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

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

A puppy eating food from a bowl

Bringing home a new puppy is something worth celebrating! You’re at the beginning of a beautiful friendship with an adorable miniature version of your future adult dog. But a new puppy also means stocking up on many supplies, and one of the most critical things on your list will be puppy food. A new puppy also means you have your hands full, so finding the time to research the best food for your new pup can be daunting.

That’s why we created reviews of 10 of the best puppy foods for those living in Canada. There’s also a buyer’s guide full of additional information to help you on this journey of finding the right food for your puppy.

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A Quick Look at the Winners (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Purina ONE Smartblend Dry Puppy Food Purina ONE Smartblend Dry Puppy Food
  • Lamb is the main ingredient
  • Includes DHA for vision and brain development
  • Calcium and phosphorus for joint, bone, and teeth health
  • Best Value
    Second place
    IAMS Dry Puppy Food IAMS Dry Puppy Food
  • Well-priced
  • DHA for cognition health
  • Whole grains for energy
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    ACANA Heritage Puppy & Junior ACANA Heritage Puppy & Junior
  • Made in Canada
  • 60% of ingredients are from animal sources
  • First two ingredients are whole meat
  • Best Overall
    Hill’s Science Diet Canned Puppy Food Hill’s Science Diet Canned Puppy Food
  • Minced texture with whole chicken and grains
  • Highly digestible
  • Strong mix of antioxidants for overall health
  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints for large breed puppies
  • Main ingredient is deboned lamb
  • No GMO ingredients
  • The 10 Best Puppy Foods in Canada

    1. Purina ONE Smartblend Dry Puppy Food — Best Overall

    Purina ONE +Plus Dry Puppy Food with Lamb

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    Main ingredients: Lamb, rice flour, corn
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 17%
    Calories: 397 kcal/cup

    Our choice for the best overall puppy food in Canada is Purina ONE Smartblend Dry Puppy Food. The first and main ingredient is lamb, and it is a complete and balanced meal perfect for growing puppies. It includes DHA, which helps eye and brain development, and calcium and phosphorus for healthy joints, bones, and teeth. It contains zinc and selenium and antioxidants in the form of vitamins E and A for immune system support. These same vitamins also help your puppy’s skin and coat, and the high-quality sources of protein will give your pup strong and healthy muscles.

    However, there are a few flaws. While lamb is the primary source of protein, it also includes chicken, so if your pup has any food sensitivities to chicken, you should avoid this one. It also contains artificial colour.

    Pros
    • Lamb is the main ingredient
    • Includes DHA for vision and brain development
    • Calcium and phosphorus for joint, bone, and teeth health
    • Antioxidants, selenium, and zinc for immune system support
    • High-quality sources of protein for growing muscles
    Cons
    • Contains chicken products
    • Includes artificial colour

    2. IAMS Dry Puppy Food — Best Value

    IAMS Puppy Dry Dog Food - Chicken and Whole Grains Recipe

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    Main ingredients: Chicken, corn, whole grain sorghum, dried beet pulp
    Protein content: 29%
    Fat content: 5%
    Calories: 399 kcal/cup

    The best puppy food in Canada for the money is IAMS Dry Puppy Food. It has DHA for vision and brain development and whole grains to support your puppy’s energy. There are plenty of antioxidants for a robust immune system and omega-6 for healthy skin and coat. Whole chicken is the main ingredient, and it includes 22 nutrients that are found in a mother dog’s milk for a balanced and nutritious diet.

    The main issue is that this food does contain artificial colour.

    Pros
    • Well-priced
    • DHA for cognition health
    • Whole grains for energy
    • Antioxidants and omega-6 for overall health
    • Includes 22 nutrients found in mother’s milk
    Cons
    • Contains artificial colour

    3. ACANA Heritage Puppy Recipe Dry Food — Premium Choice

    ACANA Heritage Puppy & Junior Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, turkey, peas, red lentils
    Protein content: 31%
    Fat content: 19%
    Calories: 408 kcal/cup

    ACANA Heritage Puppy & Junior Dry Dog Food is our premium pick and is made in Canada. Around 60% of the ingredients are protein-rich animal sources. In fact, the first two ingredients are whole meat. The other 40% are fruit, veggies, and nutrients, and all ingredients are obtained ethically. Free-run turkey and chicken (which are also the main ingredients) are used, as are wild-caught fish and nest-laid eggs. This food doesn’t contain any fillers or artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives.

