The best puppy food is Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula.
Congratulations on your new puppy! One way to keep your puppies healthy is to give them the right foods and bring them regularly to the vet.
You need to find the best puppy foods that will provide the proper nutrients and energy to help them grow strong and happy.
In this post, we have compiled the 8 best puppy foods on the market today.
These wet and dry formulas offer well-balanced nutrition – lots of lean protein, calories, and fat – from high-quality ingredients, so you will have peace of mind about giving the best for your puppies.
#1 Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula
- One (1) 34 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula
- Crunchy kibble combined with tender, shredded pieces for delicious taste and texture
- DHA from omega-rich fish oil nourishes brain and vision development
You will surely agree with us when we say that the Pro Plan shredded blend chicken & rice formula from Purina is the best dry puppy food in the market today. It carries dry kibbles mixed with tender, shredded chicken and an amazing flavor, all of which will surely whet your puppy’s appetite. Thus, most pet owners pick this for their puppies not only because it is very healthy but also tastes good.
This product is available in three different bag sizes; 6 lbs, 18 lbs, and 34 lbs. Besides the protein content, each bag carries antioxidants and DHA to help with the development of your puppy’s immune system, vision, and brain.
In addition, the formula contains guaranteed live probiotics to help improve digestive and immune health. Purina Pro Plan contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals, so you are assured that your puppies will get their daily nutrient needs.
Its high-protein content and palatable taste are some of Purina Pro Plan’s biggest pluses and why this is our top pick in the dry puppy food category. The food is healthy and safe for your little puppies. What we also like about this brand is the price. Only a few dog foods with premium quality ingredients cost less.
- This puppy food is available in a 34-lb bag of puppy-safe crunchy bite-sized kibble mixed in with shredded bits, which offer great texture and taste.
- It comes in shredded chicken and rice formula containing real chicken that offers protein to your pup for lean muscle and energy.
- Contains fish oil, which offers your pup DHA for vision and brain development.
- Contains antioxidants, like omega-6 and vitamin A, which are essential for your little furry friend’s immune system.
- Contains probiotics to boost digestion and other healthy minerals, such as phosphorus and calcium to boost your doggie’s health.
- Causes diarrhea in some pups after eating this dog food.
- Some pups may not like the taste or smell and take some time to eat it.
#2 PEDIGREE Puppy Growth & Protection Dry Dog Food
- Contains one (1) 36 lb. bag of PEDIGREE Puppy Growth & Protection Dry Dog Food Chicken & Vegetable Flavor
- Helps support brain development with DHA for your growing puppy
- Packed with key nutrients similar to mother’s milk for puppies 6 weeks to 18 months old
This dog food is formulated to help your pup keep up with the big dogs. PEDIGREE Puppy Growth & Protection dry dog food contains DHA for healthy brain development, calcium for stronger bones, and phosphorus for healthier teeth. This brand provides your growing dog a complete and balanced meal in a tasty kibble form, which they will surely love and consume without much difficulty.
The five main ingredients of this food are poultry by-product meal, animal fat, ground whole corn, brewer’s rice, and corn gluten meal. This dog food contains a lot of corn-based grains. Around 10% of dogs have food allergies, and if your pooch happens to have allergies, we suggest that you skip this option.
This brand includes both dry and canned foods and manufactures special foods tailored for weight control, hip and joint health, and oral care. PEDIGREE makes food according to the dog’s age – senior, adult and puppy as well as by the size of the dogs – small, medium, and large breeds.
PEDIGREE Puppy Growth & Protection dry dog food contains healthy ingredients at an affordable price. This is recommended for budget-conscious pet owners but make sure your puppies are not allergic to corn-based products. The best thing is that it meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance and growth.
- Available in a 36-lb bag of dry pup food, which is suitable for pups aged between 6 weeks and 24 months.
- This dog food contains proteins in its chicken and vegetable flavor formula, which provides energy and helps with muscle development.
- It contains nutrients matching mother’s milk, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are key for teeth and bone development.
- It is rich in DHA, which helps with your pup’s brain development.
- Safe for your pup as it is free of corn syrup, added sugar, or artificial flavors.
- Many pup owners noted that the bag product of food came with a strong smell that pups might not like.
