Top Rated Puppy Food for Small Breeds List in 2023 + Buying Guide
Are you looking for the best small breed puppy food, but you haven’t had a lot of luck with selecting the right one for your precious canine companion? If that’s so, you’ve ended up in the perfect place. Dr. Fox’s team has analyzed hundreds of alternatives and has reached the conclusion that the first product that you should consider is the Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food. This option contains natural DHA extracted from high-quality fish oil and this ingredient is fully capable of supporting healthy eye and brain development, as well as your pooch’s learning ability. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors in this formula, so that should give you the reassurance you need that it’s a healthy alternative. If this product is no longer available, perhaps you should opt for our next favorite choice, Royal Canin’s Mini Puppy Dry Dog Food.
Our Top Choice
Specially made for small and toy breeds, this dry food can help your canine companion to grow into a strong and healthy dog. It contains DHA from fish oil and it also includes easy-to-digest ingredients, as well as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It’s made in the United States, so that’s worth mentioning, too.
The smell can be a little off-putting to humans; however, it is not for puppies. They find it delicious.
The Hill’s Science Diet food is a quality formula uniquely designed for the nutritional needs of small and toy dog breeds.
The Royal Canin Mini works best when used for puppies that are up to 10 months of age. It contains plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, and it even includes prebiotics. Prebiotics are known to aid with your dog’s digestion, so bloat or other discomfort won’t be something that you’ll have to manage. The formula also comes with a healthy dose of calcium and taurine.
The price of this alternative can be quite a disadvantage for people who are on a tight budget.
Packed in L-carnitine, vitamins, biotin, calcium, and many other essential ingredients, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Also To Consider
If your puppy is already a little older, you’re allowed to feed him or her this formula developed by Wellness. This particular food is made from salmon and turkey and the fiber it contains comes from oatmeal, which makes it ten times (or more) better than any dog food that contains wheat or corn. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
This formula is not recommended for newborn small breed puppies but rather for older ones.
The completely natural formula developed by Wellness can make sure that your puppy gets plenty of healthy nutrients.
15 Best Small Breed Puppy Foods (Reviews) in 2023
Finding the best puppy food for small breeds can be a tedious task these days, both because there are many products that you should consider and because you’re probably looking for the safest and healthiest choice. Check out our suggestions if you’ve run out of ideas and don’t know which one you should pick.
- 1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food Puppy Small Paws
- 2. Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 3. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food
- 4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Small Breed Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken
- 5. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Small Breed
- 6. Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed Wet Food
- 7. Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Food
- 8. Hill’s Science Plan Canine Puppy Chicken Medium Breed Dry Mix
- 9. Royal Canin X-Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
- 10. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Small Breed Dry Puppy Food
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food Puppy Small Paws
This small breed puppy food is one of the most popular alternatives that we came across, but that shouldn’t really come as a surprise since almost any pet parent has heard about Hill’s Science Diets before. This option is crafted for small and toy breeds, so you needn’t worry about the size of the kibble not being a good match for your puppy’s mouth.
The food is enriched with natural DHA coming from high-quality fish oil. This ingredient has been shown to support eye and brain development and assist with the development of a dog’s learning ability. Besides, the product also contains easy-to-digest ingredients, as well as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Another reassuring aspect about this choice is that it is made in the United States. Some of the people who have bought this food say that they find the smell to be quite off-putting, although the pooches seem to love it.Buy from Amazon.com
2. Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
Another brand that you ought to take into account if you are in the market for the best dog food for small breed puppies is Royal Canin. This is a well-known name among manufacturers of high-quality dog kibble, and this particular one is designed especially with the needs of mini puppies in mind.
Having been created for the nutritional requirements of dogs up to 10 months of age, this one comes with a small kibble size which fits small jaws and, as the company says, picky appetites. The good thing about this choice is that it contains prebiotics aside from heaps of antioxidants, vitamins, and of course, the protein you’d find in any dog food.
The prebiotics help your canine buddy to benefit from healthy digestion every time. The food also contains biotin, calcium, folic acid, taurine, L-carnitine, and even rosemary extract. The cost can be a bit of a disadvantage for people on a budget.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food
The Wellness small breed puppy food is a great choice if you want something that can suit the needs of adults and juniors alike. This product might not be the right option for a newborn puppy. We recommend getting a starter formula first and then switching to this particular one.
