Your Complete Guide to Feeding a Min Pin Puppy

Mini pinscher eating food

If you’re thinking about getting a miniature pinscher, affectionately referred to as a min-pin, then you’ll need to take proper precautions to ensure that you don’t wind up overfeeding your pooch. Min pins often need to eat differently than other dogs, usually not more than two small meals per day. If you wind up feeding your new min-pin puppy too much or the wrong types of food, then you may wind up making your pup sick.

To feed a min pin puppy, you should purchase high-grade dog food with some type of meat labeled as the first ingredient. Ensure that the crude protein in the food is not higher than thirty percent, and crude fat is not more than twenty percent. A min-pin puppy should get one-half ounce of food for each pound of weight.

It’s important to feed your min-pin puppy correctly from an early age so that you can prevent future serious health problems, like diabetes and breathing problems, as your min pin ages. Since there isn’t much information available on the Internet today regarding how and how much to feed a min pin puppy, we created this article to help you. Below we’ll discuss feeding your min pin puppy, what to do if you think your puppy is overweight, and some of the best foods to feed a min pin puppy. 

Tips to Feeding Your Miniature Pinscher

It’s essential to ensure that you don’t overfeed your min pin puppy, or else you’ll increase the risk for your min pin to develop problems like diabetes and breathing issues later in life. To avoid these types of problems, you should invest in some high-grade dog food for your min pin. You want to make sure that meat is the primary ingredient in the food. After that, check to see that

  • Crude protein is not higher than 30% in your min pin’s food
  • Crude fat is no higher than 20% in your min pin’s food
  • The fiber content in your min pin’s food should be less than 5%. 

Min pins that are overweight and not correctly fed can develop some severe joint problems as well as other medical issues. Min pins that are incorrectly fed often experience thyroid issues, which can be handled with exercise and a decent diet. However, medical problems like this in your min pin can be prevented by paying attention to the right kind of food. 

How Much to Feed a Min Pin Puppy

The traditional estimate a food a min pin puppy should have each day is about one-half ounce of dog food per each pound of weight on your dog. Some people desire to feed their new min pin puppies, people, food. However, especially while your min pin is a puppy, it’s essential to avoid feeding your puppy people food.

People’s food is much higher in salt and sugar than the type of dry dog food most min pin puppies should be eating. If your min pin puppy consumes too much sugar and salty foods while developing or growing, then you’ll put your pooch at a greater risk for some serious problems, like heart disease, later in life. Also, since you don’t want your min pin puppy to get fat because that will create serious health problems, you should avoid feeding your min pin puppy people food whenever possible. 

Like other dog breeds, min pins need to eat a lot of 

  • Animal proteins
  • Carbohydrates for energy
  • Vitamins and minerals to help with immune and digestive health
  • Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coats

So, the best types of food for min pins are typically a premium form of dry kibble. Dry kibble features plenty of balanced portions of all of the important ingredients we listed above. 

Premium dog food doesn’t come cheap, but the great thing about owning a min pin is that your dog won’t eat a lot of this daily. Since min pins are such tiny dogs, you won’t need to worry about feeding your pooch that much. Food portions for your min pin should be based on your puppy’s:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Activity level

Most adult min pins will eat about one and one-half cups of dry dog food daily, which would be given throughout two meals a day. While your min pin is a puppy, it’s still recommended that you feed your dog twice daily, but puppies usually eat less. Up until your puppy is six months old, you should be feeding it three times daily. After six months old, you should decrease your puppy’s feedings to twice daily. 

  • A min pin that is 7-8 weeks old and weighs about one pound should get about .1 cups of food a day total over three servings per day.
  • A min pin that is three months and weighs about two pounds should get .2 cups of food per day over three servings per day.
  • A min pin that is six months old and weighs five pounds should get .33 cups of food per day over three servings per day.
  • A min pin that is eight months old and weighs eight pounds should get .6 cups of food per day over two servings per day.
  • A min pin that is ten months old and weighs ten pounds should get .75 cups of food over two servings per day. 

