Finding the best food for puppies assured your little friend will get the overall balanced nutrition it requires to grow up properly. Compared to adult dogs, puppies have special demands on different nutritional foods to develop a healthy brain, shiny coat, lean muscles, good vision and healthy progress from the beginning of its life.
So, a quality puppy food recipe should be formulated with high-quality ingredients including lean protein, fat & calories and proportioned vitamin & mineral ratios. And as a sincere pet owner, you must avoid poultry products, grains, corn, soy, preservatives, artificial color and flavors, and other allergens.
After researching more than 70 hours on 100 puppy food products, consult with a couple of pet food specialists and food formulation company, we decided to review the best dog food for puppies to help them grow quickly and healthily.
So, have a look to analyze the information set out below and try to find the best brand regarding quality and food ingredients to make your pet happy and healthy.
Best Dog Food for Puppies in 2021 – Reviews
1. Our Top Pick – CANIDAE Life Stages Dog Food for Puppies
CANIDAE Life Stages recipe is suitable for all breeds of puppies and dogs for all sizes
Thanks to its premium ingredients like protein, fat, and fiber. In this food, beef and ocean fish are the prime protein source. Canidae food also contains some other ingredients including sage, rosemary and herbal to increase the nutritional level. Moreover, it is totally free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that could upset a new puppy’s tummy.
This recipe is vet formulated for dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. It works equivalent to mealtimes for multiple dogs through a single bag of different foods.
No more hesitation of your dog’s breed, size or age to offer this Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food. The nutritionally dense formula always counts premium ingredients with optimum protein, but never corn, wheat or soy.
The first five ingredients in this formula are a chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, and white rice. Chicken is the prime source of protein and a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus.
The chicken meal is the condensed form of the chicken protein for dog food. Another ingredient turkey is a good source of Riboflavin and Phosphorus supplies 70 percent protein as concentrated form.
The Lamb meal supplies 60 percent protein and works as a very good source of vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper and Selenium.
Moreover, brown rice and white rice used as a cereal grain, especially for dogs that can’t eat corn or wheat. Brown rice is higher in fiber and white rice helps dogs recovering from surgery or from gastrointestinal problems.
- Formulated for puppies and dogs of all ages, size, and breeds
- Rich with all premium quality ingredients
- Totally free from artificial color, flavor, and preservatives
- Never used corn, wheat or soy
- Available at reasonable price
- Keep your pup nourished and healthy
2. Runner Up – Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This food formula features plenty of premium ingredients and provides digestible energy and excellent nutrition for your growing puppy
The Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog food formulated with real roasted meat and a great combination of protein source. Used vegetables and fruits supply natural antioxidants to support a healthy lifestyle.
This food doesn’t contain any corn, wheat or filler. There is no artificial color, flavors, or preservatives that could harm a puppy’s tummy.
Beef is the main ingredient of this dry food provides optimal amino acid and protein to build strong muscles. The high-quality protein with smaller kibble is very much effective for growing puppy, and DHA helps to develop proper brain structure.
Peas are the next ingredient, a great source of carbohydrates. Generally, peas contain 25% of protein, which is solely considerable when judging the meat content of the food. Peas are also rich in natural fiber.
The grain-free formula of this product delivers digestible energy and outstanding nutrition. The real roasted meat and a proper mixture of protein sources offer the extraordinary taste sensation. Used fruits and vegetables also help and support for a healthy immune system.
Pet proprietors are very much responsive to collect this product 2nd time for its healthy and nutritional features. Several pet owners surprisingly appreciated for the affordable price and quality.
- Real meat is the first ingredient to help support strong muscles
- High-quality protein recipe for hard-working
- DHA for Brain development
- Made with no grain, corn, wheat, filler
- No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives
- Made in the USA
3. Best Budget – Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Puppy Food
This puppy food ensures necessary nutrition of your four-legged friend
Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food brand is the cheap-rated collection in this puppy food list. It is manufactured by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and designed by Chef Rachael Ray. She formulated the genuine recipes for her own pit bulls and established as a brand for delivering safe, high-quality, and affordable pet foods.
This food recipe contains real chicken and brown rice with other natural ingredients like vitamins & chelated minerals. Here the used chicken holds the number one ingredients including wholesome grains and vegetables those are wisely picked to meet the demands of your growing puppy.
Rachael Ray Nutrish rich with DHA, which helps to support brain development and strong bone structure. The high quality, tasty real chicken provides essential nutrients to maintain healthy organs and lean muscles.
