How to Choose the Best Puppy Food for your new baby

It can be pretty daunting when you’re trying to find your pup some new food at the pet store. There’s dry food, wet food, canned food, bagged food — It can be hard to understand what your pup needs nutrition-wise! 

What Kind of Food?

Luckily, most bags of food will indicate that they’re for puppies. These bags of food are typically more protein filled and are chock full of nutrients to keep your puppy energetic and healthy! As your pup grows, they will eventually wean into dog food, which typically has less protein per serving, as they no longer will be energetic. It’s also important to keep in mind your pup’s preferences. Many people may opt for dry kibble, but if your pup doesn’t seem to be eating it, switch over to wet dog food. This simple change may be all you needed to get your puppy eating!

However, there are a lot of pros and cons with dry kibble and canned wet dog food. 

For example, wet dog food actually is great because it normally contains no preservatives, is more filling and appealing to pups, contains greater protein, and is easier to chew. However, they are more expensive, can’t last long, and tend to get contaminated easily if you’re using one can over a couple of days.

With dry kibble, the overall cost is cheaper and more convenient! Kibble doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and lasts in the bowl longer. You could also use kibble as makeshift treats, since it’s dry! However, kibble can be hard to chew, and may hide some preservatives in it’s ingredients. Many actually recommend that dry food be given to your pup along with other dog-safe vegetables and other healthy ingredients.

In the end, it’s up to your pup and you to see what they eat!

How Much Food?

Puppies are supposed to eat more. Generally speaking, depending on the brand, you may just have to check the label on how much your pup is supposed to eat per day! Normally, how much food you should feed your puppy is calculated by how big they’re supposed to be at full maturity. For example, a fully grown dog weighing in at 12lbs. would only get fed ½ – 1½ cups of food during their puppy years, while a dog expected to  weigh in at 100lbs. Would get fed 2 to 8 cups of food throughout it’s puppy years. Be sure to read the label, and ask your vet how much you should feed your pup!

Check out Purina’s Puppy Feeding Chart for more information on how much to feed your pup!

Best Brands to Consider

While looking at the shelves, try to keep an eye out for certain brands! These are some of the cheapest, most recommended puppy foods you should consider buying for you pup, as seen on Dog Food Advisor.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy

This specific puppy kibble is made from real chicken and rice, and is made for shapes and sizes! Blue Buffalo also notes that they include vitamins and minerals such as, calcium, phosphorus and  other essential vitamins. This kibble also contains Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Blue Buffalo also advertises it’s kibble as having no corn, wheat, soy or chicken (or poultry) by-product meals. It’s relatively cheap as well compared to other brands!

Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy

This specific bag is mostly meant for small to medium sized dogs. Purina says this brand is made with highly digestible formula with prebiotic fiber to maintain intestinal balance and to promote digestive health, includes omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a lovely coat, and does not contain any added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Overall, this brand is the same price as Blue Buffalo, but has byproducts in the lower-end of the list.

VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula

This brand is able to be given to puppies of all sizes! This dry kibble has 92% meat protein with premium-quality chicken meal, is nutrient-dense high in proteins and filled with added nutrients, and is gluten free for the puppies with delicate tummies. Compared to the two above, this one is a little on the pricer side.

Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food

This wet puppy food is grain-free, and has turkey, chicken and duck for protein. This can also contains veggies and some apples to help give fiber, vitamins, and minerals! This brand claims to  have it’s food cooked in the USA without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. As a plus, this formula is actually made for all dogs of all ages, so you won’t have to worry about switching to a different brand when your pup is older!

Finding food for your pup doesn’t have to be hard! Always ask the previous people who had your pup what type of food they preferred so you don’t have to worry about finding out what your pup likes to eat. The most important thing is to make sure your pup is happy and healthy! 

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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