Best Puppy Food Of 2022
You wouldnt choose a collar, bed or squeak toys for your puppy that are meant for a much larger adult dog, right? Your dog food shouldnt be formulated for adult dogs either.
Puppy foods were formulated to ensure that puppies ranging from diminutive Dachshunds to giant Great Danes receive the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients to grow from small, wriggling puppies into healthy adults.
How Often Do Puppies Need To Eat
Depending on the breed, puppies need to eat between three and six times per day for the first three months of their life. Miniature and toy breeds need four to six meals, while larger breeds only need three to four. In months four to six, puppies need to eat about three times a day, and after six months, you can reduce that to two times per day.
While it might be convenient to feed your pup once a day, that generally isnt enough. A dogs stomach will be empty around six to eight hours after eating, so if you only feed her in the morning, she will almost definitely be hungry in the evening.
Bad Ingredients In Puppy Food
- Meat by-products: To cut costs, some dog food manufacturers use meat by-products as a protein source. These by-products usually consist of scrap parts such as bones and waste organs and offer little nutritional value compared to real meat.
- Corn and wheat: Corn and wheat are dense grains that are difficult to digest for puppies with undeveloped digestive systems. Theyre typically used as fillers and provide empty calories that dont contribute to your puppys growth.
- Rendered fats: Many dog food manufacturers slip in poor-quality fats with generic names like animal fat. In reality, these rendered fats can come from diseased or dead animals whose fat usually contain some toxins.
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Best Wet Dog Food For Adults
Some dogs really prefer the taste or texture of wet food, says veterinarian Jamie Richardson, chief of staff at Small Door Veterinary in New York City. Of course, pet parents want their dogs to enjoy their meals, so it makes sense that this is a popular choice.
Other pros of wet food are that it tends to have a longer shelf life before it’s opened, and according to Richardson, some wet foods may be less “processed” or contain fewer preservatives, which can make them easier to digest.
Luckily, the same nutritional standards apply to both dry and wet food. But comparing their labels isn’t exactly apples to apples because wet food has much more water content. So in order to understand how a wet food’s nutrition compares to a dry food, you need to look at the percentages of protein, fat, and fiber on a “dry matter basis.” Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University has some handy instructions on how to calculate that yourself. Another option: Call the brand that makes the food or ask your veterinarian for help. For the foods we recommend in this guide, we contacted the manufacturer to get all the info.
Our picks for adult wet dog food:
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Food
Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food is a brand designed for larger dog breeds that have special nutritional requirements. This best puppy kibble option features a high-protein recipe that will help build strong bones and give your puppies the energy they need to perform throughout the day. Live probiotics help regulate and maintain your dogs digestive system, and DHA helps with eye and brain development.
Unfortunately, Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food varies in quality from bag to bag, and some bags will cause the puppies to come running while others seem dry, and our puppies will leave the food in the bowl. It also has a foul odor that some people may not like.
Diamond Naturals Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food Features pasture-raised lamb as a main ingredient. Its all-natural recipe companions high-quality protein of lamb mixed with fruits and vegetables, as well as added vitamins and antioxidants. It contains DHA, which helps with eye development as well as brain development to help your puppy reach its peak cognitive abilities. This food contains no corn or wheat that can disrupt your puppys sensitive digestive system, and there are no harmful chemical preservatives.
Diamond Naturals Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food can cause gas in some dogs, and it also gave our pets a touch of diarrhea from time to time.
- Large kibble
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Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Food
Protein 28.0% min, Fat 13.0% min, Fiber 6% max, Moisture 12% max
Top 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Whole Grain Corn, 5. Poultry By-Product Meal
Large breed puppies are the most prone to crippling bone diseases. A puppy formula specifically manufactured and tested for large breeds, like this offering from Purina Pro Plan, is perfect nutrition for your large breed puppies.
With lean, high-quality protein and Omega-6 fatty acids, this puppy food will help your large breed puppy thrive.
How To Select A Good Food For Dogs & Puppies
There are three types of food varieties available in the market that are dog dry food, wet canned food for dogs, and premium food which means grain-free food for dogs. Most pet parents prefer to feed dry kibble or wet canned food to pets. There is no harm in it as it contains all the required nutrients that are essential to keep our pets healthy, happy, and strong. It becomes more nutritious if you feed your dog or puppy by mixing both dry kibble and wet food as it provides the crunchiest flavorful taste of both dry and wet food.
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How To Find The Best Dry Dog Food
Whether youre looking for the best dry or wet food for your dog, youre going to want to take several factors into account before buying.
