Best Dog Food For Small Breed – Reviews & Buying Guide

People usually mistakenly think of small breeds as small toys and do not need too much food. Nonetheless, small breed dogs need more calories per pound more than their counterparts. Moreover, they are also different in many ways compared to larger breeds. Their higher metabolic rates could be seen clearly in their diets in puppyhood. The more they age, the more health problems could be resolved by diet. Adding to this, small breeds, especially toy breeds need your special care to avoid a condition called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is the scientific word for low blood sugar, and small breed puppies are prone to developing this condition as a result of high metabolic rates and low sugar and body fat reserves.

Due to those special conditions, the diet for small breeds, especially for puppies, should be given special care and more consultancy ahead of any decision-making.

Below are among the best dog food for small breed that we would recommend if you are still hesitating at the crossroad.


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Top 5 Best Dog Food For Small Breed For Your Pets

Top 1 – Iams Proactive Health Minichunks Dry Dog Food

Brand popularity: though we listed this brand as one of the best food for small breeds, it is quite suitable for all breed sizes and from puppy to senior dogs. 

Main ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat. Calorie content: 3,646 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup.


  • This food features small kibble sizes, which could be suitable for both puppies and senior small breed dogs.
  • Help your dogs to build strong muscle with real-chicken as the first ingredient.
  • Whole grains and beet pulp create a special blend of prebiotics and fiber, which helps to promote digestion for your little one.


  • Small breed dogs should be fed calorie-dense food. Your puppy or small breed adult should be fed many small meals per day to assure their active life.

Top 2 – Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food for Small & Toy Breeds

Brand popularity:  this brand features natural plus non-GMO wholesome ingredients that are very healthy and calorie-rich will support your small dogs a healthy and active life.

Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Barley, Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Rice Bran, Dried Sweet Potato, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed. 3655 kcal/kg, 343 kcal/cup.


  • Base on farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient, this food provides high-quality protein for your dogs.
  • Natural fiber, wholesome grains, and sweet potatoes plus animal fat help fuel your small dog’s active life.
  • Featuring non-GMO ingredients without chicken by-products, corn, wheat, or soy. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Proudly crafted in the USA.


  • This food addresses adult dogs only so it should not be used for puppies. A course of 7 day-transition should be applied before feeding fully Nutro.

Top 3 – Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Brand popularity: the food is specially designated for small breed doga with high-calorie content (397 kcal/cup) from high-quality protein (26%) and increased carbohydrates to meet small breed dogs’ high energy needs. 

Main ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Menhaden Fish Meal (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids). 3,648 kcal/kg, 397 kcal/cup.


  • Real chicken as the first ingredient plus whole grains and animal fat will support the active life of your dogs.
  • Smaller kibble sizes with a unique shape to help support the small jaws and remove tartar.
  • The richness of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids supports healthy skin and coat.
  • All BLUE products are featured with Life Source Bits which is a healthy, crunchy form of vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant supplements to fulfill the complete nutrients and improve the immune system of your small dog. 
  • Made in the USA and meet AFFCO’s protocols.


  • A transition course of 14 days starting with 25% BLUE food should be introduced before a full transition. 

Top 4 – Purina Pro Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Brand popularity: this formula is specially designated by Purina to satisfy the energetic life of small breeds and toy breeds, featuring high protein, smaller, and easier-to-chew kibble size as well as live probiotics for digestive and immune health.

Main ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-product Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Beef Fat Preserved with Mixed-tocopherols, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Wheat. Calorie content: 3,824 kcal/kg, 373 kcal/cup.


  • The smaller kibble size mixed with tender, shredded pieces shall make your small dogs love in every bite.
  • The ideal ratio of protein and fat plus the carbohydrates from rice support your dogs’ active life.
  • Containing natural prebiotic fiber sourced from wheat bran, which provides digestive supports. Guaranteed live probiotics promote both the digestive system and immune health.


