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Best Dog Food For Small Dogs

Best Dog Food For Small Dogs

Pups come in all different shapes and sizes. The small dogs are the ones that seem to believe they’re the toughest and yet they can be cuddle bugs and sit on your lap all day. But how does your pet become high and mighty and yet so lovable? They grow big and strong from what you feed them. We want nothing but the best for our lap pups, so that’s why we took a look at the best dog food for small dogs.

If you have a Shih Tzus, check out our list of the best dog food for Shih Tzus.

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient;...
  • SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for small breed dogs, BLUE Life Protection Formula...

Not all pups are the same. They come in different breeds, shapes, and sizes. Each one has their own unique personality to boot as well. Small dogs are built differently than pups who are medium or large in size. The small dogs are more likely to have joint issues, especially in their knees, a small trachea, and more. Due to their stature, they naturally have smaller teeth and jaws. This is just one reason why small breeds have their own dry kibble.

Top 5 Rated Best Dog Food For Small Breeds

Recommendation 
Top ChoiceBlue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult...
Runner UpWellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food...
Budget ChoiceDISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER: NUTRO WHOLESOME...
Best Grain-Free DietNature's Recipe Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog...
Best For Sensitive StomachHill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small &...

Our Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo is a well known and highly rated brand name of dog food. Named after and inspired by a dog named Blue, this brand feeds pups nothing but the best. Their recipes are healthy, holistic, and all natural with LifeSource Bits that add more nutrients and antioxidants to your pooch’s diet.

This product is great for small breeds because the dry kibble comes in two different small shapes that are easy to pick up and eat. Plus, the kibble itself is small for their teeth chew. In addition, this food not only supports a healthy immune system but also supports joint problems and mobility, which is a common issue in small dogs.

Key Features

  • Affordable
  • Comes in two bag sizes – 6-lbs or 15-lbs
  • Three flavor options
  • Small kibble for small dogs
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains whole grains and fruits and vegetables
  • LifeSource Bits with extra antioxidants and vitamins and minerals
  • High protein and carbohydrates for high energy
  • Supports the immune system and joint health
  • All natural – no by-product meals, corn, soy, wheat, or artificial preservatives and flavors

Our Runner-Up Pick: Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food

On Sale Today -10%
Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food...
  • This adult small breed dry dog food's ingredient is turkey; high quality protein with wholesome...
  • Our crunchy kibble has no meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives

Wellness is another well-known brand that seems to be loved by a lot of pet owners. This product is a complete and balanced diet for your small breed pup that supports their bones and joints. The dry kibble is small in size, so it’s easy on their teeth as they chew and your pooch won’t be prone to choking. This balanced diet that’s rich in antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals, is a great choice for any small dog.

In addition, it’s healthy for your furry friend as well. The ingredients are all natural with real meat as the first ingredients. There are plenty of antioxidants, taurine, and vitamins and minerals. Plus, there is no corn, soy, wheat, or meat by-products. This particular product supports high energy as well which is just what your smaller pup needs.

Key Features

  • Affordable
  • Two bag sizes – 4-lbs or 12-lbs
  • Small kibble size
  • All natural ingredients
  • No corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Supports high energy, skin and coat, and weight management
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, and taurine
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Real meat as the first ingredient

Best Budget Pick: Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food for Small & Toy Breeds

DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER: NUTRO WHOLESOME...
  • Contains one (1) 15 lb. bag of Nutro wholesome essentials Small Breed Adult Natural Dry Dog...
  • Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient in this great-tasting dry dog food that’s rich in...

Nutro is another great dog food brand. This is the brand I use with my pup, and this is the exact product I feed her. She’s an eight-pound Chihuahua mix, and she absolutely loves this food. The kibble is small and square-like in shape which is especially great for small breeds to pick up and chew.

This brand is great because it’s all natural with vitamins and minerals plus Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin. Real chicken is always the first ingredient, and natural fiber is included for easy digestion. This particular product is easy on your wallet as well, which is why it’s our budget pick. It’s definitely a more affordable dog food option on this list, but it’s also super healthy for your furry companion.

Key Features

  • Affordable
  • You can get the food in 3-lbs, 5-lbs, or 15-lbs
  • Kibble is small and square in shape
  • Contains high quality protein
  • All natural
  • Real meat as the first ingredient

Best Grain-Free Diet: Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed

Nature's Recipe Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog...
  • Contains (1) 12 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
  • Real chicken is the No.1 ingredient

Nature’s Recipe is a brand of dog food that has nothing but your pup’s health in mind. This company wants your furry friend to live long, happy, and healthy. Their food is packed with nutrients, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and the like. This grain-free option for your small breed is the perfect solution should your pup have food allergies or has digestive problems. Plus, the small kibble size is great for small jaws.

