How To Feed Small Dog Breeds?

Not all dogs eat the same. The nutrients they need are, of course, similar, but the amounts and diets vary depending on several factors, including size. You don’t feed a big dog like you feed a small one. Small dogs have specific dietary needs.

Despite their small size, small dogs have considerable energy requirements. They are characterized, in fact, by often intense activity, but also by accelerated metabolisms compared to their large congeners. Their growth is also faster and their life expectancy is generally higher. Added to the small size of their stomachs and mouths, all this makes the diet of small dogs different from that of medium and large dog breeds.

Multiply meals

Small dogs have high energy needs. At the same time, their bodies are not “equipped” to handle such amounts of high-calorie food. They have, in fact, a mouth and a stomach much smaller than those of large dogs. This gap between the dietary needs of small dogs and their digestive system can lead to digestive problems if their diet is not suitable.

This is why it is often recommended to split the meals of small dogs. It makes more sense to split their daily dose of food over 2 to 4 snacks, rather than giving them just one meal per day.

Different evolution and growth

In general, dogs belonging to small breeds experience faster growth, as well as slower aging, in addition to their longer life expectancy than in large dogs. The accelerated growth of small dogs causes them to need a diet that is more concentrated and rich in growth nutrients.

In addition, they live longer and therefore risk accumulating more free radicals, especially those induced by pollution, stress, and external aggressions of all kinds. They must therefore be protected against these oxidative stress factors by having higher antioxidant contents.

Resist the temptation to spoil them

We often tend to want to spoil small dogs by systematically offering them treats. This is obviously detrimental for their health, in more than one way: it is bad for their digestion, especially because of the bad fats that these dishes and treats can contain, as well as for their weight, which can quickly rise and expose them to a variety of serious illnesses.

This is also behaviorally detrimental, as the dog eventually develops this bad habit of insisting on treats and leftover meals.

Focus on quality

Small dogs must therefore receive an appropriate diet in terms of both quantity (or rather the frequency of meals) and quality.

Brands specializing in dog food offer products specifically designed for small dogs. These provide quality protein, adequate proportions of fat, and carbohydrate supplements to meet their needs.

In addition, the emphasis is on the need to promote chewing and support digestion by favoring small kibble and concentrated in nutrients.



  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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