9 Best Miniature Pinscher Dog Foods Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors

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While they may only be around 9 pounds and reach 12.5 inches, there’s nothing tiny about the Miniature Pinscher’s personality.

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With dark, oval eyes and pointy ears, the Miniature Pinscher has the spirit of a Great Dane, and often gets referred to as the “King of Toys”. Although the origin of the Miniature Pinscher is still a bit of a mystery, most experts can agree that these dogs were originally bred in Germany and may have been used to hunt vermin.

Today, anyone who owns a Miniature Pinscher knows how fiery this breed can be. What they don’t have in size, the Min Pin makes up for in attitude and intelligence. They aren’t afraid to challenge an intruder that’s triple their size, and they’re regular escape artists.

Keep reading to learn more about the specific dietary and nutritional needs of your Miniature Pinscher as well as our top 15 choices.

What is the Best Miniature Pinscher Dog Food?

Understanding a Miniature Pinscher’s Diet Requirements

They might look like lap dogs, but the Miniature Pinscher is constantly buzzing with energy. This active breed is always looking for a new way to get into trouble, and for that reason, they need a high-protein, high-fat diet to sustain them.

Generally, your average, 8-pound Miniature Pinscher will need to take in around 350 calories a day, but an extremely active dog may require more than that.

While caloric intake and protein needs will always vary based on your Min Pin’s age, weight, and activity level, here’s a general guideline you can follow:

  • Puppy Miniature Pinscher Diet – As they grow, it’s crucial that your Min Pin is eating high-protein, nutrient-rich food. It’s best to look for formulas that contain around 30% crude protein and 20% fat.
  • Adult Miniature Pinscher Diet – Once they reach adulthood, your Min Pin might not need as much protein, but they will be eating more calories. Every Miniature Pinscher matures differently, so it’s a good idea to consult your vet before switching them to an adult formula.
  • Senior Miniature Pinscher Diet – At the age of 7 to 9, your Min Pin is entering their golden years. While they won’t require as much protein, senior Min Pins should be eating plenty of calcium and glucosamine to keep their joints and bones healthy.

Special Dietary Considerations for the Miniature Pinscher

This is a relatively healthy breed, but the Miniature Pinscher can be at risk for certain health problems such as:

  • Legg-Perthes Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Allergies or sensitive stomachs
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Legg-Perthes disease, or Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, is a condition that affects the femur bone of your dog. The top of the femur bone will begin breaking down and eventually lead to the disintegration of the hip bone as well. Currently, the cause of Legg-Perthes is unknown, but researchers have found it’s more common in small breeds like the Miniature Pinscher.

The thyroid gland in your dog controls the release of crucial hormones in the body. If your Min Pin develops hypothyroidism, it means that their thyroid gland is not secreting enough of those hormones. This can lead to severe weight and metabolic issues, although you can usually manage thyroid disease with medication.

Mucopolysaccharidoses, or MPS, are rare, genetic metabolic disorders that are more common in Miniature Pinschers. While the effects of MPS can vary from dog to dog, this condition typically causes abnormal bone growth and organ defects.

Toy and small breed dogs are also 1 ½ times more likely to develop patellar luxation sometime throughout their lifespan. Patellar luxation is commonly referred to as knee dislocation and can be the result of a genetic condition or trauma. Without treatment, a dislocated knee can become more serious and cause issues with your dog’s joints, gait, and activity level.

Keep in mind that feeding your Miniature Pinscher a balanced diet can’t completely protect them from these conditions nor can serve as a form of treatment. However, by meeting your pup’s nutritional needs, you may be able to reduce the risk of some of these health problems.

Related: Best Puppy Foods

Miniature Pinscher Feeding Chart

As a growing puppy, your Miniature Pinscher food should be spread into 3 or 4 meals. Regardless of how active they are, the Min Pin puppy will almost always need more fuel to power through the day.

