Best Dog Food for Schnauzers, The Gold Standard

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Whether giant, standard, or miniature — we all recognize these guys instantly by their trademark beards. (Schnauzer = “whiskered snout”.)

First records of the original standard Schnauzer come from Bavarian farms in the middle ages. They’re experts at flushing out rodents, herding, hunting, and guarding their territory.

This intelligent breed is full of personality, and anyone who’s ever had one says they’re a blast to hang out with. Even livin’ the good life- these dogs still feel compelled to be useful as household guardians, squirrel-chasers, and backyard herders of laughing kids.

A dog this special deserves the best nutrition, so we’ve assembled this handy guide to the best dog food for schnauzers!

There’s a lot of controversy over grain-free foods. While some studies show there may possibly be a connection between BEG (or Boutique, Exotic, Grain-free) foods, as of 2020 there has been no confirmed connection.

Many dog owners swear by grain-free foods and vow to never put their dogs back on food with grains.

Regardless of the ongoing debate over the issue, we picked Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food as the best food for Standard Schnauzers. Dog owners overwhelmingly voted this food as the best- and after taking a look at its ingredients and reviews, we can see why. Blue Buffalo’s trademark LifeSource Bits contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants courtesy of blueberries, spinach, apples, and pumpkin. Combine that with real chicken as an abundant source of protein- this food has all the nutrition your working dog needs to stay healthy and vibrant.

The Best Dog Foods for Schnauzers Are…

ProductDetails
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free

  • Grain-free recipe, be sure to consult your veterinarian to make sure a grain-free recipe is right for your Schnauzer
  • Comes in chicken and salmon recipes
  • Dry kibble formula
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2. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium

  • For dogs over 12 months
  • For medium-sized dogs between 21 and 55 pounds
  • Comes in dry kibble formula and canned formula
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3. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient

  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Comes in salmon and brown rice and duck and brown rice recipes
  • Dry kibble consistency
  • Appropriate for breeds of all sizes
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4. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct

  • Beef and salmon flavor
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • High-protein formula
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5. Lucy Pet Products Formula for Life

  • Appropriate for all stages of life
  • Dry kibble recipe
  • Comes in duck, pumpkin, and quinoa and chicken, brown rice, and pumpkin recipes
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6. Dog Chow High Protein

  • High protein recipe
  • Lamb and Beef flavor
  • Dry kibble consistency
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7. Dog Chow High Protein Wet Dog Food

  • Wet texture formula
  • Beef and chicken flavors
  • Contains 6 cans of food per variety pack
  • High-protein formula
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8. Evanger's Grain-Free Canned Food Supplement

  • Intended for use as a supplement to your dog’s kibble
  • Grain-free formula
  • Salmon recipe
  • Wet food formula
  • Suitable for dogs or cats
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9. Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer

  • Made specifically for Miniature Schnauzers
  • Intended for adult dogs over 10 months
  • Also comes in a puppy formula
  • Dry kibble texture
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1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free — Best Overall

With real chicken as the first ingredient in this high-protein, nutrient-rich food, your Schnauzer will develop the strong, lean muscle he’ll need to keep up with the herd.

This grain-free formula provides ample carbs and calories to keep him healthy, and the taste will keep him happy.

Made in the US with carefully sourced ingredients, this Blue Buffalo blend is free from artificial flavors and preservatives.

It contains no meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy- so you know the only thing going in his bowl is ample nutrition and quality.

Specs

  • Grain-free recipe, be sure to consult your veterinarian to make sure a grain-free recipe is right for your Schnauzer
  • Comes in chicken and salmon recipes
  • Dry kibble formula

Pros

  • Contains Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a beautiful, show-ready coat
  • Real chicken provides ample protein for energy and lean muscle
  • LifeSource Bits deliver a special blend of nutrients to promote a healthy immune system and oxidative balance
  • Healthy, natural carbs sourced from sweet potatoes and peas keep his digestive system running smoothly

Cons

  • Some Schnauzers develop allergies after eating this food
  • There might be food with comparable ingredients for less
  • Some Schnauzers didn’t love the chicken flavor

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2. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium

Being a working dog at heart, your Schnauzer will need a food to fuel his energy. Royal Canin for medium-sized breeds does just that with healthy proteins, balanced blends of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

Royal Canin prides itself on scientifically formulating foods tailored to the specific needs of your dog with healthy, quality-sourced ingredients.

