Small Breed Dog Puppy Feeding Chart
6 Weeks Old At six weeks, your small breed puppy should still be with his mama, feeding freely while spending time with littermates. These dogs are too young to be removed from their litter.
Mothers milk will provide all the required nutrients and being around littermates will provide the socialization required to set your pup up for a healthy life adjusting to human care. At this stage, your small breed pup will be extra tiny, weighing only a couple of pounds.
10 Weeks Old At the tenth week, your small breed pup should be weaned from moms milk. This process should have been completed carefully and gently, incorporating the new food slowly to avoid shocking your little dogs system.
Wet food is a great transition food because it is soft and will be easier for your pup to get used to. Alternatively, warm water or broth can create a soft consistency when added to puppy food.
12 Weeks Old At this stage, your little buddy should be receiving three to four meals per day. These can be spread out evenly during his waking hours to keep him adequately fueled and satiated. Snacks can also be incorporated throughout the day, so long as daily caloric requirements are being met and not exceeded.
1 Year Old At this age, your dog has reached adulthood. Puppy formulas can be left behind. Feeding can be reduced to twice per day while maintaining the appropriate daily calorie intake. Check your specific breeds adult weight chart to be sure your pup is weighing enough.
Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe
The best dog food for small breeds is one that will give your pup all the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout their life, and this dog food product stands out with its high meat content, where 70% of the ingredients are declared meat products.
Merricks Texas beef and sweet potato dry dog food offers a tasty meal for your pup that is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The beef flavor is mouth-watering and sweet potatoes, peas, apples, and blueberries round out the nutrition and flavor of this recipe. Your pup will be getting all his required nutrients with every bite.
This grain-free recipe is specifically designed to cater to the nutritional needs and appetites of small breeds with smaller kibble. Plus, it includes probiotics and prebiotic fiber for optimal and healthy digestion.
How To Read A Pet Food Label
Just like human food brands, dog food brands use marketing to make their products more appealing. That means they’ve got nice-looking images and aesthetically pleasing color schemes on the packaging that are meant to signify the healthfulness and quality of the food. But in order to know the truth about the appropriateness of a dog food, it’s essential to learn what to look for on the nutrition label.
One place to get started is this handy reference from the WSAVA about interpreting food labels. The top things to look for are the AAFCO complete and balanced statement, the guaranteed analysis , and the calorie content.
Next, read the ingredients list. It’s tricky for the average dog owner to make a decision about a dog food based on the ingredients alone though. “Although many pet owners make their decision based largely on the ingredient panel, it is only one of many considerations,” Swanson says. “Without knowing the exact formula and percentage of each ingredient, it is not too useful. What is more important is that the dietary formula is complete and balanced.” So basically, as long as the food is complete and balanced, don’t stress about the individual ingredients too much.
If reading pet food labels proves to be more confusing than helpful, check in with your veterinarian. They can help you determine your dog’s specific needs, guide you toward the right food for your pet, and give you advice on how much to feed them.
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Merrick Lil Plates Grain
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Sweet Potatoes
This natural grain-free recipe fulfills small puppies nutritional requirements and appetites, with deboned chicken and various healthy veggies and fruits as primary ingredients. Keep your little guy active and sharp by supporting the growth of their brain, body, and bones with the most delicious meal packed with nutrients.
Tiki Dog Aloha Petites Puppy Mousse Chicken & Pumpkin
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Mung Bean, Chicken Liver, Pumpkin
Tiki Dog Aloha Petites Puppy Mousse Chicken & Pumpkin in Broth is a very soft and smooth pate/ mousse specially formulated for toy and small breed puppies.
It is a great way to transition your small breed puppy from milk to solid food. The highly palatable mousse is packed with flavor and protein from natural ingredients.
With chicken and chicken liver as the main protein sources, this limited-ingredient small breed puppy food will stimulate the appetites of young puppies. The highly digestible protein that chicken provides will help the pups grow stronger every day.
Chicken broth makes it a hydrating meal that is soft and full of savory chicken flavors. Mung bean, kale, and pumpkin are the only plant-based food ingredients in this wet puppy food. They are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that will help your puppy grow into a healthy adult dog.
To ensure that the young puppies get all the nutrients they require for healthy development, this Tiki Dog mousse is fortified with the appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals with every serving.
Based on dog food reviews from puppy owners, many of the very young puppies were successfully transitioned to solid food using this very tasty chicken mousse.
They just love its rich flavor and find it easy to chew and digest the soft mousse. This mousse is much softer than the typical pate type of wet food.
