The best dog food for small dogs should consist of bites that are small enough for little mouths. When a little dog eats regular sized dog food they are at risk of choking or causing damage to their teeth and jaws. Small breed dogs should also eat dog food that uses real meat as the main protein source and should be free of additives and preservatives.
Organic Formulas for the Little Guys
Karma Organic caters to all sizes of dogs, from toy breeds to extra-large breeds. Karma organic is a great choice for smaller dogs because of the all-natural formula, which consists of free-range chicken with no poultry byproducts, as the main protein source. The secondary protein source is organic brown rice. The manufacturer claims that this dog food is ninety-five percent organic only using vitamins C and E as preservatives.
Newman’s Own Organics also caters to small breeds, featuring a dog food formula that’s ninety-five percent organic. This formula contains chicken meal and chicken, which are listed as the two main protein sources. Chicken livers are also included in this recipe.
Blue Buffalo is also considered one of the top brands of dog food around. Their chicken and rice formula features chicken meal and deboned chicken as the two main sources of protein. Designed with small breed dogs in mind, your little one will enjoy eating this healthy chicken packed formula thanks to the tasty and tiny bite-sized pieces.
Fromm is also a company that produces healthy dog food for small breeds. Their unique formula contains deboned chicken, chicken meal, whole eggs and duck. They also utilize citric acid as a way to preserve their product, instead of the harmful chemicals most commercial brands use.
Wellness skips the traditional dog food ingredients and instead uses lamb as the main protein source. The secondary protein source is listed as Menhaden fish meal and salmon. Also designed for tiny mouths, this dog food by Wellness will make mealtime a joy for your pup.
California Natural is a company that produces several dog food flavors for all types of dog breeds, activity levels and sizes. Their lamb and rice dog food features an impressively simple list of ingredients, which makes it a great choice if you have a dog with a sensitive stomach or dry, flaky skin. The secondary source of protein is listed as a mixture of brown and white rice.
The Delicate Diet of the Small Breed Dog
If you’ve decided to forgo commercial dog food and want to give making your own dog food a shot, it’s a lot simpler than you think. You’ll need to purchase a food processer or blender in order to make the food just the right size for your small dog. You can add a number of whole foods to your dog food recipe including whole eggs, blueberries, sweet potatoes, brown rice, beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, pumpkin, duck and lamb. Use one cup of your chosen protein source, half a cup of veggies, and half a cup of a secondary protein such as eggs or rice. Blend well, dicing the food into small pieces. Only make enough to last for a few days. Or you can make an additional batch and freeze it for later use.
Pound for pound, the small dog needs more energy than a large breed dog and not only requires different calorie amounts, but much smaller kibble as well. The small breed dog can benefit from specially formulated foods that are designed to meet their energy and digestive needs. Small puppies need the right food to fuel their rapid metabolism. Weakness and lethargy can occur if your dog is not getting enough calories. Dog food that is specifically formulated to include the recommended nutrients and energy can help your small pup grow and develop strong and healthy.
Toy, small and miniature breeds such as French Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers and Dachshunds all have a higher metabolism rate. Because of this, their small breed dog food needs to have more calorie per pounds than large breed food. A small breed dog will also have physiological needs that are different than large breed dogs, such as energy levels, jaw size, bone structure, coat and skin health and digestive systems.
Making the Right Choice
When selecting the right food for your small breed dog, consider these important nutritional needs:
- Small breed dogs are more susceptible to certain health issues including dental disease, obesity, and coat and skin conditions. Choose a premium dog food that addresses these needs.
- A small dog requires more energy per pound than a larger dog, so find a small breed formula to make sure that it offers the appropriate calorie amount. Feed your pet the suggested daily amount as provided by your vet or the manufacturer.
- A small breed dog has a smaller jaw and mouth, which is why you must feed them small kibble only, in order to accommodate their petite palates.
Every breed of dog is at risk of developing dental disease, however, some studies have shown that small breed dogs are at an increased risk. Because of this, many small breed dog foods feature a special texture and uniquely shaped kibble that helps to minimize and prevent plaque build-up and bad breath. Make sure the brand you choose is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health council.
Small breeds usually have relatively long lifespans. Some small breeds can live upwards of sixteen years. In fact, most of the longest living breeds are small breeds. A diet that’s rich in antioxidants from veggies and fruits can help to prevent damage that’s caused by an accumulation of free radicals over a long life.
When you think about the nutritional needs of a small dog, think big. By feeding your little guy a nutrient dense diet that’s well-balanced, you are helping to ensure that your dog will be leading a happy, full, healthy life for several years to come.