The 19 Best Dog Foods for Goldendoodles

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Goldendoodle – Take cute, combine it with charming, and then throw in intelligence, energy, and personality, and you get the Goldendoodle.

It’s a cross between two of the most popular breeds: the gorgeous Golden Retriever and the pretty Poodle.

If it’s possible, Goldendoodles are more active, more playful, and even more resilient than both the parent breeds. A combination that doesn’t exactly spell low maintenance.

Your Goldendoodle will need a lot of attention and care. Premium food is part of that care– and it ensures that your baby stays healthy, happy, and fluffy.

Based on this unique set of requirements, here are my best dog food picks for Goldendoodles.

Best Dog Foods for Goldendoodles – My Top Picks

Top ProductsRatingWhat We Like About This Product
1. Ziwipeak Lamb Air-Dried Dog Food4.7Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Non-GMO, High-Protein, GMO-Free, Natural
2. Wysong Optimal Performance Dry Dog Food4.7Low Glycemic, Spectrum of Micronutrients
3. Solid Gold Wolf King Bison, Sweet Potato, and Brown Rice Recipe4.5No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
4. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.7Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
5. Zignature Catfish Limited Ingredient Formula4.6Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Low Glycemic, Chicken-Free, Natural
6. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.6No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Sensitive Digestion, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
7. Victor Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.5No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free

1. Ziwipeak Lamb Air Dried Dog Food

Protein (min.) 35% | Fat (min.) 33% | Fiber (max.) 2% | Moisture (max.) 14%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Heart, 3. Lamb Tripe, 4. Lamb Liver, 5. Lamb Kidney

Lamb is one of the popular forms of meat for the Goldendoodle, and that is what makes this high-protein lamb recipe one of the best foods for them. It is healthy and delicious. The fact that it is air-dried means that it manages to keep most of the nutritional benefits of its ingredients and retains more moisture than most dry kibble. That means your active groodle will stay hydrated.

The lamb used in this recipe is a grass-fed free-range product from New Zealand. That means even the source meat is free of antibiotics, hormones, or GMOs. Besides protein, minerals, and vitamins, you get useful essentials such as glucosamine and chondroitin. So, if you need food for the overall health and wellbeing of your goldie poo, this is your best bet.


2. Wysong Optimal Performance Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 50% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 5.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Organic Chicken, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Potato Protein, 5. Peas

Wysong is another air-dried option, with chicken and turkey as the main ingredients. It’s a super high-protein option with around 50% protein. That makes it one of the best options there is for active medium and large breed Goldendoodles. It is a low glycemic dog food. You get more proteins and fat, but a lower level of carbs and sugar.

The reason it is one of my top recommendations is that Wysong Optimal is more than just dog food. It is full of enzymes, probiotics, micronutrients, and natural omega fatty acids. It is a good option for puppies, adults, and seniors.


3. Solid Gold Wolf King Bison, Sweet Potato, and Brown Rice Recipe

Protein (min.) 22% | Fat (min.) 9% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Bison, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Pearled Barley

Very few brands understand a dog’s need as clearly as Solid Gold. Wolf King is one of their best varieties. Your goldie poo gets a healthy dose of proteins and all the nutrients – plus, it tastes delicious.

Aside from novel proteins, this one has a powerful blend of antioxidants such as cranberries, blueberries, kelp, and broccoli. What’s more: it is full of monounsaturated fats from sources such s salmon oil and canola oil. So, you get a healthy Goldendoodle with a lustrous fur.


4. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2.Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas

This offering from Taste of the Wild is a regular on almost all my top five lists. Most dogs, including Goldendoodles, love fish-based meals. They are delicious and they are great for overall health. From bones to coat, and from the liver to heart, salmon and ocean fish have nutrients that take care of everything.

Pacific Stream has all the essential minerals chelated with amino acids to ensure maximum absorption, which means no nutrient goes to waste. Plus, there are powerful antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and easy digestion. With novel proteins and grain-free ingredients, this one is great for sensitive tummies as well.


