Best Dog Food for Puppies 2024

Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 04/19/2023, edited: 02/08/2024

Best Dog Food for Puppies 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

Pet parents want to ensure their puppy starts off on the right paw, which means training, routine checkups, and quality grub. But regular adult dog food isn't the best choice for our growing bundles of fur.

Puppies undergo many changes as they develop and need quality nutrition to support them through the process. Fatty acids like DHA are essential for a puppy's developing brain, and puppies need food high in protein and fat to fuel their growing bodies.

Unfortunately, not all puppy foods are created equal, and it's tough to know which puppy food is best out of all the puppy foods on the market.

If you're wondering what to feed your puppy, you're in the right place. We'll discuss what to look for (and avoid) in puppy foods and list our favorite brands. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to pet food since every dog has unique nutritional needs and sensitivities. The ideal dog food for your pet should meet your dog's specific dietary requirements (and your budget too!).


Nom Nom

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Best fresh food

If only the best will do for your fur-baby, you may want to look into Nom Nom dog food. This is one of the most nutritious human-grade dog foods on the market and ships right to your door.

This vet-developed dog food subscription plan uses a simple questionnaire to create a custom nutrition plan for their furry customers. You just enter your pet's age, weight, breed, and nutrition goals to determine which food plan is right for them. 

This subscription is a little pricey, but Nom Nom also offers half-portion subscriptions to supplement your pet's normal diet and multi-pet discounts to help you save money.

According to Nom Nom's website, "While plans start at $1.57 per meal, your price depends on your dog's age, weight, and activity level — every plan is personalized to your dog's unique health needs."

To get an idea of the cost, we made an account for a 65-pound Labrador. The cheapest flavor, chicken cuisine, factored out to be $220.62 for 2 weeks' worth of full meals. We also created a mock account for a 14-pound Pomeranian, which factored out to $76.04 for 2 weeks of full meals.

Nom Nom dog food flavors

  • Chicken Cuisine
  • Turkey Fare
  • Beef Mash
  • Pork Potluck

Nom Nom Dog Food

Nom Nom Dog Food

Why Wag! likes Nom Nom

  • Flexible plans can be tailored to help your pet gain or lose weight
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Money-back guarantee

Concerns & considerations

  • More expensive than traditional kibble
  • Subscriptions are custom for each dog, so there's no way to know the exact cost of the food until you complete the sign-up process

What pet parents say about Nom Nom

"My dog Gizmo LOVES this food. He knows what the pack is as soon as I get it from the refrigerator. He starts barking and running around in circles as if he is saying hurry hurry!! Thank you for making him so happy.”

"We've used another food delivery service in the past, but unfortunately it didn't work out due to my dog getting some digestive issues with it; however, since switching to Nom Nom she has had no problems and she loves her food so much. Would recommend to anyone looking for good, healthy food for their dog.”

"We have two senior dogs, one a picky eater and one with healthy issues. After researching the benefits of fresh food over canned or dry, we tried another home-delivery service for pets but found it lacking in packaging, instructions and general appeal. We took advantage of the Nom Nom trial and it has been truly transformational for our dogs. The picky eater LOVES his food, and our senior with health issues has seen a noticeable improvement in coat luster, reduced itching and improved dental hygiene (dog breath will always be a little stinky, but now it doesn't plow me down!).”

Read more reviews on Consumer Affairs.

Image sourced from the Nom Nom website. Copyright NomNomNow Inc. 

Raised Right Puppy Growth Recipe

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Vet recommended

Raised Right is another great human-grade fresh food brand that offers premium nutrition for pups and adult dogs alike. In 2019, this brand won the Innovation Award for Nutrition for its vet-developed, limited-ingredient, home-style recipes that never use synthetic vitamins or minerals to meet AAFCO nutrition guidelines.

This food is fortified with cod liver oil as a source of naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids necessary for brain development and made with muscle and organ meats for added protein and minerals. The website even offers a 4-pound sample pack for you to try before you buy!

Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, member of Wag!"s licensed veterinary team, personally recommends this brand to her clients: “Raised Right offers a human-grade dog food consisting of only whole foods and no fillers or synthetic additives such as vitamin and mineral powders. Their ingredients can also be traced back to the source, and each batch is tested for safety.”

