Dog Food

Guide for Choosing the Best Puppy Food

English cocker spaniel puppy eating
Written by Eva Jones

Getting the right food for your cute little pet is essential. As any vet will tell you, if you want your best bud to grow up healthy and have a happy life, you should find high-quality dry or wet puppy food. Dogs require a diverse diet because they aren’t typical carnivores.

Even though they love eating any type of meat, from fish to beef, they also like vegetables, fruit, and grain, as these foods give them valuable nutrients and lots of calories. Even though these are generally kibble fillers found in dry dog food, they have a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

This is why you need to find the best food to feed a puppy with the right mixture of ingredients and nutrients. If your pup has allergies, things like grain-free foods may be the best option. In this post, I will give you a list of the best pet food to choose from along with some other essential information you should know.Puppy with a bowl of dry puppy food

Puppy Food Quick Picks

Wellness Complete Health Puppy (best overall growth choice) – This dry recipe offers a well-balanced meal blend of animal protein, fats, and carbs which will ensure steady growth, bone development, and long life for all puppy breeds.

Blue Buffalo Puppy: Chicken and Brown Rice (quality nutritional value) – It’s produced with the cold-formed method which doesn’t reduce the nutritional value of all ingredients.

Holistic Select (easy to digest) – The recipe comes with lots of digestive enzymes and probiotics which make the food easy to digest.

Taste of the Wild Roasted Fowl Puppy Recipe (great for allergic & weaker puppies) – This food imitates the foods that wild dogs consume and apart from giving lots of energy it helps puppies get their strength back.

Best puppy food products

Taste of the Wild Roasted Fowl Puppy Recipe

Description:  A nourishing dry food recipe. It’s a great kibble meal and comes without grain elements. It has a combination of natural animal protein, fat, amino acids, and antioxidants for a rich and happy life.

Price:  $$

Additional consideration:  grain-free, no wheat, no corn

Key benefits:

  • Packs real dry buffalo, bison, beef, and roasted venison, protein ingredients.
  • Has a special K9 probiotic blend strain, which is highly digestible.
  • Doesn’t have any preservatives, colors, or artificial flavors.
  • Great recipe with real vegetables, fruits, good fat sources (omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), and antioxidants.

Natural Balance Puppy Formula

Description:  This is a grain-free dry food recipe with duck as the primary protein source. Duck is not commonly used in dog food, but it helps puppies get used to common animal protein sources like chicken. It offers a nice meal with carbohydrates, fat, animal protein that all puppies need in their life, regardless of their breed.

Price: $$

Additional consideration: No grain, corn, soy, or wheat

Key benefits:

  • Has a single protein source puppies get used to really quickly.
  • Easily digestible dry recipe with potatoes as the main energy source.
  • The formula has quality nutritional ingredients to keep puppies strong.
  • Limited protein and carbohydrate recipe.

Orijen Puppy Biologically Appropriate Dog Food

Description: Orijen Puppy food comes from Alberta, Canada, and it consists of a fresh and dry combination of locally available ingredients. Their food is labeled as “Biologically Appropriate” because the goal is to deliver a meal that contains the ingredients that dogs are naturally used to eating. It’s grain-free, very rich in protein, fat, and various type of meat. However, compared to similar products, it does lack carbohydrates.

Price: $$$

Additional consideration: No grain

Key benefits:

  • High concentration of protein 38%.
  • High concentration of fat 20%.
  • The whole fresh and dry combo recipe is around 80% meat.
  • Has calcium and phosphorus, which is very important for that special pup in your life.
  • Has a large combination of different meats.

Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection

Description: This dry food comes with chicken flavor that your dog will love. It packs phosphorus, calcium, DHA, Vitamin E, fat, and a nice blend of fibers. However, this meal has grain corn, which can be difficult for some dogs to digest, and it doesn’t offer a lot of rich nutrients. Additionally, it comes with chicken by-products, which are parts of the animal that you wouldn’t normally be feeding your dogs, regardless of their size.

Price: $

Additional consideration: /

Key benefits:

  • Crunchy pieces of food that your pet will love.
  • No artificial colors, sugars, or flavor.
  • Amazing chicken flavor that puppies love.
  • Phosphorus, calcium, and DHA ensure strong bones and teeth.
  • Has a nice blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Puppy

Description: This dog food product is made out of wholesome ingredients like barley and savory chicken. Along with nourishing ingredients that promote healthy eye, teeth, and bone development. It’s a tasty meal made with high industry standards meant mostly for smaller dog breeds.

