Best For Adults: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
We are big fans of Blue Buffalo for its commitment to natural ingredients that provide outstanding nutrition at a great price. They have wet and dry food options that will work for almost every dog but the small breed variety is specially formulated for the nutritional and dental needs of your small dog.
The protein and carbohydrate content of the Small Breed dog food is higher than most to meet the high energy needs of these dogs. It also has Lifesource bits that help your dogs immune system. The small-sized kibble helps removed tartar buildup on your small dogs teeth as well.
Blue Buffalo can be found at pet supply stores, online, or even in the pet aisle at your grocery store. It is one of the best options that can also be found easily and at a budget-friendly price. Your dog will spend the majority of its life eating adult dog food, which means that finding one that is easy to get and affordable is very important.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Chicken Meal Barley & Brown Rice
First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Whole Grain Corn
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice is a grain-inclusive recipe formulated for small breed puppies.
The kibble size is specially designed to be easily picked up by puppies small mouths. It is designed to be much smaller than the average kibble to enable the young little pups to chew them easily.
As a general rule, most puppies would do very well on a high protein diet. However, some puppies’ little tummies are quite sensitive and have trouble digesting dog foods that are very meat-rich. Small Paws has a moderate amount of protein at 24.5%, which makes it ideal for puppies who need a lower protein intake.
Its main protein source is chicken meal. Chicken meal is chicken meat that has been rendered to remove most of its moisture content.
The process creates a concentrated protein source. Corn gluten meal is also included as an additional source of protein. This recipe contains no chicken by-product meal.
The carb and fiber sources in this Hills Science Diet puppy food are whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, and whole grain corn. It also has cracked pearled barley and brown rice.
Chicken fat and fish oil are the main sources of essential fats in this recipe. While chicken liver flavor and pork flavor are added to further enhance the foods palatability.
How Much Should You Feed Small Breed Dogs
When your small breed dog is a puppy, you should feed it four small meals per day for the first three months then reduce to three meals per day.
Keep in mind that small breed puppies burn through energy very quickly when they are growing, so you may need to adjust your feeding schedule if your puppy isnt growing at the proper rate.
In terms of how much to feed it, refer to the feeding recommendations on the package because every recipe is different in terms of calories.
Check the package every two weeks or so and make adjustments according to your puppys age and weight. You can also check with your veterinarian to make sure your puppy is growing properly.
What Makes The Best Dog Food
There are plenty of special formulas when it comes to dog food. You can look for a grain-free diet, food designed for a sensitive stomach, dry dog food sized for smaller breeds, food that contains glucosamine for joint pain, and the list goes on.
Before we talk about the general guidelines for dog food, keep in mind that certain medical conditions may require a specialized diet. If you have concerns about your new puppys particular breed nutrition requirements or any illnesses they may have, consult your vet about their recommended foods.
Above all, great dog food starts with quality ingredients and a veterinary nutritionist stamp of approval. Such experts generally recommend that pet owners look for dog foods with the following characteristics:
- Labeled with a nutritional adequacy statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials
- Protein as a first ingredient
- Quality protein source
- For puppies, food labeled for all life stages or specifically for puppies
Taste Of The Wild Puppy Best All
If the #1 pick was too expensive, and #2 didnt fit the bill either, then youll love this puppy food Taste of the Wild.
Its my best all round choice, coming in at $0.85/100g in the 12.2kg bag which is really good, and as a brand sold worldwide you should have comfort in established consumer confidence.
Taste of the Wild doesnt have the same meat content as ACANA Puppy, but it still has a good mix of ingredients.
In the High Prairie Puppy formula youll find water buffalo as a novel meat source, as well as lamb, venison, and ocean fish meal.
Truth be told it doesnt quite seem to have the meat content as ACANA Puppy, but when you consider the price difference its hard not to see Taste of the Wild Puppy as the better option!
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How Much Food Is Sufficient For My Small Breed Puppy
Small breed puppies require more calories per pound as compared to larger breed dogs. At the same time, they also need smaller kibble to make consumption easier. Therefore, it is important to feed your small breed pup a diet specially formulated for them. And even though their calorie per pound requirement is higher, overfeeding is not an option.
