When you bring a new puppy into your home, there are just so many things you need to learn…
With today's bumper best puppy food reviews, we've got a whole host of useful information for you to feast on!
To properly take care of your new furry family member, you are going to have to read up and learn as much as you can to ensure you are able to adequately take care of this new pet.
All of this learning should start long before you bring your puppy home so that you are not caught off guard and up to your eyes in reading material when your new puppy needs you most.
Not only do you need to determine how to handle all the training that needs to be done, you also need to think about what sorts of toys the puppy will need and what kind of bed you want the puppy to sleep in but, most importantly, you need to determine what kind of food you are going to feed your new puppy.
With the incredible variety of foods available, how will you ever determine what is right for your puppy to eat? And how do you even go about finding out what sorts of food your puppy needs? Will you be able to ensure your puppy is getting the right number of carbs and fats while still getting enough protein? What about all the other vitamins and nutrients a growing puppy needs?
Don't panic, we'll answer all of those questions and more in our monster guide to purchasing puppy food.
Why puppy food?
You might think that you can just pop into your local box store or pet store and just grab a bag of any old dog food and do well by your new friend. Unfortunately, you would be very wrong.
You cannot feed a puppy food that was manufactured to be fed to fully grown dogs. Puppies have very different nutritional needs than adult dogs and because of this you need to make sure the food you are buying is meant specifically for puppies.
You might be surprised to find out that a puppy who is 8 weeks old needs to consume almost twice as many calories per day as an adult dog does.
Since your new puppy is quickly growing, developing strong muscles, bones, joints, organs and an immune system, you need to make sure that their developmental needs are being adequately met by the food you are feeding them.
In addition to the extra calories, there are specific nutrients that your puppy will need more of than an adult dog.
Puppies need more protein in their food to build their strong bodies so puppy food contains about 30% more protein than is found in adult dog food. Puppy food also has a very high fat content to fuel your puppy's energy. There is also a carefully crafted mix of vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorous.
While these ingredients are found in plentiful quantities in puppy food, they are not found in such high amounts in adult dog food. This is because as your puppy grows into a dog, they will need less of these ingredients. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure you are purchasing food that has been created specifically for puppies rather than adult dogs.
Types of puppy foods
When shopping for dog food, you will find that there are three main types to choose from:
- Moist Foods
- Semi-Moist Foods
- Dry Foods
There are different benefits to each one and you might need to try more than one kind in order to determine which is best for your dog and their needs.
Dry puppy food tends to have a higher amount of meat protein than the other kinds. Dry puppy food is also easier on your wallet, it helps to keep your puppy's teeth clean and it is easier for your puppy to digest.
Moist puppy food is another good option if you find a good one. The problem with moist puppy foods is that they contain a high amount of water and therefore they contain less of the nutrients your puppy needs. Moist puppy food is also not the best choice for your puppy's dental health. It tends to spoil a lot faster and it is also more expensive than other options.
Semi-moist foods contain a mix of the benefits and downsides that regular dry puppy food and moist puppy food bring to the table. Semi-moist puppy food is easy to digest and it comes in pre-measured packages so it can be practical to use. Unfortunately, in addition to having no dental benefits, semi-moist food contains high amounts of sugar, preservatives and salt. Too much of these ingredients are no good for your puppy and their health.
Sometimes the best option is to feed your puppy a mix of dry puppy food and moist puppy food. You can mix them together in your puppy's bowl at the same feeding or alternate them for each meal.
When can I switch to dog food?
Since puppy food provides different nutrients than adult dog food, you know you will eventually need to feed your puppy different food. It is important to not switch too early but you don't want to wait too long either.
As your puppy grows into an adult dog, you will want to switch them from puppy food to a dog food that is intended for fully grown dogs. It can be difficult to know when your puppy is ready to switch though.
There are some signs that can help you to decide when your puppy is ready to switch to adult food, but the main deciding factors are the size and breed of your puppy.
Dogs that are a small-breed typically grow and mature much quicker than dogs that are large-breeds so it is important to know what breed your dog is.
If you have a puppy that will be 20 pounds or less when they are fully grown, you have a small-breed dog. These dogs are typically ready to switch from puppy food to adult dog food when they are between 9 months and 12 months old.
If your puppy will weigh between 20 pounds and 50 pounds when they are fully grown, you have a a medium-breed dog. Dogs of this size are usually ready to switch from puppy food to adult dog food when they are between 12 months and 14 months old.
If you have a puppy that will weigh more than 50 pounds when they are fully grown, you have a dog that is a large-breed. Dogs of this size usually aren't ready to switch from puppy food to adult dog food until they are between 12 months and 24 months old.
Transitioning from puppy food to adult dog food
When you realize it is time to make the switch from puppy food to adult dog food, there is a specific process you need to follow to ensure you don't cause your dog tummy troubles.
You will need to make the transition over a few days, slowly adding more adult food to the puppy food. You cannot just change it up all at once or you will have a dog with a belly ache and you will possibly cause your dog to have diarrhea. No one wants that mess.
One the first day, feed your dog only 75% of the puppy food you usually feed them, substituting adult food for the last 25%.