When your min pin puppy reaches the age of eight months, you should start transitioning him or her from puppy food to dry dog food. You’ll want to progress this over a week slowly. First, mix a small amount of adult dog food into the dry puppy food. Gradually increase the amount of adult dog food over time, removing the puppy food from the equation completely

If you don’t want an overweight min pin, and the chances are good that you don’t, then you should stick with the portions on our list above. If you wind up overfeeding your puppy often or under-exercising it, your min pin can quickly become overweight and even obese. Overweight min pins can wind up experiencing several health issues, like

  • Joint problems
  • Breathing issues
  • Digestive problems

Because min pins are prone to experiencing issues if they have a poor diet or are chronically overfed, you’ll need to take extra care of your min pin’s diet, or you can wind up shortening the life span of your dog over time, which is never a good prospect. If you want to help keep your min pin at a good weight, then you need to make feeding and exercise a consistent process. You should also avoid feeding your dog table scraps leaving food in your dog’s bowl constantly.

If you free freed your min pin and let it have food in its bowl anytime it wants, it will most likely become prone to overeating. So, it’s best if you stick to the plan and only put food in your dog’s bowl when it’s time to eat. After your dog is done eating, take the bowl away or leave it empty, and don’t add more food. 

Food Types for your Min Pin

Min pins do well eating 

  • Wet dog food
  • Dry dog food
  • Home-cooked doggie meals
  • Raw food diets

However, to keep things simple and if you are new to owning a dog or a min pin puppy, it’s probably best to start with a dry food diet. Dry food is great not only because of the ingredients in it but also because the kibble in the dry dog food will help clean your dog’s teeth, keeping your min pin’s gums and mouth healthier for longer. 

Puppy and young adult min pins need plenty of exercise. Because of this, it’s important to make sure your younger min pin gets plenty of protein. As your min pin ages and becomes less active, then you should focus the diet on plenty of fiber and ensure that the food is lower in fat. That way, your dog won’t gain weight. However, owning a min pin means you should plan on staying active with your dog because these dogs require plenty of exercise. 

Some owners of min pins like to feed their pups raw food diets. Raw food diets for min pins are usually made up of:

  • Quality raw meat protein
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Bone meal

Before you feed your min pin puppy any raw meat, you should check with your vet. It’s important to ensure that your puppy’s digestive system can handle this type of diet. Also, if you wind up handling raw meat and feeding it to your min pin, make sure you pay attention to proper hygiene and wash your hands and utensils completely to avoid any bacterial contamination. 

Some min pin owners enjoy preparing home-cooked meals for their pooches. If you are going to do that, there are a few guidelines you should adhere to when making the food.

  • First, your min pin’s food should consist of at least 50% meat, fish, or poultry proteins, which can include things like lean muscle meat, skinless turkey or chicken, or fatty fish like salmon.
  • Second, mix in some complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or barley, which should be about 30% of the dog’s food.
  • Third, the last 20% of the home-cooked meal for your min pin should feature fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and green beans.

Get a large pot and mix quantities of the above ingredients into that pot. Add enough water so that you can cook the food thoroughly. If any of the meat you use contains bones, make sure you debone it before you feed it to your dog. You can mix this cooked food and then freeze it, only unfreezing the daily portions you need to feed to your min pin. That way, you can keep this cooking process down to about once a week. 

Foods to Avoid with Min Pins

There are plenty of foods you should avoid feeding your min pin as well. Never, ever feed your min pin any of the following items:

  • Avocados
  • Milk
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts

Things like coffee, chocolate, and caffeine have methylxanthine substances typically found in cacao seeds that make these types of products. In a min pin, a dog consuming these items can experience things like:

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Death

Other food items also need to be avoided because they can irritate your dog’s digestive system. These food items include things like

  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Onions

While all of those foods are harmless to humans, they are very hard on your min pin’s digestive tract and should be avoided at all costs. Also, if your min pin winds up eating a lot of garlic or onions, he or she could wind up damaging red blood cells. 

