The 8 Best Dog Foods for Poodles

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

This (updated) guide reviews all of the best dog foods for poodles available right now.

Picking your poodle’s food can be complicated. There are hundreds of options for wet, dry, frozen, and fresh dog foods for your poodle and most brands claim that they are the best for your poodle’s health.

The truth is that there is no single brand of dog food that is best for every poodle. Dogs are individuals, just like people.

You could feed high-quality dog food to a group of poodles, and most would thrive on it. However, there will be a few that end up with an upset stomach or possibly an allergic reaction or sensitivity to one or more of the ingredients.

That’s why you need a selection of high-quality dog foods for feeding your poodle. When you find a brand that your dog likes that keeps it healthy, stay with it. Just know that there are many other excellent choices if you need to make a change.

Here’s an in-depth guide for the top dog foods for poodles on the market today.

Let’s dive in…

The 8 Best Dog Foods for Poodles

Top ProductsRatingTop Ingredients
1. Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food4.5Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas
2. Wellness Core Dry Dog Food Small Breed4.6Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas
3. Orijen 6 Fish No-Grain Dry Dog Food4.8Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Whole Atlantic Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder, Whole Silver Hake
4. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.6Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Whitefish Meal, A Proprietary Blend of Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Spinach, and Apples.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.7Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas.
6. Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Dog Food4.5Chicken Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat, Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture.
7. Purina Beyond Simply 9 White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food4.7Chicken, Rice, Whole Barley, Canola Meal, Chicken Meal.
8. Nutro Wholesome Essential Adult Large Breed Dog Food4.7Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley

How to Switch Dog Foods Without Getting Your Pup Sick

Poodle Dog Food Reviews

1. Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken. 2. Chicken Meal. 3. Oatmeal. 4. Ground Barley. 5. Peas

If you are looking for one food to feed your pack of poodles, this recipe is one of the best on the market. It contains two sources of healthy protein to which very few poodles will be allergic.

Wellness Complete Health Adult formula is suitable for active dogs, young dogs, senior dogs, and dogs recovering from health problems. It includes the natural flavors of both chicken and fish, and it will keep your poodles coming back for more.


2. Wellness Core Dry Dog Food Small Breed

Top Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken. 2. Deboned Turkey. 3. Turkey Meal. 4. Potatoes. 5. Peas

Active poodles need lots of protein to keep their muscles strong. Wellness Core Dry Dog Food Small Breed blend uses chicken and turkey as the main proteins. It also provides the carbohydrates older dogs need but leaves out grains that can cause allergic reactions in some dogs. If you have a poodle prone to flea bite allergies and other skin problems, this product is an excellent choice.

Wellness Core Dry Dog Food Small Breed also includes canine probiotics for digestive health and essential fatty acids that support mental performance.


3. Orijen 6 Fish No-Grain Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Silver Hake. 2. Herring. 3. Mackerel. 4. Monk. 5. Flounder. 6. Redfish.

If your poodle has skin problems or allergies, Orijen 6 Fish No-Grain Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice. This blend provides the omega-3 essential fatty acids your poodle’s immune system needs for fighting inflammation. It also includes carbohydrates from hypoallergenic sources such as cooked lentils and pinto beans. Greens and kale provide the vitamin A precursors that encourage the growth of healthy skin.


4. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal. 2. Turkey Meal. 3. Whitefish Meal. 4.  A Proprietary Blend of Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Spinach, and Apples.

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food ensures that your poodle gets a full measure of protein with wholesome, antioxidant-packed carbohydrates from berries, fruit, and greens. The food blend is supplemented with Earthborn Holistic’s acetyl-L-carnitine to help your poodle metabolize carbohydrates for faster energy, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.


5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Buffalo. 2. Lamb Meal. 3. Chicken Meal. 4. Sweet Potatoes. 5. Peas.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food provides protein from grazing animals like buffalo, sheep, bison, boar, and game birds. Sweet potatoes offer antioxidant vitamin A precursors that help keep your poodle’s coat shiny and manageable, and peas provide carbohydrates without the allergenic potential of wheat, corn, and potatoes. All the different flavors in this product keep your poodle craving more.


6. Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal. 2. Millet. 3. Chicken Fat., 4. Pumpkin Seed. 5. Yeast Culture.

Here’s dog food for a senior dog or a poodle recovering from illness. It provides millet for a hypoallergenic source of carbs and pumpkin seed for omega-6 essential fatty acids that help skin recover from allergy or injury, and yeast is a potent source of selenium and B vitamins.

Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Dog Food coats its kibble with digestive enzymes that make its carbohydrates easier to digest for older dogs. Free from fillers, it’s a good choice for poodles of all sizes and all ages.