Brown Rice, Carrots, and Peas are tremendous carbohydrate source for necessary B vitamins and wholesome fiber. The Cranberries covers fruits rich in antioxidants, which help support a healthy immune system.
Pet proprietors like to find the smaller sized package with quality ingredients. A price tag of $16 for a 14-pound bag might be the best choice for them who looking for a quality food package on a budget.
- This food is formulated with #1 farm-raised chicken ingredient
- Used DHA helps to build strong muscle and brain development
- There is no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Suitable for dog breeds of all sizes
- Made in the USA
4. Best Puppy Food for Small Breeds – Wellness Natural Pet Food
Basically, small dog breeds demand unique nutritional needs, especially during their developing ages. The Complete Health Small Breed is the complete nutrient-rich food supplies the perfect balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals to support the unique health of small breeds.
It’s a mission of Wellness to provide uncompromising balanced nutrition with extraordinary standards to deliver your small breed’s total nutritional demand.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food ensures a complete wellness diet for your small pup. The company always uses the finest natural ingredients to create delicious healthy recipes for the complete health of your developing puppies.
This food also supports to develop your puppy’s teeth and bone strength, healthy brain structure, healthy muscle, optimal energy, liveliness, and overall health.
The recipe provides a great taste that loves puppies. It is packed with antioxidants from vegetables and fruits like apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes and sweet. Chicken is the first ingredient in this dog food.
Although raw chicken contains up to 73% water after cooking, it lost most of the moisture and after processing, the item would probably account for a little part of the whole finished product.
Chicken meal is another used ingredient contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken. Ground brown rice, barley peas are also a quality source of carbohydrates.
Barley also supplies fiber and other healthy nutrients. Aside from carbohydrate, peas contain about 25% protein that must be considered when judging the meat content of this food.
So, as a family-owned company Wellness is the face of a new generation in puppy food.
- Ensures daily nutrition for your small breed puppy
- Easy to digest
- Probiotics for sensitive stomachs
- Contains only premium and natural ingredients
- Grain-free and free from fillers, soy, and corn,
- No by-products, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
- Made in the USA
5. Best Puppy Food for Large Breeds – Hill’s Science Diet
Hill’s Science Large Breed Dry Dog Foods are recommended for large breed puppies over 55 pounds or up to 1-year old. The recipe is formulated with all high quality and natural food ingredients with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
It is the natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin to develop strong muscles and joints. This food also supplies an optimal level of calcium to control bone structure in large breed puppies. Free from all artificial and harmful flavors, colors or preservatives.
Large dog breeds need bigger and different nutrition compared to smaller breeds. So, ensure your large breed is getting balanced nutrition regarding its size, weight, and breed.
This premium food is formulated with all natural quality content and contains no corn, wheat or soy. Chicken meal is the basic ingredient contains 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
Barley, the starchy carbohydrate is another ingredient supply fiber and other healthy nutrients. It also supplies cereal grain the only modest nutritional value for dogs. The pork meal contains near about 300% more protein than fresh pork.
Hill’s Science is 100% confident about their product and offers a 100% satisfaction to users with money-back guarantee.
- Nutritious and easy to digest
- Arrived with two available flavors: Chicken Meal & Oats and Lamb Meal & Rice
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Antioxidants with vitamin C and E
- Recommended for puppies are more than 55 pounds
6. Best Puppy Food for Medium Breeds – Wellness
Wellness CORE Natural Dry Dog Foods contain 28% protein, 17% fat, 4% fiber, ensures total nutritional balance for medium dog breeds.
The recipe formulated with 100% grain-free ingredients, but chicken, turkey, salmon oil, and DHA for brain and vision enhancement in puppies.
The food Included vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, fish and flax omega blend develop healthy skin and coat. Made with only premium natural ingredients and no wheat, corn, soy or artificial additives are included.
This food item also features a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to deliver antioxidant.
Wellness also uses excellent preparatory standards and natural ingredients which enhance the longevity of the product without any artificial preservatives.
- Best for medium dog breeds
- Grain-free natural ingredients
- High-quality protein, but no meat by-products
- Calcium and phosphorus for bones and teeth
- No artificial preservatives
- Made in the USA
7. Best Dry Dog Food for Puppies – Blue Buffalo
BLUE Life Protection Dry Puppy Foods are formulated for the proper health development and overall well-being of your puppies. Your dog will love the used ingredients so much to eat. It is made with protein-rich, delicious, deboned lamb, garden veggies, and fruit.
