5 Best Dog Foods For Papillons

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food for Papillons.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Papillons?

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Papillon Dog Food Reviews

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Venison
    2. Lamb Meal
    3. Garbanzo Beans
    4. Peas
    5. Lentils

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 4%

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley is a premium quality diet designed specifically with the needs of small breed dogs in mind. This diet, considered among the best dog foods for Papillons, bases its formulation on venison, a novel protein source that is unlikely to trigger allergic reactions in dogs with skin or stomach sensitivities.

This diet contains no grains, taking its carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables that are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. These ingredients support good digestion and a healthy immune system.

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley is free from grains, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Probiotics have been added to assist with the development of healthy gut flora.

Pros

  • Papillons that consistently struggled with itchiness had skin that was well-hydrated and itch-free when fed a steady diet of Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley.
  • Owners are pleased that Taste of the Wild offers many different flavors in their product line, allowing them to provide their dogs with a wide variety in their diet.
  • Owners noted that when fed the correct portion size their dogs were easily able to maintain an excellent body condition.
  • Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley was designed to meet the needs of small breed dogs. The kibble pieces are deliberately made small enough for the mouths of toy and small breed dogs like the Maltese.
  • Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley is available at a price point that is highly attractive to owners. This diet offers top shelf nutrition at an affordable cost.

Cons

  • A few dogs were uninterested in this diet and ate it very hesitantly. A different Taste of the Wild formulation may be a better fit for these dogs.
  • Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley is a grain-free diet. Some owners expressed they wished this food included some whole grains in its recipe, believing these ingredients are key to good digestion in dogs.
  • Some owners speculated that this formula may have changed. They noted their dogs were not responding to the diet as well as they once were.
  • A few owners indicated that they felt this diet was a little bit pricey.
  • Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley includes garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils in its recipe. These ingredients are controversial and may be connected to issues such as dilated cardiomyopathy and lowered fertility rates.

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Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Salmon & Whitefish Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon Meal
    2. Potatoes
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Chicken Meal
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 381 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free hits all the high marks that Papillons need from their diet. This exceptional food formulation has been carefully crafted to support the needs of highly active toy dogs like the Papillon. Its main ingredient is salmon meal, a protein that packs a powerhouse punch of essential fatty acids to promote skin and coat health.

A grain-free food, Whole Earth Farms, rated among the best dog foods for Papillons, places a high emphasis on fruits and vegetables that are fiber-rich. The antioxidant profile of each included ingredient ensures a boost to the Papillon’s immune system to help fight disease.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free contains no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • Owners love that the kibble pieces in this diet are small enough for small and medium sized dogs to break down well. They believe their size will help to prevent Papillons from choking.
  • Owners were pleased to report that the transition from their dogs’ old food to Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free proceeded seamlessly.
  • Dogs love the taste of this diet. They consume their every meal with hearty gusto.
  • Dogs that previously had issues with recurring itchiness found permanent relief when fed a steady diet of Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free.
  • Owners commented that though this diet is heavily fish-based it does not have a strong or off putting aroma to it.

Cons

  • A few owners said this diet had a very strong smell to it. Their dogs did not like the aroma and would not eat the food.
  • In rare cases, some dogs did not find any relief from their itchy skin when fed this diet on a consistent basis.
  • Some owners felt this diet was too expensive for them to feed their dogs on an ongoing basis.
  • Several owners indicated they would prefer it if this diet came in a grain-inclusive formula. They expressed that they like to give their dogs a diet that contains some whole grains to help with digestion.
  • This diet contains both peas and potatoes, two ingredients of questionable nutritional value for dogs.

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Solid Gold Mighty Mini Gut Health Small & Toy Breed Puppy Grain-Free Chicken, Chickpea & Pumpkin Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Chickpeas
    4. Peas
    5. Pea Protein

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 450 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 4%

Solid Gold Mighty Mini is a premium quality food that provides the nutrition toy and small breeds need to fuel their active lifestyle. Considered to be one of the best dog foods for Papillons, Solid Gold Mighty Mini bases its foundation on whole chicken, a meat that is easy to digest and rich in amino acids to support healthy muscle development.