Price: $$

Additional consideration: /

Key benefits:

  • This is a quality product made in the USA and designed for dogs that have up to 25 lbs when they grow up.
  • Doesn’t have any preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors.
  • Has vitamin C, vitamin E, and Antioxidant blend for a strong immune system.
  • Has natural, easily digestible fat and protein sources.

Best Dry Puppy Food Products

Holistic Select Salmon and Anchovy & Sardine (Dry and Grain Free)

Description: This product offers a well-formulated grain-free meal with Sardines, Anchovies, and Salmon to help improve the digestive tract of your pet. It also has digestive enzymes, healthy fibers, probiotics, and plenty of calories. Combined with tasty fat and protein ingredients, it gives your puppy everything it needs for optimal growth and a long, happy life.

Price: $$$

Additional consideration: No grain, for sensitive digestion

Key benefits:

  • Has superfoods rich in antioxidants that provide optimal cellular health.
  • The natural fibers in this meal improve digestion and stool output.
  • Healthy digestion support thanks to veggies and fruits.
  • Natural microorganisms in the formula improve digestive tract health.

Description: This formula is designed to give your pup everything it needs in a meal while growing. It has deboned chicken rich in protein, a blend of antioxidants, brown rice, fruits, veggies, whole grain ingredients, and real meat with lots of calories from fat that energetic pups need.

Price: $

Additional consideration: Soy-free, wheat-free, corn-free

Key benefits:

  • Doesn’t come with any type of by-product.
  • Strengthens the immune system of your pup with antioxidants and chelated minerals.
  • Strengthens joints and improves mobility with glucosamine.
  • The formula has essential nutrients like phosphorus and calcium to protect teeth and bones.
  • Has the right combination of carbs, fat, and protein for energy and muscle growth.

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food (Chicken, Salmon, and Oatmeal)

Description: This meal comes in tiny bits puppies love. It has a strong formula that focuses on building muscle and bones. It’s generally suitable for dog breeds of any size, and even small puppies will enjoy feeding on it.

Price: $$

Additional consideration: soy-free, wheat-free, corn-free

Key benefits:

  • Special formula for puppies up to 1 year of age.
  • Has positive effects on the heart due to taurine.
  • Skin and coat remain healthy and clean from flaxseed.
  • Strong formula with DHA, salmon, oatmeal, and deboned chicken.

Best Wet Puppy Food Products

Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Sweet Potato

Description: This formula is great for both puppies and adult dogs. It can be used on its own or as a topping for other foods to add a bit of taste and the right ingredients. It comes with many antioxidants and has biotin that protects the skin.

Price: $$$

Additional consideration: pea-free, soy-free, wheat-free, corn-free

Key benefits:

  • Optimal formula for both adult dogs and pups.
  • Lots of antioxidants.
  • Quality protein sources that are easy to eat and digest.
  • Vitamin B12.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Puppy Chicken Dinner

Description: Nice pate with an excellent formula for growing puppies. It has lots of protein and carbs. All the ingredients are natural and puppies love this formula.

Price: $$

Additional consideration: no soy, no wheat, no corn

Key benefits:

  • No by-products.
  • Comes with essential minerals, vitamins, and DHA.
  • Has real chicken along with veggies and garden fruits.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy – Chicken & Vegetables

Description:  This is a delicious formula that puppies love. It has real chicken, carrots, peas, brown rice, and other ingredients mashed into a gravy, making for a scrumptious meal that will give your pup the energy to live life to the fullest.

Price: $$

Additional considerations: /

Key benefits:

  • Nice meaty taste with healthy digestion.
  • Gives a full nutritious meal.
  • A lot of quality protein for muscle growth.
  • Great for mobility and the immune system.

Best Food for Large Breed Puppies

What is the best food for large breed puppies? Decide for yourself between these top 3 choices.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy with Chicken (Grain Free)

Description:  This grain-free formula is based on the diet that wolves have in their daily life out in the wild. It has natural ingredients and versatile foods with a lot of protein. If you want your pup to grow into a full-blown good boy, this is the type of meal you should be feeding him. It’s one of the best natural puppy food products.

Price: $$$

Additional considerations: soy-free, wheat-free, corn-free, no grain

Key benefits:

  • Deboned chicken, turkey, and eggs give a lot of natural protein.
  • Has DHA, phosphorus, and calcium.
  • Healthy skin and coat support with fatty acids and minerals.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy (Lamb Recipe)

Description:  This is an enhanced formula for larger puppy breeds. This delicious meal has a lot of superfoods as well as probiotics, and quality ingredients like lamb and chicken fat ingredients that all work together.