Dr. Stephanie Sheen, a veterinarian with digital pet health site Fuzzy, told The Dodo that its a great idea to first consult the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s guidelines for quality pet food. This list breaks down exactly what to search for when reading the label of a dog or cat food.
And rather than look at the ingredients in each dry dog food, its much more important to take a look at the nutrients its packed with. According to Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinary consultant for Stayyy, the keywords to look for are:
- Amino acids, including valine threonine tryptophan, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, arginine and histidine
- 30 percent lean protein, ideally from organ meats like liver, kidney, gizzard, etc.
- Carbohydrates from veggies, fruit and rice
- Electrolytes like sodium chloride and potassium
- Vitamins A, B, D, E, K and chlorine
- Fats derived from oils and fish
And, of course, you need to make sure your dog actually likes the food and it agrees with him.
A shiny and silky coat, with no dry skin, is a good sign, Dr. Whitney Miller, chief veterinarian at Petco, told The Dodo. Also pay attention to what comes out the back end regular, formed stool is another great sign. If your pet has any regular GI upset, you should talk to your veterinarian about a possible nutrition change.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog
Dog obesity is a growing concern in the veterinary community and has been linked to many health problems in dogs. Luckily for our pets, we are usually more disciplined about controlling their diets than we are about controlling our own. Knowing how much to feed your dog and what healthy dog weight looks like can be tricky. Many owners accidentally overfeed their pets, which is why it is important to take your dog in for regular checkups and to talk with your vet about appropriate portions. The guidelines on the back of the bag are just that guidelines. Some dogs may require more than the recommended amount, whereas others require much less. Activity level, time of year, nursing, illness, and more factors can all impact how much a dog needs to eat. Dog people will often advise that you should feed the dog thats in front of you instead of strictly adhering to dog food serving size guidelines that may or may not be exactly what your dog needs.
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The Farmers Dog Fresh
Turkey Recipe is one of 4 fresh-made foods included in our review of The Farmers Dog product line.
- First 5 ingredients: USDA Turkey, chickpeas, carrot, broccoli, parsnips
- Type: Grain-free
- Life stage: All life stages
- Best for:Puppies and adults, all breed sizes
- Price: $$$
This specific poultry formula derives most of its meat protein from fresh USDA turkey. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 19% fat and 40% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
All Farmers Dog recipes are human-grade. Theyre each designed by a board certified veterinary nutritionist . A rare and unusual finding.
The company designs a customized feeding plan thats based on your dogs ideal weight, age, breed type and activity level and then pre-packages each meal into an appropriate portion size, according to the number of calories needed to maintain your dog at ideal weight.
The food is delivered to your door on a flexible schedule. Once in your home, store the food in your freezer and thaw each package in your refrigerator.
An exceptional, fresh, grain-free option ideal for those who want to feed a scientifically balanced meal thats as close to homemade as you can get. Minus all the hard work.
Affordable. But not cheap. Enthusiastically recommended for small dogs of all ages especially puppies.
The Best Dog Food According To Experts And Veterinarians
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Dogs provide humans with unconditional love and emotional support, which pet owners might be especially thankful for during the stressful times we are living through. Feeding your dog a nutritious diet is just one way to show them how much you care, in addition to providing them with the right dog bed, toys to play with and the occasional dog treat. Simply put, dogs deserve to eat well in fact, appropriate food is fourth in the American Veterinary Medical Associations Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership. And with currently underway, you can find savings on many top-rated pet products.
SKIP AHEAD How to shop for dog food
Aiming for the best food for dogs gives them distinct health advantages, too, said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, resident veterinarian and pet care expert at PetSmart. Premium dog food will include meat for protein, vitamin-packed vegetables and fruit, and omega fatty acids for a shiny coat, Freeman said, adding its also likely to have fewer fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy.
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Purina One Smartblend Puppy Food Best Value
Purina ONE SmartBlend Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is our pick as the best dog food for puppies for the money. This brand has real chicken as its first ingredient and contains other high-quality protein ingredients like dried eggs. It also contains rice, which is easy for your puppy to digest, and a dual defense antioxidant blend provides vitamins A and E, zinc, and selenium. This food is also a natural source of glucosamine, which will help support healthy joints. DHA will help with healthy eye and brain development.
The downside to Purina ONE SmartBlend Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is that it contains huge chicken chunks that some smaller puppies will have trouble eating. Some puppies will dig through this food as well and leave the bits they dont like behind.
