Top 11 Best Food for Puppies 2023

Top 11 Best Food for Puppies 2023

Mother’s milk is very important to puppies, so they should not be weaned before 8 weeks of age. Keep in mind that if the process occurs naturally, the mother will nurse the pups from her for 10 months or more.

Early weaning and early separation from the mother can lead to behavioral problems, by breaking a very important bond for the puppy.

Both breast milk and the relationship between the mother and the rest of the litter are essential for their proper development and socialization.

Ideally, the pup should stay with its mother for at least the first three months of life, starting weaning gradually. To do this, it is convenient to use a diet specially developed for them, which will provide healthy growth, neither too fast nor too slow.

Puppies have to grow a lot in a relatively short space of time. They have to very quickly develop their muscles, bones, skin and fur, teeth, and internal organs, as well as learn important socialization skills. A proper diet from this early stage will help them get through this incredible growth spurt.

If you want to know more about The Best Pet Food Options, do not hesitate to consult its complete file here.

How does a puppy grow and develop?

Puppies grow rapidly, reaching adulthood at 10-12 months of age for small or medium breeds and 18-24 months for large or giant breeds. Its growth rate varies according to the breed, but in all cases, it involves a complex process that involves a series of changes at the genetic and nutritional levels.

Since diet will directly affect a puppy’s immune system and body composition, you must provide him with enough food for him to grow appropriately.

The nutrient density of feeds and the amount of feed supplied can make the difference between optimal growth and maximum growth.

What are optimal growth and accelerated growth?

accelerated growth of a puppy

It occurs when your puppy grows faster than normal. It is usually the result of high-fat foods, overfeeding, and/or feeding at will. An accelerated growth rate increases the puppy’s risk of bone deformities and obesity, in addition to causing a shorter life expectancy.

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Optimal growth of a puppy

It refers to slow and constant growth, which allows the puppy to reach an ideal (optimal) adult body condition, avoiding excessive weight and obesity. To keep your pup at an optimal growth rate, you need to regularly weigh him and assess his body condition. Consult your veterinarian for instructions on how to perform this evaluation at home.

You may be interested in taking a look at this post Puppy Milk: What Is The Best Product Of 2023? here.

What happens if my puppy grows too fast and what can I do to prevent it?

  1. Growing puppies need more nutrients than adult dogs, but excess calories for energy and calcium can create serious problems for them.
  2. In small and medium breeds, excess energy can lead to obesity.
  3. Extra energy and calcium can also result in improper bone development in giant breeds.
  4. Being overweight or obese paves the way for many complications and diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, osteoarthritis, or problems with the immune system.
  5. To avoid being overweight, it is convenient to feed your dog several times a day, with small portions that will be measured according to their age and body condition. Automatic feeders will help you in this task.
  6. In the case of large and giant breeds, feeding small portions several times a day also helps reduce the risk of hip dysplasia, without interfering with their final size as adults.
  7. To monitor your puppy’s rate of growth, it’s important for your veterinarian to regularly assess his weight and body condition.

“Obesity prevention should begin with weaning and continue through adulthood and old age.”

How to feed your puppy

  • Give small portions several times a day, at regular intervals. Your veterinarian is the best professional to indicate the necessary amounts.
  • Up to 4 months of age, it is convenient to feed the puppy 4 meals a day.
  • Between 4 and 6 months of age, give him 3 servings a day, with the quantities indicated by your veterinarian.
  • From 6 months, you can reduce the shots to 2.
  • Remove the food that has not been eaten and if it is wet food or dry feed that you have moistened with water, throw it away.
  • Wash the plate well before using it again.
  • Dry food can be left on the plate longer, but it will also become unappetizing.
  • Ensure that your puppy has access to clean, fresh water at all times. You will need to change it and clean the bowl regularly.

What are the basic nutrients for a growing puppy?

When choosing a diet for your growing puppy, it’s important to consider four key nutrients: protein, fatty acids, calcium, and digestible carbohydrates.

The protein needs of puppies

The protein needs of growing puppies are highest immediately after weaning, but will gradually decrease thereafter. The recommended protein ratio for healthy growth of puppies is 22-32% on a dry matter basis. These levels favor optimal growth, so it is not recommended to exceed them.

 Nutritional formulas for adult dogs should not be given to growing puppies, because although the protein ratio may be adequate, the other nutrients and energy content will not be balanced for optimal growth.

