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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In 2022

Best dog food for small dogs
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Small breed dogs are a favorite for many, not only for their heartwarming appearance but also because they do not require the same amount of space as larger dogs, making them ideal for pet parents who live in smaller apartments and condominiums without a large yard.

However, the size of a small breed dog does not mean its personality is tiny; in fact, some small dogs are well known for having a personality that’s larger than life!

Although these pups do not take up a lot of physical space, they sure will take up a lot of room in your heart. If you own a small dog, you already know how true this is.

There are several small breed dogs like Chihuahuas, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, and Pugs, to name a few. Each of these dogs has a specific temperament, grooming requirements, and activity levels.

Their size and activity determines how much food they should be eating and you may find your pup has specific tastes for either wet or dry dog food.

It is important to know what the special dietary considerations and key nutritional needs are for your small breed pup to make sure they are provided enough nutrients to thrive and live a long life alongside you.

10 Smallest Breeds in the World

OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR DOG FOODS FOR SMALL BREED DOGS

The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 2
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Made in the USA
  • Features novel proteins including real smoked salmon
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 4
  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 2
  • Grain-free dog food
  • High-protein dog food
  • With real, deboned lamb
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →

This guide to small breed dogs provides all the information you need, including a feeding chart for puppies, our top recommendations for the best dog food for small dogs, and some answers to your frequently asked questions (FAQs).

With all the options available on the market, it can get overwhelming very quickly. We have done the work for you by listing off the top products on the market—keep reading to discover the right option for your four-legged best friend!

Overall Best Dog Food for Small Dogs 2022

IMAGE PRODUCT  
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 7
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
60% Off First Order
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 8
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Features novel proteins including real smoked salmon
  • Made in the USA
CHECK PRICE ON CHEWYCheck Price on Amazon
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 9
American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato
  • Grain-free dog food
  • High-protein dog food
  • With real, deboned lamb
Check Price on Chewy
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 10
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • DHA and ARA for healthy brain and eye development
  • High-quality protein for healthy muscle growth
  • No corn, wheat, soy or chicken (or poultry) by-product meals
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 11
Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Fish Formula
  • A grain-free recipe
  • High-quality nutrition
  • With a single animal protein source
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 12
Purina Pro Plan Savor for Small Breed
  • Real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Easily digestible source of carbohydrates
  • With Vitamin A and linoleic acid
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 13
Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs
  • Dry dog food for small dogs
  • 23 essential vitamins and minerals in each serving
  • Tender and crunchy mini bites
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 14
Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Natural Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe
  • USA farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient
  • Helps support stress control
  • Petite-sized, crunchy kibble
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 15
Purina Bella with Beef & Smoked Bacon in Savory Juices
  • Formulated for small dogs
  • With high-protein chicken, beef and smoked bacon in savory juices
  • Provides a 100% complete and balanced diet for adult small breeds
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 16
Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Beef & Sweet Potato
  • Protein-packed kibble designed for smaller breeds
  • Grain-free formula
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 17
Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula
  • Nutrient-rich recipe
  • Features real cage-free chicken
  • Made without corn, wheat, artificial flavors or colors
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 18
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior
  • Crafted into a smaller kibble size
  • Features premium proteins and wholesome grains
  • Fortified with omega fatty acids and antioxidants
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 19
Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • Recipe is complete and balanced
  • Formulated for adult dogs 1 to 6 years of age
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The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 20
Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Made with nutritious whole grains
  • Specially crafted for toy and small breed dogs
  • Features probiotic support for your furry friend's gut health
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What Are The Best Small Breed Dog Foods?

  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
  3. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato
  4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Fish Formula
  6. Purina Pro Plan Savor for Small Breed
  7. Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs
  8. Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Natural Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe
  9. Purina Bella with Beef & Smoked Bacon in Savory Juices
  10. Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Beef & Sweet Potato
  11. Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula
  12. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior
  13. Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe
  14. Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison & Brown Rice Recipe
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1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food

Key Features:

  • AAFCO standards exceeded
  • Crafted for all life stages
  • Real, whole food ingredients
  • Personalized meals for perfect portions
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 21
Ollie dog food is a delicious option that is comprised of human-grade ingredients. It is a unique dog food option that offers a tasty meal your little pooch will enjoy. Their meals do not include any artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers.

