10 Best Puppy Dog Foods

Your puppy deserves the best possible start in life and that means you need to choose a nutritionally balanced recipe. The following formulas are what we recommend for puppies.

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Growing puppies need a higher concentration of protein and fat in their diets to fuel their growth and development. Protein provides essential amino acids to help your puppy grow healthy muscle tissue.

Fats provide a concentrated source of calories and help with nutrient transport and development of cell membranes. Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA are particularly important for puppies.

The best puppy food starts with a high-quality source of animal-based protein. The more protein the better, though it should always be balanced with healthy fats. Carbohydrate content shouldn’t overshadow protein content and the food should be free from low-value grains like corn, wheat, and so as well as artificial additives. Read on to see our top picks for the best dog food for puppies on the market today.

The Best Puppy Food Formulas in 2022

1

ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Rating

Price 28%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 93%
Customer Experience 90%
Nutrient Value 66%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.17

Company info

Company HQAlberta, Canada Parent companyChampion Petfoods

Overview

Formulated to support the needs of a growing puppy, this dry food formula contains 85% premium animal ingredients. The first five ingredients are fresh or raw, including species-appropriate animal proteins like chicken, turkey, and chicken giblets. Overall, this formula is incredibly rich in protein and contains plenty of essential fatty acids from fish, chicken fat, and fish oil to provide for your growing puppies caloric needs.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, flounder, Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Chicken Liver, Turkey Liver, Chicken Heart, Turkey Heart, Whole Atlantic Herring, Dehydrated Chicken, Dehydrated Turkey, Dehydrated Mackerel, Dehydrated Chicken Liver, Dehydrated Egg, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Whole Green Peas, Chicken Necks, Chicken Kidney, Chicken Fat, Lentil Fiber, Pollock Oil, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Natural Chicken flavor, Whole Chickpeas, Ground Chicken Bone, Chicken Cartilage, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Salt, Whole Pumpkin, Collard Greens, Whole Carrots, Whole Apples, Freezedried Chicken Liver, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Pantothenic Acid, Copper Proteinate, Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 38%

Fat: 20%

Fiber: 6%

Moisture: 12%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 24%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 43.18%

Fat: 22.73%

Fiber: 6.82%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 27.27%

What We Like

  • Made with 85% animal ingredients, very protein-rich
  • Rich in essential fatty acids from animal sources
  • Supplemented with probiotics to support digestion

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains a significant number of plant ingredients
  • Fairly expensive
2

VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro Dry Dog Food

Rating

Price 77%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 73%
Customer Experience 85%
Nutrient Value 64%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$0.08

Company info

Company HQMt Pleasant, Texas Parent companyMid America Pet Food

Overview

Victor offers a wide variety of dog food formulas, many of which are designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs in all life stages. Though the quick facts on Chewy list it as an adult recipe, it’s actually formulated according to AAFCO nutrient profiles for puppies and pregnant or lactating females as well.

If you’re looking for a recipe you can feed your dog from puppyhood into adulthood, this is one to consider. It’s made with 92% protein from animal sources like chicken meal and menhaden fish meal. It also contains nutrient-rich chicken fat for essential fatty acids.

Ingredients

Chicken Meal, Blood Meal Conventionally Dried, Whole Grain Millet, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Yeast Culture, Grain Sorghum, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Beef Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Carrot Powder, Tomato Pomace, Salt, Organic Dried Seaweed Meal, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Stearate, Zinc Methionine Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, DL-Methionine, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Silicon Dioxide, L-Carnitine, Selenium Yeast, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Copper Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Carbonate, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Vegetable Oil, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract, Inulin, Lecithin, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 38%

Fat: 18%

Fiber: 3.5%

Moisture: 9%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 31.5%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 41.76%

Fat: 19.78%

Fiber: 3.85%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 34.62%

What We Like

  • Made with 92% protein from animal sources
  • Chicken fat provides a nutritious source of essential fatty acids
  • Supplemented with probiotics for digestive support

What We Did Not Like

  • High carbohydrate content
  • May be too high in fiber for some dogs
3

Chicken Soup for the Soul Puppy Pate Chicken

Rating

Price 81%
Quality of Ingredients 74%
Customer Experience 88%
Nutrient Value 62%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.31

Company info

Company HQCos Cob, Connecticut Parent companyChicken Soup for the Soul Inc.

