The Best Puppy Food For A Healthier And Happier Dog!
Puppy food is always something that’s important in my opinion. I’ve raised over seven dogs to date, and I always feed them with the best puppy food there is. But you might ask, exactly what defines great puppy food? How do we know if it’s good for our dogs or not?
Today, we’ll learn the basics and the proper know-how when buying puppy food. Our puppies are at a very fragile stage. Thus, we’ll need to pay extra attention on what we feed them. Remember, not everything that has a label “puppy food” is trustworthy!
Do Puppies Really Need High Quality Puppy Food?
A lot of dog owners have recently fed their puppies with human food. This includes rice, white chicken, and sometimes even pork. Although science has not particularly labeled it bad, it can still be a problem because it’s not designed to meet your puppy’s nutritional needs. Still, nothing beats high-quality dog food and the mother’s breast milk.
Just think of it this way, your puppy is just like a baby. No sane doctor would tell you that your 1-year old baby should eat all sorts of dishes. This is why nutritionists and food experts recommend moms to feed their babies with baby food along with breastmilk.
The same thing applies to our little pooches. So while it may be a little expensive, trust me! It will be a huge investment along the way. You might not see its benefits immediately, but you’ll see its long-term effects when your pup grows into a full-fledged adult dog.
What I Think About Dog Food As A Dog Owner For Many Years
In my experience, all of the dogs I’ve raised have lived a long life. All of my dogs lived longer than 12 years, which is very long in dog years.
Puppy food means a happy tummy
Another advantage of puppy food is that it keeps your puppies’ bellies happy and healthy. Like us humans, puppies have very sensitive tummies that can experience a lot of illnesses. Some examples of digestive problems are diarrhea, gastritis, and bloat.
Because your puppy still has a growing body, organs such as its stomach will have a hard time coping with food that is not designed for its age. With puppy food, your pooch will have an easier digestion, which will also allow the nutrients to break down and distribute properly.
My pug is an example that has greatly benefited from this. Back then, I was feeding my 3-month old pug with cheap and below-average puppy food. I was still an amatuer back then, given that my pug was my first dog ever. Thus, I was not aware with food standards.
When I saw my puppy having soft stool, which was sometimes alarmingly runny, I immediately shifted to a better brand. Usually, puppy food with good fiber content is the best indication for better digestion. Below, we’ll discuss the content of good puppy food further, so keep scrolling!
What Should Good Puppy Food Contain?
Dogs are designed to be hard workers. Unlike us humans, who mostly rely on our brain power, dogs rely on brute strength and mobility.
With this said, dog food is generally geared to help grow the muscles, enhance the immune system, and strengthen joints and bones.
- Vitamins, Minerals, and Fat
- Other things to keep in mind
Taking these into account, good puppy food should have a mixture of calcium, iron, vitamins, and more importantly, protein. Protein helps build your dog’s muscle fibers, which helps improve your puppy’s overall activity and cardiovascular strength.
Not to mention, a protein-packed meal will increase your dog’s overall happiness. Physically imposing dogs are more likely to have an alpha male mindset, which always improves the lifestyle of any animal.
Just think that it’s the same with people, men and women with fit and strong bodies have more confidence. This confidence is proven to translate into a happier lifestyle. As for my experience, my beagle has developed its muscles greatly. This, in turn, has improved its overall hound instincts that is essential for any beagle’s lifestyle.
For the bones, it’s a given that dogs can injure themselves any time. If you have a puppy that’s a working breed, it’s a must for you to prioritize puppy food with a lot of calcium.
Working dogs like German Shepherds, Collies, and Siberian Huskies are more prone to fractures and joint problems like arthritis and osteoporosis. To prevent this, you have to start as early as puppyhood for the bones to be fortified when it fully develops.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, dogs and humans share the same need, and that’s improving the immune system. Puppies are susceptible to a lot of diseases that humans also suffer. Some of these disease are fever, mumps, and diabetes.
The best way to prevent your dog from suffering these is to improve its overall immune system as early as puppyhood. The major vitamins, coupled with minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium will all help resist these illnesses.
As for the fat content, puppies need this for their energy storages. High fat content can be dangerous for adult dogs, since this can increase cholesterol levels. However, puppies need this because their metabolism is fast. This means that they need a lot of calorie-intake to be energized and active.