This particular product is a grain-free recipe for your pup. It’s a chicken, with the real meat as the first ingredient, sweet potato, and pumpkin. It’s all natural with certain vitamins and minerals and other nutrients to support joint health, strong bones, and easy digestion.

Key Features

  • Affordable
  • The bags are 4-lbs and 12-lbs
  • Contains real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, and high protein
  • All natural ingredients
  • Small kibble size
  • Grain-free dog food

Best For Sensitive Stomach: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds, Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small &...
9,860 Reviews
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small &...
  • This dry dog food uses prebiotic fiber to feed your small dog's microbiome for optimal...
  • Vitamin E, omega 6 fatty acids and other nutrients in smaller kibble help nourish skin and...

Hill’s Science is a well-known brand. They have a variety of dog food for different breeds as well as different health issues. One of their products is a sensitive stomach diet for small breeds. This is a well-balanced diet with all the nutrients formulated specifically for a small pup that’s also easy on their stomach and their skin.

The kibble is small and a great size for tiny mouths to pick up and chew. The kibble is also packed with vitamin E and C as well as Omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants for an immune boost. Probiotic fiber is also there for healthy and easy digestion.

Key Features

  • Food comes in two bag sizes – 4-lbs and 15-lbs
  • Kibble is small in size
  • Contains vitamins C and E, probiotic fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Formulated for small breeds and sensitive stomachs
  • Easy to digest
  • All natural ingredients
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Vet recommended

Buyer’s Guide

As dog owners, we all want the same thing. We want our furry companion to be happy and healthy. For the purpose of making the most informed choice, we need to know what we’re feeding them and putting into their body. This is why we’ve taken a look at the best dog food for small dogs. But how do you choose which one is right for your pooch?

What Are The Advantages To Buying Small Breed Dog Food?

Smaller Bites

For one, feeding your pup smaller kibble is a plus. Small breeds have, of course, small mouths and jaw muscles. They also have tiny teeth and may not be that strong to chew larger kibble. Having a smaller kibble size will allow your pooch to pick up the food easily and be able to chew it with ease. Not to mention, your pup most likely won’t choke on the smaller kibble than they potentially would with larger kibble.

Nutritional Needs

Aside from size, there is a lot of difference between small dogs and large dogs. Smaller pups have different nutritional needs than larger dogs. A small dog’s diet is different because they need more calories than larger dogs do because of the way their metabolism is. They need to take in more calories each day in order to maintain a healthy weight.

I addition, small breeds have tiny stomachs. Therefore, they can’t each as much without getting a belly ache. This is why small breed dog food is typically formulated to have more calories in the kibble because the pups can’t each as much throughout the day.

How To Choose The Best For Your Pup

Kibble Size

When it comes to buying food for your small breed, looking at the size of the kibble is something to consider. Having a smaller kibble size will allow your pup to eat with ease as they pick up and chew the food comfortably. In addition, having a small kibble size will be easy on your pup’s throat, and they won’t be as prone to choking on their food.

Calorie Intake

Small dogs have a different metabolism than other breeds do. They need more calories throughout the day. They have smaller stomachs, and yet they can be chowhounds and act as though they’re never full. Looking at the calorie intake of each serving of food is a great idea so you can monitor their weight with ease. There are weight management food options for small pups, but knowing what’s going in your dog’s body is a good place to start.

Health Support

Small breeds are prone to certain health issues just like any other breed of dog. However, smaller pups have their own issues such as a small trachea stiff joints, and other problems. It never hurts to check out the food and see what sort of health problems the food helps support. A lot of the dog food on this list helps out with joint problems and is catered to small pups with such issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between toy breed pups and small breed pups?

The short answer is that toy breed is smaller than a small breed. There are some food on this list that mentions being available for toy breed and small pups. There are some dogs that classify as toy breeds because they’re even smaller and the toy breed food has smaller kibble.

How much should I feed my pup if they have a small stomach?

There is usually a feeding guide on the bag or can of wet food you get for your pup. You can follow that to make sure they’re getting the most nutrition each day, but you can also ask your vet what’s right for your pup.

Why can’t my small breed pup just eat large breed food?

