What Is the Best Dog Food for Puppies? Top Wet and Dry Options

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Puppies have a different nutritional need from adult canines, so you have to ensure that you give your little pup what it needs.

If it’s your first time to care for a fur baby, you may find it a daunting task to search for the best dog food for puppies.

Even if you search online, you have to spend a lot of time going through each product. You have to ensure that you’ll be choosing nourishment that suits your little one.

Let me help you with this challenging task by reviewing some puppy food.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is a grain-free formula that is inexpensive yet of high quality. It has no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. It’s rich in carbohydrates with an average caloric content of 370 per cup. It’s an excellent choice for active fur babies because all that protein would be great for muscle development.

The Best Dog Food for Puppies Are:

ProductDetails
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

  • Grain-Free
  • Dry dog food
  • AAFCO-approved
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2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-free Recipe for Puppies

  • Kibble form
  • Grain-Free
  • AAFCO-approved
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3. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

  • Kibble form
  • Grain-free
  • AAFCO-approved
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4. Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Dry puppy food
  • For fur babies with food sensitivities and picky eaters
  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient
  • AAFCO-approved
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5. Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient
  • Kibble form
  • For puppies with food sensitivities and picky eaters
  • AAFCO-approved
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6. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Puppy Canned Dog Food

  • Wet dog food (pate)
  • Wholesome ingredients
  • AAFCO-approved
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7. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Classic Chicken & Rice Entree Canned Dog Food

  • Wet dog food
  • AAFCO-approved
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8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Puppy Canned Dog Food

  • Wet canine food
  • AAFCO-approved
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9. Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

  • Wet canine food (pate)
  • AAFCO-approved
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1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula — Best Dry Dog Food for Puppies

My puppy likes Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Recipe for baby canines. I prefer to feed it this formula because of its excellent quality and low price.

It has no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, but it has an ocean fish meal ingredient. It’s a controversial component because the manufacturer didn’t state what type of fish it uses for this dog nourishment.

Specs

  • Grain-Free
  • Dry dog food
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Real buffalo, bison, roasted venison, and beef as quality sources of protein for lean and strong muscles
  • Fortified with antioxidants and vitamins to support overall health
  • Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors
  • Proprietary K9 Strain probiotic blend for digestive health

Cons

  • Not liked by some dogs

You may want to try feeding your fur baby this high carbohydrate and a low-fat diet. High Prairie is less nutritionally balanced food compared to other dog nourishments. It has more carbohydrates to keep its price low.

However, it has an average amount of calories at 370 per cup. If you have an active little buddy, you can prefer this dog food from Taste of the Wild.

It can provide the necessary energy that your favorite canine needs to last throughout the day.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-free Recipe for Puppies

I like Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Recipe for Puppies because it has salmon, salmon meal, and ocean fish meal as sources of protein.

Salmon is a high-quality meat rich in Selenium, Vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon meal, on the other hand, is concentrated salmon sans the moisture.

Like salmon meat, it’s also rich in protein, Vitamin B12, and Selenium.

However, I notice that it has an ocean fish meal as an ingredient. Like a salmon meal, it’s a concentrated fish form, but the manufacturer doesn’t state what type of fish it uses.

It is difficult to ascertain the qualities of fish oils it has if it’s an unnamed component of the recipe.

Specs

  • Kibble form
  • Grain-Free
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Real salmon for lean nutrition and strong muscles
  • Includes vitamins and oxidants for overall health
  • Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • No artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors
  • Proprietary K9 strain probiotic mix for digestive health

Cons

  • Too small kibbles for large breed puppies
  • Not liked by some pups

Generally, dogs require a diet rich in protein and fat, but less in carbohydrates. You may want to try Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Formula for puppies because it fits these criteria.

However, potatoes and sweet potatoes in the list of ingredients contribute to the volume of carbohydrates in the recipe. These are starches that add much to the caloric content.

The protein content is above average for a puppy diet, but it may not be adequate for active fur babies.

It may not be enough to sustain growth, especially the bulk of the protein comes from pea protein. This recipe also has above average fat content but may not be ideal for an extremely active pet.

As for calorie density, it provides 360 calories per cup, which is average compared to other puppy food.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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3. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

American Journey Grain-free Lamb and Sweet Potato Recipe for puppies has lamb as its top meat source. I like it for my fur baby because it is a premium source of protein.

