There are many aspects on the basis of which small dogs differ from large dogs, and one of them is their eating habits. The small dogs and puppies need a nutritious enriched diet to develop lean muscles, healthy brain, good vision, and shiny coat.
There are certain dog foods that give them a huge chunk of the energy they need to stay strong and active. Generally, the small dogs have faster metabolic rates so they require more calories per pound compared to larger dogs.
Since their stomachs are smaller, their food should be packed with more nutrients. You will now be able to pick the best dog food for small dog by reading below.
Buying Guide For The Best Dog Foods For Small Dogs
A pet owner may not know what diet to feed their small dogs to ensure their all-round growth and health. The below section highlights the buying guide for the best dog food for small dogs.
1. Caloric Needs
Though caloric needs differ based on small dogs’ age, breed, and activity level, they require approximately 40 calories per pound of their weight.
To understand this, for instance, if your little dog weighs 5 pounds, it would need 200 calories per day. Before proceeding for the purchase of dog food for small dogs, you need to carefully look at the caloric needs mentioned in the packaging.
If your purchased dog food packs have insufficient caloric intake per day then ultimately your dog will suffer from the insufficient nutritional intake.
Moreover, if your little dog is more active by nature and frequently involves in playful activities, you need to consider dog food with more calories.
2. Kibble Size
Unlike larger dogs, the toy breeds usually have smaller mouths and jaws. So, they may face problems if they chew kibbles that are meant for larger dogs. This is the reason why dog food for small dogs contains tiny kibbles.
The regular kibbles are generally about half an inch wide but those meant for small dogs are about a quarter inch. Additionally, the kibbles for toy breeds are even smaller in size i.e. as small as an eighth of an inch. When deciding to shop for your small dogs or toy breeds, consider buying the food with small kibble size.
3. Nutrient-Dense Food
Small dogs require food that packs in high content of nutrients. Due to their small stomachs and quick metabolism rate, they usually demand nutrient-dense food. Consider purchasing those dog foods that are formulated with high contents of fat, protein, calories and other nutrients that are vital for their growth.
Care needs to be taken while feeding nutrient-dense food because their delicate body is prone to weight gain. Even an increment of 1-2 pounds in their weight may pose serious health concerns.
4. Amount And Frequency Of Feeding
Since the small dogs have tiny stomachs, they cannot eat a huge chunk of food at once. Additionally, their metabolisms burn at a faster rate, so you need to feed them smaller meals on a frequent basis.
Typically, the amount of food they need on a daily basis depends on their weight, breed, and the caloric value of the formula. Generally, small dogs eat 3-4 times a day. Once they reach adulthood, this should be reduced to twice or thrice a day. Initially, you can allow them to eat as much as they like but just make sure they are not gaining weight.
5. Ingredients Unsuitable To Them
Certain dog foods contain some ingredients that offer no nutritional value to your small dogs. Actually, they harm their growth process, overall health and may make them sick. You need to keep in mind that you should avoid buying those food products that contain such ingredients.
It is important to make sure the dog food for a small dog should not contain corn. This is because corn is difficult to digest and may lead to allergies. The meat meal includes animal waste like hooves, heads, and bones. So, make sure the dog food should not contain meat meal.
Ethoxyquin is a preservative typically found in dog food. But this preservative leads to cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, blindness, leukemia, and immune system disorders. Synthetic Vitamin K3 (also known as menadione) is a toxin and may lead to irreversible damage to the liver and some other organs.
It is also a decent idea to avoid feeding those dog food products that contain Hydrochloric acid. The reason is this acid is a corrosive agent that modifies gelatin and cornstarch. Moreover, it also works as a pH adjuster and while working as an agent, it converts corn starch to syrup. This acid is not a natural substance and it does not prove to be a meal for small dogs.
6. Avoid Foods Having Artificial Additives
The dog food for small dogs are targeted to provide a proper nutritional intake to them with the use of high-quality ingredients. Make sure these foods do not contain artificial colors and flavors because they are risky to their health.
The artificial additives and colors may cause them food allergies and several other health concerns. You can consider dog foods flavored with natural ingredients and those preserved with mixed tocopherols.
7. Improvement In Skin And Coat Health
It is a decent idea to look for those dog foods for small dogs that provide a noticeable improvement in skin and coat health. The nutrients like Linoleic Acid, Vitamin A, and high-quality protein provides great improvement to their skin health.
