The 10 Best Dry Dog Foods For Small Dogs In 2024
As a dedicated small dog owner, you understand the importance of catering to their specific dietary needs. Their fast metabolism, rapid growth, and petite mouths require specially formulated kibble. With numerous choices available, selecting the best dry dog foods for small dogs can be a daunting task.
BestForPets can provide recommendations on the best dry dog foods for small dogs based on your dog's specific needs. By taking the guesswork out of choosing the right food, you can ensure your furry friend receives the nutrition they need to thrive.
Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)Veterinarian
The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.Read more
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Small Breed Dry Dog Food by Cesar
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Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d
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Royal Canin X-Small
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Blue Buffalo Small Dog Life Protection
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Nutro Natural Choice Adult Small Breed
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Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food
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Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley
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Purina ONE SmartBlend
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Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food
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Purina Pro Plan Shredded Formulation
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1. Small Breed Dry Dog Food by Cesar
Cesar's Little Breed Dry Dog Food is an economical option for small dogs, with a reasonable price and a combination of crispy kibble and tender meaty pieces.
It is high in protein and contains 26 essential nutrients necessary for the health of small dogs.
This dog food is made with real beef as the first ingredient, providing a taste that dogs love. The kibble’s shape also promotes oral health by reducing tartar buildup.
The resealable zipper on the bag helps maintain the food’s freshness, allowing your dog to enjoy it for longer periods.
It’s important to note that this dog food contains wheat, maize, soy, and animal by-products, which may not be suitable for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.
We recommend consulting with a veterinarian before transitioning to this diet.
Overall, Cesar’s Little Breed Dry Dog Food is an excellent option for pet owners seeking a budget-friendly option that still provides their small dogs with the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Combination of crisp kibble and succulent chunks
Contains 26 minerals and high protein content
Genuine beef is the primary component
The kibble’s shape promotes oral health
The bag may be resealed
Contains wheat, soy, maize, and animal derivatives
2. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food
Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food is an excellent option for small dogs that need assistance with weight management.
It is specially formulated to support healthy digestion, normal blood glucose levels, and a healthy urinary tract, including the prevention of urinary crystal formation.
This dog food is high in fiber, which helps dogs feel full for longer periods, and contains L-carnitine, which aids in fat metabolism and lean muscle maintenance.
The optimal blend of soluble and insoluble fiber, along with low calorie content, aids in weight maintenance.
Additionally, this product contains controlled amounts of magnesium and sodium, which promote urinary tract health. The therapeutic levels of L-carnitine promote fat metabolism and lean muscle maintenance.
It’s important to note that this dog food is expensive and requires veterinary approval before use. We recommend consulting with a veterinarian to ensure that the diet is appropriate for your dog.
Overall, Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for pet owners seeking a diet that can help their small dogs maintain a healthy weight and address various health concerns, such as digestive issues, glucose management, and urinary tract health.
Helps dogs maintain a healthy weight
Maintains digestive health and normal glucose levels
Promotes a sound urinary system
High fiber content so your dog will feel fuller
High in L-carnitine for fat-burning and metabolism
Need vet permission
3. Royal Canin X-Small Adult Dry Dog Food
The X-Small Dry Puppy Food from Royal Canin is specifically formulated for canines under 10 months of age and weighing up to 8 pounds.
To accommodate their tiny mouths and canines, the kibble is extra-compact. It contains highly digestible proteins, antioxidants, and prebiotics to promote digestive and immune health, respectively.
However, it’s important to note that the product’s first ingredient is a poultry by-product, and it also contains maize and wheat gluten.
Some canines may be sensitive to these ingredients, so it’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian before administering this diet to your puppy.
Overall, Royal Canin’s X-Small Dry Puppy Food is an excellent option for owners of extra-small breed canines.
This dry dog foods for small dogs is designed to meet the high energy requirements of puppies during their brief, intense growth period, and it provides immune support with a proprietary blend of antioxidants and vitamins.
Additionally, the kibble is formulated for diminutive and toy canines with small mouths and finicky appetites, while the fiber blend promotes optimal stool quality.
For pups up to 10 months old and 8 pounds or less
Extra tiny kibble
Highly digestible protein
Antioxidants promote a healthy immune system
Prebiotics for healthy digestion
Contains poultry by-products, maize, and wheat gluten
4. Blue Buffalo Small Dog Life Protection Food
Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food by Blue Buffalo is a premium dry food option for small dogs. It’s available in three sizes and contains chicken and brown rice.
The primary ingredient is deboned chicken, providing your small dog with a natural and abundant source of protein.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, this diet includes antioxidant-rich minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to promote health and well-being.
It’s rich in carbohydrates and protein, making it an ideal food for small dogs with high caloric needs. The kibble is appropriately sized for small teeth and helps prevent tartar buildup.
