Best 5-Star Dry Puppy Foods


The following is a list of 5-star dog food brands… each containing not less than one dry puppy food.
Basset Hound Puppy Waits for Food
To qualify, every puppy food must meet AAFCO nutritional profiles for either all life stages or growth.

Or it must be recommended for puppies by the manufacturer.

If you know of a puppy food you believe we should have included on this list, please feel free to share your own suggestions in the Comments section below.

Or if you’re looking for some suggestions yourself, why not check out that same Comments area to find more candidates.

Links to More Good Puppy Foods

For yet more ideas, you may wish to visit one of our other puppy food lists or articles…

How to Find the Best 5-Star
Dry Puppy Foods

The following is a list of 5-star dry dog food brands that are known to contain at least one puppy food. Within each brand, search for products that include the word “puppy” in their names.

In addition, many other products are designed for all life stages… a category that includes puppies, too.

Best 5-Star Dry Puppy Foods

  • Holli

    8 week cockapoo schi tzu mix….what is the best dry food?

  • theBCnut

    German Shepherds can be considered large breeds and can have special calcium requirements. To be on the safe side, I would feed a food from this list.
    You may have to register to view the document, but it is well worth it. Also look at the first few pages of the Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition thread on the forum side.

  • theBCnut

    Dutch Shepherds can be considered large breeds and can have special calcium requirements. To be on the safe side, I would feed a food from this list.
    You may have to register to view the document, but it is well worth it. Also look at the first few pages of the Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition thread on the forum side.

  • Sarah

    I just skimmed through this, so I don’t know if it was mentioned or not. I would suggest NOT getting Canidae. It used to be a good food, but was bought out by Diamond who is known for having problems with Salmonella.

    I’m looking into foods for my large breed puppy, so I’ve found some rather good ones.
    Considering you’re saying that the pup’s coat is dry, I would suggest getting something with high amounts of Omegas. Maybe even something with salmon as one of the first ingredients.
    Blue Wilderness, Wellness, Go! and I believe Orijin(Pardon spelling?) would probably be good to try. I know that Wellness DOES have quite a bit of Omegas in most of their foods.
    Hope this helps!

  • Thisguyrighthere

    I have an 8 week dutch Sheppard I got a 30ibs simply nourish dry food for $51 dollars I heard blue wolderness is good choice also

  • theBCnut

    The only danger with doing this is condensation getting the kibble damp. So if you can leave it in the fridge, even while scooping it up, you won’t have any problem. Or if you make sure that the time you have it out of the fridge is very brief and you make sure you get bags that are used quickly, you won’t have any problem.

  • Miranda

    Thank you again :) I always have many many questions so I do plan to ask as many as I can! So nice to have knowledgable people who can answer. It’s very much appreciated.

    Would it generally be a good idea to refrigerate Cayman’s food (even kibble) once opened? My apartment has massive windows as walls and does tend to get a lot of sunlight/get warm. Just wondering if it would harm the food in any way to just stick the bag in the fridge immediately even if I’m not going to be frozen. M

  • Shawna


    Not sure why but the post you just left (saying “You can freeze kibble”) is being held “for moderation”. I can see it but I don’t think others can and I can’t reply till it is released. This happens once in a while and seems to just be a glitch in the Disqus system..

    The rule of thumb with eggs is to feed two or three days a week as part of the diet. If you feed him egg every day you won’t be able to add much else and he won’t get that good variety. Eating a food day in and day out can, may not but can, lead to allergies down the line. One of the reasons we all recommend rotation (including rotating the toppers). :)

    Add as much egg as you want those three days AS LONG AS it isn’t more than 20% of the food fed (and more importantly eaten) or he won’t be getting all the nutrients he needs. Short term this is not a big deal but long term it WILL cause consequences down the line. :(

    Yep, you can definitely freeze kibble. BCnut brought up a great point during a similar conversation a day or two ago — when you take the food out of the freezer make sure it defrosts completely before opening or it could get some moisture causing mold etc. Check with the manufacturer to make sure the bag is freezer safe OR quickly dump the food in freezer appropriate bags. You don’t want the kibble exposed to light and air any longer than necessary as that will cause the fats/oils to go rancid faster. Get in the freezer bags and in the freezer.

    Try using your Greek yogurt as a topper or the egg you know he likes and see if he might take the Orijen that way. Chances are he might not ever talk to Orijen but worth another try in my opinion..

    OHH, look for a complete and balanced canned Green Tripe product. Most dogs LOVE LOVE LOVE green tripe. If not too cold, it can easily be mixed in well with kibble as a topper or fed on it’s own (if complete and balanced).

    You can only get Darwin’s by ordering direct but they are a really good food and have an organic line that I like. The others can be found at different stores (usually boutiques). Some of the foods have buy it here links on their websites that can give you places to purchase from in your area. Some of the raw diets are somewhat high in fat and have to be watched. Example — Primal beef is pretty high but their rabbit version is low so if they two are fed in rotation you get a nice balance.

    Just keep asking lots of questions as things come to you. Although everybody seems to be off right now, there are TONS of very knowledgeable people on this site that are happy to help however they can!!! :)

    I have to log off now and may not get back on till tomorrow but I do get emails if someone replies to a comment I left so I can respond later when I do log on…

    Happy researching!!! :)

  • Miranda

    I can’t thank you enough for your help and advice. I actually just fed him half of a lightly scrambled egg with his kibble and he loved it (ate mostly the egg and left some kibble though). Perhaps he may take to the Wellness Core for Puppies better. I have it ordered at the pet store, just waiting for it to come in.

    You can freeze kibble? If that’s the case maybe I’ll just freeze this bag of Orijin and see if I can use it later on in rotation. Unless you think if he doesn’t like it now, he won’t like it later?

    Is half an egg once a day too much for him? I can see it being a good topper for breakfast, and I can eat the other half :) or perhaps even give him less egg.

    I just saw your other replies too — thanks again SO much for your help. I think raw could definitely be an option/part of our feeding regimen, I just want to make sure I know how to do it right first :) Some of your suggestions of the brands you can find in stores sound like a good start. I’m really excited to get Cayman on some better eating practices! THANK YOU!!

  • Shawna

    I’m not sure that dogs on one food have “weaker” tummies they just simply aren’t exposed to certain ingredients. Dr. Becker likens it to eating Mexican for the first time if you’ve eaten nothing but Asian (or whatever). The Asian eaters tummy isn’t weak just not used to the spices etc in Mexican cuisine and minor consequences are to be expected.

    Since you’ve been feeding him human grade chicken I think he’ll have an easier time of it. I mainly foster puppies and I get age ranges from just weaned (5 weeks old) to 6 months. They all take to it pretty well. Almost every single one I get comes in without previous food eaten so I just have to jump in cold turkey. I add some canned pumpkin and probiotics and may have some MINOR diarrhea with some mucous but it’s manageable..

    Most often the consequences happen when going from foods that have very different nutrient profiles — lots of fillers and lower animal protein (like RC) switching to lower carb, higher animal based protein foods. If you are really worried about it you can use a step up kind of method. Feed a food slightly better than RC. Then one slightly better than that and transition between each.

    How often to rotate is completely up to you. I have three dogs on kibble so a small bag lasts me just under, to just over, two weeks. So I rotate every two weeks. BCnut has three (two of which are bigger) and has several bags open at one time and changes every other, if not every, day. You do have to take care if you have more than one bag open at a time as they definitely CAN go rancid (the oils/fats).

    I think the easiest and safest way for you to rotate (if you don’t have fridge or freezer space to store the foods) is to use up a bag before buying new. HOWEVER, you can still offer lots of rotation by using sample bags or using two of the smallest bags available and by adding canned and whole foods.

