Sifting through hundreds of products in search of the best small breed dog food is hard, wouldn’t you agree?
Skip the line if you’re in a hurry:
- Best for small breed puppies: Wellness Complete Health Small Breed
- Best for small breed adults: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- Best for small breed seniors: NUTRO ULTRA Small Breed Senior
- Best grain-free option: Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free
- Best L.I.D for small dogs: BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
But what if there was a method to the madness!?
As it turns out, by understanding the nutritional needs of your small breed, and researching trusted brands, recommended food options emerge.
In this post, we do exactly that. We first help you understand the diet needs of your small breed, provide useful feeding tips, and finally offer recommendations on: dry, wet, raw, grain free, limited ingredient, & canned dog food for puppies, adults, and senior dogs of a smaller breed.
Note: There is no official best food for small breeds, but these guidelines will help you decide upon a quality choice that will benefit your dog and your wallet. If you know enough about feeding small breeds, jump ahead to the recommended products section.
Nutritional Needs of Small Dogs
Defining Small Dog: Generally, weighing less than 22 lbs, or shorter than 16 inches.
Whether you refer to them as small dogs, toy dogs, or teacups; one thing’s for certain, these tiny friends of ours all have nutritional needs just as we do. Small dogs may have small mouths and small stomachs, but they still require a daily balanced diet consisting of: vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs, protein and other nutrients to maintain a healthy physique.
While it is true that dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds share similar nutritional needs, at the end of the day there are differences that informed and caring owners should be aware of, some subtle some not so subtle. For example, there is the importance of feeding certain foods during certain life stages. Essentially, it is recommended to feed puppies puppy food, adult dogs adult food, and senior dogs food for older dogs.
Smart owners take their dogs nutrition one step further and learn about the minimal nutrient requirements, the adequate intake, recommended allowance, and the safe upper limits of their dogs diet. They learn how breed specific growth formulas factor in the specific nutrient requirements of their dogs; such as the adjusted calcium to phosphorus ratio during the growth stage of small breed puppies. Luckily we cover a lot of the information you need to be aware of for you small breed to thrive in this article, as well as offer product recommendations.
Small Breed Nutrition 101: An Overview
As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. To properly cover nutritional needs of small breed dogs, we need to break it up into the three life stages: puppy, adult, and senior stages.
Small breed puppies (birth – 1 yr): The young and restless! With metabolisms as fast as their legs, these little pups can burn through a meal in a matter of hours due to their super high metabolic rates. It is therefore very important for small breed puppies to consume enough calories on a daily basis to avoid drops in blood sugar leading to hypoglycemia. Which carries with it extreme lethargy and weakness, loss of appetite, muscle problems, seizures, and sometimes even death. Their high metabolic rate and the need for frequent calorie-dense food stays with them into adulthood.
Small breed adults (1yr – 7 yr): Did you know that small dogs need to take in more calories per pound than their large breed counterparts? As counter-intuitive as that sounds, active small breeds that weigh less than 20 lbs tend to use up to 40 (kcal) calories per pound! Whereas the large breeds, over 50 lbs, may only need as little as 20 (kcal) calories per pound. What does this mean? It explains why foods for smaller breeds tend to be more calorie rich than those of large breeds. It also means that you as an owner now have a better idea of how many calories an adult small breed needs, on average, and thus how much you should feed them daily, based on their lifestyle, to keep them healthy.
Small breed seniors (7yr +): As a small breed owner, you’re probably aware that they can live a very long time? Combined with a diet rich in antioxidants, helping to decrease free radical damage, they can stay relatively healthy for the duration of their long lives! As with any type of dog, and human for that matter, getting older means joint problems! Which is why diets rich in ingredients like chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, are recommended for senior dogs. As they help promote joint health, alongside a well balanced nutritionally complete breed/size specific diet.
Life stages matter, but don’t forget to take into account your dogs life style, a dog that is more active will burn through their nutrients quicker than the ones who prefer relaxing to running. An aware owner is a good owner!
How & Why Are Small Breeds Different?
