Best Puppy Foods


Puppies Peering Over Banner

New dog owners ask, “What’s the best puppy food“?

But the answer to that question depends on what kind of puppy food you’re looking for.

Do you prefer a dry kibble? Or a canned dog food?

Thinking about going grain-free?

With thousands of commercial products available on the U.S. and Canadian markets, we set out to answer that same question for our readers:

What’s the Best Puppy Food?

After considering dozens of criteria, we determined that the best 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 Puppy Foods

The following lists of Best Puppy Foods have received our highest ratings and are grouped according to their dry or wet formats.

Hip Dysplasia and Your Puppy’s Diet

Contrary to popular belief, hip dysplasia and skeletal diseases in dogs are not related to dietary protein1.

These crippling disorders are more likely the result of genetics2, excessive dietary calcium3 or overfeeding during growth4.

Studies have proved that the greatest risk of developing skeletal problems later in life is directly linked to overfeeding — and excessive calcium in the diet.

To learn more about the risks of overfeeding and calcium, be sure to visit our article, How to Choose the Best Puppy Foods to Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Developing Hip Dysplasia.

How to Be Sure a Puppy Food
Is Complete and Balanced

To ensure a puppy food is nutritionally complete and balanced, simply look for the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement on every package of dog food.

This simple statement assures buyers a product contains all the nutrient requirements for puppies and reads like this:

This product is complete and balanced to to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for…

  • Growth
  • All life stages

Is It OK to Feed an
Adult Dog Food to a Puppy?

Adult foods can be deficient — or excessive — in certain nutrients needed by puppies for controlled growth.

So, never feed your puppy a food designed for adult maintenance.

Best Puppy Foods

More Good Puppy Foods
to Consider


  1. M Straus, Commercial dog foods,
  2. A Hedhammar, Canine hip dysplasia as influenced by genetic and environmental factors, EJCAP, Oct 2007, 17:2 (pp 141-143)
  3. 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
  4. RD Kealy et al, Effects of limited food consumption on the incidence of hip dysplasia in growing dogs, JAVMA, Sep 1992, 201:6 (pp 857-863)
  • haleycookie

    Every dog is different however if you have any pet stores near you you should be able to try things freely and if she isn’t as excited about it as you’d like you should be able to take it back to a petstore and get your money back or exchange it for a different food. A couple brands I really like are wellness core puppy, natures variety puppy, and merrick puppy. A couple that aren’t as expensive but are still good quality are whole earth farms puppy and under the sun puppy. It all depends of what you’re looking for and are willing to pay.
    To help entice her you could try adding water to the kibble or adding canned or some cooked chicken and rice mixed in.

  • Hi All, there are some great tips on here thank you, I’m at a cross roads too, I’m trying to find a dry food my Portuguese Water Puppy likes, she doesn’t really seem to be taking to it to much, Currently she is eating the “Open Farm” Brand but she is not to happy about it. I want her to enjoy her food at least, any suggestions for a really enticing food that she will run too would be welcomed.. Thank You

  • haleycookie

    Do you mean week as in a week old? If that’s the case it most likely needs to be on a puppy formula or with the mother if possible. If you mean weak as in not strong cause it’s sick or something of the sort and assuming you’ve already been to the vet to see what is wrong and gotten their opinion you could try nutrical for puppys or dogs or pedealite

  • Leslie Moser Thompson

    Hi, am I able to feed my week pup one or two pieces of the Stella and Chewy’s Meal mixers crumbled up on her food?

  • sandy

    Check out the article on the left side of the page, “How to choose the best large breed puppy food…”. Large breed puppy foods should have controlled amounts of calcium and the correct ratio of calcium and phosphorus.

  • Pitlove

    Yes there are tons of back yard breeders. Bentley is from one. A lot of his issues are poor genetics. And yes I agree it’s ideal to wait to have them spayed or neutered however sometimes that’s not possible

  • anon

    Yes, I agree, wait till they reach maturity, small breeds at least 9 months.
    Large breeds a little longer.
    However, for a variety of reasons this is not always possible. I’m just saying some dogs are okay as a result of early neutering, many factors come in to play.
    Plus, the backyard breeders are out there………

  • Pitlove

    Hi Anon-

    Pediatric spay and neuter effects large and giant breeds differently than it effects smaller dogs. When we were on the fence about neutering Bentley my vet suggested that I wait until he is fully grown. For him she said it would be when he was 18 months old.

  • anon

    You may find some helpful information here:

  • anon

    Not 100% true. I have a dog that was a pediatric neuter (not my doing) and he has none of the issues you mentioned.
    I had a small breed that I chose not to neuter that developed testicular cancer (a tumor in a testicle) at age 11, he had to undergo a late in life neuter, not fun.

  • Judy_

    I agree, but this extra length has only come to be because of the plant diet we have been feeding them since the advent of commercial foods loaded with gluten, soybean and grains. They always could digest some of it but they have no amylase in their saliva to even begin the process. So, you believe what you want and continue to feed carbohydrate laden, inappropriate foods if you want to. Grains are especially bad. Concentrated plant protein such as gluten, cause the villa to be destroyed and eventually digestive problems occur. .It has no business being in dog food. The only reason it is there is because it is a cheap protein and they can list a higher protein content on the label. Not good for the dog though.

  • Judy_

    Orijen is a very good food, but Nature’s Variety has more meat in it.

  • Judy_

    Another bandwagon that should be stopped. There are no health benefits for a dog or cat to be neutered early. What’s the harm in letting the animal develop a bit? These hormones are needed for ALL systems, not just for reproduction. If you want a dog that looks like a cartoon character get one that is early neutered. Small head, long legs, etc. The shelters do it out of necessity because there are so many irresponsible people that let their pets breed, but that doesn’t make me like it any better.

