It’s not a secret that puppies need to eat a lot of high-quality food to grow and thrive, and finding the best small breed puppy food will ensure they grow strong and healthy.

Considering their small size, it’s crucial to select food specifically designed for smaller breeds for a number of reasons. Aside from their special nutritional needs, smaller breeds will also need much smaller bite pieces so they can eat comfortably and safely. Continue reading to find out which products and companies we feel offer the best for your pet.

Our Top Picks

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Chippin Silver Carp Daily Dog Food

Editor's Pick

  • Uses locally sourced ingredients
  • Vitamin & mineral supplementation
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Custom developed and made

Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy

Best Food with Grains

  • Simple and quality ingredients
  • Many dog owners praised the smell
  • Suitable for nursing dogs
  • Made with cage-free chicken

Eukanuba Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Best for Active Puppies

  • Supports healthy teeth, skin, & coat
  • Ensures a strong immune system
  • Prebiotics for optimal digestion
  • Great for more active puppies

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy

Highest-Quality Premium Ingredients

  • Simple, quality ingredients
  • Good choice for picky dogs
  • Ideal small size kibble
  • Great for a shiny coat

Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Natural

Best for Puppies with Allergies

  • No chicken by-product meals
  • No preservatives and additives
  • No wheat, soy, or corn
  • For muscles, bones, skin, & coat

Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy

Best for Chihuahua Puppies

  • Perfectly shaped for chihuahuas
  • Good for picky puppies
  • Suitable for sensitive stomachs
  • Helps puppies gain healthy weight

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Small Paws

  • Also for nursing and pregnant dogs
  • Improves digestion
  • Recommended by vets
  • Resealable bag keeps it fresh

IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Small & Toy Breed

Best Brand

  • Responsive customer service
  • Quality protein source
  • Recommended by vets
  • Made in the US

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

Best Dry Food for Both Small and Large Breeds

  • Made from real meat
  • Replicates a dog’s natural diet
  • Grain-free
  • Added probiotics for gut health

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate

Best Wet Food for Both Small and Large Breeds

  • Produced under FDA standards
  • 96% real meat in each can
  • Grain-free and poultry-free
  • No artificial colors and flavors

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health

Best Food Without Gluten

  • Comes in a variety of flavors
  • Good for gaining healthy weight
  • Helps support brain development
  • No gluten

Our Top Picks in Detail

Now that you got a glimpse of our top choices, let us see why each and every one of these products in further detail. We’ve dug deep or personally tested each of these products to make sure we provide you with the most honest and accurate information and feedback on them. Let’s dive in!

Chippin Silver Carp Daily Dog Food

star 10

Editor's Pick

  • Key ingredients: Silver carp, oats, dried chicory root
  • Available in: 3.5 lbs, 10.5lbs, 21 lbs bag
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 26%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 13%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 5%
  • Exclusive Coupon: Use PETPEDIA for 30% OFF!

Chippin Silver Carp dog food is another premium product for your small puppy. It’s one of the best, if not the best, dry puppy food for small breeds your puppy will ever try.

Chippin uses only the best natural ingredients, such as fish, oats, pumpkin, and spinach. The ingredients are all locally sourced and come from American farms. The fish they use for this product is American wild silver carp of premium quality.

Carp is an excellent source of protein and is more easily absorbed than chicken or beef. Besides regular food, Chippin Silver Carp Dog Food also works as a supplement. You can add your puppy’s age and weight to get the food most suited to your puppy’s needs when ordering. This is especially useful if you’re unsure what breed your puppy is or how fast it’ll grow.

What’s great about Chippin pet food is that you’re also saving the environment by buying from them. They’re using local ingredients and fewer resources. Plus, the packaging is recyclable too.

The customer feedback favorable and praise the high quality of the food. The only disadvantage is that the customers find it a bit pricey, which is why many of them use it as an additional source of protein or occasional treat. 


Pros

  • + Uses locally sourced ingredients
  • + Vitamin & mineral supplementation
  • + Environmentally friendly
  • + Custom developed and made

Cons

  • It’s a bit more expensive

Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy

star 9.9

Best Food with Grains

  • Key ingredients: Chicken and rice
  • Available in: 6-lb, 18-lb, and 40-lb bags
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 32.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 22.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 3.5%

On the top of our list is none other than Diamond Naturals and their dry puppy food exclusively created for small breeds.

