14 Best Dog Foods for Miniature Pinschers

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

While the Miniature Pinscher weighs only 9 pounds and stands at 12.5 inches, they certainly make up for it in personality. They are noble-looking dogs with streamlined bodies and sleek, shiny coats. Their heads are an elongated wedge shape framed by pointy ears. Miniature Pinschers are small in size but still look formidable because of their piercing dark eyes.

Often referred to as the ‘King of Toys’ or affectionately called a ‘Min Pin’, this breed makes for a spirited watchdog. While their background is still a mystery, many breed historians think that the Miniature Pinscher is possibly related to the Dachshund, the Italian Greyhound, and the German Pinscher.

When it comes to the Min Pin’s nutritional needs, they need a well-balanced diet that delivers more calories per pound. Small-breed dogs need richer foods than large-breed dogs to maintain a healthy weight and energy levels. Due to their high metabolism rate and small stomachs, Miniature Pinschers need nutrient-dense food that is packed into the right-sized kibble. Their food should be high in healthy fats and protein since they burn through energy much faster.

We have carefully selected the best food for your Miniature Pinscher after reviewing the available options using our 40-point inspection list.

The Best Dog Foods for Miniature Pinschers

Best ProductsRatingsTop Ingredients
1. Natural Balance: L.I.D. Small Breed Bites Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula4.8Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes…
2. Diamond: Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula4.7Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground White Rice…
3. ACANA: Wholesome Grains Small Breed Recipe Gluten-Free5Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oat Groats…
4. Solid Gold: Wee Bit Bison & Brown Rice Recipe with Pearled Barley Small Breed4.7Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Oatmeal…
5. Blue Buffalo: Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe4.7Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice…
6. Wellness: Small Breed Complete Health Adult Turkey & Oatmeal Recipe4.6Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal…
7. Taste of the Wild: Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free4.6Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans…

1. Natural Balance: L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Potatoes

This grain-free recipe by Natural Balance is made using limited ingredients for small-breed dogs. The source of protein is farm-raised chicken while sweet potatoes provide a rich source of energy. This kibble is the right size for your Miniature Pinscher and contains the right balance of nutrients. Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants make this a nutrient-dense meal for your pet.

Natural Balance uses the combined experience of a team of board-certified clinical veterinarians, animal nutritionists, research scientists, design engineers and pet feeding analysts to make the best food for your pet.

2. Diamond: Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Cracked Pearled Barley

This kibble by Diamond packs a punch with 32% protein from real chicken and chicken meal. Chicken is accompanied by superfoods such as blueberries, pumpkin, and kale which are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The added proprietary probiotic blend in this kibble makes it easy to digest, while the DHA supports brain and eye health.

Diamond uses no fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy. Their formulas are crafted in state-of-the-art facilities with exceptional food safety protocols.

3. ACANA: Wholesome Grains Small Breed Recipe Gluten-Free Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oat Groats, Whole Sorghum, Whole Millet

Acana is a premium pet food brand that only uses the best local ingredients. This gluten-free kibble is made for small-breed dogs with real chicken as the primary source of protein. Along with chicken, this kibble is also flavored with catfish meal and turkey.

This kibble is made rich in fiber from quality grains such as sorghum, millet, and oats so it will be gentle on your pet’s stomach. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids keep your Min Pin’s coat healthy, while DHA and EPA keep his/her brain sharp and focused.

4. Solid Gold: Wee Bit Bison & Brown Rice Recipe with Pearled Barley Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

This recipe by Solid Gold is made using protein from bison meat and ocean fish meal. The kibble combines bison protein, healthy fats, and wholesome grains for a complete and balanced meal. A unique blend of twenty superfoods makes this kibble rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for immune support.

Solid Gold believes in the importance of gut health and delivers 90 million probiotics per pound of kibble. This kibble also contains taurine, L-carnitine, omega fatty acids, and DHA for whole-body health.

5. Blue Buffalo: Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley

Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection formula ensures the health and well-being of your Miniature Pinscher. This recipe uses chicken, chicken meal, and fish meal as the source of protein. The brown rice, oatmeal, and barley in this kibble serve as a rich source of carbohydrates and fiber. The size and crunchy texture of this kibble makes it easy for your pet to chew while preventing tartar build-up. The omega fatty acids, glucosamine, taurine, and L-carnitine ensure the overall health of your pet.

6. Wellness: Small Breed Complete Health Adult Turkey & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice

Wellness’ Complete Health kibble is the perfect size for your small-breed dog. This recipe is high in protein (28%) from turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal. This formula is designed to support whole-body health by promoting higher energy levels as well as immune and coat health. This kibble also contains brown rice, oatmeal, and barley for sustained energy and digestive support.

The added vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and taurine work together to keep your pet strong and healthy. This kibble is free of any fillers, by-products, and artificial additives.

