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Puppies need specifically formulated food that meets their unique nutritional needs. Likewise, small breed dogs have their own list of nutritional needs that differ from those of larger dogs. The best small breed puppy foods offer nutrition that is designed to meet the special dietary needs of both of these groups of canines.

We’ve done a lot of research to find the ten best small breed puppy foods, and listed the pros and cons of each brand for you to consider in this article. You'll also find full list of ingredients for every puppy food brand. Here are the top five picks:

Small Breed Puppy Food Price Value Rating
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Puppy $$$$ $5.1/lb 4.6/5
NutriSource Chicken and Rice Dry Puppy $$$ $3.33/lb 4.6/5
Wellness Complete Health Natural Small Breed $$ $2.92/lb 4.5/5
Eukanuba Puppy Dry Food $$$ $2.5/lb 4.4/5
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed Formula $$ $1.7/lb 4.4/5

* Click on the best small breed puppy foods for more information, prices and details. Scroll below to read reviews.

Choosing the best small breed puppy foods

How to Choose the Best Puppy Food BrandNutrition is an integral part of raising a dog that is healthy and strong. It is your responsibility to do the research and speak with your veterinarian to decide which brand of food will provide your dog with everything that he needs. If you base your purchase solely on brand recognition or price, the food may not meet your dog's nutritional needs.

Many common diseases among puppies and small breed dogs stem from a poor diet. These diseases can include malnutrition, nutrient toxicity, obesity or hypoglycemia. The best small breed puppy foods will give your young canine companion the balanced nutrition that his body requires and help to prevent potential illnesses.

There is no single best small breed puppy food, or any dog food for that matter. The only thing that you can do is learn about your dog's specific nutritional needs, analyze the ingredients of each formula and assess the manufacturer’s history and reputation. Based on this information, you'll need to make a choice of which food will be best for your furry family member.

In the US, there are two entities governing (to an extent; not the way human foods are protected) the quality and manufacturing process of pet foods – the FDA and AAFCO. Some pet food manufacturers also choose to have their factories inspected by the USDA when they produce organic food products.

Unfortunately, these regulations do not do a perfect job in terms of preventing poor quality ingredients used in some dog food formulas.

The overall best small breed puppy foods will depend on your dog's unique, individual nutritional needs. With that being said, there is a way to figure out which brands offer high quality nutrition and which do not. The 10 options we've listed below are the result of this type of filtering.

Here’s what we considered and how you can do the same:

  • Ingredient quality based on the research that is currently available of ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
  • Evaluate organizational requirements to see how well and how many of those requirements the product meets.
  • Check the manufacturers recall history to see how many recalls, if any, they have had and why.
  • Research the manufacturer's reputation to look for transparency of the manufacturing process and ingredient sourcing.

Ultimately, for an objective point of view, there’s an abundant amount of criteria to consider in order to pick the absolute best small breed puppy foods. There is a lot of research to be done, and it's very important that you seek expert advice before picking a specific best puppy food brand or recipe.

A consultation with your veterinarian is always a great starting point, but remember that your vet may not even be able to give you the most accurate information. Most general veterinarians are not canine nutrition experts, so they may guide you to better sources instead. Below, we’ve got ten of the best small breed puppy foods that have been specifically designed for young small breeds and their specific nutritional needs.

What are the Best Small Breed Puppy Foods
top 10 nutritious puppy foods for small breeds

1Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Puppy Dry Dog FoodRoyal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small provides intensified energy content to closely match the needs of extra-small puppies, which have a very tiny stomach, high metabolic rate, and short growth period. This dog food is made with brewer’s rice, chicken meal, corn, wheat gluten, beet pulp, psyllium, fish oil, supplemental vitamins and mineral proteinates.

Ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken meal, chicken fat, corn gluten meal, corn, wheat gluten, natural flavors, dried beet pulp, vegetable oil, ground psyllium husk, sodium silico aluminate, fish oil, potassium chloride, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, DL-methionine, hydrolyzed yeast, choline chloride, monosodium phosphate, salt, taurine, L-lysine, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals (zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), L-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid

The kibbles of Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Puppy Dry Dog Food are tiny, which makes them easy for small jaws to chew on. These small bits are crunchy and also quite hard, but puppies don’t have trouble with that. In fact, it’s the perfect solution for getting pets to get into the habit of chewing their food. It also stimulates their gums and teeth, which is good for their overall dental health.

best small breed puppy foodsThis must taste so good, too, because even picky puppies enjoy eating it. The tiny nuggets have a buttery smell which is possibly one factor why this dog formula is so appealing to dogs. It has improved the appetite of puppies that seemed to have lost their interest in eating and those that were slowly losing weight. This is one of the best small breed puppy foods, as it is good for digestive health and helps with GI issues, such as frequent runny stools or gas. This dog food is quite pricey but well worth it.

PROS:

  • Developed with highly digestible proteins for the best possible nutrient absorbption
  • Intensified energy content
  • Extra small kibble size for very small breeds
  • Formulated for digestive health to help with GI issues
CONS:

  • Only suitable for dogs weighing under 8 pounds
  • As with all of the best small breed puppy foods, there are reviews that state some dogs would not eat this food

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “When my husband and I got our dog, Brisket, the breeder recommended Royal Canin Puppy dry dog food. I figured since he was young, I could probably introduce a different kind of dog food that was cheaper and more readily…”

 

2NutriSource Chicken and Rice Dry Food

Tuffy's NutriSource Chicken and Rice Dry Puppy FoodNutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy dog food is another high-calorie, nutrient-dense dog food made for puppy breeds that will weigh less than 50 pounds at maturity. It contains chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, white rice, fish oil, sunflower oil, oatmeal, flaxseed, beet pulp, a special probiotic called Bio-Mos, and vitamin and mineral supplements. These ingredients are formulated for maximum bioavailability and high digestibility to support the fast growth and development of small breed puppies.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), menhaden fish meal (a source of fish oil), oatmeal, flax seeds, beet pulp-dried, sunflower oil, dried tomato pomace, natural  chicken flavor, potassium chloride, dried brewers yeast, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lecithin, lactic acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract

The pellets are small enough for small mouths to chew. This formula agrees with sensitive stomach, too. Dogs that constantly had problems about food were switched to NutriSource Chicken and Rice Dry Puppy Food. In a week, vomiting and stinky gas issues stopped and their stools turned more solid and easier to pick up. Pet rescuers even credit this for the health and lack of parvovirus incidence in their kennels.

best small breed dog foodsThis is a bit expensive, but it offers you great value for money with all the benefits your puppy derives from it. Plus, if you get the bigger bag, that evens out the price and you get it cheaper per pound. It should last a long time, too, since the formula is calorie-rich and doesn’t take much to fill your puppy up.

PROS:

  • High-calorie, nutrient-dense dog food made for puppy breeds that will weigh less than 50 pounds at maturity
  • Includes a special probiotic called Bio-Mos for ideal digestion
  • Ingredients are formulated for maximum bioavailability and high digestibility to support the fast growth and development of small breed puppies
CONS:

  • First ingredient is chicken meal, which is concerning to some dog owners who wished real meat was the first ingredient
  •  Some buyers complained that the packaging is weak and rips easily (sometimes it was even ripped during shipping)

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “This is perhaps the most expensive kibble per pound that I have bought my dogs, but they are liking this small kibble. The kibble is the size of cat kibble, which they are always attracted to. I like seeing chicken and chicken meal being…”

 

3Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog FoodDeboned turkey is this best small breed puppy foods from Wellness Natural Pet Food. Combined with it are protein-rich chicken meal and salmon meal, slow-burning carbs like brown rice and oatmeal, and real nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Small breed puppies have longer life spans than large breeds and they need adequate levels of antioxidants, which this puppy food provides. Blueberries, spinach, carrots, and vitamin and minerals are just some of this formula’s sources of antioxidants, and there are more.

Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal (a source of DHA- Docosahexaenoic Acid), Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rye Flour, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Pea Fiber, Tomatoes, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Salt, Carrots, Spinach, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin, Folic Acid], Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Taurine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.This is a naturally preserved product.

This formula has been a staple food in countless pet pantries. Pet parents credit it as one of the best small breed dog foods due to their pet’s good health. Puppies are in their ideal weight and have no skin issues, including dog breeds predisposed to these problems. That’s not surprising, since Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food contains probiotics that promote healthy digestion and a robust immune system. Its optimal levels of essential fatty acids aid in brain and eye development and support healthy skin and coat.

best small breed puppy foodsTransition is easy, because the kibbles are small enough and crunchy and probably delicious, too, judging by the way puppies lick their dishes clean. They have well-formed stools which means that they are processing Wellness Complete Health well. It’s one thing to give nutritious food to pets and another for them to really enjoy it, so this formula really fits the bill. Also, the price cannot be beat for the quality you get.

PROS:

  • Supports brain development with a natural source of DHA
  • No meat by-products, fillers or artificial ingredients
  • Deboned turkey is the first ingredient
  • Made in the USA
CONS:

  • Be careful buying online, as reviewers noted quality control issues when purchasing this food online compared what they got at their local pet store
  • Some buyers noted that they like the food, but it gives their dog horrible smelling gas 

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “I have special need dogs . Young and senior .. Some have missing teeth so the small bites help them eat .. Some are blind and elderly and they can smell how good the food is … Their stools are perfect and they seem so much healthier on…”

 

4Eukanuba Dry Food

Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog FoodA quick check on Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy’s ingredients list shows its first ingredient to be chicken, which is a good source of protein. Its next ingredients though are chicken by-product meal and corn meal which are not high-quality ingredients for dog food. The other ingredients include whole grain sorghum, brewer’s rice, beet pulp, chicken fat, dried egg product, fish oil, and vitamin and mineral supplements.

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Monosodium Phosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), DL-Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract

This is a well-balanced food for small breed puppies and will help them in attaining normal weight, fuel their active lifestyle, and promote healthy skin and coat. The ingredients are adequate, that much we can say, but nothing special. The high fiber and prebiotic content, derived from beet pulp and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), improves gut health and nutrient absorption. Many pet owners found Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food to be an overnight solution for their dog’s sensitive stomach, and their puppies now have well-formed stools and more regular bowel movement.

best small breed puppy foodsThe nuggets are small enough so eating and chewing isn’t a chore for picky small ones. Puppies gobble their servings quickly, and they love it even more when the kibbles are mixed in with water. Unfortunately, it seems that the high fiber content and the corn in the ingredients are the reason why some dogs have issues with awful gas. This dog food has a great price but it can’t beat Wellness Complete Health’s (in number 3) price and wholesomeness of ingredients.

PROS:

  • Contains clinically proven DHA levels from natural fish oil
  • Specialized fiber system made from natural beet pulp and prebiotic FOS promotes nutrient absorption and healthy digestion
  • Small kibble size for easy chewing
CONS:

  • Some pet owners are concerned about poor quality ingredients like chicken by-product meal and corn meal being included in this recipe
  •  As with all the best small breed puppy foods, there are reviews that state some dogs will not eat this food

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “I have a 3 months old Boxer Bulldog named Elvis (mom named him). And so far we have tried him on about 4 different kinds of dog food this was by far the most expensive but he doesn't gobble it down like he did some…”

 

5Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed Chicken & Rice FormulaPurina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed formula is made for small breed puppies with mature weights of not more than 20 lb. The main protein source for this dog food is chicken, which is highly digestible. It also contains corn gluten meal, brewer’s rice, whole grain wheat, animal fat, poultry by-product, corn germ meal, dried egg, fish meal, fish oil, animal digest, and supplemental vitamins and minerals. About 5 of these ingredients are what we consider less than premium, but they keep the production cost down and make this formula so much easier on the budget.

Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Germ Meal, Dried Egg Product, Fish Meal, Animal Digest, Fish Oil, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Garlic Oil, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite

The small bites are perfect for small breed puppies and smell fresh and tasty straight out of the bag. Most puppies loved the taste of Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula right at first bite, while some only ate their portions when mixed or topped with wet dog food. Transitioning from other dog formulas is easy and does not cause stomach irritations.

best small breed puppy foodsDogs that were switched from their previous formula because they either had digestive problems or couldn’t gain weight now do very well with Purina Pro Plan Focus. They gained weight and grew some muscles, and their digestive issues have disappeared. They are also full of energy and have sleek and beautiful coat. Their owners think about using this product for the rest of their puppyhood.

PROS:

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made for small breed puppies with mature weight of no more than 20 pounds
  • DHA from omega-rich fish oil helps to nourish brain and vision development
  • Small kibble size for tiny mouths
CONS:

  • Some of the ingredients were concerning to potential buyers, like corn gluten meal, brewer’s rice, animal fat and poultry by-products
  • Some unsatisfied reviewers claim they received expired bags of food, so be sure to check the date before purchasing

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “This is my french bulldog barely a puppy favorite food. I've tried way more expensive foods and he had stomach issues this was recommended to me and after trying it won't switch. He loves this…”

 

6Blue Buffalo BLUE Life Protection Formula

Blue Buffalo Blue Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy RecipeLife Protection Formula from Blue Buffalo for small puppies is made with high-quality protein sources like deboned chicken and chicken meal, complex carbohydrate sources like oatmeal and barley, and other beneficial ingredients like carrots, fish oil, and peas. Like all Blue Buffalo products, this recipe comes with LifeSource Bits, which are made with ingredients like alfalfa, blueberries, barley grass, kelp, parsley, cranberries, flaxseed, spinach, pomegranate, vitamins, and omega 3 and 6. These bits help reduce oxidative stress and strengthen the immune system.

Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Peas, Dried Tomato Pomace, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg, Potatoes, Fish Oil (source of DHA- Docosahexaenoic Acid and ARA-Arachidonic Acid), Salt, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potato Starch, Dried Chicory Root, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Caramel Color, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Lysine, Parsley, Dried Kelp, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Spinach, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Barley Grass, Turmeric, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Taurine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Beta Carotene, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary

The kibbles are small enough for bigger puppies that are at least 4 or 5 months old, but a bit too large and too hard for 2 to 3-month-old puppies. For these smaller pups, you may try softening Blue Buffalo BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Recipe with broth or warm water, or they’ll get tired, take longer to eat, and eventually lose interest in their food. Also, some puppies eat only the brown kibbles and leave out the darker LifeSource Bits, but when the food is moistened the puppies tend to be less discriminating.

best small breed puppy foodsAs soon as you open a bag of this dog food, you’d smell its natural goodness right away. Dogs that had appetite issues before took to it in no time at all. In fact, dogs love it so much that their owners often use it as treats during training. Pet owners who switched their dog to this said that they could tell the difference from the beautiful skin and coat, the amazing energy, fresher breath, and cleaner teeth.

PROS:

  • Made with wholesome whole grains and real fruits and vegetables
  • No chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Made with the company's LifeSource Bits, which help reduce oxidative stress and strengthen the immune system
  • Includes DHA that helps to nourish brain and vision development
CONS:

  • Kibbles may be a bit too hard and too large for very young dogs
  • There are a few reports from dog owners who say this food made their pup sick

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “I went buy the brand name and the top 10 or best dog food listing available on internet. This Blue Buffalo appears in almost each and every top 10 or best dog food listing. And I thought the item itself is really good. But the Kibble size is a…”

 

7Nutro Ultra Dry Food

Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog FoodThree high-quality protein sources (chicken, lamb, and salmon) lend Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy formula its deep meaty flavor that dogs love. Its ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, brewer’s rice, chicken fat, oatmeal, beet pulp, pea protein, lamb meal, salmon meal, potato protein, 12 super foods, oils, and supplemental vitamins and minerals. This formula supports brain development, healthy digestion, and overall health. It is filled with antioxidants, which small breed puppies need in high doses to counter free radical damage over their relatively long lifespan.

