Jack Russell Puppy waiting to eat

The Best Puppy Food Australia -
The Ultimate Feeding Guide

Our #1 Pick

Prime100 ZeroG SPD Chicken, Lentil & Turmeric

The Best Value for Money

Prime100 ZeroG SPD Chicken, Lentil & Turmeric

  • Single meat protein (Australian chicken)
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • No GMO ingredients
  • No useless fillers
  • Enriched with turmeric

Choosing the best dog food is never easy, choosing the best puppy food is even harder.

After all, choosing food that doesn't have the right nutritional profile could have serious consequences for the health of a young puppy. That’s why we created our best puppy food Australia list - choose any of these options and you can rest assured you are making the right decision!


Puppy Feeding Guide

First 6 to 8 Weeks

During the first couple of weeks of their lives, puppies get all the nutrients they need from their mother’s milk. In fact, it’s mostly the only thing they do: they eat, they keep warm, and they cuddle with their mom and the other puppies. Of course, this is only true in natural situations when the puppy’s mother is there. Orphaned puppies need to be fed a specially formulated canine milk replacer.

In any case, around 3 or 4 weeks of age puppies can start gradually switching to solid food they are going to be eating during the first months of their life. If feeding dry food, make sure to moisten it, at least in the beginning, to make it more appealing to the puppy.

“For the first few feedings, pups may need encouragement to eat. For example, puppies may be allowed to lick gruel from a finger dipped into the pan. Most puppies will quickly learn to feed from the bowl.” - Fetch by WebMD

Around 6 to 8 weeks of age, puppies should already start getting used to eating solid food. That’s also the earliest time when most veterinarians and breeders recommend separating a puppy from the mother and introducing them to their new home (2).

What to Feed a Puppy at 8 Weeks?

At 8 weeks, puppies should be ready to start eating puppy food. Eight-week-old puppies look super tiny, so you might feel they need extra special food, but in fact, they can eat the same feed they will eat until they grow up: a formula created specifically for puppies.

“Puppies grow very quickly during their first nine months, so be sure to feed him or her a high-quality, veterinarian-recommended food made for puppies.” - Dr Heather Loenser for PetMD

But what exactly is appropriate food for puppies? In Australia, the industry is largely unregulated, and manufacturers don’t have to adhere to any regulation. One indication of well-balanced food is the AAFCO (short for Association of American Feed Control Officials) certification, but again, not every quality food has this in Australia.

However, you can tell a lot about any food by reading the ingredient list. If all of the ingredients are easy for you to identify as wholesome foods, the food should be a good choice. Puppies can eat both wet food and dry kibble. 

During the first 3-4 months of thor life, puppies should eat small portions of food 4 times a day. Over time, you’ll need to gradually decrease the number of daily meals (4). The exact timeline will depend on the individual puppy as well as the breed, so it’s best to consult with your vet for clear instructions.

Hungry labrador puppy

Best Puppy Food Reviews

What is the best puppy food? It’s hard to say, but the picks on this list represent the best of what’s available on the Australian market. Look through them and you’ll surely find something that suits both your puppy’s needs and your budget!

#1: Best Dry Puppy Food Australia: Prime100 ZeroG SPD Chicken, Lentil & Turmeric

Prime100 ZeroG SPD Chicken, Lentil & Turmeric
  • Single meat protein (Australian chicken)
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • No GMO ingredients
  • No useless fillers
  • Enriched with turmeric

If you want to give only the best of the best to your puppy, you definitely won’t be wrong if you choose this kibble from Prime100. The Prime100 ZeroG SPD Chicken, Lentil & Turmeric formula contains everything a puppy needs, and nothing more! In fact the Prime100 ZeroG SPD range is out number one choice for the best dry dog food for adult dogs too.

Everything that’s included in this recipe is either meat, a vegetable, or a superfood supplement. Everything is human-grade, there are no mystery ingredients, and no suspicious additives that are sometimes added to low-quality kibble. No grains or gluten either.

One of the great things about this food is that it has a very high protein content - as much as 35%, and 80% of this protein comes from Australian chicken. The rest of the protein does not come from meat byproducts, but mostly from lentils and chickpeas which is great.