Also, these nutrients provide a shiny look to their coat. You can consider the presence of these nutrients when you target to improve their skin and coat health.
Top 15 Best Dog Foods For Small Dogs 2020
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
This Blue Buffalo dog food for small dogs is uniquely formulated to ensure the good health of small dogs. When a pet owner feeds this small breed dog food to their small dogs and puppies, they would get a sufficient amount of nutrition.
It is sure that the regular intake of this small breed dog food guarantees fewer chances of sickness. The formula contains a high content of carbohydrates and protein. Both these constituents are inevitable for their proper growth and by feeding this dog food, they are benefited with proper growth.
An accurate blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants make it one of the best dog food for small dogs. All these elements are carefully chosen by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists as well.
The immune system of your dog will be made healthy by feeding this Life Protection formula product. Different life stage requirements are aptly fulfilled by this dog food. One of the best features includes the great safety it provides to the health of your dog.
Its chemical formula does not include chicken, corn, soy, wheat, by-product meals, artificial flavors or preservatives.
This aspect indicates that you can remove your concern regarding the health risks of your small dogs. In order to meet the special needs for nutrition, its BLUE Life Protection Formula is enriched with carbohydrates and proteins. Therefore, this food product successfully meets the energy needs of your small dog.
When you consider feeding this food to your small dog on a regular basis, you will find an improvement in their physical energy and reduction in weakness. If your small dog is suffering from weakness or a pale body then this dog food is the finest one to consider.
Inside this dog food product, you will find two kibbles. One of them is almost triangular-shaped and the other one is a small pebble shape.
The thickness of triangular-shaped kibbles is identical to that of a nickel whereas the size of the pebble-shaped kibbles is slightly smaller than a pencil eraser.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Nibble Size
Your small dog may suffer from the concerns of poor digestion and stomach pain. If you encounter such issues or if you simply want to ensure the good health of your small dog, this dry dog food is the suitable one to consider.
The reason why it is termed as the best dry dog food for small dogs is it is made up of natural ingredients. These ingredients are minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Therefore, it is certain that your small pet will stay free from damage due to harmful chemicals.
This dry dog food product offers superior quality protein to retain lean muscle in small breed dogs. As a result, you will find a gradual improvement in the overall physique of your small dog with the regular intake of this dry dog food.
The corresponding chemical formula makes use of an antioxidant blend uniquely made for lifetime immune support in small dogs. The reason behind the wide popularity of this dry dog food is because Hill’s utilizes only superior quality ingredients.
They include lamb, real chicken, or salmon protein. The key ingredient is the quality protein and this element offers clinically proven antioxidant advantages. Moreover, the chemical formula is devoid of flavors, preservatives, artificial colors, or chicken by-product meal.
Considering the sensitive stomach of your little dog, this pet food is made with easy to digest ingredients. These ingredients are specially formulated for the same. The tiny kibble is suitable for a little canine mouth.
It comes with a high-quality protein in order to maintain the lean muscles of your small dogs. Moreover, the vitamin E and nourishing omega 6s included in the formula offers healthy skin benefits and a healthy coat to your pet.
3. Wellness Core Small Breed
Being 100% grain-free, the chemical formula of this dry dog food provides the needful everyday nutrition for your small dogs.
A small dog needs a balanced nutrition intake on a daily basis and this dry dog food perfectly assists in their growth. The element found in the high proportion is protein. Also, its chemical formula includes optimal levels of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
The presence of all the natural ingredients ensures that there are no health risks to your small dogs. The ingredients like soy, corn, wheat, or meat by-products are absent in its formula.
The presence of premium turkey and chicken offers the optimum calorie levels to fulfill the high energy needs of your small dogs. It is sure that your dogs will not feed artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
The high proportion of high-quality animal proteins offers a flavorful taste. Also, these proteins offer benefits like optimal energy and shin coat. Other components that assist to make their skin and coat healthy are fish and flax omega blend. Furthermore, chondroitin and glucosamine assist to maintain bone and joint health.
With the help of omega 3s, this food product ensures brain health. Some dog owners worry about their dog facing diarrhea after consuming cheap quality dog food products. However, such health concerns are not found with the intake of this dry dog food.
Keeping in mind the small breed dogs, this dry dog food is made available in tiny kibble size. When you feed this dry dog food once to your little dogs, you will find them always running to the food bowl. This is because of the delicious taste of this food product.
