Best Dry Puppy Foods


Basset Hound Puppy Waits for FoodWhat’s the best dry puppy food?

The following is a list of The Dog Food Advisor’s best dry dog foods that contain at least one puppy food in their product line.

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.

Plus many other products are appropriate for all life stages — a category that also includes puppies.

What’s the Best Dry Puppy Food?

After considering dozens of criteria, we determined that the best dry puppy foods should contain:

  • No controversial chemical preservatives
  • No anonymous meat ingredients
  • No artificial coloring agents
  • No generic animal fats
  • Substantial amounts of meat-based protein
  • Reasonable fat-to-protein ratios
  • Modest carbohydrate content

Best Dry Puppy Foods

  • April French Leavitt

    I would never feed either. However just going by ingredients, IF I HAD TO CHOOSE LOL I’d feed Beneful

  • April French Leavitt

    Jon, I like theBCnut..He seems to know what he is talking about whether it be experience or schooling or both

  • April French Leavitt

    I did not know this. Good to know

  • April French Leavitt

    Agree. If you can afford it, Orijen is the best. If you can’t, but still want a good quality, check out Acana. Same company less expensive

  • April French Leavitt

    That is absolutely NOT TRUE. Meat by products can be ANY ANIMAL. Not limited to Down, diseased, dead or dying, roadkill, could be rats, mice, cow, goat, pig, sheep, etc. I think you get the point. Purina is THE WORST thing you could ever feed your dog. Any vet recommended diet is the worst. Vets get paid a percentage aimee and that’s why they recommend them

  • aimee

    Hi Beverly,

    You can call or email the company for further clarification of “meat by products” By AAFCO definition they must be sourced from either cattle, pigs, goat or sheep.

    The Purina website reports that the by products they use are “from sources approved for human consumption”

    I’d be comfortable feeding this diet but if you are not you could ask your vet about using the Purina EN natural line whose ingredient list may be a better fit with your feeding philosophy.

    Hope Mya is feeling better.

  • Kassondra Metas

    This makes me sick to read! I told you about my dog who died from liver failure… we also had a cat who would vomit and have diarrhea all the time, until she died… she lived this way for many years and got increasingly worse and worse…. even took her to multiple vets who couldn’t figure it out… they never suggested to change her food at all… ๐Ÿ™ Now I am very conscious about what I feed my fur babies. I hope more people look into these companies and realize what they are doing to our babies!

  • aimee

    Hi Dr. Mike,

    Thank you for your kind words.

  • aimee

    Hi Pitlove,

    Thanks for the kind words…

  • aimee

    Storms Mom,

    As I said before I will not engage you in conversation due to your past behavior.

    But I ask you to stop maligning me. First you posted that I said something I never said and now this…

    You wrote : “I find it so fascinating that whenever you find out something you point to as important about Science Diet, RC, and Purina that shows why people should feed them, it’s ALWAYS as a result of a phone conversation,never an email that you can post here for us to read”

    For goodness sakes…”never an email”… where do you get that from? Don’t you realize anyone can simply check my history to see all the emails that I’ve posted in the past? Like this one from Purina when you wouldn’t accept the fact that their Additions meal enhancers met all the criteria to be human edible.

    “I’ll post the written response from Purina verifying that it does indeed meet the standard of edible.

    “All of the ingredients and processes used to manufacture, package, ship and
    store Pro Plan Additions meet the USDA and FDA requirements and
    standards for foods edible for humans, as the co-manufacturer that Nestle Purina uses to make this product is a facility that manufactures only human-edible products.”

    Please stop posting untruthful things about me.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I find it so fascinating that whenever you find out something you point to as important about Science Diet, RC, and Purina that shows why people should feed them, it’s ALWAYS as a result of a phone conversation, never an email that you can post here for us to read ourselves or follow up with a specific, authoritative person within the company. There’s none of that proof that you constantly demand of others. In the 4 plus years I’ve been on DFA, I’ve also never seen anyone come on here from those companies to back up what you say. So, you always get your info about the big 3 by hearsay, and there’s hardly ever a record of anyone ever saying anything you report. Case in point here “I called and spoke to the zoo’s nutritionist..She said, as I remember i, that..” and then you go on to post what you said she said, which is exactly why you say you choose foods, too. Convenient, that. Then you go on to say “I think these are likely reasons that vets recommend the brand..” You speculate about what is a pretty controversial practice on here that vets engage in, and that’s ok.enough for you. So, with a lack of anything other than your word to go on, it comes down to trust. And, I’m sorry, but I do not trust you at all on anything you’ve said about the big 3. Ironically, you’ve never given me any actual reason to.

  • Aimee has been a respected member and cherished friend of this community for more than 4 years.

    She is a regular contributor of science based, factual information.

    It’s OK to disagree with her… or anyone else, for that matter.

    However, please do so with respect.

    Please remember: we delete comments that exceed the boundaries of courteous behavior. This includes remarks that are rude, disrespectful, mean-spirited, profane or otherwise lack good manners.

    Aimee is not the same person you falsely accused her of being in the comment you posted earlier and that has since been removed.

    I personally know that for a fact.

    Please read and obey our published Commenting Policy

    Thanks for your cooperation.

  • mahoraner

    Well i really could care less what one person says, other people can decide themselves
    i was just letting you know that it isn’t private, for that reason, so people can decide if they agree with you or not.

  • Pitlove

    Given the fact that my facts are based off your posts, I find it hard to believe that I don’t have them “straight”.

    Thanks for mentioning that your profile is not private. I glanced at it and still concluded the same thing.

  • mahoraner

    im not going to get deep into this
    but i dont post things saying “never buy purina, purina is bad,…” etc every day for a whole month.
    i post about many things, i don’t just stick to one or 2 pages and keep writing “purina is terrible” in each comment i write.
    as a matter of fact i mainly suggest foods to people, especially for people on a budget since i hate seeing a dog on a low quality food just because the owner thinks its the only food that will fit their budget, also i love the math that goes along with it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    also, i hope you know my page isn’t private, so your free to go there any time and see that alot of my comments actually arent about purina
    unlike lanies, in which every comment had something to do with royal canin.

    so please get your facts straight before you accuse people.

  • Amateria

    No you made it clear, I didn’t think that at all, I know you dislike Purina and the likes and so I doubt you would have suddenly sided with them ๐Ÿ˜›

    I wasn’t aware I wrote anything portraying that I may think that, sorry if I did, it happens.

  • mahoraner

    Justsaying to clarify what i meant when i mentioned pro plan
    i was saying it so it sounds like lanie and aimee come from a family that is obsessed and thinks the best of the worst foods out there
    i hope i didnt make it sound like pro plan is “good”
    pro plan, and everything by purina is plain crap
    except maybe the beyond, even though there are many better foods for a similar, or even lower price.
    in the end, pro plan is nothing more than an over priced purina one

  • Amateria

    Than don’t because it’s clear enough, only a fool wouldn’t be able to see it at this point.

    If they want to feed that crap to those poor caged animals than so be it I can’t do anything to change that even if I tried, if I could however hell be bent with me because I damn well would, that food didn’t exist at some point and everyone and everything lived just fine, which means they sure as hell don’t need it now, their just too lazy and money driven to make their own type of science diet, which is very freaking easy to do.

  • Pitlove

    Hi mahoraner-

    Aimee has been posting on DFA long before me, you Amateria and Lanie started posting. She has excellent science based information to share and is very passionate and knowledgeable about canine nutrition. Far more knowledgeable than most on this website. No regular on this website including Dr.Mike has or would deny that, dispite the fact that they may not always share her opinion.

