7 of the best toy breed puppy foods

Congratulations on your new dog! Your adorable toy breed puppy is bound to bring a whole new world of happiness into your life.

However cute they may be, toy breeds need more than just love and cuddles to live a long and healthy life.

a Pomeranian adorably biting on a stick
A Pomeranian Spitz eating a treat with dog bowl beside

One of the key factors in looking after your new puppy comes in choosing the very best food for them. Here are some of the best:

Top 5 Picks for Best Puppy Food for Toy Breeds in 2021

  Best Toy Breed Puppy Food Our Rating
Best Overall Toy BreedPuppy Food Wellness Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds

  • Natural dry dog food made in the USA 
  • Contains premium proteins and whole grains 
  • Supported by a range of supplements small dogs need
5
Best Budget Toy BreedPuppy Food Purina Pro Plan Puppy Toy Breed Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Small-bite kibble with chicken as the first ingredient 
  • Includes omega-rich fish oils, live probiotics, and antioxidants
  • Features no artificial colors or flavors
4.5
Best Dry Toy BreedPuppy Food Wellness Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds

  • Natural dry dog food made in the USA 
  • Contains premium proteins and whole grains 
  • Supported by a range of supplements small dogs need
5
Best Wet Toy BreedPuppy Food Royal Canin Healthy Development Small Breed Puppy Dog Food Trays

  • Includes highly digestible proteins, beet pulp, and fish oil 
  • Contains Vitamins C, E, lutein, and taurine to assist the immune system
  • Has a rich blend of nutrients for a healthy digestive system
4.5
Best Grain-FreeToy BreedPuppy Food Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Toy Breed Dry Dog Food 

  • High-protein, grain-free dry dog food
  • Small kibble size
  • Fortified with glucosamine, chondroitin, and probiotics
4.5

Best Puppy Food for Extra-Small or Toy Breed

While toy dog breeds might not require as much food as large breeds, they still need a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

Whether you have a Chihuahua or Shih Tzu, providing adequate nutrition for your pet starts when they are just a pup. 

That said, the wide variety of dog food choices out there can be overwhelming.

That is why we have tried to narrow it down to give you the best of the best options when it comes to feeding your toy breed puppy:

Best Dry Puppy Food for Toy or Extra Small Breeds

a Chihuahua standing and eating on a human hand
A human hand-feeding a small Chihuahua

Dry dog food is typically more affordable and comes in a bigger selection of brands. Here are some of our top choices of dry small breed puppy food:

1. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Toy Breed Dry Dog Food 

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw

Rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas
Type: Dry

High-protein, grain-free dry dog food made in the USA and specifically formulated for small dogs with a small kibble size.

This dog contains cooked chicken while also featuring freeze-dried raw meat for added flavor.

Added supplements help boost your pup’s overall immunity while catering to little dogs’ specific nutritional needs.

Pros:

  • The first ingredient is cage-free chicken
  • Fortified with glucosamine, chondroitin, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids 

Cons:

  • Food is more expensive than similar brands in this category

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Solid Gold Mighty Mini Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Gut Small & Toy Breed Puppy

Rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas
Type: Dry

Easy to digest and holistically formulated grain and gluten-free dry dog food.

This food contains 20 different antioxidant-rich superfoods, like carrots, cranberries, blueberries, pumpkin, broccoli, and lentils, to build a healthy immune system.

It has 30% protein and 20% fat to sustain the energy of small breeds. 

Pros:

  • Contains no meat by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavorings and preservatives
  • Features probiotic support for digestive health and a single meat source for dogs with sensitive stomachs

Cons:

  • Some dogs simply refused to eat this food

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. Wellness Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult

Rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal
Type: Dry

Natural dry dog food, made in the USA and formulated to cater to small breeds’ whole-body health.

This small kibble-sized food contains premium proteins and whole grains and is supported by many supplements that little dogs need.

Designed to build the immune system, provide optimal energy and build healthy skin and coat.

Pros:

  • Contains no GMOs, meat by-products, or fillers
  • Full of antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine

Cons:

  • This food caused some dogs to vomit and become sick

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites

Rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley
Type: Dry

Precise small breed nutrition developed by veterinarians and scientists and manufactured in the United States.

Made with wholesome ingredients with supplements to support brain development and healthy immune system functioning.

Specifically created for small breed dogs under a year old with an easy to digest, small kibble size.

Pros:

  • Includes natural DHA from fish oil for brain and eye development and learning
  • Features Vitamin E and C and antioxidants for building up the immune system

Cons:

  • Some dog owners didn’t like this food due to the high wheat and corn content

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Toy Breed Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal
Type: Dry

Small-bite kibble made from lean protein with chicken as the first ingredient for muscle development. This food contains calcium for healthy bones and teeth and DHA to develop your puppy’s brain and eyes.