7. Taste of the Wild: Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils

This recipe by Taste of The Wild is high in protein from premium meats such as venison and lamb. This grain-free kibble is high in protein and fats which is exactly what your Miniature Pinscher needs. Wholesome fruits and vegetables enrich this recipe further by adding vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The taurine and omega fatty acids in this kibble promote heart and skin health. This filler-free kibble is made with quality ingredients and contains species-specific probiotics for digestive health.

8. ORIJEN: Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Quail, Eggs, Whole Blue Whiting

Orijen is a luxury food brand that uses a “Wholeprey approach” to include the most nutrient-dense and delicious parts of the animal in their recipes. This recipe by Orijen is great for a highly active Miniature Pinscher with high amounts of protein (38%) and fat (18%). This recipe includes organ meats and bones for a balanced biologically appropriate diet. The DHA, glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids ensure whole-body health. This kibble is easy to digest due to added probiotics.

9. Nutro: Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice

Nutro believes in natural, purposeful nutrition and selects only the best local ingredients. This recipe by Nutro includes protein from chicken and chicken meal. The barley, split peas, and brown rice are rich sources of fiber and carbohydrates. This kibble is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from coconut, pumpkin, kale, and spinach for immune health. The non-GMO ingredients in this formula are natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints and muscles.

10. Instinct: Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

Instinct’s Raw Boost formula is high in protein (35%) from chicken and chicken meal. Along with the kibble, there are pieces of real freeze-dried chicken, chicken liver, and heart that will ensure your Min Pin licks his bowl clean. This grain-free kibble maintains strong bones with the right balance of calcium and phosphorus, along with naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin. Your pet will have no trouble digesting this delicious kibble due to fiber-rich ingredients and added probiotics.

11. Wellness: CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Mini Meals Shredded Chicken & Turkey in Gravy

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient for Processing, Potato Starch, Turkey

This wet food by Wellness can be served to your pet as a complete meal, a treat, or a topper for kibble. This recipe includes shredded chicken in a gravy so you can be sure your dog is getting his daily fluids. This wet food contains no corn, wheat, or soy and is grain-free for easy digestion. The minerals in this recipe are chelated with amino acids for easy absorption. Additionally, it also includes vitamins E, D, and B that contribute to immune health.

12. Merrick: Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Turkey Meal

Merrick’s Classic Healthy Grains recipe is made for small-breed dogs with the right balance of nutrients. This kibble includes chicken and chicken meal as a rich source of protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin. The protein source is accompanied by brown rice, barley, and quinoa which provide your pet with energy and fiber. Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants provide immune support. This kibble will keep your pet’s coat shiny and provide digestive support due to the Omega fatty acids and probiotics.

13. Solid Gold: Mighty Mini Gut Health Small & Toy Breed Puppy Grain-Free Chicken, Chickpea & Pumpkin Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Pea Protein

Solid Gold’s grain-free formula is crafted using real chicken and chicken meal for a rich source of protein. The peas and chickpeas in this formula are a fiber-rich and low-glycemic source of energy. With a single source of protein, this kibble is great for small-breed puppies with sensitive stomachs. This grain-free recipe is created using 20 nutrient-dense superfoods such as carrots, pumpkins, blueberries, and broccoli which provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This recipe is designed to keep your pet’s brain, gut, and coat healthy.

14. Annamaet: Original Small Breed Formula Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Dry Eggs, Herring Meal

Annamaet’s small-breed recipe contains chicken meal which is a rich source of protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin. This recipe contains protein (32%) from multiple sources such as chicken meal, herring meal, and eggs to form a particularly protein-rich kibble. Brown rice and millet provide your pet with energy and fiber for healthy digestion. This recipe is made with natural, non-GMO fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. DHA, Omega fatty acids, and L-carnitine contribute to whole-body health for the long-term.

Buyer’s Guide

Big things come in small packages! Just like your Miniature Pinscher who, while small in size, certainly feels like a bigger dog. However, their nutritional needs differ from their large counterparts due to certain factors that need to be taken into consideration. All dogs need the six essential nutrients that include:

  • Water
  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

But the ratio of these nutrients can vary depending on the size of your dog.

Dietary Considerations for Your Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinschers are highly active small-breed dogs. Due to their small size, there are certain key differences between the digestive systems and metabolism of small-breed dogs compared to large-breed dogs. Small-breed formulas are made with the following factors in mind:

1. Metabolism

Due to its small size, the Miniature Pinscher has a faster metabolism. This means that your small-breed dog will need more calories per pound of body weight as compared to a larger dog. Small-breed diets are nutrient-dense to meet these specific needs.

2. Mouth Size

Small-breed dogs have smaller mouths as compared to large dogs. As a result, the kibble needs to be the right size for them to chew easily. If the kibble is too big for them, it can lead to indigestion or choking.

