What Is the Best Dog Food for Small Dogs?

October 4, 2021

The best small breed dog diets are designed to provide balanced nourishment for dogs weighing less than 20 pounds as an adult.

This is because little dogs benefit from food that is designed for their greater rate of metabolism... as well as their smaller physical dimensions.

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We'll go over the safest and most recommended small breed dog diets according to The Dog Food Advisor... and we'll address the most often asked questions about feeding little dogs.

Small Breed Recipe from the Wild Appalachian Valley

Appalachian Valley Small Breed is one of nine dry recipes included in our Taste of the Wild product line review.

Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils are the first five components.

Grain-free Style: Maintenance

Adults of small breeds are the best candidates.

Appalachian Valley Small Breed gets the majority of its animal protein from fresh venison and lamb meal. According to our dry matter label analysis, the recipe has 36% protein, 20% fat, and 36% projected carbohydrates... with a fat-to-protein ratio of roughly 56%

A complete, grain-free recipe with no artificial colors, flavors, or hazardous chemical preservatives. It comes highly recommended.

Merrick Classic Small Breed Dog Food 

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Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipe, 12-Pound, Chicken
  • One (1) 12 lb Bag - Merrick Lil' Plates Small Breed Dog Food, Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe, Small Dog Food
  • Real deboned chicken is always the first ingredient in this small breed dry dog food, which offers the ideal combination of protein and healthy fats to help a dog maintain optimal weight and increased energy
  • Natural dog food grain free recipe crafted with probiotics and prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion
  • Merrick dog food small breed recipe made with leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to aid in maintaining healthy hips and joints while omega 3 fatty acids to help maintain a healthy coat and skin
  • This Merrick Lil Plates dog food for small dogs features small kibble to clean teeth and help reduce plaque

Classic Small Breed is one of five dry recipes included in our Merrick Classic product line evaluation.

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and turkey meal are the first five ingredients.

Grain-inclusive is a type of grain (rice, barley, oatmeal, quinoa)

Maintenance: Design

Adults of small breeds are the best candidates.

Price: $$ The majority of the animal protein in this Merrick Classic recipe comes from fresh chicken as well as chicken meal. According to our dry matter label analysis, the dish has 30% protein, 17% fat, and 45% projected carbohydrates... resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of around 56%

Merrick Classic Small Breed is a grain-free meal with fiber-rich quinoa to aid digestion. It's easy to recommend.

Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food

https://www.nomnomnow.com/

Turkey Fare is one of four fresh wet recipes reviewed in our Nom Nom dog food product line review.

The first five ingredients are: Eggs, ground turkey, brown rice, carrots, and spinach

Grain-inclusive is a type of grain (rice)

Design: All stages of life

Adults and puppies of small breeds benefit the most from this product.

Nom Nom Turkey Fare gets the majority of its animal protein from fresh turkey and entire eggs. A dry matter label analysis reveals that the dish contains 37% protein, 17% fat, and 39% projected carbohydrates... resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of around 45 percent

If you've ever wished you could offer your small dog a fresh home-cooked supper without all the bother, Nom Nom is a wise choice.

A balanced diet prepared by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist with high-quality, human-grade components. It's not cheap. However, it is highly recommended.

Small Breed Nulo Freestyle Dog Food

Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food With Bc30 Probiotic (Salmon And Red Lentils Recipe, 11B Bag)
  • GRAIN-FREE recipe contains no corn; wheat; soy; white potatoes; tapioca; artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives. Based in Austin, TX and proudly made in the USA.
  • HIGH MEAT/LOW CARB proprietary formula 84% animal-based protein for more amino acids and better flavor. Nulo FreeStyle also uses fewer carbs and low glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potato and chickpeas.
  • SMALLER KIBBLE SIZE promotes proper chewing, less choking and better digestion. Miscanthus grass provides natural fiber to satisfy the faster small breed appetite without overfilling the smaller stomach.
  • PROMOTES WEIGHT MANAGEMENT through reduced carbohydrate intake and L-Carnitine supplementation. Dogs that maintain an ideal body weight live almost 2 years longer than overweight dogs.
  • PATENTED BC30 PROBIOTIC supports healthy gut flora to aid tiny tummies in food digestion. This lactic-acid producing bacteria also helps regulate metabolism, which runs faster in smaller dog breeds.

Freestyle Small Breed is one of eight dry recipes reviewed in our Nulo Freestyle product range review.

Deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, salmon meal, red lentils are the first five ingredients.

Grain-free Style: All Life Stages

Adults and puppies of small breeds benefit the most from this product.

The majority of the animal protein in this Nulo formula comes from fresh salmon, turkey, and menhaden fish meals. According to our dry matter label analysis, the dish has 34% protein, 19% fat, and 39% projected carbohydrates... resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of roughly 55%

Nulo Freestyle Small Breed is developed to support smaller dogs' higher metabolisms and energy levels. It comes highly recommended.

Original Small Breed Dog Food by Instinct

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.

Original Small Breed is one of six dry recipes reviewed in our Instinct Original product line review.

Chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, tapioca, and chicken fat are the first five ingredients.

Grain-free Style: All Life Stages

Adults and puppies of small breeds benefit the most from this product.

The majority of the animal protein in our Instinct Original recipe comes from fresh chicken and chicken meal. A dry matter label analysis reveals that the dish contains 39% protein, 22% fat, and 31% projected carbohydrates... This results in a fat-to-protein ratio of roughly 56%.