Once they reach adulthood, you can cut back on feeding times. A less active adult Miniature Pinscher may only need to be fed once a day while a high-energy dog may need to eat twice a day.

The Best Dog Food for Miniature Pinscher: Our 2019 Top 15 Picks

Now that you understand the common health problems and nutritional needs of a Miniature Pinscher better, it’s time to discuss which specific Miniature Pinscher food is best for your furry friend.

Here are our top 15 picks:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Best Overall: With real meat, garden veggies, and whole grains, you can’t do much better for your dog than the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice recipe. Small breeds like the Miniature Pinscher often need more protein than bigger dogs, and this formula is made with protein-rich deboned chicken.

All Blue Buffalo formulas contain LifeSource Bits—extra nutrients that are enhanced with essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost your Min Pin’s overall health. There’s also glucosamine to promote your dog’s joint health and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep their coats soft and vibrant.

  • Pros: High in protein and carbohydrates, contains antioxidants and vitamins from LifeSource Bits, glucosamine supports joint health, fatty acids promote skin health
  • Cons: Some high-energy dogs may need more protein than this, not grain-free

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken Recipe

Most Affordable: The Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken recipe gives your Miniature Pinscher a balanced, all-natural diet at a more affordable price. Not only does it contain nutrient-rich whole grains, but the formula also uses farm-raised chicken as the primary source of protein.

Some dogs are prone to digestive issues, but the Nutro formula lowers the risk of a negative reaction by including higher levels of natural fiber in their recipe. The added essential vitamins and minerals are designed to meet the unique dietary requirements of small breeds like the Miniature Pinscher.

For owners that worry about feeding their dog harmful additives, this recipe is free of artificial flavors, preservatives, and GMO ingredients.

  • Pros: No artificial flavors or preservatives, non-GMO, affordable, uses farm-raised chicken as a protein source, easily-digestible
  • Cons: Not grain-free, chicken can be a common irritant for dogs

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe

Most Popular: Your Miniature Pinscher might live within the confines of your backyard, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel as if they’re out in the wild. The Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free recipe strives to do just that by including novel proteins like venison and ocean fish.

The high amount of protein in this recipe aids in muscle growth while the added vitamins and minerals boost your dog’s immune system and support their overall health. Since regular-sized kibble can be a challenge for small breeds to swallow, this formula only uses bite-sized kibble that’s designed for small jaws.

Swallowing the food isn’t the only part of the digestive process that this recipe makes easier—it also includes plenty of prebiotic and probiotic fiber too.

  • Pros: Boosts the immune system, bite-sized kibble, easily digestible, grain-free, high in protein and carbohydrates, no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Cons: Less affordable, some dogs may be sensitive to venison or fish ingredients

Ollie Tasty Lamb Fare Recipe

Super Premium: If you really want to give the “King of the Toys” the royal treatment, then you should consider the Ollie Tasty Lamb Fare recipe. Ollie is a company that delivers personalized, human-grade Miniature Pinscher food to your doorstep.

Their Tasty Lamb Fare recipe blends hearty lamb with nutrient-rich fruits and veggies like butternut squash, chickpeas, potato, and cranberries. Although every recipe is personalized to the nutritional requirements of your dog’s age, weight and activity level, you’re free to add other ingredients—or remove the ones you don’t want.

These meals are made fresh every week by Ollie staff members, who also work closely with veterinarians to ensure they’re meeting your dog’s unique needs.

  • Pros: Human-grade, freshly-made every week, includes a variety of fruits and veggies, chock-full of vitamins and minerals, delivered to your doorstep
  • Cons: Not everywhere is eligible for delivery, less affordable

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato Small Breed Bites

Best For Allergies: When your dog has allergies, finding a Miniature Pinscher food that doesn’t contain the allergen can be difficult. Even if it’s not in the title, it may pop up somewhere on the ingredient list. Fortunately, the Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato Small Breed Bites do you a favor by keeping their ingredient list short.

