Best Dog Foods for Miniature Schnauzers

If you’re the lucky owner of a miniature schnauzer, then meeting the dietary needs of your lively and playful pooch should be at the top of your priority list.

As the breed has a propensity for certain health issues, there are some considerations you need to take into account.  

Our Picks for Best Dog Foods for Miniature Schnauzers

  • Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Small Breed Dry Puppy Food
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Senior Dog Food, Turkey & Peas
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Senior Recipe
  • Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food Small Breed Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe
  • Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food with BC30 Probiotic Salmon & Red Lentils Recipe
  • CANIDAE Petite Small Breed, Limited Ingredient Grain Free Wet Dog Food
  • Purina Pro Plan Focus Grain Free Small Breed Adult Wet Dog Food

Specific to Small Breeds

As your miniature schnauzer is considered a small-breed dog, it’s best to look for dog foods that have been specifically formulated. Small breeds generally have a higher metabolism than medium and large breeds as well as a higher percentage of lean tissue.

These differences mean that your mini’s dietary needs will be different to those of larger dogs so it’s important that you feed him accordingly.

Another thing to consider is your schnauzer’s jaw size. Small-breed specific dry foods will usually have a smaller kibble size meaning that your pooch won’t have any difficulty chowing down his meal. 

Age Appropriate

Just as humans have differing dietary needs during our varying developmental stages, the same is true of our furry friends. 

Dogs grow at a rapid rate in their first year of life and so require a specially formulated food that will aid in their development.

Look for puppy-formulated foods until your miniature schnauzer reaches 12 months, then you can switch to an adult formula. 

As ageing is linked to a propensity for obesity and muscle loss, your senior pet won’t have as many energy requirements and you should, therefore, be looking for senior-formulated dog foods for your older miniature schnauzer.

Ingredients

Knowing exactly what goes into your dog’s food is one of the most important parts of being a pet parent.

There are so many brands and varieties available, all promising optimal results in bold lettering on the front of the packet; however, what’s in the fine print on the back of the packet under “ingredients”?

Learn to read the labels and pay particular attention to the first three ingredients as ingredients are listed according to their content – from greatest to least.

Be extremely wary of foods containing “fillers” – cheap ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy that will leave your pet feeling full but are lacking in nutritional value.  

Also, be on the lookout for unnecessary additives such as colours and preservatives that are there simply to increase appeal but may cause health issues. (Source)

While there are varying opinions on the matter, opting for a grain-free dog food may be your best bet in choosing a quality product. When something is labelled grain-free, it automatically means that there won’t be any corn, soy or wheat fillers in there. Generally speaking, these are higher quality dog foods aimed at those looking for a higher quality product, but you still need to make sure you read the labels. But also keep in mind that higher quality dog foods will usually be more expensive.

When it comes to your miniature schnauzer’s dietary needs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind concerning his health. 

The breed has a higher chance of developing thyroid problems which can lead to a decreased metabolic rate and, in turn, unhealthy weight gain. Obesity can then lead to serious issues such as heart and arthritis.  It is, therefore, important to opt for a high-quality dog food free of unnecessary fillers.

Skin allergies are another common ailment for the breed usually developing between the ages of one to three. Although allergies may be attributed to several factors, a grain-free diet containing healthy fats is probably a good idea. (Source)

Another, perhaps less commonly talked about problem, is anal gland impaction – an uncomfortable condition caused by blockage of the anal glands. (Source) A fibre-rich diet can help maintain gastrointestinal balance in the gut and prevent, or alleviate, the condition. Good grain-free sources of fibre include apples, blueberries, pumpkin, sweet potato, peas and beans. 

Serving Suggestions

As miniature schnauzers have a reputation for begging for food with those large puppy-dog eyes of theirs, set boundaries right from the beginning. Avoid giving him table scraps and people food as he is likely to gain excess weight. Get your pooch into a routine, feeding him at around the same time each day, and prevent his overeating by not leaving the bowl out all day. 

You’ll need to feed your schnauzer puppy three to four times a day between 8-12 weeks, gradually reducing the amount until he’s being fed twice a day as an adult. As each dog varies in weight, make sure you ask your vet about what’s best for your pup.

Best Puppy Food for Miniature Schnauzer

Choosing an age appropriate food is a wise idea if you care about giving your puppy the optimum start.

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Small Breed Dry Puppy Food

This high-quality dry dog food is a great option for your miniature schnauzer. It is specifically formulated for small breed puppies so the kibble is a manageable size and contains the right amount of calories for the breed. This grain-free product lists de-boned chicken as its first ingredient meaning it is protein-rich without empty calories, great for schnauzers as they gain weight easily. It also contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin which may help alleviate skin conditions down the road and fibre-rich sweet potato, apples and blueberries that’s great for potential gland problems. A possible downside for some is that chicken meal is listed as the second ingredient.

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PROS

  • Small-breed specific
  • Puppy formula
  • Grain-free
  • 1st ingredient is deboned chicken
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Contains sweet potato, apples and blueberries

CONS

  • Chicken meal is the second ingredient

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This is a quality, grain-free dog food specially formulated for small-breed puppies so it’s ideal for miniature schnauzer pups. The de-boned chicken as the first ingredient and peas as the third, along with sweet potato, carrots and blueberries, ensure a healthy high-protein, high-fibre diet that can help protect against thyroid and gland issues. This dog food also contains the brand’s specially formulated LifeSource Bits with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for immune system health. Some people may not appreciate the chicken meal and turkey meal listed as the second and fifth ingredients, respectively.

