Small dog breeds need the same nutrients as large dogs although they need proportionately less. Dry dog food specifically for small dogs, referred to as “small breed” or “small bites,” are primarily just smaller chunks of the same food as for larger breeds to make it easier for the dogs to eat and digest. Notice that no canned dog food is labeled specifically for any size of breed.
That being said, natural dog food is the best kind for small dogs, and the best kind of natural dog food is made at home, provided it has the right mix of nutrients. Dog food made from fresh ingredients is sure to be healthier than any commercial brand, although it does take some time and effort. What is important is that dog food, whether homemade or commercial, should have the correct combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
One of the best ingredients for natural dog food for small dogs is chicken meat. It is easy to source and prepare for those who will make homemade dog food. In the best type of commercial dog food, chicken or chicken meal (not chicken by-product meal, which is not pure meat) should be near the top of the list. Beef, lamb, venison, duck, turkey and other animal meat are also popular and good sources of protein for muscle maintenance. For the fat requirement, there should be a source of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil for skin and coat health as well as oil from flaxseed. Brown rice, carrots, sweet potatoes and potatoes are good sources of carbohydrates and fiber to aid in healthy bowel movement.
What to avoid
Ingredients to be avoided in dog food include wheat, soy and corn, which small dogs cannot digest and are known allergens. Anything with “by-product,” “added,” “flavor” or “dye” attached to it is also generally to be avoided. Dogs of any kind should not be fed onions, onion powder, raw eggs, or chili because they have adverse health effects. Dog food that lists any of these ingredients in any quantity should be avoided entirely.
There are a lot of commercial dog food brands that have received top reviews for providing natural, high-quality nutrition for small breeds. However, puppies and lactating mothers, no matter their size, would have different nutritional needs and would require specially formulated diets. The website theruggedpup.com has more information about promoting a dog’s health throughout its lifespan.Read More