Diamond Naturals is a favorite of pet owners for many reasons. Using high-quality animal protein sources, the company produces both grain-free and grain-inclusive dry dog foods. Another thing that makes this company special is the fact that they use plenty of natural ingredients that are not frequently found in other dog foods, such as fruits, veggies, and berries.

Diamond Naturals created this product specifically for puppies and adult dogs that are currently nursing. Due to the small size of the kibble, this food is ideal for dogs with smaller mouths. As for the ingredients, it contains DHA for proper vision and brain development in small breed puppies. Furthermore, it has an ideal balance of protein, fat, and other vital nutrients for your furry companion.

Just keep in mind that this option is not grain-free, and it contains rice, so it might not be the best for pups with allergies or sensitive stomachs. On the other hand, it’s corn-free, which is a plus.

According to the AAFCO Statement presented on Diamond’s website, the chicken and rice formula is created to meet the required nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

The Diamond Natural Small & Medium Breed Puppy food is available in three bag sizes. We believe this is excellent, as pet owners are given a choice when shopping.

The guaranteed analysis is also found on the website, but aside from the mentioned, this product contains 10.0% moisture, DHA, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin E, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids.

As for the actual test, we gave this Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula dry dog food to Maxy, a poodle pup who just turned 4 months. She seems to love the flavor, but more importantly, her energy levels have improved significantly.


Pros

  • + Simple and quality ingredients
  • + Many dog owners praised the smell
  • + Suitable for nursing dogs
  • + Made with cage-free chicken

Cons

  • Some buyers received damaged bags

Eukanuba Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food

star 9.8

Best for Active Puppies

  • Key ingredients: Chicken
  • Available in: 5-lb, 15-lb, and 28-lb bags
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 32.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 21.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 3.2%

Next up, we have Eukanuba, a company that started as a pet food formula in 1969. First and foremost, customers and their pets love this product. In fact, Eukanuba’s dry puppy formula for small breeds and the one for large breeds are this company’s top-recommended dry dog food products.

Due to the blend of prebiotics, this product can improve your puppy’s digestion. Also, this small breed puppy food tastes like chicken and will give your puppy a steady flow of energy throughout the day. According to the nutrient analysis provided on the official website, this product contains a minimum of 32.0% of crude protein, making it great for very active puppies that easily burn their energy.

Furthermore, according to customer feedback and product description, the ingredients in the product support fresh breath, healthy gums, and clean teeth, and the pup’s skin and coat benefits from the added omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Most importantly, this product for small breed puppies meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dogs Food Nutrient Profiles for growth.

Based on feedback from customers that have tried it, this dog food is also excellent for picky eaters. One pet owner claims his 3-month-old Pomeranian named Rocket has tried many brands, but only this one has made him wag his tail during dinnertime.

If you are unsure whether this product is suitable for your pet, you should know that the company has a 100% money-back guarantee. So, even if your puppy doesn’t react in the same way as Rocket, you will not lose your money.


Pros

  • + Supports healthy teeth, skin, & coat
  • + Ensures a strong immune system
  • + Prebiotics for optimal digestion
  • + Great for more active puppies

Cons

  • Some owners might not like that it contains corn

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy

star 9.9

Highest-Quality Premium Ingredients

  • Key ingredients: Turkey
  • Available in: 4-lb, and 12-lb bags
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 28.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 19.0%
  • FIbers: Crude fiber (max) 4.25%

In the ‘90s, the hard-working team at Wellness paired up with veterinarians, professionals in animal nutrition, and scientists to provide animal owners with the highest quality pet food products.

Complete Health Small Breed is specifically designed for small breed puppies. The Turkey, Oatmeal, and Salmon formula was created to support the special health needs of smaller breeds through nutrient-dense foods.

According to Wellness, this product is also available for senior dogs, and it can be purchased in 4-lb and 12-lb bags.

