Is Merrick the right puppy food for my puppy?

brand Merrick puppy food Hi there once again, puppy-lovers! Have you been wondering whether Merrick makes a puppy food that will support, nourish, and protect your little fluffy friend? We’ve been wondering the same, and are very pleased to inform you that chances are, the answer is a resounding YES! After all, what’s not to love about organic, nutritious, balanced, complete, and tasty puppy food that includes grain-free, hypoallergenic, and size-specific options?

Quick Review: Top-4 Dog Foods From Merrick

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
Best Grain Free Food

Merrick Grain Free Buffalo & Potato

  • Starring ingredient is…buffalo
  • Naturally sourced fat from chicken
  • 38% protein from lamb, salmon, beef, ...
Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Raw Infused Puppy Dry Food, 12 Lbs.
Best Puppy Food

Merrick Backcountry Big Game Recipe

  • Lamb’s first ingredient - 38% total protein
  • 17% fat
  • Zinc, iron, manganese, copper, potassium
Merrick Lil' Plates Puppy Food, Grain Free Pint-Sized Puppy Plate Recipe, Small Dog Food, Wet Dog Food - (12) 3.5 oz....
Best Wet Food

Merrick Lil’ Plates GFree Small Breed

  • AAFCO-approved for small dog puppy’s
  • Flaxseed for antioxidants
  • 5% protein
Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes, Turkey, 25 Pound
Best Hypoallergenic Food

Merrick GFree Turkey & Potato

  • 38% protein
  • 16% fat
  • Chondroitin for healthy joints

Who are Merrick?

Merrick has been around since 1988 when Gareth Merrick decided to create a range of healthy and natural dog treats. Several years later they were making their first kibbles, and quite quickly after that, they began cornering the premium end of the market with their real meat, real veggie, and fruit formulas. While they were acquired by Nestlé-Purina in 2015, they’ve thus far continued to manufacture from their certified organic plants in Texas. So, yes, they’re American!

What makes Merrick special?

merrick dog food reviewsNot all dog food brands have certified organic manufacturing facilities, heck, a lot of our other very favorite brands don’t even fulfill this criterion, but Merrick does! What this certification actually means is that Merrick’s Texas plants make products in a way that adheres to specific industry-approved methods. Very briefly, these methods are considered responsible in terms of the environment, resource use, and not genetically modified in any way. So, all-natural. Which is the best way.

Merrick has four pretty neat lines of kibble alone, so they get a big tick for variety. These are:

Backcountry, a dry dog and puppy food range that’s inspired by your puppy’s canine ancestors. Each bag of kibble contains both freeze-dried, uncooked fish, poultry, or meat. This means the protein percentages in these formulas can reach as high as 38%.

Limited Ingredient Kibble and wet puppy foods for those little puppies who may need either a single protein source due to intolerances or who might need to stay away from the more common potential allergens like beef and chicken.

Classic, USA-made, protein-rich, and only using those grains that are easy on puppy digestion. So, you’ll find ingredients such as brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and even quinoa in this range.

Grain Free recipes that are available in wet, dry, puppy, adult, and some breed-size formulas too. These contain no grains whatsoever, as the name implies, and you’ll find an awesome wide choice that includes rabbit, lamb, duck, turkey, venison and many more!

One thing that Merrick doesn’t make is breed-specific chow or kibble. So you won’t find anything that’s specifically formulated for your Labrador, Dalmatian, or Yorkie here. But we’re more than satisfied with the fact that all their size-specific foods are entirely AAFCO-approved.

puppy with merrick

Why the Merricks dog food reviews and Merricks puppy food reviews?

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again- we are all about top-notch nutrition and quality ingredients We always respect puppy food brands that, like Merrick:

  • Use as few by-product fillers as possible- ideally, none at all;
  • Work real, wholesome fruits and vegetables into their formulas for an all-natural source of vitamins;
  • Are wholly transparent with their customers about the ingredients they use- no ambiguous ‘meals’ please!
  • Avoid artificial or synthetic preserving agents, and where possible, artificial colors and flavors;
  • Give our dogs a great range of options, flavor-wise;
  • Have a great reputation, and are recommended by vets- and you guys!

Let’s have a closer look at the Merrick puppy food reviews, and see the products we believe made the cut!

The Merrick Puppy Food reviews

The Grain Free Merricks Puppy Food Reviews

  1. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
294 Reviews
Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
Chicken’s got the starring role in this dry kibble- free from all those yucky by-product filling ingredients but packed full of natural nutrients!
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  • Contains DHA to take care of your puppy’s growing brain;
  • For joint care, there’s both chondroitin and glucosamine;
  • Vitamins K and C from apples, alongside blueberries (superfood!), sweet potato for carbs and Vitamin B6, as well as copper and manganese;
  • Real chicken’s our top ingredient here, alongside peas;
  • Naturally preserved using tocopherols;
  • 28% protein is super for those of us with growing puppies, and at 12% fat, this recipe’s perfect for energetic pups!


