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10 Best Puppy Foods in Canada in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on June 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Best Puppy Foods in Canada in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

labrador retriever puppy eating food from bowl outdoors

Congratulations on welcoming home a new puppy. This exciting and fun time in both of your lives may come with a lot of questions, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner.

What should my puppy be eating” needs to be the question at the top of your list. While we can’t answer this question for you as the answer depends on many factors, we can provide you with a list of the best puppy foods in Canada to get you started.

Keep reading to read our thorough food reviews and learn everything you need to know about puppy nutrition needs so you’ll be fully prepared to welcome your new pup into your life.

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A Glance at Our Top Picks (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Wellness Small Breed Puppy Food Wellness Small Breed Puppy Food
  • Kibble promotes dental health
  • Provides complete and balanced nutrition
  • Supports skin and coat health
  • Best Value
    Second place
    IAMS Puppy Recipe IAMS Puppy Recipe
  • High in protein
  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Boosts brain development
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Taste of the Wild Puppy Food Taste of the Wild Puppy Food
  • Small kibble size
  • Probiotics for immune health
  • Antioxidant-rich recipe
  • Pro Plan Puppy Food Pro Plan Puppy Food
  • Real meat as the first ingredient
  • Probiotics for digestive health
  • Boosts skin and coat health
  • Vet’s Choice
    Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food
  • Enticing texture and scent for dogs
  • Natural ingredients
  • Single-serve trays for easy serving
  • The 10 Best Puppy Foods in Canada

    1. Wellness Small Breed Puppy Food – Best Overall

    Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food New

    Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, ground barley
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 19%
    Calories: 489 cal/cup

    Wellness Complete Health Small Breed kibble has been formulated to provide all the nutrients a small breed puppy needs to thrive. It features vitamins and minerals like DHA for brain development, calcium for bone growth, vitamin A for healthy eyes, and omega fatty acids to promote skin and coat health. This recipe also features glucosamine for joint health and contains prebiotics to promote proper digestion. The kibble is puppy-sized and crunchy to help keep your dog’s teeth clean.

    This food is the best overall puppy food in Canada as it provides the balanced nutrition your puppy needs in a formula crafted to promote whole-body health. Not to mention that it’s made with natural ingredients without any artificial flavoring or colors.

    Pros
    • Kibble promotes dental health
    • Provides complete and balanced nutrition
    • Supports skin and coat health
    • Boosts immune system
    • Natural ingredients
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. IAMS Puppy Chicken Recipe Puppy Food – Best Value

    Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain sorghum, dried plain beet pulp
    Protein content: 29%
    Fat content: 17.5%
    Calories: 399 cal/cup

    You don’t have to spend a fortune to feed your growing puppy high-quality food. IAMS’ Chicken & Whole Grains Recipe is the best puppy food in Canada for the money, thanks to its affordable pricing and still high-quality formulation. This kibble has been crafted with 22 different nutrients found naturally in your puppy’s mother’s milk. These nutrients are necessary for helping your pooch build strong bones. This formula also has been enriched with antioxidants to help promote a healthy immune system. It features real chicken as the first ingredient, which provides the protein your pup needs for his growing muscles. IAMS also includes omega-3 fatty acids in this recipe which can help your dog’s cognition, boosting his brain health.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Antioxidant-rich
    • Boosts brain development
    • Provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition
    Cons
    • High in fat

    3. Taste of the Wild Puppy Food Recipe – Premium Choice

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

    Main ingredients: Water buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 17%
    Calories: 415 cal/cup

    Taste of the Wild is a food company focused on providing dogs with nutrition based on their “ancestral diet”. Their puppy recipe features real meat (water buffalo) as the first ingredient and has an optimal amino acid profile for your growing pup. It features DHA for brain health and probiotics and dried chicory root to promote digestive health. Its unique flavoring comes from roasted meat, veggies, legumes, and fruits, making it highly digestible. Its small-sized kibble is designed for smaller mouths so your puppy shouldn’t have any problems eating or digesting this food. Though this food is more expensive than others on our list, it’s worth the splurge if you’re looking to feed your puppy a premium food to make his puppyhood the healthiest it can be.

    This kibble is grain-free. We recommend speaking with your puppy’s vet before putting them on a grain-free diet as it is usually not necessary unless your pet has sensitivities to grains.

    Pros
    • Small kibble size
    • Probiotics for immune health
    • Antioxidant-rich recipe
    • High-quality protein
    Cons
    • High in carbohydrates
    • Contains intransparent “ocean fish meal”

    4. Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Rice New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 456 cal/cup

    Pro is made with high-quality protein and features real chicken as the main ingredient. This high-protein recipe is formulated to meet the needs of your puppy’s developing muscles, so he has the energy he needs to play. It has an antioxidant-rich formula to support your growing puppy’s immune system as well as omega fatty acids like DHA to nourish brain health. This kibble has been fortified with live probiotics to boost both immune and digestive health. Vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids have been added to ensure optimal skin and coat health, too.