  • Judy_

    They should never start! hahaha!

  • Judy_

    Another gimmick food along with the “puppy foods”.
    Bullies don’t need a different diet than any other dog.
    The one company that insists a Labrador and a Golden Retriever need separate foods, as well as all other breeds, needs to be reported for false advertising. I don’t know how they can keep getting by with it! Totally false! ALL dogs will metabolize foods a little differently than another dog, even in the same breed. It doesn’t mean they need a different food! Totally false advertising!

  • Judy_

    Feeding grain to a carnivore increases inflammation which is the root cause of many diseases. They are not meant to be eating large amount of grain other than what would be found in a prey’s stomach, and that would have been enzymatically broken down. Grain is bad for both cats and dogs because neither of them have any dietary need for carbohydrate. I would feed a no-grain, meat-based food, and then supplement with canned or balanced raw meat.

  • Judy_

    I agree with this. 1:.8 is a very good ca/phos ratio w/o excess for all dogs; not just puppies and many all life stages food have it.

  • Judy_

    Diamond has been in many recalls. I think there are better foods for the money that are meat-based; not plant based. Large breed specific foods are rip offs.

  • Judy_

    Some of the best brands for the money, (these are only meat based; not plant based) are Nature’s Variety, some of the Merrick varieties, Farmina, Canidae, Earthborn Primitive. I choose the foods where 90% or more of the protein on the label is derived from an animal source, and where the fat also is from an animal source, such as chicken fat. Stay away from foods where the primary sources of protein come from plants such as gluten or soybean, or rice protein concentrate and with Canola oil or some other oil is the main source of fat. If they are far down the list it probably doesn’t matter much. Much of the health problems and skeletal problems of dogs today come from feeding an incorrect diet for a Carnivore.
    Dogs do have the ability to survive on plant sourced food, but it is not a good idea to feed it day in and day out. It is simply a bonus given to them so that in times of famine when prey animals were scarce
    they could still survive. They are still to be fed as Carnivores on a daily basis.

  • Judy_

    I do it all the time and have for years. Nothing to it.

  • Judy_

    No food should have excessive dietary calcium and phosphorus. If a food is correct for a dog it is correct for all dogs, whether growing or not.
    Balance is balance. A growing dog will simply eat more of an optimally balanced food to meet the requirements for energy plus growth. You don’t alter anything in order “to make the food behave”. Right now I have two giant crossbred dogs and neither ever had one kibble of “large breed” puppy food. I raised huge German Shepherds 40 years ago, before “large breed” kibble was even thought of. No problems. It’s marketing genius’s hired by the manufacturers to get more money.
    Protein doesn’t hurt a large breed puppy either, but it has to be the correct protein. Not these overloaded foods with gluten and soybean as the protein source. Of course there will be problems feeding these foods because these types of protein fed in the amounts that are in the foods and fed on a daily basis are not a suitable protein for a Carnivore. It’s all about $$$$$$.

  • haleycookie

    You can believe what you like but scientifically dogs have the intestinal length to digest both plants and meat so…

  • Pitlove

    If you are saying that a large breed puppy should not be fed an adult maintenance food, I completely agree with you. Feeding any puppy an adult maintenance diet will usually result in deficiencies as adult dogs do have different requirements for maintenance than puppies have for growth.

    I think what you might be forgetting is that while the front of the bag is essentially marketing that marketing comes with a level of expectancy. There are labeling laws per the FDA. If a diet claims to be suitable for puppies then it must meet the growth nutrient profile or the all lifestages nutrient profile (currently).

    While there is no specific nutrient profile for growing large breed puppies per se, AAFCO does set criteria for what the nutrient profile of a diet suitable for the growth of a large breed puppy should look like. The problems come when companies don’t follow this.

  • Judy_

    I’m sorry to hear that the pet food lobby has managed to make these kinds of changes. It will be next to impossible to feed properly. I meant to say that if you are feeding a food that says, “for adults only” on the label, then it is deficient. If it cannot be fed to puppies, then it must be lacking nutrition. It’s all about money. To feed a food with the bare minimums for an adult is not good because a natural diet wouldn’t have these restrictions.

  • Judy_

    Dogs are not omnivores. If people repeat this enough they think it becomes the truth. The fact that their bodies have the ability to use plant food in times when prey are scarce, does not make them omnivores. And a plant diet should not be fed everyday. It’s only a built in safety factor. Look at the teeth. Carnivore teeth. Short digestive system. They do not attack the corn to eat in the farmer’s field. That would be on the bottom of the list if they were starving. If there were no deer, then smaller animals would be next. Then mice, etc. Probably birds. They would not eat plants normally unless some grass for digestion. Digestive system has been artificially lengthened by inadequate diet with too much plant material and bulk. Dogs still have ZERO nutritional requirement for carbohydrate. They can live good long lives on animal protein and fat. (all things being equal and no health problems) the same as their wild counterparts.

  • Judy_

    Of course there has to be proper balance. What I’m saying is that a dog food SHOULD be balanced for all life stages. If they aren’t, they are unbalanced and deficient. These gimmick foods are entirely unnecessary and a moneymaker. Totally unnecessary. I don’t
    trust the “large breed” foods. If they can’t be fed to all dogs, then they are not balanced. If they are only balanced for one stage of growth, there is too much room for error. I’ve bred dogs for over 50 years and only when the foods were not properly balanced are their growth problems.
    If the food has a 1% Calcium and that or a little less phosphorus, everything grows correctly. It’s when people start supplementing with these minerals when problems occur. And good hard exercise is also necessary to prevent such problems as hip displasia, also.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Judy-

    While I can concede to the fact that many company misrepresent some of their formulas as being safe for the growth of a large or giant breed pup, I disagree that across the board they are all deficient. This is why personally, I chose a large breed puppy food from a company with several veterinary nutritionists on board, who do AAFCO feeding trials on puppies similar to my breed and do their own independent research on large breed growth and nutrition.