The pieces of kibble found in Solid Gold Mighty Mini have been crafted to help prevent tartar accumulation in toy breeds like the Papillon.

A grain-free food, this diet places a high emphasis on ingredients that are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote overall health and wellness in the Papillon.

Pros

  • The kibble morsels in this food have been carefully crafted to be the ideal size for toy and small breed dogs.
  • This food is highly flavorful. Dogs look forward to their every meal, consuming each piece of kibble with hearty gusto.
  • Solid Gold has several different flavors available for toy and small breed dogs. Owners love that they can offer their dogs some variety in their daily meals to keep their interest level high.
  • Dogs fed this diet had excellent quality stool.
  • This diet is available at a reasonable price, offering families great nutrition and good value for their dog food dollar.

Cons

  • A few owners expressed this diet was challenging to find in their pet stores. Solid Gold Mighty Mini is available for purchase online and can be delivered.
  • Some dogs did not enjoy the flavor of this food and resisted eating it. Another Solid Gold formulation designed with small breeds in mind may be a better fit for those dogs.
  • A few owners were disappointed to note that on occasion their bags of food included a lot of kibble crumbs in them.
  • Solid Gold Mighty Mini is a grain-free diet, a fact some owners dislike. A few owners indicated they prefer to feed their dogs grain-inclusive foods to hel; with digestion.
  • Solid Gold Mighty Mini has chickpeas, peas, and pea protein in its recipe. These ingredients are considered to be controversial and may be linked to such problems as lowered fertility rates in dogs.

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Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Anchovy and Sardine Meal
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Peas
    4. Chickpeas
    5. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 481 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 4.5%

Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed offers all of the high quality nutrition that Papillons need from their daily diet. Included in this powerhouse food formulation is a proprietary blend of supplements designed to support optimal digestion.

A very calorie-dense food, Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed offers dog owners excellent value for their dog food dollar.

This diet, considered one of the best dog foods for Papillons, places a high emphasis on the inclusion of such ingredients as blueberries and pomegranates for their excellent disease-fighting properties.

Pros

  • Dogs that suffered with regular itchiness saw a return to healthy, well-hydrated skin when fed a consistent diet of Holistic Select Small and Mini Breed.
  • Dogs love the taste of this food, looking forward to their every meal with great anticipation. Even picky eaters lap up their kibble with hearty abandon.
  • Holistic Select has several different flavors designed with small breeds in mind. Owners love that they have the opportunity to provide their dogs with some variety in their food choices.
  • The kibble pieces in this diet have been crafted specifically for small breeds, ensuring they are not a choking hazard and that they provide a scrubbing action against the teeth to assist with oral hygiene.
  • Dogs fed this diet on a regular basis had excellent stool quality and good digestion.

Cons

  • Some owners disliked that their dogs had very strong smelling breath after a steady diet of this food. This can be attributed to the heavy emphasis on fish proteins in this recipe.
  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. A different Holistic Select offering may yield better results.
  • A few owners wondered if this diet has recently undergone a formula change. Their dogs no longer did as well on this diet as they once had.
  • Several owners expressed they felt this food was too cost prohibitive for them to feed their dogs on an ongoing basis.
  • This diet contains both peas and chickpeas. These ingredients are of low nutritional quality and are believed to be connected to health problems such as lowered fertility rates in dogs.

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Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
    3. Chickpeas
    4. Tapioca
    5. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

  • Type: Freeze dried raw and dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 469 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 20%
  • Fiber: 4%

Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed is a premium quality diet that has been formulated to help Papillons achieve and maintain optimal health. A diet comprised of freeze-dried pieces of meat and kibble, Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed is a highly flavorful food, ensuring Papillons eat with a heartiness.

The foundation for this exceptional quality food is free range chicken, a meat that offers a healthy serving of amino acids to encourage strong muscles. The proportion of calcium to phosphorus contained in this food is ideal to support healthy bone structure. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been supplemented to promote good joint health.

This diet, rated as one of the best dog foods for Papillons, contains no grains, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • Dogs love the combination of dry food and freeze-dried meat pieces found in this diet. They eagerly gobble up every morsel in their bowls.
  • Dogs that regularly struggled with gastrointestinal distress found complete relief from their symptoms when fed Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed on an ongoing basis.
  • Owners noted that dogs regularly fed this food saw an increase in their energy levels.
  • Owners like that this diet is grain-free, feeling it is an excellent choice for Papillons with food-related allergies.
  • Owners indicated this diet was easy on their dog’s digestive system. Their Papillons were able to process the food well and had small and less frequent bowel movements.

