Best Dog Food for Puppies Small Breed 2023

best-dog-food-for-puppies-small-breed

As our little pups are delicate during their early stages of life, finding the best dog food for puppies small breed can often be quite challenging because of their distinct nutritional requirements.

Puppies of small breeds are petite in size. Even so, their dietary needs are as generous as any other breeds. Therefore, to ensure that your little one grows healthily, it’s of utmost importance to choose a diet that perfectly adheres to their distinct needs. For instance, small-breed puppies have higher metabolic rates; thus, they need specialized diets that focus on elements like protein, calcium, and healthy fats. These components are critical to keep up with their rapid metabolism and support their growth and progress.

Another key point is the type of food that is the most suitable for puppies. Since their teeth are still developing, they may have a hard time with big and hard kibbles. This is why you should buy dog foods that are tailor-made by keeping puppies in mind.

So, without further delay, let’s look at some of the best puppy foods for specific health problems, and explore the types of food available for you to make your puppy’s life easier, healthier, and happier.

Small breed puppies

Small breed puppies are usually known for their compact physical features and tiny legs. Hence, these breeds are small in both height and weight compared to larger puppies. Although it may vary due to growth rate, small breeds of puppies are usually 20 inches or shorter at the shoulder once fully grown. Their weights can significantly vary depending on the type of breed, health condition, and food. Often, 2 puppies from the same litter can have different masses due to lack of nutrition or underlying health conditions. Although generally, a healthy puppy may weigh between 2 to 5 pounds (0.9 to 2.3 kilograms) in the 8th week.

The most popular small breeds among pet owners include Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Dachshund, etc.

Best Dog Food for Puppies: Full Review

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Product Name

Features

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Small Breed

• Real & high-quality beef.
• High in protein.
• Calcium, phosphorus & other minerals maintain strong bones and teeth.
• Natural prebiotic fiber.

Solid Gold Mighty Mini

• Good for sensitive stomachs.
• Aids in muscle development.
• Improves cognitive function. and heart health.
• Prevents allergies.

Merrick Lil' Plates

• Reduces digestive issues.
• Strengthens joints.

Nulo Freestyle Canned Wet Food

• Prevents allergies.
• Aids in digestive health.
• Improves skin and coat health.
• Good for weight management

Whole Life Pet Recover

• Gentle on stomach.
• Helps in weight management.

Open Farm Puppy Grain-Free

• Aids in healthy digestion.
• Develops bone and muscle.
• Improves cognitive and immune function.

NutriSource All-Natural

• Good for digestive health.
• Enhances skin & coat health.
• Improves cognitive and visual development.
• Great for heart health.


Best dog food for puppies with sensitive stomach: Solid Gold Mighty Mini

best-dog-food-for-puppies-with-sensitive-stomach

Key Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Pumpkin, Pea, Sweet Potatoes
Food type: Pellet
Life Stage: All Life Stages

Solid Gold Mighty Mini promises to cleanse and restore your little puppy’s digestive health with its optimal nutrition profile. This holistic dog food is specifically tailored for puppies with sensitive stomach.

This fiber-rich diet is excellent for regulating bowel movements, thus preventing constipation or diarrhea. Besides, this superfood is abundant in antioxidants from sweet potatoes, blueberries, and cranberries to defuse harmful free radicals in your puppy’s body and boost its immune system.

Gut health significantly impacts about 80% of your puppy’s immune system. Keeping that in mind, this formula contains live probiotics to flourish your pet’s digestive system with good bacteria.

Other Benefits

  • Quality Protein for muscle development
  • Omega-3 and fish meal for cognitive function and heart health
  • It is grain-free, to prevent potential sensitivities


Pros

  • Small kibble size for tiny mouths.
  • Free from artificial additives.
  • Grain and gluten-free.
  • Can be fed to dogs of all life stages.

Cons

  • Kibbles can be hard for puppies to chew.


Best dog food for puppies with digestive issues: Merrick Lil’ Plates

best-dog-food-for-puppies-with-digestive-issues

Key Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Chicken Liver, Deboned Turkey
Food type: Wet
Life Stage: Puppy

Merrick Lil’ Plates is an excellent wet food to address the digestive health of small-breed puppies. A remarkable fact about this product is that it includes probiotics and prebiotic fibers to maintain a balanced gut microbiome in puppies for efficient digestion and improved nutrient absorption.

