Did you know that the term Chow Chow is not of Chinese origin? The name is an 18th century jargon-English terminology used to illustrate anything from the East.
If you are in the hunt for a cuddling buddy, the Chow Chow is not your type. This lion-like dog, highlighted by a mane of hair (hence the name) features deep-set eyes and a big head. This dog boasts one of the unique traits and looks in the dog’s arena. But those looks demand grooming and he also needs adequate exercise to burn off energy.
Their impressive appearance makes them a good option for family pets, but not for those with little children who can tease them. Chows are intelligent but independent and stubborn which makes them hard to train unless done appropriately from the pup stage. Chows are not the type to tolerate strangers or threats as they can be very aggressive in response.
Like other dogs, Chows have special dietary needs. You must give them high-quality dog food that supports their skin and double coat health and luster, lean muscles, and proper weight. So, which are the best dog foods for Chow Chow?
Chow Chow Statistics
With its origins in Northern China, the breed is known as songshi quan and was used as working dogs to hunt, herd, guard, and pull sleds. In fact, an Emperor during the Tang Dynasty ordered more than 5000 Chows to use them for hunting.
- Size: Medium
- Height: 19-22 inches (males) & 19-20 inches (females)
- Weight: 57 lbs. to 70 lbs. (males) & 44 lbs. & 55 lbs. (females)
- Temperament: Affectionate, devoted, loyal, independent, & stubborn
- Life Expectancy: 8-12 years
What to Look for in Best Dog Food for Chow Chow
Your Chow should be fed healthy, nutritious food to help maintain lean muscles but watch out for calorie content. While Chows need healthy food, they are not as active which means they tend to become overweight without a good diet.
So, here are 4 ingredients to look for in best dog food for Chows:
- Protein – The food should have whole, categorized protein as the first ingredient that is easily digestible. By categorized, I mean known sources. Protein helps maintain lean, strong muscles.
- Fats – Chows boast a double coat that you need to keep shiny and skin healthy. Fats come in handy in balancing protein and are necessary for the heart and joints.
- Fruits & Veggies – These ingredients provide fiber, vitamins & minerals that are handy in giving your Chow a healthy immune system.
- Probiotics – Probiotics are essential when it comes to a healthy digestion.
Other ingredients include glucosamine and chondroitin that support joint health, as well as antioxidants that support your Chow’s overall health.
8 Best Dog Foods for Chow Chows
If you wish your Chow Chow to have a long healthy life, you need to feed him with high-quality food crafted with premium ingredients. From high protein for muscle development to carbs and healthy fats, your Chow must eat a well-balanced diet.
Finding such foods is not an easy task so we conducted in-depth research and brought you the best dog foods with nutritional value to your Chow.
- Merrick Backcountry Raw Large Breed Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Large Breed
- Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe
- Zignature Salmon Recipe
- Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison Recipe
- Solid Gold and Fabulous Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Green Bean Recipe
- Ziwipeak Lamb and Tripe Recipe
- American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice Protein First Formula
Review of the 8 Best Dog Foods for Chow Chows
In this section, we are going to review each dog’s food looking at their pros and cons as well so you can understand their nutritional value to your Chow. By the end of the review, you will have known which dog food is ideal for your canine buddy.
Our top-best dog food for Chows from Merrick is everything you need if you prefer feeding your canine buddy with his protein-dense ancestral diet. This recipe features a blend of raw and freeze-dried dog food with deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
This animal-based protein gives your Chow lean muscles and high energy levels for his daily activities. Other protein sources include lamb and duck for palatability and omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and lustrous coat. It also contains glucosamine & chondroitin that are handy in giving your Chow healthy joints and hips.
If you want to increase water levels in your dog’s diet, this grain-free blend of dry and wet dog food with on fillers or additives is perfect.
- Protein-dense diet
- Palatable & nutritious
- Supports skin & coat
- Easily digestible
- High price tag
If you are looking for red meat nutritional benefits and value in the same package, our runner’s up for the best dog food for Chows from Blue Buffalo is a perfect choice. This recipe features real beef as the first ingredient which is high in protein for lean muscles.
