Best 5-Star Dry Puppy Foods


The following is a list of 5-star dog food brands that contain at least 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.

Within each review, look for products that include the word “puppy” in their names.

In addition, many other products are appropriate for all life stages — a category that includes puppies.

You may also find the following lists and articles helpful, too:

Best 5-Star Dry Puppy Foods

  • Cannoli

    Hi Peter. I was in your same boat 18 months ago. When I got my pup home my breeder had him on a food I didn’t agree with.

    So I didn’t wait. I transitioned him right off the bat. Fed him a higher protein food. not gonna lie to you and say his stools were all firm and all.

    But my breed is a heavy chewer so it was hard to tell if the loose stools were his food or from my leather sofa, or the dirt from outside, or from my socks, etc. he had his mouth on everything. Got to the point that I had him leashed to my pants when he was in the house and out of his crate.

    I have never transition my dog to food as I have always believed that feeding them a varied rotational diet works best for him. Does my pup get loose stools now at 18 months no not as much but it takes time to understand your pup’s body.

    So experimentation is the way I discovered my pup’s body along with reading massive amounts of food literature.

    Not saying that you should do this but just realize I have been in your same boat.

    At the end of the day it really comes down to genetics. If you got your pup from a reputable breeder who did genetic and temperament testing on his parents and grandparents then you are already off to a great start

  • Pitlove

    Hi again-

    You are very welcome. Yes, after only 5 days of adjusting to live in his new environment I would certainly wait longer. Though I’m sure you are taking great care of him and helping him adjust the best you can, it can be stressful for a new puppy to up and go to a new home. Change in diet with that added stress can cause GI upset. That is the reason for the recommendation to keep them on the same food for a few weeks.

    Yes, he is young and his gut is still not fully capable of handling a quick change in diet. Once you pick a food start slow 25% new food to 75% old food. Then 50-50 in a few days as long as stool quality looks good, then 75 new, 25 old a few days later and if the stool quality is still good even after all that go to 100% new food. If at any point, he has GI symptoms take baby steps back to a ratio of new and old food that he was doing well with. You can also start to slowly introduce a canned food like Tripett to his diet to help with the transition. Tripett is already properly balanced in calcium and phosphorus which is the biggest concern with these larger dogs. Too much calcium and their bones can’t grow properly. Too little, same thing.

    The most important tip of all after choosing a food, is to never let him get overweight. Learn how to use the Purina Body Condition Score to visually access his weight to make sure he stays lean. This keeps stress off the growing bones and joints. He should remain a 4 or 5 out of 9 on the Body Condition Score throughout life.

  • Peter Dedivanovic


    Thank you SO much for your timely response. Today is day 5 that we have our little Ozzy. That makes sense for not transitioning him too soon and it gives us a little time to do our research. I will definitely look into those brands. When we transition him, it should be slowly mixed in with his food correct?
    I am excited to do the research on those foods, thank you again… so much appreciated!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Peter-

    How long have you had your puppy? If it has been under 3-4 weeks, I would wait to transition off of Purina Pro Plan.

    As far as what the “best” food for him would be…that is subject to be different depending on who you talk to. If you ask a veterinary nutritionist what is the best food for a growing large breed puppy, they will almost always say a food from a company that employee’s a veterinary nutritionist and does feeding trials. Purina meets this criteria.

    If you do not wish to continue using Pro Plan, other foods that IMO are far better than Orijen and Merrick for several reasons are: Dr. Tim’s Kinesis, NutriSource Large Breed Puppy, Nulo Puppy, Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy and Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy.

  • Peter Dedivanovic

    Hi All-

    I just recently got an 8 week golden retriever. He is simply the most wonderful dog I could have asked for so I want to make sure I give him the best food. His breeder started him on Purina Puppy Pro Plan and said to transition slowly with the new food starting this week. What do you recommend as the best food for them in their puppyhood? We hear a lot about Orijen and Merrick, but it seems like there are a lot more 5 star foods here.

  • Karina Chavez

    We just got a 4 month old shih tzu and wonder what type of food would be best for him? I would prefer something that is very high quality, natural/organic ingredients, and/or grain-free.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Lizzy-

    Wow what a great combination of dog breeds! Gonna be a really cute and active pup.

    I would imagine that combo will not produce a large dog over 50 lbs so really any food for puppies or all life stages will work. One of my favorites listed here is Dr. Tim’s.

    Post some pics if you can!

  • bojangles

    Hi Lizzy101,


    The best food possible is a properly balanced, homemade, minimally processed diet, consisting of fresh grocery store bought meats and vegetables.

