Top 10 Best Dry Dog Food for Small senior dogs

Top 10 Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs

Most dog owners love their canine companions enough that they want to feed them the best food with healthful nutrition for a long and happy life. But there are many different dog foods on the market, and you know not to trust their glowing marketing blurbs. So, how do you decide which food is the right one for your beloved dog?

We were faced with that very problem. But rather than pick just one dog food, we picked out loads of them to test and compare. After trying them all extensively with our dogs, we decided to write up the following ten reviews to share what we learned about some of our favorite foods with you. Hopefully, this will spare you the trouble of trying them all yourself. Here is the best dog food for small dogs

The 10 Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs

Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet
Sizes: 5, 17.6, or 27.5 pounds
Flavor: Chicken
Special diet: Weight control, vet diet, pea-free

Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food is perfect for those small dogs that need a little help controlling their weight. It also helps maintain healthy digestion and normal blood glucose levels and provides excellent support for a healthy urinary tract. This includes the prevention of the formation of urinary crystals. This food is high in fiber, which will help dogs feel fuller, and is high in L-carnitine, which increases the metabolism and burns fat.

The primary disadvantages of this dog food are that it is pretty expensive and needs veterinary authorization.

  • Helps dogs with weight control
  • Maintains healthy digestion and normal blood glucose levels
  • Supports a healthy urinary system
  • High in fiber so your dog feels fuller
  • High in L-carnitine for metabolism and burning fat
  • Expensive
  • Need vet authorization

Cesar Small Breed Dry Dog Food – Best Value

Cesar Small Breed
Sizes: 7, 5, or 12 pounds
Flavor: Filet mignon and spring vegetables
Special diet: None

Cesar’s Small Breed Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for small dogs for the money. The price is right, and it contains crunchy kibble small enough for your dog as well as tender, meaty chunks. It has 26 nutrients and is high protein for your small dog. Real beef is the first ingredient, and the shape of the crunchy kibble can help with your dog’s dental health. Lastly, the bag has a resealable zipper, keeping the food fresh.

The main disadvantage of this dog food is that it does contain wheat, corn, soy, and animal by-products.

  • Great price
  • Combination of crunchy kibble and tender chunks
  • Contains 26 nutrients and is high in protein
  • Real beef is the main ingredient
  • Shape of the kibble helps with dental health
  • Bag is resealable
  • Contains wheat, soy, corn, and animal by-products

Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice
Sizes: 5 or 13 pounds
Flavor: Chicken and brown rice
Special diet: No GMO, corn, wheat, or soy

Nutro’s Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is made with whole chicken making for a high-quality protein. It also contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which will help to support your dog’s joints, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system. This food doesn’t contain GMOs, corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-products.

Unfortunately, this dog food is a little on the expensive side. Plus, some dogs might be on the picky side with this food.

  • Whole chicken is the main ingredient
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Doesn’t include soy, wheat, corn, GMOs, or chicken by-products
  • A little pricey
  • Picky dogs will be picky

Ollie Baked Meal Plan – Best Overall

Ollie baked beef with sweet potatoes dog food


Sizes: Choose your frequency
Flavor: Baked beef or chicken
Special diet: No corn, wheat, soy, or by-products

Ollie is a subscription-based dog food delivery service. When you sign up for a subscription, Ollie will ask for a number of details about your dog and their diet. You can also choose from fresh, baked, or a combination of the two meal types.
The baked meal plan contains the same high-quality ingredients, but because it undergoes a less intensive cooking process, it costs less than that of the fresh meal. It is similar, in concept, to a traditional kibble food, except that it uses real meat, fruit, and vegetables with meat as the primary ingredient. It is also free from low-quality and undesirable by-products like hormones.

There is currently only a limited range of baked menu flavors: chicken or beef. And, while the food does cost a little more than traditional kibbles, the ingredients are high quality and the food is gently prepared, ensuring that the ingredients retain their nutritional value. Plus, it is less expensive than feeding a fresh menu. The combination of reasonable pricing with high-quality ingredients makes it the best overall dry dog food for small dogs.

