The Best Dog Food for Small Breeds In May 2022 

best Premium Small Dog Food 2022

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Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe
A Top Quality Product
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best Quality Small breed Dog Food 2022

pedigree dog food
Pedigree Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
No Added Sugars
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best Value Small Breed Dog Food 2022

dog food nulo
Nutro Ultra Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Helps In Slow Feeding
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What is the best healthiest dog food for small breeds in May 2022?

Just like humans, a dog varies their needs according to their size, metabolic rates, breeds, physical activities, and more. 

For your small pups to be physically fit and healthy, specially formulated recipes of dog foods are required like smaller chunk size or kibble but have a higher nutrient content to satisfy their stamina and strength. 

Know that smaller dogs have higher metabolic rates and calories compared to larger breeds.

With that, we reviewed several best-selling dog foods on the market with every detail that you need to know. We also created a buying guide that is comprehensive enough to provide you more knowledge about dog food for small breeds, including the perfect one for your cute pups.
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe
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The Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley is a good source of novel protein for your sensitive small dog as it is made with lamb and venison meal. This grain-free recipe is ideal for small breed dogs who are sensitive to standard protein sources and grains that are commonly found in the market. Also, your pups can surely enjoy it as it is healthy and easy to chew.

More than that, the formula of this Appalachian Valley from Taste of the Wild contains antioxidant and fiber-rich legumes, fruits, and vegetables such as tomatoes lentils, garbanzo, and blueberries that act as superfoods for better skin and coat. It also has optimal amino acid profiles for lean and stronger muscles. It also contains canola oil and ocean fish meal for essential fatty acid content. And to support your dog's gut health, it had added propriety K9 probiotic blend making it easy to digest.
Brand: Taste of the Wild

Flavor: Venison

Breed recommendation: Small breeds
Benefits  Taste of the Wild
  • very small kibbles and easily breaks
  • helps in a slow feeding
  • does not have an overpowering smell
  • results in relatively odor-less stools 
Nutro Ultra Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
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The chicken, lamb, and salmon are the trio-protein that Nutro Ultra offers for your small pups. The real chicken ingredient is the number one source of nutrients from this dog food. Also, it is formulated with 15 superfood ingredients such as coconut, chia, kale, blueberries, and other high-quality animal protein and whole grains. This provides a balanced diet for your dogs that is nutrient-rich and full of flavor that will help improve their eating habits.

This trio-protein dog food is made with non-GMO ingredients as well as no animal by-product, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, or soy protein. So, if your dog has a sensitive stomach and has been switching to different brands, you can pour this recipe into the dog food feeder without needing to mix it with wet food.
Flavor Blend

Toy Or Small Dogs

Dose Not Contain BHT
  • very small kibbes
  • helps in a slow feeding
  • improves dry coat
Pedigree Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
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Pedigree's small breed dog food offers complete nutrition with roasted chicken, rice, and vegetable flavor that provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants to help your dog maintain a healthy lifestyle. It features accents of vegetables, protein, and whole grains to support improved digestion and gut health. Also, it contains omega-6 fatty acids and zinc to keep your small dogs' coat shiny and healthy as well as nourished skin.

The smaller kibbles in this recipe make it easier for the small pups to chew their meal properly. Also, this is designed for every fur parent who has a tighter budget since it is cheaper than other prescribed dog food by vets.
Flavor Chicken
  • does not contain added sugars
  • promotes balanced diet
  • has smaller kibbles
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food
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Blue Buffalo's Life Protection Formula is crafted by using top-quality ingredients including brown rice, menhaden fish, and lamb meat. This small breed dog food is as healthy as tasty for your pup. Aside from having animal protein sources, it also contains a formula that has wholesome grains, fruits, and vegetables for a healthy balanced diet and optimal support for high-energy small dogs.

