The Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles – A Buyer’s Guide for 2021

Dog Food for Goldendoodles

The Goldendoodle is quickly becoming one of the most popular types of dogs in North America. While the Goldendoodle is not its own recognized breed, it is a common type of mixed-breed dog. This is because they are a crossbreed between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.

Part of the reason for the growing popularity of the Goldendoodle is their unique curly and wavy fur. Not only does their coat really catch the eye, but it is also considered a hypoallergenic type of fur, which is a trait they take from the poodle side of their genetics. The fact that they are a well-mannered, smart, friendly, active dog that is perfectly suited for those with fur and dander allergies really explains why the number of Goldendoodle owners is increasing every single year!

How Can We Help You Look After Your Goldendoodle?

Due to the fact that Goldendoodles are active, medium to large-sized dogs, they need a high-quality diet that is packed with enough calories and nutrients to keep them healthy and happy. Incorporating aspects into their foods, like meat protein and essential fatty acids, will promote a healthy body, even for an older dog.

If you have recently bought a new Goldendoodle puppy home, or you have welcomed an adult Goldendoodle into the family through adoption or other means, we are here to help you choose the right food to keep your furry friend feeling its best.

Not only will we explain everything you need to know about the diet and nutrition requirements of a Goldendoodle, but we will also explain some important information you should know about common Goldendoodle allergies and health problems. We will also go over some useful tips about general Goldendoodle care!

Just like us, dogs have very specific needs when it comes to diet and nutrition. Ensuring that your dog receives a diet that is specifically formulated for the needs of a Goldendoodle is one of the best things you can do for his or her long-term health. By reading through our helpful Goldendoodle dog food guide, you will learn everything you need to know about feeding your dog the best possible diet!

The Dietary Needs of Goldendoodles

The Dietary Needs of Goldendoodles

Given that Goldendoodles are considered active, high-energy breeds, they require a high-quality diet that is packed with essential nutrients and plenty of calories. In most cases, you will want to choose a dry kibble that is high in both protein and healthy fat.

Choose a Dry Kibble for the Dog’s Dental Health:

While some dog owners prefer wet dog food, we find that dry food is also preferred, as a high-quality dry kibble will actually clean the teeth as the dog chews. This is particularly important for mid to large-sized dogs, as dental hygiene is of incredible importance to these larger breeds and mixes. Where it is easier to brush the teeth of the small and toy-sized breeds, it can be difficult with larger dogs. Having a kibble that helps to scrape the plaque and tartar off of the dog’s teeth can help prevent dental disease, which, if left unchecked, can actually lead to life-threatening issues in canines.

Avoid Ingredients That Trigger Common Food Allergies in Goldendoodles:

While Goldendoodles are a relatively healthy type of dog, which tends to be the case with mixed-breeds and mutts, there are certain allergies they are susceptible to.

Unfortunately, Goldendoodles are quite susceptible to food allergies. While all dogs can have allergies, Goldendoodles have an above-average level of risk. While most allergies do not trigger any sort of serious or life-threatening response, it is still best to avoid them, as they can result in plenty of irritation and discomfort for your dog.

If you can, avoid dog foods that contain excessive amounts of corn, soy, and dairy ingredients, as these often trigger allergic reactions in Goldendoodles. In most cases, the symptoms of a food allergy are pretty mild. For most Goldendoodles, a food allergy will usually result in sneezing, snoring, watery eyes, and mild itchiness; however, in more severe cases, the symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, hair loss, excessive licking of the skin and fur, inflammation, red spots on the face, paws, and ears, and severe itchiness that can result in self-harm.

To make things simple, we specifically chose to recommend dog foods that do not contain ingredients that are known to be common triggers for allergic reactions in Goldendoodles.

While each dog is different, some Goldendoodles will also have a slight sensitivity to chicken. This is a genetic trait that they inherit from the Golden Retriever side of the family. In most cases, the result of chicken sensitivity is just mild itchiness. You can always try your Goldendoodle on a chicken-flavored food or one that contains chicken protein, but if you notice your dog seems abnormally itchy, try switching to a different flavor, like beef, salmon, or lamb. If this solves the itchiness, there is a good chance your particular Goldendoodle has a chicken sensitivity.

