Best Puppy Foods

Puppy owners like to ask…

What’s the Best Puppy Food?

But think about that for a moment.

How could a one-size-fits-all puppy food be “best” for every puppy?

Truth is…

There are 2 different TYPES of puppy food.

One designed for large breed puppies.

And another for smaller breeds.

Unfortunately…

Choosing the wrong one could cause permanent bone damage to your puppy.

Including a crippling form of hip dysplasia.

Especially for certain breeds.

The following true story clearly illustrates why choosing the best food for your puppy’s breed size is SO important.

A Tragic Story

When Katy first wrote me…

She was FRANTIC.

Seems her 2-year-old Lab, Beau, was beginning to have trouble with his rear legs.

Especially when he’d try to stand up after a nap.

He was obviously in pain.

Katy wanted to know if Beau’s declining health could be related to the dog food she’d been feeding him.

Of course, I urged her to take Beau to a vet… right away.

But out of curiosity…

I also asked her if she could share with me the name of the food she’d been feeding him.

And I was SHOCKED by her answer.

You see…

Without realizing it…

Katy had been feeding Beau a dog food that contained too much calcium for his breed size.

Which caused his bones to grow too fast.

And his hip joints to become permanently deformed.

Creating the crippling hip dysplasia you see in this x-ray.

Here’s the point…

Choosing a food that contains too much calcium can significantly increase your puppy’s RISK of hip dysplasia.1

And other crippling bone diseases.

Which is why I urge you to choose a dog food that’s designed to be safe for YOUR puppy’s breed size.

What’s Your Puppy’s
Breed Size?

Large breed puppies are those whose adult weight is expected to be over 50 pounds.

Now…

Because larger breeds are at greater risk for hip dysplasia

And since smaller breeds can safely eat a wide variety of food

The Dog Food Advisor has created 2 distinct lists of puppy foods, each optimized for a specific breed size.

To find the best puppy food for your particular dog…

Click the link below that matches your puppy’s breed size:

Puppy FoodsBest For
Best Large Breed Puppy FoodsLarge breed
Giant breed
Best Puppy FoodsSmall breed
Med breed

Top 20 Best Puppy Foods
April 2019

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 20 best puppy foods for April 2019.

Farmina N&D Small and Medium Breed Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken, potato, chicken fat, dehydrated egg product
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 46%, a fat level of 24% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 22%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 31%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 42%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, dried egg, pea starch
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 42%, a fat level of 22% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 28%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, pea protein
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 24% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 32%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Whole Earth Farms Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, turkey, chicken liver, salmon
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 41%, a fat level of 30% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 22%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


Wellness Core Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, chicken Liver, chicken, turkey broth, herring
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 50%, a fat level of 30% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 12%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


Dr. Tim's Grain Free Kinesis Formula Dry Dog Food

Dr. Tim’s Kinesis Formula

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, dried white potatoes, dried field peas, chicken fat, tapioca
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 36%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, oatmeal, salmon meal, ground barley
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 31%, a fat level of 21% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 40%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, dried egg, peas, salmon oil
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 43%, a fat level of 30% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 19%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 32%, a fat level of 14% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 47%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chickpeas
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 37%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 35%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken broth, turkey, turkey broth, duck
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 53%, a fat level of 26% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 13%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Highly recommended.


Victor Grain-Free Active Dog and Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, sweet potato, chicken meal, peas, chicken fat
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 18% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 38%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, barley, menhaden fish meal
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 32%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chicken fat
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 42%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 30%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Nulo Freestyle Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, whole peas, chicken fat
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 33%, a fat level of 19% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 40%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Annamaet Ultra Dog Food

Annamaet Ultra 32% Dog Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole dry eggs, herring meal
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 36%, a fat level of 22% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 34%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food

Orijen Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, atlantic flounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 43%, a fat level of 23% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 26%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


Now Fresh Small Breed Dry Puppy Food

Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Food

Rating:

  • First 5 ingredients: De-boned turkey, whole dried egg, peas, pea flour, potatoes
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds

Label analysis reveals a dry matter protein content of 31%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate share of about 41%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Highly recommended.


  1. Richardson, Skeletal diseases of the growing dog: Nutritional influences and the role of diet, Canine Hip Dysplasia: A Symposium Held at Western Veterinary Conference, 1995