So you got a puppy. Congrats. Now you need to train it, housebreak it, and, oh yeah, keep it fed. The American Kennel Club recommends feeding your canine baby a diet specially formulated to meet its nutritional needs. Dry puppy food is the most well-rounded and convenient way to get it. Sure, yes, you could feed it adult dog food. But if you do, you’ll deprive the pup of important nutrients it needs for its development.
Don’t roll your eyes at major, well-known brands because they’re not artisanal or edgy enough for you. In fact, the big players have developed special formulas for both large- and small-breed puppies to make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need to grow big and strong and mighty enough to tear up your shoes with shameless fortitude. A solid dog food will contain meat, veggies, grains, and fruits, all of which your pet needs, and will state that it is “complete and balanced,” as verified by AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials). After you spay or neuter your dog, at around six months, you can start switching it to an adult dog formula, which is welcome news because puppy food isn’t cheap.
Here are top-rated formulas to help you raise a healthy dog.
This puppy food is a grain-free formula with kibble shaped to fit into smaller jaws.
Corn is a cheap filler used in dog food, and this brand is grain-free and corn-free, so it could be a good choice for those dog owners leery of maize, or if your dog has a grain allergy.
Main puppy food ingredients: Potatoes, duck meal, duck, Potato protein, canola oil.
This puppy food recipe is grain-free, and made with chicken, turkey, and salmon.
This dry puppy food contains no heat, corn, or soy fillers or meat by-products.
Main puppy food ingredients:Deboned Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, and peas.
This is a puppy food from Hill's Science Diet specially formulated for small and toy breed dogs and can be fed to dogs until they turn one.
This food gives your puppy a great start in life, and is highly rated across the board.
Main puppy food ingredients: Chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, pork meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn
A popular puppy food from a big brand, this one from Pedigree is loaded with calcium and phosphorous to help build strong teeth and bones.
Pedigree says this dog food contains DHA for healthy brain development.
Main puppy food ingredients: Ground whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, animal fat.
This Iams puppy food sources its protein from chicken.
This puppy food is suitable for all breeds and sizes, and we love that chicken is the first ingredient.
Main puppy food ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain sorghum, dried beet pulp.
A puppy food aimed at large breeds, this Eukanuba version includes DHA from fish oil to boost brain development.
You can feed this to your large-breed canine for up to 24 months, and it’s made from animal-based proteins to help your dog build muscle.
Main puppy food ingredients: Chicken, corn meal, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain sorghum, brewers rice, dried beet pulp.
This Taste of the Wild grain-free puppy food contains no wheat or fillers, but it's also not for those on a budget.
A pricey puppy food for those willing to spend more, this one includes omega-3 fatty acids from salmon oil and highly digestible proteins courtesy of roasted bison and venison.
Main puppy food ingredients: Buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein, peas.
This Purina puppy food is meant for all breed sizes.
A popular and highly-rated puppy food, this one has DHA from omega-rich fish oil to help with brain and vision development.
Main puppy food ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E).
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