The 6 Best Dry Dog Foods for Small Dogs (Pros, Cons, and Pictures)

We are going to be discussing the 6 best dry dog foods for small dogs. These will include adults, puppies, and sensitive stomachs. It is important to know that there are many different things that you should look for when deciding on a food for your pup.

Note: If you click some of the links or pictures in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Top Pick

One of the best aspects of the Pedigree with Tender Bites dog food is its small kibble size. The smaller kibble is easier for small dogs to eat. It decreases the chance of them choking. It’s also easier for them to digest.

This dog food is also the top pick because of its ingredients. Pedigree with Tender Bites uses natural ingredients like roasted chicken, rice, and vegetables. The nutrition in the kibble is designed to help dogs have a healthy coat and skin. It also protects their digestive system and gives them plenty of energy.

Another great aspect is the lack of high fructose corn syrup. Since a lot of corn syrup can cause diabetes in dogs, it’s great to see that Pedigree with Tender Bites keeps it out of their formula.

PEDIGREE Small Dog Complete Nutrition Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dog Kibble, 14 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 15.9 lb. bag of PEDIGREE Small Dog Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food, Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor
  • PEDIGREE Small Dog Dry Food features a delicious chicken and vegetable flavor that provides antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • PEDIGREE Food for Dogs features whole grains, protein, and accents of vegetables to help support digestion
  • Complete and balanced nutrition provides optimal levels of omega-6 fatty acid to nourish skin, and help keep your small dogs coat shiny and healthy
  • Proudly made in the USA with the world’s finest ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, and no added sugar


  • Easy for smaller dogs to chew
  • Picky eaters love it
  • Nutritionally perfect for small dogs


  • Some dogs may grow bored with it after a while

Best for Small Breed Puppies

The food that puppies eat when they’re small is vital to their later growth and development. That’s why Hill’s Science is a great pick for small breed puppies. It contains useful ingredients like DHA from fish oil to help the growth of puppy brains and eyes.

It also contains plenty of minerals to help bone growth. It has protein to develop lean muscle. It even comes with antioxidants that can help their immune system grow strong.

Veterinarians recommend the meal for small breed puppies. You can be sure that every meal has the correct amount of nutrition that a growing puppy needs.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Small Paws, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe, 15.5 lb Bag
  • This dry puppy food uses DHA from fish oil to support healthy brain and eye development
  • Provides your small breed dog with high quality protein for building lean muscle
  • Uses a balance of minerals to promote strong bones and healthy teeth
  • Uses an antioxidant blend specifically for lifelong immune support in toy and miniature dogs
  • Mix up meal time with our convenient, single serve tray Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables


  • Help keep puppies healthy later in life
  • Great for dental care
  • Picky eaters love it


  • Some ingredients may cause allergies

Best for Small Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs or Allergies

Hill’s Science Diet is a great pick for small breeds with sensitive stomachs or allergies. Most of the formula is made up of prebiotics that help nurture healthy bacteria inside of your dog’s gut. With healthy gut bacteria, dogs are able to digest their food easier and reduce their allergies or upset stomachs.

In particular, it contains a healthy dose of vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients keep their skin healthy. With healthy skin, their coat will also be shiny and healthy.

If your dog suffers from skin allergies, then this dog food may help ease them.

It’s also specifically made for smaller breeds. Each serving has the exact amount of nutrition that a small dog needs.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe, 4 lb Bag
  • This dry dog food uses prebiotic fiber to feed your small dog's microbiome for optimal digestive health
  • Vitamin E, omega 6 fatty acids and other nutrients in smaller kibble help nourish skin & promote a lustrous coat
  • Dog food formulated with little dogs in mind to provide an optimal balance of nutrients specifically for miniature and toy breed dogs. Calorie content: 3734 kcal/kg (392 kcal/cup)
  • Precise balance and highly digestible ingredients for sensitive stomachs and for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Made with natural ingredients


  • Dogs become healthier with this dog food
  • Skin allergies cleared up
  • Reduces upset stomach with fewer farts


  • No salmon option

Best for Small Dogs with Bad Teeth

Having bad teeth can seriously impact the quality of life that your dog experiences. Hill’s Science for Seniors can help. The best way to serve this food is to moisten it first. It makes it soft enough for senior dogs or dogs with bad teeth to chew.

One of the best things about this dog food is its joint support. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids to help senior dogs with their joints. Those with bad teeth can benefit, too. They’re able to chew their meal just that much easier.

It also contains minerals that can help support their bones, including their teeth, and their kidneys and heart. Your dog’s health will be supported and protected thanks to the nutritional value of the food.

Not only is it made in the USA, but it’s also vet recommended.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Dogs, Small Paws, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe, 4.5 lb Bag
  • Supports an older little dog's joints and mobility using omega-3s from fish oil
  • Provides your small-breed dog with balanced minerals that support heart, kidney and bladder health
  • Maintain your senior dog's healthy skin and shiny coat with nourishing omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E
  • Our special antioxidant blend supports your mature dog's immune system
  • Made with natural ingredients



  • On the pricier side

Best for Small Dogs with Grains

If you don’t mind feeding your dog grains, then you’ll love Hill’s Science Small Paws Adult dog food. One of the best aspects of the food is that it’s built for small dogs. Your dog won’t have to worry about choking on the larger-sized kibble pieces.

It contains grains that are designed to help support your dog’s digestive system. It also has vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids to encourage digestive and skin health. It also has plenty of lean protein to help your dog build muscle throughout its life.

It also contains antioxidants designed specifically for toy breeds and miniature breeds. They’ll support their immune system and keep them living for a long time.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs, Chicken Meal & Rice, 4.5 lb. Bag
  • An adult dog food made with highly digestible ingredients that are easy on your small dog's stomach
  • Nourishing omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Provides high quality protein to maintain lean muscle in small breed dogs. Calorie content: 3741 kcal/kg (371 kcal/cup)
  • Uses an antioxidant blend specifically for lifelong immune support in toy and miniature dogs
  • Made with natural ingredients


  • Encourages picky dogs to eat
  • Great for short-muzzled dogs
  • Vet-recommended


  • May increase bowel movements in your dog

Best for Small Dogs Without Grains

If you prefer that your dog didn’t eat grains, then you’ll want to try Taste of the Wild Roasted Venison for Small Breeds. It eliminates grains entirely. You won’t find corn, wheat, or any artificial flavor in their formula.

Instead, they focus on high protein percentages to help dogs build strong and lean muscles. It also helps to protect joints and support bone growth. They also include probiotics that are specific to a dog’s diet and needs. Your small dog will finally receive the care they need for their digestive system.


  • Kibble breaks apart well for small mouths
  • Ideal for picky eaters
  • Meat is sourced safely


  • May cause your dog to have diarrhea

What Dry Dog Food Do Vets Recommend for Small Dogs?

Vets recommend the following dry dog foods for small dogs:

  • Royal Canin X-Small Aging
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Bites Lamb Meal & Brown Rice
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult
  • Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Dog Food

Can Dogs Live on Dry Food Only?

Dogs can live on dry food only if the food has all of their nutrition in it. Kibble usually composes all of a dog’s nutritional needs. Serving your dog the right amount of dry dog food can support their growth and health for several years.

The only time you might want to switch to wet food is your dog loses their teeth or has difficulty swallowing dry food.

Should Small Dogs Eat Small Kibble?

Small dogs can benefit from eating small kibble because it’s less of a choking hazard for them. Small kibble made specifically for small dogs also has better nutrition for them.