Top 9 Recommended Best Foods for a Schnauzer in 2020 with Special Nutrition and Feeding Information

The Schnauzer is an icon dog breed, known for its facial furnishings which look remarkably similar to a mustache. What many people do not realize, however, is that the Schnauzer name actually applies to three separate breeds which come in different sizes – the Miniature Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer, and the Giant Schnauzer.

Chewy Online Dog Supplies


30% Off at Chewy.com

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

You may also come across toy or teacup varieties, but these are not separate breeds – they have just been bred down in size. Schnauzers are technically a terrier-type breed, though they do not exhibit most of the typical terrier qualities. These dogs are friendly and loving by nature and they generally get along well with children when properly trained and socialized.

Schnauzers come in three different sizes, though they all remain very similar in terms of coat, color, and appearance. The Miniature Schnauzer stands 12 to 14 inches tall and weighs 11 to 20 pounds at maturity. The Standard Schnauzer, the middle size, stands 17.5 to 19.5 inches tall and weighs 30 to 50 pounds while the Giant Schnauzer stands 23.5 to 27.5 inches tall and weighs 65 to 90 pounds. Because these three breeds are so different in size, they each have their own unique nutritional needs. The best way to ensure that your Schnauzer’s specific nutritional needs are met is to select a small-breed or large-breed formula (depending on the dog’s size). Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional requirements for Schnauzers and to receive recommendations for quality dog food brands for these lovely dog breeds.

Chewy Online Pet Supplies


30% Off + Free Shipping

on Schnauzer Dog Food

Shop Now

General Nutritional Recommendations for Schnauzers

As you may already know, dogs are largely carnivorous animals, though they do have a limited ability to process carbohydrates. When it comes to your Schnauzer’s general nutritional needs, protein is the most important nutrient and it should come from animal-based sources. Premium proteins include fresh meats, poultry, fish and eggs – these are also called complete proteins because they contain all 10 essential amino acids (the amino acids your dog’s body is not capable of synthesizing on his own. Protein is essential for healthy growth and development in puppies and, in adult dogs, it helps to maintain the dog’s lean muscle mass. When you look at the ingredients list for a dog food product, you want to see a high-quality protein at the top. It also doesn’t hurt to see supplementary proteins listed within the top ten ingredients. Though really, as long as the product contain a minimum of 18% protein for adult dogs and 22% protein for puppies, it will meet your dog’s minimum needs for protein.

After protein, the next most important thing to discuss is fat. Schnauzers are unable to process excess fat in their diet properly. Many Schnauzers are also prone to pancreatitis, so feeding your dog a low fat diet might help combat this issue and work as a sort of preventive measure.

While protein is the most important nutrients for dogs, carbohydrates also play a role in complete and balanced nutrition. Dogs have fairly short digestive systems so their ability to digestBest Schnauzer Food plant materials is somewhat limited. This means that any carbohydrates in your dog’s diet need to come from digestible sources. Whole grains like brown rice, cracked pearled barley, and oatmeal are all considered digestible carbohydrates, though some dogs do have a sensitivity to grains. Some gluten- and grain-free alternatives to grains include starchy vegetables like sweet potato or potatoes and beans or legumes. Carbohydrates provide your dog with additional energy as well as dietary fiber and key vitamins and minerals. Just be sure that the product doesn’t contain more than 5% fiber because excess fiber in your dog’s diet could actually cause problems.

The remaining ingredients in commercial dog food products usually consist of synthetic supplements and other additives. Synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements help to balance out your dog’s diet, though natural sources for these nutrients (like fresh fruits and vegetables) offer better bioavailability than synthetic sources. If you have to rely on synthetic nutrient supplements, chelated minerals are the way to go. These are minerals that have been chemically bound to protein molecules, making them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb. Dried fermentation products are also a valuable supplement because they act as probiotics to support your dog’s digestion. Avoid any product made with corn, wheat, or soy ingredients as well as artificial additives. In the end, you really want to find a product that provides complete and balanced nutrition that comes from wholesome, natural ingredients without any questionable or non-nutritive additives.

What is the Best Dog Food for my Schnauzer?