First and foremost, it’s important to address a common misconception: that ALL small dogs are alike. While it’s true that most smaller breeds don’t generally need to work off excess energy in the same manner as their bigger counterparts, there certainly are exceptions. For example terriers and Dachshunds, enjoy running around just as much as the big dogs!
Let’s see what else separates small breeds from the rest:
The science behind small dogs
Scientists have identified a single gene (IGF1) as the determining factor of small body size in dogs. In a research study at UCLA, researcher Melissa Gray and her team decided to see if this gene occurred in wild gray wolves (all domestic dog breeds are descendants of the gray wolf!). They studied wolves all over the world, and found that they did not posses this gene! What does this mean? It means that the gene came AFTER dogs were first domesticated. Their genes decided to give up size in order to better assimilate into densely packed human societies.
Smaller stomachs require nutrient-dense food
Small dogs have small smaller mouths and stomachs, so their food should ideally be of a smaller bite size and easy to chew. However, because of this, the food also tends/needs to be more densely packed with nutrients; which means your dog will absorb the nutrients it needs from what looks like a small portion of food. This is why small breed dog food labels tend to have more calories per cup than food for large breeds.
Smaller breeds have longer life spans than larger dogs
Small breeds can maintain an adult diet until the age of 7, as opposed to giant dogs who may be considered mature at the age of 5. This means that age-related changes occur later in a smaller breeds life. Thus when it comes to switching to a mature diet, from adult to senior nutritional needs, you should have more than enough time to properly and proactively transition to a specially formulated senior dog diet.
Tips for Feeding a Small Breed Dog
A dogs energy needs change throughout their life, they can also depend on weather conditions with winter requiring more calories, as well as the type of lifestyle they lead!
What can you as an owner do to ensure your dog grows strong and healthy? To answer this and provide relevant feeding tips, we once again need to address different life stages:
Small breed puppy feeding tips
When in doubt, make sure your puppy gets enough nutrients such as: protein, fibre, essential fatty acids, calcium and vitamin E; and avoid reaching high dietary iodine.
- Developmental nutrition: A crucial time in a dogs life, where good developmental nutrition is key for the rest of their lives. Building a diet for your puppy that takes into account their breed and nutrition requirements means you’re setting them up for success by ensuring they experience proper: immune system, neurological, and skeletal development.
- Customize: Sure, read the ingredient facts and guidelines on the label first. But to get the most out of the food, you need to customize it for your dog. Does your dog burn through calories faster than other? You should customize the suggested label instructions for him/her; thus feeding them more to make up for the fact that they burn through the nutrients fast. This will depend on two things: you dogs activity level and their breed.
- Enough calories: As mentioned before, small breeds tend to be at risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Ensuring you’re feeding your small breed pup enough calories reduces this risk by maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar.
- Feeding frequency: They sure grow up fast don’t they? Especially during the first 6 months. Therefore you need to feed your pup more food, more frequently. Depending on their activity level, generally 3 to 4 times a day is recommended. After 6 months, 2 to 3 times a day should be enough. But remember, though they need a lot of nutrients, they are tiny and can’t eat too much in one sitting; so you may the call on rationing it out.
- Bite size: Small breed puppies have very small mouths and stomachs. Keep this in mind when buying and feeding their food. Look for and choose the bite size that is easier for them to chew and digest properly.
- Hide the food: There is such a thing as too much food. You want your dog to be nourished, but not to become obese at such an early age! Hide the food after they’ve surely eaten. Small breed’s fast metabolic rates means they’ll eat food like there’s no tomorrow. Especially if they’re active. They’ll even eat it out of pure boredom.
- Limit table scraps: You’re not just making sure your pup gets enough nutrients, you’re establishing a healthy diet for them. A good early puppy diet is vital for the rest of their life. So though the occasional table scraps is fine, try not to make it a routine and throw off their diet.
Small breed adult feeding tips
No matter whether you prefer dry, wet, or raw dog food, these tips are helpful for knowing what to feed your adult small breed and ensure a proper transition from an adult to mature senior diet.
