Best Dog Food for Schnauzers (10 top picks in 2020)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Schnauzers are best suited to pet parents who have the time to exercise them. Their energy levels are high because they were bred as working dogs. But they’re also prone to certain health conditions.

The best dog food for Schnauzers is the Acana Singles Dry Dog Food. Our dogs loved it because of its variety of flavors, its great calorie content, yet its “biologically appropriate” kibble is great to avoid allergies.

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Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Pork & Squash, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
CANIDAE PURE Real Lamb, Limited Ingredient, Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food
DIAMOND NATURALS Dry Food for Adult Dogs, Large Breed 60+ Chicken Formula, 40 Pound Bag, 40 lb (838_40_DBD)
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Our Rating 88 / 100
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
Suitable for all life stages
Small breed, puppy-specific, and senior-specific formulas
Contains L-carnitine for energy regulation
Pro 2
Great for reducing food allergies
Variety of fat counts make it easy to choose a suitable recipe for any Schnauzer
Packed with fruits and vegetables
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
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ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Pork & Squash, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Suitable for all life stages
Pro 2
Great for reducing food allergies
Buy Now
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Best Premium Option
Rank
Ranked #2
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CANIDAE PURE Real Lamb, Limited Ingredient, Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food
Rating
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
Small breed, puppy-specific, and senior-specific formulas
Pro 2
Variety of fat counts make it easy to choose a suitable recipe for any Schnauzer
Best Value For Money
Rank
Ranked #3
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DIAMOND NATURALS Dry Food for Adult Dogs, Large Breed 60+ Chicken Formula, 40 Pound Bag, 40 lb (838_40_DBD)
Rating
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
Contains L-carnitine for energy regulation
Pro 2
Packed with fruits and vegetables
Sources researched
15
Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,650
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
12
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Schnauzers in 2020

Acana Singles Dry Dog Food Recipe Range

Best overall: Well-rounded food with lots of amino acids

Overall Score89%
Protein Content90%
Fat Count87%
Added Supplements90%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)90%
Affordability87%

PROS

  • Easy to avoid beef products 
  • Variety of tasty flavors 
  • Suitable for all life stages 
  • Great for reducing food allergies

CONS

  • May be too high in fat for dogs with pancreatitis

Although our premium choice is a limited ingredient dog food, we recommend it for all dogs. This is our first choice if your poop has been recommended a limited ingredient diet by a vet. 

Acana is what’s known as “biologically appropriate” kibble. This means that they use not only muscle meat, but also organ meat and cartilage. The addition of these ingredients adds an extra lot of amino acids. That, and the quality carbs in the form of vegetables, makes this an extremely well-rounded food.

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Value-Packed Recipe Range 

The range of flavors makes this a great choice for fussy eaters as well as Miniature Schnauzers with food allergies. The nutrient values are very similar – each contains around 31% protein and 17% fat. 

Whichever flavor you go for, it will have a dash of DHA to keep your Schnauzer’s eyes strong, glucosamine to make sure their joints stay tough, and Omega fatty acids to keep their coats silky.

Canidae Pure Real Dry Dog Food Recipe Range

Best Premium Option: Best fat variety

Overall Score88%
Protein Content90%
Fat Count95%
Added Supplements90%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Great variety of recipes to avoid allergy ingredients 
  • Variety of fat counts make it easy to choose a suitable recipe for any Schnauzer 
  • Small breed, puppy-specific, and senior-specific formulas 
  • High protein recipes

CONS

  • A pricey option

This may be a limited ingredient dog food, but it’s of the highest quality and will do good for your Miniature Schnauzer. We recommend it for dogs who get daily exercise

There are between 8 and 10 ingredients in each one of these recipes, so it’s easy to avoid beef (if your pooch has a thyroid problem), or chicken (if your pup is allergic).

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Something for Every Schnauzer 

No matter your Schnauzer’s health, weight, or activity, there’s a food in this range that will suit him. 

The flavour range is impressive, so if you’re going for taste alone, you can choose from Chicken, Bison, Duck, Lamb, Salmon, Wild Boar, and Lamb, Goat & Venison. 

The nutrient content varies through the recipes. For pups who need less fat in their diet, the Lamb and Bison flavors contain 14 and 14.5% fat. The others vary from 15 to 19%. 

If you’re looking for something with less protein, you’ll find some recipes with 25%, and others with 30 to 32%. 

