Best Puppy Food

Best Dog Food for Puppies

Puppies especially requires a well-balanced diet to provide good nutrition to stay fit and healthy.  Signs of a healthy puppy includes:

  • bright, clear eyes with no discharge or swelling of the eyelids
  • clean, healthy coat with no signs of excessive scratching, rashes, or bald spots
  • healthy, pink gums
  • good movement when walking and playing without limping.

To ensure you have a healthy puppy, diet and food plays an important part. Also, how often and how much they need to eat will depend on other factors such as their age and activity levels.  

Most of the nutrients required for adult dogs hold true for puppies. However, there is an important requirements to note;  for your puppy to grow strong and healthy  it is important to provide puppy food which are specially formulated with more protein for his or her growing muscles, joints, and bones.  As puppies, their bones and joints are growing rapidly and this can result in doubling or tripling of their weight in just one month or two. The correct type and amount of puppy nutrition can  prevent bone problems known as ‘developmental orthopaedic disease’ which can occur in young, fast-growing dogs

Essential nutrients value in the puppy food

(1) Protein – is needed for their growth throughout the different puppy development stages.  But especially, a puppy will require more protein for bone development up until around six months old as they are growing at an astounding rate.  Proteins are also important for puppies to form healthy muscles and ensure good nerve and organ function, and for healthy skin and coat. Studies have shown that puppies that did not get enough protein showed signs of stunted growth.  Another important point is to feed quality protein as it will make a difference.
2) Carbohydrates – to provide energy and dietary fiber. They add bulk to your dog’s diet and help maintain regular bowel movements. The sources of carbohydrates could be from corn, wheat, rice, barley, oats and others.
(3) Fats and Fatty acids – necessary for a variety of body functions and in keeping the puppy’s skin and coat healthy. Fatty acids such as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) which is a type of omega-3 fat is important as their will aid in your puppy brain, eye and hearing development. In addition, the fatty acid can make your dog easier to train. 
(4) Vitamins and minerals – for additional nutrients. Vitamin D and vitamin A are essential to healthy development. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are needed more to help their skeletons grow. 
(5) Glucosamine and Chondroitin can soothe joints and slow down the damage of arthritis.  As such, this is particular useful for your large breed puppy’s joint health. 

Types of Commercial foods
Puppy food can be dry or wet, and is usually given to match most the puppy’s high rate of growth from three to six months of age. 

  • Dry foods – Commonly called ‘kibble’, dry food is the most commonly purchased for puppy and dogs. The puppy food kibbles are smaller too. As a guide, you can follow the instructions on the puppy dog food bag on the amount to feed a growing puppy. However, your puppy may require more or less food depending on its metabolism.  Meal times should always be supervised. Do make sure the your puppy has access to clean drinking water as if your puppy is being fed dry dog food as this can make them very thirsty. Dry dog food contains about 10 to 15 percent moisture typically. There are many brands and options are available to choose from. Grain-free formulas, and formulas with meat sources from poultry to lamb to bison are available.
  • Canned Foods – Quality canned foods are highly palatable and most dogs do like them. Designed fro be fed alone as a complete diet, they have approximately 70 percent water and usually contain higher protein levels than dry dog food, depending on the brand and formulation. Its is good to look for meat as the first ingredient, followed by vegetables and fruits.  Depending on the brand, they might caused as bit more than dry foods. Canned dog food provide little or no abrasion from chewing, which can result in faster plaque and tartar buildup on your puppy’s teeth.

Weight Watch
Importantly, you should aim to keep your puppy on the lean side as overweight can bring about bone and joint problems and unwanted diseases. Two simple regular check you can do to help your dog from becoming overweight are: (1) Make sure you can see and feel the outline of your dog’s ribs without excess fat covering, (2) You should be able to see and feel your dog’s waist and it be should be clearly visible when viewed from above. Do note that obesity can cause serious health issues and shorten your dog’s lives. These health problems could be diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. As such, do make sure  your puppy is fed with a well-balanced diet without being overfed.

puppy dog food

But each puppy is different as some could be allergic to grains or certain meat as protein. As such, we have provided our list of dog food for puppies based on these variations:

  • Puppy food with grains
  • Puppy food without grains (grain free)
  • Puppy food for small breed
  • Puppy food for large breed

Use High Quality Proteins
One to the good tip is to buy a good or premium brand dog food you can afford as will have good-quality proteins. When feeding protein it is often mentioned that quality protein, not the quantity of protein that makes the difference. Below are some the quality dog food available with brands such as BLUE BUFFALO, IAMS, DIAMOND NATURALS, ROYAL CAININ, HILL’S SCIENCE, PURINA and others.