Being grain-free lowers the risk of digestive discomfort in puppies with grain sensitivities. Moreover, this deboned soft food prioritizes high-quality protein sources like deboned chicken and turkey. This ensures that the meal is not only nutritiously tasty but also gentle for puppies to diget.

Best dog food for puppies with allergies: Nulo Freestyle Canned Wet Food

best-dog-food-for-puppies-with-allergies

Key Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Salmon Broth, Turkey Liver, Cod, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
Food type: Wet
Life Stage: Puppy

If you are looking for a soft diet for grain-sensitive puppies, Nulo Freestyle is one of the best grain-free canned dog foods to address allergies and other sensitivities.

The primary sources of protein in each can are turkey and cod. Being novel proteins, they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in your delicate puppy. Moreover, this hypoallergenic diet avoided any problematic grains in its recipe to prevent allergies from getting worse. Therefore, you can add this to your puppy’s diet with full confidence!

Last but not least, this natural Ingredient diet is free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavorings because these additives are notorious for messing with the immune system!

Other Benefits

  • Probiotics for digestive health
  • Salmon oil for skin and coat health
  • High-quality protein for muscle and cardiovascular health
  • Low in carb, thus good for weight management

Pros

  • Uses natural ingredients like vegetables and fruits.
  • Grain-free.
  • No artificial additives.

Cons

  • You must buy 12 cans.

Best dog food for puppies with diarrhea: Whole Life Pet Recover

best-dog-food-for-puppies-with-diarrhea

Key Ingredients: Chicken, Rice
Food type: Freeze Dried
Life Stage: All life stages

Imagine a dog food with only two ingredients!

Yes, this freeze-dried dog food is made of skinless chicken breast and pre-cooked white rice only, which makes it an excellent diet for puppies with vomiting and diarrhea. The simplicity of this perfectly balanced recipe makes it easier for your puppy’s distressed stomach to digest the food. Although the food is bland, it retains all the essential nutrients to provide plenty of energy during a digestive upset.

What’s more, it only takes a few minutes to make! Just add hot water, and the food is ready.

Other Benefits

  • Low in fat; thus, it is good for weight management
  • Limited ingredient makes it safe for stomach sensitivities
  • Can hydrate your dog

Pros

  • Limited ingredient formula.
  • Quick preparation.
  • Food is minimally processed
  • 100% Transparency from the company

Cons

  • Tastes bland.
  • Lacks nutrition other than protein and carbohydrates.

Best natural dog food for puppies: Open Farm Puppy Grain-Free

best-natural-dog-food-for-puppies

Key Ingredients: Chicken, Salmon, Ocean Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potato, Peas, pork
Food type: Pellet
Life Stage: All Life Stages

With the commitment to sourcing ingredients ethically, Open Farm Puppy Recipe is an exceptional natural dog food product that provides genuine nutrition for puppies with minimum processing.

The fact that 90% of its protein comes from farm-raised meat and poultry makes this formula stand out in the crowd! Furthermore, this brand is dedicated to a filler-free approach; thus, avoids adding antibiotics, corn, wheat, soy, and any artificial addition. Instead, the recipe incorporates non-GMO nutrient-dense foods like carrot, pumpkin, and coconut oil.

What is more, you can either buy a bag individually or get a subscription plan for every 2 weeks to once every 6 months.

Other Benefits

  • High-quality protein for bone and muscle development
  • Probiotic Fiber for healthy digestion
  • Essential vitamins and minerals for cognitive and immune function


Pros

  • Avoids common allergens.
  • Humanly-raised meat.
  • No fillers.
  • No antibiotics.
  • Free from artificial additives.

Cons

  • Hard texture, so may be difficult to soften with water.
  • May have a fishy smell.


Best dog food for puppies medium breed: NutriSource All-Natural

best-dog-food-for-puppies-medium-breed

Key Ingredients: Chicken, Brown Rice, Menhaden Fishmeal, Oatmeal, Barley
Food type: Kibbles
Life Stage: Puppy

For pet owners seeking a nutritious diet with natural ingredients, NutriSource Puppy Food can be an ultimate favorite solution. First and foremost, this dog food’s nutritional profile is designed perfectly for the well-being of small-breed and medium-breed puppies.

This product offers a holistic blend of fatty acids, probiotics, DHA, and probiotics to prioritize a puppy’s coat quality and digestive health. Thus, with this nutritionally balanced diet, you will witness visible improvements in your puppy’s overall health and well-being.