Don’t miss this Best Pets Lover article on The Best Feed For Dogs According To Their Breed.

The fatty acids that the puppy needs

Fatty acids provide your puppy with the energy it needs and is also a source of fat-soluble vitamins. However, an excess can lead to obesity and developmental orthopedic diseases. For this reason, the fat content for puppies should be rationed to 10-25% on a dry matter basis.

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The importance of calcium in your puppy’s diet

The calcium content in large and giant breed puppy growth formulas has recently become much stricter. Calcium levels can range from 0.7 to 1.7% on a dry matter basis.

Small and medium breed dogs are less susceptible to the effects of modest calcium over- or under-feeding.

If your puppy is a large or giant breed, you must look for a diet that specifies that it is designed to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO for large-breed puppies.

The carbohydrates your puppy needs

No specific amount of carbohydrate has been established as optimal for growing puppies, but it is suggested that 20% on a dry matter basis can maximize health. In addition, it is important to select easily digestible carbohydrate sources.

Hydration of your puppy is very important

Make sure your puppy always has fresh, clean water available, even when you mix his food with water or provide him with some wet food.

Does my puppy need supplements?

Once a suitable nutritional product has been chosen, no additional vitamin or mineral supplements should be given, and treats should be limited to less than 10% of the total amount of food provided.

Do all puppies have the exact nutritional needs?

Depending on their physical size and breed, puppies mature at different rates and therefore have different nutritional needs. For example, the growth spurt occurs during the first few months in all breeds but is prolonged in large and giant breeds, such as the Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, and Doberman Pinscher.

Thus, while most breeds mature around 12 months of age, large and giant breeds can take up to two years to reach adult size. This is why, in addition to general puppy foods, there are diets tailored to small, medium, and large breed dogs, as well as some breed-specific foods.

Don’t miss the At What Age Do Dogs Eat By Themselves? below.

Diets for large or giant breed puppies

In general, large-breed puppies need fewer calories per unit of body weight and mature at a slower rate than small-breed puppies. Consuming too many calories can lead to an accelerated growth rate and excessive weight gain. Both rapid growth rates and excess weight put increased stress on the skeletal system of growing large-breed puppies.

Large-breed puppy foods are designed to address these circumstances and provide gradual, healthy growth, and are often lower in calcium and phosphorus than other puppy foods to help prevent bone problems in young dogs. they.

“Some large breed puppy foods include special ingredients to help control appetite, which can help reduce the risk of skeletal development problems due to accelerated growth.”

Large-breed puppies can self-control their appetite, but their food intake and weight should be monitored.

Diets for puppies of small or medium breeds

By comparison, small-breed puppies have a very rapid growth rate and require up to twice as much energy per unit of body weight as an adult dog. Specific foods for small breed puppies often have higher levels of protein and fat, as well as more B vitamins, to help with these high energy levels.

Puppies have to grow a lot in a relatively short space of time. They have to very quickly develop their muscles, bones, skin and fur, teeth, and internal organs, as well as learn important socialization skills. A proper diet from this early stage will help them get through this incredible growth spurt.

How is the transition to an adult diet made?

Once puppies have reached 90% of their predicted adult weight, they should begin to come off the grower diet to begin feeding as adult dogs. Although most breeds mature around 12 months, small breeds can finish growing at 9-12 months, and large/giant breeds can take up to 2 years.

The change should be made gradually (over 7-10 days), increasing the new food day by day until it is the only one given. The same goes for switching from one brand to another: any sudden change can upset the dog’s digestive system.

To find out about Dog Food According To Its Age, don’t hesitate to read this Best Pets Lover post.

The best food for puppies

To make this list, we have selected several of the best feeds on the market, including brief information about them. However, we always recommend that you check the ingredients and consult your veterinarian if in doubt.

Acana Puppy Small Breed

Acana is a brand of high-quality dog ​​food. This formula is specifically developed for small and medium breed dogs and has natural ingredients that will provide your puppy with the proteins that he needs and the rest of the nutrients that will allow him to grow properly, at the right pace, and without obesity problems. Its first ingredients are fresh and dehydrated chicken meat. Also includes turkey, eggs, flounder, and herring. This brand also offers a formula for large or giant breed puppies and another that is suitable for dogs of any breed.

Alpha Spirit Puppy

With 35% turkey meat as the first ingredient, this feed provides a complete diet for your dog, based on high-quality ingredients. It is a well-balanced formula that guarantees the correct growth of the puppy and does not contain meat meal.