The main reason why we believe that Wellness’s Complete Health Small Breed product is worth your money is that it is made with high-quality ingredients, such as:

  • turkey — which is an excellent source of protein and fatty acids
  • carrots — a great source of beta carotene, and
  • salmon oil — supports eye and brain development in puppies

Even though the complete list of ingredients is a bit long, it contains oatmeal, natural chicken flavor, spinach, ground flaxseed, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, chicory root extract, and green tea extract. Furthermore, customer experiences with Wellness puppy food for small breed dogs are stellar.

It seems that more than a few puppies love this food. Also, many owners noticed the size of kibbles, saying that their puppies could finally get decent bites without much trouble.


Pros

  • + Simple, quality ingredients
  • + Good choice for picky dogs
  • + Ideal small size kibble
  • + Great for a shiny coat

Cons

  • Some customers mentioned that the brand switched to a cheaper 12-lb package, making the food lose freshness faster

Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Natural

star 9.8

Best for Puppies with Allergies

  • Key ingredients: Chicken
  • Available in: 4-lb bag
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 29.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 17.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 5.0%

The next company owes everything to Blue, a cancer-struck pup who inspired a team of professionals to create exclusive pet food using only the best ingredients. Blue Buffalo offers pet owners a wide array of products, including Blue Buffalo Baby Blue kibble.

This puppy food product contains zero chicken or poultry by-product meals, and it is also free of artificial flavors and preservatives. Furthermore, it is wheat, soy, and corn-free, making it perfect for pups that are allergic to those ingredients.

In the Baby Blue Kibble you will find:

  • menhaden fish meal — supports the pup’s energy levels and muscle development
  • flaxseed — rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • cranberries — for the puppy’s urinary tract health, and
  • oatmeal — full of B vitamins

We couldn’t find that many customer reviews, as the product is sold exclusively at Petco. However, one of our puppy testers — who has shown some signs of allergies in the past — seems to really enjoy this food without any bad reactions.


Pros

  • + No chicken by-product meals
  • + No preservatives and additives
  • + No wheat, soy, or corn
  • + For muscles, bones, skin, & coat

Cons

  • Not many customer reviews

Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy

star 9.8

Best for Chihuahua Puppies

  • Key ingredients: Chicken by-product meal
  • Available in: 2.5-lb bag
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 28.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 18.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 4.0%

The next product comes from Royal Canin, as small puppy food for a specific breed is just one of the things the company produces. In this case, we present to you Royal Canin’s Chihuahua Puppy dry dog food.

Royal Canin is a well-known company that has been in business since 1968, providing pet owners with the best nutrition for felines and canines. If you have a Chihuahua puppy and you are looking for the best nutrition for this specific breed, then Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy dry food is what you need.

Royal Canin ensured that the kibbles are exclusively created to fit the chihuahua puppy’s small mouth. Also, each kibble contains heaps of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help your pup grow up into a healthy adult dog.

Furthermore, due to the fiber content and the extremely digestible proteins, this dog food product helps eliminate unpleasant stool odor.

Not only that, but reviews also show that the flavors and aromas are exceptionally satisfying even for the pickiest of eaters. On the Royal Canin small puppy food website, customers can check out the guaranteed analysis. We also checked the full list of ingredients for you.

Some of the ingredients that we found interesting include brewers rice, oat groats, fish oil, biotin, B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, hydrolyzed yeast, marigold extract, and rosemary extract.

Don’t have a chihuahua pup?

There are plenty more great breed-specific products. The brand also offers dog food for Shih Tzu puppies, Poodle puppies, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles puppies, Bulldog puppies, Jack Russell Terrier puppies, among many others.


Pros

  • + Perfectly shaped for chihuahuas
  • + Good for picky puppies
  • + Suitable for sensitive stomachs
  • + Helps puppies gain healthy weight

Cons

  • Uses chicken by-products

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Small Paws

star 10
  • Key ingredients: Chicken meal
  • Available in: 5-oz (cans), 4.5-lb, 15.5-lb bags
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 24.5%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 15.5%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 3.0%

Next up we have a brand of dog and cat food called Science Diet, marketed by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Puppy Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe is a dry dog that is, according to the company’s website, recommended by veterinarians.

