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  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Best Puppy Foods UK for 2023 : Tested & Reviewed

Updated: 2 days ago

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OCTOBER 2023 : UPDATE After a new round of testing, we’ve added as our pick for the Best Fresh Puppy Food

Puppies grow fast !

To support their quickly growing bodies puppies need a much higher nutrient intake than adult dogs. Some breeds of puppy can require up to three times more calories per kilogram of body weight than adult dogs.

Additionally there are a whole range of vital nutrients that your puppy needs during the first months of life to aid healthy growth and development.

With proper nutrition, puppies are more likely to develop properly and have strong bones and teeth, healthy vision, a thick lustrous coat and strong muscles.

Puppy Sleeping

To make sure that your puppy is appropriately supported throughout this stage of growth, they should remain on a puppy-specific diet until they reach adulthood.

So choosing the right puppy food is crucial.

We take a look at some of the best puppy foods available in the UK. All the products featured in this article are premium, high-quality foods developed by nutritionalists and vets offering puppy parents some of the best puppy nutrition on the UK market.

In all cases, the dry food option works out cheaper than either wet, fresh or raw food. However, we would make you aware that puppies can be notoriously finicky.

Wet dog foods are often considered to be more palatable than dry dog food by many dogs. They have a moist and tender texture, which can make it more appealing to fussy pups or those that have trouble chewing dry food.

Labrador puppy with best puppy food

We'll offer information on the type of food, recipes, range and price. You can then decide which you feel is the best puppy food for your ball of fluff !

We've researched their nutritional content and health claims whilst curating a shortlist. It's worth noting, as non-scientists, we've used ratings from All About Dog Food for our nutritional comparisons.

We've included a selection of dry food, wet food, raw, fresh, breed specific and tailored puppy food.


Our Picks of the Best Puppy Food

1. Best Overall Puppy Food - Forthglade

2. Best Value Premium Food - Pooch & Mutt

3. Best Air Dried Puppy Food - Pure Pet Food

4. Best Puppy Raw Food - Naturaw

5. Best Fresh Puppy Food -

6. Best Tailored Puppy Food -

7. Best Breed Specific - Royal Canin

Our Verdict

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Best Puppy Foods : At a Glance

Best Overall: Forthglade Wholegrain & Grain Free Puppy Food | View Forthglade

Best Value Premium Food : Pooch & Mutt Puppy Complete | View Pooch & Mutt

Best Raw Puppy Food : Naturaw Puppy | View Naturaw

Best Fresh Puppy Food : | View

Our Picks of the Best Puppy Food

1. Best Overall Puppy Food


Reasons to Buy :

+ Extensive range

+ Great for convenience

+ Long shelf life

+ Kind to your pocket

+ No freezer space required

Reasons to Avoid :

- If you prefer raw or tailored dog food

Behind the Brand: 50 years worth of expertise in pet nutrition

Range: Dry & wet food, treats & dental sticks


Dry - Chicken, Duck, Turkey & NEW Salmon

Wet - Duck with Sweet Potato, Turkey with Brown Rice, Chicken & Turkey, Turkey with Butternut Squash, Lamb with Liver, Chicken with Liver, Chicken with Oats, Duck with Oats

Price: £ – ££

Dry food is still an extremely popular choice with many dog lovers. There's no denying that it is the king of convenience and great value. If you are going to feed dry, can we suggest choosing the best you can afford and while you're at it - get it delivered!

Forthglade cold pressed dog food

Cold pressed dry food like Forthglade's range, are still relatively new on the scene but are growing in popularity due to their high nutritional value.

They have all the advantages of more conventional dry foods but without the potentially damaging high temperatures associated with the more traditional methods of formulating kibble.

The All About Dog Food website rate Forthglade Cold Pressed at 77% which is an exceptionally high nutritional rating for a dried dog food.

Forthglade's cold pressed dog food is grain free and available in several sizes from a 'try it and see' 1kg bag, to a big 'bumper value' 18kg.

