It might not seem complicated, but standing in front of numerous varieties of pet foods can lead to some serious challenges. While you could choose a puppy food based on the packaging and aesthetics, what’s inside might not be best for your furry baby. Alternatively, you might be drawn in by spare presentation only to find that the ingredients are equally lacking. It’s so frustrating not to know for sure the in’s and out’s or puppy food. With a decision this important, it’s time to turn to the experts.

So Many Wrong Choices

Choosing healthy puppy food is much more than picking up a bag of chow at the grocery store. We now know how important establishing great nutrition is for the long haul in the early years. Since dogs are living longer than ever before, it’s imperative they get a bright start. And while there are so many potentially wrong choices to make in the food aisle (or in the pet store in general), it’s hard to know what the “right” ones are.

A Look at All Factors

The first thing that must be addressed is whether or not the food is age-appropriate. Puppies have very different nutritional needs than adult or senior dogs. As such, a puppy-specific food is ideal until they reach a certain age. 


Remember to exercise caution when changing your pet’s diet. For example, when they grow out of their puppy food, slowly add adult dog food to the mix and don’t rush the process.

A Firm Foundation 

Understanding the finer points of pet nutrition can help an owner choose the right puppy food. Because they require a balanced diet to support growth and development, puppies benefit from protein. Additionally, look for high values of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and fiber.. 


The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) provides standards for producing and labeling pet foods. It’s important to verify a product’s nutrition through the AAFCO adequacy statement on food labels. They are a good source for portion guidelines, too. 

Wet or Dry?

Many puppies can’t get enough of kibble, others like wet, canned food. Some like a combination of both. It may be best to expose your puppy to both types of food when they are young. If you  make any changes to their diet as they age, they’ll be familiar with both options.


Dry food is shelf stable, doesn’t require refrigeration, and can be more affordable than canned varieties. Wet food has a higher moisture content, so you may have to worry less about how much water they take in every day. However, you may have to feed more wet food per puppy as it is less energy dense than kibble.

Watching Out for Feedback  

As a word of caution, puppies get into everything (especially if they’re hungry). Always be sure to lock up these human foods.


A growing dog’s digestive system is working overtime in their first year or so. Keep an eye out for any vomiting or diarrhea, and call us at (916) 794-8520 with any questions or concerns.