Best Puppy Food – 2020 Reviews

  • By:

    Dr. Sara Ochoa
    Dr. Sara Ochoa

    Author: Dr. Sara Ochoa

    Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa is a veterinarian with many years of experience and higher education. During her time in veterinary school she was able to learn form some of the most well-known veterinarians from all over the world. Sara lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the schnoodle, and Bam-Bam her bunny. Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa has a passion and love for animals that makes her a wonderful asset to our team.

    View all 10 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
  • Viewed: 289

  • Updated on: 11/17/2020

The first step to having a healthy puppy is feeding them a high-quality diet packed with nutritious ingredients. All of the other health factors fall into place when you have the best puppy food on the market! The right amount of protein makes them strong, while specific vitamins and minerals keep their bones, skin and coat good looking and healthy.

READ MORE: Wet vs. Dry Dog Food

best foods for puppies@aonip / Freepik

Natural puppy foods are safer because they are free from artificial ingredients and usually contain fewer ingredients that dogs are allergic to like corn, soy, and grain. That means fewer trips to the vet for you and your healthy dog! Not to mention, it will save you a pretty penny, too.

When you’re shopping for the best dog food for puppies, what you don’t want is a food made of up by-products, unnatural ingredients, or artificial dyes, preservatives, or added flavors.

Certain food for puppies brands are better than others: some are backed by science while others rely on a more holistic approach.

TOP-20 Best Rated Food for Puppies

We’ve done the hard part and scoured the shelves to list the 20 top reviewed puppy foods. They all offer high-quality, natural ingredients and a balanced diet.

Some are allergen-free, too! You will rest easy when it comes to mealtime with your pup.

Products

Benefits

Links

Our #1 Rated
purina one smartblend large breed puppy formula dry dog food
1. Purina ONE Smart Blend Large Breed Puppy Formula
  • This is one of the top-reviewed foods for large breed puppies because it is specially formulated to maintain the ideal body condition as your puppy grows and ages.

  • No fillers or artificial ingredients

  • Glucosamine supports healthy joints

  • It also has excellent tasting rice, which gives your large breed puppy a healthy digestive tract.

Our #2 Rated
american journey chicken brown rice protein first recipe puppy dry dog food

2. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe 

  • The unique formula in American Journey is created to keep your puppy's muscles growing strong without adding too many calories resulting in a bulky dog.

  • Best for puppies with diet restrictions

  • Includes DHA and ARA for vision and brain health

Our #3 Rated
purina pro plan focus puppy chicken rice formula dry dog food

3. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

  • Restrictive diet-approved food that has been top-rated for keeping sensitive puppies healthy and comfortable.

  • No artificial flavors, preservatives or colors

  • DHA-filled fish oil for cognitive development

taste of the wild high prairie puppy formula grain free dry dog food

4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free

  • Packed with protein-rich meat sources

  • NO grain, corn, wheat or filler

  • Best for puppies on limited ingredient diets

royal canin smal puppy dry dog food

5. Royal Canin Small Puppy Food

  • Formulated for small breeds

  • Nutrients support digestive health

  • Reduced the formation of tartar on teeth

blue buffalo life protection formula natural puppy chicken and brown rice dry dog food
6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe 
  • NO corn, wheat or soy

  • NO chicken by-product

  • Balanced nutrients for healthy skin, coat, joints and muscles

diamond puppy formula dry dog food

7. Diamond Puppy Formula 

  • Salmon oil promotes brain and eye health

  • Also suitable for pregnant or nursing dogs

  • Sustainable ingredients

purina beneful healthy puppy with real chicken dry dog food

8. Purina Beneful Healthy Puppy with Real Chicken Food

  • 23 essential vitamins and minerals

  • Made with USA farm-raised chicken

  • Balanced nutrients for healthy skin, coat, joints and muscles

instinct raw boost puppy grain free recipe with real chicken freeze dried raw pieces dry dog food

9. Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Food

  • NO grains, potato, wheat, soy or by-product meal

  • NO artificial colors or preservatives

  • Contains cage-free chicken as the first ingredient.

blue buffalo wilderness high protein grain free natural puppy dry dog food

10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Food

  • Grain, corn and soy-free diet

  • NO poultry by-product

  • Protein-packed with whole ingredients

nutro wholesome essentials puppy dry dog food all breed sizes

11. NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Puppy Food,
All Breed Sizes

  • Non-GMO ingredients

  • Whole chicken is #1 ingredient

  • NO corn, wheat or soy

  • Limited ingredient puppy food

Price: from $12.98

merrick grain free dry dog food puppy recipe

12. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe

  • #1 ingredient is whole meat

  • Contains whole fruits and vegetables

  • NO corn, wheat, soy or gluten

blackwood puppy food growth diet chicken meal brown rice recipe

13. Blackwood Puppy Food Growth Diet Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

  • Made in USA

  • Promotes healthy digestion

  • Slow cooked for maximum nutrient retention

  • Limited ingredient puppy food

hills science diet dry dog food puppy chicken meal and barley recipe

14. Hill's Science Diet Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe

  • Balanced minerals promote strong teeth and bones

  • NO artificial preservatives, colors or flavors

  • Vet recommended

blue buffalo life protection formula natural puppy chicken and brown rice dry dog food

15. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Food Chicken and Oatmeal

  • Formulated for small breeds

  • Contains whole food ingredients

  • NO poultry by-product, corn, wheat or soy

  • Limited ingredient puppy food

natures recipe dry puppy food lamb and rice

16. Nature's Recipe Food Lamb and Rice

  • NO corn, wheat or soy ingredients

  • NO poultry by-product

  • Promotes heart health

chicken soup for the soul dry puppy food chicken turkey brown rice recipe

17. Chicken Soup for the Soul Puppy Food Chicken, Turkey & Brown Rice Recipe

  • Nutrient packed with whole ingredients

  • NO corn, wheat or soy

  • NO by-product meals, artificial flavors or preservatives

farmers market pet food premium natural dry dog food 

18. Farmers Market Pet Food Premium Natural Food

  • NO wheat, corn or soy

  • Contains vitamins and minerals for healthy bones and teeth

  • Contains whole meats and vegetables

wholehearted grain free chicken and pea recipe dry puppy food

19. WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Recipe Dry Puppy Food

  • Canine probiotics to promote healthy digestion

  • Balanced vitamins and minerals

  • NO corn, wheat or grains

eukanuba large breed puppy food

20. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food

  • Formulated for large breeds

  • Well-balanced nutrition

  • NO artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, gluten or fillers

*Ratings are formed by the Author of the article and based on own research and customer reviews.

Best Dog Food for Puppies on the Market

1. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula

purina one smartblend large breed puppy formula dry dog food

Purina One has a healthy blend of nutrients that is perfect for your large breed puppy. Purina One is a great-tasting food with meaty pieces of protein-rich, real chicken as the #1 ingredient!

Glucosamine helps to protect their joints while Purina’s dual antioxidant blend of vitamins E and A with zinc and selenium supply your pet with a healthy immune system, coat and skin.

«This brand of dog food is great for large breed puppies. Large breed dogs are fast-growing and need a dog food that is lower in calcium. Dog foods that are high in calcium can cause larger dogs to have bone and joint problems.» 

Pros

Cons

  • Includes DHA for vision health
  • Affordable
  • No fillers or artificial ingredients
  • Not for all breeds

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2. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe

american journey chicken brown rice protein first recipe puppy dry dog food

American Journey has created a protein and nutrient-packed meal that would almost be suitable for humans! The ingredients include real blueberries, deboned chicken, kelp, and sweet potatoes to give your puppy all the tools they need for a healthy body throughout their growing process.

Humans can rest well, knowing that their dog has all they need for strong and healthy bones and joints for their dog’s whole life.

