Best Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs: The Best Kibble for Your Best Friend

A Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs

Small dog breeds are boisterous, spunky, and incredibly intelligent. You want to nurture that incredible mind with the best dry dog food for small dogs. It’s important that you feed your pup the right food to prevent allergies, stomach problems, and even more severe issues.

Keep in mind that not every small breed will have the same eating habits or tastes, so you might have to play around with their food a bit before finding one that works. If you have a pup, you know how fussy they can sometimes be.

Keep your unique doggo in mind when choosing the best dry dog food for small dogs.

Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs: Q&A

If you want to make the right decision on dog food for your pup, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Many people have questions and concerns about choosing food and for a good reason. We hope to answer some of those questions for you.

How to choose the right dry dog food?

Why do small dogs need special dog food?

What if my dog has allergies or sensitivities?

Is grain-free the way to go?

What ingredients are bad for my pup?

Let’s clear the air right away. The best dry dog food for small dogs will not contain any of the following ingredients.

Artificial flavoring

BHA or BHT

Corn syrup

By-product meal

How We Reviewed

We understand how important it is for you to choose the best dry dog food for small dogs. You want to make the right decision for your pup that you care about so much. After all, we care a lot about what we put into our bodies; we need to do the same for our doggies.

We take the most reliable information from animal research websites, food manufacturers, breeders, and personal experience. We’re dog owners ourselves, and we care tremendously about what we feed them.

We’re lucky to live in a world where pet owners are entitled to nutritional information, which makes it much easier to feed our dogs right. All the foods we recommend here have passed through an extensive inspection, so they only contain the best ingredients (including none of the aforementioned).

Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs

It’s time to get into the best dry dog food for small dogs. Now you should know how to choose the right food and what to avoid. Here are some of our top picks.

Product Comparison Table

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free Adult Small Breed

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 11-lb
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: A recipe made to satisfy your dog's natural love for meat, this high protein dog food features real chicken to help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • GRAIN FREE SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: BLUE Wilderness grain free dog food for adult small breed dogs is made with the ingredients to help meet the unique energy requirements of smaller dogs with a special kibble ideal for smaller jaws.
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE's exclusive LifeSource Bits - a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.

Let’s start off with a grain-free choice from Blue Buffalo Wilderness. This dog food uses real chicken as the first ingredient, which is critically important. This grain-free diet works best for active young dogs that work off a lot of their energy throughout the day.

In addition to real meats and proteins, you get Blue Buffalo’s Lifesource Bits, which contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your pup needs for a healthy immune system.

This dog food does not contain any by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors. Pet parents who are concerned about allergies or gluten sensitivities would want to consider this food for their pup.

Where to buy

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Appalachian Valley Small Breed

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Appalachian Valley Premium Dry Dog Food
  • A taste of the wild with REAL VENISON as the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives Added

Next, we have a grain-free food that has a unique source of protein. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley uses venison as their primary protein. Venison is the first ingredient in this food with lamb meal being the second.

The only problem we have with this food is the varying sources of proteins. You’ll find venison, lamb, and duck in this blend. While that might not be the greatest, the food also contains an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and probiotics, which are great for gut health.

This recipe contains no grain, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or colors.

Where to buy

Wellness Core RawRev Natural Grain-Free Small Breed

Wellness Core Rawrev Natural Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken With Freeze Dried Turkey, 10-Pound Bag
  • Grain Free: Grain Free All Natural Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
  • Small Breed: High Protein Small Breed Kibble Made With Delicious Premium Proteins Including Turkey And Chicken Mixed With Freeze-Dried Bites Of 100% Raw Turkey
  • Raw Revolution: 100% Raw Freeze-Dried Bites Provide A Convenient And Safe Way To Introduce Raw Into Your Dog'S Diet

Here is a grain-free small breed formula from Wellness. We chose this as the best dog food for small breeds because it contains balanced nutrition with 100 percent raw bites and high-protein kibble. The recipe uses freeze-dried raw bites, which makes it easy to store and introduce your pup to a raw diet.


This recipe contains turkey as the first ingredient with turkey meal as the second. They also include carbohydrates from potatoes and peas with superfoods like ground flaxseed. Overall, this formula packs a punch with a lot of great ingredients that your pup is sure to love.