Be aware though, that puppies can be particularly picky with new food, so mixing in wet food or adding some as a tasty topper (especially warmed) is a great way to entice them to lick their bowls clean.

Forthglade also offer an extensive range of wet foods. The wet trays are complete recipes, which means they can be offered as a standalone meal, combined with their cold-pressed dry food or offered as a topper. It's worth noting that the trays last up to 48 hours in the fridge once opened.

Forthglade wet food range

Their newly expanded range offers both grain free and wholegrain options. It's worth noting that the wholegrain recipes contain oats which are a good source of iron and both ranges are rated 84% on All About Dog Food. All recipes are suitable for puppies sensitive stomachs.

All their recipes have been nutritionally balanced and contain -

️ Salmon oil for Omega 3 to support brain development

️ Chicory Root for probiotics to support a healthy digestive system

️ Higher levels of chondroitin & glucosamine to support joint & bone development

Our testers have found that the Forthglade trays are easier to portion than tins, so ideal for adding as a topper.

Forthglade Puppy Starter Pack

If you would like to trial Forthglade, they offer a Puppy Starter Pack.

Including 4 trays of complete puppy wet food (2 grain free and 2 wholegrain), along with 1kg of Cold Pressed dry food, a bag of their popular hand-baked training treats and a puppy advice booklet.

We love their Puppy Starter Pack, because it provides new puppy parents with a money-saving opportunity to try Forthglade's dog food before committing to large volumes.

Nobody wants untouched dog food in the cupboard !

Our Verdict - We recommend both Forthglade wet and dry foods because customers clearly love them and they're a trusted brand with a high nutritional rating.

We particularly love their newly extended range of wet food which offer variety and can really help if you have a picky pup. Their Puppy Starter Pack is a great way to test drive Forthglade.

For 15% OFF the entire Forthglade range (excluding Taster Packs & Specials)

enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout

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2. Best Value Premium Puppy Food

Pooch & Mutt

Reasons to Buy :

+ Best value food

+ Great for convenience

+ Long shelf life

+ Kind to your pocket

+ No freezer space required

Reasons to Avoid :

- If you prefer raw or tailored dog food

Behind the Brand: Award winning, high quality pet food.

Range: Dry & wet food, treats, dental sticks & poo bags

Variety: Chicken with Superfoods

Price: £ – ££

Pooch & Mutt offer a wide range of wet & dry dog food alongside supplements, treats and even poo bags. They offer a one-stop shop for your puppy needs.

Pooch & Mutt Puppy Superfood Bundle

Designed specifically to get your pup off to the best start, according to All About Dog Food, their grain-free dry puppy food is the cheapest out of all 5 premium brands we feature in this article.

Nevertheless, as with all the puppy food, we would recommend that you calculate the food costs for your pup.

Undoubtably they will be slightly different depending on your pups size, breed, activity level and whether you choose dry/wet or a combination of the two.

To keep things really simple Pooch & Mutt offer one puppy dry food and one puppy wet food both with a nutritional rating of 69%.

Essentially, both their wet and dry puppy foods are 'complete' so you can choose to feed them on their own, mixed together or as a tasty topper.

Their Kibble is available in a 1.5kg and a 7.5kg size, and you can opt for an individual carton or a 12 pack of wet food. We love that you have the opportunity to find out what your pup loves, wet food, dry food or a combination before buying the larger size.

Pooch & Mutt Puppy food with Cavapoo

Their dry, grain-free Puppy Complete Chicken & Superfood is packed with lean protein and it's boosted with natural superfoods including salmon oil, kale, spinach, and berries packing in plenty of vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants.

Combining fresh free-run chicken and locally sourced vegetables, their Complete wet food also contains prebiotics to help puppies with their sensitive digestion.

Crucially, unknown allergies can be an issue so it's worth noting that the Pooch & Mutts range is naturally hypoallergenic and free from artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

And it's good to know that all Pooch & Mutt's wet food is packaged in 100% recyclable cartons. So great for your pup and the planet.