Recommended Brands for Your Miniature Pinscher Puppy

So, now that we’ve covered how much to feed your min pin let’s cover the best types of dry food you can purchase for your min pin puppy. Remember, you want to buy high-quality food. While that means it’ll cost more, your min pin won’t eat very much anyway as a small, toy breed.

Also, buying your min pin the best types of food for its breed means you’ll wind up with a pooch that experiences a longer, healthier life. What dog owner doesn’t want that for his or her pet? 

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed

One of the best types of puppy food for a min pin comes from Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley. This type of food is developed specifically for small dogs and toy breeds. Also, it’s one of the most popular types of food around for min pins. Taste of the Wild is a high protein mix that’s great for min pins. The food includes plenty of meat to keep your dog lean, energetic, and healthy like:

  • Lamb
  • Duck
  • Venison
  • Fish
  • Eggs

Also, Taste of the Wild doesn’t feature any bulking method of food, like grain. That means this food is very safe and will help improve and maintain the health of your min pin. Taste of the Wild is a natural recipe that also features healthy things like

  • Proteins
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

All of those ingredients will help boost the health and activity level of your min pin. Plus, this dog food also provides the right amount of dietary requirements of all the food groups daily, which means your dog will look and feel great. It is designed with min pins in mind and caters to their sensitive digestive tract. Your min pin shouldn’t have any issues consuming and digesting this dog food. 

Since this food is dry, it’s

  • Easy to store
  • Easy to measure 
  • Easy to transport

If you want good dry food for your min pin, both you and your dog can get a lot out of this food. It’s a bit more cost-effective compared to some of our other options below, meaning if you are on a budget, this would be a good, healthy dog food to pick for your min pin. 

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken and Rice

Another excellent food for min pins is Purina’s Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken and Rice. This dog food was made with puppy min pins in mind and features a lot of nutrition so that your puppy can grow up into a healthy, happy, energetic dog. The D.H.A. approves of Purina’s recipe, which means you have the assurance that your puppy will get several benefits from this food, including:

  • Adequate, normal, healthy growth
  • Excellent cognitive development
  • Sound skeletal strength while growing
  • Healthy muscle definition
  • Strong mouth hygiene for great tooth development

This flavor of dog food, chicken and rice, is also known to be very tempting for puppy min pins, even for pups that are picky eaters. Even if your puppy is very young and just coming off of milk, it’s likely your pooch will still eat this food. The flavoring is extremely attractive to young min pins. 

Since this food was developed with young min pins in mind, it’s also very easy for your puppy to digest it. Your puppy’s digestive system will stay healthy by consuming this food. Purina’s recipe helps to make your pooch’s skin and coat healthier, containing plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals. 

Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish Formula

Another dog food that’s great for puppy min pins, especially those with very sensitive stomachs, is Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish Formula. L.I.D. stands for “Limited Ingredient Diet,” meaning this food is very natural for your min pin. If your min pin has difficulties eating, then this food will be great for it. Natural Balance works well for min pins with 

  • Sensitive stomachs
  • Allergies, or 
  • Fussy eaters

The point behind this L.I.D. dog food is to include just one protein source so that it’s easier on your min pin’s stomach. That way, your min pin still gets all of the daily dietary requirements it needs, and it also winds up with a food that’s easier for it to digest. 

The particular form of protein in this dog food is salmon, which is a wonderful source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids help to give your min pin

  • Excellent teeth
  • Great skin
  • Healthy coat that shines

Plus, with the sweet potatoes in this mix, your dog also gets fiber, which works as a binding agent and helps improve your pup’s digestive tract. It contains no additives and is free from harmful things like:

  • Grains
  • Fillers
  • Artificial coloring
  • Artificial flavoring
  • Preservatives

You are getting incredibly healthy food for your min pin with a sensitive stomach by purchasing this option. While this food sounds very simple, it’s one of the healthiest and the easiest to digest around for a min pin. It helps to make sure your dog gets the best food and also feels energetic throughout the day. 