Overall Best Dog Food for Small Breed Dog – Ollie knows you want to feed your pup only the best. The dog food brand has created several wet dog food recipes for all life stages, from puppies to large and small breed adults. 

There are several dog food flavors to choose from, including beef, turkey, chicken, and lamb—or you can splurge and try their variety pack! These wet food recipes are made with restaurant-quality ingredients that are prepared carefully and cooked fresh on a weekly basis.

Ollie portions each dog food recipe carefully, adhering to the highest food safety standards to ensure your pet is receiving the best meal with balanced nutrition that tantalizes his taste buds.

Chewy Online Dog Supplies


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These meals are not only great for your pup, they are also ultra-convenient for you! They show up directly at your front door, are kept cool for freshness, and are vacuum sealed to make it easy for you to provide quality meals to your fluffy bestie.

Pros:

  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Added Fruits & Veggies
  • Several recipes available, including a variety pack
  • Company offers 60% off on first order

Cons:

  • This product is more expensive compared to other dog food options available on the market
  • Weekly and biweekly delivery not available for some areas (may cause storage issues)

2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula

Key Features:

  • Recipe is made without grains
  • Protein-rich ingredients
  • K9 probiotic blend included for digestive support
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 22
Taste of the Wild’s dry dog food incorporates yummy buffalo and bison to provide your little one with protein that will not only provide energy but assist with maintaining lean muscle mass for weight control.

Best Grain Free Food –Taste of the Wild’s dry dog food incorporates yummy buffalo and bison into the recipe. Although not specifically a small breed formula, it provides small breed adult dogs with plenty of protein to provide energy and assist with maintaining lean muscle mass for weight control.

This dry dog food recipe includes peas and sweet potatoes to provide fiber and energy that is easy to digest. Added fruits and veggies deliver the vitamins and minerals that will support your little one’s overall health, including antioxidant support to stave off those pesky seasonal colds.

The K9 probiotic blend that is included in this formula is a great addition because it promotes digestive health to keep nutrients moving and stools healthy.

If your pup suffers from allergies, this is a fantastic option because Taste of The Wild is one of the few dog food brands that does not include any fillers like wheat, soy, or corn in its recipes. This recipe is crafted to provide quality nutrition without the risk of tummy upset or allergy flare-ups.

Pros:

  • Highly digestible formula
  • Omits artificial ingredients
  • No fillers to avoid allergies
  • Grain-free and gluten-free recipe

Cons:

  • Not a certified organic product
  • This recipe may contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

3. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe

Key Features:

  • Recipe is made without grains
  • Protein-rich ingredients
  • No fillers included in this recipe
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 23
American Journey’s dry dog food recipe is created with deboned lamb to provide protein and sweet potatoes to provide fiber. This formula provides a rich, aromatic flavor your pup will devour!

Most Inexpensive (Cheap) – American Journey’s dry food recipe is created with deboned lamb to provide protein and sweet potatoes to provide fiber. This formula provides a rich, aromatic flavor your pup will devour!

The rich protein is supplied to encourage the maintenance of lean muscle mass that assist with keeping your pup fit and at a proper weight for his size.

This recipe adds salmon oil and flaxseed to provide your small pup with the omega fatty acids that will feed his skin and coat for optimal health.

Added veggies and fruits provide the vitamins and minerals and even antioxidants that support overall health and specifically, immune support.

Pros:

  • Rich with protein
  • Grain-free formula
  • Gluten-free

Cons:

  • This recipe may contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Key Features:

  • Created for the puppy life stage
  • Smaller kibble size for tiny jaws
  • Formula is free of fillers and by-product meals
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 24
This chicken and brown rice recipe by Blue Buffalo was crafted with the overall wellness of puppies in mind. Real meat provides the protein, whole grains provide carbs and fiber, and garden vegetables and fruit deliver tons of vitamins and minerals to support the growth of your pup.

Best Small Breed Puppy Food –This chicken and brown rice recipe by Blue Buffalo was crafted with the overall wellness of little ones in mind, large and small breed puppies alike.

Real meat provides the protein; whole grains, like brown rice and barley, provide carbs and fiber; and garden vegetables and fruit deliver tons of vitamins and minerals to support the growth of your pup. Blue Buffalo also incorporates an exclusive blend of nutrients called LifeSource Bits in this quality puppy food to boost it with extra antioxidants.