    Pros
    • Real meat as the first ingredient
    • Probiotics for digestive health
    • Boosts skin and coat health
    • DHA promotes vision development
    Cons
    • High in fat

    5. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws – Vet’s Choice

    Hill_s Science Diet Puppy Small & Toy Breed Savory Chicken & Vegetable Stew Flavor Dog Food Trays New

    Main ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, pork liver, brown rice, wheat flour
    Protein content: 5%
    Fat content: 3%
    Calories: 88/cal per tray

    Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws recipe is our vet-recommended choice for the best puppy food in Canada. This delicious wet food provides your growing small breed puppy with the balanced nutrition he needs to build lean muscles. It features high-quality ingredients that promote healthy digestion and doesn’t contain any artificial flavoring or preservatives. This food comes in a peel-and-serve tray that takes the guesswork out of portion sizes. It’s made with real chicken, brown rice, and specially selected vegetables to not only boost the taste of the recipe but its nutrition level as well.

    Pros
    • Enticing texture and scent for dogs
    • Natural ingredients
    • Single-serve trays for easy serving
    • High-quality protein
    • Easy to digest
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Lower in protein than other options

    6. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Puppy Food

    Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Puppy Wet Dog Food New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, peas
    Protein content: 9%
    Fat content: 6%
    Calories: 422 cal/cup

    This puppy food from Blue Buffalo features wholesome ingredients that promote a healthy life. With chicken as its first ingredient, this wet food is high in protein to ensure proper muscle development and energy levels. The chicken liver boosts the iron and vitamin A level of the recipe while adding a natural flavoring your dog will love. Carrots provide beta carotene and fiber your dog needs for eye health and proper digestion. This food contains no thickening agents, artificial flavoring, preservatives, or chicken by-product meals and instead focuses on providing the healthiest and whole ingredients your puppy needs to thrive.

    Pros
    • Can be served alone or as a kibble topper
    • Natural formulation
    • No preservatives
    • Big can size
    • Made with real chicken
    Cons
    • Contains the controversial ingredient carrageenan

    7. Royal Canin Canned Puppy Food

    Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Canned Dog Food New

    Main ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, chicken by-products, chicken, pork by-products, chicken liver
    Protein content: 7.5%
    Fat content: 4%
    Calories: 166 cal/can

    Royal Canin’s Puppy Recipe has been designed to meet the nutritional needs of puppies in the 10- to 15-month range. It has been formulated to stimulate the appetite to ensure your dog eats the food it needs during this critical stage of growth. This wet food supports digestive health and promotes optimal stool consistency by providing the perfect balance of fiber and easy-to-digest proteins. It features an antioxidant blend to support your puppy’s developing immune system. The moisture content of this food can also help support your pup’s hydration.

    Pros
    • Can be used alone or as a kibble topper
    • Vitamin C scavenges harmful free radicals
    • Vitamin E promotes immune health
    • Fish oil for skin and coat health
    Cons
    • By-products as main ingredients

    8. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food

    Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Food for Dogs New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, whole grain brown rice, whole grain barley
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 379 cal/cup

    This wholesome puppy food features high-quality protein as its first ingredient. It’s made with non-GMO ingredients and has no corn, soy, or chicken by-product meal at all. It features antioxidants to boost your puppy’s immune health and calcium to support their growing bones and joints. This food has DHA to support brain development as well as vision health. It is designed to be fed to large breed puppies until they’re 18 months old and has been formulated to meet the specific nutrition needs of larger dogs.

    Pros
    • Made with non-GMO ingredients
    • Farmed-raised chicken is first ingredient
    • DHA for growth and development
    • High in protein
    Cons
    • Pricing can be inconsistent
    • High in carbohydrates

    9. EUKANUBA Small Breed Puppy Food

    EUKANUBA Small Breed Puppy New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn, chicken fat, wheat
    Protein content: 32%
    Fat content: 21%
    Calories: 465 cal/cup

    Eukanuba’s small breed puppy formula comes in two different flavors: Chicken or Lamb & Rice. Both recipes feature real meat as the first ingredient, providing your puppy with a hefty dose of healthy protein to boost their lean muscle development. It promotes healthy brain development through the inclusion of DHA. Fat and carbohydrate levels provide concentrated energy your dog needs for both growth and play. This formula features a natural fiber and probiotic blend that will boost their sensitive digestion system. It has the perfect amount of vitamin E to boost immune system health, too. This recipe is designed for dogs who will weigh less than 23 pounds in adulthood.

    Pros
    • Boosts energy levels
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    • Promotes brain health
    • Supports muscle growth
    Cons
    • Bag is not resealable
    • Corn can be an allergen

    10. Cesar Canine Cuisine Puppy Food

    Cesar Canine Cuisine Puppy with Chicken and Beef Puppy Food Trays New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, beef lung, beef by-products, chicken broth
    Protein content: 9%
    Fat content: 6%
    Calories: 113 cal/tray

    Cesar’s puppy wet food comes in a 24-case of 3.5 ounce easy-to-serve trays. These trays have been pre-portioned to provide your puppy with the right amount of food he needs at mealtime. It has been formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your growing pup and has been fortified with minerals and vitamins to help him stay healthy. It contains vitamin E for immune system health, biotin for hair and skin health, and thiamine for brain health.