Instinct Original Little Breed contains a perfect combination of protein, fat, and calories to guarantee your small dog's nutritional needs are met. It comes highly recommended.

Adult Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles; Plus they contain wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
  • SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for small breed dogs, BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed dry dog food contains increased levels of protein and carbohydrates to meet the energy needs of smaller dogs with kibble size ideal for smaller jaws
  • ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs and a healthy oxidative balance
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dog foods are made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals; BLUE contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains one (1) 15 lb. Bag of BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice

Life Protection Small Breed Chicken and Brown Rice is one of 23 dry recipes and 5 small breed formulations in our Blue Buffalo Life Protection product line evaluation.

The first five ingredients are: Chicken deboned, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley

Grain-inclusive is a type of grain (rice, oatmeal, barley)

Maintenance: Design

Adults of small breeds are the best candidates.

Blue price: $$ Buffalo Life Insurance The majority of Small Breed's animal protein comes from fresh chicken and chicken meal. According to our dry matter label analysis, the recipe has 29% protein, 17% fat, and 46% projected carbohydrates... This yields a fat-to-protein ratio of around 58 percent.

A small breed formula with a well balanced blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins to support a healthy immune system.

Pure Canidae Small Breed Dog Food

Canidae PURE Petite Limited Ingredient Premium Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Lamb Recipe, Freeze Dried Raw Coated, 10 Pounds, Grain Free
  • Contains 1- 10 Lb. Bag of Canidae PURE Petite Lamb Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Real food ingredients for your little pup. Crafted with real lamb as the first ingredient, paired with whole ingredients like lentils and peas, then coated with freeze-dried raw lamb for amazing taste
  • Complete and balanced goodness for smaller dogs. This smaller kibble recipe is made using 8 or fewer key ingredients that are easily recognizable, perfect for sensitive dogs
  • Formulated with antioxidants and probiotics to support a healthy digestive and immune system, along with a nutritious blend of vitamins and minerals to support healthy joints, skin and coat
  • Canidae is creating a world of goodness for pets and the planet. Premium proteins and regeneratively farmed ingredients nourish pets and planet in every bowl, setting a new standard for pet food. Everything we do results in a bowl full of goodness

Canidae Pure Small Breed is one of 12 dry recipes reviewed in our Canidae Grain-Free Pure product line review.

Chicken, menhaden fish meal, peas, lentils, and potatoes are the first five ingredients.

Grain-free Style: Maintenance

Adults of small breeds are the best candidates.

The majority of the meat protein in this Canidae Pure recipe comes from fresh chicken and menhaden fish meal. According to our dry matter label analysis, the dish has 33% protein, 13% fat, and 45% projected carbohydrates... resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of around 40%

This Canidae Pure formula, which is free of grains, corn, soy, and wheat, provides a balanced, protein-rich food for small breed adult dogs. It comes highly recommended.

Wellness Complete Health Adult Small Breed Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food with Grains, Turkey & Oatmeal, 12-Pound Bag
  • This adult small breed dry dog food's ingredient is turkey; high quality protein with wholesome grains like oatmeal
  • Our crunchy kibble has no meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Designed to support the unique health needs of smaller dogs through nutrient-rich whole foods
  • Made in the USA using only the finest globally sourced ingredients
  • Spend a lifetime with Wellness natural dog food; we offer recipes for puppy, adult, and senior dogs as well as grain free dog treats, meal toppers, and wet food options too

This Small Breed formula is one of 14 dry recipes in our Wellness Complete Health product line evaluation.

Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, and ground brown rice are the first five ingredients.

Grain-inclusive is a type of grain (oatmeal, rice, barley, rye)

Maintenance: Design

Adults of small breeds are the best candidates.

Price: $$ Well-being Complete Wellness Small Breed gets the majority of its protein from fresh turkey, chicken, and salmon meals. A dry matter label analysis reveals that the dish contains 31% protein, 18% fat, and 43% projected carbohydrates... This results in a fat-to-protein ratio of roughly 57 percent.

A unique recipe combining high-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to provide your small breed adult with plenty of energy. One of our preferred national brands. It comes highly recommended.

Grain-Free Small Breed Wet Dog Food by Halo

Halo Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs, Chicken & Chicken Liver 4-Pound Bag
  • MADE WITH REAL WHOLE MEAT: never any of that rendered "meat meal," like "chicken meal" or "fish meal"
  • HIGHLY DIGESTIBLE WITH HEALTHY GRAINS: We use healthy, wholesome grains as a source of energy and fiber to support your pet's digestive health
  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT: formulated with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support a radiant skin and coat
  • CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLY SOURCED: Halo says "NO" to factory farming, sources our high-quality chicken from Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Certified cage-free farms; All Halo products are made in the USA
  • DESIGNED FOR SMALL BREEDS: ideal for dog breeds with smaller mouths, short digestive tracts, and higher metabolisms; formulated with Taurine and L-Carnitine to support your pet's heart health

Halo Small Breed Turkey and Duck is one of six wet recipes included in our Halo Grain Free product line evaluation.

Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, ground peas, and duck are the first five ingredients.

Grain-free Style: Maintenance

Adults of small breeds are the best candidates.

The majority of the meat protein in this Halo canned formula comes from fresh turkey and turkey liver. According to our dry matter label analysis, the dish has 50% protein, 23% fat, and 19% projected carbohydrates... As a result, the fat-to-protein ratio is roughly 45 percent.

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