Carbohydrates are an important part of your Chihuahua’s diet.
Carbohydrates can be broken down into five parts:
4. Lignin and
Carbohydrates can be obtained from grains and vegetables. Sugars are
100% digestible while starches which make up the bulk of carbohydrates are not
easy to absorb unless one of two methods are first used to help to break them
The two methods are:
1. Cook them in a small amount of water
2. Puree them
This process is called dextrinizeing. Dextrinizeing breaks the starches down into
dextrin an easily convertible starch that can then be converted into a sugar.
Starches from oats, potatoes, and corn can also be made digestible if cooked.
All cereal and flour containing foods should be baked, broiled or toasted before
being fed (i.e. Toasted oats).
The digestible part (all sugars and starches if cooked or pureed first) is
sometimes referred to as the nitrogen free extract (NFE).
The non digestible part (cellulose, lignin, and gums) are referred to as the crude
When the Chihuahua’s diet has an adequate amount of carbohydrates then your
protein is “spared” from having to be converted to glucose to be used as an energy
source. That will then allow your protein to be used for its most important role of
repair and building of the Chihuahua’s body. Be careful if you do performance
activities with your Chihuahua and do not do an overload of Carbohydrates to
provide a quick energy boost. This may lead to injury and overall reduces stamina.
Instead increase the fat and protein of the diet.
The carbohydrates in the diet should not be higher than 50% DRY WEIGHT of
the diet being fed. This restriction is needed so that the diet will contain enough
protein, vitamins and minerals. Then with the addition of fats to provide your energy
the proper balance of protein/energy balance will be able to be made so protein
will be “spared”. Your Chihuahua will then have a nice lean body muscle figure.
Fiber is not used just as “filler”. Fiber is need for the intestinal health of your
Chihuahua. There are some choices that are better than others. Insufficient or poor
sources of fiber can lead to constipation. Too much fiber can lead to excessive
flatulence and mucus.
Fiber is recommended to be only 4% - 6% of the overall 50% or less of the DRY
WEIGHT of the diet.
Fiber that is considered the best is called moderately fermentable fibers. These
promote a healthy gut while reducing any undesirable side effects. Examples of
these are: Beet Pulp, Pea fiber, Oat fiber, Bran’s (corn, rice and wheat) and
1. The Collins Guide to Dog Nutrition, By Donald R. Collin, DVM (1989)
2. Canine Nutrition, Choosing the Best Foods for Your Breed, By
Willaim D. Cusick (1997)
3. Understanding Nutrition, By Ellie Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes
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