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9 Best Dog Foods for Miniature Pinschers in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

Emma Braby Profile Picture

By Emma Braby

Minipinschers EatingThe Miniature Pinscher is affectionately known as the King of Toys, and the King deserves the best of the best. When it comes to kibble, we have found the crème of the crop for the Min Pin.

He is one of the tallest toy dogs, but also one of the lightest. Despite being a toy dog breed, he has a larger-than-life personality. And to be the awesome little guy that we all know and love, he needs fuel. Not just any old food will do here.

Here in this guide, we are going to showcase our top nine options, all with reviews. This way, you can pick the option that suits your Min Pin and his individual needs. After all, no two dogs are the same.

We have also created a buying guide at the end of this page to educate you on all things Min Pin nutrition. From the specific nutrition they need to how to pick a good quality kibble, you’ll know how to understand kibble packaging after reading it.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Natural Balance L.I.D Natural Balance L.I.D
  • Limited ingredient
  • 100% natural
  • First two ingredients are fish
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley
  • Great value
  • High protein content
  • Added probiotics
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Turkey Recipe Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Turkey Recipe
  • Turkey is the main ingredient
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Looks and smells appetizing for a pet
  • Purina Pro Plan Small Puppy Purina Pro Plan Small Puppy
  • Small kibble pieces
  • High protein content
  • Full of DHA for puppy growth
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Merrick Classic Healthy Grains
  • Rich in glucosamine
  • First two ingredients are meat
  • Supported with probiotics
  • The 9 Best Dog Foods for Miniature Pinschers

    1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

    Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free

    Our top pick for the Min Pin is this limited-ingredient kibble. Made with natural ingredients, and all the good stuff that he needs and none of the stuff that he doesn’t, it is ideal for his little tummy.

    Salmon and menhaden fish meal are the first two ingredients. Not only does this contribute to a reasonably good level of protein at 24%, but it also provides plenty of omega fatty acids and oils. They will nourish his skin and coat, leaving him beautifully shiny.

    Omega fatty acids also support joint health, organ function, and better digestibility. Taurine is also added to boost his cardiac health. Other vitamins and minerals are added to the kibble, meaning that your Min Pin receives all the nutrients he needs to stay healthy and fit.

    This is the best product for the Min Pin, and the only fault that we could find is that it lists natural flavors. It is not 100% known how they make this natural flavor, and it would be better if they just used the real-deal ingredient.

    • Limited ingredient
    • 100% natural
    • The first two ingredients are fish
    • Tastes great
    • Natural flavor listed

    2. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Dog Food – Budget Buy

    Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley

    This is our best value option and the best Miniature Pinscher food for the money. The only reason that this product didn’t make it to the number one spot is that the high protein level of 32% can be too rich for some. But for many Min Pins, they love the big meaty taste.

    The first two ingredients are venison and lamb meal, with egg product, duck meal, and fish meal following shortly after. You can be sure that with this product, he receives a variety of amino acids that he needs for a healthy and robust body.

    Taste of the Wild has listed a variety of vitamins and minerals for a strong immune system. Real raspberries and blueberries are listed in their ingredients list, boosting his intake of antioxidants. Taurine is also listed for cardiac health.

    This product is fortified with a patented K9 strain of probiotics, meaning that his gut health is supported. This makes this a fantastic option for those Min Pins who need help with their regularity and stool health too.

    • Great value
    • High protein content
    • The first two ingredients are the real meat
    • Added probiotics
    • Can be too rich for some

    3. Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Turkey Fare Recipe – Premium Choice

    a black dog eating nom nom at the counter

    Our #3 Premium Choice is Nom Nom’s, Turkey Fare. In this recipe, you’ll find a base of ingredients including turkey, brown rice, carrots, eggs, and spinach. Your Mini Pinscher will simply love not only the taste and look of this dog food but also the smell. As a pet parent, you’ll appreciate that you can see the ingredients, helping you know that you’re feeding your dog something great.

    Each cup of Turkey Fare has 210 calories in it. Nom Nom even helps you determine how much you should feed your pet due to their size and weight, so there will be no issues with over or under-feeding. We love that turkey is the primary ingredient ensuring your pet gets the protein they need. You’ll also find added vitamins and nutrients to keep them happy and healthy. The guaranteed analysis of this food is 10% crude protein, 5% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, and 72% moisture.

