Buyer beware: Your puppy’s food is a huge decision! So do your homework and pick the best. These 10 top rated puppy foods will help you decide.
Impatient (like me)? 🙂
Jump directly to current prices & more information about the top rated puppy foods:
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations
- Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein
- Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Puppy
- The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free
- Holistic Select Natural Large & Giant Breed Puppy
- Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Recipe
- Precise Holistic Complete Small/Medium Breed Puppy
- Orijen Puppy
After all, your best 4 legged pal will need to grow up to be your companion for the next 8 to 15 years!
The right type of puppy food and the correct quantities of puppy food play a very important role in having your pup be a part of your life for many years to come.
Puppies need to consume top rated puppy food daily (see this puppy feeding guideline), especially during the first one to two years of their lives to develop strong and healthy cells, bones, coat, teeth, and muscles!
Their bodies are constantly changing, rapidly growing into an adult dog – this causes the body to need the right nutrient-rich resources at the right time.
Without the correct amounts of these proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, your puppy will most likely have deficiencies or other health-related difficulties, such as brittle bones, eating disorders and skin problems, at a later stage in its life.
So, which top rated puppy food will give your best-friend-to-be the best chance to grow big, strong and healthy?
Not so fast!
First, we need to have a few guidelines in place to help us make a more informed decision:
What do I Need to Look for When Shopping for Puppy Food?
Product information labels are your friend!
Protein: necessary for development
Vitamins: A, D, C, B6 and E
Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous
Fats: transports vitamins and helps keep puppy coats shiny, such as Omega 3 and 6 & carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches are energy suppliers.
The basic rule applies: don’t give your dog something you wouldn’t want to eat.
Real meat is always better than meat by-products, which is anything from liver and kidneys to blood to things much, much worse.
Yuck. Remember the basic rule from above.
Real meat as the first ingredient is always better than a puppy food containing non-nutritive “fillers” such as corn or soybeans or wheat.
Fiber is a carbohydrate.
Too much fiber is not good for your puppy as it is non-digestible, however, fiber in small quantities helps keep the gastrointestinal functions of your puppy’s body in check!
If the puppy food is completely balanced, there is no need for any added supplements.
Avoid these bad guys when it comes to preservatives in puppy food:
- Sodium nitrite
All can all cause more harm than good to your dog’s health.
Remember coloring, dyes and artificial flavors are only there to make the product taste better and look better.
These ingredients do not add any value in terms of nutrition to your puppy’s food.
Be on the lookout for a trusted food approval stamp or verbiage, such as AAFCO.
This is the proof you will need to have peace of mind that the food you have in your hand is complete and balanced.
Cheap isn’t always the best buy when it comes to puppy food.
You can expect to shell out a few bucks more for a better quality, nutritious dog food, but if you are able to look past your wallet, you will see the value you’re adding to you’re best friend’s life.
What Does it Mean to Purchase a Better Quality Puppy Food Anyway?
Digestibility is something that you cannot read on a label; rather it is the all the label information, combined.
Puppies’ intestines are more sensitive and work faster to process food than adult dogs. A puppy food with a better digestibility rate will cause less stress on your puppy’s bodily functions, making sure that it works efficiently, but without any strain to keep up with the body’s demands.
A nutritive dense food will keep your puppy full while it consumes much less food than a cheaper brand.
Puppy food of a lesser quality will have your little “pawsome” buddy eating more food, to get the correct amount of protein its body needs to work at a normal capacity.
The scoop on puppy poop is that your puppy will defecate less if given a better quality food, than a cheaper brand of dog food.
This means you will have to spend less time in the yard cleaning up after that “waggily” tail!
A shiny coat, a constant flow of energy and a happy personality are all signs that your puppy is at optimal health, which is a direct correlation to its food intake.
It helps if you are more informed on the topic of puppy food as you will need to make the right decision for your pup’s future, because your puppy cannot choose for itself.
Enough Educating Already, What are the Top Rated Puppy Foods?
Alright, alright, we hear ya, but after all, knowledge is power!
Now that you’re armed with a few more puppy food facts, you’re ready to hit the pet food aisles (or the virtual dog food shelves).
After all, knowledge is power!
Let’s have a look at our 10 recommended top rated puppy foods.