7. Purina Beyond Simply 9 White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken. 2. Rice. 3. Whole Barley. 4. Canola Meal. 5. Chicken Meal.

There’s nothing fancy or expensive in Purina Beyond Simply 9 White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food. It’s just a collection of simple, inexpensive, satisfying ingredients that provide premium nutrition at an affordable price. And there is a hidden advantage to having so few ingredients: There aren’t a lot of ingredients that could trigger allergies or food sensitivity reactions in your poodle.


8. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal. 2. Brown Rice. 3. Barley.

Hill’s Science Diet uses ingredients that almost every poodle can digest easily without allergic reactions. It’s formulated with omega-3 essential fatty acids to fight inflammation and just enough omega-6 essential fatty acids to stimulate skin and coat growth and keep joints functioning. It contains just enough grain to provide energy for older dogs, especially those that have kidney issues.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food comes in three sizes, so you can always buy just the amount you can keep fresh.


9. Nutro Wholesome Essential Adult Large Breed Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Mostly lamb.

Why would we recommend a “large breed” dog food for poodles? After all, poodles are hardly large-breed dogs.

We include Nutro Wholesome Essential Adult Large Breed Dog Food on this list because it provides protein in abundance, along with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint repair. Young poodles with hip joint dysplasia thrive on this brand.


10. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken. 2. Chicken Meal. 3. Brown Rice. 4. Barley. 5. Oatmeal.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food has just the right ratio of protein to fat to support vigorous activity in healthy poodles. It includes highly digestible whole grains to give your active poodle extra energy along with natural antioxidants for immune balance.


11. Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken. 2. Ground Whole Grain Corn. 3. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum. 4. Chicken By-Product Meal. 5. Dried Beet Pulp.

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food has a nice balance of protein and carbohydrate for older dogs, plus an ingredient you wouldn’t expect: Dried beet pulp. Why would any dog food include dried beet pulp?

Dried beets are rich in betaine, a chemical a dog’s body can use to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps arteries open for increased blood flow, delivering more oxygen and providing more nutrients for muscle recovery. These are highly desirable effects for older dogs with cardiovascular disease.


12. Nutro Max Adult Recipe with Farm-Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal. 2. Whole Grain Sorghum. 3. Brewers Rice. 4. Whole Grain Oatmeal. 5. Chicken Fat.

Nutro Max Adult Recipe with Farm-Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food delivers a nice balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate with safe, simple, and highly digestible ingredients that offer all the nutrition your dog needs. With added fiber and probiotics, it’s a good selection if your poodle suffers from constipation.


13. Stella & Chewy’s — Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken With Ground Bone. 2. Chicken Liver. 3. Chicken Gizzard. 4. Pumpkin Seed. 5. Organic Cranberries.

Stella & Chewy’s — Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food gives your poodle the kind of food its poodle ancestors ate in the era when they were hunting dogs, the whole bird, in an easy-to-eat form that isn’t messy around the food bowl. It also includes some of the plant foods dogs need for healthy essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants. Stella & Chewy’s — Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food is appropriate for poodles of all sizes and all ages.


14. Instinct by Nature’s Variety — Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken. 2. Chicken Meal. 3. Peas. 4. Chicken Fat. 5. Tapioca.

Tapioca isn’t an ingredient you’d think to find in dog food. But it is a great complement to the balanced protein, fat, and carbohydrate in Instinct by Nature’s Variety — Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food with pure carbohydrate and nothing to cause digestive upset. 


FAQs

Is dry dog food (kibble) better than wet dog food for my poodle?

Dry dog food helps poodles keep their teeth and gums clean, which is important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It’s even more important, however, to make a habit of brushing your poodle’s teeth several times a week. Dry food keeps longer than wet dog food, but there are good brands in both categories.

Is dry dog food safe for poodle puppies?

Most puppies don’t have any trouble chewing dry dog food. If they do, you can add some chicken or beef broth to moisten the kibble to make it easier for them to eat. 

How often should I feed my poodle?

Puppies need nearly constant nourishment provided by their mothers until weaned. Then it’s up to us to provide them serval small meals each day until the age of four to six months.

When your poodle is four to six months old or older, start feeding just twice a day. If your dog seems to thrive on this schedule, stick with it. Just don’t leave food out all the time to attract insects or to go bad.

What should I do if my poodle seems to have trouble chewing?

Poodles are prone to cavities and gum disease. Trouble chewing is a sign that you need to take your dog to the vet for dental care. In the meantime, offer high-quality canned food.

But I thought dry dog food helped prevent tooth and gum disease in poodles.

