Your dog may be small and scrappy, but it still needs your assistance in getting the right nutritional balance. Here are a few tips from the PetMio team to help you find the best dog food for small dogs.
Everything is Fun Size
Your dog is a bit on the small side, and its food should be too.
“Small dogs have small mouths, which is why small-sized kibble is much appreciated by small pups,” says PetMio Chief Food Scientist Kasra Farsad .
Nobuki Stobaeus, doctor of veterinary medicine, agrees, adding that choosing dry food instead of wet food helps prevent tartar, or hardened plaque, from forming on a dog’s teeth.
Less is More with Protein
Because of their size, smaller dogs tend to need less protein in their diet than large breed dogs do. According to Dr. Stobaeus, a small breed dog needs about 20% crude protein in its diet to stay healthy. Too much protein can cause kidney issues.
Keep in mind, though, that competitive or working small breed dogs may need more.
Thinking with the Stomach
Due to their size, smaller dogs can’t eat much. Their tiny stomachs fill up pretty quickly. So, pet foods that are richer in nutrients and energy density can give your dog what it needs to play the day away. Farsad says that you can figure out which pet food products have a higher density by comparing the energy per serving or nutrients per serving on the label.
Also, smaller dogs tend to have faster metabolisms, which means that their bodies digest food and burn calories more quickly than larger dogs. To keep your pet nourished for a full 24 hours, feed your puppies 3-4 meals a day and adult dogs 2-3 meals per day.
Feed the Gums
According to Dr. Stobaus, small breed dogs tend to have more periodontal disease than large breed dogs. To help avoid this, make sure to supplement the best dog food for small dogs you can find with treats or chew toys designed to keep its gums healthy.
It’s All About Supplements
According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Zoology, smaller dogs tend to outlive larger dogs. To help smooth the aging process, Farsad suggests supplementing your tiny friend’s diets with antioxidants and joint health supplements as they age.
“They will appreciate the gesture in their later years,” he said.
You can find natural sources of antioxidants in foods like carrots, broccoli and green beans. Or, talk to your veterinarian to figure out the best dosage of dietary supplements for your pet.
The Best Dog Food for Small Dogs: Happy is Healthy
“The most important thing is that the pet eats [their food] and likes it,” says Dr. Stobaeus. By following the above guidelines and consulting with your veterinarian, you can find the best dog food for small dogs and keep your tiny friend well-fed and carefree. It’s a small world, after all.