    It’s all downhill from there 🙂

    No matter which road you choose I suggest you learn as much as you can about dogs and their diet. This way you can make a more informed choice as to what’s “the best food possible” for your dog.

    I recommend this book to get you started on learning about dogs and nutrition:

    Good Luck, and I wish you many happy years with your new best friend!

  • LabsRawesome


  • Lizzy101

    I adopted a 8 week old Australian Shepherd, Collie & Blue Heeler Mix from a rescue. This is the first dog I’ve ever personally owned and I want to make sure I feed him the best food possible.

    If anyone has any recommendations or can provide some insight, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • Lanie Malvit

    all im trying to do is educate pet owners that royal canin isn’t your typical dog food, and that just because one brands chicken by product meal isn’t healthy, doesn’t make all brands bad.
    Also royal canin is the only food that triple tests their food
    They test all ingredients before development, they test the formula before they release it, and they test each batch before they distribute it

  • Lanie Malvit

    Your welcome! anything to make a dog healthy

  • theBCnut

    NutriSource Large Breed Puppy may be an option for you. It is economical and seems to be very easy for most dogs to switch to. However, it may also turn out that your dog has a food intolerance to some ingredient like chicken, so you may have to go with a food that doesn’t contain chicken. In that case Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast or Coastal Catch have the right calcium levels for a large breed puppy.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Layla,

    Just a word of warning, Lanie has been all over this site pushing Royal Canin.

  • Layla

    We changed her food and isn’t working how we want to. Still feed her ground beef and rice. Let see what the vet says this week. Thank you!

  • Layla

    Thank you. I will try that one!

  • Siggy

    I got a shelter puppy and tried everything for diarrhea She had to take antibiotics and wormers from the vet to clear it up. She still has bouts and then is fed boiled chicken and rice and is OK.

  • Lanie Malvit

    Try royal canin! They actually have a breed specific dog food for lab puppies,
    My dog used to have similar problems, but a few weeks after switching him to royal canin, he has never been better!

  • Layla

    To be honest I don’t remember but probably I had. I will try the pumpkin and see how it goes. I need to find a new vet for her. We recently moved and I’m looking for a new one.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you tried a beef based formula for her? As I said before, you might want to try some plain canned pumpkin and some probiotics to get her gut back on track.

  • Amateria

    Every time I wash Rusty or he gets wet from some other source, he craps his pants lol, good way to clean him out 😛

  • Layla

    It last for days if I don’t feed her rice and beef right away.

  • Layla

    The last one was salmon based formula.

  • Layla

    I got her when she was 8 weeks old, but Idk what she was eating.

  • Crazy4cats

    TMI!!! Lol! That happened to one of my dogs too after swimming in the ocean. It cleaned him right out. Yikes! He was fine the next day, thank goodness.

  • Cannoli

    My dog gets diarrhea or very loose stools for a few days when I rotate his kibble or give him a different raw protein. Heck he even gets diarrhea when he swims too much as it appears that he swallows too much ocean water.

    After a few days it stops and he gets back to normal. So I don’t worry about it. Heck it even happens to humans. Their are some oily foods that affect me but I once I add fiber to the food I am good to go. Once a while I add pumpkin to my dog’s meal when I rotate his food.

    but the question is how long does your pup’s diarrhea last?

  • InkedMarie

    They’re wrong. I’ve had many dogs in the last 25+ years, all purebred except for one and diarrhea has only happened if they ate something they shouldn’t have or in the case of one, lamb didn’t do well for her.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Layla-

    Do you know what your Lab was eating when you got her? Also what age did you get her?

    Sometimes it is best to keep the dog on the same food for a few weeks when you first get them. They are still adjusting to their new home and new family during this time and it can be stressful for them. Changes to diet especially, fast changes when their stomach isn’t used to it, can definitely cause diaherra.

    Did you slowly transition to each of those brands you tried?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Layla,

    I think you mean Blue Buffalo? There is also a Diamond brand.

    If the labs are normal and she does well on beef and rice it could be that she has an issue with chicken. Many of the foods you mentioned are chicken based. Have you tried feeding her a fish or beef formula dog food?

  • Layla

    Thank you Crazy4dogs!
    Yes, she had labs done and nothing showed up. I had tried, purina one, beneful and blue diamond.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m not aware of diarrhea being common in purebred dogs. Have you taken her to the vet and had a fecal done to rule out any parasites? The best way is to have the sample sent out to the lab to rule out any parasites, including giardia or coccidia. If the vet has only done a float fecal test, some parasite can be missed in the test.

