Top Rated Food for Puppies List in 2019 + Buying Guide
If you’re in the market for the best food for puppies, but you don’t have the time to go through all our puppy food reviews, we have you covered with this short paragraph. After examining the quality and value that some of the critically products available for sale nowadays offer, Dr. Fox has concluded that the product you should consider is the Hill’s Science Diet Small. This product promotes a healthy and balanced nutrition for puppies up to one year of age. It helps develop a healthy brain and eyes. It also contains ingredients that are easy to digest which makes it ideal for sensitive puppies. If the Hill’s Science Diet Small is not available for sale, we recommend you consider the Royal Canin Size Health.
Our Top Choice
Your small dog or puppy will like this kibble, as it comes in a small size so that his or her small mouth will be able to catch and eat it. And that’s not all. Fortified with natural fish oil, this formula is rich in DHA, a compound that contributes to the excellent development of the eyes and the brain in a puppy. Free of preservatives that can trigger allergies and other health problems, it is ideal for small breeds.
There are dog parents that are not satisfied with how the food smells like.
A formula rich in vitamins and minerals, it is great for small breeds and puppies.
This formula seems to have been created to provide a wholesome approach to how a puppy should be fed. The high-quality ingredients found in this formula help the creation of strong bones and teeth, and that is why it’s so indicated for puppies. Even more, it contains plenty of prebiotics and probiotics that ensure easy digestion and boost the immune system. The kibble combats tartar, too.
Some buyers say that they find it a bit expensive for the quantity offered.
A complete formula that will ensure that your puppy receives proper nutrition.
Made with 42% protein, this recipe is ideal for a puppy that needs only excellent ingredients to grow healthy. It is a good thing that this dog food is totally grain-free, as such ingredients can make the digestion in puppies really difficult. Made with turkey, chicken, and salmon, the formula is easy to love by young puppies, so getting yours to like it, too, should not be that much of an issue. There are no fillers in it.
Some problems with soft stools have been reported by a few buyers.
A grain-free recipe that will keep your puppy’s digestive system healthy, and not only.
- Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
- Hill’s Science Diet Small
- Royal Canin Size Health
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain
- Wellness Complete Health Natural
- Hill’s Science Diet Large
- Best wet food for puppies
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently asked questions about foods for puppies
- Best puppy food brands
Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
If after sifting through the available products you are still unable to identify the best puppy food, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular products below. With its aid, you should find it easier to pick the best dry puppy food that meets your rigorous requirements.
Hill’s Science Diet Small
The Diet Small uses a recipe that features smaller kibble that can accommodate the smaller mouth of your pup much easier. With this unique size, your puppy will be able to ingest his food more quickly and digesting it will also not be a problem since the ingredients present in the formula are easy on the stomach.
The balanced nutrition that this alternative offers is designed to meet all the requirements of pets with ages up to one year and that weigh up to 25 pounds when fully grown. This meal offers the natural DHA that originates from high-quality fish oil, and that will support a healthy eye and brain development, as well as a better learning ability.
As a plus, there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives present. It also contains all the amino acids and minerals that your pet needs to grow properly.Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.99)
Royal Canin Size Health
The Royal Canin Size Health includes a nourishing and exclusive combination of nutrients that are designed to support the digestive health of your puppy. This formula is ideal for pets that have a sensitive stomach and need proper food to solve this problem. The result will be seen the moment you use your new dog poop scooper and notice how much easier cleaning has become.
The patented complex of prebiotics and antibiotics will help support a robust immune system so that your furry companion can fight all the diseases that he might encounter. To help develop his bone structure as well as the teeth, the formula offers all the nutrition needed to support the proper and healthy growth of your puppy.
The kibble technology used by the Royal Canin Size Health works just as a high-quality chew toy for puppies by reducing the formation of tartar and improving the overall dental health.Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.89)
Wellness CORE Natural Grain
This option is a 100% grain-free food which means that your dog will get a complete and balanced everyday nutrition that does not contain any harmful grains to make digestion harder and to cause your canine friend any discomfort. It is designed to help your puppy grow, which is why it contains 42% high-quality protein ingredients.
The natural and protein-rich formula is made with premium turkey, chicken, and salmon and it contains all the calories and DHA that are needed for a healthy development. It does not include any wheat, soy, or corn, ingredients that add no nutritional value to the product and only help to make it seem like you get more food for the money.
