6 of the best puppy kibbles for the best possible start

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  • There are myriad decisions to make when welcoming the delight of a new puppy into your home. From choosing the best puppy bed to training styles and deciding on the best dry puppy food, you’ll be researching exactly how to give him the very best start in life. On the diet front, puppies have different nutritional needs to adult dogs. They require a more nutrient-dense diet while they are growing, and usually should stay on specialist puppy food until they are pretty much fully grown.

    Switching from puppy food to adult food usually happens at around 10 months for small breeds, going up to around two years old for large breeds. Furthermore, different breed sizes have different nutritional needs, so whether you feed the best puppy food in wet, dry or raw form, you should feed according to the size they are expected to become. Dry food or kibble is the most popular option, and if you are part of this majority, make sure you get the best dry puppy food you can to support your new arrival’s growing needs.

    Puppies require more nutrients, protein and calories than mature dogs for all the growing they need to do, to help them build healthy muscle, bones, eyes and so on. When you watch your pup, you’ll know that he also burns an astonishing amount of calories through his play – and that doesn’t even account for the energy expended in becoming a grown-up dog. They also need a fatty acid called DHA, which helps build strong nervous systems.

    Protein and fat content are the key factors in puppy food. It should have a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat, which is more in both cases than the guidelines for adult dogs. The recommended amount of calcium will vary according to the breed size (excess calcium can cause skeletal deformities in larger dogs).

    When your new puppy arrives, make sure you have a supply of the food he has been eating at his former home, so that if you are switching to a new diet, you can do so gradually over a week, watching for any signs of digestive discomfort.

    Best dry puppy food: the choice

    Skinners dry puppy food

    Skinner’s Field & Trial Puppy Complete Dry Food

    Options: Sensitive, hypoallergenic, puppy, puppy/junior or junior | Flavours: Chicken, lamb/rice or duck/rice | RRP: From £11.45 for 2.5kg |

    Favoured by field sports specialists, this is a nutritionally complete dog food, formulated to support the early growth and development of puppies. Suitable from weaning (three weeks) to approx nine months.

    Contains highly digestible meat as a small kibble to suit puppies of different ages and provides a balanced and complete vitamin and mineral profile to support growth. No artificial colouring, flavours or preservatives and uses predominantly locally sourced ingredients from Suffolk.

    When your puppy reaches six to nine months, you can move him on to the junior range until around 18 months.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.ukviovet.co.ukpetsandfriends.co.uk or petsathome.com

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy food

    Purina Pro Plan Optistart Dry Food

    Options: Small/mini, medium puppy, large athletic puppy, large robust puppy, sensitive skin or sensitive digestion | Flavours: Chicken | RRP: From £16 for 3kg |

    Stacks of different options to ensure you feed your puppy exactly what suits best. Optistart kibble is designed to enable puppies’ developing immune systems to react efficiently, with a specific ingredient – colostrum, as found in mother’s milk – to help support natural defences and long-term health. It is proven to reduce the risk of upsets and helps to stabilise intestinal microflora during stress episodes.

    Contains a combination of key nutrients to help support healthy joints for puppies’ active lifestyles, as well strong teeth and healthy gums. Made with high-quality chicken and containing no added colourants.

    Can be offered gradually during weaning from three to six weeks of age.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.ukviovet.co.uk, or petsathome.com

    Harringtons Puppy Complete Dry Puppy Food

    Harringtons Puppy Complete Dry Puppy Food

    Flavours: Chicken, turkey or salmon | RRP: £26 for 10kg |

    A complete dry food designed for puppies both in terms of nutrients and with smaller kibble for little mouths. It has a balanced ratio of Omega 6 and 3 oils for a glossy coat, plus seaweed as a natural source of vitamins and trace elements, and prebiotics for good digestion. Vitamin E and Omega 3 help support a healthy immune system.

    Harringtons say they have added a delicious home-made gravy to make their recipe “even tastier”.

    It is 100% natural and contains meat as the number one ingredient as a great natural source of protein for energy, growth and repair.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Billy + Margot puppy food

    Billy + Margot Puppy Food

    Flavours: Chicken + superfood | RRP: £19.99 for 1.8kg |

    This is a high-quality, grain-free dry dog food packed with superfoods. It has been created by canine nutritionist Marie Jones, and is designed to be hypoallergenic, as young dogs typically have small, sensitive stomachs.

    It is very high-protein compared to other foods on the market, even for a puppy food, with 60% protein. This includes a single protein (farm-raised chicken) plus superfoods and holistic ingredients to support a puppy’s nutritional needs.

    It is rich in natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including peas, flaxseed, coconut oil, salmon oil and Manuka honey, to promote wellbeing and support healthy growth and development.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Clydach Farm Multi Protein Puppy Food

    Flavours: Chicken/turkey/salmon | RRP: From £7.49 for 1kg |

    This 100% natural grain-free recipe is designed for sensitive stomachs. It features an assortment of responsibly sourced meats – chicken, turkey and salmon, “capturing the classic flavours of the British countryside”.

    Glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin sulphate help support healthy joints and skeletal development while Omega 3 and 6 boost overall healthy, glossy coat and heart function.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Purple bag of Wonderdog puppy food

    Sneyd’s Wonderdog Premium Puppy

    Flavours: Chicken/rice | RRP: From £16.99 for 3kg |

    A complete food designed to nurture puppy growth and development before and after birth (also suitable for pregnant and lactating bitches). It has been meticulously formulated (protein content 29%; fat content 17%) to meet the energy demands of a diverse range of dogs.

    Digestible chicken, rich in essential Omega 3, is the primary protein source, to promote muscle development, while the optimal fat content supports healthy growth. Rice, a highly digestible carbohydrate source provides essential energy and also contains antioxidants.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

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