The Best Dog Foods for Puppies (2021 Reviews)

Skylar Dial
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Before you start throwing random dog food into your dog’s bowl, you might want to read this article. We recommend a specific brand of dog food for a reason. We want your dog to live a long and happy life.

There are literally hundreds of different kinds of dog foods on the market today. It can be difficult to know what to feed your pup. We all want our dogs to be healthy and happy, so it’s easy to be hogtied by what producers claim are benefits of their food. Unfortunately, most of it is marketing hype.

So, we developed a guide for dog owners to make it easy for you to purchase the best dog food for your pup.

We (espwol) spent an enormous amount of time researching the benefits and disadvantages of various styles of dog food. We also did some research on the manufacturing company.

The end result was this article: the best dog foods for puppies. It includes info on what ingredients are best and what is a complete waste of money.

Oh yes, and I have some reviews of dog food manufacturers that are easy references for you if you don’t have time to do your own research. I also link to some good dog food products that are sold on Amazon.

NameCategoryProduct
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Puppy Dry Dog FoodBest OverallCastor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food
Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog FoodBudget PickIams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog FoodUpgrade PickHill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

1. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 100% organic, 100% grain free, and USDA certified
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or animal by products
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Made with six organic fruits and vegetables
  • No by-products, fillers, or artificial ingredients
  • No wheat, corn, soy, or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • A good choice for dogs that have food allergies
  • High quality, natural ingredients
  • Recipes and flavors are tailored to the needs of dogs with different ages and stages
  • Grain free and gluten free dog food

Cons:

  • Higher price than many dog food brands
  • If not stored correctly, kibbles can clump together
  • Some dogs don’t take well to this brand

2. Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Contains everything your dog needs
  • Savory, smaller kibble
  • Expert recommended nutrition formulated to meet the needs of your puppy
  • Excellent for reducing the risk of joint and bone problems in large adult sized breeds
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and plaque buildup
  • Suitable from weaning through adulthood
  • Packaging is safe and easy to store
  • Affordable pricing
  • Vets recommend this brand highly and it's proven to be the best for your puppy
  • Ideal for promoting healthy growth in large breed puppies

Cons:

  • A little more expensive than most other brands.
  • May cause your puppy to have loose, runny stools

If you're considering a dry pawty food to feed your new furry friend, you might also consider the Hill's Science brand puppy food.

3. Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

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Every dog is built different, and that includes nutrient requirements.

The Iams Proactive Health is a great option for your dog, as it provides a tailored mix of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals for your dog. It is balanced and effective for all breeds of puppies.

It will ensure your dog is happy and healthy and filled with the nutrients it needs to grow and develop.

4. Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • High protein and nutrient density
  • Includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Able to be mixed with wet foods
  • Great for chunky breeds and larger dogs
  • Puppies tend to transition well to it
  • Zero preservatives
  • Minimal amount of carbohydrates
  • Big enough for large breed puppies

Cons:

  • Flavor can be too much for some pups
  • Some dogs not a big fan of the kibble
  • Nothing too out of the ordinary
  • A little more expensive compared to other products of similar quality

Taste of the Wild High Protein is a grain free kibble that does not contain any corn, wheat, or soy. It is a diet made for dogs with allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or an overly sensitive stomach. It contains a high amount of both protein and nutrients. There are also no preservatives added to the food. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are added to enhance the health of the coat and skin, as well as to keep the immune system up to par. While the taste and convenience of the kibble may not be for everyone, this is a truly top quality product and is a great option for those with dogs that have food allergies or food sensitivities. For larger dogs that are easier to feed, this is an ideal choice.

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

Our rating: 8 / 10

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

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If you’re looking for high protein and limited carbohydrate in a dog food, then the Wilderness High Protein formula formula from Blue Buffalo is sure to be your go to option.

This food is formulated to prevent the buildup of bloat and indigestion in your puppy. This formula is made with chicken, fish, and turkey. Including whole grains, vitamins, minerals, and omegas.

This food is made in the United States and is finished in the Blue Buffalo kitchen. Blue Buffalo is family owned and in house made. Blue Buffalo is a dog food and treat company who stay true to their promise of using top quality natural ingredients.

6. Amazon Brand

Our rating: 8 / 10

Amazon Brand

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Pros:

  • Smaller kibble (caution for dog with dental issues)
  • Smaller kibble reduces the risk of bloat
  • Organically-grown ingredients
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Good for adult dogs
  • High quality ingredients
  • Grain-free for healthy paws
  • Smaller kibble also means less poop
  • Made in the USA
  • Low-calorie formula

Cons:

  • Small kibble may be a little difficult for some dogs to chew
  • Contains things that some dogs may be allergic to
  • Contains cage-free eggs

7. Midwestern PRO PAC Ultimates Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Midwestern PRO PAC Ultimates Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • First 5 ingredients are named meat
  • No meat by-products
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • 24% protein
  • 3% fat
  • Patented kibble system to remove hairballs
  • One of the best for digestion
  • The kibble is suitable for puppies, adults and senior dogs
  • It can help to restore your dog’s weight
  • It keeps them healthy and energetic

This is the best formula for a premium dog food. For a little more expense than competitor brands, it’s worth it for the higher quality food you’re giving your dog.