Raised Right dog food flavors

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Beef

Raised Right Dog Food

Raised Right Dog Food

Why Wag! loves Raised Right

Considerations & concerns

  • A little on the expensive side, with each 1-pound bag factoring out to $10.99

What pet parents say about Raised Right Puppy Growth Recipe

“My dog, a Cane Corso, loves his Raised Right! We feed him in his crate and when he sees us opening a batch, he runs to his crate and waits while he drools. I love that it has few ingredients and no synthetics.”

"My dogs loved Raised Right, the boys (french Bull dogs) can only eat the pork as they have allergies with all other meats and veg. They have been so happy and no more itching...meal time is great now! Raised Right is the best, and the staff will jump through hoops to get what is best for your pets. Love them all. Thank you!"

"My dog can't wait for mealtime now, and I love that I recognize each of the few ingredients in his food."

Read more reviews on the Raised Right website.

Image sourced from the Raised Right website. Copyright Raised Right Pets LP.

Farmina N&D Puppy Food

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Best hypoallergenic puppy food

Farmina N&D puppy food is a low glycemic index kibble developed according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrition guidelines.

Real meat is always the first ingredient, and the formula doesn't contain empty-calorie fillers, artificial preservatives, or dyes— which is why Farmina easily makes our list of the top 5 best puppy foods.

Farmina N&D puppy food flavors

Farmina N&D puppy food comes in a variety of flavors and variations for puppies of all sizes and dietary needs. This brand offers both wet and dry foods across 5 product lines that include recipes for small and large dogs:

  • VetLife: Prescription-only line formulated for puppies with certain health conditions.

  • Prime: A grain-free Farmina line that prioritizes quality ingredients and animal protein across several recipes.

  • Pumpkin: A fiber-rich, grain-free line of recipes that feature a healthy dose of animal protein and, as the name suggests, pumpkin.

  • Quinoa: Low-glycemic, protein-based line of recipes that include quinoa, a gluten-free ancient grain with antioxidant properties.

  • Ancestral Grain: Made with ancient grains, like spelt and oats, and animal proteins to create a low-glycemic index formula to keep pets full and energized.

Protein sources in Farmina’s foods include cod, chicken, and lamb. Some foods contain grains like oats and spelt, which may be easier on your pup’s sensitive tummy. Many of Farmina’s foods also contain pumpkin, blueberries, and pomegranate, which can help with digestion and give your fur-baby the nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong.

Farmina N&D Puppy Food

Farmina N&D Puppy Food

Why Wag! loves Farmina

  • Limited ingredient lists with no artificial flavors, dyes, or preservatives
  • Low glycemic index formula
  • Available in select pet stores

Considerations & concerns

  • This food is one of the more expensive commercial puppy foods on the market, averaging between $3.50 and $4.50 per pound of food.
  • Available online and in some stores, although it may be challenging to find a retailer in smaller cities.

What pet parents say about Farmina N&D puppy food

"I love Farmina! For myself, I look for whole grains, no preservatives, chemicals, or fillers, so I was so glad to find a brand that makes a well-balanced, junk free food for my little babies. Best of all, they love it. I paired this with the wet canned food of the same flavor. PLEASE NEVER CHANGE THE FORMULA!”

"My adult JRT and Boston mix love the adult formula and my JRT puppy has literally zero complaints and scarfs it down the puppy formula like it's his last meal... Every time. He was a little loose at first, but it did subside and was chalked up to food transition by the vet. I love that it's not full of junk and has good ingredients. Pricy yes, but I've used cheap brands before and they just don't compare.”

"I purchased this food for our two new Boston Terrier puppies as we feed our cats this brand. We are so pleased with how beautiful our pups are! Coats are shined and soft. Small stools, and they LOVE this feed. The vet is very pleased with how healthy they are. They are active and playful with no eye discharge.Thank you, Chewy, for carrying this wonderful food!”

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Farmina Pet Food.