On the second day, mix the puppy food and adult dog food in a ratio of 50/50.
On the third day, mix only 25% of the puppy food with 75% adult food.
On the fourth day, your dog should be ready to eat all adult dog food.
Top 10 best puppy food reviews 2020
After reading the previous section, you now know more about why you need to choose puppy food over adult dog food, what type of food to choose for your puppy as well as the length of time you need to feed it to your puppy before switching to adult dog food.
To help you determine which puppy food is best for your new friend, we have compiled a list of the 10 best dog foods available.
1. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Food
With the first ingredient on the label being real meat (chicken meal), this puppy food from Hill's Science Diet is a good choice.
It is important to ensure that your puppy is receiving adequate protein and this food provides easy-to-digest, high-quality chicken and pork resulting in 25% of the calories coming from protein.
Puppy food from Hill's Science Diet also contains a fantastic mixture of the vitamins and minerals your puppy needs to grow strong. Among these ingredients are.
- DHA, which is vital for the proper development of your puppy's brain and eyes. This DHA comes from fish oil in the food, and fish oil is known to be a high-quality fat that is easily absorbed by puppies
- Vitamin C and E to help your puppy develop a strong immune system
- Omega-3 fatty Acids, from flaxseed. Flaxseed is an excellent source of these essential acids, and as a bonus, flaxseed is a great source of plant-based protein
Hill's Science Diet Puppy food also contains good sources of carbohydrates (from peas, corn and barley).
The puppy food from Hill's is nutritionally balanced, flavorful and will help your puppy get a good start in their life!
2. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food
The Nutro brand is committed to providing you and your puppy with the best care possible and it starts with their fantastic puppy foods.
This Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food contains farm-raised chicken as the number one ingredient on its list. This chicken provides some of the necessary protein and fat to help your puppy develop strong muscles and it tastes great too!
Carbohydrates are important for sustaining energy, and this puppy food from Nutro contains fantastic sources of complex carbohydrates for your puppy. Brown rice, peas and sweet potatoes will provide the fuel your puppy needs to play all day. These complex carbohydrates are easy for your puppy to digest and they are also a great source of fiber for your puppy's diet.
Formulated with essential omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and containing calcium and other vital minerals, this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food will ensure your puppy is getting the support they need as they are growing and developing.
3. Taste of the Wild Puppy Food
We have long known that our domesticated best friends are descendants of the wolves running in the wild. The DNA of those wolves has been passed on into your puppy, and your puppy will thrive eating the sorts of foods that have been eaten by its ancestors for generations.
Your growing puppy needs good sources of nutrition, and energy that comes from easily digestible sources. Those requirements have been met by this grain-free puppy food.
This Taste Of The Wild Puppy Food has been made with a blend of plant and meat protein sources to include real roasted meat, peas and eggs.
To support your puppy's healthy diet and lifestyle as well as ensure they are receiving the antioxidants they need, this food contains a mix of vegetables and fruits as well.
Excellent sources of fiber in the form of peas and garbanzo beans have been provided for your puppy too.
All around, this food is a great choice and will give your puppy a Taste Of The Wild.
4. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Food
The excellent blend of fats, proteins and carbohydrates contained in Merrick's Puppy Food will ensure you and your puppy are equally pleased.
The first ingredient on the list for this Merrick Puppy Food is 100% real deboned chicken. This chicken has been raised in the USA and prepared in the USA.
Choosing a grain free food for your puppy can help to eliminate tummy troubles while improving the health of your puppy's skin and coat and providing them with the energy they need. This diet also supplies premium-choice carbohydrates for your puppy without the risk of sensitivities.
This food contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids as well as other minerals (such as glucosamine and chondroitin) which are important to your puppy's overall health and their muscular and skeletal development.
Merrick's Grain Free Puppy food is a good choice to keep your puppy well fed and happy!
5. Purina Pro Plan Canned Puppy Food
The name Purina has been synonymous with puppy food for a long time, and there is a good reason why. With 85+ years of research done by over 400 scientists, Purina wants to give your puppy nothing but the very best.
The Purina Pro Plan Puppy Food brings 100% complete and balanced nutrition to the table to give your growing puppy the nutrients they need.
This food is made with 100% real chicken as the first ingredient with brown rice (an excellent complex carbohydrate) following closely behind. 46% of the calories provided by this food will be derived from protein, while 25% will come from fat and 29% from carbohydrates. While this food is a little high in carbohydrates compared to other ingredients, it is still a good choice for your puppy.
You can also purchase other varieties that contain different protein sources if your puppy prefers something else. You can choose from chicken, beef, salmon or turkey.
Purina Pro's Puppy Food has been formulated to promote your puppy's ideal body condition and provide the lean mass your puppy needs.
6. IAMS Proactive Health Puppy Food
IAMS created a superior food formula for puppies from 1 month to 12 months old to help puppies get the nutrition they need ad they play and grow.
This IAMS Proactive Health Puppy Food has been made with real chicken as the first ingredient. This chicken provides the protein needed to help your puppy to build and develop their lean muscles.
