Most owners would agree that sharing a home with a small breed dog is a privilege. Not only are small breed dogs adorable and easy to take along on dog adventures due to their easily transportable size, but they also make excellent companions who will always be there for you when you need them the most. Since our small pups take care of us when we are in need – we owe it to them to provide them with the highest level of care and dog nutrition possible through their little lives.

That’s why we have scoured the internet, reading countless buyer review comments, dry matter label analysis lists and advice by experts to find the best dog food for small dogs. We have settled on the very best small breed dog food options and collated them into this easy to browse list to save you time and effort.

Vet Approved Content
  • Sara Redding Ochoa DVM
  • Certified content. This has been fact-checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.

    Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa: “If a small dog is having a hard time eating the kibble; try adding a small amount of water to the dry food to make it softer. I find this is very helpful with the very small dogs. ”

Got a Chihuahua? Why not try our Chihuahua dog food Review?

The best small breed dog foods come from brands who truly want the best for your dogs, just like you do. These foods are designed to ensure your dog gets enough meat protein, as well as essential ingredients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and chondroitin sulfate which help to fulfill your dog’s nutritional needs and address any potential health concerns. When looking for the best small breed dog foods, you also want to ensure the recipe contains no fillers, products high in unhealthy fat or unnecessary carbs.

Not only this, you need to ensure that your choice of small breed dog food is tasty and appealing. Anyone who knows small dogs knows how fussy their eating habits can often be, especially when it comes to toy breeds.

Want to go natural? Try these raw freeze-dried dog foods.

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View The Best Dog Food For Small Dogs

1. Wild Earth Dog Food

Wild Earth Dog Food

Our number one choice of best dog foods for small dogs goes to the excellent company Wild Earth. This company offer an extremely high-quality product which is kind to your wallet, your dogs and the earth.

Wild Earth only uses the very best, sustainable ingredients to ensure that your dog gets all of the tailored nutrition they need. They understand that dogs are omnivores and so include plenty of high-quality fruits and vegetables alongside specially selected meats to ensure a high protein content which is achieved in a sustainable way. You’ll find no meat by-products or inferior products like corn gluten meal here, only ingredients specially selected for their high content of vitamins and minerals.

What’s more, our choice of the best food is delivered straight to your door. It really couldn’t be more convenient.

Pros:

+ Developed by veterinarians for the best dog nutrition content.
+ Ecologically sustainable without compromising on protein content.
+ Delivered straight to your door.
+ 100% money-back guarantee.

Why We Like It – Our choice of best dog food is an all-round ideal meal for your pet. The special blend of fruits and vegetables works alongside ethically-sourced meat to ensure a high protein content. These dog foods are convenient, environmentally friendly and packed full of health benefits.


2. Farmer’s Dog Food

farmers dog food

Fresh human-grade food for dogs will always be the top contender for the best dog food for small dogs. The untreated and unprocessed ingredients of Farmer’s Dog Food are more easily absorbed into your dog’s system.

Every meal is made fresh in USDA approved kitchens in the USA. Every recipe is vet-approved and does not contain harmful ingredients, such as preservatives, fillers and artificial additives.

Pros:

+ Human-grade food.
+ Freshly made.
+ Made in USDA certified kitchens.
+ Vet-approved.

Why We Liked It – The food being fresh really makes it stand out against traditional kibbles, which are highly processed regardless of what many brands claim. The fresh protein sources lovingly prepared for these small breed dog foods are perfect for maintaining healthy energy levels in adults dogs.

In terms of quality calories per pound and animal protein content, you would be hard-pressed to find a better alternative to the small breed dog foods provided by Farmer’s Dog Food.


3. Ollie Dog Food

Ollie Chicken Recipe

Another subscription service for small breed dog food takes the number two spot on our list. Every meal from this product line is personally tailored to your pup, taking into account their size, eating habits, preferences and age.

This way, Ollie can guarantee proper sustenance and nutrition for all adult dogs and puppies. Buyer review feedback proves how small breed dogs fed with Ollie only receive the best, fresh, human-grade ingredients without all the unnecessary fillers.

Pros:

+ Specifically tailored to individual small breed dogs.
+ Human-grade ingredients, including real animal protein in every meal.
+ Made fresh.
+ Delivered to your door.