    She needs to be on a large breed puppy formula as large breeds need a specific calcium/phosphorus ratio. The ground beef and rice is only used for a short term to relieve the diarrhea and give the gut a rest. If the fecal comes back clean, you could try adding a small amount (1 tbsp) of pure canned pumpkin and probiotics added to her food to help with the diarrhea. What foods have you tried feeding her?

    There is a discussion specifically on Large and Giant Breed Nutrition on the forum side of DFA that lists several foods that are good for large breed puppies. It’s pretty long so you might want to start on page 39 and work backwards:

  • Layla

    I have a 6th months old yellow lab. Every food I have tried with her gives her diarrhea. Some people told me that this is something common in pure breed dogs. The only thing that never gives her diarrhea is boiled ground beef and rice. Any suggestion on food?Thanks

  • Kayleigh O Sullivan

    All is good now ! Thanks for the great advice and have a wonderful day !

  • Crazy4dogs

    That’s good! It’s best to see a vet just to make sure all is going well. Sometimes the stress can cause digestive problems. He also might be eating too much too fast if he’s throwing up right after he eats. Good luck with your new pup!

  • Kayleigh O Sullivan

    He’s drinking plenty, he’s absolutely fine now but as a precaution were taking him to the vet first thing in the morning …..!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Kayliegh,

    I’m not sure if you got him from a rescue, a breeder or someone who had a puppy he didn’t want, but if it’s from a rescue or a breeder, I would contact them ASAP. If not, you might want to take him to the vet depending on what’s going on. Puppies can get any number of diseases, particularly if they weren’t vaccinated. Does he have diarrhea as well and is he acting normally otherwise, including drinking?

    Edit: if you hit reply to anyone that is posting to you, they will see the reply, otherwise they won’t unless they are looking at comments in general.

  • Kayleigh O Sullivan

    He’s been with us for 2 days !

  • Crazy4dogs

    Did he just come home with you today? It could be stress, but with a new puppy I would either contact the breeder or a vet very soon.

  • Kayleigh O Sullivan

    He is currently eating the food given to us by previous owner ….

  • Kayleigh O Sullivan

    It’s the food we were given by previous owners ……

  • sandy

    is he still on his food from the previous home or is this a new food you put him on?

  • Kayleigh O Sullivan

    Just got a 2 month old puppy, the past hour hes continuously gotten sick and it’s in the shape of his food . Any suggestions ?

  • Cannoli

    i am a strong believer of high protein to little or no carb diet. protein helps build muscle.

    in morbidly obese humans doctors recommend a high protein to no carbs or veggies for a long period of time. until the pateint goes from 600 to 200 lbs

    the good news is that dogs can handle an extremely high protein diet unlike humans.

    so i would stick to foods that are very high on protein,

    will your pup have issues with this diet. probably my pup had lose stools for the first few months but he is good now.

  • Jeepmatt

    Hi I recently adopted a beatiful 7 month old great dane/pit bull mix. She’s my princess. And I’m looking for suggestions on food for her. Any help to keep my girl healthy and active will be much appreciated.

  • Cannoli

    never tried it. the protein is lower than what my pup likes and can handle. not saying it’s a bad food just not what i would feed maybe others here can vouch for it

  • Kimberly Jones

    What about Blue wilderness

  • Dan Gross

    Thanks for the advice!!

  • bojangles

    Hi Dan,

    Beautiful girl you got there!

    If at all possible, I would keep her on a raw food diet. Raw foods are a super healthy, delicious and appropriate diet for dogs.

    Whichever way you go, I wish you and your pup the best!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Dan-

    Crazy4cats gave you some good advice. I too agree that Orijen is very expensive and personally I do not find it to be better than other brands on the market, especially with the new formula changes coming to Orijen and the issues with this new plant in Kentucky.

    Another really great food I wanted to mention was Dr. Tim’s Kinesis. I’d say between NutriSource and Dr. Tim’s, those are my 2 favorite large breed puppy foods. I also do like brands within larger companies that have done research on large breed puppies and do feeding trials. Crazy4cats mentioned Hill’s Ideal Balance which I like and also Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan and Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy. I do understand that some people are not comfortable with those companies.

  • Dan Gross

    Thanks again! I’ll go check out the forum too!

  • Crazy4cats

    Haha! I was soo right! Beautiful! Nice size paws too. I agree it is expensive. I have two large dogs and a crew of cats. I definitely can’t afford it. Fromm Gold, Nutrisource, Wellness and Hill’s Ideal Balance all have good recipes for large breed puppies. Check out the forum. There is a thread dedicated to large breed pup nutrition and concerns. It has a lot of valuable information.

