Born of frustration and a desire for change, the Merrick brand was humbly founded in Garth Merrick’s kitchen in 1988. Frustrated by the overwhelming choices and commercial dog food, Garth took matters into his own hands and dedicated his time to preparing his dog’s meals.
When demand soared for his local products, Merrick decided to mass-produce his kibble.
The food still comes from its original home of Hereford, Texas, and it uses fresh and premium locally sourced ingredients. Most of Merrick’s food is grain-free and designed for dogs with food sensitivities and other allergies.
Merrick dog food is and has been since conception an incredibly strong competitor in the dog food market. As with all organizations, they have flaws, but we still believe it is one of the best dog foods available to consumers today.
At a Glance: The Best Merrick Puppy Food Recipes
|Our Favorite||Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy||
|Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef||
|Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused||
|Merrick Grain-Free Puppy||Check Price|
|Merrick Healthy Grains Raw-Coated||Check Price|
Merrick Puppy Food Reviewed
Who Makes Merrick Dog Food and Where Is It Produced?
Merrick Puppy Food is made where it originated: Hereford, Texas. Even though it started as a kitchen-run operation, Nestle Purina acquired the company. Despite its vast growth and popularity, Merrick insists they still only use the freshest ingredients. They also reassure customers by stating that no major changes have occurred in their management, day-to-day operations, or food formulas.
Which Type of Dogs is Merrick Puppy Food Best Suited For?
Merrick puppy food is a great choice for any proud pup. The puppy recipes are specially crafted by veterinarians and nutritionists to support a healthy lifestyle. Merrick Puppy Food contains healthy protein for muscle growth, DHA for brain development and nervous system support, and a hearty mix of vitamins and minerals.
Merrick puppy food is made for all pups seeking success in adulthood. Merrick also offers a wide variety of puppy food, such as healthy grains, grain-free recipes, limited-ingredient meals, and raw-infused products.
Which Type of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?
Merrick puppy food was created to be friendly to all types of dogs. However, with its high protein and fiber content, Merrick may not be appropriate for less-active pups. Your dog may do better with Royal Canin’s breed-specific puppy formulas.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients
Merrick’s puppy food, as any good dog food does, list real deboned meat sources as the first ingredient in all of their recipes. Real meat should always be the primary ingredient in a recipe, as it is lean, nutritionally packed, and full of flavor. Real meat protein also contains essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids puppies need to grow.
Usually following the deboned protein, a wide variety of animal meals, from chicken meal to menhaden fish meal, make up the second ingredient in almost all recipes. Chicken, turkey, or beef meal aren’t necessarily bad ingredients; they’re made through a dehydration and rendering process from crude meat. The leftover meal product is typically a combination of 65% meat, 10% moisture, and 25% fats and minerals. Meal ingredients contain important vitamins and minerals while bolstering the food’s protein content.
The third ingredient is typically either sweet potato or brown rice, depending on if the recipe is grain-free or grain-inclusive. Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber and important nutrients like vitamin A. Brown rice is also full of fiber and packed with essential nutrients like vitamin D and vitamin B. Both sweet potatoes and whole grain brown rice are beneficial for dogs, so we see no issue with these ingredients in Merrick’s puppy food.
A Premium Puppy Food at a Hefty Price
For ones so little, puppies sure can polish off a lot of food. As you might expect from a brand committed to using premium fresh and raw ingredients, Merrick puppy food isn’t cheap. The various puppy-sized offerings from Merrick all have one thing in common: their price.
Merrick’s dog food is some of the most expensive dog food on the market. With the puppy brand catering to pups of all breeds and sizes, it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. However, for the price, we wish there were more fresh vegetables included in the recipes. The price may be worth it for the cutest little mouth to feed, but it is more expensive than the average dog food.
A Quick Look at Merrick Puppy Food
Merrick stands strong with no recalls on the primary kibble and wet dog foods, but they have had some issues in the past with the treats. The first recall was a voluntary recall of beef treats due to a concern about Salmonella-contaminated beef. They issued subsequent recalls for the same reason multiple times during 2010 and 2011. The most recent Merrick treat recall was in 2018 because of elevated levels of naturally occurring beef-thyroid hormone.
Reviews of the 3 Best Merrick Puppy Food Recipes
With lots to choose from in Merrick’s puppy foods, we hand-picked some of our favorites to explore with you. Let’s take a few of Merrick’s puppy food recipes:
1. Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe
Packed with healthy grains and chickens for puppies, Merrick’s Classic Healthy Grains recipe features real deboned chicken as its first ingredient. Not only does this recipe have wholesome ingredients, but it also derives most of its protein from all animal-based sources. This recipe is suitable for all dogs and contains the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids puppies need to grow.
It also promotes healthy skin and shiny fur with its high levels of omega-fatty acids. This recipe is a perfect food to help puppies grow healthy muscle while avoiding fillers or allergens like peas, potatoes, or lentils.
2. Grain-Free Beef + Sweet Potato Puppy Food
With 75% of its protein coming from animal sources, this Grain-Free Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe can give your pup the nutrition and hearty flavor it craves. It provides your dog with a healthy, grain-free diet and contains real beef as its first ingredient. Glucosamine and chondroitin aid and maintain your puppy’s hips and joints, while omega-fatty acids from protein support healthy skin and a shiny coat. We wish this recipe didn’t contain pea products, but the high protein count and added fruits and vegetables make it a must-have in our top three.
3. Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe + Grains with Chicken & Salmon
Relying on a healthy mixture of chicken and whole grains, this Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy recipe is designed to help puppies grow with gusto. Featuring real deboned chicken as its primary protein source, this recipe keeps its protein raw and pure for easy digestion. It is packed with glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints and muscle development as your puppy grows. It’s also freeze-dried and coated with extra raw bites to give your puppy the benefit of a prey-type diet. The pea-free recipe can help build your puppy’s extra muscle and maintain their playful energy levels without compromising whole nutrition.
What Other Users Are Saying
- Dog Food Advisor: Merrick is an “above-average, grain-inclusive kibble.”
- PupJunkies: “The company uses USDA-certified meats and fresh-caught fish, along with fresh fruits and vegetables” while also making food in their own facilities and meeting guidelines.
- DogFoodNetwork: “Whether you want to give your pet the best of joint health nutrients or looking for top quality food products to support growth and overall health, Merrick dog foods have it all.”
- DogFood Guide: “They don’t use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and all of their formulas are free from artificial additives. Simply put, their products are hard to beat when it comes to quality.”
- Amazon: Pet owners should check Amazon reviews before buying something. You can read these by clicking here.
Merrick’s puppy food is a high-quality, carefully crafted dog food that is perfect for all dogs. Offering a balanced nutritional profile to all dogs, even ones with sensitive stomachs, Merrick puppy food provides dogs with everything they need to grow big and strong. The wide variety of grain-free offerings are particular favorites of dogs with food sensitivities, as they can get all the nutrients they need without upsetting their tummies. The undeniable quality of Merrick’s puppy food will cost you a hefty penny compared to other puppy foods, but the premium ingredients make the money worth it.