The small sized kibble makes this product highly recommendable since no small breed puppy will have any problems with getting plenty of food. This formula right here is made from salmon and turkey, with a nice helping of oatmeal. Compared to other types of grains (such as corn or wheat), oatmeal is a lot healthier, and if you didn’t know, that applies in the case of humans, too.
The best thing about this choice is that it is completely natural. It contains no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, no meat by-products, and as we suspected already, no corn or wheat.Buy from Amazon.com
4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Small Breed Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken
While it is available in a wide variety of choices, this product only has one that is specifically designed for small breed puppies, and it’s made from chicken. With this product, you get a bag of kibble whose main ingredient is farm-raised chicken, so it’s pretty clear that this one is quite healthy for your pup.
Furthermore, some of the other ingredients should convince you to give it a try, as well. This one is packed in omega-3 fatty acids that help your canine companion to grow strong, smart, and with razor sharp eye vision. On top of everything, it contains calcium and all non-GMO ingredients. Unlike other choices which contain corn and wheat, this one has brown rice and sweet potato listed as some of the ‘filling’ ingredients.
Naturally, the Nutro Wholesome Essentials doesn’t contain any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors, so it is perfectly safe to use for puppies.Buy from Amazon.com
5. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Small Breed
In the buying guide that we have written for you below, we talked about how some types of grains can be downright harmful for dogs, and one of those that cause indigestion and bloat is corn. Of course, that is not one issue you want to deal with as you’re trying to feed your puppy healthy food.
This Blue Buffalo small breed puppy food is grain-free and natural, so it combines the best of both worlds. It contains ingredients such as DHA and ARA and these, along with choline, are known to promote the healthy development of cognitive learning, as well as your dog’s eyesight.
The product also comes with plenty of minerals and vitamins, but it also contains heaps of antioxidants so as to give your puppy a boost with regard to growing into a healthy dog. The neatest thing about the Blue Buffalo choice is that it doesn’t contain any meat by-products.Buy from Amazon.com
6. Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed Wet Food
If you have a puppy that’s younger than 12 months, this product can be another good choice for you. Naturally, almost all dogs prefer wet food versus dry kibble, and that’s because it is a lot more palatable and as such, it appeals to them more. This one by Hill’s Science Diet contains no artificial colors or preservatives, so it’s rather healthy.
The tasty vegetables, along with the succulent juices in this alternative will make it easy for you to feed your pooch every time. The flavors are loved by most dogs, apparently, especially judging by the reviews of small breed puppy food acquired by this brand.
The ingredients are all easy to digest, and thanks to the high-quality protein in this alternative, your pup is going to grow into a healthy dog with lean muscles. It should be noted that this is one of the few formulas recommended by veterinarians.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Food
The Eukanuba small breed puppy food contains natural fish oil that makes it possible for you to have a smart and highly trainable dog as he or she grows. What seems to set this product aside from the plethora of other choices available on the market today is the fact that it contains beet pulp instead of nasty grain.
The animal-based protein that’s at the basis of the ingredients in this formula will supply your pooch with the energy that he or she needs to enjoy every day. There are Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in this food, as well, so that’s another aspect that’s worth taking into account about it.
What we would like to add with respect to this choice is that it does contain meat by-products as well as corn meal, and those are two ingredients that you shouldn’t necessarily be after when shopping for new small breed puppy food.Buy from Amazon.com
8. Hill’s Science Plan Canine Puppy Chicken Medium Breed Dry Mix
Recommended for pregnant or nursing dogs or for puppies up to the age of 1, this product contains natural DHA from quality fish oil and a good amount of minerals which can support the skeletal development of your canine buddy. The kibble is small, but keep in mind that this alternative is not made for toy breeds, so it’s not extra-small.
Having been enriched with vitamins E and C, this product can actively assist your puppy with developing a healthy immune system, which in turn means that he or she will be able to recover from disease a lot faster or even not get sick at all.
The ingredients are easy to digest, and the fact that Hill’s Science Diet alternative doesn’t include any artificial colors or preservatives in their formula is definitely beneficial. Besides, the minerals, vitamins, and amino acids in this food all work together in supplying your pup with the right nutrients and energy.Buy from Amazon.com
9. Royal Canin X-Small Puppy Dry Dog Food
If you aren’t sure if the kibbles marketed for small breeds are going to be a good fit for your young puppy, you can start with this X-small alternative from Royal Canin. The size of the food is definitely the right one, in this case. The intense growth period that both extra-small and small breeds are characterized by can be dealt with effectively thanks to this formula.
