Best Dog Food for Puppies 

Aside from the excitement and joy a new canine companion brings to the home, deciding what to feed it is a challenging decision many dog owners face.

The problem isn’t an unwillingness to provide the best for your pet – rather it’s the overwhelming access to options.

You simply want to know the best dog food for puppies without having to try them all. Feeding your puppy high-quality dog food is integral to his growth.

In this blog post, we’ll explore four of the best dog food for puppies that are affordable and healthy. Here are our top 4 choices.

1. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food DHA Lamb & Rice Formula 

Purina is one of the pet food companies for healthy food products and high-quality puppy food. With a focus on real meat and wholesome ingredients, their puppy food is available in dry and wet options. This particular product is a crunchy kibble your pup will love.

Puppies have different nutritional requirements compared to adult dogs. Purina Pro Plan Puppy food considers this by providing a balanced blend of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that support growth and development.


  • Purina Pro Plan Puppy food provides high-quality protein sources like real chicken and fish.
  • Purina Pro Plan Puppy food contains optimal fat levels to meet puppies’ unique needs.
  • It contains a carefully crafted blend to meet nutritional requirements.
  • The food contains a source of DHA to support cognitive development in puppies.


  • Some batches of dry dog food may contain high levels of vitamin D, which isn’t the best for puppies or adult dogs.
  • Purina Pro Plan Puppy food may contain fillers, because quality ingredients are more expensive to incorporate.


2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Small Bites, Chicken Meal and Barley Recipe 

Hill’s is another top-rated brand that offers a variety of puppy foods with a focus on quality ingredients and balanced nutrition. The dry food provides balanced nutrition for the growth and development of puppies.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food is a well-rounded diet that provides the nutrients puppies need to grow and thrive. It’s also adjusted for different life stages, from young puppies to those that are nearly adult-sized.

This dog food contains natural ingredients, and is free from artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. This prevents your fur baby from consuming harmful chemicals that could impact its health.

The Hill’s Science Diet product is available in chicken and barley flavors in pellet form.


  • Hill’s Science Diet is made with high-quality protein sources, like chicken and lamb. These protein sources support muscle growth and maintenance.
  • This dry dog food contains essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. Healthy fatty acids support skin and coat health.
  • The product supplies your pup’s daily requirements of carbohydrates, prebiotic fibers, vitamins, and minerals for overall health and well-being.
  • It’s formulated for easy digestion and an improved healthy digestive system in puppies.
  • Hill’s Science Diet features ingredients that are non-artificial.



3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food Puppy – Small Paws, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is a dry pellet form of food that offers small-breed puppies several benefits.

This dry food is explicitly designed for small puppy breeds. It supplies the right balance of nutrients for their growth and development.

The formula is easy to digest, which minimizes digestive problems and ensures your puppy stays safe, happy, and healthy.


  • Chicken is the primary ingredient, providing a great source of high-quality protein that supports muscle growth and maintenance.
  • Some of the whole grains in this Hill’s Science Diet product include barley and brown rice. They are wholesome sources of carbohydrates that provide energy and support digestive health.
  • The small, crunchy kibble helps clean teeth and freshen breath, which makes it an excellent option for your pup’s dental health.
  • Because of antioxidant-rich ingredients like vitamins C and E, your pup is assured of an improved immune system.
  • Hill’s Science Diet uses only high-quality, natural ingredients. The brand is acclaimed for not including artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.


  • It’s not suitable for large-breed puppies.
  • Sells out fast, which can make it hard to find when needed.


4. IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Puppy Food with Real Chicken

IAMS Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Puppy Food with Real Chicken provides a complete and balanced diet for larger breeds.

The primary source of protein in this dry dog food is chicken. This ensures puppies access high-quality protein, which supports their growth and aids muscle mass development.


  • It contains DHA, which is an essential nutrient that supports cognitive development in growing puppies.
  • Proper calcium and phosphorus levels are essential for strong bones and teeth in large-breed puppies. You’ll find your pup gets adequate access to these nutrients in the right proportion with IAMS dry puppy food.
  • Antioxidants support a robust immune system and protect against cellular damage. Invest in a puppy food brand, like IAMS, that includes this in its ingredients.


