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What’s The Best Dog Food For Small Dogs (2022)

Despite their small size, small dogs are always packed full of character.

To keep your little dog happy and healthy, you will of course want to ensure that they are getting the nutrition they need.

So this will mean choosing the right dog food for their needs.

You won’t want to opt for a large breed dog food because of the difference in kibble size.

The larger the kibble, the harder it will be for your small dog to chew.

Best Dog Food For Small Dogs

This is where choosing a dog food that’s been designed with small dogs in mind will be essential.

Choosing a dog food that has your smaller dog in mind will ensure that they get the nutrition they need to stay happy and healthy.

But with so many different types of dog food on the market, how can you be sure that you’ve found the best dog food for small dogs?

That’s where we come in! We’ve done all the hard work for you so that you don’t have to.

We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of products to find the very best for your little dog.

So no matter whether you have a dachshund or a jack russell, you can rest assured that the below products will be perfect for their needs.

So let’s take a look at the best dog food for small dogs!

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws For Small Breed Dogs, Chicken Meal & Rice, 4.5 Lb. Bag

The Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Dry Dog Food easily comes out on top out of all the products that we tested.

This particular dog food was popular among the dogs we tested it with, and it also comes with a range of great features.

One thing we noticed when choosing which product to test was the choice available.

You can choose between 2 different flavors, as well as 2 different bag sizes.

So this will be ideal for those who want to try a smaller bag before committing to the larger 15.5 pound bag.

You can also ensure that your dog likes it!

What’s really great about this dog food is that it gives your dog the fully balanced diet that they need.

It has all the protein they need to maintain lean muscle, all the fatty acids your dog needs to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat, as well as immune system support.

What we really loved about this kibble when we tested it with our dogs is that the kibble is extra small for their mouths.

Pros

  • Natural ingredients – features healthier ingredients for your dog
  • Veterinarian recommended – comes highly recommended by vets around the world
  • Fatty acids – gives your dog everything they need to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin

Cons

  • Pricey – some customers felt the smaller bag was on the pricier end of the spectrum
Sale
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws For Small Breed Dogs, Chicken Meal & Rice, 4.5 Lb. Bag
  • An adult dog food made with highly digestible ingredients that are easy on your small dog's stomach
  • Nourishing omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Provides high quality protein to maintain lean muscle in small breed dogs. Calorie content: 3741 kcal/kg (371 kcal/cup)
  • Uses an antioxidant blend specifically for lifelong immune support in toy and miniature dogs
  • Made with natural ingredients

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food is another excellent choice for your small dog.

We found that when we tested this dog food, it came a close second to the Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Dry Dog Food when put in front of our happily willing test subjects.

This dog food has also been designed with smaller dogs in mind, so gives them the smaller kibble they need.

You won’t have to worry about any nasty filler ingredients with this dog food.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food only uses real meat as the first ingredient.

This will give your small dog the protein rich diet they need in order to maintain lean muscle mass.

This particular dog food doesn’t include any filler ingredients such as chicken by product meal or grains.

There are only natural ingredients included in this dog food.

It also comes with Blue Buffalo’s Lifesource bits, which is a careful blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Pros

  • Real meat – uses real meat as the first ingredient to give your dog the rich protein diet they need
  • Small breed specific – designed with smaller dogs in mind
  • Lifesource bits – features a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for your dog

Cons

  • Transition – you will need to slowly transition your dog to this food if they are a fussy eater
Sale
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles; Plus they contain wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
  • SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for small breed dogs, BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed dry dog food contains increased levels of protein and carbohydrates to meet the energy needs of smaller dogs with kibble size ideal for smaller jaws
  • ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs and a healthy oxidative balance
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dog foods are made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals; BLUE contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains one (1) 15 lb. Bag of BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cesar Small Breed Dry Dog Food

CESAR Small Breed Dry Dog Food Filet Mignon Flavor with Spring Vegetables Garnish Dog Kibble, 5 lb. Bag

If you’re looking for a more budget friendly dog food for your small hound, then Cesar Small Breed Dry Dog Food is the best pick for you.