- Complete nutrients: Adult small breeds are at their best when their diet is composed of complete essential nutrients, such as: vitamin rich fish oils, high quality animal based protein, fiber, carbohydrate blends that help promote healthy blood sugar levels. This ensures your dogs skin/coat, nutrient absorption, immune system, muscles, bones, eye, ears, intestines, energy, and overall health are accounted for in their food.
- Consider special needs: Has your dog experienced or going through a major a life event? For example: neutering, obesity, going to or has given birth to puppies? Excess weight carries all sorts of health problems with it, from diabetes to joint problems. Make sure you factor in your dogs condition into their diet. If you’re buying weight control dog food make sure that the food: still offers key nutrients, has fat burning properties, doesn’t hurt their energy levels, is vitamin rich with fish oils for their overall well being.
- Allergies: Another thing our best friends share with us is food allergies! A sure way to end up at the vet is to feed your dog something they’re allergic to: knowingly or unknowingly. Do your best with the help of your vet to discover what your dog is allergic to, and whether they require a hypoallergenic diet. Once you have this information, always pay attention to the food you’re buying to avoid causing an allergic reaction.
- Pregnant dogs: Eating for two counts for dogs too! What do you feed pregnant small breeds? A well balanced and complete puppy food, which provides pregnant and lactating moms the extra nutrients they need. Recall that puppies grow fast and burn through calories swiftly, thus their food is more nutrient-dense.
- Monitor physical activity: Small breeds have a reputation for being less active than their bigger cousins. But are all small breeds inactive? Absolutely not. Daschunds, terriers, shetland sheepdogs, miniature pinschers, beagles, shiba inus, and other small breeds are all about being active! Smart owners of active small breeds should monitor their physical activity and adjust their feeding/diets accordingly; to account for all the calories they burn!
Small breed senior feeding tips
Senior small breeds require specialized diets that are formulated for assisting the various physiological changes that come with an aging body.
- Maintenance energy requirement (MER): This is the energy required to maintain a normal level of activity, for your dog to be themselves. As dogs get older they lose lean body mass, as a result their MER can drop by 25%; which means your dog would feel only 3/4 of their regular healthy self. Look for the metabolizable energy figure on the food label when buying dog food for small breed seniors, as this is the amount of energy they will retain once the food is digested and out their system.
- Protein requirements: As your small breed senior ages, it’s ability to synthesize proteins reduces. Therefore, do not restrict protein, as it can be as dangerous as protein deficiency in puppies.
- Bone & joint health: A combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate has shown positive effects on alleviating joint pain. A worthy pursuit if your small breed senior is suffering from bone & joint problems.
- Brain & cognitive health: An aging dogs brain goes through a lot of changes, which can cause learning problems as well as memory issues. Ensure your dog is getting proper amounts of antioxidants such as Vitamin E as well as the amino acid L-carnitine. Both of which promote a healthy brain function.
Specialty Diets for Small Breed Dogs
Such as: Eating schedule, risk of obesity, etc.
A lot of small breed pet owners are quick to jump on the newest diet trends. But just because you see it on your morning TV show, doesn’t automatically mean it’s government approved, and a healthy option for your dog. Three of the most common pet food diets as of late are the grain-free diet, raw food diet, and home-cooked pet meals.
The FDA recently released a cautionary memo on raw food diets, so you can see that it’s worth researching them thoroughly first before adapting a non-traditional diet for your small breed.
Make sure you speak with your vet before adjusting your dogs diet. Otherwise, two very important things you have complete control over and which require no more than reading pet food labels and common sense are: controlling the amount and frequency of the food your dog consumes.
Setting an eating schedule for a small breed dog
- If you can, speak with your vet to determine the best weight for your small breed
- Then, start by reading the label on the dog food container/package
- Ration out each meal accordingly
- Closely monitor your small breeds weight to see if it goes up or down after following label instructions
- Closely monitor your pets physical activity: offering more food when they’re active and the suggested amount otherwise
- Get a feel for your small breeds schedule, write it down if you have to
- Do your best to stick to the schedule and help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
Risk of obesity in small breeds
Small breed dog food can be deceitful. For starters, it doesn’t look like you’re feeding your dog that much food, but remember: dog food for smaller breeds is nutrient-dense! There’s a lot of food in those little bites.
