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9 Best (Healthiest)Dog Food For Papillons for 2020

The Papillon is a happy, alert dog who always sports a sunny disposition. This toy sized breed has ears that look like a butterfly. Papillon means butterfly in French. This is how they got their name. This elegant looking dog may look refined, but they have plenty of spunk and play in them. Their plumed tail stands tall and their long coat of fur is silky and white. They can also be colored with other colors throughout their fur.

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American Journey Salmon

  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Protein-rich formula

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Taste Of The Wild High Prairie

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Paps are always ready to play with their family. Although they are small in stature, don’t underestimate their excitement to play and be outdoors. They thrive in agility environments and even enjoy the outdoors in the cold. Eager to be trained and learn new tricks, Paps are very smart and quick. Papillons will do well in households with children and other pets if they are introduced at a young age. Some Papillons will do better with older children, however. Male Papillons will typically weigh 8-10 pounds and stand 10-11 inches tall. Female Papillons will usually weigh between 5-7 pounds and be 8-9 inches tall. Paps can live between 14 and 16 years.

Why Quality Food Matters for Your Papillon

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Papillons are a small sized dog breed, they need a properly sized kibble with all natural high-quality ingredients to keep them feeling their best.

As puppies, you may want to choose a wet food since your Papillon will be quite tiny at first.

Common Health Issues In Papillons:

Papillons are generally, healthy, active dogs that can live long, full lives. Like any breed, however, they are prone to certain health issues you’ll want to look out for.

  • Knee Injury – Patellar Luxation is a common knee condition found in toy breeds. Typically, it can be caused by a Papillon jumping on their back legs often, running or jumping up on surfaces. Jumping up and down can cause your Papillon’s kneecap to become dislocated from their femur. When this happens, you can get it back in the correct position by holding up your dog’s hind leg for a few minutes. You might notice some symptoms of this including skipping, resting their leg or discomfort. While this is very common in toy breeds, females are even more susceptible.
  • Hypothyroidism – The thyroid gland regulates your dog’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, skin problems, and hair loss. If you suspect your dog has Hypothyroidism, you can confirm this by having a blood test done by your vet. Other common symptoms include a slowed heart rate, getting cold easily, shedding and a dry coat. Treatments include a prescription by your vet for a synthetic hormone. This is an easy treatment and your dog can resume a normal life while on this prescription regularly.
  • Dental Issues – While dental and gum issues can plague all dog breeds, toys can be more susceptible. Symptoms can include bleeding gums, blood on toys, problems while eating and picking up treats or food and looser teeth. You’ll want to call your vet if your dog suddenly stops eating because of this, sleeps more than usual, or you see blood on their gums and broken teeth. Prevention is the key to healthy gums and teeth. Keeping tarter at bay by frequent brushing and regularly getting your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned can save their teeth and prevent future health problems. Papillons are prone to dental disease so it’s important to stay on top of their oral care.
  • Liver Disorder – PSS or Portosystemic Shunt disorder affects the blood flow to your dog’s liver. A Papillon with this disease isn’t able to properly remove toxins in their bloodstream. Symptoms of this disease include seizures and or stunted growth. Blood tests and an ultrasound of your Papillon’s liver can determine if he has the disease. With most dogs, medication and dietary changes are all that is needed as far as treatments. In rare cases, surgery may be used.

What To Look For In A Quality Dog Food:

The ideal diet for your Papillon is one that contains a high percentage of protein, a good source of fiber, all-natural ingredients, and well-sourced fruits and vegetables. The first few ingredients should always be real protein sources. Examples of these would be, beef, beef liver, and beef meal for example. This should be followed by whole grains, vegetables or fruits.

The first five ingredients listed are the ones with the highest percentages. These are always the most important to check.  Also, be sure to check the expiration date on your dog’s food. A food with an expiration date of 6-10 months is ideal. This means the food is fresher and doesn’t have artificial preservatives in it. When a food shows an expiration date up to two years from now, you know it likely includes synthetic preservatives.

Ingredients To Avoid In Your Papillon’s Dog Food:

There are always some ingredients to stay away from in your dog’s food. Meat sources only listed as meat, for example, aren’t good. You should always see the actual name of the protein. Meat byproducts should also never be used. Other harmful ingredients include generic fat sources, artificial preservatives, and colors and fillers. Fillers such as corn, are often used by manufacturers to save money. They replace more nutritious ingredients just to save money.

The FDA also recently did a study about grain-free foods and some of the ingredients used to replace the grains. If your dog has a grain allergy, it’s important to serve him a grain-free food. Not all grains are harmful to dogs without an allergy however and there may be problems with some of the replacement ingredients. Read more about their findings on

Brands that use artificial preservatives, fillers and meat byproducts can do a lot of harm to your pet. Gastrointestinal issues, skin problems, allergies, and obesity are just some of the harmful side effects of feeding your dog a low-quality food.  The Daily Dog Stuff talks more about some of the worst dog good brands out there what makes them so terrible for your pet.

If your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, it’s also important to select a food that doesn’t contain those ingredients. Common food allergens in dogs are grain, soy, dairy, wheat, and chicken.

Worst Foods For Papillon:

Low-quality foods are the worst choices for your Papillon. Foods that contain artificial ingredients, fillers and mystery meat meals and protein sources are never good. Feed your dog, high-quality food that will keep him by your side for many years to come. Stay away from allergens if you suspect your Papillon has one. To determine what is causing an allergic reaction, you’ll need to talk with your vet and likely do an elimination diet to determine the culprit.

Remember to also stay away from meat meals and proteins where the sources aren’t listed.