Overview

Canned food provides your puppy with essential moisture to support hydration and it is often lower in carbohydrates than dry food. This Chicken Soup for the Soul recipe is packed with protein from animal sources like chicken, turkey, duck, and salmon. Wholesome grains provide essential nutrients with fish oil as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains fiber for healthy digestion.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Duck, Salmon, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Carrots, Peas, Potatoes, Flaxseed, Ground Barley, Dried Egg Product, Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Apples, Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Inulin, Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Tricalcium Phosphate, Parsley, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 9%

Fat: 6%

Fiber: 1%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 6%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 40.91%

Fat: 27.27%

Fiber: 4.55%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 27.27%

What We Like

  • Packed with protein from numerous animal sources
  • Wholesome grains provide essential nutrients
  • Fish oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains some starchy plant ingredients
4

Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Dog Food

Rating

Price 53%
Quality of Ingredients 78%
Customer Experience 63%
Nutrient Value 71%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.50

Company info

Company HQLincoln, Nebraska Parent companyM.I. Industries

Overview

High in protein to support your puppy’s growth and development, this canned food formula from Instinct features fresh chicken. Beef liver and salmon provide supplemental protein as well. This recipe contains plenty of moisture to support your dog’s hydration and the short list of main ingredients makes it an easily digestible formula as well.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Salmon, Carrots, Peas, Flaxseed, Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide), Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 10%

Fat: 6%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 3%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 45.45%

Fat: 27.27%

Fiber: 13.64%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 13.64%

What We Like

  • Plenty of protein from fresh chicken, beef liver, and salmon
  • Limited list of ingredients improves digestibility
  • Rich in moisture to support your puppy’s hydration

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains several plant ingredients
5

CANIDAE PURE Puppy Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe Canned Dog Food

Rating

Price 85%
Quality of Ingredients 82%
Customer Experience 75%
Nutrient Value 62%
Recall History 69%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.28

Company info

Company HQNorco, California Parent companyCanidae Corporation

Overview

Formualted with just four main ingredients, this limited ingredient chicken recipe from Canidae is a great option for puppies with food allergies or sensitive stomachs. Fresh chicken is the main ingredient, supplemented with additional protein from dried eggs. Salmon oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, balanced with omega-6s from sunflower oil. Plus, being a canned food formula, this recipe is rich in moisture to support your puppy’s hydration.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product, Peas, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Agar-agar, Choline Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Iron Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 9%

Fat: 6.5%

Fiber: 1%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 5.5%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 40.91%

Fat: 29.55%

Fiber: 4.55%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 25%

What We Like

  • Fresh chicken as the main ingredient supplemented with egg
  • Salmon oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Plenty of moisture to support hydration

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains some peas
6

Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Beef Recipe

Rating

Price 51%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 69%
Customer Experience 73%
Nutrient Value 69%
Recall History 25%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.51

Company info

Company HQAmarillo, Texas Parent companyNestlé Purina PetCare Company

Overview

This beef recipe canned food from Merrick is packed with protein, moisture, and flavor. It features deboned beef simmered in a flavorful gravy with carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples to provide complete and balanced nutrition. This recipe is supplemented with salmon oil to provide omega-3 fatty acids and beef liver for added flavor and a boost of nutrition.

Ingredients

Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Natural Flavor, Beef Liver, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite), Potato Starch, Potato Protein, Sodium Phosphate, Flaxseed Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Agar-Agar, Salmon Oil, Salt, Dried Celery, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Locust Bean Gum, Cumin, Fruit Juice Color, Cinnamon.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 8%

Fat: 3%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 82%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 4%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 44.44%

Fat: 16.67%

Fiber: 16.67%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 22.22%

What We Like

  • Deboned beef simmered in flavorful gravy
  • Salmon oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rich in moisture to support your puppy’s hydration

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains several starchy plant ingredients
  • Made with some plant protein concentrate (potato protein)
7

Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating

Price 71%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 67%
Customer Experience 89%
Nutrient Value 42%
Recall History 37%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.09

Company info

Company HQFranklin, Tennessee Parent companyNutro Company, Inc

Overview

If you’re looking for an affordable option in nutritionally balanced puppy food, Nutro is the way to go. This chicken and brown rice recipe delivers a high-quality source of animal protein balanced with essential fatty acids. Chicken and chicken meal are the top two ingredients with nutrient-rich chicken fat as the primary source of added fat. Wholesome grains provide essential nutrients, balanced with vitamin and mineral supplements as needed.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 28%

Fat: 16%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 10%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 43%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 31.11%

Fat: 17.78%

Fiber: 3.33%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 47.78%

What We Like

  • Two sources of animal-based protein as the main ingredients
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat as the primary added fat
  • Wholesome grains provide natural sources for key nutrients

What We Did Not Like

  • Fairly high carbohydrate content
8

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating

Price 69%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 67%
Customer Experience 87%
Nutrient Value 40%
Recall History 36%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.09

Company info

Company HQWilton, Connecticut Parent companyBlue Buffalo Company, Ltd.

