13 Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs

Dry dog food is a convenient and cost-effective option for many pet owners. It is often more shelf-stable and easier to store than wet food, and it can be left out for dogs to graze on throughout the day. However, not all dry dog foods are created equal, and it is important to choose a high-quality product that meets the nutritional needs of your small dog.

what is the best dog food for small dog

Highest-rated dry dog food for small dogs

Here are some of the highest-rated dry dog foods for small dogs:

1. Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

This high-quality dry food is specifically formulated for small dogs, with a kibble size and shape that’s easy for small jaws to chew. It’s made with a blend of high-quality proteins, including chicken and fish, and includes antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.

Pros:

  • The kibble size is specifically designed for small dogs, making it easier for them to eat and chew.
  • Contains high-quality proteins, such as chicken and fish, to help support muscle maintenance and weight management.
  • Contains a blend of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
  • Offers balanced nutrients to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.
  • Has a high palatability, making it a favorite among small dogs.

Cons:

  • Some customers have reported that the food has a strong odor, which may be off-putting to some dogs.
  • May be more expensive than other brands of dry dog food.
  • Some small dogs may not be able to digest the food properly, leading to digestive issues.

2. Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This dry food is made with real chicken as the first ingredient, and it’s formulated to provide small dogs with the high-quality protein they need to support muscle maintenance. It also includes added vitamins and minerals for overall health.

Pros:

  • Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Dry Dog Food is formulated with high-quality protein sources such as real chicken and lamb, which helps support muscle maintenance and repair in small dogs.
  • It contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support a strong immune system and overall health in small breeds.
  • The smaller kibble size is perfect for small jaws and teeth, making it easier for them to chew and digest.
  • This dry dog food has received high ratings and positive reviews from pet owners, with many noting the improvement in their small dogs’ coats, energy levels, and overall health.

Cons:

  • Some pet owners have reported that their small dogs have experienced digestive issues after switching to Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Dry Dog Food.
  • The price point may be higher than some other brands of small-breed dry dog food.
  • It does contain corn and wheat as filler ingredients, which may not be suitable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

3. Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breeds Adult Dry Dog Food

This dry food is made with real chicken and barley, and it’s formulated to provide small dogs with the nutrition they need for a healthy, active lifestyle. It also includes natural sources of glucosamine for joint health, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.

Pros:

  • The first ingredient is real chicken, providing high-quality protein for muscle maintenance and support.
  • Contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support a strong immune system.
  • Formulated to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.
  • Small kibble size is perfect for small breeds.

Cons:

  • Some dogs may not be fond of the taste.
  • Some owners have reported finding hard pieces of plastic in the food.
  • Some dogs may experience digestive issues on this food.

4. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This dry food is made with real chicken, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, and it’s formulated to provide small dogs with the nutrients they need to support a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s also made with non-GMO ingredients, and it’s free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Pros:

  • The first ingredient is real chicken, providing high-quality protein for small dogs
  • Contains whole grains, vegetables, and fruits for added nutrition
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Contains natural sources of glucosamine for joint health
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have reported that their dogs have had digestive issues with this food
  • Some reviewers have also noted a strong smell to the kibble
  • Can be more expensive than other small-breed dry dog foods

What is the best dry dog food for a dog with allergies?

When it comes to choosing the best dry dog food for a dog with allergies, it’s important to consider the ingredients and potential allergens that may be present in the formula. Here are some options that are tailored to meet the needs of dogs with allergies:

5. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

This dry dog food is made with a single source of protein (either salmon or turkey) and a limited number of ingredients, making it ideal for dogs with sensitivities or allergies. It is also grain-free and free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

Pros:

  • This dry dog food is made with a single source of protein (either lamb or salmon) and a limited number of ingredients, making it a good option for dogs with sensitivities or allergies.
  • It is made with high-quality, whole food ingredients like lamb or salmon, brown rice, and vegetables.
  • It is free from common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors and flavors.
  • It is formulated to support healthy skin and coat and has added vitamins and minerals for overall health.

Cons:

  • Some dogs may not like the taste, as it may be different from their usual food.
  • It can be more expensive than other dry dog foods.
  • Some dogs may still have reactions to this food if they have allergies or sensitivities to the protein source used.

