Schnauzers are an adorable breed known for their fluffy beards, hypoallergenic coat, and expressive eyebrows.
Energetic and loveable, these German dogs are up for just about anything, be that a cuddle on the couch or a good romp around outside.
Such an adored companion deserves nothing but the best, including when it comes to their food. Take a look at some of the best dog foods for Schnauzers.
Top 5 Picks for Best Dog Food for Schnauzers in 2021
|Dog Food Recipes||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||Holistic Select Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Best for Schnauzer puppies||Merrick Puppy Real Chicken And Sweet Potato
|Best for Adult Schnauzers||Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food
|Best for Senior Schnauzers||Merrick Real Chicken Food for Dogs
|Best Budget Food for Schnauzers||Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food
The best dog food brands for Schnauzers by stage
Whether you own a Miniature, Standard, or Giant Schnauzer, you’ll want to pick a food that is tailored to the dog’s size. That extends further to choosing food crafted explicitly to the stage of your Schnauzer’s life.
Growing puppies have different needs to your more elderly companion.
In contrast, adult Schnauzers need balanced nutrition to sustain their active lifestyles and ward off common health problems for as long as possible.
That is why it’s essential to choose a food specially developed for your dog’s current life stage.
Best foods for Schnauzer puppies
Puppies need food that caters to their growing developmental needs as they put on weight, grow their bones and muscles, and develop cognitive function.
Puppies need diets rich in protein with supplements that support the growth of their teeth and bones.
1. Merrick Puppy Real Chicken And Sweet Potato (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Natural grain-free food crafted from whole foods with deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
- Contains DHA for brain development
- Includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin for hips and joint health
- Omega fatty acids build skin and coat health
- Smaller sized kibble for tiny puppies
- Some reviewers complained of itchy skin with their dog
- The small kibble can be too tiny for larger Schnauzers
2. Iams Proactive Health Puppy Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal
Puppy specific dry kibble developed for the growing needs and development of dogs.
- An excellent source of protein with chicken as the main ingredient
- Full of omega fatty acids for brain development and healthy skin and coat
- Smaller kibble for tiny mouths to aid chewing and digestion
- Some reviewers complained of bloat, gas, and diarrhea when their dog was on this diet
- Only available in smaller size bags
3. Holistic Select Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Salmon, Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Potatoes
A complete and balanced grain-free diet that can last your dog through all life stages.
- Contains natural digestive enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber for a healthy gut
- Fish based formula ensures plenty of omega fatty acids and antioxidants
- Free of grains, artificial preservatives, colors, and fillers
- A strong fishy smell put off some dog owners
- Some pet owners complained that their dog vomited up this food
4. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Miniature Schnauzer Dry Dog Food
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice
Puppy food that has been carefully crafted to meet the growing needs of Miniature Schnauzers.
- Contains 29 percent protein and 12 percent fat
- Encourages the growth of intestinal bacteria to support the digestive system
- Packed with omega fatty acids and antioxidants for a healthy immune system and shiny coat
- The size and shape of the kibble has been designed for Miniature Schnauzer mouths
- One pet owner complained their dog was hyper, angry, and difficult to control on this diet
- Meat by-product meal and grains listed as the main ingredients
Best dog food for Schnauzer adults
Schnauzers, like all dogs, need a well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Opt for brands with high-quality ingredients without unnecessary meat by-products and fillers or harmful preservatives and artificial flavorings and colorants.
Also, with the Schnauzer breed, specifically, look for foods that have been formulated for dogs with high energy levels.
1. Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Garbanzo Beans
A fantastic quality dog food specifically tailored for smaller dogs with a delicious chicken flavor.
- Grain-free recipe with healthy carbohydrates like sweet potato and pumpkin
- Free of preservatives, meat by-products, and artificial flavorings and colors
- Popular with even fussy eaters
- Some owners complained that the kibble size was too large
- Individual picky dogs refused to eat this food
2. Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer Adult Dry Dog Food
First 3 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice
Dry kibble specifically created for Miniature Schnauzers ten months and older.