    Yes, you can add eggs. :) They are VERY nutritious as long as no medical conditions (like a shunt) and not allergic or intolerant to the egg. I haven’t heard of too many with egg issues but it does happen. The eggs can be fed raw IF you are feeding the whites and yolk. If feeding the whites only they do need to be very lightly cooked. The yolk should be left raw as cooking it destroys the delicate omega 3 fats in it. Yes, a whole egg could be a bit much for him to eat in one feeding. However because he needs to gain weight he could likely handle more than a dog not needing to. The problem with that is that you can cause a balance issue in the diet if feeding to much of an unbalanced food or ingredient. “Toppers” unless complete and balanced should be fed at 20% of the diet or less. For this reason LIGHLTY scrambling the egg (yolk included) is probably the way to go OR sharing your egg and only lightly cooking his (whites opaque and still jiggly :)..

    Another easy option, if you don’t mind, is to add a small amount of one of the new raw foods that come in bite size pieces. You can defrost just what he needs for the topper and nothing more. The Honest Kitchen makes foods that can be re-hydrated and fed in the rotation too. There are LOTS of options that you can consider as you learn more.

    I love Dr. Meg Smart’s quote in an article written called “Practical advice on feeding your dog”. Dr. Smart is a vet and nutritionist by the way. She writes
    “Variety is the Key (My conclusions after over 30 years of teaching veterinary clinical nutrition)

    Do not be afraid to add variety to your pet’s diet. Variety in the diet can include healthy table scraps (not leftovers often laden with salt and fat), homemade diets, kibble, canned, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Variety keeps a pet from becoming fixated on one diet with a special flavour. Variety also gives you flexibility in choosing pet foods and a selection of available foods while on vacation or when someone else is looking after your dog.”

    You’ve already read about some of the other reasons for “rotating”. :)

  • Miranda

    Hi Shawna, thanks so much for your help!!! :) you are the first to reply, and very very helpful. I have only been on the site a few days, but I am learning so much about feeding my puppy.

    I do plan to rotate foods for Cayman, just not quite sure how to go about it. From what I understand, it seems puppies/dogs who have been on one brand for some time have somewhat weaker tummies. I’ll have to do some more research on the topic, but would I rotate daily, every bag, every meal? I’m concerned with the food going bad if I buy too many brands/types at once, as he doesn’t seem to go through bags fast (I have only had him since January). One 4 pound bag seems to last at least a month.

    Also, how do you introduce rotation to a weaker tummy, while I’m still trying to transition these new foods from his old diet? I want to do it slowly so as to cause as little upset as possible. But I agree that it seems like the more variety the better. How do I go from no variety to lots of it?

    I would like him to eat more and put on some weight to satisfy the vet’s concerns, however he just doesn’t seem to have a great appetite for any food (so far) other than fresh(!) cooked chicken. He is sometimes interested in fresh pineapple too.

    I can feed him organic eggs? I eat those anyway myself. I imagine I would feed them cooked, do dogs like scrambled? And how much would be enough/too much for my 5 pound guy? :) Gosh, I admire you all for the knowledge you have about this stuff! THANK YOU!!

    Also – the lady at the store highly recommended Canine Caviar, but when I came on here there seemed to be a general concern about the shadiness of their customer service – some raised the question of their customer service being a representation of how they might respond in the event of a recall!

  • Shawna

    OH MY GOSH!!! What a handsome little man is Cayman!!!! I had a Yorkie several years back. Her name was Princess but we called her Dinky.. :O)

    I’d go on hunger strikes if I was eating Royal Canin too.. :) Glad you are changing.

    I can’t tell if others have replied to your post so sorry up front if this post is redundant. Sometimes Disqus “hides” posts..??

    Dogs really can’t be fed “too much protein” when on a commercial balanced diet. It is true that some dogs get diarrhea from foods higher in protein but it is usually short lived and there are reasons it happens that are not necessarily bad. Switching slowly and/or adding a good probiotic and some canned pumpkin can often help resolve any issues. Unless the pup is allergic to or intolerant of an ingredient in the food that is..

    I have eight toy and small breed dogs and all are on diets higher in protein than what is in Orijen. Some of mine eat raw and three eat kibble with high protein raw and canned toppers. My smallest is an 18 year old four pound Chihuahua who has been eating this way since coming to me nine years ago. I have two five pound Pomeranians. The largest in the pack is 14 pounds.

    Consider rotating the diet versus sticking with just one food. Most of the regulars here on DFA feed at least three or four different brands and different proteins within the same brands as well. I feed Orijen, Nature’s Variety, Earthborn Primitive Naturals and others as an example. Within each brand I feed several (if available) proteins as well. So, try Wellness, Orijen any others you think look good.

    As to Canine Caviar — not sure why it is getting negative comments? Recalls possibly?? As far as the ingredients in the food etc. In my opinion it is a little lower in protein than I like but that could be remedied by adding higher protein toppers (like the yogurt you mentioned in another post and chicken above). Canned sardines are a good option as well as organic eggs.

    I think the ingredient list looks really good. I really like that they use “dehydrated” chicken. The split peas and alfalfa will add a potentially significant source of plant based protein but this again can be helped by adding toppers in small amounts. Some dogs will be allergic to or intolerant of some of the ingredients but that is true with any food. Personally, I like the herbals in the food too. As part of a rotation I don’t see a problem with the food.. However if others are concerned over recalls or something I missed, use your own judgement…

  • karolyn cockrell

    Hi I’m getting a 8 week old German shepherd and I don’t know what to feed her any solutions?? Please help getting her soon!

  • Miranda

    PS this is my little man :) his name’s Cayman

  • Miranda

    Hi there, I am a first time puppy mom of a 5 month old Morkie. I’m trying to find the best food(s) to feed him and will be transitioning from Royal Canin puppy. He is a picky eater and seems to go on a hunger strike every now and then (for less than a day), so I try to feed him fresh cooked chicken breast as a topper. I am thinking of Wellness Core for Puppies, Orijin Puppy Grain-Free, and have recently purchased a bag of Canine Caviar Grain-Free Puppy Dinner to try. I’ve doing research but it seems like there are downfalls to every brand … I’m worried Orijin will be too much protein and give him soft stool, and it seems Canine Caviar is somewhat untrusted in this community. Any suggestions? Thanks, M

  • theBCnut

    Maybe try the different Acana formulas. What else is available to you?

  • Nikoletta Dudicsné Szerdahelyi

    I am very sorry,but I live in the UK,and I can`t order this dog food:(
    Can you recommend me the other excellent food what I can order here?

  • Nikoletta Dudicsné Szerdahelyi

    Many thanks your help!I try to order Dr.Tim`s.
    Nice to meet you!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Nikoletta,

    Are you in the U.S.?

    I have a pup with some food intolerance issues and one food in particular that he does well on is Canine Caviar Lamb & Pearl Millet. The kibbles are tiny and would be perfect for your little pup.

  • theBCnut

    Orijen is a very good food but it is a bit much for some dogs. It is very high in legumes, which some dogs seem to have trouble with. Look into ordering Dr Tim’s. It’s an excellent food that has small enough pieces and isn’t quite so rich, so that might be a good place to start. Rotating through different foods, instead of settling on one, is much healthier for the gut. It helps to keep to populations or different probiotic nurished so they don’t die off.

  • Nikoletta Dudicsné Szerdahelyi

    She vomit once a week:(
    She is eating Orijen red adult now,because somebody recommend me it .But I am not sure that it is the best for my puppy.

  • theBCnut

    My Blue Heelers did amazing on NutriSource.

  • theBCnut

    What are you seeing that makes you say she has a sensitive stomach? What is she eating now? NutriSource has an easy to digest small breed puppy food. It’s a 4 star food, but it makes a great stepping stone food to get a dog used to eating higher quality foods.

  • Nikoletta Dudicsné Szerdahelyi

    I have a 5 months old maltese puppy.She has a very sensible stomach.I looking for the best puppy dry food to her.What kind of puppy food do you recommend her?
    I looking forward your answer:)

  • torrey

    hi, im about to get this little girl blue heeler.
    shes 8 weeks old and im trying to find the best food that will both be afforadble and amazing for her. Please and thank you :3

  • theBCnut

    If you are truly looking for the best, best is to rotate through several different foods so that your dog is getting a greater variety of micronutrients and the healthy bacteria in the gut are well fed and as diverse as possible. Here is a list of foods that are good for large breed puppies. and this is a link to learn more about the needs of large breed puppies.