Why We Liked It – Small breed dogs are undoubtedly fussy eaters. This can often cause their owners a headache when trying to identify which dog food brands include all the essential fatty acids and protein sources their small breed dogs require, without compromising on taste.

This is why Ollie provides some of the best dog food on the market. Their delicious beef, lamb, chicken and turkey options are personalized to a degree which is impossible with your average store-bought dry dog food brand.


4. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

This small breed grain-free food utilizes the Blue Buffalo life protection formula to support a long and happy life for all small dogs. The high protein content in this top-rated small breed canine kibble comes from deboned chicken, chicken meal and fish meal. This makes for ideal healthy and nutritious sustenance for small breed dogs. This grain-free recipe dry dog food product is enhanced with vitamins, minerals and other essentials.

The exclusive Blue Wilderness LifeSource bits also contain a unique blend of antioxidants and vitamins, to help boost the immune system of your small dog. These LifeSource bits have been selected by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians to create the best small breed dry kibble possible.

Blue Wilderness‘ grain-free recipe also comes with no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or animal by-products. The fish meal and chicken meal this recipe contains help to protect joints, making it ideal for small breed senior dogs.

Pros:

+ Free from grains and full of natural protein sources.
+ LifeSource bits expertly formulated with vitamins and antioxidants.
+ One of the most trusted dog food brands in terms of buyer review feedback.
+ Fish meal and chicken meal provide Glucosamine for healthy bones and joints in small breed dogs.

Why We Liked It – Who wouldn’t want to find the healthiest food for smaller breeds, such as Shih Tzu’s and Pomeranians? With the Blue Buffalo life protection formula, owners of small breed dogs can rest assured that they are providing their little ones with the best life chances.

This Blue Wilderness small breed grain-free kibble has all the ideal nutrients to keep a small pup going throughout all life stages. It also comes in a conveniently small kibble size that is easy for small jaws to chew.


5. Purina Beneful IncrediBites

Purina Beneful IncrediBites

Purina create dry dog food meals which small breed dogs love! This Purina dog food product sources its animal protein from real beef or chicken. The meat protein content is then complemented by a mixture of carrots, peas, barley and other healthy grains and carbs to provide your dog with their ideal energy levels.

Despite requiring smaller portion sizes than large breed dogs, smaller dogs need energy too. With the Purina Beneful IncrediBites product line, your dog will have a small kibble meal of dry dog food which is easy to chew with small mouths. The recipe contains healthy carbs and low-fat content to keep your small dog outmaneuvering its large breed competitors.

Purina foods for small breeds also contain twenty-three vitamins and minerals which help to promote healthy digestion.

Pros:

+ 23 different vitamins and minerals.
+ Contains real beef or chicken, as well as healthy, low-fat carbs to help maintain energy levels.
+ Mix of crunchy and softer bites.
+ Affordable price.

Why We Liked It – The best dog kibbles for small breed dogs aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones. Beneful food is a good budget option and is among one of the healthiest dog kibbles for small breed dogs.

What’s more, thanks to the mixture of soft and crunchy kibbles in this product line, your small breed dogs can get all of the dental benefits of dry dog food with some of the texture that makes wet food so appealing.


6. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein

Taste of the Wild High Protein - Dogs Best Food

Our tiny and adorable pups deserve to get the best dog kibble for smaller breeds so they can grow up strong and live a healthy life alongside us for as long as possible. Taste of the Wild knows this and they have developed a product that qualifies as the best dog food for little dogs.

Taste of the Wild promotes lean muscle with all the high-quality meat ingredients listed. They use a good mixture of fresh meat and meat meal, which guarantees a satisfactory level of protein content. Want a meat-free treat accompaniment for your pup? Try these healthy Vegan dog treats.

The meat content is complemented with a mixture of vegetables, fruits and legumes. These include strawberries, blueberries and lentils. This product is grain-free and has added taurine for heart health. Vitamins, minerals, Omega fatty acids and antioxidants are found naturally within the products used to make this small breed dry dog food.

Pros:

+ No grains, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
+ Contains berries with antioxidants, as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
+ Different flavor varieties to choose from.
+ Meat ingredients for high protein content.