3. Smaller Stomachs

Due to their smaller stomachs, Miniature Pinschers cannot eat as much as a larger dog. Small-breed formulas are calorie-rich so they can meet your pet’s nutritional needs with a small amount.

4. Time Taken For Digestion

Miniature Pinschers can digest their food in a short amount of time due to their faster metabolism. As a result, they need highly digestible ingredients in their diet to prevent digestive issues.

Small-breed diets contain highly digestible ingredients, fiber, and added probiotics to aid digestion. These ensure that your dog can actually absorb the nutrients from the food rather than passing them out unused in their stool.

5. Risk of Overfeeding

Your Miniature Pinscher needs a nutrient-dense food that can aid in feeling fuller for longer. This does not mean a small-breed dog needs more food, just more nutrients in their food. The right amount of nutrition can prevent problems such as obesity in the future.

6. Treat Smartly

Small puppies will often beg for treats but you have to keep in mind that their small tummies can only take so much food daily. Good, wholesome food is the best for your pet rather than calorie-rich fatty treats or table scraps. Nutritionists recommend that only 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake should consist of treats. Use healthier treats such as fresh fruits and vegetables that are good for your pet.

7. Blood Sugar Levels

Since they have a faster metabolism, small-breed dogs are at a risk for having low blood sugar levels which can lead to weakness, dizziness, nausea, and trembling. This is more of a risk for Miniature Pinscher puppies rather than adults but it is always recommended that you split your pet’s daily calorie intake into several meals. Not only will this make digestion easier but can also lead to feeling full for longer.

How to Buy Food for Your Miniature Pinscher

When it comes to shopping for products, it can be intimidating and overwhelming due to the multitude of options available. It is important that you make an informed decision which is why you should have knowledge about what is included in a good product. The following guidelines can help you choose the best food that will suit your miniature pinscher’s nutritional needs.

1. Well-Balanced Nutrition

Look for high-quality products that provide well-balanced nutrition. A well-balanced recipe should include quality meat sources, healthy and easily digestible carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and Omega fatty acids.

High-quality products provide richer nutrition so you won’t have to worry about your miniature pinscher eating too much. The right balance of necessary nutrients makes for a complete meal that your pet will enjoy.

2. Check The Ingredient List

Always read the ingredient list to be sure about what is included. Sometimes, a label might say that the source of protein is turkey, but chicken fat is also included which cannot be consumed by pets with a chicken allergy. It is also probable that you will find vague listings such as “meat meal” and “poultry by-products” which give you no clue as to what is included. Learning to identify ingredients is also very important. There are certain ingredients that do not belong in your pet’s food such as wheat, corn, and soy.

3. Look for Named Ingredients

You should not make a purchase if the ingredients are not identifiable. If you see a mention of “meat meal”, “poultry by-products”, or “meat by-products”. you cannot be sure if the food is safe for your dog. Miniature Pinschers that have allergies or sensitivities should never be fed a food with vague listings.

4. Calcium and Phosphorus for Puppies

When buying food for your Miniature Pinscher puppy, make sure it contains the right balance of calcium and phosphorus. The recommended ratio is 1.2 parts of calcium for 1 part of phosphorus but slight variations are also fine. Your pup needs calcium and phosphorus to support his growing bones and joints.

5. Sources of Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids are key for whole-body health in dogs as they play many vital roles. They contribute to the health of many organs such as the brain, eyes, and skin. They are also responsible for vitamin and mineral absorption. When buying ingredients, always look for ingredients that are rich sources of omega fatty acids such as fish oil, fish meal, sunflower oil, canola oil, and flaxseed.

6. Kibble Size

You also need to consider the size of the kibble when buying food for your Miniature Pinscher. They are small-breed dogs so they need a smaller sized kibble or they will have difficulty chewing it. In addition, a small-breed sized kibble is also easier to digest because of their small stomachs. Small-breed kibble is designed to provide the higher calories that your pet needs.

7. Life-Stage Appropriate Nutrition

Always look for the label that states “complete and balanced meal”. This is a sign that the pet food in question meets the AAFCO requirements for life-stage appropriate nutrition. A Miniature Pinscher puppy cannot be fed an adult diet. Similarly, an adult Miniature Pinscher cannot be fed a senior diet. Every life-stage has a unique set of needs that can only be met by life-stage appropriate dog food.

8. Special Considerations

Your Miniature Pinscher will have his/her unique needs that you also need to consider. If your pet has sensitivities or allergies, you will have to make changes in their diet. Their dietary preferences also matter. Even if a dog food ticks all the boxes on your list, your pet still might not like it. You should consult a vet if you are unsure about what to feed your pet.


Is dry food better for my Miniature Pinscher?

