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7 Big Tips for Properly Feeding Your Small Breed Dog

Dr. Danielle Bernal

By Dr. Danielle Bernal
1/05/2022

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In the past 20 years, small breed dogs have grown in popularity to now represent the majority of dogs in the US.  While potentially chosen for their cute appearance or perfect size to match our ever-urbanizing lifestyle, many pet parents may not realize that when it comes to how we feed these little guys, it is important to select tailored nutrition that promotes their optimal wellbeing. With a higher energy need per pound than that of the larger breeds like a Great Dane or Labrador, these little fellas are known for also living the longest of all the dog breeds. From a nutritional perspective, their size can also make them more predisposed to common health issues such as dental disease and obesity, both of which are a direct result of what we feed them. Making sure you select nutrition that is tailored to their unique needs is one of the best ways to ensure that every small breed dog not only looks and feels their very best, but that they can enjoy a lifetime of wellbeing together with their pet parent.

So how should you navigate the best way to care for a small breed? Here are 7 top tips to keep in mind.

Tips for Feeding Your Small Breed Dog

  1. Look for a small breed specific range of premium natural nutrition. These customized diets are designed to perfectly match their unique small needs.  At Wellness, every small breed recipe is scientifically crafted with a smaller sized kibble to suit their small mouths. The tailored recipe is also packed with higher meat protein and fats to deliver not only a tasty recipe that even the fussiest small breed dog loves but also one that contains more calories per bite. This will help to fuel their active lives and match their increased metabolic needs.
  2. Don’t forget about selecting the small breed recipe that matches their life stage and lifestyle needs.  Some small breeds can potentially spend 2/3 of their life as a senior or at the other end of the spectrum, growing as much in their first year as we humans do over 15 years.  This means that selecting the right age-appropriate diet is key to a small breed’s wellbeing.  Wellness Small Breed Puppy recipes contain guaranteed levels of DHA to support brain development as well as balanced vitamins and minerals for growth. Wellness Small Breed Senior recipes contain boosted antioxidants to help their immunity, glucosamine, and chondroitin to support their mobility as well as increased digestive support to help ease any sensitivities they may encounter as they age.
  3. Monitor how much you feed. While their energy needs are higher per pound of body weight, small breed dogs are so small that it is also very easy to overfeed them without noticing.  As little as an ounce of extra kibble more means a lot for them.  In some cases, this can be as much as 20% more calories per day than their recommended feeding amount! Over time, this can contribute to unwanted weight gain.
  4. On that note, watch their waistlines! Being so small may mean that a gain in weight of a few ounces could be 10-20% of their total body weight. This may not be seen to the same level as bigger dogs where proportionally this amount of weight gain may be more like 4-6 extra pounds. For some small breeds, just a half a pound weight gain on the scales can in fact represent a significant issue – the same as a 150 pound man gaining 20 pounds! Should you think your small breed might be carrying a little extra weight than they should be, the Wellness CORE Small Breed Healthy Weight recipe is perfectly crafted with lowered fat and calories to help trim them down. Additionally, the recipe contains higher protein to ensure they maintain an optimal body condition while that losing weight.
  5. The importance of daily dental care. With the same number of teeth as a Great Dane but in a much smaller space, a small breed’s teeth are far more overcrowded versus the bigger breeds, leading to them being significantly more pre-disposed to dental issues. Pet parents of small breeds need to make sure that they help clean their dog’s teeth every day.  Great ideas to keep their teeth pearly white include brushing their teeth or giving an appropriate dental chew treat like WHIMZEES Daily Dental Treats.  These dental chews work to mechanically clean their teeth while they chew and are clinically proven to slow the progression of dental disease.   
  6. Look for a brand that is dedicated to delivering both a delicious taste and the best quality ingredients. These recipes should be meat rich, high in protein, and contain healthy fats and wholesome carbohydrates at decreased amounts. This ensures not only a tasty meal to deliver mealtime excitement but also a nutrient dense recipe that will match their smaller stomach size.
  7. Choose a recipe that excels on taste for mealtime delight. We know how important it is that every dog loves their food, even the fussiest of small breeds. That’s why we have crafted an entire small breed range of recipes committed to delighting every dog with high palatability options such as Wellness CORE RawRev Small Breed, a kibble plus 100% freeze dried meat bites, or one of the many Wellness wet complete and balanced meals such as Mini Meals or Petite Entrees that are perfectly sized as single serves for smaller breed dogs.  When it comes to treats, CORE Petite Treats are 100% grain free and packed with meat protein to help reward great behavior as well as be the perfect small breed sized treat for some healthy snacking.

By following these customized small breed nutrition tips and tricks, you can make sure that your small breed is eating recipes that not only taste delicious but ones that will also contain everything they need to live healthy and happy lives for a lifetime of love.

About This Page

Pet Type:

Dog

Topic:

Health & Nutrition

Date:

1/05/2022

Author:

Dr. Danielle Bernal
Dr. Danielle Bernal

Dr. Bernal has over a decade of experience in veterinary medicine, specializing in animal nutrition. In her role as on-staff veterinarian with Wellness Pet Food, she educates pet parents on the importance of natural ingredients like wholesome meats and nutrient-rich superfoods. She passionately believes that proper nutrition helps pets lead happier, healthier lives. Dr. Bernal has been featured in radio, TV and print stories in numerous countries.

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