Best Dog Food for Puppies: 11 Flavoursome Choices

27 Dec, 2019 by Sylvia

The best dog food for puppies needs to deal with specific growth needs. From bone support to immune system support, its nutrients are specifically-selected for this crucial development stage in a dog’s life. But this pet food comes in various shapes. From dry food to wet formulations, there are many options to choose from. But as pet owners know, the taste is at least as important as the nutrient profile when it comes to long-term nutritional success. Here are the top dog foods for puppies combining these unique demands of such a young age.

1. Hills Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Hills Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Available in 3kg and 12kg packs, the Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food is targeted towards puppies of large breed dogs. These types of dogs who grow considerably in a short period benefit from such foods rich in calcium or phosphorous.

Best characteristics

While all dog foods have their pluses and minuses, Hills ensures its specific puppy dry food meets certain criteria. One of these criteria is the ease of food transition, especially since puppies might not have the metabolism to adapt as quickly with new food as older dogs.

Easy dry food transition

Hills’ recommends a period of up to a week to transition large breed puppies towards its dry food. In the first couple of days, the new food is added in a small percentage to the old food. In the third and fourth day, the pet owner creates a 50-50 mix of old and new dry food. On the fifth and sixth days, puppies eat more new food from Hills and less old dry food. Towards the end of a week, puppies fully transition to Hills’ food.

Chicken and whole grains

With a combination of protein and carbohydrates, the dry food is known for is complete nutrient profile. Chicken is used as a protein source. Slow-digesting and fast-digesting carbohydrates include wholegrain wheat and corn. Vitamins and minerals are also added to the mix.

Where to buy: PetCircle, My Pet Warehouse

Price: $32.68/3kg

Pros

  • Specifically made for large breed puppies
  • Contains riboflavin and niacin
  • Sources fibres from carrots and broccoli

Cons

  • Contains energy-boosting taurine

2. Jack & Chelo Weekly Dog Meal Plan

Jack & Chelo Weekly Dog Meal Plan

Jack & Chelo offers a weekly meal subscription plan for small dogs. All their foods are curated by a chef and they include human-grade ingredients. Dog owners can receive meals every week right at home.

Best characteristics

The brand recognizes the importance of healthy foods. This is why it sources only the best salmon and ethically farmed free-range chicken.

Top range of quality foods

A weekly dog meal plan with 150g portions can be ordered for puppies. It includes chicken, wallaby, beef, lamb, and salmon. The meal plan is recommended for small dogs and it can be changed to other meals from the menu.

Where to buy: Jack & Chelo

Price: $31.5

Pros

  • Delivered at the door
  • Made with quality meats
  • All portions are 150 grams

Cons

  • Requires a subscription plan

3. Advance Puppy Plus Growth

Advance Puppy Plus Growth

Made for puppies, dog food is characterized by its probiotics. They have the role of strengthening the stools and reducing their numbers. Since its made for puppies, it also includes a specific formulation for a healthier immune system. Most puppy breeds are exposed to all types of possible illnesses in the growth period.

Best characteristics

The food is dry and this means it lasts longer once the pack is open. However, it’s the ingredients that truly make it special. Apart from the ingredients which improve the digestive system, the food also contains zinc and linoleic acid for healthier skin and a shiny coat.

Strong immune system formulation

The strong immune system formulation is based on a combination of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and beta carotene. Similarly to other dry dog foods, the formulation also contains taurine. Apart from the selection of ingredients that boost the immune system, the food is also gut-friendly. It’s one of the foods which directly tackle diarrhea problems.

Delicious protein selection

Protein sources in the food include chicken, tuna, and turkey. These ingredients have an improved taste profile with added chicken fat. Both proteins are fats are important for healthy puppies.

Where to buy: Petbarn, The Vet Shed

Price: $39.99/3kg

Pros

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Contains multiple sources of protein
  • Improves digestion

Cons

  • Not for puppies who don’t like fish

4. SavourLife Grain-Free Lamb Puppy Food

SavourLife Grain-Free Lamb Puppy Food

Made with a mix of superfoods and antioxidants, this Australian-made blend is suitable for all puppies. It offers a complete nutrient profile based on amino acids which are essential to bone and muscle growth. The food is also free from preservatives and artificial flavours.