Specs

  • For dogs over 12 months
  • For medium-sized dogs between 21 and 55 pounds
  • Comes in dry kibble formula and canned formula

Pros

  • Quailty protein provides energy and lean muscle development
  • Contains antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system
  • Naturally sourced dietary fiber aids in digestion
  • Omega fatty acids give him healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Cons

  • Ingredients list might not befit a higher-priced, premium food
  • Some furry friends didn’t like the flavor

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3. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient formulas provide just what the title promises: limited ingredients. This is a good thing because limited ingredients mean less junk and more quality.

This gluten-free formula contains whole-grain brown rice, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and B vitamins for a great natural source of fiber.

Real salmon is the first ingredient, providing essential amino acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat as well as quality protein for strong, lean muscle development.

In addition, this food contains grain-free sources of energy, fiber and protein delivered by peas and garbanzo beans.

Potatoes provide grain-free carbs with the added benefit of a shot of potassium for extra energy that’s easy on the gut

Made in the US from carefully-sourced ingredients, this formula delivers quality nutrition for your hungry pup in a kibble she’ll keep coming back for!

Specs

  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Comes in salmon and brown rice and duck and brown rice recipes
  • Dry kibble consistency
  • Appropriate for breeds of all sizes

Pros

  • Contains salmon as the number 1 ingredient provides a solid source of protein and omega fatty acids
  • Wholesome whole-grain brown rice for healthy digestion
  • An array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for overall health and well-being

Cons

  • Some schnauzers didn’t like the flavor

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4. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct

Way back in 1987, Purina products revolutionized the retail pet food industry by being the first brand to offer formulas blended with quality proteins sourced from real meat, poultry, or fish as the number one ingredient.

Since then, they’ve been developing quality formulas with the help of veterinarians and scientific experts in specialized pet nutrition for every breed, size, life stage, and special dietary needs.

Purina ONE SmartBlend is free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. You also won’t find any meat by-product meals here- only real beef as the first ingredient and real salmon for 32% protein.

Quality protein means optimal health, and your dog will appreciate the strong, lean muscle he’ll gain for backyard herding.

Glucosamine keeps those joints nice and healthy, too. Lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants feed his immune system and overall health.

Your handsome bearded fella will love the flavor, too!

Specs

  • Beef and salmon flavor
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • High-protein formula

*Note* Consult your vet to make sure a high-protein food is good for your Schnauzer.

Pros

  • Real salmon provides omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • This high-protein formula supports robust heart health and helps build strong, lean muscle
  • Added glucosamine supports healthy joints
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants provide overall wellness

Cons

  • Some dogs thought it didn’t taste so great
  • Contains gluten

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5. Lucy Pet Products Formula for Life

Lucy formulas were created by Joey Herrick as a labor of love. Named for his beloved chihuahua mix, Lucy pet food was the natural progression from “The Lucy Pet Foundation”, a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing mobile spay/neuter and adoption clinics in every major city in the US.

Every purchase of Lucy brand pet foods help fund the Lucy Pet Foundation, so you can feel good about buying dog food that gives back to our furry friends.

This recipe contains all the complete and balanced nutrition to fuel your energetic companion all day long.

With delicious ingredients like real chicken, nutritious brown rice, and antioxidant-packed pumpkin, he’ll be looking forward to dinner, too!

This crunchy blend also contains a patented Prebiotic Balanced Fiber (P.B.F) formula- a complex of naturally sourced ingredients that promotes healthy digestion, robust immunity, and nutrient absorption.

Crafted in the US without artificial ingredients, including no meat by-products.

Specs

  • Appropriate for all stages of life
  • Dry kibble recipe
  • Comes in duck, pumpkin, and quinoa and chicken, brown rice, and pumpkin recipes

Pros

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Naturally sourced fiber from ingredients like ground miscanthus grass, brown rice, dried kelp, dried chicory root, pumpkin, and flaxseed make up Lucy’s patented Prebiotic Balanced Fiber blend to support your besties healthy immune system and digestive health
  • A rainbow of garden fruits and veggies supply vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for overall good health.

