Doodles or Poodle mixes are some of the most popular and adorable crossbreeds in the canine world, including the Goldendoodle. They’re intelligent, loving, and good-looking – just like their parents!
As owners, we want them to keep those fantastic attributes inside and out from puppyhood to adulthood. And the best way to do that is with proper nutrition.
Whether you already have this playful pup or are looking to adopt an older Golden Retriever-Poodle mix, here’s our guide on the best dog food for Goldendoodles
Top 5 picks for best dog food for Goldendoodles in 2021
|Dog Food Recipes||Our Rating|
|Best Overall Dog Food for Goldendoodle||Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Best for Goldendoodle Puppies||Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe Dry Dog Food
|Best for Adult Goldendoodles||American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Salmon, Brown Rice, & Vegetables Recipe
Best for Senior Goldendoodles
|Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Best Budget Food for Goldendoodles||Farmina N&D Lamb & Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Food
15 of the best dog food brands for Goldendoodles by life stage
Each canine has different nutritional needs throughout its life and feeding them the right food is imperative. Their diet should assist in their health and well-being, especially for growing puppies.
The guide below covers the best dog food for Goldendoodles in every life stage – puppies, adults, and senior dogs.
Since we’re going to start our list with pups, here’s a video of everything you need to know on how to feed a puppy. She even has a Goldendoodle with her to demonstrate:
Best puppy food for Goldendoodles
Goldendoodle puppies should be fed with puppy-specific dog food. There’s no available dog food for Goldendoodles specifically, but you can stick to either a Golden Retriever or Poodle.
What matters is ensuring that the puppy food is made with nutritional ingredients suited for your pup’s age.
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Puppy Canned Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver
Feed your Goldendoodle puppy a delectable meal with this natural wet dog food minus the gluten and grains. It has DHA to support cognitive, eye, and brain development.
If you have an active pooch in your hands, this high-protein recipe and wholesome ingredients that will keep her going.
- Protein-rich to promote healthy muscle growth
- Formulated with DHA for cognitive development and retinal function
- No preservatives, by-product meals, artificial flavors, soy, wheat, and corn
- Some pet owners said that their puppy experienced diarrhea after switching to this formula
- Food consistency may vary from one batch to another
2. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats
This high-protein and nourishing quality dog food for puppies up to 12 months old are created with wholesome ingredients that meet the US strict requirements for nutrient and purity content.
It’s designed for pups to ensure a lifetime of happiness and health.
- Has controlled levels of calcium, as well as chondroitin and glucosamine to support bone growth, joint health, and strong muscles
- A mix of vitamin C, E, and antioxidants helps maintain a healthy immune system
- Crafted with high-quality, natural ingredients minus the artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
- Intended for puppies who can reach an adult weight of 55 pounds (25 kg) and over
- Full of grains which can trigger allergies
- Some pet parents said that this recipe gave their pups upset tummies
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Rice
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice
This dry dog food aims to bring healthy and balanced growth to large and giant dog breeds. The careful blend of fats, minerals, and proteins is tasty and is a great pet food for your Goldendoodle.
The chicken meal and lamb contain chondroitin and glucosamine for the development of strong and healthy joints. This recipe is also packed with antioxidants and amino acids to support your pup’s overall health.
- Free from soy, wheat, corn, GMO, and chicken by-product meal
- Contains omega fatty acids for proper organ functions
- Recommended for puppies up to 18 months of age
- Not for dogs with sensitive stomachs
- For large and giant breeds only
4. Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Puppy Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Beef, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
Crafted with high-quality protein, this dry dog food for small- and medium-sized breeds has DHA to support cognitive development and chondroitin and glucosamine to maintain healthy joints and hips.
- Free of gluten and grains with 75% protein
- Has omega fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin
- No corn, soy, and wheat
- Some owners are concerned about the 45% produce in the ingredients
- A few pet parents observed that their dogs would chew and spit out this kibble
5. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Chicken, Lentil, & Whole Egg Recipe
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils
For puppies of all breed sizes who prefer a limited-ingredient diet, this recipe from CANIDAE is formulated with sensitive digestion and allergies from grain in mind.