Not only is the sweet potato easy to digest, but the real chicken provides your pup with all the protein needed to fuel their adventures.

For dogs with weak immune systems, this recipe might be an ideal choice. The essential vitamins and minerals boost the immune system and can even help rebuild it when eaten on a regular basis.

  • Pros: Grain-free, limited ingredients, great for allergies, contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin health, no added artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to potatoes or chicken, doesn’t contain much glucosamine or chondroitin

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Lamb & Potato Recipe

Best For Sensitive Stomachs: In some cases, your dog’s issue might not be allergies, but a frequently-irritated sensitive stomach. Hunting for a Miniature Pinscher food that doesn’t cause digestive issues can be a chore, but the good news is that the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Lamb & Potato recipe might just be the answer.

This high-protein and high-fat formula uses real lamb as their primary source of protein and steers clear of common irritants like corn, wheat or soy. The glucosamine can help support your dog’s joint health while the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote skin health.

  • Pros: Easily-digestible, limited ingredient, grain-free, high in protein and fat, no chicken or poultry by-product meals
  • Cons: some high-energy dogs might require more protein, potatoes can be a common irritant

3 More Top Rated Miniature Pinscher Adult Foods

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Original Recipe with Freeze-Dried Turkey

While it’s generally recommended to include some raw food into your pup’s diet, introducing it can be a chore. The Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Original recipe makes it easier by mixing in chunks of freeze-dried turkey with high-quality kibble.

This method limits the risk of your dog experiencing digestive issues or flat-out refusing to eat the raw food. Not to mention, many Miniature Pinschers love the taste of dehydrated or freeze-dried meat, so don’t be surprised if they begin begging for more.

Nutrition-wise, this gluten-free recipe contains plenty of essential vitamins and minerals that will support your dog’s overall health throughout their prime.

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpeas & Pumpkin Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe

Solid Gold has a reputation for consistently providing flavorful, nutrient-rich dog food, and the Solid Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpeas & Pumpkin Grain-Free Small Breed recipe is no exception to the rule.

The formula uses animal-source protein like real chicken to provide a natural source of amino acids. There are also 20 different superfoods like pumpkin, carrots, and lentils that give your dog a healthy helping of crucial vitamins and minerals.

None of these nutritional benefits matter if your dog can’t physically eat it—which is why Solid Gold has designed their kibble for small, sensitive jaws and teeth.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Duck

If your dog isn’t a fan of chicken or lamb, they might enjoy the Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free recipe that’s made with real duck. Along with high-quality kibble, this formula also contains flavorful, freeze-dried raw pieces for an extra nutritional boost.

The added calcium and phosphorus can support your dog’s jaw bones and teeth while the natural glucosamine and chondroitin work to promote your pup’s joint health and mobility. If you already know your Miniature Pinscher struggles to digest certain grain products, this recipe might be the best choice for you.

It’s also grain-free and avoids using common irritants like potatoes, by-product meals, and artificial flavors and preservatives.

3 More Top Rated Miniature Pinscher Puppy Foods

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula

As puppies, the Miniature Pinscher requires high levels of protein, fat and essential nutrients. Luckily, the Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula has your dog’s dietary needs covered.

With cage-free real chicken and garden-fresh fruits and veggies like pumpkin, blueberries, and kale, this recipe is chock-full of the nutrients your puppy needs to stay healthy.

The natural vitamins and minerals come from real fruits and vegetables and help support your Miniature Pinscher puppy’s overall health. The added DHA promotes cognitive and retinal development while the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids keep your pup’s coat shiny and soft.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Puppy Chicken Grain-Free Recipe

Not all dogs react well to grain products. If they don’t have an allergic reaction, they might still experience vomiting or diarrhea from an upset stomach. Fortunately, the Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Puppy Chicken Grain-Free recipe minimizes this risk by excluding grain products from their ingredient list.

On top of that, there’s also natural DHA and ARA for your dog’s brain and eye health. The calcium and phosphorus can support your puppy’s joint and even reduce the risk that they’ll develop a bone-related disease later on.