A grain-free formula, this dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin that support your Chow’s joint health, plus omega-3 & 6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and shiny coat. It also includes vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s immune system health at all stages.
Ideal for adult Chows, this natural dog food is everything your furry friend needs to thrive.
- Great value for money
- Ideal for picky eaters
- Grain-free & delicious
- Discrepancy in batches
- Some dogs dislike it
The Honest Kitchen ranks among the most popular dog food brands with human-grade dehydrated dog foods. This formula features cage-free turkey as the first ingredient that maintains your Chow’s strong muscle mass as well as whole grain oats.
This all-natural calorically moderate dog food recipe is ideal for both pup and adult Chows alike and contains no artificial preservatives, GMO ingredients, or byproducts. If you have a senior dog and need a recipe from the Honest Kitchen, try Keen.
- Affordable pricing
- High-quality ingredients
- Healthy & nutritious
- Unhealthy for some dogs
- Reported garlic as an ingredient
- Batch inconsistency
Does your Chow have allergies? As such, you need to feed them with dog food that is crafted using limited ingredients which makes the salmon recipe from Zignature a fantastic choice. This simple dog food recipe features salmon as the first ingredient, a high-quality protein source.
This single animal protein diet maintains lean muscles in your Chow while giving it a healthy skin and lustrous coat with omega fatty acids. It also contains L-carnitine, an amino acid nutrient that supports your Chow’s heart health and taurine for eye health. Being grain-free makes it perfect for dogs with food allergies and it has no artificial additives.
- Good quality food
- Perfect for allergic dogs
- Works for fussy eaters
- Delicious & healthy
- Some dogs prefer grained food
If your Chow has a sensitive stomach, this Sweet Potato & Venison formula is an ideal choice. This L.I.D limited ingredient recipe features venison as the first ingredient which an excellent source of high-quality protein to support your Chow’s lean muscles.
This grain-free formula from Natural Balance features a single protein source to ensure that your Chow with a sensitive tummy remains healthy. The sweet potato ingredient is a superb source of carbohydrates and is low in fats but rich vitamins that support your Chow’s overall health.
The formula also supports digestive health and gives your Chow skin and coat health.
- Good for allergies
- Limited ingredient diet
- Vet recommended
- Good value for money
- Batches inconsistency
Are you looking for dog food that will help you manage your Chow’s weight? Solid Gold got you covered with its whole Superfoods formulas. This recipe contains real cage-free chicken as the first ingredient as an excellent high-quality protein source.
Their all-natural grain-free dog food includes ingredients such as sweet potatoes and green bean which provide your Chow with palatable and easily digestible proteins. It is also combined with fiber-rich probiotics that support your dog’s overall immune health.
To ensure your Chow maintains a healthy skin and shiny coat, this dog food recipe also contains omega fatty acids.
- Great for weight management
- Good for fussy eaters
- Excellent for diabetic dog
- Easily digestible
- Inconsistency in batches
Chows need to be fed with dog food that is dense in protein like this lamb and tripe recipe from Ziwipeak. The brand uses natural methods of preservation that involves air drying the dog food to maintain flavor and nutritional value, making it ideal even for picky eaters.
Yet another limited ingredients dog food in the list, this recipe includes real lamb as the first ingredient and high-quality protein source that support strong muscles in your Chow. It is a powerhouse of superfoods with ingredients such as green tripe, organic kelp, and green mussels.
The dog food contains taurine that is handy in heart health, and helps promote skin and coat health, healthy digestion, joints, and allergy relief.
- High-quality dog food
- Ideal for skin allergies
- Good for picky eaters
- Inconsistency in batches on Amazon
Do you have a healthy adult Chow with few allergies? This dog food recipe from American Journey is what your canine buddy needs. With real deboned chicken as the first ingredient, this recipe provides your Chow with high-quality protein for lean, strong muscle mass.
