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Best Dog Foods For Miniature Schnauzers: Puppies, Adults & Seniors


Last Updated: May 9, 2024 | 14 min read | Leave a Comment

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The Miniature Schnauzer is a little guy with big attitude. And for him to be his happy, sassy self, he needs the right fuel in his bowl. According to PetMD research, 90% of pet owners do not know what they should be putting in their dog’s bowls, let alone their nutritional needs.

We’ll teach you everything you need to know about the best dog foods for Miniature Schnauzers. From what nutrition he needs as a growing pup to how it changes right up to his golden years.

Let’s discuss the best ingredients to look for to find five of the best foods for each life stage, taking the hassle out of your decision. So, let’s discover the best dog food for your Mini Schnauzer and put the swag in his step.

At A Glance: Best Dog Food For Miniature Schnauzers

Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Diamond Naturals

The Farmer's Dog Food Products (3 flavors)
Our Rating

Best For Adults

The Farmer’s Dog

Our Rating

Best For Seniors

Science Diet

Puppy Nutrient Needs

Eating puppy Miniature Schnauzer in front of white background
A puppy’s stage is arguably the most important because it sets the foundations for life.

Your Miniature Schnauzer eventually grows into an 11 to 20-pound adult, and his first year is all about providing the best food to help him develop healthily. It pays dividends for his long-term health to feed him high-quality food. He is weaned off his mother’s milk at around six weeks old, so by the time you bring him home, he’ll be ready for dog food.

The most important thing you can do is to feed food designed for puppies. Puppy food contains more protein and fats for healthy development. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) are important fats for puppy growth. They support healthy cognitive and vision development, as well as overall wellness. Ingredients that supply these healthy omega fats are meat meals, fish, fish oils, and eggs.

Formulas designed for small breeds contain more energy per pound than all-breed or large-breed dog foods. Plus, the kibble pieces are small enough for your little pup to eat them comfortably. High-quality food also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. These are essential during puppyhood because they support the development of a strong immune system. Look for fruits, veggies, and added supplements.

As we said, the protein content is higher in puppy food. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that all puppies need a minimum protein content of 22%. Protein is essential for growth and muscle care because it is full of amino acids, which all living things need. Meat protein should always be the first ingredient.

Adult Nutrient Needs

Miniature Schnauzer with veggies on wood background
If your Schnauzer is more gassy than normal, it could be his food.

At around 12 months, you should switch your Miniature Schnauzer to adult food. He has completed most of his growing now, so energy-rich puppy kibble is no longer needed. Adult foods focus on a more balanced diet to maintain a healthy body. Again, stick to small-breed dog foods that are small enough for your Schnauzer to eat with ease.

AAFCO recommends that adult dogs should eat a protein content of at least 18%. In addition to real meats, meat meals are a great source of protein. They are also a great source of healthy omega fats and glucosamine needed for joint support. Some dogs are intolerant of certain meats, and it’ll give them bad gas. Be sure to try new flavors, or a limited ingredient food, if your Schnauzer is gassy.

Prebiotic fiber helps with regular digestion and keeps dogs feeling fuller in between mealtimes. Peas, chicory root, beet pulp, and pumpkin are great sources of fiber to look for. Probiotic ingredients such as dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product promote friendly bacteria in his gut. These also lead to better digestion and less gas. Also, look for antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as blueberries and cranberries, for continued strong immunity.

Senior Nutrient Needs

Miniature Schnauzer eating food from bowl on top of a bed
Your dog’s bones and joints experience more stressed with age.

When your Miniature Schnauzer reaches approximately eight years of age, it’s time to switch him to senior food. Once again, his nutritional needs are beginning to change. It’s different for every dog, but when he starts to put on weight and slow down activity, it’s time. Slowly transition him to avoid stomach upset.

Older dogs need much less energy than they did during adulthood, even sassy Schnauzers. Senior dog foods are lower in fats, calories, and often protein. Many senior options have a higher fiber content as fiber is low in calories. Plus, it bulks out his dinner, meaning he’ll feel fuller for longer. It’s important to keep your pooch trim. Otherwise, he’s more likely to suffer from weight-related health conditions.

