LogoPet-1.png
BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

The 11 Best Dry Puppy Foods In 2024

Hello there! As a fellow pet lover, I understand how important it is to choose the right dry puppy foods for your furry friend, especially during their growth stages.

That's why BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has done the research for you and examined the best dry puppy foods on the market.

Our evaluation is based on the nutritional value, quality of ingredients, and customer reviews of each brand.

We understand that every puppy is unique, and their nutritional needs vary depending on their breed, size, and age. That's why we have carefully selected a range of options to suit different puppies needs.

Our review provides you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision for your furry friend.

We believe that a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for your puppy's healthy growth and development. Choosing the right food can also prevent health issues and allergies in the future.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

Read more icon

Compare Table

Image Product View on Amazon
1 Wellness Complete Puppy Chicken Mix Food Wellness Complete Puppy Chicken Mix Food View on Amazon
2 Real Chicken Puppy Chow Dry Dog Food Real Chicken Puppy Chow Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
3 Purina Pro Puppy Large Breed Chicken Food Purina Pro Puppy Large Breed Chicken Food View on Amazon
4 Life Protection Blue Buffalo Puppy Food Life Protection Blue Buffalo Puppy Food View on Amazon
5 The Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Large-Sized Breeds The Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Large-Sized Breeds View on Amazon
6 Royal Canin Dry Small Puppy Puppy Food Royal Canin Dry Small Puppy Puppy Food View on Amazon
7 Farmina N&D Chicken with Ancestral Grain and Pomegranate Farmina N&D Chicken with Ancestral Grain and Pomegranate View on Amazon
8 Original Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Food Original Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Food View on Amazon
9 Nutrish Puppy Real Chicken & Rice by Rachael Ray Nutrish Puppy Real Chicken & Rice by Rachael Ray View on Amazon
10 CANIDAE PURE Salmon Miniature Puppies CANIDAE PURE Salmon Miniature Puppies View on Amazon
11 Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula View on Amazon

Reviews

1. Wellness Complete Puppy Chicken Mix Food

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food

View on Amazon

Wellness Complete Puppy Food is our top recommendation for the best dry dog food overall.

This high-quality food is made with deboned chicken as its primary protein source, along with salmon meal and oil to provide your puppy with essential omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy coat.

Additionally, this recipe includes tomatoes, which provide vital antioxidants and vitamin C for your dog’s overall health.

Wellness Complete Puppy Food was created by nutritionists, veterinarians, and animal lovers who carefully selected the best ingredients from nature to provide an ideal balance of nutrition for your puppy’s health and wellbeing.

The dry puppy foods support brain development and healthy bone growth with guaranteed levels of DHA sourced from salmon oil, calcium, and phosphorus. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and hair.

Wellness Complete Puppy Food is free from corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products, gluten from wheat, artificial colors, and preservatives, making it a great choice for puppies with food sensitivities.

It is made in the USA using only the best globally sourced ingredients, and each diet is prepared in a state-of-the-art facility. This recipe features wholesome, non-GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits.

Overall, Wellness Complete Puppy Food is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their puppies with the best nutrition possible.

The only downside we have encountered is that the packaging has changed over the years, and dog owners no longer have the option of keeping the food fresh without extra containers.

Pros

Used deboned chicken as the primary source of protein.

Contains omega 3s for a supple coat

Tomatoes offer more vitamin C

Cons

No longer in an airtight pouch

Expensive


2. Real Chicken Puppy Chow Dry Dog Food

Purina Puppy Chow High Protein Dry Puppy Food

View on Amazon

Purina Puppy Chow is a well-known brand that offers an affordable option for pet owners who want to save money on their puppy’s food. This dog food is readily available at most local pet stores, department stores, and grocery stores, making it a convenient option.

Puppy Chow is formulated with the building blocks of puppy nutrition, including DHA and key nutrients that are found in mother’s milk. It’s made with real American-raised chicken and contains 30% more protein than leading adult foods, which supports growing muscles.

The dry puppy foods also contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, to boost little immune systems and calcium to help support healthy bones and teeth. It’s designed to support healthy brain and vision development and everyday resilience in developing digestive systems.