While dry food is easy to store and more affordable, you will have to do your research before making a purchase. You should make sure that all ingredients in your dog’s kibble are high-quality and can be traced back to trustworthy sources.

Is wet food better for my Miniature Pinscher?

Your pet might prefer wet food over dry food due to its flavor and texture. Generally speaking, wet food is better since the ingredients are less processed and retain more of their natural flavors and textures.

Are Miniature Pinschers picky eaters?

Miniature Pinschers can be picky eaters and you might need to go through a trial-and-error process to find something they will like.

What human food can I give to my Miniature Pinscher?

You can give your Miniature Pinscher fresh fruits and vegetables in moderation. Avoid giving them table scraps as they are high in fat and sodium which can cause digestive issues. The best nutrition for your Miniature Pinscher is present in their favorite dog food since it contains the balance of nutrients dogs need to thrive.

What human food should I avoid giving my Miniature Pinscher?

You should avoid giving your Miniature Pinscher the following:

  • Candy
  • Gum
  • Baked goods
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Almonds
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice-cream
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Any foods sweetened using Xylitol

What ingredients should I avoid in my Miniature Pinscher’s food?

You should always check the ingredient list when purchasing food for your pet to make sure it does not contain the following eight ingredients. These preservatives and artificial additives have been associated with severe health concerns such as cancer and anemia in dogs.

  • Propylene glycol
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Menadione
  • Artificial dyes

How much food should I feed my Miniature Pinscher?

Miniature Pinschers need one ounce of food per pound of body weight. For puppies, you can spread this over three to four meals a day. For adult pets, two meals a day are sufficient.

How can I switch my Miniature Pinscher’s food to a new one?

Start off by mixing the new food with old food, adding 25% more of the new food daily. Your dog might have an upset stomach initially, but a healthy pet can easily transition to a new food within two weeks. If digestive discomfort persists, consult your vet.

What size kibble is best for my Miniature Pinscher?

Miniature Pinschers are small-breed dogs so they need a smaller sized kibble which is 7×8 millimeters. They will struggle to chew on a bigger kibble or swallow it whole which can lead to choking and indigestion.

When should I switch my Miniature Pinscher to an adult formula?

Miniature Pinschers are considered adults at 10 to 11 months of age so this is when you should switch them to an adult formula.

Can I put my Miniature Pinscher on a rotational diet?

Yes, a rotational diet is great for picky eaters like the Miniature Pinscher. This way, you can also prevent the development of food allergies.

How can I improve my Miniature Pinscher’s coat with his diet?

Formulas that contain the right balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids ensure coat health. You can also use Omega-3 fish oil as a supplement to improve your pet’s coat.

What can my Miniature Pinscher develop an allergy to?

Some common possible allergens for your Miniature Pinscher include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy products
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Yeast

What should I give my Miniature Pinscher if they have an upset stomach?

You should feed your dog a bland diet when they are sick as it will be gentle on their stomach. Foods that can aid an upset stomach and reduce your dog’s symptoms include:

  • Plain pumpkin
  • Oatmeal
  • Unsweetened yoghurt
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chicken and rice

What can I do if my Miniature Pinscher has allergies?

If your Miniature Pinscher has allergies, the first step is consulting your vet to determine the exact cause of their allergy. If the symptoms are severe, a professional can treat your dog using steroids, antihistamines, or allergy shots, also referred to as immunotherapy. You can opt for a veterinary diet or hypoallergenic foods to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction in the future.

Is a limited ingredient diet better for my Miniature Pinscher?

Limited ingredient diets can be great for pets that have food-related sensitivities or allergies. If Your Miniature Pinscher suffers from any of the two, then you can feed them a formula with limited ingredients. Even healthy pets can benefit from limited ingredient diets since they reduce the risk of allergies.

How much exercise does my Miniature Pinscher need?

Miniature Pinschers are a very smart and lively breed and require a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes of intensive exercise daily. If they do not get an opportunity to release their energy, they can develop behavior problems such as excessive barking.

Should I feed my Miniature Pinscher a raw diet?

If you can prepare a raw diet for your pet, or afford to feed them a raw diet consistently, it is a good option. Raw diets are biologically appropriate and, if prepared well, can provide your pet with all the necessary nutrients in safer and healthier ways than most commercial pet foods.

What treats are best for my Miniature Pinscher?

Most treats tend to be high in calories, so it is better to opt for healthier options. The healthiest treats you can give to your miniature pinscher (in moderation) are fresh fruits and vegetables (without seeds), freshly cooked lean meats, baked sweet potatoes, unsalted almonds, and peanut butter.

How many calories does my Miniature Pinscher need in a day?

A Miniature Pinscher needs a healthy diet of 220 calories per day to enjoy a healthy and energetic lifestyle. Although, the average calorie intake may vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and activity level. Adult Miniature Pinschers need 44 calories per pound of body weight.