- Some doggies experienced diarrhea and were lethargic after eating this dog food.
#3 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Puppy Food
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality protein from real...
- FOR PUPPY DOGS: Specially formulated for puppies, BLUE Life Protection Formula Puppy Food contains DHA and ARA...
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic...
This Life Protection Formula from Blue Buffalo is designed for puppies to help maintain their health and well-being. The formula contains real meat, garden vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and its proprietary blend of minerals and vitamins known as LifeSource Bits.
LifeSource Bits is specially formulated by both nutritionists and veterinarians to enhance immunity, support the needs of a puppy during its vital life stages, and maintain a healthy oxidative balance.
Puppyhood is an essential developmental stage for every dog, and the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula puppy food has all the ingredients to necessitate the support of growth and development. Depending on the breed size, this brand offers condition-specific dog foods, as compared to other natural pet food products.
There are wholesome and delicious recipes targeting puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs separately, and formulated with ingredients, such as DHA for supporting puppies’ cognitive enhancement, chondroitin, and glucosamine for supporting mobility and improving joint health for large dog breeds.
The exclusive LifeSource Bits in the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula puppy food helps to support your puppy throughout its life stages of puppyhood with numerous health benefits to ensure that it can live a happy healthy life till maturity.
- This dry puppy food comes in a 30-lb bag containing unique bite-sized kibble that pups can safely chew and digest.
- The product is made up of chicken and brown rice flavored with deboned chicken providing protein to your pup for muscle development.
- Contains fatty acids like DHA and ARA, commonly found in mother’s milk, which help with vision and brain development.
- Contains ingredients that aid in digestion, like wholegrain, vegetables, and garden fruits.
- It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and other essential nutrients to boost immunity and overall pup health.
- Some pups experienced bloody and loose stool after eating this dog food.
- Some pups also felt lethargic and lost energy and appetite after consuming this food.
#4 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
- A large breed puppy food specially made with an optimal level of calcium for controlled bone growth
- Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote strong bones and teeth in large puppies
- Uses DHA from fish oil to support healthy brain and eye development for growing dogs
From day one, large breed puppies have unique nutritional needs to make sure their bodies develop at the right rate. This is the reason why Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food is formulated. The veterinarian-recommended brand also assures consumers that they have a wide range of food products to specifically cater to puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs.
Because of the amount of force and wear their joints experience, these large breed puppies can experience mobility problems as they age. This dog food provides chondroitin and glucosamine to help keep their cartilages and joints healthy, so your dog can continue to play and romp.
The Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food also contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other vital nutrients to help boost the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
The Hill’s Science Diet contains lots of protein and good sources of fats that are essential for dog muscles to grow, with enough building materials to support the growing joints and bones. Since it comes in smaller kibbles, it is easier for puppies to consume this food product.
- This dry pup food is available in either a 15.5-lb, 30-lb, or 33-lb bag and contains unique crunchy kibble your pup can enjoy and digest safely.
- It is made of real chicken, a source of quality protein that helps your pup with muscle development.
- It contains oats, which are perfect for the healthy digestion of food.
- It is rich in calcium and other essential minerals, which help with bone and teeth development.
- It has DHA from fish oil that helps with your pup’s vision and brain development.
- Some pups may experience vomiting and stomach discomfort.
- It causes loose stool in some pups after eating this food.
#5 Whole Earth Farms Healthy Grains Dry Puppy Food
- One (1) 25 lb Bag - Whole Earth Farms Healthy Grains Dry Puppy Food, Chicken and Rice Recipe
- Whole Earth Farms Healthy Grains Dry Puppy Food, Chicken and Rice Recipe
- The first ingredient in this natural dog food Whole Earth Farms recipe is USA raised chicken
Whole Earth Farms’ dog food for puppies is high in protein and created with a balanced approach to puppy nutrition in mind. That means you can count on this recipe to provide your young pooch with all of the essential nutrients it requires while leaving out the ones it doesn’t.
This formula uses field-grown grains and vegetables but does not use any wheat, corn, or soy ingredients, making it an excellent alternative for dogs with food sensitivities and allergies. It will not only fulfill but exceed your puppy’s minimum nutritional requirements, thanks to several protein sources and a range of nutritious elements.