  • Closely watch out for your dog to see if any weight change to regulate the feeding amount accordingly.
  • A transition course of 7 – 10 days shall help avoid any digestive upset.

Top 5 – Pedigree Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Brand popularity: this brand focuses on giving the best nutrients for active small dogs with special kibble sizes, which will help to clean dog teeth in every bite.

Main ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal (Source of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate), Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids [Preserved with Bha/Citric Acid]), Meat and Bone Meal (Source of Calcium), Ground Whole Grain Wheat. Calorie content: 3,469 kcal/kg, 332 kcal/cup.


  • Glucosamine richness plus carbohydrates from whole grains provide small breed dog the healthy energy for an active life.
  • This food is also featured by the small, crunchy kibble with a delicious roasted chicken taste that shall not only satisfy any picky eaters but also support the oral health of the small jaws.
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in the food also nourish your dog’s furry coat and skin. 
  • Made in the USA with the global finest ingredients. 


A transition course of around one week will be helpful to avoid any digestive upset with the first time of using Pedigree food.

Why Should You Buy Best Food Dog For Small Breed?

Understanding the distinctive characters of small breed dogs, the manufacturers have studied to formulate specially designed food for small breeds.

First, small breed dogs are more aggressive and active. They seem to be always a playful kid, which is contrary to the small body. Thus, the calorie-dense formula shall help small dogs satisfy their energetic needs.  Calorie-dense is not only counted by calorie per cup but also the perfect blend of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Carbohydrate is very important for the small breed dogs because of their high metabolism. Fat is always the most calorie-dense factor. Thus, the “all meat” formula should not be a choice for small breeds.

Secondly, kibble should have a really small size to suit the small jaws of small breeds and toy breeds.   

Thirdly, small breed dogs typically live longer than their counterparts. Thus, the food which is rich in antioxidants shall help them to reduce free radical damage and extend their lifespan.

How Should We Use Best Dog Food For Small Breed?

The good practice is to look over the food label:

  • Check if the label shows a “complete and balanced” term. 
  • The label should also show antioxidant supplements or sources (from veggies or fruits).
  • Examine if the ingredients include any allergens your pet may have.

You should also show the complete nutritional analysis of the products to your vets to check if that formula is suitable for your dogs. The manufacturers usually show it on the label and if not on the website. If none of those is available, you should call their customer service line. And below are some recommended questions to ask according to the American Kennel Club website: 

  • Do they follow AAFCO feeding trials?
  • Have they participated in clinical studies about their products?
  • Do they manufacture their foods in-house where they have control over all aspects of development, or do they outsource?
  • Where do they source their ingredients?
  • How many calories are in their servings?

Best Dog Food For Small Breed FAQs

How much should I feed my small breed dog?

Figure out the most suitable dog food for your small one is the first step. Unfortunately, there is no single best food for all small breeds. You should consult with your vets before making some research and experiments with your dogs. 

Figuring out how much you should feed your dogs is the second step. It should include the hard work of measuring out each meal’s quantity and monitoring the weight gain of your dogs after using the food as well as work out what is the best weight for your dogs.

Is wet food or dry food better for small breeds?

Wet food could add some moisture and increase flavors for your dogs, however, crunchy and smaller kibble could help your dogs remove tartar and keep good oral health. Thus, we suggest you find a good combination to increase the advantages for your small breed dogs’ total health.

What are the best add-ins for small breed dog food?

Most small breed dog food shall focus on the best blend of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Thus, sometimes your little one needs some fresh veggies or fruits to increase the fiber and add some fresh vitamins.  


Small breed dogs are special and distinctive compared to larger breed dogs. Thus, they need their food designed for their own. Dog owners should look for food that addresses small breeds and reading the label, use the nutritional analysis from the manufacturer to consult with your veterinarian to find out the best food for your dog. The next step is to figure out how much you should feed your dog by monitoring the weight day by day. That is the hard but interesting work because you understand you are trying to do the best for your little cuties.

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