With so many options out there, you have a BIG decision to make: What puppy food should I buy? Luckily, we can reduce the # of options by answering a few questions about your dog. Small, medium, or large? Wet or dry?…
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What Puppy Food Should I Buy?You got yourself a puppy!
Now comes the difficult part of house training, disciplining, and adjusting to the life of a puppy owner.
Feeding it should be the easy part at least, right?
Just go grab a bag of puppy chow and follow the feeding instructions on the back.
Except when you get to the store, there are more brands than you can count.
And each brand has 17 different lines, depending on this or that or what day of the week your pup was whelped.
Panic sets in.
Oh God. What puppy food should I buy?!
The “easy” part of raising a puppy can turn overwhelming in an instant. To make matters worse, it’s essential to start your puppy on a healthy diet because poor feeding could lead to health problems later in life.
What Dog Food is Right for Your Puppy?
Choosing the right puppy food for your dog comes down to several factors. Whether you want wet or dry dog food, the breed of your dog, and sometimes your own budget and convenience all factor into your decision.
I will go through these different aspects so you can determine what type of food is best for your puppy, and I’ll give a food suggestion that goes with each of the factors I describe to give you a starting point.
Wet or Dry Puppy Food?
There are several pros and cons to each type of food.
Wet dog food ensures your puppy will stay hydrated. If you’ve noticed your dog is reluctant to drink water, you live in a hot climate, or your puppy becomes ill for some reason, wet food may help keep your pup from dehydrating.
Wet dog food also has a long shelf life when the can hasn’t been opened (for all you doomsday preppers!).
However, once you open it, it goes bad quickly. It can be more expensive and comes in smaller quantities than dry food.
Dry dog food lasts longer after it’s been opened, and it is often cheaper based on the large quantities you can get at once.
Being able to stock up on food to last away is also more convenient for you.
The hard kibbles can double as a dental supplement because they help clean your dog’s teeth and gums as they chew.
Some people also find it convenient to use the kibble pieces as treats when training their puppies.
Other people will give their dogs a mix of dry and wet puppy food to get the benefits of both, but that can be a complicated and costly way to feed your pet.
How do You Choose Between Dry Dog Food Brands and Types?
Most often, the nutrients in the food and the breed of your dog are what determine which dry dog food you should buy.
Growing puppies need plenty of protein to help their bodies grow strong and healthy, and some would say that their food needs to contain around 25% of protein.
Often, dog food companies will put wheat or corn in their foods as fillers to build the calories.
Unfortunately, those aren’t the types of calories your puppy will need to grow. They need whole meat products full of protein and healthy grains with nutrients.
When deciding on the brand for your puppy, always check the ingredients and nutritional facts.
While all puppies need protein and nutrients, different breeds need different levels of it.
Small dogs that go through quick growth periods need to be fed more frequently with energy-dense food to keep up with their high metabolism.
Large breeds, on the other hand, take longer to grow, and that means they do better with more controlled feedings with foods that aren’t as energy-dense.
Generally, smaller breeds need food with at least 15% fat.
1) Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Salmon, and Oatmeal Dry Dog Food
Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Salmon, and Oatmeal Dry Dog Food has 28% of protein and 18% of fat.
It also contains good vitamins and omega acids.
The ingredients include whole meats like turkey, chicken, and salmon while also providing good grains, fruits, and vegetables to give your puppy a full diet.
Medium breeds are probably the easiest to feed as they don’t have a lot of complicated needs.
2) Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Health Development Dry Dog Food
Generally, you just want to make sure they get at least 22% protein and 10% fat.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Health Development Dry Dog Food provides your puppy with over 30% protein and 19% fat.
While they do have some wheat and corn in their ingredient list, they also have chicken meal as their first ingredient.
Hill’s is known for being vet recommended and healthier than many name brands.
Hill’s Prescription Diet is often given to ill dogs because it is easier to digest, and my family has used it to aid our Border Collie after a bout of Parvo.
Hill’s Science Diet is their general line of dog food for all dogs to help keep them healthy and give them food that’s easier to digest.
Large breeds need to be controlled with how much food they get.
Overfeeding them can not only lead to weight issues, but it can cause them to grow too fast which will give them health issues later on such as joint problems and hip dysplasia.
Larger breeds also need less calcium and phosphorus to help promote healthy growing.
These monsters need around 23-25% of protein and 12-15% fat.
3) Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe for Large Breed Puppies
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe for Large Breed Puppies offers 28% of protein and only 14% fat.
Their whole meat chicken and brown rice can give your dog the healthy diet it needs to grow big and strong.
What if You Want to Give Your Puppy Wet Dog Food?
4) Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Brown Rice, Duck Meal Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food & 5) Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables for Puppies
These are two wet dog foods with whole meat and healthy grain ingredients that provide good nutrients for your puppy.
As with dry dog food, if you choose to go with wet food, just make sure to check the ingredients and nutrients in the food to ensure it will be healthy for your puppy.
As you can see, your puppy’s diet depends solely on you and your pup’s needs. Often, it’s good to ask your vet if your puppy has any other special needs when deciding on a food.
Remember that just because a food is good for other puppies similar to yours, doesn’t mean it is the perfect fit for your puppy.
Some dogs have sensitive digestive systems that prevent them from eating other popular brands. You may have to try different kinds of puppy foods if your dog isn’t responding well to the one you choose.
Choosing the right puppy food can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult – it just takes a little consideration of nutrients and your puppy’s needs.
And maybe some trial and error.
What has your experience been in choosing puppy food?
Have you found something that works well for your puppy?
Feel free to share in the comments!