If you like to feed your puppy “real dry food,” the BLUE Life Protection formula is the best suggestion for you. It is completely free from chicken, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
Blue dry dog foods are a precise blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help to support the immune health system. The formula offers all natural finest ingredients with sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Available bag size: 6 pounds, 15 pounds, and 30 pounds
- Premium quality pet food
- Formulated with natural and finest ingredients
- 4 flavors available
- Proudly made in the USA
8. Best Grain-Free Puppy Food – Wellness Core High Protein
Wellness CORE Natural Foods are 100% grain-free and make a complete nutritional balance for your puppy. The recipe contains chicken, turkey, salmon oil, and DHA for brain and vision enhancement in puppies.
This Wellness Puppy Food is formulated with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, fish and flax omega blend to develop healthy skin and coat. High Protein levels enhance lean muscle mass and the ability to burn excess fat and calories.
These grain-free foods made with only natural ingredients without any wheat, corn, soy or artificial colors or flavors.
Available high-quality carbohydrates provide a daily energy boost for your dog.
- Grain-free natural ingredients
- High-quality protein, but no meat by-products
- Calcium and phosphorus for bones and teeth
- No artificial preservatives
- Made in the USA
9. Best Wet Food for Puppies – Hill’s Science Diet
Hill’s Science Wet Dog Food comes with real meat, brown rice and delicious vegetables including peas and carrots. The balanced blend is combined with rich gravy, which helps to make this food appealing to pups.
These foods provide high levels of lean protein, those are indispensable for muscle building and maintaining your dog’s body structure.
The real chicken, beef, brown rice, and all-natural ingredients make this food more balanced and nutritious. Hill’s ensures 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantee for any dissatisfaction.
So, as a well-known brand Hill’s Science supplies all quality nutritional foods for dogs of all life stages and sizes since 1939. They choose all ingredients and nutrients very carefully to provide the optimum balance for your dog.
- Available high-quality protein and easily digestible ingredients
- Formulated with all natural ingredients
- Delivers balanced nutrition to develop your dog’s overall health
- There are 4 flavours including beef, chicken, and turkey
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
10. Best High-Quality Protein Food for Puppy – Diamond Pet Foods
Diamond Naturals dog food for puppies made with the highest quality ingredients to ensure complete and holistic nutrition for your pet.
It is enriched with certain probiotics for the ideal balance of protein and best digestive support. The food formula contains DHA for your puppy’s proper brain development and bone structure.
Here used fatty acid and antioxidants help for overall growth and development of your pooch. There is no corn, wheat, filler, and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives to ensure the highest safety.
The ideal protein and mineral content support your puppy’s growth and development. Used L-Carnitine assists to convert protein and fat into energy to develop a healthy body structure.
- Meet your puppy’s highest nutritional needs
- Formulated with high-quality protein and all premium ingredients
- Available in 4 packages: 6lbs, 18lbs, 20lbs, and 40lbs
- Perfect level of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
- Made in the USA
Types of Puppy Food
Commonly, there are five basic types of puppy food and each has special features to support your puppy’s health issues and overall growth.
- Puppy Food: Puppy food has been formulated by the recommendation of veterinary nutritionists to fulfill your pup’s specific dietary health requirements. So, before choosing any puppy food, you should follow your vet’s recommendation.
- Canned Food: Basically, canned puppy food is useful for dogs those are not willing to get enough drinking water. Sometimes, canned wet puppy food may use as a supplement of dry kibble.
- Dry/Kibble Food: Dry kibble is commercially produced dry dog food. The used ingredients may vary from brand to brand. You should offer your pup dry kibble food when it becomes at least eight weeks of age.
- Home Made Food: Homemade foods are becoming much popular day by day. You can provide your pup with specific nutritional needs by preparing puppy food at home.
- Raw Food: Raw foods work best with your pooch to save from possible food poisoning, dental hazards, and missing nutrients. Organic meat or raw meat and uncooked meat bones are all part of the raw puppy food.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing Dog Food for Puppies
The ideal puppy foods should rich with a sufficient amount of nutrition for your dog’s proper growth. Best nutritional foods contribute to keeping your dog healthy and active. There are some considerations you should remember when evaluating for best puppy food.
Large dog breeds can be affected by their health issues if they feed insufficient food items as their regular meal. On the other hand, feeding large breed puppy food to your small puppy can cause digestive problem or dysplasia or worse.
So, be confident about the food supplement regarding your dog’s size & age. You can follow your veterinarian’s suggestion on this purpose.
It is another vital factor you must consider while choosing food for your puppy. There are different types of puppy foods available on the market those contain various ingredients known to be toxic or harmful for dogs.