It only has 9 wholesome ingredients, with chicken as its first ingredient. It’s a muscle-boosting and protein-rich meal with a powerhouse of wholesome veggies.
Whole food nutrition to ensure your dog thrives with a healthy immune system.
- Made with CANIDAE’s HealthPLUS blend of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics
- Supports digestive health
- Puppy-appropriate without any preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, and fillers
- A few dogs got an upset stomach, while others won’t eat this recipe
Best dog food for Goldendoodle adults
Adult dogs need just as many nutrients as puppies, but the formulation of ingredients may differ.
Here are our top picks for adult Goldendoodle food below to ensure you are feeding your canine a healthy diet.
1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
If you want a chicken-free and grain-free dog food for your adult dog that’s also filled with amino acids for better absorption, then try this. It’s also made with natural antioxidants for healthy digestion and prebiotic support.
- Made with novel proteins that’s ideal for dogs with sensitivities and easy to digest
- Suitable for all breed sizes
- Made without any filler, preservatives, grains, and artificial flavors
- Some dog owners said that this recipe could make a dog’s skin itch
- May also cause diarrhea or constipation, as noticed in some dogs
2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
Specially formulated with premium proteins like salmon oil, omega fatty acids, taurine, minerals, vitamins, as well as probiotics, and glucosamine, this gluten- and grain-free diet optimizes your canine’s overall health.
- Protein- and nutrient-rich that encourages lean muscle tone and body mass
- Free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatics, and any meat by-products
- Crafted to support healthy skin and coat
- Some fussy dogs don’t like the taste
- Other pet parents said that their dog experienced a gassy stomach and burping up after transitioning to this kibble
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Dry Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley
If you’re looking for a dry dog food with high-quality protein and nutrients for your miniature Goldendoodle, try this wholesome formula from Nutro.
Its main ingredients are made from farm-raised chickens and natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy joints.
- Made without any soy, fat, corn, chicken by-product meal, and GMO
- Designed for small breeds who are 12 months of age and older
- With essential antioxidants to support a healthy immune system
- This kibble isn’t recommended for all dogs with dietary issues
- Some dogs don’t like this recipe, while others gain too much weight
4. VICTOR Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat
This nutritious recipe from VICTOR’s Select line comprises fish-based, premium-quality protein sources such as dehydrated salmon and menhaden fish meal.
Not only is it suitable for all breed sizes, but also adult Goldendoodles with allergies.
- Crafted with unique VPRO Blend that promotes superior immune system and digestibility function
- Packed with essential fatty acids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins
- Contains probiotics, prebiotics, and mineral complexes
- Some dogs may experience constipation, as per the reviews
- A few owners don’t like some ingredients like potatoes and yeast
5. Farmina N&D Lamb & Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Lamb Meat, Dehydrated Lamb Meat, Whole Spelt
Another option for mini Goldendoodles is this pea-free and low-glycemic formula.
Farmina said their foods are made of better quality protein sources without bones, and the phosphorus and calcium levels are controlled. It’s also rich in antioxidants and natural omega fatty acids.
- Affordable and suitable for all life stages
- Only uses fresh ingredients to ensure optimum nutrition
- Free from added plant oils, chickpeas, peas and pea protein, and lentils
- Other owners think this diet has a strong taste and smell that their dogs didn’t like
- Kibble size may be too big for small breeds
6. American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Salmon, Brown Rice, & Vegetables Recipe
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice
If your energetic Golden Retriever-Poodle cross is on the heavier side of the scale, this grain-free salmon recipe from American Journey might be for her.
Its larger kibbles are packed with amino acids and protein to keep your doggo’s muscles lean.
It has natural fiber from wholesome grains like barley and brown rice that are easy to digest. And the omega fatty acids come from sources like flaxseed and salmon oil.
- Has Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to maintain a lustrous coat and healthy skin
- Not only rich in fiber but also nutrients and antioxidants
- Made without artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, poultry by-product meal, soy, corn, or wheat
- Some dogs like other flavors, and not this particular formula. They might prefer the chicken and sweet potato recipe.