Since this product seeks to offer your puppy only the healthiest and highest-quality food, you will not find any meat by-products or artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors in this alternative.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Wellness Complete Health Natural
Treat your puppy with a snack worthy of his affection with the Wellness Complete Health Natural. This great option offers a complete and balanced everyday nutrition that will help support your dog’s healthy weight. By using ingredients that have been carefully selected, with a Wellness diet your pet will have no need of other alternatives since this one already contains everything he needs.
The recipe that this product uses contains a reduced calorie diet that is made with delicious deboned chicken and peas so that your dog’s hunger is satisfied and that he gets the proper nutrition to maintain a stable and active weight. It also contains flaxseed to support a healthy skin and coat that will ease the job of your awesome vacuum for dog hair.
This all-natural formula contains only premium ingredients which is why you won’t find any wheat, soy, corn, meat by-products or any artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.Buy from Amazon.com for ($52.99)
Hill’s Science Diet Large
If you have a large breed puppy and want to purchase food that can meet the many requirements that your pet has, the Hill’s Science Diet Large is an ideal choice as it offers all that and more at a price that is entirely fair. It is recommended for puppies that are up to one year old, and that will grow to be over 55 lbs.
It contains optimal levels of calcium that will help ensure a controlled bone growth. For large breeds, this is a must since they need a lot more calcium than other breeds, and going for an alternative that supports bone and joints growth is recommended. The clinically proven blend of antioxidants that also contain vitamins C and E will help boost the immune system.
Just like the leading dog glucosamine products, this option contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for strong joints and muscles.Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.99)
EUKANUBA Puppy Dry
Get a high-quality and affordable puppy dry food with the EUKANUBA alternative. This option contains a 33-lb bag of food that features a unique formula designed to offer large breeds the nutrients they require for a fast and healthy growth. It contains clinically proven DHA levels that come from natural fish oil for a more trainable and smarter puppy.
The EUKANUBA Puppy Dry contains a specialized fiber system that is made from natural beet pulp as well as prebiotic FOS. This specialized fiber system will promote a better nutrient absorption and a healthy digestion. It is a great choice if your pet is sensitive and requires ingredients that are gentler to the intestinal flora.
This nutritional food is made only with the highest-quality animal-based proteins to help your pet build strong and lean muscles. As a plus, the omega 5 and 3 fatty acids present in the formula will help promote a radiant coat and a healthy skin.Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.99)
Merrick Grain Free
The main ingredient of the Merrick Grain Free is real deboned chicken, and it does not contain soy, grains such as wheat and corn or other ingredients containing gluten. This means that your pup will get a healthy and nourishing meal that does not contain ingredients that could upset his stomach.
If you have a pet with grain sensitivities, this is an alternative that will help improve his gastrointestinal health. The Merrick Grain Free recipes contain DHA for a healthy brain development and they use a carefully chosen formula that meets the nutritional and growth requirements for all puppies.
This exceptional formula will allow you to feed this product to all pets, both large and small breeds. This product puts a lot of emphasis on naturally nutrient-rich ingredients which is why it contains 55% poultry and fish proteins and fats, as well as 45% fresh produce, minerals, and vitamins.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Purina Pro Plan Focus
If you care about your puppy’s nutritional needs, the Purina Pro Plan Focus offers everything that your pup needs to grow strong and hearty. It contains a high-quality source of protein that comes from the chicken that is used as the primary ingredient.
These proteins will help your pet develop and maintain robust muscles so that he can continue the playful lifestyle that all dogs at this age enjoy. The omega-rich fish oil is present, and it will help the brain and vision development of your pet. Calcium, phosphorus, as well as numerous other minerals, help to build strong bones and teeth.
With this premium alternative, you can be sure that your furry friend will be well-fed and that his body will get a balanced nutrition at this early and critical stage of development. The antioxidant-rich formula will help support the immune system of your pup, which is crucial at an age where the body is in a constant change.Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.48)
Iams Proactive Health
If you’re looking for some cheap food for your trusty pet, the Iams Proactive Health is a great alternative if you want an affordable and high-quality product. The 30.6 lbs. bag uses real chicken as the primary ingredient combined with essential minerals to help promote strong bones and Omega 3 DHA for more trainable and smarter puppies.
This recipe helps promote the optimal growth of your pup, and it is designed for large breeds. The addition of DHA is an excellent feature as it will help develop the brain of your young pet so that he is easier to train, able to memorize commands and understand and respond to his surroundings more quickly.
The Iams Proactive Health is enriched with antioxidants to help develop a robust immune system. If you walk your dog frequently, this is an essential feature as it will help him handle the presence of other dogs.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Nulo Puppy Dry
The grain-free recipe of the Nulo Puppy Dry contains no wheat, corn, soy, white potatoes, tapioca, artificial colors, preservatives or flavorings. If you care about the well-being of your dog, this is an alternative that is well-worth considering as it only contains the ingredients that your pup needs to grow properly.