Several minerals are chelated to aid better uptake and improved absorption in dogs. Also, the dried fermentation products work as probiotics to improve your dog’s digestion.
You are assured that this recipe will offer your dog lots of energy and nutritional fiber to aid in digestion with the help of easily digestible carbohydrates.
This product has a delicious recipe that every breed of dog will like. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins are all well-balanced in Whole Earth Farms products. This will aid in the development and repair of muscles and other vital tissues in your dog.
- This dry puppy food comes in a 30-lb bag, which contains only natural ingredients, which means it is free of artificial ingredients, corn, or fillers.
- The main ingredients in this dog food are rice and real chicken, which are a source of protein and help with muscle development.
- Contains field-grown grains that provide antioxidants, minerals, and other nutrients, which also help with easy food digestion.
- This dog food contains antioxidants for boosting pup immunity and omega-3 fatty acids for healthier skin and coats.
- It contains DHA-rich fish oil for brain and eye health, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for healthier joints.
- Some pups experienced diarrhea after eating this food the first few times.
- Some doggies take some time to get used to the smell and taste of this dog food.
#6 CESAR Puppy Wet Dog Food
- Contains twenty-four (24) 3.5 oz. trays of CESAR Puppy Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in Sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe
- Crafted without grains and with US Chicken as the #1 ingredient
- CESAR Wet Dog Food is complete and balanced and fortified with vitamins and minerals to help dogs of all sizes,...
The protein content of CESAR Puppy comes from chicken and beef, both of which are very digestible protein sources. Again, one primary cause of allergies to dogs is poultry meat, such as chicken. So, do keep that in mind before giving this food to your puppy.
Made in the USA, this dog food is formulated to contain natural grains like oatmeal, rice, ground brown rice, and de-hulled barley. All of these grains are a good source of nutrients that provide carbohydrates. These carbohydrates provide the energy your growing puppy needs.
CESAR Puppy wet dog food also contains the essential nutrients to help your puppy grow healthy and strong. Fiber is essential for digestion. Its fat and fatty acids content are also a good source of energy. The flaxseed and salmon oil found in this dog food is a good source of fatty acids that are needed for brain and eye development.
The vitamins and minerals found in CESAR Puppy wet dog food provide the nutrients and energy your little puppy needs while growing up. Aside from being nutritious, this dog food is affordable and tastes good, explaining why this is easily our top pick in the wet puppy food category.
- Comes in a pack containing 24 3.5-oz easy-peel cans, containing a classic chicken and beef recipe loaf dipped in sauce.
- This wet food contains essential vitamins and minerals, which help with overall pup health and wellness as they continue to grow.
- Contains real beef and chicken, which are a great source of protein for lean muscle build.
- Contains fish oil, which provides DHA and omegas to your pup for brain and eye health, as well as a healthier skin and coat.
- This formula is grain-free and does not contain artificial ingredients or fillers, which makes it safe for all pup breeds.
- The strong odor causes some pups to avoid eating this dog food.
- It may cause vomiting and diarrhea in some pups with sensitive stomachs.
#7 Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Contains one (1) 5 lb. bag of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for puppies up to 1...
- Made with non-GMO ingredients; no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy
- High quality protein source is the ingredient in the delicious dry kibble
Nutro Natural Choice is a dry dog food intended for puppies. It’s produced from farm-raised chicken, so it’s a high-quality protein source. Not only is chicken nutritious, but it also has a meaty taste that puppies like.
This puppy recipe is uniquely formulated using non-GMO ingredients and does not contain any chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, or wheat. It also has vital amino acids that help create strong muscles, speed up tissue repairs, and boost a stronger immune system.
Additionally, this chicken recipe’s primary source of carbohydrates is whole brown rice. It is easily digested and nutrient-dense. Your pup will benefit from whole brown rice as a source of energy-giving carbohydrates.
Due to the health benefits provided by this Nutro formula, puppies can be in good health and have a longer lifespan. Nutro is one of the highest-quality brands you’ll find in your local supermarket, so if you’re looking for a reliable brand with a track record of success in the dog food industry, give it a try!