  • Desireelee

    That’s okay, thank you so much! :)

  • Cyndi

    Sorry, I don’t have the answer to your question, I just wanted to say OMG!!! How friggin’ adorable!!! :)

  • Desireelee

    Hi, I have a 6 month old Pitbull/German Shepard mix and a 3 month old Pure bred Husky. I’m feeding them dry Nutro Nature’s Choice. Is that good for them or is there something healthier I can feed them?

  • Bdboop

    Hi! I have a 10 week old pit/mastiff mix. She is on dry Royal Canin puppy food for large breeds & I would like to change her to something better. I have my pit/boxer & my Rhodesian mix on Taste of the Wild High Prairie Blend. What would be a good choice for this little (soon to be big) girl? Can I give her what my adult dogs are getting?

  • Amy Herendeen Vaughan

    I just got a chinese pug and I started him on Organix but I’m thinking there are better options. I want him to have the VERY BEST option on the market. He is so small that I will be able to afford the very best for him his whole life. I want NON-GMO. Best suggestions????

  • Diana Cote

    Thank you, I will check those out. :) I picked out blue buffalo but after reading all the scary reviews I will be returning it. I just want to double check but grain free is best right? my friends all keep telling me to go with pedigree but the internet says otherwise. we are a single income so I would like to find the most affordable healthy food for her.

  • Lilkopa

    Hello! I have a designer dog. Shih tzu and a yorshire terrier. He is now four months old. I am feeding him royal canin. I am planning to switch to hills science diet because it was recommanded by our vet. She also gave us a booklet of coupons! However i dont know if it is good for him since he is in the stage of growing i was searching about the brand one day and realized that they use corn for their fillings… then I came upon here and see all different types of 5 star dog food and wondering which is best for my pup?!? I really want the best for my little jellybean.
    Please gimme suggestions! Thankyou :)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    What a cutie!

    If you’re expecting her to be over 50 lbs. at maturity I’d suggest picking something from this list:

    There’s also an area in the forums concerning large breed puppy nutrition.

  • Diana Cote

    Hi There! I am picking up my 8-9 week old puppy who is a Lab mix… we think she has some terrier in her, anyways, I would like to know what would be the best food to switch her to. I would prefer a grain free mix. could you please help me with a good suggestion that is the most affordable and healthy for her. Thank you!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Carol-
    What type of GI problems is your pup having? What are you currently feeding? Is it a large breed puppy? Sorry for all the questions, but maybe with a little more information, people can jump in here and give you some help.

  • carol

    what is a 5 star kibble which is bland for a puppy with g.i. problems

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Kathleen –

    Did your breeder specify why the food should not be grain free? I can tell you that there is no reason that a large breed puppy could not eat a grain-free food.

    The nutritional concerns when selecting a food for a large or giant breed puppy are:

    1. Calcium content – the amount of calcium in the food should not exceed 3.5 grams per 1,000 kcals as excess calcium consumption has been linked to developmental orthopedic disease.

    2. Energy density – portion sizes should be carefully monitored and adjusted to account for the energy (“calorie” content of the food). Large breed puppies should be kept lean as excess weight has been liked to developmental orthopedic disease.

    I’d recommend reading this article on large breed puppy nutrition written by Susan Lauten PhD (it also wouldn’t hurt to send it to your breeder so he/she has some basis for food recommendations).

    Here is a list of foods with calcium levels within the range that most veterinary nutritionists deem “safe.” You’ll find grain-inclusive, grain-free and raw foods.

  • Kathleen

    I have a golden retriever that is 10 weeks old and was given Eukanuba Large breed puppy food. I would like something higher quality but the breeder says it must NOT be grain free. Which of the dry dog foods that have grains and are for large breed puppies would you recommend?

  • theBCnut

    I like high protein and I’m not afraid of my dogs eating cat food, but I wouldn’t say that cat food is better for puppies. I want my puppies eating a high protein food that is balance for growth of dogs, not adult cat food. And if you want high protein, why waste any money on Puppy Chow, which is low quality in every way. Beef or chicken do not make a puppy food better either, if you mean that meat should be the first ingredient, then yes, yes it should.

  • Howard Stern

    no joke,cat food is better for a puppy because it is high in protien plus mix in some puppy chow.remember to buy dry food that lists beef or chicken as a first on the lable

  • [email protected]

    Merrick. Dry with @a tad, and i mean a tad, of canned Merrick.

  • Shawna

    OH MY GOODNESS Lauren. Just got a chance to look her up on Instagram. She is ADORABLE!!! I bet it is a combination of the “puppy uglies” and possibly a food intolerance. I didn’t see itching as a symptom of puppy uglies…

    Edit — took this part out as I had mentioned it in another post.

  • Laura Scully

    My 4 month old French bulldog has began itching quite a bit and I would like to switch her food. She is a really picky eater and although she seems to like the Amicus puppy food she is on, I think it could be causing her to itch (protein is chicken, turkey and some salmon) I originally had her on Nutro Natural Choice lamb and rice and had to eventually switch when she started refusing her food. I was thinking of a limited ingredient food perhaps. Has anyone seen improvement with itching on a certain puppy kibble? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

  • Betsy

    I have a 4 mth old mixed breed puppy and ever since I got her I have been feeding her the wellness puppy wet and dry food mixed together. More dry then wet and her coat is beautiful, her stool has never been softsoft, and she is extremely healthyhealthy. Wellness has 3 different kinds of dry puupy food and 2 different wet foods. I do mix it up.

  • Shawna

    I don’t know that they are “better” than Blue but with the negative reviews and the quality control issues in the past……. Wellness, Orijen, Earthborn Primitive Naturals, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Logic, Acana and others are all good options. To start, I would find one with different ingredients then the BB currently on to rule out an allergy/intolerance. My Pom Gizmo is intolerant of ALL poultry products (including pheasant, quail and ostrich). She’s okay with eggs though.

    When feeding eggs it is best to leave the yolk uncooked as it is a source of omega 3 fats and cooking destroys those. The whites (if fed with the yolk) can be fed raw or lightly cooked. Cooked at too high a temperature and you risk damaging some amino acids (like lysine).

    Canned foods are good toppers too. I like Weruva (human grade ingredients), Merrick, Tripett and Pet Kind and others.

  • Shawna

    I’m bettin my babies went through puppy uglies too but I thought they were so darn cute (looks and personality) that I didn’t realize it — since I got them while they were likely already going through it.. :)

  • Shawna

    Yeah, that’s about the point I cracked up… :)

  • dchassett

    Oh come on. They’re all so cute they don’t even look real. Thanks for the post.

  • Lauren

    Hi Shawna! Thank you for advising! Your poms sound so adorable being so tiny! Mine is named Dakota and she has an instagram @DakotathePomeranian.Her parents were almost 12lbs so she will most likely be pretty big! I hope that she is just going through her “puppy uglies” early – she has a lot less fur and “fluff” than the puppy in the video and I’m really hoping that it is NOT her thyroid or a repercussion of the lice :( Can you help to specifically name any puppy foods that you think are better than Blue? I was looking into Orijin, Canidae and Wellness for grain-free options… I unfortunately do not have the time in my schedule right now to prepare all raw food although I’ll sometimes throw in chopped scrambled eggs or boiled chicken to the dry mix so she will like it better.

  • LabsRawesome

    I lol’d at the 5 month pics. She started looking better towards the end though. :)

  • Shawna

    I found a video documenting the “puppy uglies” by age. Maybe mine did go through this and I just didn’t notice or don’t remember. :)

    Edit — CRACKED UP first time I watched it and CRACKED UP after just watching it a second time.. :)

  • Shawna

    Pomeranians get “puppy uglies” :).. I have two Poms.. I don’t know if this is true or not but not the first time I’ve heard it. I don’t recall it happening to my two but I got both at age 6 months so maybe they were over it by then?