Also if your small breed is not that active, the risk of obesity increases significantly, and is only combated by establishing and sticking to a complete, balanced, and controlled diet. To get an idea for the seriousness of getting this right and not losing control of your dog’s weight, let’s take a look at the diseases that come with obesity.
Diseases associated with obesity in small breed dogs:
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart and respiratory disease
- Kidney disease
- Cranial cruciate ligament injury
Worth limiting your pups calories for, wouldn’t you agree?
Caloric Requirements for Varying Needs (weight & calories)
|5 lb (2.3 kg)||228||120||180||200||150|
|10 lb (4.5 kg)||410||420||630||700||270|
|20 lb (9 kg)||682||700||1050||1200||470|
Above is a table summarizing the general caloric requirements for what we consider small dogs. Keep in mind that YOUR dog may have different needs and the general figures may not be as applicable to them. To get a better idea of nutrients and their percentages to feed your dog be sure to:
Note: Read the AAFCO Nutrient Requirements for Dogs to stay informed and keep small breed health issues at bay.
Best Dog Food For Small Dogs (2018 Recommended Brands)
So you’re looking to buy the right food for your small breed? You’ve come to the right place. Below we cover some of the trusted products for small breed dogs. You’ll find dry, wet and raw food choices for puppies, adult and senior dogs of a smaller breed. We also cover packaging and dietary choices such as grain-free, limited ingredient, and canned food. Looking to save money? Our last section covers value.
How do you determine “one” best product for small breeds? Truth be told, you can’t. This are just our recommendations, as they offers mostly everything, nutrient wise, that small breed pup needs to grow healthy. Your breed, and your dogs specific condition may call for something else. Be sure to speak with your vet first to solidify just what your dog should and should not eat. Otherwise, the recommendations below should suffice.
What’s the Best Small Breed Puppy Food?
You puppy deserves nothing but the best, would you agree? Most importantly, feed your small dog small bites, as they have pretty small mouths. You’ll alleviate the eating process for them, as well as help prevent choking.
Keep in mind that small breed pups have small digestive tracts and cannot handle a lot of food at once, but they also metabolize the food much quicker and need to eat multiple times a day; so be sure to control the amount and frequency (usually 3-4 times per day) of their feeding. Do this successfully and you’ll raise a healthy, smart, and strong dog!
Now you’re informed and ready for a quality puppy food recommendation:
Our Top Pick: Wellness Complete Health Natural Small Breed Puppy Food
Notable ingredients: Deboned turkey, oatmeal, carrots, salmon oil / DHA, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, omega fatty acids.
Flavors: Deboned turkey, oatmeal, and salmon meal. Packaging: 4lb, 12lb
Why we like it: A delicious, dry, puppy specific recipe. Packed with nutrients essential for supporting a small breed puppy’s healthy development of: cognition, bones, muscles, immune system, eyes, teeth, skin, coat, and overall higher energy levels. All natural formula containing only premium ingredients, and excluding any artificial colors or preservatives.
This unique small breed puppy formula from Wellness Complete Health offers a tiny kibble size for easier chewing and digestion by your little one. Though you should still have water nearby to help them moisten the food up and eat it even easier, as this is a dry kibble. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a trusted brand, proven product, and an all natural quality ingredient puppy food.
What’s the Best Food for Small Breed Adults?
Your little one is all grown up now, and probably not more than 16 inches. Whether you consider your little one a toy breed (i.e. Havanese, Pug, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, etc) or whether you don’t view dogs as toys and refer to them simply as small breeds, you want to make sure you’re feeding them the absolute best food through adulthood.
As you’ve learned in this article, small breed adults need roughly about 35-40 calories per pound per day. That’s almost as twice per pound as a giant breed like a Great Dane (who need 20 calories per pound per day). Quite impressive! The trick is to feed them nutrient rich food to develop and maintain proper physique without letting them become overweight. Small breed pet food with quality ingredients make this task easier.
Now you’re informed and ready for a quality small adult dog food recommendation:
Our Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Small Breed
Notable ingredients: Deboned chicken, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, wholesome whole grains, garden veggies & fruit, flaxseed, vitamins A, B, C.