The high meat and low carbohydrates proprietary formula contains 80% of animal-based proteins which offer more amino acids and better flavor while using fewer low-glycemic ingredients and carbs. If you have a sensitive pet that requires quality dog digestive enzymes, this alternative uses a patented BC30 probiotic that will support a healthy gut flora.
The gut flora will aid in the digestion of foods. The lactic acid-producing bacteria, in particular, will enhance metabolism and support a stronger immune response. Phosphorus and calcium will work together to grow the structure of the skeletal system and help blood coagulation and nerve impulse transmission.Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.99)
BLUE Freedom Grain Free
The BLUE Freedom Grain Free is a great and affordable alternative for pet owners who want to feed their canine friends a diet without grains. Foods that contain grains can be harder to digest, and they can cause even more problems for puppies since their age makes them much more sensitive and they need quality over quantity in order to grow correctly.
It is not only free of any grains but also glutens that can trigger an allergic reaction in certain dogs. The BLUE option is made with only the finest natural ingredients which is why it uses real deboned chicken as the main source. The chicken is protein-rich and delicious, and your pet is going to love it instantly.
It does not contain any chicken or poultry meals; you can be sure that what you get is exactly what is advertised. Similarly, there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Midwestern PRO PAC Ultimates
The first year in the life of any dog is crucial, and he deserves food that can meet his numerous requirements. The Midwestern PRO PAC Ultimates is scientifically formulated for the first year of your puppy’s growth. Since a pup needs twice the amount of nutrients that an adult dog needs, this option features increased levels of nutrients.
Your pet will get all the extra calories he needs to jump and play for hours on end. The extra dose of protein will aid in the development of muscles, organs, and firm bones. DHA is also included and will provide the elements the brain and eyes need to develop healthily. The added L-Carnitine will aid in the burning of fat and maintain a lean muscle mass.
It does not contain any of the common allergens such as wheat, corn, and soy. The lack of these ingredients makes it ideal for pets that have certain food sensitivities.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage
Growing puppies have unique needs, and if you want to keep them healthy, you should try and accommodate them. The Earthborn alternative is specially formulated to meet these requirements, and it provides your furry friend with the necessary amount of DHA, premium proteins, proper levels of calcium and phosphorus, and wholesome carbohydrates.
DHA is a type of Omega 3 fatty acid, and it is crucial for proper brain and eye development. The wholesome and rich ingredients such as brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and barley are easy on the digestive system. They also provide essential nutrients that your pet needs to thrive.
The balanced Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids present in the Earthborn formula play a vital role in the formation of the lipid barrier of the skin. These fatty acids are designed to make your puppy’s coat and skin be both shinier and softer.Buy from Amazon.com for ($51.99)
BLUE Basics Limited-Ingredient
If your pup has food sensitivities and you want to minimize any chances of him getting an upset belly, then the BLUE Basics Limited-Ingredient is the product for you. The limited ingredient diet is formulated in such a way as to protect the stomach of your pet while also managing to maximize the nutritional value that he receives.
What this nifty alternative does is allow you to feed your furry friend with a meal that offers gentle digestion, a delicious taste, and high nutritional value, all for the price of one. It’s an excellent purchase if you are tired of buying numerous types of food for your sensitive dog.
The first ingredient of the BLUE option is the real turkey combined with potatoes which are an easily digestible carbohydrate source. Vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals are also present and will help promote a healthy immune system for your new family member.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Nutro Wholesome Essentials
Your pup will need high-quality protein to maintain his energy and overall health and this is where the formula used by the Nutro alternative comes into play. It uses great-tasting US farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient. The chicken delivers the right amount of amino acids that your dog needs to build muscle and maintain a well-functioning metabolism.
This is a premium and natural dog food that contains whole grains designed to nourish and keep the digestive system working properly so that it can absorb all the needed nutrients. The inclusion of antioxidants such as vitamin E will help keep the immune system functioning properly and improve the overall cellular health.
This option does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. This Nutro model uses only the best ingredients that come from nature. Your dog will love the fantastic taste while you will enjoy the great results that this product offers.Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.76)
Purina Puppy Chow Natural
If affordability is on your mind, the Purina Puppy Chow Natural is an excellent choice as it offers 30 lb. worth of quality dry food at a price that is extremely favorable for your budget. It is made with real chicken that has been farm-raised and it does not contain any artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
Apart from the great-tasting chicken, the formula used by Purina also contains a mix of the vitamins and mineral that your dog needs to grow. The ingredients have been hand selected by experts to give all the essential nutrients that your pet requires. It also includes DHA so that your dog’s nervous system can develop correctly.
