The nutritional needs of small breed puppies can be significantly different from medium or large breed pups. Best dog food for small breed puppies. Typically, small breed pups require a whole lot more calories. Their small size does not matter because of their higher metabolic rate, which requires them to consume more calories for optimal growth.
Their caloric requirement is higher does not mean you can feed them anything. Feed them the best, high-quality food to support their growth and overall well-being.
Additionally, small breed puppies also require a whole range of nutrients. And since they’re omnivores, dogs can digest many kinds of meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Puppies have a lot of growing to do and may lead a more active lifestyle than most adult dogs, so their diet should have enough protein and carbohydrates. Foods such as wheat, soy, corn should not be first on the list of ingredients. Also, such ingredients may lead to gastrointestinal problems in sensitive individuals. All dogs need a balanced diet and this is especially true in a developing dog. A young animal develops quickly and requires a lot of protein and fat, vitamins, and minerals for proper growth.
The best dog food for the immune system is not yet well developed, so puppies are prone to infections, and the digestive system can be sensitive to changes in diet and unbalanced recipes at this young age. Tailor making a diet at home to meet all the needs of the growing body can be a real challenge. This should only be done under the guidance of a qualified canine nutritionist.
For feeding a puppy, it is better to choose premium dry, wet, or holistic food made from natural, high-quality ingredients. These foods may be more expensive than the others, but they are of very high quality.
For the daily nutrition of healthy puppies, premium and super-premium diets are also suitable. Their compositions are balanced and do not require adjustments.
Economy-class food is not recommended for the long-term nutrition of a growing body that requires an increased number of vitamins and minerals.
You must choose the best dog food which one according to the breed and size of the dog. Small breeds have an increased metabolism, and they need to consume food with high nutritional content, which is well-absorbed by the gut.
The best puppy food for toy breeds must be the size of small pellets to avoid issues with chewing and swallowing.
When introducing a new brand of food to your puppy, you should monitor them closely. Watch out for signs such as runny stool or vomiting. If the puppy eats well, is active, and does not develop an upset stomach, it means that the food is suitable. If transitioning from another puppy food, do so gradually over 7 days or so.
Best Dog Food for Small Breed Puppies
1. The Farmer’s Dog – Fresh Dog Food
- Made with human-grade ingredients.
- Developed by a Veterinarian.
- Can be personalized to meet your dog’s needs.
2. Royal Canin — Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
- The food is suitable for puppies up to 10 months from 9 to 22 pounds (9.98 kg).
- Proteins are quickly absorbed by the dog’s body and contain many nutrients.
- Increased energy content to satisfy even the most energetic pets.
Royal Canin is a brand that should be paid attention to if you are looking for the best one for small breed puppies.
The main difference with this kind of food, Richardson says, is that it’s made in smaller chunks. Because little dogs have smaller mouths and teeth, you want to give them something easy for them to bite and chew. But that’s not the only reason to get food made specifically for small-breed puppies. According to Dr. Shelly Zacharias, veterinarian and vice-president of medical affairs for Gallant, small-breed puppy food also has nutrient differences that are important for small dogs.
3. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy
Suitable for daily feeding a small breed puppy.
Salmon meal, which is found in the feed, is a natural source of DHA that stimulates brain development.
The small kibble works well for small jaws and mouths.
Wellness is designed to meet the needs of small breed puppies. This product is suitable for puppies from the earliest ages, to meet the unique needs of small dogs, preserving their health thanks to nutrient-rich whole food.
The small size of the feed pellet helps the pet to chew food comfortably. The feed ingredients are entirely natural. It does not contain artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, or meat by-products.
Puppies of small breeds have a longer lifespan than large breeds, and they need a sufficient level of antioxidants that this puppy food provides.
Dog food brand to avoid
If the dog food ingredients list is labeled meat by-products and includes corn, grains, or flavors, additives, and artificial ingredients, that is a red flag for the dog food brands to avoid entirely. The ingredients mentioned above are cheap to grow, maintain, and harvest which makes the dog food cheap compared to other reputable brands on the pet food market.
Unfortunately, most pet owners fail to understand the adverse effects such unhealthy dry dog foods have on their pooches. While the results may not be immediate, they will manifest when your canine buddy starts to get sick suddenly leading to diseases like cancer, obesity, and more.