    I agree that an all life stages food can be used IF and only IF properly balanced following current research and updated AAFCO criteria for large breed growth.

    However, by next year or end of this year AAFCO will be removing the “all life stages” nutrient profile.

  • haleycookie

    First, dogs are omnivores, second, puppy foods are formulated to have more fat and protein in them so you don’t have to feed a ton more. However if you feel like wasting your money and feeding twice as much adult kibble then go right ahead. Also you’ve apparently never had a dog with health problems, weight problems, etc because there’s a reason dog food companies make different foods for different problems. Yes, with every brand competing and every brand having a similar food for a similar problem (example: weight loss formulas) there is a lot of wall space taken up when a lot them probably work the same but that’s marketing for you. Every company wants to make money so they all try to release foods that can compete. Kinda like how everyone is releasing a freeze dried raw infused food after natures variety was the first to introduce it.

  • haleycookie

    That’s actually incorrect, as a puppy it’s wise to use a large breed food, at least one that has the proper calcium levels to help prevent hip displasia and other similar kinds of issues further down the road. However u are right a lot of large breed foods are labeled incorrectly. There’s a list on this site that list the puppy foods that are actually correct and have the right amount of calcium in them. Some are regular puppy foods and not marked as large breed either. It’s important though feeding a correct calcium level puppy food isn’t a cure all end all but it sure can help in the long run.

  • Judy_

    There truly is no “puppy food”, no various life stages food, and no “large breed” puppy food that is properly balanced. In the wild, puppies eat the same, exact food that everyone else eats, but they eat more of it, to meet the requirements for growth. All these various life stage foods are a marketing gimmick. All dog food, if properly balanced is a “puppy food”. But you need to feed the puppy more of it. Get a good, “all life stages” food, meat based, as dogs are carnivores. I refuse to buy food who lie to the public and say that every breed of dog and every lifestyle should have a different food. At the end of the day, there isn’t 2c worth of difference between any of them and they take up way too much room on the shelves. You pay for the multitude of beautiful bags..

  • Judy_

    Large breed puppy foods are unbalanced and deficient. I have raised many large and giant breed dogs, using food for “all life stages”. During the growing stage, the puppy needs to be fed and EXERCISED. If he doesn’t get the needed exercise skeletal problems develop.
    I now own a 120# crossbred dog who has never eaten one kernel of large breed bs food, and is beautiful and sound.

  • InkedMarie

    Click the link above to see the list

  • Stephanie

    Hi..our family just got 2 cockapoos they are 4 and 5 lbs…will be approx 10lbs when full grown. They are 10 weeks old … could you please recommend a dry puppy food to give them price does not matter. Thank you

  • Tim Anderson

    Hey i have a 1 yr old blue pit and her pup of 60 days.. What is a good food to feed them both.. Please help.. I cant figure it out

  • Jamie Howell

    I would research foods for great danes, because I looked at getting one and I remember there was a lot of info and because of such rapid growth regular puppy food can’t give them everything they need

  • Jamie Howell

    What breed?

  • Pitlove

    Hi Steph-

    You can switch to an adult formula once the dog is fully grown. That will be different for different breeds and different dogs even within the breed.

  • Steph Wong

    How do you know when to make the switch from puppy food to adult food?

  • Pitlove

    Protein has been proven through 20 years of research not to be a factor in optimal growth of large and giant breed puppies. Excessive dietary calcium and phosphorus intake, along with being overweight has been proven to cause most of the orthopedic and growth problems seen in larger breeds. Obviously genetics plays a large role too. This is why good breeders will have radiographs and PennHip scores on the parents to prove no HD in the bloodlines. Of course if your dog is a rescue that is another story as you can’t trace the lineage and pedigree.

  • Angelina keefer

    Ok ! Thank you ! : ) it’s so confusing because a lot of people say with large breed puppies the puppy food has too much protein in it and it will be bad for the large breed puppy.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Angelina-

    Having Great Dane in him he will likely be 50lbs+ at mature weight so yes, he needs a large breed puppy food.

  • Angelina keefer

    Hello : )
    I have a question. I’m getting a puppy in a few days and he’s half Great Dane and have blue nose pit. I see a lot of people say feed large breed puppy food but he’s only half large breed. Does it matter what I feed him whether it be large breed or not ? I have two Dobermans that are on Orijen. Thanks

  • Bill Smirnoff

    I have always had a keen interest in good diet, so why would I not have the same approach when it comes to my two Bulldogs? Before I discovered that program, I thought kibble was the only way forward. But Dog Food Secret has changed all that – it has re-written the rule book and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to know that my dogs are getting the best, the purest and tastiest (so they tell me) food they possibly could. It’s just common sense and as far as I’m concerned every dog should be on it. My dogs are trimmer, healthier and in better spirits. You are what you eat, after all.

  • Bill Smirnoff


  • Hank Sooth


  • Karl Spritzer

    I have always had a keen interest in good diet, so why would I not have the same approach when it comes to my two Bulldogs? Before I discovered that program, I thought kibble was the only way forward. But Dog Food Secret has changed all that – it has re-written the rule book and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to know that my dogs are getting the best, the purest and tastiest (so they tell me) food they possibly could. It’s just common sense and as far as I’m concerned every dog should be on it. My dogs are trimmer, healthier and in better spirits. You are what you eat, after all.