- Huge chicken chunks
- Dogs pick through it
Giving your pet the highest quality nutrition is a top priority, so why not give them a food and water dish to match? The Hepper Nom Nom Bowl is our product, but its too good not to share.
Made from food-safe stainless steel, you can ensure that your pet is consuming the best nutrition out of the finest bowls on the market. to get yours.
What To Avoid Feeding Your Pooch
It is very important to stick to quality when it comes to your dogs diet. This is one of the fundamental factors that I always keep in mind before finalizing my top lists of dog foods. I dont compromise on quality and neither, should you. Look for options that use quality poultry, meat, and fish as their foundation ingredient. Opting for dog food with a great animal protein source as the first ingredient is essential unless your pooch has kidney issues.
Here are a few things you should stay away from when narrowing down your list of best dry dog foods.
1. Artificial additives, preservatives, colors, and flavoring
Avoid anything that has the word artificial on it. These things compromise on the quality of dog food and are also detrimental to your canines health. Additives and artificial ingredients can also trigger allergies and sensitivities in some dogs. Low-quality grain-based diets usually have a list of these artificial ingredients and should be avoided completely.
2. Unnecessary fillers
While whole grains make great ingredients in dog foods, refined grains are nothing but low-quality fillers that your poochs tummy isnt going to appreciate. To stick to the best doggies food option, avoid anything that includes unnecessary fillers and look for options with more meat-based formulations, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and seeds.
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My Puppy Eats Too Fast
Eating too fast or wolfing down their food is another common puppy issue. Its not unusual for fast eaters to vomit their food right after they eat because their stomachs cant handle the sudden food intake.
I recommend hand feeding so you can control the amount they take and the rate at which they take it. This also gives you a chance to bond more with your puppy and do some easy obedience training.
You can also try a food dish with obstacles in it so that the puppy cant wolf down the food so fast. Ive had clients tell me they made a homemade version of these slow feeders by pudding a large rock in the center of their puppies dish. Youd want to use a rock thats far too large for the puppy to bite or swallow. The large rock will make them have to sort of chase the food around in the dish which prevents fast eating.
My last suggestion for puppies who bolt their food is to use interactive toys to feed them their meals. These really only work well with dry dog food, but most puppies find them highly entertaining and it keeps them from bolting their food.
Try the Orbee Tuff Snoop ball shown below- its the most popular interactive food toy amongst all the dogs Ive ever offered it to!
Selecting The Best Food For Adult Dogs:
There are many differences in the nutritional requirement of adult dogs due to their weight and size. When it comes to younger senior dogs, some might face issues with being overweight so proper food should be fed keeping well-balanced nutritional requirements in mind. On the other hand, some senior dogs might struggle to be underweight, so food that contains different nutrient ingredients amounts required to feed them. For deciding which will be the best for your pets health, eventually, a veterinarian will be the best option.
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Who Should Not Buy Dog Food For Puppies
- Puppy graduates Your dog will age out of puppy food, depending on the breed and size, at roughly a year old. You may want to consider young adult food to help your pup transition into adulthood.
- Adult dogs Youll be able to make the switch to the less specific diet of adult dog food after hes reached adulthood. Transitioning to adult food too early could have a lifelong negative impact on his development. Pregnant and lactating adult dogs are the exception they should be fed puppy food to help keep their calories up.
Best Dry Dog Food For Seniors
Typically, you might consider a senior dog food around age 6 or 7 for a large breed, and around 10 or 12 for a small, says Richardson. The right food for a senior dog depends on the specific senior and how they’re doing, says Shepherd. If they’re maintaining a healthy weight and muscle tone, their stool is well-formed, and they’re enjoying their food, you may not even need to change their diet.
That said, there are lots of dog foods tailored specifically to the needs of older dogs who may have certain health issues. “Senior diets are formulated to target some of the common ailments of older pets, such as joint health, digestive health, immune health, and possibly others,” says Swanson.
Senior dog food is usually easier to digest and may be lower in calories since older dogs aren’t always as active. Food for senior dogs may be higher in protein to help maintain their muscle, fiber to help them stay regular, and extra antioxidants to limit oxidative stress and keep their immune system healthy. You may also see omega-3 fatty acids for cognitive performance because some senior dogs suffer from cognitive dysfunction, aka “doggy dementia.”
For older dogs, a bit of extra protein is a plus. As long as your dog doesn’t have any health conditions, look for a senior dog food that’s lower in fat and calories and has extra protein beyond the AAFCO minimum of 18%.
Our senior dog food picks are protein packed and have nutritional boosters that can support an older dog’s changing needs.
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