Can big dogs eat small dog food?

Can big dogs eat small kibble?

The most interesting question I was asked today was whether a big dog can eat a small dog food.

I had to seek expert help with this on (I called David from Pet Food Reviews), and it turns out in most cases small dog food formulas are exactly the same as regular or large breed dog foods.

The only really difference is kibble size.

That means a big dog can eat small dog kibble. Nutritionally speaking at least.

A problem may arise if a big dog hoovers (or should I say vacuums?) up the tiny pieces of kibble in a small breed formula. My friend’s dog, who I’ll simply refer to as Dyson, has a tendency to inhale food so quickly it doesn’t touch the sides.

For Dyson’s owner this has proved problematic in the past, and it’s the reason they use a slow feeder bowl (a bowl which stops your dog eating too fast). Without this, Dyson will often gag or choke from consuming food too fast.

Can you imagine if Dyson, a pretty hefty Labrador, was given a tasty bowl of small dog food?

It’s likely he would gag, splutter, and spit those tiny little nuggets of grain all over the kitchen floor.

On that note you should have your answer, of sorts.

Yes, a big dog can eat small dog food – the formulas are identical – but the big dog may have difficulty eating small sized kibble.


This is not something you want to do long term.

It’s important to understand science is far from exact in this area, and there’s a possibility the smaller sized kibble isn’t as digestible for the larger breed dog.

Unlikely though, and it’s just as likely to be the other way around – is kibble very digestible in the first place?

Some may argue small kibble won’t do it’s duty of cleaning your big dog’s teeth. If they raise that argument with you, simply reply with “Kibble doesn’t clean teeth. If it did, you would clean your own teeth with processed food.”

On that biscuit, we’ll call it a day.



Has this page helped you and your dog?

If so, please tell others about our website. That’s all we ask!

Gina & David

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.