All right, so say you have just gotten a new puppy, one of the first things that you should be doing is picking out what food you are going to feed the puppy.
You want to be extra choosy when picking out food for your puppy because you need to make sure that the food will not only help them grow, but that it will also digest easily, and that your puppy will actually like the food.
To help you out, we are reviewing the best dog food for puppies that we could find. If you are in a rush, go with the Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Dog Food For Puppies 2019
Dog Food For Puppies Reviews:
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal
The first dog food that we considered to be among the best dog food for puppies is Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal. This is a great food, with a good, balanced nutritional profile and a great taste that puppies will love.
There are a lot of good things to mention when it comes to Wellness Complete, so why don’t we start with the great nutritional profile of this food. When buying food for a puppy, you want to prioritize nutrients that helps their body grow and develop properly.
Wellness Complete understands this, which is why they have included in their food plenty of DHA. Now, if you are like most people, then you don’t know what DHA is. All you need to know is that DHA is a nutrient that helps your puppy’s brain to develop healthily. So, it is very important, to say the least.
Wellness Complete also comes loaded with calcium, the benefits of which are well-known. Finally, it comes with a bunch of nutrients and vitamins that help your puppy’s immune system to develop properly.
Moving on from the nutritional makeup of the food, we next want to talk about the flavor of this food. As you can tell from the title, this food is only offered in one flavor, which is chicken, salmon, & oatmeal. This is actually very good for a few reasons. Firstly, chicken and salmon are both great sources of protein and several important nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.
Secondly, chicken, salmon, and oatmeal are all extremely easy to digest. As we said in the introduction, you want an easily digestible food (the reasons for this will be outlined in our buying guide, found after the reviews). The chicken and salmon are both very mild, and the oatmeal helps to bind and settle the stomach.
If your puppy has a sensitive stomach or if they just have issues digesting richer foods, then Wellness Complete is definitely something that you are going to want to check out.
Another important aspect of this food is that it is completely all-natural. There are no artificial ingredients or flavors used. All the ingredients are real and of very high-quality. For example, there are no filler products used, both the chicken and salmon are very high-grade cuts of meat.
No artificial colors or flavors.
Uses high-quality cuts of meat.
Very easy on the stomach.
Great nutritional makeup that contains protein, DHA, calcium, and much more.
Strengthens puppy’s immune system.
Comes in multiple sizes.
Only one flavor to pick from.
Bag is very poorly made, need a separate storage container.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Puppy Dry Dog Food
The next entry on the best dog food for puppies list is the Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Puppy Dry Dog Food. This is an extremely high-quality dog food that has been designed from the ground up to be good for puppies. If you have a puppy that is under 10-months old, and that is expected to weigh in the range of 9 to 22 lbs. when fully grown, then you should definitely consider giving this food a try.
Because this Royal Canin food is designed for smaller puppies, it is full of energy-boosting nutrients to meet the very high-energy needs of small puppies. The extra energy is also helpful for smaller puppies because they often experience intense growth spurts, which drastically raise their energy needs.
The food’s flavor isn’t listed on the bag, but it is a standard chicken and rice flavor. This is both good and bad. It is good because chicken and rice is easy on the stomach and it isn’t very rich, so it should appeal to a wide variety of dogs. On the other, just having chicken and rice can be a bit bland and picky dogs are very likely to either not try the food at all or get sick of it quickly.
The Royal Canin comes in two sizes, a small size of 2.5 lbs. and a larger 13 lbs. size. The 2.5 lbs. bag is useful for trying the food out. It is also very inexpensive. If your dog likes the food, then you can move onto the bigger, more expensive 13 lbs. bag.
Another nice feature is that because this is designed for smaller dogs, the kibbles are suitably small as well, so, your smaller dog shouldn’t have any issues physical eating the kibbles. Buying kibble for smaller dogs can sometimes be an issue because certain manufacturers make their kibble too big, which poses a serious choking hazard for smaller dogs, but that just isn’t the case with Royal Canin.
In terms of nutritional makeup, the food is fairly standard. It has plenty of probiotics to promote the development of a healthy digestive system in your dog. The food is also loaded with antioxidants to promote the development of your puppy’s immune system and organs.
Overall, the Royal Canin deserves to be on this best dog food for puppies list because it is good food that gives your puppy lots of energy and it helps to build their immune systems.
Two different size options.
Good for high-energy breeds.
Small kibbles that are easy to swallow.
Promotes healthy immune system.
Helps digestive system to develop.
Unoffensive flavor (chicken and rice) with broad appeal.
Only good for smaller dog breeds.
Not good for picky eaters.
No flavor variety.
Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy Food
The next spot on our best dog food puppies list goes to Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy Food. This is a great puppy food that has a really great nutritional blend (probably the best in terms of pure nutrition on this list).
Hill’s Science is just absolutely jam-packed full of nutrients. For starters, it contains DHA. As we have mentioned in previous reviews on our best dog food for puppies list, DHA is an extremely important nutrient that promotes brain development so its inclusion here is very good.
Likewise, the food also contains calcium to help build your puppy’s skeletal system. But the nutrients don’t stop there. The food also contains a large blend of vitamins and anti-oxidants. We won’t list every vitamin, but both vitamins C and E are accounted for, which helps your puppy’s immune system.
Another thing about this food that we love is the kibble size. The kibbles are very small and easy for your puppy to both eat and to digest.
As with a lot of other dog food options on this list, Hill’s Science comes in two sizes. And, as with other dog food options, one of the sizes is really small to let you test out the dog food without spending full price. It may seem like a small thing, but it really is helpful when trying out new dog food, and it is small things like this that separates the best dog food for puppies from other dog food options.