These foods may contain avocado meal or garlic, which should be avoided. So, pick the food that features real ingredients, quality protein, and vitamin source.
Naturally, puppies are very active, enthusiastic and adventurous. So it is necessary to take care of their proper health and growth. In this case, food is a vital consideration than other health issues.
Normally, puppies should have soft and clear eyes, wet nose, and shiny fur. If you observe the puppy doesn’t look well, you can switch the dog food brand to another. During this situation, you can consult with your vet for the proper suggestion.
Dry Food or Wet Food
Many pet proprietors feel disappointed, whether to choose dry kibble food or canned wet food for their young puppies. They face trouble to make the decision which one is the best for young dogs.
According to the veterinarian, dry dog food is the best for the puppy as a regular meal. This food helps your dog to maintain a healthy body and strong teeth. Although some puppies like to take wet dog foods for special reasons, dry foods are healthier than wet foods.
It is the final consideration of how much you are willing to spend on managing your puppy food. The price range of puppy food may vary from $2 to $30 per bag or $10 to $100 per can.
Purchasing a large volume package can save your money and you can keep an eye for manufacturer’s coupons to buy the puppy food more affordable.
Ingredients Which are Safe for Puppies to Eat
There are some ingredients include in puppy food can be verified as major and minor based on their features and quality. Major ingredients come from animal and plants where Minor ingredients used as the source of minerals, vitamins, and others.
The following ingredients make the puppy food safe and provide necessary proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats and minerals for a balanced diet.
- Natural Preservatives: Puppy food includes natural preservatives like plant extracts, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. These natural ingredients are healthful and help to maintain food quality.
- Whole Meat: Human grade whole meats are approved for human ingesting and referred as finished dog product. This food ingredient has gone through a more difficult in investigation both for food and manufacturing plant. So, you can become clear in mind to offer whole meat to your pup.
- Whole Grains: These ingredients featured easily digestible fiber, energy, and complex carbohydrates. Like protein sources, whole grains are very important for your puppy’s healthy diet.
- Animal-Based Proteins: Puppy food should contain identifiable meat protein for their proper growth and development. Chicken, beef, lamb, and fish meal are the prime sources of meat protein. These are very essential to execute your puppy’s critical body functions.
- Necessary Fats: Like meat, protein fat is also essential for your puppy’s proper diet. Fat contains fatty acids such as Omega-6 and Omega-3 those are important to help your puppy’s growth.
- Vegetables and Fruits: Fruits and vegetables are rich with necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help to improve all features of the physical function of your dog and keep safe from serious illnesses like cancer. So, fruits and vegetables are very necessary to include with puppy food.
Ingredients Which are Not Safe for Puppies to Eat
There are some ingredients include with puppy food provide no nutritional values to your puppy’s health and development. Eventually, they may damage your puppy’s growth procedure and lead to fatal health issues. So, before purchasing puppy food you should sincerely avoid the following issues.
- Wheat Gluten: It is the waste of wheat grains. Some pet food manufacturing company uses this ingredient as the meat substitute. Basically, it is less nutrient than meat-based proteins used at low-grade foods.
- Corn: Corns are hard to digest and cause allergies. This grain is used as a low-cost filler in pet foods. It is a low-quality food ingredient provides very little to no nutritional value.
- Corn Syrup: Commonly, these types of foods are rich with sugar and too much sugar may cause develop diabetes, hyperactivity, or behavioral changes for your dog. So, you should sincerely avoid Corn Syrup to maintain your pooch’s good health.
- Meat Meal: Actually, Meat meal contains animal waste materials like hooves, bones, and heads. It is also familiar as by-products, by-product meal, or meat bone-meal has been cooked to remove its water content. So, as a sincere pet owner, you should avoid these food packages.
- Ethoxyquin: It is a type of preservative specially used in dog food and works for liver damage, cancer, blindness, leukemia, kidney damage, and immune system disorders of your dog. Ethoxyquin was originally formulated as an herbicide. Good foods are always free from preservatives and artificial colors or flavors.
With these, there are more harmful ingredients you should avoid like Render fat, Food dyes, Structural carbohydrate, BHA, Propylene Glycol, Synthetic Vitamin K3, Hydrochloric Acid and so on.
Some Important Tips
Here are some other tips you can follow to ensure more balanced and nutritional food items for your puppy.
1. Consult with your vet when choosing the food brand: Many pet food manufacturing companies make up their production without maintaining the rules of AAFCO. The well-renowned food brands always invest time and values in scientific research according to the recommendation of a veterinary nutritionist to produce ideal puppy foods.