What to Do if Your Min Pin is Getting Fat

If you are worried that your min pin might be getting fat, then you can perform a simple test to see if your pooch is overweight. 

  • First, run your hand on your dog’s side.
  • Check to see if you can feel your dog’s ribs.

If you can still feel your min pin’s ribs, then your dog is in good shape. However, if you can no longer feel your min pin’s ribs, then it’s time to put your dog on a diet. You can help your dog diet by cutting back its daily food portion by 25% of its intake. Also, start adding in some extra daily exercise as well. 

You should also check out how many calories are in a cup of your min pin’s daily dog food. Dog food can vary widely in the number of calories per cup—anywhere from 220 calories per cup to 950 calories per cup. So, if your min pin needs to go on a diet, it may be time also to find a dog food that’s lower in calories or a diet dog food. 

Check the calorie intake of your dog’s treats. Dog treats can vary from one calorie to as much as 350 calories per treat. So, if it’s time for your min pin to diet, you may want to do away with the fatty treats and or look for treats that are lower in calories. 

One problem some min pin owners complain about is that their dog will stay under the table and go for anything that might be dropped even when you are trying to avoid feeding their dog table scraps. If your min pin is like this, especially when dieting, then think about putting it in the crate while you eat, and until you are done eating. That way, if anything falls on the floor, you can pick it up and throw it out before your min pin has a chance to consume it. 

Is Your Min Pin Still Acting Hungry?

If your min pin is still acting hungry while getting used to its diet, then you may want to consider switching to a lower calorie food. That way, your min pin will be allowed to eat more food and feel fuller. If your min pin feels fuller, he or she will also be less likely to seek out table scraps and other bits of food that should be off-limits. 

Mini Pin playing

Another idea is to purchase your min pin some puzzle toys. Min pins hate to be bored, and puzzle toys are not only a fun way to feed your min pin. They also help engage your dog, so it isn’t bored. Puzzle toys can be used to place food inside of them, and that will force your min pin to slow its eating down. Eating slower is another effective way to feel full, and this can help your dog feel a lot more comfortable.

Several types of dog toys are ball-shaped and include small openings that you can place dog food in, and that can come out as your dog rolls the toy. By placing your dog’s food in a toy like this, you’ll also be increasing your dog’s activity level each time it eats, which is another great way to help your pooch lose weight. Min pins hate being bored, so this is another great way to keep your pooch occupied. 

Monitor Your Min Pin’s Progress

If your min pin is on a diet, then you’ll need to monitor its progress to make sure it’s losing weight and developing correctly. One great way to assess your dog’s progress is to weigh your dog at least once a week. If you weigh your dog and you notice that your min pin is still gaining weight, then it’s time to cut back the level of food more. If you feel like your dog is losing weight too quickly, then it’s time to up your pooch’s daily intake of food. 

Before you put your dog on a diet, we recommend taking it in for a general examination and talking to your vet. Some min pins can have health issues that may be the culprit for weight gain. If the weight gain is due to a problem like that, then you’ll want your vet to assess it so you can start a treatment plan and get your min pin on the proper medications. With the right medical treatment, your dog will most likely lose weight. 

Always make sure you give your dog loads of freshwater and keep fresh water available throughout the day. Your min pin will need plenty of water, especially if you plan on exercising your pooch to help it lose weight. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to figuring out how much food to feed your min pin, you should use the general rule that a min-pin puppy should get one-half ounce of food for each pound of weight. If you feed your min pin puppy correctly, then your dog will live a healthy life. Proper food and nutrition mean you can avoid many health problems, and increase the lifespan of your pooch. 


Clayton fell in love with his mini Pinscher puppy during the 2020 lockdown. This is his journey documenting everything there is to know and love about miniature Pinscher dogs.

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