Prepared specifically for large-breed dogs, like your adult Chow, this dog food features a perfect blend of antioxidants and nutrients that support his overall health and immune system. This formula of brown rice (which is rich in fiber content) and chicken is easily digestible as well as omega-3 & 6 fatty acids to give your Chow a healthy skin and shiny coat.
This dog food contains no artificial additives, preservatives, or byproducts.
- Affordable pricing
- Delicious & nutritious
- Good for picky eaters
- Quality ingredients
- Some dogs dislike it
Feeding Chart for Chow Chows
During their upbringing, Chows were predominantly vegetarians which make them sensitive to proteins. So, you need to consult with your Chow’s vet for the best meal for your canine buddy. Below is a table showing how much your Chow should eat at different stages of life.
|Chow’s Stage||Age||Amount of Food|
|Puppies||Below 1 year||Small portions frequently – ½ cup 4 times/day|
|Adult||Between 1 & 2 years||2 to 2 ½ cups/day|
|Seniors||Above 8 years||Twice a day (Quality over quantity here)|
Ingredients to Avoid in Your Chow’s Food
While high-quality dog food for Chow Chows comes with a high price tag, it is obviously wrong to feed him with substandard dog foods. As such, it is always good to read what the manufacturer has included in the ingredients list.
Do you see names that you cannot read on the ingredients list? Is the dog food labeled feed-grade rather than human-grade? Stay away from such foods as they contain by-products and meals. Why say so you may ask? You will be feeding your pooch with leftovers heated at high temperatures to kill bacteria thus eliminating large portions of minerals and vitamins.
Also, check out for preservatives such as BHT and BHA as they are said to be chemicals that cause cancer. Make sure that the dog food does not contain fillers as they have no nutritional value to your Chow.
3 Common Health Problems with Chow Chows
Like other dog breeds, Chow Chows have certain breed-specific health problems that you should know about before adopting them. If you already have, it will still help you realize how to take care of him better.
Here are 3 common health issues with Chows:
- Heat Exhaustion
Chow Chow’s dense coat makes them appealing and adorable. However, it makes them very susceptible to overheating leading to heat exhaustion. As such, they should not spend too much time outside, at least 30 minutes and then back inside.
Make sure that your Chow spends most of his time in shades away from hot weather.
- Hip Dysplasia
As we mentioned above, Chows are not active dog breeds. Their body joints also have an awkward shape which leads to dislocations and it can be a painful experience. So, make sure that you do not engage them in heavy activities.
While this cannot be prevented, ensure you understand the treatments.
Chows feature strangely small eyes surrounded by heavy skin which makes them predisposed to Entropion. This is a condition that causes the eyelids to turn inwards pressing the eyelashes up against your Chow’s eyes.
This causes irritation in the eyes which leads to frequent scratching thus making your Chow uncomfortable. Like hip dysplasia, nothing can be done to prevent this. However, you should observe your Chow’s weight gain to minimize the possibility of this happening.
In addition, Chows are also susceptible to bloat, skin conditions, and obesity.
How Much Do I Feed My Chow Chow?
How much you should feed your Chow depends on their life stage (pup, adult, or senior). Like most Chows, however, your Chow should consume 4 cups of food each day divided into two meals: 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. Some even take 4 in the evening.
Can Chow Chows Eat Bananas?
Yes, Chow Chows can eat bananas. And while they are nutritious and rich in useful minerals and vitamins, they have high sugar content which is unsafe for any pooch’s diet.
Chow Chows have a lion-like appearance that makes them seem aggressive. But inside the dense coat is a loyal, affectionate, and intelligent pooch that makes an excellent family pet. On the flip side, however, Chows are stubborn and independent which makes training them a challenge. They are also very unfriendly to strangers.
As such training should be introduced in their pup stage. Their thick fur also makes them prone to heat exhaustion so make sure they spend less time outside during hot days. Make sure you feed your Chow with high-quality human-grade dog food and observe their weight gain to prevent Entropion. They also are not energetic so do not involve them in heavy activities.
Hi there! My name is Ben Walker and I am the editor here at 10PetFood. I have 7 years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition or walking my dog.