- This dog food comes in dry kibble form in either a 5-lb or 13-lb bag to cater to most pup breeds.
- This brown rice and chicken recipe contains real chicken, which provides your pup with protein for energy and lean muscle.
- Rich in calcium for healthy bones and teeth development.
- It contains fatty acids, like DHA for cognitive and retinal development, and omega-3 for a shinier coat and soft skin.
- Rich in essential antioxidants to boost your pup’s immunity.
- Some pups experienced diarrhea and vomiting after a few days.
- Both its taste and smell are not appealing to all doggies.
#8 Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Entree Canned Puppy Food
- High-quality protein to help your puppy build and maintain lean muscle
- Made with purposeful, easily digestible ingredients your young dog will love
- Pup-friendly formula with a powerful antioxidant blend for lifelong health
This wet canned dog food from Hill’s Science Diet tastes delicious and has complete balanced nutrition to help puppies build their mobility and immunity. The company uses only high-quality ingredients from the best and most reliable suppliers to provide superior nutrition that improves the puppies’ overall health.
Flavored with chicken and barley, this product has a savory, meaty taste that your little pups will surely love. This product is also easily digestible and promotes healthy digestion in puppies.
The company is confident that your pet will enjoy their dog foods and offer a 100% money-back guarantee. If you are not happy, return the unused part for a replacement or full refund.
Hill’s Science Diet offers a 100% money-back guarantee on this canned puppy food, which goes to show how confident they are about their product. The protein content is also impressive and can help your puppy grow healthier and stronger.
- One pack contains 12 cans of chicken and barley entrée puppy food, which is suitable for most pup breeds.
- Rich in protein as it contains real chicken as the main ingredient, and this helps with lean muscle and energy to play.
- Rich in calcium and balanced minerals, which help with bone density and teeth development.
- Contains antioxidants for overall health and boosting your pup’s immunity.
- It is rich in DHA derived from natural fish oil to help with brain development and retinal health.
- Some cans were reported to be weighing less than the stipulated net weight of 12.8 oz, meaning that these cans contained less dog food.
- Some pups experienced vomiting and lethargy after eating this food.
Best Puppy Food (Wet & Dry) – Buyer’s Guide
Before getting a puppy, you need to know first the proper way of feeding them. It is essential to understand that puppies need to be fed differently from adult dogs. You might think that it is only a way for dog food manufacturers to sell their products. The truth is puppies have specific nutritional requirements, which differ significantly from adult dogs.
Dogs grow faster while they are young. Thus, puppies need more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals when compared to adult dogs. This is the reason why puppies have different types of food. The foods intended for puppies have more nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to help them grow and provide the energy they need every day.
Why Can’t Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food?
These foods are formulated to help them reach their full growth potential and develop strong bones. Giving your puppies foods intended for an adult dog can typically cause stomach upsets and serious health complications. These issues may not occur right away, but in the long term, you might regret feeding your puppy adult food.
What Kind Of Food Does Your Puppy Need To Grow Healthy?
Now that you are aware that puppies’ food is different from adult dogs, the next thing is the kind of food you should feed. The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, recommends two different nutritional profiles for dog foods. The first set is for adult dogs, and the other profiles are for growing puppies and lactating females.
Puppies at their early stage require more amino acids and protein as compared to adults. The little pups also need more calcium, phosphorus, and fats. At least 22% of food calories should come from protein. On the other hand, adult dogs require only 18% of the calories from protein.
There are some puppy foods with higher protein content. The 22% protein is just the minimum daily requirement for puppies to stay healthy. Giving them more protein is highly recommended. Most puppy foods get 30% of their calories from protein.
Also, maturing puppies require additional vitamins and minerals. This is the reason why most premium quality puppy foods have a higher content of vitamins and minerals. It is much better to find food for little pups with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to help develop their brain properly.
How Often Should You Feed? And How Much?
As we all know, puppies tend to grow up fast. Hence, they need proper nutrition to support their development. So, it is important to know how often and how much you should feed them.
Most dog foods include a feeding chart on the label. The chart usually consists of the weight of the puppy and the amount of food every day. Creating a regular feeding schedule is important so your puppy can learn when to expect its food. Below is a guide on how much food you should give your puppy each day.