Every recipe contains impressive amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin, high Omega fatty acid, and added vitamin E.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: With added supplements at an affordable price

Overall Score88%
Protein Content85%
Fat Count85%
Added Supplements90%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)85%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Extremely affordable 
  • Good fat level for a Schnauzer 
  • Contains L-carnitine for energy regulation 
  • Packed with fruits and vegetables

CONS

  • May be slightly low in protein and fat for active dogs

This is our top choice for pet parents looking for an affordable but good quality dog food. The quality of this dog food may surprise you, for the price tag. It’s one of the lower-calorie foods but contains good protein and fat levels (23% and 13%), as well as some nice, high-quality extras.

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Premium Quality For Nice Price 

This recipe is chicken and rice flavor, so it does the all-important job of staying away from beef products. There’s a super mix of gluten-free grains and superfood fruits and vegetables in this recipe. 

You’ll find brown rice, white rice, barley, quinoa, and sorghum, all of which are easy to digest and very healthy. You’ll also see kale, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, blueberries, oranges, and coconut. These create a lovely mixture of vitamins and minerals, as well as a dash of antioxidants. 

There’s a good amount of Omega fatty acids, joint-fortifying supplements, and L-carnitine, which is not often seen in nice-price dog foods, and is a super energy-regulating supplement.

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potatoes Dry Dog Food

Best for Hypothyroidism

American Journey dog food
Overall Score88%
Protein Content88%
Fat Count88%
Added Supplements88%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)88%
Affordability88%

PROS

  • No beef ingredients at all
  • High in protein, but moderate in fat
  • Healthy fruits and vegetables add vitamins and minerals
  • Helpful supplements added

CONS

  • Contains chicken, so not suitable for dogs who have a chicken allergy

If your Miniature Schnauzer has been diagnosed by a vet as suffering from hypothyroidism, this food would be a healthy, immune-boosting choice for them.

This particular flavor has no beef products in it whatsoever and contains dried kelp to give the thyroid a bit of an extra boost. It’s also packed with premium-quality, healthy ingredients – you won’t find anything artificial in it!

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Near-Perfect Nutrient Values

This grain-free food offers nutritional values that are as close to perfect that a Schnauzer food can get.

Your pup will get 32% protein, which is great to maintain muscles and keep that active lifestyle going. The fat count is right in the zone for moderately active to very active Miniature Schnauzers, at 14%.

The Omega fatty acids content is on the higher side, which will keep your pup’s beard and skin soft and supple.

At 390 calories per cup, this is one slightly high, but if you’re feeding your pup according to their weight and lifestyle, it should be quite all right.

Additional Supplements

Although this is an adult dog food, it contains a nice amount of DHA. This will be helpful to keep eye problems at bay, even in adult Miniature Schnauzers.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are present too, so your pup will get all they need nutritionally, plus some extra joint strength.

Be aware that this flavor does contain chicken, in the form of chicken meal. Check carefully before buying one of these recipes if your pooch has a sensitivity to chicken!

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat

Best High Fat Option

Overall Score88%
Protein Content90%
Fat Count90%
Added Supplements90%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)80%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Incredibly affordable for its quality 
  • High in fat, great for energetic dogs without pancreatitis 
  • Added joint supplements for active pups 
  • Contains superfood ingredients

CONS

  • The fat count will be too high for dogs with pancreatic problems

We’ve chosen this dog food specifically for Miniature Schnauzers who are very active and have no pancreatic problems. It’s extremely affordable for an “athletic” dog food, and contains some very high-quality ingredients that will boost your pup’s immune and digestive systems.

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Made For Working Dogs 

This formula is high in both protein (32%) and fat (25%). Your dog will need a good bit of daily exercise to work that fat off, but if they’re naturally energetic, they’ll put the extra fat to good use. 

In addition, this dog food has some of the highest Omegas on this list, added vitamin A and E, glucosamine and chondroitin, and L-carnitine. 

Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food

Runner-Up Option

Overall Score87%
Protein Content90%
Fat Count85%
Added Supplements85%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Small and large breed recipes 
  • High Omega fatty acid levels 
  • Contains added DHA 
  • High-quality, gluten-free grains

CONS

  • Small breed option may not be suitable for dogs who suffer from pancreatitis, due to the high fat count

Wellness Complete Health offers a small breed option and a large breed recipe, so whether you have a Miniature Schnauzer, a Standard, or a Giant Schnauzer, there will be a Wellness Complete formula to suit them. 
There’s also a recipe for puppies, seniors, and those dogs who need to lose a few pounds.

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Well-Balanced, High-Quality Food

Whichever formula you choose, your dog will get higher-than-average protein. The large breed recipe may be too low in fat for very active dogs, so you may need to add a few high-fat treats between meals.

