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The 10 Best Dog Foods For Toy Breeds

One size does not fit all when it comes to dog food, and if you have a toy breed, you know what we mean. The size of the kibble is important because if it's too big for a small dog, it will be hard for them to eat.

Not only that, but we also want our little dogs to get the best nutrition possible, which means we have to sort through the many options we have today.

How do you choose the best food for your dog when there are so many options? What do you need to find? You've come to the right place if you're in this situation.

In this guide, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has put together a list of the best dog foods for toy breeds, and we've ranked them based on what other people have said about them.

Each item on our list has both pros and cons, as well as information about how healthy it is. If you're ready, let's get into the products.

Reviews

Nutro Ultra Small Breed

Nutro Ultra Small Breed has real chicken, lamb meal, and salmon meal, which are all good sources of protein. This formula was made just for small dogs.

It is a mix of superfoods that give your small dog all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. It doesn’t have any by-products, soy, or wheat in it. The ingredients are non-GMO as well (genetically modified organisms).

This recipe has a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables, like coconut, chia, blueberries, pumpkin, apples, carrots, spinach, and kale. It also has brown rice and whole-grain oats, making it a complete meal with all the nutrients you need.

The kibble is small, which is great for small dogs, and it comes in a 4-pound bag that isn’t too expensive.

Some dogs may not do well on this food because some people say it made their dogs sick with diarrhea and vomiting. Most of these problems happened after the company changed the formula.

Overall, Nutro Ultra Small Breed food is the best dog food for toy breeds for the money because of the mix of superfoods, protein sources, and price.

Pros

  • Excellent protein sources
  • There’s a good mix of superfoods in it.
  • No GMO’s
  • Well worth the money
  • Small dog food for small breeds

Cons

  • Some dogs may get sick from the new recipe

 

Recipe for Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free

If you need something without grains, the Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe is a good choice. This healthy food is full of protein and is made with cage-free chicken as the first ingredient.

It also has probiotics to help keep the digestive system healthy, a lot of antioxidants to keep the skin and coat healthy, and no by-products, artificial coloring, or preservatives.

This minimally processed food for dogs has freeze-dried raw meat and real chicken that dogs love mixed in with kibble.

As the second ingredient, it also has chicken meal, which is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin. The food is made in the US, and the extra calcium and phosphorus help build strong bones and teeth.

This food only comes in one flavor, chicken, so if your dog is allergic to chicken, you won’t be able to give it to him.

Also, you can buy it in a 4-pound bag or a 21-pound bag, but they are both very expensive. Some people say that this food gave their dog loose stools and that it doesn’t have much chicken in it.

Check with your vet to make sure that a grain-free diet is good for your dog since grains are good for dogs unless they have an allergy to them.

Pros

  • The first thing in it is cage-free chicken.
  • Probiotics are included to help with digestion.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are in the chicken meal.
  • Made in America
  • No leftovers, fake flavors, or coloring.

Cons

  • Only comes in one flavor
  • May cause diarrhea
  • Expensive

 

Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Growth for Puppies

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development is made just for puppies and has all the vitamins and minerals they need to grow up strong and healthy. Hill’s is the best dog food that vets recommend, and this puppy formula is no different.

The kibble is small to make digestion easy and smooth, and it contains DHA from fish oil to help the brain and eyes grow and develop in a healthy way.

It helps keep your immune system healthy because it has antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin C. It is made from high-quality ingredients and has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. This food, too, is made in the United States.

Even though this formula is for puppies, only puppies older than 1 year should use it. Some puppies don’t like how the food smells, and for some of them, it can make their poop runny. It costs a fair amount for a 4.5-pound bag and a 15.5-pound bag.

Pros

  • Vet approved
  • Kibble is small so that it is easy to digest.
  • Full and well-rounded
  • Made in America

Cons

  • Not for dogs younger than a year
  • Some dogs don’t like the strong smell.
  • This causes some puppies to have loose stools

 

Merrick Healthy Grains Classic

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains is a recipe for small breeds. The first ingredient is deboned chicken.