The crunchy kibble is designed to not only taste incredible but also to have an enticing texture. The crunchy texture will not only give your pets something to chew on but will also play an essential role in the development of the teeth.Buy from Amazon.com for ($55.21)
BLUE Wilderness High Protein
The BLUE Wilderness High Protein is inspired by the diet of wolf ancestors and provides a protein-rich and grain-free alternative for the owners that want to treat their canine friends with something a little different. This food is made from the finest natural ingredients, and it is enhanced with the vitamins and minerals your dog needs.
The selling point of this choice is the taste as the unique recipe seeks to satisfy the hungry wolf that lies hidden within all dogs. The nutritious and exclusive LifeSource Bits consists of the finest natural ingredients that are enhanced with a blend of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. The main component of this product is real deboned chicken.
The deboned chicken combined with chicken and fish meal will supply the protein that your pup requires. Apart from high-quality proteins, you will also get natural vitamins and minerals that come from wholesome vegetables and fruits.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw
The Instinct Raw offers a better way to feed your growing puppy. It combines a grain-free, high-protein kibble with the benefits of freeze-dried raw meat all in one bag. Each recipe utilizes real meat from cage-free chicken, grass-fed lamb or USA-raised beef. With such emphasis on quality, this option will satisfy both the needs of your pet as well as your own.
If you want to get nutritious dog food with probiotics, the protein-packed formula of this product contains a natural probiotic boost, more antioxidants, and a higher concetration of Omega acids. All these additions will help improve the digestive health, the skin and coat, as well as the immune system.
It contains unique protein-packed bites of real meat that have been minimally processed and that are all natural. This will give your dog a real taste of raw meat, and for puppies that need all the proteins they can get, this is a great feature.Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)
Best wet food for puppies
It is important that you diversify the diet of your puppy and there’s no better way to do it than to mix his dry kibble with some wet products. The best wet puppy food is easier to chew and can be overall healthier for growing dogs. Take a look below and pick a high-quality option.
CANIDAE Life Stages
If you want to make mealtimes not only tasty and nutritious but also easy for yourself, getting a CANIDAE product is the way to go. This canned alternative uses a premium formula with a unique multi-dog approach that features a recipe that can serve all kinds of breeds. It is the perfect choice for homes that house more than one dog.
This approach can help eliminate the need for multiple cans of different foods. It is much easier to have one product that can work for all ages, sizes, and breeds than to juggle between numerous choices that can make the feeding time much more complicated than it has to be.
The CANIDAE Life Stages is made with nutritionally dense chicken, fish, and lamb so that your pet gets the optimum protein intake. Aside from these premium ingredients, you also get additional minerals and vitamins for a strong immune system.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Hill’s Science Diet Small
If you have a small dog that is less than one year old, the Hill’s Science Diet Small is designed to provide him with precisely the balanced nutrition necessary for proper and healthy development. It comes available in a handy peel and serve tray that is sized precisely for your little dog.
This nifty feature also makes it ideal for when you want to give your dog a treat on the go, and you can’t afford to travel with your hefty bowl. The premium formula that Hill’s Science Diet employs will offer the ideal levels of high-quality lean proteins that any puppy needs in his or her first year of life.
Digestion can be a real problem for small dogs, which is why this choice uses gentle fibers that promote a healthy digestion. Furthermore, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives; you will only find natural ingredients that your dog will love to eat.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.99)
CESAR Puppy Wet
Chicken and beef are two of the flavors that dogs love the most, and with the CESAR Puppy Wet, you will no longer have to choose between the two. This tasty option combines your puppy’s two favorites into a juicy and meaty treat that will make the mealtime your pet’s favorite time of the day.
The CESAR alternative provides complete and balanced nutrition in a meal that has been formulated especially for puppies. This delicious food is fortified with minerals and vitamins to help dogs of any sizes, but especially the small breeds to stay healthy and active.
If you want to show your furry companion how much you love him or her, there’s no better way to do so than by purchasing a product that is healthy and delicious. The customers that have tried it can attest that after switching to this option, their pets are excited and swift to eat the full contents of their bowl.Buy from Amazon.com for ($18.96)
BLUE Freedom Natural
Not all dogs do well with grain-based foods; these can be upsetting to their stomachs and make them feel uncomfortable. If you want a grain-free alternative that contains high-quality ingredients and which is also affordable enough for any budget, the BLUE Freedom Natural is a choice that we believe you and your furry companion are going to love.
