Best Puppy Foods

Best Puppy Foods

Choosing the best food for your puppy is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

That’s because feeding your puppy the wrong food… one that contains too much calcium… can significantly increase her RISK of hip dysplasia.1

And other crippling bone diseases.

Especially for certain breeds.

On this page… to keep your dog safe… you’ll find our most recommended puppy foods… each labeled “Best for” a specific breed type.

The Best Puppy Foods
October 2019

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 25 best puppy foods for October 2019.



Go Carnivore Dog Food for Puppies

Go! Carnivore Puppy

Rating:

Go! Carnivore Puppy is one of 5 recipes included in our review of the Go! Carnivore product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, de-boned chicken, de-boned turkey
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $$$

Carnivore Puppy derives the bulk of its animal protein from poultry meal, salmon meal and deboned poultry. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 40% protein, 20% fat and 32% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Actual buyer review… “Our Boston Terrier has been on GO! Puppy for over 6 months and he loves it. Shinny coat, clear eyes, firm stools. We have had great result and will continue to use until Scully moves to adult formula in a few months. If you are looking for a high protein, grain free puppy food… look no further.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

An exceptional canine growth formula. And unlike other brands, Go! Carnivore contains no genetically modified cereal grains. Highly recommended.

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Wellness Complete Health

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Wellness Complete Health Puppy is one of 14 recipes included in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, ground barley)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$

Wellness Puppy obtains the bulk of its meat protein from fresh, deboned chicken, chicken meal and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 20% fat and 40% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Actual buyer review… “Bennett is doing great on this food; soft shiny coat and his ears smelled horrible before switching foods and now they have no smell. I work in the animal medical field and see animals with food/skin/allergy issues all the time and was concerned this guy was going down that road. I can’t say enough about the food!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

One of our top picks that’s nutritionally optimized for all puppy breeds. Highly recommended.

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice

Rating:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy is one of 23 recipes included in our review of Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, oatmeal, barley)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $

Life Protection Puppy sources the majority of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 18% fat and 44% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Actual buyer review… “After fostering multiple dogs, and now my own adopted fur baby, this food has been a consistent favorite across the board! Gus Gus loves the flavor and devours it every time we set it down. He’s growing and is so healthy and energetic. Highly recommend!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

An exceptional budget-friendly growth formula… and one that’s easy to recommend.

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Adirondack 30% High Fat Puppy and Performance

Adirondack 30% Protein High Fat Puppy and Performance

Rating:

Adirondack Puppy and Performance formula is one of 4 recipes included in our review of the Adirondack product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, dried plain beet pulp, ground grain sorghum
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, ground grain sorghum, pearled barley, brewers dried yeast)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $

This Adirondack grain-inclusive, all life stages formula receives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 36% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Actual buyer review… “This food was great at helping to put weight on my rescue puppy. My pup was underweight from being emaciated so I was looking for a high calorie content food so I could still feed a low volume. This food completely fit the bill. My pup gained ~10 lbs in almost three weeks and finally looks like a healthy pup again.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

An affordable, grain-inclusive recipe that makes it a nutritious option for all breeds of puppies.

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Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Dry Puppy Food

Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Food

Rating:

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Puppy is one of 15 recipes included in our review of the Instinct Raw Boost product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, egg product
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $$$

This Instinct Raw Boost growth formula acquires the majority of its animal protein from fresh chicken, chicken meal and turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 37% protein, 24% fat and 31% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

Actual buyer review… “I would like to feed nothing but air dried or raw, but cost prohibitive. I believe this is the best of the dry based on ingredients and company reputation. My puppy loves it and he can be a very picky eater!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

An exceptional, grain-free, growth formula ideal for small and medium breed puppies. Highly recommended.