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Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Small Breed & Puppy
First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Turkey, Lamb Broth, Turkey Broth, Lamb Liver
Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato canned recipe is a protein-packed pate suitable for small breed dogs of all life stages.
It is soft and easy to chew for both tiny young pups and senior dogs. This grain-free recipe is a dual-protein dog food as it has lamb and turkey as its protein sources.
With lamb as the first ingredient, this wet dog food is packed with a lot of flavor and amino acids that will help puppies grow lean and strong muscles.
Turkey meat provides a lean source of protein that is easy to digest, while lamb liver gives this meal even more nutrients and a rich flavor and texture that dogs love.
Ground flaxseed not only provides fiber, but is also high in essential fatty acids that help puppies brain and vision development, immune function, and anti-inflammatory response.
This canned food has fiber and vitamin-rich sweet potatoes and carrots as its main carb and fiber sources. L-carnitine is added to help pups efficiently turn fats into energy.
Puppies and adult dogs love this rich lamb and turkey canned food. Meanwhile, the small breeds owners love that each can has perfectly-sized portions for small breed dogs, making it a convenient food on the go or at home.
Some owners of sensitive small breeds buy this wet food as it has done wonders for their little pups. Their dogs seem to be thriving on this grain-free adult dog food/ puppy food.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large
Image courtesy Purina
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large-Breed Formula Dry Dog Food is formulated to help your large-breed puppy develop and grow properly. It’s made with DHA and EPA, which are essential for brain and eye development, and it contains calcium for strong bones and teeth.
This food also has a high protein content to help your puppy build lean muscle mass, and it’s enriched with vitamins and minerals to support your pup’s overall health.
If you’re looking for the best puppy dog food that will help your large-breed puppy develop and grow properly, Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large-Breed Formula Dry Dog Food is a great option. It’s made with DHA and EPA for brain and eye development, and it contains calcium for strong bones and teeth.
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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Barley, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal
Support your small-breed pups optimal health and development and offer them only the best at the growth stage of their life. The meal has real chicken and other antioxidant-rich ingredients for improved growth and wellbeing.
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Turkey Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Salmon Meal, 5. Ground Barley
If youre conscious about your small breed puppys diet, offer them the most flavorful and highly nutritious food made with delicious oatmeal, salmon, and turkey. The small kibble keeps your little ones size in mind and is loaded with minerals, antioxidants, and essential vitamins to support healthy growth. This wellness formula is one of the best small breed puppy foods.
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Best For Seniors: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey And Chicken Grill Senior Canned Dog Food
Its no surprise that our top pick for senior small breed dogs also comes from Blue Buffalo. This canned wet food is also high in protein to help your aging dog stay active and maintain their high energy even as they accumulate more birthdays. It also supports joint health to make sure your dog stays mobile and active as they age.
The grilled turkey and chicken flavor will appeal to your dogs canine taste buds. Many reviewers said that their dogs leaped up to eat this food, even when other brands didnt appeal to them. This is a rich food and some people said that their dogs started by getting it as a treat or as a topper on their Blue Buffalo dry food. This will also make it easy to transition to wet food when they do get older and need something easier to eat and digest.
Senior dogs can begin to have dental issues or lose teeth. Canned wet food is a great way to make sure that they get nutrition while allowing them to stay comfortable as they eat. For very senior dogs who may not have many teeth, this food is easy to thin with water as well.
Best Overall Wet: Royal Canin Puppy Canned Dog Food
Suitable for all breed sizes
Doesnt come in smaller can sizes for little dogs
Can be difficult to find
Formulated for puppies, Royal Canin Puppy Canned Dog Food meets the nutritional level standards for growth set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO. It provides protein and fatty acids from a wide variety of sources, including chicken, pork, chicken liver, and salmon. It includes a full selection of vitamins and minerals, plus digestive-supporting beet pulp and fish oil.
Royal Canin manufactures its food in plants with transparent safety standards with ISO 22000 Food Safety certifications. Its puppy formula also uses minimal preservatives, incorporating only tocopherols , citric acid, and rosemary extract.
The pâté-style dog food is recommended for small breed puppies in their first 10 months of life or large breed puppies in their first 15. While nutritionally complete, Royal Canin’s canned dog food for puppies can also tag team with dry food and be used as a food topper.
Available Flavors: Chicken, pork, salmon combination | Nutritional Specs: 7.5% protein, 4% fat, 76% moisture
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Hill’s Science Adult Small Paws Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe
Hills Science Diet Small Paws made it to our list as one of the best dog food for small dogs. Made specifically for small and toy breed pups, the recipe makes use of savory lamb meal to give your little fur friend precise servings of protein to support muscle maintenance and development.