4 Main Ingredients in Dog Food Brands to Avoid
Here are the major ingredients that you will find in low-priced, substandard dog foods that make the brand worth avoiding:
4-D meats & meat by-products
While a few dog food brands will use human-grade ingredients and others premium ones, others will use meat by-products from unidentified sources just because it’s not human food. Meat by-products include slaughterhouse waste like organs and bones after human edibles are packed.
Some people will argue that these left-overs are a good protein source, but it does not match the nutrients of real meat. 4-D meats, on the other hand, are even worse as it refers to meats from “dead, dying, diseased, or disabled” animals. It sounds disgusting, right? I know!
2 Artificial ingredients
Artificial ingredients are used in cheap dog food brand recipes to prolong the shelf-life of the products or add flavor. These chemicals are just fillers with no nutritional value to your dog’s diet and life.
There are natural and healthy preservation alternatives but these brands avoid them to cut on the production cost and increase returns. So, avoid these brands as they avoid premium ingredients.
If you did not know, dogs do not have molars in their dental formulas to aid in grinding grains such as rice and wheat. And just like artificial ingredients, such grains (and more) are added to cut the cost of production.
Even worse, almost all of them are GMOs which means that the chemicals used in cultivation can feature in your dog’s diet. Do I need to state the obvious? Your dog will develop health issues as he ages.
Just like grains & synthetic ingredients, corn is thrown into the mix to cut the production costs. They too are cultivated in the same way as grains and used as a protein alternative to natural meat. Do you see any nutritional value in a corn-filled diet? No!
Corn should not be fed regularly to our canine friends and while there are no immediate effects, your pooch’s health will worsen as time goes by.
The best dog food for small dogs
The best small breed dog foods come from brands who truly want the best for your dogs, just like you do. These foods are designed to ensure your dog gets enough meat protein, as well as essential ingredients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and chondroitin sulfate which help to fulfill your dog’s nutritional needs and address any potential health concerns. When looking for the best small breed dog foods, you also want to ensure the recipe contains no fillers, products high in unhealthy fat, or unnecessary carbs.
1. Iams Small to Medium Adult Dry Dog Food
This is our top pick for dry dog food because of its high meat content. The crunchy kibbles consist of 30% dried chicken and turkey, making them a good source of protein. They also include Omega 3 and 6 to keep the shine in your dog’s coat.
We were also impressed by Purina Beyond Simply 9 dry dog food because of its high chicken content (20%) and its mixture of vegetables. For its value for money, we also rated Wagg Original Beef And Vegetable dry dog food which costs just £9 for 12kg. While this food is only 4% beef, Wagg is a member of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), which guarantees the food’s nutritional value.
2. Barking Heads Beef Waggington Wet Dog Food
Suitable for all dog types, this wet food consists of 85% fresh beef, so it is high in protein. There is also a mixture of chickpeas, parsnips, spinach, apples, oranges, and a variety of minerals to give your dog a balanced diet.
For a bigger variety of meats, we recommend the Chappie Loaf Wet Adult 1+ dog food. This combines 4% chicken with 14% white fish, so your pet can benefit from the high protein as well as the Omega 3 and 6. Applaws also won us over with both its adorable brand name and the variety of the Meaty Tins, which include 28% chicken breast and 17% salmon, as well as vegetables.
3. Lily’s Kitchen Chicken & Duck grain-free
This complete dry food from Lily’s Kitchen is our favorite grain-free dog dish. It has a high meat content, including 31% chicken and 8% duck, plus a healthy portion of sweet potatoes (30%) which are a good source of carbohydrates. Lily’s Kitchen is verified by the PFMA and also received a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales.
Harringtons Grain Free Chicken & Potato is another viable option, given its high meat content (60% chicken and 26% dried potato). We were also impressed by the 90% meat content in the Forthglade 100% Natural wet dog food, although this is a complimentary meal, so will need to be supplemented.
Just like larger dogs, small dogs have special nutritional needs. They burn more calories per pound than larger dogs, for instance, and of course, have smaller mouths which may make smaller kibble more comfortable for them to eat.
Wellness Pet Food makes food for both cats and dogs, and like many of the brands on this list, the company prioritizes using natural ingredients and doesn’t include filters on the ingredient list. They offer many options both wet and dry for small and toy breed dogs.