The 13 Best Dog Foods for Miniature American Shepherds

Miniature breeds are automatically cuter and closer to the heart due to their small, adorable size. With so much love in your heart, it is impossible to make a decision that could possibly have the smallest side effect.

In a situation like this, choosing the best dog food option has more reasons. Hence, the process is more time-consuming.

Read through my list of 13 dog foods that are suitable for Miniature American Shepherds. You’ll definitely find at least one in this list that will be perfect for your fur buddy.

The Best Dog Foods for Miniature American Shepherds

This breed doesn’t really have very strict needs. Anything that works for an average dog will be just fine. However, I’ve tried to make this list as well-suited as possible in terms of nutritional and caloric value for these little ones.

1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small, and Toy Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 36%, Fat (min.) 16%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

A mix of protein sources is definitely the most delicious and appealing to dogs. Miniature American Shepherds are not very fussy with food but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the yummiest blend of ingredients. This grain-free, gluten-free, and filler-free recipe is a safe option. It is especially ideal for underweight dogs who need some support building stronger muscles.

The presence of glucosamine and chondroitin promote joint and bone health which minimizes the chances of the very common floating kneecaps and dislocated hip bones in this breed. Moreover, the skin and coat are also taken care of with generous sources of Omega Fatty Acids.

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2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Extra Small and Toy Breeds, Small Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3628 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 22.5%, Fat (min.) 14.5%, Fiber (max.) 2.7%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Oil
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Pea-free
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Veterinary diet

This veterinary diet is specifically for small breeds. Dogs that are under 22lbs. should be fed this hydrolyzed protein food. It is ideal for dogs with gastrointestinal problems. Hydrolyzed protein is easier to absorb in the digestive system; hence, it is more effective without the side effects of digestive issues. Protein can also sometimes trigger skin allergies. But with this formula, there is no such problem.

This dry food is also great for strengthening your dog’s teeth. If your dog gives you a tough time while brushing its teeth, these kibbles will be a life savior. The overall recipe and ingredient list are very safe. Not only does it prevent allergic reactions, but it also creates an unfavorable environment in the urinary tract for the formation of stones.

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3. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small, and Toy Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3588 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 26%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

I’ve never met a dog who dislikes chicken unless it is allergic to poultry. The flavor and nutritional value of chicken are perfect for dogs, which is why it is the most commonly used protein source in dog foods. This particular product uses farm-raised chicken. There is also a small amount of salmon and lamb in the recipe, which adds depth to the flavor.

You can expect the growth of stronger muscles once your dog starts eating this food. It is a high-quality product free of any artificial ingredients such as colors and preservatives. It is a source of Linoleic Acid and plenty of antioxidants for better skin and digestive system.

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4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Extra Small, Small, and Toy Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3721 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 16%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry Food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

High-quality food, in my opinion, must always have real meat as a protein source. But that doesn’t mean that vegetables and fruits are not important. There should be a balance between these categories. This is exactly what you get in Blue Buffalo’s products.

This one, in particular, is also free of corn, wheat, and soy, which are generally hard to digest for sensitive dogs. On top of that, the kibbles play an important role in the removal of tartar from your dog’s teeth. This dog food is also a rich source of glucosamine, omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

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5. Forza10 Nutraceutic Behavioral Diet Dry Dog Food

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3442 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 21%, Fat (min.) 10.5%, Fiber (max.) 5.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry Food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Ground Rice, Hydrolyzed Fish Protein, Fish Oil, Anchovy Meal, Brewer’s Yeast
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Miniature American Shepherds are known for their behavioral problems more than their physical illnesses. The most common among these is anxiety. This arises from fear and can lead to excessive barking, licking, urination, etc. It can be hard to deal with such dogs.

A behavioral diet is an ultimate solution to such a scenario. This Forza10 specialized diet has limited and high-quality ingredients. The hydrolyzed protein and the gluten-free formula make it suitable for sensitive digestion. It takes care of all possibilities of behavioral issues to bring your dog back on track.

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6. Purina Beneful Originals with Real Beef Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3566 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 23%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 14%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Beef, Whole Grain Corn, Barley, Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal

Beef is an excellent protein source. Whether you’re looking for a chicken alternative due to your dog’s allergies or simply want to switch up the flavor pallet, this product is the perfect contender. On top of that, with spinach, peas, and carrots, there are 22 grams of protein in every cup. Lean muscles are on their way!

One factor that may restrict this product’s usage is the presence of wheat and corn. If you have a sensitive dog, these ingredients must be avoided. However, their goodness shouldn’t be skipped otherwise.