Why We Liked It – Taste of the Wild go all out when it comes to supplying rations that are rich in protein, which is something a pup naturally needs to stay healthy, energetic and strong.

They incorporate ingredients that have a natural vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content. This means each bowl is completely free from grains and fillers.


7. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini kibble for small breed dog

Small pups are often prone to gum disease and tooth loss, especially if they are used to a diet of wet food. To help fight against this, Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini use a proven kibble technology to reduce tartar and prevent the initial stage of oral problems in canines.

The nutritional content is also adjusted to fit the specific needs of small pups and miniature breeds. The recipe contains a careful blend of chicken, chicken fat, chicken meal, brown rice and beet pulp to provide the perfect level of carbs and fat content for your furry friend. Brown rice is also high in fiber, to help aid healthy digestion.

Pros:

+ Reduces tartar with kibble technology.
+ EPA and DHA for healthy skin and coat.
+ Great for digestion and maintaining a normal metabolism.
+ Suitable for all small breeds.

Why We Liked It – This is a brand with plenty of instinct and experience in the business of creating the best dog food for small breed animals.

Royal Canin have taken a comprehensive approach to nutrition with this food. Kibble technology actively reduces those pesky tartar levels which can build up with reliance on wet food. Meanwhile, the chicken meal helps to protect joints and the brown rice aids digestion.


8. Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free

Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free - Best Dogs Food

The best dog meals for small breed pooches are those that give your pup the nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout their life. Merrick dog food stands out with its high meat content, with 70% of the ingredients being meat products, such as chicken, chicken fat and chicken meal. These allow Merrick dog food to help build lean muscle, maintain joints and utilize healthy fat to aid cognitive development.

Choose between deboned beef, chicken, salmon and lamb to find the variety that your small breed will like best. Little breeds can be picky eaters, but they will have a hard time resisting the meaty flavor of this easily chewed kibble, making it a good dog kibble for small fur babies with a refined taste.

Probiotic fiber works alongside the brown rice content to aid in digestion. Merrick also contains Omega fatty acids to keep the skin and coat healthy and is suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Pros:

+ High percentage of real meat.
+ High fiber dog food with brown rice and healthy fatty acids.
+ Free from unhealthy fat and inferior animal by-products.
+ Cooked in the USA.

Why We Liked ItMerrick Lil Plates Grain Free is a healthy food choice for smaller pups which will care for your fur baby from the inside and out. It also contains one of the highest levels of real meat content on this list.

Beneficial fat and fatty acids work alongside various nutrients to promote healthier skin and a shinier coat, while elements such as lamb meal and salmon meal help to keep joints in optimum condition.


9. Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed

Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed dog food

Next up we have this complete and balanced small dog food for pups between the ages of 1 and 6. It is rich in vitamin C and E, which prolong life expectancy and maintain overall health. Vitamin E also works alongside Omega-6 fatty acids to nurture a healthy coat, while chondroitin sulfate protects problematic joints.

This chicken and rice recipe has no artificial flavors, preservatives or colors. Its antioxidant benefits have been clinically proven and it is rich in calcium and high-quality protein.

Hill’s is one of the best brands for little breeds due to their lengthy experience in the business. Their small breed dog food is precisely balanced to fit the needs of our four-legged friends.

Pros:

+ Clinically proven antioxidant benefits.
+ Nutrients to prolong life expectancy.
+ Rich in vitamin C, E and Omega-6 fatty acids.
+ Calcium for teeth and bone health.

Why We Liked It – These kibbles are easy to digest for any small breed dog and kind on their sensitive stomachs so that your furry friends can enjoy their meals without worrying about stomach aches.


10. Purina Bella Natural Bites

Purina Bella Natural Bites small dog food

Take Purina Bella Natural Bites into consideration when choosing the best small breed kibble for your dog. These contain a great blend of vitamins and minerals, alongside healthy carbs and real chicken or beef.

These small and soft bites are hard to resist and there is plenty of nutrition hiding inside every single kibble to help support a strong immune system.

Pros:

+ Made with real beef and chicken.
+ Strengthens the immune system.
+ Nutritious and delicious.
+ Bite-sized for small breed mouths.