Your dog will get the added benefits of vitamin A and E, glucosamine and chondroitin, and high Omega fatty acid contents.

Acana Puppy & Junior Dry Dog Food Recipe

Best For Schnauzer Puppies

Overall Score87%
Protein Content90%
Fat Count85%
Added Supplements90%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • No beef products
  • Contains dried kelp
  • Contains DHA and EPA
  • Rich in amino acids from organ meat

CONS

  • May not be suitable for dogs who are sensitive to legumes
  • Fairly high calorie (408 per cup), so best for active dogs

Whether your puppy is a miniature Schnauzer, a standard, or a giant, this dog food will nourish them and keep them healthy and bouncy.

It’s fairly high in calories, so it’s suited to Schnauzers who are energetic, but you’ll still need to take care to feed your dog the right amount, as per the guidelines.

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Biologically Appropriate Nutrition for Puppies

If you’re happy to feed your pup raw, this kibble will get them started from a young age. Chicken, turkey, and eggs are the main ingredients in the 31% animal protein. Your pup will also get a dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the legumes, carrots, pumpkin, collard greens, and apples.

There’s also a bit of dried kelp, to keep the thyroid functioning optimally from a young age.

Nulo Freestyle Senior Dry Dog FoodRecipe

Best For Senior Schnauzers

Overall Score85%
Protein Content90%
Fat Count85%
Added Supplements90%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)80%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Good protein and fat counts for the average, still-active senior Schnauzer 
  • High-quality animal protein sources 
  • Lower fat count helps reduce chance of pancreatitis 
  • No beef ingredients reduces chance of hypothyroidism

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain DHA 
  • Fairly pricey dog food

Senior Schnauzers will benefit from this dog food. The high-quality ingredients and added extras will ensure they stay healthy as they age.

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Easy To Digest For Seniors 

This dog food leaves out both beef and chicken products, so it’s suitable for miniature Schnauzers, standard Schnauzers, and giants. It has a lower fat count (12%) to account for less activity, but the protein remains high (30%). 

It’s easy to digest, containing carbs like sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas for sustained energy throughout the day. 

Your oldie will also get a nice splash of L-carnitine, which is superb for regulating seniors’ metabolisms. Joint supplements will keep them strong for as long as possible. The only downside is that there’s no DHA. 

Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties

Best Raw Food Option

Overall Score82%
Protein Content95%
Fat Count85%
Added Supplements75%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)75%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Variety of recipes, something for every dog 
  • Raw nutrition is packed with amino acids 
  • Contains organic fruits and vegetables 
  • Free from lentils, potatoes, and peas

CONS

  • Too high in fat for those with sensitive pancreas

If you’re keen to feed your Miniature Schnauzer raw food, Stella and Chewy’s is the way to go. These dinner patties are easy to use and even easier to eat! No matter your Schnauzer’s size, they’ll love these and be well-nourished eating them. They are too high in fat for dogs with pancreatic problems, though.

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High Protein, Various Flavors 

It’s easy to avoid both beef and chicken. Choose from Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Red Meat, Venison, Duck, Rabbit, Turkey, Pork, Salmon & Beef, and Venison & Lamb. 

The protein count is up in the higher 30s and early 40s, so your dog will be getting plenty of amino acids. The fat counts are consistently in the 30s, so Miniature Schnauzers with pancreatic problems won’t be able to eat these safely.

Miniature Schnauzer Royal Canin

Best overall for puppies: a description here

Overall Score79%
Protein Content70%
Fat Count85%
Added Supplements80%
Added DHA (and other Omegas)80%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Breed-specific, aimed at Miniatures 
  • Puppy-specific option also available 
  • No beef products

CONS

  • Fat count (10%) maybe too low for active Schnauzers 
  • Contain low-quality, gluten ingredients such as corn, wheat, and soy 
  • Contains by-products 
  • Meat only makes an appearance as ingredient number 6

There are few brands that make breed-specific dog food, and this is the Royal Canin Schnauzer offering. Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros here – it’s packed with low-quality fillers that are indigestible, as well as containing meat by-products.

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Some Useful Additions 

There are some good things about this dog food, though. It contains DHA and EPA, which will benefit your dog’s eyes. There’s also a nice bit of glucosamine and chondroitin, so your Miniature Schnauzer’s joints will stay tough. 

The protein and fat levels are lower than average, at 23% and 10% respectively. There is no mention of Omega fatty acids on the guaranteed analysis, although DHA and EPA are there. 