Eukanuba Puppy & Junior

With dehydrated chicken and turkey as the first ingredients, this formula is developed with the needs of small to medium-breed puppies (up to 55 pounds) in mind. It includes DHA (Omega 3 fatty acid), prebiotics, calcium, and other nutrients that your puppy needs to grow healthy and at an adequate rate. Eukanuba also offers a formula for large or giant breed puppies. The kibble has a special shape, called DentaDefense, designed to keep your dog’s teeth in perfect condition.

Go! Carnivore Puppy

Croquettes are designed for puppies in the growth stage. Contains animal protein from chicken, turkey, salmon, and herring. With a fat-to-protein ratio of approximately 50%. Does not contain genetically modified ingredients. The grain-free recipe includes antioxidants to support your immune system. Contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Iams for Vitality Cachorro

With dehydrated chicken and turkey as the first ingredient, it is a feed designed for large or giant breed puppies, aged between 1 and 12 months, complete and balanced. The brand also offers a formula for small or medium-breed puppies. This recipe ensures proper growth for your dog and includes vitamin D and minerals that promote strong bone development.

Lily’s Kitchen Puppy with chicken, salmon, and peas

Lily’s Kitchen also offers complete and balanced meals. Contains 44% chicken and salmon as the first ingredients, in the following proportions: 27% fresh chicken, 10% salmon, and 7% chicken liver. It does not contain colorants, preservatives, or artificial aromas. Nor does it use flour, by-products, processed, fats, or genetically modified ingredients.

This recipe provides optimal nutrition for your puppy so that it grows healthy, strong, and with great vitality. In addition, it does not use flour, waste, fat, or processed; no artificial or genetically modified ingredients.

Orijen Puppy

Orijen is the high-end house that manufactures Acana. The Puppy formula offers your puppy the diet he needs, based on high-quality animal protein (in this case, chicken and turkey), with low glycemic index carbohydrates. The recipe has been developed taking into account the nutritional requirements of puppies and is aimed at reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes. The brand also offers a formula for large-breed puppies (Orijen Puppy Large).

Owner Classic Juniors

Very balanced mid-range feed, with 29% dehydrated meat in its first ingredient, although it does not specify which one, and 10% chicken. It is indicated for puppies from 1 to 12 months and its recipe is designed to promote the correct growth of the dog. The carbohydrates come from brown rice and it is enriched with Omega 3 and 6, to strengthen the dog’s immune system, as well as include other important nutrients for your puppy.

The Wolf Puppy and Junior’s Hunger

It is a mid-range feed highly valued by its buyers, with lamb meal as the first ingredient. It is suitable for puppies of all breeds, up to 12 months of age. The recipe is suitable for puppies who cannot eat chicken and is easy to digest. Includes DHA, essential for developing the nervous system and cognitive function, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula

High-quality croquettes with salmon as the main protein source. Rich in omega 3 and 6, grain-free, and gluten-free, making it a great option for your puppy. This I think will provide vitamins and antioxidants to your dog, in addition to including vegetable fiber that will favor its digestion. It also provides the minerals that your little one needs to grow up healthy and happy. This brand’s feed is of very high quality.

Wellness Core Puppy Pavo y Pollo

I think for puppies with turkey meat as the first ingredient, which ensures a protein proportion of 32 to 37%. It does not contain cereals, eggs, or gluten and is hypoallergenic. It also does not include preservatives, flavorings, or dyes. It is recommended for small and medium-breed puppies, but the brand also offers a formula for large-breed puppies. In addition to protein, it is rich in folic acid, calcium, and phosphorus, which help strengthen your puppy’s bones and muscles.


  • Puppies grow rapidly in a short period, so they need a specific diet for this stage.
  • Breast milk is very important and it should not be weaned before 8 months.
  • The relationship with his mother and the rest of the litter is also fundamental for his correct cognitive development and socialization.
  • Optimum growth of the puppy must be ensured because if it occurs too quickly, it can have problems later on.
  • Try to avoid being overweight, with adequate feeding formulas and limiting sweets.
  • The puppy has to eat small portions several times a day.
  • Large breed puppies need fewer calories and mature more slowly than small or medium breeds.
  • When you have to switch to an adult feed, do it gradually
  • In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the highest-quality feeds on the market, but if in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

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