Jack Russell Puppy waiting to eat

The 8 Best Puppy Foods Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2024

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | Double B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 7th January 2024

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. We teamed up with veterinarians, canine nutritionists, and puppuy parents alike to research the best and brightest options.

It took months of testing and several dozen varieties, but we finally agreed on this comprehensive list of the best puppy food Australia offers. Choose any of these options and you can rest assured you are making the right decision for your growing pup!


Quick Picks - The Top 3

Petzyo Dog Food

Our Number 1 Pick - 
Petzyo Dog Food

  • Ethically sourced single meat protein (Australian chicken or Salmon)
  • Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Superfoods such as blueberries, turmeric, and a flavoursome mix of herbs
  • Australian owned with hundreds of 5 Star Reviews
  • Priced better than major food brands
  • Lightning fast free shipping

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

Runner Up - 
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

Eureka Dog Food.

Third Choice - 
Eureka Wild Boar & Chicken

  • High protein and low carb formula
  • Gently air-dried
  • Omega fatty acids for brain and vision support
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Carbon-neutral sourcing and processing techniques


Australia's Best Puppy Food Options Reviewed

What are the top puppy food options? The picks on this list represent the best of what’s available on the Australian market that our expert team decided on after months of testing many, many varieties. 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: Petzyo Puppy Food

Petzyo Puppy Food

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Ethically sourced single meat protein (Australian chicken or Salmon)
  • Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Superfoods such as blueberries, turmeric, and a flavoursome mix of herbs
  • Australian owned with hundreds of 5 Star Reviews
  • Priced better than major food brands
  • Lightning fast free shipping

Petzyo - 5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Sustainable Kangaroo, Sweet Potato, Peas, Lentils, Carrots, Broccolli & Broccoli Stem, Tomato, Spinach, Kelp, Blueberries, Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Turmeric, Chicken Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Fish Oil, Vitamin and Minerals (Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B11, B12, D, E, K, Taurine, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, Pantonthenic Acid, Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Iodine and Cobalt).
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive
  • Recipe Range: Kangaroo, Sweet Potato & Superfood Extras or Salmon, Ocean Fish & Green Lipped Muscles or Chicken, Turkey & Superfood Extras or Petzyo Raw Food Range.
  • Suitable For: Petzyo's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

Dr. Kathryn Rosalie Dench

Dr Kathryn Rosalie Dench - M.A VetMB MRCVS.

Gentle Dog Trainers Expert Reviewer

"I think Petzyo is perfect option for puppies. Their ingredient lists are always top-notch which is incredibly important for growing dogs. Kibble size is important and they have that right, which will help support the maintenance of their teeth and gums. Highly recommend!"

If you want to give only the best of the best to your puppy, you can't look any further than Petzyo's puppy food range. The ingredient content contains ethically sourced Chicken or Salmon and comes loaded with superfoods such as blueberries, broccoli, turmeric, and a flavoursome mix of herbs.

According to the experts on our research panel, the kibble size is perfect for puppies and will help support the healthy maintenance of their teeth and gums. We also rate it number one for large breed puppy kibble.

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.

The Petzyo Puppy Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Petzyo being tested by our independent reviewer, Daze The Dog.

One of the great things about this food is the subscription option, meaning you'll never be caught short feeding your precious pup. Another bonus will be the easy transition to Petzyo's adult dog food range, no upset tummy's from a sudden change in diet.

Among other things, we also love how this puppy food from Petzyo also contains turmeric for anti-inflammatory action, as well as linseed oil and fish oil that is super rich in healthy fatty acids. In short, this is an ethically made kibble, similar to our number two choice. But it's also well-balanced and has a taste that all puppies seem to love.

Check out their chicken flavour too - Petzyo Puppy Food - Chicken

Pros

Cons

  • Single meat protein (Australian chicken or Salmon)
  • We haven't find one yet!
  • Superfood ingredients
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  • Great taste
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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 all ages

Ziwi Peak - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe, Beef Bone, Beef Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Sea Salt, Parsley, Minerals (Potassium Bicarbonate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement). Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols.
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain free
  • Recipe Range: Chicken or Mackerel & Lamb or Beef + more.
  • Suitable For: Ziwi Peaks recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned)

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

I also love how this dog food is 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.

The Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Ziwi Peak Dog Food being tested by our independent reviewer, Daze The Dog.

Related: Ziwi Peak Dog Food Review.

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 a few days. In case your pup’s stomach is very sensitive, then take up to a week to slowly transition them to a different kind.

