10 Best Puppy Foods for Small Breed Reviews and Guide 2018
When you adopt a puppy, there are many things you need to keep in mind. With our best small breed puppy food review, we have a whole host of valuable information for you to help you care for and feed your puppy with the best puppy foods.
To properly take care of your small furry friend, you need to learn as much as you can. You need to read up a lot to ensure you are able to take care of your new family member.
Not only do you need to learn what toys your puppy will need and the kind of bed your puppy will sleep on, but most importantly, you will have to know the kind of food your new puppy needs.
But with a wide variety of foods on the market, how will you be able to determine which is the best food for your puppy? And how do you find the right food for your puppy? Which components should go into your puppy foods to meet its dietary needs?
Don’t worry as we have you covered. We will answer all these questions and more in our detailed guide to purchasing the best small breed puppy food.
If you are in a hurry, check out our recommendation list below.
Why Puppy Food?
You might think that now you have a puppy, you can order a bag of adult dog food and feed him. Unfortunately, that will backfire.
Your puppy cannot feed on food manufactured for adult dogs. Due to their different nutritional needs as compared to adult dogs, puppies need a special diet. That’s why you need to buy only those foods specifically made for puppies.
You might be surprised to find out that a puppy’s food has almost 2X more calories than an adult dog food. Your puppy is in the growth stage and developing strong bones, muscles, organs, joints, and immune system. Therefore, you need to make sure the food they are feeding on has all the nutrients needed to cater to their development needs.
Besides calories, there are other nutrients that your puppy will need more. For instance, they need more protein to help them build strong bodies. Puppies also need very high-fat content to fuel their bodies. Their foods should also have a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
While these ingredients are in abundant quantities in most puppy food, they are not found in such high percentage in adult dog food. This is because, as your puppy matures into an adult dog, their body will need lesser amounts of these ingredients. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure you are purchasing food that is specially manufactured for puppies.
What Are Different Types of Puppy Foods?
There are three types of puppies to choose from;
- Moist puppy foods
- Semi-moist puppy foods
- Dry foods
Each food has its benefits, and you might need to try each of them on your puppy to determine which one they prefer.
Moist puppy foods tend to contain high water content and less of nutrients that your puppy needs. They are also not the best option for your puppy’s dental health. Besides, they have a relatively lesser lifespan and are more expensive than other options.
Dry puppy foods tend to have more protein content than other kinds. They are also cheaper and helps keep your puppy’s teeth clean. This kind of food is also easier for your puppy to digest.
Semi-moist foods have a mix of downsides and benefits that regular moist puppy food and dry puppy foods have. They are easy to digest and typically comes in pre-measured packages. This makes it practical to use.
Unfortunately, besides having no dental health benefits, semi-moist foods have high amounts of preservatives, salt, and sugar. Too much of any of these ingredients are not good for your puppy’s health.
Sometimes the best option is to mix dry puppy food and moist puppy food.
So, How Do You Choose the Best Small Breed Puppy Food for Your Furry Friend?
Small breed puppies are sensitive, and their nutrition needs should be taken well care off. Luckily, most puppy foods are great in terms of nutrition. When feeding your puppy, what you need to keep in mind are the number of portions and portion size. This is because puppies have a small digestive tract that cannot accommodate large amounts of food portion all at once. Also, they have a faster metabolism and thus need more meals throughout the day.
For optimal growth, your puppy will need 3-4 small portions per day. This will enable them to grow healthy and stronger.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of food, or if you go with wet puppy food, the size of the chunks. Wet foods are a great option for puppies because they help them stay hydrated thanks to their extra moisture. Small breed puppies have small mouths, and it is not fair to feed them big kibble sizes. They may choke trying to swallow a huge kibble because they are not able to chew it well. Formulas meant for small breed puppies will have smaller kibbles.
You also need to consider ingredients when choosing the best small breed puppy food. This applies for puppies of any size. We will discuss ingredients in depth in the next section. In general, you want to go for whole foods while avoiding artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Also, avoid foods with fillers and antibiotics. The ingredients are listed on the packaging by weight.
The first thing you want to see in any puppy food is a source of protein like chicken. As mentioned before, puppies need good amounts of protein and fats. After that, check if there are carbs and other important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that whole foods are the best.