The recipe, chicken & brown rice, is supplemented with all essential vitamins and minerals to promote a stronger immune system and well-being. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are present to give healthy skin and a lustrous coat. This dog food for small breeds ensures no meat by-product as well as no fillers like corn, wheat, preservatives, colors, and other controversial food ingredients that give allergies to dogs.
  • helps relieve diarrhea
  • contains pure protein
  • improves the coat
  • no added fillers
Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Grain Free Small & Mini Breed Adult
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The Holistic Select Small and Mini Breed dog food can be a perfect choice for your pups. It is made with novel protein sources including anchovy, sardines, and chicken. Plus, it has active probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber making it easier for your dogs to digest their food.

Aside from containing nutritious protein sources, this dog food also contains a variety of superfoods including apples, pumpkin, blueberries, cranberries, and papaya that are all rich in antioxidants for a healthier immune system. Flaxseeds and salmon oil are also present for omega-3 fatty acid content. Moreover, this recipe has no artificial additives and fillers, making it ideal for sensitive pooches.
  • grain-free
  • made with real chicken
  • supports healthy joints
Nulo Small Breed Dry Dog Food - Grain Free, Small Size Kibble with Bc30 Probiotic
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Nulo's dry dog food for the small breed is grain-free and contains a very low amount of carb for weight management. The salmon and lentils recipe contains 54% of the real protein that comes from animal sources with more amino acids. It is also added with miscanthus grass, which is a natural fiber source that will support healthy digestion for the proper regulation of appetite and weight to a healthier level.

The low carbohydrate content in this dog food is intended to prevent overweight. Lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas are added for enough carbohydrate to prevent hypoglycemia. There are also probiotics content to support full digestion, as well as shed extra weight for small dogs through the L-carnitine ingredient.
  • grain-free
  • no egg or chicken protein
  • smaller kibble size for proper chewing
  • has high meat content, low-carb
Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin
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Nature's Recipe Grain-free dog food for small breeds is specially crafted for small breed dogs' tiny stomachs. It comes with a high amount (25%) of quality protein and healthy fat (15%) in small-sized kibbles that are very soft to much on. The first two ingredients of this product are made of a real chicken meal with added garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and a lot of other healthy fruits and vegetables.

This grain-free dog food has enough amount of carbohydrate content that comes from fruits, vegetables, and legumes which are great sources for active dogs. The high amount of calcium and phosphorus are there to support stronger muscles and bones. Plus, it has antioxidants to improve the immune system as well as glucosamine to support the joint areas.
  • grain-free
  • made with real chicken
  • supports healthy joints
Solid Gold Wee Bit Holistic Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs of All Life Stages
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Solid Gold's Wee Bit dry dog foods for small and toy breeds have the smallest kibbles so far. Regardless of how tiny the kibbles are, they still have the complete nutrition and high protein ratio that comes from bison meat, ocean fish meal, and lamb meal. The recipe also contains whole grains and more than 20 superfood ingredients to keep your little pups in optimum condition. This product is made to be holistic and natural with fiber-rich prebiotics for your pet's digestive gut health.

The ingredients found in this dog food include oatmeal and brown rice for fiber content, antioxidant-packed pumpkin, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, and beets. Mega 6 and 3 fatty acids are also present for a balanced level diet obtained from salmon and almond oil.

  • formulated with 20 superfoods
  • recommended for dogs who need stronger immunity
  • offers softer and shinier coat
  • recommended for dogs who have a sensitive system
  • has the smallest sized kibbles
Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Dry Dog Food
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Instinct Raw Boost Dry Food for dogs is made from cage-free duck, which is quite unique from the other brands. This is perfect for those who want a raw diet but still want to keep some dry food on the menu for their small pups. These grain-free kibbles are mixed with freeze-dried raw meat that comes from a cage-free duck. Plus, it is formulated with high-quality ingredients that are perfectly fit for your high-energy dogs.