While Puppy Chow is an inexpensive alternative to other dog foods, it undergoes the same AAFCO nutritional testing as more costly products. It’s ideal for pet owners who are feeding multiple puppies or who are uncertain of their puppy’s specific breed size and dietary needs.

However, it’s important to note that Puppy Chow does not contain any high-protein sources or unique additional additives. This dog food contains only the nutrients necessary for a balanced diet and development. It’s also not intended to aid dogs with stomach and digestive problems.

Pros

Easily accessible

Affordable

Cons

Not designed for pets with gastrointestinal problems


3. Purina Pro Puppy Large Breed Chicken Food

Purina Pro Plan High Protein

View on Amazon

Purina Pro Plan is a premium dry dog food specially designed for large-breed puppies that will eventually weigh more than 50 pounds.

This high-quality dog food is formulated with chicken as the primary source of protein and contains fish oil and live probiotics to aid in brain and eye development.

This dog food also contains glucosamine and EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, to support joint health and mobility. The high protein content promotes muscle conditioning when combined with proper exercise.

Although Purina Pro Plan is more expensive than some other dog foods on the market, veterinary nutritionists have verified its quality.

However, the formulations of this dog food may vary, and Purina has recently modified its recipe to include probiotics.

Due to shortages and other concerns, they have been known to switch without warning from the new recipe to the previous version.

Purina Pro Plan provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs, and its high-quality ingredients are specifically chosen to provide maximum health benefits for your pet.

Pros

Veterinarian nutritionists evaluate nutritional value

Beneficial for cognitive and visual development

Cons

Cons

Formulas are frequently altered.


4. Life Protection Blue Buffalo Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Blue Buffalo is a well-recognized leader in pet nutrition, and their Life Protection Puppy Formula is no exception. This high-quality dry dog food is designed to provide the nutrients that all breeds of puppies require to grow up healthy and strong.

One of the unique features of this dog food is the Blue Buffalo LifeSource Bits , which are a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs, and a healthy oxidative balance.

It’s important to note that these LifeSource Bits are separate from the kibble, so if your dog ignores them, it may miss out on essential nutrients included in balanced dog food.

The dry puppy foods feature real chicken as the first ingredient, along with high-quality protein to help your puppy build and maintain healthy muscles. It also includes wholesome whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit to provide your puppy with a complete and balanced diet.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Formula is specially formulated for puppies and contains DHA and ARA, important fatty acids found in mother’s milk, to support cognitive function and retinal health.

This dog food is also a natural option, made with the finest natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It contains no chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

The high-quality ingredients in this dog food are specifically chosen to provide maximum health benefits for your puppy, and the unique LifeSource Bits offer added support for your puppy’s immune system and oxidative balance.

Pros

Chicken is the primary source of protein in this dish.

Utilizes LifeSource Bits for supplementary nutrition

Cons

LifeSource Bits are distinct components that can be eliminated


5. The Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Large-Sized Breeds

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Meal is specially formulated with an optimal level of calcium to promote controlled bone growth in large puppies, using a balanced set of minerals to support strong bones and teeth.

This dog food also contains DHA from fish oil to promote healthy brain and eye development in growing dogs.

The high-quality protein in this dog food helps your large puppy build and maintain lean muscle, while the absence of artificial colors or ingredients ensures that your puppy is consuming only healthy ingredients.

It’s important to note that the kibble size might be challenging for puppies, even though this dog food is designed for puppies that will grow to weigh more than 55 pounds as adults.

If your puppy has difficulty chewing the kibble, you may need to break it into smaller pieces until they are old enough to consume it comfortably.

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Meal has undergone AAFCO nutritional testing and is prepared in the United States with high-quality ingredients. It’s also the #1 veterinarian-recommended puppy food.

The high-quality ingredients in this dog food are specifically chosen to provide maximum health benefits for your puppy, including strong bones and teeth through the balanced set of minerals.

Pros

Protein-rich formula

Made in America

No synthetic colorings or additives

Cons

Kibble pieces are huge


6. Royal Canin Dry Small Puppy Puppy Food

Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Royal Canin Tiny Puppy Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for pet owners with small dog breeds.

This dry dog food is specially formulated for puppies up to 10 months old with an expected adult weight between 9 and 22 lbs.

It provides the nutrients that young dogs need to maintain their high energy levels during their growth period.