We found that this was one of the cheaper products on the market that still delivers on great results.

What we discovered when testing this product is that there are also multiple sizes and flavors for you to choose from.

So you can easily find the product that suits your dog.

One of the best things about this particular dog food is that it has been designed with small dogs in mind.

When testing this product with our willing test subjects, we found that the kibble was much smaller than some of the more popular brands.

This will make it easier for your small dog to chew when it comes to dinner time.

There’s no need to worry about this dog food going stale once you’ve opened the bag.

When testing this food we found that the dog food comes in resealable packaging.

So you can easily seal the bag back up once you’ve finished portioning it out.

Pros

  • Small dog specific – designed with smaller dogs in mind
  • Multiple sizes – choose between the food bag sizes to suit your needs
  • Resealable – makes it easier to maintain the food’s freshness

Cons

  • Filler ingredients – does include chicken by product meal as a listed ingredient
Sale
CESAR Small Breed Dry Dog Food Filet Mignon Flavor with Spring Vegetables Garnish Dog Kibble, 5 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 5 lb. bag of CESAR Filet Mignon Flavor With Spring Vegetables Garnish Dry Dog Food
  • CESAR Dry Dog Food is made with real beef as the first ingredient for a taste dogs love
  • This gourmet dog food is specially crafted with 26 nutrients that small breed dogs need
  • Your adult dog will adore the tender, meaty chunks in this delicious kibble for small dogs
  • CESAR Dry Dog food has a re-sealable zipper on every bag to help maintain freshness

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, 14 lb bag

Concerned about your smaller dog’s weight?

Then the Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food should be your top pick.

This particular dog food features L-carnitine, which will actively help to manage your dog’s weight.

Make sure to adjust their portion sizes too!

What we really liked about this product when we were testing it is that it has been designed with smaller dogs in mind.

So we were delighted to find that the kibble is appropriately sized for little muzzles!

Another great feature of this dog food is that it has your dog’s health in mind.

They will get the fully balanced diet that they need.

They will also get all the help they need to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat!

Pros

  • Weight management – uses L-carnitine to help your dog reach their ideal weight
  • Small breed specific – features a smaller sized kibble for smaller jaws
  • Skin and coat health – gives your dog all the fatty acids they need

Cons

  • Pricey – one of the more expensive products on our list
Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, 14 lb bag
  • SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is precise nutrition specifically made for small dogs 10 months to 8 years old weighing 9–22 lb
  • WEIGHT MAINTENANCE: L-carnitine helps maintain a healthy weight, while helping to meet the high energy needs of small dog breeds
  • SKIN AND COAT HEALTH: Optimal levels of fatty acids like EPA and DHA support skin and a healthy dog coat
  • SPECIALIZED KIBBLE: Small breed adult dog food has an exclusive kibble design adapted for miniature jaws
  • GREAT FOR PICKY EATERS: Enhanced palatable dog food satisfies the fussy appetites of small dogs

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food with Grains, Natural Ingredients, Made in USA with Real Turkey, For Dogs Up to 25 lbs, (Adult, Turkey & Oatmeal, 4-Pound Bag)

Want to ensure that your dog gets the complete balanced diet that they need?

Then the Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food should be your top pick.

This particular dog food gives your dog the proper support they need to live a happy and healthy life.

What we really liked about this product when we were testing it is that it uses real meat as the main first ingredient.

This ensures that your dog gets the protein rich diet they need in order to maintain lean muscle mass.

This particular flavor makes use of turkey, which will also be more allergy friendly.

Another great feature of this dog food is that it’s available in different bag sizes.

So you can choose between 4 pound and 12 pound bags depending on how much dog food you need!