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Nulo Freestyle Puppy

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Puppy is one of 8 recipes included in our review of the Nulo Freestyle product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, salmon meal, chickpeas, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$$

This Nulo Freestyle growth formula derives the lion’s share of its meat protein from turkey, turkey meal and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 37% protein, 20% fat and 35% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

Actual buyer review… “I have been through about four or five different foods for my now five month old puppy, ranging from one end of the food spectrum to the other. I had to start putting pumpkin in with the kibble because NOTHING would work. I read up on this food and liked the fact it is low glycemic, grain free, and has all the things a growing puppy needs. I ordered it and haven’t looked back since.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A 5-star, protein-rich puppy formula free of artificial coloring agents and toxic preservatives. Highly recommended.

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Cainidae Grain Free Pure Foundations Dry Kibble

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Wet Puppy Food

Rating:

Canidae Pure Foundations is one of 5 recipes included in our review of the Canidae Grain-Free Pure wet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, dried egg, peas, salmon oil
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$

This Canidae Grain-Free canned puppy food sources the major part of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 41% protein, 30% fat and 22% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 72%.

Actual buyer review… “She really loves it and she has less gas in her tummy. I mix it with her Canidae puppy dry food as a little treat and she eats it right up.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

This Canidae puppy recipe makes a great alternative to dry food… and it also makes a flavorful “topper” to help enhance the taste of almost any dry kibble. Highly recommended.

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Annamaet Ohana Grain Free

Annamaet Ohana Puppy Formula

Rating:

Annamaet Ohana Puppy is one of 7 recipes included in our review of the Annamaet Grain-Free product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Cod head, whitefish meal, coconut flour, lentils, whole dry eggs
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$

Annamaet Ohana derives the bulk of its meat protein from fish and fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 18% fat and 41% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Actual buyer review… “My puppy is a finicky Border Collie who would rather play than eat, and he has a very sensitive stomach. He’s 10 months old, and I think we’ve tried at least 10 different foods. Lots of great brands, but he either wouldn’t eat or would get sick on his food. FINALLY – I love this stuff! He loves it and he eats it like a treat for training. His stomach is also doing much better. I’m just sad because he’s 10 months old, so I’ll need to switch him to an adult food soon. I’ll try other Annamaet fish-based foods to see if that works. I also love that this is a small family company in Pennsylvania.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Annamaet Ohana makes a solid, grain-free option for all growing puppies… including large breeds. Highly recommended.

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Holistic Select Grain Free Adult and Puppy Health

Holistic Select Adult and Puppy Health

Rating:

Holistic Select Adult and Puppy Health is one of 10 recipes included in our review of the Holistic Select Grain Free product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, anchovy and sardine meal, potatoes, peas, menhaden fish meal
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $$

This Holistic Select Adult and Puppy Health all life stages formula acquires the major portion of its meat protein from fresh salmon and fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 16% fat and 44% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Actual buyer review… “I purchased this food for my Australian Shepherd puppy that had an allergy to chicken. It was extremely difficult to find a good product that did not have chicken or chicken byproducts in it. After reading the reviews I chose Holistic. The puppy loves this food and our 13 year old golden border mix does too!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Holistic Select is an above-average, all life stages recipe that contains the right amount of calcium for small and medium breed puppies. Not recommended for large breed pups.

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Dr. Gary's Best Breed Puppy

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Puppy Diet

Rating:

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Puppy Diet is one of 13 recipes included in our review of the Dr. Gary’s Best Breed product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, oatmeal, brewers dried yeast)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Puppy sources the bulk of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 14% fat and 50% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Actual buyer review… “We have been feeding Dr. Gary’s Best Breed to our Miniature Schnauzer ever since he became intolerant of a pet food store brand. We will never feed our dogs any other brand but this. They are local- Ohio. Have NEVER had a recall of any kind. They make the food in small batches, and it is a little bit more cost-wise than other brands, but we don’t mind- it is peace of mind knowing it is the best nutrition for our dogs. Their coats are amazing, no dandruff or skin issues. Eyes are clear, teeth are strong, nails are perfect. No digestive issues. I would (and do!) recommend this puppy food to anyone looking for a safe product from a reliable company.”

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Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Puppy boasts a high protein, grain-inclusive nutrient profile for controlled growth. Highly recommended.