  • Karl Spritzer


  • CoolSpring Labradors

    There are many foods out their and they are typically marketed to the owners and thus everyone has an experience or knowledge….first the food or calcium does not any affect on dysplasia or elbows its all genetic and a luck of the draw…dogs that have OFA’d with Mild Hip Dysplasia will run jump and play with zero issues and will live a typically normal life span. There is nothing wrong with all the “designer foods” they are made for owners in mind and sold a being a healthier alternative in the marketplace….But they may not be the best for your dog or the breed in general overall. I have tried them all because I should……every time I did that I learned my lesson, irrespective of “not listening to my inner self”…but hey why not. I know a show breeder that makes her own dog food, she pressure cooks the entire chicken (bones become mush) adds vitamins, rice, and veggies and feeds her Show Rotties…her dogs are just magnificent….in fact her German Males are humongous. Hey, it works for her…but here is what Most Champion Large Breed dogs are on Purina Pro Plan, IAMS/Eukanuba and lastly Science Diet….the longest lived dogs under study were on these brands. If you get stuck in the minutia which is exactly what happens then corn is forbidden and then were all ingredient experts with all these opinions flying all over the place, this percentage that percentage…you’ll go nuts and that exactly what they want you to do.
    Here’s what were using: Large Breed Puppy Eukanuba….when the adult teeth are (95-100%) in then we switch them over to adult food typically at 5-6 months….Depending on the results….Most are on Eukanuba Performance 30/20…stunning results. One is on T.O.T.W. 32/20 both versions mixed together in same food bin….It’s just his thing as he has a coat to die for and he’s a tank of a Labrador….In most cases large breed dogs need grain in their food for bowel health….One of my Vets has over 57 #1 Champions of his breed and he once asked my are you feeding her grain free? That’s why she is having the problem, don’t do that! Problem solved. I’ll never forget that…use what works for you but please be aware those three companies spend millions of dollars in research each year…..and spending more than you have to for a healthy dog is about you the consumer. I know a Lab Show Breeder who has a history of winning World Champions #1 multiple BISS and Nationals……I was over and her dogs are magnificent…I asked what the hell are those dogs on? She was using Pedigree and solid gold dumped in together! I was floored to say the least….now they are older and on Purina Bright Minds…use whatever works…I always suggest to other breeds, use what your breeder suggests or if you have to, or want to, call show breeders that are online or go to a show and talk with them directly many have been doing this for well over 30 and 40 years…we do know and will always be eager to help with suggestions. All the best to all of you.

  • Sylvie Fortier

    Wow Thank you mcsshane, good info!

  • Sylvie Fortier

    never mix dry and raw! Ever!

  • Mehmet Sendur

    Hey. I have 3months old husky puppy. What do u recomended ?

  • Jodi

    My puppy was on wellness Large Breed puppy and got violently ill! The vet found nothing wrong. It had to be the food. About 2-3wks prior to becoming ill he had stopped wanting to eat HIS food but would try to eat my other dogs food that don’t eat Wellnes. I began researching Wellness and found many other stories of dogs that had literally the exact same symptoms as my boy. Violent diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy….not wanting to eat. Both the vet and I believe that Yvan was telling me that Wellness was not agreeing with him or maybe there was something wrong with it? Either one could be true. But all I know is since removing that food from his diet he has had no other issues. Stinks because I had purchased 5 bags of this $70 a bag food and was only 1/4 of the way through the second bag. O’well. I’ll take wasting money over a sick dog any day.

  • Jodi

    You’ll want a Large Breed specific food. I’ve always had great results with the Diamond or 4-Health brands. They are not the cheapest but definitely not the most expensive…BY FAR! They offer a wide variety of foods. Generally speaking a Large Breed Puppy food will have the correct amount of Calcium for a Large Breed puppy. Too much is as bad as too little.

  • Jodi

    I’ve had two Veterinarians voice their opinions to me in regards to some of the lesser known higher costing dog foods. Both times we were discussing what I was feeding my Rottweiler puppy during the time he was have some pretty horrible belly issues. At the time I was feeding Wellness Large Breed Puppy, Chicken and Whitefish. He’d been refusing to eat his food but would want to eat my other adult dogs food. They are in fiamond Nagurals Chicken and rice. Anyway, while discussing the quality of Wellness BOTH vets, at different clinics, suggested that sometimes you have to look at this very valid point……with some of the higher quality foods comes the fact that fewer consumers Buy it. It’s more expensive sometimes ALOT more expensive than your more well known foods. Therefore, if there is ever an issue with the food the time between a comsumer(s) reporting problems and a recall being issued…and then you hearing about it can be SIGNIFICANTLY longer. Versus a more widely used food where problems or issues with the food will be discovered and reported to the consumer much more quickly because they are more widely used. Made complete sense to me. Especially when BOTH Vetrenarians said that they recommend and feed more well known, more common if you will, foods to their own pets. They BOTH went on to educate me even further on how first ingredients can and are very misleading in many cases. For example, first ingredient: Beef. This would lead one to believe that there is more Beef in a particular food than anything else and this is just not necessarily true in most cases. Once that Beef is dried down to kibble form it’s NOT the major ingredient. They further explained some myths in regards to grains and other things. My conclusion, In my opinion I would prefer to purchase and feed a more well known food (I’ve always had great results with the Diamond or 4-Health Brands) versus a good that I hav FYI search to find on a shelf or the Internet. Also, I’m not feeding in to all the hype about how horrible grains are…..know your dogs and his needs and choose what is best. And finally more expensive doesn’t mean more better (yes, more better is acceptable English where I live lol) You don’t have to break the bank to feed your dog a well balanced and nutritious diet. If you think your dog food is lacking in the protein department then cook up an egg or add some yogurt or cooked (or raw) meat to their kibble. Add some tastes veggies etc. doing so is much cheaper and probably better for them than buying a food that costs more than your monthly entertainment budget. I’m by no means saying feed your dog crap food. I’m saying that you don’t have to feel guilty for buying what you can afford for safety reasons and your cheaper food is also easily supplemented for an economical cost. A bag of carrots or a dozen eggs (for example) cost $1.50 and will go a long way!