    Also as for your crass and obnoxious comments about this “not being ‘zoo food advisor'” it’s not even close to uncommon for people to use off topic examples to make a point about dog food. Shawna references studies for humans constantly yet this isn’t ‘human food advisor’. Maybe next time she does you should point that out to her in the same manor with which you’ve pointed it out to Aimee…

    Truthfully I’d say if anyone’s personality reminds me of Lanie, it would be yours although your goal is to post as much as you can, at length, about your hatred for Purina and hers was to post about Royal Canin being the best food.

  • Amateria

    That you do, but that’s a good thing to have!
    Our pro plan is so bad, same with RC and science diet, but I really hate those foods so I will be super biased with them, however the ingredient lists speak for themselves this time around.

  • mahoraner

    lol, i can imagine them visiting their family (where ever they lived before they got jobs as rivals)
    and they both show up on the front door step of their parents house and break into a cat fight with aimee screaming “SCIENCE DIET IS THE NUMBER ONE CHOICE OF VETS AND ZOOS”
    *mom calls the police to break it up*
    then the police ask “what was this fight about”
    aimee says: “lanie thinks that royal canin is the best food ever, hah yeah right, everyone knows science diet is the best”
    *both police exchange confused looks*

    *aimee and lanie break into a fight again”

    *mother comes out with a fry pan and whacks them both on the head*
    *lanie and aimee faint*
    mom says : “both of you are wrong, PRO PLAN IS THE BEST”

    wow, i do have a (hilariously) wild imagination

  • Amateria

    That would be very very sad indeed.

  • Amateria

    Haha read my mind! I was thinking sister also! Well like I said before never know as almost no one is ever truthful with that kind of info on the Internet.

    I on the other hand love to tell people who I am, my age and anything personal lol (cept the very obvious too personal for anyone in general)

  • mahoraner

    i hope shes not doing this for 11 years, ugh

  • mahoraner

    or maybe its lanie’s twin sister,

    Actually that would make sense
    their both obsessed with trying to “prove” that sh*tty “food” is the best

    aimee probably works for hills (seeing how much she knows about all of the different foods)
    and lanie probably works for rc
    seems possible
    they probably moves thousands of miles away from each other when they found out they work for the competitors company

    possible, but its more likely its just lanie, and if it is shes obviously just being a troll

  • Amateria

    <—- A very hard person to bore to death tbh.
    Took me like 11 years of Warcraft to finally burn out! I can hardly play these days, there's just nothing I want to do, cause I can't tolerate it right now.

    When they add new stuff though different story nuff said!

  • mahoraner

    also i hope i didn’t bore you to death, lol

  • mahoraner

    i just want to show you the first 5 ingredients of 2 different adult dog foods

    Food A:

    Beef ———————————meat
    Whole Grain Corn —————grain
    Barley Rice ———————–grain
    Whole Grain Wheat————-grain
    Chicken By-Product————by-product

    food B:

    Chicken —————————–meat
    Whole Grain Wheat—————grain
    Cracked Pearled Barley———grain
    Whole Grain Sorghum———–grain
    Whole Grain Corn—————–grain

    pretty similar when you break it down.

    and guess what?
    food A was beneful and food B was science diet
    i bet you didn’t know until you read this.

    also, im not going to say this again, THIS IS **DOG** FOOD ADVISOR, I REALLY DONT GIVE A FLYING F*** ABOUT WHAT ZOO ANIMALS EAT, WHETHER ITS MADE BY A COMPANY THAT MAKES DOG FOOD OR NOT. hey, why dont we talk about nestle then, they make purina?
    “Hey everyone! did you know that nestle makes nutritional shakes? if those are healthy then their purina dog chow must be healthy!”
    do you see anyone doing that?
    didn’t think so
    I dont know how to make it any clearer than that.

  • Amateria

    I was thinking that exact same thing a few weeks ago, when she was obsessed with sugar.
    Even thought about it again yesterday, she sure does feel like Lanie, you never know! she won’t tell us the truth after all.

  • mahoraner

    wow, now that i think about it, are you sure aimee isnt just lanie just obsessed with a different brand this time?
    maybe royal canin fired her as a salesperson, but she didnt want to change from obsessed with rc suddenly to science diet. lol

    possible, i havent seen lanie on here for weeks, hmm

  • bojangles

    Hi aimee,

    Thank you for that bit of honesty, it contains a lot less marketing spin than all the posts in this discussion that preceded it!

    Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

  • aimee

    Hi mahoraner,

    I’m discussing Science Diet, a line of dog and cat foods which zoo nutritionists sometimes chose to incorporate into the diets of the animals in their care.

    For myself it was the reason why this brand was chosen over higher starred brands that was of interest.
    So several years ago when I saw Science Diet being fed at a major zoo I called and spoke to the zoo’s nutritionist and asked why dd they choose Hill’s over other companies.

    She said, as I remember it, that Science Diet was chosen based on the high bioavailability of the nutrients in the diets, the consistency of the levels of nutrients within the diets and overall high quality.

    I think these are likely reasons that vets recommend the brand as well.

  • Amateria

    That was fun to read for me though! I totally agree with you but than you likely knew that already.

    The emails thing with them saying high quality they do that everywhere they respond, there’s a crazy amount of it out there.

    The review rejecting and blocking see that a lot.

    There was one other thing I wanted to say but I forgot what it was… If it comes to me I’ll edit this and if it doesn’t my loss, should of wrote it down.

    The overpriced foods I see a lot of that on the online websites I visit rather often, hills has two new products on there maybe more and I remember writing that your paying $123 for a 6.5 kilo bag of corn, wheat and rice, which is damn heinous.

  • Amateria

    Her arguments eventually start feeling like a whole new Lanie, they get very tiring to see, apparently it’s best to just agree to disagree with her because otherwise she never stops.

  • mahoraner

    im not going to get into this whole argument, (or any aimee arguments, including the beneful one)
    all im gonna say is that this is DOG food advisor
    i really dont give a **** about zoo animal foods, maybe cat food once and awhile, but since when is this site named “zoo animal food advisor”
    if you are so interested in what zoo animals eat, why not work at the zoo, or at least join a group about zoo animal feeds

  • mahoraner

    holy sh*t i type alot -_-
    (read all of my posts below if you want proof) l

  • mahoraner

    ugh, join the club
    my first vet suggested purina to my first dog, she said “dog chow is a great food! and its not that expensive and you can find it everywhere!”
    5 years later, RIP lucy,
    she was puking for almost 2 weeks straight, had a hard time passing urine and was very weak for those 2 weeks, i brought her to the vet and all she did was give her some medicine and said she should be fine. one week after that, lucy’s gone ):
    2 years later i adopt bella at 2 years old
    and of course i didnt go back to that vet, she literally had no idea what she was doing (this was BEFORE i realised how sh*tty dog chow was (is))
    But since i didn’t suspect the “good ol’ dog chow” to be the cause of lucy’s death, i went on and fed that to bella
    then another few years pass, now bella is puking everywhere, has low energy, and non-stop diarrhea.
    So i took her to the new vet, and she asked me
    “what food is she on?”
    and i told her dog chow, also how “great” it is.
    then she looks at me like im stupid, and tells me how terrible it is,
    she pulls up the ingredients on her computer,
    as i stand there, not believing i trusted a vet with purina posters and ads all over her walls.
    She shows me the ingredients, tells me which ingredients to avoid and which ones are good, gives bella medicine that ACTUALLY WORKED, i literally rushed to the pet store, spent about an hour scanning labels, then that night she was on a mix of dog chow and castor and pollux

    But my vet said that i can “rush” the transition because of what bad of a condition she was in