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AvoDerm Natural Puppy

AvoDerm Natural Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

AvoDerm Natural Puppy is one of 9 recipes included in our review of the AvoDerm Natural product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, chicken fat, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, rice bran)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$

AvoDerm Natural Puppy derives the bulk of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 18% fat and 45% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Actual buyer review… “We got a puppy at 13 weeks old. She would not eat the food the breeder had her on, nor would she eat the vet recommended Hill’s or Royal Canin. Out of desperation, I contacted a pet nutritionist, and AvoDerm was one of the three brands she recommended. I choose AvoDerm because of the omega 3’s. Happily, our pup just loves AvoDerm. She continues to lick her bowl after it’s empty. I am a happy doggy mom.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

A superior, controlled-growth formula that makes Avoderm Puppy suitable for all breed sizes. Highly recommended.

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Now Fresh Grain Free Puppy

Now Fresh Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Now Fresh Puppy is one of 13 recipes included in our review of the Now Fresh dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: De-boned turkey, potato flour, peas, potatoes, whole dried egg
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$$

Now Fresh Puppy gets the majority of its animal protein from fresh, de-boned turkey and dried egg. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 20% fat and 41% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

Actual buyer review… “My local pet store gave me samples of this food to feed my Husky/Cattle dog rescue pup. Turns out she absolutely loves it and so do I. It’s got high quality ingredients and worth every penny when compared to other foods in the same category.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Now Fresh Puppy is a top level, grain-free growth formula that can be easily recommended with confidence.

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Wellness Core Canned Puppy

Wellness Core Grain-Free Canned Puppy Food

Rating:

Wellness Core Puppy is one of 6 recipes included in our review of the Wellness Core wet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey broth, turkey, chicken, chicken liver, ground dried peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$

Wellness Core Puppy derives the majority of its meat protein from fresh poultry and herring… and to a lesser degree, chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 50% protein, 30% fat and 13% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Actual buyer review… “My yellow lab was not eating the wellness dry food readily so I bought the can food to add to it and now she gobbles it down the minute I set it on floor. Just enough to give it flavor. I think the wellness dry food is really healthy food but she just wanted a little more flavor.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Wellness Core Puppy remains a healthy (and tasty) alternative to any dry kibble. Highly recommended.

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Nutro Max Puppy Recipe

Nutro Max Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Nutro Max Puppy is one of 8 recipes included in our review of the Nutro Max product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, peas, whole grain oatmeal, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (sorghum, oatmeal, brown rice, brewers rice)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $

This Nutro Max kibble product gets nearly all of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 17% fat and 44% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Actual buyer review… “My puppy Delilah loves this food and has been on it since we rescued her at 6 weeks, she’s 15 weeks now. I trust the Nutro brand and love that this formula is NOT grain free. A lot of reports have come out about adverse health effects from dogs eating a grain free diet recently and I can feed my pup this food with no worries. I highly recommend this product.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Nutro Max offers an exceptional, growth formula that’s suitable for both small and medium breed puppies. A budget-friendly recipe by a trusted company.

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Health Extension Little Bites

Health Extension Little Bites Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Health Extension Little Bites is one of 6 recipes included in our review of the Health Extension dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Organic deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, chicken fat, lamb meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (Ground brown rice, malted barley)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $

Health Extension Little Bites derives the majority of its meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal… and to a lesser degree, lamb meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 20% fat and 45% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 75%.

Actual buyer review… “I love how tiny this kibble is! It is so hard to find quality food that comes in small enough pieces for puppies. Just raised my first litter, and they did so well on this food. Amazingly soft coats and healthy sturdy little guys!”

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Health Extension Puppy is an easy option, especially when you also consider its budget-friendly price.

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Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Formula

Rating:

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy is one of 7 recipes included in our review of the Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused dry product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$$

This Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused formula sources the majority of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 34% protein, 14% fat and 45% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

Actual buyer review… “I was happy to find a grain free puppy food that has very little lentils in the formula. The lentils seem to really upset his tummy. Housebreaking is hard enough with out having diahrrea! Plus he really seems to like it.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Merrick Backcountry Raw is a versatile, protein-rich dog food that’s ideal for virtually all breeds of puppies and adults. Highly recommended.