Moreover, it is made without any grain, potato, wheat, soy, soy, as well as by-product meal, preservatives, and artificial colors. The high-quality protein found in this recipe will boost your dog's energy, muscle strength, and all-around health. Other ingredients are also added for full nutrition such as probiotics, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients like calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin for the bone, heart, and digestive health.
  • helpful for weight control
  • perfect for the picky eaters
  • the freeze-dried raw is every dog's favorite
  • high-content of calcium
Iams Proactive Health Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
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Iams Proactive Health Dry Dog Food has the real, farm-raised chicken as the number one ingredient and includes whole grains and vegetables. It is made for the little pups in your home that is why the kibbles are so tiny, very digestible, soft, and balanced the nutrition that they need. The omega fatty acids mixed in the product is for your dog's healthy skin and coat.

Plus, it ensures safe and holistic well-being since it is a veterinarian-recommended product. One of the main ingredients is beet pulp that has natural fiber content and prebiotics for healthy digestion. It also contains wholesome grains for essential nutrients as well as carbohydrates for healthy energy. lastly, it contains no fillers, artificial preservatives, or colors.
  • recommended for weight management
  • affordable
  • offers softer and shinier coat
  • made with farm-raised chicken

What is the best diet and nutrition for small dogs?

Let's get into the health recommendations first. The AAFCO, a US regulator of pet foods, requires 37 different nutrients for your dog to have a balanced diet. Typically, small dogs get so much benefit from diets that contain high amounts of calories, enough amount of calcium, and must be composed of small pieces to match their tiny teeth. More than that, there are other factors that you should understand for your tiny-sized pup, regardless of their age. Here are the main factors to consider:

See the best foods for Chihuahua


Every adult dog should have a minimum of 18% protein in their diet as a general rule of thumb. That is why most dog food products never miss the high-amount proteins in the ingredients. This nutrient includes arginine, isoleucine, histidine, lysine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine, valine, and tryptophan. It is made of amino acids and all dogs should have at least 10 essential amino acids in their diet. However, higher protein levels are preferred, especially for young or lactating puppies.

Remember that dogs are known to be carnivores, which means that they are most often carnivores but can also adapt to a healthier diet such as a vegetarian or vegan diet. Nevertheless, dogs thrive best on meat-based meals.


Contrary to public myth, carbohydrates are also essential in every dog's diet and are very digestible as well as necessary in forming an important source of energy along with proteins and fats. The key to having carbohydrates as part of a balanced diet is to have a relatively low intake since it is not as important as other energy sources in food. Further, it can help dogs to have proper and regular bowel movements and reduce the possibility of anal gland blockages, which is the common reason for some dogs to rush uncomfortably around the area. 

Fatty acids and Fats

Fats, especially saturated fats are a great source of energy and muscle building as well as repairing in the dog's body. It is an essential macronutrient in their diet since it brings several health benefits including reducing inflammatory responses, maintaining the normal functioning of muscles, and maintaining the normal physiological and cellular processes. That is why a diet with essential fatty acids improves the dog's severe skin and coat conditions, allergies, sensitivities, digestive problems, and eye diseases. Moreso, polyunsaturated fats are also important and these should contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. 

Less calcium

Small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Maltese, Yorkies, etc., tend to grow at a slower rate. Do not fret if your small breed dog food has a lower amount of calcium because it is naturally good for them. Unlike large breeds, such as Mastiff, Retrievers, and Great Dane, they tend to grow faster because of their skeletal and developmental disorders that is why they need more calcium intake.

According to professionals, the calcium intake for small breeds should be at least 0.8g per 100g of dry dog food while larger breeds need to have 1g of calcium per 100g of dog food. 

Consider their weight

Either small or large breeds, they are both prone to be overweight if being spoiled with their food. However, Brachycephalic breeds–dogs with short, scrunched-up faces–like bulldogs and pugs often have breathing problems which can increase the possibility to reduce their exercise abilities, hence resulting to be overweight. Chihuahuas, beagles, and dachshunds are also prone to be overweight considering that these breeds are large eaters. Truth be told, the pet owners are the number one reason why their pups result in being overweight because of the lack of discipline in eating and exercise for their pets.

How is small breed dog food different?