5. Zignature Catfish Limited Ingredient Formula

Protein (min.) 32% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Catfish, 2. Catfish Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Flour, 5. Chickpeas

Zignature is one of my favorite premium brands for dogs with rich fur like the Goldendoodle. They always come up with interesting protein choices. Their catfish recipe is a hit among most goldie poos. It smells and tastes irresistible, even to the pickiest poo. It is a limited ingredient formula with no fillers.

Aside from a good ratio of proteins, signature Catfish formula contains unique fat. It improved nutrient absorption and keeps your dog’s fur shiny and thick. And since it is a fish-based formula, it is full of amino acids and omega fatty acids— a perfect premium option to pamper your Goldendoodle.


6. Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison Recipe

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Sweet Potatoes, 2. Venison, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Potato Protein, 5. Canola Oil

Made of real deboned chicken, this Merrick grain-free sweet potato recipe is another good option for your Goldendoodle. One thing I love about it is the higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, which makes it a healthier choice for the active Goldendoodles since it takes care of their bone and joint health. The recipe is rich in fatty acids and other nutrients that will keep your Goldendoodles’ fur shiny and gorgeous.


7. Victor Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 33% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 3.8% | Moisture (max.) 9%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Menhaden Fish Meal, 2. Peas, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Garbanzo Bean, 5. Dehydrated Salmon

Yukon brings an array of novel sources for your pampered Goldendoodle with this one. It is an enticing choice for picky and pampered pooches because it is too delicious to refuse. It is made of premium-quality river fish such as salmon and menhaden. I would recommend it for larger Goldendoodles of up to 70 pounds – but it is equally good highly active smaller dogs as well. It is grain-free and contains probiotics to keep the tummy trouble-free.


8. Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 23% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Meal, 2. Ground White Rice, 3. Cracked Pearled Barley, 4. Grain Sorghum, 5. Egg Product

Another lamb recipe that most Goldendoodles just love it. This one combines rice and barley to the mix to give your baby a boost of energy; it needs to stay active all day. The kibble size is just perfect and will take care of your Goldendoodles’s dental health. It has all the nutrients plus a proprietary blend of probiotics.  You also get enough fatty acids to keep the coat shiny and healthy.


9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Recipe 

Protein (min.) 34% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Tapioca Starch

While I don’t recommend a raw diet for designer breeds like Goldendoodle, Wilderness range is the closest you can get to a real meat diet without the risk. Based on ancestral diets, Wilderness is rich in protein from meat sources. It also has the right amount of fat and carbs required by this breed. Plus, it fulfills all the nutritional needs to ensure the nose-to-tail health of your canine. It is also high in glucosamine to ensure healthy mobility and joint function.


10. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Farm Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 29% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 10%

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

Just like an adult premium breed dog, premium pups also have a different requirement. Nutro’s Wholesome Essential is my best recommendation for the little goldie poo. It is a high-quality option with proteins from farm-raised chicken. It has all the essential nutrients to ensure healthy mental and physical growth. It has the right balance of calcium and phosphorus for healthy teeth and bones. A great option when you don’t want to choose grain-free puppy food.


11. Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula 

Protein (min.) 9% | Fat (min.) 6.5% | Fiber (max.) 1% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Dried Egg Product, 4. Peas, 5. Salmon Oil 

Now, this is another one for your groodle puppy. Canidae PURE is a grain-free wet food that fulfills all the dietary needs to ensure healthy growth. Slow-cooked in chicken broth, this recipe is mouthwateringly delicious. If you have a picky goldie pup who doesn’t eat or drink as much as it should, fill the bowl with Canidae Pure and see the difference for yourself. The formula is perfect for sensitive tummies.