Why We Liked It – Contains a good mix of protein, vegetables and added vitamins so that you won’t have to worry about giving your small breed dog extra vitamin supplements.


11. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free dog food

Wellness Core Dog Food is a 100% grain-free and protein-rich food made to cater to those higher energy level pets without resorting to unnecessary filler or fat content.

Each kibble is filled with premium chicken and turkey, calcium, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E and Glucosamine. Flaxseed and salmon oil both work miracles for healthy skin and a shiny coat. All of this ensures this is among the best dry dog food for small breeds out there.

Pros:

+ All-natural ingredients.
+ Contains high-quality deboned turkey and chicken.
+ Glucosamine for healthy bones.
+ Free from grains and corn.

Why We Liked It – Everyone wants to find the best food for their small breed dog. Wellness Core uses only natural ingredients to achieve this, including fatty acids such as Omega-3 and 6 to aid the immune system and help maintain coat health.

Matter label analysis of this food also proves an impressive 54% meat content!


BONUS BUY: Pedigree Dentastix Toy/Small Dog Treats

Pedigree Dentastix Toy/Small Dog Treats

Check Latest Price

Pedigree Dentastix Toy/Small Dog Treats are great for their dual approach to dog well fare. They keep your dog happy and occupied with a chewable treat, while also cleaning their teeth and gums. Pedigree Dentastix help to prevent gum disease and provide a fresher breath.

Be careful not to overfeed your small pup and to count this treat into their total daily food intake to prevent them from getting fat. Fat dogs often experience complications with their joints, hearts and more.

Related; Pedigree Dog Food Review.

Try Our Favorite Fresh Dog Food: The Farmer's Dog

Fresh dog food is the better, healthier option for your fur baby.

The Farmer's Dog a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food with simple recipes, guided by science, and driven by love.

It's loaded with quality human-grade meat, fruits, veggies and superfoods in a vet-approved recipe.

COUPON: GET 50% OFF FARMER'S DOG Learn More

Small Breed Dog Food Buyers Guide

Big and small breeds are similar in many ways. They have the same need for love, exercise and discipline. However, there are some large differences when it comes to the nutritional needs of big dogs, such as German Shepherds, and small pups, such as Yorkies.

Smaller dogs are prone to oral hygiene problems like tooth loss and infected gums. These can be prevented with an appropriately sized kibble, along with frequent tooth brushing and dental care. A small breed will also have different needs when it comes to energy content, fat levels and protein requirements, so it is important to pick the right food for your small breed pups.

Familiarizing yourself with harmful and helpful food contents can help you make the right decision. Once you understand the basics, finding the best dry food for a small breed becomes a lot less intimidating. Below are some pointers for what to look for in the healthiest dog meals for small breeds.

Kibble Size & Dental Health

Properly sized kibbles can help keep your pup’s teeth clean and tartar free, which is essential when it comes to preventing oral disease and teeth loss – especially for older fur babies.

The healthiest dog foods for small dogs will have a kibble size that is proportional to the size of their mouth. These can also be supplemented with dental treats and chews.

Quality ingredients

Always have look at the ingredients before making a decision, especially the first and second ingredients. Aim for at least one of these to be a quality meat or fish product, such as deboned chicken, beef or lamb. This will ensure sure the product contains enough protein for your pooch.

Stay away from cheap products listing any type of animal by-products, since these are often from unnamed and unreliable sources. They may be leftovers from a slaughterhouse, like chicken beaks or other chicken parts deemed unfit for human consumption. You never really know, so it is better to avoid these where possible. The protein content in by-products is also generally a lot lower than real meats. Matter label analysis on the food packing can also help you work out what your dog’s food really contains.

When looking for flavors, chicken can, unfortunately, cause more allergic reactions than other types of high protein meats like beef and pork. However, chicken is often one of the most widely and cheaply available meats, making it a great choice of low-fat protein if your pooch can handle it.

Meals such as chicken meal, lamb meal and salmon meal can also be a healthy source of protein. However, we recommend wholesome foods when feeding your small breed puppy. Puppies have more demanding nutritional needs since they reach maturity faster than larger breeds. You don’t need to steer clear of dog foods using meals for protein entirely, but supplementing a diet based around these would be helpful. Meals such as lamb meal and salmon meal also contain compounds helpful for maintaining healthy joints.