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7. Castor & Pollux PRISTINE Grain-Free Small Breed Free-Range Chicken Stew Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Extra Small and Toy Breeds, Small Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 880 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 9%, Fat (min.) 3%, Fiber (max.) 1.4%, Moisture (max.) 81%
  • Food Form/Texture: Wet food, Stew
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Whites
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free

The PRISTINE line of dog food guarantees the use of responsible ingredients. It is a product manufactured within the USA so it is known for sure that the quality standards are being followed. Other than free-change chicken, this recipe also includes a balance of fruits and vegetables. Spinach, apples, and carrots are all organic.

It is free of wheat, corn, and soy. Moreover, artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors have not been used in this formula. What’s even better is that it is gluten-free, hence perfect for allergic dogs.

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8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Extra Small and Toy Breeds, Small Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 392 kcal/cup
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 21%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
  • Sensitive digestion

Smaller breeds generally need a sensitive digestion formula. They are naturally prone to gastrointestinal problems. A sensitive digestion formula like this one that has been manufactured specifically for small breeds is a fool-proof option.

The generous amount of beet pulp provides enough fiber to keep the insides clean. Also, antioxidants and vitamins keep the immune system in good health. The skin and coat get shinier and denser with the help of Omega Fatty Acids. Lastly, it is a high-quality product free of artificial ingredients made within the USA with love and care.

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9. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Turkey & Venison Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3901 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 17%, Fiber (max.) 3%, Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Corn Gluten Meal, Soy Flour, Beef Fat, Chicken Meal

Is your dog sick of chicken, beef, and salmon? Well, here’s an alternative with just as much goodness as the rest of these ingredients. Turkey is not only as delicious as other real meats, but it also ticks off the protein requirement. The well-balanced nutritional value is tasty and fulfilling.

The antioxidant-rich ingredients ensure a strong immune system so that your dog can fight against bacteria. It also keeps your Miniature American Shepherd’s coat shiny and luscious with the Omega Fatty Acids. As per the quality control standards, all ingredients are high-quality.

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10. Forza10 Nutraceutic Sensitive Behavioral Plus Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3566 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 15.6%, Fiber (max.) 3.7%, Moisture (max.) 8%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Anchovy Meal, Peas, Fava Beans, Pork Meal, Fish Oil
  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • GMO-free
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Gluten-free

A sensitive dog is most likely to have behavior issues, too. A lot of the time, it is some ingredient that triggers the dog’s rough side and causes anxiety. Behavioral diets, like this one, that is also easily digestible are the best option for such dogs.

Despite catering to the two difficult needs, this food does not compromise the nutritional content. The formula is free of Oxytetracycline, which has been identified as the antibiotic that triggers bad behavior in pets. On the contrary, it is a rich source of Omega Fatty Acids that keep the skin of the dog healthy.

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11. The Real Meat Company 90% Lamb Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 4300 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 22%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 15%
  • Food Form/Texture: Air-Dried, Dehydrated
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Lung, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Parsley
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Pea-free

If you’re looking for a food type that falls between wet and dry food, this product may satisfy you. It is a dry food but with more moisture than most options. If you want, you can also rehydrate the food by adding water to this product. Since it is air-dried, no nutrients are lost. It has a high caloric content, so you’ll only need to feed small amounts of this food.

The pea-free formula is also free of gluten and grains. All in all, it is a sensitive digestion formula. Free-range, grass-fed lamb is the protein source in this recipe. The addition of other lamb organs, such as the liver, makes it a highly healthy option. It provides iron and folic acid, while also minimizing the risk of bladder stones.

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12. Purina Pro Plan Focus Small Breed Variety Pack Entree Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Extra Small and Toy Breeds, Small Breeds
  • Caloric Content: Chicken: 1070 kcal/kg, Turkey: 1063 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 9%, Fat (min.) 3.5%, Fiber (max.) 1.25%, Moisture (max.) 80%
  • Food Form/Texture: Wet food, pate
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken: Chicken, Pork Lungs, Water Sufficient For Processing, Liver, Carrageenan/Turkey: Turkey, Pork Lungs, Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken, Liver
  • Grain-free
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Pea-free

Here is a wet food option for Miniature American Shepherds who dislike drinking water out of a bowl. Now, wet nature also makes this an ideal choice for overweight dogs who tend to overeat. It is also easier to digest. However, this isn’t the best option for dogs with dental problems.