    2 days later she was fully on c&p

    then about a month later, after she was off of all of her medications, she was finally well again, As a matter of fact her energy was much higher and her coat was much better than on the dog chow.
    also in the mix of all of this sh*t,i went to the dog chow site and the vets facebook page, wrote terrible reviews of them
    and what do you know?
    dog chow emails me and says “your review was rejected” and on facebook the lady deleted it and BLOCKED ME.

    plain *****es

    then about 1 month later…
    purina buys merrick which owns castor and pollux, and since i will never give them any of my money again, i switched her again and now shes on wellness, and shes just as great, and actually the wellness is $10 cheaper a bag (yippie!)

    so yeah, dont feel alone, i did a little research last year for myself, and its not just purina, Companies like purina, royal canin, and science diet, pay vets to use their office as a billboard and to be their own little salesperson. Because they know that owners (like me and yourself) will trust anything they say. Also prescription food is the only food they sell at the vet, so of course they will want you to buy it. even though, if you check the ingredients, that crap is nothing more than an over priced dog chow (WAY over priced, like 5x the price)

    but to answer your question, no one knows what that junk is. I have emailed them a few times and they told me these things in all three emails:
    email 1: “our animal fat is USUALLY made from beef and chicken fat”
    email 2: “our animal fat is USUALLY made from chicken and turkey fat” (though if that were true, why not call it POULTRY fat?)
    email 3: “we cannot say what the source of our animal fat is, but all of purinas foods are high quality…” and yada yada yada (more stuff saying how “high quality” their “foods” are)

    So i think you can tell that they are hiding something from us.

    But if your dog has digestion issues, most likely it was from the food he was eating before
    i highly suggest you try another food,
    And since he has digestion issues, i would suggest a grain free food or wellness simple (which is made for dogs with sensitive tummies) . Diamond naturals grain free, taste of the wild, blue buffalo wilderness, and earth born grain free are all great.

    But the absolute best kibble your dog can be on is orijen, and IF you can afford the prescription food (your not making yourself starve just to buy it), orijen is usually about $20 LESS (for a big bag) than prescription foods and is 5 stars on here.

    wow im gonna stop typing, i dont want to overwhelm you, im know for talking (well, typing) alot

    im just gonna stop, IF YOU WANT A SUMMARY, in those 10 paragraphs i mentioned my story with sales people,(vets) and that i really think if you try a grain free food or a LI food (limited ingredient) that i really think your dogs issues will go away, and id bet he will be much happier and healthier too.

  • bojangles

    Hi aimee,

    “One thing I did was I looked outside companion animal nutrition and looked at what commercial foods were being fed to zoo animals. What I found was zoo nutritionists did choose Science Diet as one of the commercial foods they incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic animals.”

    Your examples are from 2003 and 2008. They’re so old that the food in the first article no longer exists. SMH

  • bojangles

    Hi Beverly, welcome to DFA ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m sorry to hear Mya is having troubles with her digestion ๐Ÿ™

    Diarrhea can literally be caused by so many different things that it would be very difficult for us to figure out what caused it in this situation.

    Food, environment, something she shouldn’t have eaten, worms, etc.

    You are right for being concerned about “Meat by-products. This is the AAFCO definition for them:

    “Meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears name descriptive of it’s kind, it must correspond thereto.”

    There is no way I would ever feed this to a dog, period.

    If I were in your situation I would feed my dog boneless skinless chicken breasts and white rice for a couple of days to see if things get better. I would also add some prebiotics and probiotics to Mya’s diet to help strengthen her digestive system.

    If things get better in a couple of days or so, I would slowly re-introduce the food she had been eating before these issues started. If her previous food is the problem then she will start to get diarrhea again, If she doesn’t then it wasn’t her food.

    If the chicken and rice doesn’t help then she needs to be evaluated by a vet who tries to figure out what’s going on without putting her on the same prescription food. If the homemade chicken and rice and supplements didn’t help, then I doubt if the Proplan en would’ve helped either.

    Good Luck!

  • Crazy4cats

    You could contact Purina and ask what is in their by-products and why it is helpful for upset tummies. Maybe that would make you feel better. Hope your pup gets better quick!

  • Beverly Bailey

    My 4 lb Yorkshire terrier, Mya, (she is 6 yrs old) developed a sensitive tummy, (trouble with diarrhea) and is on vet recommended ProPlan EN Gastroenteric canned dog food. The first ingredient in this food is “MEAT by-products”. I find that somewhat concerning!! as I have read that it means we have NO idea WHAT that is??!!! Why is my vet recommending this stuff???

  • Jon Vigilant

    I have a Boykin spaniel female that will grow to 35lbs shes 11 weeks now and just over 7lbs. everything ive found is mostly large or small breed food or a bad rating. what is the best food without breaking the bank on crazy priced food (college student).

  • Sidney Kogan

    Thanks for advice. I’ll check it out.

  • mahoraner

    I would suggest wellness large breed puppy, my dog is on the adult formula and is doing great (:
    its not crazy expensive and they sell it at most pet stores

    A few other foods i have heard good things about, and have great ingredients (And are also low priced) are fromm large breed puppy, diamond naturals large breed puppy, eagle pack (large breed puppy), and sport mix wholesomes large breed puppy

    but if you can afford a little more, EVO and blue buffalo wilderness (large breed puppy formulas) are great as well

    And if you can afford ALOT more (like $80 for 28 lbs) orijen is the absolute best kibble a dog could be on, and of course the large breed puppy formula

    But if you can afford orijen, i suggest you get it on since i have seen 28lb bags at my local pet store sell for almost $130 (its $81 on chewy)

    Hope this helps!

  • Sidney Kogan

    what kind of dry food you advise for German Shepherd 6.5 month old.

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I don’t see my post as confusing but that’s likely because I’m the one that wrote it : )

    Have you ever gone to look for something and then though looking right at it didn’t recognize its presence? I’ve had that happen to me because my brain had a certain”search image” and doesn’t recognize the item of interest when it doesn’t match that image.

    I think perhaps people became confused by my post because their brain had a certain expectation and my post wasn’t consistent with that expectation.

    If one is conditioned to think dogs eat “dog food” and cats eat “cat food” then it would follow that toucans eat toucan food and otters eat otter food. When I posted Science Diet (which are dog and cat foods) is fed to zoo animals it led to confusion as that didn’t follow the expected pattern and so was “rejected”

    I have no idea if that is what happened but it is a way for me to understand why people couldn’t “see” what I said.

    The links about the history’s behind the companies were really interesting. On the Zupreem site it wasn’t at all clear that what became known as Zupreem was originally part of the company we now know as Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

    I called Hill’s in order to get the most accurate info. regarding the two companies. The rep said that Hill’s does not make any diets other than those for dogs and cats, and that the two companies are completely separate. She did say they may have made some diets for Zupreem on a contract basis but hadn’t done so for a long as she’d worked there which was 14 (?) years.

    I looked for a date on the article that said Hill’s was making some zoo diets but didn’t see one. I noted the references for the article were all older and so it could have been written when Hill’s was making diets for Zupreem. Or it could be that the fact checking is off.

    I noted in the article it said this: “The company also unveiled its Prescription Diet Canine n/d. Developed by
    veterinarian David Ogilby of the Colorado State University Comparative
    Oncology Unit,”

    There is an oncologist named Greg Ogilvie who worked at Colorado State and did publish on this topic, so I believe they got got the name wrong.

  • mahoraner

    congratulations! You should wait a few weeks until she gets used to her surroundings (what Storm’s mom said) but once she seems comfortable, then you can switch her. Check out the best adult foods on this site, i will leave a link at the bottom of this comment, all of the foods on that list are great, but I will just list my top recommendations:

    if you can afford $80 for a 28 lb bag, orijen is simply the best kibble a dog could be on.

    but if you cant afford that (like most pet owners, including myself, lol) Foods like
    taste of the wild, wellness, diamond naturals, fromm, canidae, earth born holistic, whole earth farms, eagle pack, chicken soup (brand), are all great foods and dont cost much more than grocery store garbage.

    but personally the best foods for the price you pay are taste of the wild, whole earth farms and fromm.