This diet contains probiotics, prebiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support healthy digestive and immune systems.

The small kibble size is designed for little dogs with small jaws and picky appetites, making it easier for them to consume.

However, one concern with this dog food is that it does not have protein as its primary ingredient.

While a high-protein diet is great for developing puppies, rice and chicken by-product meals are the primary components in this food, which might cause further complications for puppies with sensitive stomachs.

Royal Canin Tiny Puppy Dry Dog Food is tailor-made for puppies up to 10 months old with an expected adult weight between 9 and 22 lbs. It meets the high energy needs of small-breed dogs during their short, intense growth period.

An exclusive blend of antioxidants and vitamins provides immune support, while highly digestible proteins and prebiotics promote healthy digestion.

The high-quality ingredients in this dog food are specifically chosen to provide maximum health benefits for your puppy, and the small kibble size makes it easy for smaller dogs to consume.

Pros

Good for increased energy levels

Small kibble size

Cons

Not an outstanding source of protein


7. Farmina N&D Chicken with Ancestral Grain and Pomegranate

Farmina Natural And Delicious Chicken And Ancestral Low

View on Amazon

Farmina N&D Mini Puppy Dog Food is an excellent option for pet owners who want their small-breed puppy to consume GMO- and gluten-free dry food.

This Italian-made dog food is composed of 90 percent natural animal protein sources, which are essential for the proper growth and development of puppies.

The ingredients used in this diet are locally sourced and packaged in protected environments to ensure safety and delicious flavors for your puppy.

However, the kibble may be too hard for puppies with small mouths to chew. It’s recommended to add water to soften the kibble before feeding it to your puppy. Additionally, some dogs and their owners may find the odor of the food unpleasant.

Farmina N&D Mini Puppy Dog Food is specially formulated with small bites for small-breed puppies. This complete dog food is suitable for all life stages and is free of peas, lentils, or pea protein.

The high level of fresh protein, limited carbohydrates, and low-fiber formulas make it a healthy and nutritious option for your puppy.

Its high-quality ingredients are specifically chosen to provide your puppy with maximum health benefits, and the small kibble size is designed for easy consumption.

Pros

GMO-free and wheat-free

Contains animal-derived protein

Cons

Kibble fragments are exceedingly tough

The food has an awful odor.


8. Original Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Food

IAMS Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Iams ProActive Puppy Food is specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies, with real farm-raised chicken as the top ingredient to support strong muscle development and essential minerals to promote healthy bone growth.

One of the benefits of dry puppy foods is its recommendation by veterinarians, who recognize the importance of providing puppies with the right balance of nutrients to support healthy cognitive development and a strong immune system. It includes omega-3 DHA, which promotes healthy brain function, and antioxidants to support a strong immune system.

Iams ProActive Puppy Food is 100% complete and balanced, with no artificial colors, preservatives, soy, wheat, or other fillers. This ensures that your puppy receives all the necessary nutrition to thrive without any unnecessary additives or ingredients that could upset their digestive system.

It’s worth noting that Iams ProActive Puppy Food contains maize, which may be harder for some puppies to digest. However, if your puppy doesn’t have any issues with maize, this dog food can be a great choice for providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet.

At Iams, they are committed to providing high-quality dog food with a full line of products tailored for dogs of all ages, sizes, and dietary needs.

Whether you have a small or large-breed puppy or an adult dog, there is a recipe that can bring out the best in your furry friend. Consider giving Iams ProActive Puppy Food a try to see the difference it can make in your puppy’s health and happiness.

Pros

Chicken is the primary component in this dish.

No synthetic colors or preservatives.

100% balanced and comprehensive meal

Cons

The usage of corn as an ingredient

It is tough to read labels.


9. Nutrish Puppy Real Chicken & Rice by Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Premium Natural Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Rachael Ray, renowned for her culinary expertise, has also made a name for herself in the pet food industry. Her Bright Puppy formula is an excellent option for puppy owners who want to provide their pets with a nutritious and delicious meal.

One of the key features of this puppy food is that it is made with real chicken as the primary ingredient and is free from wheat and wheat gluten. It’s an ideal option for puppies with sensitive stomachs or allergies.

In addition to high-quality protein, Bright Puppy also contains DHA and EPA to support eye and brain development, as well as calcium to aid in bone development during the early growth stages.

