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Top 10 Best Rated Puppy Food Brands

best rated puppy dog food

Do you want your puppy to be happy and healthy for life?

For your puppy to have a long and healthy life, it is essential to make sure that your pup is eating the right food for adequate nutrition. Since puppies are at a growing stage, it is important to feed them quality food while their bodies are developing and maturing.

There are hundreds of different dog foods for puppies but the quality will vary substantially from one dog food company to the next.

Once again, you should be feeding your dog the right amount of nutritious food, especially during puppy-hood, because this is a crucial period in the dog’s development whtat will have an impact throughout your dog’s life.

In this blog post, we will go through the top 10 best puppy food brands available overall. However, we also have top 10 lists covering:

  • Best dog food small breed puppy
  • Best dog food medium breed puppy
  • Best dog food large breed puppy

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Covering the Basics: All About Puppy Food

The puppy food you find on the market is specifically designed to cater to the needs of the pups. Since puppies are still growing at a rapid pace, their requirements are twice as much of adult dogs!

Your puppy’s muscles, bones, joints, immune system, and internal organs are rapidly developing during this stage of life, so it is vital that your furry friend meets all his nutritional needs in this critical period.

Puppy food contains all the essential nutrients that aren’t usually added to adult dog foods.

Puppies need food rich in protein and fat, which is something that’s not proscribed for older dogs in the same proportions. Puppy dog food should also contain vitamins and minerals for a all-around growth.

How Long Should I Feed My Dog Puppy Food?

Until they reach their adult size, dogs are considered pups.

This means that you should feed your dog puppy food until he reaches 80-90% of his normal size. Ideally, you should feed your furry friend puppy food until he reaches the age of 1.

However, keep in mind that your vet is the best judge of that. So consult a professional whenever you have a question on the best dog food for your specific puppy and breed.

In some cases, you may have to stop feeding your dog puppy food if your pup is developing too quickly or if your vet is concerned about you pup developing complications such as panosteitis, long bone disease, etc.

When in doubt, always follow your vet’s advice.

What Should I Look For in the Best Puppy Food?

There are four primary types of dog food available on the market:

  • Raw dog food
  • Home Cooked
  • Canned/Moist
  • Semi-moist kibble
  • Dry kibble

Among the five dog food categories, many people opt for dry food for small, medium and large dog breeds. Some dog owners will argue that it is the best for puppies as it contains more protein and meat.

Not just that, dry kibble is also cost-effective, practical, keep the pup’s teeth clean, and is easily digestible. It is true that moist puppy food is easy to digest as well, but, it has a shorter shelf life and is on the expensive side.

Moist foods are usually high in water content as they contain 75 percent water on average and contain fewer nutrients.

Semi-moist puppy food is a good middle ground. The food is easily digestible and has measured packaging among other practical uses. However, it is on the expensive side and linked to hyperactivity and obesity in some dogs due to sugar, salt, and preservatives.

So, it is a good idea for you to give your dog a mixture of dry and moist kibble.

How Many Times Should I Feed My Puppy?

You should feed your puppy three to four times a day until he reaches the age of six months.

Your vet should tell you everything that you need to know about the frequency of your dog’s meals as it depends on the breed and other factors.

By the age of six months, you should be feeding your puppy two times a day—once in the morning and once in the evening.

A Quick Lesson on Macro and Micronutrients

There are two main nutrient families, macro and micro.

Getting The Macros Right For Your Pup

Puppies grow tremendously during the first six months of their lives. This means that your dog needs the right amount of nutrients at this stage of life to have a happy and healthy life ahead.

So, your dog needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to develop properly.

Let’s look at the macros.

Protein

Did you know that protein helps build half of the dry bone mass in pups?

Your puppy needs protein from high-quality sources at this stage, so meat should be a vital part of your pup’s diet.

Protein also contains amino acids that help in developing your dog’s organs and muscles.

Moving on…

Fats

Your puppy gets the largest proportion of energy from the fat in his food.

While some may think that fat only contributes to the mass of the pup, that’s hardly true. In fact, fat is as important as protein and carbs, if not more.

Puppies break fat down into glucose to get energy.

And, fat is an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that’ll help your furry friend have a shiny and soft coat, a faster mind, and much more!

Carbs

Carbohydrates include starches, fibers, and sugars and help keep your doggy friend feeling full and satisfied after having a meal. Carbohydrates get converted into glucose as your pup digests them.

This provides your puppy with lots and lots of energy to play around!

Other than that, carbohydrates also contain fiber which helps in regulating your puppy’s bowel movements.

The Micros: Vitamins and Minerals!

Micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, are also essential for your puppy’s development. However, we tend to forget about them.

Your puppy’s body creates only a few vitamins and little to no minerals. This means that your furry friend needs them to be in his food for all-round development.

Your pup also needs the sun!

Only fifteen minutes in the sun can stimulate your pup’s body to make Vitamin D, which is amazing.

