5 Best Small Puppy Foods (2022)

In this review, we’ll look at the best dog food for small breed puppies in 2022. 

We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money.

New Pup only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

Back To Contents

Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Fresh Chicken (27%)
      2. Freshly Prepared Salmon (10%)
      3. Chicken Liver (7%)
      4. Sweet Potatoes
      5. Pea Protein
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestagePuppy
    • Calories380 kCal/per 100 g
    • Protein
      29%

      29%

    • Fat
      16%

      16%

    • Fiber
      3%

      3%

    • 5
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Salmon *(27%)
      2. Dried Chicken *(21%)
      3. Sweet Potato
      4. Potato
      5. Chicken *(10%)
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestagePuppy
    • CaloriesNot Listed
    • Protein
      28%

      28%

    • Fat
      19%

      19%

    • Fiber
      3%

      3%

    • 4.8
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Fresh chicken meat (16%)
      2. chicken meal (13%)
      3. turkey meal (13%)
      4. red lentils
      5. whole green peas
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestagePuppy
    • CaloriesNot Listed
    • Protein
      33%

      33%

    • Fat
      20%

      20%

    • Fiber
      5%

      5%

    • 4.7
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Poultry meal (min 34% chicken)
      2. Maize
      3. Chicken fat
      4. Rice (min 5%)
      5. Chicken liver
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestagePuppy
    • CaloriesNot Listed
    • Protein
      28%

      28%

    • Fat
      16%

      16%

    • Fiber
      3%

      3%

    • 4.3
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Dried Chicken And Turkey (38%)
      2. Maize
      3. Wheat
      4. Animal Fat
      5. Dried Beet Pulp (3%)
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestagePuppy
    • CaloriesNot Listed
    • Protein
      33%

      33%

    • Fat
      21%

      21%

    • Fiber
      1.8%

      1.8%

    • 4.1
    • Buy now

Back To Contents

In-Depth Reviews

Lily’s Kitchen Complete Puppy Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Fresh Chicken (27%)
    2. Freshly Prepared Salmon (10%)
    3. Chicken Liver (7%)
    4. Sweet Potatoes
    5. Pea Protein

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 380 kCal/per 100 g
  • Protein: 29%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 3%

For an exceptional quality diet that meets all the hallmarks small breed puppies need, you can’t go wrong with Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe. A premium kibble that has been specifically formulated to meet the requirements of growing pups, Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe bases its formula on two lean proteins of exceptional quality: whole chicken and salmon. Salmon oil has also been added to this recipe to ensure a vital support for coat and skin health and brain and eye development. To assist with joint health and good digestion, this top tier food contains glucosamine and chondroitin as well as prebiotics. 

Considered to be one of the best dog foods for small breed puppies today, Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe is free from grains, instead making high fibre and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables the basis of this food’s carbohydrate profile. Completely free from fillers, this high-performance puppy diet contains no wheat, maize, or soya. Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe is the ideal diet for puppies aged 8 weeks to 8-12 months, depending on the growth rate of the puppy. 

Pros:

  • This diet is completely grain-free, making it an excellent choice for puppies with sensitive stomachs or allergies to grains. 
  • Chicken, chicken liver, and salmon all play starring roles in this diet. These are all lean meats of exceptional quality that provide ample amounts of the amino and essential fatty acids small breed puppies need as they grow. 
  • Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe is based on ingredients that are all natural. 

Cons:

  • This diet is heavy in pea protein, whole lentils, and whole peas, all ingredients that are of questionable nutritional value and that may be linked to lowered fertility rates in adult breeding dogs. 
  • Potato protein is one of the main ingredients in the carbohydrate profile, a vegetable that is high in starch and low in nutritional value. The inclusion of potato protein in this diet may cause rapid spikes in blood sugar in small breed puppies. 
  • This diet is a little on the costly side but offers excellent quality nutrition for small breed pups as they grow. 