High-quality senior formulas contain higher amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin, as these support joint health. Look for ingredients such as meat meals, fish, fish oil, cartilage, green-lipped mussels, and added glucosamine supplements. And to keep his immunity fighting fit, look for extra vitamins and minerals. 

Best Food For Miniature Schnauzer Puppies

Give your Miniature Schnauzer pup the best start to life with a high-quality small breed puppy food. These are our favorite picks.

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

  • No artificial fillers, flavors, or colors.
  • Real meat is the first ingredient.
  • Made with real cage-free chicken.
  • Amino acid profile supports muscle growth.
  • Made in the USA from sustainable sources.
  • Includes blueberries, kale, and carrots.
  • Veggies supply fiber for young puppies.

This is our best pick for puppies. It’s a budget-friendly option that does not compromise on quality, which is why we regularly recommend it for small breed pups. It has a high protein content of 32%, which is the highest on this list. The first two ingredients are cage-free chicken and chicken meal, making this option super tasty and eco-friendly for concerned consumers.

This recipe is fortified in K9 strain probiotics, making it ideal for those with sensitive stomachs. There are also plenty of antioxidant-rich ingredients, including kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, coconut, and papaya. We also like that it comes in a 40-pound bag option, making this an ideal pick if you are blessed with having several Mini Schnauzer pups to feed.

We love that this formula has the highest fat content on this list. This fuels his energetic day of playing and growing, as well as keeping his coat shiny and beautiful.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy

  • Super 7 package with antioxidants.
  • DHA for brain health.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • First ingredient is deboned chicken.
  • 415 Calories per cup.
  • 29% Protein, 17% Fat, 5% Fiber.

Blue Buffalo is well-known for the sheer volume of different formulas, and this one is our favorite for small breed puppies. This option is from the Life Protection range, which ensures a well-balanced diet to cover every puppy’s nutritional needs. The first two ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal, which contribute towards a protein content of 29%.

This is a grain-inclusive diet that uses gentle oatmeal as the primary grain. This is also a high fiber diet which is great for regular digestion and healthy stools. This option also contains the highest omega-three fats content, making it great for healthy growth, cognitive function, and eye development. Menhaden fish meal, fish oil, and eggs provide all-important DHA and ARA.

We love that this recipe contains LifeSource Bits. These are extra kibble pieces that are optimized for the development of small breed puppies. They contain a blend of seven highly nutritious superfoods.

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy

  • Veterinarian endorsed brand.
  • Made from natural ingredients.
  • Natural DHA from fish oils.
  • Antioxidants boost immune health.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 397 Calories per cup.
  • 24.5% Protein, 15.5% Fat, 3% Fiber.

Hill’s Science Diet is known for its scientific formulas, and this is their take on what all small breed puppies need. It has the lowest protein content out of our favorite picks. But not only does it still exceed AAFCO’s recommendations, but it is also the better option for some dogs who struggle to digest rich formulas. Chicken meal is the first ingredient, concentrated in meaty goodness and glucosamine for joint health.

This is a grain-inclusive formula that uses wheat and corn as the main grains. Flaxseed and fish oil provide the omega fatty acids needed for healthy development. And they also nourish his coat from the inside out. This recipe is fortified in vitamin and mineral supplements which boosts his immunity strength and improves overall wellness.

We love that this recipe is based on the scientific studies of small breed pups, which means that everything your Mini Schnauzer needs can be found in each kibble piece.

Wellness Complete Small Breed Puppy

  • Designed specifically for small dogs.
  • Does not contain meat by-products.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • No artificial fillers or preservatives.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 489 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 19% Fat, 4.25% Fiber.

Wellness has covered the needs of small breed puppies with this option from their Complete Health range. This is a grain-inclusive formula that uses oatmeal and brown rice, both of which are gentle on the digestive system. There is a long list of nutrient-rich ingredients, including spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and apples.