Where to buy

Nulo Small Breed Grain-Free Dog Food

Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food With Bc30 Probiotic (Salmon And Red Lentils Recipe, 11B Bag)
  • GRAIN-FREE recipe contains no corn; wheat; soy; white potatoes; tapioca; artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives. Based in Austin, TX and proudly made in the USA.
  • HIGH MEAT/LOW CARB proprietary formula 84% animal-based protein for more amino acids and better flavor. Nulo FreeStyle also uses fewer carbs and low glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potato and chickpeas.
  • SMALLER KIBBLE SIZE promotes proper chewing, less choking and better digestion. Miscanthus grass provides natural fiber to satisfy the faster small breed appetite without overfilling the smaller stomach.

This small breed dog food contains 84 percent animal-based protein with amino acids and lower glycemic ingredients to prevent sugar spikes. Nulo small breed also uses a smaller kibble size, which helps reduce the chances of choking, and it promotes better digestion.


This dog food gets made in the United States with no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial anything. The first five ingredients are deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, lamb meal, and red lentils. This food packs the protein-rich punch that your active small breed dog needs.

Where to buy

Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe

Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipe, 4-Pound, Beef
  • #1 Ingredient Is Real Deboned Beef
  • Recipe Provides Grain-Free Nutrition With No Gluten Ingredients For Easier Digestibility, Includes Omega Fatty Acids For Healthy Skin And Coat And Contains Probiotics And Prebiotic Fiber For Optimal Digestion.
  • Poultry-Free Recipe For Dogs With Sensitivities To Poultry Ingredients

Here we have a small breed dog food from the popular company Merrick. Their Lil’ Plates formula contains real deboned beef as the first ingredient with grain-free nutrition taking center stage. They exclude gluten from the recipe to try and make the food easier to digest for pups with food sensitivities.

Inside the formula, you’ll find omega-three fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with probiotics for digestion and gut health. They also make sure to use smaller crunchy kibble to make the food easier to chew while it also cleans your pup's teeth.

Something we particularly love about the Lil’ Plates brand is that they also offer some of their foods in pre-packaged portions that take the thinking out of feeding your small breed the right amount. They’ve put their own research in to make sure you don’t overfeed your dog.

The best dry dog food for small dogs will always contain real meats and vegetables as it’s first ingredients, and this one has plenty. Deboned beef, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes are the first ingredients in this formula.

Where to buy

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food for Small and Toy Breeds

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe, 15 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 15 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe; Natural Dog Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients
  • Farm-Raised Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient To Deliver Great Taste And Help Support Strong Muscles. Calorie Content: 3,674 kcal/kb
  • Tailored Nutrition For Your Small Breed'S Unique Needs

Here we have another whole diet dog food from Nutro. This one uses farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient with brown rice and sweet potatoes to complement it. They tailor this formula for small breeds and include omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health.

All of Nutro Wholesome Essentials foods use real protein sources with no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial anything.

Something we like about Nutro is the variety of offerings they have based on breeds and life stages. You have the option to choose a puppy or senior food for your small breed, as well. It’s important to cater to your pup's age as well as their size.

Where to buy

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds, Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula, 12 Pounds, Grain Free
  • Contains 1 - 12 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds
  • Limited ingredient diet with a single animal protein source
  • Real chicken is the #1 ingredient and helps maintain strong muscles

Finally, we have a limited ingredient diet from Natural Balance. I can personally vouch for this food, as I have fed it to my dog for the past three years. The limited ingredient diet means that it only has one source of protein throughout the entire bag.

For this recipe, they use chicken as their one and only animal protein source. When you have ingredients like chicken, salmon, lamb, and turkey, you end up triggering allergies, which are hard to identify because of the many sources of protein.

The small breed formula uses smaller kibble that is easier for your pup to chew. They also don’t use any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. This grain-free recipe contains chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and garbanzo beans as it’s first five ingredients. The only thing we don’t like about this recipe is the added salt halfway down the ingredients list.


Overall, one of the best dry dog food for small dogs and personally recommended by me if you have a pup with a sensitive stomach.

Where to buy

Keep Your Pup Healthy with the Right Food

Now you should have a solid understanding of how to choose the best dry dog food for small dogs. You might even have a specific food in mind from one of the recommended options above. Regardless of what you choose, you want to keep one important factor in mind.

It might not work for your pup.

What works for one doesn’t work for all, and your doggie might not like the flavor, the smell, the shape, or whatever. There is no one-size-fits-all choice, so you want to shop around a bit and try a few different things.

Purchase a small bag at first and make sure you wean your pup off their old food by mixing the two together and gradually increasing the percentage of new food.

Anyway, feed your dog the best dry dog food for small dogs and watch them hop, skip, bark, and snarl like never before! If you’ve tried any of these foods, make sure to drop us a comment and let us know what you think!

Featured Photo by bill emrich from Pexels

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