12. Wellness CORE Grain Free Puppy 

Protein (min.) 36% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

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

Wellness CORE for adults couldn’t make it to the list, but Wellness CORE for Puppy is a definite winner for little groodles. Made from real chicken and turkey, this is a good first meal. It contains all the essential nutrients but not the common allergens such as corn or wheat. There are no meal by-products or additives to harm your little one. The best part: all the kibbles are coated with healthy probiotics, which translates to no tummy troubles for your baby.


13. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe

Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 11%

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

I know I have mentioned that raw isn’t the best option for this hybrid breed, but it doesn’t mean it’s a complete risk. Raw diet has its own benefits and if you want your Goldendoodle to enjoy those benefits, you need to start young. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe is your best bet. It is freeze-dried, which I already mentioned is perfect for this breed. With delicious flavor and aroma, this one will entice the pickiest of pups.


14. Victor Dog Food Grain-free Active Dog and Puppy 

Protein (min.) 33% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 3.8% | Moisture (max.) 9%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef Meal, 2. Peas, 3. Sweet Potato, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal

VICTOR is another brand that I truly trust with my designer breed like Goldendoodles. This premium recipe packs a protein punch from sources such as beef, pork, and fish. It has almost 77 percent of meat proteins and all the essential minerals and vitamins for your growing groodle. I highly recommend this formula for super active puppies. It will sustain energy levels while ensuring proper muscle and bone growth.


15. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 29% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 12%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Poultry By-Product Meal, 3. Rice, 4. Whole Grain Corn, 5. Corn Gluten Meal

There are many telltale signs of an aging Goldendoodle. They start to lose the energy that makes them so adorable. However, the proper diet can help them stay their healthy and active self for longer. That is what you can expect from Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind. It won’t just keep them physically healthy it will keep them mentally sharp as well.


16. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Turkey Chicken Grill 

Protein (min.) 8% | Fat (min.) 6% | Fiber (max.) 1.5% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Turkey, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken, 4. Chicken Liver, 5. Potatoes

Ancestral diet is what you need for your aging Goldendoodle, and it doesn’t get any better than Blue Buffalo Wilderness. Made in delicious chicken broth, this formula is easy to eat and digest for your old friend. Plus, it has the right amount of protein and other essentials to aid healthy aging. A complete formula for healthy joints, bones, and immune system in the later years or your groodle’s life.


17. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 28% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Garbanzo Beans

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior is a premium choice for your aging Goldendoodle. It is a limited ingredient dog food made with real chicken, sweet potato, and garbanzo beans. It is easy on the tummy and delivers are the important nutrients your dog needs to age healthily. Moreover, there is a special probiotic mix that enhances digestion and improves metabolism.


18. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe 

Protein (min.) 15.5% | Fat (min.) 10.5% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Whole Grain Wheat, 5. Whole Grain Corn

This one was previously sold as the Hill’s Prescription Diet Active Longevity. The new packaging has a new name and a new formula. It is even better at ensuring an active and long life for your goldie poo age seven or older. It is a veterinarian-approved recipe that contains a highly nourishing blend of ingredients and powerful antioxidants. This food is a great way to make sure your baby stays active and playful even in senior years. Since it is a prescription product, you need veterinary authorization for purchase.

So, this was my complete list of best dog foods for Goldendoodle. Choose one based on your pal’s favorite ingredients and ingredients that might cause trouble for it. Good luck finding the perfect food for your golden poo.


Related:

Buying Guide

There are a few things you need to know about crossbreeds in general and Goldendoodle in specific. This guide will help get a better grasp of how to determine what your dog needs and how to find a product that fulfills that requirement.

Understanding Your Goldendoodle’s Diet Requirements

A goldendoodle’s daily dietary requirements vary from dog to dog. Since it is a crossbred dog, the lineage plays a vital role in determining whether it will be a miniature dog, medium-sized one, or a large dog. The daily caloric intake will change accordingly.

However, Goldendoodles, regardless of their size, are more active than other breeds, which means they need more protein, more carbs, and even more fat. It is best to divide the meals in a small portion throughout the day.

