Feeding your dog a high-quality well-balanced dog food is one of the best things that you, as a pet owner, can do to keep your dog healthy and nutritional needs will vary by age and breed.
Dog food regulations are loose, so be careful not to fall for the marketing ploys of “all-natural” and “organic” when there is genuinely better quality food out there.
Here are some things your toy breed needs as well as recommended brands.
Necessities in Any Dog Food
Any food you purchase should to be grain free. Most dogs regardless of breed are allergic to or intolerant of grains, and the amount of carbohydrates in them can make toy breeds bloat and gain weight. Obesity can decrease your dog’s life expectancy by two years, so keep your dog balanced and healthy.
Always be sure to consult your vet. Especially if your dog is a rescue, older, or has a history of health problems, you should inform your vet if you change your dog’s food. You don’t always have to take a vet’s specific food suggestions, but make sure they know your dog’s food and its ingredients if they aren’t already familiar. Read the above cited guide to best dog food for Shih Tzu from Shih Tzu Expert.
What Adult Toy Breeds Need in Their Diet
Being so small, toy breeds have high metabolisms. They need a surprising number of calories for their size, 40 per pound/per day. Toy breeds tend to live longer than larger dogs, but if they’re obese or have diabetes, that won’t be true.
Keep the edible treats to a minimum, and no matter how cute their begging is, don’t feed them from your plate!
Your toy breed needs a lot of calories but can’t stomach or chew much at one time. That’s the important distinction in how dog food companies brand each item to fit your dog’s size: the size of the kibble. Tooth health is important to your dog’s overall health, and keeping the bites manageable is good for their teeth, breath, and digestion.
Specific Diet Suggestions
Pay attention to every ingredient in the bag. Sometimes companies put “fillers” in their food; they don’t provide any nutrition, they simply boost the protein content. You want your dog’s protein coming from the meat, no some artificial additive.
In terms of fatty acids, Omega-3s are extremely good for your dog (and for you!). I suggest getting Salmon in your dog’s food, it is so nutrient rich while being light on the stomach. Protein isn’t a major concern for toy breeds because their muscles mass is much lower, so they don’t need as much as larger breeds. Salmon-based foods provide more than enough. Salmon oil and salmon skin is particularly good for a dog’s skin and coat, so if your toy breed is long-haired, find a food or treat with Salmon in it.
If you have a puppy, you need to provide your dog with puppy-specific food because, as their bodies are developing, they need more nutrient-rich foods. They can handle more calories and fatty acids than older dogs because they are growing and burn it off so quickly.
Specific food suggestions are:
- Victor Active Dog & Puppy Formula, Grain Free Dry Dog Food – This specific food is a fish diet with nutrient-rich sweet potatoes. It’s free of grains and gluten, so your puppy will digest this easily.
- Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy, Turkey, Oatmeal, and Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food – Packed full of proteins and vegetables with vitamins and minerals.
Best Adult Dog Food for Toy Breeds
All in all, good dog foods are balanced with fatty acids, veggies for minerals and vitamins, and proteins with no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. What makes a dog food the best option is to also have immune health through something like blueberries, as well as ingredients that promote healthy skin and fur, all being easy to digest. A starting point is to look specifically for salmon, peas, and blueberries.
- Blue Buffalo BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food – This is grain free with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. It has antioxidant support and plenty of fatty acids and proteins to keep your dog well balanced and healthy. The ingredients are barley, chicken, and brown rice.
- Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Taste of the Wild is an amazing and diverse brand. This specific formula is grain free, fibrous, and nutritious. The main ingredients are venison, garbanzo beans, lamb, peas, and lentils. You can find this formula in wet canned food as well.
- Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food – This food also comes dry and wet in cans. It’s grain free with no preservatives or artificial flavors. It’s ingredients are salmon oil, chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, and alfalfa. As you can guess, this has many nutrients and vitamins your dog needs. I specifically like that there is salmon oil alongside other proteins; it is great for skin and fur, and if your toy breed is long-haired, this is a great option for you. This food also has blueberries, and the antioxidants there are great for your dog’s immune system.
Adam Conrad is the writer at shihtzuexpert.com where he enjoys spreading his research for the best dog food for Toy breeds.
He is very keen on eradicating canine distemper and in his spare time away from researching these topics, is an avid sports enthusiast, and a lover of canine companions.