    Just whatever you do, never feed her ANYTHING by: purina (beneful, dog chow, alpo, etc), pedigree, royal canin, science diet, or really anything that contains corn, dyes, by products, or any anonymous meats (like animal fat)

    have fun with your new pup! (:

  • aimee

    Hi Nathalie,

    You asked ” why would anyone give their dog anything but a five star product that is high in protein and not filler?”

    The ratings on this site are based on label information. While label information is helpful it really is limited in what information it provides. The label doesn’t give you information about the quality of the ingredients or the digestibility of the ingredients, or the overall nutrient profile of the diet.

    The product I currently incorporate most often into my dog’s diet is rated 2.5 stars. I’ve chosen that diet because I place a high value on things other than a review of a label. You can find more information about those things here:

    Recently Dr. Susan Wynn , a well respected holistic veterinarian,past president of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and veterinary nutritionist was asked what she fed the animals in her care. She reported that she feeds natural/preservative free brands from from Hill’s, Purina, Iams, Nutro, and Royal Canin along with other brands.

    I’d encourage you to be open to learning why people come to different
    conclusions than you have vs telling them “you have been fooled” or they
    “need to go back to the drawing board”

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi amiee,

    I’m not here to start an argument, but I have to admit, I’m confused by your posts as well. In the 1st post you said Science Diet was fed to the Zoo animals in your town:

    “When I researched Science diet I found some interesting things. One thing I did was I looked outside companion animal nutrition and looked at what commercial foods were being fed to zoo animals. What I found was zoo nutritionists did choose Science Diet as one of the commercial foods they incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic animals.

    The zoo near me allows visitors to view the food prep area and listed was what each animal’s diet consisted of and yup, there it was, Science diet as part of the diet.”

    You followed in a later post with:

    “The only product line I posted about is Science Diet. which are diets formulated for dogs and cats. Additionally, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the company that makes Science Diet, only makes diets for dogs and cats.”

    You have to admit that seems confusing. I think you might also have your facts wrong about Hills ever owning ZuPreem.

    “The only connection between the companies is a historical one as both companies were influenced by the work of Mark Morris DVM. Currently, a grandson of Mark Morris heads up the company that makes Zupreem.”

    They share a history of being originally created and owned by the Morris family, but all the lines were packed by Hills. Many years later, it was sold off due to lackluster sales and neglecting the line:

    All in all, very interesting reading. Here are the links:

    According to this site, Hill’s still does make a small amount of zoo food:

  • aimee

    “The Bird Conservation Center (BCC) at Riverbanks Zoo is home to a
    genetically valuable pair of wild-caught Blue-crowned Motmots……….Our birds are provided with fresh food twice a day. This consists of
    chopped fruit covered in Marion Zoological Tropical BitsTM pellets,
    hardboiled egg, Hills Science Diet Canine MaintenanceTM kibble (soaked
    overnight) and Nebraska BrandTM bird of prey meat. Livefood such as
    earthworms, large mealworms and 1in. (26mm) crickets are also provided.”

    North American River Otter Husbandry Notebook 2nd edition Clearwater Marine Aquarium pg 163 “Hill’s Science Diet- Feline light” is fed as a component of the diet.

  • Storm’s Mom

    aimee, I’ve edited the word “saying” in my post above to “seem to be suggesting”. What ARE you saying in regards to Science Diet being fed in zoos, then? Because unless you are saying that “zoo nutritionists” are feeding Science Diet dog or cat food to zoo animals, these two statements of yours (copy and pasted word-for-word from your original posts) contradict one another:

    “What I found was zoo nutritionists did choose Science Diet as one of the
    commercial foods they incorporated into the diet.of these valuable
    exotic animals.”


    “Additionally, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the company that makes Science Diet, only makes diets for dogs and cats.”

  • aimee

    Storm’s Mom,

    Though I choose a long time ago to no longer engage you in conversation, I ask that you edit your post to make it accurate as you are claiming I have said things that I have never said.

    I will copy your original post to me here. You wrote: “aimee, you yourself said to bolster your argument about feeding Science
    Diet to dogs is: “What I found was zoo nutritionists did choose Science
    Diet as one of the commercial foods they incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic
    animals”. Now you are saying that Science Diet cannot be “one of the
    commercial foods they incorporated into the diets of these valuable
    exotic animals” because Science Diet only makes dog and cat food
    formulas. Which is it?! (I’m assuming you’re not categorizing cats and
    dogs as “exotic animals”)”

    Your current post, though edited several times now, still contains the statement in question.

    The following portion of your statement is completely false and needs to be removed “Now you are saying that Science
    Diet cannot be “one of the commercial foods they [zoo nutritionists]
    incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic animals” because
    Science Diet only makes dog and cat food formulas.”

    No where have I ever said that “Science
    Diet cannot be “one of the commercial foods they [zoo nutritionists]
    incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic animals” because
    Science Diet only makes dog and cat food formulas.”

    Please edit you post again and remove the false statement you have made.

    In the future I’d appreciate it if you do not respond to posts I have made. As I have told you on several occasions now, I will not engage you in conversation. This is due to your past posting behavior in which you seem to only want to insult me vs having a respectful conversation. Thank You.

  • bojangles

    Hi Storm’s Mom,

    “Which is it?!”

    That reminds me of the time aimee explained that she doesn’t feed her dogs a home prepared diet because she hates cooking:

    “I hate cooking. Absolutely hate the whole process from shopping for ingredients to the actual cooking to the cleaning up Blech :P”

    Then C4d pointed out that aimee had previously posted very lovingly about all the cooking she does:

    “So many fruits and vegetables contain sucrose and great grandma’ss recipes that i use for making rolls and pancakes use small amounts of sugar. I add a bit to the pizza crust dough. After I mix the yeast with water I add a touch of sugar to “get them going” a hold over tip from a microbiologist whose kids I watched when I was young. I know the preserves I put up have sucrose in them”

    And then aimee tried to explain that contradiction away by saying:

    “It is a different type to work. Harvesting what was planted and preserving it are projects that are different from day to day meal preparation. Engaging in that type of work makes me feel connected to the earth”


  • bojangles

    Hi aimee,

    In other words, you posted a glowing recommendation for Science Diet, based on the fact that “zoo nutritionists” are guilty of feeding Science Diet dog and/or cat food to the wrong species, i.e. “valuable exotic (zoo) animals” that are neither dogs or cats.


  • Storm’s Mom

    Congrats on your new pup!!! Best thing to do in the short term is to keep her on whatever she’s on, while she adjusts to her new surroundings. See how she’s doing on that food – it will give you clues as to what to feed next (ie, if she’s on a chicken-based food with rice/grains in it, and she’s scratching or scooting, you may want to try a fish or lamb-based grain-free food next, as she may be intolerant toward chicken/poultry/rice/grains, etc).

    In the meantime, I would take the “Best Dog Foods” list (see the link on the top left of this page) to your local store(s) and see what’s available in your area and budget. Pick one to start, but have a few others in mind that might work, as eventually it would be ideal if you could feed your dog a variety of foods (a “rotation” as we call it on here). I’d also suggest that when you pick up whatever new food you’re going to feed her, that you also pick up some probiotics and digestive enzymes.. these will help her transition from one food to another.