Deboned chicken is the main animal protein source in this formula and your little one can thoroughly enjoy the flavor with ease because the kibbles are made specially for small jaws.

DHA and ARA support the cognitive and eye development of small breed puppies while Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids encourage a vibrant coat and healthy skin.

Pros:

  • Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support immune health
  • No fillers like corn, soy, or wheat
  • Small kibble size

Cons:

  • Some dogs may not like the flavor of this recipe

5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Fish Formula

Key Features:

  • Grain-free formula
  • Formula is free of fillers
  • Limited ingredients for allergy prevention
  • Great for pups with sensitive digestive systems
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 25
This sweet potato and fish recipe by Natural Balance has only a few ingredients that deliver limited carbs and omit artificial additives and needless fillers. The omega fatty acids in this dry food are great for helping your pup maintain good skin health.

Best Sensitive Stomach Food – This sweet potato and fish recipe by Natural Balance has only a few ingredients that deliver limited carbs and omit artificial additives and needless fillers.

The primary animal protein source in this formula is salmon and fiber and is delivered via sweet potatoes to support a well-functioning digestive system.

The omega fatty acids in this kibble are great for helping your pup maintain good skin health and they also promote a healthy, shiny coat.

This formula is an excellent choice if your dog suffers from common allergies or has a sensitive digestive system. A diet with limited ingredients does not have to skimp on flavor or balanced nutrition and Natural Balance proves that with this product.

Pros:

  • No common allergens
  • Tasty, balanced nutrition for pups with sensitive tummies
  • Recipe is made without grains

Cons:

  • This formula is not certified organic
  • Recipe may contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

More Top Rated Small Breed Dog Foods

6. Purina Pro Plan Savor Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 26
Purina Pro’s savor formula is made with real chicken to provide dense nutrition and protein with a flavor your pup will drool over. The incorporation of guaranteed live probiotics makes this recipe an excellent choice for dogs that have sensitive digestive systems.

Purina Pro’s savor formula is made with real chicken to provide dense nutrition and protein with a flavor your pup will drool over.

Purina Pro’s Savor small breed food is made with real chicken to provide dense nutrition and protein with a flavor your pup will drool over.

The incorporation of guaranteed live probiotics makes this recipe an excellent choice for dogs that have sensitive digestive systems—it provides nourishment for the good bacteria in your pup’s intestines, helping to ease the digestion process.

In addition, rice is incorporated to deliver carbs with easy to digest ingredients. There is also fish oil in this formula, so small breed adults can get omega fatty acids to encourage joint health and mobility along with support for skin and coat health.

There are no fillers in this small breed dog food, and it is even pea-free for pups allergic to this ingredient.

7. Purina Beneful IncrediBites

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 27
A dry kibble for small breed dogs that your adorable pup is likely to love! Specially formulated for small dogs, this nutrient-rich blend supports his higher metabolism with real, farm-raised beef as the number one ingredient.

A dry dog food for small breeds that your adorable pup is likely to love! Specially formulated for small breeds, this nutrient-rich dog food blend supports his higher metabolism with real, farm-raised beef as the number one ingredient (also comes in chicken variant).

Accents of real carrots and peas add to the tasty flavor, and the mini-bite kibble is easy for his tiny mouth and teeth to chew.

Small breeds need energy too, and with this small kibble (which is easy to chew for small mouths) they will get enough for a whole day of running around, while also getting 23 vitamins and minerals that help promote healthy digestion.

The affordable dog food has a great mix of crunchy and soft bites, to motivate even the pickiest of eaters to finish their meal!

The best small breed dog foods doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive ones, and this Beneful food is a good option if you are on a budget.

8. Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 28
This chicken and vegetable dry dog food recipe by Rachael Ray is created simply, with natural ingredients that include chicken farm-raised in the U.S., peas, carrots, and brown rice to provide a flavor that will satisfy your pup.

The little Bites lines is crafted for small breeds. This chicken and vegetable dry food recipe by Rachael Ray is created simply, with nThe Little Bites line is crafted specifically for smaller dogs.

This chicken and vegetable dry food recipe by Rachael Ray is created simply, with natural ingredients that include chicken farm-raised in the U.S., peas, carrots, and brown rice to provide a flavor that will satisfy your pup.