Cons

  • Owners noted that the ratio of meat pieces to kibble was very inconsistent. With some bags, they received a lot of meat chunks and with others very few.
  • Some owners noted their dogs only ate the freeze-dried meat pieces and ignored the kibble. This problem can be remedied by reserving the meat to feed as a treat when the kibble has been completely consumed.
  • A few owners indicated they found the kibble pieces in this diet to be exceptionally small.
  • This diet contains peas, a controversial ingredient that may be linked to lowered fertility rates in breeding dogs.
  • Several owners felt this diet was a little on the pricey side.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Papillons

The spunky little Papillon takes its name from its reminiscence to the butterfly. A cute little breed characterized by its large batwing ears, the Papillon hails from Europe where its history is believed to have begun in the 1400s.

The Papillon’s main purpose is to serve as a cherished family companion, a role at which this happy pooch excels. The breed is extremely versatile, performing well in a wide variety of dog performance events including Rally, Obedience, conformation, and even agility.

The Papillon has a natural elegance about it. Friendly with people and other companion animals alike, the Papillon is both easy to live with and to love. However, as a toy breed, the Papillon can be rather fragile and should be handled with great care to avoid any accidents or injuries.

To best meet the needs of the active Papillon, owners should look for a high quality diet that has been designed specifically for toy or small breeds. The Papillon is blessed with an excellent metabolism, and thus, requires a calorie-dense food to maintain a healthy body weight.

The Papillon’s stomach capacity permits only small amounts of food at a time. With this in mind, the Papillon should be fed small meals more frequently throughout the day. This also helps to stave off hypoglycemia, a condition commonly seen in the breed.

Though Papillons are typically an exceptionally healthy breed, they are predisposed to certain health conditions. These include:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Open fontanels
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Bite problems
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Allergies
  • Deafness
  • Urinary stones

Many of these health ailments can be offset or improved by a high quality diet, making it a priority to feed this breed only the best dog foods for Papillons to ensure excellent longevity and continued good health.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Papillons

Finding the correct portion size to feed a Papillon can feel like a daunting task. However, the bag of food selected for the dog will provide suggested serving sizes which can be used as a starting point. This amount can then be calibrated on a gradual basis until the right meal size has been determined.

Though Papillons are not prone to gaining weight, it is still a good idea to measure all of their food to ensure the dog maintains a good body condition. Free feeding is strongly discouraged since Papillons are unable to eat more than small amounts at one time, and grazing is an undesirable habit in this slender, graceful breed.

The Papillon has a high metabolism. As a result, the best dog foods for Papillons should be very calorie dense to ensure adequate nutrition to fuel this active little dog.

Owners should look for a high quality food for their adult Papillon that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.

Dietary Requirements for Papillon Dog Foods

A mature Papillon benefits from a diet that is nutritionally balanced and derived from only the best quality ingredients. The foundation of any diet for this breed should be a meat-based protein. Lean meats included in their whole form are the ideal protein source; however, meat meals are also an excellent option. These foods are rich in the amino acids Papillons need to develop strong and healthy muscles.

Meat by-products and plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are difficult for Papillons to process and utilize well. It is recommended that diets that place a high emphasis on these items be avoided entirely. Additionally, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives offer no nutritional value to the Papillon, and thus, are undesirable in any premium quality food.

Carbohydrates play an important role in any good quality diet for Papillons. These can be obtained from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. The main priority in any carbohydrate included in a diet for the Papillon is its ease of digestibility. An emphasis on antioxidant-rich foods is also desirable to support strong immunity.

Healthy fats are critical to the health and wellness of the Papillon. These fats ensure proper support for coat and skin health and promote optimal joint function. These are best sourced from animal origins and include such foods as chicken fat and oily fish.

Supplements help a diet to be well-rounded to support the overall health of the Papillon. The most beneficial supplements include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Papillons

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for a Papillon:

  • Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food

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