Pros

Cons

  • Allergen free
  • Whole foods recipe
  • NO poultry by-products
  • NO corn, wheat or soy
  • Not recommended for picky eaters

This would be a great diet for dog’s who have allergies.

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3. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

purina pro plan focus puppy chicken rice formula dry dog food

Humans want to give their new puppies food that will keep them healthy and full without upsetting their stomachs.

Purina dog food is made right here in the USA and this particular blend is formulated without artificial additives or preservatives, making it one of the better dog foods compared to those packed with fillers and flavored food.

Pros

Cons

  • Made in USA
  • Contains DHA for healthy brain function
  • Prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • Not high in calcium
  • Contains poultry by-product
  • Contains fillers

This is great for small breed puppies. The small pieces of kibble make this a food all small breeds can easily eat.

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4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free

taste of the wild high prairie puppy formula grain free dry dog food

As you can see from the commercial, Taste of Wild formulates their puppy food to be as close to what their natural diet would be. The first ingredient is real buffalo pieces and the ingredient list was created without grains, corn, wheat, or any fillers.

The nutritious value of Taste of Wild High Prairie is top-rated because it has plenty of ingredients that are easy to digest while it contains amino acids that help your puppy absorb all the nutrients that they need to stay healthy.

Pros

Cons

  • Made in USA
  • Allergen free
  • Real, whole-food ingredients
  • Contains poultry by-product
  • Contains fillers

This dog food is great for puppies with allergies or digestive problems.

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5. Royal Canin Small Puppy Food

royal canin smal puppy dry dog food

Royal Canin’s small dog food is the perfect size you’re your puppy’s tiny mouth. Each of the bite sizes is filled with highly digestible proteins that will keep your small breed dog healthy and full of energy.

One of the best things about this puppy food is that it contains especially enticing ingredients because small breed dogs can be particularly picky eaters. What makes it one of the top-rated puppy foods is that small dogs love the flavor and it helps reduce tartar build-up to keep their little teeth healthy, too.

Pros

Cons

  • Special shape and texture remove tartar
  • Formulated for small dogs
  • Real, whole-food ingredients
  • Contains poultry by-product
  • Contains fillers and known allergens

Royal Canin also makes breed-specific diets for your dog. Small dogs have their own set of health problems that most breed-specific foods can cover

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6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

blue buffalo life protection formula natural puppy chicken and brown rice dry dog food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy formula is one of the to-rated puppy foods on the market because it’s packed with whole fruits, meats, and vegetables. In addition to whole foods, Blue Buffalo does not contain any by-products, corn, wheat or soy.

Blue Buffalo’s puppy food has been engineered to remove tartar as your puppy eats because the pieces are perfectly shaped to be healthy and safe for your furry friend. Their perfect blend of nutrients and engineered design make this one of the best foods for humans to feed their puppies!

Pros

Cons

  • Special shape and texture remove tartar
  • DHA and ARA support healthy vision and brain function
  • Real, whole-food ingredients
  • Not recommended for picky eaters

Back to the chart

7. Diamond Puppy Formula

diamond puppy formula dry dog food

Diamond Puppy Formula contains premium ingredients that are necessary for healthy, growing puppies. Salmon oil promotes healthy vision and brain function while antioxidants and fiber make sure your puppy has healthy immune and digestive systems.

Diamond dog food is made in the USA by a family-owned company. Their company is fit with the top-rated health standards, so you know that you and your puppy are getting nothing but the best.

Pros

Cons

  • Made in USA
  • DHA supports healthy vision and brain function
  • Contains known allergens and fillers
  • Contains poultry by-product

Back to the chart

8. Purina Beneful Healthy Puppy with Real Chicken Food

purina beneful healthy puppy with real chicken dry dog food

Purina Beneful Healthy Puppy is an excellent food for your pup because it has 23 essential vitamins and minerals to support your puppy throughout the growing process! The first ingredient in this top-rated puppy food is real chicken, and the food is formulated without any artificial flavors. There’s nothing fake in this puppy diet!