Ingredients to Look Out For
The food you feed your puppy needs to have the right blend of proteins, carbs, minerals, and vitamins to help your pup grow healthy.
Here are the ingredients to look out for in puppy food;
The phrase “human grade” is normally put on pet food with whole meat that is safe for human consumption. Whole meat labeled as human grade has gone through a thorough inspection process both in terms of manufacturing plant and food. Therefore, you can rest assured that your small furry friend is eating food that is good enough for human consumption.
Natural preservatives or no preservative at all
Natural preservatives come from plant extracts, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Those preservatives are healthy, but so is food with no preservatives at all.
Whole grains, in this case, refer to the addition of easily digestible energy carbohydrates and digestible fiber. In addition to protein sources, your puppy’s diet should have whole grains.
Identifiable proteins from animal sources
Your puppy food should list the first ingredient as an identifiable meat protein source. Some of the common protein sources include chicken, lamb, fish, and lamb meal. Puppy needs a lot of protein for proper growth and development of their bodies.
Fats from identifiable sources
Just like proteins, fat is another important component to have in your puppy’s diet. However, it needs to come from a natural and labeled source. Fats have fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. These are essential to help your puppy stay healthy and strong.
Fruits and vegetables
You should look for vegetables and fruits on the label of your specific puppy’s food. Adding the right veggies and fruits will provide your puppy with vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This help improves your puppy’s overall physical function and immune system to ward off diseases and illnesses.
You shouldn’t look for proteins along in your foods. Your pup needs amino acids as they are the building blocks of proteins. Look for foods with lysine, isoleucine, histidine, phenylalanine, valine, threonine, methionine, and tryptophan.
These are naturally occurring minerals sourced from inorganic compounds. Your puppy needs them to grow healthy bones and structure. Important chelates that your puppy needs are calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and sulfur.
Ingredients to Avoid
These ingredients will add no nutritional value to your puppy. In fact, they may have long-reaching consequences and can set the stage of health issue in the near future. Any puppy food you buy should not have any of the following ingredients;
Corn is hard to digest and may cause allergies. Most manufacturers use it in their foods because it is a low-cost filler. The presence of it in a puppy’s food is an indicator that the food is not quality enough. Avoid puppy foods with corn as it adds little to no nutritional value.
This is a catch-all phrase to describe meat that has been cooked to remove all its water content. Mostly, it consists of animal waste materials such as hooves, heads, and bones. Meat meals are synonymous with terms like meat bone-meal, by-product meal, or by-products. Avoid any puppy food package that lists any of these terms.
Gluten is used by manufacturers as a meat substitute. It is basically the remaining residue from wheat grains. Like other forms of gluten, wheat gluten has low nutritional value and most manufacturers use it in their food to make them look better.
Your puppy needs fat but only from the right sources. Rendered animal fats, means dying, diseased, or road-kill livestock. It can also mean expired grocery meat. Steer away from puppy food that lists “rendered fat” or “generic animal fat” as one of its ingredients.
Your puppy doesn’t need sugar, and that is what corn syrup is all about. It is used to sweeten your pup’s food. Too much sugar in your pup’s food will lead to obesity when it becomes an adult dog. This may lead to health issues such as hyperactivity, diabetes, or behavioral changes.
Dyes are added to make our puppy’s food look more appealing to the pet owner. For dogs, they care less about the color of food. Food dyes are chemical additives, with some even considered carcinogenic. They provide zero nutritional value to your pup and may cause serious health issues.
BHA and BHT. These two chemicals (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are very dangerous for your puppy. BHA used a preservative, causes kidney damage, while BHT, used to extend food lifespan, can cause cancer in both dogs and people.
Cellulose. This structural carbohydrate should have no place in your pup’s food. It is used in the manufacturing of building materials such as lumber.
Synthetic vitamin K3
This is a synthetic substitute for natural vitamin K. Synthetic vitamin K3, or Menadione, poses serious health concerns and is classified as a toxin. It may cause irreversible damage to vital body organs such as the liver.
Some pet food manufacturers use this chemical to reduce moisture and bacterial growth in pet food. Unfortunately, once ingested, this chemical prevents the growth of bacteria in the body. This prevents absorption of some nutrients in food. It may also be cancerous.
