Sharing a home with a small dog, regardless of breed, is a privilege, which most small dog owners would agree with. Not only are they adorable and easy to take along dog adventures due to their transportable size, but they also make excellent companions that will 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 take care of them throughout their life by providing them with healthy and nutritious options. So, what is the best kibble for little dogs?

 

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?

Good dog chow for smaller dogs are from brands that want the best for your pup, just like you, and that can provide your pooch with enough protein, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy for many long years to come. It also needs to be tasty, because let’s be honest, small pooches can be incredibly picky eaters!

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

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View The Best Dog Food For Small Dogs

1. 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 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 ingredients. Everything your canine will get is clearly labeled without any label tricks. You will know exactly what your pooch is getting.

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 kibble, which is highly processed regardless of the claims.

2. Ollie Dog Food

Ollie Chicken Recipe

Another subscription canine food service takes the number two spot on our list. Every meal is personally tailored for your pup, taking into account his size, eating habits and preferences and age.

This way, Ollie can guarantee proper sustenance and nutrition for any pup. Canines that go with Ollie will only be receiving the best, fresh, human-grade ingredients without all the unnecessary fillers. Everything is fresh , securely packaged and delivered right to your door.

Pros:

+ Specifically tailored for each pooch

+ Human-grade ingredients

+ Made fresh

+ Delivered to your door

Why We Liked It – Dogs can be picky eaters sometimes, and Ollie takes that into account by producing yummy fresh flavors such as beef, lamb, chicken and turkey.

3. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

The high protein content in this top-rated small breed canine kibble comes from deboned chicken, chicken meal and fish meal, making it a healthy and nutritious sustenance for little dogs. This grain-free product is enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and Blue Wilderness LifeSource bits; which contain a unique blend of antioxidants and vitamins, to help boost your tiny dog’s immune system.

These LifeSource bits have been selected by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians, to try and create the best small breed dry kibble. Blue Wilderness is not only free from grains, but also from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and animal by-products.

Pros:

+ Free from grains and full of protein

+ LifeSource bits with vitamins and antioxidants

+ The first three ingredients listed are meat products (chicken meal, fish meal, deboned chicken)

+ With Glucosamine for healthy bones and joints in a small breed

Why We Liked It – Who wouldn’t want to find the healthiest food for smaller breeds such as Shih Tzu’s and Pomeranians? This Blue Wilderness kibble has nutrients that will keep a small pup going throughout all life stages, and it comes in a convenient small kibble size that is an easy one for small jaws to chew.


4. Purina Beneful IncrediBites

Purina Beneful IncrediBites

Dry meals for smaller canines that your small breed is likely to love! This Purina dog food product has real beef on top of the ingredients’ list (but also comes in a Chicken variety), followed by a mix of barley and other healthy grains, as well as carrots and peas.

Smaller dogs need energy too, and with this small kibble meal (which is easy to chew for small mouths) they will get enough for a whole day of running around, while also getting 23 vitamins and minerals that help promote healthy digestion. The affordable kibble has a great mix of crunchy and soft bites, to motivate even the pickiest of eaters to finish their meal!

Pros:

+ 23 different vitamins and minerals

+ Contains real beef or chicken

+ Mix of crunchy and softer bites

+ Affordable price

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


5. 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 little breeds that there is so that they can grow 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.

It promotes lean muscle with the high-quality meat ingredients listed, and they use a good mix of fresh meat mixed with a meat meal, which guarantees a satisfactory protein content. Want a meat-free treat for your pup? Try these healthy Vegan dog treats.

The meat content is complemented with a mix of vegetables, fruits, and legumes; such as strawberries, blueberries and lentils, it is grain-free and has added taurine for heart health. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants come naturally with the products used to make this small breed dry dog food, and there are several different flavors to choose from.

Pros:

+ No grains or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

+ Blueberries and strawberries with antioxidants

+ Different flavor varieties to choose from

+ Meat ingredients for a high protein content

Why We Liked It – Taste of the Wild go all out when it comes to supplying rations that is 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, and each bowl is completely free from grains and fillers.


6. 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 teeth loss, and this product uses a proven kibble technology meant to reduce tartar – which almost always is the initial stage of oral problems in canines.

The kibble size itself makes it a good dog food for Yorkies, Pom’s and other small breed canines, and it contains the ideal levels of both DHA and EPA to give your pup’s skin and coat a real health boost! Better mouth health, softer skin, shinier coat, and a satisfied canine – what more could a responsible pawrent possibly wish for? The nutritional content is adjusted to fit the specific needs of small pups and miniature breeds.

