101 Best Dog Food For Small Dogs

October 5, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About the Best Dog Food for Small Dogs

Small dog breeds may have petite statures, but their energy levels are out of this world! These small canines are a lot of joy to be around, and they're so fast that they give much larger breeds a run for their money.

Such an active nature need a diet that can meet this pup's energy requirements. We researched, examined, and evaluated a wide range of food options in order to determine the finest dog food for small dogs.

We are pleased to state that our top recommendations are all our own – Alpha Paw is not supported by any affiliate links.

Our Evaluation Methodology

If you're a regular reader of Alpha Paw, you already know that we know dogs. We know how to teach them, care for them, and keep them healthy. We also know a lot about how to properly feed them.

Top-quality nourishment is critical for your dog's health, but we don't claim to be experts on the issue. When we set out to identify the healthiest dog food for small dogs, we took sure to contact with experts and draw on their expertise. We spoke with:

Owners and staff of veterinary clinics and pet stores

Veterinarians among our readers shed light on the nutritional requirements of tiny dog breeds and their suggested daily food intake. We compiled a list of the top 50 brands used by dog owners around the country based on online reviews.

We also double-checked the prices and availability of those products at local pet stores and internet retailers. Finally, our faithful followers were an excellent source of knowledge because they told us exactly what their dogs liked. Only then did we have enough information to compare the best dog food for small breeds based on the parameters listed below.

How We Chosen the Best Dog Food Brands

Miniature dog breeds require special nutrition. Small dog breeds have fast metabolisms and burn calories quickly, but their stomachs are so small that they are satisfied after only a dozen nibbles.

We looked for food that is high in vital elements for dogs, such as protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, so that these pups can get all they need in a single little serving.

Miniature dogs also have narrow throats and require smaller kibble, therefore we only chose solutions that are easy to digest and do not pose a choking concern.

All of the brands on our list had their labels, ingredient origins, and recipes extensively reviewed. We looked for unbiased web reviews and polled our readers to find out which flavors their tiny dogs preferred.

Nonetheless, our selection was mostly focused on cuisine made with high-quality ingredients. The cuisine we were looking for had to:

  • Be protein-rich (20 percent and above)
  • A little dish contains enough calories.
  • Have a fat content derived from natural sources.
  • Antioxidants and probiotics are present.
  • Provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Wellness CORE Small Breed Grain-Free Original wins the top rank on our list of the best small breed dog food available.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Natural Ingredients, Made in USA with Real Meat (Adult, Healthy Weight, 12-Pound Bag)
  • GRAIN-FREE SMALL BREED ADULT DRY DOG FOOD: Premium protein from responsibly sourced turkey is expertly balanced with nutrient rich superfoods for a complete and balanced dog food, with optimal fat and calorie levels your dog needs for healthy body weight.
  • HEALTHY WEIGHT FORMULA: Smaller kibble size, reduced calorie diet with delicious high quality proteins to satisfy hunger and maintain a healthy weight.
  • SUPPORTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH & STRONG JOINTS: Guaranteed levels of omega fatty to support healthy skin and coat, glucosamine for strong joints, high fiber and probiotics for digestive health, and taurine for a healthy heart.
  • NO CORN, WHEAT, OR SOY: Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no poultry by-products, wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives. Manufactured in a facility that also processes grains.
  • MADE IN USA: Using only the finest globally sourced ingredients, we prepare each of our diets in our own state of the art facility; recipes crafted with wholesome, non-GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits.

This recipe is primarily composed of exquisite meat — it is so delicious that owners swear their dogs lick their bowls clean every time. This meal contains turkey meat, which provides the essential protein boost, spinach, which contains magnesium and iron to keep your dog's heart strong, and flaxseed, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition to high-quality protein and Omega fatty acids, Wellness Core dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which help your dog's joints. This formula is also grain-free, which means it has a reduced carb content and helps keep your dog from becoming overweight. It's also high in antioxidants and probiotics, which help your small dog's sensitive digestive tract.

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken for Small Breeds was created specifically to fulfill the dietary needs of your tiny canine.

Instinct Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Original Real Chicken Recipe Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 11 lb. Bag
  • SMALL BREED GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD WITH CAGE FREE CHICKEN: Instinct Original dry dog food is high protein dog food made with probiotics to support healthy digestion and omegas for skin & coat. Responsibly sourced cage free chicken is the #1 ingredient.
  • SMALL BREED NATURAL DOG FOOD: Made for your small dog with calcium & phosphorus for strong teeth and bones plus glucosamine & chondroitin for joint health. Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.
  • THE FIRST RAW COATED KIBBLE: Instinct Original dry dog food is high protein dog food where every piece of kibble is coated in freeze dried raw for nutrition and taste. Delicious, healthy flavor that small dogs crave.
  • POWER OF RAW INGREDIENTS: Our dog food is made with the pure, real nutrition of raw. Raw is natural, made from real meat & whole food ingredients, protein packed & minimally processed. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients from around the world.
  • INSTINCT, THE RAW BRAND: We craft dry & wet dog food from real ingredients. Compare Instinct to Blue Buffalo, Rachel Ray, Hills Science Diet, Purina One, Taste of the Wild, Merrick, Natural Balance, Wellness, Orijen, Royal Canin, Fromm, Acana & Nutro.

Because this formula is grain-free, you won't have to worry about your dog's carb intake and consequent blood sugar levels. This is especially crucial for small breed dogs that are predisposed to diabetes and obesity.

This commercial snack stands out from a sea of similar items because it is sprinkled with freeze-dried raw chicken parts. This results in a delectable treat that even the pickiest doggos devour in seconds!

This Instinct Raw Boost recipe covers all of your small pup's requirements since it provides the right amounts of protein, fat, and calories. It will assist your dog in maintaining a healthy weight as well as keeping their muscles strong and slim.

If you want to supply your dog with all of the required nutrients without breaking the bank, Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Paw Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe is a fantastic alternative.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice, 4.5 LB
  • Supports healthy digestion with small kibble and easily digestible ingredients
  • A nourishing blend of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E for healthy skin and coat
  • Provides high-quality protein to maintain lean muscle in small dogs
  • Uses an antioxidant blend specifically for lifelong immune support in toy breeds
  • Delicious lamb flavor for those that prefer variety

This is a well-balanced meal manufactured from natural ingredients and designed specifically for little and miniature breeds. The kibble is nibble-sized and extremely simple to chew and digest. The formula contains high-quality protein, Vitamin E, and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help to strengthen your dog's immunity and nourish their bones, skin, and fur.

This dish is appropriate for adult dogs aged one to six years old. However, it is not suitable for a puppy, an elderly dog, or a pregnant or nursing dog.

Wellness Complete Health is the best little dog food for puppies. 

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food with Grains, Natural Ingredients, Made in USA with Real Turkey, For Dogs Up to 25 lbs (Adult, Turkey & Oatmeal, 12-Pound Bag)
  • PROTEIN RICH SMALL BREED ADULT DRY DOG FOOD: Nutritionally dense crunchy kibble with ingredients such as turkey and oatmeal for whole body health
  • ALL NATURAL: Created by nutritionists, veterinarians and animal lovers, our recipes provide an ideal balance of nature's finest ingredients, carefully selected to nourish and sustain your dog's wellbeing
  • SUPPORTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH & HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT: Supported by antioxidants for strong immune systems, vitamins for healthy eyes and teeth, glucosamine for strong joints, omega fatty acids ensure healthy skin and coat, and taurine for a healthy heart
  • NO CORN, WHEAT, OR SOY: Adult small breed dry dog food doesn't contain poultry by-products, wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives
  • MADE IN USA: Using only the finest globally sourced ingredients, we prepare each of our diets in our own state of the art facility. These recipes are crafted with wholesome, non-GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits

Small Breed Puppy Puppies have special nutritional requirements as they grow into strong and healthy adult dogs. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe satisfies all of these requirements.

This mix is made with natural nutrients that help your puppy's development in a variety of ways. Here are the most important:

  • Turkey meat is a high-quality protein source.
  • Salmon includes critical fatty acids that are necessary for proper brain and eye development.
  • Carrots contain beta carotene, which can help prevent cataracts and heart disease.
  • Calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth
  • Vitamins and minerals to support a strong immune system

My Small Breed Dog's Ideal Macros

The ideal dog food must have the proper ratios of macro- and micronutrients. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) can be provided to your dog through dietary supplements such as the Nutra Thrive dog food supplement. Macronutrients can only be obtained from high-quality foods.

Proteins can come from either animals or vegetables and are used to provide energy to your dog, but they also play an important part in tissue formation and repair. Small breed food must have at least 18 percent protein, however these requirements can vary based on the age and health of the dog. Puppies require significantly more protein for optimal development; high-quality puppy chow should contain at least 28 percent protein.

Carbohydrates, or carbohydrates, are simple or complex sugars derived primarily from plants. Canines do not have a minimal carbohydrate need because it is not necessary for their survival. Carbohydrates are high in fiber, which is beneficial to your dog's digestive system. If your dog has stomach difficulties, look for food that has a lot of corn, rice, wheat, barley, oats, and other whole grains.

Lipids (fats) combine with carbs to form calories, which your friend uses as fuel for their activities. Your dog's diet should include enough unsaturated fats, such as Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for the health of your dog's heart, skin, and coat. Ideally, your dog's diet should contain more than 14 percent fat. Choose foods high in healthy fatty acids, such as cold-water fish and flaxseed oil.

Is it okay to mix wet and dry dog food?

Yes, if your dog is healthy and like both dry and wet food, you can mix them together. The food you choose will be primarily determined by your dog's preferences. Some dogs prefer crisp dry kibble, while others prefer aromatic and rich wet meals ( check out our best-canned dog food). However, most dogs will be equally pleased with either option as long as their bowl is full on time.

If your dog has digestive troubles, you should choose their food with greater care. The best dry dog food is usually easy to digest, as long as your dog drinks plenty of water every day.

Keep in mind that kibble is more likely to cause overeating in your little dog than wet food. Because canned food has more water, it fills their stomach faster and prevents rapid weight gain. A wet food diet is also recommended for dogs with kidney disease.

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