Best Puppy Food for Small Breeds: Top Picks for Healthy

Pint-sized puppies, in their boundless energy and rapid metabolisms, require diets tailored to their unique needs for optimal health. As they mature faster than larger breeds and burn through calories swiftly, small-breed puppies necessitate energy-dense food rich in protein and fat. Their petite jaws also require smaller kibble sizes.

Fortunately, the pet food market offers many options for these pint-sized pups. Amidst this abundance, selecting the best puppy food for small breeds can be overwhelming, especially for first-time pet parents.

To simplify this process, we’ve curated 11 puppy foods that meet and exceed AAFCO standards. This guide aims to assist you in selecting the best food for your small puppy by highlighting the unique benefits of each recommended option.

If you need help determining where to begin, peruse our explainer on puppy nutrition or explore the suggestions below. And remember, your vet is an invaluable resource; inform them of any changes to your puppy’s diet for personalized guidance.

Best Puppy Food For Small Breeds

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy

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Introducing Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy formula – packed with premium protein and essential nutrients tailored for your puppy’s growth.

It’s the perfect choice for small-breed puppies, trusted by pet owners and meeting AAFCO standards.

Pros

A reliable grain-inclusive choice for small breed puppies.

High-quality protein sources.

Balanced fat-to-protein ratio.

Suitable for growth stage according to AAFCO standards.

Cons

It may be more expensive

Some dogs may have sensitivities to specific ingredients.

Life Protection Small Breed Puppy is among the 21 dry formulas featured in our Blue Buffalo Life Protection line evaluation.

  • Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, barley, menhaden fish meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley, rice)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $$

This Blue Buffalo blend primarily sources meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Our analysis of dry matter labeling unveils 32% protein, 19% fat, and an estimated 41% carbohydrates, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of roughly 59%.

Typical Buyer Review: “I love this! This is a good price for the amount of food. It lasted me so long, even for 2 puppies, and I love that this is for SMALL BREED PUPPIES and that it’s a known and good brand. Yeah, there’s other puppy food, but it’s hard to find small breeds and puppy food in one unless you want wet food…. this is the only one I buy until my pup is a teen or adult; that’s when I will change it.”

The Farmer’s Dog Fresh

The Farmer's Dog Fresh

The Farmer’s Dog Fresh

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Experience The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Turkey Recipe – human-grade ingredients, customized portions, flexible delivery.

Affordable and recommended, perfect for small dogs and puppies.

Simplify feeding and elevate nutrition.

Pros

Human-grade ingredients.

Customized feeding plan.

Flexible delivery.

Convenient portioned packaging.

Affordable, especially for small dogs.

Cons

Higher price.

Requires freezer storage and thawing.

Turkey Recipe stands out among the 4 freshly-made offerings in our review of The Farmer’s Dog line.

  • Main ingredients: USDA Turkey, chickpeas, carrot, broccoli, parsnips
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design for: All life stages
  • Best for Puppies and adults, all breed sizes
  • Price: $$$

This turkey formula prioritizes fresh USDA turkey as its primary protein source. With 33% protein, 19% fat, and approximately 40% estimated carbs, it maintains a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Sample Buyer Review: “My dog was beginning a downward slope. We decided to make a change to her food…and we chose Farmer’s Dog…The difference is ASTOUNDING. She eats with gusto. Her energy levels are back up, and her teeth and coat are even better quality… she’s like a different dog. I honestly feel that Farmer’s Dog saved her.”

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

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It is introducing Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy formula – high-quality ingredients, balanced nutrition, and affordable price.

Specifically designed for small breeds, it’s praised for its effectiveness and palatability.

It is ideal for budget-conscious pet owners seeking top-notch nutrition for their furry friends.

Pros

Affordable option suitable for small breed puppies.

Available in various sizes to meet different needs.

Cons

None apparent.

Minor Breed Puppy stands among the 13 dry recipes featured in our exploration of the Diamond Naturals line.

  • Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (rice, barley)
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $

This formula derives its primary meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. With 36% protein, 24% fat, and approximately 32% estimated carbs, it maintains a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

Sample Buyer Review: “We’ve got a 10-week-old Cavapoo puppy who loves it! He was originally on ProPlan, but his stools were very soft, and the vet recommended switching his food. Our pup picks out the Diamond Naturals food and leaves the rest. He’s only about 3.5 lbs, so the tiny kibble is perfect for him.”

Raised Right Dog Food

Raised Right Dog Food

Raised Right Dog Food

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Discover Raised Right Beef Dog Food – made with human-grade beef and nutrient-rich ingredients for premium nutrition.

This grain-free formula boasts high protein content and a balanced fat-to-protein ratio, ensuring optimal health.

With a wide variety of fresh recipes, it’s ideal for picky eaters and highly recommended by satisfied customers and experts.

Pros

Human-grade ingredients.

Wide recipe selection, suitable for picky eaters.

Satisfied customers highly recommend it.

Cons

It is best suited for adult dogs only.

Raised Right Beef is one of the 11 fresh recipes featured in our examination of the Raised Right line.

  • Main ingredients: Beef, beef heart, carrots, beef liver, cranberries
  • Type: Grain-free (carrots, cranberries)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs only

This recipe derives most of its animal protein from fresh beef, boasting 61% protein, 24% fat, and 8% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 39%.

Raised Right Beef is praised as one of the best fresh, human-grade dog foods available, with its diverse recipe selection catering to various tastes. Highly recommended for discerning pet owners seeking top-notch nutrition for their furry companions.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy

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Discover Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy formula – crafted with premium deboned turkey and chicken meals for high-quality nutrition.

A balanced fat-to-protein ratio and essential nutrients promote healthy growth in small-breed puppies.

Trusted by pet owners and offering multiple puppy recipes, Wellness is a top choice for nutritious food.

Pros

Multiple puppy recipes are available.

Excellent company with a reputation for quality.

Cons

Higher price point

Complete Health Small Breed Puppy is one of the 13 dry recipes assessed in our Wellness Complete Health line exploration.

  • Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, oatmeal, salmon meal, barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley, rice, oats)
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $$$

This formula relies on fresh turkey and chicken meal as primary animal protein sources. It boasts 31% protein, 21% fat, and approximately 40% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 68%.

Sample Buyer Review: “A newly adopted ~2 yr. Old rescued Shih Tzu, Zachary, was neglected. Matted sparse fur and prominent spine/ribs called out for some good food and lots of it. So, we chose Wellness. He has moved from 8 to 10 lbs. in two weeks. He loves the food, and it seems to be doing the trick we asked of it. What a good boy!”

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy

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Discover Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy formula – made with premium, fresh turkey as the primary protein source for optimal nutrition.

This grain-free formula features small kibble sizes, perfect for tiny mouths, and is highly recommended by satisfied customers.

Suitable for all stages of growth, it provides balanced nutrition for small-breed puppies.

Choose Now Fresh for top-quality, nutritious food for your furry friend.

Pros

Exceptional grain-free option for small breed puppies.

Satisfied customers highly recommend it.

Cons

Higher price point.

Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy is featured among the 11 dry recipes assessed in our Now Fresh Grain-Free line exploration.

  • Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, whole dried egg, peas, pea flour, potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $$$

This formula derives its primary animal protein from fresh turkey, with 31% protein, 20% fat, and approximately 41% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

Sample Buyer Review: “I discovered NOW puppy food for small breed puppies a couple of years ago. The kibble pieces are the smallest ones I have found and are perfect for my pint-sized puppies to eat since they have no teeth to chew with when first starting. I always had to grind up the kibble, but not anymore. They do great on them too and love to put a couple in their mouth and take to their bed to munch on.”

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy

Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Puppy

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy

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Explore Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy formula, a trusted brand with diverse puppy recipes and balanced nutrition with chicken meals and whole grains.

Praised by loyal customers for quality and effectiveness.

Pros

Longstanding company with a reputation for quality.

Great selection of puppy recipes.

Cons

It contains grains, which may not be suitable for all dogs.

