Best Chow Chow Dog Food

Best Dog Food for Chow Chows : 15 Healthy Options + Helpful Answers to Feeding FAQs

Vet-Checked • Pet-Tested • Owner-Approved

Sean Green

Researched & Written by

Sean Green

At EasyPet, we are committed to presenting the most accurate and up-to-date information to assist you in your pet care journey. When appropriate, we consult licensed and practicing veterinarians to fact-check our professionally written articles.

Chow Chows are striking dogs with their thick fur and bear-like features. They’re highly dignified and serious, bred originally in Northern China to attend to the royal family. They’re very clean with little of that trademark dog smell and behave more like cats than anything else.

They adapt well to city life because they don’t have serious athletic requirements and are aloof but loyal to their families. They have a reputation for being formidable to strangers, but if socialized well provide a lifetime of easy-going companionship.

Their hair and skin will require support, so any Chow Chow food will have to consider this breed’s unique needs in that regard. A quality diet can help maintain muscle tone, skin health, and help this breed maintain proper weight. Let’s take a look at some excellent Chow Chow foods and answer a few questions you may have along the way.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • The Best Dog Foods for Chow Chows : We break down the healthiest choices by budget, diet, and popularity.
  • What Makes a Great Chow Chow Dog Food : We analyze good and bad ingredients and inform you about breed-specific heath considerations.
  • FAQs : We answer feeding, nutrition, and growth questions commonly asked by Chow Chow owners.

Understanding A Chow Chow’s Diet Requirements

The Chow Chow needs a rich, densely nutritious food to maintain its muscle tone without getting empty calories. The breed isn’t particularly energetic or athletic, so their muscle can quickly turn to excess bulk without a proper diet.

Feeding a Chow Chow depends on small meals that pack a serious nutrition punch. Many foods with empty fillers such as corn or soy and artificial ingredients mask less than ideal ingredients that can affect your Chow Chow’s digestion and cause skin irritations that affect the coat.

Because the coat is so thick, you may not notice skin issues cropping up until you’ve got a serious problem on your hands. Starting with a healthy diet could be the key to maintaining your Chow Chow’s signature look while ensuring proper digestion and immune system health.

Chow Chow’s are individuals and could have specific diet requirements depending on a lot of things, but here are some issues to consider.

  • The first ingredient should be a whole, labeled protein. Whole deboned chicken, for example, is going to provide a more easily digestible protein than something labeled just “meat meal.” Dogs are primarily carnivores and protein is essential as the first ingredient. Stay away from foods that use something else first.
  • Healthy fats will help maintain skin and coat health. Fat helps balance out protein and provide energy for your Chow Chow plus condition the skin and coat. It’s necessary for the heart and joints and helps keep your Chow Chow’s mind in top shape.
  • Fruits and vegetables could be a good source of fiber and vitamins and minerals. Although research isn’t conclusive concerning whether dogs are omnivores or not, many of these recipes using whole veggies do provide excellent support for eye health and the immune system.
  • Things like probiotics for digestive support, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, and antioxidant mixes could also support overall health and well being for your Chow Chow at all stages of life.

Special Dietary Considerations For A Chow Chow

  • Eye Issues
  • Bloat
  • Dysplasia
  • Skin Conditions
  • Obesity

Chow Chows are a hardy breed, but they do have some breed specific issues you should be aware of. Diet can play an essential part in alleviating or preventing these issues, so choosing food that addresses some of the most common conditions that crop up in Chow Chows could help your companion live a long, healthy life.

Eye Issues

Chow Chows are prone to conditions that affect the eyes, including glaucoma and cataracts. Foods that help maintain eye health are critical. Vitamins and minerals to support the eyes should come in natural forms and be easily digestible. Also, make sure you see your veterinarian regularly to inspect the eyes since they’re often hidden behind fur and the brow. If you don’t keep a close look, an issue could come up without you noticing.


Large, barrel-chested breeds are prone to a condition known as bloat in which the stomach distends and twists. It’s life-threatening if not treated immediately. Researchers don’t have a complete understanding of the triggers, but a few things could help keep your Chow Chow safer.

Dividing meals up into smaller portions throughout the day could prevent gas from building up. Also, densely nutritious foods without empty fillers allow your Chow Chow to receive complete nutrition in smaller portion sizes. Complementing this, try to keep your Chow Chow from vigorous exercising right after a meal (though you may not have trouble with it because of the Chow Chow’s typical personality).


Large breed dogs are also prone to a condition known as dysplasia. It’s genetic and causes joints to form incorrectly. If left untreated, it can cause pain and immobility later in life. Its most common form is in the hips and elbows.

A diet that supports proper growth as a puppy is the starting point, but foods that contain quality protein can help muscles better support joints. Healthy fats plus glucosamine and chondroitin may help maintain joint cushioning and alleviate any pain that crops up.

Skin Conditions

Your Chow Chow’s fur hides a lot of skin issues until it’s too late and you’ve got a situation. Once the fur is affected, often the skin has been having trouble for a while. Choose food with quality protein and healthy fats to condition and soothe the skin while supporting a strong, healthy coat.

If your Chow Chow is sensitive, choose a Chow Chow food that eliminates common food allergens or switch to a limited ingredient diet altogether. Be aware that poultry and beef can be common triggers, but there are plenty of novel proteins out there that could help.


Chow Chow foods that contain a lot of empty fillers are one of the most dangerous foods you can feed your companion. The Chow Chow is a stocky, muscular dog, but it isn’t very active naturally. You must be very careful to watch your Chow Chow’s weight.

The fur can hide weight gain, so regularly check that you can feel your Chow Chow’s ribs underneath the coat and skin. If it’s hard to make out individual ribs, your Chow Chow may have gained too much weight. A weight control formula could help shed those pounds and return your dog to a healthy weight.

Chow Chow Feeding Chart

Chow Chow portion sizes will depend on the recommendations of the food you choose, plus advice from your veterinarian about your specific dog. Things like life stage or conditions like pregnancy and injury can affect how much food your Chow Chow receives. Build a relationship with a reputable vet so that you can make a plan for your Chow Chow.

Here is the basic idea of what to expect when feeding the average Chow Chow.

  • Puppies: It’s crucial to control a Chow Chow puppy’s growth, so a Chow Chow food for puppies should be tailored to large breeds. Your veterinarian will probably change portion recommendations a few times as your Chow grows, so be prepared.
  • Adults: Typical Chow Chows receive between three and four cups of food per day divided up between meals. If your Chow has gained too much weight, that could change. Nursing and pregnancy could also increase serving sizes temporarily as your Chow grows and feeds puppies of her own.
  • Seniors: Chow Chow food for seniors looks very similar to adult food but if you haven’t thought about supporting joint health, now is an excellent time to add things like glucosamine and chondroitin. Also, making sure that foods support mental activity and the immune system can keep your Chow healthy and happy well into the twilight years.

The Best Dog Food For Chow Chows: Our 2023 Top Picks

Give your Chow Chow the best chance at a long, healthy life by selecting foods that use premium ingredients with no fillers. Your Chow Chow food needs to provide dense protein for muscle development without adding empty calories that pack on pounds. Our choices are excellent for your Chow’s health and wellbeing and balance protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats for all day (yet slimming) energy.

RankDog FoodPriceRating
Best Overall$3.18/lb
Best Value$2.59/lb
Most Popular$6.47/lb
Super PremiumVaries
Best for Allergies$2.51/lb
Sensitive Stomachs$2.69/lb
Weight Maintenance$2.29/lb

Our Top Pick: Merrick Backcountry Raw Large Breed Recipe

Merrick’s Backcountry Raw recipe adds real bits of freeze-dried raw meat for an extra protein boost. If your Chow is picky, having those pieces could add interesting texture and mouthfeel. The recipe is designed to mimic a canine ancestral diet and packs quite a bit of dense nutrition in with no empty fillers.

Deboned chicken provides the primary protein source along with chicken and turkey meal. Healthy fats help keep your Chow feeling energetic throughout the day while conditioning the skin and maintaining proper brain development. Fruits and vegetables provide critical vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.

The recipe contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint health, and probiotics keep digestion regular and support the immune system. Merrick’s ingredients come from locally sourced, responsible providers and contain no hormones or added antibiotics that can affect digestion.

Pros: raw bits of meat, locally sourced ingredients, dense protein

Cons: some dogs pick around the meat bits, bits need to be redistributed in the bag frequently

Best Value: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Large Breed

Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness recipe offers plenty of dense protein with no empty calories that could cause weight gain. It’s designed to support your large breed dog’s muscle tone and frame while providing energy all day long.

Rich beef is the first ingredient, a familiar protein that’s often a crowd pleaser. Healthy fats support skin health and condition the coat while aiding in joint cushioning. Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin help keep joints moving.

Vegetables provide quality sources of fiber and vitamins to support immune health and digestion. Other ingredients include probiotics to help ease digestion and make nutrients more available. There are no grains, empty fillers such as corn or soy, and no artificial ingredients.

Pros: dense protein, dog-pleasing beef, support for skin and joint health

Cons: some dogs don’t like the texture, contains peas and potatoes

Most Popular: Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe

Honest Kitchen’s unique food provides a healthy meal with plenty of flavors and interesting texture. The dehydrated recipes are easy to store and simple to serve. Many dogs enjoy the wet feel, and the ingredients are all premium and organic.

Cage-free turkey is a lean protein source, giving your Chow the building blocks for strong muscles without adding in extra calories. Healthy fruits and vegetables round out vitamins and minerals, supporting eye health, skin condition, and immunity.

Healthy fats also support the skin and coat. Simple oats are a balanced, slow-release carbohydrate for all-day energy and good fiber. There are no empty fillers and no artificial flavors or colors, so your Chow receives only the most premium nutrition.

Pros: unprepared food easy to store, premium and organic ingredients, dense but lean protein

Cons: Prepared food is challenging to save, some dogs don’t like the taste

Best Super Premium: NomNomNow Chicken Chow-Wow

NomNomNow provides cooked meals made from human grade ingredients and delivers the meals right to your door. It makes it so simple to feed your dog quality nutrition that rarely gets rejected because of taste or texture. You get fresh foods each week, and your dog gets a limited ingredient Chow Chow food with dense nutrition.

The Chicken Chow-Wow recipe uses just six ingredients starting with whole chicken and sweet potato for a healthy protein and carbohydrate blend. It won’t spike your Chow’s blood sugar and should provide energy all day without extra calories. Healthy fats support the skin while fresh vegetables contain critical vitamins and minerals to help things like eye health.

The meals arrive each week in pre-portioned sizes, so you’ll never run out of food, and you’ll never measure anything again. The foods require cold storage, so make sure you’re prepared.

Pros: human grade ingredients, cooked meals, easy delivery

Cons: expensive, some dogs may need more dental maintenance

Best for Allergies: Zignature Salmon Recipe

Zignature’s limited ingredient formula focuses on a single protein source and eliminates all extra ingredients for an easier to digest the meal. Salmon provides quality protein plus healthy fats that can help soothe skin irritation and maintain muscle tone.

Vitamins and minerals support eye health and probiotics support digestion. The recipe contains no empty fillers such as corn or soy and no artificial ingredients. It should help your Chow Chow digest more efficiently and possibly alleviate any itchy skin associated with common food allergens.

The single source, novel protein does eliminate poultry and beef, two common causes of food allergies that aren’t always addressed. The dense protein keeps up your Chow’s energy while maintaining weight and easing digestion.

Pros: limited ingredients, a novel protein, healthy fats

Cons: some picky Chows may not like the taste, more expensive than average

Best For Sensitive Tummies: Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison Recipe

Limited ingredient diets can help alleviate issues with digestion and skin by reducing the number of ingredients involved in digestion. The novel protein venison is a densely nutritious protein that can maintain muscle mass while alleviating allergic reactions.

Sweet potato is a low glycemic carbohydrate that provides energy all day long. A handful of other ingredients provide critical vitamins for eye health and minerals to support the bone structure.

The recipe uses no artificial ingredients or cheap fillers such as corn or soy and no common protein allergens such as poultry or by-product meals. It’s clean, and you could see improvement very quickly as your Chow’s digestion settles.

Pros: limited ingredients, rich protein source, good vitamin content

Cons: more expensive than average food, some dogs may not enjoy the texture of the kibble

3 More Top Rated Chow Chow Foods

Solid Gold Fit And Fabulous Chicken, Sweet Potato, And Green Bean Recipe

Solid Gold’s weight control formula offers rich nutrition in a reduced calorie formula designed to make it easier for your Chow to shed pounds and keep the weight off consistently. You don’t sacrifice any of the critical nutrition of regular, premium foods.

A balanced blend of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates allows your Chow to feel full and energetic all day. Vitamins support things like eye health and probiotics support the immune system. Healthy fats condition the skin and coat for better health overall.

Ziwipeak Lamb and Tripe Recipe

Ziwipeak’s meat-based formula is 96% meat, offering dense protein designed to mimic a carnivorous, ancestral diet. A unique air drying process allows the company to preserve all the natural benefit of raw meat while killing nasty pathogens and bacteria. The result is the most convenient raw food on the market.

It uses rich lamb and tripe for dense protein plus healthy fats to condition the skin and maintain muscle tone. It’s expensive, but your Chow shouldn’t have to eat nearly as much per portion as a cheaper food. It’s convenient and maintains your Chow’s natural weight and glossy coat.

Pros: raw based diet, plenty of healthy fats, excellent nutrition

Cons: expensive, hard to find in stores

American Journey Large Breed Chicken And Brown Rice Protein First Formula

American Journey’s large breed formula is a great all-purpose food for healthy adult Chows with few allergies. It uses lean, deboned chicken as the first ingredient plus brown rice for a slow release carb. Together, they provide energy all day without adding in excess calories or causing blood sugar crashes.

Healthy fats condition the skin and coat, and essential vitamins and minerals support eye and bone health. It’s affordable and provides all the building blocks of health and well-being in a great all-purpose food.

3 More Top Rated Chow Chow Foods for Puppies

RankDog FoodPriceRating
Overall Best$2.84/lb
Most Affordable$2.29/lb
Most Popular$0.15/oz

Nulo Grain Free Turkey And Sweet Potato Large Breed Recipe

Nulo understands that your Chow puppy needs proper growth. The recipe contains dense protein without extra calories that could cause destructive, rapid weight gain. It has guaranteed DHA for brain development and calcium to build strong bones.

It doesn’t contain any chicken or egg proteins, so sensitive puppies may have an easier time with digestion. It’s low glycemic and maintains energy throughout the day without spiking blood sugar. Vegetables provide critical vitamins for eye health and a robust immune system.

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe

Blue Buffalo’s recipe contains lean proteins for developing muscle tone without stressing out the bone structure. It uses premium ingredients blended with balanced carbohydrates to help your puppy feel full and energetic throughout the day.

Guaranteed fatty acids, including DHA, ensure strong mental development with soft skin and a shiny coat. Fruits and vegetables support the immune system and things like proper eye health. It’s grain free and contains no cheap fillers or artificial ingredients.

Nutro Large Breed Puppy Tender Lamb Recipe Wet Food

If your puppy isn’t ready for kibble quite yet or needs some encouragement switching from mom’s milk, wet food could be a great option. Nutro’s is designed with large breed puppies in mind, delivering dense protein without excess calories.

Lamb is an excellent, tasty protein source for strong muscles while healthy oils, including fish oil, condition the skin and coat and aid in brain development. It’s suitable for solo feeding or as a meal topper for kibble for picky puppies.

3 More Top Rated Chow Chow Foods For Seniors

RankDog FoodPriceRating

Most Affordable

Overall Best$2.29/lb
Most Popular$0.15/oz

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Senior Recipe

Nutro’s senior recipe contains whole chicken and healthy brown rice for an excellent balance of protein and carbohydrates. It will help keep your senior feeling energetic all day without adding excess calories or causing blood sugar crashes.

The addition of glucosamine and chondroitin, plus healthy fats, supports overall joint health and can help alleviate any minor pain your dog may experience because of age. Fat also helps keep the brain in top shape while conditioning the skin and coat. Vitamins support aging eyes and a robust immune system.

Solid Gold Young At Heart Chicken And Sweet Potato Recipe

Solid Gold’s senior recipe contains lean chicken to maintain muscle tone while helping maintain proper weight. Sweet potato contains low glycemic carbohydrates and fiber to help seniors feel full and energetic all day long.

The addition of healthy fats encourages healthy brain activity and soothes irritated skin while conditioning the coat. Vitamins and minerals support your senior’s eye health and probiotics ease digestion and maintain immunity.