To start, this puppy-friendly product features DHA from fish oil, which helps in eye and brain development. Furthermore, it contains top-quality protein for muscle development and minerals for strong teeth and bones. Finally, it also contains Hill’s one-of-a-kind Small and Mini antioxidant blend.

This product contains chicken meal, fish oil, brown rice, whole grain corn, a blend of vitamins, vitamin B12 supplement, and broccoli. It also contains phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, DHA, and omega-3 fatty acid.

The Puppy Small Paws is recommended for pups up to 1 year and nursing or pregnant dogs. We also liked the fact that the company offers customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This means that if customers are not satisfied with the product, they may return the unused portion of it to the store for a replacement or a full refund.


Pros

  • + Also for nursing and pregnant dogs
  • + Improves digestion
  • + Recommended by vets
  • + Resealable bag keeps it fresh

Cons

  • Not suitable for pups prone to allergies, as it contains corn

IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Small & Toy Breed

star 9.9

Best Brand

  • Key ingredients: Chicken
  • Available in: 7-lb bag
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 29.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 18.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 4.0%

IAMS takes a spot on our list of best small breed puppy foods, and for a good reason. The brand’s Proactive Health Small and Toy Breed Puppy Food in the chicken flavor has stolen the hearts of plenty of furry babies all over the world.

The Proactive Health Smart Puppy Food is made with wholesome ingredients and it is vet-recommended. The main ingredient in the product is farm-raised organic chicken, but there are also veggies and whole grains. Probably most importantly, this product is made exclusively for puppies weighing 20 lb or less.

It also includes 22 vital nutrients found in the mother’s milk, as well as omega-3 DHA for optimal brain development. The quality protein found in chicken helps build strong muscles and healthy bones, as well as a shiny coat.

According to the guaranteed analysis, the IAMS puppy small breed formula contains calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin E, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

IAMS small breed puppy food reviews are mainly positive, except for some customers complaining that the packaging should be revamped (the white font makes it difficult to read).


Pros

  • + Responsive customer service
  • + Quality protein source
  • + Recommended by vets
  • + Made in the US

Cons

  • Contains chicken by-product meal

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

star 10

Best Dry Food for Both Small and Large Breeds

  • Key ingredients: Buffalo, bison, venison
  • Available in: 5-lb, 14-lb, 28-lb bags
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 28.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 17.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 5.0%

One of the most unique dog food brands that we could come across is Taste of the Wild.

So, what makes this brand stand out? The answer lies in the fact that this company uses top-quality protein sources that are based on the animal’s natural diet.

In each formula, the key ingredient is real fish, fowl, or meat. In this review, we want to focus on their High Prairie Puppy Recipe with roasted bison and roasted venison.

The one-of-a-kind flavors in this blend (mix of veggies, roasted meats, fruits, and legumes) are specifically targeted for puppies who are picky eaters. Due to the small size of the kibbles, they are suitable even for the smallest of mouths. However, according to Taste of the Wild, this food product is also great for larger breeds.

So, if you happen to have a mixed-breed dog, and you’re unsure of its future size, this might be the safest choice. Plus, the meats in this food provide puppies with easily digestible protein.

Furthermore, the product contains up to 80 million CFU/LB of guaranteed probiotics, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from salmon oil. Other interesting ingredients include dried chicory root (excellent source of prebiotic fiber) and heaps of antioxidants. The product also contains DHA, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as live microorganisms.

The Taste of the Wild customer feedback is stellar. One customer claimed that the full bowl was empty in just a couple of minutes, while another raved about the fact that it helped her puppy grow into a beautiful adult dog.

Nevertheless, we decided to test this product ourselves. We purchased a pack of the High Prairie Puppy Recipe for Baloo, a four-month young Maltese. Even though he did not like the taste at first, he got used to it after a few days — and now, he can’t seem to get enough of this product.