Choose a Food That Contains High-Quality Ingredients and an Appropriate Amount of Protein, Fat, Salt, and Calories for Your Goldendoodle’s Current Life Stage:

Choose a Food That Contains High-Quality Ingredients

As mentioned, Goldendoodles tend to be highly active dogs, so you will want to choose a dog food that contains high-quality ingredients and a healthy nutritional profile. With that being said, understanding the important role that a dog’s current life stage plays in determining the correct type of food it needs is something that every dog owner should take the time to learn.

Life stages are important for the simple fact that dogs have specific nutritional and caloric requirements as they age. As you can imagine, puppies and young dogs that are still in the growing phase of their life need more calories relative to their body size than senior dogs.

Just like a growing teenaged human, young dogs go through a fairly rapid growing phase. During this period, the dog requires plenty of calories, protein, fat, and more to support all of its growth.

On the other hand, a dog should be switched to an adult dog food once they reach physical maturity, as they no longer need the excess calories to support their growth. While they will still need a significant amount of nutrients and calories to support their active lifestyle, they do not need the excess calories you often find in puppy food.

Once a dog has reached its senior years and has entered its final life stage, it should be switched to a lower calorie food. This is because senior dogs need far less protein and calories per day because they are far less active. Activity levels tend to drop as a result of age-related health issues, like joint pain and hip dysplasia, as well as just a general drop in energy levels.

Once your Goldendoodle has reached his or her senior years, you will also want to restrict their daily protein intake, as they will become far more susceptible to kidney failure as they age. You will also want to look for dog foods that contain very little salt, as a diet that is high in salt can put your older Goldendoodle at risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure.

The Dietary Life Stages of a Goldendoodle

Given how important your dog’s current life stage is for coming up with a healthy feeding routine, we have highlighted the three major phases. It is important to note that dog breeds age at different rates, so the following life stages guide should be used specifically for Goldendoodles:

Life StageAge
Puppy (Choose Puppy Food)Under 15 to 18 Months
Adult (Choose Adult Dog Food)Over 15 to 18 Months and Under 7 Years
Senior (Choose a Senior or Mature Dog Food)Over 7 to 10 Years

Goldendoodle Life Stage Feeding Schedule:

Not only is it important to choose a food that is appropriate for your Goldendoodle’s current life stage, you also need to take the dog’s calorie intake and the frequency of feedings into consideration. While the amount of food you provide will depend on your dog’s current weight and the amount of calories in your preferred brand of food, the frequency of feedings can be broken down in the following ways:

During the puppy life stage, you should feed your Goldendoodle three times per day; however, some dog owners prefer to give their pup four smaller meals, rather than three larger ones.

Goldendoodles that are in the adult stage of their life should be given two meals per day. One in the morning and one in the evening, as spacing the meals out ensures that your dog is on a regular digestive schedule. Remember, dogs tend to do best when their days follow a predictable routine. Sudden changes can trigger anxiety and even some physical symptoms, so you should find a feeding a walking schedule that works for you and your dog. Once you do, try your best to stick with it!

Senior dogs should also get two meals per day; however, the volume of food, or more specifically, the calories they receive per day should be scaled back. You do not have to alter the feeding schedule from the dog’s adult years, but you should slowly scale back the amount of food they receive and consider switching them to senior dog food.

Goldendoodle Care

Goldendoodle Care

While diet and nutrition are incredibly important, there are a few quick tips you can follow to help improve your Goldendoodle’s overall health. By keeping the following care tips in mind, you will be able to keep your cute and curly friend feeling his or her best:

Stick to a Brushing Schedule:

As mentioned earlier, Goldendoodles are hypoallergenic, which means they do not shed excessively, as you get with other types of dogs. Even though you will not have to deal with nearly as much hair and dander around the house, you should still take the time to brush your Goldendoodle’s fur on a fairly regular basis. Removing dead hair helps keep the coat looking shiny and healthy. More importantly, brushing helps prevent matting, which can be an issue with Goldendoodles, as certain doodles will have very wiry and curly hair, which is a result of the Poodle side of their genes.

Adopt a Bathing Routine for Your Goldendoodle:

To help keep your dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling healthy, you should adopt a bathing routine. Making sure your dog gets plenty of baths with a high-quality, moisturizing shampoo really makes a difference. A bath every three weeks usually does the trick; however, you can come up with a routine that works best for you and your pup!

If your Goldendoodle is a puppy, you should try to give him or her a bath frequently, as this will help your dog get used to water and baths. Conditioning your dog to accept a bathing routine from an early age will really make things easier in the long run.