Best characteristics

With clean sources of protein, dry food is trusted on a national level. It is entirely sourced and produced within the country which gives it more trust, especially compared to imported foods.

Australian lamb

Australian lamb is used as a primary protein source. With extra attention paid to quality, it is one of the rare foods which is not based on chicken or fish protein sources. Still, lamb has a potent amino acid profile, suitable for good growth.

Added superfoods

Superfoods such as sweet potatoes, tapioca, and blueberries also complete the formula. They add vitamins, minerals, and energy, through the absorption of carbohydrates and natural sugars.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Pet Circle, Pet House

Price: $32.99/2.5kg

Pros

  • Made with Australian lamb
  • Includes superfoods such as broccoli
  • Only uses a handful of ingredients

Cons

  • Doesn’t taste like chicken-based dry foods

5. Pedigree Vital Protection With Chicken & Rice Mince

Pedigree Vital Protection With Chicken & Rice Mince

Pedigree has been a recognized brand in the puppy food industry. Its Rice Mince food formulation looks at essentials such as immune support, brain development, digestion, and bone health. The flavour of the food is similar to standard chicken,

Best characteristics

Chicken is the main protein source of the food. Beef, lamb or pork may also be part of its formulation. Fish oil and colouring agents complete their rather simplistic profile.

Skin and coat health

The formulation which comes with Zinc and Omega 6 is useful for skin and coat health. These natural nutrients are valuable in the growth period and they can only be obtained through foods.

Brain development

Brain development is also supported by the Omega 3 DHA content of the food. Memory and focus are functions that have been positively linked to these nutrients.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Pet Station

Price: $2.79/700g

Pros

  • Made with a delicious chicken taste
  • Includes Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Includes antioxidants for immune support

Cons

  • Contains colouring agents

6. Royal Canin Medium Junior Dog Food

Royal Canin Medium Junior Dog Food

The food is known for its quality ingredients which improve stool. They contain nutrients such as those selected for improving intestinal flora such as prebiotics. The brand is known for its manageable kibble approach considering size, shape, and texture.

Best characteristics

The complex formulation is specifically made to deal with the developing digestive systems puppies count on. This means the ingredients are friendly to the stomach and they also prevent diarrhea or other stool problems.

Prebiotics and digestive health

Prebiotics has added to aid the natural digestive process. Puppies might need a few days of accommodation to the new food as a result. However, they can also act to increase nutrients absorption.

Nutritional additives

Apart from prebiotics, poultry, and animal fats, the formula also includes nutritional additives. Vitamin A, Vitamin E and manganese are among these additives.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Pet Circle

Price: $59/4kg

Pros

  • Made with natural prebiotics
  • Includes animal fats
  • Proper kibble size for puppies

Cons

  • Contains iodine

7. Black Hawk Chicken & Rice Puppy Food

Black Hawk Chicken & Rice Puppy Food

This classic chicken-rice formula is one of the foods which never gets old. Its nutrients have already been proven even outside the brand and they’ve also been enhanced with niacin, copper and digestive ingredients such as peppermint extract.

Best characteristics

The dry food has a 30% protein content. This protein is then blended with fibres and carbohydrate sources from rice for quicker digestion.

Tasty formula

The taste of the food has been one of its main strengths. Chicken with chicken fat, rice and oats is easy to blend and is easy on the digestive system. This means even if puppies eat more than they should, they shouldn’t have an upset stomach.

Added minerals

Copper sulphate, manganese oxide, sodium, calcium, and folic acid have been added to the formula. They have a high nutritional value in all-age dogs as well as in puppies.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Pet Stock

Price: $36.99/3kg

Pros

  • Made with chicken fat
  • Available in 20kg bags
  • Includes detailed portion sizes

Cons

  • Not the most affordable formula

8. Ivory Coat Grain Free Large Breed Lamb Puppy Food

Ivory Coat Grain Free Large Breed Lamb Puppy Food

This food formula is characterized by Australian-sourced ingredients and hypoallergenic grains. Available in 13kg packs, it represents a practical option for those relying on monthly supplies for their beloved puppies.