  • Kaye Chen

    What is the recommended brand for puppy 8 month old Chiwawa mix?

  • Jamie Salve

    It also depends on your budget as well. My favorite is Taste of the Wild. The only thing bad about them is the price but as part of the family, I always believe in feeding the best you can afford.

  • Marie Abate

    What kind of puppy food should I be feeding my large breed puppy? Any suggedtions?

  • B. Vaughn

    I’d like to request that you start listing calcium and phosphorus contents on your puppy food reviews- balancing calcium and phosphorus intake in large puppies is extremely important for proper growth, but a lot of labels don’t openly list it, which has left us calling around 20 different companies to find out their calcium/phosphorus content. It’d be very useful to large breed puppy owners if Ca/P was part of the analysis you do.

  • Marie-Josee

    We just got a giant schnoodle pup… what would be best to give her as dry kibbles ? She was started on President choice nutrition first for puppy (chicken+brown rice) at the breeder.

  • mcshane

    Actr1um Holistic Puppy Food, you can get it at Walmart. DogfoodAdvisor gives the adult one 4 stars out of 5. We mix it with meat and veg leftovers for dinner and a couple of table spoons of probiotic yogurt in the morning.

  • Crazy4cats

    Two puppies? You might want to reconsider. This is what happens. Lol!

  • Lynne Toledo

    I will be getting Lab puppies in just a few weeks. You mention you feed your puppy Holistic. Is that the brand, or you just fee holistic food? Bought from where?

  • InkedMarie

    Head over to the forums….look for the large breed puppy thread, highlighted in yellow, in the Diet & Health Issues forum

  • ChrisS

    I just got an American Bully, she is 8 weeks.Will probably be about 60 lbs full size. I really want to try and get the best. I’ve seen a lot of good things about Bully Max High Performance, but it is pretty new and is an “all-stage” type of food. Maybe its just my misconception but I would think a true “puppy” blend would be better depending on the brand. Any suggestions or am I truly just wrong, and should just go ahead with the Bully Max.

  • According to IAMS, Purina and the ASPCA, a large breed puppy can safely switch to an adult dog food at about 12 months of age.

    Giant breed puppies can be switched from puppy food to adult food at about 24 months.

    To prevent hip dysplasia, it’s probably safer to keep a dog on a puppy food too long than it is to switch to an adult food too early.

    Hope this helps.

  • mcshane

    I feed my lab Holistic. As a puppy he would be fat for one week then get lanky the next. Interesting study: The risk of development of hip dysplasia doubles, and disease occurs at a younger age in the early-neuter group compared to both the intact and late-neuter group. No occurrence of CCL disease was observed in intact male or intact female dogs, or in late-neutered females. With respect to cancer, cases of lymphoma were 3-fold greater in the early-neutered males. Interestingly, incidence of mast cell tumors (male and female dogs) and hemangiosarcoma (female dogs only) were highest in the late-neuter group.

    Health Implications in Early Spay and Neuter in Dogs

  • mcshane

    Early Neuter Doubles The Risk Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs – New Study Consistent with previous studies on the topic, the results showed increased likelihood of hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and canine cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture in neutered dogs.

    The most profound observations were in hip dysplasia in male dogs when comparing early and late-neutering. The risk of development of hip dysplasia doubles, and disease occurs at a younger age in the early-neuter group compared to both the intact and late-neuter group. No occurrence of CCL disease was observed in intact male or intact female dogs…

  • Deborah Hoy

    When does a large breed puppy stop eating large breed puppy food?

  • E Cem

    I have two feeding questions for my pup. I have a 12 week Yellow Lab. I have been feeding her Natural Balance that our other dogs (smaller breeds) eat. I know this is likely a portion issue, but she is picking up weight too fast. I will reduce the portions and wonder what other owners have used. I know the bag portion recommendations are too high. Also, I am thinking of switching to the best dry food I can afford to do my best to protect her hips. Not sure I can quite afford Orijen. What do you think about Wellness Core compared to Arcana puppy food?

  • Mary Sto

    Check out Fromm Large Breed Puppy. Some other great choices are (all in the Large Breed puppy formula) Wellness, Premium Edge, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and NutriSource. Hope this helps!

  • sandy

    Check out the article on the left side bar:

    “How to Choose the Best Large Breed Puppy Food and Lower the Risk of Hip Dysplasia”

    Also, you can join Editors Choice (yearly subscription) which has a list of foods already researched that meet the special calcium and phosphorus requirements for large breed puppies, but I’m sure some other large breed puppy owners will chime in with some recommendations.

  • Kurt Bruckner

    Yes he is a Johnson type American Bulldog

  • sandy

    If your puppy is not a large or giant breed pup, then yes. If he is, then you will want to investigate further to be sure it is appropriate for a large/giant breed pup.

  • Kurt Bruckner

    So is it ok to feed a puppy Fromm salmon ala veg the nutrient list states? Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals® Salmon À La Veg® Food for Dogs is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

  • Ashley

    Thank you

  • Pitlove

    It’s possible that this ingredient, which is an artificial food coloring, is changing the color of her poop. If I were you, I would consider switching off this food and certainly to a food for a large breed puppy.

