Best Puppy Foods

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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

Footnotes

  1. M Straus, Commercial dog foods, DogAware.com
  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)