With the above understanding you can be more confident and better with feeding your puppy the right diet.  Below are also some helpful answers to questions that you may have regarding dog food for your puppy.

Table of Contents

Our Top 3 Picks

Puppy Food Brands

If you want a quick recommendation on top rated food for puppies, check out the following:

1. Blue Buffalo Puppy Food - GRAIN FREE

2. IAMS Puppy Food for Small Breeds

3. Diamond Naturals Puppy Food for Large Breed

Top 10

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula with lamb and oatmeal is great for puppies that love meat. 

Key Ingredients:

Deboned lamb, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, flaxseed, ARA, DHA, Omega 3, Omega 6, etc.

Highlights:

  • Has Blue Buffalo exclusive “LifeSource Bits” that support immune system health
  • Formulated with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to improve the overall well-being of your puppies

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

This BLUE BUFFALO LIFE PROTECTION Puppy formula with whole grains provides all the key ingredients for your puppy’s muscle and bone development, cognitive development, healthy skin and coat and immune system health.  It also comes with a unique ‘small-bite’ kibble for the smaller jaws of your puppy dog.

This IAMS Proactive Health caters to the diets needs of  your small & toy breed puppies.

Key Ingredients:

Chicken, Whole Grain corn, carrots, vitamins, minerals, calcium, Omega-3, Omega-6, etc

Highlights:

  • Has 22 key nutrients for the overall development of your puppy dog.
  • No wheat, soy, artificial preservatives

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

This IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH dog food has a great chicken taste as its main flavor.  This special formulation promotes healthy cognition, healthy digestion, healthy skin and coat and builds strong bones, muscles for your puppy dog.

Key Ingredients:

Lamb, peas, barley, ground white rice, flaxseed, pumpkin, blueberries,  carrots, Vitamins, Minerals, Calcium,  DHA, Omega-3, Omega-6, etc.

Highlights:

  • Pasture raised lamb as quality protein for large breed puppy
  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Probiotics to support digestive system.

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

The DIAMOND NATURALS large breed puppy food is made in USA by DIAMOND PET FOOD.  The formulation includes powerful antioxidants, proprietary probiotics and other exceptional ingredients to provide the optimum nutrition for your large breed puppy’s development and growth.

If you’re looking for a high quality dog food while on a budget, then the Royal Canin Health Nutrition Dog Food may be the most beneficial for you. More specifically, this dog food is perhaps the most affordable puppy food that you can find on the market. You have the option of choosing between a six-pound bag or a bag that has either 18 or 35 pounds.

Even more, this food is specifically designed in order to support the health of dogs that are expected to weigh anywhere from 56 to 100 pounds. Furthermore, this Royal Chain product is great for puppies that are new to chewing, since the kibbles are shaped specifically to help smaller dogs chew thoroughly without choking.

Key Ingredients:

Corn, Wheat, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Fat, Brewer’s Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Rice, etc.

Highlights:

  • Kibble design eliminates the risk of choking
  • Highly digestible portions help to promote digestive health
  • Specialized blend of minerals encourages bone and joint strength
Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

Overall, if you only have one small puppy and are looking to provide it with high quality food, then the Royal Canin product can benefit you the most. It’s quite likely one of the highest quality meals for large breed puppies on the market, since it’s specifically formulated to target immune system health, joint health and digestive health.

Formulated with ingredients specifically designed in order to maintain lean muscle, the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is great for anyone that has a large breed puppy that wants the most muscle. More specifically, this food contains high quality proteins that can promote the build of lean muscle.

Aside from muscle growth, this dog food also contains DHA from fish oil in order to also support brain and eye development as well. Because of that, you can provide your puppy with the means to a healthy adult life when they’re fully-grown.

Key Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Oats, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli, Apples, Vitamins, Minerals, Calcium, DHA, etc.

