Just as a heads up, in this post, we are counting puppies that will grow up to be under 20 lbs as small breed puppies. If that is the case for your pup, then this is the post for you.
Small breed puppies are precious and their nutrition should be taken very seriously. Luckily, most normal puppy foods are just great in the nutrition they provide to keep your tiny pup growing healthily. She doesn’t need a special formula like large breed puppies do. What you do need to keep in mind is portion size and number of portions. Small breeds have small digestive tracts that cannot handle large amounts of food all at once. They also metabolize food rapidly so they need more meals throughout the day to prevent hypoglycemia. What your puppy needs are 3-4 small meals per day. This will give her the best chance of growing in a healthy way to the strong, smart, small dog she will become.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the kibble or, if you choose wet food, the size of the chunks. Wet food is a great option for smaller puppies because they have a higher tendency to become dehydrated. The extra moisture in wet food can help prevent dehydration. In this post, we’ll talk about dry kibble, but if you’re interested in wet food, please head over to this post. Small puppies have small mouths and it’s not fair to feed them huge kibble. They will have a hard time eating and be more likely to choke. Formulas specific to small breeds will have smaller kibble, but if you choose a formula not specific to small breeds, make sure you check out the kibble size.
When choosing the best small breed puppy food, the ingredient list is key. This is, of course, true for puppies of any size. We discuss ingredients in depth in our post about the best food for all puppies here. In general, you want to look for whole foods while avoiding artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, as well as antibiotics and fillers. The ingredients are listed by weight. The first thing you want to see is a source of protein like chicken. Puppies need good sources of protein and fat first and foremost, then carbs and other nutrients. Remember, whole foods are best. If you can picture in your mind a plant or animal when you read each ingredient, then you’re on the right track. But don’t stress out too much. We have some great recommendations for you.
(28% minimum Protein, 18% minimum Fat, 4% maximum Fiber, 3790 kcals/kg) The main ingredients include deboned turkey, chicken meal, oatmeal, salmon meal, ground barley, ground brown rice, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Wellness created this formula just for small breed puppies and their nutritional needs. You’ll find a good amount of DHA to promote cognitive development, as well as fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants to promote immune system function and vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. The small kibble will be easy for your puppy to gobble down without worry.
(29% minimum Protein, 17% minimum Fat, 5% maximum Fiber, 3731 kcals/kg) The main ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, barley, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Blue prides themselves on healthy, wholesome ingredients that promote strong growth and development in your small puppy. Protein-rich chicken and hearty wholesome grains will fill your puppy up and give her tons of energy.
(23% minimum Protein, 13% minimum Fat, 3% maximum Fiber, 3612 kcals/kg) The main ingredients include chicken, brown rice, oats, chicken meal, potatoes, brewers rice, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). This is a wonderful formula that promotes easy digestion with its carefully selected sources of fiber and is rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. Natural Balance takes an entire body approach to ensure healthy growth for your small pup. This is a gluten-free dog food that offers an optimum balance of premium proteins and key nutrients. The size, shape, and texture are designed specifically for smaller breeds. And you won’t find any artificial colors for flavors here.
(27% minimum Protein, 18% minimum Fat, 3.5% maximum Fiber, kcals/kg) The main ingredients include duck, chicken meal, chicken, oatmeal, pearled barley, menhaden fish meal, brown rice, and chicken fat. This is specially formulated for small and medium breed puppies, but that doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Fromm makes sure the kibbles are small and packed with the proper nutrients for your puppy. She’ll grow strong with their whole, hearty ingredients that are fresh and hand-processed and selected. Made in the USA. Fromm is family owned and operated and you can trust them to provide optimum nutrition for your pup.
(26% minimum Protein, 12% minimum Fat, 3.5% maximum Fiber, 3488 kcals/kg) The main ingredients include organic chicken, chicken meal, organic peas, organic barley, organic brown rice, organic millet, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). This also is specially formulated for small and medium breed puppies. In this formula, you will find balance nutrition from whole, organic ingredients. Castor & Pollux pride themselves on running tests and more tests to ensure safety for your pup. You won’t find any chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, or growth hormones anywhere near your puppy’s food. The delicious chicken will have her coming back for more. You can’t go wrong.
We hope you feel confident in choosing the best puppy food for your small breed pup. Just remember to pay attention to the ingredients. You want whole foods and very few words that you don’t understand. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help. Feel free to contact us. At ReadySetDogs, we want your puppy to have her best chance to grow up happy and healthy.
Product images sourced by Amazon.com
Anna is a canine enthusiast. She loves everything about dogs from their loyalty to their energetic spirits to their stubborn moments. She has a passion to learn everything she can to become a better "dog-mom" to her Toller, Penny, and to share her knowledge of dogs with all who are interested in the hopes of educating people on the best canine care.