Bringing home a new pet puppy for the first time can seem overwhelming because you have this new life to care for. Many brand-new owners of dogs will go out of their way to attempt to provide everything to the new member of their family. They will share everything with their new puppy or dog. But please be warned that you can allow your dog to participate in most activities during your life, but you have to draw the line at mealtimes. Dogs shouldn’t eat people food from the table.
Puppies need to eat the necessary food to help them properly develop and get the right nutrients during their meals. Even though high-quality veterinarian approved dog food is on the pricier side, it’s also the best food available to raise a healthy puppy to a fully grown adult.
There’s a lot of debate around snacking for puppies. Giving your dog a treat here and there really isn’t a big deal, but you don’t want to go overboard because you want your puppy to grow healthy and strong and too many snacks aren’t good.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to teach you everything you need to know about veterinarian recommended puppy food. We are sharing the best food available with the top ingredients. These foods are all recommended by veterinarians, and we list our top five favorites, the advantages and disadvantages, and more. This will make it very easy for you to choose great tasting and healthy puppy food for your little pooch.
Hungry Bark Dog Food
All Hungry Bark products are backed by veterinarians! This premium kibble company, which has quickly become our favorite, has veterinarian’s oversee the entire process, from cooking, to responsible sourcing, and all the way through to cleanliness standards. This grain-free formula is our top overall pick.
Why Is Feeding Your Dog the Best Puppy Food an Absolute Must?
Your puppy is in the process of developing muscles, organs, bones, and joints and needs the necessary healthy nutrients to thrive. Getting these nutrients through puppy food that’s specially formulated for your dog is a must.
On average, most puppy food will contain roughly double the nutrients that you would find in typical dog food for a fully grown pooch. This food has much higher fat quality as well, which isn’t necessarily found in adult dog food since it isn’t good for older dogs to ingest large amounts of fat. On the other hand, puppies need the additional fat for excess energy to help them thrive throughout the day and consuming high calorie foods with lots of fat is the way to go.
Giving puppies nutrient deficient food will negatively impact their development. They will suffer from a weak immune system, brittle bones, and other negative repercussions.
How Long Should I Give My Young Dog Puppy Food?
Dogs are looked upon as puppies until they reached a level of full-grown adult in size, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a large dog or a toy dog breed. So, you can keep feeding your dog puppy food until it reaches 80% of its growth capacity. At this point, you should seriously consider switching to adult dog food.
In some cases, following a specific timeline doesn’t apply. If your dog is growing at a rapid pace, and much quicker than the typical timeline, it’s best to switch food faster than normal. Always talk to your veterinarian to determine which stage of development your puppy is in.
It’s also possible that your puppy may receive an excess amount of specific nutrients like vitamins and minerals. In this situation, it’s best to switch food to a less nutrient rich option. This all depends on your puppy and the way that it is developing. Give your dog regular checkups with a veterinarian to find out how well he or she is progressing as it grows up.
Which Food Is Best? Dry, Semi-Moist, or Moist Food?
As you’ve undoubtedly figured out, the three specific types of dog food include dry, semi-moist, or moist. But which one is the right choice for puppies?
Honestly, there are occasions where dry food, semi-moist food, and moist food will provide benefits for the development of your puppy. The important thing is that the formula is nutrient rich, balanced, and designed for young dogs.
With that said, the water to food ratio in moist dog food is typically higher. This means it will have less nutrients than dry or semi-moist food. So, you’re better off giving moist dog food to a fully developed dog as opposed to a puppy. You do not want to unintentionally feed your dog deficient food, right?
If I absolutely have to choose a winner, then dry food is the best choice. I believe this because it has more protein than moist and semi-moist options. It’s also the most cost-effective choice of puppy food and it provides added benefits for teeth cleaning because the dry food creates friction which cleans a puppy’s teeth.
If you want your puppy to grow up the best way possible, you can also feed it appropriately with a mixture of wet and dry food. Give your dog a bowl of dry kibble and put a little wet food on top to add variety and other nutrients to its meals. Your puppy will also find this combination of food tasty and interesting.
Healthy Treats for Puppies
Everyone knows that too many people give their dogs snacks that consist of human table food. This helps them bond better with their dog, yet an overindulgence in human food is not necessarily the best choice even though your puppy will find it pleasurable.
If you really love your animal, you’ll provide it with healthy treats specifically designed for your dog. And you’ll do so by providing these treats sparingly and wisely. Otherwise you may unintentionally upset your dog’s digestion. This is really important when it comes to puppies, because they have a fragile digestive system in the beginning as they are developing.