What's more, Pooch & Mutt offer a downloadable Puppy Feeding Guide.

Pooch & Mutt Puppy Feeding Guide

Bringing your puppy home for the first time can be overwhelming for new puppy parents. The first few weeks are simply a blur of feeding, toilet training and nibbling things.

Pooch & Mutt's Puppy Feeding Guide can reduce the stress of feeding by offering plenty of helpful information on feeding and nutrition for new puppy owners.

From explaining how to transition smoothly to a new food, how much to feed on a daily basis to helping create a puppy feeding schedule, the Guide can help avoid all the potential pitfalls of feeding a puppy.

What's more, it's right there when you need it on your phone !

Our Verdict - We recommend Pooch & Mutt's Puppy food as a great value option if you're looking for a high quality puppy food without the price tag. Their Puppy Feeding Guide is incredibly useful and well thought out, offering you a wealth of information at your fingertips.

​Our review stars the totally adorable Rupert the Cavapoo Puppy

Pooch & Mutt's Super Cyber Monday Savings are here

Save 25% on their entire range with discount code CYBER 

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3. Best Air Dried Puppy Food

Pure Pet Food

Reasons to Buy :

+ Ideal for puppies with sensitive stomachs

+ Great if you have limited freezer space

+ Long shelf life

+ Customised for your puppy

Reasons to Avoid :

- If you prefer the convenience of kibble

Behind the Brand: Innovative air-dried food customised for your dog

Range: On-line tailored food and a capsule range in Pets at Home

Recipes: 13 recipes

Price: £

We think that Pure offers a healthier alternative to kibble for those dog lovers who don’t necessarily want to switch their puppy to pricier fresh, raw or home cooked food.

Pure Pet Food packaging and leaflets

Pure is air dried dog food which is some seriously clever stuff.

The air drying process acts as a natural form of preservation meaning that no preservatives or harmful high temperatures are needed.

All the Pure recipes are minimally processed and each ingredient is finely chopped to ensure they're super digestible.

The food is then gently air-dried at a low temperature so the moisture is removed but the food retains it's all important nutrients. You simply add water, stir and serve!

We loved that the food arrives with ingredient cards so you know exactly what's in each recipe, alongside a handy Transition Guide and a Top Tips Leaflet for fussy dogs.

Pure Pet food adding water

It’s widely acknowledged that wet dog food is generally more appetising, so if you have a picky pup, chances are Pure will be more appealing than kibble.

You can always add more water to find your puppy's preferred consistency.

Pure's recipes rank at the top of the nutritional scale with an All About Dog Food rating of 80%.

As it's completely customised for your puppy, their food can take account of any underlying health issues and allergies.

It's an extremely popular option for owners of puppies suffering from ailments and sensitive stomachs.

Dog with Pure Pet Food

Pure certainly ticks a lot of boxes for us including easy storage, delivered to your door and most importantly the option to tailor the food to meet your dog's nutritional needs.

Pure offer a straightforward online subscription service. Simply take the 3 minute quiz to get a personalised meal plan for your pooch and an idea of pricing.

With the cost of living crisis, everyone is looking at ways to reduce their monthly expenditure. By selling directly to you, Pure are able to keep their costs down so it is one of the best value dog foods to feature in our review.

Our Verdict - If your puppy suffers from skin issues, allergies or digestive problems, we would recommend taking a closer look at Pure as a great customised option for food-sensitive fur babies.

Click for 30% OFF your first box

Read our full Pure Pet Food review

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4. Best Raw Puppy Food


Reasons to Buy :

+ Best for fussy dogs

+ Ideal for sensitive tummies

+ Biologically Appropriate Raw Food

+ Suits dog lovers with freezer space

Reasons to Avoid :

- If you have a lack of freezer space

Behind the Brand: Ethical raw dog food company

Range: Original, Forage, Simply

Variety: Specific puppy recipe

Price: ££– £££

Naturaw are an ethical, high quality British raw dog food brand. We've included Naturaw not just for their exceptionally high quality raw dog food but their commitment to sustainability. And we're not the only ones to think so.