Orijen Amazing Grains Dry Puppy Food

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Best for sensitive tummies

Orijen puppy food has hundreds of glowing 5-star reviews, with customers raving about its human-grade ingredients and pet-approved flavor.

Animal proteins (like Atlantic mackerel and deboned turkey) constitute the first 10 ingredients, making this food a terrific source of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Orijen dry puppy food comes in 4.5-pound, 13-pound, and 25-pound bags. 

Orijen puppy food flavors and variations

  • ORIJEN Amazing Grains, Puppy Large
  • ORIJEN Amazing Grains, Puppy
  • ORIJEN Puppy Large* (grain-free)
  • ORIJEN Puppy* (grain-free)

*Consult your vet before feeding your puppy a grain-free diet.

Orijen Puppy Food

Orijen Puppy Food

Why Wag! loves Orijen Amazing Grains Dry Puppy Food

  • "Wholeprey" recipes that comprise organ meat, muscle, and bones for maximum vitamin and mineral content
  • Natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Made in the USA

Considerations & concerns

  • Expensive for commercial kibble
  • Grain-free diets may not be the best option for all dogs, so talk to a vet before switching to a grain-free diet
  • Some recipes include raw meat

What pet parents say about ORIJEN puppy food

"We feed our large breed dogs, Cane Corsos, Orijen and they have thrived on it. So when our female had her litter we wanted to supplement her with the best thing possible and Orijen puppy was the obvious choice. She loves it and her puppies are fat and happy."

"We have a new puppy in the family and I was looking for a good puppy kibble for him. Orijen is full of great ingredients and had excellent reviews, so I decided to give it a try. Robbie couldn't eat it fast enough! He absolutely adores this food! Can't recomment highly enough! Thank you Chewy!!!"

"I got my puppy in October of 2021, very fussy eater, I finally tried Orijen more expensive than most dog food but well worth the extra price. She loves it, feed her in the morning (she is a grazer) and by bedtime it is gone which didn't happen with other kibbles I tried. I plan to give her Orijen adult food when she is ready."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Mars Petcare US, Inc.

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Puppy Formula

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Vet recommended

Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular whole-prey dog foods on the market for a good reason. This company has found a way to balance quality ingredients with reasonable prices.

Taste of the Wild is another brand that Dr. Jeremiah personally recommends: “Taste of the Wild offers both wet and dry dog and cat foods for all life stages incorporating species-specific probiotics, antioxidants from ancient grains, fruits and seeds, and omega fatty acids.”

Most of this brand's recipes are grain-free, but Taste of the Wild has expanded its offerings to grain-inclusive formulas for adult dogs, like the Ancient Grain line. Unfortunately, only grain-free options are available for puppies at the time of writing.

Flavors include:

  • High Prairie (buffalo, venison, beef, and chicken)
  • Pacific Stream (salmon, ocean fish)
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Why Wag! loves Taste of the Wild

  • The Pacific Stream flavor is formulated without poultry products making it a safe choice for dogs with poultry allergies. (The High Prairie flavor is NOT poultry-free.)
  • Contains probiotics to help with gut health and digestion
  • Available at most pet stores.

Considerations & concerns

  • Grain-free diets may not be suitable for all puppies. Talk to your vet before switching your dog to a grain-free diet

What pet parents say about Taste of the Wild puppy food

"I’ve been using Taste of the Wild for years. My last 2 dogs loved it! And never had any GI issues with it. My current dog is a rescue, he came on another quality food. But, always seemed to have softer than normal stools. I switched him to Taste of the Wild, and his GI issue is gone! He loves all 4 of his he ancient grains formulas, & also the canned food, of which he gets a spoonful mixed in with the kibble.”

"We adopted a dog from a rescue a few years ago and they gave us a sample of Taste of the Wild. We decided to try it with our other dogs as well and they went crazy for it! Our picky eater who would graze on everything suddenly started gobbling up all of his food. I love the limited and high-quality ingredients and genuinely believe my dogs are healthier because of this food. They have shiny coats, lots of energy, and I even noticed a decrease in flaky skin and shedding. I highly recommend this dog food!”

Read more reviews on Consumer Affairs.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright SCHELL & KAMPETER, INC.


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