Small Breed Dog’s Nutritional Needs
Small Breed Dog’s Nutritional Needs

adp_description_block450
Small-Breed Dog’s Nutritional Needs

Not all small dogs have the same nutritional needs. Giving your dog a food specially formulated for her size and activity level is the easiest way to make sure you’re providing complete and balanced nutrition. Here’s how to provide the right nutrition for your small dog.

 

How to Select a Food for Your Small-breed Dog

Small adult dogs require a food that offers complete nutrients essential for health and vitality. Here’s what to look for:

  • Vitamin-rich fish oils for a healthy skin, a shiny coat and overall health
  • Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
  • High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscles
  • A fiber source to promote intestinal health, enhance nutrient absorption and reduce backyard cleanup
  • A special carbohydrate blend of select healthy grains to help maintain normal blood sugar levels for sustained energy

These ingredients are the keys to nutrition whether you feed dry or wet dog food or give your dog treats.

 

Dietary Considerations for Small-Breed Dogs

Small dogs have small mouths and stomachs. You may want to feed your dog a formula with a small bite size for easy chewing. A nutrient-dense food will help make sure she’s absorbing essential nutrients even though her stomach can only accommodate what seems like a small volume of food.

 

When choosing a food for your small-breed dog, also ask:

  • Has she been spayed, is she not getting enough exercise or is she overweight?
  • Is she about to have puppies?
  • Is she considered mature or senior (7 years or older)?

Special conditions like these dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands.

 

Controlling Your Small Dog’s Weight

Less-active dogs and dogs who have been neutered or spayed are prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against complications of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-control food, look for these ingredients:

  • A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
  • L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat during weight loss
  • Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
  • Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health

 

Providing Nutrition for Pregnant Small-Breed Dogs

Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it’s important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced small-breed puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs.

 

Switching to a Mature Diet

Unlike larger dogs that are considered mature at age 5, your small dog can remain on an adult diet until age 7. In fact, small-breed dogs tend to live longer and don’t experience age-related changes as early as bigger dogs. However, it is important to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Small & Toy Breed, so you can help keep your dog healthy and active for years to come.

article small breed dogs nutritional needs inset
article small breed dogs nutritional needs header
  • Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On
    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    adp_description_block220
    Your Senior Dog’s Health from 7 Years On

    Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active

    It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health

    At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite

    Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines

    Continue to use preventive medicines.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Dental Health

    Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Exercise

    Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.

     

     

    Senior Dog Health: Diet

    Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.

both email signup

STAY INFORMED

Enter your email for customized pet advice, product updates, brand news and more!

SIGN UP FOR OUR E-NEWSLETTER

Shop Dogs

Shop Cats

Why IAMS™

© 2021 Mars or Affiliates. US Patents Pending. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
chat icon

CHAT WITH AN EXPERT