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Feeding Dogs: 
Guide to the Small Dog Diet

Two young Maltese-Shih Tzu hybrid puppies are trying to eat from a large bowl of food.Feeding Dogs: The Ultimate Guide to a Great Small Dog Diet

By Janice Jones     |Last Updated January 23, 2020

When you think about feeding dogs, what pops into your head?  Money?  Good Nutrition?  Health Problems?  Food Recalls?  Too many choices?

If you are concerned about your own healthy lifestyle, chances are you will also worry about what you offer your small breed dog. If you want to provide the best nutrition for your dog, you're in the right place.  But, let's face it, it seems that everyone has an opinion on the subject. But do they back up those opinions with facts?  We hope they would, but that's not always the case.

One of the first things that people ask when they get a new puppy is, what should I feed him.  That's an excellent question because you don't want to pick the first bag of kibble you arrive at and say your done.  You wouldn't do that for your human family and your fur family needs the best food you can afford.  Why?

Sadly, dogs only live a fraction of the time we enjoy.  If they eat the same thing for 15 years, chances are they aren't going to be very healthy.  

On this page, you will find an abundance of articles about feeding dogs.  Now, I know you aren't going to have time to read them all, but consider bookmarking this page and come back to check out those you are most interested in learning more about.  

Ready to dive in?

Feeding Dogs: Table of Contents

What are the Nutritional Needs of Small Dogs?

Pet Food Trends for 2020

Healthy Dog Food:  7 Secrets to Help You Choose the Best

Types of Commercially Prepared Dog Food

Homemade Dog Food

Raw Meat Dog Food:  Storage and Prep Tips

Rating Your Dog Food:  How Good is the Food You're Feeding Your Dog?

How to Choose the Best Dog Foods


Feeding Dogs:  What are the Nutritional Needs of Small Dogs?

It might surprise you to know that small dogs have different nutritional needs than large dogs.  The nutritional needs of all dogs are different from ours.

All dogs need a balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and trace elements.  Beyond that, it gets a little more complicated.  

The American Pet Products Association has concluded that the pet industry is experiencing phenomenal growth. Nearly 70% of Americans own a pet. That is up from 56% in the 1980s. Increased pet ownership has affected all aspects of the pet industry, including pet food. 

Healthy Dog Food:  Seven Secrets to Help You Choose the Best

Do you really know how to choose a dog food?  Chances are you picked one based on the recommendations of a friend or even an acquaintance on Facebook.  Neither may have any or all of the answers.  Learn to select a healthy dog food based on sound scientific reasons.  These seven tips will help you make an informed decision.

Feeding Dogs:  Types of Commercially Prepared Diets

If you make the decision to go with a commercially prepared diet, you will then need to choose which one to buy. 

Commercially prepared dog foods come in several types including dry kibble, canned, (moist or wet) semi-moist and raw (frozen).  Each type has its pros and cons.  Which one is best for you?

Homemade Dog Food Diets:  Are They Nutritious?

Can one prepare a homemade dog food diet that is complete and balanced for the nutritional needs of a dog?  

You may be able to, but before you take your dog off of his commercial kibble, read this study, and learn what you should do to assure a quality well balanced diet for your dog.

Raw Meat Dog Food:  Storage and Prep Tips

If you have decided you would like to start feeding your dog raw food, it is essential to follow specific steps when it comes to storing, handling as well as serving this type of food.

There are health concerns you should be worried about for not only your dog but your family members should the raw food contain microorganisms that cause illnesses. Yet it is possible to avoid these situations. 

Rating Your Dog Food:  How Good is the Food You're Feeding Your Dog?

Is it possible to evaluate one dog food over another to get an idea whether you are feeding an adequate diet?  YES. 

There is a scale developed by Sarah Irick, a Great Dane owner, dog rescuer and engineer who wanted a way to evaluate dog foods based on a set of quality measures. 

Learn how you can use this scale to determine where your dog food rates for quality.

How to Choose the Best Dog Foods

There is an enormous difference between a high quality commercially available dog food and a poor substitute for food.

Find out which foods are the best, which are OK, and which ones you should avoid. 

A growing list of dog foods and how they are rated. 

What are the Best Puppy Foods?

Do you know how to evaluate puppy foods?  There are both excellent products on the market and some that you should never feed your puppy. 

Find out how to look at food and determine if it is going to provide your puppy with all the nutrition he needs for a healthy start in life.