This makes it suitable for puppies, and it can also be used throughout all stages of life.

While this dog food is affordable, it’s important to note that it’s only available in smaller packs. This could be a challenge if you need to feed multiple puppies or have a larger breed of dog.

Additionally, some owners have reported that the kibble is too hard for smaller dog breeds to chew and may require soaking.

Rachael Ray Nutrish’s Bright Puppy formula includes fruits rich in antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Moreover, it’s made without poultry by-product meal, so you can feel confident about feeding it to your furry friend.

Pros

Chicken is the primary source of protein in this dish.

Contains DHA and EPA

Promotes bone health

Cons

The bag size is modest.

Kibble chunks may be too difficult for certain little dogs.


10. CANIDAE PURE Salmon Miniature Puppies

Canidae Pure Petite Premium Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Puppy Food

View on Amazon

CANIDAE Pure Petite Salmon Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food for Puppies is an excellent choice for small breed dogs, with real salmon as the primary ingredient. It’s also great for dogs with sensitive stomachs because it does not contain wheat, corn, or soy.

One unique feature of dry puppy foods is the freeze-dried raw salmon coating on each kibble, which makes it more appealing to even the pickiest eaters. With only eight simple and recognizable ingredients, you can trust that your furry friend is getting high-quality nutrition.

In addition to the high-quality protein from salmon, this dog food is formulated with antioxidants and probiotics to support a healthy digestive and immune system, as well as a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals to promote healthy joints, skin, and coat.

While freeze-dried food can be a great option, texture can be a concern for some puppies. The kibble may be too difficult for some to chew, but adding water can help. One issue we encountered with this dog food is the scent, which may be unappealing to some dogs and their owners.

This is a great option for pet owners seeking high-quality, limited-ingredient dog food for their furry friends. With premium proteins and ingredients sourced from regenerative farms, you can feel confident about feeding your pup a bowl full of wholesome goodness.

Pros

Salmon is the primary component.

Containing no wheat, corn, or soy

Hypoallergenic

Cons

Kibble is really tough

Has a disagreeable odor


11. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food, Chicken and Rice Formula

View on Amazon

If you’re seeking high-quality dry puppy food that will promote your pet’s growth and development, Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula is an outstanding choice.

This food is rich in protein, with chicken as the primary ingredient, to help your dog build lean muscle and maintain good health and activity levels.

The addition of DHA from omega-3-rich fish oil is a standout feature of this puppy food, as it supports brain and eye development in young dogs.

Moreover, the formula is highly digestible, ensuring that your puppy can absorb all the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.

As a responsible pet owner, you want to provide your puppy with the best possible nutrition for their health and well-being.

With Purina Pro Plan’s Chicken and Rice Formula, you can be confident that you are supplying your furry companion with the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

The antioxidants in the food also help develop a puppy’s immune system, which is critical during their first few months.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food to pet owners who want to give their dogs the best possible start in life.

This puppy food is an excellent choice for new pet owners because of its high-quality ingredients, emphasis on nutrition, and dedication to promoting your dog’s growth and development.

Pros

High-quality protein promotes lean muscle growth and an active lifestyle.

DHA supports brain and vision development in young dogs.

Highly digestible formula allows for optimal nutrient absorption.

Antioxidants support a puppy’s developing immune system.

Cons

Some pet parents may prefer wet food or alternative protein sources.

May not be suitable for puppies with unique nutritional needs or sensitivities.

The Difference Between A Puppy and An Adult Dog

When it comes to dog nutrition, it’s important to understand the specific dietary needs of your pet at different life stages.

For example, puppies require a diet that is rich in high-quality protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to support their rapid growth and development.

This is why there are dog food formulations specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of growing puppies.

In addition to providing the right nutrients, puppies also require more calories than adult dogs due to their higher energy levels and ongoing physical development.

As a puppy transitions into adulthood, their metabolism slows down, and they require less food overall. This is when it’s appropriate to switch to adult dog food that is designed to meet their specific needs.

It’s important to choose dog food that is appropriate for your pet’s age, breed, size, and overall health status. Consulting with your veterinarian can be helpful in determining the best nutrition plan for your furry companion.