The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote healthier skin and coats while the dietary fiber makes this formula easily-digestible.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

With natural DHA from fish oil, the Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice recipe encourage healthy cognitive development and function in your dog.

While the formula has an array of different fruits and veggies, it’s especially chock-full of Vitamin E and C to boost your Miniature Pinscher’s immune system. Although it’s not completely grain-free, this recipe doesn’t use harmful additives like artificial flavoring, preservatives or coloring.

Keep in mind that, regardless of when your Miniature Pinscher fully matures, this formula is only designed for the first year of your puppy’s life. After that, it may be time to switch to another puppy formula or an adult recipe.

3 More Picks for Senior Miniature Pinscher Foods

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Deboned Turkey & Peas Recipe

Just because your dog is entering their golden years doesn’t mean they need to slow down. The Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Deboned Turkey & Peas recipe contains enough protein and vitamins to fuel all the adventures of your aging Miniature Pinscher.

This recipe is also formulated for weight maintenance—in their final years, it’s not uncommon for Miniature Pinschers to become less active and pack on a few extra pounds. However, by keeping your Min Pin at a healthy weight, you can extend their lifespan.

This formula also contains higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to increase mobility and fend off common health problems like arthritis or cartilage loss.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Senior Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

As they age, keeping your dog on an all-natural, wholesome diet becomes even more important. The Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Senior Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato recipes comes with non-GMO ingredients and no common food irritants like corn, wheat, soy, and by-products.

The natural fiber in this formula helps avoid digestive issues while the potent antioxidants help lower the risk of your senior pup catching an infection or virus. There’s also naturally-sourced glucosamine and chondroitin to minimize the risk of bone and cartilage loss while increasing your Min Pin’s mobility.

Hill’s Science Diet 7+ Adult Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

After the age of 7, you may notice that your Miniature Pinscher’s activity levels and appetite slow down. This is a sign that they’re entering the golden years and may need the nutritional benefits of a senior recipe.

This is where Hill’s Science Diet 7+ Adult Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice recipe comes in—with protein-rich chicken and nutrient-rich whole grains, this formula can provide your senior dog with a balanced diet.

The omega-6 fatty acids promote shinier, softer coats while the natural antioxidants boost your dog’s immunity. While not totally grain-free, this recipe avoids unnatural additives like artificial flavoring or preservatives.

Our FAQ and Feeding Guide

You might know which Miniature Pinscher food will suit your furry friend’s needs best, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t have questions about their nutritional needs. The good news is that you aren’t alone, and we’ve got the answers. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that Miniature Pinscher owners have:

What kind of fruits and vegetables should I feed my Miniature Pinscher? – Along with a high-quality kibble recipe, many owners choose to feed their Miniature Pinscher food that’s raw or home-cooked. While this can give your Min Pin extra nutrition, figuring out which fruits and veggies they like can take some work.

Here’s a list of fresh fruits and vegetables your Miniature Pinscher might enjoy:

  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears

Should I be feeding my Miniature Pinscher raw or dehydrated food instead of kibble? – There’s been some debate over whether raw or dehydrated Miniature Pinscher food can provide more nutritional value than kibble.

Although it can sometimes provide more nutritional benefit, eating raw food all the time can upset some dogs’ stomachs. Most owners choose to feed their Miniature Pinscher food that’s a combination of raw and dry, high-quality kibble. The kibble is easier on your Min Pin’s tummy, but the raw food can provide a few more health benefits.

That being said, some owners also decide not to include raw food at all in their dog’s diet. If you’re feeding your Min Pin wholesome, balanced kibble, there’s really no need for dehydrated or raw meat.

How often should I feed my Miniature Pinscher food? – As high-energy puppies that are constantly buzzing around, this breed will need to eat around 3 or 4 times a day. Once they grow into adulthood, however, your Min Pin should only eat twice a day. In some cases, less mobile dogs might only need to eat one meal.

Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to free-feed your dog. Most Miniature Pinschers will continue to eat—regardless of whether they should. Other Min Pins may spend the entire day picking at their bowls, and not come close to eating enough food for their nutritional requirements.

Even if your dog seems to exercise self-restraint, monitoring their food intake will ensure that they’re not overeating or undereating.

What type of food should I be feeding my Min Pin? – The Miniature Pinscher food that you give to your precious pup should contain plenty of protein and fat. All-natural recipes that include calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin are a plus—these substances will keep your dog’s joints and bones strong.

Whether you feed them raw, dehydrated or high-quality kibble Miniature Pinscher food, it’s crucial that the ingredients are all-natural and provide balanced nutrition.

Should my dog be eating grain-free Miniature Pinscher food? – The controversy over grain-free or non-grain-free diets has been going on for years within the dog community. Ultimately, the answer boils down to whether your Min Pin suffers from grain-related food allergies or sensitivities.

If you already know or suspect that your dog can’t properly digest grain products, then your pup should definitely be on a grain-free diet. If they don’t have any issues with grain, then the choice to buy grain-free or not is completely up to you.

Does my Miniature Pinscher need a gluten-free diet? – Speaking of grain, many owners also prefer to keep their Min Pin off gluten too. Like grain, choosing a gluten-free recipe will depend on whether your dog has issues with gluten.

Gluten-free recipes don’t necessarily contain any less nutritional value—most of these formulas find other ways to include the same nutritional benefits without using gluten products.

What should I do if my Miniature Pinscher has a food allergy? – While every dog reacts differently to allergens, the symptoms of an allergy attack most commonly include vomiting, diarrhea, hives or itching.

Even if you think you know what the culprit may be, the first thing to do is talk with a veterinarian. The symptoms of an allergy attack could also be signs of a sensitive stomach or a more serious health issue. Or, your dog could still have an allergy, but it might not be to what’s in their bowl.

However, if it is a food allergy, your vet will help you find the source of the issue. Once you know what it is, you can begin searching for recipes that don’t contain it. Keep in mind that, unless it’s a grain product, the ingredient might not be listed in the title.

For instance, a Miniature Pinscher food recipe might say it contains chicken and sweet potatoes but then also include turkey in the ingredient list. Paying close attention to the entire ingredient list will save you a lot of time, and possibly stop your dog from having another attack.

Many owners that have dogs with food allergies choose to purchase limited ingredient diets since they know the ingredient list is short, and the chances of their dog reacting negatively are lower.

What if my Miniature Pinscher is a picky eater? – Even if they don’t have a food allergy or sensitive stomach, the sassy Min Pin can be a picky eater. If these dogs don’t like what you’ve given them, they aren’t going to touch it.

There isn’t a cure for picky eaters, and it all comes down to finding a recipe that your dog enjoys. If you discover that your Min Pin doesn’t enjoy kibble, you might need to switch them over to a dehydrated or raw food diet.

How do I transition my Miniature Pinscher to a new formula? – Transitioning a dog to a new recipe isn’t always easy. Most of the time, it’s a good idea to add 25% of the new food to the old stuff. If your dog doesn’t have any digestive issues, you can add another 25% the next day.

Some recipes might require a more delicate transition than 25%, and many brands will actually include instructions for switching them over. In some cases, a transition could actually take a few weeks, depending on how sensitive your dog’s stomach is.

If you follow the instructions but still find that your dog can’t handle the new formula, it might be time to talk with your vet or try another recipe.

A Final Word

Every breed has different nutritional requirements, and the Miniature Pinscher is no exception. Keeping your furry companion healthy is a lot of responsibility, and it takes more work than just picking a random recipe and hoping for the best.

Fortunately, you don’t need to wonder which brands will meet their nutritional and dietary requirements—we’ve already done the research for you.

If you’re still a little confused, that’s okay—try choosing one of the top picks we’ve reviewed above!

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