Tiny Paws stands among the 6 dry recipes assessed in our examination of Hill’s Science Diet Puppy line.

  • Main ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, chicken fat, whole grain corn
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (wheat, sorghum, corn, barley)
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $$

This formula primarily derives its animal protein from chicken meal, with 30% protein, 20% fat, and approximately 42% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Sample Buyer Review: “I have used Science Diet forever and would not change from it! My dogs and cats all do well, and I am a loyal customer!”

Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy

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Discover Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy formula – crafted with premium protein sources, including fresh turkey and poultry meals, perfect for small-breed puppy growth and development.

This grain-free formula boasts 42% protein and an optimal fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%, providing balanced nutrition for healthy energy levels.

With small kibble sizes ideal for easy chewing, it’s the perfect choice for small-breed puppies.

Pros

Exceptional grain-free option for small breed puppies.

Ideal kibble size for puppies prone to choking.

Cons

Higher price point

Core Small Breed Puppy is featured among the 12 dry recipes examined in our evaluation of the Wellness Core line.

  • Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $$$

This formula derives its primary animal protein from fresh turkey and poultry meals, boasting 42% protein, 20% fat, and approximately 30% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Sample Buyer Review: “My foster loves this. He was underweight, and this has helped him plump up. He also needs small bites, or he chokes. It has a perfect kibble size!”

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed

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Explore Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed formula – premium protein from fresh chicken, balanced nutrition, and affordable price.

With 33% protein and 20% fat, it offers essential nutrients for small-breed puppy growth.

Praised by satisfied customers for quality and value, it’s the perfect choice for your puppy’s well-being.

Pros

Affordable price point.

High-quality recipe ideal for small breed puppies.

Cons

It contains grains, which may not be suitable for all dogs.

Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed is among the 12 dry recipes examined in our Iams Proactive Health line assessment.

  • Main ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, dried beet pulp
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (corn, sorghum)
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $

This Iams formula derives most of its animal protein from fresh chicken, containing 33% protein, 20% fat, and approximately 39% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Sample Buyer Review: “I highly recommend Iams small bites puppy food. It has great nutritional value and a great price. You get what you pay for in dog food. My Boston Terrier pup loves it!”

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Chicken Formula

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Chicken Formula

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Chicken Formula

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Discover Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Chicken Formula – crafted with premium protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal, balanced nutrition with grains like rice and oatmeal, and suitable for small breed puppies.

With 30% protein and 18% fat, it offers essential nutrients for healthy growth and energy levels.

Enthusiastically recommended by satisfied customers, it’s the trusted choice for small-breed puppy owners.

Pros

Suitable for small breed puppies.

Enthusiastically recommended by customers.

Cons

It contains grains, which may not be suitable for all dogs.

Wholesome Essentials Puppy Chicken is among the 19 dry recipes assessed in our Nutro Wholesome Essentials line evaluation.

  • Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brewer rice, whole brown rice, whole grain oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (rice, oatmeal)
  • Life stage: Growth
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $$

This Nutro formula derives its meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal, boasting 30% protein, 18% fat, and approximately 44% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Sample Buyer Review: “I’ve been feeding my senior dog this brand since 2012, so of course, when I brought a puppy home, this was my go-to choice! I gradually switched the puppy over from the food he was previously eating with no trouble at all. I’ve noticed that the puppy eats all of this food, and he would nibble and leave the other brand in the bowl all day. My dogs love this food and will be Nutro pups for life!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting the best puppy food for small breeds is essential for ensuring the health and well-being of your furry companion. You can make an informed choice that promotes optimal growth and development by considering nutritional content, ingredient quality, and breed-specific requirements.

Whether for grain-free formulas, protein-rich diets, or tailored options for small-breed puppies, the goal is to provide balanced nutrition that supports their unique needs. Remember to consult your veterinarian for personalized recommendations and monitor your puppy’s response to their diet to ensure they thrives from puppyhood through adulthood. With careful consideration and proper nutrition, you can set your small-breed puppy up for a lifetime of health and happiness.

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