  • If you’ve got a pup who’s allergic to potatoes, you may want to check out the hypoallergenic dog food option instead.
Our Verdict: 5/5
Completely free of all wheat, with zero corn and absolutely no soy. So yeah, it’s gluten-free alright, and perfect for little puppies of all shapes and sizes!
  1. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
390 Reviews
Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
This is absolutely a recipe for those of you looking for multiple protein sources for your adult dog’s dinner. It’s suitable for all doggy sizes, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes!
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  • Starring ingredient is…buffalo! Isn’t that a nice change for your furry adult friend?
  • Naturally sourced fat from chicken;
  • 38% protein that comes from lamb, salmon, beef, peas, turkey, buffalo, and chicken- that’s some impressive variety right there;
  • Both glucosamine and, yep, chondroitin for healthy and smooth-functioning joints;
  • Flaxseed oil, alongside salmon oil, and so many real veggies mean this recipe’s chock-a-block with vitamins.


  • 16% fat may actually be a little high for purposes of maintenance, but if you’re making sure that you’re taking your dog out for plenty of exercise, this figure should be perfect.
Our Verdict: 5/5
Merrick’s make a good grain-free kibble for sure- apart from all the great things we listed above, it’s free both from milled by-products and uses only entirely natural preserving agents.

The Merricks Puppy Food Reviews

  1. Merrick Backcountry Big Game Recipe

Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Raw Infused Puppy Dry Food, 12 Lbs.
229 Reviews
Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Raw Infused Puppy Dry Food, 12 Lbs.
Here’s a Merrick puppy food review for an amazingly protein-rich, all-natural formula that’s based on some of the things your puppy’s ancestors would have eaten out in the wild. Perfect for Huskie puppies, don’t you think?
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  • Lamb’s our first ingredient, contributing to the 38% total protein;
  • 17% fat, for puppies who are both active and growing;
  • Zinc, iron, manganese, copper, potassium, all help your puppy avoid dietary deficiencies;
  • Salmon oil’s the natural source of DHA- for cerebral function and development;
  • Suitable for all puppy sizes!


  • Nope, we’re super pleased with this recipe, the top fiveingredients are completely natural!
Our Verdict: 5/5
Part of the reason this puppy food is so great for your little one’s growth is that there are real chunks of freeze-dried, uncooked fish, poultry and meat designed into the kibble. These are what help to make it so rich in natural, healthy, and lean protein!
  1. Merrick Grain Free Real Texas Beef

Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
286 Reviews
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Texas Beef for your puppy…how adorable! Another wholesome recipe that’s wholly, deliciously grain-free and, therefore, well-suited for those gluten-free pups.
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  • 28% protein- some of which is from lamb, some from beef, some from salmon- ideal for diet rotation;
  • Calcium’s at 1.2%, and as always with AAFCO-certified puppy kibbles, it’s balanced perfectly with phosphorus;
  • DHA, chondroitin, glucosamine- all here for thriving puppy health and excellent eyes, brains, and joints;
  • Both Vitamin E and zinc are included to give your little pup a radiant, glossy coat;
  • Gluten-free!


  • Same as with the grain-free, chicken-based Merrick puppy food review above, this one contains potatoes.
Our Verdict: 5/5
We love that it’s without any by-products, that it’s gluten- and also completely grain-free, that it’s got loads of natural veggies, and that the nutritional profile is just perfect. Five out of five stars!
  1. Merrick Classic Puppy Recipe

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food - 12 lb. Bag
1,213 Reviews
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food - 12 lb. Bag
Ahhh, a classic chicken dinner! This formula’s got brown rice for easy digestion and carbs, but it skips the potato entirely, so is suitable for those puppies who may have an intolerance to the latter.
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  • Natural fat, at 12%, and from chicken;
  • Multiple protein sources- besides chicken, it includes oats, quinoa, and salmon for a total of 26%;
  • Once again, it’s fine for you to feed this to small petite puppies, large puppies like German Shepherds, giant puppies like Mastiffs, and everything in between!
  • With 369 kCal in a cup, you’ll have no problem feeding your puppy up to five times per day- just don’t forget to pay attention to the feeding instructions on the side of the packet;
  • Besides peas, blueberries, and apples, this recipe’s also got carrot and alfalfa!