Choosing a high-quality dog food product for your Schnauzer can be tricky because there are so many options out there. You can narrow down your choices, however, by choosing a size-specific product – a small-breed formula for Miniature Schnauzers, a medium breed formula for Standard Schnauzers, and large-breed formula for Giant Schnauzers. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice for your Schnauzer:

Ollie Healthy Turkey Feast Fresh Dog Food

Healthy Ingredients : Turkey breast, turkey liver, kale, carrots, lentils
Key Features :

  • Human-Grade
  • Subscription-based
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Auto-ships direct to your door
Why You Should Buy

Ollie Healthy Turkey Feast Fresh Dog Food

Ollie Healthy Turkey Feast Fresh Dog Food is a fresh, human-grade dog food option that is subscription-based and delivered right to your doorstep. It doesn’t have any artificial flavors or fillers.

View Latest Price

Ollie is a great option if you are looking for a super premium dog food. Ollie’s ingredients are human-grade and slow cooked to preserve the nutritional integrity. They don’t use any artificial flavors or fillers in any of their recipes, so you can be sure that your dog is getting whole, fresh ingredients and nothing more. When you sign up for Ollie, you fill out a profile about your dog to help them create a customized recipe and delivery schedule that will suit your needs. The food is delivered to your doorstep and stored in your fridge or freezer, ready to serve when your pet needs it. Although Ollie is more expensive than other dog foods, there are a lot of added benefits that make a fresh food diet something to consider!

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

Healthy Ingredients : Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils
Key Features :

  • Small kibble pieces
  • Grain-free
  • Not suitable for growing puppies
  • Protein-rich
Why You Should Buy

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

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry is a popular dog food choice that is grain free and has small kibble pieces, perfect for your schnauzer.

View Latest Price

Taste of the Wild – always a popular brand – has recently added new formulas, including a small breed formula. Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Formula with Venison & Garbanzo Beans is grain free with 32 percent crude protein and 18 percent crude fat. It has 370 kcal/cup so it should provide good energy for small breeds. The first five ingredients are: venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils. And the kibble pieces are small so they’re easy for small dogs to eat. This is a maintenance formula so it’s not suitable for growing puppies, but it’s already very popular. TOTW has lots of other great formulas in both dry and canned recipes if your dog likes something different.

UnKibble by Spot and Tango Beef and Barley Recipe

Healthy Ingredients : Beef, Barley, Flax, Carrots, Green Beans, Beef Liver
Key Features :

  • Slowly dried at low temps
  • Human grade ingredients
  • Comes with custom portion scoop
  • Convenient delivery service
Why You Should Buy

UnKibble by Spot and Tango Beef and Barley Recipe

UnKibble by Spot and Tango Beef and Barley Recipe is a human-grade dog food made with 100% whole ingredients and no preservatives. UnKibble is considered a fresh food even though it is dry. It is dried slowly at a low temperature and comes with a scoop that is personalized for your dog’s needs.

View Latest Price

UnKibble by Spot and Tango is a fresh, dry dog food made with human-grade ingredients. It has no artificial flavors or preservatives and all 3 UnKibble recipes are developed by veterinarians. The three recipes include the beef and barley featured here, chicken and brown rice, and duck and salmon. If you like the idea of fresh food, but need a lower price point or your dog prefers dry food, this might be for you. When you sign up, you create a unique profile that will include the correct portion size, just for your dog. You won’t have to guess or measure, just follow your pet’s personalized plan, and use the scoop specially sized for your dog. Spot and Tango has never been recalled, either.

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Healthy Ingredients : Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
Key Features :

  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Grain free
  • Good for sensitive stomachs
  • Good source of energy
Why You Should Buy

American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is grain free and doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy. It has blueberries and sweet potatoes to help your dog’s immune system and flaxseed for salmon oil for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

View Latest Price

While we think Taste of the Wild does more than enough to get the job done, your schnauzer may have dietary needs you need to keep an eye on. If that’s the case, American Journey recipes keep out ingredients like wheat, soy, and corn, which can impact your dog’s stomach if they’re sensitive to them.

It also includes blueberries, sweet potatoes, and carrots, to help boost your schnauzer’s immune system. Sweet potatoes and chickpeas help keep your dog’s energy levels high. Deboned salmon forms the core protein, while flaxseed and salmon oil both bring in Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids.

American Journey recipes provide plenty of consideration for dogs with strict dietary requirements and picky eaters.

Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Recipe

Healthy Ingredients : Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
Key Features :

  • Great for dogs with food allergies
  • Concentrated source of energy
  • Supports digestive health
  • Made for small breeds
Why You Should Buy

Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Recipe

Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Recipe is great for dogs with food sensitivities. It has digestible carbs and a great balance of fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals.

View Latest Price

Made with premium ingredients in a healthy, balanced formula this Natural Balance LID Lamb & Rice Small Breed Recipe is a great choice for small-breed dogs like the Miniature Schnauzer. This recipe features lamb meal as the primary protein source with both brown rice and white rice as digestible carbohydrates. It offers a balance of essential fatty acids to support your dog’s skin and coat while also providing a concentrated source of energy. This formula is designed to support your dog’s digestive health while also helping him to maintain a healthy body weight. For healthy supplements, it includes an assortment of vitamins as well as several chelated minerals. Overall, this formula will meet your small-breed dog’s nutritional needs and satisfy his cravings for natural flavor.

Merrick Grain-Free LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Healthy Ingredients : Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes
Key Features :

  • Full of vitamins and minerals
  • Good for sensitive stomachs
  • Full of natural flavors
  • Grain-free
Why You Should Buy

Merrick Grain-Free LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick Grain-Free LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe is a high-quality grain-free food that won’t bother your Schnauzer’s sensitive stomach. It has healthy vitamins and minerals and is well-balanced.

View Latest Price

For a high-quality, grain-free diet that won’t aggravate your Schnauzer’s allergies or food sensitivities, consider this Merrick Grain-Free LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe. This formula features deboned salmon, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes as the top 5 ingredients which gives you the confidence to know that your dog’s protein needs are being met. This recipe is supplemented with plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals for nutritional balance, and it is full of natural flavor. Because this recipe is not formulated for dogs of any specific size, it could be a good choice for a Standard Schnauzer who rides the line between medium and large breeds. Just be sure to follow the feeding recommendations on the package to determine how much to feed your Schnauzer based on his bodyweight and activity level.

Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Adult Lamb & Potato Recipe

Healthy Ingredients : Deboned Lamb, Potatoes, Peas, Pea Starch, Pea Protein
Key Features :

  • Protein packed
  • Gluten free
  • Grain free
  • Phosphorus and calcium for bone health
Why You Should Buy

Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Adult Lamb & Potato Recipe

Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Adult Lamb & Potato Recipe is a high-quality dog food that is also great for dogs with allergies. It is protein-rich and gluten and grain free.

View Latest Price

If you are looking for a high-quality dog food formulated especially for large-breed dogs like the Giant Schnauzer that also takes into account the risk for food allergies, this Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Adult Lamb & Potato Recipe is a great option to consider. This formula features protein-rich lamb as the single source of protein with peas and potatoes as the primary gluten- and grain-free carbohydrates. Because this recipe is made with a limited number of quality ingredients, it will meet your dog’s nutritional requirements without triggering his food allergies or sensitivities. Plus, it is supplemented with omega fatty acids for skin and coat health as well as a precise blend of phosphorus and calcium for strong bones and teeth. This recipe also features Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits which contain a special blend of nutrients to boost your dog’s immune health and to ensure nutritional balance.

What is the Best Dog Food for Schnauzer Puppies?

Because the Schnauzer comes in three different sizes, you need to choose a diet that is right for the size you have. This is especially important for puppies because if they do not receive the nutrients they need in the right ratio, they may not grow properly. For Miniature Schnauzers, a puppy formula high in fat is recommended but you may need to moderate the fat content for Standard and Giant Schnauzers to prevent them from growing too quickly. Rapid growth for large-breed puppies can strain the joints which may contribute to musculoskeletal issues later in life. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice to consider for your Schnauzer puppy:

NutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

Healthy Ingredients : Chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, white rice, chicken fat
Key Features :

  • Good source of protein
  • Works for small or medium dogs
  • Smaller kibble bites
  • Digestible carbs
Why You Should Buy

NutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

NutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula is good for both small and medium breeds. It has a good level of protein and fat and the kibble comes in smaller pieces making it easier to eat.