Pros:

+ Reduces tartar with kibble technology

+ EPA and DHA for healthy skin and coat

+ Great for digestion and a normal metabolism

+ Suitable for all small breeds

Why We Liked It – This is a brand with plenty of experience in the business, and when they aim to create the best dog food for small dogs – they are very likely to succeed. The effort to reduce tartar in a natural way is great for small doggies, to stop oral health problems from presenting themselves.


7. Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free

Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free - Best Dogs Food

The best dog meals for small breed pooches is one that will give your pup the nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout their life, and this Merrick dog food product stands out with its high meat content, where 70% of the ingredients are named meat products.

Choose between deboned beef, chicken, salmon, and lamb, and find the variety that your small breed will like the 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 is added for aid in digestion, it contains Omega fatty acids to keep the skin and coat healthy, and it is poultry-free and suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Pros:

+ High percentage of real meat

+ High fiber dog food with healthy fatty acids

+ Free from poultry and animal by-products

+ Cooked in the United States

Why We Liked It – A healthy food for smaller pups that will care for your fur baby from the inside and out; giving them all the nutrients they need, while also promoting healthier skin and a shinier coat.


8. Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed

Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed dog food

Here we have complete and balanced small dog meals for pups between the ages of 1 and 6 (for canine pets weighing under 25lbs); rich in vitamin C and E, which helps prolong life expectancy and overall health.

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

Hill’s is one of the best brands for little breeds due to their experience in the business, and their small breed dog food is precisely balanced to fit the needs of those small four-legged friends we share our homes with.

Pros:

+ Clinically proven antioxidant benefits

+ Nutrients to prolong life expectancy

+ Rich in vitamin C and E

+ Calcium for teeth and bone health

Why We Liked It – Easy to digest for a small breed dog and kind on their sensitive stomachs and digestive system so that they can enjoy their meals without having it be followed by a stomachache.


9. Purina Bella Natural Bites

Purina Bella Natural Bites small dog food

Feed your adorable little pup the best small breed kibble you can find and take this product into consideration when choosing. It contains a great blend of added vitamins and minerals, has a real chicken and real beef depending on the flavor variety you choose, and gives great support to a small dog’s sensitive digestive system while also giving the immune system a boost.

The small and soft bites are hard to resist, and despite the size, there is plenty of nutrition hiding inside every single kibble. Take the meat content and mix it with healthy vegetables such as carrots, peas, and spinach, and you get this complete canine meal for small doggos.

Pros:

+ Made with real beef and chicken

+ Strengthens the immune system

+ Nutritious and delicious

+ Little bite size for a small breed

Why We Liked It – 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.

 


10. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free dog food

This Wellness Core Dog Food product is a 100% grain-free and protein-rich small breed dog kibble – made to cater to the higher energy level and needs of a small pup. There is no wheat, soy, corn, animal by-products, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and instead, each kibble is filled with premium chicken and turkey (54% meat), calcium, healthy fatty acids, vitamin E and Glucosamine (for bone and joint health).

There is also flaxseed and salmon oil, which can both work miracles when it comes to a healthy-looking skin and a shiny coat. The three first ingredients are meat products, and it is made entirely with natural ingredients since you should be able to give the best dry dog food for small breeds living under your roof.

Pros:

+ All-natural ingredients

+ With 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 in the family because let’s face it, we love our dogs and want them to stay healthy. This one product uses only natural ingredients to make sure of this, and it has glucosamine which is great for aging canines.


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Pedigree Dentastix Toy/Small Dog Treats

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These special small breed dog treats are a great way to make your fur baby a little extra happy, while also giving them something to chew on that will prevent gum disease, help clean their teeth and give them an overall fresher breath (which is great if your pooch is the kissing type, who likes to show his or her love with a kiss or two).

Remember to be careful not to overfeed your small pup and to count this treat into the total daily food intake. Feed a stick while you want to keep your pup entertained for a minute; perhaps if you have work to do and need to buy yourself some time before taking your fur friend for a walk or use it as a reward after a successful training session.

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 the same in many ways; they have the same anatomy and need for love, exercise, and discipline, but there are some differences when it comes to their nutritional needs of big dogs such as German Shepherds and small pups such as Yorkies. Smaller dogs are prone to different types of oral diseases; such as teeth loss and infected gums, and this can be prevented with appropriately sized kibble, along with frequent tooth brushing and care. A small breed will also have different needs when it comes to energy content and protein, so it is important to pick the best food for small breed pups.

