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Top 10 Dog Food Brands for Small Dogs in 2018

Did you know that small dog breeds need a meal curated for their needs?

Some people think that giving smaller breeds regular kibble is a good idea as they think all kibble is the same, however, what they don’t realize is that they are underfeeding their furry little bundles of love by feeding them regular kibble.

How so?

Well, the thing is that dog food made for smaller dogs contains more nutrients per granule as compared to regular kibble. Since small dogs have tiny bodies, they only need a little bit of food to survive.

So, they design it in a way that the dog gets all necessary nutrients from a small amount.

In this blog post, I will share with you the top 10 dog food brands for small dogs and go through each of them in as much detail as possible.

Let’s get started!

Small Breed Dogs and their Nutritional Requirements

There are several dog foods available on the market that support various diets—from grain-free to even vegan!

However, what all dog foods have common is that they aim to provide your furry friend with the essential energy and nutrition. This ‘energy’ as such comes from the calories that the food contains.

It is essential to know how many calories your furry friend can have in a day.

The average calorie intake of humans is about 2,000 calories per day. However, the average calorie intake of a 10 lb Maltese is about 400 calories! You should also note that the daily calorie needs of small breeds are greater than those of larger breeds regarding calories per pound/kilogram of body weight.

I’ll explain that.

A German Shepherd that weighs 100 pounds usually needs about 2,500 calories, this comes out to be 22.5 kcal per pound/kilogram of bodyweight. However, a Maltese that weighs 10 pounds needs 400 calories, which comes out to be 40 kcal pound/kilogram of bodyweight.

What I’m trying to explain is that small breeds need a diet that is rich in calories or energy because they have a faster metabolism.

Protein, Fat, and Small Dogs

Protein and fat are two of the most important nutrients in a dog’s food. While protein helps your furry friend in building and maintaining lean muscle mass and protects him from obesity, fat gives your dog the energy to fuel the fast metabolism.

It is important that both of these nutrients come from high-quality sources that are animal-based.

Carbohydrates in a dog’s food should be nutritious and easily digestible.

Antioxidants are important for small dogs as they help protect your furry friend from free radical damage and are responsible for longer lifespans.

Things to Keep in Mind When Feeding Small Dog Breeds

As I mentioned in the above section, small dogs require higher calories per pound of bodyweight. Small breed dogs need to be fed carefully to prevent hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia basically refers to low blood sugar. Small breed dogs are vulnerable to developing the condition because they have low body fat reserves and sugar, and high metabolic rates.

This essentially means they need to be given food that is dense in calories and observes for symptoms of hypoglycemia which include:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures

Most meals available for small breed dogs in the market provide adequate nutrition and have small bubbles that can be easily chewed by smaller dogs without them being a choking hazard.

While underfeeding is on one extreme, obesity is on the other.

Some people overfeed their furry friends to avoid the possibility of them developing hypoglycemia which leads to the dog getting obese.

Dogs that are obese are prone to getting various health issues. These include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cranial cruciate ligament injury
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Heart and respiratory disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Kidney disease

I recommend that you talk to your vet about the ideal daily caloric intake for your furry friend, and stick to that for the best results.

Ideal Meal Schedule for Small Dogs

Initially, your doggy wouldn’t really like being put on a schedule. However, it is really important that you put him on one to avoid under or overfeeding.

You should talk to your vet and create a feeding schedule keeping your dog’s nutritional requirements and level of activity in mind. Following are some guidelines:

  • Dogs younger than three months should be free-range eaters
  • Dogs that are of 3-6 months should be fed three times a day
  • Dogs that are older than six months should be fed two to three times

Try to feed your dog twice a day after he reaches the age of one.

Don’t give your furry friend just one big meal a day as all the nutrients aren’t absorbed properly.

Best Dog Food Brands for Small Dogs

In this section of the blog, I will give you a quick overview of all the dog foods available in the market and share all essential details.

I’ll cover each of the dog foods in detail in the following section.

Take a peek:

Food Name Protein Fat Carbs Our Rating Prices
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food 32 17 43 4.6 Stars Check Prices
AvoDerm Natural Dog Food 29 11 52 4.5 Stars Check now
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food 38 13 41 4.5 Stars Check now
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food

 

24 16 42 4.5 Stars Check Prices
Nutro Max Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food 29 16 48 4.5 Stars Check Prices
Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 33 18 41 4.4 Stars Check Prices
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Healthy Weight Dog Food 28 12 52 4.4 Stars Check now
Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food 28 18 46 4.3 Stars Check Prices
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food 43 21 28 4.3 Stars Check Prices
Nature’s Variety  Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe 41 22 29 4.3 Stars Check Prices

 

Let’s take a detailed look at each of these dog foods.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

Taste of Wild Grain-free Natural Dry Dog food has lamb meat listed as one of its ingredients which is rich in lean protein and helps develop muscles. This natural kibble also has added minerals and vitamins as well as antioxidants to give shine to your dog’s fur.

