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The 12 Best Small Breed Puppy Foods

It is crucial to start your puppy off on the appropriate nutritional path. To minimize health issues in the future, it is crucial to provide your puppy with all the necessities for growth. The first few months are crucial for your puppy's growth. They require particular vitamins and minerals for this development to occur properly.

Even while smaller breeds may not have the same developmental issues as gigantic breeds, they nonetheless require a highly specific diet as puppies. In this post, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will discuss the best small breed puppy foods so that you can choose the finest diet for your puppy. Prepare to discover the finest tiny breed puppy food available.


Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula

For those on a budget, you may wish to select Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula. This recipe’s primary ingredient is chicken, which is wonderful considering its inexpensive cost.

Several of the remaining components are subpar. The second component, for example, is corn gluten meal, which is not especially nutrient-dense. Despite this, it has a high protein content.

The kibble is created small for smaller dogs. Fish oil provides additional omega fatty acids, while DHA promotes brain and eye development.

Probiotics are also provided to create a healthy gut microbiome from an early age, hence preventing future stomach distress. Antioxidants are abundant and crucial for the general health of your dog. Absolutely no artificial colors or tastes are present.

Despite a few low-quality components, this is the most cost-effective meal for tiny breed puppies.


  • Poultry as the primary component
  • Inexpensive
  • DHA for cognitive health
  • High in protein content


  • Some inferior components were added.


Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey

Wellness Complete Small-Breed Health Puppy Turkey is a tad more costly than alternative possibilities. However, the higher-quality ingredients may convince some pet owners that the additional cost is justified.

The primary component is deboned turkey, followed by a chicken meal. Both of these components are excellent sources of protein. Also mentioned in the ingredient list is a salmon meal.

This mixture is meticulously prepared from the finest components available. It is composed of smaller kibbles, as would be expected from a small dog recipe. Omega fatty acids and an abundance of DHA are provided.

Antioxidants and probiotics are also included to enhance the general health of your dog. There are no meat by-products, fillers, or synthetic preservatives present.

This dish is produced in the United States, but the components come from all around the world.


  • Made in America
  • Probiotics and antioxidants are included.
  • DHA comprised
  • An abundance of meat ingredients


  • Expensive
  • Not significantly high in protein


Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppies

Overall, Merrick is a high-quality dog food manufacturer. Additionally, their Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food is an excellent alternative. This dish is made with a variety of entire ingredients, including chicken without bones, chicken meal, and sweet potatoes.

Despite this, it has less protein and fat than desired, particularly for a puppy. However, since 76% of the protein comes from animal sources, the protein is of excellent quality.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are incorporated to support hip and joint health. Less significant for smaller breeds. However, you must specify whether your puppy comes from a breed prone to joint issues.

Included are omega fatty acids, including DHA. This supports the skin and coat of your puppy. DHA promotes brain health and growth, making it an excellent choice for developing puppies.

This diet has no grains, which may be beneficial for puppies with sensitive stomachs. However, grain-free meals have been related to the FDA’s particular cardiac difficulties, so unless your dog is allergic to grains, you should not pick grain-free.


  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA
  • 76 percent of protein comes from animal sources
  • Superior components throughout
  • DHA present for brain health


  • Grain-free
  • Comparatively low in protein


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Lifeguard Formulation Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food is an acceptable alternative for smaller puppies. The primary component is deboned chicken, followed by a chicken meal. Due to this, it has a respectable protein content and is also rather heavy in fat. The addition of menhaden fish meal raises the levels of DHA and omega fatty acids.

For stronger bones and teeth, calcium, phosphorus, and a variety of other important vitamins are present in greater quantities. The smaller kibble is ideal for dogs with tiny jaws.

Chelation of the contained minerals enhances their overall absorption. In other words, your pet will be able to utilize these minerals more effectively. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids come from natural sources.

This Blue Buffalo product contains no corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-product meals. The primary issue with this dish is that it is more expensive than other alternatives, and you do not receive a substantial value for the additional expense. The stated value is low.


  • Contains an abundance of animal products.
  • Chelated elements
  • Omega fatty acids comprise
  • There are no maize, wheat, soy, or poultry by-product meals allowed.


  • Low value
  • Heavy aroma


Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals may not be as well-known as other companies, but their Tiny Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is ideal for puppies of small breeds. It contains probiotics in every serving to promote healthy gut flora from the start. The primary component is cage-free chicken, followed by a variety of vegetables and fruits.

These vegetables are not just fillers. Instead, very nutritious vegetables such as kale, pumpkin, blueberries, and oranges are added to boost the nutritional content of the dish.