    “The Puppy Uglies is simply a stage that all Pomeranian dogs go through as they are growing. Just as humans enter different stages of growing, this is a phase in which your Pom is losing its baby fur. The “Uglies” will be the stage in which the baby fur is gone, but the adult fur has yet to grow in. The phase will end when the adult fur has fully grown in.

    A Pom puppy is born with just one coat of fur. It is soft and so heavenly smooth. After the Puppy Ugly stage is done, the Pomeranian will have its adult 2 coats of fur: undercoat and overcoat. The undercoat will be short and thick, the overcoat will be longer, soft and gorgeous.”

    In my opinion there are better foods than Blue and YES the itchiness could be a food allergy or more likely an intolerance. Try a food with a different protein AND carb source. Also look at diet rotation and toppers. In diet rotation you use a variety of foods (proteins as well as carb source AND brands). Toppers are canned dog foods, home cooked leftovers, raw and other foods that are added in small amounts to improve the nutrition of the entire diet — small amount of raw or lightly cooked egg or canned sardines as examples.

    My Pom’s names are Peanut and Gizmo and both, full grown, weigh five pounds. They are both raw fed with a small amount of canned topper and sometimes kibble if I forgot to thaw food.

  • Lauren

    My tiny pure-breed Pomeranian puppy is 3.5 months old. She was the runt of the litter and weighed 0.8 lbs at 8 wks. She currently is 3.5 lbs and has been growing rapidly however her beautiful fluffy, furball of a coat has tremendously thinned out and feels dry. She also scratches/ bites at her fur a lot even though she is parasite-free (she had a bad case of canine lice when we first brought her home but her coat was still very thick, soft, and fluffy). I feed her Blue Buffalo Puppy Chicken and Oatmeal for Small Breeds and she has no problem with digestion but I am wondering if a food allergy can be causing the thinning of her coat and itching. Our vet gave us fish oil at our last visit and is going to check her thyroid at our next visit. I’m wondering if anyone would recommend a better puppy food? I just don’t understand how her coat was better when she was infested with parasites her first 8 wks of life than proper care over the past 1.5 months!

  • Trin Roxytj

    Black hawk holistic puppy is healthy and easily digestivle

  • Trin Roxytj

    Black hawk holistic puppy is amazing

  • Pattyvaughn

    Did the vet do bloodwork to confirm that it is pancreatitis??? Pancreatitis is serious and if it can be diagnosed, it shouldn’t be guessed at. You need to look at the low fat foods list.

  • sasha

    I have a Pomeranian who recently got diarrhea vet said thinking its pancreas. She is very picky about food does anyone know a good food for her she’s 3 yes old the vet sent home some hills diet low fat but she’s just not eating much and cries for more food I boiled her some boneless skinless chicken breast and she likes it but I don’t want her get sick again if anyone has any suggestions thank you

  • Rahim Rajani

    I have about an 8 month old Bichon Frise-Shihtzu cross who has been eating Purina food since we got her. After realizing Purina is quite terrible, I am looking to switching to a dog food brand that is good for her, but won’t break the bank.

    I realize I will have to spend a little bit more than I was spending on Purina food, so I am open to suggestions. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  • Polly (Ziegler) Good

    Decided to order Wysong optimal growth, their raw product in rabbit and then a variety case of the Au jus so I can rotate through them. Will investigate true raw recipes to eventually include that with the Wysong product rotation.

    Thanks so much for your help. Love this site!!!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Feeding a homemade raw diet is cheapest. Premade raw foods are extremely pricey – not very practical for large dogs. I feed my two bloodhounds a homemade raw diet, I purchase meat in bulk from a wholesaler and it keeps things fairly budget-friendy. My recommendation for beginners is to get a recipe book or to use a premix. I’d suggest Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.” My favorite premixes are See Spot Live Longer (formulated by Steve Brown), Urban Wolf and The Honest Kitchen’s Preference. With premixes typically all you need to add is meat and a source of omega 3′s.

  • Polly (Ziegler) Good


    I’ve been thinking of converting to a RAW diet for my Rottweiler but I’m a little intimidated :) Thinking maybe of starting out making food for this new little guy and working my way up. I was never one to read a label…I just fed dog food because, sad to say I thought this….it is just a dog and he/she will eat anything. I wouldn’t want to be treated this way, so why treat my dog that way so I am really trying hard to educate myself. Money IS an object for me but I want to do the most with what I do have.

    Thoughts on RAW diet made at home or a prepackaged type from Wysong or similar?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Eukanuba isn’t the worst food out there, but it’s rather expensive in light of the quality. For the amount of money you’d spend to feed Eukanuba (an average 3 star food) you could buy an above average (4 star) or excellent (5 star) food. I’d recommend checking out the above list of 5 star foods and picking from there.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    NutriSource makes a small and medium breed puppy formula that looks great, so if your other dog is doing well on NutriSource that might be worth a try.

    There’s no reason any of the 5 star foods couldn’t be feed to a small breed puppy, the only issue is usually kibble size. Small breed puppies typically don’t have any special nutritional requirements beyond just being fed a good quality food formulated for growth or all life stages.

    Some foods I know of with smaller kibbles are Nature’s Variety Instinct, Victor, Wysong (Epigen or Optimal Performance), Fromm, Nature’s Logic, Horizon Amicus, EVO Small Bites, Nutrisca and I believe that Petcurean Puppy are pretty small. Most kibbles that are labeled for puppies and/or small breeds will be on the small size. I’m sure Sandy might have some more good small kibble size suggestions, she’s good at knowing that kind of stuff.

  • Polly (Ziegler) Good

    Just bought a King Charles Cavalier pup that is on Diamond dog food. Am not a fan of Diamond. I feed our Rottweiler Nutrisource and she is doing well. Looked into Blue Buffalo for new pup but read too many bad reviews since 2013. NEVER raised a small dog before and want to feed him right. I went through the list of 5☆ dry foods….still not sure what to feed. Small dog owners…what are you feeding??

  • Pansy Spearman

    What about Eucanuba puppy for a tiny Lhasapoo ?

  • InkedMarie

    You have a large breed puppy. It is very important that they have certain foods. HoundDogMom went through a lot of trouble to compile the above list of appropriate foods for large breed puppies. If you have other questions, head over to our forums.

  • Samantha Gross

    I have an 8week old great dane/mastiff mix for a week now. He has been eating alpo since we got him today he has diarhia again and he threw up n doesnt act as energetic. I read some bad reviews tonight on alpo and was wondering if someone could tell a good safe brand of food. This is my first puppy.

  • Tiffany

    most definitely go to a meat based food like blue buffalo

  • Char Conley

    I have, what we believe to be, a 3 mo old puppy who is a blend of Border Collie and possibly a Golden Retriever. Should I consider her a large breed. She came with Purina One but I am planning to switch her to a rotation of Fromms, Earth Born and Great life.

  • Cynthia Shenk

    All the brands you have tried are some of the worst foods in the market place. You need to see your vet to rule out parvo. The puppy killer.a pup should never ever loose weight. Use this list. Try adding warm water to enhance the aroma..never hot. Try mixing with a wet food of excellent quality.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s too many changes for a pup that young. If you expect him to be a large dog when he is grown, you need to go over to the forum and look under Diet and Health Issues for the thread titled Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition and read the first few pages. For now put him back on what the breeder was feeding and add a little canned food to it to make it more enticing, maybe add some warm water to make a gravy out of the canned food. Then pick a food or 3 from Hound Dog Mom’s list on page 15 of that thread(if you think he might be a large breed) and slowly transition to it. DON’T BUY GROCERY STORE FOOD unless you have absolutely no other choice. Puppies need optimal nutrition, not barely enough to get by.

  • Canelo

    i have a 10 week old boxer and im having trouble with him eating, he wont eat any of the foods we have bought him and now he seems to be losing weight. i have tried beneful, puppy chow, diamond (which is what the breeders were feeding him), and i now have him on kibbles and bits which he seemed to like for his first day and now he wont eat. We have a vet appointment on thursday but i need him to eat. Anyone know of a good brand for this age.

