You’ve just welcomed a new puppy into your home - welcome to pet parent-hood! Chances are you’ve got your hands full, but finding the right food for your new pup is an important decision. We’ve put together this guide to help you find the best food for your new pup, so you can focus on obsessing over the silly, cuddly joys of your new furry friend. 

Isn’t All Puppy Food the Same? 

Not exactly. Puppies' dietary requirements differ from adult dogs, they require essential nutrients in their early stages of life to ensure healthy development. It is important to look for a holistic puppy food that is balanced with certain vitamins and minerals that will help your pet thrive. Nutritional requirements may vary based on your pups breed, size, and rate of growth. 

What to Look for in Dog Food for Puppies 

When searching for the best food for puppies, it is important to start by taking a closer look at the ingredients and nutritional information in your pup's food. When reading labels, take note of calories, fatty acids, ingredients, sizing requirements, and kibble size. 

Calories - Puppy food should be higher in calories, compared to adult food to compensate for the over-abundance of energy your pup expends. 

Fatty acids and DHA - These are essential nutrients to look for in your pups' food. DHA, also known as Docosahexaenoic Acid, is a natural omega-3 fatty acid that plays a critical role in supporting a healthy nervous system and brain development. These acids also help improve vision, memory and trainability in your pup's formative years. 

Ingredients - Real Meat. The first ingredient in your puppy's food should be real meat. That means avoiding any meat by-products. 

Whole Foods - Supplement a quality protein with whole foods like vegetables, fruits and grains.  

Puppy Size Matters - Whether your new pup is a chihuahua or a great dane, the nutritional requirements and dietary needs will vary based on your pet's size. Large breed dogs require a specific ratio of calcium and phosphorus during their early stages of life to prevent joint disease and promote healthy bone development. Look for dog food for puppies that is specifically formulated for the size of your pup. This ensures your pup is getting the best puppy food for growth, and is receiving adequate levels of nutrients and minerals to support healthy bone and joint development. 

Kibble Size - You want to ensure the size of the kibble is suitable for your pup. Smaller dogs have smaller mouths and teeth, making it difficult for them to bite and chew. Be mindful of wet food recipes, ensuring the chunks of food are a suitable size for your pet. 

What to Avoid in Your Puppy’s Food

Reading the label before selecting the best food for puppies is essential, keep an eye out for certain ingredients to avoid. 

Fillers - Fillers are often added to pet food to bulk up the product, and provide no nutritional benefits for your pet. Common fillers to look out for are corn, rice bran, soybeans, and cereal by-products. 

Food Dyes - Colorful kibble is likely colored with food dyes. These products are unnaturally colorful and add no nutritional value for your pet. 

Chemicals - Steer clear of chemicals such as Hydroxyanisole, commonly known as BHA, Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), and Ethoxyquin. 

Rendered Fat - This is typically added to pet food to enhance the flavor. It is a source for toxins and microorganisms and may contain heavy metals and other dangerous elements. 

What to do if Your Puppy is a Picky Eater 

So you’ve done your research, selected a puppy food that is suitable for your pet - but you have a picky pup on your hands. Try testing different textures to keep things interesting for your pup. There are many different options and formats of dog food for puppies. Explore dry food, wet food, gently cooked, freeze-dried raw food and treats as potential options. You can also explore rotating between different proteins, such as fish, chicken or beef or boosting your pups bowl with supplements like bone broth as a tasty topper

Ready to Start Looking for your Perfect Food for your Puppy? 

Your pup’s health starts with what’s inside their bowl. Open Farm does all the work to make sure your pet has the healthiest food, made with all the necessary vitamins and nutrients they need at every life stage. All from farm to bowl, so that you can focus on creating more silly, wacky, beautiful moments with your new pup. Still have questions on what to feed a puppy or need help finding the best holistic puppy food? Talk to your vet to ensure your puppy is getting everything they need from their diets or reach out to our customer support team for more information about our recipes.