It is full and balanced because it has healthy, old grains, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The size of the kibble is small, which is great for toys and small breeds.

It has glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your dog’s joints healthy, and it doesn’t have wheat, soy, or corn, which is good for dogs with food allergies.

This recipe has brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, which are all high in fiber and good for digestion. Most reviews say that dogs love the taste.

The bag can’t be closed again, so you’ll need to put it in a container that keeps out air to keep it fresh. Picky eaters may not like this food very much. Some dogs may also have a lot of gas from it.

Pros

  • The first thing on the list is deboned chicken.
  • Contains ancient grains, vitamins, and minerals
  • It has glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep your joints healthy.

Cons

  • Bag can’t be closed again
  • Picky eaters don’t like the way things taste.
  • May give some dogs too much gas

 

Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Formula for Adult Toy Breed

Purina Pro Plan Adult Toy Breed Chicken & Rice has real chicken as the first ingredient. It also has a natural prebiotic and probiotic fiber to help keep the digestive system healthy.

It has a lot of protein for active dogs and calcium and phosphorus to help keep their bones and teeth strong. This food is also good for dogs with stomach problems.

This food is made for dogs that weigh under 10 pounds. Also, this formula used to include chicken chunks, but the new formula doesn’t. This is making some customers unhappy, so be careful. It costs a fair amount for a 5-pound bag.

Pros

  • It has prebiotics and probiotics to help digestion go smoothly.
  • It starts with real chicken.
  • Has a lot of protein
  • Ideal for dogs who like to run.

Cons

  • Not for dogs under 10 pounds
  • Comes only in 5 pound bags
  • Shreds of chicken are no longer in the new recipe.

 

Wellness Breed Full Adult Health

Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult has high-quality whole grains and protein to provide the best nutrition possible. This food has antioxidants, like blueberries and spinach.

It also has omega fatty acids, like flaxseed, glucosamine, probiotics, fiber from carrots, taurine7, and glucosamine. It doesn’t have any fillers, by-products, or artificial preservatives.

It gives dogs energy, keeps their coats healthy and shiny, and helps keep their hips and joints healthy. The kibble is made in the United States and is small enough for toy and small dogs.

This food only comes in a 4-pound bag, and picky eaters might not like it.

Pros

  • Protein- and whole-grain-filled
  • No by-products, fillers, or preservatives made in a lab.
  • Small-sized kibble for toy and small-breed dogs
  • Full and well-balanced with good fruits and vegetables

Cons

  • Only comes in bags of 4 pounds.
  • Not likely to work for picky eaters

 

Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain

Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain’s first ingredient is lamb, which is a good source of protein. It also has a small amount of carbs.

All of the ingredients are non-GMO, and there are 60% proteins, 20% organic ancient grains like oats and spelt, and 20% fruits and vegetables with vitamins and minerals.

This food is great for diabetic dogs because it has low levels of glycemic index, which helps keep blood sugar stable.

The omega-fatty acids will keep the skin and coat healthy, and all of the ingredients are fresh and never frozen.

If you are worried about how much ash is in your pet’s food, this formula has a low amount of ash. There are also 900 mg of glucosamine and 600 mg of chondroitin in this food.

This food comes in two sizes, 5.5 pounds and 15.4 pounds, and it costs a lot. Some customers say that the kibble inside is only half full, which, given how much it costs, is very disappointing. The bags also can’t be closed again.

Pros

  • Fresh ingredients are used.
  • Non-GMO
  • Has low glycemic levels to help stabilize blood sugar
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are included.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The bag might be half full.
  • Bags that can’t be closed again

 

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Grain-Free Small & Toy Breed

The first ingredient in Solid Gold Mighty Mini Small & Toy Breed Grain-Free is beef, and the second is ocean fish meal.

The holistic kibble is made for toy and small breeds and is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to give them the best nutrition possible every day.

Fruits and vegetables like peas, sweet potatoes, flaxseed, carrots, apples, pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries are found in this food. It also has probiotics to help keep your gut healthy.

Since 1974, Solid Gold has been making food for pets that is good for them in every way. If you want, they also have formulas with grains.