Creating unhealthy patterns of treats will shorten your dog’s lifespan if it leads to obesity. It’s very tempting to provide your dog with all of the table scraps that you aren’t eating, but it’s not the healthiest measure for your pup. Make the health of your dog your number one priority and feed him or her with treats responsibly.
Can I Safely Feed My Dog Vegetables?
Vegetables are fine for dogs and they are suitable if you feed them raw or cooked. Some good choices include asparagus, carrots, and broccoli. They make excellent snacks.
Avoid feeding your puppy vegetable snacks that were cooked in dips, sauces, or excessive amounts of oil. Choose raw vegetables for snacks, or just simply boil them in water as an alternative choice.
Is It Okay for a Puppy to Eat Fruit?
Most fruit makes an excellent treat for puppies. As an example, oranges contain a plentiful supply of vitamin C and a puppy can easily absorb it. When giving your dog fruit as a treat, you should remove all of the pits and seeds ahead of time. This could unintentionally cause them to choke or potentially damage their teeth.
It isn’t wise to give every type of fruit to a puppy. One example is grapes which should be avoided at all times. If your dog eats a grape or two it shouldn’t be a problem, but grapes have too much acidity for pups and it could cause immediate kidney failure.
Before bringing your puppy home, make sure your yard and property doesn’t have easily accessible grapevines on the premises. Because if your puppy eats too many grapes without your knowledge it could lead to a nearly instant death.
We recommend avoiding giving your dog starch as a snack. Treats like rice, bread, and potatoes have too many calories and not enough nutrients. A puppy’s body will require a tremendous amount of energy to break these foods down, and the wasted energy isn’t worth it. And definitely avoid giving your puppy gravy-based starches. It’s too rich for their digestive tract and puppies are too sensitive to this type of food.
It’s okay for a puppy to ingest mother’s milk, but it should never ingest cow’s milk for any reason. They have a totally different nutrient profile and cow’s milk isn’t good for puppies. They may enjoy it on the surface, but a puppy will have a difficult time digesting cow’s milk later on. In fact, when a puppy drinks cow’s milk it typically ends up getting diarrhea for hours afterward.
Plain yogurt made of cow’s milk, on the other hand, consists of cultures that a puppy’s stomach can handle. So, if you want to give your puppy a little bit of yogurt as a treat here and there it wouldn’t be dangerous or a bad choice.
As far as puppy treats go, feeding it lean meat like lean beef, turkey, or chicken are excellent choices. Ham is a rich food and your puppy shouldn’t eat it.
When giving your puppy treats made of meat, make sure to remove all the splinters and bones ahead of time. They could experience a fatal problem if they swallow these bones and splinters accidentally. Chicken often has tiny bones within that you can easily overlook. So, maybe it’s best to avoid feeding chicken to a puppy unless you are 100% careful and remove all the splinters and bones no matter what.
For Your Consideration
As far as feeding and giving your puppy treats goes, you should never give your puppy more than 10% of its daily allowance of food from table scraps. If you give your dog a treat today at any point, subtract the treat from the rest of the food that you intend to give your dog and provide the right portions.
Remember that giving a puppy treats from the table is training him or her to expect them regularly. After you perform this act more than a few times, the puppy will recognize that if he or she begs for food at the table you’ll likely give it to them. This will go on for the entirety of your dog’s life, so you should prevent this from becoming a habit at all costs.
In truth, it’s often better to avoid any contact with your puppy while sitting at the dining room table. Snacks and treats can get added to their meal as a topper during regular feeding times. You should even focus on puppy proofing your food at specific access points within the home. This will guarantee that the dog cannot sneak into the pantry or cupboard and steal food on its own.
Chocolate is one particular food item to keep out of the reach of your puppy at all times. It’s very unhealthy for dogs and if large quantities are consumed it’s often fatal. So, hide chocolate from your new puppy or any dog for that matter.
The Benefits of Feeding Young Dogs Puppy Food
Taking a pooch from a puppy to adulthood isn’t necessarily the easiest task to accomplish. It requires a tremendous amount of care, commitment, and big responsibilities to handle the job.
Monitoring and providing excellent food for your puppy is an important step in providing a happy and healthy life. It requires attention to detail, hard work, and a real interest on your part. Choosing the best puppy food has many benefits. Some of those benefits include the following:
- Happy life – providing healthy, nutritious, and balanced grain free puppy food is a great way to keep your little pooch happy.
