Choosing The Best Dry Dog Foods for Your Small Dog

Our Memphis veterinary clients want the best for their small dogs, but with so many brands of dog food on the market it's hard to know which one is right for your dog. Here, we share some advice on picking the best dry food for your small dog. 

Choosing a Dry Food for Your Small Dog

Small dog breeds typically have a faster metabolism than their larger canine friends. So when you're choosing a dry food for your dog, look for one that has been optimized specially for a small dog's fast metabolism.

Many small dog foods also come in smaller kibble sizes to help make it easier for small dogs to enjoy, however feeding your dog small sized kibble isn't is more important to offer your dog a healthy diet with balanced nutrition than tiny bite sized pieces. 

Ingredients to Avoid

As with human food, many dog foods contain some controversial ingredients. Regardless of whether your dog is a toy breed or giant breed, here are a few of the ingredients you may want to avoid in order to ensure that you are feeding your dog the very best food:

  • 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 are choosing a dry food for your small dog be sure to note the first 5 ingredients on the package. Look for healthy ingredients that you recognize. 

  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult - First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley
  • CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Fields with Chicken Small Breed - First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Lentils, and Potatoes
  • Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Dog Food - First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, and ground brown rice
  • Taste of the Wild - Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe - First 5 ingredients: Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils (grain free recipe)
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Chicken - First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, split peas, whole brown rice, and brewers rice

Still having trouble deciding on the best food for your dog? Speak to your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to recommend just the right food for your dog based on their age, overall health, and lifestyle.

How Much to Feed Your Small Dog

Calculating the exact amount of food that you should serve your small dog is almost impossible without knowing your dog and the brand of food you will be serving. Each brand of food contains a different amount of calories, and every dog's lifestyle and calorie expenditure is different. 

That said, whichever small breed dog food you choose, be sure to follow the feeding guidelines on the package, or contact your vet for their recommendations. Your vet knows your pet's overall health and nutritional requirements better than any dog food manufacturer.

Changing Your Small Dog's Food

Changing a dog's food can cause some unpleasant consequences for your pet including gas and loose stools. The best way to transition your canine pal to a new food is in gradual steps.

Start by mixing about 1/4 new food to 3/4 of their regular food for 3 or 4 days and monitor your dog for any signs of tummy upset. 

If your dog is doing well on the new food gradually increase the proportion of new food to about 50/50 and continue to monitor your dog for any reactions to their change of diet.

Gradually, over the course of about 10 - 14 days your dog's digestive tract should become accustomed to the new food and you can complete the transition. That said, if your dog continues to show signs of gastrointestinal upset, contact your vet for advice. It may be that a longer, more gradual transition to the new food may be required, or perhaps it isn't the right food for your small dog.

To learn more about which dry dog food to feed your pet, contact our Memphis vets today for advice. 

Best dry food for small dogs, Memphis Vet

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