Among other things, this puppy food from Prime100 also contains turmeric for anti-inflammatory action as well as linseed oil and fish oil that are super rich in healthy fatty acids. In short, this is an ethically made and well-balanced kibble that every puppy will definitely love.

Pros

Cons

  • Single meat protein (Australian chicken)
  • Only one recipe available for puppies
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
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  • No GMO ingredients
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  • No useless fillers
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  • Enriched with turmeric
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#2: Best Dry Puppy Food Runner Up: Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food
  • Air-dry technology preserves raw ingredients
  • Can be used as a treat, food topper and a complete meal
  • Different flavours
  • Suitable for dogs and cats of all ages

What we exceptionally like about Ziwi food is the fact that it’s air-dried. This differentiates it from most other dry dog food, which is usually cooked at high temperatures. Ziwi uses Z-TWINTECH™ air drying technology, which keeps all the benefits of raw ingredients while removing all the pathogenic bacteria out of meat.

This dog food is also free from artificial preservatives, including glycerin. Instead, all the preservatives Ziwi uses are natural - this means the shelf life of this food is 21 months from the date of manufacturing, and once opened, it should be used within eight weeks.

You can use Ziwi air-dried food as a treat for your puppy, a food topper or a complete meal. It comes in different flavours, so you have plenty of options to choose from. If you plan on transitioning your pooch from one flavour to another, we’d recommend you do that over the course of a few days. In case your pup’s stomach is very sensitive, then take up to a week to slowly transition him to a different kind.

All the meat used for making this dog food is ethically raised, without the use of hormones or growth promotants. It’s important to know where the meat your pup is eating is coming from.

Pros

Cons

  • Air-dry technology preserves raw ingredients
  • Short best-before period
  • Can be used as a treat, food topper and a complete meal
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  • Different flavours
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  • Suitable for dogs and cats of all ages
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Here is a list of all air-dried dog food recipes made by Ziwi Peak

The Original Air-Dried Recipes:

Provenance Line:

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food Line
  • Affordable yet high-quality
  • Good choice of flavours
  • No artificial flavours, colours or additives

Not all dog food has to cost a pretty penny, and Hill’s Science Diet Puppy proves this statement is true. This is definitely one of the better cheap dog food options that will also give your puppy a well-balanced diet.

Hill’s is a dog food manufacturer based in the USA which makes a couple of different wet and dry formulas geared specifically towards puppies (check the list below). Their formulas always contain a good mixture of protein and other nutrients which are important for the development of strong bones and muscles in puppies. They also add fish oil which is important for eye and brain development in young pups.

Since this is a budget pick, we can’t expect to have all these ingredients on the top of the list, but they’re all included. What’s also important is that Hill’s doesn’t use any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives in their dog food. The food features brown rice, which can be helpful with stomach problems.

This food from Hill’s is quite caloric which makes it a great option for developing pups. You have plenty of flavour options, whether you’re looking for dry or wet dog food. There’s also a dry food option without corn, soy or wheat, and we all know those are ingredients our pups really don’t need.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable yet high-quality
  • Meat meal is the main source of protein
  • Good choice of flavours
  • List Element
  • No artificial flavours, colours or additives
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Dry:

Wet:

#4: Best Grain-Free Puppy Kibble: Ivory Coat Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Chicken

Ivory Coat Puppy Formula, Chicken
  • Small kibbles great for pups of all sizes
  • No grain or artificial preservatives
  • Rich in omega fatty acids and natural prebiotics
  • Made in Australia

Grain-free dog food is something that almost always catches the eye. We all know our dogs don’t benefit from most grains that are typically used in conventional dog food. So this food from Ivory Coat looks like it has everything a puppy needs.

This Australian-made dry dog food provides growing pups with all the necessary nutrients. The main ingredient is chicken - and what pup doesn’t like chicken? It’s full of proteins that will help your pooch grow into a big dog. This dog food also features lots of natural prebiotic fibre, which helps with your dog’s digestion. The formula is enriched with salmon oil. Salmon oil is full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help in maintaining a healthy coat and skin.

