Scrolling through Amazon or walking down the pet food section in Wal-Mart as a new puppy owner makes you super overwhelmed. You are given countless options of dog food, and you want the best dog food for your puppies. It isn’t straightforward, and we will help you make the best choice for your little companion.
Before we go for the top 10 best dog food for puppies, we will give some vital information on feeding your dog. Many of us will wonder how long the dog should be fed with puppy food? Here is a one-year timeline for your guides.
If you are living in an apartment and looking forward to own a dog, we recommend you to read our best dog breeds for apartment here.
Timeline for Feeding Puppy
- 4-12 Weeks: Puppy should always eat puppy food, complete nutrition designed to provide the puppy all the essential nutrition for a puppy to grow naturally. Adult dog food will not have the nutrition a puppy need so avoid it at all cost. You are recommended to feed your puppy four times a day. You should provide high-quality dry food for 12 to 13 weeks for small breed dogs, large breed dogs by 9 to 10 weeks.
- 3-6 Months: During this time, decrease four times to three times of feeding in a day. A puppy should lose her potbelly and body shape to mature. If your puppy still short and stout, continue to feed as usual until her body grown and sturdy.
- 6-12 Months: Decrease feeding frequency to two times. For small breeds, you can start the process from 6 to 8 months; on the other hand, you can start from 12 months onward for large breeds. It never hurts to feed a puppy with puppy food a bit longer rather than not long enough.
- After 1 Year: Usually, your dog is considered an adult after one year, and it is best to feed your dog two times a day.
How Much Is Enough For My Puppy?
The safe answer is it varies from puppy to metabolism rate. Skipping meals is not a problem as your puppy might be ready to decrease the feeding frequency. If there is plenty of food left in the bowl, you might need to reduce the next feeding amount.
Is Expensive Puppy Food Good?
All major dog food companies spend a lot on their research and development to stay at the top. The formula will always be updated, and this will benefit the consumer.
Premium brand will have greater nutritional values and better for your puppy’s growth. That does not mean the cheaper brand is terrible, but it is better to feed your puppy premium dog food if you can afford it.
Top 10 Best Dog Food for Puppies
|Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food||Dry||$$$||4.8|
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food||Dry||$$$||4.6|
|Pedigree Complete Nutrition Puppy Dry Dog Food||Dry||$$||4.6|
|ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food, Grain Free, High Protein||Dry||$$||4.6|
|Iams Proactive Health Puppy Dry Dog||Dry||$$||4.6|
|Diamond Premium Puppy Complete and Balanced Dry Dog Food||Dry||$$||4.7|
|Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Puppy Dry||Dry||$$||4.7|
|NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Puppy Dry Dog||Dry||$$||4.8|
|Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy||Dry||$$$||4.8|
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Puppy||Dry||$$$||4.6|
3 Best Premium Dog Food for Puppies Reviews
1. Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food
Purina has gained trust and popularity among puppy owners as the best dry dog food. With over 9,000 five star reviews, you cannot go wrong with this puppy food. It is formulated with high-quality protein from real chicken as the main ingredient and infused with DHA from fish oil.
Puppies much need natural protein to develop muscles and promote growth to achieve a mature body size. At the same time, DHA can help to develop better brain and vision for a puppy. The manufacturer also includes probiotics and antioxidants in the formula, improving digestion and building a robust immune system.
Purina Pro Plan comes in four specific formulas to cater to various puppy requirements; Toy Breed, Small Breed, Large Breed, and Sensitive Puppy. You can choose the best for your puppy based on their preferences.
The highlight of this puppy food is that they contain no legumes. For your information, the legume is a substitute for the protein that other companies add to the formula to increase protein level but keep the cost low. Purina uses real chicken as the primary protein source; thus, it is the best for your puppy.
“Our cavapoo puppy LOVES this kibble. Our Vet approved of this kibble, and we have been giving it to her since. She is always very excited about feeding time and prefers this kibble over some chicken treats! The kibble doesn’t have a strong smell for those of you that have a sensitive sense of smell,” raved one happy customer.
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food
This puppy food is formulated with 40% chicken and makes it very high in natural protein essential for puppy early-stage development. It is also infused with DHA and ARA (fatty acids in mother’s milk) to improve vision and brain activity.
Blue Buffalo also includes its proprietary Lifesource Bits, a perfect combination of minerals and vitamins for natural puppy growth. It is developed by the company teams that consist of committed animal nutritionists and experienced veterinarians.
“My pup is healthy and happy, and I chose this brand because I’ve heard countless stories of the cheaper brands killing people’s dogs. This brand actually cares about their quality. My dog drools every time she sees her food coming. She is always excited to eat her meal.” wrote one user.
It is also 100% grain-free and no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors.
3. Pedigree Complete Nutrition Puppy Dry Dog Food
Pedigree is on top 3 of our best dog food for puppies. It has over 4000 five star reviews and has been the favorite for dog owners of small-sized breed dog. The pellet size is perfect for small dogs.
It is formulated with combinations of 31% total protein and 20% fat for a significant boost for puppy development.
“It’s good dog food; I say so because the puppies love it, and it leaves them with a nice looking coat, and they just look healthy. If you don’t want to purchase expensive Pet Supermarket dog food. Pedigree is the way to go. It’s definitely the next best thing.” Said one customer.
This puppy food has no sugar and fructose corn syrup, which is very good to avoid your dog become hyperactive. Sugar is an element that you should avoid giving to your puppy. It can cause overweight and severe dental problems.
Most people choose this dog food over the expensive premium brands because the price is affordable, and their dogs love it. Pedigree has been in the pet food business for more than 60 years. They have set up the PEDIGREE Foundation to help feed the shelter dogs every time you buy their products. That is an excellent initiative to help 1.6 million shelter dogs in the United States.
Is Poultry By-Product Meal Good for Dog?
Useful poultry by-products are the parts of an animal besides the meat, such as the liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. These parts contain high nutritious values like protein, good fats, mineral and vitamins that will do wonder on your dogs.
Other by-products such as hair, feathers, hide, and animals’ intestines are not used in dog food because they contain no health benefits.
Good dog food companies like Purina use these poultry by-products in their dog food to add ample additional nutrition, improving your dog development.
Can My Dog Eat People Food?
A cute puppy face begging for your food is something you cannot resist. But please bear in mind, people’s food might contain some ingredients that might cause your puppy to get an upset stomach.
If your dog likes the dog food and rarely skip meals, you should not feed them with people’s food. Dog begging for food is not something new, but scientists classify it as a “scam” instead. They try to make you feel guilty with the pleading gaze to cheat their way to get more food.
Better be safe than sorry! People’s food most likely results in more harm rather than good to your dog. Be strict about it and discipline your dog or puppy on their mealtime.
Best Method for Switching Dog Food Brands
There is a safe method to switch your dog food to another brand to avoid sudden change that can cause your dog to have an upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Set a timeline for change over five days.
- From day one, mix one portion of new dog food with four portions of existing dog food. Continue until day 4 with an increase of new dog food portion.
- Change the food entirely on day 5 to new dog foods.
- Monitor your dog’s health and appetite during this process; if your dog has any problem, stick back to the existing dog food.