  • No cons that we can find, but depending on your budget you might find it a little less economical than some of the lower quality brands.
Our Verdict: 5/5
Health-wise, this recipe gets a clear five stars out of five. It contains so many of the best things that we look for in puppy foods- real veggies, real fruit, a natural DHA source, glucosamine, and healthy protein levels for all-around great development.

The Wet Merricks Puppy Food Review

  1. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Small Breed Wet

Merrick Lil' Plates Puppy Food, Grain Free Pint-Sized Puppy Plate Recipe, Small Dog Food, Wet Dog Food - (12) 3.5 oz....
$29.88 −$2.52
1,153 Reviews
Merrick Lil' Plates Puppy Food, Grain Free Pint-Sized Puppy Plate Recipe, Small Dog Food, Wet Dog Food - (12) 3.5 oz....
Lil’ Plates is for lil’ dog breeds! And because this chicken recipe’s a puppy food too- so it’s a pint-sized puppy plate…isn’t that just overwhelmingly cute?
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  • AAFCO-approved for small dog puppy’s specific health requirements;
  • Flaxseed for antioxidants, alongside red peppers, apples, and vitamin supplements;
  • 5% protein, from authentic, bone-free chicken, and also chicken broth;
  • Contains chicken liver, which is a great source of fat;
  • At 95 kCal per bowl, it’s great for smaller puppy dogs who will need to eat quite regularly to avoid hypoglycemia.


  • We have no problem with it, and think it’s great as a first puppy food!
Our Verdict: 5/5
As with all wet puppy foods in general, this one’s a healthy way to get your small puppy some moisture. It’s also well-suited for your puppy’s first introduction to solid food in general, as it’s easy on their digestive tracts.

The Hypoallergenic Merricks Dog Food Review

  1. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes, Turkey, 25 Pound
1,221 Reviews
Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes, Turkey, 25 Pound
With turkey as the key protein source, this one’s an adult doggy dinner-time option for those pooches who can’t handle certain meats.
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  • Lots of tasty vegetables in this delicious, lean meat dinner- we’re looking at peas, sweet potatoes, alfalfa, and fruits like blueberries, too!
  • 38% protein makes this excellent for muscly dogs like Rottweilers and Pit Bulls;
  • 16% fat, again making this a great option for energetic dogs with lots of muscle mass to maintain;
  • Chondroitin for healthy joints, working together with glucosamine, of course;
  • Grain-free!


  • Not suitable for dogs with chicken allergies.
Our Verdict: 5/5
While it’s not from their Limited Ingredient range, it steers clear of beef, which is one of the most common allergens for canines. That having been said, Merrick make a very good Limited Ingredient range, which means it’s likely that whatever your dog’s allergy may be, there’s something for them there.


What do veterinary professionals think of Merrick dog food?

Merrick is known in the veterinary community for their grain free diet options. While there is controversy around grain free diets and the possible side effect of heart conditions, this is acknowledged as a quality grain free option if that is the route you choose for your furry friend. As long as you discuss the switch to a grain free diet with your local veterinarian, Merrick is a good store bought choice.

When should I start my puppy on solid food?

According to the majority of vets, the later part of the 3-4 week mark is the best time to start slowly taking your puppy off their specially-developed weaning formula, and introducing them to solid food. Of course, this, too, should be a gradual process, so you’ll want to start your puppy off with a soft, wet food like the one we’ve recommended in our Merrick puppy food review. Mixed something like this in with a little water, and make sure to serve it to your little one on a flat and shallow surface. Something like a cookie sheet works perfectly!

You may need to give him a soft little nudge on the top of his head, if necessary so that he is able to smell the soft blend of food, and you’ll find that he should start lapping up his new food. It’s also not a bad idea to get your puppy acquainted with kibble around this time, though this should also be softened considerably with water during these early stages.

My puppy is so picky, he will only eat twice a day. What shall I do?

A picky puppy isn’t rare, and in most cases, this doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with your little one. So, don’t worry too much unless he is refusing to eat even one meal a day- if this describes your puppy, please take him to see a vet so you can double-check that everything’s OK. If you’ve got a puppy whose pretty much always been choosy, or he just doesn’t seem to want to eat a certain brand or type of food, we’ve got several simple tips:

  • If you’re feeding your puppy with table scraps, this may be causing him to feel a little less hungry around meal times. If you stop doing this, he may get his appetite back;
  • Give your dog regular mealtimes. So, if you’re feeding your pup, say, four times a day, spreading out his kibble or chow quite evenly across these times can be a good start;
  • This is a funny one- if you’ve got more than one person in your household, make sure you all know who’s feeding what to your puppy. It may be that someone else is feeding your pooch a treat a day or a little snack without knowing that you’re doing the same, which means that he’s getting more food than you think!

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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