The recipe contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and skin, which is especially beneficial for tiny puppies with sensitive skin.

There is no maize, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in its composition. This formula is produced in the United States employing scientifically advanced food safety processes, resulting in fewer recalls due to potential hazards.

This formulation also contains natural DHA to promote brain and eye function. Plus, it’s reasonably affordable! This composition was easily chosen as the finest puppy food for tiny breeds.


  • Poultry as the primary component
  • Includes a range of premium vegetables and fruits
  • Omega fatty acids included throughout the whole formulation
  • Not containing any maize, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors.
  • Made in America


  • Not wheat-free


Eukanuba Dry Small Breed Puppy Food

Although pricey, Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food offers a number of advantages. The primary component is chicken, followed by chicken by-product meal as the second.

The remainder of the diet consists of cereals, vegetables, and a few animal items such as eggs. This food’s protein level is rather high. The ingredient list suggests that the majority of the protein originates from animal sources.

This meal is rather heavy in calories, therefore your dog may require less of it than with other brands. Check the feeding instructions before determining the price, since it may be less costly than the buying price indicates.

This meal is formulated for miniature and toy breeds. It is ideal for dogs with an estimated mature weight of fewer than 23 pounds. It promotes muscle development with the addition of calcium, phosphorus, and animal protein. DHA is present in the form of fish oil to promote brain development.


  • Poultry as the primary component
  • High-calorie
  • Specifically designed for tiny breeds


  • Expensive
  • Contains a range of grains


Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food for Puppies

Small-breed dogs are not intended for the consumption of Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food. However, based on the listed advantages and ingredients, it is appropriate for smaller-breed puppies. The only potential issue is that the kibble may be a tad too big for extremely small puppies. This meal may be optimal for tiny to medium-sized dogs.

Chicken and chicken meal are the first two components of this dish. The remainder of the ingredient list consists primarily of additional vitamins and grains, including brewer’s rice, brown rice with bran, and potato protein.

While this item is moderately high in protein, the presence of vegetable protein suggests that the majority of the protein does not come from animal sources. This is important to remember when analyzing the protein content.

Omega-3 fatty acids are provided to help brain development, and vital antioxidants are included to strengthen the immune system of your dog. All components are non-GMO, reducing the number of pesticides present.


  • Chicken as the primary element
  • Omega fatty acids comprise
  • Excellent protein content


  • A great deal of vegetable protein is present
  • Not intended for tiny breeds specifically
  • Expensive


Wellness Complete Health Dog Food for Puppies in Cans

Wellness Comprehensive Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food is comparable to the other Wellness products on our list. This meal is really costly. Obviously, it depends on the amount of food your dog will consume. These are full-sized, 12.5-ounce cans, despite the fact that little puppies often consume relatively little food.

This dish has a substantial amount of animal components, including chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, and salmon. However, inferior components such as pea protein and potatoes are also incorporated. It is rather rich in protein, however, this is likely owing to the pea protein and not the inclusion of animal products.

This diet does not include any extra DHA or other typical nutrients found in puppy food. This is a major reason why it received such a poor rating in our reviews.


  • Contains an abundance of animal products.
  • High in protein content
  • Developed by veterinarians


  • Few additional nutrients
  • Pea protein included
  • Expensive


Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites

It is well-known that Hill’s Science Diet is a pricey, premium brand. However, the price of Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites is very low if purchased from reputable retailers.

However, it is not as premium and high-quality as one may anticipate. The first component is chicken meal, which is a high-quality alternative. However, the remaining ingredients are grains. These grains are high-quality and entire, yet they are still grains and fillers.

This is the reason why this dish is also relatively low in crude protein and fat, especially when compared to some of the cheaper choices we listed before. By selecting this brand, you do not incur any further costs.

DHA is included in the development of the eyes and brain, along with a combination of antioxidants. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are present. It is also manufactured in the United States.


  • Poultry meal as the primary component
  • DHA and antioxidants are present
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives


  • Includes many grains
  • Low protein and fat content
  • Rather costly


Royal Canin Dry Small Puppy Puppy Food

The Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food is formulated particularly for puppies of small breeds. It is designed for the first 10 months of a dog’s life when he or she weighs between 9 and 22 pounds.

The kibble size is particularly small, making it simpler for little dogs to eat. Although this dog chow is well-known and sometimes regarded as “premium,” it is not as high-quality as it initially looks.

