Dog Food and Nutrition

Best 10 Healthiest Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs

Premium dog food for small dogs offer much more than the basic meat and grain. They draw on the nutrients produced by fruits and vegetables, and are fortified with vitamins, beta carotene, amino acids, and probiotics, resulting in higher absorption rates of vitamins and minerals.

Due to their fast metabolic rate, small breeds require more calories per pound. Their bellies are smaller, that’s why dog food for small breeds must contain the right amount of nutrients.

Small dogs must be nourished with healthy and nutritious dog foods that will contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of their little bodies.

Top 10 Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs

Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend
  • Guaranteed live probiotics.
  • High-quality protein.
  • High nutrient density.
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Hill’s Science Food for Small Breed Dogs
  • Easily digestible kibble.
  • Maintain lean muscle.
  • Delicious lamb flavor.
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Royal Canine Dog Food For Small Dogs
  • Optimal levels of fatty acids.
  • Meets the high energy needs.
  • Highly palatable kibble.
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Wellness Core Grain Free Dog Food
  • Complete And Balanced Dog Food.
  • Optimum Calorie Levels.
  • Premium, Natural Ingredients.
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CANIDAE Grain-Free Real Chicken Dog Food
  • Supports beautiful skin.
  • 6 different proteins.
  • 9 simple real foods.
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Instinct Raw Boost Real Chicken
  • Balanced diet for small dogs.
  • Cage free chicken as #1 ingredient.
  • Supports joint health.
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Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Formula
  • Specially formulated for small breed dogs.
  • Build and maintain healthy muscles.
  • Supports immune system health.
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Merrick Healthy Grains Small Breed Food
  • Deboned Chicken as #1 Ingredient.
  • Leading Levels Of Glucosamine.
  • Made In The Usa.
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Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe
  • Supports nutritional needs of small breeds.
  • Multiple protein sources.
  • Cooked in the USA.
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Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Scientifically advanced food safety protocols.
  • Premium ingredients for small dogs.
  • Proprietary Probiotics.
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Small dogs also have a higher metabolism compared to their bigger brethren, the process by which food is transformed into energy within the dog’s body.

Most of a small-breed puppy’s growth occurs in the first six months of its life. At ten months it will be full-grown, having multiplied its birth weight by twenty months.

Thus, a proper ratio of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals needs to be provided to fuel this rapid growth.

The amount of dog food you give to your small dog depends on its size, weight, and activity level, the same factors that affect our food intake.

The suggested amount is always printed on the label of the dry dog food bag and will increase with the dog’s age and size.

Bite-size pieces make the best dry dog food for small dogs. Your dog may have difficulty eating chunks that are too large or too hard.

To make it easier for the dog to pick them up, the kibble or extruded pellets need to be small enough to fit those milk teeth and small jaws.

Some premium dog foods for offer special formulations for small breeds, some of which are breed-specific to suit your little dog.

When shopping for the best food for your small dog, learn how to read those bags and cans.

Dog food labeling is regulated by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

By law, the ingredients on that package of dog food must be listed in order of their predominance by weight.

1. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken Small Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken Small Dog Food

  • Guaranteed live probiotics to support digestive health
  • High nutrient density for higher metabolic rates
  • Vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Made with high-quality protein

Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend provides your small breed dog with the nutritional needs to maintain a perfect body condition.

This recipe is rich in protein (real chicken as the # 1 ingredient) with an ideal protein-to-fat ratio to help maintain the health of your small dog at its best.

Purina Pro Plan Small breed blend bite-sized kibbles includes natural prebiotic fiber, from wheat bran and safe live probiotics that support the healthy digestion of your little dog.

Purina small kibble dog food features the perfect nutritional and flavor balance, as well as vitamin A and omega-6 acid, to help keep the coat of your small dog shiny and maintain healthy skin

2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs

  • Calcium and high-quality proteins
  • Antioxidant and vitamin E and C blend
  • Natural, high-quality ingredients
  • Support bone and muscle strength

Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Small Dogs is made from wholesome ingredients like  savory chicken meal and rice; it is also rich in Antioxidant, calcium, omega-6 fatty acid and vitamins C and E, which help extend your small dog’s lifespan and support a healthy immune system.