It’s also rich in iron, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acid. I also prefer its chicken meal because it is more concentrated than chicken but provides the same vitamins and minerals — it’s an excellent source of Vitamin B6 and Niacin.

However, I notice that it has tapioca starch in its list of ingredients. Manufacturers often use it as a substitute for grains in pet food.

It doesn’t provide the same nutrients and is often more pricey than grains. On the other hand, it’s still carbohydrates, and dogs digest it the same way as the grains.

Specs

  • Kibble form
  • Grain-free
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • With fruits and vegetables as sources of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and phytonutrients
  • With real, deboned lamb as a high-quality source of protein
  • Contains omega fatty acids and long-chain DHA for healthy skin and coat
  • Has fiber-rich sweet potatoes and chickpeas for energy throughout the day

Cons

  • Not liked by some dogs

Puppies need carbohydrates as a source of energy, but they don’t need a significant amount in their diet. American Journey Lamb and Sweet Potato gets its carb content from starch and vegetables.

Compared to other dog foods, it has an average carbohydrates level. On the other hand, it has a higher protein content and sources it from poultry and red meat.

This puppy diet also has an average amount of fat from poultry and red meat. As for caloric content, it has 419 calories for every cup. It’s also an average level and suitable for active puppies.

Overall Rating: 4.5

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4. Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

I like Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Recipe because it doesn’t have any harmful ingredients. Plus, it has high-quality turkey meal and turkey as sources of protein.

Both components are also rich in Vitamin B6 and Niacin. However, it has pea protein, a peas by-product that’s low quality and inexpensive.

It’s inferior to meat and fish because it doesn’t contain the necessary amino acids.

Specs

  • Dry puppy food
  • For fur babies with food sensitivities and picky eaters
  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Farm-raised turkey as a source of protein
  • No soy, chicken, and dairy
  • Includes wholesome chickpeas and peas as a source of fiber, antioxidants, and low-glycemic carbohydrates

Cons

  • Not liked by some dogs

If you’re searching for a limited ingredient recipe for your pup with food sensitivities, you may try Zignature Turkey Grain-free.

It has fewer carbohydrates and more protein and fat. This recipe isn’t for overly active pets but is sufficient for most puppies. As for calorie density, it provides 457 calories per cup.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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5. Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

I like Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient because it doesn’t have any harmful ingredients. It’s a limited ingredient dog food, so it only has kangaroo, a high-quality protein source, as its primary meat source.

Kangaroo meat is rich in Vitamin B12 and iron, and it has a low saturated fat content. It also includes a kangaroo meal as an additional protein source. This ingredient is also rich in iron and Vitamin B12.

However, I notice that it contains pea flour, a by-product of peas. It’s an inferior ingredient, and manufacturers often use it as a cheap filler in kibbles.

Moreover, it’s a plant-based protein, so it doesn’t provide the same level of carbohydrates that the other whole ingredients offer.

Specs

  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient
  • Kibble form
  • For puppies with food sensitivities and picky eaters
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Includes Australian kangaroo meat without the saturated fat and an excellent protein source
  • Rich in Vitamin B, conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acid, and iron
  • No soy, chicken, and dairy
  • Includes wholesome chickpeas and peas for fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and antioxidants

Cons

  • Not liked by some puppies

If your fur baby is a picky eater or has food sensitivities, you may try Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Recipe.

It’s in kibble form and has an average amount of carbohydrates compared to other dog foods. It also has above average protein and fat content.

As for caloric content, this canine food provides 413 calories per cup, an average amount.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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6. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Puppy Canned Dog Food — Best Wet Dog Food for Puppies

I like Blue Buffalo Homestyle Chicken Dinner for puppies because it has chicken and chicken liver. These ingredients are high-quality sources of protein.

I feed my pup this wet food because it has no bulk-adding fillers and by-products in its top ingredients.

However, it includes carrageenan and guar gum, which are additives that may contribute to some medical issues in canines.

Also, pets that have food sensitivities may have adverse reactions to their seafood content.

Specs

  • Wet dog food (pate)
  • Wholesome ingredients
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Includes real chicken for healthy muscles
  • Formulated with DHA for eye, brain, and cognitive development
  • No by-product meals, soy, wheat, corn
  • Doesn’t contain artificial preservatives and flavors

Cons

  • Not liked by some puppies

You may try feeding your puppies with Blue Homestyle Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables Recipe. It has more protein, fewer carbohydrates, more fat, and an average amount of fiber. It has 110 calories per 100 grams, which is higher than the other wet dog nourishments.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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7. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Classic Chicken & Rice Entree Canned Dog Food

I tried feeding my pup with Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Chicken and Rice Recipe because I’m training my best buddy to eat a variety of foods.