And while it is a resilient breed, it is still susceptible to certain food allergies and sensitivities. Common allergens can be dairy products, grains, and artificial additives. These ingredients are more common in cheaper brands. That is why I always recommend known premium brands with original sources.

Ingredients to Look For

Two words: Quality sources.

This is the most important piece of advice. While all dog foods contain protein, the best dog foods for Goldendoodles are ones with ingredients from quality sources. Sources are usually mentioned on the label. Let’s break it down, one component at a time

  • Protein

Active breeds like Goldendoodles need lots of protein. The best foods are the ones with protein from more than one meat source, and around one vegetable source. Whole fish, whole chicken, grass-fed lamb, bison – are just some of the recommended options. Then look for vegetable proteins like pea, potato, corn, and beans.

  • Fat

As I mentioned earlier, Goldendoodles require more fat than most breeds. Since they are active, they can burn more of it. They have a thick coat with fur and fat plays an essential role in keeping it healthy. Meat close to the bone has more fat, but good fats also come from flaxseed, canola oil, and additional chicken fat. These ingredients also add omega-3 fatty acids, which is extremely important for your Goldendoodle’s overall health.

  • Fiber

When your pet has more fat in the diet, be sure to add more fiber as well. Fiber improves the absorption of essential nutrients from food and aids digestion. Brown rice, oatmeal, and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Too much of it, however, can mean that the product has more fillers than meat. Fiber sources should never proceed with the protein sources on the label.

  • Carbs

Carbs are required by any breed that is active– and the Goldendoodle is no exception. However, bad carbs can disrupt the blood sugar level. Your goldie poo needs low-glycemic carbs like sweet potatoes and peas. Rice and oat are also good sources of good carbs.

Other than that, your Goldendoodle needs all the essential minerals and vitamins to stay healthy. Superfoods and vegetables are great additions but are usually found only in expensive dog foods.

Ingredients to Avoid

Between golden retrievers and poodles, the latter happens to be more resilient. They have a hypoallergenic coat, and they aren’t too prone to tummy troubles. Goldendoodles inherit resilience from their poodle parentage. In fact, they are likely to be more resilient.

However, it is best not to risk it.

You need to avoid cheaper dog foods because they have more fillers. Fillers have no nutritional value and often obstruct healthy absorption of nutrients. So, if you are a proud owner of Goldendoodle, pamper it the way it deserves and choose nothing but the best.

Premium dog foods with novel proteins ensure nose-to-tail wellbeing. They are free of fillers, additives, and GMOs – and these are pretty much all the things you should avoid in dog food.

Wet or Dry

It is one of the biggest dilemmas of dog parents.

Usually, I tell people that wet dog food is better because it has more water, and the meat is closer to its original form – but it isn’t always right for designer breeds. This sophisticated bunch prefers the mess-free kibble.

As you can see, most of the products in my list of best dog food for Goldendoodle are dry. That is because dental issues can easily plague the life of a goldie poo on a wet diet. Kibble plays an essential role in keeping plaque and tartar away.

As for moisture, most Goldendoodles will drink enough water on their own because of their active lifestyle. If not, then you can add water to the kibble or mix both wet and dry food. Plus, there is always the option of air-dried dog food, which tends to contain more moisture than regular kibble.

Wet dog food is a good idea of aging Goldendoodles, who can’t chew the kibble due to missing or loose teeth.

Weight Issues

Active breeds like Goldendoodles seldom gain weight despite a high-fat diet. Besides, one of the parent breeds, i.e., the poodle is not susceptible to weight issues.

However, an overweight Goldendoodle isn’t something entirely unheard of– and it should be a cause of concern. If your golden poo is gaining too much weight, then there can be a number of reasons:

  • Maybe your dog is overeating
  • Perhaps it isn’t eating the right food for its size
  • Maybe it’s not getting enough exercise
  • Maybe there is an underlying health issue

Whatever the case, unusual weight gain must be taken seriously. The best thing to do is to see a vet and try different dog food.

