Choosing a food for your pup can be a challenge, but a quick comparison of ingredients and major nutrient percentages, show you which ones are worth a second look. Learn more here.
What you feed your puppy has a huge impact on his future growth, health and development, so it's important to make sure that you know which are the best puppy food choices.
Making an accurate comparison can be tricky because there's just so much information, mis-information and hype out there!
The good news is that the charts on this page make it easy for you to compare the ingredients, nutritional percentages and additives/vitamins in some of the more popular brands.
The most important part of any formula is the ingredients list, and the FIRST 3 INGREDIENTS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT of all.
Preferably you want to see these type of ingredients in this order:
You can find everything you need to know about feeding your puppy - including an in-depth look at ingredients, labeling, regulations and more - on my Puppy Kibble page.
Okay, so let's compare the first three ingredients in a few popular puppy food formulas....
|Name of Food||1st Three Ingredients||Vitamins & Minerals||DHA|
|Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy||Chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground wholegrain sorghum||v||v|
|Eukanuba Med. Breed Puppy||Chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground wholegrain sorghum||v||v|
|Eukanuba Lg. Breed Puppy||Chicken, corn meal, ground wholegrain sorghum||v||v|
|Purina One Puppy||Lamb, brewers yeast, corn gluten meal||v||v|
|Diamond Lg. Breed Puppy||Lamb, egg product, lamb meal||v||v|
|Diamond Sm. Breed Puppy||Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearl barley||v||v|
|Diamond Puppy||Chicken by-product meal, wholegrain ground corn, wheat flour||v||v|
|Blue Buffalo Sm. Breed Chicken & Oatmeal||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal||v||v|
|Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Puppy||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, Whole brown rice||v||v|
|Wellness Super-5 Mix 'Just For Puppy'||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal||v||v|
|Flint River Ranch Puppy||Chicken meal, wholewheat flour, Ground Rice||v||v|
|Orijen Puppy Formula Dry||Fresh boneless chicken, chicken meal, fresh boneless salmon||v||v|
|Science Diet Original||Ground wholegrain corn, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal||v||v|
|Solid Gold Hund-n-flocken Puppy||Lamb, lamb meal, ocean fish meal||v|
|Wolfcub Lg. Breed Puppy||Bison, salmon meal, ground rice||v|
When it comes to the ratio and percentages of specific ingredients, the AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) set minimum guidelines that all puppy foods should meet.
The minimum is 22% protein but an average puppy food will contain around 25%. Puppy food especially designed for small breeds should contain a higher percentage of protein than those formulated for large breed puppies, due to their different nutritional needs.
Fat is generally around 15%, but again is often quite a bit higher in small breed puppy food than in the ones designed for large breed puppies.
In this second puppy food comparison chart the figures for Crude Protein, Crude Fat and DHA/Omega-3 fatty acids are shown as the minimum values each food should contain.
The figures for Crude Fiber and Moisture are the shown as maximum values.
|Name of Food||Crude Protein||Crude Fat||Crude Fiber||Moisture||DHA|
|Eukanuba Sm. Breed Puppy||32%||21%||4%||10%||0.1%||Eukanuba Med. Breed Puppy||26%||14%||5%||10%||0.1%|
|Eukanuba Lg. Breed Puppy||29%||18%||4%||10%||0.1%|
|Purina One Puppy||28%||16%||3%||12%||0.1%|
|Diamond Lg. Breed Puppy||27%||15%||3%||10%||0.05%|
|Diamond Sm. Breed Puppy||32%||22%||3%||10%||0.05%|
|Blue Buffalo Sm. Breed Chicken & Oatmeal||29%||16%||4%||10%||0.95%|
|Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Puppy||27%||16%||4%||10%||0.1%|
|Wellness Super-5 Mix 'Just For Puppy'||28%||17%||4%||11%||1%|
|Flint River Ranch||23%||12%||4%||10%|
|Orijen Puppy Formula Dry||40%||20%||3%||10%||1.2%|
|Science Diet Puppy||25.5%||16.5%||3%||unknown||unknown|
|Solid Gold Hund-n-flocken Puppy||28%||14%||4%||10%||unknown|
|Solid Gold Wolfcub Lg. Breed Puppy||26%||12%||4%||10%||unknown|
One other thing to consider when you're looking at puppy food ingredients, is the allergen factor.
Some breeds, and some individual puppies or dogs, can suffer from allergies, and certain ingredients are more likely to cause problems than others.
The most common 'culprits' include (but are not limited to) corn, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs and beef, plus rtificial ingredients such as colors/preservatives/flavors etc.
Dog food allergies are more common than you might think and if your pup/dog seems to be itchy all the time, or has recurring ear infections or irritated skin, then this could be the reason why.
*Sensitivities to ingredients are not as serious as allergies and are more likely to cause tummy upset such as chronic vomiting or loose stools (without other signs of illness).
What you feed your puppy is so important that I've devoted several pages on my website to this very topic. To ensure you're making the right choice (and have all the info. you need to do that), you might want to check out these other pages.....