You’ll get two flavors in one pack: chicken and turkey. You can alternate between the flavors to keep your dog’s taste buds satisfied. It is a grain-free formula free of artificial ingredients. No peas have been added to suit dogs who have digestive issues.

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13. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm Formula Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3698 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 23%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 3.3%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Food Form/Texture: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Wheat
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Pea-free
  • Veterinary diet

If your dog weighs under 33lbs, opt for this option. It has ingredients that provide amino acids to promote the building of lean muscles. These amino acids come from natural sources, so they also generate a calming effect, perfect for anxious dogs.

This veterinary-diet is pea-free, suitable for sensitive furry buddies. The formula has the tendency to promote a urinary environment that doesn’t allow the formation of urinary stones. Moreover, it strengthens the teeth and skin as well.

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Related:

Best Dog Food for Miniature American Shepherds FAQs

What is the best dog food for dogs with digestive problems?

Sensitive dogs are not a rare sight. This is why there are a number of dog food options available for dogs with a sensitive stomach. You can go for a special formula. Such recipes are usually free of grains, dairy, eggs, and peas, which are the most common ingredients that are harder to digest. Also, a recipe with ingredients that provide antioxidants and fibers is always a safer option.

How much food should mini American Shepherds eat?

The answer to this depends on your specific dog. The age, weight, activity, and gender play a major role in determining the exact amounts that a dog needs. It is best to visit a vet for accurate recommendations. However, you can find a general caloric breakdown later on in this post.

Do miniature American Shepherds bark a lot?

These dogs don’t necessarily bark a lot, however, they also aren’t the quietest of dog breeds. They can be loud when they are anxious or around strangers. All in all, they are pretty manageable so you don’t have to worry about this aspect much.

How long does it take for a mini American Shepherd to get fully grown?

A miniature American Shepherd gets fully grown at around 1 to 1.5 years of age. Their coat will also be getting dense by this age. Although, it keeps growing for another year. Physically, they are at their maximum by the age of 9 months.

How much does a full-grown mini American Shepherd weigh?

A dog of this breed weighs between 20 and 40 pounds on average. The males are generally bigger than the females and also weigh heavier. As for height, the males are 14-18 inches tall, whereas the females are 13-17 inches tall.

Buyer’s Guide

Let’s dig deeper into the breed’s nature and needs. The more knowledge you have, the better the chances will be to make an informed decision.

Breed Profile

Miniature American Shepherds are a breed registered with the AKC. The miniature Australian Shepherds are basically the same breed, too. The only difference is that they are registered under a different name with the UKC.

These are small, as their name suggests. Their round face, straight tails, and medium-length coat give them a unique look. The slight wave in their coat makes them super soft and cuddly. You’ll find these dogs in black, red, blue merle, and red merle colors. Other than these solid colors, they sometimes also have tan or white markings.

As for their nature, they are very playful, active, and intelligent. Keep in mind that they are not an independent breed. They love the outdoors. Although very energetic, they are not the friendliest around little kids.

How to Feed Miniature American Shepherds

This dog breed is generally very energetic and active. Therefore, the feeding chart I’ll be recommending will be according to this behavior. If your dog is not as active, lower the caloric content or consult a vet for a detailed guide.

As a puppy, these dogs need a lot of proteins. Divide the caloric content into three meals, timed evenly. Between 8-12 weeks of age, 4 bowls of food are necessary. After that, bring it down to around 2 cups a day.

After 6 months, gradually shift to two meals per day. ¾ to 1 cup per meal should be sufficient from this point on, depending on the calories of the dog food in question. Other than dog food, also offer veggies and treats. Your dog may want more food, but it is best to stick to these measurements to prevent the risk of obesity.

Once your dog becomes a senior, the amount of food should be lowered. Senior dogs are neither in their growing stage nor are they very active. Hence, a total of 1½ cups per day will be fine.

Health and Behavior Problems

The health issues of Miniature American Shepherds are pretty standard. Here are the most common sicknesses in the breed:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Medially Luxating Patella
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

The solution to all these illnesses is a high-quality, well-balanced diet. You can also prevent the risk of these health problems getting worse by scheduling the following recommended tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • PRA Optigen DNA Test
  • MDR1 DNA Test

What’s more worrying is their behavioral sensitivity. These dogs are prone to anxiety. Some owners tend to ignore the symptoms of such issues by confusing it with shyness. However, this can worsen the problem. For such anxious dogs, a specialized behavioral diet is mandatory. You should also consult a vet to find out whether your dog needs medication or not.