Price: $

Additional considerations: no soy, no wheat, no corn

Key benefits:

  • Doesn’t have any preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, filler, wheat, or corn.
  • Easily digestible and rich in DHA for better vision and brain function.
  • Good for skin due to fatty acids, while antioxidants and vitamins improve overall health.
  • Has real pasture lamb meat and chicken fat, with a lot of whole foods.
  • Has everything larger puppy breeds need.

Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food

Description:  This formula offers a complete and well-rounded meal for any type of large breed puppies. It also has prebiotics and natural fibers that ensure your best bud will have a healthy digestive tract. It has a lot of quality ingredients like chicken meat and sufficient amounts of protein.

Price: $$

Additional considerations: /

Key benefits:

  • Natural chicken is the most concentrated ingredient.
  • Gives enough carbohydrates and fat for growing puppies.
  • Brain development-boosting DHA.
  • Has lots of protein, calcium, phosphorus, for muscle and bone health.
  • Gereat meal for larger breeds over 55 lbs. 

What is the best dry puppy food?

There are a lot of dry food options for puppies. To help you narrow your meal choices down we’ve picked out Wellness Complete Health Puppy, Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice, and Holistic Select. These three options have the best ingredients in each crunchy kibble and we discovered that all puppies react well to these formulas.

Is Blue Buffalo good for puppies?

Blue Buffalo is a reliable brand and one of the best natural pet food producers. I believe that their wet dog food products for small puppies and adult ones, like the Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables, are the best. What’s even better is that they offer a lot of variety when it comes to dog food.

What puppy food do vets recommend?

You probably want to know what the best puppy food brand is, and that’s why I asked some wets as well to help me with my reviews. All the products I mentioned today are recommended by wets. The reason for this is that they all have the right combination of ingredients.

They have lots of protein and fat from great sources like chicken meat. At the same time, they combine natural ingredients that puppies love feeding on. This means that even when they stop eating this food, they will easily get used to home food or store food for large dogs.

What is the best affordable puppy food?

If you are looking for a good choice that you can buy at the lowest price possible, we’ve done your homework for you. The most affordable food for large breed puppies is Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy and it has everything your large pups need during their growth spurt and in their life.

If you are looking specifically for wet puppy food, Hill’s Science Diet Puppy – Chicken & Vegetables is the cheapest option. The Blue Buffalo Puppy – Chicken and Brown Rice is an especially rich formula that comes at an amazing price. In the end, if you are looking for some other good affordable option try out Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection.

FAQ

When are puppies ready for food?

All puppies should be used to eating solid food at around 4 weeks of age. However, you can’t make a sudden transition to their diet. Instead, combine puppy food with milk and give this food in a bowl.

During the next 2–3 weeks, reduce the amount of milk with each meal until the puppy is used to eating dry or wet food only. A puppy should be weaned completely at 6 weeks of age.

What type of food do puppies need?

You can’t feed puppies the food meant for adult pets, as they have different needs. Their food should have more protein for muscle growth, fat and amino acids for energy, and calcium to help bone growth.

When buying food, make sure it’s meant for puppies. Furthermore, check the ingredients. Chicken meat and fat, as well as fish are the most common quality ingredients, but as long as there is a natural meat source, you’ll be fine. Look for foods that have at least 22% protein, 8% fat, and 1% calcium. If the percentages are higher, then the food is even better. 

How much food do growing puppies need?

Any type of puppy food product will have instructions with servings for breeds of any size and weight. In general, puppies feed more frequently, just like human babies. However, they will eat less.

Look at the needs of your puppy’s breed and try to give him three meals a day. If the puppy is constantly leaving leftovers, then reduce the portion. Additionally, make sure that you feed your puppy regularly. 

How do I know if my puppy is a large breed?

Adult dogs that weigh from 50 to 100 pounds are considered large breeds. See what the average expected adult weight for your dog breed is, and you will quickly learn what size and weight your pet will be once he gets older.

Is homemade puppy food better than store-bought?

There is a whole discussion between dog owners about whether homemade or store dog food is better for your pet.

The truth is, both are a solid option if you pay attention to the ingredients in them. However, homemade food gives you a great ability to combine ingredients and add the ones your dog might need. A chicken or beef broth mixed up with some veggies or a bit of fish and rice is a quick recipe to make in a pinch, great for all breeds.

On the other hand, store-bought foods have tasty and well-put-together meal formulas. You only need to find the right product and rest assured that your dog will have all the nutrients it needs. In the end, there’s no reason why you couldn’t combine the two.

Leave a Comment