Cons

  • High price point
  • Picky schnauzers might not like it

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6. Dog Chow High Protein

This recipe contains 25% more protein than regular Purina Dog Chow and is chock full of lamb and beef to build strong, lean muscle.

It also contains peas, carrots, and a variety of other veggies to deliver 23 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for a delicious, balanced food he’ll love.

We’ve included a few high-protein recipes in our list because clinical research has suggested that a reduced-calorie, high-protein food can help overweight dogs shed some pounds by burning more fat while consuming fewer calories.

Since Schnauzers have a tendency toward obesity, so consult his vet about whether high-protein, low-calorie foods are a good solution for him.

Bonus: Feeding him formulas high in protein with fewer calories may also keep him satiated longer than regular foods!

Made in US facilities with no artificial flavors, this high-protein formula will keep his body healthy, and his belly happy!

Specs

  • High protein recipe
  • Lamb and Beef flavor
  • Dry kibble consistency

*Note* Consult your vet to make sure a high-protein diet is right for your doggo.

Pros

  • Provides 23 essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for overall health and wellness
  • Real lamb and beef flavor deliver 25% more protein than regular Purina Dog Chow for strong, lean muscle development
  • No artificial flavors

Cons

  • Some owners said the kibble was too big for their pups
  • Some doggos got an upset tummy
  • Some Schnauzers didn’t like the flavor

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7. Dog Chow High Protein Wet Dog Food

We included this wet version of the dry food above because it contains the same high-protein formula packed with vitamins and minerals.

Plus, it’s nice to treat him once in a while to real beef or chicken in rich gravy!

With 40 grams of protein per can to fuel healthy, strong muscles and a healthy metabolism, your pup will have all the strength and energy he needs for playtime at the dog park.

Add a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and you’ve got a can of complete and balanced nutrition your dog will love.

Plus, it contains no artificial flavors or preservatives so you can feel good about what you’re feeding your best friend.

Specs

  • Wet texture formula
  • Beef and chicken flavors
  • Contains 6 cans of food per variety pack
  • High-protein formula

*Note* Check with your vet to make sure a high-protein formula is right for your bestie.

Pros

  • 40 grams of protein in each can for strong, healthy muscle development.
  • Real chicken or beef in rich gravy will have him running for his bowl!
  • Contains no artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

  • Some dogs had an upset tummy after eating this food
  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavors

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8. Evanger’s Grain-Free Canned Food Supplement

This supplemental food is great for a treat and provides an extra dose of vitamins, minerals, omegas, and protein when added to your furry friend’s favorite kibble.

Evanger’s Grain-Free Salmon Canned Dog & Cat Food is all-natural and contains only three ingredients with real wild salmon at the top of the list.

Crafted in the USA with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or grains- this supplement is a good choice for pets with sensitive tummies or food allergies.

It’s also endorsed by the Chicago Rabbinical Council as a Kosher food, so the furry members of your family can observe Passover with everyone else at mealtimes! 

Specs

  • Intended for use as a supplement to your dog’s kibble
  • Grain-free formula
  • Salmon recipe
  • Wet food formula
  • Suitable for dogs or cats

*Note* Since this is a grain-free, supplemental formula, consult your vet to make sure this is a good choice to treat your Schnauzer with!

Pros

  • Quality, responsibly sourced salmon is ingredient #1
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, wheat, corn, or fillers
  • Great source of extra omegas, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to supplement your bestie’s dry formula kibble

Cons

  • Some owners said the smell of the food was odd
  • Might find some bones in the food
  • May be too expensive for the quality

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9. Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer — Best Dog Food For Miniature Schnauzers

The best dog food for mini schnauzers is going to need to be different than that of standards because they’re tiny little guys- but they have special dietary needs to be at their best beyond that!

This Royal Canin formula is tailor-made to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your pure-bred miniature Schnauzer.

Schnauzers are prone to obesity, so this formula contains a balance of fat to protein ratio that keeps his metabolism healthy.

Their coats need special attention as well, as they can actually experience coat depigmentation if they’re not getting the right vitamins, minerals, amino acids and omegas to keep them show-ready.