The lamb meal and rice formula features brown rice as the main carbohydrate source, but it also has sorghum, wheat, barley, and corn gluten meal. There are no legumes in it, but neither are there any fruits and vegetables.
The recipe keeps it simple by sticking mostly to protein, carb, and fat. Its designed to be as easy-to-digest as possible for your buddy.
There is a reliance on flaxseed, which brings in omega fatty acids to improve the look of your pets coat, and dried beet pulp, which is an excellent insoluble fiber source for a healthy digestion. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
How To Set Healthy Food Habits For Your Pup
When it comes to food shopping for your puppy, opt for a high-quality commercial kibble thats specifically designed for its growing needs. Most brands list puppy breeds and size details on the packaging, making it easier to narrow down your options. But before you add your pups food to your cart, scan the back of the bag, box or can for an AAFCO seal of approval, which means it has been thoroughly researched and tested for nutritional adequacy. Large, commercial-grade companies employ full-time veterinarians, full-time Ph.D.s, and its their job to make sure their diet meets all your pets needs, says Dr. Fox.
If youre planning on introducing your puppy to table food, Dr. Fox warns its a complete no-no! I wouldnt recommend that as a normal diet, she says. Its not a complete and balanced diet, and its not something that should be used to feed your dog throughout its life because your dog will definitely be deprived of nutrients and vitamins it needs. Table food can also cause gastro-intestinal upsets and pancreatic issues that can inadvertently lead to toxicity over the course of your puppys life, so youre better off sticking with wet and dry food options from large pet food brands.
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Best For Large Breed Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Chicken And Rice Large Breed Dry Puppy Food
Contains the correct nutrients to protect large breed puppy development
Available in three bag sizes to accommodate your growing pups size
Can be difficult to find some flavors
Large breeds, generally considered an adult weight of 50 pounds or more, can be more susceptible to excess calcium in their diets. This food is formulated especially for the big guys and gals, and its frequently vet and breeder recommended.
Available Flavors: Chicken, beef | Nutritional Specs: 28% protein, 13% fat, 12% moisture
Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Premium Puppy Wet
- Real chicken as the first ingredient, paired with whole ingredients like peas and dried whole egg.
- Made using 4 or fewer key ingredients that are easily recognizable, perfect for sensitive dogs.
- Formulated with antioxidants, probiotics, and a nutritious blend of vitamins and minerals.
- Premium proteins and regeneratively farmed ingredients.
This wet food is made only with 4 key ingredients: Chicken, Chicken broth, dried eggs and peas. This is great for those with sensitive stomachs, and it is grain free too. There are also plenty of omega fatty acids such as Salmon oil, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. This has the highest fiber content and calorie count per can, which provides him with plenty of puppy growing power.
We love that this grain free formula is made with simple ingredients, so you can feed your pup guilt-free.
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Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Egg Product, 5. Pea Protein
This blend from the Taste of the Wild uses real buffalo and other protein-rich ingredients. This natural grain-free dry food for your small-breed puppy not only offers lean nutrition for strong muscle growth but has an abundance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, among other essential nutrients to promote overall development and wellbeing.
Just Dont Overfeed Small Dogs
Just because your Pug burns calories faster than a Great Dane doesnt mean hes not at risk of gaining weight. Besides, his metabolism will slow down as he gets older. So keep an eye on everything you feed your pupfrom kibble to treats to table scraps. If you are worried that your pup is overweight, you should talk with your veterinarian about switching to size-specific canned food, like Nutro grain-free roasted turkey, potato and pea stew cuts in gravy dog food, which has fewer calories per volume, says Dr. Martinez, who wrote The Dog Diet Answer Book. Another option for overweight pups, Dr. Martinez suggests is adding green beans to foodaim for about a ratio of 20% green beans to 80% kibbleto dilute the calorie count but still maintain the right amount of dog nutrition.
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Hills Science Diet Small Paws Puppy
Small Paws is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Hills Science Diet Puppy product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, chicken fat, whole grain corn
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Life stage: Growth
- Best for:Small breed puppies
This Hills Science Diet Puppy formula gets the major share of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 20% fat and 42% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
A longstanding company with multiple puppy recipes to choose from. Great selection.
Sample buyer reviewI have used Science Diet forever and would not change from it! My dogs and cats all do very well and I am a loyal customer!