6. Royal Canin Hypoallergenic

This dry dog food is specifically formulated for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. It is made with a hypoallergenic protein source (either duck or rabbit) and hydrolyzed soy protein, which is easily digestible and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Pros:

  • This dry dog food is specifically formulated for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. It contains a single hydrolyzed protein source (either chicken or hydrolyzed soy) that is easy to digest and less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
  • It is also free of common allergens such as corn, wheat, and soy, making it a good choice for dogs with multiple food sensitivities.
  • The kibble is small and easy to chew, making it suitable for dogs of all sizes.
  • Royal Canin is a well-respected brand with a long history of producing high-quality pet foods.

Cons:

  • Some users have reported that the small kibble size can make it difficult to measure out the correct portion size, especially for larger dogs.
  • The hydrolyzed protein sources may not be suitable for all dogs with allergies, as some may still have sensitivities to these ingredients.
  • Some users have reported that the price of Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dry dog food is higher than other brands, making it less budget-friendly for some pet owners.

7. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet

This dry dog food is made with a single source of animal protein (either salmon or lamb) and a limited number of whole grains, making it suitable for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. It is also grain-free and free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

Pros:

  • This dry dog food is formulated with a single animal protein source (turkey) and only a few other ingredients, making it easier for dogs with allergies to digest and less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
  • It is made with real, whole ingredients, including sweet potatoes, peas, and blueberries, which provide essential nutrients and antioxidants for your dog’s overall health and well-being.
  • It is free from common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy, as well as artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
  • Many dog owners have reported positive results in terms of improved digestion, increased energy levels, and reduced allergy symptoms after switching to this limited-ingredient diet.

Cons:

  • Some dogs may not find this food as palatable as other brands, which could lead to picky eating or reduced appetite.
  • It may be more expensive than other dry dog foods, which could be a factor for some pet owners on a budget.
  • As with any limited-ingredient diet, it is important to ensure that your dog is getting a balanced and complete nutrition, which may require supplementation with additional nutrients.
  • This food may not be suitable for all dogs with allergies, as some pets may still have reactions to the single protein source. It is always best to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

8. Purina Pro Plan Focus Hypoallergenic

This dry dog food is made with a hypoallergenic protein source (either duck or lamb) and hydrolyzed soy protein, making it suitable for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. It is also grain-free and free of corn, wheat, and soy.

Pros:

  • This dry dog food is formulated specifically for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities, as it is made with a single protein source (duck) to minimize the risk of triggering an allergic reaction.
  • The formula also includes prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health and promote a healthy immune system.
  • It is made with high-quality ingredients and does not contain any artificial colors or flavors.
  • Many dog owners have reported positive results in terms of their dog’s coat and overall health after switching to this hypoallergenic formula.

Cons:

  • Some dogs may not be attracted to the flavor of duck, which could make it difficult to get them to eat this food.
  • It is a bit pricier than some other dry dog food options on the market.
  • Some dogs with severe allergies may still react to this food, as it is not a true hypoallergenic formula (i.e. it is made with a single protein source, but it is not made in a hypoallergenic facility).

Best dry dog food for small dogs with sensitive stomachs

Small dogs often have sensitive stomachs, which can make it difficult to find a dry dog food that agrees with them. However, there are still plenty of options out there for these pint-sized pups. Here are some of the best dry dog foods for small dogs with sensitive stomachs:

9. Royal Canin Mini Sensitive Digestion Dry Dog Food

This high-quality brand is formulated specifically for small dogs with sensitive stomachs. It contains a blend of easily digestible proteins, prebiotics, and antioxidants to support healthy digestion.

Pros:

  • Formulated for small breeds: This dry dog food is specifically formulated for small breeds, which means that it meets the unique nutritional needs of small dogs.
  • Contains high-quality proteins: The primary source of protein in this food is chicken meal, which is a highly digestible source of protein that is easy for small dogs with sensitive stomachs to process.
  • Contains prebiotics and fibers: This food contains prebiotics and fibers, which help to support a healthy digestive system and prevent digestive issues.
  • Highly palatable: Many small dogs with sensitive stomachs have a difficult time digesting certain foods, but this food has a high palatability rating, which means that it is likely to be well-accepted by most dogs.