- Healthy living – knowing that your dog will develop in excellent health makes high-quality dog food an important part of its life.
- Lengthy lifespan – your puppy will live a long and vigorous life if you feed him or her the right food as its growing.
- Lifelong bonding – puppies and owners bond during mealtimes.
Reviewing the Best Veterinarian Recommended Puppy Food
IAMS Proactive Health
Even though this is a wet form of puppy food, it’s well-balanced and nutrient rich and an excellent choice for a young dog’s diet.
More often than not, the water content in wet food is usually about 75%. This water content tends to replace important minerals and vitamins, which means the food usually lacks the right nutrients for your puppy.
However, this IAMS product is a great choice because even with the water content, it still possesses plenty of nutrients including healthy Omega fatty acids. These are important for a shiny coat and healthy skin for all dogs. And this formula is quite tasty and offers many wonderful flavors of meat.
Eating this food is like eating a healthy home-cooked meal. You soften the pellets in a formula that is similar to broth. The biggest issue with this food is the lack of friction for dental purposes.Advantages
- Lots of nutrients and a well-balanced formula
- Omega 3 fatty acids are in plentiful supply
- Lacking benefits for dental health because of no friction
Blue Buffalo Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo is a fantastic company with a wide range of healthy puppy food. They take real pride in delivering holistic and healthy food that makes puppies and dogs grow to their greatest heights. They focus on providing products that will allow a puppy to develop their spirit, body, and mind and it’s reflected in their products.
Did you know that they call their puppy food a life protecting formula? They want all young dogs to begin their life on their way to longevity from the moment they are born and begin eating puppy food.
This food contains ample amounts of protein and lots of healthy vegetables and fruits as well. It has vitamins and minerals that are perfect for a young dog’s diet. And this brand is also known for delivering high quality immune system health.Advantages
- Contains healthy vegetables and fruit
- It’s jampacked with protein
- It has a life affirming and protecting formula
- One of the more expensive options
Earthborn Holistic Vantage Puppy Food
The company Earthborn is an excellent option to look into when looking for puppy food for your pet. They use sustainable organic produce when possible, which isn’t common for most manufacturers of dog food.
Their puppy food called Holistic Vantageis designed to meet a puppy’s needs. It contains a large amount of omega-3 fats which is perfect for eye and brain development. It’s an environmentally friendly formula too. And they donate a portion of the proceeds toward tree conservation and environmental protection.Advantages
- Well-balanced formula
- Tree conservation
- Uses healthy and sustainable produce
- An expensive brand of dog food
IAMS Dry Puppy Food
This product from IAMS is made with dry puppy food. It’s perfect for puppies between one month and 12 months old. It’s made using real chicken and other meat which gives it a hearty flavor. They do not use artificial preservatives or flavorings to enhance the taste and puppies love it and the real meat nonetheless.
This dry formula is excellent because it’s loaded with antioxidants. The antioxidants are awesome for developing a healthy immune system and food without them isn’t as healthy or effective.Advantages
- No artificial flavorings or processed food
- Loaded with antioxidants
- An affordable option
- Some puppies prefer it with a wet food topper
Premium Protection Puppy Food
Puppy food from Premium Protection contains a whopping 22 nutrients and it’s perfect for dogs between one month and 12 months old.
This formula helps develop vision and brain functioning for growing puppies. Additionally, it’s an excellent choice to protect the teeth and jaws of a growing puppy. It can create much-needed friction to strengthen growing teeth and remove plaque to prevent the risk of cavities.
This food has a well-balanced amount of carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It lacks fatty acids, but a quick topper can solve this problem.Advantages
- Contains 22 nutrients
- Promotes jaw and teeth health
- It’s very affordable
- Doesn’t contain ample fatty acids
The Bottom Line
Raising a puppy to full adulthood is a necessary and important job. It’s also a daunting task but it needn’t feel impossible. By trusting veterinarians and other industry professionals, you can help your puppy grow without any complications to its proper size and weight in adulthood.
Choosing food recommended by veterinarians is the smartest way to make sure your puppy becomes a healthy full-grown adult. If you want your puppy to live a healthy, fit, and active life, you need to begin feeding it well-balanced dog food right away.
It’s time to take responsibility for your young puppy right now. Do so immediately by giving it high quality veterinarian recommended dog food just like you’d want if you were a young pup.