The first component is brewer’s rice, which is not ideal for our tiny dogs. The second component is chicken by-product meal, which is the sole animal protein in the whole ingredient list. The first component is chicken fat, while the other ingredients are grains and low-quality vegetables.

The protein level is low, which is not surprising given the list of ingredients. The low-fat level also indicates that this dish is rich in carbs.

Despite being created for pups, this food’s nutritional profile leaves much to be desired.


  • Designed for pups
  • Smaller kibble


  • Rice is the initial component of brewing
  • mediocre animal proteins
  • Low protein and fat content
  • Contains inferior ingredients

Buyer's Guide

Choosing the finest puppy food for tiny breeds may appear confusing and difficult at first look. However, if you have some prior information, selecting the finest dog food for your dog will be a lot simpler. In this part, you’ll find all the information you need to choose the best food for your dog.


The ingredient list should be your first stop when evaluating dog food. Each and every dog food must specify its components. The ingredients are given in order of decreasing weight. In general, the items listed first indicate the primary components of the dish.

However, you must consider factors such as the water weight of the materials. Even though whole chicken is listed as the first ingredient, it is not necessarily the first component once it has been boiled down and the moisture has been extracted.

High-grade meat

Preferably, the initial selection should be high-quality beef. This includes entire meats and meat-based meals. Meat meal is just meat that has been greatly reduced by cooking.

It has been essentially reduced to a stew and then simmered until much of the liquid has evaporated. It is simply concentrated beef. Because the water weight has been removed before to its inclusion on the ingredients list, its placement is more precise than that of whole meat.

If possible, avoid byproducts

Meat by-products are acceptable but of inferior grade. Do not purchase foods containing unidentified meat meals or by-products. Thus, “chicken by-products” is an acceptable option. “Meat by-products” is not acceptable since you do not know what type of meat is involved. It is unknown meat. If it was of high quality, the corporation would have cited its source.

Veggies matter!

Obviously, the vegetables in the food also matter. Almost all formulas contain a substantial amount of vegetables and other fruits. These must be of superior quality, including pumpkin and berries.

Potatoes and peas are frequently incorporated. These have some nutritional value, however many corporations utilize them excessively to the point that they become fillers. Be mindful of this prevalent issue when reviewing the ingredient list.

If peas or potatoes appear early in the ingredient list, it is possible that they are used as filler. This is especially problematic with grain-free goods, as many firms attempt to minimize costs by substituting cheap vegetables for grains.

Be conscious of pea protein and other vegetable-based proteins. These are OK in tiny quantities, although they are not as complete as animal-based proteins. They should thus be avoided wherever feasible.


Your next visit should be to the macronutrients contained in the meal. Dogs should ideally take a diet rich in protein and fat. According to several research, this is what they were innately designed to consume.


Protein content should ideally exceed 30 percent in dry meals. Wet foods will appear to contain less protein since they contain more water. Since moisture occupies a greater proportion, protein will appear to be less abundant.

However, as wet meals do not need to be formed into kibble, they are frequently richer in protein. Anything beyond 6 to 7 percent is acceptable for moist cuisine.


Obviously, greater is always better. Fat content should preferably exceed 15%. 17% or above is preferable. Nonetheless, this is tough to locate. It primarily relies on the sort of meat utilized. If leaner meat is utilized as the primary ingredient, the meal will naturally have less protein.

Protein and fat levels that are greater in tiny breed puppies are always preferable. Puppies have a higher fat and protein need than adults since they are still growing. You should thus consume as much protein and fat as feasible.

Remember that if a food is strong in protein yet contains vegetable-based fat, the protein content must be interpreted accordingly.

Extra Nutrients

All AAFCO-approved dog meals will be required to fulfill a certain nutritional profile. This organization cannot directly control dog food, but it does issue a seal to dog meals that adhere to its requirements.

Check for their seal on any dog food you purchase and confirm that it adheres to their specified guidelines. Additionally, there are a few other components that may be advantageous for tiny breed puppies.

DHA addition is usually positive. This omega fatty acid may be found in a variety of meals, although it is most common in fish. It is vital for the development of the brain and eyes, making it particularly suited for pups. Typically, it is provided by the use of fish oil or entire fish.


We examined a variety of small-breed puppy meals. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula is a perfect solution for those on a budget. It has chicken as its primary component and has a protein level that is unexpectedly high. However, it does include key components, such as DHA, at a significantly lower price than many rival brands.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope this post has assisted you in selecting the best small breed puppy foods. We recognize that selecting the ideal dog food for your puppy can be challenging, but our reviews and buyer’s guide should help!

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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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