14 Best Dog Foods for Goldendoodles

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

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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.

The Best Dog Foods for Goldendoodles

Top PicksCategory
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dog FoodBest For Adult Goldendoodle
2. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe Dog FoodBest For Puppy Goldendoodle
3. Nulo Freestyle Senior Grain-Free Trout & Sweet Potato Dog FoodBest For Senior Goldendoodle
4. My Ollie Beef RecipeBest Fresh Food For Goldendoodle
5. ACANA Grasslands Grain-Free Dog FoodBest Premium Food For Goldendoodle
6. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dog FoodBest Budget Food For Goldendoodle
7. Wysong Optimal Performance Dry Dog Food Best Food For Active Goldendoodle

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick


Goldendoodle Dog Food Reviews

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food — Best For Adult Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,599 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 34% | Fat min. 15%, | Fiber max. 6% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

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.


2. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe Dog Food — Best For Puppy Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,635 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 14%, | Fiber max. 3.5% | Moisture max. 11%
  • Form: Dry

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.


3. Nulo Freestyle Senior Grain-Free Trout & Sweet Potato Dog Food — Best For Senior Goldendoodles

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Trout, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Yellow Peas, 5. Sweet Potato

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,359 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Senior Goldendoodle become vulnerable to genetic diseases and digestive problems as they age. Luckily, Nulo Freestyle Senior Formula packs the perfect macro balance and supplements to keep all of these issues at bay. The grain-free formula has a 32% protein content made from trout and turkey, along with sweet potatoes and lentils for carbs that are non-allergenic and easy to digest. 

The diet is also enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin, which are crucial in holding off hip dysplasia in this breed. Probiotics and the absence of grains make this food ideal for Goldendoodles with a sensitive stomach. Lastly, the L-carnitine content in the food prevents obesity and the host of health problems that come with it.


4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken & Brown Rice Wet Dog Food — Best Wet Food For Goldendoodles

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Oatmeal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,140 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 8% | Fat min. 5%, | Fiber max. 1.4% | Moisture max. 78%
  • Form: Wet Food

Considering that most Goldendoodles have a sensitive stomach and a finicky appetite, there is no better wet food option than Merrick’s LID Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for this breed. The pate food is made from delicious chicken meat, chicken liver, and grains that can get even the pickiest dogs to wag their tail.

It’s also enriched with a blend of antioxidants, essential vitamins, and minerals for stronger immunity and general wellness. Any ingredient known to cause digestive upset, such as potato, peas, corn, dairy, eggs, or artificial additives, is removed completely from the recipe. For Goldendoodles suffering from runny poop or throwing tantrums, a few meals of Merrick’s LID Wet Food are perfect for getting them back on track.


5. My Ollie Beef Recipe — Best Fresh Food For Goldendoodles

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. peas, 3. sweet potato, 4. potato, 5. carrot

  • Life Stage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,540 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 9% | Fat min. 7%, | Fiber max. 2% | Moisture max. 70%
  • Form: Dry

If you want to take your dog’s health to the next level, only fresh food services like My Ollie can help you. Their Beef recipe is the perfect match for Goldendoodles and their dietary needs. It’s made with fresh beef meat and organs that supply essential amino acids for muscle maintenance, along with sweet potatoes and peas for an easily-digestible source of energy.

However, the beauty of this package is that My Ollie customizes the entire diet plan and recipes according to your dog’s physical attributes. They also take notes on allergies, sensitivities, and disease history so your dog can remain healthy in the long run. Packages are delivered to your doorstep by the company on a regular basis, so your dog has fresh and tasty food available at all times!


6. ACANA Grasslands Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Premium Food For Goldendoodles

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Deboned Duck, 3. Eggs, 4. Lamb Meal, 5. Goat Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,405 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 33% | Fat min. 17%, | Fiber max. 6% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

If you’re willing to splurge on your Goldendoodle’s dog food, the Acana Grassland Formula would be a great choice. You can see how it’s different from mediocre dog foods just by the ingredient list, which is full of lean proteins like lamb and duck, simple carbs such as lentils, and a range of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

It boasts a 33% protein and 17% fat content, most of which is derived from animal ingredients. The macro balance is perfect for keeping your Goldendoodle slim and active all day long. Sensitive and allergic pups will also digest the food easily as it’s free from fillers and artificial additives. And let’s not forget the mouth-watering taste of the kibbles, thanks to the abundance of protein and an exclusive freeze-dried coating.


7. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Budget Food For Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,600 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 25% | Fat min. 15%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

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.


8. Crave High Protein White Fish & Salmon Adult Dog Food — Best Weight Gain Food For Goldendoodles

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. White Fish, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Lentils, 4. Split Peas, 5. Chicken Fat

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,717 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 34% | Fat min. 17%, | Fiber max. 3.5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Help your underweight Goldendoodle put on healthy weight with Crave’s High Protein Dog Food. The formula is based on the ancestral diet of wolves and is fit for Goldendoodles of all sizes. The majority of its calories come from the 34% protein content, which consists of white fish and salmon meat, two of the favorite protein choices of this breed.

Unlike other cheap weight-gain formulas, Crave does not use fillers and grains to bump up the calorie count of their recipe. Instead, they use mild carbs like lentils and split peas that digest quickly without irritating the stomach of this sensitive breed. It also provides essential micronutrients required for a strong immune system and sharp mind.


9. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Dog Food — Best Weight Loss Food For Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,300  kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 12% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Based on a low-fat recipe but still full of protein and micronutrients, Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food is a no-brainer for owners with obese Goldendoodles. It’s designed to maximize lean muscle growth as it features a 33% crude protein content derived from turkey and chicken.

The grain-free formula uses lentils and peas for carbohydrates since they’re unlikely to trigger allergies or digestive upset. We were also pleased to see glucosamine and probiotics on the list, as Goldendoodles are prone to joint problems and typically have a sensitive stomach. Omega fatty acids are also present in the recipe and will prove vital in keeping your dog’s coat shiny and lustrous.


10. Solid Gold Wolf King Bison, Sweet Potato, and Brown Rice Dog Food — Best Food For Goldendoodles With Sensitive Stomach

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,440  kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 22% | Fat min. 9%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

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.


11. Zignature Catfish Limited Ingredient Formula Dog Food — Best Food For Allergic Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 410 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 14%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

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.


12. Victor Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Food — Best Tasting Food For Picky Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,666  kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 33% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 3.8% | Moisture max. 9%
  • Form: Dry

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.


13. Wysong Optimal Performance Dry Dog Food — Best Food For Active Goldendoodles

Ratings:

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

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,717  kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 50% | Fat min. 15%, | Fiber max. 5.5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

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.


14. 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.


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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