The recipe used in the manufacturing of this food uses only natural ingredients and contains none of the glutens and grains present in other options that can trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs. It uses deboned chicken as the first ingredient, and it will give your pup a protein-rich diet that tastes just as good as it looks.
Another key benefit of this product is the fact that it contains glucosamine to help support joint mobility and function as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a beautiful coat and skin.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.97)
Merrick Classic Grain Free
If you have a picky dog that seems to hardly enjoy the kibble that you’ve brought her, and that constantly begs for the food that you’re eating, getting the Merrick alternative will solve this problem. The customers that have tried it have noticed that their puppies simply devour their portion and leave the bowl licked clean.
The primary ingredient is deboned turkey that offers a unique taste that is much more appetizing for dogs than the classic chicken flavor. It should also be mentioned that the Merrick model uses only real turkey meats, there are no artificial flavors present to trick your dog into thinking that she’s eating something else.
The formula is also grain free and contains no gluten. Your pet can enjoy a proper nutrition that is easier to digest. Furthermore, because the health of your furry companion is important, there are no artificial colors or preservatives present here.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Royal Canin Health Nutrition
If you’ve tried dry food for your newborn puppy to eat to no avail, Royal Canin has a product just for you. This wet formula from Royal Canin is designed around the unique needs that small dogs have from puppyhood all the way to their maturity. It can be served as a complement to dry kibble or as a complete meal. Either way, your pet will get all the nutrients he needs.
This option is specially formulated to stimulate the appetite of small breed puppies. The food is easy to ingest, and the smell and taste will have even the pickiest dog start to salivate. The minerals and vitamins will help support a healthy immune system, and the protein-rich recipe will keep the dog healthy from the inside out.
As a plus, if your pup is sensitive and has certain food allergies, this option will help you in that regards since it does not contain any ingredient that is hard to the stomach or that is known to cause allergies.Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.66)
Wellness CORE Natural
A growing pup requires more proteins in relation to his weight than a fully grown one and this is where the Wellness choice stands out. With the CORE Natural, you get 80% more meat than traditional dog foods that contain grains. This option is great for owners that support a raw feeding philosophy, and who want their dogs to get a high level of meat.
This pick is 100% free of grain and animal by-products and does not rely on artificial colors and flavors. Even more, the product manages to remain as flavor-full as any other food on the market.
If you already use high-quality dog probiotics, you should be glad to know that your dog will be able to get the dose of probiotics, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and more from this formula. Another nifty feature of the Wellness choice is the fact that even if this is a wet formula, it remains a nutrient-dense meal that your pet can sink his or her teeth into.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.08)
BLUE Wilderness High Protein
Taking inspiration from the meat-rich diet that the ancestors of wolves and dogs had, the BLUE pick will provide your canine friend with a grain-free food that uses turkey and chicken as the primary ingredients. The delicious deboned turkey will promote a healthy muscle growth so that your puppy gets all the energy he needs to play around.
Another ingredient present in the BLUE formula is DHA. This fatty acid that is found in mother’s milk contributes to the development of retinal function and cognitive learning. Your pet will be much more attentive and ready to learn new and complex commands. It is an excellent feature if you want to train him from an early age.
This wet alternative will not only keep your canine companion healthy on the inside but also on the outside as the optimal balance of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will make the coat shine, and the skin look healthier than ever.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.84)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Finding high-quality puppy food for sale is an outright adventure since there are many things to consider if you want to make the best possible choice. Whether you go for the best canned puppy food or you are satisfied with the dry alternative, you will have to realize that the needs of your faithful companion should be paramount.
You need to take the breed, health, and level of energy into consideration. Not every food offers the same benefits, and it is crucial that you can identify the one that meets your requirements. All this takes time, and since we are aware that not everyone can do their research, we have taken this task into our hands, and we’ve compiled the buyer’s guide below just for you.
Type of food
The first thing you’ll notice while prospecting the market is the fact that there are three main types of puppy foods that you can choose from. You have the moist, semi-moist, and dry foods. Knowing which one to pick is crucial since each one offers its own benefits. You should also try more than one type to determine which one is the best for your pet and his or her needs.
Dry food is the most popular alternative for a few reasons. First, it is lighter on your wallet since it is much easier to find a cheap and high-quality dry alternative. The dry option tends to have a higher amount of meat protein, and since the kibble is harder, it helps clean the puppy’s teeth since dogs are supposed to chew on tough meat and crunchy bones.