People have told us that some dogs won’t eat the food, and the kibble may be too hard for older dogs to chew.

Check with your vet to make sure that a grain-free diet is good for your dog, since grains are good for dogs unless they have an allergy to them.

Pros

  • Real beef is the first one.
  • It has probiotics to keep your gut healthy.
  • Holistic formula

Cons

  • Not all dogs will eat the food.
  • Kibble may be too large for senior dogs

 

Blue Buffalo’s formula for life protection

The first ingredient in Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is deboned chicken, which is a good source of protein for building lean muscles.

The food also has the right amount of carbs for energy. The kibble is made for toy and small-breed dogs, and it has omega fatty acids to help keep their coats shiny and healthy.

It also has 400 milligrams of glucosamine, which is good for joint health, and LifeSource Bits, which are vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep your immune system healthy.

It doesn’t have any by-products, wheat, soy, or corn, which is great for dogs with allergies to these foods. It also doesn’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives.

It costs a bit and comes in a 4-pound bag. Some dogs get diarrhea from it.

Pros

  • Protein of high quality for lean muscles
  • Small pieces that are easy to chew
  • uses LifeSource bits to help the immune system work as well as possible.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy by-products.
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

  • Only comes in a 4 pound bag.
  • May make some dogs throw up
  • Expensive

Conclusion

For the best dog foods for toy breedsNutro Ultra Small Breed is the best value because it has great sources of protein and superfoods for the best health.

Instinct Raw Boost has a high-protein, grain-free option that is a high-end choice.

Hill’s Science Diet for Puppies gives puppies the best nutrients they need to grow.

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains is BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) Vet’s Choice for small dogs and cats.

Buyer's Guide

Ingredients

On the back of a dog food label, you can find a list of the food’s ingredients. The first ingredient on the list is what the food has the most of, so that’s what you should look at.

For example, if deboned chicken is listed first and brown rice is listed second, the food has more deboned chicken than brown rice.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that labels list the ingredients in order of decreasing weight. This lets you figure out how much of each ingredient is in the food.

A healthy mix of fruits and vegetables, like apples, pumpkin, kale, spinach, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries, is another thing to look for.

Meat meal vs. meat scraps

Most people know that you should try to keep by-products out of your dog’s diet. By-products are the leftover parts of animals that have been killed. These parts could include the brain, lungs, spleen, blood, bones, and intestines.

Adding these ingredients makes the protein content higher, but it’s much better to find food with fresh and healthy proteins, like chicken, beef, lamb, and duck.

If you see dog food with by-products, it’s best to avoid it because it’s not necessary, and you can find food that doesn’t use them.

Meat meals are a confusing ingredient because some people think they are bad for dogs while others say they are good for them. Which one is right?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that meat meals are more nutritious than by-products. “Meat meal” just means that the protein source was added after the water and fat were taken out.

“Chicken,” on the other hand, is raw chicken without the water and fat taken out. Some of the products we listed have meat meal as the second ingredient.

Since meat meal is a great source of healthy proteins, you don’t need to stay away from these products.

Size of Breed

We’ve already said that a small dog will have different nutritional needs than a large dog. First, you’ll need to find a recipe that is made for small breeds. The kibble sizes in these recipes are small, and they are made to meet your dog’s daily nutritional needs.

Toy breeds have small teeth and jaws, which makes the size of their food very important. Small dogs will also need more calories per day than big dogs because their metabolisms are different.

How to Make Your Dog Eat Something New

If you want to switch your dog’s food, it’s important to do it slowly to avoid stomach problems. As a general rule, you should only feed 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food. Repeat this for a few days.

On day three, mix half of the old food with half of the new food. Do this for a few days. By day five, 75% of the new food should be mixed with 25% of the old food. On the seventh day, you can only feed the new food.

Always keep an eye on your dog during the transition phase, but especially after you’ve switched to the new food. If an upset stomach happens and lasts for more than a week, talk to your vet about it.

Some dogs may need more time, but if your dog is having trouble getting used to the new food, you should always talk to your vet.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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