Dog Food For Small Breed Puppies: To Grain Or Not To Grain
In addition to choosing wet versus dry food, you may also find yourself wondering about grain-free diets. Some owners prefer grain-free as it is believed to be closer to the traditionally carnivorous Canis genus diet and can be easier on a dogs digestive system, especially if your dog has grain allergies or sensitivities.
However, grain-free diets have been potentially linked to heart issues in canines by the FDA, so its best to check with your veterinarian before switching or starting your dog on one. Single, whole-grain dog food is another potential option, and its exactly what it sounds like: dog food made with a single whole grain .
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American Journey Active Life Puppy Formula
Formulated for growing puppies with increased levels of protein and fat, this recipe is also rich in DHA and ARA to support brain and eye development.
This recipe features deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as digestible sources of animal-based protein with wholesome grains and fresh fruits and veggies for essential nutrients.
Is It Ok To Give A Puppy Regular Dog Food
The short answer is, no. There are specific benefits that can be acquired through specialized products:
- Puppy formulas are designed to provide nutrients that are critical for healthy development. Adult kibble often lacks nutrients younger canines use to grow normally.
- Small dog formulas are beneficial to breeds that weigh less than 20-pounds when theyre adults. These products cater to smaller canines that will mature more quickly than their larger counterparts. Little dogs can grow to maturity in nine months, while large breeds can take more than twice as long.
Look for products combining both.
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Start With Small Breed Puppy Food For Growth
On average, small breed dogs grow and develop over a 9-12 month time frame. So relatively speaking, they are done growing in a short timeframe. While they are growing, they may require up to twice the energy of adult dogs! Their high metabolism rate and digestion needs require the right mix of nutrients. Bil-Jac understands these requirements and has carefully formulated Bil-Jac Small Breed Puppy Food with fresh, never frozen chicken as the number one ingredient to provide the nutrition small breed puppies need. In fact, Bil-Jac uses 5 lbs. of real chicken to make a 6 lb. bag.
Small dogs tend to have a small stomach, though they typically need to eat large amounts of food in relation to their tummy size and body weight. In order to help your small dog get all the nutrients they need, its helpful to divide your puppys meals up over the course of the day. Small, energy-dense meals two to three times per day are recommended for puppies until they reach adulthood. Small breed puppies grow as much during their first year as human beings do in our first 17 years of life, so its important to keep up with the right diet as your little furball grows.
Finding The Best Commercial Small Breed Dog Food
Commercial foods designed for smaller breeds take into account the specific calorie and protein needs of these mighty mites. These formulas are supplemented with the proper minerals and nutrients so that they provide a convenient and affordable alternative to trying to formulate a homemade diet on your own.
No matter the brand or type of food you decide to feed your little one, read the label to make sure it delivers the specific nutrition and value they require.
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The Best Dog Foods For Small Dogs
Weve taken the liberty of doing the research to bring you this comprehensive list of the 17 best dog foods for smaller dogs. These options are of a higher quality than your typical grocery store brand, are widely available, and can provide your small breed pup with all of the nutrition it needs to grow and prosper.
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Recipe
This Wellness dog food for small breed canines delivers superior nutrition for senior dogs through carefully chosen ingredients that balance excellent proteins with wholesome grains.
Senior dogs have special dietary needs that need careful consideration by pet owners. Now is one of the most important phases in your dogs life, and your choice of feed can make a difference in your pets overall wellness and quality of life at this stage.
Wellness keeps your older canine in tip top shape by supporting his immune system, giving him sufficient energy, and strengthening and supporting his joints for mobility.
The dog food contains antioxidants, glucosamine, taurine, and probiotics but does not have any meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives.
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Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food Best Overall
Diamond Naturals may not be as well-known as some other brands, but their Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is perfect for small breed puppies. It includes probiotics in every bite to establish a healthy gut biome from the beginning. It is made with real cage-free chicken as the first ingredient and a variety of veggies and fruits. These veggies arent just fillers, either. Instead, highly nutritious veggies like kale, pumpkin, blueberries, and oranges are included to increase the foods nutritional value.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are included throughout the formula to support a healthy coat and skin, which is especially important for smaller puppies with sensitive skin. It is made with no corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. This formula is made in the USA using scientifically advanced food safety protocols, leading to fewer dangerous recalls.
This formula even includes things like natural DHA to support brain and vision health. Plus, its pretty inexpensive to boot! It was easy to pick this formula as the best puppy food for small breeds.