Pros:

  • Includes omega-rich fish oils, live probiotics, and antioxidants
  • Features no artificial flavors or colors

Cons:

  • Some puppies did not want to eat this food

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Wet Puppy Food for Toy or Extra Small Breeds

Small breeds sometimes prefer wet puppy food due to being more comfortable to eat and more flavorful. Here are two of our favorite wet dog food options for your little breed puppy:

a Yorkie with long hair laying on a plate
Yorkie puppy on white gradient background

1. Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Small Breed & Puppy Canned Dog Food 

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Small Breed & Puppy Canned

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Lamb, Turkey, Lamb Broth
Type: Wet

Wet dog food specially formulated for small breeds with real lamb and turkey as the primary ingredients.

Includes plenty of wholesome veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes as well as fiber to aid digestion. It can be used as a primary diet or as a topper for kibble.

Pros:

  • It comes in smaller portions specifically for little dogs
  • Includes L-carnitine for the better metabolisms of fats

Cons:

  • Some dogs did not like the taste

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Royal Canin Healthy Development Small Breed Puppy Dog Food Trays

Royal Canin Healthy Development Small Breed Puppy

Rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken, Pork By-Products
Type: Wet

Wet dog food formulated for small breed puppies under 22 pounds (10 kg) until ten months.

Made to support the energy levels of small dogs while providing for their growth and development needs. Includes highly digestible proteins, beet pulp, and fish oil for a developing system.

Pros:

  • Includes Vitamins C, E, lutein, and taurine to assist the immune system
  • Has a rich blend of nutrients designed to regulate intestinal microflora for a healthy digestive system

Cons:

  • Contains meat by-products as the third ingredient

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Puppy Food for Toy Breeds Buying Guide

What you feed your dog as a puppy will set the tone for the rest of their doggie life.

Thus, it’s vital to provide your dog quality food and a well-balanced diet full of wholesome essentials that will set up their small bodies for a robust and healthy future.

Two Papillon puppy with a red dog bowl
Two precious Papillon puppy with a red dog dish

While certain dog foods are made for pups of all life stages, it’s always advisable to go for dog food with a specific puppy formula that has been crafted to cater to the growth and developmental needs of young dogs.

How to choose the best product for your toy breed puppy

When choosing the right dog food for your toy breed puppy, there are a few key things you want to look for.

The first is to always look for dog food manufactured in a country with high safety and quality control standards

These countries dictate minimum requirements for what can and can’t be included in dog food and follow much stricter guidelines regarding health and safety.

These countries include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and most European Union countries.

The next thing to consider is what ingredient is placed first on the ingredient list.

This ingredient makes up the most significant portion of your dog’s food and should preferably be whole protein or lean meat like duck, turkey, chicken, beef, salmon, or trout. 

As toy breeds do not have the muscle mass of large dogs, they don’t need as much protein. Around 25% of crude protein in your dog’s diet is sufficient.

The fat content should also preferably come from the primary meat sources, such as chicken fat or fatty fish.

Puppy Nutrition 101: What kind of food does your toy breed puppy need?

a Pug Puppy on a walk wearing a dog vest
Meet Hopp, a lovable Pug Puppy smiling – Image source

Small dogs require more calories per pound of their body weight than larger breeds. This is because small dogs have very high metabolic rates and tend to lose their body heat quicker than big dogs.

As a result, toy breed dog food is often very calorie-dense and has higher than average fat levels to provide small dogs with the energy they need.

Because small breeds have low-fat reserves, they are also prone to developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can result in lethargy, tremors, and even seizures.

Dog foods rich in protein and fiber can prevent this in your dog, as can feeding your dog regular small meals throughout the day.

On the other hand, toy breed dogs are prone to obesity. Although they have super cute faces, you should always try and avoid giving your precious pup table scraps and too many treats. 

Also, you may find that your tiny dog has difficulty eating due to the small size of his mouth and teeth. While toy breed foods are generally made with smaller kibble to accommodate this, regular dog foods are not.

Dogs that cannot thoroughly chew their food are at a greater risk of choking and digestive issues.

Apart from this, toy dog breeds tend to live longer than most pups. However, this means they spend more time in their old age where their specific senior needs will have to be considered. 

Things to look for when selecting a puppy food: What should toy breed puppies eat?

Supplying your dog with antioxidant-rich food throughout their lifetime.

Including joint supporting supplements, like chondroitin and glucosamine, can help support their system and prevent illnesses later in life.

Ingredients rich in Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids, like flaxseed or fish, will also support the immune system.