Most people consider the wet food as a premium alternative since it tends to be far more expensive than the dry one. The good thing about wet food is that it contains fewer carbohydrates and since it is packaged in an air-tight package, it doesn’t need synthetic preservatives and the meat that it contains will last for longer.
Semi-moist foods offer a combination of the two types, and these options seek to provide the best of both worlds. They offer the delicious flavors of the wet alternative with an affordability that the dry products provide. The downside is that in addition to having no dental benefits, semi-moist food can also contain high amounts of preservatives, salt, and sugar that can be dangerous for a pup.
You can also consider feeding your canine companion a mix of dry and moist food. This way you can ensure that he gets the benefits of both options at the same time. You can either mix them in the bowl or simply alternate them for each meal. Since dogs can get tired of eating the same thing over and over, this is a simple and efficient solution to that problem.
Puppies have their unique activity levels
Just as is the case with a human diet, you need to feed your pup the right amount of nutrients to give him or her the energy to play, run, jump, and explore the surroundings. Not all dogs have the same activity level. We tend to think of puppies as these fluffy balls that are extremely active and never stay in one place.
The truth is somewhere in between. While most breeds tend to be extremely active, certain specimens are less or more active. It is crucial that you observe your own pup and try to determine the activity level that he has. Take huskies, for example, they tend to need less food, and you should never be alarmed if they don’t eat that much.
If you have a young mutt that is highly active, you should consider getting a carbohydrate-rich dog food since that will be his primary source of energy. For dogs that are not that active, you can pick a puppy chow that has a lower proportion of carbs.
The health of your pup
Certain medical conditions can affect the way that your young mutt feeds. It can change the way in which he absorbs, digests, and metabolizes certain nutrient molecules that are present in some types of dog food.
There’s also the fact that if your pup is sick, just as is the case with humans, he will lose part of his appetite. In this scenario, getting him dry kibble might not be a good choice since the distinct taste of kibble can make it quite unpalatable. A solution for this is to feed him canned foods as they contain a lot of moisture that can make swallowing much easier.
The moist consistency of the wet alternative can also pack more flavors which can make it more enticing for your pet, and more likely for him to eat the entire bowl. If your mutt is not drinking enough, the wet variety is once again an excellent choice since canned foods contain significant amounts of water.
Allergies and food intolerances
Another common problem comes from the allergies and food intolerances that processed food might cause to your puppy. If your dog shows signs of allergies and you’re unsure about the ingredient that causes the problem, you should get something that has only one primary ingredient. This way it will be much easier to pinpoint the ingredient that causes all these problems.
A grain-free alternative may seem like a great choice, but you should be aware that when manufacturers eliminate grains from their formulation, they tend to include other protein sources that can be allergenic as well. Wheat, soy, and corn can be allergenic, but what most owners don’t know is that chicken, fish, dairy, lamb, and beef could be equally allergenic.
You can also get foods that contain high doses of probiotics for dogs with allergies, as these substances can help treat skin allergies, excessive shedding, constant itching and scratching, and so much more.
A final misconception that you should be aware of is that while most manufacturers make grain-free alternatives seem like the best choice, there’s little evidence to support the claim that wholesome grains are worse for puppies.
Wholesome grains contain amino acids that are necessary for optimal development. The one thing to keep in mind is that you should only use such option if your dog is not allergic to these ingredients.
Frequently asked questions about foods for puppies
Will puppy food hurt older dogs?
It all depends on the quantities. Puppy foods are generally higher in protein and calories than the formulas used for adult and senior pets. This has to do with the fact that young animals need a diet that is calorically dense, with plenty of protein in order to grow correctly.
If you feed your older dog puppy food frequently, you risk making him or her more prone to kidney problems and obesity. The formulas that he may need could be relatively low in calories and protein for this reason. It probably should be safe to feed him puppy kibble for a meal or two.
Can puppy food be too rich?
It all depends on your puppy’s health and digestive system. There are instances where food can be too rich and cause various problems such as diarrhea. If you notice that your dog has slightly loose stools, the chances are that the problem originates from the diet.
You need to read the packaging carefully and see if you have accidentally chosen an option that has too much protein or fat for your puppy’s stomach to handle. Of course, if the problem persists, you should immediately call your veterinarian for a detailed analysis of the issue. You may also consult the reviews of dry puppy food to see what other owners have to say about the product.
Can puppy food make them hyper?