- A 5-lb puppy typically requires ½ to ⅛ cup of food per day.
- A 10-lb puppy typically requires ¾ to 1 cup of food per day.
- A 20-lb puppy typically requires 1¼ to 1¾ cups of food per day.
- A 40-lb puppy typically requires 2¼ to 3 cups of food per day.
- A 60-lb puppy typically requires 3 to 4 cups of food per day.
- An 80-lb puppy typically requires 3⅔ to 5 cups of food per day.
- A 100-lb puppy typically requires 4¼ to 6 cups of food per day.
You need to feed your puppies three or more feedings a day. So divide the specified amount above by three or more to provide your little pups the complete nutrition. The most common feeding schedule for your little pups is 7 am, noon, and 5 pm.
What To Look Out For When Selecting A Puppy Food?
Here are some tips to help you in choosing the right food for your puppy:
Go For The Best Brand And Choose Wisely
Always pick a puppy food brand that has been tested by AAFCO.
This means that its puppy food products have been tested on dogs to ensure their compliance with the standards for dog food. A number of pet food companies manufacture food based on a specific recipe but seldom test it on puppies before making it available in the market.
A reliable pet food company will spend on scientific research and consult with experts to provide nutritious and balanced dog food for your puppy’s growth before conducting experimental trials on their product to ensure its compliance and most importantly, its safety.
Check The Calorie Content
It is essential that you feed your puppy high calories food, for the energy puppies use when growing, particularly when playing. Most of their calories are used for tissue growth and development. It is essential that you provide them with food with an adequate amount of nutrients to support their growing process.
Puppy Size Matters
Consider the size of your puppies when choosing a puppy food product. The bone growth of a large breed puppy Great Dane and a small breed puppy Chihuahua is starkly different, and they should be fed separately and individually.
Foods for large breed puppies have a specific ratio of calcium and phosphorus to ensure that the bones develop correctly to prevent the occurrence of poor joint health and its long-term complications.
The actual kibble size also matters when feeding your puppy. A small breed puppy, like the Yorkie, will have a hard time chewing large pieces of food. So, find a small breed puppy formula to help them. If you choose to go with wet food, then focus on the food chunk sizes.
The ingredients of puppy foods play a vital role in their development. For example, a puppy’s nervous system is dependent on the DHA. You need to find omega-rich food products to help the puppies properly develop their ears, brain, and eyes.
Wet VS Dry Puppy Food
To help you decide between wet or dry puppy food here are the pros and cons of each type of dog food.
Wet Puppy Foods
We all know that some of our pets drink less water than needed. Other sources of water come from wet food.
- It is a good source of hydration for puppies that are not water drinkers. This means that they can take a bigger portion per meal without increasing their calorie intake.
- For the puppies having problems with their olfactory senses, it is best for them to consume food with richer flavor and scent like wet foods.
- Is a better alternative when a puppy is ill or is lacking in appetite.
- Easier for puppies to chew wet dog food, particularly with smaller mouths, missing teeth, or poorly aligned jaws.
- Messy while eating wet food.
- When opened, it can rapidly lose its shelf life.
- More expensive than dry food.
Dry Puppy Foods
According to some dog owners, this is the most convenient type of food when it comes to storage and feeding.
- Easy to fill the bowl and can be left without fear of spoilage.
- Provide convenience for pet owners.
- Easier to store; a large plastic bin with a cover can keep the dog food fresh and safe from rodents.
- Cheaper than wet dog food.
- Can be used as an effective training treat.
- Shaped to clean the teeth every time they chew it.
- Does not provide the moisture needed by some puppies.
- Have lower levels of proteins which is vital for a puppy’s development.
You should be able to figure out which food is suitable for your pup. Just ensure that you read the ingredients and learn the needs of your puppy.
After thoroughly reviewing all the puppy foods above, we believe in our top pick for dry puppy food because of its high percentage of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals content that is needed by most puppies. The size of the kibbles is also ideal for little pups.
On the other hand, we also believe in our top pick for wet puppy food. This is because It does not contain chicken by-products, artificial flavors, preservatives, or soy that can affect the health of your puppy, in particular, those who are allergic to these ingredients.
Hope we were able to help you find the perfect food for your puppy.