Kibble helps poodles keep their teeth clean, although it’s always best if you and your poodles get into the habit of brushing their teeth several times a week. By the time your poodle already has tooth decay or serious gum disease, it’s too late to do prevention.

Are grains OK for my poodle?

It’s OK for grains to be the third- or later-listed ingredients on the label of your dog food. Some conditions like dilated cardiomyopathy and gallbladder disease can benefit from small amounts of grain in the diet. But you should never feed your poodle a dog food that lists any kind of grain or grain product as its first or second ingredient on the label.

Is it OK to feed my poodle leftovers?

If you feed your poodle leftovers, it’s best to offer them as a replacement for regular dog food than as an addition to it. If you are buying the best foods for poodles, your dog is already getting complete nutrition. Adding your food to dog food can result in overfeeding, bloating, and gas.

What can I do if my poodle is a fussy eater?

Sometimes poodles appear to be fussy eaters, but they aren’t. They are just getting food that you aren’t putting in their bowl.

Make sure your poodle isn’t sharing cat food. Ask everyone in your household to avoid giving your poodle snacks so your dog will eat the highly nutritious food you provide in the right amounts.

Are there any foods that are toxic to poodles?

You probably already know that chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, and the artificial sweetener xylitol (used in sugar-free candy and gum) are toxic to all kinds of dogs, including poodles. It’s also important to avoid feeding your dog macadamia nuts and other tropical fruits and nuts, such as cashews, papayas, and mangoes. Poodles can become intoxicated by marijuana edibles.

Are there any other foods that poodles should never eat?

Cooked bones are a no-no for any dog. They can easily splinter and lodge in your dog’s mouth or digestive tract, causing a blockage, leading to surgery and even death.

What about feeding my poodle those treats shaped like bacon, hamburgers, hot dogs, or pork chops?

We don’t recommend them as anything other than an occasional treat. Poodle food that has been squeezed into a mold to look like human food contains artificial colors and flavors that can trigger allergies. They also often contain sugar. Your poodle doesn’t care what its food looks like, only how it smells and tastes. 

My dog eats grass and other plants in my yard. What should I do about that?

It’s generally not safe for any dog to eat landscape plants. Many plants are poisonous. Snails that carry parasites can lodge on their leaves, and plants urinated on by other animals can spread leptospirosis.

Don’t let your poodle eat outdoor plants. Sometimes dogs eat plants to get more fiber, so try switching to a higher-fiber poodle food.

Do poodles need fiber?

Fiber helps to prevent constipation, but poodles don’t need a lot of fiber. They get enough fiber from the inclusion of vegetables and grains in their regular diet. There is also some fiber in seafood treats. You don’t need to give your dog fiber supplements.

Should I put my poodle on a low-fat diet?

No! Dogs have higher dietary requirements for fat than their humans do and do not develop coronary artery disease due to eating too much cholesterol.

What about a raw foods diet for my poodle?

Like other dogs, most poodles thrive on a diet of raw muscle meat, liver, tripe, and secretory organs (like sweetbreads and pancreas). It also helps to offer your dog small amounts of raw plant foods, like diced apples and carrots. You shouldn’t feed your dog uncooked beans, lentils, or grains.

Some poodle owners prefer this diet, so they know what their dogs are eating. It’s easier to start puppies on raw food diets than switch them to one later in life.

Do you recommend frozen raw foods for poodles?

Refrigerate raw foods to keep them fresh and odor-free. Remember that frozen meat mixes for dogs tend to become excessively bloody when they thaw.

Can I feed eggs to my poodle? What about eggshells?

Up to one raw or boiled egg per day is OK as part of your poodle’s diet. Finely ground eggshells are a good source of calcium. Serve no more than 5 grams (about a teaspoon) a day.

Are there any special dietary requirements of larger, standard poodles?

You can feed standard poodles a variety of dog food, leftovers in place of their regular dog food, and an occasional treat. They are not as prone to obesity as the toy and miniature poodles are.

Are there any special dietary requirements for miniature poodles?

Miniature and toy poodles need the same range of nutrients as larger poodles, but they can’t consume as many calories. It’s especially important to give miniature and toy poodles only high-quality dog foods.

Are there any special dietary requirements for toy poodles?

Toy poodles are prone to skin conditions. Make sure your toy poodle gets enough omega-3 fatty acids from foods like salmon and enough omega6 fatty acids from grains to provide them with the building blocks of the hormones that reduce inflammation.

Buyer’s Guide

Poodles need lots of protein.

The American Kennel Club and other national breed registries recognize three types of poodles, standard, miniature, and toy. Standard poodles swim out into ponds and streams to retrieve ducks. These naturally active dogs need lots of calories and lots of protein.