“Choosing the best dog food for your furry companion can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to their overall health and wellbeing. Check out our guide on Dog Food Reviews 2023: How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Your Pet for advice and product recommendations.”

Buyer's Guide: How to Choose The Best Dry Puppy Food

When it comes to selecting the best dry puppy foods, there are several factors to keep in mind. Here are a few key considerations to take into account:

1. Dog Food Ingredients

As a pet parent, you want to ensure that your growing puppy is getting the best possible nutrition. When evaluating dog food brands, pay attention to the ingredients used in each formulation.

Look for dog food that has a high-quality protein source, such as chicken, listed as the first ingredient. This will ensure that your puppy is getting a meal that is rich in protein and has fewer fillers and byproducts.

Also, make sure to look for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to support your puppy’s growth and digestion.

2. Puppy Size

The size of your puppy is another important factor to consider when selecting dog food. If you have a small-breed puppy and only one pet, you may not need large bags of dog food.

However, if you have a large-breed puppy or multiple puppies, larger bags of dog food may be necessary. Be sure to consider your puppy’s size and your household’s needs before making a purchase.

3. Dog Food Cost

Price is another important consideration when selecting dog food.

While higher-priced dog foods may use higher-quality protein sources, it is still possible to find affordable dog food that provides the balanced nutrients your puppy needs for proper growth and development.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry; you can still find great options for your pet. By considering these factors and doing your research, you can select the best possible puppy food for your pet.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian or BestForPets for guidance and advice. We are always here to help you.

When it comes to choosing the best dry puppy food for your furry friend, cost is an essential factor to consider. Check out our 2023 guide on How To Choose The Best Dry Puppy Food For Your Furry Friend for expert advice on selecting a balanced and affordable diet.

FAQs

1. Is dried food best for puppies?

The choice between wet and dry food isn’t as important as the quality and composition of the ingredients. As long as the food contains high-quality ingredients and the right balance of nutrients, either type can provide your puppy with all the necessary nutrition.

2. Is dry puppy food better than wet?

Both types of food can provide a balanced diet, depending on the recipe and ingredients. The nutritional value of the food is determined by the ingredients used, not whether it is wet or dry.

3. Can puppies live on dry food?

Puppies can survive on dry food alone, provided it contains all the necessary nutrients and is of high quality. Most puppies can start eating dry food at around 8 to 10 weeks old, but this can vary depending on the individual puppy.

4. Does a 6 month old puppy still need puppy food?

Most puppies can transition to adult food between 6 and 12 months of age. Growth foods with higher protein levels and calorie counts are necessary during the puppy stage, but once the puppy is nearing their adult height, they can switch to adult food.

5. What do you feed a 7 month old puppy?

Between 6 and 12 months, you can gradually transition your puppy to adult food. Small breeds can switch to adult food between 7 and 9 months, while larger breeds can wait until around 12 months. It’s always better to keep them on puppy food longer than needed to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.

6. How many times should a 6 month puppy eat a day?

In the beginning, puppies should be fed at least 3 to 4 times per day, and more often if they are very young. At around 5 to 6 months, you can start transitioning to 2 to 3 meals per day by gradually reducing the mid-day meal and slightly increasing breakfast and dinner.

7. Should I add water to dry dog food?

Adding water to dry dog food can help increase overall fluid intake, which is beneficial for your dog’s health. If your dog’s drinking habits suddenly and significantly change, it could be a sign of an underlying medical problem, so it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Conclusion

When it comes to selecting the best dry puppy food, there are a variety of options available.

After careful evaluation, we believe that Wellness Complete Dog Food with deboned chicken is the best overall dry puppy food on the market today.

This high-quality dog food is rich in protein and nutrients that support your developing puppy’s optimal growth and development.

If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend Purina Puppy Chow Complete as the best affordable dry puppy food. This dog food provides balanced nutrition and is widely available, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for pet owners.

However, it’s important to note that every puppy is unique, and their nutritional needs may vary based on breed, size, and other factors.

If you’re looking for more dry puppy food options, we suggest checking out BestForPets‘ list of recommended brands to find the best fit for your pet.

Remember to always consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy is receiving the appropriate nutrition for their specific needs. With the right food and care, your puppy will grow up to be a happy, healthy, and strong adult dog.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

Comment

0.0
0.0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Excellent0%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles