Like any other breed, the Chinese Crested's nutritional demands are embedded right into their genetic code. Several breeders have attempted introducing the Chinese Crested to varying dietary regimens with little to no success. As it may involve spending a little more, or driving to a grocery store a little further away, keeping the dog on a specific diet may seem like a pain, however, these inconveniences are certainly less expensive and time consuming than possibly dealing with digestion and other health problems and trips to the veterinarian's office later in the dog's life.
While there are suitable food products on the market, some of the most dedicated Chinese Crested owners actually home cook their dog's food. This may sound like an extravagant luxury to someone who is used to buying a big bag of dry food each week, but it can actually be cheaper, and takes only about an hour per week. The thing to remember with making your own dog food or buying from the store is that the ingredients need to stick to what the breed would've been fed in their native land of origin. The Chinese Crested, being from China and South America, should be fed meals consisting of fish, white rice and soy products.
Common sense alone dictates that any responsible Chinese Crested owner will make sure the dog gets enough calcium, vitamins and minerals, but it's important to be informed, as there are a few unique sensitivities to consider when settling on a diet for a Chinese Crested. The breeds have especially sensitive kidneys, and supplemental vitamin C, such as pills or formulas, are a definite never. The ascorbic acid found in citrus products is just too much for the breed and can lead to unpleasant infections and other complications. Also things to avoid are high carb food products. As the Chinese Crested has a relatively sensitive digestive system, some owners also recommend against foods containing red meat, such as horse.
After reading the above, the potential Chinese Crested buyer may feel a little overwhelmed regarding the breed's uniquely specific dietary demands and the potential for complications. Hopefully some relief will come with the knowledge that the breed is much less demanding in the exercise department. As long as the dog gets exercise every day for an hour or so, the Chinese Crested needs little more than a few games of catch in the backyard or a walk around the neighborhood.
The above applies to both varieties of Chinese Crested, both Hairless and Powderpuff. Unique considerations for the Hairless, however; make sure that the dog wears sunscreen for prolonged exposure to the elements when exercising outdoors. Just like with humans, even in overcast weather, the dog's skin can burn if they spend more than an hour outdoors at a time.