Small Dog Breed Food

Feeding your Morkie the best

Small dogs need more calories per pound than bigger dogs.

What do dogs need?

MEAT! Dogs are related to the wolf and need meat. Their teeth prove that they’re meant to rip and tear flesh. (Read why your Morkie’s teeth and Dog Dental Care are so important).

Most dogs, even Morkies, are also opportunistic eaters, meaning they’ll eat anything. So they can do well on foods like veggies and some carbs in addition to meat.

dogs have meat eaters teeth

The ideal food should be heavy on animal protein and good quality animal fats. Quality dog food should be lower in carbs like grain, corn, and rice.

Of course, good food should not contain artificial preservatives, coloring or mystery chemicals.

Morkies need the best food for small dogs. If they fill up on treats and poor quality food, they don’t have room for nutritional food. You don’t necessarily need to feed a specialized small breed food, as long as your Morkie is getting good nutrition.

Tip: dog foods with CORN, CORN GLUTEN or GRAIN in the first 3 ingredients, has too much filler and is not the best food for small dogs.

3 worst ingredients in dog food

1. Meat by-products near the top of the ingredient list. If it’s called just “meat,” then the animal parts used can come from any source. That includes rotting flesh that is contaminated or adulterated with who-knows-what.

Any animal can be included in “meat” and “meat by-products.”

This includes the infamous “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, and even roadkill and animals euthanized at shelters! These “4-D” animals were only recently banned for human consumption but are still allowed in pet food!

Look for named meat such as beef or chicken. Avoid any foods that include “by-products,” “meal,” or “digest.”

2. BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin** – These are highly carcinogenic additives that are used to preserve dog food for longer shelf life. Besides cancers, these chemicals are to thyroid, kidney, reproductive, and immune-related illnesses.

3. Corn – there’s no nutritious value in dog food with corn, wheat or soy in the first five ingredients. Corn is a useless filler that is a known cause of allergies, and corn can be difficult for dogs to digest. Small dogs don’t need to fill up on corn, wheat, or soy. Plus corn and wheat can result in severe Dog Allergies.

**Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT ) and Ethoxyquin (an EPA-regulated pesticide)

More garbage: avoid this

When rejected body parts, scraps, and meat from sources you don’t even want to know about, are processed, it gets a different name and might sound OK.

It’s not OK.

Avoid any commercial foods that contain:

⊗  meat by-products

⊗  “meat” as opposed to a named protein such as chicken, beef or lamb (see box above)

⊗  meat meal, or any ‘named meat’ meal like beef meal

⊗  “animal fat” as opposed to a named animal fat like chicken fat

⊗  anything that’s RENDERED

⊗  beef tallow, propylene glycol, sorbitol, corn gluten, wheat gluten, sugar, cane molasses, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose


AND, TREATS must be safe too!

Dog food labels and other fiction

Pet food labels and television commercials lead us to believe the pet food comes from fresh meat and fresh vegetables. Yummy!
Some products show images of grilled meats on the label. Not one single variety of pet food is made from grilled steak. Some include pictures of prime cuts of steak or describe specialty meat in the product name, like Cesar’s “filet mignon.”

It means nothing at all. Manufacturers are not held to any truth when it comes to marketing their food. These terms have no legal definition when it comes to pet food:


marketing words on pet food that mean nothingpremium


organic (must say “certified organic”)





A pet food label can show you fresh food when the truth is far from it:

It’s all chicken!

Rethink these popular brands

The Dirty Dozen

Well-known brands you might want to reconsider, based on their ingredients:

1. Alpo Chop House – (canned) contains both named and unnamed types of meat. Corn is high on the list, along with slaughterhouse waste (meat by-products).

2. Beneful – (dry) chicken is the first ingredient which is good, but next comes two cheap fillers, corn, and barley. Next, chicken by-product meal — which is slaughterhouse waste including feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, etc.

3. Cesar Savory Delights – (wet tubs) includes Angus Beef Flavor, Filet Mignon Flavor, etc. After water, the first ingredient is beef by-products (slaughterhouse waste, after all the meat has been stripped off); and meat byproducts (same waste but from what animal??); artificial color; sodium nitrite preservative (linked to cancer).