Some people also incorporate nail trimming into their bath routine. Trimming the nails on a regular basis helps prevent overgrowth. Dog nails contain a blood vessel and a sensitive nerve, which are commonly referred to as the quick. It is important to trim the nails regularly, as this can help train the quick to recede from the tips of the nails.

Make Sure Your Goldendoodle Gets Plenty of Exercise:

As mentioned, Goldendoodles are highly energetic dogs. To stay healthy and happy, they need plenty of exercises every single day. This is why they are such great dogs for those that enjoy walks, runs, and hikes. Since they also tend to be very smart dogs, they usually enjoy fun games, like fetch.

Take your Goldendoodle for at least two walks per day. Remember, they are also a very social type of dog, so they enjoy spending time with people and other dogs. Not only will these obedient, intelligent, and athletic dogs enjoy getting their exercise, it is essential for their long-term health!

The Best Types of Dog Food for Goldendoodles

Now that you know a little bit more about the dietary needs of Goldendoodles, as well as some useful tips you can follow to keep your canine companion looking and feeling great, we can go over some of the best types of dog food for Goldendoodles. Each type of dog food that we have chosen was selected because it is perfectly formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of these active dogs.

We will start with the best options for Goldendoodle puppies. From there, we will then list the best dog food options for adult Goldendoodles.

The Best Goldendoodle Puppy Foods

The Best Goldendoodle Puppy Foods

1. Hill’s Science Diet – Large Breed Dry Kibble Puppy Food – Chicken Flavor

Hill’s Science Diet – Large Breed Dry Kibble Puppy Food - Chicken Flavor

Hill’s Science Diet is the number one recommended brand amongst American veterinarians.If you are unfamiliar with the brand, you will be happy to learn that it was founded by several veterinarians that all held specializations in the field of veterinary clinical nutrition. During the 1960s, the founders sought to create a specialized diet to meet the unique dietary needs of the very first guide dog in the American Seeing Eye Dog Program.

Since that time, Hill’s Science Diet has remained committed to providing highly nutritious dog foods that are scientifically-backed and made from only the highest-quality ingredients.

Their Large Breed Dry Puppy Food is perfectly suited to the dietary requirements of Goldendoodle puppies! Each serving contains the optimal amount of protein and calcium to support your young dog’s growth. Each kibble also contains a balanced set of vitamins and minerals, which helps promote strong bones and teeth.

Where some people will choose to give their puppy soft food, Hill’s Science Diet chose a hard kibble, as this helps clean the puppy’s teeth and build jaw strength. Given how important oral health is for puppies, especially as their adult teeth are coming in, you will be relieved to learn that these medium-sized kibbles were specifically designed to remove tartar and plaque and keep your Goldendoodle pup’s emerging adult teeth clean and healthy.

Each kibble is also coated in DHA fish oil, which encourages healthy brain and eye development. The added Omega 3 fatty acids also help improve the overall health of your puppy’s developing digestive system.

As with all of Hill’s Science Diet dog foods, this large breed of puppy food contains only the highest quality animal proteins, which will help your puppy build and maintain lean muscle.

Key Features:

  • Contains high-quality, healthy ingredients, like chicken meal, whole grains, brown rice, flaxseeds, green peas, and more
  • Veterinarian recommended option for Goldendoodle puppies
  • Formulated with ingredients that help support heart health
  • Hard kibble helps support dental health
  • Supports strong bones and teeth, joint health, healthy digestive system function, and more

2. Royal Canin – Large Breed Dry Puppy Food – Vegetable Flavor

Royal Canin – Large Breed Dry Puppy Food – Vegetable Flavor

Royal Canin is another pet food manufacturer that is often recommended by veterinarians. The Royal Canin Large Breed Dry Puppy Food is a great option for those that are seeking out a healthy and nutritious option for their Goldendoodle puppy.

Given that the adult weight of a standard Goldendoodle tends to range somewhere between 50 and 90 pounds, the fact that this food was specifically formulated for puppies that will eventually reach an adult weight between 56 and 100 pounds means it contains all of the nutrients and calories your young pup will need for its development.

The food itself was specifically formulated to support healthy joint and bone growth by providing all of the vitamins and minerals your young dog requires. The unique blend of antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins were specifically chosen to support your Goldendoodle puppy’s immune system development, which is extremely important for your dog’s long-term and short-term health.

Like the Hill’s Science Diet puppy food, the Royal Canin option comes in the form of a unique kibble that was designed to encourage jaw muscle development and dental hygiene. The highly digestible proteins and prebiotic ingredients help to promote digestive system health and to make sure your puppy absorbs as much of the nutrients in the food as possible.