When you fill your puppy’s dish with this food, you’re giving them one of the best supplies of nutrients that you can. A proper diet is the first step to having a healthy dog and prevents problems down the line!

Pros

Cons

  • No artificial flavors
  • Made with whole vegetables
  • Contains US raised chicken meat
  • Contains known allergens and fillers
  • Contains poultry by-product

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9. Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Food

instinct raw boost puppy grain free recipe with real chicken freeze dried raw pieces dry dog food

Humans love this food for their puppies because it has bits of freeze-dried raw meat to keep their dogs’ dishes filled with food that is as close to their natural diet as possible.

To prevent health issues and veterinarian visits down the line, this is one of the best foods to feed your puppy because it is free of known allergens and hard-to-digest foods like corn, wheat and soy.

Pros

Cons

  • Contains freeze-dried raw meat
  • Made in USA
  • Free of known allergens
  • Kibble pieces are the same size as adult food

This diet is great for picky eaters. Most dogs love the raw pieces that are in this diet.

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10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Food

blue buffalo wilderness high protein grain free natural puppy dry dog food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy food is perfect if you want to put your puppy on a limited-ingredient diet. Limited ingredient diets are a good option for owners who concerned that their puppy may have a reaction to known allergens like corn, wheat, gluten or soy or for owners that want to keep their puppies away from food fillers.

Owners also like that Blue Buffalo Wilderness natural puppy food is made in the USA and packed with whole meats, fruits and vegetables. The by-products were left entirely out of this top-rated puppy food!

Pros

Cons

  • Contains whole meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Made in USA
  • Free of known allergens
  • Kibble pieces are close to the same size as adult food

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11. NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Puppy Food, All Breed Sizes

nutro wholesome essentials puppy dry dog food all breed sizes

Nutro Wholesome Essentials is one of the best natural foods to feed your puppy because it’s formulated without GMOs and contains farm-raised chicken and all the necessary vitamins and nutrients to promote healthy growth. The brown rice and sweet potato in this formula help easy digestion, so your puppy stays happy and comfortable with fewer vet visits!

Pros

Cons

  • Non-GMO formula
  • Contains whole meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Free of known allergens
  • No added calcium
  • Not optimal for large breed dogs
  • Not vet recommenced for dental care

This brand of food is great for puppies with a sensitive stomach or food allergies. This brand of food does not contain many of the ingredients that some dogs are allergic to.

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12. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe

merrick grain free dry dog food puppy recipe

Merrick is one of the best all-natural puppy food brands on the market. Their foods are all made right here in the USA with whole ingredients: deboned fish, chicken or poultry (depending on which kind you order), sweet potatoes and peas for proper digestion and apples and blueberries for an antioxidant boost – not to mention delicious flavor!

This is also a grain and known allergen-free pet food, so you can rest assured that you’re filling your puppy’s dish with only the best food!

Pros

Cons

  • Made in USA
  • Contains whole meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Free of known allergens
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • For healthy joints
  • No added calcium
  • Not optimal for large breed dogs

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13. Blackwood Puppy Food Growth Diet Made in USA [Natural Food For All Breeds and Sizes of Puppies], Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

blackwood puppy food growth diet chicken meal brown rice recipe

Blackwood puppy food is an excellent place to start for your puppy’s nutrition. This natural puppy food was created with all sizes and breeds of dogs in mind, so it is suitable for all puppies! The formula promotes healthy digestion with prebiotics and probiotics and easy-to-digest foods.

Blackwood is made in the USA without any corn, soy, grains by-product, or artificial colors or flavors.

Pros

Cons

  • Made in USA
  • Contains whole meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Might not be suitable for picky eaters
  • No added calcium

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14. Hill’s Science Diet Food, Puppy, Large Breeds, Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe

hills science diet dry dog food puppy chicken meal and barley recipe

Hill’s Science Diet is one of the most tried and true, the vet recommended dog foods. Their puppy formula with chicken meal and oats will keep your puppy’s belly full while ensuring that they get all the proper nutrients like DHA, fish oil, and added calcium.