This formula offers balanced nutrition without any fillers, artificial ingredients, or poultry by-product meal. The brown rice packs each meal with fiber, healthy carbohydrates, and added beet pulp to support your dog’s digestive system.

Plus, the small kibble shape is perfect for smaller teeth, and helps keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. So fill up his bowl and keep your tiny but mighty pup healthy with every bite.

9. Purina Bella with Beef & Smoked Bacon in Savory Juices

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 29
This ready-to-eat formula is made with chicken, beef and smoked bacon in savory juices to satisfy even the most pampered of tastes. It contains a great blend of added vitamins and minerals and gives great support to a small dog’s sensitive digestive system

Feed your adorable little pupper the best small breed dog food you can find and take this product into consideration when choosing.

This ready-to-eat wet food formula is made with chicken, beef and smoked bacon in savory juices to satisfy even the most pampered of tastes.

It contains a great blend of added vitamins and minerals, has real chicken, beef and smoked bacon (other variants are also available), and gives great support to a small dog’s sensitive digestive system while also giving the immune system a much needed boost.

Your lovely baby will love the meaty pate and juiciness, and you can delight in giving him something that is really tasty. Plus, it comes in easy-to-open trays for easy portion control.

10. Merrick Lil' Plates Real Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 30
The best dog food for small breed dogs is one that will give your pup all the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout their life, and this dog food product stands out with its high meat content.

The best dog food for small breeds is one that will give your pup all the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout their life, and this dog food product stands out with its high meat content, where 70% of the ingredients are declared meat products.

Merrick’s Texas beef and sweet potato dry dog food offers a tasty meal for your pup that is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

The beef flavor is mouth-watering and sweet potatoes, peas, apples, and blueberries round out the nutrition and flavor of this recipe. Your pup will be getting all his required nutrients with every bite.

This grain-free recipe is specifically designed to cater to the nutritional needs and appetites of small breeds with smaller kibble. Plus, it includes probiotics and prebiotic fiber for optimal and healthy digestion.

11. Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 31
It provides your puppy with protein and minerals, along with omega fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat, plus antioxidants for overall nose-to-tail well-being.

This small breed dog food product is made specifically to give a growing hound all the support he needs for excellent development and overall health.

The quality puppy food contains a high amount of crude protein (32%) to sustain the energy needs of a growing and highly active little body.

The chicken recipe uses ground white rice as the main carbohydrate supply, while cracked pearled barley offers additional support. A whole plethora of fruits and vegetables such as spinach, coconut, blueberries, papayas, and more provide a natural source of nutrition.

There is also salmon oil in it as an excellent source of fat and healthy omegas to deliver skin and coat health and proper vision and brain development. 

Each healthy dry dog food serving comes with species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics to aid your dog’s digestive system and immune health.

12. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 32
This natural dry food for small breed senior dogs is formulated to provide whole body support using carefully chosen ingredients and crafted into a smaller kibble size for easy eating.

This Wellness dog food for small breed canines delivers superior nutrition for senior dogs through carefully chosen ingredients that balance excellent proteins (deboned turkey and chicken meal) with wholesome grains. 

Senior dogs have special dietary needs that need careful consideration by pet owners. Now is one of the most important phases in your dog’s life, and your choice of feed can make a difference in your pet’s overall wellness and quality of life at this stage. 

Wellness keeps your older canine in tip top shape by supporting his immune system, giving him sufficient energy, and strengthening and supporting his joints for mobility.

The dog food contains antioxidants, glucosamine, taurine, and probiotics but does not have any meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives.

13. Hill's Science Adult Small Paws Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 33
Made with wholesome ingredients such as savory chicken meal and rice, this nourishing recipe is balanced to meet your pet’s needs, support bone and muscle strength, and nourish the skin and coat.

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws made it to our list as one of the best dog food for small dogs. Made specifically for small and toy breed pups, the recipe makes use of savory lamb meal to give your little fur friend precise servings of protein to support muscle maintenance and development.

The lamb meal and rice formula features brown rice as the main carbohydrate source, but it also has sorghum, wheat, barley, and corn gluten meal. There are no legumes in it, but neither are there any fruits and vegetables. 

The recipe keeps it simple by sticking mostly to protein, carb, and fat. It’s designed to be as easy-to-digest as possible for your buddy.

