What are the best dog foods for different sized dogs?

2 dogs on a yellow background

We’ve found that most dog parents tend to have strong opinions over which is the ‘perfect sized’ dog…

Small breed dog owners like the compact cuddliness of a Shih Tzu or Toy Poodle; those drawn to medium-sized dogs appreciate the high-energy, family-oriented nature of a Cocker Spaniel or Border Collie, whereas lovers of large dogs, like a Doberman, enjoy a pooch that’s huge and powerful on the outside, and a big softie on the inside.

Whatever the size of your doggy companion, it’s important that they’re fed the right food based on whether they’re large, medium or small – as it’s actually not as simple as feeding less or more. Read on for our guide to feeding your dog the right food for their size.

Choosing the right dog food for your size/breed

There are some logical differences in food for small dogs and food for large dogs – such as the size of kibble pieces. Smaller dogs will require food that actually fits in their mouths and is somewhat easier to chew, whereas larger dogs, in contrast, will require a larger volume of food per meal.

Less obvious differences, however, are in nutritional content. Did you know that smaller dogs require a higher number of proteins and fats than larger dogs, for instance?  In this respect, it’s super important to research which food suits your particular dog breed before you raid the pet food aisle.

Best dog food for small dogs

Not only does your pint-sized pooch have a penchant for lap snuggles and window yapping, but they have special dietary requirements, too.

Small dogs need high-quality proteins and fats in their dog food. This is because due to their smaller stomachs, they digest the small amounts of food more quickly, therefore the food they do eat needs to contain a more condensed level of nutrients than dogs with larger stomachs and bodies.

The best food for small dogs will contain a complex matrix of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, and in some cases will have a higher rate of digestibility than food larger dogs eat. As small dogs are more prone to allergies, choosing a tasty grain-free dog food is also a sensible idea.

The portion size of each of your dog’s meals will also be smaller, but how much will be dependent on size, breed and whether your dog is particularly active. Check with your vet for personal recommendations.

Should I feed my small dog food for puppies? 

The short answer is no. Puppies and small dogs may be similar sizes, but they have very different dietary requirements – so don’t feed puppy food to small dogs and think it should suffice (and vice versa). 



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