- Smaller kibble designed with Miniature Schnauzers in mind
- Formulated to enhance the skin and coat and help with weight control
- Liked by pups with sensitive stomachs
- It does not contain protein as the main ingredient and does have poultry by-product meal
- Some reviewers complained of a foul smell
3. Rachel Ray Nutrish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
Nutrient-dense dry dog food with wholesome ingredients such as real turkey, duck and chicken.
- High-quality protein makes up 30% of the diet
- Contains complex carbohydrates likes peas and sweet potatoes for sustained energy
- Naturally free of gluten for sensitive digestive systems
- Some dogs seem not to like the taste of this food
- Grain-free diets are linked to cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart) in dogs
4. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
Quality 100% grain-free dry kibble rich in protein with real turkey and chicken.
- Packed full of vegetables for vitamins and minerals
- Free of colorants and preservatives
- Many pet owners were impressed by their dog’s improved coat quality and decreased levels of anxiety when on this diet
- Pricier than similar foods on the market
- Grain-free diets have been linked to heart disease in dogs
5. Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Turkey/Chicken/Duck, Chicken Liver, Beef Lung
A tasty, quality wet dog food available in a range of four different flavors.
- Available in a pack of 24 easy-to-peel trays for convenience
- Grain-free formula
- Super tasty food ideal for fussy eaters and can easily be mixed with dry kibble
- Some reviewers complained this food made their dog sick
- Some dog’s only seemed to like certain flavors of this dog food
6. Purina Pro Plan Dog Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal
Dog food formulated for smaller breeds with high protein specialized nutrition.
- Kibble is designed to clean the teeth of your pet and improve their dental health
- Rich in minerals, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and prebiotic fiber
- A hit with picky eaters with sensitive stomachs
- Some reviewers complained this food was too greasy and their dog would not touch it
7. Merrick Classic Real Chicken and Green Peas Recipe
First 3 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
Dry kibble which is made from wholesome, healthy ingredients with 30 percent protein and 15 percent fat.
- Free of by-products and chemical preservatives
- Complex carbohydrates provide lasting energy
- Contains omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine for joint health and skin problems
- Some pet owners complained of diarrhea when the dog was on this food
- Some owners complained of a high price compared to a downsized bag size
8. Hill’s Science Diet Small and Toy Breed Recipe (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat
Dry kibble is specifically designed for dogs’ health and well-being under 25 pounds (11 kg).
- Crafted from natural ingredients and free of by-products
- It contains carrots for eye health and spinach for fiber
- Complex carbohydrates ensure sustained energy throughout the day
- Antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E boost the immune system
- Some dogs presented itchy skin on this diet
- Some pet owners complained the formula was too greasy
9. Solid Gold Mighty Grain-Free Toy and Small Breed (for Miniature Schnauzers) (for all life stages)
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas
Natural grain-free dog food that is available in dry or wet varieties and a range of flavor options.
- Contains patented fiber-rich probiotics for digestive health
- It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Grain and gluten-free recipe packed full of vegetables and easily digestible protein
- Some reviewers complained the kibble was too small
- Not all dogs liked this food
10. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, brewers rice
Balanced and healthy formula of premium ingredients specifically formulated for small breeds such as the Miniature Schnauzer.
- Brown and white rice means a balance of carbohydrate sources for your dog
- Full of essential fatty acids for a shinier, healthier coat
- Explicitly made with sensitive stomachs in mind
- Some dogs refused to eat this food
- Some reviewers complained their dog got sick on this food
11. Eukanuba Adult Small Breed Chicken Dog Food
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn
Complete and balanced nutrition for dogs over 12 months and weighing under 23 pounds (10 kg).
- High in animal protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin for the development of healthy muscles
- Full of Vitamin E and DHA for cognitive function
- Good levels of carbohydrates and fats for active dogs
- Some dogs simply didn’t want to eat this food
12. Gentle Giants World Class Canine Complete Nutrition Cuisine, Chicken Dry Dog Food
First 3 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn
All-natural dog food is formulated for all life stages and specifically designed for dogs with digestive issues.
