The 10 Best Puppy Foods

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This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in March of 2018. You can start a young pooch off on the right paw by feeding it one of these puppy foods, which are made with high-quality proteins, fruits, vegetables, and minerals. They are specifically formulated to not only satisfy a pup's hunger, but to address the needs of growing dogs, and ensure your youngster's development has a healthy start. They are available in plenty of flavors, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Purina Pro Plan Focus

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection

3. Orijen Premium

Editor's Notes

June 02, 2020:

While puppyhood is a pretty short period of time in comparison to human adolescence, ensuring the proper development of a dog's muscles, bones, skin, coat, brain, and immune system is no less important when considering what to feed them. As a pet parent, I've always been concerned about the ingredients contained in any dry or wet dog food. I always want to make sure that my furbabies have access to the highest quality of ingredients possible. While this holds true at any age of a pup's life, the formative months of a puppy's adolescence fly by and it's during this time that a pooch undergoes most of his growth. Therefore, providing Fido with the proper nutrition from an early age is key to ensuring both proper development as well as a happy and healthy life. Just be sure not to neglect a pet's mental stimulation. Give them plenty of toys and reward them with treats when going along with a balanced diet.

The recipes for many nutritious puppy foods consist of whole proteins like beef, venison, chicken, fish, and turkey. They're also formulated with varying blends of antioxidants, fruits, vegetables, minerals, and fatty acids that provide the necessary fuel and calories a growing canine body needs without compromising its immune system. For example, both Purina Pro Plan Focus and Orijen Premium offer recipes with whole chicken, the former of which uses omega-3 fatty acids and a blend of antioxidants to develop a pup's brain, eyes, and muscles.

We've also added Blue Buffalo Life Protection, which utilizes cold-formed LifeSource bits to maintain a healthy oxidative balance. What does this mean exactly? Without boring you too much with a chemistry lesson, dogs depend on a balanced immune system to function properly just like humans do. Free radicals are also present in the canine body. These oxygen-containing molecules have an uneven number of electrons, allowing them to react easily with other molecules. Although free radicals can fight off infection-causing pathogens, too many of them can damage a pet's fatty tissues, DNA, and proteins during the chemical bonding process, resulting in oxidative stress. Antioxidants, by contrast, donate an electron to a free radical without making themselves unstable. Therefore, these LifeSource bits can balance the ratio of antioxidants, vitmains, and minerals to free radicals so that a pup's immune system can thrive while he receives the proper nutrition from the tasty de-boned lamb formula.

Despite it's rather strong odor, the soft consistency of Purina One SmartBlend makes it easy to digest.

If you have a large breed puppy, the calcium-infused Hills Science Diet is an excellent choice for regulating bone growth.

In addition to its protein medley, Nutro Ultra contains several superfoods like coconut, kale, and blueberries for added natural flavor.

Both I And Love And You and Taste Of The Wild offer small, crunchy pieces that are easy to chew and hard enough to help remove plaque and tartar. I personally feed my standard poodles the latter of these options (the adult formula) and they're all quite pleased with it.

Finally, Merrick Grain Free is a good source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for optimal hip and joint health.

Special Honors

Nom Nom Founded in 2015, Nom Nom is a national home meal delivery service dedicated to providing fresh food to both dogs and cats. The company is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and prepares its food on a weekly basis using its own kitchen facilities. Four main formulas include Beef Mash, Chicken Chow, Pork Potluck, and Turkey Fare. Discounted trials are available. The website also includes feeding instructions for growing puppies.

4. Purina One SmartBlend

5. Hills Science Diet

6. Nutro Ultra

7. Royal Canin Mini

8. I And Love And You

9. Taste Of The Wild

10. Merrick Grain Free

Jeff Newburgh
Last updated by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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