All the meat used for making this dog food is ethically raised, without the use of hormones or growth promotants. Our panel of independent experts note that it’s important to know where the meat your pup is eating is coming from, and this ticks that box beautifully.

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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#3: Best Aussie MadeEureka Wild Boar & Chicken

Eureka Wild Boar & Chicken
  • High protein and low carb formula
  • Gently air-dried
  • Omega fatty acids for brain and vision support
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Carbon-neutral sourcing and processing techniques

Every dog needs a well-balanced diet, but that’s especially true for growing puppies. Formulated to meet the AAFCO requirements for all life stages, we discovered that this recipe from Eureka is a great choice for any energetic young pup.

What we loved about this dog food is that you know exactly what your puppy is eating. Instead of just saying meat by-product, the ingredient list states exactly which organ parts are included, all of which are very nutritious for your pooch. What’s even better is that 100% of the protein is Australian-sourced and sustainably harvested, as well as most other included ingredients.

Eureka Pet Food being tested by our independent expert team

Eureka Pet Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Moreover, given it’s air-dried, this dog food combines the best of both a cooked and raw diet. The air-drying method preserves most of the nutrients in the meat, yet it also kills all the pathogens as cooking would. This is similar to our number three choice, which also incorporates air-drying.

Related: Eureka Pet Food Review.

Now, this does shorten the shelf life a bit, as an opened bag should be used within 8 weeks. But that’s why Eureka makes dog food in small batches, meaning your dog is always eating fresh food.

If your puppy is a picky eater like mine, this dog food will surely be a hit. The jerky-like texture simply entices chewing, which also makes it a great choice for all those pooches that typically swallow their food.

Pros

Cons

  • High protein and low carb formula
  • Only available through a subscription
  • Gently air-dried
  • Omega fatty acids for brain and vision support
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  • Suitable for all life stages
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  • Carbon-neutral sourcing and processing techniques
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Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food Line
  • Affordable yet high-quality
  • Good choice of flavours
  • No artificial flavours, colours or additives

Science Diet - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Water, Chicken, Pork Liver, Brown Rice, Wheat Flour, Carrots, Modified Rice Starch, Potato Starch, Dried Beet Pulp, Pork Plasma, Potatoes, Dextrose, Green Peas, Tricalcium Phosphate, Chicken Liver Flavor, Spinach, Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Guar Gum, Fish Oil, Choline Chloride, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), L-Lysine, Taurine, Caramel colour.
  • Named Protein First: No
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive & Grain Free
  • Recipe Range: Chicken, Rice & Barley or Chicken Meal & Oats or Chicken + More.
  • Suitable For: Science Diet's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: No

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.

The Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food Line being tested by our independent expert team.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food Line being tested by our review team.

Related: Science Diet Dog Food Review.

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, like our number three option. 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 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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#5: 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

Ivory Coat - 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Coconut Oil, Pea fibre, salmon oil, sweet potatoes, Carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, parsley, apples, blueberries, vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, D3, E, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium pantothenate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Natural Prebiotic, Rosemary Extract & Green Tea Extract. This is a naturally preserved product.
  • Named Protein First: No (but chicken meal is OK)
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive
  • Recipe Range: Chicken with Coconut Oil or Lamb & Sardine or Lamb & Kangaroo or Turkey & Brown Rice or Ocean Fish + More.
  • Suitable For: Ivory Coat's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

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.

Related: Best Grain Free Dog Food Australia.

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, healthy dog.

I also appreciate how this dog food also features lots of natural prebiotic fibre, which helps with your pup’s digestion. The formula is enriched with salmon oil, which is full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and help in maintaining a healthy coat and skin. My dog has both a sensitive tummy and sensitive skin/coat, so foods that tackle both of these issues is extremely important in our household.

The Ivory Coat Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Chicken being tested by our independent expert team.

Ivory Coat Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Chicken being tested by our review team.

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. Our team of independent experts also like that this 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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#6: 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

Black Hawk - 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground Oats, Chicken Fat, Beet Pulp, Vegetable Oil, Chicken Flavour, Fish Meal, Egg Powder, Emu Oil, Linseed, Carrots, Blueberries, Peppermint, Rosemary and Vitamin D3. List of contents is not exhaustive, if you have concerns about allergies, contact the manufacturer.
  • Named Protein First: No (but chicken meal is OK)
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive & Grain Free
  • Recipe Range: Chicken or Australian Lamb or Tasmanian Salmon or Kangaroo or Ocean Fish + More.
  • Suitable For: Black Hawk's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

All large breed owners have the same problem - finding a 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 - 10 kg and 20 kg, which we discovered means a single package will always last quite a while.