The calorie count is one of the lower on this list, at 309 per cup. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re happy feeding your Miniature Schnauzer a dog food containing wheat, corn, and soy, as well as meat by-products. If so, Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer could work for you.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria #1: Protein Content

All dogs need a decent amount of protein in order to maintain muscle mass and keep their strength up.

While 18% is the minimum, as recommended by AAFCO, we suggest going for a bit more than that when choosing the best dog food for a Schnauzer, unless your pup is rather inactive. 25% and upwards is a great number for energetic dogs like Schnauzers.

Schnauzers can suffer from hypothyroidism, which can be made worse by beef. With that in mind, we’ve made an effort to avoid beef products.

Keep in mind that chicken and lamb can be common food allergens, so you may have to do some experimenting to see which protein your dog reacts well to.

We’ve made sure that the dog foods we’ve chosen here avoid beef (or at least have other flavor options), and contain 25% or more quality animal protein.

Criteria #2: Fat Count

Working dogs like Spaniels, Huskies, and Schnauzers are usually highly energetic! When it comes to nutrients, fat is what provides the energy to see your dog through the day. Schnauzers, though, are very prone to pancreatitis, and the way to counter this is to feed them a low fat diet. 

With that in mind, we’ve chosen a mixture of moderate and lower fat dog foods. A dog food with the fat level in the lower teens counts as lower in fat, while those mid to high teens are moderate. 

It’s also important that the fat comes from quality sources. As with the protein above, we’ve tried to avoid fat that comes from beef.

Criteria #3: Added Supplements

Kelp is a super addition for dogs who tend to suffer from hypothyroidism. It stimulates the thyroid to release the necessary hormones, so it’s very helpful to have in dog food. 

We’ve noted whether or not these foods have kelp in them, and in some cases, where the food is high-quality and healthy, they don’t. 

It’s not the end of the world if a dog food doesn’t contain it, but the presence of kelp can be surprisingly helpful in maintaining the health of dogs who could be susceptible to thyroid problems. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin are also extremely useful for keeping joints strong and solid. If your dog food doesn’t contain it that’s okay – it’s easy to buy separately. 

We’ve mentioned in each review if the dog food contains these, but we’ve tried to stick to those that do!

Criteria #4: Added DHA (and other Omegas)

Schnauzers are also prone to eye problems, and DHA can be great for eye health. Puppies, especially, should be fed a puppy food that contains DHA, as it contributes to the healthy development of eyes (and the brain!). 

DHA is always a good thing to see in dog food for adults too, though. It keeps eyes sharp and should decrease the chances of your Miniature Schnauzer suffering from eye issues.

Criteria #5: Affordability

Here at Dog Embassy, we want both dogs and pet parents to be happy! We take many things into consideration when assessing how healthy a dog food is for pups to eat, but we also consider how affordable the dog food is for the humans who will be purchasing it. 

Our Best Budget option is the top of the lot when it comes to being affordable, and it’s on-par with the others in terms of quality and health. 

We’ve also given each dog food a score out of 100 so you can see at a glance how affordable it may be in comparison to others.


Questions & Answers

What are Miniature Schnauzers’ nutritional requirements?

Like all dogs, the best dog food for Miniature Schnauzers should contain a great quality animal protein, easy-to-digest carbohydrates, and healthy animal fat. Working dogs and hunting dogs are highly energetic and need the best nutrients possible. 

You’ll want a moderate to high protein count (18% minimum, but 25% and upwards is great for these bouncy bearded pups), slightly higher in fat for active, healthy dogs (high teens), or moderate in fat for dogs suffering from pancreatic diseases (low teens). The dog food should contain slow-burning carbs that are easy to digest, like sweet potatoes and squashes. It’s best to stay away from wheat, corn, and soy altogether. 

Fruits and vegetables are wonderful additions, and gluten-free grains are quite acceptable. These include white and brown rice, barley, millet, and oats. 

It’s also super to see high levels of Omega fatty acids, which contribute to both healthy digestion and sleek, smooth skin and coat. DHA is very useful for eye health, and joint-strengthening supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin are always a plus.

What are some common health problems Schnauzers suffer from?

Schnauzers tend towards some specific health problems, many of which can be helped by feeding them the best dog food for Schnauzers. Some of them include: 

  • Knee and Hip Dysplasia 

This condition is found more often in a miniature Schnauzer than the bigger Schnauzers. It’s more common than one might think in tiny dogs, and can result in the joint popping out of place, causing pain and immobility. 

It’s a good idea to supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin to reduce the chances of this happening. 

  • Eye Problems 

Miniature Schnauzer genes are responsible for their propensity towards eye problems. Issues such as cataracts, entropion (inward rolling eyelids), retinal dysplasia (detachment of the retina in the eye), progressive retinal atrophy (eye degeneration), and glaucoma are things you’ll need to look out for. 