When it comes to your puppy’s dog food, preference is key. You can buy one of the most balanced dog foods out there, but your puppy may still not like it. Thus, everything is just a matter of trial and error.
Our Top 5 Picks
Nature’s Recipe offers this Grain Free Dry Dog Food for puppies. This particular product comes with 12 pounds of dog food. However, it comes in other different quantities: the 4, 14 and 24 pound size. In addition, it also comes in other flavors for both small breed and large breed dogs.
Nature’s Recipe avoids ingredients associated with food sensitivities for dog. It is packed with protein for muscle development. But most importantly, it is also packed with grain-free carbohydrate source to keep your puppy full of energy.
- They are meant for puppies with sensitive stomachs
- It helps keep your puppy’s coat soft and shiny just as advertised.
- It comes in different sizes, so you can simply buy the smallest size just to try if your puppy likes it.I
- t also comes in different flavors and formulations specifically for both small or large breeds.
- For some puppies, the texture of their poop might change.
- The smell might be a little hard to wash off from your hands.
On the other hand, Purina One’s SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula is a dry dog food. It comes in two other sizes as well: the 4 pound and 16.5 pound bag. Purina boasts having real chicken as its number one ingredient, compared to other brands that use extenders.
It also contains Omega-6, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for the overall health of puppies and their immune system. DHA content is also present in order to complement the natural mother dog’s milk.
- Some flavors are not grain-free.This might be an issue if your pup is not used to digesting grains.
- Some flavors run out of stock easily so you might have to stock up (if it works for your dog).
As for Hill’s Science Diet, their dry dog food is specially formulated for large dog breeds. It comes in the adult, adult 6+ and adult light versions. As for its flavors, it is available in five other variants of chicken, lamb, rice and barley.
And even better, it also comes in four other quantities. This dry dog food is ideal for dogs large breed puppies up to one year old that grow over 55 pounds as adults. It is a flavorful meal packed with calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids.
- It makes use of natural, easy to digest ingredients for puppies.The glucosamine and chondroitin content also come from natural sources.
- It does not leave any unpleasant smell in your dog’s breath.
- It is good for your pup’s hair, teeth and nails.
- It can come off as a bit “greasy” on the bowl when cleaning due to its texture.
- It comes in really huge quantities so if your dog doesn’t sit well with it, it might be a drag.You might have a hard time finishing the smallest bag.
With Merrick’s Grain Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, you get a high protein meal for your pup with real deboned chicken. With 3 sizes to choose from, you can choose how much dog food quantity you get.
It comes in the Real Chicken and Sweet Potato recipe. It has no corn, wheat, soy or gluten ingredients for easier digestion. But what’s even better is, all of Merrick’s dog food are cooked in organically certified kitchens. Finally, it also contains DHA for your puppy’s brain and nutritional development.
- It is cooked in organically certified kitchens in USA, unlike other brands who mass produce processed dog food.
- It helps with puppies who have sensitive stomachs.
- It has a good soft texture that can be easily digested by puppies.
- You might find your puppy’s fart smelling a little weird.This might happen a lot too.
- Because it is grain free, it might not help you find out what ingredients your dog is allergic to.
And finally, Canidae’s Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food comes in eight other flavors and variations for puppies, small breeds and large breeds. Canidae claims to use only fresh meat and whole foods for quality and gentle digestion.
It makes use of nine key ingredients which are meant for your puppy’s sensitive stomach. However, as per instructions, Canidae recommends that if your pup will be transitioning from another brand, a 7 to 10 day transition is ideal. Start with 25% of Canidae’s then 75% of your pup’s previous food.
- Canidae is very approachable when it comes to consultations on your dog with their food.
- Because of its ingredients and meat content, your dog might encounter less allergies. (Especially if your pup is allergic to chicken/poultry)
- It can also be a good dog food for older dogs with health issues.
- The consistency of this dog food is pretty dense. You might find this an issue if your pooch is not used to digesting dense dog food.You might have to mix this with another dog food even after transition.
- Your pup might fart a little more often, every now and then.
At the end of the day, content and nutrition is what matters the most in finding the best puppy food. If you can find a good puppy food that is formulated for a pup’s sensitive stomach too, then that would be ideal.
Moreover, it should be also packed with vitamins and minerals to help your pup grow healthy. With this said, Merrick’s Grain Free Puppy food might be a good option to start with, especially if you don’t mind the fart issues. But other than that, it can be a good and nutritionally complete meal for your pooch!