Nutro Ultra Senior Chunks In Gravy

Although not specifically formulated for large breeds, Nutro’s wet food does consider a senior dog’s unique needs. It’s good for seniors who have trouble with weight or joints by using a lean protein source with balanced carbohydrate and a natural source of glucosamine.

Healthy fats ensure the brain and skin are in top shape while critical vitamins and minerals support bones and eyes while helping maintain a robust immune system.

Our FAQ and Chow Chow Feeding Guide

Now that you know what type of foods are best for your Chow Chow’s unique needs, let’s answer a few questions you may still have about how to feed your Chow and what to do when some issues arise.

It’s important to remember to consult your veterinarian with any serious issues and to find the best balance of nutrition and portion sizing for your Chow’s life stage and condition. Regular veterinarian visits can improve the quality of life for your Chow at any stage.

How much do I feed my Chow Chow?

Your Chow’s individual diet will depend a lot on life stage and conditions such as injuries, allergies, or things like pregnancy. Check the portion recommendations for your chosen food and work with your veterinarian to make decisions about your specific Chow Chow. You’ll probably end up changing portion sizes a few times throughout your Chow’s life.

How do I feed my Chow Chow?

It’s best to divide up portion sizes among two or three meals throughout the day. Your Chow will be less susceptible to bloat and should have better, more consistent energy when fed more than once per day.

It’s also essential not to free feed your Chow because it’s so easy to overfeed and cause weight gain. Set a time limit for how long your Chow has to finish a meal and stick to it. If your Chow has no interest in completing a meal after the time limit is up, remove the food. After a while, your Chow Chow should learn to eat consistently.

Consider how many treats you’re feeding during the day and make sure to add this into your Chow’s daily calorie count. Treats (and human food) can add extra calories and make it difficult for your Chow to maintain a healthy weight.

What do I do if my Chow Chow is a picky eater?

Pickiness can come from a variety of sources. Your Chow could be waiting for something better (people food, perhaps?) but it could also stem from digestive discomfort.

Getting your Chow on a consistent feeding schedule is essential, so if pickiness is affecting meal times, here are a few things you can try.

  • Don’t free feed. Your Chow should learn that waiting for something better could mean being a little hungry during the day. Most people notice a difference right away when they start removing unfinished food.
  • Stay away from human food and possibly treats. Human food encourages dogs to reject their meals, as do treats. Your dog knows that you’ll feed it snacks throughout the day and may not be interested in food. Remove the snacks, and your dog’s eating habits might return to normal.
  • Switch to a cooked food diet plan. Companies like NomNomNow are making it really simple for you to feed your dog a quality meal that it loves without the hassle of having to cook everything yourself. It uses only premium ingredients and could help encourage your dog to eat consistently.

Does my Chow Chow food need grains? Fruits and Vegetables?

The research isn’t definitive towards or against grains. However, a lot will depend on your dog’s unique digestion and allergy conditions. If you notice that your dog seems to have trouble digesting foods or has chronically itchy, inflamed skin, you may want to examine everything in your Chow Chow food including grains.

Begin with an elimination diet that removes most known allergens. You can add ingredients back in slowly to find what triggers your Chow’s condition. Work with your vet to decide the best route to take and foods that can still provide quality nutrition.

One possible issue with grain free foods is the use of peas and potatoes as a substitute. A tentative link between these ingredients and a higher risk of an enlarged heart has been reported. Make sure you understand the risks and talk to your veterinarian.

Fruits and vegetables may still provide vitamins, minerals, and most importantly, fiber for dogs although studies are still somewhat in favor of a carnivore diet for your dog. If your dog is sensitive to most ingredients, a meat-based approach could be the way to go. Your Chow Chow food should still be easy to digest and reduce inflammation instead of causing it.

Chow Chow Dog Food – Final Thoughts

Chow Chow food needs to have dense protein without all the excess calories, making it critical to choose a premium food with no empty fillers. Typical cheap kibbles can make it impossible to maintain your Chow Chow’s weight, so take the plunge and choose a premium food that can build health and well-being.

Foods that support skin health are also critical because you won’t notice a skin issue until it’s a huge deal because of the thick fur. It’s possible to find foods that will offer everything your Chow needs for strong bones, toned muscles, and healthy skin without empty calories or causing energy crashes. Help keep your companion stay happy and healthy throughout life by choosing the right foods.

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