    This product is expensive, though, and peas are the fourth ingredient, which are currently under investigation by the FDA over heart disease concerns.

    Pros
    • Made in Canada
    • 60% of ingredients are from animal sources
    • First two ingredients are whole meat
    • Ethically sourced and local ingredients
    • No fillers or artificial ingredients
    Cons
    • Peas are the fourth ingredient
    • Expensive

    4. Hill’s Science Diet Canned Puppy Food

    Hill's Science Diet Puppy Canned Dog Food, Chicken & Barley Entrée

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    Main ingredients: Chicken, corn, barley, soybean
    Protein content: 4%
    Fat content: 4%
    Calories: 482 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Science Diet Canned Puppy Food is the only canned food on this list. It’s a minced texture that contains whole chicken and grains, making for a highly digestible food. It includes strong antioxidants for overall health and balanced minerals to support growing teeth and bones. It’s made with natural ingredients.

    Unfortunately, this puppy food is expensive, and sometimes the food can be dry, which is odd for a canned food.

    Pros
    • Minced texture with whole chicken and grains
    • Highly digestible
    • Strong mix of antioxidants for overall health
    • Right balance of minerals for strong bones and teeth
    • Contains natural ingredients
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Might be a little dry

    5. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

    NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Puppy Lamb & Rice Recipe

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    Main ingredients: Lamb, chicken, brewers rice, split peas
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 379 kcal/cup

    Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Dry Puppy Food is a great choice for your puppy, particularly if they are a large breed. It contains natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine, which support healthy joints. The main ingredient is deboned lamb, so it’s an excellent source of high-quality protein, and it doesn’t have any GMO ingredients or any artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.

    The cons with this food are that it is pricey and that it might cause stomach upset in some puppies.

    Pros
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints for large breed puppies
    • Main ingredient is deboned lamb
    • No GMO ingredients
    • No artificial ingredients
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Might cause tummy issues

    6. Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food

    Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Rice

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    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice, corn, wheat
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 456 kcal/cup

    Purina’s Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food has whole chicken as the main ingredient, which gives puppies a high-quality source of protein to support growing muscles. It also includes DHA from omega fish oil for eye and brain development and immune system support through rich sources of antioxidants. It also contains the right balance of vitamins and minerals, which includes sources of phosphorus and calcium for strong bones and teeth.

    However, it is quite expensive, and some puppies might experience stomach upset.

    Pros
    • Whole chicken for a high-quality source of protein
    • Has DHA for vision and brain development
    • Rich source of antioxidants for strong immune system
    • Phosphorus and calcium for strong teeth and bones
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Might upset some puppy’s tummies

    7. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    Nature’s Recipe Puppy Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dog Food

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    Main ingredients: Chicken, garbanzo beans, peas, sweet potatoes
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 350 kcal/cup

    Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food is a great option if your puppy has food sensitivities with grains. It has whole chicken as the primary ingredient, which provides your puppy with high-quality protein to maintain healthy muscles. It also has added vitamins and minerals, including DHA, for developing brain and vision. It doesn’t contain any artificial colours, preservatives, or flavours.

    However, it contains peas within the first four ingredients, and it’s a bit expensive.

    Pros
    • Grain free for dogs with allergies to grains
    • Whole chicken is the main ingredient
    • DHA for developing vision and brain
    • No artificial ingredients
    Cons
    • Contains peas in the first four ingredients
    • Relatively expensive

    8. Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Food

    Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Corn, Wheat
    Protein content: 30%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 393 kcal/cup

    Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Food is made specifically for the needs of medium-sized puppy breeds. This means your puppy should be expected to reach an adult weight of 23 to 55 pounds. The combination of vitamins and antioxidants supports the developing immune system, as well as growing bones and joints. It has prebiotics for perfect poops and is highly digestible.