  • Roofy

    Hi! Looking for advice. I have a 4 month Australian Shepherd. We currently feed her Precise Holistic Complete for small to medium puppy. She is getting bored of it :/. The breeder we got her from swears on this food. If I’m correct its a plant based food. Should I try a meat based food? Any advice is greatly appreciated :).

  • Cyndi

    The best for him would be to get him off the Beneful as soon as possible. Click on the links above for 4 and 5 star puppy foods. I’m sure others can recommend a specific food, but I’m sure any of the 4 or 5 star foods would be a good place to start.

  • LabLuv

    This lady is a wealth of info on Great Danes and giant breeds in general:

  • jay

    Hi i just got a 6 month old shih tzu/papillon mix he’s on purine beneful puppy growth right now but i heard that it wasnt good for him, any suggestions please i want the best for him. thanks

  • Betsy Greer

    Here’s some great information about large breed puppies and nutrition from the forum section of this site:

    Right now, controlled Calcium is critical for your giant breed pup. It’s fine that you’ve kept him on same food the breeder was using while he adjusted to his new home. But, now is a good time to start switching him over to a food with an appropriate Calcium level, which Nature’s Domain is not. In addition, keep your pup lean and aim for slow, controlled growth and don’t over exercise him.

    And, here’s a great list that Hound Dog Mom put together of foods with appropriate Calcium levels for LBP’s:

  • Pattyvaugn

    You don’t know what you are di doing court clerk

  • Pattyvaugn

    Patty stop flagging me stupid bitch

  • J

    The important thing to watch for in dog foods for growing large breed puppies is: the level of calcium. Try to avoid feeding anything higher than 1.5-1.7% Large breed puppy formulas usually follow this. Often dog food labelled ‘All life stages’ do this too. I’ve been feeding my large breed puppy a good quality ‘all life stages’ food since he was 5 months old (would have done it sooner if I knew better) and he’s done beautifully on it. What we want is slow growth, and apparently LBP dog foods help with this – however, if you know what to look for in dog foods you’ll be fine. Also if you trust your breeder, go with her advice. She’s probably been doing this for years, and knows what her great danes do best on.

  • Remy’s Mama

    I have a 10 week old Great Dane puppy. I have kept him on the same dog food the breeder had him on because she stated all 5 of her Danes have done really well on it. It’s Nature’s Domain Grain Free Salmon & Sweet Potato formula, from Costco. However, when I took him to the vet for the first time yesterday, the vet scolded me for not having him on a puppy food. I was under the impression that because Danes are “giant breed” dogs, many puppy foods aren’t suitable for their needs. Now I’m confused! He recommended Science Diet or Royal Canin, but I want to keep him on grain free food. Anyone here have a Great Dane that can give me some recommendations? I want to make sure he’s eating quality dog food without completely breaking the bank. Help!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Because of your dog’s parentage, he could go either way, medium or large, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Feed for large breed just in case.

  • Beth Knuth

    Very strange little girl.

  • Cavalier Mom

    Are you not working for the court it is me cavalier mpm time to flag me Betsy. I don’t need your advice you are not qualified enough for me in the field this is not a courthouse.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Jack’s Dad,

    I would definitely consider yours a large breed puppy. Large breed puppies need to be fed controlled levels of Calcium, kept lean and not over exercised.

    Take a look at this thread:

    And, you’re best off choosing a food from this list:

  • Jack’s Dad

    I have a six month Black lab/border collie mix. I am not sure if this would be considered a large breed? I am feeding him Nature Variety’s Prarie large breed puppy formula. He seams to be doing fine and liking it. Should I not be feeding him the large breed formula? I was also thinking of trying the Nature Variety Instinct. Thank you for your input.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Changing food is healthier. Think of it in human terms. What would happen to you if you always, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ate the same meal for a long period of time when you finally decided to switch to something else? Massive diarrhea, that’s what, possibly even bloody. Why? because you have trained your intestine to only tolerate one food.

    All the microflora that are supposed to be in your gut and help digest different foods have either died back or died off. Eating a huge variety keeps your gut as healthy as can be with as many different strains of probiotics living there as possible.

    And the even bigger up side is that those same probiotics are a major part of the immune system. They are what keeps the bacteria we ingest from taking over our system.

    I don’t know about your pup, but my pup probably ate his body weight in nasty things before he finally grew out of it, oh wait, he still eats nasty things, nevermind. Trust me, going through just about any extra effort to support the healthy populations of probiotics is worth it.

  • Brittney Coleman

    Im just worried she is going to be the type of dog who has to constantly change foods . But that is a great idea patty Thanks !

  • Pattyvaughn

    Print up the 4 and 5 star puppy food lists and take them with you to the pet boutiques around you. Take note of who has what for what price. When you decide on a few that you would like to try, buy them and start with one, then move to the next, and so on. Note which ones she likes and does well on and cross off the list the ones she doesn’t like or do well on. Go buy a few more and do the same again. When you have a few foods from different brands with different protein and starch sources, you’ll have a nice rotation. That’s the best way to feed to keep the gut healthy and the immune system at it’s best. Oh, don’t hesitate to add small amounts of canned or lean fresh foods, like meats, fish, egg, a bit of yogurt, etc. In fact, with such a small dog you could feed all canned or even the best, raw.

  • Brittney Coleman

    Im having a hard time getting my rat terrier puppy to eat her food First she was on the disgusting Puppy chow and i switched her to natural balance she was ok with this for two months now she refuses to eat it but will eat puppy chow what is her deal ? and what could i switch her to .

  • Shneen

    We recently had a Pom, maltese, poodle mix puppy ( approx 13 weeks now) join our family and I am trying to find a good food for her that meets all her needs. She was a rescue and came to me with no food. The guy at the pet store put her on simply nourish source high protein grain free evolutionary canine diet puppy and all though she seems to like it , the packages she leaves me 3 times a day smell worse them when my grandchildren eat bean burritos from Taco Bell. Can anyone suggest something comparable to this as the smell is killing me.

  • tim

    Just git a pit puppy want the best food to make him grow up strong and healthy

  • InkedMarie

    Thanks! I tend to read more on my iPad and can’t figure out how to do certain things

  • Cyndi

    & since Labs & InkedMarie were so helpful, I think you should post a picture of your, I can only imagine how adorable, puppy! :)

  • LabsRawesome

    I agree with InkedMarie, here is the document she is referring to. It is a list of 35 foods that are appropriate for large breed puppies.

  • InkedMarie

    Large breed puppies have special needs. Please go to the forums here, click the link in the red line above. I think it’s in the health subforum, click the stickie on top for a thread on this subject & the appropriate foods. I have the list but can’t copy & paste on my iPad.

  • amy

    Hello, just brought home an english mastiff she is 13 weeks old. Her breeders had her on iams large breed puppy, have been told maybe we should go with an all life stage food because she will be growing for so long. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Michelle, Since your puppy is going to be so tiny, I would suggest feeding her canned food. Here is a list of 5 star foods.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Brent, I would not use any of the foods on your list for a large breed puppy. Large breed puppies have special needs when it comes to their diet. They should be kept lean (not skinny) during growth. You also need to watch the level of calcium for them. One of the regular contributors here (Hound dog Mom) has made up a list of about 35 foods that are appropriate for large breed pups.

  • Brent

    Hello everyone. Just looking for some input on food for a new English chocolate lab female. She will be coming home with us in a couple weeks. I was looking at Eukenuba, Blue Buffalo, and Purina Pro-Plan but certainly open to other suggestions. Thanks!

  • Michelle Maloy

    Hi I am getting a shorkie puppy in a few weeks, unsure of what brand to chooses. When we get her she will be 10 weeks old

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Shannon

    The BEST food for your new addition would be a home made diet! You could feed raw or lightly cooked fresh meats, fish and poultry with about 20% veggies and fruits. A good book to start you on learning about feeding your dog a home made diet is Steve Brown’s See Spot Live Longer.