Flavors: Chicken & brown rice, fish & brown rice, lamb & brown rice. Packaging: 6lb, 15lb.
Why we like it: Specially formulated with an emphasis on protein and carbohydrates to meet higher energy needs of smaller breed adults. No by-product meals from chicken or other poultry, no corn wheat or soy, no artificial colors or flavors or sketchy preservatives. Premium ingredients in the form of an exclusive blend of vitamins & minerals for healthy oxidative balance.
Overall a delicious protein-rich chicken and brown rice recipe that satisfied pet owners attest to with positive reviews. Unique adult small breed formula for support of: muscle development, skin, coat, immune system, and energy needs. Small breed owners also appreciate the focus on kibble size of this food, as it is perfectly sized for small jaws and helps to promote tartar removal while chewing.
What’s the Best Food for Small Breed Senior Dogs?
Smaller dogs live longer than larger ones, thus our care in their golden years is crucial to their good health. With age, just like humans, dogs start developing all sorts of health issues: low energy, bones & joints give out, gastrointestinal problems, immune system problems, skin & coat problems, and worst of all brain & cognitive health problems. Sticking to a well balanced diet and choosing the right food for your small breed senior needs means the world to them.
Now you’re informed and ready for a quality small senior dog food recommendation:
Our Top Pick: NUTRO ULTRA Small Breed Senior Dog Food
Notable ingredients: Quality protein blend from: chicken, lamb, salmon. Blend of 12 vibrant superfoods, including: whole flaxseed, farm-grown spinach, carrots, chia seeds, leafy kale, golden sunflower oils, and more.
Flavors: Chicken. Packaging: 4lb, 8lb.
Why we like it: Mature small dogs have spoken and they love this healthy teeth and immune system strengthening formula! Made for mature dogs with premium, all natural ingredients; combining whole grains, superfood, quality proteins, and other nutrients for a nutritiously complete and well balanced bowl of food.
This product comes from a company with a strong philosophy on clean food. They seek partnerships with trusted farmers and suppliers to source only the finest ingredients. For this particular senior small breed formula, they used non-GMO ingredients, and focused on combining proteins, wholegrains, and superfoods vital for aging dogs. Overall it’s a very clean product, sourced ethically, and formulated with senior small breeds physical & mental needs in mind.
Best Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food
Grain free diets are self-explanatory, you’re subtracting grains from your dogs nutritional intake. This could be the right diet for small dogs that have allergies to grains. How to tell if your dog is allergic though?
Food allergy symptoms: Excessive hair loss, itchiness, inflamed skin, “hot spots,” bald patches, sore and scabs.
Gluten free vs. grain-free diets: What you should know is that grain free food will always be gluten free too, where as gluten free food may or may not include grains.
Why grain-free: Supporters of grain-free dog diets argue that grains are not a natural source of nutrition for dogs.
Note: If you’re trying to discover the allergy, do a food trial first. If they’re indeed allergic to grains, you’re ready for a good grain-free dog food recommendation:
Our Top Pick: Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dog Food
Note: This product is specially formulated for adult, non-reproducing small breed dogs over one year old.
Notable ingredients: Premium deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, salmon oil, fruits & veggies, glucosamine and chondroitin.
Flavors: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, & chicken meal. Packaging: 4lb, 12lb.
Why we like it: There’s a lot to like about this 100% grain-free blend for small breeds. It’s a protein powerhouse, with 80% more meat than traditional dog foods containing grain. No by-products. Nutrient-dense food with a superb balance of: antioxidants, omega fatty acids, probiotics and more.
A great product from a great family owned company, that has an extensive quality assurance program for checking that the products they make are safe, pure, and balanced. Formulated for high energy needs, and to support your grain free dogs: skin, coat, bones, joints, and more.
Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food For Small Dogs
The goal of formulating a limited ingredient diet for your small breed is to eliminate any food sensitivities they may have and allow them to lead normal doggo lives; while at the same time maximizing nutritional value received.