Back To Contents

Barking Heads Dry Dog Food for Puppies – Puppy Days review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon *(27%)
    2. Dried Chicken *(21%)
    3. Sweet Potato
    4. Potato
    5. Chicken *(10%)

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 19%
  • Fiber: 3%

Barking Heads Puppy Days is one of the best dog foods for small breed puppies available for purchase today. A formulation that is jam-packed with flavour, the ingredients included in this diet were selected for their nutritional quality and taste to encourage even the pickiest of puppies to eat heartily. The foundation of this high-performance puppy food is chicken and salmon, two lean and easily digestible meats that support optimal coat, eye, and brain health in developing puppies. 

This diet contains no grains and is also free from common allergens such as wheat, soya, and maize. Glucosamine and chondroitin are present in ample amounts to support optimal joint health in growing small breed pups. The addition of salmon oil ensures there are sufficient omega 3 fatty acids for healthy skin and ideal energy levels. Barking Heads Puppy Days contains no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. 

Pros:

  • Owners love that this diet contains no grains, feeling it is a good choice for puppies with sensitive digestion. 
  • Chicken and salmon are the main ingredients in this diet, meats that are easy for puppies to digest and loaded with amino and essential fatty acids to assist with ideal coat and skin health as well as brain and eye development. 
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are included in this recipe to support ideal joint health in growing small breed puppies. 

Cons:

  • Many owners expressed they felt this diet was a little pricey but still offered exceptional value given its high nutritional quality. 
  • This diet contains no prebiotics or probiotics to assist with fluid digestive processing in small breed puppies. 
  • Peas and potatoes are included in high quantities in this diet, two ingredients that are of questionable nutritional value and that may be associated with such issues as rapid elevation in blood sugar levels and compromised fertility rates in adult breeding dogs. 

 

Back To Contents

Acana Puppy and Junior Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Fresh chicken meat (16%)
    2. chicken meal (13%)
    3. turkey meal (13%)
    4. red lentils
    5. whole green peas

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 20%
  • Fiber: 5%

One of the best dog foods for small breed puppies available today, Acana Puppy and Junior is a top tier diet that has been specifically prepared to assist pups through each stage of their development. Based on a limited ingredients list of only the healthiest foods that are locally sourced whenever possible, Acana Puppy and Junior is rich in easily digestible proteins to ensure optimal amounts of the amino acids growing pups need. 

Canadian chicken is the main ingredient in this food. Included in its whole form, this protein is lean and full of the nutrients required for strong and healthy muscle development. There are no grains included in this top shelf puppy food, ensuring this diet is well-suited to the needs of puppies with sensitivities to these ingredients. Acana Puppy and Junior contains no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, tapioca, or potato in its formulation. 

Pros:

  • The kibble pieces in this diet are the ideal size for small breed puppies, and thus, are unlikely to pose a choking hazard. 
  • Puppies with sensitive stomachs do very well on this diet, enjoying good digestion. 
  • Acana Puppy and Junior includes fresh whole cranberries in its formulation, an ingredient that supports optimal kidney function and urinary health. 

Cons:

  • This diet is heavy in red lentils, whole green peas, green lentils, whole yellow peas, and pea fiber, all ingredients of questionable nutritional quality and that may be linked to future fertility problems in adult breeding dogs. 
  • Acana Puppy and Junior contains no probiotics to support digestive health in small breed puppies. 
  • Some owners indicated they did not like that this diet was not available in resealable bags, making it harder for them to keep their puppy’s food fresh. 

Back To Contents

Autarky Hypoallergenic Dry Puppy Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Poultry meal (min 34% chicken)
    2. Maize
    3. Chicken fat
    4. Rice (min 5%)
    5. Chicken liver

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 3%

For a diet that combines good nutrition with excellent value for your dog food dollar, it’s well worth giving Autarky Hypoallergenic Puppy Food a try. A diet that is often recommended as one of the best dog foods for small breed puppies, this diet’s foundation protein is poultry meal, a concentrated meat source that is chock full of the amino acids puppies need as they grow. Autarky Hypoallergenic Puppy Junior includes some whole grains in its recipe to provide vital dietary fibre to help with digestion. 

