Top 7 Best Dog Foods for Small Dogs

The nutritional needs of small dog breeds are unique compared to large dog breeds. Small dogs have metabolism and they require more calories per pound than larger dogs.

Small kibble sizes to match the small jaws and small teeth of these diminutive breeds is also good for their digestive health, which is why you need to feed your little pooch with the best dog food for small dogs.

When it comes to finding the best dog food for small breeds, there are many options out there. There are many things you need to consider when making a choice.

In this guide, we will review some of the best dog food for small dogs; foods that are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of small breed dogs.

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dry Dog Food. This food contains healthy and premium ingredients that support healthy muscle development, immune system, skin, and coat. It contains great protein sources, and it is a great choice for small dogs with sensitivities and allergies.

The Best Dog Food for Small Breeds Are:

ProductDetails
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
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2. Merrick Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout Canned Dog Food

  • Wet Food
  • All life stages
  • Grain-free
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3. Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, wheat, or soy
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4. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free
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5. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Dry

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Minerals, vitamins, omega-rich
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6. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • Extra small & toy breeds, small breeds
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
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7. CANIDAE Grain-Free Pure Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For sensitive stomachs
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1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed — Best Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds

The first dry dog for small breeds on our list is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. If you are looking for the best dog food for your small dog, then this is one of the best options you have.

The first five ingredients of this formula are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. The primary source of protein is deboned chicken, which provides your small dog with all the protein it needs.

This high-protein formula also contains whole grain, which contributes to the easy digestibility of the food. It also comes with a perfect blend of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber, which your little friend may need to keep up with its daily activities. To maintain healthy bones and joints, this food contains chondroitin and glucosamine.

It also contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to provide your pet with healthy skin and a shiny coat. To crown it all, it all comes in small-sized kibbles, making it easy for your small breed dog to pick, chew, and digest. This formula is completely free from soy, corn, and wheat, making it an excellent choice for small dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies.

This food also supports a healthy immune system, thanks to the blend of chelated minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The protein content of this food is 26 percent while the fat content is 15 percent. It has a maximum fiber content of 4 percent and a calorie content of 397 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Pros

  • Supports healthy muscle development
  • It contains high-quality protein sources
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Supports immune system health
  • Ideal for small breeds with sensitive stomachs

Cons

  • It may upset the tummy of some dogs

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2. Merrick Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout Canned Dog Food, 12.7-Oz, Case of 12 – Best Wet Dog Food for Small Breeds

If you are looking for the best wet dog food for small dogs, then this wet dog food from Merrick is one of the best options you should consider. The first five ingredients of this food are deboned beef, beef broth, chicken broth, beef liver, and peas. The deboned beef is a super-rich source of protein and amino acids, which contribute to the overall health of small breeds.

This food also contains plenty of fruits and veggies, which provides all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your small breed dog needs from a balanced diet. All the fruits, veggies, and meats are mixed in beef broth to provide all the moisture your pet needs.

It is completely free from grains, with no traces of corn, soy, or wheat in it. This wet dog food is also free from gluten and other artificial ingredients, which can trigger some allergic reactions in your dog.

It is not artificially colored, preserved, or flavored, making it ideal for sensitive dogs. The protein content of this food is 9 percent while the fat content is 3 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 1.4 percent with a calorie content of 304 kcal/cup.

Specs

  • Wet Food
  • All life stages
  • Grain-free

Pros

  • Grain-free formula
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Stomach-friendly
  • Tasty

Cons

  • The protein content is low

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3. Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This is one of the best dog food for small dogs. This dry dog food is formulated to provide your small breed dog with a nutritionally balanced and complete diet. The first five ingredients of this food are deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, and peas.

If you are looking for the perfect dog food for everyday feeding, you should consider this option. This is a 100 percent grain-free formula that is based on chicken and turkey to provide your small dog with a well-balanced diet.

This food is rich in protein, and it provides small dog breeds with the protein they need. It also contains probiotics to support easy digestion. This food also supports healthy bones and joints, as it contains chondroitin and glucosamine. The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in this food will also leave your pet with healthy skin and a shiny coat.

To provide your pet with a healthy life, this food features an optimal blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. All these ingredients make this food well-balanced and complete for your small dog. This food is also free from fillers. It is not artificially colored, flavored, or preserved, which is why it is a great option for small dogs with allergies and sensitivities.

This food contains an impressive 36 percent protein and 16 percent fat. The maximum crude fiber content is 5 percent while the calorie content is 396 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, wheat, or soy

Pros

  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • No additives
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitivities and allergies
  • High-quality, premium ingredients

Cons

  • It is expensive

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4. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular dog food brands, and the firm has been doing a great job in maintaining its reputation. If your small dog is having digestive issues, and you feel it might be as a result of food sensitivity, then this small breed formula from Taste of the Wild might be the solution. This food is formulated for small breed dogs, and it also caters to dogs with sensitivities and allergies.

The formula is 100 percent grain-free, and there are no traces of soy, wheat, or corn in it. It is also free from artificial ingredients such as preservatives, colors, and flavors.

This food does not contain any by-product meals. It is very easy to digest, as it contains probiotics. The first five ingredients of this food are venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils.

The primary protein source, which is venison, will provide your furry friend with all the amino acids and protein it needs to remain healthy. This food also contains other protein sources such as lamb, duck, and fish.