4. Purina Pro Plan Small & Toy Breed
This small and toy breed dog food is specially formulated by using real chicken as the key ingredient. The presence of the high-quality protein makes sure your little dog gets the required nutritional intake.
The blended chicken and rice formula works effectively to promote good health to your small dogs. In addition to ensuring good health overall, it is important to make sure their immune system and the digestive system stays protected. This versatility makes it the best dog food for small dogs.
In this Purina Pro Plan dog food, the live probiotics are included to support their immune health and digestive system. With the high nutrient density, this food perfectly suits tier high metabolic rates.
With a view to offering healthy skin and coat benefits, linoleic acid and Vitamin A are included in its formula. By regularly feeding this toy breed food, you will find a great improvement in their skin health and you will also observe a unique shine on their coat.
For any small dogs weighing less than 20 pounds, this dog food is a decent choice to consider. In addition to offering a sufficient intake of nutrition, it also tastes delicious. You will love to see your little dog running behind their food bowl during meal times.
Keeping in mind their incapability to chew large-sized food particles, the kibbles are made bite-sized. They are made available in small shredded pieces so that small dogs can chew them easily.
It is important to make sure you tightly pack the food and store it in a cool, dry place. This will guarantee freshness for a long time. This food must be consumed within 5-6 weeks of its opening in order to ensure freshness.
5. Pedigree Small Dog
The Pedigree small breed dry dog food is formulated to give your small dogs all the energy and nourishment they require to lead a healthy life.
This dry dog food is made available in a form of 15.9-lb. bag. After feeding this dry dog food to your dog, you will no longer ask what is the best dog food for small dogs?
The key ingredients included are roasted chicken rice and vegetable flavor. In addition to offering a huge supply of nutrition, it also tastes delicious.
Enough amounts of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants are present to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The vitamin E and antioxidants support a strong immune system.
Every PEDIGREE recipe including this one is created using quality ingredients and uniquely formulated to provide the best benefits to your dog. The elements nourishing their skin and coat are zinc and omega-6 fatty acid.
Both of these ingredients are present in this dry dog food product. By regularly feeding this dry dog food, you will see a good shiny appearance on the coat of your dog.
The harmful ingredients like corn syrup, fructose, artificial flavors, and added sugar are absent in its formula. One of the best features is its kibbles are oral care in nature.
Therefore, these kibbles gently clean their teeth with each bite. In addition to being small in size so that they can chew properly, these kibbles also offer oral care benefits.
6. Cesar Fillet Mignon Flavor
When searching for the best small dog food that provides enough nutrients and oral care benefits, look nowhere else. This is because this pack of Cesar small breed dog food is nutrient-dense, flavorful and provides a lot of other health benefits.
The key ingredient used is real beef and its taste seems delicious to dogs. It is formulated with 26 nutrients that small breed dogs require. Because of the delicious taste, your small dog will love the tender, nutritious chunks of this food. You will love to see your small dog being satisfied after eating vegetables and meaty pieces of food.
It is needless to worry about its freshness for several weeks. This is because its bag comes with a resealable zipper. The crispy kibbles assist in cleaning their teeth and also support healthy gums. Now every dog owner can serve a nutritious and savory meal to their small breed dogs with the CESAR Dog Food.
During the afternoon meal and dinner time, you can feed this food to them. The tiny kibble pieces make sure your dog chews them easily without inhaling them. Based on your preference, you can mix this food with the regular food dose.
Even if your little companion eats a larger quantity than expected, worry not. This is because it does not lead to any stomach pain or digestive issues. Being flavorful and nutritious, there are no concerns if your small dog eats more of it.
7. Kibbles ‘N Bits Original
Presented in the form of a 16-pound bag, it is quite easy to feed your small dogs the nutrient-dense content with this dry dog food. The chicken and beef are the key components in this Kibbles ‘N Bits dog food.
The presence of high-quality protein supports strong muscles. The kibbles are small in size so that they are easy to chew. Within a few minutes, your little pet would be completed eating the entire meal.
The delicious taste is packed into tiny sized kibbles that are convenient to chew. The wholesome nutrition and high-quality protein packed in this dry dog food can be given every day to your dog to let them stay fit. The balanced nutrition assists proper growth during all life stages.
You can add water to soften the round kibble bits. These kibble bites are quite easy to chew and they will not create any digestive issues or stomach pain.
Their size is so small that they keep your dog from choking if he grabs excessively at once. This aspect suggests that even if your dog consumes it excessively, there are no side effects or health concerns.
8. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach
Hill’s Science Diet food product as mentioned above is one of the best dog food brands for small dogs when it comes to nutritional intake for miniature dogs. All the dog food products from this leading brand including this dry dog food are reliable and safe to consume.
The manufacturer -Hill’s Science Diet puts in decades of research and hard work to make sure all its dog food products are reliable.
Apart from conveying the health benefits, this dry dog food provides skincare benefits and relieves sensitive stomach issues. With the chicken recipe, your small dog will find great benefits in terms of skin health and stomach pain.
Prebiotic fiber offers optimal digestive health benefits. These fibers assist in effectively trimming down the huge chunks of food they eat in order to allow quick digestion.
For dogs with sensitive stomach problems, this dry dog food is highly beneficial. Also, if your small dog is suffering from constipation, this is a perfect food.
In the small kibbles, the omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other nutrients help to nourish their skin and provide a shiny appearance to their coat.
If you want to get rid of the dull appearance of their coat, this dry dog food is the best one to consider. With a view to offering an optimal balance of nutrients for toy breed dogs and miniature dogs, this dog food is uniquely formulated.
It is easy to mix this dog food product with some compatible meals to improve the overall taste. Being a pet owner, you will love to see how your miniature dog gets satisfied and pleased with every bite of this dry dog food.
9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Nature’s Evolutionary Diet
Dogs usually have a love for meat and the recipe for this dry dog food satisfies their meat desire. The real chicken is the key ingredient used in this small breed dry dog food.
This ingredient assists to build and maintain lean muscle mass. This food product is grain-free. In this blue buffalo wilderness, the ingredients are dedicated to fulfilling the energy requirements of small dogs.
Keeping in mind smaller jaws and teeth, the size of the kibble is made smaller. The lifesource bits are the major components included in this dog food. These bits contain an accurate blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
The vitamins and minerals are included in a high amount to guarantee the health and well-being of your miniature dog. The kibbles from most other dog food brands contain about 20% of protein; however, the kibbles in this product contain about 36% of protein.
The balanced protein and carbohydrates support the active lifestyle of your small dog.
All the nutrients are carefully selected by veterinarians and animal nutritionists with a view to supporting their immune system and overall health. The formula of this food maintains a healthy oxidative balance.
All these characteristics make it the best food for small dogs. This dog food product does not contain corn, soy, wheat, by-product meals, preservatives, and artificial flavors. So, it is sure that there are no major health concerns to your dog.
10. Purina Bella Natural Bites
For dogs, what is the most satisfying feeling when it comes to food? Enough supply of nutrition and delicious taste gives them great satisfaction and pleasure.
The Purina Bella Natural bites dog food for small dogs exactly does this. Its formula is enriched with vitamins and minerals to fulfill the energy requirements of your dogs. The real turkey and chicken are the key ingredients used in its formula.
The manufacturer has specially formulated this food product to support the health of miniature breed dogs. In addition to offering sufficient nutrition, the included kibbles offer a delicious taste. So, within a day or two, your dog will get habituated to eating this food product on a regular basis.
Every serving includes a blend of high-quality protein along with turkey and chicken. These ingredients support strong muscles to make sure they stay active throughout the day. The crispy kibbles convey dual benefits –easy to chew and oral care benefits.
Their small size seems quite easy to chew even if your dog has fewer teeth. Furthermore, these kibbles assist in cleaning their teeth and freshens their breath. Inclusion of green beans and carrots add variety to this formula.
To let your small dog get habituated with this food, gradually add more of these kibbles and reduce the amount of the previous food in your pet’s dish. Make sure you continue this each day until they get habituated. This gradual transition helps prevent dietary upsets.
11. Iams Proactive Small Breed
The Iams Proactive Health dry dog food is specially made for small dogs but it is also suitable for large dog breeds. So, if there are both small and large dog breeds in your home, you can feed all of them with this single pack of dry dog food. Its formula is tailored based on the size of your dog in order to offer a perfect fit for their nutritional needs.
Available in a pack of 15 pounds, the key ingredient used is real chicken. In addition to offering a healthy chunk of food, this food promotes healthy skin and coat with the help of omega fatty acids. By the regular intake, your dog’s coat will get a shiny appearance.
With the help of antioxidants in its formula, your little dog will be able to build a strong immune system gradually. The use of high-quality protein ensures strong muscles. To make sure its formula delivers balanced nutrition without any harm, this dog food does not use artificial preservatives, fillers or flavors.