When looking at your dog food’s meat content, you want to avoid buying any products containing meat byproducts.

While meat meals, like lamb meal or fish meal, are perfectly fine, meat by-products or unspecified meat meals that aren’t linked to a protein source, like real chicken or turkey, should be avoided. 

Byproducts can contain many innutritious, extra, or even dangerous ingredients like hooves, horns, and the like.

You should also avoid any dog foods that contain artificial colors, preservatives, and flavorings. These ingredients can lead to allergies.

Natural ingredients should provide enough flavor and color to your dog’s food, while tocopherols are naturally occurring preservatives that keep your pet’s food fresh.

Wet, Semi-Moist, or Dry? Which food Is best for your toy breed puppy?

Toy dog breeds are prone to developing dental issues. Crunchy kibble can help prevent these problems by strengthening the teeth and removing any tartar buildup.

Dry dog foods are generally more readily available, keep for longer, are more affordable, and are less messy than wet dog food.

That said, you may find that your puppy prefers wet dog food simply because it is a lot easier for them to eat.

Pate-style wet food is easily chewed and digested by smaller dogs, and young puppies also tend to like the taste of wet dog food better.

Wet dog food can also be used as a tasty topper for dry dog food if you don’t want to feed your pup solely on wet food.

When it comes to nutritional value, wet dog food is typically higher in protein and water content, while dry dog food has more carbohydrates.

Check out this super cute video of ten puppies enjoying their very first meal of wet dog food:

To grain or not to grain: Do puppies need a grain-free toy breed puppy food?

Puppies require a well-balanced nutritious diet to support their growing bodies. Many grains do not provide much nutritional value to dogs and act merely as filler ingredients in your dog’s diet.

Thus, some pet owners prefer to avoid these ingredients, opting for grain-free or gluten-free diets which are more similar to what dogs would have eaten in the wild.

A grain-free diet will also help avoid any allergies your dog may have to corn, wheat or soy.

That said, whole grains like brown rice, barley or oatmeal, can provide your dog with essential nutrients and healthy fiber.

Many vets prefer a single grain diet over a no-grain one due to the link between heart issues and grain-free diets in dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

a Mini Pinscher laying on a dog toy
Meet Sydney, a Mini Pinscher puppy looking comfortable – Image source

How much food should you feed your toy breed puppy?

According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, most toy breed dogs require about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day.

This means that your toy breed pup is unlikely to need more than 400 calories a day.

That said, each dog food is created differently, so be sure to check the recommended feeding allowance on the bag before feeding your pup.

When and how often should you feed your toy breed puppy?

Toy breed puppies need to eat frequently to ensure their energy levels are sustained throughout the day.

Dogs under the age of 12 weeks can have four to six meals a day, with their daily calorie allowance divided between these meals.

Between the age of three and twelve months, you can then transition your dog onto regular meals between three and four times a day.

At six months of age, reduce it to three or two meals daily and slowly start introducing adult dog food.

By feeding your dog at regular intervals, you will ensure that your dog has sustained energy levels and enough time between meals to properly digest his food.

Can you give homemade food to your toy breed puppy?

As toy breed puppies have particular nutritional requirements, it’s not recommended to give your homemade dog food.

It will be challenging, if near impossible, to ensure you balance the protein and fat content of your homemade food correctly and that it includes all the supplements your dog needs for development. 

That said, treats like lean meat, vegetables, and boiled eggs can be a great way to spoil your dog during the day. Just don’t overdo it, or your puppy could easily pick up a weight or develop some bad habits!

Talk to your vet before choosing any new food for your puppy

a Yorkshire Terrier standing with dog bowl with dog food
A tiny Yorkshire Terrier with a dog bowl filled – Image source

It’s now time to choose the perfect dog food for your new puppy. 

In addition to the brands listed above, there are several other food options from manufacturers like Blue Buffalo, Nutro, Iams, Merrick, and Taste of the Wild.

The foods we have chosen here combine high-quality ingredients with formulas designed for toy breeds and are readily available for online purchase.

No matter which dog food you choose, the most important thing is to select a high-quality pet food loaded with wholesome, natural ingredients.

You’ll want a dog food that not only meets the minimum requirements specified by the standards authorities but also surpasses them. 

Thankfully as your toy breed is small, you won’t be forking out a massive amount of money on food, so it’s best to go for the very best that you can afford.

That said, before switching over your dog’s food, always talk to your vet to see what they recommend.

Your vet will understand your dog’s specific requirements, size, breed, and potential health issues and advise accordingly. 

Further reading: 

  • Best Dry Puppy Food
  • Best Wet Puppy Food
  • Best Small Breed Puppy Food
  • Best Large Breed Puppy Food

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