How To Choose Food For Small Dogs

Last Updated: 1 year ago

Providing the best dog food for small dogs can have a beneficial effect on the health of your little companion in the long run.

It has powerful health implications and will result in fewer trips to the vet. Plus, your pooch will live a long and healthy life.

However, finding the best canned food for small breeds can be a tricky task. The process is quite involving and requires research, which is what this post is all about.

First of all, it is quite imperative you understand that dog foods aren’t designed for all dog breeds.

Every dog breed, big or small, is unique, which means your dog is no exception and has special nutritional needs, which can only be derived from specific dog food formulas. Moreover, you also have to consider the risk of dog allergies and health complications.

Dogs come in various shapes and sizes, and the type of food you feed your pet also varies quite significantly. For example, dog foods that are made for bigger breeds, such as the Great Dane or a Mastiff, will be quite different than that made for a Chihuahua and vice versa.

Selecting the best dog food for small breeds should be selected based on the life style and stages of your dog. Would you feed your kid the types of food you enjoy as an adult?

No, you wouldn’t. Why?

Well, that is because at every stage of life, your child has special nutritional and dietary specifications, to help the child develop and grow strong. The same is also true for small breed dogs.

Nutrition For Your Small Breed Dog

Nutrition For Your Small Breed Dog

Sure, your little pooch might think he is the biggest of them all but come dinner time, you can’t expect him to eat a meal the big dogs do.

Good dog food for small breeds consists of special dietary formulations and is unique compared to that of larger dog breeds. Your dog requires a diet that is specifically formulated for smaller breeds to help him stay happy, healthy and full of life.

When you talk about nutrition for small dog breeds, you have to realize that small dogs are substantially different than bigger and stronger breeds. You might think that because your dog is small, helping him maintaining his diet can be easy. How much can he eat, right?

Well, that is where you are wrong.

Despite their small bodies and stomachs, smaller breeds actually require a lot more calories and nutrition, pound for pound, compared to a big dog.

This is primarily because smaller dogs have a higher metabolic rate. Running and playing around will cause your pup to burn more calories as compared to bigger dogs.

And if you aren’t careful with his diet when he is a puppy, it may affect his health as he grows up, which is why providing him with the best dog food brands for small breeds at this stage will help him develop successfully.

In general, domesticated dogs need a lot of nutrients, minerals and vitamins to remain healthy throughout their lives.

Contrary to what most people believe, most dogs aren’t wholly carnivores. Pet dogs also depend on fruits, vegetables and grains (which are all sources of dietary fiber) and meat to survive and thrive.

This is the sole reason why many dog owners prefer to feed their pooches commercial dog foods. Most of these traditional canned or bagged goodies for dogs contain the necessary nutrients the dog needs.

However, feeding a small breed dog canned food or commercial food requires guesswork, especially if you don’t know what exactly to feed him.

So, if you fail to provide your dog with a balanced meal, things could get out of hand. This is why it is so important to select the best wet dog food for small breeds.

Never Assume Anything

Never Assume Anything

When it comes to small breeds, assuming they are small and don’t require a lot of maintenance, is utterly wrong and can be potentially dangerous.

Small dogs require a healthy balance of nutrition to steer clear of a condition, known as hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Smaller dog breeds have a high risk of developing this disease because of their speedy metabolic rates and all the fat stored in their bodies.

This is why it is so important to feed them a calorie-dense and balanced meal 4 or 6 times on a daily basis. In light of this, mentioned below is a list of symptoms related to low blood sugar:

  • Lethargy
  • Muscle tremors
  • ​Weakness
  • Seizures

Best dry food for small dogs contains the right amount of calories and nutrients and also has bite sized kibbles, making it easier for the dog to chew and digest.

Best Dog Food For Small Breeds

Best Dog Food For Small Breeds

Choosing the right dog food for small breeds can be daunting. Why?

Well, that is because there are so many options out there. But you can also consult your local veterinarian about what to give your dog.

Professional vets have considerable insight and knowledge about the most popular and effective food brands. They can guide you based on the type of small breed dog you have.

Essential Macronutrients For Small Breed Dogs

You need to select good dog food for small breeds because they contain an adequate amount of essential macronutrients, not to mention antioxidants.


Although small dogs do not require a lot of protein because of their weight and size, it is still important to provide them with the daily recommended protein intake.

Look for dog food that has at least 25% protein content.


This is where you have to understand there are a couple of sources of carbohydrates that can lead to various health complications in smaller breeds.

For example, potatoes, corn and wheat can cause allergies in dogs. But, at the same time, these nutrients are also important for him to grow, which is why you should first consult your veterinarian on the best course of action.


Small dog breeds tend to live longer as compared to bigger breeds, which is why it is necessary to provide them with a combination of antioxidants to keep their immune system strong.

Plus, antioxidants also help keep free radical cell damage at bay. Leafy green vegetables, blueberries and grapes are amongst the most powerful sources of antioxidants.

Bottom Line

So there you go. You now know enough to select the best dog food for small breeds and keep your little pooch happy, healthy and active.

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