This corrosive agent is used to modify cornstarch and gelatin. It is also used as an agent for converting cornstarch to syrup and also as a PH adjuster. HCL acid should not be added to pup’s meals because it is not a natural substance.
Well, now that you are aware of the ingredients to look out for and those to avoid, it can be overwhelming to look at every pup food you see on the market when deciding which one to buy. However, don’t stress out too much as we have you covered.
Here are the top 10 best puppy foods that are safe and have natural ingredients that your puppy needs. At least, you will have an easier time comparing the best puppy foods to buy without having to dig deep at the list of ingredients.
Features That Make Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Puppies Stand Out
- It is all-natural as it contains no colors, artificial preservatives or flavors. This makes healthy food for your puppy
- The kibbles are round, small, and very easy to chew
- This food is manufactured for puppies up to 1-year old
- This natural food for small and toy breed puppies offers natural DHA from fish oil to support the development of brain and eyes to enhance learning ability
- It has high-quality ingredients as well as minerals, amino acids, and vitamins
- Has an ideal balance of protein, fiber, and fat
- Has no chicken by-product meal
- It is made in the USA, and all its ingredients are all-natural
Proc of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Puppies
- It is a high-quality dry dog food
- All its ingredients are all-natural
- Ideal for small and toy breed dog puppies
- Helps enhance immunity
- It’s free from artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors
- It is rich in proteins and fats
Conc of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Puppies
- Some dogs may develop mild digestive issues after eating this food because of allergies
Why We Recommend It
This small breed puppy food has a perfect blend of chicken and whole grain wheat. Together they deliver the right amount of carbohydrates, lean protein, and natural fiber. This helps promote your puppy’s physical health.
It also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which helps improve your dog’s skin and coat. The top ingredient is a chicken meal followed by whole grain wheat. This makes it one of the best small breed puppy food in the market.
Features That Make Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food for Puppies Stand Out
- The number one ingredient is real meat. This makes it an ideal food to help your puppy develop lean, strong muscles
- Its ingredients are made from natural, trusted sources. it has no corn, filler, artificial flavors, or preservative
- This super food also has minerals and vitamins thereby making it nutrient rich for your puppy
- It is grain-free and contains antioxidants as well as a blend of essential fatty acids
- Additionally, it has smaller kibble pieces making it perfect for your puppy to eat
- It contains a good amount of proteins, fats, fiber, and calcium
- The salmon oils work to improve your puppy’s skin and coat health
Proc of Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food for Puppies
- Buffalo, sweet potatoes, and lamb meal are the first three ingredients of this superfood
- It is grain-free and thus good for puppies with allergies to grains
- Fiber and antioxidants help regulate your puppy’s digestive tract and immune system
- It is made in the USA and thus has met safety measures of puppy’s foods
Conc of Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food for Puppies
- It contains potato fillers
- It could have a higher fiber count
Why We Recommend It
This formula for small breed puppies is protein-rich and is made with a wide variety of healthy ingredients including lamb meal and buffalo meat.
As a grain-free product, this formula derives its carbohydrate content from peas and lentils rather than corn.
It has antioxidants as well as a variety of minerals and vitamins for the overall wellbeing of your puppy.
Features That Make Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food Stand Out
- It has enough calories to meet the high energy needs of your active puppy
- Being grain-free, it prevents any digestive issues and adverse reactions
- With all-natural ingredients, this dog food is healthy for your puppy
- Has the backing of Wellness Guarantee in case your puppy doesn’t like the food
- Contains 80% more meat than most grain-based puppy foods
- It features smaller kibble sizes to make it easier for your puppy to chew easily
- It has whole meat as its main ingredients
Proc of Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food
- It is protein rich
- Has no artificial colors and flavors
- Free from soy, corn, and meat by-products
- It is complete and balanced dry puppy food
- Grain-free and gluten-free
Conc of Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food
- There were complaints of some puppies developing stomach rashes
Why We Recommend It
This natural, grain-free dog food for small breed puppies is one of the best in the market. It contains all-natural ingredients. It is also completely free from soy, meat by-products, artificial colors, and flavors. It is rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and much more. This is a nutrient-dense balanced dry dog food for small breed puppies.