- Rich in whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice
- Full of non-GMO fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, cranberries, and tomatoes
- Assists with healthy weight management for dogs
- Some dogs do not like the hard texture of this food
- Not specific to the life stage of your dog
13. AvoDerm Grain Free LID Revolving Menu, Turkey Recipe
First 3 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Peas
Nutritious dog food with turkey as the primary protein to support adult dogs of all sizes.
- Grain-free and gluten-free for dogs with sensitive stomachs
- Green beans and peas as the main carbohydrates to support healthy digestion
- Full of healthy fatty acids from avocado for healthy skin and coat
- Some pet owners complained their dog got sick from the avocado ingredient
14. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
A well-balanced diet made of whole grains, real meat, veggies, and fruit.
- Includes Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which is a precise blend of nutrients with antioxidant-rich ingredients
- Increased protein and carbohydrates specifically for smaller dogs
- Small kibble for tartar removal and ease of eating
- Some reviewers complained the kibble was too small
Best dog food for Schnauzer seniors
Senior Schnauzers need food that is suited to their reduced activity levels while still supporting their health.
Look for foods that are sensitive to digestive issues, assist with dental hygiene, and skin and coat health, all common health problems that plague this breed.
1. Merrick Real Chicken Food for Dogs (for Miniature Schnauzers)
First 3 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Grain-free dry kibble tailored explicitly for senior dogs with real chicken and sweet potato.
- Full of healthy Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids for brain function and skin health
- Kibble is designed to clean the teeth and improve dental hygiene
- Some dog owners complained the food had a bad smell
- Some reviewers said that the protein levels were higher than necessary for a senior dog
2. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed, Deboned Turkey & Peas Recipe For Senior Dogs
First 3 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice
Dry dog food for elderly toy and small breed dogs with a rich protein diet that includes real meat and fish.
- Full of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies
- No meat by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavorings or preservatives
- Made with whole natural ingredients including blueberries, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, tomatoes, and apples
- Only available in a small bag, so recording frequently is essential
- It does contain chicken, so it cannot be eaten by dogs that need to avoid this protein
Best dog food for Schnauzers with health issues
Unfortunately, Schnauzers are susceptible to several health problems. However, these illnesses can be prevented, and your dog’s life expectancy increased with a healthy diet.
Choosing a dog food for Schnauzers with health problems
Many Schnauzers suffer from stomach and digestive problems, leading to nausea, vomiting, and a runny tummy. Some Schnauzers also suffer from pancreatitis.
These dogs do best on a diet that contains few ingredients and is simple and bland.
Miniature Schnauzers, in particular, are very prone to developing eye problems like cataracts and retinal atrophy. These diseases cause cloudy eyes, which can hamper your pup’s vision and even cause blindness.
Including certain foods in your dog’s diet, like carrots, can help prevent eye disease. Overweight dogs are more susceptible to these conditions due to developing diabetes.
Another common health issue in all Schnauzers is Hypothyroidism, which can lead to lethargy. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help prevent this disease due to its organic steroids.
Giant Schnauzers are also prone to developing hip dysplasia. This ailment, common in large dogs, affects joint mobility.
Foods with omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine will help strengthen the bones and connective tissue while also alleviating this disease’s pain.
Most Schnauzer owners are also aware of Schnauzer Bumps or Comedo Syndrome, a condition that is only found in this breed. It leads to black bumps on your dog and sometimes hair loss.
A diet rich in fish oil and healthy fats will keep your dog’s coat and skin looking and feeling good.
Choosing the right dog food for your Schnauzer
It’s essential to look at the food’s dietary makeup when choosing a brand for your pet.
Key ingredients to look out for in your dog’s food include natural protein, which will help build muscle and sustain energy, omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, whole carbohydrates, essential vitamins, and antioxidants for improved immunity.
If you have a Mini Schnauzer, it’s a good idea to look for a brand that has been specifically formulated for a toy or small breed dogs.
These foods will take into account kibble size, the number of calories per portion, and the higher metabolism of your little dog.
Similarly, a Giant Schnauzer will benefit from a brand that has been created with large breeds in mind.
It is also crucial to look at how food is named. Dog food with the protein in the name, such as chicken kibble, will include 95 percent of that ingredient.