Papillon Feeding Chart:

Papillons are a small, toy breed that has substantial nutritional needs.  A puppy Papillon should eat around ¼ a cup of dry or wet food a day. Because their stomachs are so small as puppies, you should feed him 3-4 times a day as a puppy. This will help them with digestion. A puppy Papillon will likely do well on wet food to start. Once your puppy Papillon is fully grown, you should start to introduce adult food. This will be around 9 months of age for a Papillon.

An adult Papillon will eat between ¼ and ¾ of food a day. You should divide this up between two meals. Feed your adult Papillon once in the morning and again in the evening. Be mindful of treats and feeding your dog table food. Papillons are prone to obesity.

As your Papillon ages, you should start to transition her over to senior food. This will be around 10-11 years old. Senior dogs need fewer calories than they did in their younger, more active years. Senior Papillons can continue to eat the same amount as they did before if they show interest. Some dogs may eat less or go down to eating only once a day.

Best Dog Food For Papillons

Your treasured Papillon is part of your family. Feeding him the best will help make him feel his best. Help keep him healthy and happy for many years to come by choosing the right food for him. Here are a few of the best foods on the market for Papillons.

Solid Gold Wee Bit Small Breed

Solid Gold Wee Bit Small BreedBest Overall – The Wee Bit recipe from Solid Gold is designed with toy and small breeds in mind. This formula features fresh bison, whole grains, and a superfood blend with over 20 varieties included. This holistic pet food will have your tiny pooch well fueled into his golden years. The 20 different superfoods include ingredients such as pumpkin, blueberries, almond oil, and cranberries.


  • Holistic
  • Real Bison
  • Superfoods
  • Great for toy breeds
  • No wheat, soy or corn


  • Contains chicken
  • Might be hard to eat for dogs without a lot of teeth

NomNomNow Fresh Pet Food Delivery

Best Premium – NomNomNow is human-grade dog food made especially for your unique pup. The people at NomNomNow wanted a way for the masses to feed their beloved dogs, real food without having to prepare it each day. This food is tailored to your specific don’t nutritionally needs. It’s prepared in a human-grade kitchen using real ingredients. It’s portioned and shipped directly to your home on a regular schedule so you’ll never run out of food.

The containers of food can be stored in your freezer or refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them. You can customize your recipe based on your dog’s breed, age, size, and dietary restrictions.


  • Human-grade
  • Prepared fresh
  • Mailed to your home
  • Fresh
  • Like you cooked it yourself


  • Needs a lot of storage space in your freezer or refrigerator
  • You need to thaw it before you serve it

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed

Best Value – The Life Protection recipe from Blue Buffalo is designed for your dog’s health and their general well-being. The LifeSource Bits are made with 7 different superfoods and ingredients that are rich in antioxidants. This recipe features deboned chicken and plenty of good carbs to keep up with your small dog’s high amount of energy.

The increased amount of protein will help with muscle health and their energy levels. The small kibble is especially perfect for the small jaws of a toy breed. It will also help with tarter removal which is very important to toy breeds like the Papillon.


  • Helps with tarter control
  • Contains superfoods
  • Affordable
  • Great size kibble for small breeds


  • Not for dogs with chicken allergies
  • Not for dogs with grain intolerances
  • Some dogs leave the LifeSource Bits

Best Papillon Puppy Foods

Puppies need a special diet to fuel their growing bodies and appetites. You should feed your Papillon puppy food until they are around 10 months old. Feeding them an adult food too soon will deprive him or her of the essential nutrients their developing brain and muscles need.

Nulo Freestyle Small Breed

Nulo Freestyle Small Breed

This turkey and lentils recipe is great wet food for your puppy Papillon. Since they are a very small breed, especially as a puppy, wet food will be easy for them to eat. The turkey recipe is one that is easily digested. There are no fillers such as soy, corn or wheat so it will sit well with your tiny pup’s sensitive stomach.

You should feed your puppy ½ a can to a full can a day divided up between 3-4 feedings.


  • Made for small breeds
  • Made without soy, wheat or corn
  • Dogs love the flavor
  • Convenient packs


  • Strong smell with wet food
  • Not for pups with poultry allergies

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy

Merrick makes this recipe using real beef. This formula is grain-free and contains beef sourced from Texas as the primary ingredient. Merrick’s food is made in Texas in small batches, so you know it’s fresh.

This recipe is made without grains and free of poultry.


  • Grain-free
  • Poultry-free
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Made in small batches


  • High level of protein can be hard for some dogs to digest
  • Costly

Best Dog Food for Senior Papillons

Senior Papillons need a diet that is tailored to their special needs as aging dogs. Senior dogs need a new set of nutrients to help keep their aging bones healthy, their minds sharp, and their weight under control.

Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Chicken Senior

The Lil’ Plates recipe from Merrick is grain-free and specifically formulated for small, senior dogs. The kibble is designed with small dogs in mind, as many senior toy dogs have lost some teeth as they age. This recipe features deboned chicken, fruits and vegetables such as apples, blueberries, and sweet potatoes.


  • Good kibble size for small seniors
  • Grain and gluten free
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Made in the U.S.


  • Not for dogs with a chicken or poultry allergy

American Journey Senior Chicken & Sweet Potato

American Journey Senior Chicken & Sweet Potato

The American Journey senior recipe is made to keep your dog active for many years to come. It includes antioxidants to boost their immune system, triglycerides to promote bone health and antioxidants for coat health. This recipe is grain-free with real chicken listed as the first ingredient.

All of the ingredients included are especially important for an aging Papillon. The high levels of antioxidants will keep your senior Pap’s immune system going strong. There is 30% crude protein which will help keep their muscles strong.


  • 30% crude protein
  • Grain-free
  • Made in the U.S.


  • Kibble may be too big for smaller Papillons
  • Potatoes can be hard for some dogs to digest

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