Specs

  • Made specifically for Miniature Schnauzers
  • Intended for adult dogs over 10 months
  • Also comes in a puppy formula
  • Dry kibble texture

Pros

  • A tailored blend of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and omegas maintains healthy skin and a shiny, vibrant coat.
  • Kibble size and shape is specifically designed for easy crunching to support healthy teeth and gums.
  • A balanced blend of fat to protein ratio keeps your mini Schnauzer trim and healthy.

Cons

  • Some doggos didn’t like it
  • Some dogs had a hard time with the kibble texture
  • Expensive

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Best Dog Food For Schnauzers — A Buying Guide

Schnauzers have that characteristic medium-sized breed energy, so they need the nutrition to support it.

Usually, this comes in the form of fats and proteins (18% or more is recommended), but carbohydrates sourced from wholesome whole grains and garden fruits and vegetables play a part, too.

There are some standard things to consider across the board when choosing a quality food for any dog. When choosing a dog food, read the labels and look for:

  • A good source of protein from real meat. Chicken, red meats, and poultry products should be at the top of the list, and avoid meat by-product meals.
  • Where it’s manufactured and where the ingredients are sourced from. Make sure his food is produced at a reputable facility and the ingredients in your dog’s food are from trusted sources. Try to avoid foods made in China and/or it’s ingredients aren’t ambiguously sourced.
  • Avoid artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and meat by-products. Fillers provide no nutritional value to the food, they just serve to make your dog feel satiated so avoiding them ensures your dog is getting maximum amounts of nutrients.
Rule of thumb: feed your best friend as you’d feed yourself. Humans don’t want garbage ingredients in their foods, neither do dogs.

Specific Nutritional Needs Of Your Schnauzer

Luckily, the Standard Schnauzer is a pretty healthy breed, and typically lives up to 13 to 15 years.

This doesn’t mean he’s immune to health issues completely, though, so a diet designed to support his health in specific ways is recommended.

  • Heart problems like Pulmonic Stenosis can be a problem for Schnauzers as they can for most dogs, so heart-healthy ingredients are necessary. Be aware of the food’s sodium content, and look for ingredients like the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Amino acids like taurine and l-carnitine are known to support heart function as well, and his food should contain plenty of vitamins B, C, and E. vitamins and magnesium to increase energy
  • Hip dysplasia is common among Schnauzers. Their active nature puts those joints to work, which can cause wear and tear, especially if he’s overweight. Foods with added glucosamine and chondroitin can help, and omega fatty acids support joint health, too.
  • Cataracts can become a problem, particularly for the miniature breed and older Schnauzers. An array of garden-fresh fruits and vegetables can help. Ingredients like pumpkin, blueberries, kale, kale, carrots, broccoli provide the niacin, riboflavin, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B, D, E, and K that carry those antioxidants they need to support optimal eye health.
  • Schnauzers are prone to bladder stones, so look at the label on his food for ingredients that can cause urinary tract problems. Ingredients like sodium, magnesium, and phosphorous should be moderated for dogs who have had, or who are prone to urinary tract problems.
Make sure he’s drinking lots of water, and if cranberry is on the list of ingredients of his food, that’s a bonus. Talk to your buddy’s vet if you suspect he’s having urinary tract problems to get him on the right diet to treat it.

How Much Should I Feed My Standard Schnauzer?

How much you feed your Schnauzer really depends on his age, weight, size, and activity levels.

  • Puppies six months to one year should eat 2-3 times a day. He’ll require a minimum of 8% fat and 22% protein to help him grow up big and strong. Consult the feeding guide and calorie count located on his food for how much he needs per day.
  • At one year, adult standard Schnauzers can begin transitioning to adult food with a minimum of 5% fat and 18% protein. Usually, they should eat 2 times a day at amounts according to the guidelines and calorie content of the brand.
  • Senior Citizen standard Schnauzers (try saying that one three times fast…) should eat according to their weight and activity level. His regular adult food should be fine unless he gains a lot of weight, in which case you can transition him to food specifically for older dogs.

A Final Word

A Schnauzer can bring so much joy to your household, and they’re a delight to have as a companion.

Very trainable and intelligent dogs, they’ll keep you throwing frisbees and giving commands all day.

They do need a lot of grooming for that wiry coat, but if they’re regularly groomed, shedding shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Since Schnauzers are always up for an adventure, we recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness for all the balanced nutrition he needs to fuel his energy and ensure he’s ready to play for many years to come.

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