Other Benefits                

  • Fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • DHA for cognitive and visual development
  • Amino acids for heart health
  • Probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health

Pros

  • Easy to eat smaller bites
  • Supports gut health.
  • Free from artificial additives, colors, or flavors.

Cons

  • The term “all-natural” gives a vague idea.

Factors to consider

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Nutrition for Puppies Small Breed

What’s the best dog food for puppies? Puppies have unique dietary requirements compared to adult dogs because of their growth and development. Similarly, their needs can be different based on their breed category. For example, smaller breeds have higher metabolism compared to larger counterparts. On the other hand, large breeds have more chances of skeletal disorder compared to smaller ones.

Let’s explore the key factors that create the best dog food for puppies small breed to provide all the essential nutrients for their growth and development.

Protein

The top ingredient of puppy food should prioritize high-quality protein from animal meat. Thus, look for puppy foods that include chicken, turkey, or lamb, as they are abundant in amino acids too. These animal proteins are essential to support your puppy’s muscle development and overall growth.

Fat

Puppies require reasonable amounts of fat for energy and skin development. You can add these healthy fats from chicken fat, fish oil, or flaxseed oil.

Fish oil also contains essential Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for your puppy’s joint and skin health due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) AKA omega-3 fatty acid also supports a puppy’s brain and eye development.

Above all, these fatty acids can promote a well-functioning immune system in your puppy to fight against infections.

Carbohydrates

Your puppy needs carbohydrates for energy. High-quality carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables can provide essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, if you are looking for hypoallergenic grains, look for quinoa, oats, or brown rice. Additionally, legumes and sweet potatoes are a few of the common ingredients to satisfy your puppy’s carbohydrate requirement.

Nevertheless, always make sure that your puppy is not allergic to any of these grains above!

Calcium and Phosphorus

These minerals are crucial for bone development. Small breed puppies can be prone to skeletal issues, so ensure the food has an appropriate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

Vitamins and Minerals

A well-balanced puppy food should provide essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

What ingredients are bad for puppies?

As puppies grow, their immune systems experience significant changes. During this early stage, their immune systems are more vulnerable to infections. Thus, puppies are more sensitive to problematic ingredients than adults due to their constantly developing immune and digestive systems.

For instance, food containing artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin), flavors, and colors is the number one red flag! Similarly, filler grains like corn, soy, and wheat can lead to digestive issues and allergies.

Avoid feeding raw and fatty meat to your puppies because of bacterial contamination and nutritional imbalances. Additionally, excessive sodium in salt can contribute to hypertension, so limit their salt intake.

 

FAQs for Best Dog Food for Puppies Small Breed

Can 3-week-old puppies eat wet food?

The third week is too early to feed them solid or wet food because, at this age, their primary source of nutrition should be from nursing. Nonetheless, you can gradually introduce your puppy to wet food after 3 to 4 weeks. It is important to note that the food should be soft; thus, you can blend it with water to achieve a mushy texture.

How often should 3-week-old puppies eat solid food?

A Three-week-old puppy is not ready to eat solid food. Therefore, you must wait till at least 4-8 weeks of age. At first, start with a small portion of softened food mixed with water, and feed no more than 3 to 4 times a day.

Above all, keep track of your puppy’s response to the change in diet. Once your puppies become more comfortable with the food, you can gradually increase the number of feedings over time.

How much to feed a puppy?

The portion sizes solely depend on the puppy’s age, weight, breed, and activity level. Similarly, it may vary for different products too!

Ideally, 3 to 6 ounces of wet food per meal is safe for your puppy during its weaning process. This amount can be fed 3-4 times in one day. In the case of dry food, you can start with half to 1 cup of kibble throughout the day. Do not forget to add water to make the food soft.

Conclusion

To summarize, it’s essential to go for a puppy food that fulfills your puppy’s unique dietary needs as well as satisfies its taste buds. Therefore, always pay close attention to what your puppy refuses to eat.

First and foremost, choose small-sized kibbles. Since your puppy has a tiny mouth and stomach, small-sized kibbles will help to chew and digest the food comfortably. Also, if required, mix the food with water to make it softer if your puppy is still too young.

While picking the best dog food for puppies small breed, prioritize high-quality protein sources with a balanced fat content, as these are essential for your puppy to grow and maintain its energy levels. To avoid causing hypersensitivities in your little one, stay mindful of artificial additives and allergenic grain in your pet’s food.

Above all, always consult a veterinarian for professional guidance and recommendations before making any adjustments to your puppy’s diet.

 

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