It has chicken as a quality protein source, but it also has unnamed meat by-products. Anonymous ingredients are of lesser quality and inferior.

This food has carrageenan and guar gum that may contribute to a few medical conditions in dogs.

My little canine has no food sensitivities, but pet lovers must be careful about feeding their sensitive pets this product. It has meat by-products and seafood that may cause allergies.

Specs

  • Wet dog food
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Has chicken for strong muscles
  • Includes the right amount of complex carbohydrates from rice
  • With prebiotic fiber for intestinal balance and digestive health
  • Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • DHA for cognitive development and calcium for healthy teeth and bones
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors

Cons

  • Not liked by some puppies

If you’re searching for a high-protein wet food for your pup, you may want to try Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Chicken and Rice.

It also has more fat and fiber and fewer carbohydrates than the others. Your fur baby will gain 114 calories for every 100 grams, which is a higher amount compared to many canned nourishments for puppies.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Puppy Canned Dog Food

My fur babies like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-free Turkey and Chicken Grill. I also prefer it because it has turkey, chicken, and chicken liver as quality protein sources.

Moreover, it doesn’t contain any low-quality bulk-adding fillers and by-products. However, it has guar gum and carrageenan, which contribute to some medical issues in canines.

Fortunately, my pets don’t have food sensitivities, but some canines may have adverse reactions to its seafood content.

Specs

  • Wet canine food
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Fortified with DHA for eye, cognitive, and brain development
  • Has real turkey and chicken for healthy muscles
  • No grain, by-product meals, gluten, soy, and wheat
  • Doesn’t contain artificial preservatives and flavors

Cons

  • Not liked by some puppies

Blue Wilderness Turkey and Chicken Grill have significantly more protein, fat, and fiber than average. You may want to try it if you also prefer fewer carbohydrates for your little pups.

However, this canned canine food has more calories than the other wet nourishments at 117 calories for every 100 grams.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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9. Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

I’m happy that my fur babies don’t have food sensitivities, so I can give them anything that I think will be beneficial to them.

However, other puppies may have adverse reactions to Wellness Complete Health because it has seafood. I like that it has chicken and salmon as high-quality sources of protein.

Moreover, it doesn’t contain bulk-adding fillers and by-products, but it has guar gum and carrageenan. These additives may contribute to a few medical issues in dogs.

Specs

  • Wet canine food (pate)
  • AAFCO-approved

Pros

  • Includes DHA for cognitive development
  • Contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Has calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth
  • Complete and balanced nutrition

Cons

  • Not liked by some puppies

Generally, canines perform better if they eat food that’s high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and have an average amount of fat.

Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy somewhat fits the bill because it has more protein and fat. It also has fewer carbohydrates, but less fiber than the other wet nourishments.

If you have an active puppy, you want to try it because it can also provide more calories at 109 per 100 grams.

Overall Rating: 4.6

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Buying Guide For Puppy Food

If you’re searching for the best dog food for puppies, you have to ensure that you know the various aspects of your pup’s health. Dogs differ in breed, size, and health levels.

You have to bring your fur baby to the veterinarian to ensure that you’ll be meeting its requirements for it to grow healthy and strong. You also have to learn about the illness, weight, and digestive issues.

Canines can digest food, but you have to know about your pet’s dietary needs, age, health, and activity level. Your veterinarian can recommend some foods if your furry friend requires additional nutrition.

Generally, you don’t need vitamin supplements unless your vet suggests that you give them to your pet.

Dietary Requirements

Food intolerances and allergies are prevalent among canines, so you have to check the primary ingredients in puppy food. Even if your pet has stomach and gastrointestinal issues, you have many nutrition options for your pup.

Usually, you can only discover the foods that cause dietary problems through an elimination diet. You may also switch to another food without going through the process of elimination. You have to consult your vet if you think that your little buddy has an adverse reaction to food.

You also have to closely monitor the behavior of your lovable pet because the problem may not be the food that it’s eating. Treats can also cause an allergic reaction, so you have to figure out what’s wrong with your fur baby.

Age

Dogs have different food requirements depending on their life stages. Newborns are in the weaning phase but will need puppy food to help them grow.

