Best 5-Star Dry Puppy Foods

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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

  • Amy Chastain

    The best food to feed your dog is RAW food. It might be a little costly but the benefits outweigh the costs. Your dog will go to the bathroom less because more of the food is absorbed, they will look & feel better & go to the Vet less too. Trust me. My Vet had a dog she rescued from a shelter & it looked like an elderly dog when she got it. She fed the dog a raw diet, & the next time I saw the dog, it was running around & looked & acted like a puppy. Raw food is what a dog would eat if it were wild.

  • Dori

    Congratulations on getting a puppy. I can’t give you advice as to what specific puppy food that you should feed your puppy. I have very small dogs and so I don’t know what size your rotti will be. Whether it needs to be puppy food for a large breed or not. The one thing that I can definitely tell you is that there is no way that an 8 week old puppy should be on adult food.

    Please transition your puppy from the food he is eating to puppy food. It is very important for health reasons for puppies to eat puppy food, not adult food.

  • Robert Hughes Jr.

    im getting an 8 week old rotti this weekend and hes started adult food already and seems to like it alot im not sure what brand is best for him or if puppy formula food would be best ive been warned it gives dogs diahrea and messes with their stomach

  • mike

    Hi! I have a 8 week old lab puppy coming this weekend. So many dog food choices. Any
    one have experience with Nulo? Pioneer Naturals? They both have extremely good rating, but very expensive. I would like to feed my pup the best food without paying so much.

  • Chris Herrmann

    U can google very very good less poop and more active been giving to my English lab he is 10

  • Chris Herrmann

    Verus this dog food is recommended by a lot of people very good dog food

  • 4FootedFoodie

    I’m curious Chris, what is “the food” to which you’re referring?

  • Chris Herrmann

    I’ll tell you this food really works for any dog less shedding less going to the bathroom the more expensive the food is the more better ingredient usually and the less waste the dog has because it breaks down better it’s really true

  • Chris Herrmann

    I buy the food at one of my local pet food Store that carries all the good food I just saw it yesterday on Amazon where you can buy it and it’s really not much more expensive for a 30 pound bag

  • Cynthia

    I have a 5 month old English Mastiff. She is currently eating Iams Large Breed Puppy Food because I thought it was worth the ridiculous price. I would like a higher rated food for her that I can pick up locally and does not cost a fortune. Does this exist??

  • lmccall728 .

    Is it formulated for large breed puppies? Where is it sold? Thank you for your reply!

  • Chris Herrmann

    Verus canine puppy The nice thing about this food is if you have adult dogs they can the puppy can eat the adult food also and not bother them

  • Chris Herrmann

    Verus very good they never had a recall with this food cost about $55 a bag

  • curios

    Need a good puppy food for a cocker spaniel puppy that I will be getting Tuesday that will be 7 weeks old. . What is your opinion? Gruel .. But what puppy food? So many out there and allot has by products in their ingredients. ..

  • LabsRawesome

    Take a look at Victor. I use their grain free formulas. I pay $40 for 30lbs. Check their store locator, for stores in your area. victordogfood.com

  • lmccall728 .

    Hello, Looking for a good quality large breed puppy food for our 2 Saint Bernard/Great Pyrenees pups – they are 10 weeks old. I have tried Blue Wilderness but they don’t like it and won’t eat it. Any suggestions?

  • Renee Craker

    He Is Allergic To Corn And Grain

  • LabsRawesome

    It depends on what he is allergic to. I would go with a limited ingredient diet. Or at least pick a food with a single protein source. Try to find a couple foods he does well on, and rotate them. Are the allergies food or environmental?

  • Frank DeGaray

    Had a bulldog who had allergies and it took awhile to find out what he was allergic too. He did best with Blue Buffalo Lamb and brown rice.