The protein content is 28%, and chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients. These bring taste to the table and supply plenty of amino acids for muscle growth. Salmon meal and Menhaden fish meal are also listed, which provide DHA and ARA and make his coat look lush. Reviewers comment on how much this formula impressed their fussy pups.

We love that each kibble piece is coated in Wellness’s exclusive ‘acticoat’ solution. This is a mixture of important nutrients for your pup, including probiotics, omega fats, and a blend of optimized vitamins.

Taste of the Wild Puppy

  • Real salmon is the first ingredient.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • High protein content for muscle growth.
  • Antioxidants for immune system health.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 360 Calories per cup.
  • 27% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This recipe is not specifically designed for small pups. But it is highly nutritious and full of puppy fuel, allowing it to make our list. The kibble pieces are tiny enough for small breed pups to eat comfortably. Just look at the reviews to see how many small breed pups love this recipe. This is a grain-free recipe, making this the best option for owners wanting to avoid a grain-inclusive diet. Instead, it uses sweet potatoes and peas as the secondary energy source.

The protein content is 27%, and the first two ingredients are salmon and ocean fish meal. And with smoked salmon, salmon meal, and salmon oil also listed, you can be sure that your pup gets all the omega fatty goodness he needs. This is a high fiber recipe, and it also lists many probiotic ingredients to assist with healthy digestion.

We love that this recipe uses fish as the sole protein source. Meaning that if your pup does not like chicken or is intolerant of it, this is the best option.

Best Food For Miniature Schnauzers Adults

Your Miniature Schnauzer’s adult diet is now focused on being well-balanced, meeting his energetic needs while keeping him healthy and trim.

The Farmer's Dog

  • Cooked fresh, flash-frozen, and shipped to you.
  • Personalized meal plans.
  • 4 healthy, vet-designed options: beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.
  • Made with human-grade ingredients (no fillers or preservatives).
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • Calories and nutritional values vary based on recipe.

Your Schnauzer deserves quality food as an adult. That’s why The Farmer’s Dog is our top pick for this stage of life. Not only is The Farmer’s Dog made with high-quality ingredients, but their four fresh options are delicious and nutritious. Its human-grade recipes are developed by nutritionists that ensure a balanced diet.

The Farmer’s Dog is made with a variety of fresh produce and vegetables, depending on which meat option you go with. All of these fiber-rich superfoods pack a lot of nutrients, maintaining a robust immune system. They are AAFCO-certified for all life stages, and the meal plan is customized for your unique Schnauzer, so you can feel confident that your dog’s next meal meets all of his needs to keep him healthy and strong.

We recommend that you add grains to their meals by mixing in kibble or rice.

We love that these recipes are cooked fresh based on a personalized meal plan for your best friend. And since every ingredient is human-grade, you can be sure that your dog is getting the very best dog food possible.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Glucosamine for joint health.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • 397 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This adult choice is the adult choice in the small breed life protection formula line. So if he did well on this as a pup, he would do well as an adult. The first two ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal, which are protein-rich and tasty. Menhaden fish meal and eggs also boost the protein content. It also provides plenty of healthy omega fats for his cognitive functions and glucosamine for his joints.

This option is a grain-inclusive recipe and uses wholesome brown rice and oatmeal. It is full of nutrient-dense ingredients, such as blueberries, cranberries, and dried kelp, which are fantastic for his immunity, strong bones, and overall health. There are also lots of probiotic ingredients which assist with smooth digestion.

We love that this recipe includes Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits. These are packed full of seven superfoods to support the unique nutritional needs of small breed adults.

Merrick Lil' Plates Small Breed Adult

American Journey Active Life Formula Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables
  • Grain-free dry food with chicken for small dogs.
  • Real deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
  • Formulated with prebiotic and probiotic fiber.
  • Made with a crunchy texture in a small kibble size to help reduce plaque and keep teeth clean.
  • Cooked in the USA.

This grain-free recipe lists lots of high-quality meat proteins that provide a variety of amino acids and plenty of taste. And at 38%, this recipe has a high protein content, making this ideal for energetic Mini Schnauzers as well as fussy pooches who only eat the best of the best. The first three ingredients are deboned chicken, turkey meal, and chicken meal.