  • Meal plan catered to your small dog’s requirements
  • Slowly cooked to retain nutrients
  • Uses high-quality ingredients
  • Delivered directly to your door
  • Limited choice of only two flavors

Royal Canin X-Small Dry Puppy Food – Best for Puppies

Royal Canin X-Small
Sizes: 3 or 15 pounds
Flavor: Chicken
Special diet: Extra small puppies

Royal Canin’s X-Small Dry Puppy Food is specifically designed for puppies under 10 months of age and up to 8 pounds in weight. For this reason, the kibble is extra small for those tiny mouths and teeth, and it contains highly digestible proteins for growing bodies. This dog food also includes antioxidants and prebiotics to help digestive health and encourage a robust immune system.

However, the first ingredient listed is a chicken by-product, and it also includes corn and wheat gluten.

  • For puppies up to 10 months of age and up to 8 pounds
  • Extra small kibble
  • Highly digestible protein
  • Antioxidants for a strong immune system
  • Prebiotics for digestive health
  • Includes chicken by-products, corn, and wheat gluten

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Sizes: 3, 6, or 15 pounds
Flavor: Chicken and brown rice
Special diet: No corn, wheat, soy, or by-products

Another good dry food for small dogs is Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula Dog Food. It comes in three sizes and is chicken and brown rice flavored. The primary ingredient is deboned chicken, which provides your small pup with a natural and rich source of protein. It also includes fruits and veggies as well as minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that are high in antioxidants. It’s high in carbs and protein, perfect for the smaller dog. The kibble itself is the right size for small teeth and also works to help remove tartar buildup. Finally, it doesn’t contain poultry by-products, wheat, soy, or corn.

However, Blue Buffalo includes the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants combined into a small, dark brown chunk of food called LifeSource Bits. These bits seem to get rejected by several dogs, so you might notice these small, dark pieces of food scattered around the food bowl.

  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Main ingredient is deboned chicken
  • Rich and natural source of protein
  • Contains fruits and veggies high in antioxidants
  • Kibble is small but helps with tartar buildup
  • Doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn, or by-products
  • LifeSource Bits are often rejected by some dogs

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Dog Dry Food

Taste of the Wild
Sizes: 5, 14, or 28 pounds
Flavor: Venison and green beans
Special diet: Grain-free

Taste of the Wild’s Appalachian Valley Dog Food contains venison as the main ingredient, and it includes both probiotics and prebiotics to aid in healthy digestion. It has lamb, duck, egg, and ocean fish which are all high in protein and provide a healthy dose of amino acids and fat that can also give your pup a healthy coat and skin. It does not contain artificial flavors, colors, corn, wheat, or grains.

However, like the other dog foods with fewer or no fillers, it’s expensive, and some dogs seem not to like it very much.

  • Venison is the main ingredient
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • High in natural proteins and fats
  • Doesn’t have any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, soy, or corn
  • Expensive
  • Some dogs don’t like it

Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe Small
Sizes: 4 or 12 pounds
Flavor: Chicken, sweet potato, and pumpkin
Special diet: No wheat, soy, or corn

Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food contains chicken as the first and primary ingredient but is also full of sweet potato and pumpkin. Antioxidants and fiber for digestive health, a hardy immune system, and added vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t contain any by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives or flavors.

The main flaw with this food is the price. It is on the expensive side, and like most food, picky dogs will be picky.

  • Chicken is the main ingredient with pumpkin and sweet potato
  • Fiber and antioxidants for digestive health and immune system
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or by-products
  • Picky dogs are picky
  • Expensive

Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan
Sizes: 6, 18, or 34 pounds
Flavor: Chicken and rice
Special diet: High protein

The Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is another dog food that is a combination of kibble and tender morsels. Whole chicken is the main ingredient, and it includes vitamin A and linoleic acid for a healthy coat and skin. It also contains live probiotics for the immunity system and digestive health and also has prebiotics for additional digestive health.