  • Renee Craker

    Hello, I’m Looking For A Good Food For My Colby Pitbull Puppy He’s 4 months old He Has Bad Allergies ? Any Suggestions Will Be Appreciated…

  • Marlena ehrron

    Looking for a good food for my 8 month old Golden… Please help

  • meetash

    hello, I have a morkie (yorkie + maltese mix) 11 weeks old. We got him when he was 9 weeks. I am trying to search for premium food that he will enjoy eating. The breeder had him on royal canin which he seemed to be eating. But then one day we introduced “natures variety chicken raw” which he enjoyed too much. But in a couple of days his tummy got upset. I learnt the lesson that to introduce new food I will have to go gradually and slowly. But we now are trying to find which would be the food we should go with in the long term and keep him on it and the one that he wont get bored eating (or rather enjoy eating)
    What I want to do is slowly take him out of royal canin and start with the better food. So I am looking for suggestions, especially for my morkie who is a teacup size (right now 2.5lbs) and will grow less than 5lbs fully grown. thanks in advance for your help.

  • Katie

    I use Nutro Ultra for my puppy. Grain free, all natural puppy food. Anyone have any thoughts or information on it? It seemed like it was some pretty good stuff but i don’t see it on this list.

  • Dori

    I would keep him/her on the same food that the breeder was feeding for the first couple of weeks that he/she is in their new home. It’s a lot for a puppy to take in. Leaving breeder, mom, litter mates, new home, strangers, new smells, etc. Then you can start a very slow transition to a new food. There is way too much stress for a puppy the first couple of weeks in their new “forever home” to switch foods too. If you do switch foods do it slowly and add either canned pumpkin (not the pie filling type), a digestive enzyme, or plain greek yogurt, or kefir (buy in any grocery store). This helps with transitioning foods.

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Hi muhamed,

    Is that what the breeder was feeding the pup? If so, I’d at least keep him on it until he gets used to his new home.

    TOTW is OK ingredient-wise, but is made by Diamond. Personally, I wouldn’t use a Diamond manufactured food.

    Do you have other choices? Where do you live?

  • muhamed khayyat

    i have a finnish spitz pup (7 weeks) old and i got from the breeder a taste of the wild is it good ?

  • Amy

    I have a 13 week old Great Dane puppy who has been on Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Large Breed Adult (per my research online and recommendation from a local specialty pet store) since he was 7 weeks old and his stools are still not solid. I had seen rave reviews but I don’t think this is working for him. Any suggestions?

  • Lisa Zsigray

    I really like Dr. Tim’s. I buy it from chewy.com. I also use Fromm. I use a combination of dry and wet.

  • Veronica Gamboa

    I recently adopted a baby beagle that is 10 weeks old. What type of dog food should I give her (wet or dry) and does anyone have any recommendation what company I should buy the food from?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Michal,

    Before you switch, you should probably consider your dog to be a large breed puppy and feed him as if he were a LBP. Even if he turns out to have the physical traits of a smaller dog when he’s full grown, it makes good sense now too err on the side of caution now.

    Take a look at this link: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/.

    There’s a list of foods with Calcium levels that appropriate for LBPs on with page 15 or 16 of that thread. Essentially, LBPs need a controlled level of Calcium as excess Calcium contributes to skeletal disorders in LBPs such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

    As for the Merrick, I can only say I’m not a fan of Merrick at all.

  • Michal

    Hi,

    I have a 13 week old Doberman mix and I am debating on which puupy food I should switch him too. Any ideas? I was thinking about Merrick Classic.

    Thanks.

  • Mary – Priya

    I we just brought home our 8week brittany spaniel. The breeder gave us two weeks worth of food. It’s a special brand of kibble his wife and he make, high in chicken and chicken fat. I’ve been reading through, and would love some input on what to get. We’ve got two other dogs and feed them authority free. Should we stick with that route or anyone have a better suggestion. Thanks everyone!

  • Dori

    Hi Jen. Oh lucky you. I have a 5 year old Yorkipoo named Lola she weighs 5 lbs. and she is an active wacky little girl. Lots of personality and always on the go. I feed all my girls (3 toy dogs) commercial raw foods and organic fruits and veggies. Just wanted to say welcome to the Yorkipoo world. We brought Lola home when she was 9 weeks old.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Jen

    Good luck with the new addition to your family!!!