You should look food puppy food that contains chelated minerals or buy some supplements.

Moving on…

Top 10 Best Puppy Food Brands

In this section of the blog, I’ll quickly overview the top 10 puppy foods available on the market. Later, I’ll cover each of the puppy foods in detail in the following sections as I review them.

Food Name Protein Fat Carbs Our Rating Prices
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppy 32 17 43 4.5 Stars Check Prices
EUKANUBA Puppy Dry Dog Food 28 18 46 4.5 Stars Check Prices
Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food 25 15 53 4.5 Stars Check Prices
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food 28 12 52 4.4 Stars Check Prices
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy 31 13 48 4.3 Stars Check Prices
Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food 31 18 43 4.5 Stars Check Prices
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food 29 16 48 4.4 Stars Check Prices
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food 31 19 42 4.2 Stars Check Prices
Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dry Dog Food 30 16 47 4.1 Stars Check Prices
Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food 38 16 38 4.1 Stars Check Prices

 

So that is our top 10 puppy brands list. Now, it’s time to take a closer look at these top puppy foods!

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppy

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a good choice for puppies as it contains all the essential nutrients in just the right quantity while being easily digestible. The kibble is made of real roasted meat and contains added vitamins and minerals.

When we look at the quality of ingredients used to make Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppies, it comes out to be an average puppy food.

Now, let’s take into account the macronutrients on this.

Here’s the deal. This food contains the following:

  • 32% of protein which is above-average
  • 17% of fat which is above-average
  • 43% of carbohydrates which is below-average

This is excellent for puppies that are at the critical growth stage.

Let’s take a look at the content of meat, too.

After taking into account the protein-boosting effect of plant-based ingredients, we determined that Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food contains a moderate amount of meat in it.

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Contains all the essential nutrients

●      Made of real roasted meat

●      Contains added vitamins and minerals

●      Contains above-average protein

●      May make the puppy sick

●      May contain above average fat

EUKANUBA Puppy Dry Dog Food

Eukanuba Puppy dry dog food contains DHA from fish oils that make your puppy smarter and highly trainable. The kibble contains ingredients that promote the absorption of nutrients as well as healthy digestion.

When we assess this kibble by the quality of ingredients used to make it, it comes out to be an above-average one, which is a great thing, right?

Now, let’s take a peek at the macros.

This food contains the following:

  • 28% of protein which is near-average
  • 18% of fat which is near-average
  • 46% of carbohydrates which is near-average

This is good for large breed puppies that tend to gain weight if they aren’t active enough.

Let’s look at the meat content, shall we?

When we try to rule out the protein-boosting effects of plant-based foods, we conclude that this kibble contains only a moderate amount of meat in it.

Now, I’ll weigh the pros against the cons.

Let’s take a look.

Pros Cons
●      Contains DHA from fish oils that make your puppy smarter

●      Contains ingredients that promote the absorption of nutrients

●      Aids digestion

●      Contains only a limited amount of meat

●      Contains cheap carbs which include brewers rice, corn meal, etc.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food

The Hill’s Science Dog Food contains an optimum amount of calcium that helps in controlling the bone growth. This kibble also contains glucosamine and chondroitin from natural sources that help strengthen the dog’s joints. The Vitamin C and E help in supporting the immune system.

When assessing this kibble on the basis of the ingredients used to make it, it comes out to be an above-average one.

Let’s take a look at the macros, shall we?

This food contains the following:

  • 25% of protein which is below-average
  • 15% of fat which is below-average
  • 53% of carbohydrates which is above-average

This kibble is suitable for dogs that are active and energetic.

When singling out the contribution to the protein content from plant-based ingredients, it was found that the Hill’s Science Dog Food contains a modest amount of meat in it.

Pros Cons
●      Optimum amount of calcium that helps in controlling the bone growth

●      Contains glucosamine and chondroitin from natural sources

●       Vitamin C and E help in supporting the immune system

●      Contains a limited amount of meat

●      The fat and protein are below-average

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy food provides complete nutrition to cater to all of the puppy’s needs. The kibble contains natural sources of DHA that help support healthy brain function in pups.

When we judge this kibble by the quality of ingredients used to make it, it comes out to be an above-average one.

Now, let’s take a peek at the macros.

This food contains the following:

  • 28% of protein which is near-average
  • 12% of fat which is near-average
  • 52% of carbohydrates which is near-average

Now, let’s look at the meat content, shall we?

By singling out the protein-boosting effect of plant-based ingredients in the kibble, we found that it contains a moderate amount of meat.

Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros Cons
●      Contains natural sources of DHA

●      Provides complete nutrition

●      Contains real meat

●      Can cause an upset tummy

Moving on.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy

This puppy food from Royal Canin provides complete nutrition to a puppy up till the gave of 10 months. The food is specially developed to support the high energy needs of the puppy. The kibble is also proven to help reduce the formation of tartar.

When assessing the Royal Canin Puppy food by only looking at the quality of ingredients to make it, it came out to be an average kibble.

Let’s take a look at the macros, shall we?

This food contains the following:

  • 28% of protein which is above-average
  • 12% of fat which is near-average
  • 52% of carbohydrates which is below-average 

This kibble also contains a moderate amount of meat in it.  

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Contains chicken-by-product meal

●      Specially developed to support the high energy needs

●      Above-average protein

●      Not all-natural

●      Extremely processed

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

This grain-free puppy food from Nature’s Recipe is one of the best available on the market. The dog food contains real chicken which is rich in high-quality protein that helps in supporting muscle development.

The kibble has added vitamins and minerals and is good for pups with grain allergies.

When assessing the Nature’s Recipe Puppy food by only looking at the quality of ingredients to make it, it came out to be an average kibble.

Let’s take a look at the macros, shall we?

This food contains the following:

  • 31% of protein which is above-average
  • 18% of fat which is above-average
  • 43% of carbohydrates which is below-average

 This kibble also contains a moderate amount of meat in it when we single out the protein-boosting effects of plant-based sources of protein.

 Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Contains real chicken

●      Grain-free formula

●      Doesn’t use ingredients linked with food allergies

●      May cause an upset stomach

●      May need to be slowly introduced to the dog’s diet

Moving on.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food

The Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy food contains protein from high-quality sources including real chicken. The kibble is rich in antioxidants which help in developing your pup’s immune system. The kibble also contains added micronutrients for all-round development.

When assessing the Royal Canin Puppy food by only looking at the quality of ingredients to make it, it came out to be an above-average kibble.

Let’s peek a look at the macros, shall we?

This food contains the following:

  • 29% of protein which is near-average
  • 16% of fat which is below-average
  • 48% of carbohydrates which is above-average

 Let’s take a peek at the meat content.

This kibble contains a moderate amount of meat in it which is an excellent thing!

 Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Rich in antioxidants

●      Contains protein from high-quality sources

●      Contains added micronutrients

●      Has a shorter shelf life

●      May cause an upset stomach

On to the next one.

Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food

The IAMS Proactive Health Smart Puppy food contains DHA that supports brain development and makes the puppy more trainable. The kibble contains real chicken and is fortified with minerals that help maintain strong bones.

The antioxidants in the kibble help strengthen the dog’s immune system.

When assessing this kibble on the basis of the ingredients used to make the IAMS Proactive Health Smart Puppy food, it comes out to be an above-average one.

Let’s take a look at the macros!

This food contains the following:

  • 31% of protein which is above-average
  • 19% of fat which is above-average
  • 42% of carbohydrates which is below-average

Let’s take a peek at the meat content, too! 

This kibble also contains a notable amount of meat in it which is excellent!

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Contains real chicken

●      Fortified with minerals

●      Contains DHA that supports brain development

●      May cause side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting

●      May not be suitable for some breeds

Moving on.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dry Dog Food

This dog food is made from farm-raised chicken and contains DHA that helps support brain functioning and develops healthy vision. The kibble is rich in antioxidants which helps in developing your puppy’s immune system.

When we look at the quality of ingredients used to make the Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dry Dog Food, it comes out to be an average puppy food.

Let’s take a peek at the macros.

This food contains the following:

  • 30% of protein which is near-average
  • 16% of fat which is near-average
  • 47% of carbohydrates which is near-average

This puppy food contains a moderate amount of meat in it as well. 

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Rich in antioxidants which helps in developing your puppy’s immune system

●      Contains DHA that helps support brain functioning

●      Best for small breeds only

●      May need to be introduced slowly

On to the next one.

Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

The Merrick Grain-free puppy food is one of the best available on the market. The kibble high in protein and contains Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that support healthy skin and fur. This kibble also helps with the pup’s gastrointestinal health.

When assessing the Merrick Grain-free puppy food by only looking at the quality of ingredients to make it, it came out to be an above-average kibble.

Let’s take a look at the macros, shall we?

This food contains the following:

  • 38% of protein which is above-average
  • 16% of fat which is near-average
  • 38% of carbohydrates which is below-average

This kibble also contains a significant amount of meat in it which is amazing for pups!

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons:

Pros Cons
●      Contains Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

●      High in protein

●      Helps with the pup’s gastrointestinal health

●      May create frequent bowel movements

●      Has a shorter shelf life

 

Summing Up: Top 10 Best Puppy Foods Available on the Market!

I hope this blog post helped you out! 

When it comes to dog food, there are several brands available on the market and so it can be difficult to determine which is the best choice for your furry friend. While a brand may be good, your dog still may not like it.

So, it is always a good idea to buy a small pack before investing in a larger one to ensure that your pup likes the food and doesn’t have a reaction.

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’ diet!

You can check out our Top 10 Best Dog Food review page for more information on who we feels offers the ‘best’ dog food out there!

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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