A lot off the ingredients in this dog food are highly digestible, while the bowl content is reduced to aid in digestion. The kibbles themselves are of good size with rounded edges that further aid in digestion. The two main proteins, one of chicken, and the other a recipe of turkey and duck meal, are both excellent ingredients, and are named as the first 2 ingredients on the ingredients list.

8. Instinct Puppy Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Instinct Puppy Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • Exceptional tasting food for your dog
  • Made from real meat
  • 80 percent protein and 20 percent carbohydrates, which is perfect for dogs in their early stages

Cons:

  • Some dogs may not like the smell
  • The food may be too rich for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • The slight difference in ingredients from the main ingredients for food may pose a problem to your dog.

(<7LBS)

This dog food is great if you’re looking for something for your puppy. It comes in smaller batches and serves your puppy better than most. With high-quality ingredients, these foods are made carefully and with care.

Most dogs love this food, although, some dogs don’t like the smell or different taste. As all puppies have different preferences, you should consider your pup before buying this food.

9. Nulo Puppy Food Grain Free Dry Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nulo Puppy Food Grain Free Dry Food

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Puppyhood is one of the most exciting stages in your dog’s life, but it also comes with some serious issues – ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea are just a few of the common problems.

Feeding your puppy the Nulo Puppy Food will limit the chances of them getting sick by avoiding the troubling ingredients that are often found in kibbles.

To start with, there’s no corn (germ, meal, or starch), no chicken or poultry by-products, no wheat or wheat gluten, no soy, and no artificial colorings, flavors or preservatives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the healthiest dog food for puppies?

When raising a new puppy, one of the most important things you can do is ensure they get the best possible nutrition. As with humans, what to feed them as puppies will have a profound impact on their long-term health and how well they age.

What a dog is fed in its first few weeks and months of life may not only determine how healthy it will be in later life, but how well it will behave with people and other dogs.

While we recommend you choose a dog food that is as close to natural as possible, the most important factor is to choose a high-quality food that is genuinely good for the breed of dog you own. Cheap pet foods are simply not good for any dog, and it’s astonishing how many dog owners don’t recognize that.

What is the best dry dog food for puppies?

The best dry dog food for puppies is any premium, high-quality dry formula. However, it is a must to keep in mind that all meals need to be a nutritious and safe combination of food types. It is also important to understand that the nutrition requirements of puppies change dramatically throughout their developmental stage from a small puppy to a fully-grown dog.

Puppies grow very fast in the first few months of life, and reach their adult body size between 3 and 12 months of age. It is important to keep up with their nutritional requirements as they grow, and this means adjusting your puppy food accordingly.

A puppy’s digestive and nutritional needs change as they mature. Newborn puppies only eat once a day and breastfed puppies up to six weeks old should continue to do so. Although they require less energy, their nutritional requirements are greater during this time.

What puppy food do most vets recommend?

Like people, there are several different types of dogs with varying needs, so there's not one diet that's best for all dogs. What's best for a Yorkie won't be best for a Great Dane.

In fact, it's not just about the size of your dog, but other factors like breed, age, and schedule. If you're looking for the best puppy food, you'll need to take into account all of these factors, in addition to your dog's lifestyle.

Your puppy is going to have different nutritional needs than your older dog, and small breed dogs will require different nutrition than big ones. So, you'll need to have a holistic approach to choosing the best puppy food.

What is the best food to give a puppy?

It’s a well-known fact, when it comes to raising a happy, healthy, and energetic pup, what the pup eats is just as important as all of the other things that are needed for raising the perfect pup, EXCEPT for one… playing!

Puppies, and dogs in general, need to be active almost all of the time in order to be happy, healthy, and energetic.

Puppy energy can be quite mischievous at times, causing numerous accidents and mishaps around the home. It is important to give your puppy or dog the proper fuel to boost energy levels, which is a healthy diet. When choosing a new dog food, there are various factors that need to be considered to ensure that your dog gets the best possible nutrition for a happy, healthy, and energetic life.

Conclusion

What are the Best Dog Foods for Puppies? I know it can be confusing, but don’t worry too much. I’ve spotted my top recommendations for you right here in this article. So just take a look, and you’ll likely see at least a couple of brands that are good for your puppy. If you’re interested in what to look for when shopping for dog food for your dog or puppy, then be sure to check out my guide here.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Puppy Dry Dog FoodBest OverallCastor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Puppy Dry Dog Food
Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog FoodBudget PickIams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog Food
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog FoodUpgrade PickHill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food