7. ORIJEN Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Flounder
Go for the Wholeprey approach with this protein-rich recipe that contains 85% quality animal ingredients that include raw or fresh cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish, and free-run turkey and chicken.
- The kibbles are coated with freeze-dried liver to make meals tastier
- Has no gluten or grains
- A biologically appropriate diet for small-to-large-sized adult dogs
- Some parents complained that this dog food is overpriced, while others said it gave their dogs diarrhea
Best dog food for Goldendoodle seniors
Has your dog reached her prime years? Check out our top dog food picks below to keep your older Goldendoodle satisfied and healthy.
1. Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Potatoes, Peas
Calling senior dogs of all breed sizes! This Blue Buffalo recipe with limited ingredients is 100% gluten-free and grain-free. It also doesn’t have artificial flavors, poultry by-product meals, preservatives, soy, wheat, and corn.
It also has this dog food brand’s LifeSource Bits that animal nutritionists and veterinarians picked to ensure your pet’s overall health and wellness.
- Rich in protein from deboned chicken as the first ingredient
- Crafted with glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as taurine, to support mobility and heart health in senior dogs
- Supports your senior dog’s life stage requirement and immune health with a healthy oxidative balance
- Some owners said that transition to this senior food may stomach issues in dogs
- Some pets don’t like to eat this recipe
2. Nulo Senior Grain-Free Recipe Dry Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal
Keep your senior dog healthy and fit for many more years from this high protein and grain-free recipe.
It also includes L-Carnitine to help with metabolism if your pooch is starting to slow down, while the chondroitin and glucosamine will support her joint and hip health.
- Free from chicken and egg proteins if your dog is allergic to these ingredients
- Pure probiotics to aid in digestion
- Has fruits and veggies for optimal immune health, and phosphorus and calcium to maintain strong bones
- High-calorie content
- Fussy eaters may refuse this food, while some experienced diarrhea
3. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Poultry By-Product Meal, Rice
For senior dogs who are 7 years and older looking for the right amount of nutrition, this weight control recipe must be the dog food for you.
It has glucosamine for mobility and joint health, live probiotics for immune and digestive support.
Vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids to a healthy coat and skin, and enhanced botanical oils that promote mental sharpness and alertness.
- Its very first ingredient is real chicken
- Suitable diet for all breed sizes
- High-protein recipe that helps with weight management
- Some fussy senior dogs may refuse this food
- Transition to this food may cause itching and upset stomach in some pets, according to owners
Dog food for Goldendoodles buyers’ guide
There are various factors to consider when deciding on what diet suits your pooch best. Generally, it should be appropriate for her age, body weight, activity level or metabolism, and current health issues.
The decision on which brand to choose will ultimately come down to you and your pup’s preferences.
Your canine will let you know if it doesn’t like a certain food, so try out a few options until you find a brand that suits your dog’s needs and your budget.
Some prefer big brands because of their trustworthy reputation. However, a few small brand names are entering the market, offering organic ingredients and fresh food.
Don’t overlook these possibilities, but again, it’s about what works with you and your dog’s lifestyle.
Goldendoodle nutritional requirement: What to look for in good dog food for your pet
Goldendoodles need just as much protein and nutrients as any other dog breed. Of course, some diets are better suited to some dogs, but generally, dog breeds don’t have significantly different nutritional needs.
To keep their coats shiny and healthy, opt for a recipe with the correct amount of amino acids.
Older dogs get less active, and they’ll need food with minimal carbs to fuel them up but more ingredients to keep their metabolism stable.
Ingredients to look for and avoid when feeding your Goldendoodle
Keep an eye on the following information when choosing the best dog food for your Goldendoodle:
- Should be AAFCO certified
- Has real animal protein source as the first ingredient (chicken, lamb, etc.)
- Contains healthy animal-based fat (like chicken fat)
- No artificial additives
- No synthetic supplements
Nuts, particularly macadamia and almond, are good ingredients, as well as raw salmon and other fish.
Also, steer clear of dog foods with animal by-products, artificial ingredients, and foods with limited digestible carbs.
Should Goldendoodles eat grain-free?
