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 dogs 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 food options. So, what is a good dog food for small dogs?

Vet Approved Content
  • Sara Redding Ochoa DVM
  • Certified content. This article 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 foods for small 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 dogs 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. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

The high protein content in this top-rated small breed dog food comes from deboned chicken, chicken meal and fish meal, making it a healthy and nutritious dog food 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 dog food. Blue Wilderness is not only free from grains, but also from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and animal by-products.


+ Free from grains and full of protein

+ LifeSource bits with vitamins and antioxidants

+ The first three ingredients listed are meat products

+ With Glucosamine for healthy bones and joints

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

2. Purina Beneful IncrediBites

Purina Beneful IncrediBites

A dry dog food for small dogs that your pup 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.

Small dogs need energy too, and with this small kibble dog food (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!


+ 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 foods for small dogs aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones, and this Beneful food is a good budget option that will still provide your pup with a nutritious and complete meal.

3. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein food for small dogs

Our tiny and adorable pups deserve to get the best dog food for small 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.


+ 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 a food that is rich in protein, which is something a dog naturally needs to stay healthy, energetic and strong. They incorporate food products that have a natural vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content, and the food is completely free from grains and fillers.

4. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini kibble for small dogs

Small dogs 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 dogs.

The kibble size itself makes it a good dog food for Yorkies, Pom’s and other small breeds, 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 dog – what more could a responsible dog owner possibly wish for? The nutritional content is adjusted to fit the specific needs of small dogs and miniature breeds.


+ Reduces tartar with kibble technology

+ EPA and DHA for a healthy skin and coat

+ Great for digestion and a normal metabolism

+ Suitable for all small dogs

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

5. Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free

Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free dog food for small dogs

The best dog food for small dogs 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 pooch will like the best. Small dogs are picky eaters, but they will have a hard time resisting the meaty flavor of this easily chewed kibble, making it a good dog food for small dogs 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.


+ High percentage of real meat

+ Probiotic fiber and healthy fatty acids

+ Free from poultry and animal by-products

+ Cooked in the United States

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

6. Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed

Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed dog food

Here we have a perfectly balanced small dog food for pups between the ages of 1 and 6 (for dogs 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 dog food brands for small dogs 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.


+ 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 small dogs and kind on their sensitive stomachs and digestive system so that they can enjoy their meals without having it be followed by a stomachache.

7. Purina Bella Natural Bites

Purina Bella Natural Bites small dog food

Feed your adorable little pup the best small breed dog food 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 dog food for small dogs.


+ Made with real beef and chicken

+ Strengthens the immune system

+ Nutritious and delicious

+ Small bite size

Why We Liked It – Good mix of protein, vegetables, and added vitamins so that you won’t have to worry about giving your tiny pooch extra vitamin supplements.

8. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free dog food for small dogs

This Wellness Core Dog Food product is a 100% grain-free and protein-rich small dog food – 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.


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

9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness dog food for small dogs

If you have an active small dog aged 1 to 8, this active kibble formula might be something worth considering! The real chicken used for protein helps maintain strong and lean muscles, as well as lead to an ideal body weight which is important for small dogs.

It is easy to digest full of flavors to appeal to picky eaters, has antioxidants to support the immune system and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and Omega 6 fatty acids. These can over time contribute to a visibly shinier coat, and many users report seeing a difference already within the first 30 days of use.


+ For active pups aged 1 to 8

+ Omega 6 for a shinier coat

+ With real chicken

+ Good option for picky eaters

Why We Liked It – Some small dogs don’t feel good about having to switch diet, and this product is suitable for young dogs as well as for seniors, which means you can use the same kibble for as long as you like.

10. Wellness Complete Health Natural

Wellness Complete Health Natural food for small dogs

Wellness presents a product that is entirely made in the United States; using quality ingredients and a carefully calculated mix of nutrients for your small dog. If you are looking for the best dog food for small breed dogs – you have come to the right place, as the kibble size is just right for a tiny dog’s mouth, the flavor is there to convince the pickiest of eaters and it is made with all-natural ingredients.

No wheat, soy, animal by-products or artificial flavors, preservatives or colors, which makes it safe to feed to your pup. It is great for digestive health, immune system, and overall energy level so that you and your fur baby can get the most out of your years together!


+ Made with only natural ingredients

+ With Glucosamine and Chondroitin

+ For all small breed dogs

+ Free from animal by-products

Why We Liked It – This is a dog food small breeds will love, since it is so full of flavor from natural sources that even the pickiest eater won’t be able to resist.

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These special dog treats are a great way to make your dog 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 dog 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.


Dog Food for Small Dogs Buyers Guide

Big and small dogs 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. Small 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. Small dogs also have different needs when it comes to energy content, so it is important to pick the best dog food for small breed pups.

For those owners who have never paid much attention to different dog food brands, it might feel difficult at first to decide and navigate through all the options, because what is the best dry dog food for small dogs? 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 small dogs 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 food for small dogs, 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 dogs. The best dog food for small breeds 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 chicken beaks, meat 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, since the protein content is generally a lot lower than in products with real meat.

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 dog food for small dogs or the best wet dog food for small breeds – you want to go for quality, since good food will increase your pup’s chances of living a long and healthy life.

The Picky Eater

Some small dogs 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 eater 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 dogs are the kings and queens of using their irresistible puppy eyes to get what they want, and this includes food 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 dog 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 dog owners have at some point wondered what the best dog food for small dogs is, and especially if you are the owner of a tiny toy breed dog. 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 dog 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 Grain Free’ 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 dog food for puppies is easier than you might think.

What is the best cheap dog food for small 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, 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 dog 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 dog food for small dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Have a look at ‘Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free’, which is free from poultry, grains, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, and very gentle on the stomach of a sensitive dog. It has plenty of nutrients 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.



So, then, what is the best dog food for small dogs? There is no straight answer, but instead, it depends on your dog, his or her preferences and what you as an owner are willing to feed. Look through the options, take what is mentioned in this article into consideration and help your small breed dog 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 dog.

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 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.