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Hill's Science Diet Dry Puppy Food

Hill’s Science Diet Chicken Meal and Barley Puppy Food

Rating:

Hill’s Science Diet Chicken Meal and Barley is just one of 5 puppy recipes included in our review of the Hill’s Science Diet Puppy product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum, whole grain corn
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (wheat, barley, sorghum, corn, corn meal)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $

This particular Science Diet Puppy formula sources nearly all of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 19% fat and 43% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

Actual buyer review… “We recently had an 8 week old Australian Shepherd join our family and she loves this food! Our 6 year old lab has been on science diet since a pup and we get so many compliments on how shiny his coat is and how healthy he looks! Would recommend this food to anyone!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy is a classic growth formula recommended by experienced breeders and veterinary professionals to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies of all breed sizes. An excellent selection for discerning puppy owners. Highly recommended.

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Eukanuba Puppy Lamb and Rice

Eukanuba Dry Puppy Food with Lamb and Rice

Rating:

Eukanuba Puppy with Lamb and Rice is one of 7 recipes included in our review of the Eukanuba canned product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, water, pork lung, pork liver, chicken liver
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, rice flour)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $

This Eukanuba canned puppy food derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh chicken and various organ meats. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 41% protein, 27% fat and 24% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Actual buyer review… “My black german shepherd loves this food. His hair is so shiny and lustrous. He is always complemented on his coat. I rotate this with the other Eukanuba puppy foods dry and wet. His eyes are bright and clear, always in the best of health when we go for check ups.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Eukanuba Puppy is a classic, budget-friendly option and one of the few wet foods containing the right amount of calcium that’s also safe for large breed puppies.

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Farmina N&D Chicken Grain Free Puppy

Farmina N&D Grain-Free Chicken and Pomegranate Puppy Food

Rating:

Farmina N&D Chicken and Pomegranate Puppy is one of 10 recipes included in our review of the Farmina N&D Grain-Free product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, sweet potatoes, chicken fat, dried whole eggs
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$

This Farmina N&D Grain-Free all life stages formula sources most of its animal protein from both boneless and dehydrated chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 46% protein, 24% fat and 22% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Actual buyer review… “I really like that this company tells you what percent is actually from ‘premium animal ingredients’. I don’t want the majority of my dogs protein to be from legumes or seeds or grains. US brands need to give this information on the dog food bags. Oh, no, guess not, the percentages wouldn’t look too good since they are using cheap fillers instead of real animal protein! Yeah, I can just imagine a wild dog passing up an animal carcass and instead going to the garden to eat chickpeas!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Farmina makes an exceptional grain-free, GMO-free puppy (and adult) food option… a quality brand recommended with confidence.

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Wysong Growth Puppy

Wysong Growth Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Wysong Growth is one of 8 recipes included in our review of the Wysong Original Diets product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oat groats, turkey meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, oat groats)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best For: Small and medium breed puppies
  • Price: $$

Wysong Growth acquires the bulk of its meat protein from fresh chicken along with both chicken and turkey meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 17% fat and 42% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Actual buyer review… “We have ordered several high quality puppy foods from Chewy to determine which one would be best for our girl. Wysong Growth is the one for us! Roxy Loves it! It has excellent ingredients, it agrees with her system in all aspects! I researched the company & was very impressed with their philosophy & history!”

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Wysong Growth is a classic, grain-inclusive puppy formula brimming with costly ingredients… yet still moderately priced. Highly recommended.

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Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Food

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dry Puppy Food

Rating:

Pacific Stream Puppy is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $

TOTW Pacific Stream Puppy sources the bulk of its animal protein from fresh salmon and fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 17% fat and 45% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Actual buyer review… “We were feeding my dog a vet recommended brand. He began to itch himself a lot and developed a skin infection. His other food had grains in it and poor quality protein. We switched to this brand because the grain free and high standard ingredients. Within a couple weeks his skin has cleared up! We will never buy vet recommended brands again!”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Taste of the Wild Puppy provides a classic grain-free, growth option at an affordable price. A highly recommended puppy formula.