Hill’s Science Diet is made in the United States without any animal by-products, so you know that your puppy is getting whole, nutritious foods. The fact that it is not grain-free might deter some buyers as grain is a known allergen for many dogs.

Pros

Cons

  • Recommended by vets
  • No animal by-products
  • Added calcium for bone health
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains known allergens
  • Not appropriate for limited ingredient diets

This brand of dog food is great for fast-growing puppies. Many vets recommend this product because they have years of research on the benefits of their food, keeping your pet healthy and happy for long life.

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15. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Dog Food – Natural Food for Puppies – Chicken and Oatmeal

blue buffalo life protection formula natural puppy chicken and brown rice dry dog food

Blue Buffalo is a great brand of dog food because their first ingredient is always real, whole meats. There are never any by-products or unnatural flavors that fill your puppy’s belly without really nourishing them. Blue Buffalo is also suitable for limited-ingredient diets because they never formulate their food with any corn, wheat or soy!

Blue Buffalo is one of the best puppy foods on the market because their approach to puppy health is a holistic one. They use natural ingredients to make sure their diet is as close to it would be in the wild as possible, and this particular kind is made with perfectly tiny pieces that will keep a small breed dog happy and safe.

Pros

Cons

  • Natural puppy food
  • Recommended by holistic veterinarians
  • No poultry by-products or meals
  • Not grain-free (contains rice)
  • Not for all dog breeds

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16. Nature’s Recipe Puppy Food – Lamb and Rice

natures recipe dry puppy food lamb and rice

Nature’s Recipe is a super simple puppy food that gets the job done. It contains natural ingredients and nutrient-dense foods like barley, oatmeal, fiber and lamb to promote healthy digestion and energy levels.

Nature’s Recipe is also one of the most popular brand on the market for a limited ingredient diet. Their food is formulated without corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, artificial colors or flavors! There’s nothing better than knowing that your puppy’s bowl will only be filled with ingredients to help them grow strong and stay healthy.

Pros

Cons

  • Natural puppy food
  • High protein lamb for strong muscles
  • No poultry by-products or meals
  • Not grain-free (contains rice)

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17. Chicken Soup for the Soul Puppy Food- Chicken, Turkey & Brown Rice Recipe

chicken soup for the soul dry puppy food chicken turkey brown rice recipe

The Chicken Soup brand of dog food prides itself on being one of the top-rated natural dog food brands on the market and their puppy blend doesn’t fall short. This formula contains prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion and real chicken, turkey, duck, salmon, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, veggies, fruit and herbs.

While this particular blend isn’t grain-free, Chicken Soup does create an entire line of grain-free dog foods if you’d like to fill your puppy’s dish!

Pros

Cons

  • Natural
  • Suitable for limited-ingredient diets
  • No poultry by-products or meals
  • Not grain-free (contains rice)
  • No added calcium

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18. Farmers Market Pet Food Premium Natural Dog Food

farmers market pet food premium natural dry dog food 

If you’re a consumer that loves to shop at the farmer’s market for their own meal ingredients, why would you settle for anything less for your pup? Farmers Market pet food contains whole, natural ingredients like chicken and vegetables to bring excellent health to your puppy.

This food has great value compared to others because it contains probiotic insulin to prevent and digestive problems as your puppy quickly grow into a healthy adult dog!

Pros

Cons

  • Natural
  • Enriched to grow strong bones and teeth
  • No wheat, corn or soy
  • Zip lock bag contains freshness
  • Not grain-free (contains rice)
  • No added calcium

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19. WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Recipe

wholehearted grain free chicken and pea recipe dry puppy food

Grain-free diets are the best if you want to put your puppy on a diet that aids in easy digestion. While some ingredients and probiotics work to strengthen digestive tracts, sometimes the best option is to eliminate hard-to-digest foods altogether.