1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
They are proud to offer an all natural range of products and their company history dates back 84 years ago, when they originally started out making biscuits for dogs.
Wellness also includes pre- and probiotics which aid the digestive system to function better and nip problems such as pancreatitis in the butt.
This dog food comes in a grain free version, promising more meat and protein (36%).
2. Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food
They focus on basic natural ingredients because they have the sensitive digestive system of your puppy in mind.
Canidae invites you to have a look at what goes into their dog food, so you can see a list of exactly what goes into the Canidae dog food range.
Their promise to customers is this: what they say on the bag is exactly what is in the bag! Crude protein is 30%, while fat is 12%.
3. Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance dog food has added taurine, which helps with eye and heart health, it also supports a healthy brain through the marine sources included in its food.
The recipes, formulated by an animal nutritionist, mean this company has its roots firmly planted in nutritional science as backup!
Protein: 23%; Fat: 13%
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo puts its own trademarked dark-colored kibble called “Lifesource” into their dog food.
These kibble bits are cold-formed to keep their potency. Each “Lifesource” kibble has a blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, formulated by veterinarians and animal nutritionists.
The Blue Buffalo brand inspired by Blue, a real-life dog riddled with cancer, sparked its owners to focus on developing a dog food with a more natural approach.
Protein: 29%, Fat: 16%
5. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for Puppy
Taste of the Wild makes use of wild boar, salmon, venison and bison, quail, blueberries and raspberries among others, to give your puppy a real top rated,out of the ordinary treat, which still remains 100% natural.
Purified water, by methods of osmosis, is used as steam to cook the above-mentioned ingredients.
Protein: 25 – 29%. Fat: 15 %
6. The Honest Kitchen Love Grain-Free Beef Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen makes dehydrated puppy food, and sources their ingredients from the farm straight to your dog’s bowl!
Being a dehydrated dog food formula means the food took less time being processed to form the end product.
The meat they use for their dog food is human grade and hormone free.
All you need to do is to add water to the dog food and your puppy has a warm nutritious meal in a matter of minutes!
Protein: 32%. Fat: 16%
7. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food
It also has enzymes in its food such as Protease and Cellulase to help with the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, fibers and fats in the body.
In particular, Holistic Select provides a puppy food catering to larger breeds of puppies such as Great Danes. Larger breed puppies have a slower developmental growth spurt than normal breed puppies.
This means that they need a tad bit less caloric intake and protein levels than normal puppy breeds. Failure to do so could cause joint problems later in life.
Protein: 23%. Fat: 12%
8. Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Dry Dog Food
Castor & Pollux puppy food is organically certified and started by a family who loved their rescue puppy called Joey to the moon and back!
This company also gives back to the community and has fed over 6 million pets in shelters and foster homes.
An organic diet will help reduce allergies, skin diseases and digestive problems.
Protein: 26%. Fat: 12%
9. Precise Small/Medium Breed Puppy Dry Food
Precise’s Small / Medium Breed puppy food range is ideally formulated with small dogs in mind as the kibble is a smaller size, which makes for a better eating experience!
Their food is naturally preserved and has human-grade ingredient standards. The dry puppy foods get packed at the company’s plant to make sure that quality and freshness is a given.
Protein: 29%. Fat: 19%
10. Orijen Puppy
Orijen claims that they make their puppy food themselves and that the food is never outsourced.
This way, they have strict control and access to the manufacturing process of the puppy food, all the time, which gives customers peace of mind.
The meats they use in their recipes are either from free-range animals such as turkey, or wild caught animals such as fish.
They also source their fresh produce from farms and orchids within their region.
Protein: 38%. Fat: 20%
Judging by the above mentioned 10 top rated puppy foods and the information about the nutritional needs and wants of puppies, it is safe to say that a puppy really does need extra caloric intakes per day to grow optimally.
Going back to the way nature intended (feeding your puppy human-grade food), is a far better option for its food bowl than the non-nutritional additives, coloring, preservatives being put into cheaper commercially mass-produced dog food.
When in doubt, take a look at the label and apply what you have learned here.
It is also nice to learn that some companies out there are taking the natural, organic, holistic approach and go the extra mile to make sure that your puppy is healthy and happy!
Do you know of any other natural puppy foods which haven’t been listed? Please leave your comments and share how the puppy food you are using is beneficial to your puppy’s health!