Your puppy will find this food delicious and that is a good thing since it contains so many minerals and vitamins that your puppy needs to develop properly.
The formula contains things like Omega-3 fatty acids which prove your puppy with necessary DHA. This helps their brain develop well, and strengthens their vision. Other minerals and antioxidants will help your puppy to build strong bones and have a healthy immune system.
You will find no wheat, no soy, no useless filler ingredients and no artificial dyes, flavors or perfumes in this food.
This kibble offers flavor and nutrition to help your puppy get started out on the right paw!
7. Only Natural Pet Puppy Power Feast
The people at OnlyNatural Pet strongly believe that your puppy can have a longer and healthier lifestyle by living a lifestyle that is as natural as possible. They have made it their mission to ensure you have an easier time making healthy choices for your puppy's nutrition.
This puppy food has an excellent blend of non-GMO, high-quality ingredients and it does not contain any soy, potatoes, grains, by-products, artificial colors or flavors. There are no preservatives either.
This puppy food has been inspired by the popular Paleo style diet, providing excellent sources of meat protein for healthy growth and development. The real fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Low glycemic starches such as peas and lentils will not spike your puppy's blood sugar but will still help them sustain energy to play all day.
Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA have been added to help your puppy develop a healthy brain and healthy eyes as well as have a healthy skin and coat and calcium and phosphorous have been added to ensure proper bone growth.
This puppy food is an outstanding choice to feed your new friend and help them develop into the strong dog they will become!
8. BLUE Wilderness Grain Free Puppy Food
The Puppy Formula from BLUE Wilderness has been packed with ingredients that will make your puppy feel like they are deeply connected their ancestral wolf spirit.
Mimicking the diet that your puppy would eat in the wild, BLUE Wilderness has been made with some of the uncommon meats that would be eaten by wolves roaming the wilderness in packs. Bison, halibut, venison and quail are just a few of the protein-rich, tasty meats that have been included in BLUE Wilderness' recipes.
BLUE Wilderness is made by the same company that produces the Blue Buffalo dog food, and it is highly regarded as one of the best options for dog food available. The Blue company prides themselves on creating premium quality dog food using real fruits and vegetables and of course real meat.
This special Puppy Formula has been made with additional vitamins and minerals your puppy needs to thrive. Full of lean protein, this food will help your puppy grow and develop. Added DHA from Omega-3 fatty acids will help your puppy develop a healthy brain, good eyesight and a healthy skin and coat. This food does not contain any corn or wheat, instead allowing your puppy's carbohydrate sources to come from healthy complex carbohydrates like peas.
BLUE Wilderness' Puppy Food is sure to give your puppy something to bark about!
9. Wellness Complete Natural Canned Puppy Food
This Wellness Complete Natural Canned food has been formulated into a special recipe just for puppies.
Puppies have very different needs than their adult counterparts, and Wellness Complete knows this and has created a special formula just for the smallest of Man's Best Friend.
Wellness Complete boasts that they make their Puppy Food with no meat by-products, no empty filler ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Instead, they use premium meats that are delicious, fruits and vegetables that are fresh as well as other ingredients that provide the nutrients your puppy needs to thrive and grow.
This canned puppy formula is made with quality proteins like chicken and salmon. These proteins will help your puppy to gain the lean muscle mass they need. This food also contains other healthy ingredients such as sweet potatoes which provide complex carbohydrates and fiber, barley which is another great carbohydrate that can help keep blood sugar where it ought to be and flaxseed which is a fantastic source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber.
Feeding your puppy this Wellness Complete Puppy Formula is a way for you to ensure your puppy is receiving complete and balanced nutrition in every meal.
10. Halo Spot's Stew Puppy Food
If you are wanting to feed your puppy a quality food that is natural and ethically sourced then Spot's Stew from Halo is the choice for you.
When feeding your puppy this food from Halo, you will be pleased to find that there are no meat by-products and no “meat meal” in the ingredients. Instead, Halo is proud to make their puppy food with premium WHOLE meat. This recipe includes chicken, chicken livers, and eggs. These quality meat sources provide excellent protein for your puppy's lean muscle mass development.
Also contained are premium sources of fat to ensure your puppy's brain, eyes, skin, hair and teeth are well supported throughout your puppy's development.
This Puppy food also contains healthy whole grains like oats and barley to provide for your puppy's carbohydrates, fiber and some B vitamins.
You will also find non-GMO fruits and vegetables for flavor and vitamins and minerals your puppy needs to properly develop and to support their immune system.
Halo promises that your puppy will have no digestion problems with their “The Proof Is In The Poop” promise. Ensuring healthy digestion also ensures that your puppy is actually absorbing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you are feeding them.
Spot's Stew from Halo gets two paws up!
Well, we sincerely hope you found plenty of useful information in these best puppy food reviews and buying guide.
Feel free to get in touch with any queries or feedback. We're always more than happy to help.
You can do you part now and help your best friend live a long, happy, healthy life by being able to feed them the most nutritious food for their particular needs.
If you have any questions about a certain dietary issue your puppy is facing, be sure to speak with your veterinarian about it.
Enjoy your puppy, they grow so fast!