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

The Black Hawk Large Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Black Hawk Large Breed Chicken & Rice Puppy Food being tested by our review team.

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. This adds up to perfect large breed puppy food. 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 or she 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 yoghurt cultures

Holistic - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Molasses Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Pumpkin, Salmon Oil, Cranberries, Apples, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Papayas, Choline Chloride, Blueberries, Pomegranates, Vitamin E Supplement, Inulin, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ground Cinnamon, Ground Fennel, Ground Peppermint, Copper Sulfate + More.
  • Named Protein First: No (but anchovy and sardine meal is OK)
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive & Grain Free
  • Recipe Range: Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine or Lamb & Chicken or Turkey & Lentils or Duck + More.
  • Suitable For: Holistic's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

This formula from Holistic Select is one of the only available recipes for puppies that are formulated specifically for small breeds. But what does that 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 yoghurt cultures to keep the stomach of your puppy calm. It's one of the few foods my little guy ate that didn't seem to adversely affect his sensitive stomach.

The Holistic Select Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food Small & Mini Breed being tested by our independent expert team.

Holistic Select Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food Small & Mini Breed being tested by our review team.

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. And according to our experts, that’s great - 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,” similar to our number five and six options. 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 yoghurt cultures
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#8: 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

Ziwi Peak Wet Food - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Chick Peas, New Zealand Green Mussel, Chicken Bone, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Dried Kelp, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B5 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Free
  • Recipe Range: Beef or Lamb or Tripe & Lamb or Mackerel & Lamb or Chicken + More.
  • Suitable For: Ziwi Peak Wet Food recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned)

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, our research team 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 specialised recipes for puppies. Instead, each of their formulas is certified for all life stages. While that might sound confusing - we think that’s 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 g and 390 g versions, so if your pup is small you can go with the smaller one to avoid having an open can hanging around your fridge.


#9: 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 our panel of independent experts share that 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 with 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 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.

Since 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, similar to our number one puppy food choice by Petzyo - which are both great health boosters.

The only preservatives used in these biscuits are mixed tocopherols. Even though the word “tocopherols” might sound a bit scary, these are just natural forms of vitamin E. They are considered safe for both humans and canines, while also extending the shelf life of the biscuits (5).

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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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 basically the only thing they do: they eat, they keep warm, and they cuddle with their mum and their puppy brothers and sisters.

Related: What To Feed Puppies In Their First 6 Weeks?
Related: What To Feed A Puppy At 8 Weeks Old?

At around 3 or 4 weeks of age, puppies can start to gradually switch to the 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.

“A puppy’s digestive tract is still maturing, so a good puppy food should also be highly digestible to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort or upset.” - Dr Amanda Ardente 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 (Association of American Feed Control Officials) certification, but again, not every quality food has this in Australia.

Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia

However, our team of independent experts share that 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. 

Related: The Best Meat for Dogs.

During the first 3-4 months of their 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.

Related: When To Switch Your Puppy To Adult Dog Food?


My Final Thoughts

Choosing the best dog food for puppies was not an easy task for our independent expert panel, but it was also a bit of fun. Once you find the food that is both healthy and appealing to your puppy, you’ll surely enjoy watching the little one gobble it down with joy.

Related: The Difference Between Puppy & Adult Dog Food.

In terms of our recommendations that resulted from our tests, the Petzyo formula is one of the best recipes formulated specifically for puppies. It comes in 3 great flavours, so there is plenty of variety. We also highly recommend the formulas offered by Ziwi Peak which come in air-dried 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 many 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 specialised 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”. March 8, 2023. Fetch by WebMD. Retrieved April 4, 2023. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/weaning-puppies-what-do#1
  2. Meyers, H. February 19, 2021. “What Is the Best Age Bring Your New Puppy Home?”. AKC. Retrieved April 4, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/puppy-information/best-age-bring-puppy-home/ 
  3. Ardente, A. January 17, 2023. “How to Choose the Right Food for Your Puppy". PetMD. Retrieved April 4, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/best-puppy-food
  4. Mansourian, E. August 15, 2021. “Puppy Feeding Fundamentals”. AKC. Retrieved April 4, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-feeding-fundamentals/
  5. Tomassi G, Silano V. 1986. "An assessment of the safety of tocopherols as food additives". Food Chem Toxicol. 1986;24(10-11):1051-1061. Retrieved April 4, 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3542757/

Vedrana Nikolic


Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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