This recipe also supplies lots of healthy omega fats thanks to salmon meals and salmon oil. These are great for his coat health and cognitive function. This recipe has leading glucosamine levels for joint support, which makes this ideal for dogs forever on the go and jumping around. Each piece is fortified with probiotics for smoother digestion and vitamins and minerals for strong immunity.

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content making it super meaty and tasty. If you are struggling to find a dog food for your fussy Mini Schnauzer, this could be the one for you.

Wellness Small Breed Adult

  • Smaller Kibble bits for smaller mouths.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for skin and coat health.
  • Chondroitin boost.
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics for gut health.
  • Contains no wheat, corn, or soy.
  • 420 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This is another option that follows on from a puppy recommendation. So like before, if your Mini Schnauzer loved this dog food as a pup, he is sure to like the adult version. The first three ingredients in this recipe are deboned turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal, which means lots of taste, amino acids, and glucosamine. Flaxseed also takes care of coat health, making him look and feel his best.

This formula lists nutrient-rich ingredients and antioxidants, such as carrots, spinach, blueberries, and apples. This is great for achieving a healthy oxidative state and overall wellness. Yucca schidigera extract is listed too, which is great for his gut. And it is proven to reduce gas odor too. And with many probiotic ingredients, this option is ideal for those who need help in the digestive department.

We love that this recipe is full of probiotic ingredients, thanks to the ‘acticoat’ solution covering every piece. Making this gentle on his gut and hopefully meaning less gas.

Taste of the Wild Small Breed

  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Made with lamb, egg, and duck.
  • Dense in omega fatty acids.
  • Nutrient-rich and highly digestible.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This option is a different flavor to our puppy recommendation. This time we have chosen a small-breed specific option. This is a chicken-free recipe that uses a blend of venison, lamb meal, egg, duck, and ocean fish meal proteins. These provide optimal amino acid nutrition and a big, meaty taste. The protein content is high at 32%, and it also supplies glucosamine for his small joints.

This is a grain-free option that is ideal for those parents wanted to avoid grains in their pup’s diet or those with grain-sensitive stomachs. It also uses a proprietary K9 strain of probiotics to assist with smooth digestion for better gastrointestinal health. Real fruits and veggies, such as peas, blueberries, and raspberries, are listed to ensure that your Mini Schnauzers immunity is supported.

We love that this recipe is chicken-free, making this a great pick for Mini Schnauzers who don’t like or are allergic to chicken.

Best Food For Miniature Schnauzer Seniors

When your Miniature Schnauzer begins to slow down, it’s time to switch him to a senior recipe. He’ll probably still feel just as hungry, but in reality, he doesn’t need the same amount of fuel as he once did. So, it’s crucial to feed him the right nutrition to meet his aging needs. Here are our top picks for senior Mini Schnauzers.

Science Diet Small Bites 7+ Years

  • Veterinarian endorsed brand.
  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • Easy-to-digest formula.
  • Formula promotes dog vitality.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 353 Calories per cup.
  • 15.5% Protein, 10.5% Fat, 4% Fiber.

Hill’s Science Diet is our top pick for senior Schnauzers. Like our puppy recommendation, this Hill’s Science Diet recipe is made by scientists and canine nutritionists who have studied small breed seniors’ needs, which means that everything in this recipe is nutritionally beneficial, without any pointless or nasty fillers. The first ingredient is chicken meal, and it is the only meat protein. Which means it is easy to digest and full of glucosamine.

The fat content is low in this recipe, making it a great option for seniors struggling to maintain their weight. L-carnitine is also added to the mix to help stimulate his metabolism to keep him lean and healthy. This is a grain-inclusive recipe that uses barley, rice, and wheat to provide energy. And each kibble piece is fortified in vitamins and minerals to keep his immune system strong.