For brands that contain multiple components in their name, the stated elements will be no less than three percent of the ingredients.
Foods that include a descriptor like ‘dinner’ must have 25 percent of the named ingredient. On the other hand, foods that mention ‘flavoring’ behind the ingredient only need to have trace amounts.
Schnauzer nutritional requirement: What Kind of Diet is Best for a Schnauzer?
There are so many pet foods available that it can be challenging to determine what to look out for when feeding your pup.
Not all foods will work for the Schnauzer dog breed. You need to consider the nutritional needs of your active pup.
Natural proteins should always be at the top of the ingredient list. In particular, Schnauzers benefit from food with several different protein sources and high protein content that will sustain their active ways.
Your Schnauzer’s diet should be about 20 to 30 percent protein and 10 to 15 percent fat.
Schnauzers also need a fair amount of fat in their diet. Healthy fats come from protein sources like chicken fat or fish oil and work to sustain your dog’s energy.
Fish oil also contains omega fatty acids, which can boost the immune system, help with brain and eye development, and keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
Carbohydrates are also an essential part of a Schnauzer’s diet. Always look for food containing complex carbohydrates, like oats, barley, sweet potatoes, and peas.
Complex carbs won’t cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to spike but will instead give them sustained energy throughout the day.
Reversely, simple carbohydrates like corn and soy are best avoided as they can cause your dog’s energy levels to spike and crash and can be challenging to digest. These carbs act as a filler in cheaper brands of food.
Ingredients to avoid when feeding your Schnauzer
Try and avoid any foods that contain meat by-products. These by-products can include organs, hooves, hair, and horns, so you never honestly know what is included in your dog’s food.
These ingredients are common in cheaper foods and contain protein from questionable sources. Fillers like wheat and corn and artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors should also be avoided.
Here is a list of human foods that Schnauzers cannot eat:
- Spicy foods
- Walnuts and macadamia nuts
- Spoiled or moldy foods
- Apple cores and stems
- Fruit pips
- Yeast dough
- Chewing gum
Is grain-free diet options preferable for Schnauzers?
As the Schnauzer breed commonly suffers from digestive issues, grain-free foods can help alleviate the problems caused by a sensitive stomach.
Look for wheat and gluten-free foods and contain no corn if your Schnauzer does have digestive troubles.
Foods containing minimal carbs and sugars can also be beneficial to overweight dogs or those with diabetes.
Should you give your Schnauzer dry kibbles, wet food, raw diet, or homemade?
Schnauzers can benefit from various diets; just ensure that whatever you give your dog is vet-approved and unprocessed.
This includes any home-cooked meals. Dry kibble can also be supplemented with home-cooked lean meat and vegetables, proving to be a successful feeding strategy with picky eaters.
Dry kibble is most commonly used for Schnauzers as it is convenient and more affordable than wet food.
Wet food, however, can be a good choice for dogs with weak teeth, young puppies, and senior dogs, as well as those recovering from stomach problems, as it is easier to digest.
That said, wet food can lead to higher weight gain, so one must be careful with a wet diet in this breed.
On the other hand, raw diets are a source of controversy, especially where Schnauzers are concerned.
Some pet owners prefer raw food diets to feed their dogs a more organic meal, similarly to what their wolf ancestors would have had, whereas raw food diets are warned against by some vets.
This is because raw food diets can carry harmful bacteria, leading to fatal poisoning in your dog.
Also, generally raw foods on the market aren’t well regulated, so it can be difficult to tell what is being included and if the necessary health and contamination standards are being adhered to.
Fruits and vegetables your Schnauzer can and cannot eat
Just like humans, dogs need fruits and vegetables. They supply essential vitamins and minerals in your pet’s diet.
