Toy breed dogs have unique nutritional needs. They need specially formulated diets for good health. So, how can you find breed-specific dog food? Finding the best dog food for toy breeds can be challenging. To make things easier, we’ve developed a comprehensive buying guide.
Let’s get started!
The Best Dog Foods For Toy Breeds
1. Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Peas Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
If you want to keep your little dog healthy and active, the Wellness toy breed formula is a great choice. This all-natural dry dog food features nutritious ingredients that provide whole-body support. It also has a smaller kibble size to make eating easy.
The recipe features lean proteins and healthy grains to support a strong immune system. Additionally, this dog food contains antioxidants, probiotics, glucosamine, and taurine. It maintains optimal energy levels and nourishes your dog’s skin and coat.
2. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Dried Peas, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley
The Halo Holistic dry dog food is a great way to nourish toy and small breeds. It contains real meat from cage-free chicken for lean muscle growth and maintenance.
This nutrient-rich recipe is ideal for toy dogs with high metabolic rates. If you have a picky eater, this delicious recipe is all you need. Let your dog enjoy the crunchy texture and meatiness of this dry kibble.
3. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
Give your tiny dog the nutrition he deserves with Merrick Classic dry dog food. It features real deboned chicken, turkey meal, and healthy vegetables to fulfill your dog’s nutritional requirements.
This delicious recipe has a smaller kibble size and crunchy texture so that your dog can chew food easily. It has essential vitamins and minerals to support whole-body health. The recipe contains brown rice and quinoa to aid in digestion. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint function. It’s a perfect choice for your pint-sized pal!
4. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Small Breed Limited Ingredient Chicken, Potato, and whole Egg Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Peas, Potatoes
If you want to enhance your toy dog’s health, Canidae dog food is all you need. This grain-free pure puppy L.I.D. dog food features nine wholesome ingredients that support lean muscle growth, digestive health, organ functioning, and overall nourishment.
The small breed dog food delivers a precise blend of probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. The recipe also features omega fatty acids that nourish your dog’s skin and coat. Finally, the formula has no grains, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives so that your dog receives high-quality nutrition.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection recipe for toy and small breeds is a fantastic food option for your four-legged companion. The recipe features real deboned chicken, fruits and vegetables, and added antioxidants and nutrients to keep your dog healthy. This dry dog food is rich in carbohydrates to match the high energy requirements of toy breeds.
The kibble pieces are small for easy chewing and help with plaque buildup. Additionally, the recipe has glucosamine and omega fatty acids to improve your toy dog’s mobility and keep its coat luxurious. It has no wheat, soy, corn, or by-product meals and is ideal for little dogs.
6. Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat
Instinct Raw Boost is a high-protein recipe for your little dog. It features freeze-dried raw meat for toy and small breeds. If you want to unlock your pet’s potential to thrive by offering raw nutrition, this grain-free recipe is an excellent choice.
This dry dog food contains cage-free chicken as the chief ingredient. It has the ideal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to promote a healthy weight. The recipe also contains probiotics for digestive health and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It has everything your dog needs to stay happy, strong, and active.
7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
This recipe is perfect for toy and small breeds. It contains natural ingredients such as real animal protein. It also has probiotics for optimal digestive health and antioxidants for a strong immune system. The recipe also features omega fatty acids and Vitamin E to help nourish skin and maintain a lustrous coat.
If you’re looking for a complete and balanced recipe for miniature or toy breeds, the Hill’s Science dry dog food is a great option. It’s a scientifically proven diet that supports a healthy lifestyle.
8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Potato & Duck Formula Small Breed Bites Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Sweet Potatoes
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet (L.I.D.) is grain-free and contains premium protein sources. This recipe is perfect for toy and small breeds that are sensitive to common ingredients. It helps prevent adverse allergic reactions and digestive issues.
Natural Balance’s Potato & Duck recipe features farm-raised duck as the primary ingredient and potatoes as highly-digestible carbohydrates. The recipe offers natural goodness to strengthen your toy dog’s immune system. It also contains flaxseed oil to maintain your dog’s shiny coat. Finally, the small kibble size and crunchy texture is ideal for smaller jaws and helps remove tartar buildup.
9. Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Red Lentils Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb Meal, Red Lentils
Nulo Freestyle offers simple nutrition to keep your dog active and healthy. This recipe delivers long-lasting energy and is easy to digest. It features low glycemic ingredients and healthy carb alternatives to feed your toy dog’s inner athlete.