This kibble doesn’t contain allergic ingredients like artificial colors, corn, wheat, or added flavors. This dog food is easily digestible as well.

When judging this dry dog food by the quality of ingredients used, the Taste of Wild Grain-free Natural Dry Dog food is an above-average kibble.

However, we need to consider the proportion of macronutrients as well.

Following are the macros:

  • 32% of protein which is above-average
  • 17% of fat which is above-average
  • 43% of carbohydrates which is below-average

This dog food contains a moderate amount of meat which is good for medium-sized dogs.

Now, let’s take a peek at the pros and cons:

Pros Cons
●      Helps improve the dog’s immune system

●      Maximize the dog’s nutrient absorption

●      Contains Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids

●      The brand doesn’t have good quality control

 

On to the next one…

AvoDerm Natural Dog Food

AvoDerm Natural Dog Food contains brown rice and chicken which are good sources of carbohydrates and protein. The healthy weight management formula reduces the dog’s fat intake and is ideal for less active dogs.

The dog food also contains avocados that promote a healthy coat, skin and immune system. It contains the right amount of vitamins and minerals to have a good effect on the dog’s overall health.

When judging this kibble by the quality of ingredients, then it comes out to an above-average kibble as compared to other dog food brands.

Let’s take a look at the macro nutritional breakdown:

Following are the macros:

  • 29% of protein which is near-average
  • 11% of fat which is below-average
  • 52% of carbohydrates which is above-average

This dog food also contains a moderate amount of meat in it which is excellent. Flax seeds and alfalfa meal also have a protein-boosting effect.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons as well.

So, here’s the deal:

Pros Cons
●      This dog food has an average protein

●      It contains below-average fat

●      The dog food helps maintain the dog’s fur

●      It contains premium ingredients like brown rice

●      May cause loose stools

●      The dog may stop liking the taste or may need something new after a while

Moving on…

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Dry Dog Food is one of the best options available for small dogs. This kibble doesn’t contain any grains which are good for dogs with allergies. The kibble is rich in protein and low in fat, which is good for muscular breeds.

The kibble contains all-natural premium ingredients and doesn’t contain corn, soy, added flavors, or coloring.

If you look at the list of ingredients used in the Wellness CORE Natural Grain Dry Dog Food, it comes out to be above-average dog food.

Let’s take a look at the macronutrients as well.

Following are the macros:

  • 38% of protein which is above-average
  • 13% of fat which is average
  • 41% of carbohydrates which is below-average

When you neutralize the protein-boosting effect of ingredients such as flaxseed, legumes, etc., Wellness CORE Natural dog food contains a significant amount of meat in it.

That’s just awesome.

Pros Cons
●      Contains a significant amount of meat

●      It is made of premium ingredients

●      Free from grains

●      Contains a less amount of fat

●      Can cause an upset tummy

 

On to the next one…

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog food contains natural ingredients with added minerals and vitamins. The kibble doesn’t contain any additives or artificial flavors, and high-quality premium ingredients are used.

The kibble supports healthy fur and skin and helps build your furry friend’s immune system up. It helps keep your pooch’s energy high.

When looking at the ingredients used in the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog food, it comes out to be an above-average dry dog food product as compared to others available.

Let’s take a look at the macros, shall we?

This dog food contains:

  • 24% Protein which is near-average
  • 16% Fat which is near-average
  • 42% Carbohydrates which is above average

This dog food is a good choice for active dogs.

This dog food also contains a moderate amount of meat in it.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, shall we?

 

Pros Cons
●      Contains a good amount of meat

●      It is made with premium ingredients and doesn’t use soy, corn, etc.

●      Good for the dog’s skin and coat

●      Contains a healthy amount of fat

●      Can cause an upset tummy or diarrhea in the initial phase

 

Moving on…

Nutro Max Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

The Nutro Max Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog food comes in savory flavors and is made from natural ingredients. The grain-free kibble contains real and premium ingredients and has added vitamins and minerals.

The dog food doesn’t contain any chicken by-products and can be fed alone or be mixed with wet foods. The kibble also contains Omega-3 and six fatty acids that help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.

When judging the Nutro Max Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog food by the quality of ingredients used, it comes out to be an above-average kibble.

Let’s take a look at the macronutrients.

This dog food has:

  • 29% Protein which is near-average
  • 16% Fat which is near-average
  • 48% Carbohydrates which is near-average

This kibble is a good choice for small dogs that are less active.

This dry dog food contains a moderate amount of meat in it which is also good.

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons, shall we?