    Pros
    • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
    • Easy to serve packaging
    • Texture dogs love
    Cons
    • Need to feed a lot if exclusively feeding this
    • No transparency regarding ingredient sourcing
    • Contains added color

    divider-dog pawBuyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Puppy Food in Canada

    Now that you know some of the best puppy foods currently available in Canada, you’re left with the hard decision of choosing which you should try for your puppy. The good news is that you’re never stuck with one particular food for your dog’s entire lifespan. You might even find that your pup gets bored of the same food every day, so variety does appear to be the spice of life—even for dogs.

    Before you start your pooch on one of the above foods, keep reading to find more tips on choosing the best food for your specific pup.

    Consider Breed Size

    While most of the foods we reviewed above are formulated for puppies of all sizes and breeds, some are specifically designed for use by breeds of a certain size.

    Small or toy breed dogs have different nutritional requirements than their large and giant breed counterparts. If your dog falls into one of those size categories, you might consider offering them food that’s formulated for their breed size.

    Small Breeds

    Despite their smaller size, small and toy dog breeds actually need more calories per pound than larger dogs. Small breed puppies, especially toy breeds, are susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) because of their high metabolic rate and their low body fat reserves. This means that they need food that is more calorically dense and may need to be fed more often. You should be searching for a diet that is higher in proteins and fat.

    Also, keep kibble size in mind as you’re hunting for the best food for your small-breed puppy. Kibble that is too big will be hard to chew and could pose a choking risk.

    close up photo of white dog
    Image Credit: tuan nguyen, Pexels

    Large Breeds

    Large and giant puppy breeds need their bodies to grow at a proper rate to prevent stressing out developing bones or joints and developing skeletal malformations. Bones that grow too fast will be less dense and weak. When dogs’ bones grow too fast and pack on pounds too quickly, additional strain is added to their bones and joints, which can absolutely wreak havoc on your poor pooch. Developmental Orthopedic Disease (DOD) and disorders like hip dysplasia happen more often in large and giant breed dogs.

    A diet with too much dietary fat can cause your puppy to grow faster than his bones can accommodate. The same rule applies to protein; too much can cause a calcium and phosphorus imbalance which can negatively impact bone and joint development. It’s essential that the food you’re feeding your large or giant breed puppy isn’t too high in fat or protein.


    Read Food Labels

    You don’t need to have a degree in veterinary nutrition to understand the basics of dog food labels. With a basic understanding, you’ll be able to differentiate between high- and low-quality food.

    Ingredient Order

    Pet food labels, as with human food labels, list the ingredients in descending order by weight. This means that the first few ingredients on your dog’s food label are found in higher quantities than items found lower on the list. You’ll notice that we included the first five ingredients for every one of the foods we reviewed above. We’ve done this so you can see at a glance what each foods’ main ingredients are.

    Nutrition Adequacy Statement

    Search for the nutritional adequacy statement. You might see phrases like “complete and balanced” or “100% nutrition” on the food label. These phrases mean that the food has met government standards and will provide your pup with a level of nutrition that is complete and balanced for your dog’s life stage. In other words, this food will contain the proper ratio of essential nutrients for the needs of a healthy pooch. Since we’re looking at feeding a puppy, you’ll want to ensure the food you’re offering meets the “growth” life stage or “all life stages”.

    man buying pet food
    Image by: LADO, Shutterstock

    Feeding Guidelines

    Your dog’s food label will also contain feeding guidelines. Take these directions with a grain of salt. We recommend talking with your veterinarian if you have any questions about how much to feed your puppy. Up to 30% of North American dogs are considered obese, so it is important to get your puppy off on the right start by ensuring you’re feeding him appropriate quantities to prevent obesity.

    Product Name

    You should also pay close attention to the name of your dog’s food. Manufacturers are sly and can legally use certain terminology to confuse consumers. If your dog’s food name contains a source of protein (e.g., “beef” or “chicken”), that means that that protein must make up at least 70% of the entire product. If the name includes “dinner,” “entrée,” or “platter,” (e.g., “beef dinner” or “chicken entrée”), it is only required that the protein source in question make up at least 10% of the entire product. If the title of the food includes the word “flavor” (e.g., “beef flavor” or “chicken flavor”), it means that there is enough of that protein to add flavoring, but it will only make up less than 3% of the entire product.

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    Conclusion

    For the best overall puppy food in Canada, Wellness Complete Health provides a nutritionally dense and all-natural formula. The best value food comes from IAMS thanks to its focus on healthy cognition and affordable price. For a premium puppy food, Taste of the Wild provides a high-quality, superfood-rich, and highly digestible formula. Purina Pro Plan’s Puppy Recipe takes our fourth spot due to its antioxidant-rich and high-protein formulation. Finally, Hill’s Science Diet’s Wet Puppy Food was our Vet’s Choice pick thanks to its gentle fibers for digestion and high-quality lean protein for muscle growth.

    Your puppy needs the best nutrition to kickstart his life. Our reviews above provide you with the best options to ensure your pup gets the nutrition he needs to thrive.


    Featured Image Credit: SasaStock, Shutterstock

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