What is a limited ingredient diet: It’s hard to narrow it down, as there is no official definition. In essence, it’s the withholding of certain ingredients from a dog food formula, so that pet parents can determine if it solves their pets seeming food allergy symptoms.
Does your small breed need a limited ingredient diet: How do you find out? The first step is to talk to your vet in hopes of determining what the actual ingredient is that’s causing the allergy. After that you should be ready to test it out and easily identify a good low ingredient small breed food choice:
Our Top Pick: BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Small Breed
Notable ingredients: Real deboned turkey, easily digestible carbs like potatoes and peas, pumpkin, oatmeal, Omega 3 & 6.
Flavors: Lamb & potato, turkey & potato. Packaging: 4 lb, 11 lb.
Why we like it: For adult small dogs on limited ingredient diets due to food sensitivities, this formula excludes among other things: corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, chicken, and beef. The ingredients that do make it into the bag are sourced ethically, natural, and of the highest quality. On top of that they are enhanced with the company unique blend called Lifesource Bits: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants.
This product is all about easy digestion, from the carbohydrate sources used to the precise blend of veggies, fruit, and micro-nutrients. Using a high-quality turkey protein, not typically used in dog food, this formula offers an alternative to the mainstream diets for small breeds that don’t do so well with certain ingredients.
Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs
Feeding your small breed dry kibble is probably most convenient for you. However it may not be as convenient for your little one, especially the puppies. When feeding your small breed puppy dry food, be sure to help them out by moistening it with water or canned food; or just by having water readily available nearby.
Some owners say dry kibble helps with oral-hygiene, arguing that the friction produced helps keep gums and teeth healthy. With smaller breeds though, you’re dealing with smaller mouth so you have to proceed with caution: bite sizes should not be too big and hard to chew.
Now you’re informed and ready for a good dry dog food recommendation for your small breed:
Our Top Pick: Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Natural Dry Food
Notable ingredients: Quality protein blend of real venison, lamb, duck, egg, ocean fish. Probiotics & prebiotic fiber. Vitamins & minerals, fruits & vegetables.
Flavors: Lamb. Packaging: 14 lb, 15 lb, 28 lb, 30 lb.
Why we like it: Dry food small breeds love this small kibble size, highly digestible, venison protein. It’s easy on their teeth and their stomachs. This product offers healthy digestion while at the same time not sacrificing anything when it comes to providing your small dog their: vitality needs, optimal amino acids, lean muscles mass, immune system support., and more!
Summary of product features: Species-specific probiotics, dried chicory root prebiotic fiber, no grains, real venison, small kibble size for small breed mouths, omega fatty acid blend, anioxidants, chelated minerals.
Overall, when it comes to small breed pet food, Taste of the Wild takes your dogs nutrition to a whole ‘nother level. From start to finish their philosophy is to ethically source and process quality ingredients under strict guidelines, and use science backed research to formulate delicious dog food that meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
Best Wet Dog Food for Small Breeds
Is your small dog lacking when it comes to drinking water as regularly as they should be? It happens. Wet dog food is a great solution for it. Not only do they get the essential nutrients, but wet dog food is also a good source of hydration for your small breed.
Which dogs benefits from wet dog food: Dogs that have trouble with their sense of smell, dogs missing teeth, having jaw problems, and dogs with smaller mouths.
Now you’re informed and ready for a good wet dog food recommendation for your small breed:
Our Top Pick: Nutro ULTRA Small Breed Adult Pate Dog Food
Notable ingredients: Real farm-grown vegetables, sun ripened fruits, chicken, lamb, turkey, salmon, flaxseed, pumpkin.
Flavors: Chicken, lamb, & salmon. Packaging: 3.5 oz, 12.5 oz.
Why we like it: This is one of the most balanced blends of the top dog food ingredients out there. With high quality proteins providing small breeds the amino acids necessary for strong muscles and a blend of vibrant superfoods it provides small dogs with the complete nutrition they need to thrive and live healthy lives.
It’s made from lean, all natural ingredients. It supports your small dogs aspirations of becoming a movie star by boosting their skin radiance, a shiny coat, as well as supporting their vitality, vision, heart, and immune health. A lot of small breed owners report their dogs loving the tastiness of this product.