Their Forage range is rated 96% by the independent advice site - AADF (All About Dog Food) and Naturaw have been awarded the first ever, highly prestigious King's Award for Enterprise for its excellence in sustainable development.

Naturaw range of raw dog foods

From their 100% compostable packaging, planting trees every time someone subscribes to their food offer to generating their own solar power; sustainability is at the heart of their brand.

Their range includes :-

️ Original - 80:10:10

️ Forage - added whole food ingredients

️ Simply - for the experienced raw feeder

It's their award-winning Forage range we feature here as it offers a specific raw dog food formulated for puppy's more sensitive tummies.

Naturaw raw puppy food

Minced to a finer consistency to take account of your puppy's smaller mouth and weaker jaw, it's easier for them to eat and helps ensure they receive the proper nutrition.

It's worth noting that all Naturaw's range is made in Yorkshire using British human-grade meat and is free from grains and fillers. The mince includes British prime beef chunks, organic chicken and beef offal.

Their Forage range is balanced with a super food selection of fresh fish, whole foods, organic vegetables, fruit and botanicals. The Puppy range has achieved a enviab 96% on All About Dog Food.

Naturaw puppy food and packaging

Naturaw offer a great value Puppy Raw Food Box which includes 30 of their 500g packs, with free next day delivery and free treats. Or you could opt to Build Your Own Box adding in Puppy Raw Food and a selection of their other recipes.

One thing to bear in mind that raw dog food arrives frozen so freezer storage is a consideration.

Our Verdict - We recommend Naturaw puppy food as a great option if you're considering a raw dog food diet for your puppy. An exceptionally high quality raw dog food with an unrivalled commitment to sustainability.

Naturaw have kindly offered Smart Bark readers £5 off their first order.

Simply use the discount code FREDDIESENTME

If you're interested in raw dog food, why not take a look at our deep-dive article where we test and review the 4 Best Raw Dog Foods in the UK for 2023

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5. Best Fresh Puppy Food NEW Pick for 2023

Reasons to Buy :

+ Very high nutritional value

+ Customised for your puppy

+ Great if you have limited freezer space

+ Additional Superfood Supplement

+ Trial box available

Reasons to Avoid :

- Pricier than some

Behind the Brand: NEW UK fresh dog food brand

Range: Ex Luxury Yacht Head Chef & Veterinary Clinical Nutrition Specialist designed dog food

Variety: 5 recipes plus a range designed specifically for puppies

Price: £££

We've added new brand to our review because they are the only fresh dog food company to offer a range of puppy specific meals with recipes tailored to your puppy. - best fresh dog food

Offering a subscription service, you simply visit and take a short on-line quiz telling them all about your pup.

They take into account breed, size, ailments, allergies, whether you feed treats and if your pup's over or underweight. All this data creates a personalised meal plan for your puppy.

You are prompted once a month to update you puppy's weight to keep the calorie intake accurate.

Choose from a selection of 5 different grain and legume free recipes, all including a high variety of ingredients (over 20 per recipe) with vegetables, seeds, fruit, herbs and botanicals

It's worth mentioning that have achieved an exceptionally high nutritional rating of 95% on the independent dog food rating site - 'All About Dog Food'. So you'll struggle to find a more nutritious dog food on the UK market. fresh puppy food

However, the biggest difference between and their fresh food rivals (for me and I'm guessing a lot of dog-lovers) is storage.

Whereas their fresh rivals require freezing and refrigeration which can lead to storage issue for dog lovers, can be stored in your cupboard.

Storing puppy food

It's all down to the way their food is cooked NOT the addition of preservatives. Uniquely designed trays with steam vessels, reduce the cooking time and temperature required, so the food is minimally processed. It only needs to be popped in the fridge once opened.