    Thanks for the pic.

  • Dan Gross

    Thanks for the reply. Orijen seems so expensive, probably worth it, but expensive. Any other suggestions?

  • Crazy4cats

    If you decide on Orijen, make sure that you feed the large breed puppy formula. It’ important that the food has an appropriate calcium content to help protect your dog’s joints. Check out the following link found on DFA:

    I bet she’s beautiful! A picture would be awesome. 🙂

  • Dan Gross

    I have a 9 week old English Creme Golden Retriever. The breeder fed her an all raw diet and we are looking to move her to a dry food. She will be about 65 pounds when fully grown. Currently we continues to feed her raw food. Orijen has been recommeded to me, but i was wondering if you had other ideas. We bought a sample size of Orijen and have been using it as a treat. She likes it. Thanks for your time.

  • Cannoli

    nice mine is an OEB too. alhough OEBs are not really bred to standard so mine is more of a designer mutt which makes him healthier than the regular English bulldog when it comes to breathing.

    there is much debate on whether to feed an English bulldog mutt large puppy food or regular puppy food. please don’t see “mutt” in negative terms here. if there is one purebred dog that needs different genetics in order to be healthier is the English bulldog

    i went for regular puppy food and kept him in the lean side.

    i stuck to Orijen with raw food toppers but lately Orijen has been having issues so not sure now.

    regardless this site has great reviews on puppy food.

  • Kimberly Jones

    I will be a proud owner of a Old English Bulldog 8 week old puppy and would like to know the best dry puppy food for him.

  • Mike

    We will be getting a 9 week old female Australian Shepard. We want to be able to provide her the best food for her needs. She will grow to approx 55 lbs. With all the choices, where do we begin?

  • Mike

    We will be getting a 9 week old female Australian Shepard. We want to be sure we are getting the best puppy food for her and her growth. We expect her to grow to around 55 lbs. With so many foods out there, where do we even begin? Thanks.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Thanks so much. We will look into those suggestions.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Wrong reply! Oops

  • Pitlove


    Using a food that has been food trialed that meets the strict criteria for a growing large breed is the ideal option. The 2 companies that do feeding trials that have done the most research on large breed puppy growth and nutrition are Hill’s and Purina. If you do not want to use a food from either company, Dr. Tim’s Kinesis is a good choice that has been feed trialed.

    Other opinions that have not gone through a feeding trial, but still meet the criteria through lab analysis would be Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy, NutriSource Large Breed Puppy, Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy, Nulo Puppy and Solid Gold Wolf Cub. These are just some of the foods I prefer. I do not care for Blue Buffalo as a company so I do not tend to recommend them. Also overpriced.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    We are adopting a puppy that is about 2 to 4 months old, she is a Black Lab mix, the rescue believes she has some border collie in her as well. Definitely looking like she will be the typical lab size.

    Do you have any suggestions on food for her? The rescue has been feeding her Puppy Chow so we definitely want to get her off of that ASAP. Currently looking into the Blue Buffalo Wilderness large breed puppy which I see listed above. Any other recommendations on food for the pooch?

  • Pitlove

    Hi Karen-

    You will want to use a large breed puppy food, unless that mixture somehow will not grow to be 50+lbs at mature weight.

    Are you looking for brand recommendations as well?

  • karen

    I have a german shepherd lab mix puppy. What do you recommend?

  • Wes Tansley


    I started with Blue Buffalo Wilderness for my boxer/lab/hound and he liked it but I have since switched him to Pulsar by Horizon. It is way better the BB! Both of my dogs (we have a chihuahua/weiner dog as well) love it and they have both excelled on it. They have more energy, their coats are shinier and they are much happier now. Pulsar is about 2/3 the cost of BB and has a better rating on Dog Food Advisor. It is a small company from Saskatchewan that gets all of their ingredients locally and every batch of food is made to order so it isn’t sitting on a shelf for a year before you get it. I highly recommend you try the Pulsar, our dogs love it, it’s cheaper/better and you can start giving it to them right away. Pulsar made their food so you don’t have to take 2 weeks getting your dog used to it. They made it so if you want, you can switch the flavors of dog food every day.

    Hope this helps.

  • Mary

    Why Wellness over all the rest

  • Roman Avila


  • John

    Get the dog off beneful asap

  • Amy Hempe

    I used Blue Wilderness Chicken puppy food – is this what you are using? There is a very high protein content which caused a lot of gas in my 5 month old boxer mix. He’s reacted badly to some other stuff out there to (like The Honest Kitchen!!) so now he is on an elimination diet, and slowly we will see if Taste of the Wild works better for him.