  • Ashley

    Yes it does

  • Pitlove

    Hi Ashley-

    Does the food happen to contain the ingredient Red 40?

  • Ashley

    I have a german shephard huskey lab mastiff mix.. so mix of lots of big dogs the food I have her eating is making her stool red any suggestions? She is only 7 weeks old

  • 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 own (my parents have 3) 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!

  • Buddysmom

    I have a 5 month old yorkie. He is gaining weight very well, according to my vet. He’s gained 2 lbs since I got him at 13 weeks, weighing 3.6 lbs now. I’ve been giving him Purina pro plan focus for toy breed puppy and the proplan wet for puppy, but saw that food isn’t really that great. What do you suggest, he is very picky and I have to mix dry in to wet for him to even eat it.

  • Greg O Sullivan

    Wow – some good points that I was not aware of – nice read.

  • ProudOne

    Petcurean has changed their puppy line to “all life stages” , specifically the GO! Fit+Free line. Can I assume this is the same formula as the puppy line they had? I can’t find any review for the this new line.

  • LabsRawesome

    I cannot find a ingredien list for Members Mark online.
    All I could find was a page with a picture of the front
    of the bag, that stated no corn, wheat, soy, or by products.
    If you have an ingredient list, that would be helpful.

  • Michael Pimentel

    What do you think about Member’s Mark Exceed Chicken & Brown Rice Puppy Formula? It has a tempting price tag, meets AAFCO standards, and has many great reviews by users, however, I do not see it listed here. Can anyone tell me more about if this is comparable to some of the 4 or 5 star foods, or if it was considered, but did not pass the test? Thanks!

  • Lara Opitz

    Hello, in 4 weeks we are going to pick up our new family member, a Border Collie puppy, im planing to buy Authority Puppy Large Breed (4.5 stars) what you think about this food??? thank you so much

  • Shiena

    I’ve fed my beagles Horizon Legacy (chicken) as puppies and adults for the past seven years. Searching to see if there’s better but it’s already MGO free, growth hormone free, by-product free, chemical preservative free.

  • Vienna

    I feed my dogs Nutro Ultra Senior, and it has choke holes in it – Nutro Ultra also has a Puppy formula – I would guess they would do the same, try that one!

  • Diane

    what is good for a 8 week old puppy Beagle

  • theBCnut

    I would assume he is going to be a large breed dog and be very careful with calcium levels. NutriSource Large Breed Puppy, Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast, and Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch are OK for large breed puppies and reasonably economical.

  • edison papa

    it depends on how much you are willing to spend. I like to spend so I fed my pup Origen. Great reviews, great food, but it ain’t cheap.

  • Savannah Seal

    Hi! What would you recommend for an 8 week old lab pit mix?

  • theBCnut

    “Choke holes” are not really essential for puppies learning to eat dry food, but if you are worried about the risk of choking, you may want to moisten the food at least until the puppies are big enough that the size of the kibble would not block their airway. Or choose a kibble that is designed for small breeds. Size appropriateness is a much more important factor for puppies.

  • Jordan Carlson

    I’m a little surprised/ disappointed with puppy food retailers atm… So far 0 out of 3 places I went to carry puppy food with choke holes in it. They didn’t even know where to look for me! That little hole in the kibble is ESSENTIAL for puppies just learning to eat dry food in case they choke. I have seen it first hand that hole will give them just enough air until you can help them. Is their any brand that still makes it? Can’t even find pictures on most bags anymore

  • InkedMarie

    Right up above, click & choose a 4 or 5 star food

  • Kayti Forsell

    Picking up our 9 week old maltipoo tomorrow. What is going to be the best food for her.

  • theBCnut

    Mother dogs don’t agree with you. They like to start weaning around 5-6 weeks and finish by around 7-8 weeks, but puppies still need to learn important social skills from their mother and littermates.

  • Susan Duda Speranza

    Puppies should be feed by its mother until 12 weeks.

  • Johngaltil

    Feed a mix of 2 high quality foods from different manufacturers. The mix prevents stomach upset from changing diet and the two is to cover an error in a trace nutrient content. As you say he is a nut case Google “infant formula chloride deficiency” and read how human infants were damaged by an error in formula design. Never trust that a company has not made a mistake when feeding an artificial diet.

  • I have a 4 month Cockapoo that I was having trouble finding the right food for him that didn’t upset his stomach. I was informed of a premium branded dry pet food called McAdams. I have written a review over on my blog if you would like to read more about this brand and/or see some adorable snaps of our puppy. Sarah x

  • Storm’s Mom

    Along with the other suggestions (I’m in Canada, and particularly fond of Nutrience), if you have a Pet Valu or Bosley’s store, their “store brand” called Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is really good (their grain-inclusive formulas are not nearly as good, though). Holistic Blend (NOT Holistic Select) and Horizon Legacy are others to look for. Hope this helps!

    Edit: saw Sandy’s response and piped in, then realized you actually posted a month ago! What did you end up going with?

  • You might be able to easily find Nutrience and Oven-Baked Tradition since they are Canadian brands.

  • Nicole Glazar

    I have a Chorkie he is 7 months but doesn’twant to eat his wet and dried food.what might be wrong and what is the recommended dog food?

  • Maria

    Forgive my garmmer! We fed him Life’s Abundance large puppy food.

  • Maria

    Hi! I could really use some direction. We have an Australian Labre doodle. He’s one year and one month old. We have been feeding him what the breeder gave him, likes abundance large breed puppy food. He’s a little larger than his parents at 55 pounds. I don’t think you’ll get bigger at this point. We’re looking to switch foods for him. He doesn’t seem to like it very much. I have given him cooked plain chicken pumpkin purée and apple pieces and some and sunbutter as a treat. We can’t have peanuts in the house! When he was younger I did give him some treats along with his food and I think it made him sick. I had to take him to the doctors. They gave him antibiotics and probiotics. I have researched this website to death. The information is great but still I have questions. Is my dog really considered a large breed? I believe the breeder wanted us to be aware of hip issues. Do I still feed him puppy food. We picked such a energetic puppy!!! My girls adore him. It’s our first dog! Any help would be great.