We were certainly impressed by the look and aroma of their fresh puppy food. Some breeds of puppy can be notoriously picky but we don't think there will be an issue with

You can easily identify key ingredients within the dish and to be honest each meal looks fit to serve up for my family as well as my dog.

Testing dog food in the home

Oh, we nearly forgot to mention the Superfood Supplement to accompany your puppy's meals.

Puppies need basically the same vitamins as adult dogs, but the levels they need are different. Tailored to your puppy's breed and designed to address common ailments,'s unique puppy botanical blend contains a blend of probiotics and prebiotics to support healthy gut flora.

Additionally it offers the correct balance of vitamins and minerals (including zinc, copper and phosphorus) to support your growing puppy. offer a great value 7 day trial pack, so you can check your puppy loves the food before ordering a large quantity. aren't the cheapest dog food we feature in our review so we'd recommend taking the online quiz to get a breakdown of the ongoing costs for your puppy.

Our Verdict - If you are looking for a top quality, highly nutritious fresh food, personalised to suit your puppy and delivered to your door, then we'd suggest taking a closer look at Years.

Try from just £3 for a 7 day transition trial

Enter discount code SMARTBARK for free delivery on any order

If you would like to know more, why not read our deep dive review Dog Food Review : A Complete Nutrition System

Or if your'e interested in other fresh dog foods, read our article Best Fresh Dog Food Review which tests and compares the rivals -, Tuggs, Different Dog & Butternut Box

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6. Best Tailored Puppy Food

Reasons to Buy :

+ Bespoke puppy food

+ Perfect for pups with allergies

+ Convenient

+ Long shelf life

+ Flexible ordering

Reasons to Avoid :

- Not the cheapest

Behind the Brand: 250,000 happily fed dogs

Range: Customised dry kibble, wet food, treats, dental chews & poo bags

Variety: Tailored

Price: ££

Tailored dog food is an extremely popular choice for dog lovers, particularly those looking to manage allergies or struggling with health issues.

Puppy with dog food

What offers dog lovers, is the best of both worlds - the scoop & serve convenience of dry dog food coupled with a totally bespoke blend formulated for your puppy.

You can tailor your puppy's kibble around their favourite flavours, tell them about any pre-existing conditions or allergies and even update your on-line dashboard with your puppy's weight so can adjust their portion size.

We love that your custom recipe is totally flexible and cleverly adapts as your puppy ages.

For instance, for puppies under 14 weeks, deliveries are every two weeks so that can keep up with their nutritional needs this adjusts over time as you pup grows. food for puppys

We found the process of creating your puppy's very own recipe extremely straightforward.

Simply use their online quiz to tell them all about your puppy and they'll do the rest, customising a personal diet made just for your pup.

You can choose to add in wet food and treats to your customised kibble order but be aware that it's only the kibble which is tailored.

If for any reason your puppy doesn't like their recipe, it's good to know that will change the blend for free.

Each order comes with a perfect portion scoop, to help ensure you are feeding your dog exactly the right amount of calories every day. puppy food in a bowl

From experience it's easy to find family members feeding different amounts especially with those puppy eyes looking up at you.

It's worth noting that it is super simple to pause, amend, delay or completely stop your deliveries.

So nothing like that dreaded gym membership!

We think that are the best tailored dry dog foods on the UK market.

They have over 30,000 positive reviews from happy dog lovers on Trustpilot.

Our verdict - If you're looking for a unique blend of kibble for your puppy, we would recommend taking a closer look and maybe trying their online quiz to get an accurate picture of the costs involved for your four-legged best friend.

Smart Bark can offer an amazing 75% 0FF your first box

(dry food + wet food + treats + poo bags) for all new customers.

Simply enter Discount Code SMART75 at checkout.

