial dog food, then consult your vet about a grain-free, size appropriate food that is complete and balanced. We are available to help in choosing a food if required.
Do not feed your dog on supermarket brand dog foods. Commercial dog foods have cereals as their main ingredient which dogs cannot digest and contain preservatives, colours (dyes), high doses of salt and additives to make the food taste better so the dogs will overeat.
Commercial dog foods often have too many carbohydrates which is dangerous as high levels of carbohydrates are linked to over-eating, diabetes, weight gain, and numerous other canine health problems. And remember, a dog's food should never be cooked. It should be fed in a raw natural state as nature intended. Cooking a dog's food seems a good idea to a human, but to your dog it ruins most of the nutritional value and pretty much all of the taste.
We feed our dogs on Canterbury Pet Foods raw food, but if you cannot obtain this frozen food in your area, then please talk to us and we will recommend an alternative, suitable option.
A ‘meal’ should consist of whatever your puppy can consume in 20 minutes of slow eating (although in the case of our Chi’s it’s more like 20 seconds), after that, pick up the food and take it away. Your puppy will then have the urge to go to the bathroom within about 30-60 minutes after he or she eats.
Do not leave the food down if your dog is being picky. Take it up after 20 minutes and then offer it again at the next meal. This is not just about the food. This is about your Chihuahua understanding that you control the food and that makes you the pack leader. Dogs listen to their pack leaders.
If your dog refuses their food, don’t make a fuss. Just take it up and put it away until the next meal. No dog deliberately starves itself on a raw food diet. Fussiness comes from being offered commercial dog food that takes like crap.
If your dog refuses their food for more than a day, or if they appear to have gone off their food for no apparent reason (other than there being a bitch on heat in the vicinity), please contact your vet and have the dog checked for potential issues.