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Victor Purpose Active Dog and Puppy

Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy

Rating:

Victor Active Dog and Puppy is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Victor Purpose product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, peas, sweet potato, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $

Victor Active Dog and Puppy derives the majority of its meat protein from beef meal, and to a lesser degree, fish meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 18% fat and 38% estimated carbs… with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Actual buyer review… “My dog had been having issues with allergies and my neighbor told me that there dog had the same problems and that they use this food and virtually don’t have problems anymore. After I switched him to this, he has not had a breakout since. He loves the food and isn’t itching anymore and doesn’t get those nasty hot spots.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Victor Purpose is a nutritious, all life stages dog food… and an excellent option for those feeding both puppies and adults in the same home.

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Orijen Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

Orijen Puppy Large

Rating:

Orijen Puppy Large is one of 8 dry recipes included in our review of the Orijen Dog Food product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail flounder, whole eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$$

Orijen Puppy Large receives nearly all its animal protein from poultry, fish, eggs and a number of other named species. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 18% fat and 31% estimated carbs… with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Actual buyer review… “Only the best for my American Akita. Good wholesome food that I can trust to deliver quality nutrients to my baby. It’s one of the few brands that I trust.”

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Orijen is a 5-star, all life stages growth recipe brimming with animal protein. A superior option for your large breed puppy.

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Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Chicken and Rice Formula

Rating:

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy is one of 13 dry recipes included in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (White rice, barley)
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best for: Small breed puppies
  • Price: $

This Diamond Small Breed Puppy formula derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 24% fat and 32% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

Actual buyer review… “I first started using Diamond dog food in the late 80’s. I’ve tried other products in between and always come back to Diamond. It is such a good food, my tiny toy poodles love it and it’s reasonably priced. I will always stay with Diamond dog food.”

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

This Diamond Naturals formula makes a budget-friendly choice that’s nutritionally optimized for both small and medium puppies. Highly recommended.

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Blue Buffalo Carnivora Large Breed Puppy Formula

Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Large Breed Puppy

Rating:

Carnivora Woodland Blend Large Breed Puppy is one of 8 dry recipes included in our review of the Blue Buffalo Carnivora product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, dried chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, tapioca starch
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: All puppies including large breeds
  • Price: $$$

Carnivora Large Breed Puppy derives the major share of its animal protein from fresh poultry, dried chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 44% protein, 19% fat and 29% estimated carbs… with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

Actual buyer review… “I have a Great Dane puppy whom is EXTREMELY sensitive and picky!!!!! She is officially eating hard food without any problems and her weight is superb! I highly recommend this for large and giant breeds have sensitive stomachs and are picky eaters!”

Carnivora Woodland Blend contains a safe amount of calcium and phosphorus and offers an impressive, protein-rich option for your large breed puppy. Highly recommended.

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How much food
should I feed my puppy?

Deciding how much to feed your puppy is a processnot a one-time task.

So…

Start with a measured amount of food.

Then, adjust it… up or down as needed…

To keep your dog at her ideal weight.

Here’s the important part:

The amount of food your puppy needs each day depends on how much you expect her to weigh… when she becomes an adult.

Which means…

A larger breed puppy requires more food each day…

Than a smaller breed.

The following table2 can help you estimate the total amount of dry food to feed your puppy… each day.