  • Comedo Syndrome 

This disorder can also be known as Schnauzer bumps. It’s a skin condition that can result in hair loss, scabbing, and the formation of tiny, wart-like bumps or blackheads, usually along the spine. 

Although it’s not a dangerous condition, it can be uncomfortable or itchy. Feeding your dog the best dog food for Schnauzers can help prevent this happening, along with regular bathing and grooming. 

  • Hypothyroidism 

Hypothyroidism means the thyroid is not producing enough essential hormones. This can cause your Miniature Schnauzer to become lethargic, gain weight, lose their fur, and generally lose their enjoyment of life. 

You’ll need to get your pup diagnosed by a vet so you can get him or her on the correct medication. A balanced diet is a crucial part of keeping healthy! Kelp can stimulate the thyroid, and beef can make things worse, so choose your dog’s food carefully. 

  • Pancreatitis 

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, which can be very painful and cause a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

It’s not common in all breeds, but it is something that Schnauzers seem to struggle with when they get older. 

The chances of your dog getting pancreatitis can be reduced by feeding them a diet that’s not too high in fat. This can be a catch-22, as Schnauzers are typically very high energy dogs who need a decent amount of fat to keep up their energy. 

If you’re worried, choose a moderate fat food for your dog – that is, with a fat level in the mid-teens. 

  • Diabetes 

Pancreatitis is closely linked to diabetes, so if your pup has had a pancreatitis episode, it’s worth getting them checked for diabetes, or at least keeping in mind that it could  become a problem later. 

Signs include an insatiable thirst, weight loss, and the sudden development of cataracts. It’s critical that you make sure your Miniature Schnauzer maintains a healthy weight, as obesity can contribute to developing this condition. 

  • Urinary Stones 

Bladder and kidney stones are common in a Miniature Schnauzer. The first signs are difficulty urinating and possibly blood in your dog’s urine. This isn’t something you can just leave, though. The vet will assess and decide whether to treat it with antibiotics or if surgery is necessary. 

  • Other 

Periodontal disease: Miniature Schnauzers in particular can be prone to developing dental issues, as their mouths are rather tiny. 

Food allergies: Schnauzers can develop food allergies, which may result in a sensitive stomach. You’ll need to monitor their eating habits carefully to make sure they aren’t affected. If you suspect they have food allergies, try food with different ingredients. Heart problems: Mitral valve disease and pulmonary stenosis are two heart conditions that affect these dogs.

What should I be looking for in the best dog food for Schnauzers?

The right dog food for Miniature Schnauzers should contain a great quality animal protein first on the ingredient list. This should be followed by a good fat source, easily digestible carbs (preferably fruits and vegetables), and vitamins and minerals. 

Supplements that are nice to see include L-carnitine, glucosamine and chondroitin, DHA, EPA, and added vitamin E or A. Omega fatty acids should be at a nice level to keep your dog’s coat and skin smooth and soft. 

What you don’t want to see is grains containing gluten, like corn, wheat, and soy. Other things to avoid include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Synthetic or chemical ingredients should not be seen on an ingredient list. 

Another ingredient to steer clear of is anything labeled as a “by-product”. These are the inedible, indigestible bits of animals (such as beaks and hooves) that are added to kibble as a filler. If you want the healthiest food for Miniature Schnauzers, you’ll need to avoid these things at all costs!

How much should I feed my Schnauzer?

The amount you feed your Schnauzer will depend on if they’re a mini, medium, or big boy. In addition to that, their activity level, age, and general state of health will play a part too. 

You’ll need to work out exactly how  much of their food to put in their bowl according to how many calories are in a scoop, and how many calories they need per day. Don’t forget to split their calorie intake between a few meals! 

  • Miniature Schnauzers 

An active adult mini Schnauzer, being the tiniest of the Schnaus, needs around 800 calories a day. Puppies and seniors should get about 500 per day, although you will need to keep an eye on them to adjust if necessary. 

  • Medium Schnauzers 

The medium breed Schnauzers, if they’re fairly active, should be eating about 1600 calories per day. Puppies need 1000 or so. If you have a senior who isn’t very active at all, you can adjust down to between 1000 and 800, making sure they still have enough energy for their day. 

  • Giant Schnauzers 

Keeping in mind that these big fellas are working dogs, energetic giant Schnauzers can eat up to 2800 calories a day. If they’re just moderately active, that number can go down to around 1700, and puppies and oldies do well with around 1500.