    SInce you already know the benefits of a healthy diet why not make sure that the little one also eats a healthy and appropriate diet.

    I would suggest a less processed and higher quality food than kibble. The next step to a species appropriate diet would be a low carb canned food. If you are feeling enthusiastic then you could feed your Yorkie-Poo a homemade lightly cooked or raw diet.

    Your little guy will thank you by living a healthier, happier life! For suggestions on canned foods I would look at the 5 star rated wet foods reviewed right here on the Dog Food Advisor:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/wet/5-star/

    And for help with feeding a highly nutritious and well balanced homemade diet I would buy this book by Steve Brown:

    http://www.amazon.com/Unlocking-Canine-Ancestral-Diet-Healthier/dp/1929242670/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407541231&sr=8-1&keywords=Unlocking+the+Canine+Ancestral+Diet

    Give the little one a belly rub for me!!!

  • Jen

    Bringing home an 8 week Yorkie-Poo next weekend. Breeder has been feeding Diamond Small Breed; however, I’ve been hearing some really mixed reviews; even reports of dogs dying! We are a pretty organic family, and have peanut/nut allergies; so, we need a healthy food that do not contain and nut or peanut byproducts. Thanks in advance. This is our first family pet and we are super excited!

  • Dori

    Natures Logic kibble has the smallest kibble I have ever seen. Teeny Tiny kibbles. Does your dog gulp down her food very quickly? If so then you should also get one of the slow eater bowls. They sell them on Amazon and in most pet stores. That will force her to eat slower.

  • Cyndi
  • LabsRawesome

    If you’re asking if you can feed her stewed meat exclusively, no you can’t. That diet would be deficient in so many things. I would feed her canned dog food. Costco has Nature’s Domain $20 for a case of 24 cans. Walmart’s Pure Balance is $1 and the grain free cans are $1.25 Tractor Supply has 4health .99 cents.

  • puggles

    Hello! Bringing home a new pug (not a puggle, despite my username, haha) this weekend. Her breeder has been feeding her diamond dog food, but I’m wondering if it’s better to feed her stewed meat?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Alyssa,

    What a little cutie he’ll be! Congrats on the new pup.

    That’s great you want to use the best possible food, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for – it won’t be cheap. If he’s your only pup, feeding one small dog doesn’t need to be expensive. “Cheap” is a relative term anyway.

    Wellness is a great, quality brand of dog food that carries a wide variety of products that I believe is generally budget friendly. They have lots of small breed options with small doses kibble for your pup.

    Fresh whole food ingredients are also good for your pup. Things like fresh lean meat, pureed dark green veggies, sardines, fresh eggs are all healthy things to add to your puppy’s meals. Just keep the extras to no more than 20% of his diet to avoid throwing off the nutrient balance of the kibble.

    You’ll want to keep your pup on the same food he’s been eating before he came home for a couple of weeks though. He already has enough to adjust to without adding a new food. In fact, you might want to pick up a can of plain, canned pumpkin in case he has some loose stool, which isn’t uncommon with new pups.

  • Alyssa

    Hello! Im getting an 8 week old Pembroke Welsh Corgi and he is such a small cute dog and I want him to get the correct nutrients so he will grow up to be a strong adult. Any help? I would like to use a cheap food that wont feast on my wallet. Thanks.

  • sue66b

    Hi Magraret, My Patch was put on the Eukanuba Intestinal low residue kibble that was last August…I tried a few other brand kibbles & he didnt do too well the fat% & protein was higher then his Intestinal, 3 weeks ago I started to introduce him to the “Wellness Simple” Duck & Oatmeal kibble he’s doing great the kibble breaks up easy like the intestinal & patch prefers the Wellness Simple Duck & the ingredients are better then the Eukanuba Intestinal.. just pick a kibble that has the same fat% protein% or around the same at first that way ur slowely introducing him..I dont know why but the IAMS has meat by-products in their Intestinal low residue but the Eukanuba doesnt use by-products, they use Dried Chicken & Turkey, Wellness also makes “Holistic Select” they have a real good Grainfree Puppy Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine meal, here’s their site so u can look at ingredients http://www.holisticselect.com/recipes.aspx?pet=dog#category5

  • SevannahD

    Aweee! She looks like a baby bear! XD

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Bree,

    I think Wellness products are awesome. Reputable manufacturer and very high quality products at great prices. They have lots of product offerings for toy and small breed pups. My favorite is Wellness Core Small Breed.