WholeHearted puppy food is the pricey side, but when you consider all the vitamins, nutrients and whole foods you’re filling your puppy’s dish with, they will thank you and your veterinarian, too!

Pros

Cons

  • Natural
  • Perfect for limited-ingredient diets
  • Antioxidant formula for strong immune systems
  • Pricy
  • Not a good source of calcium

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20. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food

eukanuba large breed puppy food

Food that is created especially for large-breed dogs is important because they have a different need than standard or small breed dogs. Larger dogs usually have problems with their joints, digestion, and bone health. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food covers all the bases.

Glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain joint and cartilage health while it also contains natural fish oil for optimal brain development and balanced levels of calcium, phosphorus, protein, and fat to promote healthy bone growth.

Pros

Cons

  • Perfectly formulated for large breeds
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, colorants, gluten or fillers
  • Zip lock bag contains freshness
  • Not suitable for a limited-ingredient diet
  • Contains poultry by-product

Back to the chart

Best Puppy Dog Food – FAQ

best puppy food@tan4ikk / Freepik

READ MORE: How Much to Feed a Puppy

Have you just gotten a new puppy or had a litter of puppies? Eventually, they will need to switch from their mother’s milk to dog kibble. Diet plays a vital role in keeping our pets happy and healthy. Too much food, and then your dog may become obese and develop many bone and joint problems. Too little food, and you will see nutritional deficiencies in your dog. 

🐶When Are Puppies Ready for Food?

Puppies should switch from their mother’s milk to solid food starting at about four weeks of age. Your puppy will need their mother’s milk to get the required antibodies to help protect them against many deadly diseases. Puppies will continue to nurse from their mom up until eight weeks of age, but you can slowly switch them to puppy food as early as 3 to 4 weeks old.  

At about four weeks, your puppy cannot get all the calories that they need from their mother’s milk, so you will have to start introducing them to puppy food. You should go about this change gradually to prevent upsetting their tummies.  

🐩 How to Introduce Dry Kibble?

You will need to choose nutrient-dense puppy food. A nutrient-dense puppy kibble will be high in protein, calcium and calories. Make sure that meat is the first ingredient. Try to avoid dry food that contains a lot of corn or meat by-products. Mix the dry puppy food with warm water and milk replacer. You can find milk replacer at most pet stores. Then blend the milk, water, and food mixture to the consistency of gruel.

Your puppies’ teeth start to come in around 3 to 4 weeks of age, and then they are ready to eat some solid food. When first introducing solid food to your puppies, pick up each pup, and put a small amount of food in their mouth. They will start to chew on this tiny bit of food and begin to experience this new taste. It usually does not take very long before they adapt to this new taste of solid food. After they start to like the taste of their new food, place the food in a small bowl. Leave this food on the floor for a few minutes then discard any uneaten food.

Another way to introduce this gruel by putting it on a hard surface and letting your puppy walk in it. They will lick the food off from their paws and will quickly love this new food. This may not work for all puppies, especially those who are getting pushed away by other puppies in the litter. Puppy love to play in their food, so they may also need a bath after they eat to help keep them clean.  

As you are feeding slowly, decrease the amount of water and milk replacer to avoid any gastric upset. When your puppies are eight weeks old, they should be ready to eat solid kibble. The exact amount of kibble your puppy will need depends on your puppy’s brand of food and breed. While using the table on the bag of dog food is great for a guide, your veterinarian can also advise you on how much you should feed them.

🐕 What Kind of Food Does a Puppy Need?

You will want to purchase a good quality dog food for your puppy. For your puppy to stay happy and healthy, they will need the correct nutrition. Not all puppy foods contain the correct amounts of protein and fats that are needed in your puppy’s diet. You will need to spend some time fully researching the food that you plan to feed your puppy. 