A small breed dog differs a lot from a large breed dog. This is because its nutritional needs are higher as well as its development, metabolisms, and metabolic rates. Plus, a small breed dog is more prone to hypoglycemia (a condition where the blood sugar level is lower than normal). It also needs more calories and additional supplements to remain healthy until old age. With that, its diet should be different and specifically formulated to sustain its sensitive but high-energy needs. Here are some detailed differences of a small breed dog food:

Smaller stomach

Unlike larger dogs, smaller dogs cannot and should not eat a huge amount of food. That is why their kibbles are specifically formulated to have a higher amount of nutrition yet are very small in size for proper digestion. Smaller pups need extra calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat to sustain their high-energy levels.

Smaller mouth and teeth

Soft, chewable kibbles are always the best kibbles for small breeds. A dainty mouth is never good for hard meals. Dog foods formulated for small breeds need to have the right size for their cute mouths. Also, the kibbles should also be easily scraped off the plaque to prevent dental issues, which are very common to small breed pups.

Faster metabolism

Small breed dogs need to have a calorie-rich diet since they are more prone to muscle tremors and seizures which makes them lazy and weak. That is because a faster metabolism uses up more carbohydrates than usual and converts it into glucose and then creates energy for physical consumption. As we have mentioned above, smaller dogs are prone to hypoglycemia because of a lack of glucose in the body. And take note, smaller breeds are more active than larger ones.

Longer lifespan

Small breed dogs live longer than large breeds. With that, longer lifespans can also bring more chances of having health issues. That is why small pups should have a diet that has more antioxidants to prevent free-radical problems such as cancers linked in old-aged dogs. It usually comes in frequent stomach upsets, which makes them a picky eater in the long run. A holistic and natural diet gives an advantage to them.

What is the safest way to switch your small dog to a new food?

If your dog has been a picky eater these days, it is best to switch to brand new dog food. But before that, it is best to consult first to a veterinarian especially if it is health issues or a required special diet. To transition your dog to new dog food, gently start by mixing about 20% of the NEW and 80% of the OLD. And as the days go by, slowly increase the amount of the new dog food and decrease the amount of the old one. Take this as an example:

Day 1: 20% new, 80% old

Day 5: 40% new, 60% old

Day 10: 60% new, 40% old

Day 15: 80% new, 20% old

Day 20: 100% new

What are the tips in feeding small breed dogs?

To make your pets healthy and consistent in their proper diet, here are few tips for you to do as a pet owner:

Choose high-quality dog foods

There are specially crafted dog foods for the smaller breeds that you can buy everywhere. High-quality small breed dog foods should come in smaller-sized kibbles or chunks with higher nutrients. Also, feed them with a life stage dog food formula according to their age. There are dog foods that are made for 0 to 3-month-old (developing) puppies as well as adult recipes, and senior recipes for aging dogs.

Well-portioned food

Moderate their portion sizes while feeding since small breeds have smaller stomachs, hence they should eat in a smaller amount in one sitting if you do not want them to suffer. Even if they seem to eat massively, you have to be the one to control their diet. If you think your dog needs to have supplements, then you may do it. Probiotics are a good choice if your pet suffers from digestive issues, which is very common for small breeds. Fish oil or canola oil are also recommended if they have poor skin and coat. 

When should I switch my small dog to a senior dog food?

Much of the time small breeds do tend to age at a slower pace than larger breeds… Your dog may be considered “ an older or senior” quicker than you think. Why According to the American Veterinary Medical Association… “…small dogs are generally considered senior at 7 years of age.  Therefore If your small dog is over 7 but is not overweight you may not need to switch to a  senior small breed diet.

Tips for Feeding Small Breed Puppies and Dogs

For a healthy and happy, small or toy dog breed - you do need to take care feeding.

First select appropriate food: Feed your toy pup food specifically crafted for small breed dogs. Why - well there are many reasons but a key one is because it comes in smaller-sized kibble or chunks. Often small breed dog food is percentage higher in nutrients.

Julia is an animal volunteer and a Vet Tech she helps us with research and product evaluation. She also have worked in technical roles that help her sift through the marketing smoke screen. She is passionate about all animals and often helps out at shelters.