A proper diet plays a huge role in the physical health of any pup, but the truth is that there are so many variables at stake that it is difficult to say if diet alone can make them hyper. Every young dog is unique and has a specific behavior and mental well-being. All these factors play a crucial role, and the answer could be that you simply have a dog with an energetic personality.
With that in mind, there are some foods on the market that contain lots of sugar and carbs. These two elements give your pet’s energy, but in large quantities can make them hyper and even harm them. Make sure you study the ingredients and the reviews of wet puppy food from other owners carefully.
Can changing puppy food cause constipation?
Absolutely. Diet plays an important part in constipation problems. If you have given your pup a specific type of food for an extended period and his digestive system got used to it, switching it suddenly with ingredients that he or she is not used with can cause certain problems.
In the case of constipation, if your dog was used to eating canned food and you have recently switched to the dry variety, your pup might have been used to take part of the daily water intake from that food. Since dry food contains little water, the reason for constipation might be due to a lack of water or fiber in the diet.
What puppy food not to buy?
When it comes to the two main types of food, you can find both wet and dry alternatives that are good and which offer great nutritious value, but you can also find options that have almost no value and do more harm than good to your dog.
You should avoid options that are extremely cheap and that features kibble with unnatural colors such as green, yellow or pink. These products contain large quantities of artificial coloring, flavors, and preservatives. These options have close to no nutritional value and should not be fed to pets or any other animals since it can harm them and cause serious health problems
When to stop puppy food?
It depends on the breed of your pup because in general, dogs mature into adults at about one year of age, but this can vary for large and giant breeds. These breeds grow more slowly and are considered adults only at the ages of 18 or 24 months. No matter their age, you should focus and try to give them a diet that offers a balanced and natural intake of nutrients.
Once they’ve matured enough, it is important that you make the switch sooner rather than later since puppy food contains lots of proteins and calories that can make adult dogs prone to obesity.
How much puppy food should I feed my dog?
As is the case with any pet diet, the amounts may vary from breed to breed and depend on the level of activity that your pet has. A puppy that jumps, runs, and plays all day long will need more food than one that is less active. You need to observe your dog and feed him according to what you feel that his needs are.
Most products will have recommendations on the label, but it is important to remember that those are merely guidelines and will not apply to every dog. You should try to feed your puppy at least twice a day, and if you have a large breed it is recommended you stick with a 3-4 times a day feeding schedule.
How to make puppy food
Making your own puppy food is much easier than you could imagine, and it has the benefit of potentially being much healthier than the alternatives that can be found on the market. You can be in control of the ingredients so that you can monitor your pet’s diet carefully. Since your ingredients won’t be heavily processed they can be much easier to digest.
You need to add protein sources such as meat, and some fiber-rich carbohydrates such as brown rice, potatoes or oatmeal in a saucepan. Add some water or no-sodium broth and heat gently until everything is cooked through. You can then add your vet-recommended dosages of vitamins, minerals, and the much-needed dog probiotic supplements.
Best puppy food brands
Whether you want to get food for your puppy or kitten, Hill’s Science Diet is a brand that offers lots of alternatives so that every customer and pet is satisfied with what they get. You can get premium products, but you can also get more affordable options for those moments when you’re on a tight budget.
The common feature in all the formulas that Hill’s Science Diet uses is the quality and delicious taste that its products offer. Each of the offerings is tested carefully so that it provides a balanced diet for all breeds, sizes, and age groups.
Eukanuba is a brand name that specializes in dog and cat foods and which is owned by Mars Incorporated, a company that is well known for its wide spectrum of high-quality products. This brand produces over 17 different types of foods for dogs based on the age, breed, and performance area.
Eukanuba sees dogs as more than just the best pets on the planet, they are just as important as any other family member, and they deserve proper care and food. This is why the company creates premium nutrition that is quite accessible and that can help bring out the best in your pet.
Merrick is a brand that is known all too well to owners of both dogs and cats. It offers grain-free alternatives that feature unique and delicious ingredients so that your puppy can experience a more varied diet that contains all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are needed for balanced and healthy growth.
For when you want to get a more affordable option, you can also choose the classic formula, and fill your large dog food container with a kibble that has been specifically formulated for puppies. What’s more, the company only uses natural ingredients to ensure the best possible diet.
It’s hard to know where the ingredients in dog food come from and it is even harder to find reliable brands that only use natural and fresh meat and vegetables that have not been heavily processed. All the ingredients that Canidae uses come from reliable and trusted suppliers and farmers.
Because the well-being of your canine companion is paramount, the people that work for Canidae are obsessed with using only ingredients that are fresh, wholesome, and that come from sources that can attest to their quality. This focus on using fresh ingredients has made this brand get involved directly with growing its own livestock and vegetables.