Overview

This Life Protection formula from Blue Buffalo is designed to support the needs of growing puppies. In addition to plenty of protein from deboned chicken and chicken meal, it contains a rich blend of essential fatty acids from animal sources. Like all Blue Buffalo formulas, it’s also supplemented with LifeSource Bits which contain a proprietary blend of nutrients to support balanced nutrition.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Menhaden Fish Meal (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Pea Protein, Fish Oil (Source of Ara-Arachidonic Acid And Dha-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 27%

Fat: 16%

Fiber: 5%

Moisture: 10%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 42%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 30%

Fat: 17.78%

Fiber: 5.56%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 46.67%

What We Like

  • Rich in protein from animal sources
  • Plenty of essential fatty acids from animal sources
  • Supplemented with nutrients from LifeSource Bits

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains some plant protein concentrate (pea protein)
  • Significant number of plant ingredients
9

Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

Rating

Price 51%
Size Variety 64%
Quality of Ingredients 62%
Customer Experience 86%
Nutrient Value 62%
Recall History 33%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.51

Company info

Company HQTewksbury, Massachusetts Parent companyWellPet LLC

Overview

Canned food is a great option for puppies because it provides plenty of protein as well as moisture to support hydration. This Wellness Complete Health formula is a popular choice, featuring fresh chicken, chicken liver, and salmon as the three main ingredients. A limited number of wholesome grains and fresh produce ingredients provide nutrients along with vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure optimal nutritional balance.

Ingredients

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Ground Barley, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Canola Oil, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Apples, Pears, Bananas, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 9%

Fat: 6%

Fiber: 1%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 6%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 40.91%

Fat: 27.27%

Fiber: 4.55%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 27.27%

What We Like

  • Contains three high-quality sources of animal protein
  • Rich in moisture to support hydration
  • Limited number of main ingredients, easily digestible

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains carrageenan and gum thickeners
10

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating

Price 62%
Size Variety 88%
Quality of Ingredients 72%
Customer Experience 90%
Nutrient Value 40%
Recall History 25%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Puppy Cost per day:$0.10

Company info

Company HQMeta, Missouri Parent companyDiamond Pet Foods, Inc.

Overview

From the popular brand Taste of the Wild, this dry food formula is designed to support the high protein and calorie requirements of growing puppies. A grain-free formula, this recipe features fresh salmon and ocean fish meal as the top two ingredients. It also contains supplemental protein from smoked salmon and salmon meal with salmon oil as a rich source of skin- and coat-supporting omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients

Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Tomato Pomace, Smoked Salmon, Salmon Meal, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil (A Source Of DHA), Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 27%

Fat: 15%

Fiber: 5%

Moisture: 10%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 43%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 30%

Fat: 16.67%

Fiber: 5.56%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 47.78%

What We Like

  • Packed with animal-based protein from several fish sources
  • Salmon oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supplemented with probiotics to support digestion

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains several starchy plant ingredients
  • Fairly high carbohydrate content

Why Should You Trust Us

As dog parents ourselves, we understand how hard it is to choose the right puppy dog food with so many recipes available on the market in 2022. So how do you navigate past marketing claims to get real facts?

That’s where we come in. With over 5790 recipe reviews, Pet Food Sherpa is the largest database for dog food recipe reviews overseen by a vet nutrition specialist.

Our team has analyzed over puppy dog foods and selected the 10 best recipes, we then used our pet food algorithm to determine the scores for each recipe.

You should keep in mind that no single puppy dog food is right for all dogs. Instead, use our list as a research tool to help you make a better-informed decision on your pup’s diet.

The Best Puppy Food - What You Need to Know

1. How much should I feed a puppy?

Providing your puppy with a nutritious, calorie-dense diet is essential for optimal growth and development. When it comes to how much to feed your puppy, however, recommendations vary according to your puppy’s age and weight.

If your puppy is already fully weaned onto solid food (as he should be by 8 weeks of age), you should work on developing a daily feeding routine. Puppies generally require at least three meals a day, though small and toy breeds may need four. Very small puppies are prone to hypoglycemia because they burn through calories very quickly, so they may need to be fed more often than larger breeds.