Best Raw Dog Food for Small Breeds
Raw diets are becoming all the rave these days. Advocated for feeding your small breed a raw diet say it’s what our pet carnivores evolved to eat in the first place. They argue that raw fed small dogs tend to have healthier mouths and thus a reduced risk of liver, heart, kidney disease and other health problems.
Can toy breeds and small dogs eat raw food: Advocates for the diet say that a raw diet is especially beneficial for smaller breeds. The argument is that the teeth of smaller dogs are drastically overcrowded, leading to severe periodontal disease. We do recommended speaking with a licensed vet before putting your dog on a raw diet.
Now you’re informed and ready for a good raw dog food recommendation for your small breed:
Our Top Pick: Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Small Breed
Notable ingredients: Cage-free real chicken bites, calcium, phosphorus, naturally occurring glucosamine & chondroitin.
Flavors: Chicken. Packaging: 4 lb, 10 lb.
Why we like it: It combines grain-free, high-protein kibble with freeze-dried raw bites. Great for small breeds on or transitioning into raw diets, as the ingredients are quality assured and sourced by a company that has an extensive history in the raw pet food industry and promoting raw food pet diets. Instinct products are very minimally processed, all natural nothing artificial, protein packed and non-GMO.
Best Canned Dog Food For Small Breed Dogs
Smaller dogs can be big fans of canned food. With good reason, it offers a good deal of benefits!
Benefits canned dog food offers your small breed: Usually contains more protein than dry kibble, fewer carbs, no synthetic preservatives (as the packaging is air tight), no artificial flavoring or colors. Overall a more palatable and appetizing experience for your little friend, that also helps with dogs trying to shed some pounds!
Now you’re informed and ready for a delicious canned dog food recommendation:
Our Top Pick: Merrick Classic Canned Dog Food
Notable ingredients: Deboned chicken,chicken broth, carrots, peas, calcium, potassium, quality fruits & vegetables.
Flavors: Cowboy cookout, Grammy’s pot pie, Thanksgiving day dinner. Packaging: 3.2 oz.
Why we like it: When it comes to Merrick’s small breed dog food, you tend to know what you’re getting. They pride themselves on cooking their dog food in their Texas, USA kitchens and not sourcing sketchy ingredients from China. This promise comes on top of creating an already well balanced, easily chewed and digested, nutritious canned dog food for your small breed.
Tip: You can serve this as a complete meal or as a kibble topper for some extra moisture and proteins.
Best Affordable Dog Food For Small Dogs
Not everyone has the same budget. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your dog just the same! It also doesn’t automatically mean that the cheap small breed dog food is inferior to many of their higher priced competitors.
What we mean by affordable dog food here is, high quality at a reasonable price! This means that the company did not sacrifice quality ingredients in their formula, but instead sacrificed their overall profit margins to reach a bigger audience.
Now you’re ready for a high quality affordable dog food option for small breeds:
Our Top Pick: EUKANUBA Adult Small Breed Dog Food
Notable ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, dried beet pulp, ground whole grain barley & sorghum, vitamins A, B, D, E.
Flavors: Chicken. Packaging: 15 lb, 28 lb.
Why we like it: We love the fact that Eukanuba has made a high quality product and priced it reasonably (usually found at around $1.70 per pound)! Their 110% money back guarantee doesn’t hurt either. Eukanuba’s small breed dog food is scientifically advanced for peak nutritional performance.
This product is formulated to reduce tartar build up, promote nutrient absorption & healthy digestion, support a strong/healthy immune system; all in the shape of convenient small nutrient dense kibble bites perfect for your small dog.
Kudos on making it this far, you really are a caring dog owner! Here’s some things you should keep in mind after reading the above:
Things that determine what your small dog really needs for good health:
- Individual metabolism
- Amount of physical activity
- Your small breeds age and life stage
- Potential or known food allergies
- Environmental factors
- Overall health & weight to begin with
- Breed specific conditions
Always consult with your vet before making any drastic changes to your dogs diet. This article was not written by a licensed veterinarian, therefore you should run all the info herein by a trained professional beforehand.