It depends. There are benefits to grain-free recipes because they contain mainly meat-based proteins and fruits and vegetables. This helps your pooch absorb more nutrients from the food in an easily digestible way.
While dog food recipes with grains are a great source of nutrients, carbohydrates, and fiber which is beneficial for your pup.
Choosing the best dog food for Goldendoodles with health issues
As a crossbreed dog, Goldendoodles are prone to genetic health problems such as cataracts, hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), luxating patellas, hypothyroidism, and ear infections.
Bloat is also one of the most common illnesses in Goldendoodles. This, in itself, is not life-threatening, but it can cause the stomach to fill with gas and twist. To avoid this, vets may recommend a grain-free diet.
If you’re worried that your pup is overweight, look for foods low in carbohydrates and calories.
Use food with top-quality ingredients and consult your vet on specific issues, including food allergies and the best dietary needs to combat them.
Should you give your Goldendoodle dry kibbles, wet food, raw diet, or homemade?
They can eat dry and wet food, as well as a raw diet. A good option is to mix dry kibbles with some wet canned food to get the best of both worlds.
See what your pup likes, and soon you’ll have the perfect formula tailored to your canine.
You can also make your own dog food for your Goldendoodle if you want to try something new. Make sure you only follow trusted recipes and buy the freshest, top-quality ingredients.
Fruits and vegetables your Goldendoodle can and cannot eat
There are, however, human foods that you should avoid other than chocolate and caffeine, and these include:
Meanwhile, here’s a list of what you can give to your pup:
A homemade recipe you can try for your Goldendoodle
Want to whip up something delish for your pooch? Try this homemade chili recipe for your pooch:
A bag of macaroni
A can of corn
A can of tomato paste
2 tbsp butter
1 lb ground beef
4 pieces carrots
- Boil the macaroni.
- Cook the beef in a frying pan.
- Add butter, corn, tomato paste, and butter to your beef and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the mixture to your casserole dish along with the beef broth.
- Cook in the oven for half an hour at 350 degrees.
The Goldendoodle Feeding Guide
When your Goldendoodle puppy is between 8-12 weeks, they should be eating 3-4 small meals a day.
You need to monitor your pup’s body and make sure they are getting enough but not overeating. A promising sign for this would be a visible waist, and if you’re able to see your puppy’s ribs.
By 6 months, start to reduce the amount of food you are giving your pup. As your Goldendoodle transitions to adulthood, you can start to feed them between 1-4 cups of food a day, broken into 2 meals.
Transition: How to switch from puppy to adult dog food?
You can start feeding your Goldendoodle puppy adult food from about 6 months of age. To make the transition smoother, mix the new adult food recipes into the existing puppy food.
This will make the switch easy for your puppy without upsetting her tummy while you determine which foods she likes.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can I feed my Goldendoodle human food?
As much as possible, avoid feeding dogs any human foods or table scraps. Some are actually harmful to dogs, like the ones on our list above.
However, sticking to certified dog food ensures they get the necessary nutrients.
Do Goldendoodles need supplements?
Generally, Goldendoodles don’t need supplements. But as they get older, it’s not wrong to feed your senior dog food with added supplements.
Those that promote healthy joints and bones and aids in the dog’s overall health are great options.
The best dog treats for Goldendoodles
Treats are also ideal if you want to give your Goldendoodle additional vitamins and minerals. Here are some great options of healthy snacks to spoil your Goldendoodle with or to use during training:
- Castor & Pollux Organix Dog Cookies
- Wild Earth Healthy Protein Dog Treats
- Zuke’s Hip Action Hip & Joint Natural Dog Treats
Dog treats should be given sparingly, though, to avoid obesity. As a general rule, treats should only be below 10% of your dog’s diet.
What makes dog food good for Goldendoodles?
Choosing the right food for your Goldendoodle contributes to the overall well-being and health of your pup. But don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it seems.
Use our guide to help you make informed decisions that are sure to keep your canine satisfied.
We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a message about your experiences with any of the food above. Or if your Goldendoodle has a favorite recipe that isn’t on our list, let us know about it. We’d love to check it out.