4. Cesar – (dry) lots of meat by-products and unnamed meat sources; contains sugar; red dye; BHA preservatives.

5. Gravy Train Dog Food – (canned and dry) leading ingredients are soybean meal; wheat flour; modified corn starch; animal fat (preserved with BHA); meat by-products. Wheat middlings, which critics say are floor sweepings. Yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 2 artificial dyes.

6. Hills Science Diet – the adult canned formula, for example, has a limited amount of meat protein; plus contains barley, corn and dried whey high up on ingredients list (all are minimum value to dogs); artificial colors. Some of the sub-brands include powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber to bulk up the food.

7. Kal Kan Dog Food – (dry) corn is the #1 ingredient, followed by unnamed meat and bone meal; soybean meal; ground wheat, and chicken by-product meal. BHA preservatives; artificial color.

8. Kibbles & Bits – (dry) #1 ingredient is corn, followed by soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production, (usually fed to farm animals). Unnamed meat sources; BHA preservative; corn syrup.

9. Ol’ Roy – (canned and dry) unnamed meat by-products; generic oil (which could be used restaurant grease); iron oxide for red coloring; BHA preservative.

10. Pedigree Dog Food* – (dry)  ingredients in order: ground whole grain corn; meat and bone meal; corn gluten meal; animal fat preserved with BHA; soybean meal, chicken by-product meal. *This label includes 11 sub-brands such as Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak and Vegetable Flavor (plus other flavors)

11. Purina Dog Chow – (dry) first three ingredients: whole grain corn; meat and bone meal; corn gluten meal. These are all of limited value biologically to dogs. Unnamed meat sources and unnamed by-products. Lots of artificial dyes: yellow 6, yellow 5, red 40, blue 2.

12. Purina Moist and Meaty – (semi-moist)  ingredients are, in order, beef by-products (slaughterhouse waste); soy flour; soy grits; and two empty nutrients: high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. Artificial dyes and preservatives.


An excellent website about commercial foods – and assessments by brand name – visit the Dog Food Advisor –



Coming soon! A book that cuts the bullsh*t

I’ve been working hard researching and writing a book on commercial dog food, from a pet lover’s point of view. 

I’m not a Vet, a scientist, or a [rich] Big Pharma sales rep… I’m just like you and I want to know what’s in the dog food they’re selling us.

The story is shocking, disgusting and stomach-churning. But as pet parents, we need to know the truth.

Prepare to be pissed off! Coming soon


Please read more about small breed puppy food in the link below.

You’ll see why some of the most popular brands like Purina, Cesar, Beneful, Alpo, Kibbles & Bits, Pedigree, Iams and others are NOT recommended for the health and longevity of your Morkie.

Feeding Your Morkie Puppy 

Talk to the breeder or the location where you got your pup, about what food he has had so far. If you decide to switch foods, do it very gradually, so the puppy doesn’t get an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Now’s the time to start good eating habits.

1. Avoid snacks and people-food treats. And be very careful buying commercial snacks; they’re often recalled for suspected salmonella and other bacteria. One of the worst treats is rawhide chews. Ugh!

2. Be sure your puppy has plenty of fresh water at all times. You can choose to give him his food on a schedule or leave it out for ‘on demand’ feeding. Talk this over with the breeder, and with your Vet.

3. Don’t start feeding your Morkie at the table. Begging is cute at first. But it gets old fast, and by then your Morkie is in the habit.

4. Study up on all the people foods that can make your Morkie seriously ill. You can find a printable list here.

Pick a quality commercial food: ideally a small breed food

If you don’t plan on feeding your new puppy a RAW diet, or you’re not experienced in making dog food, you can pick a quality commercial product.

Look for puppy formulas within these reliable brands (There are many more brands that fit this recommended list. Please use the tips to judge. )

(These foods are dry unless noted otherwise)

  • Acana
  • Blue Buffalo- all
  • Eagle Pack (beef)  (canned)
  • Freshpet (rolls and pouches)
  • Fromm Family Gold (canned)
  • Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals (canned)
  • Go! Daily Defense
  • Horizon Pulsar
  • Orijen puppy (dry and canned)
  • Primal Raw Frozen Mixes (raw frozen)
  • Simply Nourish Source 
  • Stella and Chewy’s Meal Mixer Superblends (freeze-dried)
  • Wellness Core (dry and canned)
  • Whole Earth Farms (canned and dry)