What to know more ? Why not read our deep-dive review of

Dry Dog Food Review -

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7. Best Breed Specific Puppy Food

Royal Canin

Reasons to Buy :

+ Best for breed specific puppy food

+ Convenient

+ Dry & wet food options

+ No fridge space required

Reasons to Avoid :

- Not the cheapest puppy food.

Behind the Brand: More than 50 years of health nutrition

Range: Wet and Dry foods

Variety: 26 puppy food options aimed at breeds or puppy size

Price: ££

Our final pick is Royal Canin. Royal Canin are by far the largest dog food brand featured in our article. Available worldwide they are part of the giant Mars Incorporated which also includes Eukanuba.

Royal Canin breed specific dry food for dogs

The first thing to say about Royal Canin is that it was the world's first nutritional programme based on the size and age of dogs.

Each product formula has been created to provide nutrition that meets health needs based on size, breed, age or lifestyle

So there isn't simply one puppy food, but an extensive range based on size and/or breed.

For example, if have a Pug, French Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel or Dalmatian puppy, Royal Canin offer a specific kibble adapted in size, shape and formula for your breed.

Their Pug puppy food is adapted for dogs with brachycephalic jaws to help them pick up the kibble and encourage them to crunch it.

Royal Canin Puppy food

The Dalmatian puppy food is adapted to help maintain a healthy urinary system thanks to adapted protein sources.

Some very clever stuff!

Clearly if you're looking for a dry food specifically for your cockapoo or labradoodle, you're not going to find one. They only offer pedigree specific food.

But Royal Canin do offer 5 different kibbles based on the suggested adult weight of your puppy - Extra Small, Mini, Medium, Maxi and Giant.

Royal Canin recommend mixing their dry kibble and their wet food for optimum results. Whilst the dry food supports dental hygiene their wet food has an aroma to stimulate the pickiest of pups and a soft texture for baby teeth.

Royal Canin is the only breed specific puppy food available, but be aware that if you follow their advice and combine their dry kibble with the wet chunks in gravy, it can work out to be an expensive option.

Read our New Puppy Checklist

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Our Verdict

Feeding your puppy a diet specifically designed for their life stage is important for their overall health and growth. It is recommended to switch to an adult dog food only after your puppy has reached their full adult size and has slowed down their growth.

Hungry puppy

All the brands of puppy food we've featured have been specifically formulated for puppies different nutritional needs compared to adult dogs. It really depends on which food suits your puppy and you.

If you have a fussy pup then we would recommend looking at raw, fresh or adding wet food to dry food as this will definitely be more appealing to their senses.

So to summarise the benefits of each option we've featured :-

️ Forthglade offer the widest range of wet food recipes including wholegrain and grain-free options

️ Pooch & Mutt offer a wonderful Puppy Feeding Guide to accompany their great value foods

️ Pure offer an air dried dog food customised for your puppy at a great price

️ Naturaw offer an outstanding quality and sustainable raw dog food

️ offer highly nutritious fresh food tailored to your puppy

️ offer a bespoke blend of kibble to suit your puppy

️ Royal Canin are the only company to offer high-quality specific breed dog food.

Who said picking a dog food was easy ? They all have something to offer - which will you choose ?

You may also like .....

If you're looking to add hydration to your puppy's kibble then can we suggest taking a closer look at Furr Boost.

Dog drinking Furr Boost drink

It's a 100% natural dog drink so perfect for keeping your puppy hydrated and refreshed.

It's the addition of meat, fruit, vegetables, vitamins and oils that take this dog drink to the next level.

Better still, the aroma of the added ingredients, which can be served cold or gently warmed as a soup. This makes Furr Boost far more tempting for your pup than plain kibble or water.

You have the choice of adding Furr Boost directly to your puppies food, a lick mat or to their water bowl.

We tested the Furr Boost range of dog drinks and found that they were extremely palatable and certainly increased our dog's liquid intake - Freddie usually prefers drinks exclusively from puddles !

Read our full review of Furr Boost Health Drink

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Thanks for stopping by and reading our article on the Best Puppy Foods in the UK for 2023

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