Pros Cons
●      Contains added vitamins and minerals 

●      It is made with premium ingredients

●      Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids help keep the dog’s skin and coat shiny

●      Contains a less amount of fat

●      May lead to vomiting

Moving on…

Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This 100% natural, grain-free dog food provides a balanced diet for your small-breed dog. The kibble doesn’t contain any known triggers or allergens and is rich in protein, Omega 3 and six fatty acids which are good for the health of your dog’s skin and coat.

The kibble is made in the USA and promotes the growth of lean muscles. The kibble of free of artificial colors, flavors, etc. as well.

Let us also take a look at the macros, shall we?

So,  this food contains:

  • 33% Protein which is above average
  • 18% Fat which is near-average
  • 41% Carbohydrates which is below average

This dry dog food contains a notable amount of meat in it, making it one of the best foods for small dogs.

Pros Cons
●      It is made with premium ingredients

●      Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids help keep the dog’s skin and coat shiny

●      Contains added vitamins and minerals 

●      Contains a less amount of fat

●      Made in the US

●      May not be suitable for certain breeds

 

On to the next one…

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Healthy Weight Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Nutrition Natural Dry Dog Food contains balanced and complete nutrition for your pooch’s needs and helps support a healthy weight. The all-natural dog food is made with premium ingredients and is free of artificial flavors.

The ingredients of this kibble include deboned chicken and peas that satisfy hunger while helping the dog maintain a healthy weight. Ingredients such as corn, soy, wheat, etc. are not used.

When judging this kibble by the quality of ingredients used, it comes out to be an above-average one.

Let’s look at the macronutrients.

So,  this food contains:

  • 28% Protein which is near-average
  • 12% Fat which is near-average
  • 52% Carbohydrates which is near-average

This kibble contains a significant amount of meat in it.

Let’s talk pros and cons now, shall we?

Pros Cons
●      Contains a significant amount of meat and is high in protein

●      Premium ingredients used

●      Free from artificial flavors and coloring

●      May cause diarrhea

●      The quality control isn’t good

On to the next one…

Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food

I feel that this dog food is another good option because it is not only good for your pooch’s health but is also as amazing for his teeth as it contains ingredients that help reduce tartar buildup.

The kibble also contains fiber and prebiotics that aid the optimal absorption of nutrients. This dog food is also high in antioxidants that help reduce the free radical damage and help keep your dog look and feel young.

Judging this dog food by the ingredients used, it contains comes out to be an above-average dry dog food.

Let us now take a look at the macros, shall we?

This dog food contains the following:

  • 28% Protein which is near-average
  • 18% Fat which is near-average
  • 46% Carbohydrates which is near-average

This dog food also contains a moderate amount of meat.

Let’s talk pros and cons now, shall we?

Pros Cons
●      Contains a moderate amount of meat and is high in protein

●      Premium ingredients used

●      Contains a good dose of antioxidants

●      May cause diarrhea and an upset stomach in some breeds

On to the next one…

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food

The Orijen Original Dry Dog Food is a grain-free formula which is a good pick for small dogs. The limited ingredient dog food has a single source of protein, and it keeps your dog strong, happy, and healthy.

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food is an above-average dry dog food if we judge it by the quality of ingredients used to make it.

Let’s take a look that the macros, shall we?

  • 43% Protein which is above-average
  • 21% Fat which is above-average
  • 28% Carbohydrates which is below-average

This dry dog food contains an abundant amount of meat in it, which is a good thing.

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons.

Pros Cons
●      This dog food has an above-average amount of protein

●      This also has a below-average amount of carbohydrates

●      An abundant amount of meat

●      May cause constipation initially

●      Needs to be slowly introduced

Moving on…

Nature’s Variety  Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe

Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Grain Free Dog Food is high in protein and rich in all essential nutrients. This diet promotes the dog’s health and is made with all natural ingredients.

The kibble contains healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that promote skin and coat health and give your dog a boost of immunity.

This dog food is an above-average kibble.

Let us first go over the macronutrients that this dog food contains, shall we?

  • 41% Protein which is above-average
  • 22% Fat which is above-average
  • 29% Carbohydrates which is below-average

This kibble contains an abundant amount of meat in it.

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons.

Pros Cons
●      Good source of Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids

●      Promotes and boost the immune system

●      Contains an abundant amount of protein

●      Made with natural ingredients

●      Known to be inconsistent regarding the consistency

●      May cause a gas bloat

 

Final Words: Top 10 Dog Food Brands for Small Dogs

The nutritional needs of small dogs are significantly different than those of medium or large breeds.

That’s why it is important that you figure out your furry friend’s daily caloric intake with the help of your vet and choose a kibble that fulfills all of your dog’s needs. You can end up overfeeding or underfeed your dog—both of which have bad consequences.

A good and healthy diet goes a long way and determines your dog’s quality of life.

I hope that you found all of the information in this blog post useful and that you got your dog the right dog food according to his needs.

Still, have any questions or concerns? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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