This nourishing recipe is made from easily digested foods; it is specially designed for a small dog’s stomach, this formula is balanced to satisfy the needs of your pet, support bone and muscle strength, and enhance skin and coat health.

Hill’s is one of the best dog food brands for small dogs Due to their long experience in the industry; their ingredients meet strict purity and nutrient content requirements which exceed industry standards.

Hill’s Science chicken and rice formula made from high-quality natural ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

3. Royal Canine Health Nutrition Adult Dog Food For Small Dogs

Royal Canin Health Nutrition Small Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Helps dogs maintain a healthy weight
  • EPA and DHA to support a healthy skin
  • Flavors for enhanced palatability
  • Proven kibble technology

Royal Canine Health Nutrition small dog food includes specifically balanced foods to provide small dogs of different weights and life stages with the best nutrition.

This dry dog food is created to address the particular nutritional needs of small dog breeds because they require higher calorie levels per pound of body weight.

This formula helps small dogs maintain a healthy weight and promote fat metabolism with L-Carnitine. Also, the levels of EPA and DHA promote healthy skin and a beautiful shiny fur.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the tasty ingredients will satisfy all kinds of dogs, even the spoiled, picky eaters.

When your dog approaches his later years, you can always count on Royal Canine Small best senior dog food for small breeds keep your pup healthy and happy as he grows.

With nearly 50 years of studies and observation, Royal Canine aims to provide the best dog food for small dogs and toy breeds as well.

4.Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed

Wellness CORE Small Breed Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

  • Support high energy needs of small dogs
  • Omega Fatty Acids from salmon oil
  • Maintain bone & joint health
  • Complete and balanced diet

Wellness CORE with Turkey & Chicken Recipe is 100% natural grain-free dog food for small dogs filled with premium quality animal protein concentration, without additives or grains, along with a proprietary mix of botanicals and nutritional supplements.

This holistic, grain-free recipe is made of turkey, chicken, salmon oil, fruits and vegetables to create a balanced blend of high quality, natural ingredients suitable for daily feeding. It’s additive-free and provides everything your energetic little dog needs to stay healthy and well fed.

Wellness Core dry dog food for small breeds provides the right combination of protein and calories, ideal for your little dog to maintain a healthy weight. This high-protein Rich in turkey and chicken recipe supports high energy levels and lean muscle.

CORE top-rated dog food Includes probiotics, botanicals, glucosamine and antioxidants, along with Glucosamine & Chondroitin to help maintain bone & joint health. 

Also, Wellness Core healthy food is formulated with high-quality protein to help support the higher energy needs of small dogs; in addition, Omega Fatty Acids from salmon oil support healthy skin & coat.

5.CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Small Dog Breed Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE PURE Limited Premium Dog Food For Small dog breeds
  • Fortified with Canidae’s HealthPLUS mix of probiotics
  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Made with 9 real food ingredients
  • Simple, whole food recipe

CANIDAE PURE Real Chicken, Limited Ingredient, Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds contains limited ingredients only, and it’s made from 9 real foods in each bag, with no grain, corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Antioxidants and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are included in every kibble to promote healthy digestion and maintain beautiful skin and a shiny coat

CANIDAE PURE includes real chicken as the first ingredient to support your small dog’s protein-packed muscle. Also, this top-rated small breed dog food contains healthy veggies for long-lasting whole food nutrients and energy.

What makes this dog food really unique for small dogs is the healthy mix of probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins, which are added after cooking to provide digestive, immune and nutritional support.

6.Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Grain Free Dog Food

  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics
  • high-protein kibble + freeze-dried raw.
  • Boosted nutrition for small dogs
  • Chicken is the first ingredient

Instinct by Nature’s variety is highly recommended for dog owners searching for a raw food diet for their small breed dogs. The recipe is not fully processed to ensure the ingredients remain whole and complete.