    The only issue we found with this dog food is that pups with allergies to poultry can’t enjoy it.

    All in all, this is our premium pick for dog food for Miniature Pinschers.

    • Turkey is the main ingredient
    • Packed with vitamins and minerals
    • Looks and smells appetizing for a pet
    • Prepackaged for easier feeding
    • Not intended for pups with poultry allergies

    4. Purina Pro Plan Small Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Small Puppy

    This is our favorite pick for Min Pin puppies. Min Pin puppies are small, and their mouths are even tinier, and you can be sure that the kibble pieces in this product are small enough for him to enjoy.

    Puppies need a higher protein than adults, and you can be sure that at 33%, your Min Pin pup gets plenty from this recipe. Chicken is the first ingredient, which is a positive sign of high-quality kibble.

    He also needs DHA and ARA acids (we’ll explain more about this in the buying guide). This product provides ingredients with high levels of these in, such as egg products, fish meals, and fish oil.

    At 20%, the fat content is high, which means lots of puppy-growing fuel. It will also keep his coat looking shiny and feeling his best.

    The only negative we can see with this product is that it lists poultry by-product meals. Because it is unnamed, you cannot be sure what meat source it is. This is not ideal for Min Pins with sensitive digestive systems or specific allergies, but it is a highly-rated product, so this isn’t an issue for most.

    • Small kibble pieces
    • High protein content
    • Full of DHA for puppy growth
    • Uses an unnamed by-product meal

    5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains

    This product has leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is great for his little bones and joints. Min Pins who suffer from joint conditions, such as patellar luxation, will benefit from the high levels.

    This product uses healthy and gentle grains for his energy and fibrous needs. Brown rice, barley, and oatmeal are soft on his digestive system. Probiotic fermentation products are listed too, which promote friendly gut bacteria. This recipe also uses yucca schidigera extract, which is known to toughen stools and reduce odor. All of this together makes this product an excellent option for Min Pins with sensitive digestive systems.

    Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients on this list and provide a protein content of 27%. Turkey meal and salmon meal are listed shortly after.

    This is a great product, but a few reviews state that their fussy pups wouldn’t eat this kibble. So, if your Min Pin has a taste for richer kibbles, this might not be the best option for him.

    • Rich in glucosamine
    • The first two ingredients are meat
    • Supported with probiotics
    • Natural flavor used
    • Few picky eaters not impressed

    6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

    Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection line ensures that every aspect of his nutritional needs is met. It is a great overall product making it suitable for most Min Pins.

    The protein content is 26% and chicken, chicken meal, fish meal, and eggs, and it provides a variety of amino acids and omega fats for his overall health. Flaxseed and chicken fat help to keep his skin and coat shiny too.

    Real fruits and veggies are listed, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. They all provide vitamins and minerals for his immunity, and cranberries are known to improve urinary health too.

    The only criticism that we have of this product is that it separates peas into four separate ingredients, meaning that it probably relies more heavily on peas than we would like. But it is a highly-rated product that doesn’t seem to concern the reviewers or their dogs.

    This product includes Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSources Bits, which are a blend of optimum nutrients and superfoods specifically for the needs of small breed dogs. Although most dogs like these extra kibble pieces, some dogs eat around them.

    • The first ingredient is chicken
    • Free of corn, soy, and wheat
    • Probiotics listed
    • Some dogs don’t like LifeSource Bits

    7. Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Dog Food

    Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed

    This is a premium product pick, and the only reason that it didn’t make it higher on our Min Pin list is that it is not suited to all budgets. But if your budget can stretch, this is a fantastic option for those that can handle a high protein content, which is 35%.

    The meat proteins include chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, herring meal, eggs, and freeze-dried chicken, chicken liver, chicken heart. This kibble packs a big meaty taste into small kibble pieces. The raw ingredients make the raw kibble chucks that add extra texture to his bowl too.

    In addition to the meat meals above, coconut oil and pumpkin seeds keep his coat and skin healthy, and his joints supple. Montmorillonite clay is a natural anti-caking ingredient that is not only safe to eat, it is packed full of minerals for a robust immune system. Dried kelp is also present, which is rich in calcium.