    The flaws here are that this is an expensive puppy food and that it might cause stomach upset.

    Pros
    • Meets the energy needs of puppies growing into medium-sized dogs
    • Vitamins and antioxidants support the immune system and developing bones and joints
    • Prebiotics for quality poops
    • Highly digestible
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Might cause stomach upset

    9. Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites Puppy Dry Food

    Hill's Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe

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    Main ingredients: Chicken, wheat, barley
    Protein content: 25%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 374 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites Puppy Dry Food is excellent for small-breed puppies, which means the kibble size is small. It provides the right balance of protein for the energy needs of puppies of small stature. It has DHA for developing vision and brain and contains high-quality protein for building lean muscles. There are balanced minerals for strong teeth and bones, and it’s made with tasty and natural ingredients.

    The downside is that this food is expensive, though it may last longer for those with tiny puppies. It might also make some puppies experience stomach upset.

    Pros
    • Great for small breed puppies
    • Small kibble for small mouths
    • DHA for vision and brain development
    • Balanced minerals support strong teeth and bones
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Some puppies might experience upset tummies

    10. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

    Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Rice

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    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice, corn
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 13%
    Calories: 419 kcal/cup

    Purina’s Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Puppy Food is a great option for those with large breed puppies. It contains live probiotics for immune and digestive system health and has glucosamine for developing joints. There’s rice, which is an easily digested carbohydrate, and it doesn’t contain any artificial flavours or colours.

    The negatives are that this is an expensive puppy food and that picky puppies might not like it.

    Pros
    • Great for large-breed puppies
    • Contains live probiotics for the immune and digestive systems
    • Glucosamine for developing joints
    • No artificial colours or flavours
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Picky puppies might not like it

    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Puppy Food in Canada

    Before you purchase your puppy’s food, there are a few points for you to go over. It might influence the food that you buy for your pup!

    Calories and Protein

    Puppy food is typically high in calories, which is vital for supporting the development of a growing puppy. Food high in protein is also essential. The protein and calories provide the right amount of energy for your puppy’s needs and enable them to gain the appropriate amount of weight.

    DHA

    DHA is an essential element sourced from the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and helps support the puppy’s central nervous system and brain and vision development.

    Ingredients

    The general rule is that the first three ingredients listed on dog food packaging are the main ingredients and therefore, are the most important. Some people are worried about fillers and believe that dog food should be grain free, but most foods with ingredients listed as “meals” or “by-products” or that include corn and wheat are still healthy. The most common allergy triggers tend to be the protein source, which is usually chicken or beef. Speak to your veterinarian before choosing a grain-free food.

    Introducing New Food

    It’s always best to talk with your vet if you are switching your puppy to a new food. Most breeders or rescue groups will send your puppy home with food that they have already been eating. Switching your puppy to a new food needs to be done very slowly.

    Start by adding a small amount of the new food to the usual amount of the old, and gradually build up from there. This is particularly important for puppies because they have sensitive little tummies.

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    Conclusion

    Our overall favorite puppy food in Canada is Purina ONE Smartblend Dry Puppy Food for its use of high-quality protein in the form of lamb, and it is also a complete and balanced meal perfect for growing puppies. IAMS Dry Puppy Food has the 22 nutrients found in a mother dog’s milk for a balanced and nutritious diet for puppies, and it has a great price!

    Our premium choice is ACANA’s Heritage Puppy & Junior Dry Dog Food, which is made in Canada. It has ingredients that are ethically sourced from local farms using free-range livestock. Finally, Hill’s Science Diet Canned Puppy Food is the only canned food on the list! It has a minced texture with whole chicken and grains and is a highly digestible food.

    We hope that these reviews of 10 excellent choices in puppy food have brought you closer to finding the perfect food for your adorable new addition to the family!

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