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food contains cage-free chicken as the first ingredient and source of proteins and amino acids.

Additionally, this holistic dog food is formulated with an ideal balance of protein, fat, and calories to promote a healthy weight.

Instinct Raw Dry Dog Food does not contain artificial preservatives, colors, and additives, which make it safe for dogs with skin allergies. It’s also free of wheat, soy, or corn, and it’s produced without meat by-products.

Furthermore, glucosamine and chondroitin are also included to support your pet’s joints, probiotics for digestive health, and high levels of omegas fatty acids to support a healthy and shiny coat.

Instinct Raw Dry dog food for small dogs packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles, and it’s fortified with calcium and phosphorous for strong bones and teeth.

7.Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe For Small Dogs

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed Dog Food

  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin
  • High-quality protein for healthy muscles
  • Promotes joint health and mobility
  • Boosts immune system health.

The first ingredient of Blue Buffalo foods is always real meat. Increased protein and carbohydrates help your dog develop strong, active muscles and support smaller dogs’ higher energy needs.

BLUE Life Protection Formula dry dog food provides enhanced proteins and carbohydrates, specifically designed for the well-being of adult small breed dogs.

Each package includes BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource unique blend of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune-system health and all life-stage requirements.

This Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe features delicious, protein-rich deboned chicken for smaller jaws with unique “small breed” kibble.

8. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe

Merrick with Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs

  • Support your small dog breed’s digestive health
  • Healthy whole foods including carrots & apples.
  • Promote optimal hip and joint function
  • supports healthy skin and coat

This specially-balanced small-breed formula contains Quinoa, a significant protein source found in real deboned chicken. Compared with other grain-type ingredients, Quinoa is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber, and other healthy nutrients.

Merrick Classic Small Breed Dog food Recipe is made to ensure optimum digestion through the healthy balance of protein, fruits, vegetables, and an all-grain mix, including ancient grains.

Optimal levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin are included to support your little dog’s healthy skin and promote optimal hip and joint function.

Merrick Classic is crafted with zero chemical conservators, fillers, corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-products.

9. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Small Breed Recipe

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Contains protein from pork, beef and lamb.
  • Perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Specially designed for small breeds
  • Proudly made in the USA

Whole Earth Farms Dog food for Small dogs delivers complete and balanced nutrition through high-quality, natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals for optimal nutrition.

With multiple protein sources (pork, beef, and lamb), vitamins, and minerals, Whole Earth Farms nourishes your small dog with the finest foods that earth has to offer — made in the USA with the freshest ingredients.

This Grain-free dry dog food formula contains all-natural goodies, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, No Poultry By-products, No added Flavors, No Artificial Colors, or Preservatives.

10.Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dog Real Chicken Formula

  • Real chicken as the very first ingredient
  • Supports your tiny dog's active lifestyle.
  • probiotic blend for digestive health
  • Wholesome superfoods and nutrients

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food supports your small dog with the precious gift of supreme nutrition, with adequate amino acid profile to develop strong, lean muscles for a healthy, active lifestyle.

This holistic dog food is made with Excellent quality and performance using strictly defined levels of protein, vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, fat, and other Premium ingredients to support the optimal health of your little dog.

This Nutrient-rich dog Food for small breeds is made from real CAGE FREE chicken as the main ingredient, along with wholesome superfoods such as kale, blueberries, chia seeds, and pumpkin to deliver natural antioxidants and support your little dog’s overall health and immunity.

Diamond Naturals provides essential natural antioxidants and proprietary probiotic mixture, which offers beneficial digestive health bacteria for a complete and balanced holistic diet for small pups.

Diamond dog food for small dogs is made without corn, wheat, fillers, flavors, colors, or preservatives using scientifically advanced food safety protocols.

Do Small Breed Dogs Need Special Food?

Generally, dogs require a broad range of nutrients, proteins, minerals and vitamins.

Despite popular belief, dogs are not purely carnivores.