Dry dog food from Ivory coat doesn’t contain any artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or other nasties you don’t want to feed your pup with. The food is naturally preserved instead, which makes it a bit sensitive to moisture and temperature changes. Therefore, make sure you keep it stored in a dry and cool place.

Pros

Cons

  • Small kibbles great for pups of all sizes
  • Somewhat pricey
  • No grain or artificial preservatives
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  • Rich in omega fatty acids and natural prebiotics
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  • Made in Australia
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#5: Best Large Breed Puppy Food: Black Hawk Large Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food

Black Hawk Large Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food
  • Formulated specifically for large breeds
  • High protein content
  • Enriched with emu oil for skin & coat health

All large breed owners have the same problem - finding high-quality dog food that comes in large bags. No one likes going to the pet store for more food every 2 days, not to mention that large bags always offer better value for money. This food from Black Hawk comes in two sizes - 10kg and 20kg which means a single package will always last quite a while.

But that’s obviously not the only reason why we like this food. Large breeds need special treatment. They grow so fast - one day they’re tiny babies, the next day they can’t fit into your lap. There’s a lot of pressure on their bones and they need the food enriched with all the important ingredients for growth.

This formula is enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin which help with joint health. There’s also added emu oil, which is great for skin and coat, as well as joints. The meat of choice is chicken, which is one of the best protein sources for growing puppies.

This food is highly caloric, so even the largest of pups don’t require more than half a kilo a day. Thanks to the quality ingredients used, it will give your puppy enough energy to power through the day and provide all that he needs to grow into a strong and healthy adult dog.

Pros

Cons

  • Formulated specifically for large breeds
  • Chicken meal is the main source of protein
  • High protein content
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  • Enriched with emu oil for skin & coat health
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Holistic Select Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food Small & Mini Breed
  • Small kibble for tiny mouths
  • High protein content
  • Grain-free
  • Lots of plant-based fibre and nutrients
  • Contains live yogurt cultures

This formula from holistic select is one of the who available recipes for puppies that are formulated specifically for small breeds. But what does that actually mean? Well, first of all, the kibble pieces are extra small to ensure the tiny puppies will not have too much trouble chewing on them!

In addition to this, Holistic Select understood that mini-breed puppies can be prone to food sensitivities, so they made a formula that caters to that. This recipe is super rich in prebiotic fibre and even contains live yogurt cultures to keep the stomach of your puppy calm.

Another great thing about this formula is that it’s rich in protein - it contains a minimum of 35%. The main sources of protein are listed as Anchovy and Sardine Meal and Chicken Meal. That’s essentially not bad - the fish meal is not only rich in protein, but also in essential fatty acids that support the healthy development of your pup’s joints as well as skin and coat health. That being said, when the protein is listed as “meal” that means it’s not the most quality source you can get. Meat is certainly better, but this one works too.

Pros

Cons

  • Small kibble for tiny mouths
  • No detailed information about where the ingredients are sourced
  • High protein content
  • Long list of ingredients
  • Grain-free
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  • Lots of plant-based fibre and nutrients
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  • Contains live yogurt cultures
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#7: Best Wet Food For Puppies: Ziwi Peak Wet Dog Food Formulas

Ziwi Peak Wet Dog Food Formulas
  • Extremely effective
  • Huge loyal customer base
  • Excellent quality materials
  • Several sizes available
  • Can eliminate up to 90% of dog fur

Yes, we already had one entry from Ziwi Peak in this list, but we simply must include their canned food too as it is our number one choice in wet dog food. With their carefully chosen and locally sourced ingredients, it’s hard not to love all of their recipes! And, truth be told, we simply didn’t find any better wet food for puppies than this one.

Just like with the air-dried food from Ziwi Peak, they don’t offer specialized recipes for puppies. Instead, each of their formulas is certified for all life stages. While that might sound confusing - we think that’s actually a good sign. Any dog food that’s made from straightforward highest quality ingredients should be suitable for both puppies and adults, and that’s what Ziwi Peak dog food is.

The canned food formulas from Ziwi Peak are exactly the same as their air-dried formulas, only in their original form. The main ingredient is always high quality protein from sustainable sources. You can choose between beef, lamb, chicken, venison, and more, or alternate different cans to add some variety to your pup’s diet. Their cans also come in 170-gram and 390-gram versions, so if your pup is small you can go with the smaller one to avoid having an open can hanging around your fridge.