    This kibble is high in fats and calories, making it an excellent option for energetic Min Pins who need extra fuel.

    • High protein
    • High in omega fats
    • Pricey
    • Too meaty for some

    8. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Dog Food

    Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed

    This product uses chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients, which is a positive indicator of it being a higher-quality product. The protein content is 24%, which is lower than the above products.

    All the ingredients are Non-GMO, and it doesn’t list corn, wheat, or soy, which are common allergens in many sensitive pups. The chicken is farm-raised too, which makes this an ideal product for the ethically conscious consumer.

    The fiber content is high too, which some Min Pins need, so this is an excellent pick for them. Rice, barley, oatmeal, flaxseed, and dried beet pulp help to keep his digestive regular and prevent diarrhea. Minerals and vitamins are listed for a healthy immune system and overall wellness. Vitamin E, biotin, and folic acid contribute to a healthy coat.

    Nutro Wholesome is a grain-based product, making it a better option for those Min Pins who cannot handle too much protein and do better on a high-grain diet. This is not suitable for all, though, which is why this product isn’t listed higher.

    • Non-GMO ingredients
    • Chicken’s first two ingredients
    • Relies heavily on grain
    • Natural flavor

    9. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient

    Here we have another Blue Buffalo product, but one that is a limited-ingredient recipe, which is ideal for those with sensitive digestive systems. Sometimes less is more, and this is true of this product.

    This product is good enough to make it onto our list, but it is our last choice because it has a low protein content, which is not ideal for all Min Pins. The protein content is 22%. It is a better option for some, though, and it is still highly rated, which is why it has made it onto our list.

    The only meat protein source is lamb, which is gentle on his digestive system. This is a grain-free option, which instead relies on peas, potatoes, and pumpkin for his delicate fiber and carbohydrate needs.  Pumpkin is a superfood, and it is highly nutritious too.

    This recipe lists a variety of probiotic fermentation products, which further support his digestive system. An array of vitamins and minerals also keep him healthy and feeling great, as do the LifeSoure Bits.

    • Limited ingredient recipe
    • Gentle lamb protein
    • Some dogs eat around LifeSource Bits
    • Relies heavily on peas
    • Lower protein content

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    Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Dog Food for Miniature Pinschers

    Your Miniature Pinscher deserves the best food there is, and with the hundreds of products available, it’s difficult to know where to start. And to make it even harder, sometimes, you cannot fully trust package labeling, which is why it is essential to understand what to look for in a good product.

    This buyer’s guide will take you through how to choose a good quality product and one that suits the nutritional needs of your Min Pin. The above products are listed in our order of preference. But, for some Min Pins, the seventh or the eighth  product might be the better option for your dog. So, let’s take a look at what you need to know.

    Choose a High-Quality Product

    It’s imperative to feed your Miniature Pinscher a high-quality product that is going to provide him with well-balanced nutrition. A well-balanced diet includes high-quality meat sources, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, omega fats, vitamins, and minerals.

    Your budget is always a consideration, but our advice is to feed him the best diet that you can afford. Not only will it keep him healthy but it will also keep him happy too.

    Higher-quality products also tend to be nutrient-dense and richer in calories, meaning that you will have to feed him smaller amounts compared to a budget store kibble. This can often make higher quality kibbles better value for your money.

    Read the Ingredients List Yourself

    Sometimes, brands will make claims that aren’t honestly accurate. For example, if it’s important to you that the kibble you feed your Min Pin is from the USA, “Made in the USA” doesn’t make it a USA product as such. Yes, it is made in the USA, but the ingredients are often sourced from outside the USA. This is a misleading label.

    Again, a product might say “made with real chicken,” and yes, it might be made with real chicken, but it can also be made with chicken by-products as well. This isn’t a lie, but it is misleading.

    So, the only way to know what you are feeding your Min Pin is in line with his needs and your values, you must read the ingredients list yourself and the small print.

    Black Mini Pinscher
    Image Credit: Alexandr Ryzhov, Shutterstock

    Named Ingredients Are Better

    Named ingredients are much better than unnamed ingredients. For example, the chicken by-product is much better than poultry by-product. This is particularly true for those Min Pins with sensitive digestive systems or those with known allergies. Poultry includes a wide list of meats, and if he is allergic to chicken, you cannot be sure what is in there.