Pros

  • Multiple sizes – choose between a 4 pounds and 12 pound bag
  • Natural ingredients – no fillers, by products, or artificial preservatives
  • Real meat – uses turkey as the main ingredient

Cons

  • Pricey – on the pricier side of the spectrum compared to competitive products
Sale
Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food with Grains, Natural Ingredients, Made in USA with Real Turkey, For Dogs Up to 25 lbs, (Adult, Turkey & Oatmeal, 4-Pound Bag)
  • This adult small breed dry dog food's no 1 ingredient is turkey; high quality protein with wholesome grains like oatmeal
  • Our crunchy kibble has no meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Designed to support the unique health needs of smaller dogs through nutrient-rich whole foods
  • Made in the USA using only the finest globally sourced ingredients
  • Spend a lifetime with Wellness natural dog food; we offer recipes for puppy, adult, and senior dogs as well as grain free dog treats, meal toppers, and wet food options too

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What To Consider

Choosing the best dog food for your small dog can be a real challenge.

There are so many different factors to consider.

How can you be sure that your dog will be getting all the nutrition they need to stay happy and healthy?

How can you make sure that your dog will eat it instead of turning up their nose at the food you put in front of them?

We’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide to help you.

We’ve collated all of the essential review criteria we used to choose and review the products we’ve mentioned in more detail above.

So as long as your chosen dog food has the below factors in mind, you can rest assured that it will be perfect for your small dog.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about dog food for small dogs below, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.

Smaller Kibble

Of course, the most important factor that you will need to look for is a dog food that features a smaller kibble.

This is so that your dog won’t choke when they try to wolf down their dinner.

Our dachshund is notorious for trying to inhale whichever food you put in front of him, so it was particularly important to us to select foods that he would be able to eat easily without choking.

Complete Balanced Diet

It will be equally important to choose a dog food that gives your pet the complete balanced diet that they need.

This will include a rich source of protein, fatty acids, as well as all the vitamins and minerals they need to support immune system health.

It will be important to avoid filler ingredients as these have very little nutritional value.

Real Meat

You will need to choose a dog food that uses real meat as the first ingredient.

This is because dogs are of course carnivores, so they need a rich source of protein in order to maintain lean muscle mass.

Great choices to opt for include chicken, turkey, or salmon.

If you opt for a food that uses salmon as the main ingredient, you will also get the boosted fatty acids.

Fatty Acids

If you want your dog to have healthy skin, then you will need to choose a dog food that is packed with fatty acids.

Look for omegas 3 and 6 on the packaging to ensure that the dog food has all the fatty acids that your dog needs for healthy skin and a shiny coat!

It will also be worth looking for vitamin E, which is also essential for healthy skin.

Natural Ingredients

Opt for a dog food that only uses natural ingredients.

This will ensure that your dog is getting the healthy balanced diet that they need.

You should avoid filler ingredients such as chicken by product meal, as well as grains.

These can irritate your dog’s digestive system and be difficult to digest.

Natural ingredients will be much kinder on your dog’s digestive and immune system.

Weight Management

Concerned about your smaller dog’s weight?

Then look for a dog food that will help with weight management.

Our dachshund will eat anything that is put in front of him, and often struggles with his weight as a result.

So by opting for a food that comes with weight management, this makes it easier to ensure he is at the optimal weight for his breed.

Ingredients such as L-carnitine can help with this.

Make sure to adjust their portion size so that they’re not overeating, too!

You should only give your dog a handful or two of kibble to stop them from putting on too much weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Food To Feed A Small Dog?

The best dog foods for small dogs are:

Should You Choose Wet Or Dry Dog Food?

It will entirely depend on your dog’s preferences.

Some dogs may be fussy and prefer one type of food over the other.

However, giving your small dog wet dog food is a great way to ensure that they are staying hydrated.

To really give your dog the best of both worlds, you can mix both wet and dry foods.

Dry foods are usually very convenient to give to your dog, and you won’t have to worry about refrigerating or throwing away opened food.

5 Dog Foods for Small Dogs

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National Canine Research Association of America