Here is a full list of wet dog food formulas made by Ziwi Peak.

The Original Canned Food Recipes:

Provenance Line:

#8: Best Puppy Biscuits: Kong Snacks Puppy Recipe

Kong Snacks Puppy Recipe
  • All-natural treats
  • No artificial fillers or preservatives
  • Comes in 2 sizes
  • Made in Australia with locally sourced ingredients

So far, we have talked about the best food for puppies, but it’s always nice to have a snack to offer from time to time besides the standard kibble formula or canned food.

The Kong Snacks were designed to fit inside the Kong rubber toy to provide your puppy some entertainment while they try to get the biscuit out of the toy. However, they work perfectly fine as a treat in any situation - the toy is really not necessary. These biscuits come in two sizes - small and big so you can choose one that suits your needs best. They can also be easily broken off in pieces if the whole biscuit is too much. After all, you don’t want to go overboard with treats, although it’s often tempting.

Science these are biscuits, it shouldn’t surprise you that they do contain grains. However, it’s not just processed white flour - it’s actually only flour from oats, rye, and sorghum, which are the healthier and more nutritious alternatives. These treats also contain chicken, salmon as well as blueberries and turmeric - which are boat great health boosters.

The only preservatives used in these biscuits are mixed tocopherols. Even though the word “tocopherols” might sound a bit confusing, these are actually just natural forms of vitamin E. They are considered safe for both humans and canines, while also extending the shelf life of the biscuits (x).

Pros

Cons

  • All-natural treats
  • Only one flavour
  • No artificial fillers or preservatives
  • The grain content is quite high
  • Comes in 2 sizes
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  • Made in Australia with locally sourced ingredients
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  • List Element
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Puppy Food: Final Thoughts

Choosing the best dog food for puppies is not an easy task, but it can also be fun. And once you find food that is both healthy and appealing to your puppy, you’ll surely enjoy watching the little one gobble it down with joy. The Prime100 ZeroG SPD Chicken, Lentil & Turmeric formula is one of the best recipes formulated specifically for puppies. It comes only in one taste, so if you want to add a bit of variety, we recommend you choose some of the formulas offered by Ziwi Peak which come both in air-dried and canned versions.

FAQ

Can 8-week old puppies eat dry food?

Yes, dry kibble is absolutely fine for puppies However, puppies who are just getting used to eating solid food might have a hard time chewing dry kibble. This problem is easy to overcome: just mix the kibble with some warm water and wait a little bit so it softens up before feeding it to your puppy.

Is grain-free food better for puppies?

Contrary to popular belief, grains are not bad for dogs by default. While some dogs can have food sensitivities or be downright allergic to grains, most adult dogs as well as puppies can eat grains and get some useful nutrients from them too. However, good puppy food should not contain too much grains. Puppies need lots of protein, and this they won’t get from grains, but from meat.

When should I stop feeding puppy food to my dog?

In general, puppies should keep eating specialized puppy formulas for as long as their bodies are growing. The growth period of canines usually lasts at least one year, but the exact timeline will depend on the size and breed of your dog. While some small breeds stop growing at around 12 months, larger ones can keep growing until 2 years of age.

References
  1. Weaning Puppies: What to Do”. Fetch by WebMD. Retrieved September 19, 2020. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/weaning-puppies-what-do#1
  2. Lunchik, P. January 10, 2018. “What Is the Best Age to Send Puppies to Their New Homes?”. AKC. Retrieved September 19, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeding/best-age-send-puppies-to-new-homes/
  3. Grieves, D. May 25, 2016. “Feeding Your Puppy: What to Keep in Mind. PetMD. Retrieved September 19. 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/feeding-your-puppy-what-keep-mind
  4. Mansourian, E. Jul 15, 2019. “Puppy Feeding Fundamentals”. AKC. Retrieved September 18, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-feeding-fundamentals/
  5. Tomassi G, Silano V. An assessment of the safety of tocopherols as food additives. Food Chem Toxicol. 1986;24(10-11):1051-1061.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3542757/
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & a dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans.

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