Autarky Hypoallergenic Puppy Junior includes optimal servings of taurine and the essential fatty acids required to assist with cardiac, coat, skin, brain, and eye health. Free from the most common allergens including wheat gluten and soya, this diet has been formulated specifically with puppies with sensitive stomachs and allergies in mind. Autarky Hypoallergenic Puppy Junior contains no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives. 

Pros:

  • The kibble in this diet is in small enough pieces that young puppies are easily able to break them down with no fear to their owners of them choking. 
  • The addition of ginger in this food provides a soothing effect on sensitive stomachs. 
  • Prebiotics have been added to this recipe to assist with fluid digestive processing in small breed puppies. 

Cons:

  • Some owners reported that their puppies experienced mild diarrhoea when fed this diet. This may simply be the result of too rapid a transition from the puppy’s old diet to the new. 
  • Autarky Hypoallergenic Puppy Junior contains maize and maize gluten, two ingredients of low nutritional quality and that some pups are highly sensitive to. 
  • There are no added supplements to promote optimal joint health in small breed puppies as they grow. 

 

Back To Contents

Eukanuba Dry Puppy Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Dried Chicken And Turkey (38%)
    2. Maize
    3. Wheat
    4. Animal Fat
    5. Dried Beet Pulp (3%)

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: Not Listed
  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 21%
  • Fiber: 1.8%

Eukanuba Puppy Food for Small Dogs is a top tier food formulation specifically designed to support optimal health and wellness in small breed puppies. This high-quality diet includes both chicken and turkey as the foundation meats in its recipe. These meats offer all of the amino acids puppies need for healthy muscles and are also easy on their digestive systems. Prebiotics have also been included in this recipe to boost overall digestion. 

The unique kibble shapes are small enough to prevent choking and properly textured to encourage optimal dental health. Also included in this food is Eukanuba’s proprietary DentaDefense dental care system which helps to eliminate plaque and tartar accumulation on the teeth. Often recommended as one of the best dog foods for small breed puppies today, Eukanuba Puppy Food for Small Dogs is attractively priced, offering you great value for your dog food dollar. 

Pros:

  • Owners were very pleased with the size and shape of the kibble pieces in this diet, expressing they were appropriate for small breed puppies. 
  • This diet is highly flavourful, encouraging even the pickiest puppies to eat with hearty gusto. 
  • Owners noted that their puppies had beautiful, soft, and shiny coats when fed a steady diet of Eukanuba Puppy Food for Small Dogs. 

Cons:

  • Some puppies disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. 
  • This diet is heavy in grains; some of which are common allergens for many dogs including wheat and maize. 
  • Eukanuba Puppy Food for Small Dogs is a little low in dietary fibre and contains very few vegetables to boost digestion and support a strong immune system. 

Back To Contents

How to Select the Best Dog Food for Small Breed Puppies

Small breed puppies have nutritional needs that are slightly different than puppies of a larger size. Because they will reach their full adult height by one year of age, the pitfalls that must be avoided in a diet for medium to large breed puppies is not as much of a concern for smaller breed pups. Still, one thing that is important to note is that puppies of any size or age have distinctly different nutritional requirements than adult dogs. With this in mind, it is best to feed small breed puppies a diet that has been designed specifically for them and their needs. 

One of the most important considerations when determining an appropriate diet for a small breed puppy is how many meals your puppy should receive in a day. For best results, it is recommended that you feed your pup the best dog food for small breed puppies in the following proportions based on age:

  • Age 8-12 weeks: four meals per day
  • 12 weeks-6 months: three meals per day
  • 6-12 months: two meals per day

To determine how much food you should give your puppy per meal, it is best to consult the suggested serving sizes printed on the bag. These suggestions will list weights, ages, and amounts; however, these are only a starting point. Your puppy’s activity level, body condition, and appetite will indicate whether these suggested portions are sufficient or too much and should be adjusted accordingly. 