Features That Make Wellness Small Breed Dry Dog Food Stand Out
- Has optimal calorie levels to cater for active nature of puppies and for healthy body weight
- It has vitamin A for healthy eyes
- Fiber and probiotics are added for digestive health
- Incorporation of calcium into this food helps to improve dental health
- It has omega 3 and 6 for a shiny coat
- This formula has small kibble sizes enough to fit in your puppy’s mouth
Proc of Wellness Small Breed Dry Dog Food
- It is protein rich
- Grain-free and gluten-free
- Has no artificial colors and preservatives
- Perfect kibble size for puppies
Conc of Wellness Small Breed Dry Dog Food
- A bit pricier than most puppy foods for small breeds
- Not totally grain-free
Why We Recommend It
This natural puppy food has three main ingredients; chicken, flaxseed, and tomatoes. Chicken is an ideal source of protein, flaxseed provides omega 3 fatty acids, and tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C.
These blend of all these nutrients promote the overall health of your puppy. Besides, it has optimal calorie levels to provide the energy needed by your puppy.
Features That Make Natural Balance Dry Dog Food Stand Out
- It is made up of limited ingredients and thus ideal for dogs with allergies
- This all-natural superfood has no flavors or artificial preservatives
- Has venison and sweet potatoes and thus easy to digest
- It includes DHA for neural development
- Its small kibble size fit in small puppies mouths
Proc of Natural Balance Dry Dog Food
- It is made of natural ingredients
- The kibbles are small in size and thus easily chewable
- Helps in limiting the sensitivity of small puppies to a host of ingredients
- Is grain-free hence easy on the digestive system
Conc of Natural Balance Dry Dog Food
- This food has an unpleasant smell
- Because of its basic taste, you need to change the flavor after some time to make it appealing to your dog
Why We Recommend It
Owners like this dog food for its rich-nutrient content and simplicity. Coming in small kibble sizes and being easily digestible makes it easier on the digestive system. Even puppies with great sensitivities will enjoy this food enthusiastically. Being made of limited ingredients helps in lowering the sensitivity of most puppies.
Features That Make Blue Buffalo Freedom Natural Puppy Dry Dog Stand Out
- Blue Freedom grain free puppy food contains none of the grains or glutens that often may trigger allergies such as corn, wheat or soy
- This puppy chicken recipe contains premium and all-natural ingredients such as protein-rich deboned chicken
- And because puppies require more energy and nutrients, this dog food offers ingredients that ensure a strong, healthy body
- It contains potassium, calcium and Vitamin A to ensure proper bone development
- On top of high-quality proteins, this puppy food include L-Carnitine that ensures a healthy muscle growth
- The kibble is designed for a small jaw of a puppy and helps promote tartar removal
- There are sufficient omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that enhance the skin and coat
- As usual, Blue Buffalo includes LifeSource Bits that promote the immune system to keep your puppy safe from infections
Proc of Blue Buffalo Freedom Natural Puppy Dry Dog
- This puppy food comprises a high-quality protein as the number one ingredient
- Has been formulated with veggies and fruits to enhance the immune system
- Easy to chew and digest
Conc of Blue Buffalo Freedom Natural Puppy Dry Dog
- Some dogs may not like the LifeSource Bits
Why We Recommend It
This dog food has been made with puppies in mind. The size of the kibble is ideal for your puppy and will be easy to digest. The LifeSource Bits offer a boost to the immune system of your puppy with most customers rating this small breed puppy food high.
Features That Make Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food Stand Out
- Puppyhood is a critical stage in a dog’s development
- Eukanuba dry food for puppies offers DHA from fish oils which promotes a puppies brain to make them more trainable
- The kibble is puppy sized with chelated minerals that boost nutrient absorption
- The company offers different bags of different sizes in a range of flavors such as lamb, chicken, and rice
- The company is a favorite among customers for offering high-quality dog food with unique dog food
- The company has used a high-quality animal protein which offers strong growth of lean muscles and helps make the bones strong
- The food contains omega fatty acid for a smooth coat and skin
Proc of Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Offers good value for money
- Available in different sizes
- Good for small breed puppies
- Has DHA
Conc of Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Some puppies may have a loose stool
Why We Recommend It
Eukanuba puppy food for small breed puppies is an ideal pick for picky dogs and dogs with sensitive digestive systems. There is a high-quality protein in the recipe which your dog will find delicious and nutritious.