Smaller dogs are more comfortable eating smaller kibble, just like how larger dogs are more comfortable eating large kibble. In addition, your small pup may be prone to choking on larger kibble.

Other Dog Food For Small Breeds We Reviewed

  • The Best Canned Food For Small Breeds
  • The Best Puppy Food For Small Breeds

Best Canned Food For Small Breeds

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small...
  • REAL CHICKEN FIRST: This paté style wet dog food features high-quality protein from real...
  • FEED THREE WAYS: BLUE Homestyle Recipe adult small breed dog food makes a delicious treat, adds...

Blue Buffalo is no stranger to this list of the best dog food for small dogs. This recipe is an all natural diet for your small pup, and it’s the perfect companion should you choose to go with the Blue Buffalo dry food that was mentioned earlier on this list.

This canned food is perfect for your smaller pooch because it’s formulated with their small body in mind. It meets the energy needs of smaller breeds as well as promote healthy skin and coat and immune system. The ingredients are all natural and don’t contain any wheat, soy, or corn as well as no artificial preservatives or flavors.

Key Features
  • Two flavor options – small breed or toy breed chicken or small breed lamb
  • Packs contain 24 cans that are 5.5-oz
  • Recipes include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, and amino acids
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Formulated for small pups and small kibble size

Instinct Original Small Breed Grain Free Recipe Natural Wet Canned Dog Food

Instinct Original Small Breed Grain Free Real...
  • SMALL BREED GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD WITH CAGE FREE CHICKEN: Instinct Original is made with real...
  • CANNED DOG FOOD WITH NO FILLERS: Instinct Original wet dog food is high protein dog food. Made...

Instinct Original is another great brand that creates dog food formulated for small pups. This particular wet food is made for smaller breeds as it has low calories to keep their little bellies in check. It’s also grain-free and gluten free with no fillers such as grains, potatoes, corn, wheat, or soy.

This product is great for your smaller pup since it’s high in animal protein, and formulated for the needs of a smaller pup. Real meat is always the first ingredient, and the flavors are tasty as well. However, the low calorie is nice for weight management, but be sure to know how much calories your pup should be eating a day. Smaller pups typically need more calorie intake than larger dogs do.

Key Features
  • The wet food come in a pack of 24 3-oz cans or 12 5.5-oz cans
  • Two flavors options of beef or chicken
  • Grain-free and gluten free
  • All natural
  • Contains fruits and vegetables and animal protein
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Low calorie for small pups
  • No fillers, grain, wheat, soy, potato, or corn

Best Puppy Food For Small Breeds

Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Small & Toy Breed Smart...
  • Small Breed Puppy Food: Created to fit a toy or small breed puppy’s specific needs, this...
  • Veterinarians Recommend IAMS: Made with 22 key nutrients like those found in mother’s milk,...

This brand is a formulated recipe designed for not just small breeds but small breed puppies. The Iams company is a wonderful company, and this is the brand that I used to feed my first pup. This puppy food has everything a puppy could possibly need in order to grow up big, strong, and healthy. There are 22 nutrients in this particular food that’s found in mother’s milk which makes it a great candidate to feed your pup at such a young age.

This kibble is also a great choice because it’s all natural without any fillers, wheat, or soy. It’s vet recommended and boosts a lot of your pup’s needs from a young age while taking their small size into consideration. This particular product is a great starting point to your small pup’s life when they’re already at such a young age.

Key Features
  • Affordable
  • Various bag sizes such as 3.3-lbs, 7-lbs, 15-lbs, 30-lbs, or 38.6-lbs
  • Real meat is the first ingredients
  • All natural
  • Formulated for a puppy and small breed’s needs
  • Contains various nutrients such as 22 nutrients from mother’s milk, Omega 3 DHA, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, prebiotics and fiber, animal protein, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals
  • Supports cognition, easy training, strong bones and muscles, easy digestion, immune system, and healthy skin and coat
  • Small kibble
  • No fillers, wheat, or soy
  • Vet recommended

Conclusion – Best Dog Food For Small Breeds

Small breeds make for a great pet. It’s fun to have a small lap dog around. They’re funny to cuddle up with on the couch after a long day, and they’re certainly easy to pick up and move if they’re being stubborn. Small dogs typically have a longer life span due to their size, but that’s not without feeding them the right food and proper nutrition throughout all of their life stages. That’s why we took a look at the best dog food for small breeds because we want to feed our furry friends nothing but the best.

What brand of dog food do you feed your small pup? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for more? You can read our guide to buying the best dog food for Yorkies or take a look at all our dog food articles.