Cons:

  • Expensive: Royal Canin is a premium brand, so this food is more expensive than some other options on the market.
  • Contains grains: This food contains grains, which may not be suitable for all small dogs with sensitive stomachs. Some dogs may be allergic to grains or may have a difficult time digesting them.
  • Contains artificial preservatives: This food contains artificial preservatives, which may be a concern for some pet owners.

10. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Dry Dog Food

This formula is made with real chicken as the first ingredient, and it’s free from corn, wheat, and soy. It also contains natural sources of prebiotics to support digestive health.

Pros:

  • This dog food is formulated with high-quality protein sources, like real chicken and salmon, to help support muscle maintenance and support a healthy coat.
  • It contains a blend of prebiotics and probiotics to help support healthy digestion and a strong immune system.
  • It is made without corn, wheat, or soy, making it a good option for dogs with food sensitivities.
  • It is specifically formulated for small breeds, with the appropriate balance of nutrients and calorie levels.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have reported that their dogs did not like the taste of this food.
  • It may be more expensive than some other dry dog foods on the market.
  • Some dogs with severe food sensitivities may still experience digestive issues with this food.

11. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This grain-free formula is made with real chicken, salmon, and lamb as the first ingredients. It’s also free from corn, wheat, and soy, making it a great option for small dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Pros:

  • Made with high-quality protein sources like real chicken, lamb, and salmon, which are gentle on the digestive system
  • Contains wholesome vegetables, fruits, and whole grains for added nutrition and fiber
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
  • Enhanced with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health
  • Formulated to meet the specific needs of small-breed dogs

Cons:

  • Some users have reported that their dogs did not enjoy the taste of this food
  • Maybe on the pricier side compared to other options on the market
  • Some dogs may still experience digestive issues with this food, as every dog is different and may have unique sensitivities.

12. Hill’s Science Diet Small and Toy Breed Dry Dog Food

This brand is trusted by veterinarians and is formulated to support the unique nutritional needs of small dogs. It contains high-quality proteins, prebiotics, and antioxidants to support healthy digestion.

Pros:

  • Highly digestible: This dry dog food is formulated with high-quality proteins and easy-to-digest carbohydrates to help support small dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Nutrient-rich: This food is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help support the overall health and well-being of small dogs.
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors: Hill’s Science Diet uses natural ingredients to create a healthy and tasty food for small dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Cons:

  • Price: Some people may find this food to be on the pricier side compared to other dry dog foods.
  • Limited flavor options: This food only comes in chicken and rice flavors, which may not be suitable for all small dogs with sensitive stomachs.

13. Wellness Core Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This grain-free formula is made with real chicken, turkey, and salmon as the first ingredients. It’s also packed with antioxidants, probiotics, and omega fatty acids to support a healthy immune system.

Pros:

  • This dry dog food is made with high-quality protein sources like turkey, chicken, and whitefish, which can help support muscle maintenance and a healthy weight.
  • It’s grain-free and contains no corn, wheat, or soy, which can be common allergens for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • It has added probiotics to help support digestive health, as well as antioxidants to support the immune system.
  • It’s formulated with small kibble size to make it easier for small breeds to chew and digest.

Cons:

  • Some dogs may find the taste a little bland, which could affect their appetite.
  • It’s a bit pricier than other dry dog food options on the market.
  • Some dogs with severe sensitivities or allergies may still react to the ingredients in this food.

Conclusion of dry dog foods for small dogs

After conducting thorough research and analyzing various brands and ingredients, it can be concluded that dry dog food can be a suitable option for small dogs. However, it is important to choose a brand that is specifically formulated for small-breed dogs and contains high-quality protein sources, limited fillers, and appropriate levels of nutrients.

One important factor to consider is the size of the kibble. Small breed dogs have smaller mouths and teeth, so it is essential to choose a dry dog food with smaller kibble size to ensure they can chew and digest the food properly.

It is also crucial to monitor your small dog’s weight and adjust their food intake accordingly. Small-breed dogs have a higher metabolism and are more prone to obesity, so it is essential to provide them with a balanced diet and adequate exercise.

In conclusion, dry dog food can be a suitable option for small dogs as long as it is specifically formulated for their size and needs, and the pet owner is mindful of their dog’s weight and nutrition. It is always important to consult with a veterinarian before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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