While there are many great diets on the market, your puppies will need more protein than adult food. When trying to find the perfect diet, you should try to find at least 22% protein. You should always look at the ingredient list on the back. The first ingredient should always be a protein. If it is the whole protein, it is a better choice than a protein meal.

🐶 Does my large-breed Puppy need Special Food?

Large dog breeds such as Great Danes, Labrador, and Doberman Pinschers are more likely to develop bone and joint problems, such as hip dysplasia. Even though these conditions are usually an inherited disease, overfeeding your puppy can worsen the situation.

Large-breed puppy foods are made for growth control. They are usually lower in calcium and phosphorus than other puppy food. These excessive levels of calcium and phosphorus can cause many skeletal problems. Large-breed puppy food may also have more fiber to add bulk to the diet without calories. This will help keep your large breed puppy full without them overeating and becoming obese. 

Studies show that large-breed dogs are more likely to develop chronic joint or skeletal problems when they get older if they are overfed. Dogs who were fed a balanced diet with less food were less likely to develop hip dysplasia than a dog who was free fed and overweight. Also, dogs who were on a calorie-restricted diet did not show signs of arthritis until they were 12 years old rather than six years old.

🐕 How much food should I feed a Puppy?

Many people recommend that you follow the feeding instructions that are on the back of the bag. A good rule to follow is about 1 cup of food per 15 pounds a day. It is best to split these feeding into a few different feedings each day. When your puppy is young, most vets worry about small puppies being able to regular their blood sugar. By feeding them multiple meals a day, this will help keep their blood sugar at optimal levels.

As your puppy’s baby teeth are erupting through the skin, they can have trouble eating solid food. Giving them a mixture of wet and dry food can help with this. Once your puppy has all their baby teeth, you can switch them from a mixture to only dry food. Also, limit the amount of dry food that you are feeding them if you are also feeding wet food. You do not want your puppy to be overweight.  

🐶How often should I be Feeding my Puppy?

Your puppy should eat about three times a day from the time you start introducing them to solid food until they are four to six months old. After your puppy is six months old, you can switch to just twice-a-day feedings. Some people cannot feed their puppies twice a day. Consider purchasing an automatic dog feeder to help you out with feedings when you are at work. You can also hire a pet walker to come by during the middle of the day to let your puppy outside and give them some food.

🐕What kind of Treats should I give my Puppy?

Everyone likes to reward their dog with treats. You should limit the number of treats that they are getting. Your puppy will need nutrients to grow. These nutrients are found in their food and not so much in their treats. Some puppies will not eat their food and wait to get all their needed calories from treats if you would let them. Make sure that your puppy is getting a well-balanced diet before they are allowed to have any treats. 

You should feed no more than 5% of your puppy’s daily calories from treats. Also, pick treats that are the right size for your puppy. A small dog does not need an extra-large dog biscuit. Do not feed any table scraps. This teaches your puppy at a very young age to beg for treats at the table. These table scraps can cause digestive upset and pancreatitis.

You can consider giving your puppy other types of healthy treats. Pick a healthy snack like bits of carrot, green beans, or bell peppers. This gives your puppy something to crunch on without many calories. 

🐶 When should I Switch my Puppy to Adult Food?

When your puppy has reached about 90% of their expected adult weight, then you can switch them from puppy food to an adult diet. Most small breeds are finished growing by 9 to 12 months, where large breeds are continually growing up to 12 to 18 months. When switching from one diet to the next, make sure to do so gradually. Going from puppy food to adult food of the same brand can cause an upset stomach if you switch too fast.

RELATED: Can Older Dogs Eat Puppy Food?

best healthy puppy foodJumpStory

READ MORE: My Dog Eat Everything

Final Thoughts

Diet is a very important part of your dog’s life. By feeding a good quality diet, your dog will live a long and happy life. Starting your puppy off with the correct diet that is best for their growing body will make sure that they do not develop any bone, joint, or muscle problems. Diet is key in raising a healthy and happy dog that lives a long and happy life.  

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

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