Whether you want to trim down your dog’s weight, remove grain sensitivity issue or supply a high-protein diet, its IAMS formula is tailored uniquely. Those small breed dogs weighing 20 lbs. or less will be compatible with this food product.
12. Hill’s Science Diet Variety Pack
For small dogs aged 1 to 6 years old, this wet dog food is a suitable option to consider. The product comes in the form of two delicious varieties that are precisely balanced with nutrition.
There is no doubt that protein is the building block for lean muscles and it helps to maintain perfect body conditions. Therefore, Hill’s Science Diet has included high-quality lean proteins to build the muscles of your dog.
The presence of high-quality ingredients including gentle fibers provides healthy digestion benefits. Appropriate nourishment to their skin and coat is provided by vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids. The use of all vital ingredients makes it the best food for small dogs.
When you target to maintain their weight and make their coat soft, it is important to include this wet dog food in their diet. Since it digests well without any stomach issues, dogs find great comfort by consuming it. While going for long outings, you can carry this pack in your purse. The size of bites is made small keeping in mind the simplicity of chewing.
To get the full benefits of this wet dog food, you need to follow appropriate directions. Firstly, cover and refrigerate the unused portion. Next, you need to adjust the feeding amounts as required in order to maintain optimal weight. In case you are unsure about this, you may ask your veterinarian.
If it is hard to let your dog habituated with this food, you can provide them with mixing. You can mix increasing amounts of this food with decreasing amounts of the old food for the first few days. Make sure you keep fresh water available if the dog finds inconvenience while eating this food.
13. Whole Earth Farms Small Breed
It is vital to meet the nutritional demands of your small breed dog to let them stay fit. This Whole Earth Farms dry dog food’s formula is uniquely crafted for the same. This is one of the major reasons why it is termed as the best dog food for small dogs.
It is a grain-free dog food whose recipe includes added vitamins and minerals. In addition, turkey and chicken are present to enrich your dog with protein. Since the formula is all-natural, it is sure that your dog’s health is not at risk. There is the absence of wheat, corn, soy, poultry by-products, colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
With the help of minerals, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, and multiple protein sources, this product feeds your dogs with all necessary nutrients. The use of high-quality protein helps to increase digestion ability and energy. The regular intake of this food lets your dog benefit from a shiny coat and healthy skin.
Two more ingredients that give a boost in energy are whole barley and brown rice. There are many small dogs who suffer from teeth concerns and your dog may be one of them. If this is the case then you can feed this product to your dogs so that they can relieve from chewing problems, weak gums, and other teeth concerns.
14. Eukanuba Adult Small Breed
Eukanuba Adult Small Breed dry dog food offers balanced nutrition to any small breed dogs that are at least 1 year old and weighing up to 23 lbs. In active adult dogs, you will find improvement in joint health and lean muscle development when you regularly feed this food.
The high-quality chicken included in its ingredients offers enough protein to keep them energized throughout the day.
The blend of glucosamine, animal protein, and chondroitin sulfate works effectively to supply the necessary energy they need. With the presence of vitamin E and DHA, there is an improvement in their brain functionality.
The fats and carbohydrates are included in optimal proportions so that they suit your dog’s active lifestyle. If your dog is mischievous by nature or leads a highly active lifestyle, this product is the best food for small dogs.
Due to natural fiber and prebiotic blend, there is an improvement in digestion. So, if your small dog is suffering from stomach pain issues or poor digestion, this adult dry dog food is the best one to consider.
15. Whole Earth Farms
The Whole Earth Farms dog food product in the present discussion focuses on enriching your dog’s diet with protein. The real pork, lamb, and beef contain protein in high amounts. Since it is enriched with protein, it can definitely be regarded as the best dog food for small dogs.
The ingredients like corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and artificial preservatives are absent. In addition to salmon and chicken meal, the ingredients like tasty rosemary, sage and thyme provide a large amount of nutrition to dogs. When you want to keep their coat healthy and shiny then it is a decent idea to include this food in their diet.
Best Dog Foods For Small Dogs – Your choice?
The small and toy breeds may show weirdness when it comes to food intake. This is because their tender age prevents them from understanding the importance of nutrition in food. By feeding the best food for small dogs, there will be good support provided to their fast metabolisms.
Unlike larger dogs, their small stomachs need a unique approach to feeding and these food products help a lot. Though they can eat food meant for larger breeds, they require food tailored to meet their specific needs to stay healthy.