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PROS

  • Grain-free
  • Small-breed specific
  • Puppy formula
  • 1st ingredient is deboned chicken
  • 3rd ingredient is peas
  • Sweet potato, carrots and blueberries
  • LifeSource Bits

CONS

  • Chicken and turkey meal

Best Senior Dog Food for Miniature Schnauzer

Just as you would choose a puppy food for a puppy, a senior food is the ideal choice for an older Miniature Schnauzer.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Senior Dog Food, Turkey & Peas

This dog food is formulated specifically for senior small-breed dogs using all-natural ingredients. It is free of any wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and its first ingredient is deboned turkey, making this a good option for your senior mini who can easily put on a little extra weight. While this isn’t a grain-free dog food, it may be fine for schnauzers without severe allergies and the added fibre in the flaxseed and brown rice, as well as in the peas, carrots, blueberries and apples, can help digestive health which is necessary for preventing issues relating to the anal glands. Another possible drawback is the chicken meal listed as the second ingredient.

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PROS

  • Senior formula
  • Small-breed specific
  • No wheat, corn or soy
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
  • 1st ingredient is a de-boned turkey
  • Plenty of fibre with flaxseed, brown rice, peas, carrots, blueberries and apples

CONS

  • Not grain-free
  • Chicken meal

Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Senior Recipe

This premium grain-free dog food contains deboned turkey as its first ingredient as well as de-boned salmon and de-boned duck meaning it is full of high-quality protein and fats. Together with the added L-Carnitine to support heart health and fat burning and the size and age-specific formula, this is the perfect food for senior schnauzers with their propensity for weight gain, skin sensitivity and smaller jaws. It is also packed full of fibre with peas, apples, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and blueberries which will help prevent possible gland issues. The only drawback to mention is that some people may find it expensive but the high-quality ingredients can justify the cost.

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PROS

  • 1st ingredient is deboned turkey
  • Deboned salmon and deboned duck
  • L-Carnitine for heart and weight health
  • Small-breed specific
  • Senior formula
  • Grain-free fibre with peas, apples, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and blueberries

CONS

  • A little pricey

Best Dry Food for Miniature Schnauzers

Normally cheaper than wet food, dry Dog food’s can actually contain proper ingredients.

They can be perfectly fine on their own or mixed with wet food to bulk it out and save money.

Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food Small Breed Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe

This premium dog food is specially formulated for adult small breeds, making it ideal for your miniature schnauzer. The grain-free, healthy-weight recipe aims to help small dogs achieve and maintain their ideal weight, with added L-carnitine to boost metabolism, which is ideal for schnauzers. The super-digestible formula, including sweet potato, blueberries and carrots, is great for preventing anal gland issues and the high-quality ingredients used can help reduce the risk of skin allergies. The first and second ingredients listed are wild-caught salmon and whitefish, all fruits and vegetables are GMO-free and there are no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives added.  However, some people may not like the inclusion of soy protein concentrate in the ingredients.

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PROS

  • Small-breed specific
  • Grain-free
  • Healthy-weight recipe
  • L-Carnitine
  • Sweet potato, carrots and blueberries
  • 1st ingredients are wild-caught salmon and whitefish
  • No GMOs
  • No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives

CONS

  • Soy protein concentrate

Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food with BC30 Probiotic Salmon & Red Lentils Recipe

This grain-free, small-breed specific dog food without added colours, flavours or preservatives, is suitable for sensitive miniature schnauzers with their small jaws. The high meat / low carb formula, together with L-carnitine supplementation, is geared at weight management which is important for mini schnauzers. The added probiotics support healthy gut flora and aid digestion and paired with the fibre-rich sweet potato, apple, blueberries and carrots help in the prevention of anal gland problems. While de-boned salmon is the first ingredient on the list, some may not appreciate that turkey, fish and lamb meals are included. 

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PROS

  • Specific to small breeds
  • Grain-free
  • No added colours, flavours or preservatives
  • High meat / low carb formula
  • Probiotics and L-carnitine supplementation
  • Sweet potato, apple, blueberries and carrots
  • 1st ingredient is deboned salmon

CONS

  • Use of turkey, fish and lamb meals

Best Wet Pet Food for Miniature Schnauzers

The food your dog will almost certainly love the most, either as their primary diet or a treat.

There are so many good choices for wet food.

CANIDAE Petite Small Breed, Limited Ingredient Grain Free Wet Dog Food

This dog food is ideal for miniature schnauzers with its grain-free, small-breed specific formula. The limited ingredients and absence of fillers, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives ensure a high-quality product that won’t exacerbate weight-gain issues which are common in schnauzers and the fibre-rich peas can help prevent anal gland issues. However, some may not like the fact that the chicken and turkey used are not de-boned.

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PROS

  • Grain-free
  • Small-breed specific
  • Limited ingredients
  • No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives
  • No fillers
  • Peas

CONS

  • Not deboned chicken or turkey

Purina Pro Plan Focus Grain Free Small Breed Adult Wet Dog Food

This small-breed, grain-free dog food is free of any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, ensuring a suitable diet for sensitive miniature schnauzers. The nutrient-dense recipe is high in protein but free of any fillers and is ideal for achieving and maintaining optimum weight. While chicken is the first ingredient, it is not deboned, so there may actually be less chicken than the second ingredient, pork lungs.

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PROS

  • Small-breed specific
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
  • Nutrient-dense recipe
  • 1st ingredient chicken

CONS

  • Doesn’t use deboned chicken

Summary and our top pick food for Miniature Schnauzers.

With certain issues such as a propensity for weight gain, skin allergies and the anal gland impaction, it is important that your miniature schnauzer gets the right dietary requirements. We love Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Senior Recipe which offers quality de-boned turkey, salmon and duck and is packed full of fibre-rich fruit and vegetables to ensure your senior schnauzer achieves and maintains his optimum health. 

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