Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs

Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs

In this piece, we will take a look at the best dog foods for puppies and small dogs. For more items, head on over to 5 Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs.

Pet ownership is increasing worldwide, for variety of reasons. According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), having a pet comes with a lot of benefits such as reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, improved mental health through feelings of companionship, and an effective way to deal with the painful symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At the same time, pets also give their owners an effective opportunity to exercise. Another study from HelpGuide reiterates these benefits and adds that people who own pets and have a heart attack tend to survive longer, and for older adults, especially those aged more than 65 years, those who have pets make 30{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} fewer visits to their doctor.

When it comes to having a pet, there are a variety of different animals that humans care for. These include and range from dogs, cats, rabbits, poultry, and even horses for the well heeled and those with their own farms. An American Veterinary Association (AVMA) survey, which covers 2,000 pet owners in the U.S., reveals that in 2020, U.S. households spent an average of $354 on veterinary care for their pets, which accounted for 33{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of the total pets. At the same time, the AVMA’s principal data scientist, Rosemary Radich, outlined that the spending for veterinary care could be higher but there were serious concerns among people for affordability which ended up driving down the visits that they made to pet doctors.

The AVMA also shares data about pet ownership. It outlines that the four major pet categories in the U.S. are dogs, cats, birds, and horses. Out of these, dogs are by far the most popular, with 38.4{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of all pet owners preferring a dog. Cat owners account for 25.4{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of all pets. In third and fourth place are birds and horses, accounting for 2.8{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} and 0.7{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of pet ownership, respectively. At the same time, the average pet owning household owns more than one pet. When it comes to the cost of medical care for the animals, owning a dog is the second most expensive option, with the average veterinary expenditure per household sitting at $410 per year. Owning a horse is the most expensive option as it costs on average $614 per year for healthcare, and owning birds is the cheapest, with a mere $40 per year spent on average on healthcare. Owning a cat costs about $182 per year on average in medical expenses.

Building on this, the total costs of ownership of pets are higher than the costs of simply taking them to a doctor. A survey from Forbes, which studied the responses from 5,000 dog owners, found out that 41{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of them spent between $500 and $1,999 annually to take care of their pets, while 8{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} spent more than $2,000. The average annual spend on a dog was $730, with veterinary care costing $367 annually and pet food coming in at a close second place with $339 spent annually. Forbes also reveals that Generation Z pet owners are far more likely to pamper their pets and even buy them cakes and birthday gifts. Finally, broadly speaking, a total of $123.6 billion was spent on pets in 2021, out of which the largest chunk, $50 billion, was spent on pet food and other similar products. Owning a dog isn’t always a straightforward journey, with more than half or 54{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of the dog owners surveyed by Forbes expressing regrets about owning a dog and cleaning up the dog’s mess being the largest difficulty in owning the pet.

Since dog owners spend billions each year on food, it’s important to take a deeper look at this industry too. On this front, a research report from Research and Markets outlines that the global pet food market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} between 2022 and 2026 to sit at an estimated $82 billion by the end of 2026. North America is the largest market for global pet food, and the research firm expects it to account for 47{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of the total market by the end of the forecast period by sitting at $36.4 billion. Within the U.S., dogs are kings, as dog food sales account for 66{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of the total sales and will grow slower than the broader market through a 4.3{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} CAGR. Finally, Europe is the second biggest market, and unsurprisingly, Asia Pacific will be the fastest growing region and is expected to grow at 7.2{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} between 2022 and 2027.

As has been the case with other segments of the market, inflation has also hit pet spending, and on this front, executives from Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF) shared the strategies that they are following to deal with the market downturn and how they’re bearing fruit. They outlined in a recent earnings call:

Meanwhile, our mix of popular own brand supplies and consumables including Reddy and WholeHearted, which both grew in revenue and penetration over the year, continue to meet the core humanization trend, while also catering to a variety of wallet sizes. Taken as a whole, our differentiated assortment is driving retention with our health focused customers offering products unavailable in mass or many online channels and reducing our competitive promotional exposure. Total merchandise sales were up both in the quarter and for the full-year. Highlights include double-digit growth in consumables, driven particularly by our own brand WholeHearted. Continued year-over-year growth in both revenue and customers and Fresh Frozen and double-digit growth in RX making progress in this $12 billion addressable market.

And while our more discretionary supplies in companion animal categories saw a decline year-over-year. Our fourth quarter saw an over 100 basis point improvement in the year-over-year growth rate versus Q3. In the high value Fresh Frozen category, we maintained our structure advantage versus online only players. With over 90{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of e-com customers choosing same day delivery of BOPUS when available, we’re able to leverage our pet care centers as micro distribution centers, getting product to customers faster and in many instances with lower fulfillment costs. And today we announced an absolute breakthrough in the industry first an exclusive partnership with Freshpet, the number one brand in Fresh Frozen pet food. This makes Petco the first national omnichannel pet retailer to offer a customized fresh pet food subscription delivered direct to customers’ doors.

With these details covered, let’s take a look at the best dog foods for puppies and small dogs.

Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs

Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs

Photo by Mia Anderson on Unsplash

Our Methodology

We took a look at eight (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) different sources to find out which pet foods are the best for small dogs and puppies. Each time a food appeared on a list, it was awarded a single point. Out of these, the top pet foods for puppies and small dogs are listed below.

Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs

13. Ollie Fresh Dog Food

Insider Monkey’s Score: 2

Ollie Fresh Dog Food claims to be made from human grade recipes and with raw materials sourced from known suppliers that can easily be traced. Its maker, Ollie, also claims that each package is hand packed and sealed to ensure that it lasts long if left unopened.

12. Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed

Insider Monkey’s Score: 2

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Small Breed uses real chicken raised in a farm instead of a factory and with the nutrients necessary to fuel the growth of puppies. These include B vitamins, folic acid, minerals, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

11. Holistic Select Grain Free Small and Mini Breed Puppy Health

Insider Monkey’s Score: 2

Holistic Select Grain Free Small and Mini Breed Puppy Health claims to have Omega 3 fatty acids to improve animal skin health, body health, and proteins alongside probiotics to improve digestion. It is available in four pound bags with no less than 35{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of protein.

10. Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy

Insider Monkey’s Score: 2

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy is a grain free dog food that claims to be made without any animal by products and only with freshly bone cut meat. It primarily relies on turkey meat, alongside salmon and duck meat.

9. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy

Insider Monkey’s Score: 2

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy is available in a variety of flavors which also covers small puppies and includes other variants such as those for toy breeds that have different metabolic needs.

8. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

Insider Monkey’s Score: 2

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy also claims to use real chickens that are bred naturally, with rice, bread, fat, and barley as some of its ingredients.

7. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh

Insider Monkey’s Score: 3

The Farmer’s Dog Fresh is a universal food that is suitable for all dog breeds. It has 33{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} protein and is made from fresh turkey meat.

6. Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food

Insider Monkey’s Score: 3

Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food is designed for small dogs and growing puppies with ingredients such as antioxidants to aid the puppy’s immune system during the growth phase.


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Disclosure: None. Best Dog Foods for Puppies and Small Dogs is originally published on Insider Monkey.