    Speaking of transition, you definitely want to change her over very gradually from her current food to a new food (I’d give her a couple/few weeks to get used to her new surroundings before starting to transition). Typically, I start with mixing in 25% of the new food with 75% of the current food (and the probiotics and digestive enzymes), and gradually increase the percentage of the new food. I wait until her poops are firm (about a week) before going to 50% of the new food and 50% of the current food, and then wait again until the poops are firm to go to 75% of the new food and 25% of the current food. Finally, once things are stable at that level, I move to 100% new food. If you start seeing loose poops at any of the steps, go back to the previous one for a while and try again. The whole process will probably take a few weeks, so be sure to have enough of the current food on hand when you start this transition! After you’ve changed her food a few times, she will probably (hopefully!!) be able to switch “cold turkey” so you can feed her whatever you want whenever you want! But definitely take it slow to start. Hope that helps?!


    I’m adopting a 2 yr old female min pinscher this weekend and want the healthiest dry food for her. Any recommendations?

  • Storm’s Mom

    aimee, what you yourself said to bolster your argument about feeding Science Diet to dogs is: “What I found was zoo nutritionists did choose Science Diet as one of the commercial foods they incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic animals”. Now you are saying that Science Diet cannot be “one of the commercial foods they incorporated into the diets of these valuable exotic animals” because Science Diet only makes dog and cat food formulas. Which is it?! (I’m assuming you’re not categorizing cats and dogs as “exotic animals”)

  • aimee

    Hi bojangles,

    Once again I’m choosing not to engage you but am posting to ask that you correct the misinformation that you have posted.

    I will include your post as you have a history of changing your posts. instead of adding a clearly notated edit section. This interferes with continuity of the conversation.

    You wrote:
    “One of the foods you say “that highly educated and knowledgeable people use and recommend” and “zoo nutritionists (choose to feed) valuable exotic animals” contains nothing that is actually eaten by primates in their natural habitat……Primate formula (Dry):”

    The only product line I posted about is Science Diet. which are diets formulated for dogs and cats. Additionally, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the company that makes Science Diet, only makes diets for dogs and cats.

    Zupreem makes a primate formula that matches your posted ingredient list. Zupreem is a product of Premium Nutritional Products Inc.

    I confirmed with Hill’s that they are a completely separate company from Premium Nutritional Products.

    The only connection between the companies is a historical one as both companies were influenced by the work of Mark Morris DVM. Currently, a grandson of Mark Morris heads up the company that makes Zupreem.

    I have no knowledge about Zupreem diets, Premium Nutritional Products or how they are used or if they are used by zoo nutritionists. If Zupreem diets are chosen by zoo nutritionist I’d be open to learning why a nutritionist would choose any particular diet.

    I have absolutely no idea why you are stating I said certain
    individuals recommend or use “Primate formula” unless your intent is solely to provoke a response from me.

    Since your posts to me seem to have the purpose of provoking me vs having a respectful discussion of any type I ask that in the future you not reply to my posts as I do not wish to engage you in conversation.

  • bojangles

    Re-posted after it got deleted while editing.

    Hi aimee,

    I must say your spiel sounded pretty good, until you actually take a look at the food!

    One of the foods you say “that highly educated and knowledgeable people use and recommend” and “zoo nutritionists (choose to feed) valuable exotic animals” contains nothing that is actually eaten by primates in their natural habitat.

    But it does contain the following toxins, worthless ingredients, and unspecified ingredients:

    – Sugar is the fourth ingredient.

    – Ethoxyquin, a toxin as a preservative.

    – Rosemary extract, which is a suspected neurotoxin and has been linked to seizures.

    -Poultry fat, because Science Diet has to make sure they can use the cheapest oil at any time without having to worry about identifying it on labels.

    Primate formula (Dry):

    “Soybean meal, Ground corn, Ground wheat, Sugar, Wheat germ meal, Poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried egg product, Calcium carbonate, Iodized salt, Dicalcium phosphate, Vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Choline chloride, Thiamine mononitrate, Ethoxyquin (a preservative), Manganous oxide, Niacin, Zinc oxide, Vitamin A supplement, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 supplement, Copper sulfate, Biotin, Riboflavin, Sodium selenite, Vitamin D3 supplement, Folic acid, Calcium iodate, Rosemary extract”

    Shame on anyone who recommends this food or has anything to do with feeding it or designing it!

  • @disqus_KcQ8ovCuMM
  • @disqus_KcQ8ovCuMM

    That is incorrect. Veterinary dentists advise otherwise.

    “There is a short list of items you should never give your pet to chew on: animal bones of any kind; some nylabones (if you canโ€™t flex the nylabone or stick a fingernail into it, itโ€™s too hard); and hooves. โ€œThose three types of chew treats give me more business in fractured teeth than I care to say,โ€ says Rosenblad”. โ€œThereโ€™s a misconception that they are going to remove tartar, when they are actually going to remove teeth.โ€

    “Appropriate chew treats include bully sticks, biscuit-type treats and dental sticks. When choosing a treat for your dog, Rosenblad recommends picking one that appears almost cartoonishly too largeโ€”to make sure your dog gets the plaque-removing benefit of actually chewing the treat instead of wolfing it down whole”.

  • Amateria

    There’s quiet a few stories of broken teeth from bones though, likely because people don’t go into details about what bone best suits a persons dog and so people buy what they think is the right bone and than teeth get broken and suddenly it’s the bones fault.

  • Amateria

    Ok I’ll ask for future reference to anyone who may be interested on here and pet food reviews.

  • theBCnut

    I really don’t know for sure, so I would ask, if I were you. They do have another plant that is somewhat close to a port, Washington state, I believe, so it is possible that it would come from there, since that’s already on the Pacific.

  • Nathalie Connor

    Oh that doesn’t sound good! But then they chomp on bones too!

  • Nathalie Connor
    “Highly educated and knowledgeable people” need to go back to the drawing board. You have been fooled. The Dog Advisor rates it as 3 stars out of 5, with some products coming in at 2.5! So my question is this, why would anyone give their dog anything but a five star product that is high in protein and not filler? Filler products are of no nutritional value to your dog. In fact, beet pulp, peas and corn are all high in sugar. And that’s how dogs are now getting diabetes.(That and giving your dog pseudo ice cream from McDonald’s thinking it’s a treat!) Dogs are meat eaters and wheat and barley don’t provide much nutrition. You also have to consider what is not in the food as well, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, two important supplements. Yes, it’s expensive but they eat less of it. And it keeps them away from the vet except for the one year checkup. Rule of thumb, if the first three ingredients are not protein, it’s crap.(Oh, and the highly-educated have not necessarily done any research on this subject. Case in point – my neighbours are both lawyers, but that had little bearing on the fact that it was ‘easy to pick up Beneful at the grocery store’. They believed what they saw on television.) Bottom line filler = crap.

  • Amateria

    Completely forgot about my reply to you, so more than likely we are getting food from their worst plant? I may just have to ask, despite not liking to.

  • bojangles

    Hi aimee,

    I must say your spiel sounded pretty good!

    In case anybody is wondering what one of the foods “that highly educated and knowledgeable people use and recommend”, and “zoo nutritionists (choose to feed) valuable exotic animals” actually looks like, here is one example:

    Primate formula (Dry):

    “Soybean meal, Ground corn, Ground wheat, Sugar, Wheat germ meal, Poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried egg product, Calcium carbonate, Iodized salt, Dicalcium phosphate, Vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Choline chloride, Thiamine mononitrate, Ethoxyquin (a preservative), Manganous oxide, Niacin, Zinc oxide, Vitamin A supplement, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 supplement, Copper sulfate, Biotin, Riboflavin, Sodium selenite, Vitamin D3 supplement, Folic acid, Calcium iodate, Rosemary extract”

    Shame on them!