Pros

  • + Made from real meat
  • + Replicates a dog’s natural diet
  • + Grain-free
  • + Added probiotics for gut health

Cons

  • Some customers complained about getting bad bags

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate

star 9.7

Best Wet Food for Both Small and Large Breeds

  • Key ingredients: Beef
  • Available in: 12.7 oz cans
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 8.0%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 3.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 3.0%

Merrick Pet Care is a trusted company that provides pet owners with wholesome, real recipes for cat and dog food featuring ingredients sourced from the United States.

First and foremost, the product comes in a 12.7-oz colorful can. According to the packaging, the product is grain-free and poultry-free, and it contains deboned beef, carrots, sweet potatoes and Granny Smith apples in gravy.

Just like the previous product, it is suitable for puppies of all breeds — but it’s also wet. So, if you don’t know your puppy’s size, but you do know that it loves wet food, this is a great option. Plus, canned recipes can be served as a tasty standalone meal or a topper for dry puppy kibble.

The product is moist and savory, perfect for adding tons of flavor and nutrition to a puppy’s diet. Due to the DHA content, this product helps support the development of the puppy’s brain and healthy skin/coat.

The majority of Merrick small breed puppy food reviews were positive for this product. For instance, one of the pet owners claimed that it helped her two puppies who have food intolerances get all the necessary nutrients. As for the negative comments, some of the customers complained about the high price point.

Also, another user claimed that her puppy did not like the taste of beef and that chicken is a better alternative — but that is more of a personal preference than a downside.


Pros

  • + Produced under FDA standards
  • + 96% real meat in each can
  • + Grain-free and poultry-free
  • + No artificial colors and flavors

Cons

  • Some customers received cans that weren’t filled to the top

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health

star 9.9

Best Food Without Gluten

  • Key ingredients: Chicken, duck, brown rice
  • Available in: 6-oz, 13-oz cans
  • Proteins: Crude protein (min) 9.5%
  • Fats: Crude fat (min) 8.0%
  • Fibers: Crude fiber (max) 1.5%

Last, but certainly not least, we present to you our review of the Natural Balance small breed puppy food, or the Original Ultra Chicken, Duck and Brown Rice Puppy Formula Canned Dog Food.

In case your puppy would prefer another flavor, this product also comes in beef, chicken, lamb, and liver flavors. All of these available choices make this brand perfect for pickier pups, as they are guaranteed to love at least one of the flavors.

The benefits of this formula include brain and neural health support, heart and eye health, healthy muscle health, and healthy skin/coat health. The product also includes colostrum, which is known to improve immunity, and Yucca Schidigera extract, which improves your pup’s gastrointestinal system.

As for feedback left by customers, most puppy owners were satisfied with the results and it really helped pups who couldn’t really handle gluten-filled products. Nevertheless, in order to bring you more accurate feedback, we decided to test this product out on a 3-month-old puppy, Lizzy.

For now, she loves this puppy chow. It’s safe to say that we will definitely be feeding her more of the Natural Balance small breed puppy food.


Pros

  • + Comes in a variety of flavors
  • + Good for gaining healthy weight
  • + Helps support brain development
  • + No gluten

Cons

  • Some customers wished the 13-oz can have a flip, so it would be easier to open

 

How We Selected the Top Products

In order to compile this list of the best small breed dog foods, we had to consider some factors.

More precisely, we looked at company transparency, the quality of the ingredients, value, price, guaranteed analysis, taste and smell, customer feedback, and our first-hand testing. Here are the details.

Transparency

Transparency was crucial when making this list of best dog food for small breed puppies. After all, company transparency lets customers know exactly what they get with each purchase.

To ensure we are presenting only the best products from the best companies in this review, we checked out the brand’s history while carefully analyzing their official website and ensuring that all the products are safe.

Quality of Ingredients

Quality of ingredients is crucial when selecting the products. We checked whether the list of ingredients is clear and detailed and whether the products are created from natural ingredients.

We made sure to feature foods with various ingredients for different puppy needs. Still, we also focused on the products that did not contain any artificial colors or other additives.

Value and Price

In our review of the best puppy food for small breeds, we made sure to present our readers with both budget-friendly and more expensive types of food products.

Keep in mind that the price range does not automatically correlate to the product’s value. In simpler terms, a more expensive product doesn’t imply better quality.