We love that this recipe has extra smaller pieces, which is great for those older Mini Schnauzers who have a hard time munching normal-sized food.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior

  • High protein content for muscle maintenance.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product.
  • Super 7 package of antioxidant-rich ingredients.
  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient.
  • 371 Calories per cup.
  • 23% Protein, 13% Fat, 6% Fiber

Here we have the senior option that completes the full Blue Buffalo Life Protection trio. This line is fantastic for all small breeds, which is why we have chosen it for your Mini Schnauzer every time. The protein content is lower at 23%, and the first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal. Meaty enough to meet his nutritional needs but not too rich to upset his digestive system.

This formula also includes their LifeSource Bits optimized with seven superfoods optimized for his senior nutritional needs. This recipe lists probiotic ingredients to promote friendly bacteria in his gut. There is more glucosamine than before to support his aching joints, and dried kelp is rich in calcium for stronger bones. Fish oil and flaxseed keep his coat looking shiny and healthy.

We love that this is a high fiber recipe, which is precisely what many senior Schnauzers need. If he is forever hungry, the extra fiber helps to keep him feeling fuller for longer.

Merrick Lil' Plates Senior

  • First ingredient is real deboned chicken.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Gluten-free, no artificial colors or flavors.
  • Added prebiotics and probiotics.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 348 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 12% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.

The protein content is high in this senior recipe, which suits active seniors or those that only want the best in their bowls. The protein content is 32%, and the first two ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal. Salmon meal provides the omegas for his cognitive function, and the salmon oil keeps his coat shiny. This option has leading levels of glucosamine for best joint health.

This option is our only grain-free senior option. So, if your pooch does much better without grains in his diet, he is sure to prefer this option. Sweet potatoes and peas replace the grain ingredients and supply slow-release energy. In addition to being high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, Merrick has also listed several probiotic ingredients to ensure friendly bacteria keep the digestive process as smooth as possible.

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content on our senior list. So if your Mini Schnauzer is a fussy meat-seeker or is still energetic, this is a great choice for him.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Senior

  • Low sodium for heart health.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for skin and coat.
  • Lower calorie for less active dogs.
  • No fillers or by-products.
  • 437 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This is the final installment of the Wellness Complete Health set for Mini Schnauzers. The protein content is 25%, meaning it provides lots of yummy, nutritional goodness for your older pooch. The first two ingredients are deboned turkey and chicken meal, which are a balance of lean meats for a trim body. And concentrated protein full of healthy fats for coat and joint health.

This is also a grain-inclusive recipe that lists brown rice and oats. These, along with other fiber-dense ingredients, provide a high fiber diet, which means that he is kept feeling fuller for longer and shouldn’t beg for as many snacks in between meals. There are lots of probiotic ingredients to promote friendly bacteria too. Taurine is added for cardiac health, and flaxseed keeps his coat shiny.

We love that this recipe has lots of probiotic ingredients listed, which is great for optimal senior digestion.

Nutro Small Dogs Senior

Science Diet Perfect Weight Small Dog
  • Made with Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Healthy natural fiber for digestion.
  • Made with farm-raised chicken.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • No artificial colors or preservatives.
  • 320 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 14% Fat, 4% Fiber.

The protein content is 26%, and the first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal. Nutro states that their ingredients are non-GMO, which is great for eco-conscious customers out there. Fish oil also keeps his joints feeling supple and supported and his coat healthy and silky in his old age. Biotin and folic acid also help to keep his coat looking its best.

This is a grain-inclusive recipe that relies on barley and rice. The grains alongside beet pulp and pumpkin provide prebiotic fibers for smoother digestion. This recipe is low in calories which makes this a top pick for those Mini Schnauzers who are more sedentary than active. Or those who are struggling to maintain their weight.

We love that this recipe lists lots of vitamins and minerals in the form of supplements and superfoods. Chia seed, coconut, pumpkin, kale, and spinach are just some of the nutritious veggies and fruits to keep his immune system topped up with antioxidant goodness.

Final Thoughts

The Miniature Schnauzer, with his awesome personality and mighty mustache, only deserves the very best. This is why we have completed all of the hard nutritional research for you and every Miniature Schnauzer out there. Canine nutrition can be a confusing world for sure. But by sticking to our recommendations above, you can be sure that you are taking steps in the right direction towards his best health.

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