  • theBCnut

    It’s pretty normal for parvo dogs to have sensitive stomachs pretty much for life. There are things you can do to help, like giving probiotics and slippery elm, or other digestive aids meant to soothe the intestines. NutriSource Large Breed Puppy is a good food that is bland and easy to tolerate. Also Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast and Coastal Catch are OK for large breed puppies. Doing a slow rotation of different foods is another way to help the stomach to not be too sensitive, but you may have to keep it slow.

  • theBCnut

    I don’t know for sure, but I heard that the Gaston, SC plant was their largest, so I would suspect that it was coming from SC.

  • Amateria

    Wouldn’t happen to know where the Australian ones come from? I want to feed it in the future, but no one seems to know I would have to ask and I kinda don’t like asking them lol.

    It was generally the most loved of all the kibbles I’ve tried so far.

  • Candace Leal

    Hi all I have a 6 month old Black lab female, we are pretty sure she had parvo early on unexplained since she never left our house… She has never been a vigorous eater, I have tried several different foods “Ideal balance, Merrick, Nature’s Domain. None of which she really loved. I want to give her the best diet possible she is very active and jogs with me almost on a daily basis. I noticed most of the formulas don’t include a large breed puppy formula. She also had a suspected UTI early on the Vet found crystals in her urine and she was treated with an antibiotic. She seems to have a touchy stomach at times.

  • theBCnut

    The issue with TOTW is that the company that makes it has been involved in almost every major recall since they began making food, and that’s only a little bit of exaggeration. As long as you don’t live somewhere in the Southeast U.S. or much of the Eastern Seaboard, you would be getting your food from one of Diamond’s plants that has less problems than their SC plant.

  • Dawn Calgaro

    What is wrong with Taste of the Wild dog food? I was told that was a good brand. I currently have my Bull/English Mastiff puppy on the puppy version of their food.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Which may explain this:

    How much do you wanna bet that all those obese zoo animals were originally fed Science Diet?

  • aimee

    Hi Nathalie,

    I think it more likely that the vet sells Science diet because that is what they recommend.

    When I researched Science diet I found some interesting things. One thing I did was I looked outside companion animal nutrition and looked at what commercial foods were being fed to zoo animals. What I found was zoo nutritionists did choose Science Diet as one of the commercial foods they incorporated into the diet.of these valuable exotic animals.

    The zoo near me allows visitors to view the food prep area and listed was what each animal’s diet consisted of and yup, there it was, Science diet as part of the diet.

    You see Science diet as “crap” but I found that it is a brand that highly educated and knowledgeable people use and recommend. I’d encourage you to be open to learning why they recommend it.

  • theBCnut

    Jon, the BCNut was a Veterinary Technician and received most of the exact same nutrition education that vets get and attended the exact same CE classes on nutrition that vets attend. And I don’t suggest that vets get kickbacks. I know exactly what they do get, because I got those same things.

    I sincerely hope that somewhere in all your years of education you learned how to learn and that you didn’t simply stop learning when you graduated. Most college graduates that I know actually enjoy learning new things and they keep at it, so they learn an amazing number of things that they didn’t learn in college. Might I suggest you start learning about canine nutrition and see if you can’t make yourself an expert. It isn’t rocket science. If you can feed yourself a well rounded diet, you can learn how to feed a dog a well rounded diet.

  • InkedMarie

    Vets get very little education in NUTRITION. I believe that is what theBCNut said. You don’t need qualifications on how to find a good dog food; you need to be able to read. Can you point out where the BCNut and Dr Mike have said they are experts in animal nutrition?

  • Jon Hall

    My first suggestion is to be skeptical of the advice from other users on here. theBCnut said your vet’s education is very lacking. Wow. Ask theBCnut what their qualifications are regarding pet nutrition. Also, the owner of this website is a dentist. I am also a dentist and am by no means an expert on pet nutrition. This site is great for comparing ingredients and brands, but don’t read much into other people’s comments.

    And suggesting a vet gets “kickbacks” for suggesting a certain brand is absurd. Zero evidence to support that claim.

  • Amateria

    There’s a vet we walked into yesterday that was selling Ivory Coat it was rather funny to see but not in a bad way as Ivory Coat is a 5 star food here, so it was actually fantastic to see other than the usual brands.

    They had their duck treats as well not just their kibble and they only had one formula, the new one the one that I like but also dislike because it’s rock hard and when the dogs bite down on it, it feels like their going to break all their teeth.

  • Nathalie Connor

    Your vet recommended Science Diet likely because that’s the brand they themselves sell. I would not be surprised to hear if they were kickbacks involved. I learnt not to put 100% trust in my vet after she suggested that brand to me. I had already done my homework and was filled with disbelief she would suggest such crap. I pays to research everything yourself!

  • Babslynne

    I agree with theBCnut, a rotation diet is very healthy for dogs, here is why;

  • theBCnut

    My first suggestion would be for your vet. Her education is very lacking. She should know that according to AAFCO rules a food that qualifies for Growth can be labeled All Life Stages. She needs to read up on nutrition a bit more and definitely on AAFCO labeling. Next, I would suggest that you don’t stick to only one food. I do like Honest Kitchen, but they may not have the proper amount of every nutrient that your growing pup needs. There isn’t any food that I trust long term to have everything.

  • Samantha

    We have an 11 week old Border collie and want to switch him off the food he’s on from the breeder. Our vet recommended science diet the most, but it did not get great reviews on your site. I spoke with her about Honest Kitchen and she was not familiar with that product but asked if it said it was for “all stages” and I said yes. That is what concerns her…she wants him on a food specific for the puppy nutrient needs. I agree and am concerned with Honest Kitchen simply because of their few ingredients. We are very interested in a more natural/raw/healthier dog food with a nice balance of good fats, protein, & carbs. I have looked at most of your favorite “puppy foods” but my concern is that none of them are specific to puppies. Thoughts? Tips? Suggestions?

  • Crazy4cats

    Haha! He’s gonna be a big one! Please read the article attached to this link:

    Large breed dogs need to be fed a food with appropriate calcium levels in order to try and prevent joint disorders. You can switch foods, but not to an adult recipe. Actually adult kibble is usually lower in calories than puppy food anyway. I’m not sure if 4Health has a recipe that is appropriate for large breed pups or not. I do know that their kibble is fairly low in calories. I like to feed foods like this to my 5 year old golden labs because they love to eat, but tend to get chubby.

    There is also a list of appropriate LBP foods on the Editor’s Choice List. Remember to try and keep him as lean as possible and do not over do the exercise until he’s full grown.

    Hope this helps and more DFAers chime in with LBP foods that will fit your needs.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Adam Wiggins

    I have a 4 1/2 month old Mastador puppy. He is up to 73 lbs, I’m not sure the 4Health I’m buying him is keeping him full anymore. It has a good protein/fat ratio, but maybe I need to switch him off puppy food and buy adult food now? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I bought a puppy and he’s turning into a horse.

  • Elaina G

    Hi everyone! I had a food question, I have 1 Pomeranian, 1 cat, and 1 shepherd lab 6 month old! I’ve always fed them Blue buffalo because of the 5 stars and because each pet can have their own bag from the same company! But the pup (Annabelle) has always gotten gas and soft poops from this food. I just dealt with it because she has been growing beautifully but now she is getting more and more diarrhea. I believe it is time to change her food to something she can digest in a healthier way but I am not sure which to change it to. Any suggestions? She seems to have a bit of a sensitive stomach but I want to keep the food 5 stars and grain free!
    Thank you so much!