If you’re looking for a brand to buy your puppy or kitten food, Acana is an excellent choice because it offers a wide variety of options that you can choose from. You can also choose to reward your pet for his love and devotion by buying some of the treats that this brand offers.
Both its canine and feline products are made from fresh regional ingredients that come from trusted sources which can guarantee they are sustainably raised and harvested. As a plus, all foods are prepared from start to finish in the award-winning kitchen that Acana is well-known for.
There are a few brands that stand out from the rest because of their popularity, and Royal Canin is one of those. It cannot be denied that this brand is a global leader in pet health nutrition as you will be hard-pressed to browse any pet shop and not find at least one of its products on the shelves.
Customers love this brand, and that has to do not only with the quality that it offers but also with the wide array of types of food available. No matter the age, breed, health conditions, and size, Royal Canin will always have something for your faithful pet.
If you have a dog that develops allergies to grain-based foods, the Blue Freedom seeks to offer these owners with a healthy, affordable, and most importantly, tasty alternative. The grain-free dry and wet options that it produces contains no glutens that can trigger severe allergic reactions in some dogs.
The Blue Freedom products are designed to accompany your dog through all the stages of his life from puppyhood to adulthood and beyond. The main ingredient of its offerings is also real meat, and because you don’t want your dog to get bored of his food, this brand offers a wide variety of meats that you can choose from.
Puppies need lots of proteins if they are to grow strong and correctly. This is where the Wellness Core offers a solution to all the owners that want to provide their canine companions with a raw diet without going into the trouble of preparing the food themselves. This brand offers a variety of products that have in common the use of grain-free and natural ingredients that are full of protein and flavor.
The main ingredients that its offerings contain are beef and salmon, both types of meat that are protein-packed. The result is a nutrient-dense meal that will leave your pet lick the bowl clean.
Both puppies and kittens thrive on meat protein, and they need a source of food that can provide these essential nutrients. This is why the Pro Pac products stand out, as they provide the highest quality proteins for your pet with formulas that are antioxidant-rich, and that boast a balanced ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Pro Pac uses only real meat, veggies, and fruits, and its products are full of vitamins and minerals. There is no wheat, soy or wheat filler or any other by-product meal. This result in an end product that is as tasty as it looks, without the need for any artificial flavors.
Why you should stick to a puppy feeding schedule and other interesting facts
Your puppy is a little bundle of joy, energetic, happy, and, not to mention, hungry beyond belief. If you are used to your older dogs being not particularly demanding when it comes to nutrition, puppies are a different thing. They need more fuel than their adult counterparts for building muscle mass, healthy bones, and overall develop into a beautiful dog.
Why does a puppy need a feeding schedule?
If your puppy were in charge, he or she would eat all day long. As a puppy owner, you need to set things right and enforce some rules that will help with maintaining your little one’s health in optimal condition.
It is true that puppies need to be fed more often than adult dogs, but this doesn’t mean that they should know no discipline. Get your puppy used to a routine, as that will help you later when you will have to reduce the number of meals every day.
Some breeds, especially the ones that tend to grow large, must be carefully monitored during their puppy years, to avoid obesity and muscular and skeletal problems. Getting such puppies used to a feeding schedule will prevent overfeeding and, later on, health issues.
How is the food you should feed your puppies different and why?
There is a strong reason why important brands make food for puppies based on unique recipes. As already mentioned, puppies have different needs when compared to adult dogs. They need more protein because they grow fast and all those bones and muscles need the building blocks only protein can offer.
You will notice that particular care is paid to the ingredients included in puppy food. They need a balanced diet based on protein, vitamins, and minerals, and, if you attempt to get this balance right by cooking meals for your little one at home, you will discover that it is not easy.
How many times a day should you feed your puppy?
Three or four times are enough for puppies, but you should reduce the number of daily meals to two after your puppy reaches six months of age. All these rules are meant to help you avoid overfeeding your little furry friend.
Around that age, the puppy will lose the first set of teeth to grow the ones he or she will have for years to come. That marks a change in nutrition, too. As the development rhythm begins to slow down, you should transition your puppy to more suitable food.
What about treats?
Seeing how lovable your four-legged friend is, you may feel tempted to feed him or her more treats, just to show your love. Vets recommend that no more than 5% of the total amount of calories you should feed your puppy each day should come from treats.
Also, bear in mind to avoid feeding your puppy table scraps. That will only teach him or her bad habits, like begging for food at mealtime and eating foods that are not suitable for a dog’s diet.