  • Mary

    I am getting a maltese and have no idea what to feed her. Please help

  • Janeanne

    My vet like arcaina large breed puppy food. Smelly stools but not runny.

  • Janeanne

    Arcana large breed puppy food. Unfortunately while a puppy lots of money is spent. After 1 to 2 years on that costco Kirkland dog food is 4 stars. But right now your puppies weight and growth needs to be controlled so you do not have costly vet bill cause of their joints.

  • riley hootman

    Also make the transition gradual. Going from a 1 star food to a 5 star food can be hard for your dog.

  • riley hootman

    Well imo the best dog food in the market is orijin. But if your not looking to spend that much money I would recommend diamond naturals, nutrisource, and Fromm. Also the best dog food at walmart is pure balance. But there’s plenty if information on this website.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Icely-

    The 2 companies that have done the most research on large breed puppy growth and nutrition are Hill’s and Purina. So a food from one of those 2 companies (I prefer Pro Plan for Purina products), would be a fine choice.

    I do understand however that many aren’t comfortable with using products from Hill’s and Purina so my other suggestions are: Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy, NutriSource Large Breed Puppy, Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy (popular in the Dane community), Nulo Puppy, Dr. Tim’s Kinesis, and Solid Gold Wolf Cub.

    Also make sure to keep her lean (a 4/9 on the Purina Body Condition Score) during growth and really throughout her life. This will ease tension on her joints and also help to reduce the risk of DOD’s.

    It kind of sounds like you are getting this dog from someone who is breeding them? Or was this an accidental litter? If so they probably have not done OFA testing on the parents hips which is unfortunate. However, it can’t hurt to ask if they have and what the scores were. You may also want to ask about the parents medical history and if during growth they displayed any symptoms of pano, HOD etc. Basically, just get as much info about the parents as possible to help you be aware for the future for your baby!

  • Azul

    Hi Icely, this was posted in the forums by HoundDog Mom. It’s a list of foods that are appropriate for Large breep puppies. Many may have already seen this, but I’ll re-post here. This is a list I
    put together myself of foods that I feel are good choices for growing
    large and giant breed puppies. This list includes only grain-free 4 and 5
    star foods with 3.5 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal. or less and approved for
    “growth” or “all life stages”. I based the calcium per energy density
    levels on overall research I’ve done and figures given in the Lauten
    article posted above. I contacted all the companies directly via email
    or phone to obtain the actual (not minimum) calcium levels of their

  • Azul
  • Crazy4cats
  • Icely Wilson

    I am getting a great dane and mastiff mix. She is 5 weeks old right now but I’m preparing for when we bring her home in a few weeks. I want to give her something that is great for her but not breaking the bank. We picked up Blue Buffalo Freedom chicken for puppies but now I’m not so sure about it. Does anybody have anything that they would recommend?

  • Azul

    I agree, unless it’s a large breed puppy. Then you have to be sure to check the calcium levels.

  • Gardenia Alrighta

    So worth the higher price. As with my own diet, it may be more expensive, but “Your Health is your Wealth!” I’d rather buy more expensive food for my dogs and cats, and spend less money at the Vet.

  • Gardenia Alrighta has quick 2-day free shipping!

  • Cannoli

    my guess is that these foods are for all “life stages”, meaning you can also give them to your pup

  • TwoYellowDogs.Terri

    I am seriously confused why the title of this page is “Best dry puppy foods” and the entire list is for adult foods. I did see the first line states, ” 5-star dog food brands that contain at least one dry puppy food.” Now I just have to start searching for all the puppy foods and research them individually anyway. Not very helpful.

  • Azul

    Nutrisource large breed puppy has the correct calcium level for lbp and it won’t break the bank.
    If you go over to the forums and type large breed puppy foods into the search engine there is a list of foods that are suitable for lbp’s.
    Whichever food you choose, just make sure to mix it with her original brand gradually for about a week to ten days.

  • Cannoli

    well if your heart is set on Orijen that is what you need to pay. free shipping on chewy over orders of $45

    keep in mind you don’t need to feed alot of Orijen so the bag should last a long time. if you add toppers you can just feed half a cup per meal and the bag will last even longer.

    that’s what I did with my pup and he weighs over 65lbs now. i feed him half a cup a day and added toppers to it based on the calorie calculations on this site

    keep in mind that Orijen may not work for your pup so you should really research other good large puppy dog kibble.

  • TwoYellowDogs.Terri

    The idea was to find best price and local pick up (not pay for hidden shipping costs). cost is $84.

  • Cannoli

    you can buy the food online check out

  • TwoYellowDogs.Terri

    I pick up our new family member, 8 wk labrador retriever in a few days. Breeder recommended Orejin Large Bred Pup food. There are limited stores near me to purchase from, AND it is EXPENSIVE ($75/28.6lb). I’d like to go with breeder recommendation… but the cost and having to drive far to purchase makes it not practical. 🙁

  • Sam

    same thing here – dane/mastiff on blue large breed puppy, diarrhea — also seemed to have some kind of systemic sensitivity – a rash, and red/watery eyes — all were on their way out a few days after switching from blue large breed puppy (after stool tests, trying both antiinflammatories and antibiotics for the rash at least) – didn’t expect the food change to help the rash and his eyes, but the end to the diarrhea and improvement in those systemic issues all happened simultaneously after switching

  • Pitlove

    I choose to follow the current recommendations of ACVN boarded veterinary nutritionists, simply because hip dysplasia especially, can express itself late in life well after the critical growth period. By that time there is no way to go back and feed a proper diet.

    There is no 100% guarentee that nutrition will override genetics, but I find it better to play it safe than sorry, so any dog that will mature to 50lbs or over I recommend a large breed puppy food and I recommend feeding it until 18 months of age. Personally, this is why I will say to people that proper nutrition will “reduce” the risk of DOD’s, not prevent. Heck there isn’t even a guarentee of no hip dysplasia in the puppies with a good OFA score on the sire and dam if radiographed before 2 years of age.

    Edit: I absolutely agree that keeping a dog lean (any breed) helps greatly with hip dysplasia.

  • Cannoli

    I can only go by what both my vet, breeder, online research and talking to other breeders have said that for Bulldogs weight at maturity does not mean they should be fed puppy food for large breeds. My guy is 60 lbs and lean. He will probably max out above 65 lbs closer to 70 lbs like his stocky father. I never fed him large breed puppy food. My breeder never fed his parents large breed puppy food. Heck I stopped feeding my guy puppy food at 8 months I wanted to keep him lean and puppy food has excess calories. Fat Bulldogs tend to have higher incidents of hip dyslapia. For Bulldogs it all about genetics and keeping them lean

  • Pitlove

    I find it extremely odd that your vet would recommend a food with higher calcium for a giant breed like a Mastiff or Great Dane. The purpose of feeding a diet with restricted calcium is to PREVENT, not induce rapid growth. DOD’s can be caused by rapid growth, so that makes no sense to me.

    From Dr. Susan Wynn DVM, ACVN

    “Over 30 years ago, researchers investigated the link between a puppy’s diet and the developmental orthopedic diseases that were becoming so common – “wobbler” disease, hip and elbow dysplasia, hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), and osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD). While protein did not seem to be a factor, excessive calories and unbalanced or excessive calcium levels were proven to negatively effect skeletal development in puppies.”

    Dr. Rebecca Remillard, ACVN

    When asked about a diet for a Great Dane puppy: “The current recommendation is for a calcium of about 1% on a dry matter basis until the skeleton has matured. You have to wait at until she is 8 months of age or better 18 months before feeding a higher calcium content.”

  • Cannoli

    According to my vet since he owns a bulldog he goes by how rapidly the puppy reaches maturity. If they are growing very Great Danes or Mastiffs…they require a bit more protein and calcium. Obviously, Bulldogs mature rather slowly. It takes them 18 months to 3years to fill out and become themselves. If you feed them large breed food, it is the opposite of what they need.

    My dog is 18 months. His chest is growing wider every few months. After 2 years their head starts growing even bigger and so by the 3 they have filled out

    Not sure about pits but pits are part of the bully family and like Bulldogs they take 3 years to fill out

  • Pitlove

    Any dog over 50lbs at mature weight is considered a large breed. I’m not sure what other way to classify a large breed you are talking about. If you don’t mind sharing I would appreciate it. Some vets are more familiar with large breed nutrition than others. However, even some smaller breeds like Corgi’s need to be fed as large breed puppies because of their body shape and their high risk for hip dysplasia.

    Personally, I would consider your dog a large breed if 60 lbs is his ideal weight.

  • Cannoli

    My understanding is that weight should not be the only factor for considering a dog a large breed for a mixed pup. My pup is 60 at his mature weight but is not considered a large breed. Since most Olde English Bulldogs are not classified as large breeds even though many can exceed 50 lbs. My vet also did not classify my pup as a large breed. I thought large breeds constituted weight plus height for mixed breeds? Or am I wrong? My pup is low and stocky to the ground but weighs 60lbs.

    Would’t the pit part make his dog stockier and lower to the ground? maybe only a DNA test will inform him how much of each breed it has?

  • Cannoli

    Wrong post please disregard my comment

  • Louis Lemus

    My 10 week-old Toy Manchester Terrier has been eating Purina Beneful which we got from the breeder. After doing some research on the brand, I’d feel more comfortable feeding her something else. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks so much.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Tommie-

    Thank you for your input, however I am very familiar with the criteria this website uses to rate dog foods. I however do not value a star rating to tell me how my dog will do on a particular food. That may be important to you, but others like myself, are interested in choosing a food through different means.

    I am also very familiar with the requirements for growing large breed puppies and their risk for DOD’s. You may disagree because you find the ingredient list to be of poor quality, however both Hill’s and Purina are without a doubt the leaders in research on large breed puppy nutrition and growth. I wish it were so, but a nice star rating and a pretty ingredient list does not always equate to a nutritionally sound food.

    Merrick and EVO do not make formulas that are large breed puppy safe and it was also determined some time ago by several of us on here that Victor does not either. If you are concerned about the issues behind Purina, you may want to look at the issues with Blue Buffalo and all Diamond products as well. The recent recall Purina had should not be cast in the negative light you are trying to cast it in. It shows that they are not only testing for pathogens, but nutrient levels as well. What that shows is a dedication to proper nutrition and no company should be looked down on for that.

  • Tommie Outman

    Purina Pro Plan is a poor quality dog food, as well as Hill’s. Purina has had many recalls, one actually was out as of 3/11/16… I would stick to the 5 star brands listed on this website, and would deviate only to 4 star ones. They do their research, and even break it down for you. Those are both 3 star dog foods. You stated you want the best, and these are not it! I have had great success with EVO, Merrick, Blue buffalo wilderness and Victor. (5 star) I have also found that Taste of the wild, and Diamond Naturals are both great brands, too. (4 stars) Merrick is a 5 star adult brand, but a 4 star puppy brand. Taste of the wild is an overall 4.5 rating.

    I would choose Blue Buffalo Wilderness first, because Large breed dogs are known to develop hip displasia, and other issues. One known way to avoid this is getting a large breed puppy formula, because it lacks the calcium that other puppy foods have. Blue Buffalo wilderness has a 5 star large breed puppy formula. It only contains 4 “controversial ingredients” and they have released statements on how much is used, and why it is used. The first, Tomato, is bad for dogs in high quantities, but a source of fiber, in small amounts. It also has chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein, which is found in high quality dog foods.

    Overall, DO RESEARCH, especially after someone recommends a brand to you… go check it out. Don’t blindly follow might end up feeding your dog a poorer quality dog food than it deserves..

  • Jo C Daniels

    Check to make sure the fiber level isn’t too high. This can cause diarrhea and frequent bowel movements.

  • Gardenia Alrighta

    I have fed my pups Orejin dog & puppy food for years and they love it…and I feel good about feeding it to them. I have a 13 yr old Malamute/Husky, 8 yr old Siberian Husky and a 6 month old Border Collie. Check them out. Great company.

  • LabsRawesome

    Choosing from the above list, my 3 do well on Victor,
    Dr. Tims, Earthborn, Orijen.
    Have you ever considered canned for your puppy?
    There is a best canned puppy food list too.

  • Maria Camila Ortega

    I have a 3 month Shih tzu, she is eating nutri source, but she does not seem too interested in it anymore, I want to switch .. which food do you recommend?
    thanks for the advice

  • Diana Melo

    My Newfoundland puppy has the same problem with BLUE large puppy. My vet says a lot of puppies struggle with BLUE because is to rich. I haven’t found a new food yet, but BLUE is not for us either.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Lauren-

    Please take Pitlove’s advice and take your pup to the vet with a stool sample to be sent out for a full analysis on all worms and parasites. Worms and parasites, such as, coccidia and giardia are common in puppies and are sometimes hard to detect. Here is a great website that may help you to control the diarrhea:

    Good luck!

  • InkedMarie

    up above, in the red line, click “forums”. Go to the Diet and Health Issues forum. On top is a stickie in yellow on approprriate dog foods for large breed puppies.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Lauren-

    Lots of things could be factoring in to why your boy is not digesting Blue Buffalo well. Some may have nothing to do with the food itself. Before changing his food a bunch of times, I’d get him to the vet to have him tested for all parasites. Then you and your vet can discuss what could be causing the problem.

