Finding healthy, nutritious food is important for puppies of every size, but when it comes to finding something that smaller breeds can eat there are a few particular details that you should pay attention to.
In our guide below, we’ll be showing you some of the best puppy food for small breed dogs to take the guesswork out of your shopping.
Whether you have a Dachshund, a Yorkie, or a mixed breed pup, we’ll be showing you some healthy food options that other small breed owners know and trust.
Compare and contrast to see which one will work for your puppy and your budget!
Where to Start
Here’s where you should start in order to narrow down the options:
- Potential Intolerances/Allergies. Usually puppies don’t have too many issues with allergies or intolerances, but if you notice that your pup has started to scratch more frequently or if they have a tough time digesting their food, then it may be ingredient-related.
If this is the case, you’ll probably have to try a few different brands in order to find one that they can tolerate.
- Kibble Size. If you have a toy breed such as a Chihuahua or a Yorkie, then you need to make sure that the kibble isn’t too large for them to break down.
There is a big difference between toy breed food and small breed food, so make sure you check for this on the label as you shop!
- Transition Slowly. Changing foods takes quite a toll on your puppy’s digestive system, so in order to prevent GI tract shock, transition from one food brand to another slowly: around 7 days or so.
Start with a mixture of the two brands and gradually increase the proportion of the new food each day.
While some digestive issues may occur in this transitional phase, keep an eye out on your puppy for any serious signs that the new food isn’t agreeing with them.
Top 6 Puppy Foods for Small Breed Dogs Table
|1. Wellness CORE Natural Dry Grain Free Puppy Food||12 lbs.||$$$||4.6|
|2. Ideal Balance Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe||12.5 lbs.||$$||4.6|
|3. Fromm Gold Nutritionals Puppy Dry Dog Food||5 lbs.||$||4.3|
|4. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free||4 lbs. (makes 16 pounds of food)||$$$$||4.3|
|5. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food||24 lbs.||$$$$||4.3|
|6. Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken Grain-Free||5.5 lbs.||$$$||4.0|
Quantity and Quality
The quality of the ingredients and the quantity that you feed your puppy are the two most important factors.
Avoid foods that contain corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives and opt for formulas that contain natural ingredients.
In terms of quantity, be sure to calculate a higher quantity of kibble into the diet of an active puppy and don’t overfeed your “couch potato” puppy who stays indoors most of the day.
Sometimes “Small Breed” Doesn’t Matter.
There are plenty of great dog food brands that you can feed that aren’t marketed for small breeds.
It is common for pet food manufacturers to create different formulas (Small breed puppy, Large breed puppy or Giant breed puppy, for example), but don’t think that a brand that simply sells “puppy food” won’t work.
Fromm (Fromm Gold Nutritionals Puppy Food), for example, is an excellent brand and they have a puppy formula that works for plenty of breeds.
If you’re looking for a more specifically labeled food, then give Farmina Natural & Delicious Grain-Free Small & Medium Breed Puppy Food a try.
This Italian brand makes quite a large variety of formulas, this one being specifically for small and medium breed puppies (as you’ll notice from the label).
While it may not be that popular in the US, we just happen to be familiar with it and definitely recommend it to puppy owners who want to provide their pup with a quality dry dog food.
If you have a toy breed, then both Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations LID Puppy Food and Hill’s Ideal Balance Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Puppy Food are both excellent choices.
Top 3 Best Puppy Food for Small Breed Reviews
This is definitely a classic choice for those who prefer to give their pup a grain-free recipe without spending a fortune.
It has quite a wide array of ingredients, including some plant extracts that we were pleased to see:
The kibbles are medium sized, which can be good for older puppies that have developed a habit of vacuuming up their food at every meal.
In terms of flavor, not a lot of dogs seem to turn their noses up at this formula and owners love that it is both healthy and affordable.
Give it a try! If your puppy doesn’t like it or the food doesn’t agree with them, we still have some excellent alternatives on our list.
If you have a puppy with a sensitive stomach, then this Chicken and Brown Rice formula from Hill’s Ideal Balance is probably a good choice.
Not all dogs handle a grain-free diet well and some formulas are too rich for certain puppies (think of a rescue puppy who has had a rough start in the world and is on certain medications, etc).
The rice is gentle on the stomach and easy for puppy to digest and the formula doesn’t contain any corn, wheat or soy (these are all skin and digestive irritants).
We had a close look at the ingredients and for the most part were pleased with what we saw:
We don’t like to see salt in there (too much sodium can be bad for any dog or human), but the flaxseed, beet pulp, peas, apples, cranberries, carrots and broccoli are all excellent ingredients.
We definitely recommend this for pups with a sensitive stomach!
If quality of ingredients is at the top of your “must have” list, then Fromm definitely makes the best puppy food for small breed pups on our list.
This is especially good for active puppies since it is rich in protein. Just have a look at the ingredients:
The formula is rich since it contains a mixture of fish-based proteins as well as chicken, duck and lamb – which can be too much for some dogs – but if you have an active puppy or one that doesn’t show any signs of digestive problems when eating this, then stick with it.
It’s a great brand!