The Ultimate Guide to What Chihuahuas Can (And Can’t) Eat

Thanks for being responsible with your chihuahua! As you have probably heard, there are certain things that chihuahuas can and can’t eat. Today we will go over the basics of what chihuahuas need to stay healthy as well as the things that they should just avoid (or never eat) to avoid getting sick.

So, what can chihuahuas eat? Chihuahuas can eat many human foods without any problems. However, you should know that there are also some human foods which are poisonous to chihuahuas. Some of the most notoriously harmful foods for chihuahuas include xylitol (found in sugar-free gum), grapes, and chocolate.

You should study up on a particular food before feeding it to your chihuahua. As a general rule, when in doubt, don’t feed him your food, as some of the most unexpected and normal human food can have severe consequences for your little chihuahua.

As chihuahuas are smaller than other dogs, his tolerance of the toxins might be lower than that of other dogs, which is all the more reason to exercise caution.

Always Avoid Giving a Chihuahua These Foods

Here we will discuss the most dangerous foods for your chihuahua. These foods all have ingredients that are completely normal for humans but are toxic to chihuahuas. These foods can cause serious damage to your chihuahua’s blood cells, liver, digestive system, and muscles.

So no matter how much he begs, you can’t give any of these foods to your chihuahua!

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in sugar-free gum, sugar-free sodas, candy, and pretty much anything else sweet. However, a product doesn’t have to be “sugar-free” to have Xylitol – sometimes it is added to candy or drinks that also contain sugar. This is done to maintain the sweetness but lower the amount of sugar per serving of the product.

Because of this, you should be vigilant about sweet food, even if it is not explicitly stated that it is “sugar-free.” Even your gum wrappers should be kept away from chihuahuas or any dog.

Better yet, since the science isn’t conclusive on the effects of Xylitol on humans, just ban the stuff from your house altogether.

Grapes

All grapes, including raisins, should be kept away from your chihuahua. Grapes could be very toxic to him. Grapes effect dog’s kidneys, and can cause kidney failure.

If a chihuahua eats a grape, he may begin to experience the following symptoms: Unusual quietness, low or no urine production, abdominal pain, lethargy, or he may be in a coma.

If you believe that your chihuahua has eaten a grape, you should call your vet immediately to begin treatment. The vet may direct you to induce vomiting. If you cannot get a hold of your vet, then it is a good idea to induce vomiting if you believe your chihuahua may have eaten a grape.

Chocolate

Chocolate is also a toxin to chihuahuas. The darker, more concentrated the chocolate is, the worse it is for your chihuahua. But no matter how dark or milky the chocolate is, it is all bad.

What the big problem is with chocolate is that it contains a chemical called theobromine. Theobromine is very normal for humans and we can handle it like champs. All dogs, including chihuahuas, can’t. They do not metabolize theobromine fast enough, and if too much of it accumulates in their system, it can be toxic.

If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, call your vet right away so that they can determine the best course of action. It is usually good to induce vomiting. Don’t delay, as symptoms can take 9 hours to appear, and by then it is way too late to induce vomiting that will work.

Chicken Bones

While chicken is fine for chihuahuas to eat, the chicken bones must be removed before handing it over to your dog. As you probably know, dogs love chewing on bones, and chicken bones are dangerous because they can splinter and tear through a dog’s esophagus or digestive tract.

Garlic

Garlic is also toxic for chihuahuas. Garlic can be especially sneaky as it is added to all kinds of food. Store-bought turkey, eggs that you cooked up this morning, or even those leftover potatoes you cooked up can all be covered in garlic.

Garlic is one of the most powerfully toxic things for chihuahuas on this list, and even a tiny bit can cause him to get sick. More garlic can quickly cause more severe consequences and should, therefore, be avoided, as you shouldn’t chance accidentally poisoning your dog.

Onions

All onions, including onion powder, are toxic to chihuahuas. Other items in the onion family, such as leeks, also have the same effect. They contain a chemical called N-propyl disulfide, which can affect the chihuahuas’ red blood cells. This chemical stops the red blood cells from effectively picking up oxygen, and therefore causes your dog to lose energy.

Too much onion will cause enough red blood cells to become compromised that the chihuahua may lose consciousness.

Chives

Similar to onions, chives must not be given to chihuahuas.

Avocadoes

The problem with avocados is that they contain persin, which is toxic to chihuahuas. The whole avocado contains this chemical, so do not let your chihuahua chew on the seed, the rinds, or the innards. This also means that guacamole is off-limits to your chihuahua.

Dough

Dough, especially yeast dough, is not good for chihuahuas. Dough sits like a rock in their intestines and can cause digestive issues. Yest dough is even more problematic because of two reasons: 1. The dough can expand, causing them bloating and other digestive problems, 2. The yeast in the dough produces alcohol, which as mentioned in this list, is toxic to dogs and can cause them big problems.

Since chihuahuas are so small, even a little dough can produce enough alcohol to cause them to have symptoms of ethanol poisoning.

Lemons

The toxic compound in lemons is psoralen. Psoralen can cause your chihuahua to be dizzy, have trouble walking, and can cause gastrointestinal problems. With a lot of psoralen, your chihuahua can experience liver damage or even death, so it is a not on lemons for your chihuahua.

Note that everything just mentioned about lemons applies equally to limes. Limes are also off-limits to all dogs.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a toxin to every animal, but dogs have an especially hard time metabolizing it. Ethanol poisoning can occur very quickly and even with tiny amounts of alcohol in chihuahuas due to their small size.

The effects of alcohol on chihuahuas are vomiting, lack of energy, and seizures. With more alcohol, you chihuahua can even go into a coma or die. Always be sure to keep all alcohol, including nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, etc., away from your chihuahua.

