Our Top Tips For The Best Dog Food For Small Or Tiny Dogs
One of the myths about small dogs is that they should need a lot less food than larger dogs. Actually, this is not necessarily the case.
Small Dogs Also Need Calories
Small dogs might be easier to fit on your lap. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a lot of calories. And actually, a smaller dog will need more calories per pound (of their own body weight) than a larger dog.
Why? Because small dogs tend to have very high metabolisms. They burn off what they eat more quickly than larger dogs.
For this reason, small dogs still need a lot of calories to be healthy and happy. Finding nutrient-dense foods is one way to help them stay healthy.
The Importance of Nutrient-Dense Food for Little Dogs
A nutrient-dense food packs more nutrients in the food. A calorie-dense food packs a lot of calories into a small amount.
When it comes to human beings, generally, nutrient-dense foods are the healthy foods that give us a lot of vitamins and minerals, like salmon and kale. Calorie-dense foods would include junk foods such as potato chips and fast food hamburgers.
Not all calorie-dense foods are bad. Dates are calorie-dense but not unhealthy. For someone who needs to put on extra weight, because they are perhaps recovering from an illness, eating dates is one way to get those calories.
Small Dogs Burn Calories Faster
When considering best dog food for small dogs, nutrient-dense foods are important, and it can also be helpful to have them be calorie-dense as well. This is because of the high metabolisms that small dogs have.
These needs for a nutrient-rich and calorie-dense food is why a lot of dog foods designed for little dogs include higher levels of protein and fat than general dog food brands.
Remember that small dogs tend to live many years more than larger dogs. Hence, what you feed your tiny dog will impact it for a long time. Having proper nutrients can make a huge difference in the long-term health of your diminutive animal.
Small Dogs Have Smaller Teeth
It will seem obvious now that you think about it, but a smaller dog will have smaller teeth than its larger canine cousin. For this reason, the best dog food for small dogs is broken down into bite-sized kibbles that the dog can easily chew.
Having these smaller kibbles can also be helpful for a dog’s dental health. The crisp texture of crunchy pieces of dog food, in the right size for the little one’s mouth, can help scrape away plaque build-up and tartar.
This also applies to the dog treats you feed your canine friend. Smaller dog treats, especially those designed to help with tooth and gum health, can work better for your little dog.
Dog Food Considerations for Senior Small Dogs
You might think that if you find the best dog food for small dogs then you will never have to worry about selecting a dog food ever again. That is not the case. As your dog ages, he or she will have different nutritional and health needs.
Your older dog may need more fiber, for example.
Small dogs are so long-lived compared to big dogs. Hence, you will need to pay special attention to their senior dietary needs.
The challenge with finding the right senior dog food formula is that the market is saturated and very confusing. A lot of dog foods that are labeled as being “good” for seniors haven’t been formally tested or vetted. Only prescription dog food has to go through any sort of clinical trials. Over-the-counter dog food is not required to prove that it can help with various conditions.
Is Natural Food the Best Dog Food for Small Dogs?
Lately, you will find a lot of dog foods advertised as “natural” or “organic” or both. First, “natural” doesn’t always mean “organic”. The product still has to pass certain guidelines about how food is grown and processed to be certified “organic.”
“Natural,” on the other hand, could be anything from a truly less processed food to the addition of a “natural” ingredient. Such ingredients include corn, which is “natural” but not necessarily good for dogs.
You will have to do a lot of research to find the best “natural” dog food if you want to use that type of food for your small dog.
Your Best Bet: Check with Your Vet
You should always ask your vet when considering switching your dog food. A good vet will have recommendations. The vet will also be able to teach you how to read labels on dog food. By understanding what your small dog needs, you can find the best food for him or her.