Guaranteed Analysis

One of the most important factors when looking at how we will rank the top-rated puppy food for small breeds was the guaranteed analysis.

According to the FDA, the majority of state regulations need pet food to guarantee the minimum percentages of crude fat and crude protein and the maximum percentages of moisture and crude fiber.

The term “crude” refers to a particular method of product testing — it does not refer to the quality of the specific nutrient.

Taste and Smell

Taste and smell are essential for all canines, but it’s probably the trickiest with picky eaters. Thus, in this review of the best puppy food for small breed dogs, we did our best to feature only the foods that got positive reviews in terms of taste and odor.

Of course, this factor is still very subjective, as each dog is unique. Still, if you have a picky dog, it’s more likely to enjoy foods that have been tested and “approved” by other picky pups.

We also included both dry and wet dog food choices since we know that some pups enjoy both versions mixed together, while some dogs will only accept one or the other.

Customer Reviews and Experience

Another vital point is customer experience. Let’s admit it, positive customer reviews help us make sure that only the best products are featured on this list.

First-Hand Testing

Last but not least, we tested the majority of puppy food for small breeds on our own dogs. Remember that these pups vary in size, breed, and health conditions. By doing this, we ensured that all of our feedback is as reliable as possible.

Buyer’s Guide

How to Select Food for Your Small Breed Puppy

Before looking at the product labels and heading out to buy puppy food for your small furry companion, it is vital to know something about the basics of puppy nutrition.

To make life easier for you, we have provided everything you need to know in the section below when shopping for the best dog food.

In this part of our review of the best food for small breed puppies, you will find the details about essential amino acids, digestible proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Essential Amino Acids

There are 10 essential amino acids you should know about. These are arginine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine.

Puppies can get these essential amino acids from both animal and plant sources, such as eggs, fish, meat, veggies, grains, and fruits. Keep in mind that animal-based sources are usually of higher quality and, thus, better for dogs.

Digestible Proteins

Next, we wanted to explain the importance of proteins. It is a common misconception that canines should only eat meat, as it contains the highest percentage of protein.

Foods such as eggs, pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein are also essential in a puppy’s diet.

As explained by the National Research Council, a puppy needs a diet that is around 29% protein. Furthermore, about 25% of the puppy’s dietary calories should come from protein.

The Importance of Fats in the Best Small Puppy Food 

Fats are essential not only for energy but also for adding tons of flavor.

Above, we included products that provide growing small breed puppies essential omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • flaxseed oil
  • cold-water fish

Whereas omega-6 fatty acids include:

  • corn
  • canola
  • safflower
  • whole grains
  • body fat
  • lean meat
  • egg yolks
  • poultry fat
  • borage oil
  • primrose oil
  • black currant seed oil

Puppies Love Carbohydrates Too

Carbohydrates are essential in a puppy’s diet, as these provide the canine with extra energy and ensure that the intestinal tract is working properly. Some of the most common sources of carbs in foods for puppies include rice, oats, barley, and corn.

Some of the best puppy food for small dogs also contain fruits and vegetables. Another critical thing to remember is the importance of dietary fiber.

Dietary fiber helps the digestive system by moving the stomach’s contents along the intestines. However, puppies that consume too much fiber may suffer from gas and loose stool.

Vitamins and Minerals

First and foremost, canines cannot make their own vitamins and minerals, so they need to be included in the overall diet.

Some of the most common vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C.

As for minerals, examples include boron, fluoride, cobalt, magnesium, zinc, iodine, iron, calcium, manganese, and potassium.

What Else Do I Need to Know About the Best Food for Small Puppies?

Smaller dog breeds have a faster metabolism than large dogs. Thus, they need more calories per pound of body weight. Furthermore, this also means that small breed puppies require more fats and protein in their diets.

Small breeds of puppies also have smaller stomachs. Hence, they have much less space for large meals compared to bigger breeds. Due to this, owners need to feed their mini fur babies small but nutritious meals a couple of times per day.

You also need to consider the size of the kibbles. Needless to say, smaller breeds have smaller mouths, so while they can break down larger pieces, it’s much easier and healthier for them to eat food that matches their size.