  • April Watts

    Please let me know what you decide. We will be getting a mini schnauzer this fall and I was strongly considering Honest Kitchen but have since learned that it may not have all of the nutrients. The breeder said their stomachs do better with Lamb and Rick and she recommended a food from the tractor supply store. Another breeder I spoke with recommended Fromm the puppy formula (Gold). It is all very confusing.

  • Nancy G.

    Hi, Kristy! We have two mini schanuzers and when they were puppies we fed them Blue Buffalo puppy food. They have since grown out of puppy food and are now on Blue Buffalo’s sweet potatoe and salmon recipe. They have done very well with this line of food. Their coats are beautiful, no tummy problems and no problems going to the bathroom. hope this helps!

  • Kristy K

    Hi guys! We just got a 10 week old miniature schnauzer and trying to find the best dry puppy food for her! Any recommendations/warnings? I’ve been told Wellness small breed puppy is good, anyone have experience w/that? It’s so overwhelming comparing ingredients in all of them, and I did read one user review of Wellness said their miniature schnauzer got gas/diarrhea until they switched to something else (but I wonder if they maybe didn’t blend and just switched the food completely at once?). Thanks!

  • Daisy L

    Fromm Gold 33lbs/ 50.57 (

  • Tamara K

    Looking for some recommendations!
    I have a 7 month old Lab/Rot mix (he’s currently about 80lbs) and we have yet to find a good solution for him. We had him on Eagle Pack Large Breed Puppy, but his stools never looked right. Then over the last month or two he has been on Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy and he is never satisfied. I don’t want to over-feed since Pro Plan seems to be a bit higher in calories, so I’m considering switching. I’m trying to stay in the budget of $40/30lbs if possible. I was going to try Costco but read some horrible reviews, so any help is appreciated!

  • GSDsForever

    Good point as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • GSDsForever

    Umm . . . ever heard of consulting with one (a veterinary nutritionist)?

    It’s possible like with every other board certified veterinary specialist (oncology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, etc.) you can go see.

    Or picking up a book of published diets from one? Or using one placed free on the web by one (as a service to the community)?

    Your comment reads as awfully harsh and definitive, condemning in light of such possibilities.

  • GSDsForever

    See how lucky you are, Noelle? On top of Labs’s list, you even get your very own Pug specialist to consult here. You’re good to go! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • GSDsForever

    pssst. Noelle.

    LabsRawesome is BRILLIANT at this. Stick with her and you’ll be fine!

  • GSDsForever

    It can be . . . if one is winging it, using human diet ideas of nutrition, using unqualified recipes from the web, magazines, books, or friends & acquaintances.

    But it also can be incredibly easy, safe, and rewarding when working with a board certified veterinary nutritionist (either long distance via your home vet or locally), vet school nutrition specialty center, or book published by the same.

    Anyone who is interested in pursuing this route, I would highly recommend multiple board certified veterinary specialist (including in canine/small animal nutrition) Susan Wynn out of Georgia. I think a consult & full multi recipe plan customized to your dog’s needs and your/your dog’s preferences is ~$300.

    Sounds expensive until you think of a dog lifetime of the absolute healthiest food and 100% peace of mind in giving that to your dog . . . and you learn how unbelievably well-qualified (very diversely so), experienced, and dedicated she is.

  • GSDsForever

    Oh my goodness, first a Havanese, then a Havaschoo, (sp??!) then a Havapoo I’ve encountered this week!

    It’s raining Havanese!!! What a cute breed.

    And I was just schooled that a Havanese has some herding background. Who knew? Not me! And I love herding dogs!

    I love learning new things about dogs and breeds!

    Congrats on your new baby! How exciting!

    Have you looked through the 4 & 5 star DFA foods yet? There really is no one best food,* though I’m sure we have some small dog (if not Havapoo specific) savvy posters here who will be able to offer
    some suggestions.

    *I do think that properly researched and balanced homemade fresh foods diets are “best”. The kinds can vary.

  • Cannoli

    preparing balance home cooked meals for a puppy as they have such a rapid growth is tricky. i stick to either a good quality kibble or prepared raw that meets the requirements of a pup then transition to home cook after a year

  • bojangles

    Hi Gio,

    Congratulations on your new Havapoo!

    If you’re looking for the “Best” food for your puppy, I would have to say that a properly balanced home made diet is the absolute best!

    You can use the best ingredients and you can customize it to fit your dog’s taste buds and nutritional needs.

    For commercial foods, frozen raw is top of the line. Some of Aunt Jeni’s foods have a pretty good nutrient profile. I listed a few for you.

    I would start with the beef because it has no bones and you could lightly cook it for the transition to raw. You could cook it less and less until your pup was eating fully raw. Then I would rotate between the ones I listed below. Some of the other recipes are VERY high in fat.

    I would slowly transition first from his current food to lightly cooked raw over a 2 week period, and then I would transition from lightly cooked raw to full raw over the next 2 week period. 1 month total. Any raw food WITHOUT bones can be lightly cooked.

    I personally don’t like kibble because it’s about as far from a dog’s natural diet as you can get, but if you’d like to go that route, there are plenty of kibble feeders here who can help you out.

    Good Luck with your new addition ๐Ÿ™‚

    Aunt Jeni’s Frozen Raw

    Beef (Contains Beef Meat & Beef Heart), Beef Liver, Apples, Celery, Whole Eggs, Collard Greens, Kale, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Organic Ground Flax Seeds, Parsley, Garlic, Organic Dried Kelp, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Raw Honey.

    Fish, Pumpkin, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Spinach, Beet Greens, Beets, Blueberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Pomegranates.

    GOAT: (dog only)
    Goat (Contains Goat Meat & Goat Heart), Goat Bones, Goat Liver, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Green Beans, Organic Alfalfa Sprouts, Papayas, Cranberries, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Almond Meal, Organic Walnut Meal.

    PORK: (dog only)
    Pork (includes Pork and Pork Heart), Pork Liver, Spinach, Pumpkin, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Beet Greens, Pork Bones, Pork Kidney, Beets, Blueberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Pomegranates.

    Turkey (Contains Turkey & Turkey Bones), Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Turkey Gizzard, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Green Beans, Organic Alfalfa Sprouts, Papayas, Cranberries, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Almond Meal, Organic Walnut Meal.

  • Cannoli

    difficult to pick a best food for such a young pup.

    i would try a high protein food that is suited for pups and see how that goes. in addition i would add some raw toppers to it.

    if your pup can’t handle all that protein then try a lower protein food. this site has a great list of puppy foods

  • Gio Guiulfo

    Hi guys! I need help!!!! I have a 8 week havapoo( havanese poodle) I’m just wondering what the very best type of food for him is at this stage! I don’t care about the cost if that means my puppy will be a healthy dog ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks guys.

  • theBCnut

    So since you manage to feed yourself and you haven’t died yet, I’m assuming you have a degree in human nutrition, because without a degree you can’t feed yourself. People are not capable of learning anything for themselves. The only valid knowledge is gained from universities, and it’s only valid if it is within your degree field and you have completed said degree.

  • Amateria

    So people who fed their dogs homemade long before kibble existed were doing it wrong? Wow they never even knew did they just how badly their dog needed kibble lol

    If they didn’t need it before they surely don’t need it now, I do feed it as supplementation and as a treat, I don’t demonise it like I used to, but if it didn’t exist before and dogs were perfectly fine than I see no reason why they would suddenly need it now, as long as their getting everything from their diet that the person has thoroughly researched and trial and error than fine by me.

  • Amateria

    Apparently these days you do, like who doesn’t know that by now? Haha

  • Cannoli

    say what? i need a degree to feed my pup but not a degree to feed my human child.

  • Lilly Sue

    You are wrong. Homemade like you suggest does not have proper vitamins and nutrients.