2. Be sincere about used calories: Puppy foods should contain more calories than adult dog foods. On the growing stage, puppies spent half of their calories by playing or exercising and rest of the calories for tissue growth and development. So, it is important to know about your pet’s physical growth or used calorie and the amount of nutrients you provide for their proper development.
3. Check the Puppy Food Ingredients: Checking out the real food ingredients is vital for balanced puppy food. These immensely help to develop your puppy’s physical and mental growth. Actually, the nervous system of a puppy is dependent on the essential fatty acid DHA. It helps to develop appropriate brain structure and lean muscles.
A puppy’s regular diet should rich with higher amount of nutrition and caloric food for their eye, ear, skin, brain, and bone development. Studies have proved that puppies fed diets high in DHA have improved memory and trainability. This should outcome in smarter, more trainable puppies.
4. Be Sincere about Your Puppy’s Health: It is crucial to keep your puppy’s health fit and well for a healthy life. In this case, proper food and nutritional values can help to develop muscle structure and bone strength with appropriate weight.
Like underweight, overweight also leads to diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or heat exhaustion. So, you should consult with the veterinarian about the puppy’s physical condition before finalizing a regular diet.
5. Compare your puppy size with puppy food: Be mindful to choose a puppy food that is specially formulated considering your puppy size. A tiny puppy may face trouble with larger size pieces of food. On the other hand, large breed puppy food should have a specific ratio of calcium and phosphorus to ensure bone development and prevent joint disease. So, remember your dog’s size before choosing the food package for your puppy.
A puppy may bring great joy in your life and a substantial amount of obligation. So, it is vital to choose the proper food for your four-legged furry friend to ensure its proper growth and health improvement.
You should provide your pooch balanced nutrition regarding its size, weight, age, and breed. An adequate amount of nutrients and vitamins are needed for the proper development of the puppy’s body functions, bones, and muscles.
Real foods also contribute to your pup’s healthy bowel movements, and outstanding coat and skin condition. So, invest your time to discover the best ideal food which your pups feel the interest to take regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of dog food is best for puppies?
Actually, there are three types of dog food in the market and these are moist, semi-moist, and dry kibble. Among these three types, dry kibble is best for puppies because it formulated with more meat protein which is indispensable for puppy growth. It is also easy to digest, better for keeping the teeth clean and more cost-effective.
What is the difference between puppy food and adult dog food?
There is a major difference between a puppy and adult food. Normally, puppy food contains around 30% protein with high-fat content to produce energy for proper growth. In a word, puppy food contains double nutritional values in a daily meal rather than adult dog food.
It is suitable to take regular dog food for my puppy?
It should not provide the usual dog foods to a puppy because they need to take special foods for their proper growth and healthy body. On the other hand, an adult dog may become sick to take puppy foods regularly.
How much dog food for puppy?
It is indispensable to feed puppies a complete and balanced meal regularly to ensure their proper growth and development. Usually, it is adequate to feed a puppy 4 times in a day with ¾ a cup of puppy food to fulfill their nutritional demands.
How long a dog should take puppy food?
A dog should take puppy food for 10–14 months and giant breeds can eat up to 24 months for proper growth. In their adult age, puppy food wouldn’t sufficient to meet their regular nutritional needs.
What are the best times to feed a puppy?
Puppies like to eat more frequently than adult dogs, almost three to four times a day to compensate their energy. Just like you, they need breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes a late afternoon snack. So, you can offer them breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 12 pm, snack at 3 pm, and dinner at around 7 pm. You can also maintain your own schedule but of course, focus on their healthy and proper diet.
How to soften dog food for puppies?
At first mix the dog food with a premium canned puppy food to make it soft and even more appealing. You can also mix some warm water for 10 to 15 minutes before offering them.
Is Kirkland dog food good for puppies?
According to pet proprietors review, Kirkland dog foods are very good and healthy for puppies. It contains all real ingredients like fresh chicken, egg, garden vegetables, healthy fruits. Moreover, Kirkland puppy food is formulated with protein-rich formula which is helpful for the puppy’s proper fundamental growth.
Can puppies eat wet food?
Of course, a puppy can take wet food but be sure to provide wet food which has been made especially for puppies. Wet foods may excellent choice for puppies but be aware that these do not clean the puppy’s teeth properly. So, in this case, brushing your pup’s teeth may be a regular task of your pet care routine.
Do Puppies become happy to get treats?
Yes, a puppy may very happy by receiving special treats. But you have to sincere about the treat which should softer and rich with higher calories. Puppy teeth may not be able to handle adult or hard treats.