Our Top 5 Puppy Foods (So far…)

Becoming a dog mom brings along a lot of decision making. There is a lot of pressure in taking care of another living thing. But since we’ve been successfully feeding and bathing ourselves for like four years now we’re feeling pretty confident in our abilities.

We know that there are going to be a lot of decisions to make for our little Rae. So choosing the right dog food is just the first of many. The past few weeks we’ve been busy researching which food is the best based on nutritional value, price, and specific health concerns for our breed. We’ve narrowed our list down to a few brands to choose from. We haven’t made any decisions yet but are pretty happy with the list we’ve come up with.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry


  • Grain free, high protein
  • Healthy carbs with sweet potatoes and potateoes
  • Specified as great for large breed puppies
  • Reviews as supporting growth and development well


  • Many reviews on being too rich
  • Reviews touched on loose stools
  • Reported cases of vomiting and diarrhea
  • Reports of bad gas/bad smelling stools
  • Check out this Consumer Affairs forum about Blue Buffalo

Where to buy?

wellness large puppy

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food


  • On many top lists for Large Breed Dogs
    • Specially formulated for large breed puppies during the first year of life
  • High protein
    • Deboned chicken, whitefish
  • High amounts of DHA for brain and eye development
  • Controlled growth rate


  • Not grain-free
  • Through our research we have noticed how grain-free is supposed to be better, especially for large breed dogs for a higher protein, low-carb diet. However, this food contains flaxseed, which after further research can be very beneficial for dogs as it nourishes their coat and keeps their skin clean.
  • Similar with Blue Buffalo there are negative reviews that all report problems with loose stools

Where to buy?


Merrick BackCountry Raw Infused


  • All natural, grain free, high protein
  • Omega fatty acid rich formula which helps the skin and coat
  • Many reviews that many dogs enjoy taste
  • The high-protein kibble starts with real deboned meat, poultry or fish and is gluten-free.
  • Made in USA
  • Kibble size small
  • Recommended from trusted fellow blogger Emmadog on My GBGV Life
    • Sidenote: She also told us about Chewy.com, which we’ve had a great experience with so far!


  • Freezed dried nuggets don’t make this a raw food diet via Keep the Tail Wagging
  • New brand of Merrick so the reviews are limited

Where to buy?

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 10.32.12 AM

Holistic Select Grain Green


  • All natural, grain free, high-protein
  • Digesti ve health support system
    • probiotics, natural fiber and digestive enzymes
  • On many top lists for Large Breed Dogs
  • If unsatisfied, you can get a full refund
  • Employs quality standards that exceed government regulations


  • Mixed reviews when it comes to taste and dogs wanting to eat it

Where to buy?




  • Suggested by our breeder. Our puppy is currently eating this so keeping her on the same food would be one less change she’d have to adapt to
  • Formulated for all life stages whether puppy or adult
  • Helps maintain healthy joints which is of heavy concern when talking golden retriever
  • Easy online ordering and delivery system right to your door with free shipping


  • Price exceeds what we planned to spend ($69/ 30lb bag)
  • Ingredients are not human grade or antibiotic free

Where to buy?

We’ve heard talk of the raw food diet here on the wild, wild internet but it doesn’t exactly fit our life style at the moment. Hopefully one of the options we’ve researched and included today will work for baby Rae instead. If there is a brand we missed and you think it is worth checking out we’d love to hear from you. We’re definitely not experts (as stated in every blog post thus far) so we welcome the suggestions, feedback, red flags, blue flags, white flags, go USA, FOCUS!!! Okay sorry… But you get it. If we missed a major pro or con on any of those top contenders, we’d also love to hear that.

The time is ticking- two weeks, two days, eleven hours, forty minutes, nine seconds- until the golden retriever stork drops a fluffy package on our door step. So please share your suggestions or words of wisdom with us! We’ll let you guys know what we end up selecting soon! If you’d like to see what other things we’ve gotten for baby Rae check out our New Puppy Essentials Checklist!

Brittney, Cara and Soon To Be Raegan (who is going to be hungry, so help us choose!)

We want to hear from you! What dog food did you give your puppy? What food would you recommend for a large breed pup?


7 thoughts on “Our Top 5 Puppy Foods (So far…)

  1. somethingwagging says:

    I’m so glad we didn’t have to make this decision when Honey was a puppy. Her breeder asked us to continue feeding Honey her food choice (it was Canidae) until Honey was a year old. The main reason was that Ms. Breeder didn’t want us feeding a puppy food that would cause faster growth that stresses the joints.

    I see that you chose adult foods which is probably best.

    I suspect that any good food will do fine until you see how your pup does on it.

    BTW, we started feeding Honey with food toys from the very beginning. She was too little for a Kong or Tug a Jug. But we put her kibble in a plastic water bottle and stood it on end. We then taught her to knock it over and eat the food that spilled out before we’d set it up again.

    Food toys are a great way to tire your dog out. It was one of the best choices we made for feeding Honey. And it’s cute as can be to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. raebyday says:

    Our breeder really suggested us sticking with TLC because she trusts the brand and that’s what they have been eating. We also trust our breeder 100% and know it will be good to know Rae will eat it! Thanks so much for the tip about the water bottle! We have a Kong because we heard it’s really great to have them work for their food but she will probably be too small. We’ll definitely do that and ask for some feedback from our breeder and even our vet when we take Rae! Thanks Pamela!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emmadog says:

    We are big fans of Merrick! We love the company and their foods are 5 star on most food ratings, and we do really well on it. We used to eat the regular menu, but switched to BackCountry in March when it came out and it comes in puppy too.


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