It contains 84% protein from premium sources such as salmon, turkey, and lamb. The kibble size is extra small to deliver the amazing taste and texture that your little dog will love.
10. NUTRO Toy Breed Adult Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Lamb Meal
This recipe contains premium lean proteins, antioxidant-rich fruits, and vegetables to help your dog thrive and stay active. It features farm-raised, deboned chicken as the primary ingredient for muscle nourishment. The toy breed formula has a patented Superfood Blend to strengthen your tiny dog’s immune system. It has 25% crude protein and 16% crude fat to address the high metabolism of toy breeds. Also, the small size kibble is extra crunchy to promote oral health.
11. Solid Gold Mighty Mini Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Pea Protein
If you are looking for a holistic formula for your toy breed, Solid Gold Mighty Mini is a good choice. Solid Gold Mighty Mini is completely free of meat by-product meal, wheat, corn, soy, sugar, artificial preservatives, or added flavors.
This grain- and gluten-free recipe features real chicken and hearty vegetables for optimal nutrition. Other wholesome ingredients include cranberries, blueberries, almond oil, kelp, and lentils. It also contains omega fatty acids to meet your tiny dog’s dietary needs.
12. Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Wheat, Ground
The Eukanuba dry dog food provides proper nutrition to support your toy breed puppy’s growing body. It contains high-quality animal proteins and optimized fats and carbs so that your puppy can stay fit and healthy. Additionally, this dry food contains optimal levels of phosphorus, calcium, and D.H.A. It also has prebiotics and natural fiber for easy digestion. If you want to enhance your pup’s mind and body health, consider this option from Eukanuba.
13. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch
This recipe features an optimal balance of energy and nutrition. It contains omega fatty acids to make sure your dog looks and feels great. This recipe is easy on your toy dog’s digestive system and uses high-quality ingredients, including deboned chicken and menhaden fish meal. Other premium ingredients offer fats and carbs to meet your pet’s energy requirements and encourage an active lifestyle.
The smaller kibble size for smaller jaws provides antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by animal nutritionists. Finally, the recipe has all-natural ingredients and is free from by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
14. Purina Pro Plan Adult Toy Breed Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, 5-lb bag
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Beef Fat
Purina Pro Plan is specialized dog food for toy breeds. It has high protein content and calories to match your small dog’s growth requirements and energy levels.
The formula is free of common allergens like soy, corn, and wheat. Your toy dog will love the premium-quality ingredients, including chicken and rice. The recipe also features natural prebiotic fiber to provide immune and digestive support. Overall, it’s a great choice for your little furry friend.
15. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice, Grain Sorghum
This Diamonds Natural dog food is ideal for the special needs of toy breed dogs. Chicken meal and other anti-oxidant rich ingredients make it suitable for their sensitive immune system. The carbs and proteins provide essential nutrients for optimal health and activity levels of toy dogs.
This recipe is well-balanced and free of by-products or fillers. It has nutritious superfoods like blueberries, kale, pumpkin, and chia seeds. Additionally, it contains a proprietary K9 Strain probiotic blend to support your dog’s digestive health. If you’re looking for a complete and balanced holistic diet for your petite pooch, this one is a great choice.
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Buying Guide – Toy Dog Nutrition Guidelines
Despite their small size, toy breed dogs may require more calories per pound than large-breed dogs. Their higher metabolic rates affect their nutritional needs in puppyhood. Proper diet can also help address many health concerns as they age.
Toy dogs require a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are not strictly carnivores and may rely on fruits and vegetables for a complete and balanced diet. Many pet parents prefer to feed their dogs commercial dog foods. Most commercial pet foods are affordable and can help your dog stay fit and healthy. Feeding a dry or canned commercial diet can easily fulfill your dog’s nutritional needs.
Best Food for Toy Breed Puppies
It’s dangerous to assume that toy breeds are low maintenance and easy to feed. Toy breeds need a healthy diet to prevent health conditions such as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar levels, and toy breed puppies can develop this condition. High metabolic rates and low sugar and fat reserves in toy breeds can trigger hypoglycemic episodes. You should offer calorie-dense, toy breed puppy food and watch closely for symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia in toy dogs:
- Muscle tremors
Most complete and balanced toy breed puppy foods contain essential nutrients for toy breed dogs. They also feature smaller kibbles, making them easier to chew and preventing a choking hazard. Consult with your vet about hypoglycemia risks and how you can help prevent it. If you suspect your toy puppy has hypoglycemia, call your vet immediately.