Additionally, this diet excludes wheat, soy, and corn, which are common allergens for dogs.
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula also includes LifeSource Bits, small pieces of food containing a precise combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.
However, some dogs may reject these pieces, so it’s recommended to monitor your dog’s reaction to the food.
Overall, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula Dog Food is an outstanding option for small dog breeds. This diet is made with premium ingredients and contains no chicken or poultry by-products, corn, wheat, or soy.
It meets increased energy needs and contains immunity-boosting LifeSource Bits to promote overall health and wellness.
Available in 3 sizes
The primary component is boneless chicken
Rich and natural protein source
Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants
Kibble is little, but it prevents tartar accumulation
Not made with wheat, soy, corn, or their derivatives
LifeSource Bits are frequently rejected by some canines
5. Nutro Natural Choice Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Nutro's Natural Selection Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is a superior quality option for dry dog foods for small dogs.
As the primary ingredient, it contains high-quality protein from whole chicken, providing your dog with a natural and abundant source of protein.
Additionally, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s joints and antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
This diet does not contain GMOs, corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-products, making it an excellent option for dogs with food allergies. The kibble texture helps clean teeth, promoting dental health and preventing plaque formation.
Nutro’s Natural Selection Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is formulated with essential antioxidants and natural fiber to support a healthy immune system and digestion.
This diet is also prepared in Nutro’s United States facilities using the world’s finest ingredients.
However, it’s important to note that this dog food is on the more expensive side and may not be suitable for all budgets. Additionally, some dogs may be picky eaters, so it is recommended to monitor your dog’s reaction to the food.
Overall, Nutro’s Natural Selection Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is a high-quality option for small breed dogs.
This dry dog foods for small dogs diet’s non-GMO ingredients and absence of chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, and soy make it an excellent option for dogs with food sensitivities.
It supports joint health, immune system health, and dental health, providing complete nutrition for your small breed dog.
Chicken breast is the primary component
Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints
Antioxidants promote a robust immune system
Excludes soy, wheat, corn, GMOs, and poultry by-products
A little costly
Picky dogs will be selective
6. Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds
The primary ingredient in Nature's Recipe Small Breed Hairless Dog Food is high-quality poultry, which provides a natural and abundant source of protein for your small breed dog.
Additionally, it contains sweet potato and pumpkin, which are nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources and excellent sources of dietary fiber. This fiber promotes healthy digestion and supports a strong immune system.
This dry dog foods for small dogs is free of by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, and artificial flavors, making it an excellent option for dogs with food sensitivities.
It also contains added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support the maintenance of adult dogs.
Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Hairless Dog Food is formulated to promote muscle health, skin and coat health, and cardiac health, making it a comprehensive option for small breed dogs.
This diet excludes grains and substitutes sweet potato and pumpkin for maize and wheat.
However, it’s important to note that this dog food is on the pricier side and may not be suitable for all budgets. Additionally, some dogs may be selective eaters, so it’s recommended to observe your dog’s reaction to the food.
Overall, Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Hairless Dog Food is an excellent quality option for small breed dogs.
Its natural ingredients, lack of common contaminants, and added vitamins and minerals make it an excellent option for dogs with special dietary requirements.
This dry dog foods for small dogs provides complete nutrition for your small breed dog by promoting healthy digestion, a strong immune system, muscle, skin, and coat health, as well as cardiac health.
The primary ingredients are chicken, pumpkin, and sweet potato
Antioxidants and fiber for digestive and immunological health
No artificial preservatives or flavors
No corn, wheat, soy, or their derivatives
Picky dogs are picky
7. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs
The main ingredient in Taste of the Wild's Appalachian Valley Dog Food for mature canines is deer, making it a premium product.
This protein source is highly digestible and provides essential amino acids for healthy muscle maintenance.
In addition to deer, the formula contains lamb, duck, egg, and ocean fish, all of which provide a variety of protein sources for a healthy coat and skin.
It is an ideal option for canines with grain sensitivities, as it contains no corn, wheat, or cereals. Furthermore, the formula includes probiotics and prebiotics to support healthy digestion and a robust immune system.
Its specific applications include immune support, active lifestyle, digestive health, nutrition, bone, muscle, skin, dental care, joints, and coat.
However, it’s important to note that, like other high-quality dog foods, it comes at a higher price point. Additionally, some canines may not appreciate the flavor.
Overall, Taste of the Wild’s Appalachian Valley Adult Dog Food is a wholesome and balanced option for adult canines. Its protein sources and added digestive support make it an excellent option for canines with dietary restrictions.