    Unless you are an animal nutrition with a science degree feed them an established brand.

  • LabsRawesome

    Budget friendly foods I use are Tractor Supply’s 4health GF.
    Rachael Ray Zero Grain.
    Pure Balance @Walmart.
    Petsmart’s Authotity .
    Canned foods I use are Costco’s Nature’s Domain gf case of 24 cans $20.
    Pure Balance Puppy Stew $1.15 available @ Walmart.
    Tractor Supply’s 4health stews. 99ยข
    These are all 14 to 15 oz cans.

  • sandy

    Pro PAc Ultimates and Nutrisource have grain free formulas that are budget friendly.

  • Noelle Schmidt

    Hello all, I have a 5 month old puggle and I’m on a tight budget, as much as I’d love to feed Luke 60 dollar food I can’t so it right now. I’m told grain free is the way to go and regardless of if thats true what puppy food should I go for???? Thanks ^_^

  • Shannon

    Best food for a 13 week old cockapoo? Breeder told us to use Diamond Natural which is grain free but our pup doesn’t really seem to like it at all. He will eat it but only when really hungry. He does try to eat the other “senior” dogs food though.

  • Pitlove

    Great early catch on the giardia Chris! Hope your babies make a full recovery and quick!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Chris-
    I’m glad to hear you got the Giardia diagnosed so quick. I came home with two puppies about 5 years ago that had it too. What are you giving them to treat it? I hope the vet suggested either panacur or drontal plus along with the Metronidazole. You may need to give two rounds of medicine to completely rid them of it. Make sure to dig down some under their poop when picking it up. Also I would use hot water and bleach on the spot as well. It is so easy for them to give it back and forth. I’m glad to hear they are improving already, but remember it can be intermittent.

    I would avoid any big food changes for a while so you can tell if it is the food or the parasite causing the loose stools if they return. I was also informed by the vet and others that extra fiber and therapeutic doses of probiotics help as well.

    I wish you the best. Two puppies are a handful!!! Mine are inseparable now. Try to train and spend time with them separately to try to avoid this which can really be a problem at times!

    Also pics would be appreciated!

  • Amanda Brears

    Hi! I’m getting a 9 week old jack russell/mini eskimo in a couple weeks. What type of dry puppy food would you recommend?

  • Thanks for the suggestions! I did take them to the vet yesterday, to get them checked out etc. Talked to her about their loose stools & on testing, found they have giardia ๐Ÿ™
    I now have meds to treat that.
    As for the food, I had already bought a small bag of blue buffalo puppy food before she told us she’d switched to Eukanuba, so I decided to start switching them to that (slowly, while I still have some Eukanuba left to mix in). They had a 80% Eukanuba / 20% Blue Buffalo mix for breakfast this morning & both loved it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Between the giardia treatment & the blue buffalo food, their poops are already improving ๐Ÿ™‚

  • bojangles

    Hi Chelle,

    In my opinion, the best food for all dogs would be a properly balanced home made diet, using fresh supermarket bought meats, fruits and vegetables.

    Kibbles are highly processed and use inferior ingredients. If you really want the best for your little bully, then homemade is the way to go ๐Ÿ™‚

  • bojangles

    Hi Kelly,

    If you would like to try something with a little less protein, take a look at Acana. It’s made by the same company that makes Orijen, it just has a little less protein and is a little more economical.

    Good luck with your new pup!

  • bojangles

    Hi Chris,

    Congrats on your new Westies ๐Ÿ™‚

    From the list above, I would try:

    Orijen – Although there has been some complaints with the new USA versions.

    Farmina N+D grain free.

    Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Recipe.

    Those are just a few of the better ones IMHO.

    I would NOT feed Eukanuba! Eukanuba is made by Mars Petcare. I believe that dog foods from large conglomerates like Mars and Purina are made with the philosophy of: Profits first, Profits second and more profits third.

    The large companies might produce a few dog foods with ingredients that look okay on the label, but labels can be deceiving.

    I think that the main reason these companies got into the dog food business in the first place is so they can use some of the ingredients that they used to throw away because they were unfit for human consumption.

    Now they are conveniently recycled into their dog foods. So in the end, all these conglomerates with all their science and all their nutritionists still produce dog foods with dyes, toxic preservatives, anonymous ingredients like “animal fat” and “meat and bone meal” (what animal these ingredients come from is anyone’s guess), and so on!

    As for switching foods I would start ASAP. Once you decide on a food you would begin a slow transition:

    2 days 10% new 90% old
    2 days 20% new 80% old
    Keep going up every 2 days by 10% until you reach 100% new.

    I would stop immediately and change to a new food if your pups vomit or get a rash or start scratching and rubbing themselves.

    Loose stools should begin to firm up if the food is agreeing with them. But their loose stool could be from worms which is very common in puppies. I would have your vet do a fecal float or two in order to rule out that possibility. Your vet could also do a puppy check type of exam to make sure everything is going well.

    Good luck with you new family members ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pitlove

    I would give them more time to adjust to your home. Just a couple days is not enough to expect their stool to firm up if they are stressed. It is always best to keep them on the same food the breeder has them on for 3-4 weeks before switching to another food.

  • Hi! We just picked up our 2 8-week old westie puppies on Saturday. The breeder said she had them on Blue Buffalo puppy but didn’t like how they were doing on it so she switched them to Eukanuba & they were doing better. She gave us a baggie of the Eukanuba food to start us off with.
    Only problem is that they’ve both had very very loose stools ever since we brought them home. At first I thought it must have been all the stress of leaving their mom & the long trip home but its still not firmed up. The only thing I can think of is that it must be the food. They don’t act like they’re sick – very energetic…
    Any recommendations for a good, easily digestible dry small puppy food to switch to? They are currently 3 1/2 lbs & 4 lbs, so pretty tiny. Thanks!!

  • Kelly Keson Miller

    I have a little 15 week cavalier King Charles puppy. We recently put her on Orijen as I’m looking for natural and grain free to help with the runny eyes. After a week the runny eyes seemed to have stopped but her little toots are just terrible and hardly bearable, I did try pumpkin and it may have helped some but I don’t want this to be a constant thing, now I’m seeing reviews says Orijen is pretty high in protein, any suggestions on other good grain free puppy foods?

  • Chelle

    What is the best food for English bulldog puppy?

  • Shawna

    Hi Kayla,

    There really is no best food. Most of the regulars here feed a rotational diet. We change the food regularly to give our dogs variety. Starting this while young is usually the best time to start.

    Canned is a good option. Freeze dried, lightly cooked and raw are good options as well.

    If wanting to stay with canned, look at the foods here on Dog Food Advisor that have good ratings and then from those find ones that are easy for you to get (either locally or by mail) and fit your budget and then rotate between those options.

    When rotating watch for any little signs that a particular food (ingredient) may not be tolerated well by your Chihuahua. As an example – no matter what food I feed my Pomeranian gets colitis from chicken and my Papillon gets reverse sneezing from lamb. I had another dog that reacted to barley and so on.

  • Kayla Bruno

    What is the best food to feed an eleven week old Chihuahua? He is currently eating canned Blue Wilderness puppy.

  • Tina Louise Gambrel

    Best Yorkie puppy & adult dry food, grain free?

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    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 ๐Ÿ˜›

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 Iโ€™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
    โ€œgrowthโ€ or โ€œall life stagesโ€. I based the calcium per energy density
    levels on overall research Iโ€™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. ๐Ÿ™

  • 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 puppyโ€™s diet and the developmental orthopedic diseases that were becoming so common โ€“ โ€œwobblerโ€ 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.ย  Unsubscribe anytime.

You have Successfully Subscribed!