  • Daniel

    Fromm Puppy Gold is 13.99 on chewy.com for the 5lb bag which should last your little one a while. I really like Fromm, prices are decent and the company has a great reputation.

  • Margaret McIndoe

    Thanks, Shawna I forwarded this article to see what my vet thinks about it. This does help alleviate my stress over the high protein contents in the grain free diet. It really does make sense that dogs and cats shouldn’t eat so much grain, they don’t in the wild.

  • Shawna

    Hi Margaret,

    The dog in my avatar, Audrey, has had kidney disease since birth (symptoms of polydipsia and polyuria first noticed at about six weeks of age). Audrey wasn’t diagnosed however till her one year checkup / blood work.

    Audrey has been on a raw diet since coming to me at nine weeks of age. The raw diet has protein amounts between 45 and 54% dry matter. She’s not medicated and has never had sub-q fluids but she is on several whole food supplements / nutraceuticals. Audrey turned eight years old last month and still today only gets symptoms associated with kidney disease (aside from polydipsia / polyuria) such as bad breath if I feed her kibble (ANY kibble). I have to give her extra supplemental pro/prebiotics for several days after a kibble feed to help get her blood cleaned out.

    Dr. Kenneth Bovee has some really good info on the kidney disease “myth” if you are interested.
    “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function

    Kenneth C. Bovée, DVM, MMedSc
    Department of Clinical Studies
    School of Veterinary Medicine
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania” http://dogaware.com/files/bovee.pdf

  • Stephanie

    I know! My dog loves iams. But I’ve been hearing some bad things about it. So I found something called natures select and they deliver free to my house since they are local. But it’s just so expensive. The website is Nscentralcal.com if you would like to check it out. And you can also order free samples! And money back guarentee

  • Margaret McIndoe

    all my years at the clinic, we recommended Eukanuba, dogs historically did very well on it. My boss said reading the ingredients tells you very little, because you don’t know the quality of the ingredients, so the best way to tell if it was a good diet was how dogs did on it historically. We had a client that had Goldens and constantly switched their food, sometimes cooking for them, sometimes feeding raw diets, etc. I had Goldens also, fed on Eukanuba. Her Goldens all died around 11 or 12, and mine all lived to be 14 -16. I think genetics played a large part in that, but obviously, Eukanuba didn’t cause cancer. However, Iams/Eukanuba has been sold, and I have heard bad things about it since. I have 2 Golden puppies, and their Iams puppy food makes them have diarrhea. Right now they are eating Iams Low Residue, and are fine, it’s a veterinary prescription diet. But this has made me nervous about continuing to feed Iams products, which is why I have been researching diets. I am nervous about the high protein contents in all the new diets. I was taught that dogs don’t need that much protein unless they are truly working dogs, and that it can lead to kidney issues. Now I have read that they don’t believe it leads to kidney issues. My cats eat Merrick, I went grain-free because I had so many cats die from IBD related cancers. I like the Merrick, and I like that it’s made at their own mill. Most dog foods are all made at the same place, just with different recipes, hence the recalls of lots of brands at the same time. Veterinary prescription diets are made at the company’s own mill. and you rarely see a recall on prescription diets. I am considering Merrick and Instinct, but I am nervous. I’m going in to talk to my vet on Friday, and I have ordered a small bag of each brand’s puppy food to try. I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out.

  • S. Robison

    hmmmm…interesting. Finished off a bag of Large Breed Puppy Blue Buff. Opened the next one. He refused to have anything to do with it. Went through a series of vomiting and diarrhea a few days into making him eat the food from the new bag. Trip to MedVet could not determine reason for illness. Dewormer seemed to solve the problem. He is back on that latest bag of BB. Thinking I need to switch …

  • http://www.pixingo.com/2410 Bree Rae Tabish

    I am getting a Dachshund mixed with Chihuahua , very little itty bitty dog on Wednesday ! he is only about 7 weeks old , and I am not sure what to do on food! Since he is going to be apart of the family I want to feed him the best with out killing my budget but I have no idea where to start! Any ideas or tips would be helpful!