Usually, their diets are rich in carbohydrates, fats, calories, and other nutrients that promote fat intake and weight gain. These fur babies need additional sustenance to maintain their vitality and health.

Sickly puppies need additional nutritional supplements. On the other hand, adult dogs need maintenance to keep their caloric levels and energy at their present state. Elderly dogs require nourishment that won’t cause digestive system irritation.

Health

An injured or sick dog requires a specialized diet that your vet will recommend. Nutrients are the fundamental source of healing.

An underweight or anemic puppy needs food that will help it maintain its strength and gain weight.

You can improve the health of your furry friend through a structured diet. Your veterinarian may prescribe nourishments or supplements to supply what your dog needs.

Activity Level

You also have to consider your puppy’s activity level when you choose its food. Some breeds require more calories and protein, so you have to provide them what they need.

However, lazy or inactive canines don’t have to consume more calories and fat because they will gain weight.

Puppy Food Ingredients

You need to ensure that you’re giving your puppy nutrition that it needs. Your pet’s diet must include water, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, fats, and protein.

Water

Your pup’s body weight consists of 70% water, so hydration is significant. Canned foods contain moisture of up to 78%, but you have to ensure that you give it fresh water at all times.

Dehydration can result in serious illnesses, but you can prevent it from happening. You have to pay close attention to the water level requirement of your fur baby.

Carbohydrates

Your puppy needs carbohydrates as its source of energy and glucose. Fiber is a type of carb that regulates diarrhea or loose bowels.

Many dog foods contain beet pulp because it is one of the most efficient sources of carbohydrates.

Minerals

Your puppy also needs minerals because they’re structural aids. It ensures that your fur baby retains homeostasis and fluid balance.

Some examples of minerals include phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, and copper.

Vitamins

Vitamins are significant components in your pet’s diet because they’re catalysts for enzymes.

Fats

Fats are a primary source of natural and crude energy and provide at least twice the strength that proteins or carbohydrates offer.

Protein

Proteins are essential in improving your puppy’s health and ensure that it has the energy to last through the day.

They are the building blocks of cells, enzymes, hormones, tissues, antibodies, and organs. They are vital for maintenance, growth, general functioning, and repair of your fur baby’s tissues and organs.

Dog Breed and Size

Dogs have varying sizes and kinds. They also have distinct requirements and health concerns. You have to learn to pick puppy food based on the breed.

Larger breeds have specific nutrition needs that are separate from the demands of the smaller breeds.

Puppies can suffer from muscular, skeleton, joints, and hip issues because of their massive size. Large dogs may suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, and osteoporosis because their bones carry a lot of weight.

You have to feed your puppy based on its recommended amount of nutrients, protein, and calories. Great Danes, St. Bernard, and Mastiffs can have joint and hip problems. You have to pick protein-rich foods, and the protein sources must come from animals.

You can also opt for nourishments with chondroitin and glucosamine as these are beneficial for joint and muscle health. Your dogs need food that is rich in fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, as well as for muscle and joint strengtheners.

If your puppy has weight issues, you have to ensure that you give food that will achieve its nutritional goals to maintain its ideal weight.

You can also let it exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes daily. You may seek the help of your veterinarian if its weight becomes a problem.

What’s Best For Puppies?

You have to wean your puppy off its mother. Initially, it can’t chew solid food, but you have to search for its food.

As you begin looking for a healthy recipe, you have to remember that it needs additional nourishment from fats, proteins, and calories.

It needs balanced nutrition that’s high in natural fats and oils and protein derived from animals. You have to ensure that the food you’re picking doesn’t include any meat by-product or meat meal.

Puppy food mustn’t contain dyes, preservatives, and other artificial substances. It must be organic because your puppy is developing, and you don’t want any harmful chemicals to enter its delicate body.

You don’t want your large-breed puppy to have too much calcium. It may be counter-intuitive, but a lot of calcium won’t naturally strengthen the bones and may result in joint and hip problems later.

You also can’t free-feed your puppies because it will result in lethargy and weight gain. You have to set a schedule for systematic feeding.

Having a structure is essential in raising a puppy, so that your pet understands its role in the household, even at mealtimes.

Final Thoughts

Of the nine puppy foods that I reviewed, I am recommending the High Prairie Grain-free Recipe of Taste of the Wild. It’s affordable and high quality.

 It doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that are harmful to your fur baby. It is grain-free, filler-free, corn-free, and wheat-free. It even has a proprietary K9 strain probiotic mix for its digestive health.

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