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Buying the Right Kibble for Your Small Dog

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Buying the right kibble for your small dog is never easy, especially when it’s so important for their health and wellbeing! First, it’s important to think about your dog’s stage of life. Puppy? Adult? Senior?  These are the main stages of a dog’s life, and you must feed your dog accordingly if he or she is going to be healthy throughout life.  Different life stages require different levels of nutrients. Choosing the right kibble for your small dog can help your pup get the nutrition it needs to thrive in all life stages.


Small breed puppies have different nutritional needs than their large dog cousins. They also have different nutritional needs than older dogs of the same breed. To support their rapid growth and development, puppies need more calories and protein per pound of body weight than adult dogs. When shopping for a kibble, look for brands that are specifically designed for small breed puppies. These puppy brands should contain higher levels of protein, fat, and calories than adult formulas.

Six recommended small breed puppy kibbles are:


Small-breed adults have entirely different nutritional needs than small-breed puppies. In fact, small-breed adults will become obese if fed a puppy kibble. Adults require fewer calories and less protein per pound of body weight, than puppies of the same breed, to maintain well-being and good health. 

So, when shopping for a small breed adult kibble, look for dog foods that are specifically formulated for their needs. Adult dog kibbles should contain lower levels of protein, fat, and total calories than puppy kibbles.

Our six recommended kibbles for small breed adults are:

Seniors Small Breed Dogs

Small breed seniors have different nutritional needs than small breed adults.  As they advance in age, senior dogs need fewer calories and less protein per pound of body weight to maintain their health. If your senior dog is too fat, chances are pretty good that you’re feeding the wrong kibble to your old, grey dog. 

Senior dogs may also need extra nutrients to support their ageing bodies. So look for dog foods that are specifically formulated for their needs. These dog foods should contain lower levels of protein, fat, and calories than adult formulas, as well as additional ingredients to support joint health, hair coat, digestive health, heart and lung health, brain health, and cognitive function.

Some recommended kibbles for small breed seniors include:

Choosing the right stage-of-life kibble for small dogs is fundamental to their health and wellbeing. By considering their life stage and choosing a formula that is suitable for their needs, you can help ensure that your little pooch is getting the nutrition it needs to thrive.

a white background with a bone shaped from kibble pieces

The Right Kibble For Your Small Dog – Special Diets for Small Breeds

Small dog breeds often require special diets.  These dogs have unique needs that differ from larger breeds, and have to have a specific type of kibble to meet their nutritional requirements. 

Here are five crucial points to remember when you’re shopping for small dog kibble:

  • Digestion: Small dogs have a faster metabolism than larger breeds, which means small dogs need more calories per pound of body weight than big dogs. Be sure you buy a kibble that packs in a lot of nutrition but one that is easy to digest and includes high-quality protein.  Be sure also to buy a kibble that is free from fillers, artificial preservatives, and unneeded additives.
  • Sensitive Stomach: Many small dogs have sensitive stomachs and can easily develop digestive troubles. To avoid this, it’s important to choose a kibble that is gentle on their system. Buy a kibble that is low in fat and contains easily digestible ingredients like wholesome rice and poultry.
  • Obesity: Small dogs easily become obese.  Not only is this hard on their hearts but it can lead to a range of other health problems, including cancer. To avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to buy a kibble that is moderately low in calories and total fat. Shop for kibble that is specifically made for small or toy breeds and contains a high-quality protein source like chicken, lamb, or salmon.
  • Arthritis: Small breed dogs are often prone to joint problems like arthritis. To help prevent this, it’s important to buy a kibble that contains the additives glucosamine and chondroitin. These supplements are known to support joint health and can help prevent arthritis from developing.
  • Food Sensitivities and Allergies: Small dogs are also prone to food sensitivities and allergies. To avoid this, it’s important to feed a kibble that is free from commonly known allergens like wheat, soy, and corn. Buy kibble brands that use high-quality protein sources from venison, buffalo, lamb, or duck, any of which are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.  Yes, these types of kibble are usually more expensive, but not nearly as expensive as an emergency vet!

In summary, when choosing kibble for small dogs, it’s important to keep in mind their unique needs. Look for kibble that is easy to digest, gentle on the stomach, low in calories and fat, contains joint-supporting ingredients, and is free from common allergens. By choosing the right kibble, you can help ensure that your small dog stays healthy and happy for years to come.

More Top Brands 

There are a lot of kibble brands for small dogs on the market. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming to decide which brand to buy. But, some brands stand out from the crowd when it comes to providing balanced nutrition, high-quality ingredients, and affordability.

One of the top brands for small dogs is Open Farm. Their dry dog food is made with ethically sourced ingredients, free from antibiotics and growth hormones. They also offer a grain-free option for dogs with food sensitivities. 

Purina Pro Plan is a very trusted brand in the pet food industry and offers a variety of options for small dogs, including dry and wet food. Their formulas are designed to support the immune system and maintain a healthy weight. 

For small dogs that need weight control, IAMS Proactive Health Adult Minichunks Small Kibble Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice. Although it does include corn, it is finely ground whole corn and this brand offers a well balanced ration with a blend of fibres, prebiotics, and antioxidants to support small adult dog health. 

Cesar’s Small Breed Dry Dog Food also includes corn but it is a good option for small dogs whose owner is on a budget. It contains kibble small enough for small dogs that has a nice crunchy consistency, plus meaty chunks that are tender for small mouths.

Wag, Amazon’s private label brand, offers an excellent variety of kibble choices for small dogs. The Wag formulas are made with high-quality real meats, no chicken meal, and no corn, wheat, or soy! These formulas are also free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives.

When you are shopping for the best kibble for small dogs, you need to look at the ingredients, nutritional value, and any specific dietary needs your dog may have. With the options listed above, you can find a brand that fits your dog’s needs as well as your budget.

Budget Considerations

When it comes to finding the best kibble for small dogs, budget is an important consideration. Certainly, there are many high-end and pricey brands available. There are also plenty of affordable dog food brands that offer quality nutrition for your little pooch.

When shopping for a budget-friendly dog food, you need to pay attention to the ingredients list. Look for a kibble that is made with high-quality real meat proteins, like chicken or lamb, and whole grains like brown rice or oats. Avoid low-cost kibbles that list fillers first, like corn, wheat, or soy, as these filler ingredients offer little nutritional value for dogs and can be especially difficult for small dogs to digest.

We’ve listed some very good brands that offer a range of choices at various quantities and price points. From this article you can find a kibble that fits your budget without sacrificing product quality and that won’t compromise your dog’s health.

It also needs to be said that just because a kibble is expensive it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for your small dog. While some high-end brands may offer premium ingredients, they can also be filled with unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients.  Before making a purchase, you should be an informed shopper. Read the ingredients list and nutritional information carefully before making a purchase.

The Right Kibble for Your Small Dog

Finding the best kibble for small dogs is all about doing your research and paying attention to the nutritional information and the actual ingredients list. With a little bit of effort, you can find a quality kibble that fits your budget and provides your little pal with the nutrition they need to be healthy and thrive.

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