Best Puppy Food Brand: 5 Popular Choices Reviewed (2018 Guide)

Finding the best puppy food brand requires comparing a lot of different factors: price, quality, nutrition, and your dog’s taste preferences. While no dog food is right for every dog, we’ve taken a look at five of the most popular choices to help you find the right one for your needs.

Quick Comparison: Best Dog Food Brands For Puppies in 2018

Dog FoodQualityOur Rating
Nature’s ValleyB+
Wellness Natural Pet FoodA-
Blue BuffaloB+
Purina ONEA-

* click on the product name to be taken to Amazon where you can check the current price and read customer reviews.

Below you’ll find in-depth reviews of each of the above products.

Editor’s Choice – Best Brand of Puppy Food

Here’s our pick of some of the best  brands in the market.

1. Nature’s Valley

Nature’s Valley has been creating some of the best products out there – and some very unique ones, too. Take their Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Chicken Meal Large Breed Puppy Food for example. This combo of kibble and freeze dried raw pieces offers a rich diet for larger pooches.

Puppy Waiting for Food

What We Liked

  • This is a very high protein food.
  • It’s good for a dog’s digestive health.
  • All the ingredients are natural.
  • There are extra minerals and vitamins added.
  • This food contains no artificial flavors or colors.
  • It contains no preservatives.
  • It’s grain-free and gluten-free – there is no wheat, corn, soy, or filler.
  • It naturally contains DHA, which supports development of puppy’s eyes and brains.
  • It has the right level of calcium and phosphorous.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Packages are inconsistent. One may have tons of the raw boost (the more expensive kibble) while others have close to none.
  • This is one of the higher priced dog foods on the market. Some owners may find it worth the added expense but others may find a comparable quality for a much lower price point.

2. Wellness Natural Pet Food

As the name implies, Wellness Natural Pet Food focuses on creating puppy food with all natural products. They work to supply a full source of all the nutrition your puppy needs to get healthy and stay that way. Let’s check out their TruFood Baked Blends Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food.

Dog and Wellness food

What We Like

  • This is a 100% grain-free formula.
  • It’s complete and balanced nutrition for your pooch.
  • This puppy formula has 70% more raw protein than their dog food.
  • Their protein is made up of whole proteins from real chickens.
  • It’s made in North America. This can be a big point for those worried about recent recalls from dog foods made overseas.
  • There are no potatoes, meat byproducts, or artificial flavors or colors.


What We Didn’t Like

  • Wellness recommends that this food be served along with their wet food. This creates extra cost for consumers.
  • This puppy food, and many lines by Wellness, contain green tea extract. This extract has been shown to be upsetting to some dog’s stomachs.
  • The cost of their puppy food is about double the cost of their adult dog food.

3. Pedigree

Pedigree is one of the best known names in dog and puppy food. With their long track history and wide variety of products they’re certainly a brand worth considering. Let’s take a look at Pedigree’s Puppy Growth & Protection line.

Pedigree Puppy Dog Food

What We Liked

  • It has a chicken flavor that many puppies enjoy.
  • Their kibble includes DHA, which has been shown to be good for a puppy’s brain development.
  • It’s a complete balanced meal – no need for wet dog food.
  • It’s one of the most affordable options on the market.
  • It’s available at virtually every retailer, which makes it easy to find a bag when you’re suddenly out.


What We Didn’t Like

  • The first seven ingredients on this food are corn, grain, and other fillers.
  • It has a lower protein percentage than other more expensive brands.
  • The included protein is what’s known as “meat and bone meal,” which is made up of several types of meat and is generally considered to not be particularly good quality.
  • There are artificial ingredients, flavors, and preservatives.

4. Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo is a company promising all-natural dog foods without fillers of any kind. They are relatively affordable for the quality of their products. Let’s see how their Life Protection Dry Puppy Food compares to other top brands.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food

What We Like

  • There are three flavor options: chicken and brown rice, lamb and oatmeal, and chicken and brown rice for large breeds.
  • Made in the USA so pet owners don’t have to worry about potential overseas recalls.
  • They’re one of the more affordable premium brands on the market.
  • Includes 100% of the amino acids growing puppies need.


What We Don’t Like

  • Some puppies will react to different foods and there’s no telling for sure which food will be best without trying it. However, a higher than average number of owners reported gas with this food compared to reported gas with other foods.
  • While the issue has reportedly been fixed, Blue Buffalo has had issues in the past with using feathers in their products, which are a chicken byproduct that some puppies are allergic to.

5. Purina ONE

Purina ONE is another affordable brand that can be found at most grocery stores or pet stores. Let’s take a look at their SmartBlend Dry Dog Food Healthy Puppy Formula.

Purine ONE Puppy Food

What We Liked

  • Chicken is the number one ingredient.
  • It contains essential Omega-6.
  • A good combination of vitamins and minerals are in this food.
  • It includes antioxidants that are important for a puppy’s immune system.
  • It’s easy to find and affordable.


What We Didn’t Like

  • Though it’s packaged in the U.S., it’s packaged in China.
  • This puppy food does contain corn and other fillers.
  • The controversial ingredient “animal digest” is used in this food.


So which of the best puppy food brands is the best for your pooch? Our recommendation for those with an unlimited budget is Wellness Natural Pet Food with its incredibly high nutritional content and extremely high quality ingredients. This is a food almost fit for human consumption!

For those who want a compromise between quality and price, Purina ONE is a great choice. As we noted in our review, some puppies do have an adverse reaction with it. Namely, some dogs become very gassy. Try out a small bag first to see what their reaction is.