Coffee/Tea

Coffee is really bad for your chihuahua. Actually, any caffeine is really bad for chihuahuas. When a chihuahua takes caffeine into their system, it causes overstimulation of their nervous system. This can cause the chihuahua to have a higher heart rate, seizures, vomiting, or shakiness. Too much can even cause death. Coffee is really not made for your chihuahua.

Due to the caffeine content, chihuahuas should also not be given tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, or chocolate. These are all really bad for chihuahuas’ nervous system.

Nuts

Some types of nuts are toxic to chihuahuas. These include macadamia nuts. While other types of nuts are not toxic, like almonds, you should tend to avoid them because of their high-fat content and because of the chocking and digestive issues that they can present when not chewed properly.

The only exception is peanuts, which are not dangerous. A few peanuts here and there will not hurt your chihuahua.

You should also note that any nuts that are salted present the whole salt problem, so any salted nuts should be completely avoided altogether.

What Should Your Chihuahua Eat?

Chihuahuas, like any other dog, need meat and other nutrients to be healthy. Your dog food will obviously be a good source of that nutrition for your chihuahua.

In addition to the regular dog food, if you are ever looking to give your chihuahua a snack, then know that there is plenty of human food that dogs can eat just fine. The important things to keep in mind are that chihuahuas should limit salt and fat. Too much salt causes a chihuahua to become dehydrated, and too much fat can jump-start pancreatitis in your chihuahua.

With that in mind, here we will talk about some of the good food that you can share with your chihuahua.

Meat

All meat that humans would eat, including fish, chicken, beef, and pork, is fine for your chihuahua to eat. Just be sure to remove the bones from fish and chicken. Chicken and fish bones can actually be very dangerous for your chihuahua if the bone splinters while he is chewing it or after he swallows it.

Also beware of meat that has been seasoned with garlic, which as we have already discussed is a toxic plant for dogs, or too much salt, which can cause other problems.

Eggs

Chihuahuas can eat cooked eggs, as they are a good source of protein. There is a belief out there that raw eggs are also good for dogs. While this is usually true, know that you do run the same risk of salmonella poisoning by giving your chihuahua a raw egg that a human does when eating a raw egg, so be wise.

Shrimp

Yes, this is kind of meat, but I will mention it separately. Shrimp are OK for chihuahuas as long as it is thoroughly cooked and it has been de-shelled. The shell, legs, and tail can all cause problems for your chihuahua if they are not completely removed.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is fine for chihuahuas, believe it or not. Just make sure that it is plain oatmeal, that it doesn’t have milk or sugar.

Rice

Also fine for chihuahuas. Watch for seasonings such as garlic and salt though.

Potatoes

Just fine for your chihuahua. Again, watch out for garlic, salt, and other seasonings that your chihuahua should never eat.

Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a very nutritious plant for people and for dogs. If you are looking for something to do with your pumpkin carving innards, your dog might like them. Just be sure to watch out for the seeds, the seeds aren’t good for dogs and you should keep them for yourself.

Bread

Might make your chihuahua fat if he eats too much, but it’s not toxic. Just be cautious if it has seasonings, like garlic, or especially if it has raisins.

Corn

Corn is fine for chihuahuas to eat. Just be careful with the cob as it can be a choking hazard. Popcorn is also fine as long as the popcorn isn’t covered in salt or oils, which can cause problems for your chihuahua.

Peanut Butter

A little should be okay, but remember to watch out for the salt content. Some peanut butter has a lot of salt added. Also, keep in mind that peanut butter has a good amount of fat. It is for this reason that it is best to limit how much peanut butter you give your dog, using it maybe only as a treat.

Bananas

No issues for chihuahuas.

Oranges

No issues, except for the acid. While a ton of oranges may irritate a chihuahua’s stomach, a bit of orange is fine.

Broccoli and Carrots

Carrots will not cause a chihuahua any issues. When it comes to broccoli, a little is fine, although broccoli can irritate a chihuahua’s stomach if they eat too much. Altogether, they are both healthy vegetables for a chihuahua, just remember to cap the amount of broccoli that your chihuahua eats.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are very healthy because of their antioxidants, prebiotics, and digestive helpers. They can also help the immune systems of people and dogs. It is true that in my experience most dogs don’t like plain mushrooms very much, but if you have some extra you are wanting to use up, you can put some in their food or in their eggs, and they will eat them up without any problems.

Foods to Avoid (Not Dangerous, But Not Great for Chihuahuas)

Dairy

Milk and dairy are not good for dogs. While they can tolerate a little, drinking milk every day will cause them to have stomach and digestion issues. Best to avoid it.

Salt

Salt is also not good for chihuahuas. While a little shouldn’t cause your chihuahua any problems, it is a good thing to avoid. Taking in salt can mess with your chihuahua’s water retention. Even a little salt can cause your chihuahua to become dehydrated. To avoid this problem, avoid giving your chihuahua any salt and make sure he always has a bowl of water available.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are fine as long as they are ripe. Tomatoes that are still green contain a chemical that is toxic for chihuahuas. Chihuahuas that eat green tomatoes tend to experience problems with dizziness, increased heart rate, and weakness.

Related Questions

Are chihuahuas dogs? Chihuahuas are dogs, but they were bred to be as small as possible. While they are meat eaters like other dogs, their size made it hard to do much hunting. Therefore, they tended to be scavengers in the wild, eating after bigger dogs had done the killing.

When were chihuahuas first discovered/bred? Generally speaking, chihuahuas seem to have popped up in history around the 1800s, although there are some other places where evidence supposedly points to them existing as early as 100 AD.

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