What are the best dog foods for different sized dogs?

Updated 24 April 2024
Read time: 6 mins
article author
Written by Elle Padgham
Lead Copywriter

We’ve found that most dog parents tend to have strong opinions over which is the ‘perfect sized’ dog…

Small breed dog owners like the compact cuddliness of a Shih Tzu or Toy Poodle; those drawn to medium-sized dogs appreciate the high-energy, family-oriented nature of a Cocker Spaniel or Border Collie, whereas lovers of large dogs, like a Doberman, enjoy a pooch that’s huge and powerful on the outside, and a big softie on the inside. 

Whatever the size of your doggy companion, it’s important that they’re fed the right food based on whether they’re large, medium or small - as it’s actually not as simple as feeding less or more. Read on for our guide to feeding your dog the right food for their size.

Choosing the right dog food for your size/breed

There are some logical differences in food for small dogs and food for large dogs - such as the size of kibble pieces. Smaller dogs will require food that actually fits in their mouths and is somewhat easier to chew, whereas larger dogs, in contrast, will require a larger volume of food per meal.

Less obvious differences, however, are in nutritional content. Did you know that smaller dogs require a higher number of proteins and fats than larger dogs, for instance?  In this respect, it’s super important to research which food suits your particular dog breed before you raid the pet food aisle. 

Best dog food for small dogs

Not only does your pint-sized pooch have a penchant for lap snuggles and window yapping, but they have special dietary requirements, too.

Small dogs need high-quality proteins and fats in their dog food. This is because due to their smaller stomachs, they digest the small amounts of food more quickly, therefore the food they do eat needs to contain a more condensed level of nutrients than dogs with larger stomachs and bodies. 

The best food for small dogs will contain a complex matrix of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, and in some cases will have a higher rate of digestibility than food larger dogs eat. As small dogs are more prone to allergies, choosing a tasty grain-free dog food is also a sensible idea.

The portion size of each of your dog’s meals will also be smaller, but how much will be dependent on size, breed and whether your dog is particularly active. Check with your vet for personal recommendations. 


Should I feed my small dog food for puppies? 


The short answer is no. Puppies and small dogs may be similar sizes, but they have very different dietary requirements - so don’t feed puppy food to small dogs and think it should suffice (and vice versa). 


What is the best dog food for French Bulldogs?


 complete superfood for dogs


As a very cute small dog, a Frenchie will need a munchable food packed with goodness and high protein. Pooch & Mutt’s Complete Superfood for Small Dogs comes in small pieces for miniature mouths, and has lots of lean chicken alongside kale, spinach and cranberries for added vitamins and antioxidants. As French Bulldogs can be susceptible to sensitive tums, the added prebiotics in this superfood will also help keep their gut healthy. 


What is the best dog food for Poodles?


soft and shiny functional food for dogs


All sizes of Poodle need nutrient dense, tasty food brimming with healthy ingredients - but they can be prone to skin and coat allergies. Pooch & Mutt’s Soft & Shiny Dry Food for dogs contains fresh ingredients such as herring, packed with the vital fatty acids needed to soothe and protect your poodle’s sensitive skin.

Best dog food for medium sized dogs

Next it’s the classic medium-sized furry friend - one that bounds into your living room, flops down onto your bed and takes up a full seat in the car just like humans do. 

A medium-sized dog needs a standard sized portion of food to remain full each day. Though they don’t need the fatty, meat-dense diet that small dogs do, they do need a complex range of nutrients and enough energy to power their slightly bigger, physically stronger bodies through the day. 

What is the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels?


superfood for dogs


A beautiful breed that’s a family favourite, a Cocker Spaniel should eat a well-balanced, high-quality dog food intended for adult dogs, containing delicious meat or fish plus fruit and veggies to sustain their high energy levels. Pooch & Mutt’s Adult Complete Superfood is a great choice. Be aware that if your Cocker Spaniel is a working dog, it will require a different diet again. 

What is the best dog food for Basset Hounds?


turkey and duck wet food for dogs


Your trusty Basset Hound is another medium-sized dog needing a meal packed with complete nutrition. If your dog prefers wet food, Pooch & Mutt’s Turkey & Duck Wet Food is packed with premium quality meat cuts and fresh, fibrous veggies to have your pooch feeling happy and healthy all day long.  

Best dog food for large dogs 


The big boys and girls are up next. Large and giant dogs are usually as loyal and lovable as they are huge, and with such big skeletons, they need special diets in order to function properly for as long as possible. 

Large and giant dogs have shorter life spans than medium and small dogs - sometimes as little as seven years - and can suffer with joint problems relatively soon in their lives. Pick a food for large dogs with added supplements such as glucosamine, to give their hard-working joints as much strength as possible. 

Of course, a large dog needs a large meal to stay full all day long. The amount you feed your giant pooch will depend on their size, breed and activity level, so check with your vet for specifics over portion sizes.

What is the best dog food for German Shepherds?


mobile bones for dogs


An alert and energetic German Shepherd needs a lot of exercise to feel satisfied, and their bodies can take a lot of strenuous activity. Because of their athleticism, they’re prone to joint issues such as hip or elbow dysplasia. Try adding a glucosamine supplement for dogs such as Pooch & Mutt Mobile Bones to increase the strength in their joints and bones.

What is the best dog food for labradors?


slim & slender food for dogs


Labradors are popular for a reason - they’re lovable and extremely loyal, not to mention excellent assistance dogs. They’re more prone to weight gain than other dogs, however, so will benefit from a lean diet packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. 

If your Lab tends to carry extra weight, Pooch & Mutt’s Slim & Slender Dry Food contains lots of lean chicken to boost metabolism, as well as glucosamine to aid your lovely Lab’s joints (which tend to ache a little more under excess weight gain). 

If you’re still unsure which kind of food your dog would benefit from most - know that so long as you’re feeding them a balanced, high-quality diet packed with meat, fruit and veggies, you’re off to a great start!

To be more specific over your dog’s needs based on their size and breed, why not try the ‘Find Your Food’ feature on the Pooch & Mutt website to see which of our all-natural dog food is perfect for you. 

Comments (1)

How much small dog dry food do i need for my 7.5 klg lasa apso he is 6 years old and i dont want to overfeed him if you could helpme with this .thanks mrs grace mccormack .

Grace Mccormack - Jun 27 2023

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