Venison is the primary ingredient in this dish
Includes probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health
Naturally rich in protein and fat
Lacks artificial flavors, colors, wheat, soy, and corn
Some dogs don’t enjoy it
8. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food, Small Bites
Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites Dry Dog Food is a high-protein option for small adult dogs, with real beef as the primary ingredient.
It also contains additional high-quality protein sources to support muscle health.
The addition of glucosamine, which promotes joint health, is advantageous for senior dogs. In addition, the food is a combination of crunchy and chewy kibble, which may be alluring to some dogs.
Moreover, this dry dog foods for small dogs contains omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants, which support healthy skin and coat and a robust immune system.
However, it should be noted that the formula contains chicken by-products, corn, soy, and wheat, which may not be suitable for dogs with dietary sensitivities.
Additionally, while the chewy morsels may be tempting to dogs, they may prefer them over the kibble, leading to an unbalanced diet.
Overall, Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites Dry Dog Food is a high-protein option with added joint support and skin and coat benefits for small adult dogs.
However, due to the presence of potentially problematic ingredients and concerns about an unbalanced diet, it may not be appropriate for all dogs.
Genuine beef is the main component
Combination of kibble and delectable morsels
Contains glucosamine to promote joint health
Essential omega-6 fatty acids for healthy hair and skin
Antioxidants for a healthy immune system
This product contains maize, wheat, soy, and chicken by-product
Dogs could reject kibble in favor of softer morsels
9. Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds
Wellness CORE Small Breed Mature Dry Dog Food is a premium, grain-free, and complete food for small adult dogs.
Its primary ingredient is responsibly sourced deboned turkey, which provides high-quality protein for your furry companion.
The formula also includes chicken, salmon oil, vegetables, and fruit, which provide essential nutrients that contribute to your dog’s overall health.
This product contains a variety of beneficial ingredients, such as probiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chondroitin, glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and taurine.
These ingredients support your dog’s immune system, joint health, digestive health, and cardiovascular health.
Importantly, it is free of animal by-products, soy, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, making it a nutritious option for your canine companion.
While it is true that dog foods with complete ingredients and no additives are typically more expensive, Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food’s high-quality ingredients and balanced nutrition make it a beneficial investment in your pet’s health.
However, some dogs, particularly picky eaters, may not appreciate it. Overall, Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food is a premium, high-quality option for small adult dogs.
Its inclusion of responsibly sourced protein, nutrient-rich ingredients, and beneficial additives make it an excellent choice for pet owners who prioritize the health of their furry companions.
Boneless chicken is the primary element
Contains many taurine, glucosamine, chondroitin, and probiotics
Contains no synthetic chemicals, by-products, wheat, soy, or corn
Picky dogs might not enjoy
10. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Formulation Dry Small Breed Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is a kibble-and-tender-bits dog food that provides small adult dogs with a balanced and nutritious meal.
Its primary ingredient is whole chicken, which is a high-quality protein source that is easily digestible and contains vitamin A and linoleic acid for a healthy coat and skin.
Additionally, this dry dog foods for small dogs includes prebiotics for additional digestive support and live probiotics that support digestive and immune health.
While this dog food is nutritionally complete and has a delicious flavor and texture that dogs enjoy, there are some drawbacks to consider. Similar to other kibble with tender bits, some dogs may prefer the soft pieces and disregard the kibble.
Additionally, this product contains corn, wheat, and poultry by-products, which may not be suitable for dogs with specific dietary restrictions or requirements.
It should also be noted that some packages of this formula may contain inconsistent quantities of kibble, which can be frustrating for pet owners.
Overall, Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for small adult dogs. Its inclusion of whole chicken and live probiotics makes it a nutritious option for pet owners who prioritize their dog’s health.
However, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as the presence of corn, wheat, and poultry by-products, and the inconsistency of kibble in some packages.
As with any food, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Combination of succulent morsels and kibble
Chicken breast is the primary component
Vitamin A and linoleic acid promote healthy skin and coat
Prebiotics and live probiotics for the immunological and digestive systems
Some canines will pick out the shreds
Contains wheat, soy, and corn by-products
Some of the bags contain almost no shredded material
How to Choose the Best Dry Dog Food for Your Small Dog
Obviously, not every miniature dog is identical. Your small dog may have varying dietary preferences, requirements, or health conditions. For instance:
Puppies require more calories and nutrients for growth and development than adult or senior dogs. They also require smaller, softer kibble to accommodate their developing teeth and gums.
Consider dry dog food specially formulated for puppies or all life stages for small dogs.
2. Activity level
Active or energetic dogs require more calories and protein to fuel their physical activity and maintain lean body mass than sedentary dogs.
Additionally, they need more water to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration. Look for dry dog food that is rich in calories, protein, and moisture for small dogs.