View Latest Price

The Standard Schnauzer walks the line between being a medium or a small breed, having a weight range of about 30 to 50 pounds. This makes it a little bit tricky to find an ideal product to meet your dog’s nutritional needs, but this NutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula could be a good option. This recipe contains higher levels of protein and fat than the typical kibble and it comes in smaller bites to make it easier for your puppy to chew. This recipe is made from carefully selected ingredients like chicken meal, brown rice, and oatmeal to provide the optimal nutritional balance for growth and development. This formula offers a whopping 32% crude protein with 21% fat and just 5% crude fiber – you won’t find a better small or medium breed puppy recipe.

Fromm Gold Holistic Large Breed Puppy Formula

Healthy Ingredients : Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken,Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice
Key Features :

  • Supports puppy’s coat health
  • Easily digested carbs
  • Good source of protein
  • Made especially for puppies
Why You Should Buy

Fromm Gold Holistic Large Breed Puppy Formula

Fromm Gold Holistic Large Breed Puppy Formula has highly digestible carbs and is high in protein. It has a healthy balance of omega fatty acids and salmon oil to support your puppy’s coat health.

View Latest Price

The Fromm pet food company is family-owned and operated so you can rest assured that all of their products offer high-quality nutrition made from premium ingredients. This Fromm Gold Holistic Large Breed Puppy Formula is a great example of the quality Fromm has to offer, and it is a great choice for large-breed puppies like Giant Schnauzers. This formula features duck, chicken meal, and chicken as the top three ingredients – ingredients which speak to the high protein content of this recipe. There are also plenty of digestible carbohydrates in the form of oatmeal, pearled barley, and brown rice. The total 14% fat content in this formula comes from quality sources like chicken fat and salmon oil which also guarantees a healthy balance of omega fatty acids to support your puppy’s skin and coat health. There are also probiotic supplements for healthy digestion and antioxidants for immune support.

Special Dietary and Nutritional Concerns

Because the Schnauzer comes in three different sizes, you need to be careful about selecting the right kind of dog food for the dog you have. The average adult dog needs about 30 calories per pound of bodyweight to fuel his metabolism. It is important to realize, however, that small-breed dogs have much faster metabolisms than larger dogs so, a Miniature Schnauzer may need closer to 40 or even 50 calories per pound of bodyweight depending on his activity level. This could equate to a range of 440 to 1,000 calories. A Giant Schnauzer weighing about 90 pounds may need anywhere from 20 to 30 calories per pound of bodyweight for a range of 1,800 to 2,700 total calories. Your best bet is to choose a size-specific formula and to follow the feeding recommendations based on your dog’s weight.

Another nutritional concern to consider for Schnauzers is the fact that they are prone to food allergies. All dogs can develop food allergies, but certain breeds like the Schnauzer seem to have a higher risk. Some of the ingredients which are most likely to trigger food allergies include beef, dairy, and wheat, though, though many dogs are also sensitive to other types of grain. If your Schnauzer has a food allergy or sensitivity, you may want to consider a special diet called a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID). These diets are made with a limited number of ingredients and a novel source of protein and carbohydrate to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies. These diets are often made with proteins like duck, rabbit, and venison with carbohydrates like sweet potato, green peas, and tapioca. If you know that your Schnauzer is allergic to a particular grain, it may be enough to simply switch to a grain-free diet.

In addition to making sure that your Schnauzer’s needs for energy are met, you should also consider some nutritional supplements that could be beneficial. Large-breed dogs like the Giant Schnauzer have an increased risk for bone and joint problems, especially as they get older, so a formula that is supplemented with joint-supporting minerals like glucosamine and chondroitin could be very beneficial. For general health and wellness, chelated minerals are always a good addition to dog food for dogs of all sizes. Chelated minerals are simply minerals that have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb. All dogs can also benefit from probiotic supplements like dried fermentation products which can help to regulate and improve your Schnauzer’s digestion.

Conclusion

Schnauzers are beautiful and intelligent dogs that are also fairly healthy in general. In order to maximize your dog’s health and lifespan, however, you need to make sure that his nutritional needs are met. All dogs have the same basic requirements for nutrition, but breeds of different sizes like the Miniature and Giant Schnauzer have slightly different needs in terms of energy. Choosing the right dog food for your pet does not have to be difficult – you can narrow down your options by selecting a size-specific recipe to suit your dog. If you need help knowing where to start shopping, consider one of the top-rated brands of dog food reviewed above.