  • Jeaivon Nicolette

    What dog food brand is recomemend for a 5 month old pomerian puppy? Now i use royal canin starter pack, but i want to change tp another brand

  • Nel Garcia

    yes im from the philippines. the breeder where i bought the puppy said i can only buy it at the market place. but i dont really know a market place where they sell dog food.

  • Bobby dog

    You’re welcome. I only found the one pic that I could read the ingredients from. All the others either had bad lighting or were just too small.

    I found several sites too. Some from pet stores in the Philippines and some from the Caribbean region. They pretty much all had a small photo with the price listed, nothing else.

    I was interested in who made it. The photo just cuts off what might have been the manufacturer. It has an AAFCO statement and made in the U.S.A. logo.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks BD! I could only find a few photos also. I went to the website, but it doesn’t seem to work. Of course, now I can’t even find the website because I closed the page and can’t find it in my tabs! 🙁

  • Bobby dog

    The OP might have a “Pomeranian husky,” I just Googled it.

    I found a pic of a label for the performance beef pro. I am guessing the recipes within this brand are similar, not sure.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I can’t find anything about “BeefPro” except random comments of some forums. Is this a grocery store brand? There are many great puppy foods out there, and they are not necessarily expensive.

    A pomeranian and a husky are quite different sizes and would require different puppy foods. About how much does your pup weigh right now?

  • Nel Garcia

    What dog food brand would you recommend for a 7month old pomeranian husky puppy?
    The brand that we are currently feeding to our puppy is “BeefPro” but i found a number of bad reviews about this brand and it got me worried. Please help thank you!

  • Veronica DelReal

    Thanks.. I will try them

  • Pitlove

    current research shows high protein doesn’t actually tax the kidneys since excess protein is removed from the body as waste. I agree that not all proteins are created equal though.

  • Franchot Tone

    No expert here but I agree with your vet. Really high protein might sound good but can in the long run be very hard on an animal’s kidneys. That being said not all protein claims are equal. While one brand may claim a high percentage protein, use caution when you look at the source of the protein.

  • theBCnut

    You can’t go wrong with Orijen and Acana.

  • Veronica DelReal

    Hi everybody!! Please, if you can help me will be great!! In a week or two we are bringing to home a Miniature Dachshund puppy, she was born Sept 29, so up today she has 5 week (will have 6 or 7 weeks when she will come to our house).
    Plus, I am new in Canada, so I don’t know to much about the dog food here.
    Would you recommend me a very good puppy food for her please? Many thanks!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes, I would suggest requesting/getting 4-5 days of his current food, if possible, or just asking for a “few days” and seeing what you get. If you explain the situation and why you’re asking for it, they should understand how much to send with the pup.

    You may also want to have canned pure pumpkin (not the pie stuff) on hand, too, to help with the transition. Probiotics and digestive enzymes, too, if possible, to be extra safe.

    Taste of the Wild is the brand that came to mind as being perhaps the closest to Kirkland (perhaps Nutro, too?) ….and I think Taste of the Wild is what I first switched my guy to too. That was before I knew both are made by Diamond, though, which has has all kinds of quality issues such that I totally steer clear of them now. So, I’m a bit reluctant to suggest it generally, but in this specific instance it might be safest bet.

    Your dog isn’t a large breed, so that’s helpful..more options for you to choose from! 🙂

  • Nikki M.

    Thanks for the fast response. It is a mixed mini-poodle and Golden Retriever. I am not aware of the expected number of pounds for growth, but was told the he won’t grow much bigger than he is now, which I think is around 25-35 lbs. I will ask the owner for some food; approximately how much should I ask for, 2-3 days or 4-5 days? Or just see how much they are willing to part with? I would try to get a Costco membership or even a trial one, but I won’t be able to make it there any time soon.

    I like the idea of using the ingredients list to find something similar. I read Taste of the Wild is very similar but I can’t find it near me online; may have to Amazon it. (recent foot surgery and not getting clearance to walk/drive till Friday). I am making a quick stop at a local PetSmart right before I get him to pick up the last few things I was unable to get online as this was a sudden, unexpected, unplanned addition to our family. I grew up with dogs and thankfully work from home so think we will adjust well.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Congrats on the new pup!!! What breed is it, and what approx lbs it is expected to grow to be?

    Would it be possible to ask the current owner to include a few days worth the pup’s current foodto tide you over during a gradual switch to something else? Mine did this, and I would imagine that any good breeder with their pup’s best interests at heart would as well, if you explain the situation.

    Storm was on Kirkland when I got him, too..although I ended up just getting a Costco membership and feeding him a couple of bags of it before I switched him to something else (I don’t remember now what it was). Is it a possibility for you to get a Costco membership?

    Alternatively, I would look at the ingredients of the Kirkland Signature food that the dog is on and visit your local store(s) to find a food that’s as close to it as possible.

  • Nikki M.

    Hello All! In 3 days we are bringing home a 6 month old puppy. The owner has been feeding it Kirkland Signature dog food in the green bag from Costco. We are BJs members so will not have access to it. How can we transition it to what we plan on feeding such as Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy food or Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost puppy food?

  • Crazy4cats

    She sounds wonderful! is also a great site to order food from. They have good prices and excellent customer service, especially when it comes to returns. Can’t wait to see the pic!