They also help fight free radicals, which can weaken your dog’s immune system and are a valuable fiber and calcium source. Here are some delicious fruits and vegetables to include in your Schnauzer’s diet:
- Spinach, kale, chard, and other green leafy vegetables are high in Vitamin C, A, and K
- Celery improves breath and is also high in Vitamins A, C, and K
- Carrots improve eyesight, strengthen the immune system and help with skin health
- Apple and watermelon are a great source of water and vitamins but are high in sugar so should be given in moderation
- Green beans and peas can help with digestive issues and are rich in Omega 3, iron, and Vitamin B
The following vegetables and fruits should be avoided:
- Potato peels
- Citrus fruits
A homemade recipe you can try for your Schnauzer
Some pet owners prefer to make their dog food at home as this way you can be 100 percent sure what ingredients are being included in the food, know how fresh the food is, and help avoid any food allergies.
It takes more time and effort, however, to make your dog’s food at home.
Here is an easy recipe that you can try for your dog:
6 cups of cooked organic brown rice
2 pounds of lean ground beef, lean chicken or turkey, cooked through, fat drained
3 medium-sized carrots
1/4 cup spinach
- Debone and cook your meat through, draining the fat
- Hard boil the eggs, peeling them, and slicing
- In a pot, mix the eggs, spinach, carrots, rice, and meat altogether and pulse together until fine but not mushy
- Food should be stored tightly sealed in a fridge between feedings or frozen into portions
Schnauzer feeding chart
Schnauzers have been used throughout history to protect and herd cattle. Although now more often found as a companion animal, these dogs still have plenty of energy and drive.
They need around an hour of exercise each day, which means their calorie intake needs to be higher than most dogs to sustain their active lifestyle.
This is especially true if your Schnauzer is still a working dog. On the other hand, senior members of this breed will need fewer calories to sustain their more sedentary lifestyles.
Follow the below calorie chart for feeding your Schnauzer:
|Type of Schnauzer||Daily Calorie Requirement in adult dogs||Daily Calorie Requirement in active dogs||Daily Calorie Requirement in senior dogs|
It’s essential to ensure that a Schnauzer’s daily caloric requirements are met, but it’s also crucial not to overfeed these dogs. Ferocius eaters, Schnauzers, should not be left to free feed.
Try not to feed your dog more than twice a day, as overfeeding can exacerbate common health issues in this breed. Obesity is also a common problem in small breeds and senior dogs.
Transition: How to switch from puppy to adult dog food?
Puppies are typically weaned from their mother at around seven weeks old and will then go onto a feeding schedule. At this stage, Schnauzers can be fed three times a day.
However, as soon as they hit 12 weeks old, it is recommended that you drop your dog’s feeding schedule to twice daily.
Schnauzer puppies should be switched over to adult food between 10 months and a year old.
This process should be done slowly, introducing the new adult food to your dog’s puppy food over a week.
Start with exchanging 25% of your dog’s food for the new food and keeping this for two or three days, before moving onto 50% change and then 75% before finally making a full transition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do Schnauzers need supplements?
Schnauzers can benefit from a range of supplements in their diet. Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and antioxidants will help to build a healthy immune system and prevent joint pain.
Essential fatty acids, which are common in flaxseed and fish oil, will also help with immune health and build healthy skin and coat.
Probiotics and Prebiotics will also assist in building a healthy immune system in your pet.
You should also look for foods fortified with amino acids and vitamins, and minerals, which will also build a healthy immune system and assist with general health
What human food can schnauzers eat?
Your beloved Schnauzer can eat unsalted and unsweetened meats and vegetables. Just be sure to debone any meat before giving it to your dog to prevent choking or stomach tears.
It is best to avoid giving your dog table scraps as this habit could lead to obesity later in life.
The best dog treats for Schnauzers
Treats are a great way to train your dog and reward him for good behavior. However, with this breed, you want to avoid excessive treats, which can lead to obesity.
Chew bones filled with cheese, peanut butter, beef, or bacon provide endless hours of fun for this breed. Rich in protein, a filled bone or kong is a great way to keep this active breed entertained.
Other great options for treats include jerky or dried lean meat, also providing plenty of added bits of protein for this active breed.
What makes dog food good for Schnauzers?
Always talk to your vet before choosing any new food for your dog. Your vet will be able to advise you on the right diet and nutrition for your dog’s size, energy levels, health issues, and physical condition.
Do you have a Miniature, Standard, or Giant Schnauzer at home? What is their favorite food? Let us know in the comments below.