In a world where the pitter-patter of tiny paws can fill a home with boundless joy, a responsibility comes hand in hand – your puppy’s daily food.
When it comes to your new furry family member, every bite matters. The early stages of a puppy’s life are crucial for physical and mental development.
Much like our human babies, puppies have an underdeveloped digestive system and a body that requires a healthy diet. That’s why the right nutrition can make a world of difference.
Veterinarians worldwide can not stress enough how important a good diet is post mother’s milk.
You have come to the right place if you just got a new puppy and are still determining the dry food choices. Searching for this stuff online is overwhelming, given the number of brands and products. Let’s help you out, shall we?
Top 10 Dry Puppy Foods in the UK for 2023
1. Lily’s Kitchen Chicken & Salmon Dry Kibble
Lily’s Kitchen Chicken & Salmon Dry Kibble is the best dry puppy food in 2023. They make a super tasty blend packed full of fruits and vegetables. It’s for puppies aged four weeks and up. Made with only natural ingredients, the kibble is grain-free, soft and suitable for their tiny teeth.
This dry food for large and small breeds will give your pup the health boost they need through the nutrients and minerals, boost their developing immune system, and give them prebiotics for good measure.
A quality product that’s one of the best and suitable for any breed of puppy and a price to keep owners pleased, too.
Major ingredients include freshly prepared chicken salmon and sweet potatoes.
- Give your pup the healthiest start in life with this dry bag of complete, natural food brimming with freshly prepared meat and offal, with wholesome ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy, growing joints
2. PURE Pet Puppy Food
PURE creates tailored recipes that develop and adapt as your puppy grows. It ensures your pup gets the best nutrition into their adult life.
The twist with this one is that you add warm water to the food before serving up so your pup can enjoy a warm, delicious dinner.
Also, the food is soft and easy to chew, perfect for pups who haven’t yet developed their adult teeth but still want to gobble down a yummy meal.
Designed to boost underdeveloped immune systems, support rapid growth and stay gentle on delicate stomachs, Pure is there to give your pup the best start to life.
3. Barking Heads Dry Dog Food for Puppies
Barking Heads has started becoming a household name as they offer puppy food with the ingredients you would expect in your dinner.
In this case, it’s freshly prepared chicken and salmon – two ingredients full of protein and omega fats essential for your puppy’s development.
The kibble is small and easy to chew for even the smallest puppies, whether prepared independently or with some choice of wet food. It’s also free from processed grains, food binders, artificial preservatives and all that bad stuff.
Major ingredients include salmon, chicken, egg and sweet potatoes.
- 100% NATURAL CHICKEN AND SALMON - Our yummy dry puppy food is made with 100% natural chicken and salmon blended with a super tail-wagging combo of vegetables and herbs for your newest family member.
4. Harringtons Puppy Food Complete
Harringtons is a recognised brand that produces quality puppy food at affordable prices. The turkey and rice flavour is what we’ve found to be one our pup liked the most. Easy to chew kibble with plenty of the nutrients and minerals they crave at that age.
No artificial colours, flavours, dairy, soy or wheat will be found in this great blend, so you can rest assured your pup is well-fed. Yeats have been added to aid their adolescent digestion.
On top of these, you’ll find citrus antioxidants, kelp and omega 3 & 6 fatty acids with yucca extracts – all of which help reduce flatulence and help give fresh breath.
Their kibble is often best served with wet food, especially for picky eaters. Overall, you can’t go wrong with this brand for the most part.
Major ingredients include maize, turkey, rice and porridge oats.
- Balanced Ratio Of Omega 6 & 3 Oils For A Glossy Coat
5. Wellness CORE Large Breed Puppy Food Dry
The Wellness CORE range is almost exclusively on most of our dog food-related buyer’s guides.
For a good reason, they make quality food with proper ingredients that are super tasty and super healthy – in this case, we wanted to highlight their chicken flavour designed for large breeds.
Grain-free, hypoallergenic and with meat as the number 1 source, this is pretty close to what a puppy would need if they were in the wild, as it supports their massive growth period.
Despite being chicken-based, Wellness has thrown in salmon oil to ensure their joints, eyes, and brain get attention.
The kibble is bigger for larger jaws but easy to chew and swallow. The flavour is good enough to be eaten on its own or mixed in with your choice of wet food if they’re a little on the fussy side.
The price is above average, but so is the quality. Major ingredients include chicken (fresh, dehydrated and dried), peas, beet pulp and dried potatoes.