There is a reliance on flaxseed, which brings in omega fatty acids to improve the look of your pet’s coat, and dried beet pulp, which is an excellent insoluble fiber source for a healthy digestion. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

14. Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison & Brown Rice Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 34
Fuel your small dog’s giant personality with this perfect balance of fresh bison protein, healthy fats, whole grains and our unique blend of 20 nutritious superfoods—all packed into a convenient, bite-sized kibble.

Solid Gold delivers powerful nutrition from premium ingredients into each small, bite-sized kibble for your little pup. Fresh bison, ocean fish meal, and salmon meal deliver plenty of protein and flavor to keep your wee one wanting more.

The recipe is made up of protein, healthy fats, grains, and Solid Gold’s unique blend of more than 20 superfoods (pumpkin, almond oil, broccoli, etc.) designed to deliver transformative and holistic nutrition for your pet.

Because it is a holistic formula, it also includes probiotic support for your furry buddy’s gut health. Since Solid Gold believes that 80% of the immune system is influenced by the gut, it ensures that its foods deliver 90 million probiotics per pound to keep your pup healthy overall.

There is no corn, wheat, or soy—all of which are common allergens—in the formula.

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6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations

1. Be Mindful of Blood Sugar – Your small dog, particularly if it is a toy breed, needs to be fed mindfully to prevent hypoglycemia, meaning low blood sugar. Since your pup does not have high body fat and his metabolism works very efficiently, it is possible for your pup to develop hypoglycemia if not fed adequately. 

The best dog food for small dogs should be calorie-dense and nutrient-dense. Dog foods designed specifically for small breed pups are, of course, best. Provide your pup with multiple small meals per day to keep him active and healthy.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Vet – If you are trying different foods and your pup is not reacting well, give your vet a call. Explain what is going on and ask for a recommendation. 

Vets can access the most current information on dog nutrition and even pet food recalls, making them a great resource when you find yourself at a standstill while looking for the best dog food for small breed pets.

3. Choose Foods Rich in Antioxidants – Small breeds are known for having long life spans, with many living to 15 years and beyond. Since these pups experience such a long life, to keep them healthy throughout their senior years, you should be providing a small breed dog food diet rich in antioxidants as a preventative measure to keep free radicals from damaging their bodies. 

Antioxidants will also assist with staving off doggy colds, leaving more time for your furry life companion to enjoy healthy days along with you!

The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 35

4. Do Not Overfeed – Although your dog requires extra calories due to his metabolic rate, small dog breeds can become obese if they are overfed. Small dogs that have gained excessive weight are more likely to develop other health issues, including osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, among others. 

According to the American Kennel Club, obesity has the potential of shortening your pup’s life by two years. To avoid overfeeding, maintain a standard feeding schedule instead of free feeding. Always provide your pup with fresh water and be sure to review feeding instructions and feed according to your little one’s weight and activity level.

5. Provide Dental Comfort with Small Kibbles – The size of your small breed pup means he has a small jaw. Larger kibbles may be uncomfortable for your pup to chew through and it is suggested small breed formulas be provided because their kibble size is meant for the dental comfort of pets with smaller jaws.

6. Understand Your Pups Metabolic Rate – Small dogs, despite what their size might have you believe, require more calories per pound of bodyweight than their larger breed counterparts.

The metabolic rate of small dogs is a lot higher than large breed dogs, meaning they burn through their energetic fuel very quickly. Because of this, small dogs should be enjoying foods high in protein and fats along with being nutrient-dense to provide the sustained energy they need to power through their busy days.

5 Key Nutritional Needs Of Small Breed Dogs

1. Animal-Based Protein – Protein derived from animals should always be the primary ingredient in any quality dog food. Small dogs have a high metabolism and will need a steady consumption of protein to keep up with their energy levels. 

Be sure to check the dog food label, and if animal protein is not listed first, try another product. Protein is vital because it delivers the amino acids your small dog requires to support lean muscle mass. 

Additional protein sources like vegetables are also a great addition to your pup’s diet; however, his primary source of protein should be real meat to promote optimal health.

2. Fiber – Fiber should be incorporated into your pup’s diet to promote healthy digestion. Fiber helps by preventing the growth of bad bacteria and it also has the potential to repair the colon following any injury. 

Fiber also helps to promote healthy stools, keeping your pup’s digestive system functioning optimally. High quality dog foods will have a balanced portion of fiber, along with other nutrients, to feed your pup daily. 