  • Only suitable for large breed puppies.
  • May contain an imbalanced proportion of fillers and real ingredients.
  • Does not assist with hydration, so always leave enough water for your pup.


Ingredients That Could Hurt Your Puppy

Puppy formula is an integral part of a puppy’s diet. They need essential nutrients to grow and develop into healthy adult dogs. However, not all ingredients are suitable for dogs, so you must be mindful of what goes into your puppy’s food.

Some ingredients can harm a puppy’s health and should be avoided at all costs. Here are a few examples of ingredients that should never be in foods for puppies:

Artificial Ingredients

Artificial preservatives, like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, are used to extend the shelf life of pet food. However, they have been linked to various health conditions, including cancer, liver damage, and other illnesses.

Artificial Colors and Flavors

Some manufacturers use artificial colors and flavors in pet food to make it more appealing to pet parents. However, these additives offer no proper nutrition and may harm a puppy’s health.

Too Much Salt

High levels of salt are bad for puppies, and can lead to dehydration and other health problems. It may also contribute to the development of heart disease and other chronic illnesses later in life.


Fillers like corn and wheat are often added to pet food to add bulk. This also makes it more affordable.

However, fillers provide little to no nutritional value, and may cause digestive problems for some puppies.


Poultry, chicken, or beef by-products, like beaks, feet, and intestines, are often used as a protein source in pet food. They can contain harmful chemicals and are of low quality, providing little nutritional value.

Nutritional Requirement for Puppies

A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for a puppy’s growth and overall health. Check out this list of nutritional requirements for puppies to ensure your pet gets all the nutrients required to help them grow:


High levels of protein are essential for building and repairing tissues and muscles. Dogs also need protein to maintain immune health. However, puppies need a higher protein content than adult dogs.

Try to ensure around 22% of your pup’s daily caloric intake comes from protein. Good protein sources for puppies include chicken, beef, lamb, fish, and eggs.

Fat Content

Healthy fat is essential for puppies because it provides energy and aids the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Puppies need about 8% of their daily caloric intake from fat.


Remember to feed your pet enough carbohydrates for optimal health. This food group is an essential energy source for puppies, but should not make up most of their diet.

A balanced diet for a puppy should have about 50% of its daily caloric intake from carbohydrates. Brown rice, oats, and sweet potatoes are carbohydrate sources for pet pups.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are indispensable for a puppy’s growth and optimal health. Puppies need more calcium and phosphorus content than adult dogs to support the development of their bones, joints, and vision. Some sources of calcium include dairy products and green leafy vegetables.

Iron, found in chicken liver and red meat, is also essential for dogs’ blood health.


Ensure your pup stays hydrated, always. Water is essential for a puppy’s health, so make sure they have access to fresh water. Puppies can get dehydrated quickly, mainly because they’re active.

Best Dog Food for Puppies

Puppies need proper care and nutrition to help them grow into healthy and active dogs. One of the most crucial aspects of their care is their diet, so choose the right dog food for a significant difference in their overall health and well-being.

Some of the best type of dog food for puppies include:

Dry Food

This is the most common type of dog food, and it’s an excellent choice for puppies of all sizes.

Dry food is convenient, affordable, and easy to store. Kibble also ensures a puppy’s teeth stay clean and provides a crunchy texture that many dogs enjoy.

Wet Dog Food

Wet recipes are excellent for puppies that need more moisture in their diets.

Wet food contains a high water content, making it an excellent choice for picky eaters or dogs with trouble staying hydrated.

Homemade Dog Food

Homemade dog food is great for puppies with specific dietary needs, dietary restrictions, or food sensitivity. It can consist of a raw diet or other recommendations by a professional.

Consult a veterinarian for feeding guidelines to ensure that the homemade diet is balanced and provides all the necessary nutrients for your puppy’s growth and development.


The best dog food for puppies has high-quality ingredients. It’s balanced, complete, and specifically formulated for pups.

Opt for a nutritionally balanced product that contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support healthy growth and development.

Look for foods that are AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved and have “complete and balanced” on the label.

Recent Posts