Best characteristics

Puppies that have issues digesting grains and wholegrains love the Ivory Coat formula. Specifically made to reduce discomfort caused by grains in foods, the formula can be considered for puppies 12 months and younger.

Australian lamb and chicken

Most formulas are based on one type of protein. In the case of Ivory Coast, the manufacturer uses local lamb to care for the puppies’ growth needs to be based on pure protein. Chicken fat is used to enrich the taste of the lamb.

Free from grains

There are no grains in the formula. Carbohydrates come from ingredients such as green beans, carrots, and spinach. Green tea extract is added for extra energy.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Pet Circle, My Pet Warehouse

Price: $119/13kg

Pros

  • Made with Australian ingredients
  • Based on grain alternatives
  • Includes lamb

Cons

  • Green tea might keep puppies up at night

9. Royal Canin Maxi Junior Dog Food

Royal Canin Maxi Junior Dog Food

Made for large breed puppies, the dry food from Royal Canin impresses with its balanced energy-boosting ingredients and added minerals.

Best characteristics

Apart from its poultry and rice, the formula is based on ingredients that support bone and joint health such as fats and minerals.

Animal fats for healthy joints

Various animal fats have been added to the formula. Their role is to support the joints in a period where they grow fast.

A top selection of minerals

Iron, selenium, zinc and added Vitamin D3 make growing easier for puppies. These minerals also have a positive role in hormonal balance.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Pet Circle, Budget Pet Products

Price: $59.99/4kg

Pros

  • Made with added minerals
  • Includes various tasty animal fats
  • Selected proteins based on high assimilation percentage

Cons

  • Contains soy

10. Eukanuba Puppy Food

Eukanuba Puppy Food

The food is made for puppies which an adult weight between 11 and 25kg. Such breeds include Labradors or Australian Sheppard’s. The formula is mainly recommended for its shortlist of ingredients.

Best characteristics

The food is recommended for its various protein sources. With a complete amino acid profile, it is mainly suitable for large breed puppies.

Multiple protein sources

Protein sources of the formula include chicken and turkey at 33%. Animal fat and dried beet pulp complete its flavour profile.

Included dried egg

With included dried egg, puppies get access to one of the fastest absorbing proteins. Eggs can be fed to puppies between 1 month and 12 months.

Where to buy: Petbarn, Vet Products Direct

Price: $39.99/3kg

Pros

  • Made with chicken and turkey
  • Includes fish oil
  • Formulated with dried egg

Cons

  • Could use more fibre

11. Optimum Chicken Large Breed Puppy Food 15kg

Optimum Chicken Large Breed Puppy Food 15kg

With added vitamins and antioxidants, the delicious poultry-based formula is made to offer complete nutrition for puppies, alongside proper hydration. Cereal protein is also interestingly added to the formula.

Best characteristics

The dried food is available in 15kg packs. These packs should last for weeks if not a full month, depending on the age and size of the pet.

Complete nutrition

With a complete nutritional-profile, the food supports overall health and daily energy needs. Its taste is familiar to puppies who’ve already tried poultry.

Added vitamins

A long list of vitamins enriches the formula. Vitamin A improves vision. Vitamin E improves skin and coat health. Vitamin C improves the immunize system and ingredients absorption. Added antioxidants prevent oxidative stress.

Where to buy: Petbarn, My Pet Warehouse

Price: $83.99

Pros

  • Supports physical growth
  • Includes multiple vitamins
  • Made with cereal protein

Cons

  • Includes poultry byproducts

These dog foods for puppies are also available in various other sizes. Some may prove cheaper when purchased in larger quantities. But this also depends on the retailer and any specific offers. As all formulations are different, dog owners are those responsible for gradually introducing these foods into their puppy’s lives. This is the main reason while the price on its own may not be the sole indicator of the food the puppy is going to consume until reaching adulthood.

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