It is important to note,however, that over consumption of fiber could lead to stomach issues.

The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 36

3. Essential Vitamins and Minerals – Essential vitamins and minerals are included in dog food formulas, mostly delivered via fruits and vegetables (although some can be synthetically added).

These nutrients are a critical component of a healthy diet because vitamins help to keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy, promote strong bones and teeth, and provide energy to keep your pup active and mobile. 

Minerals also assist with maintaining bone and teeth health and serve as building blocks for tissue, helping your pup regenerate and stay healthy.

4. Fish Oils Rich in Vitamins – You will find that quality dog food brands incorporate omega fatty acids in their recipes. 

Omegas are an important aspect of your pup’s diet because they produce the hormones that help with inflammation reduction, which is a vital process that demonstrates ideal immune function. Fatty acids also help if your pup ever gets injured – they assist with blood clotting and the growth of cells.

5. Carbohydrates – Carbs, when included as a part of a balanced diet, can be great for providing your dog with a burst of readily available energy. Your small dog powers through his fuel, and carbs can support the sustained energy delivered via protein and fats. 

Take care, though. The over consumption of carbs can easily result in excessive weight gain. To keep your smaller dogs at a healthy weight, it is important to only provide these as part of a balanced dog food diet. If you are sticking to commercially available foods, it will take the guesswork out of this process.

Small Breed Dog Puppy Feeding Chart

6 Weeks Old – At six weeks, your small breed puppy should still be with his mama, feeding freely while spending time with littermates. These dogs are too young to be removed from their litter. 

Mother’s milk will provide all the required nutrients and being around littermates will provide the socialization required to set your pup up for a healthy life adjusting to human care. At this stage, your small breed pup will be extra tiny, weighing only a couple of pounds.

10 Weeks Old – At the tenth week, your small breed pup should be weaned from mom’s milk. This process should have been completed carefully and gently, incorporating the new food slowly to avoid shocking your little dog’s system. 

Wet food is a great transition food because it is soft and will be easier for your pup to get used to. Alternatively, warm water or broth can create a soft consistency when added to puppy food.

12 Weeks Old – At this stage, your little buddy should be receiving three to four meals per day. These can be spread out evenly during his waking hours to keep him adequately fueled and satiated. Snacks can also be incorporated throughout the day, so long as daily caloric requirements are being met and not exceeded.

3 Months Old – At three months, your small pup should still be eating his regular three to four meals per day. You will notice he is steadily growing and so long as his belly is round, he is being well fed. Depending on the breed of your pup, he will have gained some more weight. For example, a pug at this stage should be weighing somewhere between 4 to 7 pounds.

5 Months Old – At the five-month mark, you may find that reducing mealtimes to two to three per day will be well received by your pup. You could stop giving snacks and maintain a revised feeding schedule, always being sure to provide enough calories based on the weight and activity of your small, four-legged buddy.

1 Year Old – At this age, your dog has reached adulthood. Puppy formulas can be left behind. Feeding can be reduced to twice per day while maintaining the appropriate daily calorie intake. Check your specific breed’s adult weight chart to be sure your pup is weighing enough.

The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 37

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Puppy – This is an endearing time for dog owners—toy breeds and small breed dogs can be extra adorable during puppyhood. During this time, they should be provided with puppy recipes that have smaller kibbles. Feeding times should be provided three to four times per day to keep your tiny dog at a healthy weight.

Adult – During adulthood, your pup should be provided with an adult life stage formula. Feeding times for your small breed adult dogs can be reduced to twice per day since adult domestic dogs don’t need to be constantly grazing all day. Snacks in-between meals would be appreciated, though. 

Senior – During the senior life stage, provide senior dog food or foods made for all life stages. Senior dogs have specific nutrition requirements that their dog food must meet. This is the stage where extra care is needed to ensure your older pup lives a quality life even in his twilight years.

As activity decreases, daily calories should be adjusted. Your pup should still be eating twice per day.

Bottom Line

You are now equipped with tons of important info to provide the best dog food for your small breed dog. When choosing high-quality small breed dog foods, your job is made easier because most formulas incorporate all the nutrients your dog requires to live a long, healthy life.

With proper nutrition, your pup will enjoy his days alongside you, offering playfulness and affection to show you how grateful he is for your care!

The 14 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Small Dogs In [year] 38

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