What is the Best Puppy Food in Australia?
As we continue to push for better regulation in the Australian pet food industry it can be hard to trust many pet food brands, and if you’re new to dog ownership then the reams of different brands and types of pet foods is a mind boggling minefield. If you feel that way, then you’ve come to the right place!
So what is the best puppy food in Australia? Should you feed one brand of food or a variety? What treats are safe to give your puppy? Read on for some excellent hints and tips!
- What to Feed a Puppy
- What is the Best Puppy Food in Australia?
- About the Best Puppy Food in Australia List
- Nutrition Analysis of the Best Puppy Foods
- We Care What You Think – Your Feedback is Useful!
What to Feed a Puppy
If you’ve never had a dog before then you’re probably feeling very daunted. There’s so much conflicting information, so many brands, types of food, and feeding options.
Don’t worry, I’ll offer a few very simple tips to make you feel at ease, and our Best Puppy Food list below will offer you an excellent start no matter which one you pick.
Let’s start with some handy bullet points:
- If feeding a dry or wet food, only feed a Puppy Formula or All Life Stages formula. If neither of these are on the packaging then the food will not contain the nutrition required for the puppy phase.
- Avoid cheap dry puppy food brands. The puppy phase (up to 1 year) is critical for the long term health of your dog. If you feed them a cheap food now it will likely cost you tenfold in years to come.
- Avoid anything with “Wheat”, “Cereals”, or “Cereal By-Products”. If a food is formulated with these ingredients then they’re not very healthy for your pup.
- Feed a variety! This is often overlooked as many continue to feed whatever the breeder suggested, or worse whatever the shelter fed the puppy. Feeding the same product continuously is never a good idea, although this is what most people believe is correct.
Dry Puppy Food
Dry food is the most convenient, but quality ranges significantly. There are some excellent dry puppy foods available (see the list below), but sadly far too many bad ones. Pick a decent one, or perhaps rotate between different brands to offer variety. You can combine dry food with other options as well – there are no hard and fast rules no matter what misinformation you find on the Internet.
Wet Puppy Food
Wet food is usually better than the dry counterpart from the same manufacturer. Avoid the trays you find in the supermarket and opt for cans by more premium manufacturers. Many dogs suffer in later years from an exclusive wet food diet (particularly small and toy breeds where this is more common), with periodontal disease being common from lack of abrasion in the diet. That said, having some wet food in the diet can be beneficial. Just look at the ingredients and try and decide whether it sounds species appropriate for a canine!
It might be worth avoiding raw in the first few months, but many start to slowly introduce it as the puppy grows. If you’re worried about feeding raw to a puppy then hold off until they’re fully grown. There are some excellent human grade raw barf patties available in many of the pet stores these days, and they’re excellent additions to a dog’s diet.
There’s been a growing trend in recent years to feed a dog what they would’ve eaten in the wild – fresh meats, organs, blood, and bones. There is so much nutrition in a raw diet, but if you choose to go this route then make sure you research heavily. There’s plenty of information and recipes on the Internet which will really help you, and some excellent social media groups – join them!
In olden days (not so long ago), many dogs lived off table scraps. Feeding your dog some nutritious foodstuffs along the way can be very beneficial, but use common sense. Non-processed meats, eggs, fish (be careful of bones), tuna, sardines, veggies, all have beneficial qualities. Just make sure you avoid foodstuffs which can be bad for a pup, such as chocolate, cooked bones, processed meats (easy on the sausages). Most of it is common sense.
Supermarket (and pet store) treats don’t conform to any requirements, and given they’re designed for occasional feeding only it’s often overlooked the harm they can do if fed in excess. Boiled chicken is an excellent treat, and your dog will love you for that as much as they would a commercial treat made from wheat, sugar, and chemicals. Healthy and nutritious is the best way.
There are some excellent freeze dried treats available but they come at a cost. If you can, opt for freeze dried mussels or some form of freeze dried meat without additives.
What is the Best Puppy Food in Australia?
Healthy Everyday Pets Puppy
Always keep in mind your dog is essentially a carnivore. You can argue they’re more omnivore than cats, but in fact on the omnivore to carnivore scale they’re much closer to cats as obligate carnivores than they are to us as omnivores. If you don’t believe me, take a look at those great big teeth and consider what they’re for.
Healthy Everyday Pets strive to make food for our dogs which mimics their natural diet, with a whopping amount of meat. Other pet food manufacturers make excuses, but that’s because meat is a much more expensive ingredient than stuff like peas, and they don’t want to eat into their profit margins.
Healthy Everyday Pets Puppy is well worth considering – check out the Healthy Everyday Pets website (you can buy directly from them).
Canidae Pure Foundations
This food has been around for quite some time and sold worldwide. I’ve often recommended it, and have never heard any bad feedback. Like other Canidae foods, it seems to sit well with dogs suffering intolerances and skin conditions. It’s based on chicken and menhaden fish meal (an excellent fish ingredient), with lentils and peas. This is a great option across the board, and it’s grain free as well.
Meals for Pups
Meals for Pups is the Meals for Mutts puppy formula, one of the few Australian brands available. It’s based on turkey as a lean meat and salmon & sardine which is great for protein and vital nutrients including omega fats.
30% protein is really good to see and testament to there being a decent amount of meat in the food, although the Australian definition for “meat” is any part of the animal that contains protein.
Brown rice is an excellent choice of grain, far more superior to white rice, and the food as a whole is well rounded inclusive of fruits, veggies, essential fats and oils. I’ve been impressed by the Meals for Mutts nutritionist Bill before, he’s well versed on pet nutrition.
Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage
Earthborn sell quality foods, and their Puppy Vantage formula is no exception being packed out with chicken meal and whitefish meal and backed up with a few top grain selections and a shopping list of fruits and veggies. It’s much higher in fat than the Canidae food.
Applaws is available in the supermarkets, and it’s by far one of the better foods you’ll find on the shelves. Being a supermarket offering means it falls within a value-for-money price bracket, but has the quality of some of the foods you’ll find in the pet shops and specialist shops. It’s Australian made too!
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About the Best Puppy Food in Australia List
Firstly, this list will change periodically as new dog foods are introduced, formulas change, or feedback changes. We constantly monitor consumer feedback and recalls and adjust the list accordingly. Check back regularly!
Nutrition Analysis of the Best Puppy Foods
All the foods on the list must meet our stringent criteria. In a nutshell, here are a few:
- Must conform to AAFCO standards for puppy phase.
- Must have sufficient protein and fat.
- Must have sufficient meat ingredients.
- Must not contain any nasty or ambiguous ingredients.
- Must avoid allergenic or problematic ingredients.
- Must have a long standing reputation and good consumer feedback.
We Care What You Think – Your Feedback is Useful!
Our Best Puppy Food Australia list depends on your ongoing feedback. Many people contact us daily with feedback or consumer issues. These are valuable to us and help us adjust ratings accordingly. In the past, sadly, highly rated brands have suffered from formula changes, ingredient changes, or manufacturer changes. If you’re aware of any problems – let us know.
All our reviews are independent and unbiased, using nutritional analysis of the ingredients and composition. The reviews aim to inform you what the ingredients really mean, and what they really say based on Australian Pet Food Standards AS 5812.
Use the wonderful tool Sniff Out to find the cheapest prices on dog foods, cat foods, or pet products from Australian retailers.
We hope this guide has got you started on your puppy journey, and you have some insight into what is the best puppy food in Australia. Variety is always a good thing, and if in doubt – read the ingredients!
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