For those owners who have never paid much attention to different pet food brands, it might feel difficult at first to decide and navigate through all the options, because what is the best dry dog chow for small pups? What you need to do is to familiarize yourself with the content of the food product you are considering, and to learn beforehand what to look for and what to avoid.

Once you have a basic idea; finding the best dry food for a small breed automatically becomes a lot less intimidating, and you can start browsing to see what your options are. Below are some basic pointers for what you want to find when looking for the healthiest dog meals for small breeds, why it is important and how to find a product that meets your expectations.

Kibble Size & Dental Health

It might seem random to mention the bite-size of kibble along with dental health, but they have a lot to do with one another! Properly sized kibble 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 size that is proportionate to the size of their mouth and jaw so that the kibble can work its magic while your fur buddy eats. You can also supplement with dental treats and chews.

Quality ingredients

Always have a look at the ingredients’ list before making a decision, and especially on the content listed first and second. You preferably want at least one of these to be a quality meat product; such as deboned chicken, beef or lamb, to make sure the product contains enough protein for your pooch.

Stay away from cheap products listing “Animal by-products” or any type of by-products from animals, since these are unnamed animalistic sources, but not necessarily meat. It can be left-overs from a slaughterhouse; such as chicken beaks, and other chicken parts that was deemed unfit for human consumption and so on, and it might not, but since it is not specified – you never really know, and it is better to stay clear of it as possible. The protein content in the by-products are generally a lot lower than real meats.

When looking for flavors, chicken can, unfortunately, cause more allergic reactions than other types of protein meats such as beef and pork. However, chicken is the most biologically available and a great choice of lean protein if your pooch can handle it.

Meals such as chicken meal or beef meal can also be a healthy source of protein, however, we recommend wholesome foods when feeding your small breed puppy. They have more demanding nutritional needs since they reach maturity faster than larger breeds. You don’t need to steer clear of dog foods with meals for protein, but supplementing their diet would be helpful.

You might also want to keep an eye out for natural ingredients, since feeding your dog a natural diet can come 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 calories per serving will vary. If you take this into consideration, it will be easier to manage the energy intake from the food and avoid overfeeding.

The Picky Eater

Some small pups don’t seem to like any food, no matter what you offer them, and many owners find themselves struggling to get their beloved pup to eat. Medical reasons should always be considered and excluded by having the dog checked by a vet, but as long as 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 flavors, to see if that can convince your little fur friend, and with different brands. If your dog is one of those pups that seem to get tired of food after a while, even though they loved it at first, you can try and go with a product that comes in a variety of flavors, since it gives you a chance to change it up without having to change food brand.

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 in accordance with his or her weight. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain, and an overweight canine is at a much higher risk of injury, illness, and disease. You want to keep your pup happy, healthy and active, and can easily do so by sticking to the correct serving sizes.

What is the best food for toy breed dogs?

Most pup owners have at some point wondered what the healthiest dog food for small dogs is, especially if you are the owner of a tiny toy breed. You will want to choose a kibble that is as small in bite-size as possible, to avoid having your pup strain his or her jaw when eating. A good option is the ‘Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed’, for small dogs under 25lbs. It contains 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, or one that is for all life stages. The ‘BLUE Wilderness High Protein GrainFree is an excellent option due to its elevated protein content, the added Glucosamine, and Chondroitin which protects and strengthens the joints and bones, and the fruit, 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 just as suitable for both. ‘Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein’ works well for dogs all life stages; both puppies, adults, and seniors, which makes it a good option especially for puppy owners who also have adult dogs so that you won’t have to feed your dogs different kibble products. Finding the best small food for little puppies is easier than you might think.

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, and it has small balls fully packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants, something that makes taking proper care of your dog both easy and cheap. Not everyone is able to (or want to) spend a fortune on pet food, and that is okay, so have a look at the mentioned option 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, and very gentle on the stomach of a sensitive dog. It has 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 one meat product since you can simply choose another. See more hypoallergenic dog foods here.

Conclusion

So, then, which dog food is the best for little breeds? There is no straight answer, but instead, it depends on your pooch, his or her preferences and what you as an owner are willing to feed. Look through the options, take what is mentioned in this into consideration and help your small breed get access to the best possible food that there is. It is okay to not get it right from the start, and it might 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, and to always do it gradually to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach.

Did You Know?

The smallest (and recognized) dog breed is the Chihuahua, but occasionally you will find individuals of other breeds – such as the Yorkshire Terrier – that are smaller than some Chihuahuas.

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Janni
Janni is a dog loving writer who currently shares her home with two rescue dogs - Emmett and Frankie. Writing doggie-inspired articles is a way for Janni to share her knowledge, find inspiration, and help others.