The only downside to Hill’s Science, and the reason why we aren’t naming it the best overall dog food is that it doesn’t use all-natural ingredients. Instead, it uses chicken meal and barley. As we will explain later on in our buying guide, things like barley can cause allergic reactions, and filler like chicken meal is empty calories.
While the inclusion of filler ingredients is definitely a negative aspect of this food, overall Hill’s Science Diet Healthy is still a very good dog food for puppies and you should still consider giving it a try.
Very great nutritional blend.
Contains DHA, which supports your puppy’s brain development.
Contains calcium for healthy bones.
Large blend of vitamins.
Small, easy to eat kibble.
Different size options.
Uses artificial ingredients and filler ingredients.
Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
Purina is a very famous and well-known brand of dog food, so you are probably not all that surprised to see at least one dog food from them show up on our best dog food for puppies review list. Purina ONE’s SmartBlend, as the name indicates, contains a very healthy blend of both ingredients and nutrients that make it such a good option for growing dogs.
On the ingredient side, Purina does not use any fillers. They make this very clear as well, one of the first things that you will notice on the bag is the guaranteed that the food contains no fillers. There is absolutely no chicken meal used in this food at all. All the chicken found inside the food is high-quality breast meat. Likewise, Purina doesn’t use artificial flavorings or colors, just real, all-natural ingredients.
On the nutritional side of things, Purina ONE’s nutritional blend includes a variety of different nutrients that are really helpful. As with all entries on our best dog food for puppies list, Purina ONE does contain DHA, which as we have said before, is good for brain development. Purina ONE also has a unique blend of antioxidants which is great for your puppy’s body in general and their immune system in particular.
If you think back to the first review on our best dog food for puppies list (the Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food) we mentioned how having a basic flavor can be both a good and a bad thing. The same logic applies to Purina ONE, which only comes in one flavor, which is a blend of chicken, rice, and oatmeal.
On the one hand, this flavor is very easy to digest and very unoffensive, which means that a wide variety of dogs will eat it happily. However, the lack of really savory ingredients does mean that some picky dogs may not like it.
Finally, we should also mention that the food isn’t all that pricey. Even for the bigger bag (16. lbs.), you aren’t paying a lot, especially when compared to other dog food of similar quality.
Not very expensive, even for a big bag.
Great nutritional mixture.
Supports the development of a healthy immune system.
No filler ingredients.
Inoffensive, easy to digest flavor.
Puppies can get bored with it quickly.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food
We are ending our best dog food for puppies list with really high-quality dog food that uses only the best, all-natural ingredients, which is Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food.
The main draw of Nutro Wholesome is that it uses extremely high-quality, all-natural, locally-sourced ingredients. You won’t find any filler ingredients like wheat, barely, or chicken meal. You also won’t find any artificial ingredients or GMOs.
Another good thing about this dog food is the different flavors that you can pick from. There are different kinds of chicken flavors and a lamb flavor that you can choose from. This may not sound like a big deal but having different flavors to choose from is always good.
In terms of nutrients, Nutro Wholesome contains everything that you want your dog to get from their food. This includes calcium, DHA, a wide variety of vitamins, and a bunch of other important nutrients.
Three good size options.
Made entirely in the USA using locally-sourced ingredients.
Uses all-natural ingredients.
No filler products.
Contains calcium, DHA, and antioxidants.
Pricey, especially for bigger bags.
Dog Food For Puppies Buying Guide
If you are new to dog ownership, then picking out the best dog food for puppies can be difficult. There are so many different brands and options to pick from that it can all become a little overwhelming. Thankfully, we are here to help.
In this buying guide, we will discuss a few of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for dog food. While experienced pet owners may not get a lot of use out of this guide, new dog owners definitely will.
Much like a growing baby, a puppy needs good nutrition. So, your number one goal when shopping for dog food for your puppy is to look for a very nutritional food. While all nutrition is good, there are certain nutrients that you want to prioritize.
For starters, there is DHA. DHA would normally be given to a puppy via mother’s milk. It is a fatty acid that help your puppy’s brain and nervous system to develop normally. We mentioned DHA a lot during our best dog food for puppies list, and for good reason as it is extremely important.
Next up is calcium. When you were young your parents probably told you to drink a lot of milk so that your bones would grow strong. Well, the same logic applies to puppies. You want to give your puppy a consistent source of calcium so that their bones grow normally.
Another important thing to keep an eye out for is antioxidants. Dogs have an immune system like everyone else, and just like everyone else, they need to keep it healthy. Food with lots of antioxidants is a great way to help keep your puppy healthy.
Finally, you want to look for food that is rich in vitamins. Different vitamins have different benefits, which is why you want your dog to have food that has a diverse range of vitamins.
Kibble size may seem like an odd thing to mention as being important, but as we mentioned in our best dog food for puppies list, kibble size can end up being very important.
If the kibble size of your puppy’s food is too big it can present a choking hazard. It can also prevent your dog from eating as much food as need to eat.
Flavor is another thing that you have to be careful with when shopping for dog food for your puppy. As we talked about in our best dog food for puppies list, if you buy food that has an overpowering flavor, then you can potentially turn your dog off the food or give them an upset stomach (as puppies’ stomachs tend to be very sensitive).
On the other hand, bland dog food may not be eaten at all if your puppy is especially picky. You have to try and find a balance, which requires some trial and error.
If you are a current or former dog owner, or if you are just an interested reader, then we want your input on our best dog food for puppies list.
So, we encourage everyone to use the comment feature to let us know what you thought.