Best Dog Food for Toy Breed Adults
Finding the best food for toy breed adults is tricky. There are many options claiming to offer supreme-quality nutrition. You can narrow your search and save time by asking your veterinarian for dog food recommendations. Veterinarians have access to the latest information and research on dog nutrition, making them a valuable resource for the decision-making process. Your vet might recommend breed-specific food or generic brands that offer the best food for toy breeds, depending on your toy dog’s health.
Toy breed adult dogs require more calories per pound than large dogs, and they also need smaller kibbles. You should always choose high quality, nutrient-dense diet for toy breeds. While toy dogs need more calories per pound than their larger counterparts, you should never try to overfeed them. Obesity is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to dog nutrition. Obese toy dogs are prone to a variety of health issues, including:
- Heart and respiratory disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cranial cruciate ligament injury
- Kidney disease
Best Food for Toy Breed Senior Dogs
Toy breed dogs usually live longer than large breed dogs. A diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent free radical damage over a long lifespan. Look for the best foods for toy breeds that contain plenty of antioxidants.
Both adult and all life-stage formulas are ideal for senior dogs. There is no senior, geriatric, or mature toy dog food nutrient profile recognized by AAFCO.
Senior toy breed dogs may develop health problems that require dietary restrictions or prescription diets. Prescription senior diets are clinically proven to help treat many health conditions. Your vet may recommend a prescription diet for your senior dog if it is necessary.
How to Read Dog Food Labels
One of the first things dog owners look at is the dog food label. This is a great practice, but dog food labels can be misleading and hard to interpret. You need to consider a few things as you look at the label:
- Look for the standard statement “complete and balanced.”
- Check the life stages (i.e., puppy, adult, senior, all life stages).
- Examine the ingredients for any allergens your toy dog may have.
“Complete and balanced” toy dog food contains vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for optimal health. It helps ensure that your toy dog does not suffer from a nutrient deficiency. Choosing the appropriate life stage formula also helps keep your dog nutritionally satisfied. You want to avoid common dietary allergens to prevent your dog from suffering from adverse allergic reactions.
The ingredient list shows all the primary ingredients, but it won’t tell you about the ingredient quality. The best way to determine if the food has quality ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and fruits is to consult your veterinarian.
You can also contact the manufacturer and ask for a complete nutritional analysis of the product. You can present this analysis to your vet and ask for the best recommendations. Most manufacturers have nutritional information on their websites, and you can also call their customer service representatives. Some of the questions to ask are:
- Do you follow AAFCO feeding trials?
- Have you participated in clinical studies?
- Do you manufacture your products in-house?
- How do you source the ingredients?
- How many calories are in each serving?
Cost of Toy Breed Dog Food
Dog food is a vital part of their development and preventative care, so it’s important to invest as much as possible. When it comes to pet food, you usually get what you pay for. Stay away from cheap food options, and choose high-quality dog foods.
By consulting your veterinarian and comparing different dog food brands, you should find the best dog food for toy dogs that also suits your budget.
Specialty Diets for Toy Breed Dogs
You’ll find several new pet food trends, including raw diets, home-cooked pet meals, and grain-free diets. If you want a non-traditional diet for your toy breed dog, consult with your veterinarian. There are many concerns associated with some of these trends, especially raw food.
Some toy dogs are allergic to common ingredients. If your toy dog has a food allergy or sensitivity, consider giving them a novel protein diet or limited-ingredient dog food.
How Much Should I Feed My Toy Breed Dog?
Finding the best dog food for toy breeds can help your dog live a long and healthy life. And figuring out how much to feed them is the next step. The guidelines on the back of the dog food bag are a good place to start. You may need to closely monitor your dog’s weight to see if he loses or gains weight when you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I not feed my toy breed dog?
Here are some of the ingredients which you should never feed your toy breed dog. These include avocadoes, chocolate, onions, eggplant, garlic, plums, grapes, nutmeg, fat trimmings, and macadamia nuts.
How do I know if my toy dog has food allergies?
