How to Find the Best Puppy Food for Your Dog

Published by
min read

Find food that fits your pet’s needs

Find a dog food that fits your pet’s needs

Find a cat food that fits your pet’s needs

There's nothing you want more than to keep your puppy healthy during the important formative months of his energetic life. But to set the stage for a long, happy adulthood, it's important to choose the best puppy food for his development. You want nutritious meals that are specially formulated for young dogs. And if you consider what you're feeding your dog now, you can avoid health issues like obesity, weak muscle and bone development, or poor immune response in the future.

Here's what to keep in mind as you search for the right product for your pup.


The best puppy food is committed to high-quality ingredients formulated with a precise balance of nutrients that meet the needs of a growing pup. And the food brand you choose should care what goes into your dog's food at this critical early stage of development. Look for puppy food products created by experts like veterinarians, PhD nutritionists, and/or food scientists to help create puppy food that's nutritionally balanced so that your beloved dog lives a long and healthy life. The nutritional information on each puppy food label should always be the next step in your search.

Ingredients and Nutrition

Puppies require food that provides them with all the nutrients that growing puppies need, including calcium and protein. Puppy food with the right amount of calcium helps controlbonecontrol bone growth, ensuring his bones, muscles, and joints develop properly into adulthood. Protein also helps with strong growth in the development of lean muscle, so look for foods with proteins like chicken, lamb, salmon, corn, wheat or barley on the label to ensure he's getting what he needs. You'll often see Vitamins C and E on puppy food labels, as well, which help build a strong immune system, while fiber sources like flaxseed and whole grain and folic acid help him digest these important nutrients.

Size Matters

Three golden doodle puppies sitting on a white fluffy pillow on a wicker chair.

Maybe you brought home a dachshund puppy, whose tiny legs are only as long as your pinky finger. Or, perhaps you chose a golden retriever pup whose large (and sometimes clumsy) paws are an indication of the girth to come. Clearly the size of your dog needs your consideration when making a food choice. That's why most puppy foods, including Hill's® Science Diet®, have different options for large and small breeds. Not only do these foods meet the needs of each mouth, but are formulated to ensure proper bone growth, muscle mass, and energy output according to the size of your dog.

Feeding time

You might be tempted to leave food out for your growing and high-energy dog so that he can eat whenever he wants. But don't. Doing that can lead to bad habits, like overeating, and accompanying health problems like obesity and bone development. As a general rule, a young puppy should be fed three times a day to keep up with his high-energy lifestyle. By the time your dog reaches six months of age, you can reduce the number of times a day you feed your dog to two.

What to Avoid

Although some unwelcome ingredients might give your dog a stomach ache, other ingredients can be downright dangerous for your pup. Avoid giving your new puppy table scrap; foods that are part of your own everyday snacks and meals, like onions and grapes, and foods that contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can be dangerous to him. If you have any questions about what to feed your pup, ask your veterinarian for advice. You love your sweet puppy dog, and he knows it. After all, you prove it every time you play with him, shower him with affection, and feed him the high-quality kibbles that will help keep him become healthy now and stay fit in the years ahead.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

When you’re trying to decide on the best food for your pup, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options you see on your shelves. While this article should give you some tools to help make the decision process easier, remember that your veterinarian is a reliable and trustworthy source of information on the food options available for your pet. Your puppy’s first appointment with their vet is a great opportunity to start a discussion about nutrition and get your pup on the right track from day one.

Contributor Bio


Kara Murphy

Kara Murphy is a freelance writer in Erie, Pa.

Related Articles

  • Water

    Water is the most important nutrient of all and essential for life. Animals can lose almost all their fat and half their protein and still survive, but if they lose 15% of their water, it will mean death.
  • Pet Food Storage Tips

    Where you store your cat and dog food can make a big difference in the quality and freshness once it is opened. Here are some common questions and recommendations for optimal storage for all of Hill’s dry and canned cat and dog food.
  • The Right Diet For Your Pet

    Learn what to look for in healthy pet food & nutrition, including ingredients, quality of the manufacturer, your pet's age, and any special needs they have.
  • Proteins

    Dogs running To make a protein, amino acids are linked together in a long chain. The chain is then bundled into to a three-dimensional structure, like a tangled ball of yarn. Although there are hundreds of different amino acids, only 21 are used in animal proteins.

Related products