  • Susan

    Hi, my boy has IBD, try “Taste of The Wild” Pacific Stream Puppy Smoked Salmon formula or there’s High Prairie Puppy Roasted Bison & Roasted venison Formula… email TOTW for some samples & booklet, if TOTW doesn’t help with the sloppy poos then find a limited ingredient kibble like “California Natural” Lamb & Rice medium puppy has just 5 ingredients.. these kibbles are money back guaranteed if you have any problems…. have you had poo test done for Giardia??

  • Lauren Perdue

    So I’ve been doing a lot of research, however I don’t feel I can rely too well on reviews I find online. They vary so much. We have had a malamute puppy who reached four months old last week. We’ve been feeding him BLUE large breed puppy. However, we’ve had a rough time getting rid of diarrhea. So we’ve been trying to find the best food for our boy. I can’t really pinpoint what’s best for him.

  • Babslynne

    I came across this review while trying to research more about Pet Pride dog food.

  • Pitlove

    I’m not familiar with that brand either. You’d need to do some more digging to find out if it is ok for a large breed puppy. I don’t think that is a food I’d be comfortable using personally.

    Hill’s is most known for Science Diet and their Veterinary Diets. They also make a line called Ideal Balance.

    If you are comfortable with Purina, their Pro Plan line has an excellent Large Breed Puppy formula.

  • melodyanneee_

    Pet Pride is a Kroger distributed puppy chow.

  • melodyanneee_

    She’s only eaten the puppy chow that I was I given by the breeder, which is Pet Pride Puppy Formula, Mini chunks, and the bag labels for healthy growth. I personally have never heard of this brand, and a lot of sites say not to feed by products, which it contains. It is not for large breeds, but it does have the AAFCO approved sentence. I’m familiar with Purina, we fed it to my family dog, but I have never heard of Hill’s. Thank you for you help and time!

  • Pitlove

    Hi melodyanneee-

    What food has she been eating since you got her?

    I agree it is very difficult to make proper choices for your pet based on consumer reviews. One dogs experience with a food does not reflect the way your dog will do on that food.

    The most important thing to note is the 2 breeds she is mixed with will likely make her a large breed exceeding 50lbs at her mature weight. This means she needs to be fed a large breed puppy formula since those formulas will have lower calcium than a regular puppy formula. Excessive calcium and also overfeeding are the leading causes of developmental orthopedic disorders (genetics plays a big role as well) in growing large puppies. Proper nutrition can greatly reduce the chances of your pup developing these DOD’s.

    The 2 companies that have done the most research into large breed puppy growth/nutrition are Hill’s and Purina. There are other good foods from smaller companies if you do not wish to use a product from either of these companies. Let me know and I can give you some recommendations.

  • melodyanneee_

    Me and my boyfriend recently adopted a pit bull/boxer mix. Tomorrow she will be two months old, 4/15/2016. I want the best for her, and some of these reviews are terrifying! Does anyone have any advice on what puppy chow we should try to introduce to her?

  • karen serianni

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. Our miniature schnauzer has the same problem. What I have been doing is mixing the royal canin with nutram grain free and giving her half of a cranberry chew. Cranberry Comfort for Dogs & Cats (65 Soft Chews)”. So far, it is going well.

  • Utahgirl

    Our two year old Cocker Spaniel has developed crystals in her urine. The vet had her on Royal Canin but it’s not very highly rated. (not to mention that she doesn’t like it very much!) What might be another brand to try?

  • Susan

    Raw is the best if you can afford it….. Canidae Pure Foundations or Canidae all Life Stages Large Breed Puppy or Taste of The Wild puppy… rotate a few different brands.

  • Susan

    Hi if you want the best then feed a balanced raw diet or cooked or freeze dried foods.., kibble is processed & not the best, kibble is good for us cause its easy…

  • Lauren Rutherford

    4 month old french bulldog puppy — dry food suggestions? Price doesn’t matter. I just want the best!

  • Briana Jordan

    My Shepherd had the same problem, she just lost interest in that brand. I switched her over to Earthborn, she adored the bison one, but I’m sure they’re all good. It is more expensive but Earthborn is a great company.

  • Rocket

    I have 4 months pitbull bully any recommendations….plzzzzzz

  • Suzanne Lambert

    I have a 7 month old Bassett Hound. The breeder started her on Diamond Naturals. She seems to have lost interest in this brand. Can you make a suggestion for an alternative food for her? We prefer a dry dog food. Thank you

  • Mariya Levinson

    Thank you!

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Get Free Recall Alerts by Email

Receive lifesaving dog food recall alerts anytime there's a recall event in the U.S. or Canada.

You'll also get our best tips and ideas to help you feed your dog better... and safer.

No spam.  Unsubscribe anytime.

You have Successfully Subscribed!