The Best Food for Dogs & Puppies

Find the Perfect Puppy Food for Your Fur Baby

So you are new dog parent looking for the best puppy food. This is a big decision. The right food and your puppy is happy, healthy and on a trajectory for a long and active life. The wrong food can lead to stomach issues or even worse – long term health problems that manifest in high vet bills. Fortunately our expert team of dog lovers, trainers, and vets have reviewed countless puppy foods to deliver you the best.

We have separated our recommendations by size to ensure you are meeting the dietary needs particular to your dog:

For those fur parents of pups with special dietary needs, please take a look at some of our specialty diet food pages to find the right product.

Below you will find food for small puppies. The smaller breed puppy food reviews are followed by medium and then finally the large breed puppy food selections. If you are unsure which food to choose, take our quiz for assistance in finding the right food for your pup.

Best Puppy Food

Take the Puppy Food Quiz

To find the best puppy food, select to begin by breed or by size

 Best Food for Puppies

Best Puppy Food for Small Dogs

Our top picks by your dog’s needs

The Scoop

Pros and cons

*The DogGear team did not stop with small puppy food, we moved on and analyzed food for medium puppies as well. Read on to gain knowledge and save time.

Best Puppy Food for Medium Dogs

Our top picks by your dog’s needs

The Scoop

Pros and cons

*Last, and certainly not least, the DogGear team did not forget about large puppy food.

Best Puppy Food for Large Dogs

Our top picks by your dog’s needs

The Scoop

Pros and cons

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DogGear Philosophy

To choose the best food suitable for your puppy, you first need to consider your puppy’s breed, activity level, and age. When keeping these 3 things in mind, start deciding what kind of food our puppy generally likes, or what kind of food would suit your puppy the best.

Keep reading to learn more about how to choose food for your puppy.

How to Choose the Best Food for Your Puppy

Your puppy will probably require more calories than a full-grown dog to maintain its energy and growth. Remember, when you’re introducing new food to your puppy’s diet, slowly introduce your puppy to the new food by mixing it up in small amounts with the old food. This will help your puppy’s stomach get used to the food. As time passes, your dog’s digestive system will start getting used to the new diet.

Other than this, you also need to make sure you’re giving the right amount of food to your puppy. If you feed too much dog food to your puppy, then it is going to cause obesity or leaky gut; and too little will cause malnutrition or other health issues.

A leaky gut can be quite exhausting and nauseating for puppies, and as well as for humans. So, you need to be on the lookout for your puppy and its overall well-being. Make sure you feed the recommended amount of food to your dog to maintain the health of its digestive system.

Now, let’s look a little further at the different puppy food options out there!

Large Breed Puppy Food

As a puppy owner, you probably know that puppies grow up too fast. Now, because of this, they need more calories and nutrition to support their bones, teeth, and overall growth. We recommend purchasing a puppy food that is formulated specifically for your breed or size of puppy because the right large breed puppy food will provide a blend of nutrients that is critical to your dog’s growth.

What to look for in large breed puppy foods

For large breed puppies, always go for puppy food that is high in protein. This helps large breed puppies to stay active in their puppy years and maintain muscle mass. A proper diet would include options like lamb, duck, chicken, beef, and turkey. But don’t put too much protein in your puppy’s diet, it can cause various health issues. Remember, too much is too much. Keep everything on a balanced level.

You also need to be careful if you’re buying food brands for your puppy that have preservatives or fillers! Don’t buy puppy food products that contain common preservatives, like TBHQ, BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin. Instead of having these preservatives, these food products should have natural elements in them, like vitamin B and E.

Not only that, some puppy food products don’t list preservatives like these in their ingredients list. So, contacting the company or checking out their website will allow you to further dive into the ingredients and figure out what kind of preservatives are being used in your puppy’s food. If we take Ethoxyquin for example, it is the same type of preservatives that is used in synthetic rubber. BHT and BHA consists of compounds that can be increase the chances of getting cancer. Try to buy non-preservative large breed puppy food.

Besides this, there are certain puppy food brands that have formulas specifically targeted to large breeds. It’s up to you if you want to go for dry food or wet canned food; but, when you find a food that suits your puppy, stick to it! Remember to change as necessary as your puppy gets older.

Small Breed Puppy Food

Remember that small breed puppies eat in small amounts, so it’s important to read the labels on the food you choose and monitor your puppy for signs of hunger or overfeeding. If you try feeding your puppy more than it should eat, then it’s going to slow down the digestion process. This way, your puppy’s metabolism will keep getting lowered and damaged. After that, your puppy might have a greater chance of getting inflammation disorder, leaky gut, or overall digestion problems. Even diarrhea and constipation can be symptoms of poor eating habits.

What to look for in small breed puppy foods

The small amount of food that you’re going to feed your puppy has to have enough amount of protein, minerals, carbs, and vitamins. Your puppy is obviously going to eat several times a day, but in small portions. Make sure that the food you’re giving your puppy has the right amount of nutrients necessary for overall well-being and growth.

Now, your puppy is likely to gain extra weight as they grow, so be sure not to overfeed your dog. Even if your puppy gains a pound or two, it’s going to be a bit hard on its little bones. Make sure your puppy is getting plenty of exercise to maintain their weight and keep up their energy as they grow. Your small breed puppy will reach maturity faster than larger breeds, so keep in mind that you may need to transition them to an adult food sooner than you think!

Wet Puppy Food

Wet puppy food has its own benefits and disadvantages. If your puppy tends to be a sloppy eater, then you might want to go for another option. However, not all puppies or dogs make messes while eating this type of food. This is also a good option to help get some extra hydration into your puppy and can be gentler on your puppy’s teeth.

What to look for in wet puppy foods

First, you need to look at the ingredients. Does it have a “meat” source listed first? If yes, then this is great! Look for whole proteins and fruits and vegetables. If you want your puppy to have a grain-free diet or if your veterinarian is recommending it, then avoid puppy food that contains grain-based ingredients.

Wet puppy foods usually come in cans, so make sure to inspect the cans before purchasing them or feeding them to your puppy. Avoid canned food that is dented or that has a broken seal. It’s important to know that most wet foods have an odor that’s not particularly appealing, but keep your nose out for any smells that are particularly offensive – this could be a sign that there’s something wrong with the food.

There’s a big market for canned food for puppies, but it can take time and research to find the right one for your puppy. Make sure that if you are transitioning your puppy to wet food that you do this gradually, and keep an eye on them as you go through the transition.

Related Posts:

Best Puppy Food for Small Breeds, Best Wet Puppy Food, Best Large Breed Puppy Food

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