Adult
Weight
1.5 – 3
Months
4 – 5
Months
6 – 8
Months
9 – 11
Months
1 – 2
Years
lbscupscupscupscupscups
3-121/2
to
1
2/3
to
1-1/3
1/2
to
1-1/2
Feed as
adult
Feed as
adult
13-201/2
to
1-1/4
1-1/8
to
2
3/4
to
1-1/3
1
to
1-1/2
Feed as
adult
21-501/2
to
1-1/2
1-1/2
to
2-3/4
1-1/8
to
2-1/3
2
to
3
2
to
4-1/4
51-755/8
to
2-1/3
1-1/2
to
4
1-1/2
to
3-3/4
2-1/2
to
4-3/4
2-5/8
to
6-1/4
76-1001
to
2-2/3
2-7/8
to
3-3/4
2-7/8
to
6-1/3
3-7/8
to
7
5-5/8
to
11
100+2-2/3 cups plus 1/3 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs3-3/4 cups plus 1/3 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs6-1/3 cups plus 1/3 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs7 cups plus 1/3 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs11 cups plus 1/3 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs

Or if you’d rather not use the table…

You could also start by feeding your puppy the amount of food suggested by the instructions on the package.

How often should I feed my puppy?

Once you’ve decided how much food your puppy needs each day

Your’re ready to create a feeding schedule.

To do that…

Simply divide the total daily feeding amount into 3 to 4 smaller servings.

Then…

Feed those smaller portions to your puppy at regular intervals throughout the day.

Tip: Feed your puppy whenever YOU eat…

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And…

Don’t forget to feed your puppy early in the evening.

That way…

She’ll have plenty of time to digest her food before bedtime.

And you’ll also cut down on nighttime accidents, too.

When should I switch
my puppy to adult food?

Keep in mind…

Adult dog food can contain excessive amounts of calcium… which can make it unsafe for a growing puppy.

So… it’s critical not to switch your puppy to adult food too soon.

Truth is…

The best time to switch your puppy to adult food depends on her breed type.

That’s because…

Smaller breed puppies tend to reach maturity much sooner than larger breeds.

The following table can help you determine when it’s safe to switch your puppy to adult food.3 4

Breed TypeAdult WeightAdulthood
Small breedUnder 20 lbs9 – 12 months
Med breed20 – 50 lbs12 – 14 months
Large breed50 – 100 lbs12 – 18 months
Giant breedOver 100 lbs18 – 24 months

If you’re not sure…

It’s always safer to keep your dog on puppy food too long… than it is to switch to adult food too soon.

Is my puppy at risk for
food-related hip dysplasia?

The answer depends on YOUR puppy’s breed type.

That’s because…

Even though hip dysplasia can sometimes afflict smaller dogs… the disease is far more common in larger breeds.5

So…

How do you know if YOUR puppy is considered a large breed?

The pet food industry6 defines a large breed puppy as one whose adult weight is expected to be over 70 pounds… when she reaches maturity.

However…

Since it’s impossible to know your puppy’s adult weight before she’s fully grown

It’s safer to use a more conservative 50 pound definition for large breed dogs advocated by others.7 8 9 10 11

So…

If you expect your dog to weigh 50 pounds or more when she’s fully grown… be sure to feed her a food designed to be safe for large breed puppies.

Tip: Every food on this page is clearly marked “Best for”… to help you find a food that’s safe for your puppy’s breed type.


A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned and is not affiliated (in any way) with pet food manufacturers. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) when readers click over to their website from ours. This policy helps support the operation of our blog and keeps access to all our content free to the public.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

  1. Richardson DC, The Role of Nutrition in Canine Hip Dysplasia, Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract, 1992 May;22(3):529-40.
  2. Purina Puppy Feeding Chart
  3. Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition (1999), Canine Life Stages and Lifestyles, The Waltham Course on Dog and Cat Nutrition, p. 4
  4. IAMS: Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?
  5. Bartolome N et al, A Genetic Predictive Model for Canine Hip Dysplasia: Integration of Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) and Candidate Gene Approaches, Journal of the Public Library of Science, PLOS One, April 2015, p.2
  6. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  7. Lauten SD, Nutritional Risks to Large Breed Dogs: From Weaning to the Geriatric Years, Vet Clin Small Anim 36 (2006) 1345.
  8. IAMS, “How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food
  9. Purina, “When to Switch from Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food
  10. Royal Canin, 56-pound definition for large breed adult dogs
  11. Yuill C, DVM, MSc, CVH, “Nutrition: General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs“, VCA Hospitals (November 2011)