Chewy Online Pet Supplies


30% Off + Free Shipping

on Schnauzer Dog Food

Shop Now

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

View all posts

14 comments

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

  • I have a six month chihuahua snauzer. .I’m going crazy HE DOESN’T WANT TO EAT HIS FOOD…I GOT HIM WHEN HE WAS 2 MONTHS …FIRST THE LAS 4 WEEKS I HAD TO CHANGE HIS FOOD TWICE ..CAN U PLEASE HELP ME IR GUIDE ME TO FIND THE RIGHT FOOD FOR HIM…

  • Our Schnauzer 14 years old she has diarrhea all we give her is adult Pro Plan but she has diarrhea bloodish mucous she is getting pretty old is there certain kind of dog food I should put her on to get this diarrhea stopped.

  • This is a horrific article for schnauzer owners, they have a predisposition to pancreatitis as they cannot process fat properly, most of them need to be on a low fat food and your telling people to give a miniature a high dose of fat, which can cause internal bleeding and potential death.

  • This is poor advice. All 3 types of Schnauzer are prone to pancreatitis and need a low fat diet. We have a working Mini Schnauzer who is fed on a low fat diet. Recommending a high fat diet for Mini Schnauzers proves you do not understand the breed at all, and is dangerous advice.

    • Please can you kindly advise then what is best to feed a miniature schnauzer, especially if I choose to cook her meals myself, she’s nine yrs old.
      Much appreciated thanks.

  • I adopted a minature schnauzer and she is 10.3 lbs. She is having diarrhea and pinkish mucous when she gets sick. Some days are great full of energy and other days not good, won’t eat and diarrhea. Is Cesar Dry Food and wet food okay for her or am I feeding her the wrong food? What treats are good for her. She is 2 years old and still likes chewing some.

    • Try Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato Recipe dry food and see if that helps. Mine is having allergies so she is getting this and it seems to be helping. Fewer ingredients. Also BilJac Sensitive Solutions helped my previous dogs. Check with your vet to be sure she doesn’t have parasites.

  • “After protein, the next most important nutrient for dogs is fat. While you may have been conditioned to think that fat is always bad, it is actually quite valuable for dogs – it is the most concentrated source of protein available to dogs. This is especially important for smaller breeds like the Miniature Schnauzer who need a lot of fat in their diets to support their fast metabolisms.” Recommended food for small dogs isn’t necessarily one-size-fits-all. Miniature Schnauzers are predisposed and VERY prone to pancreatitis and diabetes so should be kept on LOW fat diets!

  • I have been feeding my schnauzers Taste of the wild for years now and I am/ was very happy to spend the $50 per bag, but one of them recently had an emergency visit to the vet because of sudden pain. He did blood work, took xrays, her intestines were swollen and her heart had developed a murmur. He said it was likely caused by the very expensive food and suggested we buy purina dog chow. He said that the grain free food has been loaded with soy and or beans instead of grains and it has been happening to many dogs that usually don’t have these issues. I looked into it and while it’s not settled science, the one thing every case has in common is the soy/ bean foods.
    Please be careful with your babies.

Why Trust Us?

Pawster Trust Shield

Readers like you put their trust in Pawster every day, here’s why:

  1. Expertise: Our authors know pets. The AKC, Huffington Post, and BusinessInsider.com have trusted our authors to provide pet tips, tricks and advice to their readers.
  2. Experience: Our writers have over 20+ years of experience writing about (and owning) pets.
  3. Transparency: Pawster.com is a reader-supported site. Connecting our visitors with the best products and a positive buying experience is our passion.
  4. Collaboration: We hate inaccurate and questionable information as much as you! We research HARD and consult industry experts. We also love comments from our visitors and regularly update articles when valid feedback is provided.

 
Thanks for stopping by!

Proudly Partnered with Chewy.com

{"popup_ID":5946,"when_popup_appear":"exit","delay":"","x_second":"","x_scroll":"","disappear":"","exptime":"","hideclsbtn":"","clsonesc":"1"}

GET RECALL ALERTS, COUPONS & MORE

Join over 10,000 subscribers who stay informed on the latest recalls, recommendations & cool stuff for you and your dog.

You're in! Take 30% Off your next purchase at Chewy.com.