    If your looking for a commercial food Raw would be Best followed by Dehydrated or Canned and finally Kibble.

    Congratulations and Good Luck!!!

  • Shannon Hepner

    I am getting a siberian husky puppy in a couple weeks. She will be 9 weeks old when we get her.
    She is on Royal Canin now and would like to put her on a higher quality food.
    What is the best food for her? Was considering bb but have read quite a few bad things.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Susan
    Giving a puppy time to feel comfortable in its crate helps them to feel like they have a safe place when the world is scary, like on the fourth of July. It helps them to not develop seperation anxiety if you make a point of leaving them on their own for a while every day. You will be amazed at what he can learn at this age, if you are consistant and on top of things. Whenever I had a litter of puppies, they went home crate trained already and very close to completely potty trained at 8 weeks.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Susan,

    My Golden was housebroken very quickly. Maybe you’ll be lucky in that way as well!

    I would definitely crate him overnight rather than have him in your bed. Crating is all about housebreaking. If you purchased a large crate, use the divider to make a little crate for him and increase the size of it as he grows.

    Not to mention that you’ll never get any sleep if he sleeps in your bed and you might very well wake up and have to change your bedding in the middle of the night.

    His crate is his den (that’s why he doesn’t want to make a mess in it) and it’s his safe place. I just stopped crating my Golden at night right around his first birthday. He immediately came to my room and slept of the floor right next to my bed ~ so I put a bed for him there to sleep on during the night. I now trust him to be out of his crate even if I’m not home ~ something I never thought would be possible. Sam still likes to go into his crate and take a snooze in there and sometimes his big sister, my Cavalier, will join him.

    Crating also protects him from getting into trouble. If you don’t trust him to not make a mess, put him in his crate! Right now while he’s so little, you should be crating him at times during the day as well. It’s OK! Crating isn’t mean! : )

    Here’s a couple of good articles about crate training:

    As for foods, did you take a look at the list of large breed puppy foods:

    You know, what has ended up working best for my Golden is not at all what I originally thought I’d feed him. I feed a combination of kibble, dehydrated (THK primarily) and Darwin’s raw.

    My suggestion would be to decide whether you want to feed grain free or grain inclusive to start and go from there. All of the foods on the list are excellent quality and are between four and five stars. Then decide if you want to buy it locally at a pet food store or if ordering online is an option. Then, decide if you have a budget for food and go from there!

    Brands of kibble on the list that I really like (in large part because they have either worked well for me or because I trust the company) would be Annamaet, Canine Caviar, Dr. Tim’s, Earthborn Holistics, Fromm, Nature’s Variety, NutriSource, The Honest Kitchen, Victor and Wellness. My favorite raw is Darwin’s, which would be great for your puppy, even if you only fed him raw for half of his meals.

    When you transition, expect to do it fairly slowly with such a young pup. Take your time, mixing a bit of the new in with the old and don’t proceed to adding more of the new until his stool is firm.

    Also, if a food doesn’t work great for him, it’s OK, you’re not married to whatever you choose. Your goal is to ultimately have at least three or four foods (preferably of different proteins, starches and brands) that your pup does well on and eventually can rotate between from one bag to the next without a transition. Consider moistening his food with water and / or adding canned toppers for variety and extra moisture.

    See this article of Dr. Mike’s about why it’s a good idea to rotate foods:

    Let Tucker out late tonight and get up early and he might very well make it through the night. He’ll cry a bit in his crate, I’m sure, but he’ll be fine ~ get some sleep because you’ll need it to chase him around tomorrow.

    Good luck tonight!!

  • Susan Kraus

    Betsy!! Thank you for the reply. I am overwhelmed at what food to switch him too eventually. Do you have a recommendation? I won’t do it yet, but want to get some to mix when the time is right. I would rather pay for a high quality food and have a healthy dog. That is all we are after! And he is absolutely precious!!! I am so lucky that I can be home with him and work on potty training. He has had several parties in the yard with tons of praise! Not sure he is old enough to make the connection, but he knows he is doing something great.

    One other question, we got a crate. But just for when I need to run errands during the day. We are planning on having him sleep with us as that is what we did with our last dog. Thoughts? Is that the way to go or not. Right now he is sound asleep under a piece of furniture. But he will not fit there in a week or two. He just found this spot and took to it.

    Thank you so much for your advice! It is so appreciated.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Susan,

    I bet he’s adorable!

    I’m sure he probably looks pudgy because he’s so compact. Soon he’ll sprout some legs and thin out. He’s going to be gaining weight daily right now; so by all means, don’t withhold calories, he needs them! I’m a fan of feeding several meals per day versus free feeding. Just watch his portions. Overfeeding can quickly result in loose stool.

    Plan on keeping him on the Puppy Chow for a couple of weeks until he gets accustomed to his new home. If you don’t have a can of plain canned pumpkin, grab one next time you’re out – puppies seem to develop some loose stool fairly easily and a spoonful with meals will help.

    I’m sure he’ll get a clean bill of health at his first puppy wellness visit!

  • Susan Kraus

    Betsy! Thank you for this information. We just picked up our 6 week 5 days old Golden Retriever, Tucker, today.

    I bought the Purina Puppy Chow because that is what he has been eating. But want to gradually shift to a higher quality food.

    Now, I have a question, little Tucker is pretty chunky! I want to keep him lean so that his joints will be good. Is it just puppy fat? He was 8 pounds at 6 weeks.

    I will make a vet appt next week and ask there too.

    He is incredibly adorable though! We all fell in love with him right away.

  • Dar

    BB is an awesome food. start out slow and work up.. your baby will go poop less bc of less waste in the food. we have had our 75lb. Collie on it for years. i would suggest switching flavors every now and then. good luck.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Pretty much.

  • Dar

    Hi Sam, congrats on your new family member. We have a 7 yr old Collie. He has been on BB for years. It is a wonderful, healthy food for your pet. It will cause him to go less bc the food has less grains and unneeded waist in it. Our Collie, 75lbs went twice a day and the stool looked the size of a small dog. It just means that he is using all the neutritions up from the food. Hope it helps. Don’t be worried about him. sounds like he is doing great. Also, just a suggestion, put your pup on a natural flea and tick suppliment. We use PetGuard Yeast and Garlic Tabs. You give according to weight, these have been repealing fleas and ticks for years from our Collie. NO FLEAS AND TICKS at all.

  • Betsy Greer

    Aren’t virtually all synthetic vitamin / mineral pre-mixes from China?

  • Crazy4cats

    Where or how did you just find out about the ash content? I’m interested as I just started feeding my dogs Earthborn Meadow Feast. Thank you.

  • Crazy4cats

    So, then, which kibbles do you recommend? Since you are not registered on this site, I can’t go back and look at your previous posts to see if you have said anything positive about any foods.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Ross
    What’s obvious to me is that you are going to follow me around this site attacking me like a rabid dog wherever you think you can find an excuse. Have fun.
    I didn’t say this brand is the best. I didn’t say this food is the best. But it is way better than what the puppy was on and it’s way better than switching to BB right now. Of course that’s my opinion and you are entitled to yours, so why don’t you try doing something constructive with your opinion and make better suggestions to the OP instead of doing NOTHING but tearing mine down. Your welcome to tear mine down all you like, but add something constructive, so you don’t look like a petulant brat.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sugar also misspelled names left and right.

  • Shawna

    Interesting, there used to be a person on here by the name of Sugar who would invert the calcium to phosphorus ratio just like you did there. Sugar also liked Fromm and didn’t like meals.. What a weird coincidence!!

  • Shawna

    This is a really odd judgement coming from someone who just four days ago said “If the nutrients in say Orijen were chemically analyzed and compared to
    to say Pro Plan Performance, there would be virtually no difference as
    far as nutrients were concerned.”

    The “pea protein” in Earthborn is somehow an inferior source of protein as compared to the corn gluten meal protein in Pro Plan? How so?

  • TIKI

    Just found ot Earthborne Primitive has 12%ash amd 2.4% caalcium. I would mever feed this to my dog. Some of their vitamins are from china too.