Feeding Your Puppy:  What, When, and How Much?

Feeding your puppy can be a wonderful way to bond, but there is more to it than that.  Experts agree that there are some "best practices" when it comes to feeding a puppy. 

Start off right so you will not need to correct mistakes later on.  Learn when to feed and how much to serve. 

Learn about nutrition and what treats to offer your small dog.

Foods Dogs Should Never Eat

Dogs have unique requirements, and many of the foods we eat are very dangerous to your dog, even lethal.

You might think a sip or a bite will not hurt, but remember the size of your small dog and please refrain.

Never feed your dogs these foods.

Feeding Dogs:  How to Read a Dog Food Label

Labels can be so confusing, but you can become an expert in no time by reading a few simple tips on what to look for in the order and way of ingredients.

Fortunately, you do not need to understand every word but you should be aware of what you are putting in your little dog’s stomach. This quick course will help you better understand what ingredients are in your small dog’s diet.

Ten Dog Food Company Claims They Hope You Will Believe

Reading claims on some dog food packaging, one might assume that the food is highly superior to everything else on the market. 

Superfood, Natural, Real Chicken, Farm Raised Fruit. However, what do those claims actually mean?  Clever advertising can trick even careful consumers.

Feeding Dogs:  Allow Grazing or Offer Scheduled Meals

Should you feed a meal or let your tiny dog snack all day.
If you choose to serve meals, just how many are we talking about and when should these meals be served? 

There are pros and cons to Free Feeding as opposed to Scheduled Feeding. 

Feeding an Organic Dog Food?

Should you be choosing an organic or natural dog food for your small dog?  Are there benefits or downfalls to this type of diet?  What exactly is an organic pet food and how can you determine if the food you are serving is organic?

A quick but thorough review of organic dog foods.

Grain-Free Dog Food?  Myths - Realities

Is a grain-free dog food diet better for your dog?  Many people think so and many of the premium dog foods offer one if not many different formulas of grain-free foods from which to choose. 

What exactly does it mean to and why should you even care.

Feeding Dogs:  What Vegetables are Safe for Dogs?

Dogs are omnivores meaning that they eat meats and vegetables. 

Not all vegetables are good for dogs, but many add nutrients to the diet and provide a tasty treat. 

Find out which vegetables you should be feeding your small dog.

What Fruits are Safe for My Dog to Eat?

We may make the mistake of thinking that a fruit that we love will also be safe for our dogs. 

While most fruits are safe and nutritious, there are some that can be harmful if not dangerous to dogs. 

Find out which ones are safe and which ones to avoid before you make a lethal mistake.

What is the Best Dog Nutrition?  
7 Signs Your Pup's Diet is Not Ideal

There are at least seven signs your dog could be suffering from a poor diet. 

Many of these symptoms may also be due to other illnesses, but if you notice one or more of these signs, it is important to consider nutrition as a possible cause. 

What is the Best Food For Your Elderly Dog?

The aging process is a reality that (unfortunately) all beings have to face.

For everyone, the diet you consume as you age is going to evolve to reflect the changing needs of your body.

Especially for dogs, their increasing age has a significant influence on their nutritional needs.


Feeding Dogs:  Problems You Might Face

Tiny dogs can also become picky eaters and finding a diet that they will enjoy becomes a frustrating task.  Of course, the opposite is also true—those dogs that like to eat too much becomes overweight and even obese.  Some eat odd things and some eat fine but then react poorly to their diet.

Many small breed dogs seem to have their fair share of feeding problems. Knowing how to prevent them is the easiest route to take, but what if you have a dog that develops problems as they age?

Refusing to Eat

Is your puppy or dog refusing to eat?  Some dogs are more picky than others, but not eating at all is a sign of illness.  If your dog is not eating, you may want to check out this article to find out whether it is a health or behavior problem.  

Feeding an Underweight Dog

Some dogs tend to be underweight for various reasons. An underweight dog is not a healthy dog.  Learn what it takes to turn an underweight dog into one with a healthy weight.

Dogs that Eat Poop

Still others will find strange things to eat if given the opportunity, some of which can be harmless, but others that can be potentially deadly.

One example of a bad habit some dogs develop is that of eating feces or to use the technical term, coprophagia.


Food Allergies in Puppies (and Dogs)

If your dog is showing signs of allergies such as scratching, chronic ear infections, skin problems or upset stomach, they could be suffering from a food allergy or sensitivity.  But there is hope for conquering these symptoms.

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