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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Nutrition For Small Sized Dogs

Nutrition for Small-sized Dogs

PetSmart Eukanuba

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Despite their smaller stature, small-sized dogs are often the first to speak and the last to back down. They tend to rely on their wit and clever nature to make up for their small physical state.

Small Dogs Aren't Just "Smaller"

As you might expect, small dogs differ from larger dog breeds in more ways than reduced size.

Despite their smaller stature, small-sized dogs are often the first to speak and the last to back down. They tend to rely on their wit and clever nature to make up for their small physical state.

Small Dogs Aren't Just "Smaller"

As you might expect, small dogs differ from larger dog breeds in more ways than reduced size.

Consider that per pound of body weight, small dogs require higher levels of energy in their diet, while having a much smaller stomach size. In addition, on average small dogs live longer (up to twice as long) as some larger dog breeds. This longer lifespan means small dogs have a higher risk for experiencing some health conditions that may be associated with advanced age, including: teeth and gum disease, heart conditions, skin conditions, and ear and eye disorders. Lastly, small breed dogs have a smaller mouth and tend to be picky eaters.

Small Dog Nutrition

Given the small dog characteristics described above, nutrition for small sized dogs should go far beyond a smaller kibble. Their physical health differences are best nutritionally supported by food fully designed for small breed dogs. Key attributes of small breed food are:

Energy Levels

Specifically, small breed pet food should be more concentrated with higher protein and fat levels, sourced from ingredients such as chicken, fish and egg. These high-quality protein sources provide key amino acids that work to help keep your dog's vital organs healthy.

Dental Benefits

It's also important to look for dental benefits since small dogs are likely to experience oral health problems. Specially formulated premium nutrition can help reduce tartar buildup, thereby improving overall oral health. This will also help maintain your dog's fresh breath.

Immune Support
As they age, additional stress is put on the dog's immune system. Since small dog breeds typically have a longer lifespan, strong immune support is particularly critical for these dogs. Antioxidants including vitamin E are key nutrients to help keep a small breed's immune system healthy. Also look for beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can help rejuvenate an older dog's immune system - particularly appropriate given a small dog's longer lifespan.

Taste
In terms of palatability, first look for a diet with concentrated nutrition from high levels of animal-based fat and protein, which tends to improve flavor. Also look for a reduced-size kibble, which can help to promote the overall eating experience.

A complete and balanced food specifically designed for a small dogs will help ensure your small dog is always at his or her best.

© Copyright 2005 Eukanuba. Used with permission.

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