Highlights:

  • Optimal level of calcium for bone growth for large breed puppy
  • Contains DHA for brain and eye development
  • Has high quality proteins for maintaining lean muscle

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

This Hill’s Science Diet is great for anyone that’s looking to provide their large breed puppy dog with the means to grow their muscles to their full potential. It’s specifically formulated with balanced amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, DHA amongst others that will benefit your dog overall development..

 

Key Ingredients:

Chicken, Brewer’s Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Vitamins, Minerals, Calcium, DHA, etc.

Highlights:

  • Formulated for Puppies up to one year old

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

Overall, Purina Pro Plan is a great brand made in USA.  The smaller kibble is made for puppies up to one year old. The nutrition provided is balanced supporting the overall healthy development of your puppy.

Key Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Chickpeas, etc.

Highlights:

  • Added vitamins and minerals for a balanced and complete meal
  • Contains completely safe and natural ingredients, ensuring your dog a safe diet

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

Overall, the Nutro Max Dry Dog Food is advised for anyone with smaller-sized puppies that require a certain recipe.  The chicken, brown rice and sweet potato is nutritious and tasty. Together with the vitamins and minerals, this will be a great food for your small breed puppy.

Nutrisource dog food is made using there Good 4 Life System providing your dog with good gut health and their overall well-being.

Key Ingredients:

Chicken, brown rice, oatmeal, flax seeds, Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids, DHA, vitamins, minerals, etc,

Highlights:

  • Chicken is the key ingredient 
  • Smaller bite sizes for puppies
  • Package sizes available; 5 lb, 15 lb, 30 lb.

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

NUTRISOURCE is made in USA by a family owned pet food company who has been in operation for over 50 years.  A trusted brand, this premium dog food is a popular choice for dog owners due to its balanced and optimised formulation.  

ORIJEN Puppy food is prepared with chicken and turkey to provide the optimal nutrition for your puppy dog development and growth.

Key Ingredients:

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids, DHA, Calcium, vitamins, minerals, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, etc,

Highlights:

  • Fresh and raw animal ingredients from 6 different sources: chicken, turkey, cage-free eggs, herring, flounder, and mackerel
  • Protein-rich from its variety of meat protein ingredients.
  • Grain-free dry dog food 
  • Smaller bite sizes for puppies
  • Comes in 25 lb

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

In ORIJEN puppy dog food,  approximately 2/3 of the animal ingredients are fresh or raw thereby preserving the nutrients for your dog.  With its award winning ‘Biologically Appropriate’ dog food formulation, the company has won many “Excellence in Canine Pet Food” awards in the past. Trusted by pet lovers, this dog food prepared in their Kentucky DogStar Kitchen in USA is a great choice for your puppy dog.

Key Ingredients:

Deboned chicken, peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, apples, vitamins, minerals, Omega-6, Omega-3, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, etc.

Highlights:

  • Protein from deboned real chicken
  • Has glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Suitable for puppy of all breeds

Pros:
Cons:

Summary:

The MERRICK Puppy Recipe dry dog food is made in USA by MERRICK PET CARE with a desire to craft the best pet food possible.  There is the beef or chicken as real meat option which provides your puppy with high levels of proteins for their muscle development and mass.   The pint-sized puppy bites also will be welcome by your puppy dog while enjoy this dog food.

Conclusion

Giving your puppy the right food is important. This will ensure that they grow healthier and happier.  We have presented various types of dog food for your puppies, as some puppies may have chicken allergies, grain allergies or other ingredient preferences. 

With the above selections, finding the right kind of food for your puppy will become easier as now you know what to look for. As mentioned, go for quality dog food as such we hope the above suggestions above are useful and you be able to find the high quality food for your lovely pups!

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends. Obviously, puppies and dogs have different needs when it comes to the types of nutrients that they’re consuming, so it’s important to keep this in mind. But some puppy breeds may be able to consume certain types of adult dog foods, depending on the certain ingredients in that food.

This depends on the size of your puppy as well as the type of food that you’re giving them. Most food products for large breed puppy come with serving suggestions on the label, but most puppies should be fed at least 1/2 cup to 1 cup of dry food.

This also depends on your puppy’s size. To find out, you should consult your dog’s vet and consider how much food they need to eat in a day and then divide that by the number of times that you’re available to feed them. Most people feed them at least three times a day, and it’s usually when they eat their meals.

It varies among breeds, but most puppies should transfer to adult food sometime between six months to 12 months.

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