    All of the products above list meat meals, which are a great source of protein. Meat meals are concentrated proteins that pack more nutrients and are a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin. The Min Pin is known to suffer from joint issues, such as patellar luxation, so these are great ingredients to look for.

    Omega Fatty Acids Are Key

    Many dog owners try to avoid kibbles with high-fat content, but this is often a big mistake to make. Omega fatty acids are much needed for a healthy body, and they have a multitude of health benefits.

    Your Min Pin needs omega fatty acids for healthy development, joint support, organ function, healthy skin and coat, and vitamin and mineral absorption, to name just a few. Without them, he wouldn’t be all that healthy. They also help his sensitive digestive system to function better, which is extremely important for the Min Pin and his delicate tummy.

    When you look at the ingredients list, look for ingredients such as meat meals, fish oils, chicken fat, flaxseed, sunflower, and canola oils.

    Mini Pinscher on blue and pink background
    Image Credit: Dzhulbee, Shutterstock

    Always Buy Small Breed Kibble

    The Min Pin is a toy dog, which means he has a tiny mouth. This means that he will not be able to eat most kibbles simply because they are too big. So, it’s super important that you look for a kibble that is specifically designed for small-breed dogs.

    Not only are the kibble pieces smaller but they are designed with the nutritional needs of smaller breeds in mind. Mainly, they contain a higher calorie content per cup. Smaller dogs have a faster metabolism, meaning that they need more calories per pound than larger dogs.

    Always Buy Life-Stage Appropriate Kibble

    The Miniature Pinscher, just like all dogs, needs life-stage-appropriate food. When he is a puppy, he will need a higher level of protein compared to an adult, as well as higher levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA).

    DHA and ARA are crucial for healthy development and assist in healthy cognitive function and eye health. Without these in his diet, he will be deficient in vital puppy nutrients. Ingredients rich in DHA and ARA are meat meals, fish, fish oils, and eggs.

    When he reaches 1 year old, he should be transitioned to an adult kibble like the suggestions above. And when he reaches his senior years, he’ll need kibble with few calories and fewer fats, and much more glucosamine. Either pick from one of the low-calorie options above or choose a senior-specific formula.

    Brown Mini Pinschers
    Image Credit: elsabsalgado, Pixabay

    Consider Your Min Pin’s Needs

    Just because the number one product on this list is our best-rated option for Min Pins doesn’t mean it is the best option for your Min Pins. Choosing the best choice for your dog is the most essential factor to think about before selecting a kibble for him.

    The Miniature Pinscher is known to suffer from a sensitive digestive system. This is why a lot of our picks for the Min Pin are either gentle formulas or limited-ingredient recipes.

    If he has a sensitive stomach, choose a limited-ingredient recipe, or one that lists gentle proteins and prebiotic fibers that his stomach will find easier to digest. Prebiotic ingredients to look for are sweet potato, pumpkin, and dried beet pulp. Probiotic ingredients such as lactobacillus acidophilus and casei fermentation product aid regular digestion and promote friendly gut bacteria.

    If he does better on grains, avoid grain-free food. If he struggles to digest kibbles rich in proteins, avoid the more premium products that tend to focus on high protein.

    Good nutrition can make him super healthy and fit, just as the wrong food can make him poorly. If you are in any doubt about your Min Pins dietary needs, be sure to speak to your vet, who will be able to offer you customized advice.

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    Final Verdict

    Hopefully, now you are clear on what qualities make for the best food for your Miniature Pinscher, and you feel confident in choosing the best product for him. With so many products available, we have made it much easier for you to choose.

    Our top overall pick for the best dog food for a Miniature Pinscher is the Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Dry Dog Food and the best value for your money is the Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Grain-Free Dog Food. Our premium choice is Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Turkey Fare Recipe because it is high in real meat proteins and has an all-natural, limited ingredient list that you can feel good about feeding to your Min Pin!

    The best nine kibbles for the Min Pin are listed above, all complete with their reviews. And by choosing one of these, you can be sure that not only is your Min Pin in for a tasty dinner, but he will also get all the nutrients that he needs.

    Featured Image Credit: Gavriella Pet photography, Shutterstock

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