  • TIKI

    I think Fromm is the best. They use human grade USDA inpected meat medication-free. Quality is amazing.

  • TIKI

    Do you know how much Ash Earthborn has?I don’t mind peas but I do mind high ash. Usually high ash means low quality meals. I just saw Earhborn phosphorus-calc is 1:1.5. I think that points also to low quality meals. Full of skin and bones, not much meat. I use Fromm, ash is 6% only.

  • Ross C.

    Earthborn’s foods are horrible. Lots of pea protein, crappy animal protein sources, high ash, just terrible products. I don’t know how you can make a statement like that when its so obvious.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Earthborn Holistics grain free foods are great!

  • Sam

    I just adopted an 8wk old pit puppy. The rescue she came from had her on purina puppy and recommended switching her to blue buffo. Since I know pit bulls can have skin issues I picked up the grain free version and have been slowly transitioning her. I have noticed she has been having very frequent bowel movements and a friend said she has heard that BB can cause this. I would like to keep her on a grain free an just looking for any good recommendations? I am currently feeding my cats Earthborn Hollistic, any comments on how this brand is for a puppy? Any recommendations are welcome!

  • Christine Guenther Gevers

    I just got a puppy. She is 3 months old Sheltie/poodle mix. What is best dry food to feed her?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, it comes in dry and canned.

  • Consuelo Acosta

    Thank u so much and I’m not sure what the breeders were giving her I have their info so I might try n get ahold of them. Yea I’m guna try the chicken n rice just to c if I’ll help her. Is the earthbone food in both dry n wet forms of food? I mix them together since she still hasn’t mastered dry food yet.

  • Pattyvaughn

    What did the breeder feed? You could try Earthborn Coastal Catch. Boiles chicken and rice is a way to get a handle on stomach upset for some dogs, but doesn’t work on all of them, and it is very unbalances so is not a long term solution for anything. I would stay away from Blue Buffalo right now, a lot of people are having vomitting and diarrhea issues with their dogs on it.

  • InkedMarie

    I use mostly treats & chews from The Honest Kitchen.

  • Consuelo Acosta

    I just bought a shiba inu puppy and I was informed they have food allergy but I’m not sure if the puppy food the pet store gave me is good for her. She has had the runs with it, it’s the royal brand. I also read there stomachs don’t handle wheat and grain well since it’s a Japanese dog there diets were raw fish n meats… what food should I try? I was looking at blue Buffalo puppy food or just boiled chicken n rice

  • Betsy Greer

    Mine too, Patty! Right now I’m actually using VE tripe treats, but when we finish up that bag, we’ll move on to a bag of turkey niblets.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I use Vital Essentials freeze dried dog food for treats. My dogs are crazy about the stuff.

  • erm016

    Freeze dried treats all the way.

  • Pam c

    I’m not a fan of biscuits, rawhides, or greenies. That’s my short list of no-no’s.

    I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. You can find the tubs of dehydrated liver(I don’t remember the brand) at plenty of pet stores. Merrick also offers natural products like dehydrated beef lungs. Overall, I find the “good” treats to be rather pricy.

    So I guess it really comes down to how much you want to spend and how picky you are. I bought a dehydrator to make my dog jerky. For training treats you could use kibble or fresh veggies bits.

  • dcook

    Any recommendations for healthy dog treats? I wish I knew a source where they are categorized in a similar way as the dog food on this site.
    I would appreciate your help tremendously!

  • Shawna

    It’s really not a matter of “need”. No, you do not need to add wet to the dry but it is healthier to do so. Although Blue Buffalo has had some issues, I do like that your vet is recommending higher end foods!!!!!

  • dcook

    Thank you, Diane!

  • dcook

    Thank you, Pattyvaughn!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I agree. It is natural to have darker poop when the food has a lot of protein and the food is more digestable.

  • Pattyvaughn

    A lot of vets still believe the line the kibble companies sold them that dry foor is better for the teeth, which is simply not true. Kibble fed dogs need to get their teeth cleaned just as much as non kibble fed dogs. Kibble has more starch than a comparable canned food. Most dogs don’t chew their kibble much. And when a dog does chomp down on it, it explodes so it never scrapes along the tooth up to the gum line.
    Wellness Core works great for a lot of dogs and so does Nature’s Variety, but we believe that feeding a rotational diet is best so don’t just choose one, try a few.

  • Pattyvaughn

    One tin is only one meal if that is the amount the individual dog actually needs. There are plenty of small dogs that don’t eat that much and plenty that need a lot more. Nobody can say from the info given how much this puppy needs to eat.

  • Diane Loves Dogs

    The reason is, the dog may not eat the kibble if there isn’t wet stuff mixed in with it. And may become picky eater. Not really a big deal. Natures Variety is an excellent food. I see many dogs do very well with it. And Wellness Core. Good variety of protein sources in one food is beneficial.

  • Diane Loves Dogs

    probably because there is less grain and therefore, more protein and a richer food. It’s normal in my opinion. I rescue lots of dogs and see lots of poop. Wellness Core is an excellent food.

  • Diane Loves Dogs

    1 tin is one meal. she should at least get 2 a day. Cesar is a low quality food. Look up a 4-5 start food on this website. Small dogs need at least 2 small tins a day of canned food. Dry kibble 1/3 cup twice a day.

  • Gigi100

    I recently found a small puppy no clue how old but has all her baby teeth so I’m assuming she’s at least 2 months maybe 3 until I can get her to a vet. I’ve been feeding her Cesar puppy food tray. I split the tray into 3 meals and mix water into so it’s pasty. She’s a chihuahua mix from her looks. I was wondering what should I feed her ? Wet ? Dry? And how much

  • cjgood

    Thank you Betsy. I appreciate your reply and waiting to switch out his food.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi cjgood,

    Good thing is, you have some time. You should keep the puppy on the food that he was eating while he was still at the breeder for at least a couple of weeks. The change to a new home away from his mom and siblings is enough of a change for now.

    Second thing is, you have a large breed puppy. It’s very important to feed him controlled Calcium levels during his growth period, until he reaches at least 80% of his adult size. Keep him lean (no fat puppies) and don’t over-exercise while he’s little.

    I’m not a fan of Blue Buffalo at all ~ too many quality control issues and too many complaints of vomiting and diarrhea. Choose a food from this list: and visit this thread in the forum area for more information on LBPs:

    Have fun!

  • cjgood

    I’m so confused! I just brought home a GoldenRetriever puppy. He’s 9 weeks old. The breeder suggested Eukanuba large Breed food. After reading several comments on line, Eukanuba is not a good choice for my puppy. (He’ll be 75 lbs). I was thinking of going w. Blue Buffalo, my friend said her vet said it was too rich for her puppy. So now I don’t know what to feed him. Please help!!!!!!!!

  • dcook

    I have a 5-month old whippet puppy that I switched to Wellness Core and he is doing very well on it. I always top his kibble with boiled chicken breast chopped in small cubes, or a spoonful (or two) of Wellness Core wet foot, or some of the Freshpet Vital Complete Meals freezer food.
    I have added Dinovite as well as a supplement and he has the most beautiful coat I have ever seen- healthy, shiny and really silky.

  • amr44

    Great info as usual!

    Looks like I will be starting with the Wellness CORE and from a few things I have read it sounds like something as simple as chopped up turkey or chicken breast will ensure the proper amount of proteins and nutrients that he needs.

  • Shawna

    What a DOLL!!!!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi amr44 –

    He is such a cutie! :)

    With mixed breed dogs it can be very hard to guess how big they’ll get without knowing the sizes of the parents. Judging by thee size of his paws I’d assume he’s going to be a big boy but I could be wrong. I’ve worked at a humane society for several years and sometimes we’ll get litters with monster paws and we think they’re going to be huge and they end up being more medium sized and other times we’ve gotten litters that look like they’ll be small and they end up being giant! I guess that’s one of the fun things about rescuing a puppy – it’s a surprise!

    There’s no reason you can’t mix dry and wet – in fact, if you plan on feeding a dry food I would highly advising mixing in either a high quality canned, fresh or raw food. Kibble is really the worst thing a dog can be fed (because it’s highly processed, low in moisture and often high in carbohydrates) so the addition of any less processed forms of food that are higher in moisture and protein will “boost” the quality of the kibble.

    Wellness CORE is a fabulous food – however there’s no reason you need to pick one food and stick with it. Rotate between several high quality brands. Also – if you have the money and really want the best for your pup I’d recommend exploring options other than kibble (such as dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods, home cooked or raw foods).

    Good luck!

  • amr44

    Posted on here about a week ago about a rescued lab mix. Took him to the vet and he weighed in at 15.1 lbs and they estimated he was closer to 13 weeks old than the original 8 weeks that VetCo thought. I am wondering how large this dog may be so I can assure he is being fed the proper food and the correct amount. I have attached a picture of him hoping the face and paws may help. This vet also suggested to not mix dry and wet food, is there a reason for this? She said he would not need it. Also, I have gone over and over HDM’s food list and love it, but just a few questions.. I am leaning towards Wellness CORE Puppy, but I want to make sure it is the absolute best for my pup, he is like my first child and for this reason I will spare no expense so if there are better foods or people have had better experiences I would love to hear.

  • dcook

    I have a 5.5-month old male whippet puppy that I transitioned from Nutro Ultra to Wellness Core. I have noticed a change in his stools size and color (I apologize if I gross people out with the subject). His stools are now smaller in size and very, very dark in color…almost black. Is that normal? Besides the daily kibble portion, I top his bowl with some boiled chicken breast meat cut in very small cubes.

    Should I worry about this change in stools? I know that upgrading the kibble quality results in smaller stools but I am worried about the color now.

    Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

  • Pattyvaughn

    Take the 4 and 5 star lists with you to all the different places around where you can get dog food. Note where you find a food and for how much. When you find a few that interest you, come back here and read the reviews and ask any questions you may have. The try a few. Again take notes, this time on how your dog does on them. Then try a few more. When you have found a few different protein and starch sources from a few different brands that your dog does great on, you will have a nice rotation.

  • Betsy Greer

    In addition to their obvious lack of quality control, Blue Buffalo has convinced even smart people that their products somehow have varied protein sources, even though they actually all contain chicken.

    Personally, I’d pass on the Blue Buffalo and would look at Dr. Mike’s list of best foods (which are all four and five start grain free and grain inclusive foods) and start from there.

  • yardleybates

    We have an almost 11 week Australian Cattle Dog puppy. Got her at 8 weeks and kept her on the food the breeder had her on, Royal Canin. I commented on her gas and our trainer pointed out the really bad ingredients in that brand and sent me here to compare high quality foods. The list is SO overwhelming, where would you recommend starting?
    We have been feeding our cattle dogs Eukenuba for the past 20 years and I’m now reading about the benefits of switching protein sources if not brands for best health. I plan to upgrade his food as well, but don’t feel as much urgency in that.
    We were considering Blue Buffalo, as they have varied protein sources but after reading some reviews about lots of dogs getting sick, have ruled them out.
    Any counsel is greatly appreciated

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi amr44 –

    Assuming the dog isn’t intolerant or allergic to grains I believe that whether you feed a grain-inclusive or grain-free kibble isn’t of significant importance. When choosing a kibble I believe the main goal should be to choose foods that are rich in animal-derived protein. There are great grain-free foods and not so great grain-free foods as well as great grain-inclusive foods and not to great grain-inclusive foods. An “ideal” diet would contain no grains or other starchy ingredients such as potato, tapioca or legumes, however starch is a necessary evil in kibble as is acts as a binder. There are “issues” that can be found with any source of starch used in kibble be it a grain, a legume, potato or tapioca. For this reason, I would suggest rotating between various foods which utilize different starches. A rotational diet will help to mitigate the potential negative effects of continual exposure to any single starch (this also applies to all the other ingredients in the food – a rotational diet offers a myriad of benefits). Good luck!

  • Pattyvaughn

    As long as your dog does not have a problem with grain and it doesn’t make up a huge part of the diet, it probably doesn’t matter. If your dog has food issues, digestion issues, etc. grains may be a problem because they can be inflammatory as well as being a common cause of food intolerance/hypersensitivities.

  • amr44

    Thanks for all the info. Definitely leaning toward a mix and I understand it is best to slowly integrate the food into his diet. Going to slowly bring in the new kibble and once he is comfortable with that give him the Tripett…. I’ve read contrasting reports on grain vs grain free. Any advice?

  • C.L.A.D.

    What should we feed to a 13 week old, 2.5 toy poodle puppy?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    All the foods on the list are rated 4 or 5 stars so any would be a decent choice. If you can afford to feed canned, dehydrated or raw exclusively or mixed with dry this is preferable to feeding only dry. I didn’t include canned foods on this list, so if you wanted to feed more than about 20% of the diet as canned I’d recommend contacting the company to check the calcium levels first. IMO, Tripett makes a great topper for large breed puppies. It’s canned green tripe, it’s not complete and balanced so it should account for <20% of the meal but it's high in protein and has a low calcium to phosphorus ratio (and dogs love it!).

  • amr44

    Thank you for the list. Is there any particular I should look for a puppy of his age and breed? Also, would you recommend wet food or dry food? even possibly a mix?
    Thank you for any and all help/knowledge in advance.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi amr44 –

    That pup is lucky he found you! :)

    Here are some 4 and 5 star foods that are appropriate for large breed growth:

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The Rabbit formula and the LID Turkey formula would be fine for a large breed puppy.

  • amr44

    Less than a week ago I rescued a labrador mix off the street, the vet estimates that he is barely 2 months old. He weighed in at 14.7 lbs and people have thrown out guesses as to what he is mixed with and the list has possibilities of German Shepherd, Pit Bull, Boxer, and Rottweiler… Currently feeding him Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed… Was hoping to find what the best food for him would be. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • krjackson59

    Can you feed Nature’s Variety Instinct to large breed pups? We are feeding our Malamute pup Fromm Gold, and just can’t get his stool soft. The breeder had him on Purina Pro Plan. I need a high quality dog food that will get me a firm stool without breaking my bank! Help!

  • Meg

    If you read up on a lot of websites and forums they say that giant breeds like Great Dane puppies should not be fed puppy food due to the fact that they grow so fast and problems may occur earlier than expected. You can also ask your vet about what is the best food to feed your baby! I would also call any great dane rescue groups and see what they say about what to feed GD puppies. I feed my adopted female great dane (Approximately 2 years old) Fromm Gold Large Breed mixed with Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain (sometimes with Halo Shredded Turkey & Chickpea canned dog food). She has no stinky farts and very solid poop. I also give her Glucosamine and Chondroitin pills every day for her joints. She is only 82 pounds so she is on the small side for a great dane, but she is truly the best dog I have ever had! I am Truly Blessed <3

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  • Wanda

    Why do you feel the need to shame anyone who didn’t get their dog from an animal shelter? While I realize that there are lots of animals waiting for a home in these shelters, many of them have been mistreated and now have behavior issues. You are an admirable person if you were able to get a dog from one of these places, but please stop shaming anyone who didn’t. It is unnecessary.

  • InkedMarie

    That’s a large breed puppy so you need to be very careful what you feed them. I suggest you click the forum link in the red line above. Once there, go to the health forum & read the stickie on large breed puppies. On the last page. You’ll find a link with the appropriate foods.

  • Alymode

    Hi everyone, I have a almost 3 month old Husky, Alaskan and Siberian mix, and would like recommendations on puppy food, she’s on ultra and seems to like it, I would like a higher protien and omega level though but she’s a picky one, as most huskies are.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    My dogs will do either, but I usually go with capsules and just empty it in the food and mix it in. I don’t think there’s any reason to use one over the other though, just personal preference (or the dog’s preference).

  • Crazy4cats

    Do you have any preference between tablets or capsules for dogs? Mine eat anything, so that is not an issue.