  • Stephanie

    So what do you recommend.

  • Betsy Greer

    …because the reviews are based on ingredients alone.

  • Margaret McIndoe

    Hi, I am having trouble believing the validity of this list because it includes Blue Buffalo. I worked for a vet for 26 years. Soon after Blue Buffalo came out, we started having a lot of dogs come in with vomiting and diarrhea, We treated with a bland diet and sometimes metronidazole. We routinely asked what food they were being fed, and finally noticed that all these dogs were eating Blue Buffalo. Sometimes they had done ok on it for awhile, but then they’d open a new bag and get sick. Blue Buffalo is made to appeal to humans, and it not designed to be good for dogs. We finally had to recommend to all our clients to NOT feed Blue Buffalo. How can this food be listed as one of the best foods?

  • lovemydogs985

    I am also having the same food issues with my GS he is 6
    months old and I cannot find a food he will eat.

    I was reading the post and I have a question is anyone
    else giving Trifexis to treat heartworms?

    I don’t know if it is the food that is causing so many of
    use to have the food problems and the itching are the meds.

  • Toni Hert Antich

    Can someone help my cockapoo is extremely food sensitive. I’ve had her on royal canin, blue, halo, natural balance it all comes right back up vet says everything is fine she needs small bites as she is only 10lbs any ideas on a good dog food?

  • Soleil

    I’m feeding my German Shepherd puppy the Nulo Medal series Grain Free dry Chicken and Sweet Potato puppy food and having good success.
    I’ve posted a little more information in the comment section on the Nulo Medal Series (dry) ratings page….
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/nulo-medal-series/

  • Dori

    Oh my goodness. Thank you very much for your kind words. It’s my pleasure to help others with my experiences. I have learned so much on this site. I also say it’s like going to canine nutrition school for free. Good luck. We’re all here to help each other out.

  • Shih Tzu-doodle Puppy’s Family

    Thank you very much for the information, especially for carrying enough to spend the time to educate others who love their pets!

  • Dori

    I feed commercial raw foods such as Primal, Natures Variety Instinct Raw, Answers Detailed, Vital Essentials, Nature’s Logic Raw, Stella & Chew’s Raw. They are all reviewed on this site. I also feed them organic fruits and veggies either that I’ve grown in the garden or the grocery store or farmers market. There have just been too many food recalls and issues that I don’t care for with dry (kibble) foods. Raw is also grain free which I also avoid. Dogs have no need for grains in their diet. There are just so many benefits to feeding dogs raw that I would never go back to kibble. Yes, the food is more expensive than kibble but what you save in vet visits and medical bills is astounding. It makes it all worth while. I have a Maltese, a Maltipoo and a Yorkipoo. With such small dogs I can afford the extra cost. I’m not sure if I’d be able to manage if I had large dogs but I don’t. I’m actually allergic to dogs and cats. Obviously not allergic to the breeds that I have been blessed with.

  • Shih Tzu-doodle Puppy’s Family

    Thank you we love her! When you say you “feed raw” do you mean raw veggies from the garden or do you mean something else?

  • Dori

    Awwww! He looks exactly like my Katie. Katie’s a Maltipoo. Same coloring, same face, same everything. It’s uncanny. Even the small eyes. So so cute. Of course I’m biased as he is Katie’s clone in the male version. I feed all my dogs (three toy dogs) commercial raw.

  • Dori

    No food recommendations as I feed raw but OMG! she’s adorable.

  • Shih Tzu-doodle Puppy’s Family

    We are very happy to have a new addition to our family. She is 2 -1/2 months old Shiz Tzu-Doodle. We are trying to figure out what might be the best puppy food(s) to feed her, but there are so many choices and nothing is the clear choice. Please let us know of any recommendations you might have experienced .Thank You.