Dog food manufacturers have flooded us with options when it comes to feeding our pooches, and now that the world has started to pay attention to the ingredients used to make it, the competition is fierce.
As small dog owners, we would like to share a few of our favorite foods with you since we scrutinize (and research) what goes into each one.
You won’t see any of the cheap brands found on grocery store shelves in this list of the best dry dog food for small dogs, so rest assured that these truly are the good ones.
Top 10 Dry Dog Foods for Small Dogs Table
|1. Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food Small Breed||pounds||$$$||4.6|
|2. Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein Dry Adult Dog Food||11 pounds||$$||4.5|
|3. CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food for Puppies||30 pounds||$$||4.5|
|4. ROYAL CANIN SIZE HEALTH NUTRITION MINI Puppy dry dog food||13 pounds||$$$||4.5|
|5. Bil Jac Small Breed Select Dry Dog Food, 6 lb||6 pounds||$$||4.5|
|6. Solid Gold Holistic Grain Free Dog Food||4 pounds||$$||4.4|
|7. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food||12 pounds||$$||4.4|
|8. Wellness TruFood Baked Blends Natural Grain Free Dry Raw Dog Food||10 pounds||$$$||4.4|
|9. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food||30 pounds||$$||4.4|
|10. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Dry Puppy Food||11 pounds||$$||4.4|
How to Ensure that You Choose the Right Food
Sometimes it requires a lot of trial and error to find the right food for your pooch because there isn’t just one “best dry dog food for small dogs” out there.
What your dog likes, others may turn their nose up at, so here are a few things to keep in mind to help lead you to the right food.
- Toy Breeds vs. Small Breeds. Remember that toy breeds and small breeds both have very different dietary needs, so make sure you choose the right food for the right type of “small.”
Toy breeds typically weigh between 4-7 pounds while small breeds range between 10 and 25 pounds, so read the food portion charts carefully as you compare and contrast.
- Physical Activity. Always choose food with your dog’s level of physical activity in mind.
Grain-free is great but can have an excessive amount of protein for a small dog that doesn’t exercise regularly. You can try low-grain if you’re trying to limit it in their diet, and overweight dogs should eat a lite formula with fewer calories.
- Special Needs. Allergies happen. Digestive problems happen. Picky dogs happen!
Food is categorized by life stage (puppy, adult, and senior), but there are plenty of other formulas within those categories. Do you need something that helps their skin and coat? Does your dog have a sensitive stomach?
Limited Ingredient Diet formulas are great if you’re trying to pinpoint an allergy and there are even gluten-free formulas.
For any other specialty needs, your vet will instruct you on the specific type of food to buy.
A Few Other Tips
All dogs all have different personalities and eating habits, but if you happen to have a fast eater, you might want to consider a slow feeder bowl. Outward Hound is one of the most popular choices, and we like that they have a “small” bowl size with three different patterns in the middle.
If your little “Hoover” is inhaling kibble at the speed of light (e.g. not chewing and breaking down the kibble in their mouth), then try opting for a larger kibble size.
Top 3 Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs Reviews
Crude Protein: 26% MIN
Crude Fat: 17%
Fromm is highly regarded by small dog breed owners, and after looking at the ingredients and trying a bit with our dogs, we feel confident that it deserves the top spot on our list.
The formula contains a mixture of meats (duck, chicken, and lamb), plus some egg, cheese and a mixture of grains that will work well for dogs with sensitive stomachs (pearled barley, brown rice and potatoes).
Their food portion chart has quantities listed for dogs as small as 2 pounds up to those that weigh 28 pounds, so this is a pretty good “basic” food for adult dogs with average activity levels.
It is a bit expensive, but picky eaters seem to love the stuff and the quality of the ingredients is top-notch. It’s a great option for toy and small breeds alike.
Crude Protein: 36% MIN
Crude Fat: 16% MIN
If your little dog has high energy levels and gets plenty of exercise, then Blue Buffalo’s Small Breed Chicken Recipe is a great match.
As you can see, it has a noticeably higher amount of protein than Fromm’s formula and slightly less fat, which means that it wouldn’t be suitable for lazy, inactive dogs. Those that are outdoors often, participate in agility events or just get a lot of exercise will do well with this food.
We liked what we saw on the label, including the sweet potatoes, pumpkin, fruits, berries, flaxseed, veggies and chicken.
It is a rich food, so make sure you keep an eye on your dog’s weight once you start feeding it to prevent them from plumping up too much.
Crude Protein: 24% MIN
Crude Fat: 14.4% MIN
We really like the fact that CANIDAE has this all life stages formula that can be given to puppies, adults and senior dogs.
As you can see, the protein and fat levels are reasonable for smaller dogs, and if yours is inactive or doesn’t get an excessive amount of exercise, this is a great option.
While it isn’t a grain-free formula (it contains brown rice, white rice, rice bran, potatoes and oatmeal), it is a gentle formula on the stomach and one that most dogs don’t have a problem with.
If yours has sensitive skin, then this might not work due to the mixture of grains.