  • Melissa Vazquez Carrera

    thank I just order it on Amazon. $35.95 for a 30lb bag the whole earth and I saved the earthborn on my wishlist so i know if this one doesn’t work out i will buy it. Both have awesome reviews…price wise wef is good for my pocket. but i will like to try the other aswell. crazy4cats i will post pictures as soon as she is home she is a red merle mini with bright blue eyes. an she has her tail. i cant wait to have her home.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’m one of those who give Earthborn the thumbs up. I don’t feed it often because I have to drive 45mins over a relatively dangerous mountain pass to buy it (so I only do so in the summer or on totally dry days in the spring or fall), but when I do/have bought it, Storm has always done really well on it. In the rotation of foods I feed Storm, I’d liken it to a relative you don’t see often but are quite fond of and enjoy seeing whenever you get the chance 🙂 The Coastal Catch and Meadow Feast are the two I’ve fed (the latter I’d only feed with a canned topper because the kibble is so low in protein).

  • Crazy4cats

    While I have not fed Earthborn, there are many posters on here that do and give it a thumbs up!

  • Crazy4cats

    I really like Whole Earth Farms dry dog food. I haven’t fed TOTW and I believe that Blue Buffalo is too expensive for what you get. You can buy WEF at Petco as well as some feed stores. I usually can find it on sale at one or the other. Petco also has a rewards program and always some kind of online special. By the way, I really like their canned food as well, especially for my cats! Please post a pic of your new bundle of joy when you get her! I need a puppy fix!! 😀

  • Melissa Vazquez Carrera

    Oh I forgot the second I looked at earthbound holistic

  • Melissa Vazquez Carrera

    Hi I am bringing home a miniature Australian shepherd she will be 8weeks and probably 8lbs. Which food do you all recommend. I was looking atMerrick Whole Earth Farms – Puppy and the other was taste of the wild puppy. Both are great prices for 30 lb bag. Both had great reviews on Amazon. But the merrick seemed to have better on the dog enjoying it and having solid stool. The taste of the wild had a lot of finding mildew in the bag. So please help I am going insane…I can’t not do evo to much to afford. Or bluebuffalo

  • Michele

    I would like a grain free , chicken based, puppy kibble for a shihTzu puppy. Owner on a tight budget.

  • Michele

    I have a miniature Golden Doodle and I had great results feeding grain free kibble Halo and grain free Wellness Core, puppy formulas. I preferred Chicken based ingredients.

  • E.B

    Anyone have a few puppy dog food names recommendations that I can feed my giant breed, Italian mastiff (cane corso) ? He’s 9 weeks old now.

  • Katy

    I am about to get a small goldendoodle. I am looking for a good dry puppy food. We have been feeding our two other dogs Blue Buffalo, and I want to see if that should be okay for our new baby.

  • Pitlove

    A food thats not listed on that list that is actually excellent for LBP is Precise Holistic Complete Large/Giant Breed Puppy.

    I second everything else DogFoodie said as she is 100% correct. Just wanted to add my 2 cents about that food as I’ve seen the excellent results from it with my boyfriends brothers Great Dane.

  • DogFoodie

    You bet! Happy to help!

  • Diana

    This is great information! Thank you so much!!

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Diana,

    Your large breed puppies have very special nutritional needs. You need to be certain to feed a food with an appropriate level of Calcium to avoid skeletal disorders. Other factors that contribute to skeletal disorders are over-nutrition and over-exercising.

    Here’s a good article to start:

    And, here’s a list of food that a regular, knowledgeable, poster here put together of foods that have been determined to be appropriate for LBPs:

  • Diana

    I am looking for a recommendation. Any help is welcomed!!!
    I have 2 puppies. A 6 month old Queensland Heeler and a 4 month old Shepard mix (grate dane, mastiff, shepard, and lab) . My vet thinks the shepard mix will be about 70 to 80 lbs. I am looking for a puppy food that they can both have. Or should I feed them different food?

  • Gina

    try not to overfeed your pup if you dog needs potty training then watch this

  • Stephen Pearson

    I totally agree with this comment and we are getting different advice from websites, vets and pet stores

  • DogFoodie

    It’s a great choice. I also think you’re right, your vet is “old school.”

  • magicmyst

    I am so confused. Until recently, our 7 month old English Springer Spaniel was getting Pro Plan Focus, but due to lackluster reviews both here and elsewhere, we decided to look for something better and switched her to Orijen Puppy, which gets 5 stars here and rave reviews from other ESS owners. But then yesterday we were in to see the Vet, and he was not very enthusiastic and said it might be too high in protein (it’s 38%). Perhaps he’s working from an “old school” text book, but it’s hard to know whom to believe! FWIW, our pup loves the Orijen, but now I’m wondering if I made the right choice? So many different opinions!

  • ReformedChick

    So….I’m getting a Havanese hybrid–1/2 Hav, 1/4 Jack Russell, 1/4 Yorkie…What is the best cost-effective way to feed him/her (We haven’t even picked it out yet!!! :D). I’ve heard that even just feeding them from the table is an option, but we don’t want the poor thing gaining too much weight! What is your guys’ suggestions?

  • Helen James
  • Helen James

    its very useful tips which helped to inprove my puppy food nutrition .also helped me to know how to take care health of my puppy,awared me the chance of diseases which it may affect.

  • Suman Satpathy

    You can give him Farmina (Natural and Delicious or Earthborn vantage.) I have a Golden Retriever and boxer both were on this food. Farmina I found is excellent.. until my boxer stopped eating ( she is a bit chzy ).. the feeding guidelines is given on the cover just follow that.. Can you tell me how did you find fidele whether it is good or average or bad?