- BRAIN AND EYE DEVELOPMENT: Our Wellness CORE puppy food will stimulate the brain and eye development of your furry friend thanks to the amount of DHA from the salmon oil used in our product.
6. Eukanuba Puppy Dog Food for Small Dog
Eukanuba is one of the highest-rated dry food on Amazon, with almost 600 reviews and an average rating of 4.5. This is on the strength of the flavour of the kibble, with many owners saying how much their puppy looked forward to breakfast, dinner and supper.
The main ingredient is chicken without artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, or GMOs.
To be fair, this is the high standard everyone comes to expect in puppy food. Second, Eukanuba Puppy Dog Food includes prebiotics for a healthy gut and DHA for joint, brain and eye support.
This may not be a household name being splashed on the telly and all over Pets at Home, but it’s one that many who buy puppy food online will have encountered at one point.
Why not give this a go and save money on some proper-quality puppy grub?
Major ingredients include dried chicken, turkey, maize, wheat and animal fat.
- Tailored puppy food with fresh chicken for small breed dogs in a resealable bag
7. Wagg Puppy Food Complete Dry Mix
Wagg is somewhat of a household name that provides adequate nutrition for budget-conscious people. No artificial colours or flavours are included, and overall it’s a pretty healthy mix for any pup, big or small.
It can help to boost their immune system with citrus extracts, help grow strong teeth and bones and positive energy through a healthy digestive system with prebiotics as they try and navigate their new world. DHA from fish is thrown in to help mental development.
The kibble is nice and tasty with a delicious powder coating that is easy to chew and swallow, whether alone or with a wet mix.
Wagg’s blend is perfectly serviceable at a very reasonable price to keep the hound and master happy as Larry.
Major ingredients include cereals and meat / animal derivatives. It also has protein extracts from some vegetables.
- 1. FOR GROWING PUPPIES - Wagg Complete Puppy Food is suitable for puppies from 4 weeks old.
8. Vet’s Kitchen Chicken and Brown Rice Puppy Complete Dog Food
Vet’s Kitchen offers a chicken and brown rice recipe bursting with flavour and nutrients to help grow a healthy puppy from nose to tail.
Omega 3 and nucleotides provide bone and joint support and 36% of chicken provides an abundance of protein to maintain and grow strong muscles. The taste is superb and our pups had no problem whatsoever eating and seemed to really enjoy it often wanting more.
It’s a strong product with hundreds of positive reviews and a reasonable price point to suit any taste, breed or budget.
Major ingredients include a min 36% of a chicken meal paired with 26% brown rice, some oats and a dried egg.
- Included components: dry dog kibble
9. Edgard & Cooper Fabulous Duck & Chicken
If you’re looking for something a little posh for your pampered pup, then Edgard & Cooper Fabulous Duck & Chicken dry puppy kibble is probably at the top of the list. The duck itself is premium meat in dog food, and your pup will be spoiled by the taste and the nutrients it provides.
None of the meat is processed or in meal form, so it’s the highest quality you can expect and retains all of the minerals from its natural state.
Next, Edgard & Cooper Fabulous Duck & Chicken also contains other fancy ingredients most puppy food brands don’t have: pumpkin, plantain, mango, carrot, cowberry and pea.
This, in turn, creates one of the most nutritious and tasty dry food on the UK market, albeit at a bit of a premium!
Major ingredients include fresh chicken, potatoes, fresh duck and peas.
- NATURALLY TASTY DRY DOG FOOD: PACKED WITH LOTS OF FRESH MEAT filled with quality and tasty protein (no meat meal, no overprocessed or dried meat), Non GMO - We cook ingredients with care to preserve their flavour and natural nutrients. Suitable for adult neutered or unneutered dogs of all breeds and sizes. With a GRAIN FREE and GLUTEN FREE range, our dry food is perfect for sensitive stomachs, and contains PRE-BIOTICS for a healthy gut.
10. IAMS for Vitality Small/Medium Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
IAMS offer healthy and affordable food for puppies using fresh chicken (not a meal or processed) without wheat, fillers, artificial colours or preservatives. There’s an antioxidant blend with vitamin E to help support your pup’s growing immune system.
The kibble is nice, small and crunchy, which will delight the young pup to no end. It’s not the tastiest, however, with IAMS aiming to make their blend utilitarian and affordable instead of flamboyant like some others.
Does this make it an also-ran? A little. However, you get a tried and tested blend with IAMS, which is unlikely to be disliked by any dog as they’re a brand for the masses and not the connoisseur. It does contain grains, and it isn’t hypoallergenic.
Major ingredients include dried chicken & turkey.
- IAMS for Vitality with fresh chicken for small and medium breed puppies is a 100% complete and balanced pet food that nourishes your puppy's healthy vitality & Supporting 7 signs of healthy vitality
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in Dry Puppy Food
Selecting the right dry puppy food may seem like navigating a labyrinth of labels and ingredients, but fear not. By keeping a few key factors in mind, you can make an informed choice for your pup.
1. Balanced Nutrients
Puppies need a balanced diet which consists of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which may be absent in low-quality and cheap food.
If you want your puppy to grow healthily, you shouldn’t just feed them anything. You should only feed them puppy-appropriate food which is ‘complete’ and ‘balanced’.
2. High-Quality Protein
The source of protein matters just as much as the quantity. Opt for products that list meat, poultry, or fish as the primary ingredient, indicating a higher quality protein source.
3. Age & Breed Appropriate Formulas
Puppies have distinct nutritional needs that differ from adult dogs. Ensure you choose a formula for puppies to support their rapid growth and development.
Also, choose the food that caters to your puppy’s specific breed, whether large, small, or medium.
4. Small, easy-to-chew kibble
Puppy teeth are razor sharp and designed more for taring than hardcore chewing, so find foods with small, softish kibble that’s tough enough to give their teeth a workout and encourage chewing but soft enough that they won’t struggle with it.
5. Limited Fillers
Avoid foods with excessive fillers, like corn and soy, as these provide minimal nutritional value and can lead to digestive issues.
6. Avoid Artificial Additives
Steer clear of puppy foods with artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives. Natural ingredients are a healthier choice for your pup.
7. Trusted Brands
Opt for well-established brands with a history of producing high-quality pet foods. Research and read reviews to gauge the brand’s reputation.
8. Budget Considerations
While quality matters, it’s important to factor in your budget. Various options are available across price ranges, so balance affordability and nutritional value.
Focusing on these key points, including your budget, you can cut through the noise and confidently select the food product that your puppy requires.
How to transition your puppy to a new food?
Transitioning your puppy to a new food may seem daunting, but it’s easily doable with patience and the right approach. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process with ease:
Step 1: Gradual Introduction.
Mix a small portion of the new dry puppy food with your pup’s food. Gradually increase the proportion of the new food over about a week.
Step 2: Observe Behaviour.
Closely watch your puppy during the transition. Monitor their eating habits, energy levels, and any signs of discomfort.
Step 3: Adjust the Ratio.
Aim for a 50/50 mix of old and new food as you progress into mid-transition week.
Step 4: Slow and Steady.
Extend the transition period if your pup shows signs of digestive distress, such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Patience is key to ensuring their comfort.
Step 6: Complete Transition.
By the end of the transition period, your pup should be eating only the new dry puppy food.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How does puppy food differ from adult pet food?
Foods designed for puppies will be more calorie-dense and nutrient-rich than adult dogs as their growth stage is intensive. The primary difference is the composition. PetMD states puppy foods have more protein and minerals per kg than adult food.
Puppy kibble will also be smaller and slightly softer so that it can be broken down easier by smaller, sharp teeth. You should never feed adult food to a puppy regularly.
2. Why is dry puppy food recommended?
Generally, dry food is recommended for puppies because its crunchy texture promotes dental health, helping to clean teeth and reduce tartar buildup. Additionally, dry food is formulated to provide a balanced blend of nutrients crucial for a puppy’s growth and development.
3. How do I determine the appropriate portion size for my puppy?
Portion control depends on your puppy’s age, breed, and activity level. Generally, follow the feeding guidelines on the food packaging, and adjust portions as needed based on your pup’s weight and condition.
4. Are there specific ingredients to avoid in puppy food?
Avoid foods with excessive fillers like corn, soy, and artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives. Opt for natural ingredients and quality protein sources.
5. Can I mix wet and dry puppy food?
Generally, you can mix wet and dry puppy food to provide variety and potentially increase moisture intake. However, ensure the total calorie intake aligns with your puppy’s needs to prevent overfeeding.
6. Should I consult a vet before changing my puppy’s diet?
Ideally, you should consult your veterinarian before making significant dietary changes for your puppy. They can provide guidance based on your pup’s individual needs and health considerations.
7. How much should 10 and 12-week-old puppies eat?
At 10 weeks, puppies need around 4 meals per day. Follow the feeding guidelines on the food packaging and adjust based on your pup’s growth and behaviour. Around 12 weeks, you can transition to 3 meals per day. Monitor their weight and adjust portions to maintain steady growth.
Last update on 2023-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API