3. Health status
Some dogs may have health issues or dietary requirements that necessitate specific nutrients or dietary restrictions. For example, chubby dogs require fewer calories and more fiber to aid in weight loss and satiety.
Urinary issues require more water and less sodium to prevent urinary tract infections or stones. To avoid triggering their symptoms, dogs with allergies or sensitivities require hypoallergenic or grain-free food.
Look for dry dog food formulated by veterinarians or nutritionists to treat your dog’s health condition.
Some dogs may be allergic or intolerant to certain foods, such as chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, or dairy.
These ingredients can cause itching, scratching, licking, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as other uncomfortable or distressing symptoms.
Look for dry dog food for small dogs that is free of the allergenic or sensitive ingredients and contains novel or limited ingredients that are less likely to cause adverse reactions.
5. Taste preferences
Some dogs may be picky eaters, refusing to eat food they don’t like or are bored with. They may prefer food with a particular taste, texture, or aroma.
Look for dry dog food for small dogs that has a variety of flavors, textures, and odors to appeal to your dog’s taste buds and keep them interested.
6. Here are some tips on how to locate the finest dry dog food for your small dog:
6.1. Consult your vet
Your veterinarian is an expert on your small dog’s health history and current condition.
They can recommend the best variety and quantity of food for your small dog based on their age, weight, level of activity, and overall health. They can also recommend brands or products that are suitable for your small dog’s needs.
6.2. Read labels and reviews
Before purchasing any dry dog food for small dogs, carefully read the label and examine the ingredients, nutrition facts, feeding instructions, and expiration date.
Look for the characteristics mentioned earlier and avoid any red flags or warning signs. You can also read online reviews from other small dog owners or ask for their experiences with different products.
6.3. Do a trial run
After narrowing down your options, purchase a small container or sample of the dry dog food for small dogs you want to test. Observe your small dog’s reaction after giving them the food.
Do they enjoy the flavor, aroma, and texture? Do they eat it enthusiastically or unwillingly? Have they experienced any digestive problems or allergic reactions? Do they appear satiated and energized after eating?
If the answer to all of these questions is affirmative, then you may have found a winner. If not, you may need to try a different product.
6.4. Change gradually
If you decide to switch your small dog’s food from one brand or product to another, do so gradually and with care. Some dogs may experience stomach distress or diarrhea after a sudden change in diet.
To avoid this, gradually increase the proportion of the new diet over a period of 7 to 10 days. This will allow your small dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new food without difficulty.
1. Is it healthy for dogs to consume only dry food?
While individual tastes and preferences may vary, high-quality dry dog food can provide all the necessary nutrients for a healthy, active life.
Dry dog food is a suitable option for our canine companions, as it contains essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that dogs require.
However, it’s important to choose a reputable brand and consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog’s specific needs.
2. Do toy and small-breed dogs have difficulty eating large kibbles?
Yes, due to their small mouths and teeth, larger kibbles can be challenging for toy and small-breed dogs to eat.
To make mealtime easier for your small dog, look for dry dog food that features smaller kibbles. Additionally, select a dog food that is specifically designed for small breeds and promotes healthy skin and coat.
By choosing the right dry dog food, you can help ensure your small dog receives the nutrients they need in a shape and size that is easy for them to eat.
3. Should I add water to dry dog food?
Increasing overall fluid intake is important for your dog’s health, and adding water to their diet can help achieve this. However, if you notice a significant change in your dog’s drinking habits, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
In such cases, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any health issues and determine the best course of action for your pet.
4. Should dogs eat dry food everyday?
Providing your dog with a nourishing meal is not only an act of affection but also helps establish a secure foundation for your relationship with your furry friend.
When deciding between dry and moist dog food, it’s important to note that high-quality dry dog food can provide all the necessary nutrients for your dog’s daily requirements.
While there are benefits to feeding your dog moist food, dry dog food can be a suitable option for most dogs and helps promote healthy teeth and gums.
5. Do small dogs need more protein?
Small-breed puppies require more calories per pound of body weight than puppies of larger breeds.
To support their growth and development, it’s recommended that small-breed canines consume smaller, calorie-dense meals that contain high-quality proteins and fats.
This helps ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for optimal bone, muscle, and organ development. Feeding your small-breed puppy several times a day can also help maintain their energy levels and prevent hypoglycemia.
Cesar's Small Breed Dry Dog Food is affordably priced and contains both crunchy kibble and tender, meaty chunks that are just the right size for your dog’s mouth.
Lastly, Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food is pricey, but it is the ideal food for small dogs that need a little assistance with weight control.
BestForPets hope that our reviews have helped you determine the best dry dog foods for small dogs and that they will express their gratitude in their own way.
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