How to Choose the Best Small Breed Dog Food

Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
By Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
Updated: 5/14/20242-4 minutes
small breed dog food

Every dog has unique needs, and some dogs can benefit from a dog food for small dogs. If you have a toy dog (up to 12 pounds at maturity) or a small dog (up to 20 pounds), you may want to look into feeding him a dog food for small breeds. Here are some of the things you may want to consider when you’re looking for a small breed dog food:

Small Dogs Need a Small Breed Dog Food That’s Nutrient Dense

Small dogs tend to have higher metabolic rates (and smaller stomachs), which is why they need high-quality, nutrient-dense food. The dog foods for small dogs may be formulated with higher levels of protein, fat, calories and other nutrients than typical adult dog foods to help provide your dog with all the nutrition he needs.

But small dogs can also be prone to weight gain, and because they don’t weigh as much as their large counterparts, even an extra pound or two on a small dog can have serious health consequences.  

To put it another way, a pound is not just a pound when it comes to small dogs. Here’s why.

While gaining a few pounds may not make much difference to a human body, adding only a few pounds to a dog’s body can add a lot of stress to bones and organs – or even exacerbate medical conditions. Let’s say you’re a 150-pound dog owner. A weight gain of three pounds is barely noticeable on you. But that same three-pound weight gain on your 15-pound dog can be life changing. It’s the equivalent of a 30-pound weight gain on you.

That’s why you should carefully monitor the amount of food you’re giving your small dog and always make sure to never overfeed him.

Look for a Dog Food for Small Dogs That Targets Skin and Coat Health

Some small dogs may benefit from a small breed dog food with skin nourishing nutrients like Vitamin A, Linoleic Acid, and high-quality protein. Nutrients like these help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Smaller Kibble Can Help Make Small Breed Dog Food Easier to Chew

If your dog has small jaws, he may struggle to eat large kibble. Tiny, bite-sized kibble can be just the thing to help make it easier for your dog to chew. 

Ready to choose a dog food for your small breed dog? Learn more about our small breed dog food.

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