Miniature and toy poodles don’t need as many calories as their standard poodle counterparts. Still, they also need a high-protein diet to maintain their muscle fat and adequate amounts of healthy fats to keep their coats full and lustrous. Poodles are prone to some common health conditions that can affect their appetite, so it’s important to monitor their intake to ensure that they get the calories and nutrients they need.

How many calories do poodles need every day?

Standard poodles are surprisingly heavy. They will weigh from 48 to 65 pounds as adults.

The National Research Council of the National Academies of Veterinary Medicine issues a standard for active dogs of this size to get between 1353 and 1,740 calories per day. Active poodles include those that participate in outdoor sports and activities. Inactive adult standard poodles need between 990 and 1,272 calories every day. Older poodles with arthritis or hip dysplasia need fewer calories than older poodles without mobility problems.

There are standards of quality for poodle foods in the US.

If you feed your poodle commercial dog food, it should be labeled to certify that it meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dog foods that meet AAFCO standards provide at least all the nutrients dogs need for a complete diet, according to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA rule is that dry dog food that meets the standards of the AAFCO must contain at least 18 percent protein for adult dogs and 22 percent protein for puppies and nursing or pregnant mother dogs. This protein must provide all the amino acids your dog needs for good health. 

Since the FDA and AAFCO have different standards for poodles at various stages of life, many dog food manufacturers attempt to formulate high-quality diets for poodles at different ages. Their products will provide the protein needed for growth and the fat required for vigorous activity. Blends for senior poodles, who are eight years old or older, will contain less protein and more carbohydrates to support heart and kidney health and prevent obesity and obesity-related problems.

Certain ingredients are better than others for your poodle’s health and appearance.

Every good diet for poodles provides protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. It’s possible to feed poodles an all-meat diet (they don’t need many carbohydrates in their food because their bodies can convert excess amino acids into sugar). Still, a mixture of mostly meat or fish with small amounts of vegetables or grains is easiest for poodles to digest.

The FDA requires dog food manufacturers to label ingredients in order of declining weight. The first-listed ingredient will contribute the most to the dry weight of the dog food, and the second-listed ingredient will contribute the next largest weight to the dog food mixture, and so on.

You should always choose food for your poodle that lists meat, such as lamb, chicken, beef, or fish (never meat byproducts) as its first-listed ingredient. The next ingredient should be a source of fat, such as a healthy plant oil. Vegetables and other protein foods can come in lower on the list. Brown rice, whole oats, and barley are easier for poodles to digest than corn, wheat, soy, or gluten.

If you have a white or cream-colored poodle…

Avoid giving white or cream-colored poodles dog foods that include coloring agents or corn. They can stain the fur around your poodle’s mouth.

Feed your poodle according to your poodle’s weight.

The feeding instructions listed on the dog food are based on your dog’s weight. You can adjust the amount of food you give your poodle based on whether your dog is underweight or overweight.

You can test for obesity by examining the area over your dog’s ribs. If you can see your dog’s ribs, your poodle is underweight, and you need to give more food. If you can only find your dog’s ribs by probing a layer of fat, or you can’t feel your dog’s ribs through their fat layer at all, you need to feed them less.

There’s an important reason not to feed your poodle so much that obesity results: Poodles are prone to hip dysplasia, which may not appear if your poodle stays at a normal weight. Overweight also complicates arthritis because the joints must carry more weight. 

When you reduce calories, try to increase fiber, so your dog will feel fuller longer.

Pay attention to how you feed your poodle to prevent gastric dilation and bloat.

Poodles and other deep-chested breeds are prone to gastric dilation, a condition called volvulus, and bloat.

Sometimes escaping gases will fill a poodle’s stomach like air filling a balloon. Because the poodle’s chest is so deep, these gases can’t escape, and the swollen stomach can place pressure on blood vessels. The resulting loss of circulation can cause unsuccessful attempts to vomit, drooling, a visibly swollen stomach, extreme fatigue, and collapse. These can signal a veterinary emergency that threatens your poodle’s life. Immediate veterinary care is essential.

There are some simple rules for avoiding this potentially tragic condition.

  • Feed your poodle two or three times a day to keep gas from accumulating in your poodle’s digestive tract.
  • Feed your poodle at the same time every day. Don’t feed your poodle within 30 minutes before or after strenuous exercise.
  • Leave your poodle’s food bowl on the floor. Elevating the bowl encourages your dog to gulp air with food.
  • Provide your dog with a constant supply of clean, fresh water so they don’t drink too much at mealtime.