Unfortunately, similar to the other kinds of kibble like this one with tender morsels, some dogs might ignore the kibble and only eat the soft bits. This food also contains chicken by-products, corn, wheat, and corn. Additionally, sometimes the bags are inconsistent with the number of morsels contained, with some bags having little to none.

  • Combination of tender bites and kibble
  • Whole chicken is the main ingredient
  • Has vitamin A and linoleic acid for healthy coat and skin
  • Prebiotics and live probiotics for immune system and digestion
  • Some dogs will pick out the shredded pieces
  • Contains by-products, wheat, soy, and corn
  • Some of the bags have little to no shredded pieces

Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend
Sizes: 5 or 31.1 pounds
Flavor: Beef and rice
Special diet: Natural

The Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites Dry Dog Food has real beef as the first and main ingredient and other high protein sources. It’s a combination of dry crunchy kibble and softer tender morsels, and it contains glucosamine for joint health. This food also supports coat and skin health with essential omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants for a robust immune system.

On the downside, this food does contain chicken by-products, corn, soy, and wheat. Also, while the softer morsels are enticing for most dogs, they might prove to be too enticing, and your dog might reject the kibble in favor of the tender bits.

  • Real beef is the primary ingredient
  • Combination of kibble and tender bites
  • Includes glucosamine for joint health
  • Essential omega-6 fatty acids for coat and skin health
  • Antioxidants for a robust immune system
  • Contains corn, wheat, soy, and chicken by-product
  • Dogs might reject kibble in favor of softer morsels

Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE
Sizes: 4 or 12 pounds
Flavor: Turkey and chicken
Special diet: High protein, grain, and gluten-free

Wellness’s CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food has deboned turkey as the primary ingredient with the addition of chicken, salmon oil, veggies, and fruit. It has probiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chondroitin, glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and taurine. It doesn’t contain any animal by-products, soy, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

You’ll notice a pattern here, but dog food that tends to contain whole ingredients and no fillers also seem to be expensive. Some dogs might not like it, particularly if they are picky.

  • Deboned chicken is the main ingredient
  • Contains a variety of taurine, glucosamine chondroitin, and probiotics
  • Doesn’t have artificial ingredients, by-products, wheat, soy, or corn
  • Expensive
  • Picky dogs might not like

Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dry Food For Small Dogs

Now that you’ve had a look at some of the options, you should read our Buyer’s Guide, as we’ll go over a few points of interest that should help you make your decision.

Dog Food Flavor

Chicken is sometimes an ingredient you should avoid, as many dogs have food sensitivities with it. It can be difficult to find food that doesn’t contain chicken in some form or other. Yet another reason to read the ingredients. Otherwise, if you know your dog favors beef, look for beef or filet mignon flavors. Many dogs sometimes seem to be put off by the “healthier” dog foods, so play around with the flavors until you find the right one.

Dog Food Ingredients

Fillers are the concern here. Sometimes manufacturers add extra fillers, which does seem to take down the product’s price. Animal by-products, wheat, corn, soy are all fillers. There are also the artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors added to some of the recipes. It’s always a good idea to get into the habit of reading the ingredients list on your dog’s food, especially if your dog has any allergies or health issues. Some dogs do just fine on these cheaper foods but just be aware of what is going into your pup’s food.

Dog Size

The smaller your dog, the smaller the bag might need to be. Of course, this is something you can decide on at your own discretion but stocking up on enormous bags of food for a dog that will take twice as long to eat it, as compared to its larger counterparts, might not be the best idea, particularly in the summer. But if you have the space and aren’t worried about the food going off or being attacked by pests, then get the larger bags.


Ollie’s Baked Meal Plan is our overall favorite as it doesn’t contain any wheat, soy, corn, or animal by-products, and the dry food is customized to your small dog’s needs. Cesar’s Small Breed Dry Dog Food is priced well, and it contains crunchy kibble as well as tender, meaty chunks perfectly sized for your pup’s mouth. Finally, Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Dry Dog Food is expensive, but it’s the perfect food for those small dogs that need a little help controlling their weight.

We hope our reviews have helped you to figure out what food will be the best for your little friend and that they’ll thank you for it in their own way.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.


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