Ask Your Vet

When in doubt, you can always ask your veterinarian to recommend the best brand that would fit your dog depending on its energy levels, lifestyle, age, etc.

The truth of the matter is that a licensed professional will be more capable of providing pet owners with the best advice on what type of food their pet requires.

What to Avoid when Choosing the Best Dog Food for Puppies of a Small Breed 

Besides looking at the nutritional label for the ingredients you want in dog food, you should also be on the lookout for ingredients you need to avoid.

In the section below, we will be discussing some of the most common ingredients that may be harmful to your puppy’s health.

By-Products of Poultry and Poor-Quality Meat

Although by-products are not exactly terrible, you should be mindful of them in any dog food for small breed puppies. Always check what type of by-products are included. We highly suggest avoiding products with questionable blends.

Too Vague Fat and Protein Sources

Pet owners should be cautious when shopping for products that claim to contain “healthy fats” or “whole proteins.”

The reason for this is that they typically do not say what the source of the fat or protein is. Hence, if you encounter vague labeling, skip the product.

Artificial Preservatives, Coloring, and Sweeteners

Let’s be honest. Quality small breed puppy food will not contain funky ingredients such as artificial preservatives, coloring, and sweeteners. Above all, you should select a dog food that only consists of natural ingredients.

Poor-Quality Grains and Fillers

Healthy, wholesome grains are very important for a puppy’s growth. In fact, the products that we featured in our guide contain excellent sources of quality carbohydrates, such as oats, rice, and barley.

So, what’s a filler? A filler is a funky ingredient in different products that adds bulk to the food without adding any nutritional value. Instead, we suggest choosing dog food with “natural fillers” or fiber, such as sweet potatoes, veggies, and beet pulp.

Feeding Guidelines for Small Breed Puppies

Not sure how much to feed a small breed puppy? If so, then the table below will be a lifesaver.

Body weight Age
Weight of puppy 6-11 Weeks 3-4 Months 5-7 Months 8-12 Months
1lb 1/2 cups 1/2 cups 1/4 cups 1/8 cups
3lb 1 cups 1 cups 5/8 cups 3/8 cups
5lb 1 1/2 cups 1 3/8 cups 7/8 cups 1/2 cups
10lb 2 1/4 cups 2 1/4 cups 1 1/2 cups 3/4 cups
15lb 3 cups 2 3/4 cups 1 3/4 cups 1 cups
20lb 3 3/4 cups 3 1/2 cups 2 1/4 cups 1 1/4 cups

Frequently Asked Questions

Can small breed dogs eat puppy food?

Well, yes and no. The thing is, puppy chow is specifically made to accommodate the growth of puppies.

Since obesity is a big deal in the world of pets, feeding an adult dog a high-calorie food, like the one meant for puppies, may make it gain unwanted weight.

However, we believe it is acceptable to feed an adult small breed dog puppy food, as they generally need more energy than medium and large breeds. Just make sure that it is in moderation.

How long does a puppy stay on puppy food?

As soon as a puppy has reached 90% of its expected adult weight, it may switch from a growth diet to another one, more suitable for growth maintenance. When it comes to small breeds, they usually stop growing around 9–10 months.

Can I feed my dog puppy food forever?

As mentioned, yes, you may feed your adult dog puppy food for the rest of its lifetime.

However, since puppy food is typically high in calories (due to their energy needs), feeding your adult dog this type of food may result in unnecessary weight gain. Hence, we recommend consulting your veterinarian beforehand.

What is the best puppy food for small breeds?

Although the first product on the list is our top pick overall, the best puppy food for your own puppy depends on many factors, from its energy levels to its preferences (whether it prefers dry or wet food).

If you’re unsure, you can always ask your vet. Or, you can buy smaller bags and test a few of the listed options. Your puppy would surely show you which one (or ones) are the best for it.

Key Takeaways

So, there you go. These were our top picks of the best small breed puppy food we strongly suggest you check out.

Hopefully, you find this guide useful in terms of not only finding out the best of the best food for your pup but also for learning about what to look for when shopping for it.

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