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Grain Oatmeal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Potato Protein, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Flaxseed, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Dried Coconut, Whole Chia Seed, Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Dried Kale, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Spinach, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Selenium Yeast, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

This is one of the expensive ones after Royal Canin and NutriSource, but it packs great nutritional value so we can’t possibly miss it. Pet owners who have used this to feed their dogs all through puppyhood say that their puppies barely have health issues. In fact, they’re so convinced about Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food that they’re upgrading to Nutro adult food in a few months.

best small breed puppy foodsThese puppies have full, soft and shiny coats, are gaining weight by the chart, and have agility that could only indicate great health. This also agreed with puppies that were switched from other formulas. This didn’t give them upset stomach, diarrhea, or gas as their previous formula did. Their stools are smaller, more solid, and not foul-smelling.

PROS:

  • First ingredient is real chicken
  • Includes three high-quality protein sources (chicken, lamb and salmon)
  • Formulated to support brain development, healthy digestion and overall health
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
CONS:

  • There are multiple reviews that claim this food made their dog sick

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “The food quality of the dog food has been good, but the last two times we have ordered this product, the “best by” date on the bags we received were only a few weeks beyond the delivery date. The bags we can find…”

 

8Iams Proactive Health Dry Food

Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog FoodIams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small & Toy Breed formula has real chicken as its first ingredient, but as in the other dog food brands we have to check the rest of the ingredients. It has ground whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, sorghum, chicken fat, beet pulp, dried egg product, fish oil, and nutritious fruits and vegetables like spinach, carrots, tomatoes, peas, and apples. Like the cheaper options, this dog food contains chicken by-product meal and corn. It also has a long list of vitamins and minerals needed by puppies to grow strong bones and strengthen their immune system.

Ingredients: Chicken , Ground Whole Grain Corn , Chicken By-Product Meal , Ground Whole Grain Sorghum , Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols) , Dried Beet Pulp , Natural Flavor , Dried Egg Product , Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols) , Potassium Chloride , Monosodium Phosphate , Brewers Dried Yeast , Caramel Color, Salt , Calcium Carbonate , Carrots , Tomatoes , Fructooligosaccharides , Choline Chloride , Spinach, Green Peas , Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), L-Lysine Monohydrochloride , DL-Methionine , Dried Apple Pomace , Dried Blueberry Pomace , Mixed Tocopherols , Rosemary Extract

The nuggets are very small, the size that’s perfect for puppies as small as 2 pounds. They can be hard though especially for pups with weak teeth or jaw, but not something that cannot be remedied by a little soaking. There are very few instances of stomach upset or other tummy woes with Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food. In fact, puppies thrive very well in it, have nice stools, beautiful skin and hair, and have great energy every single day.

best small breed puppy foodsConcerns had been raised about some of its contents, like corn, by-product, and artificial caramel color. We can see that, but this is still a decent dog food with adequate nutritional value – probably not the best, but not the worst either. It's important to discuss any issues you may have with your veterinarian before selecting a food for your puppy.

PROS:

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Formulated with omega-3 DHA to support healthy cognitive development
  • Enriched with antioxidants to help develop a strong immune system
  • No soy, wheat, fillers, artificial dyes or preservatives
CONS:

  • Potential buyers were concerned about poorer quality ingredients in this food including ground whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, sorghum, chicken fat, beet pulp and dried egg product
  • As with all of the best small breed puppy foods, there are reviews that state some dogs would not eat this food

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “I have two mini dachshunds. The smaller one is 7 months old so it is necessary to feed her puppy formula until she is a year old. My other doxie is 19 months old and in order to make sure the pup gets what is required from…”

 

9Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed

Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog FoodHill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed dog food is developed by Hills' staff of veterinarians and nutrition specialists, which ensures that their product is the right nutrition for dogs in every life stage or special need. This particular formula is for small breed puppies less than 1 year old with projected mature weight of 25 lb. It is made with chicken meal, barley, pork meal, wheat, corn, sorghum, beet pulp, fish oil, flaxseed, soybean oil, broccoli, carrots, and several other natural ingredients. Vitamins, minerals and amino acids were also added to ensure a well-balanced diet, which is one of the factors that make it one of the best small breed puppy foods.

Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pork Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Pork Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Pork Flavor, Soybean Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas

If your dog is picky with food or doesn’t like to eat dog food at all, you’ve got to try this recipe. Hill’s has always created nutritious and tasty food, and this is not an exemption. The very small crunchy round kibbles of Hill's Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food are so much more appealing to small puppies and won’t tire their jaws from struggling with large hard pieces or even the normal small bites.

best small breed puppy foodsPuppies raised in this food grew to have excellent health, fantastic coat, and free from any food-related issues. Puppies that were shifted to this formula because of itchy flaky skin actually improved in just a few days and took very well to it. If you want a cross between good quality dog food and price that’s not ridiculously high, then mark this product a check.

PROS:

  • Developed by Hills' staff of veterinarians
  • Specifically formulated for small breed puppies less than 1 year old with a projected mature weight of 25 pounds
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Made in the USA
CONS:

  • Potential buyers were put off by some poor quality ingredients like chicken meal, pork meal, wheat, corn and sorghum
  • There are reports from some reviewers who claim this food made their dog ill

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “My Yorkie won't eat anything. Well, she likes cat food and people food but hates dog food. I have tried all kinds of dry food plus many kinds of wet food including the really high priced gourmet types and she just isn't interested. I had been feeding her…”

 

10Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog FoodNatural Balance's LID puppy formula for all breeds is the last of our best small breed puppy foods on the list. It's made from potatoes, duck, canola oil, salmon oil, flaxseed, inulin, yucca schidigera extract, and vitamin and mineral supplements. This is not as calorie-packed or as protein-rich as the other formulas in this list because this puppy formula is not small-breed-specific. If you’ve used other brands before for your toy or small breed puppy, make sure to keep an eye on the feeding guidelines and your pet’s actual satiety level.

Ingredients: Potatoes, Duck Meal, Duck, Potato Protein, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried Potato Products, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Flaxseed, Salt, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E supplement, Niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, Riboflavin supplement, Thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D3 supplement, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement), Minerals (ZINC PROTEINATE, ZINC SULFATE, FERROUS SULFATE, IRON PROTEINATE, COPPER SULFATE, COPPER PROTEINATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, MANGANESE PROTEINATE, CALCIUM IODATE, SODIUM SELENITE), Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract

This is one of the best small breed puppy foods, because the bites are small (about half an inch in size), and small dogs find that size okay. This dog food often passes off as a treat, too, so it must be delicious. With its limited ingredients (and novel protein used, too), Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is often resorted to by pet owners when their puppies suddenly develop allergies and food sensitivities. And it often works – clears off skin inflammation and diarrhea after a few meals.

best small breed puppy foodsAs a regular food, it’s more expensive than Iams, Pro Plan Focus, or Wellness. But you know how it’s like with dogs – especially puppies – you simply can’t equate price and nutrient profile with their acceptance to a particular product. So if they like this over the others and growing well on this, there’s really no arguing over that.

PROS:

  • Not as calorie-packed or as protein-rich as the other formulas on this list
  • Grain-free
  • Kibble is specially designed for small jaws
  • Includes DHA to help support neural development
  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
CONS:

  • Not small breed-specific
  • Disgruntled reviewers complained about quality control issues – one even stated they found larvae in the food!

best small breed puppy foodsMost helpful review about these best small breed puppy foods: “Max has had problems with diarrhea since he was a puppy. I tried everything. I finally tried this food and braced myself for the diarrhea which I expected from even a slow transition to a new food. The results were…”


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