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Top 5 Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs

Numerous dry dog food options abound at supermarkets, pet stores, and your vet's office. So, how can you determine the ideal choice for your small dog? Our veterinary clinic, in Clearlake, provides valuable tips for selecting the optimal food for your small canine companion.

Choosing a Food for Your Small Dog

Small dogs weighing 20 pounds or less possess a swifter metabolism than larger canine breeds. Therefore, when you're in the market for food for your petite pup, seek out dry food specifically designed to cater to their rapid metabolism. Numerous food brands craft formulations tailored to small dogs, often featuring petite kibble sizes for their convenience.

However, it's worth noting that feeding your diminutive canine standard-sized kibble is perfectly viable – even the tiniest of dogs can manage it. What truly matters is the nutritional content of the kibble, not its size.

Ingredients to Avoid

Numerous controversial ingredients lurk within both small and large dog foods. Here, we highlight several ingredients to steer clear of, ensuring that your small dog receives only the finest nutrition:

  • Propylene glycol (Moisturizer)
  • Generic "meat" (Unknown source)
  • BHA (Preservative)
  • BHT (Preservative)
  • TBHQ (Preservative)
  • Ethoxyquin (Preservative)
  • Menadione (Synthetic vitamin)
  • Artificial dyes (Color)

5 Nutritious Dry Foods For Small Dogs

When you select a food tailored to your dog's specific needs, it's essential to consult your vet. Your veterinarian is the one who comprehends your dog's health and nutritional requirements the best. With that in mind, here are some high-quality foods for small dogs that your vet might recommend:

Royal Canin

This premium dog food brand offers a variety of dry food options explicitly tailored to meet the dietary needs of various small and toy-breed dogs. The lineup comprises:

  • Royal Canin X-Small Aging 12+ was created to meet the nutritional needs of older toy and miniature breeds  
  • Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Adult dry dog food 
  • Royal Canin Pomeranian Adult dry dog food
  • Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy dry dog food

Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Small Bites Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food

  • Hills has specially crafted this dry food to power the energy requirements of adult small-breed dogs. This food incorporates high-quality, easily digestible ingredients in a petite bite size that small mouths can effortlessly chew.

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Small Breed Formula Dry Dog Food

  • The premium small-breed dog food features chicken as its primary ingredient, delivering comprehensive and well-balanced nutrition to support the health of adult dogs.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Chicken 

  • This dry food, formulated specifically for little dogs, contains healthy ingredients such as farm-raised chicken, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Dog Food 

  • The first 5 ingredients in this dry food for small dogs feature deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, and ground brown rice—a feast for any small dog.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult 

  • This dry food for small dogs has been formulated with a precise blend of proteins and carbohydrates to help support the higher energy needs of smaller dogs.

If you are unsure which dry food is best for your small dog, speak to your veterinarian. Your vet can recommend the right food for your dog based on age, overall health, and activity level.

How Much to Feed Your Small Dog

Each food brand contains different calories, and every dog's lifestyle and calorie expenditure differs. Whichever small breed of dog food you choose, follow the feeding guidelines on the package or contact your vet for their recommendations. Your vet understands your dog's overall health and nutritional requirements better than any dog food manufacturer.

Changing Your Small Dog's Food

Changing a dog's food can potentially lead to unexpected consequences in the form of gastrointestinal upset. To transition your canine companion to a new food, take gradual steps.

Begin by mixing approximately 25% of the new food with their regular food for a period of 3 to 4 days. Keep a close eye on your small pup for any signs of tummy upset, such as gas or loose stools.

If your little dog responds well to the new food during this initial phase, gradually increase the proportion to about 50% new food while continuing to monitor your dog for any reactions to the dietary change.

Throughout approximately 10 to 14 days, your dog's digestive system should adapt to the new food, allowing you to complete the transition. However, if your dog continues to exhibit signs of gastrointestinal upset, it is advisable to contact your vet for guidance. A more extended and gradual transition to the new food may be necessary, or it could indicate that the fresh food isn't suitable for your furry friend.

If your small dog is experiencing an after-hours veterinary emergency, contact our vets at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic. For emergency care during regular business hours, contact your primary care veterinarian.

New Patients Welcome

Clearlake Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clearlake companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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