One of the most common symptoms of food allergies in toy dogs is itchy and dry skin. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and watery eyes. If you suspect your dog is suffering from food allergies, you may want to consult your vet about changing your dog’s diet.
Can I change my dog’s protein diet?
Yes, rotational protein diets are beneficial for your dog and are a great way to receive balanced nutrients.
Is chicken bad for toy dogs?
No! chicken is a natural source of proteins and is beneficial for your toy dog. However, if your dog experiences gastrointestinal issues by eating chicken, consider paying a visit to the local vet.
Are eggs good for toy dogs?
It is best to avoid feeding raw, uncooked eggs to your toy dog. Raw eggs a breeding ground for bacteria, and providing raw eggs to your toy dog can lead to serious health problems. On the other hand, cooked eggs are an excellent source of protein, and most toy dogs find them delicious.
Can my toy dog eat bananas?
Your toy dog can enjoy eating bananas as long as you offer them in moderation. Always provide bananas as a treat and not as a regular part of your dog’s diet. These fruits are sugary and can upset your pet’s tummy.
Is cucumber good for toy dogs?
Yes. Cucumber is harmless for toy dogs. It’s best to cut the cucumber into small pieces before feeding it to your little pooch.
Is cheese good for toy dogs?
Yes, your dogs can eat all types of cheese, provided they aren’t lactose intolerant. Keep in mind that cheese is a fatty food, so you should avoid overfeeding your dog.
Can toy dogs eat rice?
It’s safe to let your toy dog have rice. Some of the best dog foods for toy dogs include brown rice in their primary ingredients. That’s because rice readily converts into usable energy for the dog’s body.
Can I feed raw meat to a toy breed dog?
You can feed raw meat to your toy dog, but it may not the best choice. Many people are strong advocates for raw diets and argue they are closer to their dog’s ancestral diets. However, feeding a raw diet can be harmful as raw meat contains bacteria and viruses. Remember, your toy dog is just a domestic dog so treat it like one!
How to stop a toy dog from eating poop?
Some toy dogs can eat poop if their diet is not healthy or if they’re stressed out. To stop your toy dog from eating poop, make sure the toy dog food contains no fillers. Reexamine the dietary intake of your pet and limit its access to poop.
Do toy dogs have milk intolerance?
Most toy dogs are lactose intolerant. That’s because they don’t have the enzyme lactase for digesting milk. It’s best to avoid feeding milk to toy breed dogs.
What’s the best dog food for toy breeds with a sensitive stomach?
If your toy breed dog has a sensitive stomach, consider the Hills Science Diet’s Sensitive Stomach and Skin recipe. It contains lower protein content (21%) and high fiber content for better digestion.
What nutrients help maintain a toy dog’s skin and coat?
Omega fatty acids are essential for your toy dog’s skin and coat. Fish like salmon and sardine are an excellent source of these nutrients. Flaxseed oil and fish oil are also good sources for omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Can my toy breed dog eat table scraps?
Experts advise against feeding table scraps to your toy breed dog. That’s because toy dogs have specific dietary requirements.
Which fruits and vegetables are poisonous for toy dogs?
Some fruits and vegetables are poisonous to toy dogs. These include raisins, grapes, onions, mushrooms, and cherries. Feeding these can cause seizures, organ failure, tremors and can also be fatal.
Can my toy dog eat broccoli?
Broccoli is a wonderful snack for toy dogs because it has high Vitamin C and fiber content. Also, it is low in fat and safe for your little pooch.
Can my toy dog eat peanut butter?
Xylitol is a refined, artificial sweetener and is very toxic to dogs. It’s always important to read the label and check if the peanut butter you’re buying contains xylitol. Other than that, peanut butter is an excellent source of healthy fats and proteins. It enhances mobility and supports muscle development. Homemade, unsweetened peanut butter is a great lower-calorie option.
Can my toy dog eat an apple?
Apples are safe for toy dogs as long as you take the necessary precautions. You can serve apple slices as a healthy snack. But feeding multiple apples a day can cause an upset stomach. Also, it is important to remove seeds from the apple before feeding your toy dog. That’s because apple seeds are toxic to dogs.
Are grains safe for toy dogs?
Grains are generally safe for your toy dog. However, if you have a sensitive dog, you may want to buy grain-free dog food to prevent allergy flare-ups.