The food is highly palatable, so your puppy will want to wolf it down as fast as possible. Make sure to avoid feeding him or her after strenuous exercise because the risk of bloat is very high in those situations. The Royal Canin kibble design is another aspect to consider, since because it is a bit rugged, it helps prevent tartar buildup.
Most of those that took the time to provide their opinion with regard to this choice say that their dogs love it and that it has even helped them deal with some digestive issues such as gas or runny poos.Buy from Amazon.com
10. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Small Breed Dry Puppy Food
The chicken and rice formula developed by Purina is another favorite of dog parents across the world. It is made with quality protein, and the best thing about it is that the number one ingredient in it is real chicken.
The size of the kibble is another thing worth writing home about because your small puppy will definitely not have any issues consuming the food. The bite-sized kibble makes chewing as easy as pie, although we wouldn’t recommend feeding pie to your dog.
As is the case with some of the other options that we have showcased here, this one contains DHA coming from omega-rich fish oil. This ingredient has been proven to help with vision and brain development. Last, but not least, a good helping of antioxidants have been added to the mix so as to give your puppy the support that he or she needs for a great immune system.Buy from Amazon.com
11. Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Given that it features real meat as its main ingredient, the BLUE puppy food is another choice preferred by responsible pet parents. It even contains egg for an added protein resource, and along with chicken, this addition can assist your puppy in developing healthy and strong muscles.
Some of the other ingredients that you might want to know about range from garden veggies to wholesome whole grains. The most notable aspect about this choice is that it does not contain any poultry by-product meals, wheat, corn, or soy, which means that your pooch’s digestion will be on par.
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula also contains vitamins and minerals. What’s more, it is made with zero preservatives and artificial colors. Some of the dog parents that have expressed their views on this product say that the list of ingredients puts their mind at ease because this one doesn’t contain corn.Buy from Amazon.com
12. Purina Pro Plan Focus
Unlike the other options that we have described in this post, this one is specifically designed for super small breeds, also known as toy breeds. The tiny bite-sized kibbles are capable of making the task of chewing an easier one, and there’s nothing stopping you from feeding this to a small puppy, too, not just a toy one.
As with other choices we’ve already discussed here, this one comes with DHA from fish oil, so it helps with the healthy development of your puppy’s eyes and brain. The brand claims that the main ingredient in the formula is real chicken, so that’s another aspect that’s worth keeping in mind.
While there weren’t any major problems reported about this particular type of puppy food, we couldn’t notice that some dogs might just not like it. So, if your canine companion is a little fussy and resists changing his or her diet, you might want to try something else.Buy from Amazon.com
13. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free
This puppy food is prepared in the United States, so right off the bat, you get the reassurance that it is made in compliance with the requirements imposed by most local authorities. The fact that it is made from real deboned chicken is another thing to bear in mind, given that so many other food brands use all sorts of meat by-products that are anything but healthy.
The product is also free of gluten, which means that your pooch won’t have any problems with his or her digestion. Furthermore, the food is enriched with omega 3 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin, as well as prebiotics and probiotics.
The kibble is crunchy, which means that it will actively prevent tartar buildup. Moreover, the DHA contained in this food can help with your puppy’s healthy brain development and even eye vision. You might want to know that this brand is US-based and family owned.Buy from Amazon.com
14. Solid Gold Small & Toy
The grain-free formula by Solid Gold is another that you should check out and possibly even give a shot to, and that’s because it contains no grains, so it is highly recommended for puppies that have sensitive digestion. The kibble piece size is ideal for small breed mouths, and every recipe provides enough protein, fat, as well as fiber for the puppy to benefit from the right development.
Furthermore, the Solid Gold Small & Toy food comes with omega fatty acids for a shiny and soft coat, and the superfoods that it includes in the formula provide vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants. To further aid the digestion of your puppy, the manufacturer has even added pre- and probiotics into the mix.
If you’re wondering where the fiber in this dog food is coming for, you’ll be happy to know that it’s from chickpeas, sweet potato, and pumpkin. There is no corn, wheat, or soy in this product, nor does it contain any sugar, meat by-products, or preservatives or flavors.Buy from Amazon.com
15. Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food
This food is made in the US and abides by the highest standards of quality so that you can rest assured that your dog receives the best care and nutrition possible. First of all, you must know that it is free of corn, wheat or soy, ingredients that are sometimes used by dog food manufacturers as filling.
Also, this formula doesn’t have white potatoes, or tapioca, which cannot be digested easily by dogs. You will find no artificial flavors, color, or chemical preservatives. In other words, it is a clean food that you will want to feed to your dogs.