Features That Make Nutro WHOLESOME Small Breed Puppy Food Stand Out
- This dry dog puppy food for small breeds is delicious and easily digestible
- The dog food is prepared in lamb and chicken flavors so you can rest assured that your dog gets the best taste
- The main ingredient is a farm-raised chicken which is a reliable source of protein to build healthy muscle for your pooch
- This dog food is enriched with omega 3 and 6 to ensure that your puppy consumes healthy fats to make the coat soft and smooth
- There is brown rice in this recipe for your active puppy to offer complex carbs which offer a steady stream of energy
- This food is easy to digest for your puppy containing sweet potatoes which offer an easy digestibility
- This is a healthy meal with many nutrients for your growing dog with non-GMO ingredients
Proc of Nutro WHOLESOME Small Breed Puppy Food
- Has farm-raised chicken
- Helps to enhance skin and soft coat
- Made with non-GMO ingredients
Conc of Nutro WHOLESOME Small Breed Puppy Food
- It’s a bit pricey
Why We Recommend It
Featuring farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient, this dog food is a rich source of protein for lean muscle growth for your growing puppy. The product surpasses dog food nutritional requirements with Non-GMO ingredients included in this dog food.
Features That Make Hill’s Science Diet Toy Breed Dog Food Stand Out
- Hill’s is a respected brand with a long history characterized by high-quality dog food
- Since 1951, the brand has remained a market leader developing foods designed to maximize good health for your dog food
- This wet chicken food is the best puppy food for small breeds offering optimum nutrition to toy breeds
- It provides the highest quality ingredients with no grains or glutens included for dogs that have a sensitive stomach
- The meal has a blend of essential nutrients with Vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids to ensure a healthy skin and coat
- Vitamin C is included in the ingredients list which offers a boost to the immune system
- Since the dog food comes with fruits and vegetables, you barely have to worry about compromising your pet’s digestion
Proc of Hill’s Science Diet Toy Breed Dog Food
- Suitable for small breeds adult dogs and puppies
- Rich in natural fiber and Vitamins
- Keeps the skin looking soft and smooth
Conc of Hill’s Science Diet Toy Breed Dog Food
- Extremely Picky small breed dogs may not like this dog food
Why We Recommend It
Small and toy breed puppies, there’s need for the highest quality ingredients with no filler ingredients for proper growth. This dog food offers a blend of essential nutrients such as Omega fatty acids and vitamins for an enhanced immune system.
Features That Make Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Puppy Food Stand Out
- Purina Pro Plan is a premium brand that offers different foods for dogs of different stages
- Farm raised chicken is the number one ingredient offering high-quality proteins to enhance the growth of your pooch
- The recipe has DHA from fish oil that helps nourish a puppy’s brain and vision to strengthen trainability
- This antioxidant-rich formula ensures that your puppy’s developing system remains strong
- There are rice and oatmeal which are easily digestible for a sensitive stomach
- The recipe has plenty of omega 6 fatty acids and zinc that helps promote healthy skin and coat
- Has no artificial flavors and colors which is ideal for dogs with sensitive tummies and skin
Proc of Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Puppy Food
- Has nutrient-rich chicken as the number one ingredient
- Has DHA which promotes brain health
- Has no artificial fillers
Conc of Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Puppy Food
- A few customers reported that their puppy did not like this dog food
Why We Recommend It
This recipe has chicken as the main ingredient which will be not only delicious but also nutrient rich for your growing puppy. This dog food is energy-rich for your active pup with oatmeal and rice as ingredients. There are no artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives in this meal which makes it a good choice.
Having a puppy in your home will bring great joy and great responsibility as well. For instance, you need to take care of what they eat. This is an obligation you must carefully consider if you want to have a healthy adult dog.
We hope to have enlightened you on puppy’s nutritional needs and how to choose the best small breed puppy food for your little furry friend. Choose puppy food from this list, and for sure you won’t regret.
You May Also Interested In:
- 10 Best Puppy Food for Large Breed Review and Guide
- 10 Best Wet Dog Foods Review and Guide
- 10 Best Dry Dog Food Review and Guide
- 5 Best Dog Foods Contain Taurine Review and Guide
- 10 Best Dog Probiotics Reviews and Guide
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