A Smoother Transition

Your goldie poo might get used to the food it has been eating, and it becomes slightly tricky to make them switch to a better one. Do not go for an abrupt change in its diet. Instead, mix only a spoonful of the new one in the current favorite for the first two days. Increase the quantity to two spoons for the next two days while reducing the amount of old food.

Gradually increase the amount of new food correspondingly and your dog will be eating the new pick in a matter of two to three weeks. However, if it is being too stubborn and not eating the new food, try a different flavor. Limited Ingredient Diet foods can help you identify your dog’s favorite ingredient, and you can pick the new one accordingly.


FAQ

Now you know my top five– there are a few more recommendations. However, before I move on to other options you can try, let’s try to answer some of the questions you might have regarding your goldie poo and its dietary needs.

What is the best dog food for Goldendoodle?

Goldendoodles tend to be more active than most breeds, and therefore, they need dry dog food with a high amount of quality meat proteins and good carbs. It is also one of the few breeds than can safely consume more than the usual amount of fat.

How much should my Goldendoodle eat?

Goldendoodles can vary in size, build, and activity level. The amount of daily food requirement also changes accordingly. An adult Goldendoodle can eat anywhere from 1 to 4 cups of kibbles a day.

How long should my Goldendoodle eat puppy food?

7 to 12 months is the ideal time of transition from puppy food to adult maintenance food for Goldendoodle. It depends on the size of your dog. It is in the smaller size category, you can switch in 7 months, but its best to wait for larger breeds.

What should a Goldendoodle eat?

Your Goldendoodle should eat high-quality kibble with a higher amount of meat proteins from quality sources. Most Goldendoodles enjoy poultry, but they are a true fan of novel meat proteins as well. Plus, their food should have vegetable carb sources.

What are the common health concerns for Goldendoodle?

Goldendoodle is a healthy breed in general, and it inherits only a few health issues prevalent in Golden Retrievers and Poodles. Hip dysplasia and infections or eyes and ears are common health concerns for the breed.

How long does a Goldendoodle live?

Goldendoodle’s average life expectancy is around 10 to 12 years. However, proper diet and regular exercise can help them live a healthy life until 15.

Do Goldendoodles smell bad?

Goldendoodles, like most fancy breeds with a fluffy coat, have a higher grooming requirement than others. If not bathed regularly, their fur may start to smell bad. They can also get gassy sometimes. A change in diet may help.

Do Goldendoodles need regular exercise?

Goldendoodle is a highly active breed with higher than average energy levels. They need both mental and physical exercise regularly.

Is grain-free food good for Goldendoodles?

Grains can provide your Goldendoodles with the energy they need to stay happy and active, but many grains are also common allergens. Therefore, it’s possible you may need to avoid grains and opt for gluten-free carbs instead.

Which protein source is best for Goldendoodles?

Meat proteins are great for Goldendoodles, but since they have a higher fat requirement as well, meat closer to the bone is both delicious and nutritious. Novel proteins from sources such as bison and venison are also good options.

Can Goldendoodles get fat?

Since Goldendoodles are generally active, they aren’t too susceptible to weight management issues. Obesity isn’t common among this breed unless you aren’t careful about giving them the proper exercise and limiting table scraps.

Is Goldendoodle a small breed dog?

The size of your doodle depends on the size of its parents. Small-sized retriever and poodle make for miniature Goldendoodles while large-sized parents will create a larger breed Goldendoodle.

Is a raw food diet good for Goldendoodle? 

Raw food diet or BARF diet may be suitable for most dogs because it is closest to their natural ancestral diet, but it is not recommended for designer or toy breeds like Goldendoodles. Freeze-dried is a better option than fresh, raw dog food.

Is freeze-dried food good for Goldendoodle? 

For crossbreeds and designer breeds, freeze-dried food is a safer and better alternative to entirely raw food. It has more proteins, and the meat is closer to its natural form without the bacteria.

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