Best Dog Food For Puppies – Top Picks and Comparisons!

Some dog owners are not sure why they should choose a puppy food over an adult dog food for their puppy. Is it made with the same ingredients? Is all dog food created equal? What puppy food reviews should you trust?

Puppies and adult dogs require much different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, much like human babies and adults. You would not feed an adult baby food, or a baby a medium-rare steak, right? Puppies are at different stages of life than adult dogs, so they require special food to help them grow into a happy and healthy dog.

Puppies need well-balanced ingredients that aid in digestive health, muscle growth and strength, energy, brain development, and more. Your puppy’s food can significantly impact your puppy’s health and, therefore, you should choose it carefully. So how do you find the best puppy food for your pet?

As a responsible dog owner, you need to make sure to take into consideration if your puppy has a food allergy, sensitive stomach, their breed, and size. All puppies are different, just as all puppy foods are made differently. What works for one pup may not work for your little guy, so keep in mind what your puppy needs!

These top 5 puppy food reviews are the best choices for your puppy in terms of a healthy, balanced diet including the vitamins and minerals puppies need to thrive as they grow.

What Should I Look for in Puppy Food?​

This video from Howdini explains some of the most important things to look for when choosing the best dog food for a puppy:​

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When searching for a puppy food, you should consider the following:

  • Real meat listed as the first ingredient for healthy protein value
  • A well-balanced Guaranteed Analysis that meets AAFCO standards
  • Higher calorie content than adult dog food
  • Small dry kibble aids in proper chewing and digestion
  • Consider a variety specific for your puppy’s breed size

These choices for best dog foods for puppies are so because of their Guaranteed Analysis of fat, protein, and fiber content, ingredients, customer reviews, and overall health profiles compared to other puppy foods.

Reviews of Best Dog Food for Puppies​

Royal Canin X-Small Puppy Dry Food

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Royal Canin X-Small Puppy dry food is one of the best food for puppies up to 10 months old. This food is specifically for very small breeds with small jaws and bone structures and sensitive digestive systems.

Its ingredients consist of brewer’s rice, chicken meal, and chicken fat, all excellent sources of high-quality protein that are easy on a puppy’s stomach.

The highly digestible proteins make nutrient absorption much easier for your small breed puppy and their sensitive stomach. The formula within this puppy food brand includes prebiotics to support overall digestive health.

Corn gluten meal and corn are also high on the ingredients list, which can be cause for concern for some puppy owners. However, this dislike of corn in dog food seems to be more of a new fad than realistically-based. Corn in puppy food is safe and it provides a good source of carbohydrates for your growing pup.

Although you have a small dog, they still have big nutritional requirements. This is why Royal Canin created this ​extra small dog food to provide the complete nutritional solution designed specifically for your puppy up to 8 pounds.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Formula

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Another choice for the best food for puppies is Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Formula. Specifically formulated for puppies, Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy food varieties have small dry kibble for easy chewing, extra fiber for digestion, and real meat sources for high-quality protein.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy formulas always have a real meat listed as the first ingredient, which is perfect for ensuring a healthy protein source for a growing puppy's diet. It also includes some whole grain wheat and grain sources for improved digestion and carbohydrate content.

This puppy food brand adds extra vitamins for nutritional value for puppies. It includes DHA for developing a healthy brain and eyes, and lots of calcium to help grow strong teeth and bones. Omega 6 fatty acid is also in the formula to support your puppy's healthy skin and a beautiful, shiny coat.

The only thing I’d recommend for this food is some extra balanced nutrition with some vegetables or fruits. These can also provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals for your pup.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Food

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For those looking for the best dog foods for puppies with grain free formulas, Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Food is an excellent choice. Now Fresh uses real turkey, salmon, and duck in its puppy food to provide protein in your puppy diet.

This choice for best dog food for a puppy also includes essential Omega 3 & 6 oils for brain development, joint strength, and a healthy coat. Not to mention, antioxidants from pure coconut oil to support a healthy immune system.

Now Fresh also adds in tons of ingredients for a completely balanced meal full of nutrients, like pumpkin, spinach, cranberries, lentils, and peas. It contains zero grains, gluten, wheat, beef, corn, soy, rendered meats, meat by-product, or artificial preservatives. ​

This grain free dog food is suitable for puppies between 2 and 12 who will weigh 2 to 25 pound in adulthood.​ Potatoes and potato flour are also ingredients though, and their use in pet food – especially puppy food – are still questionable.

Holistic Select Puppy Health

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If you are looking for the best food for puppy, Holistic Select Puppy Health is an excellent choice. It keeps your pup nourished with a healthy, balanced meal.

This good puppy food contains antioxidant-rich foods, like pomegranate and blueberries. These boost the immune system and promote cellular health for growing puppies.

This premium dog food also focuses on a healthy digestive system with added probiotics, fiber sources, and digestive enzymes.

Real meat and meat fat are the top ingredients for this puppy food. This combined with the excellent balance of grains and superfoods, make this puppy food one of the healthiest choices for optimal puppy health.

Puppies need extra protein and fat to nourish their development and provide healthy energy to play and grow.​

Nature’s Recipe Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

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For larger breeds, like German Shepherds or Great Danes, Nature’s Recipe Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food is the best choice.

Larger breeds exert extra energy to do any active movements, and this dry puppy food helps target their muscle development and energy profiles to support their growth.

Chicken and oatmeal are the top two ingredients in this Nature’s Recipe formula. Chicken for a real meat protein source, and oatmeal for a top-quality carbohydrate source to include in their puppy diet.

It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals for the best nutritional value for your growing, large breed puppy. Additionally, the formula includes fish oils to support a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Nature’s Recipe uses all-natural ingredients in its dry puppy food formulas to avoid potential allergies or digestive issues.

Final Thoughts​

Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Real meat ingredients are important for dogs, but for puppies, they are especially important. Real meat protein provides puppies with the protein and nutrition they need for energy to grow their rapidly-growing bodies.

Puppies also need an excellent vitamin and mineral profile for optimal health and development. Puppy owners should check the Guaranteed Analysis, ingredients list, and dog food label before deciding on the best puppy food to feed their puppies.

If it does not contain essential Omega fatty acid or natural fiber, protein, and fat sources, it is not good puppy food if you want to give your pet the best dog diet to support their growth.

These five puppy foods are the healthiest for your pup. Their ingredients, nutritional profiles, and overall health and wellness support for growing puppies are above standard.

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