Despite a few low-quality ingredients, this is easily the best small breed puppy food for the money.
This food is made in the USA, but the ingredients are sourced from around the globe.
This food also doesnt include any added DHA or other nutrients commonly included in puppy dog food. This is a significant reason why it was rated so low in our reviews.
Other Vitamins And Minerals
Puppies are constantly growing, and its essential to give them the vitamins and minerals they need to support that growth. Most puppy foods have a complete nutritional package and do not require supplements. However, its vital to talk to your vet about your pups food to ensure she gets everything she needs.
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Merrick Classic Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food 4
Meat, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables. What more could you want from a recipe for small breed dogs? Small portions pack all the goodness that you may require for your little canine friend in this high-protein recipe.
What makes this recipe unique is that it gives a high value of nutrients and proteins without rating too high on the glycemic index. So you can cater to your little pups nutrient needs without having to worry about increased levels of carbs or fats.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids support healthy skin and coat while small kibbles make it easy on the tongue and tummy.
Different Styles Of Puppy Food
There are many styles of puppy food, from commercial dry foods to all out raw feeding. In this section well look at the different styles, with pros and cons.
Lets start with some handy bullet points:
- If feeding a dry or wet food, only feed a Puppy Formula or All Life Stages formula. If neither of these are on the packaging then the food will not contain the nutrition required for the puppy phase.
- Avoid cheap dry puppy food brands. The puppy phase is critical for the long term health of your dog. If you feed them a cheap food now it will likely cost you tenfold in years to come.
- Avoid anything with Wheat, Cereals, or Cereal By-Products. If a food is formulated with these ingredients then theyre not very healthy for your pup.
- Feed a variety! This is often overlooked as many continue to feed whatever the breeder suggested, or worse whatever the shelter fed the puppy. Feeding the same product continuously is never a good idea, although this is what most people believe is correct.
- Do not feed your puppy any of the foods listed further down on this page.
Also Check: How To Safely Change Dog Food
Small Breed Puppy Nutrient Needs
Small breed puppies are different from medium-sized and larger breed dogs. They have a much higher metabolism and metabolic rate which means they can burn through their meals rather quickly. If your small breed pup doesnt eat enough or frequently enough, they can start to suffer from a low blood sugar problem, which can cause weakness, lethargy, and even death if not treated properly.
Because of their unique nutritional needs, your small breed puppy should be fed multiple times per day, and should have a very calorie-dense food selection. Small breed puppies weigh far less than larger breed pups, so their nutrient density in their food needs to match. The eight-pound dog that needs 350 calories per day to survive, will need more calories per pound of body weight than a mastiff will need. This also means theres some ingredients youll want to consider when putting your small breed pup on their first dry kibble.
Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy
Core Small Breed Puppy is one of 12 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Core product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-free
- Best for:Small breed puppies
- Price: $$$
This Wellness formula gets the greatest share of its animal protein from fresh turkey and poultry meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 42% protein, 20% fat and 30% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
An exceptional grain-free small breed puppy formula.
Sample buyer reviewMy foster loves this. He was really underweight, and this has helped him plump up. He also needs small bites or he chokes. Its has a perfect kibble size!
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Is The Best Small Breed Puppy Dog Food Right For Your Needs
The question that you have to ask yourself before buying any of the best small breed puppy dog food is whether or not they will suit your needs. Besides, you must clearly define what your needs and purposes are. From there, you can choose the best product and serve it according to your requirements.
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain
When it comes to high-quality ingredients, its hard to do better than organic. This Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe Dry Food is a high-quality, nutritious recipe formulated uniquely for small breeds. It features organic, free-range chicken as the primary ingredient with grain-free carbohydrates like organic peas and organic sweet potatoes. This recipe is highly digestible and contains plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients. Organic flaxseed provides supplemental fiber for healthy digestion as well as omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Overall, this recipe contains 26% protein and 15% fat, an ideal ratio to support your small-breed dogs fast metabolism. It is also complete and nutritionally balanced for total health and wellness.
- Pros: Formulated for small breeds, organic ingredients, free-range chicken first ingredient, highly digestible, grain-free carbohydrates, supplemental fiber for healthy digestion, chelated minerals
- Cons: Expensive compared to typical kibble, contains some plant protein
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