Dogs can eat various foods, but they need plenty of protein in their diet, and that’s what this formula provides. High in meat content, but low in carbs, it is a type of dog food that ensures that your canine friend receives all the crucial nutrients for healthy living.
Not to mention, it is delicious, as it contains turkey, lamb, and salmon, all great sources of animal protein that is also low in fat. Since small breeds may feel tempted to overeat, it is a great option to have for weight management, as well. The added probiotics support the health of the digestive system.
High-quality ingredients like deboned salmon, lamb, and lentils, are included in this formula that is designed to fuel your dog with energy throughout the day.
The small size of the kibble is excellent for small breeds as dogs won’t risk chocking or experience the impossibility to eat.
Created to support the fast metabolism of small dog breeds, this food contains 84% protein, which is ideal for such canines.
The amino acids that are plenty in this formula contribute to the development of lean muscles and a healthy heart.
Since there are no dangerous chemicals included in the formula, no preservatives, no colors, no flavors, and no other unwanted components, you can rest assured that it is ideal for your pet.
The formula contains red lentils to supply some form of carbs, too, but that might be a reason why some dogs don’t appear to be enthralled with this food.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Finding good small breed puppy food nowadays can be a daunting task, and that’s both because of the immense variety of brands available on the market and because you have to be educated enough to pick the healthiest alternative.
Going for some cheap small breed puppy food just isn’t an option if you want your canine companion to grow strong and healthy and to have a long and happy life. Check out the guide below if you want to make the right choice.
What ingredients are necessary?
As your puppy’s body is still developing, you will need to feed him or her the best food you can afford. That means that it should contain real and whole animal products, healthy grains, essential vitamins and minerals, as well as natural oils and fats. Fats are necessary because they promote the healthy development of the nervous system, including the brain.
We all know why vitamins and minerals are useful. When it comes to grains, some can be healthy and others can’t. For dogs, those that are good to go are buckwheat, maize, rice, and oats — but they have to be included only in limited quantities because dogs are also supposed to consume a good deal of protein and fats, not just grains.
The protein is extremely important, especially since both dogs and wolves share the same ancestor, and that ancestor was mainly carnivorous. You want your pup’s nutritional protein to be of the highest quality, so choose whole animal products coming from chicken, salmon, or lamb.
What ingredients are unnecessary?
The pet industry has come up with a wide array of imaginative methods to add lots of ingredients to dog and puppy food that aren’t just unnecessary — they can actually be harmful. Of course, the stuff that you don’t want in your precious canine companion’s food are chemicals. However, chemicals is somewhat of a generic term, since they can range from growth hormones to pesticides and artificial flavors or artificial colors.
One thing’s for sure. If you notice that the food you want to purchase for your puppy has 50 lines of ingredients, and many of them you can’t even pronounce, it’s better to steer clear of that particular brand. Many preservatives and artificial colors have been tested and proven to be carcinogenic, and you’re probably not looking to make your puppy sick, at least not willingly.
Other ingredients that are completely unnecessary and potentially harmful are cheap grain fillers (like wheat and corn) and meat and vegetable by-products. By-products can mean that the food contains not the meat per se (meaning chicken breasts or chicken thighs), but anything from the beaks and plumage to the internal organs coming from disabled animals.
There is a rumor going on that some types of pet food brands even use the bodies of pets that have been euthanized as sources of protein. You do not want to feed that to your puppy.
Small, extra-small, and toy breeds – Different sizes of kibble
The term small breed is somewhat generic, meaning that not all dogs that can be considered small actually have the same physical attributes and even the same size. Try to understand what dog breed you’re the parent of and whether it can be categorized as small, extra-small, or toy. Toy breeds are so tiny that they wouldn’t find it comfortable to eat kibble made for small breeds.
Wet versus dry food
There is an endless debate when it comes to which one is better – dry or wet puppy food. We recommend choosing a combination diet and feeding your dog small amounts of dry and wet food throughout the day.
It is not a good idea to get your puppy used to only wet food, for example, and that’s because naturally, it is more palatable than its dry counterpart and your puppy might end up refusing to eat kibble in the future. It’s quite difficult to say whether one is more nutritious than the other; it depends on the product and its ingredients.
1) Choose the proper food for your puppy’s nutritional needs
2) Cooked vs. Raw Diets for Puppies
3) Know About Puppy Food And Feeding
4) Puppy Feeding & Nutrition Tips & Tricks
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