This grain-free formula also contains loads of veggies and fruits, which are great sources of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system.

The skin and coat of your dog will remain healthy and shiny, thanks to the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in this food. All the ingredients used to make this food are from top-quality sources.

This highly digestible, nutrient-rich recipe is made with proprietary K9 strain probiotics for the digestive health of your small breed. It contains 32 percent protein, 18 percent fat, 4 percent fiber, and 370 kcal/cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free

Pros

  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies
  • Great protein sources
  • It contains plenty of fruits and veggies
  • Rich in omega fatty acids

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey

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5. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

The Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is another great dog food for small breeds. This food is formulated for small breed dogs and it contains all the nutrients they need. It contains real, wholesome ingredients, which are necessary for your small dog’s health.

This small breed formula includes chicken, chicken meal, split peas, brewer rice, and whole brown rice as the first five ingredients, making it full of flavor and aroma.

This recipe offers a great balance of protein, carbs, and fats, as it contains protein-rich, farm-raised chicken, fruits and vegetables such as peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries, and healthy whole grains such as barley and brown rice. It also contains flaxseed to provide your pet with enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

The added vitamins and minerals in this food ensure your dog has a complete and balanced nutritional profile. In addition, all the ingredients used to make this food are non-GMO.

The calorie content per cup of this food is 343 kilocalories. It contains a minimum protein content of 24 percent, minimum fat content of 15 percent, and a maximum fiber content of 5 percent.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Minerals, vitamins, omega-rich

Pros

  • It contains non-GMO ingredients
  • Enriched with minerals, vitamins, and omega fatty acids
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat

Cons

  • The protein content is a bit low

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6. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

Small dog breeds have unique nutritional needs, especially during their infant stage. This small breed formula from Wellness offers small dog breeds the complete and balanced nutrition that they need.

It offers a perfect balance of vitamins, protein, and minerals to help your dog live a healthy and happy life. This food is made with the finest natural ingredients to provide your puppy with a delicious and healthy diet.

This food also helps in the development of your pup’s bone and teeth strength, healthy muscles, healthy brain structure, liveliness, optimal energy, and overall health.

It contains plenty of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and sweet potatoes. The number one ingredient of this food is chicken. The food also contains chicken meal, with almost 300 percent more protein than fresh chicken.

It also contains barley, ground brown rice, and peas, which are all great sources of carbs. Barley is also very rich in fiber and other vital nutrients.

In addition to being a great carb source, peas also contain about 25 percent protein. It also contains antioxidant-rich veggies & fruits and minerals & vitamins to support healthy growth. This food is also very rich in calories, as it contains an impressive 480 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • Extra small & toy breeds, small breeds
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Pros

  • Easy to digest
  • Grain-free formula
  • Premium and natural ingredients
  • No additive and by-products
  • Ideal for sensitive stomachs

Cons

  • It comes in a 4-pound bag, which is pretty small

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7. CANIDAE Grain-Free Pure Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This is another great choice for dogs with sensitivities. This small breed dry dog food from CANIDAE is 100 percent grain-free. The first five ingredients of this food are chicken, menhaden fish meal, peas, lentils, and potatoes, with chicken as the primary source of protein. This formula also contains whole foods to help with digestion.

It is made with plenty of veggies and fruits, which are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also contains probiotics to ensure gentle absorption.

There is also no trace of soy, corn, or wheat in this food. This food has only nine main ingredients, making it a safe option for dogs with allergies and sensitivity. It contains 30 percent protein, 12 percent fat, 4 percent fiber, and 520 kcal/cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For sensitive stomachs

Pros

  • Healthy digestion
  • Limited ingredients
  • Protein-rich
  • Calorie-dense

Cons

  • A higher fat count would have been better

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Small Breed

Protein

As we mentioned earlier, small breed dogs have unique nutritional needs, and they need more protein to build and maintain their muscles. As such, you need to make sure that their food contains only high-quality protein sources.

You should also make sure that the food contains a minimum of 20 percent protein for kibble and a minimum of 5 percent for wet food.

The protein sources you should look out for include lamb, beef, chicken, fish, venison, turkey, and duck. You should stay away from unidentifiable meat sources and meat by-products.

Fat

You should also make sure that the food contains healthy fat sources, as small breed dogs also need enough energy for healthy growth. As such, you should ensure the food contains a minimum of 15 percent for dry food and 3 percent fat for wet food.

In addition, opt for dog food with adequate levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, as they help with healthy skin and coat.

Kibble Sizes

Small dog breeds have small mouths and jaws, and they find it difficult to chew larger kibbles. As such, you need to make sure that you opt for small dog food with smaller kibbles. With this, your small dog will be able to pick and chew the food with ease.

Vitamins and Minerals

Your dog needs plenty of minerals and vitamins to remain healthy and strong. As such, your dog’s diet should contain lots of vitamins and nutrients.

You should also make sure that the nutrients come from natural sources such as vegetables and fruits. Additives such as chondroitin and glucosamine will also help your dog with healthy bones and joints.

Conclusion

One of the best ways to make sure your small breed dog such as pugs lives a healthy and happy lifestyle is to provide it with the best dog food for small dogs.

Our top recommendation is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dry Dog Food because it comes with high-quality, premium ingredients, and it contains plenty of fruits and veggies to provide your pet with all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs.

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