Here is a chart to give you a general idea how much to feed your puppy:

Weight at Maturity Cups

(age 1.5 to 6 months)

Cups

(age 6 to 12 months)

3 lbs. ¾ ½
6 lbs. 1 ¼ ¾
10 lbs. 1 ¾ 1 ¼
15 lbs. 2 ½ 1 2/3
20 lbs. 3 2
30 lbs. 4 2 ¾
40 lbs. 5 3 1/3
50 lbs. 6 4
60 lbs. 6 ¾ 4 2/3
70 lbs. 7 2/3 5 ¼
80 lbs. 8 ½ 5 2/3

While the chart above is certainly helpful in giving you a general guideline for feeding puppies, there are numerous factors to consider. Calorie content varies from one recipe to another, so it’s really best to refer to the feeding recommendations on the label. Keep in mind as well that your puppy’s calorie needs may change as he matures, so be prepared to adjust his daily portion every month or two.

If you’re feeding your puppy wet food, the chart above won’t work for you. Again, it’s best to follow the feeding recommendations on the package. Whether you’re feeding dry puppy food or wet puppy food, be sure to choose a recipe formulated for your puppy’s breed size to make sure it has the right balance of calories, calcium, and phosphorus.

2. What is the difference between puppy food and dog food?

All dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements, but certain nutrients are required in higher concentrations for growing puppies.

The primary difference between puppy food and adult dog food has to do with protein. Protein is essential for healthy growth and development in puppies, so puppy food generally has higher protein levels than adult dog food. According to AAFCO nutrient profiles, puppies require a minimum of 22% protein in their diets and adult dogs a minimum of 18%.

In addition to higher levels of protein, puppy foods also tend to be more concentrated in calories. Puppies require a steady influx of energy to fuel their rapid growth and higher calorie content generally comes from a higher fat content.

Another difference between puppy food and adult dog food has to do with the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Calcium is an essential mineral that supports bone growth, so it’s something puppies need in higher amounts than adult dogs. It’s important, however, to make sure the calcium and phosphorus levels are in balance because excessive phosphorus can actually leech away calcium.

Optimal calcium and phosphorus ratios are a good reason to feed your puppy a recipe that is formulated for specific breed sizes. Large and giant breeds need controlled levels of these essential nutrients to prevent overgrowth that might contribute to orthopedic problems in adulthood.
Simply put, puppy food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies while adult dog food is formulated to support maintenance.

3. Can puppies eat adult dog food?

There’s certainly nothing harmful about adult dog food for puppies, but it isn’t formulated to support optimal growth and development. Adult dog food is designed to help your dog maintain balanced nutrition and an ideal body weight while puppy food is designed to help your puppy grow.

Puppies require higher levels of protein and fat in their diet than adult dogs, so that is how puppy foods are formulated. Feeding your puppy an adult dog food recipe might keep him from getting the protein he needs for healthy muscle development and the fat he needs for energy. There are also some differences in calcium and phosphorus content between puppy and adult foods that might contribute to nutritional deficiencies or orthopedic issues in puppies being fed adult diets.

If your puppy sneaks bites from an adult dog’s bowl, you probably don’t have to worry about anything except minor digestive upset. That being said, it’s best to feed a puppy puppy food and an adult dog adult dog food.

4. When should I transition from puppy to dog food?

There’s no hard and fast rule for when to transition a puppy onto adult dog food because it varies according to your puppy’s breed size. Quite simply, small breeds reach maturity faster than adult breeds so they generally need to be transitioned onto adult dog food sooner.

Puppy food is formulated to support growth and development, so it only makes sense to transition your puppy onto an adult diet when he stops growing. In order to do so, you’ll need to pay attention to your puppy’s weight and have some idea of his expected adult size. Throughout his puppy life, you’ll need to adjust his daily portion according to his age and weight, but you’ll want to start making the transition when he reaches about 80% of his expected adult weight.

It can be tricky to know when to switch a mixed breed dog from puppy to adult food because you may not know how big he’s going to get. You might need to enlist your veterinarian’s help to track your puppy’s weight and when you notice a steady decline in growth start thinking about making the switch.

5. Is it okay to give a puppy regular dog food?

There’s nothing harmful about giving your puppy a few bites of adult dog food here and there, but it certainly shouldn’t be his staple diet. To put it plainly, puppy food is best for puppies and adult dog food is best for adult dogs.

While adult dog food won’t be harmful to your puppy, it won’t support his optimal growth and development. Puppy food is higher in protein and fat than adult dog food, so it provides the calories and amino acids needed to support muscle development and healthy rate of growth. Puppy foods are also optimized for other essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus that your puppy may need in higher concentrations for bone growth.

The best thing to do is choose a nutritionally complete puppy food formulated for your puppy’s breed size and follow the feeding recommendations on the label.

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