You might also want to keep an eye out for natural ingredients, since feeding your dog a natural diet comes with proven health benefits. Whether you are looking for the best dry food for smaller pups or the best wet dog food for little breeds – you want to go for quality, since good food will increase your pup’s chances of living a long and healthy life.

You may also want to pay attention to the calories per serving when feeding your pup. Depending on how active your pooch is, the recommended amount of calories per serving will vary. If you take this into consideration, it will be easier to manage your dog’s energy intake and avoid overfeeding.

The Picky Eater

Some small pups don’t seem to like any food, no matter what you offer them. As such, many owners find themselves struggling to get their beloved pup to eat.

Medical reasons for pickiness should always be considered and ruled out by having your dog checked by a vet. However, if it is just a case of having a picky small breed pup on your hands – the issue can usually be resolved by finding the right food!

Experiment with different options to see if you can tempt your pet with different brands or flavors. If your dog is one of those pups who seems to get tired of a flavor after a while, even though they loved it at first, try a product which comes in a variety of flavors.

Serving Size & Weight

Small pooches are the kings and queens of using their irresistible puppy eyes to get what they want and this includes dog foods and treats. Do not fall for it!

Always read the serving size indications on the back of the kibble bag before serving to make sure your pup gets the right amount of food for their weight. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain and an overweight canine is at a much higher risk of injury, illness and disease.

You obviously want to keep your pup happy, healthy and active and you can easily do so by sticking to the correct serving sizes.

What is the best food for toy breed dogs?

Most pup owners wonder what the healthiest dog food for small dogs is, especially if they are the proud owner of a tiny toy breed.

You will want to choose a kibble that is as bite-sized as possible to avoid having your pup strain his or her jaw when eating.

One good option is the ‘Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed’ for small dogs under 25lbs. It contains all the nutrition your toy breed needs and is designed to be easily chewed and consumed by a miniature pup.

Which dog food for a small senior dog?

Always look for a kibble that is aimed at senior dogs. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free is an excellent option due to its elevated protein content, as well as added Glucosamine and Chondroitin which protect and strengthen joints and bones.

This food also boasts a composition of fruits, berries and vegetables that are packed with natural antioxidants and vitamins.

What dog food for a small breed puppy?

While some dog owners prefer to use puppy food first and then slowly switch over to an adult kibble, there are several products that are suitable for all life stages.

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein’ works well for dogs in all life stages, from puppies to adults to seniors. This makes it a good all-round option, especially for puppy owners who also have adult dogs.

What is the best cheap dog food for little dogs?

Purina Beneful IncrediBites’ is an affordable small dog dry food, which might be the right choice for the doggy parent who is looking for a cheaper option.

The small kibble bites are perfect for small breeds and toy dogs. It comes fully packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants. This ensures taking proper care of your dog remains both easy and cheap.

Not everyone is able to (or wants to) spend a fortune on pet food, and that is okay, so have a look at the option mentioned above and see if it is something that could work for you.

Best food for smaller dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Have a look at ‘Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free’, which is the best dog food free from poultry, grains, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. This makes it very gentle on the stomach of a sensitive dog.

It boasts plenty of nutrients and protein to keep your pup going, without upsetting their stomach in the process. They also offer several different flavor varieties, which is great in case your dog is allergic to any one product.

See more hypoallergenic dog foods here.

Conclusion

So, then, which dog food is the best for little breeds?

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer. It all depends on your pooch and your price preferences. Have a browse through this list and weight up the pros of each of these brands against your situation. Have a fussy eater? Consider a pack with lots of variety. Have a pup with a dull coat or flaky skin? Try a product rich in Omega-3.

It is okay to not get it right straight away. It might even require a few attempts, but with patience and knowledge – you will eventually find the right food for your hound.

Expert Tip

Remember to never switch foods from one day to another. Always do it gradually by mixing the two kibble types to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach.

Did You Know?

The smallest dog breed is officially the Chihuahua. However, occasionally you will find individuals of other breeds – such as the Yorkshire Terrier – who are even smaller than Chihuahuas.

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