Congratulations on your new puppy! These healthy puppy food brands are specifically formulated to meet the special needs of your growing pup.
jump directly to our picks for healthy puppy food brands by clicking on the links in the review box
CC image “Dobie mix puppies” by bullcitydogs on Flickr – Thx!
I know that with all the research you’ve surely done, you are probably most concerned with a healthy puppy food brand that absolutely tops the market.
Of course, there are those that are “household names” in the pet food industry and some of them are certainly worth taking a look at, but if you are looking for a brand that goes above and beyond the call, we have done some of the homework for you already.
Some new puppy owners opt for healthy food with a decent ratio of fat, protein and calories while others are more concerned with byproducts, grain content or holistic and organic ingredient content.
We will try to cover an array of those here today, all healthy and good for your puppy, while still catering to your specific needs.
We hope you find something that’s just right for you and the puppy.
What is a Healthy Puppy Food?
There are actually several factors at work within that one question.
Of course, we know that we wouldn’t want to feed a puppy the same food we would feed to an adult dog. Some people swear there’s no harm in feeding a good quality adult dog food to a puppy, but the nutritional needs are very different.
Puppies require twice the energy of a grown dog, therefore needing a food formula with 25-30% crude fat.
Be warned, though, against over feeding your puppy in lieu of the increased growth and energy, as this will actually cause too quick a gain in weight and create more health problems.
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Other Things to Consider…
There are a few other factors to keep in mind when choosing a healthy puppy food as well…One of those is the breed of the dog.
Larger breeds grow much faster and therefore have a different set of needs for nutrition than smaller dogs that may not grow or gain weight as quickly.
In addition, you want to take into consideration any diseases to which your breed is predisposed.
For example, St. Bernard’s are prone to hip dysplasia, as are some other large and giant breed dogs, and in that instance, you would want to make sure that your puppy food – as well as foods for other stages of life – have glucosamine and chondroitin in the ingredient list, for optimized joint health.
For those breeds, you also want to keep an eye on weight gain, maintaining an ideal weight so there is no added stress to the hip joints.
Food sensitivities are also another concern, but you usually don’t find out about these until after you have begun to feed your puppy the brand you’ve chosen.
Be on the lookout for vomiting, loose stool, diarrhea, hair and skin conditions such as hair loss, hot spots, itching and general lethargy after eating. These are all signs that your puppy may have a sensitivity to an ingredient in the food you’re using.
If you see any of these, switch brands.
If that still doesn’t stop these symptoms after a week or so, be sure and talk to your vet about other possibilities.
Some Trusted & Healthy Puppy Food Brands:
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo is one of the best-reviewed, pet-approved puppy foods.
It is called for by name on forums across the internet where people are looking for the best formulas for their sporting and hunting dogs, and it’s just as popular among puppy owners who simply want the best for their puppy.
Blue Buffalo’s motto is:
“Love them like family, feed them like family.”
…and they seem to do their best to make their product fit that bill.
This particular formula has no chicken or poultry by product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives or artificial flavors.
It does contain superior nutrition with DHA and ARA to promote cognitive development, active nutrients and antioxidants for health and well-being, and it supports muscle and bone development.
This formula has ingredients that include de-boned chicken, wholesome whole grains and healthy fruits and vegetables.
2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Puppy Formula
Purina Pro Plan is another highly sought after food for puppies, with over 1,800 reviews on Amazon, where it has nearly 5 full stars.
Purina is one of those household names mentioned earlier, and for some, it has been the only food fed to puppies and dogs in some families for generations.
The company offers a money-back guarantee, so there are really no worries if it doesn’t perform as stated. Simply see the back of your puppy food package for information in regards to a refund.
This particular formula has lamb as its first ingredient and offers high quality protein as well as omega rich fish oil, which helps nourish brain and vision development.
It contains antioxidants for a healthy immune system, calcium and phosphorous for strong bones and teeth and omega-6 fatty acids that maintain healthy skin and a healthy coat.
Purina offers different formulas for life stages, breed size, sensitivities and weight management, so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for if you choose this brand.
3. Eukanuba Large Breed Dry Puppy Food Formula
Eukanuba has their seal right on the bag stating:
“Dedicated to Healthier Longer Lives.”
This is another brand that has a long-standing set of devoted followers. Those who feed this brand usually continue feeding through the life stages, of which there are plenty to choose.
This is one brand than many vets and breeders recommend on a regular basis, which encourages a lot of otherwise worried pet owners.
This particular formula has chicken as its first ingredient, has absolutely no fillers and 100% high quality nutrition.
Since this is the large breed formula, it has been enhanced for optimal bone and joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin and, as with others, contains DHA for brain and vision development.
It also has a specialized fiber system that promotes nutrient absorption and aides digestion.
4. Nutro Ultra Dry Puppy Food
Nutro is another of the brands that does not contain corn, wheat, soy, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Made proudly in the USA, Nutro has an impressive list of ingredients including real chicken, salmon and lamb as well as rolled oats, flaxseed, brown rice, sunflower oil, pumpkin and tomato.
It also contains powerful antioxidants and nutrient rich whole foods, which provide strong, healthy support for growing puppies.
This formula is made especially for small breed dogs so the kibble size is small enough for the little ones to eat easily.
Some Nutro customers report that they had tried other brands and flavors of dog food, for variety, but noticed such a difference in overall health and coat shine, that they switched back and chose to stay.
Many customers love the fact that the food is an American product, and the choice of ingredients and real fruits and vegetables has made believers out of still others.
5. Taste of the Wild
Probably one of the top selling brands – if not THE top seller – on Amazon right now is Taste Of The Wild brand dog and puppy foods, with over 8,000 reviews.
TOTW, as loyal customers refer to it, is a grain free dry puppy food that provides excellent nutrition with what the company calls “digestible energy”.
Featuring fish flavors for puppy, this brand offers real roasted bison and venison in later stage dog foods and makes the correlation that our dogs of today share the same DNA as the wolf, and they deserve a “taste of the wild”.
Along with the great fish flavor your puppy loves, there is a list of vegetables, fruits and antioxidants that make for an overall healthy, happy puppy.
Digestive health, immune system function, healthy brain, eyes, bones and teeth are just a few of the bonuses with this recipe.
Customers absolutely love this product, reporting that they have done their homework in reviewing ingredient lists, other customer reviews and even you tube videos concerning this brand, and pride themselves on knowing where the best nutritive properties come from.
They go so far as to call it “dog heaven” and swear their undying devotion to this brand.
Those are just a few of the top brands of healthy puppy food and we hope we’ve helped you in some way in your quest to find the best.
We know what it means to want quality in which we can put our trust.
If this helped you in any way, please let us know!
Also, let us know if there’s a brand that you prefer that hasn’t been mentioned.