For a nutritionally balanced diet, domestic dogs depend on grains, fruits, and vegetables, along with meat. That’s why many people prefer to feed commercial food products to their dogs.

Most commercial dog foods are inexpensive, convenient and provide all the essentials to keep your small dog healthy and well-fed. 

Since few owners are knowledgeable in dog nutrition, feeding a dry or canned commercial diet saves you the time and effort of balancing your dog’s nutritional needs on a daily basis.

Some dog breeds may have dietary problems of their own. Talk to your veterinarian to see whether you should be conscious of any nutritional risks based on breed, size or ongoing health problems of your small dog.

Since the jaws and teeth of small dogs are relatively small, the best dog foods for small dogs must have a small kibble size, in order to make the chewing process more comfortable.

How to Choose The Best Dog Food For small Dogs?

Kibble Size 

Small dog breeds have smaller jaws and mouths, and they may face difficulties if they attempt to eat kibbles designed for bigger dogs, this is why dog food for small breeds includes tiny kibbles.

Tiny kibble meant for small dogs is half the size of regular kibbles. Kibbles for toy dog breeds are even tinier, as little as a 1/8 inch.

Calories intake.

Caloric requirements differ from each dog breed based on their age and activity level, but typically, dogs need about 40 calories per pound of their weight.

For instance, a Chihuahua that weighs 5 pounds requires 200 calories per day, while a 20-pound Boston Terrier may need 800 calories.

Inactive and older dogs also need fewer calories, whereas working dogs require more. If you’re not sure, you can contact your vet to learn how many calories your small dog needs daily.


Small dog breeds require more protein to build and strengthen their bodies, which prevents them from getting fat; this is why you should make sure that their recipe contains at least 20% protein for dry food.

Additionally, you must also verify that the protein is derived from verified animal sources, such as ham, beef, or lamb, and not from unknown sources that are commonly branded as “just meat” or “meat meal”.


Your little dog requires fat as an energy source to keep his metabolism going. For this reason, dog food for small dogs must contains at least 10% fat if it’s dry food, and 3% if it’s canned food. Similar to protein, Fat content is expected to come from natural, animal-based sources.

Vitamins and minerals

The daily diet of your dog requires vitamins and minerals to ensure he remains active and healthy. They must mainly come from natural sources like fruit and vegetables.

Additives can also contribute to certain areas of the overall health of your pup. Glucosamine and chondroitin supports joints health, while mega fatty acids Promotes healthy skin and coat. Finally, antioxidants supports digestive health and the immune system.

How Much To Feed Small dogs?

The distinction between a toy breed and a small breed is blurry, it’s essential to know the difference to make sure you’re feeding your pup a proper dog diet.

Most dogs that are generally larger than a toy, but still under 20 pounds, are classified as small breeds.

Small dog breeds should eat;

  • 3/4 cup per day if they weigh 10 lbs
  • 1 cup per day if they weigh 15 lbs
  • 1 2/3 cups per day if they weigh 20 lbs

How Often Should I Switch My Small Dog’s Food?

Since the perfect dog food for small dogs doesn’t exist, it is reasonable to believe that every product is flawed and excessive in some way.

Many ingredients contain small amounts of harmful toxins. Therefore, built-in defects are enhanced when the same food is served consistently.

Through regular changing of dog foods (diet rotation), the unhealthful effects of these defects can be reduced.

Frequently asked questions

When does a small dog breed become an adult?

In general, small to medium-sized breeds may be considered adults after approximately six months of age. But large and giant breeds must not be fed as adults until they reach about one to two years of age.

How do you introduce a new food to your small dog?

Many experts suggest a gradual transition to a new diet beginning at around 20-25% “fresh” and slowly increasing it to 100% over 7 to 10 days. Be careful, and don’t hurry through the transition process. Take your time to lessen the chances of GI problems.

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Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author

Walter Perez

My name is Walter, and I'm a huge dog lover, I have made this blog to share my experience and help dog owners make better decisions in term of improving the quality of their pet's life. I have shared my life with pets since childhood, and I currently own a golden retriever named Bailey.

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