One of the most important qualities any diet suited for small breed puppies should include is the correct proportions of calcium to phosphorous. This ratio is crucial to support a healthy rate of bone growth. The proper amounts of these two important nutrients are 1.2 parts calcium for each included unit of phosphorous. 

The ideal diet for small breed puppies is well-balanced nutritionally and contains approximately 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. 

 

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Small Breed Puppies

Puppies require an adequate number of calories to promote optimal energy levels and healthy body development. To encourage a healthy weight, the best dog foods for small breed puppies are formulated to be calorie dense. Experts recommend that each meal should be carefully measured to ensure overfeeding does not occur. 

Small breed puppies, like all puppies, enjoy eating. If overfed and under exercised, a puppy can easily become overweight, putting excess strain on his developing joints, tendons, and bones. Monitoring all food intake and keeping a close eye on your puppy’s body condition is a great way to ensure your puppy’s nutritional needs are being met and that he or she does not begin to carry excess weight. 

 

Dog Food Dietary Requirements for Small Breed Puppies

One of the most critical elements of the best dog foods for small breed puppies is balance. A diet must be nutritionally sound with all ingredients in proper proportion in order for your puppy to receive the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. Though you can opt to prepare a nutritionally balanced diet at home, whether raw or cooked, for your puppy to enjoy, there are many commercially prepared diets that offer the exceptional quality nutrition that small breed puppies need. 

Essentially, puppies require the same nutritional components that adult dogs do; just in different proportions. The foundation of any diet suited to the needs of small breed puppies is a meat-based protein. Whole meats are preferable, but meat meals also offer a concentrated protein source that supports healthy muscle development in small breed pups. 

Some diets include proteins that are vegetable-based. These types of protein are not of sufficient nutritional quality for growing small breed puppies, and for some pups, they are common allergens and can be very difficult to digest. It is best to avoid diets that list soya, wheat, or corn as their primary proteins. Other ingredients best avoided are fillers, preservatives, artificial flavours, colours, and chemicals of any sort. 

Some diets make use of meat by-products in their formulations. Though meat by-products do trace their roots to an animal origin, they are most often the pieces of meat that are deemed unsuitable for human consumption either because they are difficult to cook, unpalatable to most people, difficult to break down, or of poor nutritional quality. These ingredients are not ideal for small breed puppies and diets containing them are best avoided entirely. 

Carbohydrates also play an important role in any growing puppy’s diet. From carbohydrates, puppies gain energy as well as the nutrients needed for good digestion and a healthy immune system. Some puppies do very well on a grain-free diet, benefitting from the dietary fibre found in nutritious whole grains. Others with sensitivities to grains are best suited to a diet that includes no grains and instead bases its carbohydrate content solely on fibre and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. 

Healthy fats are one of the most critical building blocks of any diet for small breed puppies. The essential fatty acids gained from these fats help puppies to have appropriate reserves of energy, support ideal coat and skin health, and provide vital assistance with brain and eye development. These fats are best found in animal fats such as chicken fat or salmon oil. However, some plant-based oils also offer an excellent alternative including canola, safflower, and sunflower oil. 

It is always a good idea to look for a diet that includes supplements that can benefit a small breed puppy as it grows. Among the most helpful supplements to look for in a small breed puppy food are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin. 

Though kibble contains little water, canned puppy foods do list a maximum of 78% water in their formulations. Whether you feed kibble, canned food, cooked, or raw, none of these foods contains sufficient amounts of water to meet a puppy’s daily needs. For this reason, puppies should always have plentiful access to clean drinking water to keep their bodies well-hydrated, Proper hydration is key to healthy growth and development. 

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Small Breed Puppies

In selecting the best dog food for small breed puppies, here are some guiding principles to keep in mind:

  • Meets APHA nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Free from chemicals, flavours, colours, or other difficult to identify ingredients
  • Fortified with beneficial supplements such as prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Based on lean meat proteins
  • Contains the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorous to promote a healthy rate of growth
  • Includes sufficient carbohydrates that are rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre
  • Designed with the needs of small breed puppies in mind

 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Scroll to Top