The relatively high protein content is designed to support the high-energy behavior of active, large-breed puppies, like Goldendoodles. This completely balanced puppy food is the perfect option if you want to make sure that your little puppy has the perfect healthy start in life!

Key Features:

  • Perfect calorie and nutrient profile for a Goldendoodle puppy
  • Unique antioxidant and vitamin E profile helps support immune system development
  • High-quality protein sources and prebiotic ingredients support digestive health and nutrient absorption
  • The desirable flavor and satisfying texture help keep puppies interested in the food
  • Unique shape of the kibble helps to clean their puppy teeth and emerging adult teeth

The Best Goldendoodle Adult Dog Foods

The Best Goldendoodle Adult Dog Foods

1. Purina – Pro Plan High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food – Chicken and Rice Flavor

Purina – Pro Plan High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food – Chicken and Rice Flavor

Purina is a dog food brand that most pet owners will be familiar with. Purina Pro Plan is considered Purina’s premium line of dog food and this high protein blend was specifically formulated to meet the nutritional and caloric needs of large-breed, adult dogs.

The food is an excellent option for adult Goldendoodles, as it comes in the form of a hard kibble and also features real chunks of shredded meat. Not only does the texture, scent, and flavor of the shredded meat chunks ensure the food is irresistible to dogs, it increases the overall protein content, which is perfect for large, high-energy dogs, like adult Goldendoodles.

Pro Plan High Protein’s hard kibbles were specifically developed for their dental benefits. While your dog will love the tender pieces of shredded chicken, the hard, textured kibbles will help clean tartar and plaque from their teeth, which is incredibly important for maintaining good dental health.

In addition to having the perfect balance of protein and healthy fats for a full-grown, large dog, the food is also packed with the optimal amounts of vitamin A, linoleic acid, omega 6 fatty acid, and other important vitamins and minerals. The kibbles are also fortified with live probiotics and prebiotic fiber, which helps to improve your dog’s digestive health and the overall strength of his or her immune system.

Overall, this is a high-quality, dry dog food that is perfectly suited for the dietary needs of an adult Goldendoodle!

Key Features:

  • Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics, which is important for digestive and immune system health
  • The hard kibbles help to clean the teeth, while tender pieces of shredded chicken increase the food’s protein content and ensure it has the taste and texture that dogs love
  • Optimal calorie content per serving to maintain a healthy body weight for an adult Goldendoodle
  • Omega 6 fatty acid, as well as vitamins A and E, nourish your Goldendoodle’s skin and coat

2. Canidae – PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food – Lamb and Pea Flavor

Canidae - PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food - Lamb and Pea Flavor

Canidae is a relatively new pet food brand; however, they have still managed to build a strong following and a solid reputation through their dedication to using only the highest quality ingredients. Each type of dog food in their product line uses real meat as the primary ingredient, rather than additives, fillers, and unappetizing by-products.

Their PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is perfectly suited to the dietary needs of an adult Goldendoodle. It is formulated to offer your dog a well-rounded food that contains the correct nutrients your dog requires for both its short-term and long-term health.

Given how some Goldendoodles will suffer from mild stomach sensitivities to certain ingredients, the fact that Canidae avoids common allergy triggers, like soy and corn, ensures your furry friend will not suffer any digestive issues. As mentioned, they use real meat and combine it with healthy, whole grain ingredients, like sweet potatoes, green peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

The dry kibbles help promote dental health and they are packed with the nutrients your dog needs to support a high-energy lifestyle. Not only does this dog food contain the perfect balance of protein and healthy fats, it is also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. This unique blend of nutrients helps support your dog’s digestive function, immune system health, and coat.

Overall, it is an excellent choice, especially for Goldendoodles that suffer from mild stomach sensitivities and food allergies!

Key Features:

  • Contains only 10 key ingredients, meaning your dog gets everything it needs and nothing it does not
  • Specifically designed to be a sensible option for dogs that suffer from stomach issues and food allergies
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help support skin and coat health
  • Natural antioxidants and prebiotics help support digestive system function and immune system health
  • Perfectly suited to the caloric and nutritional requirements of an adult Goldendoodle

3. Hill’s Science Diet – Corn, Soy, and Wheat-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food – Chicken Flavor

Hill’s Science Diet – Corn, Soy, and Wheat-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food – Chicken Flavor

As we discussed above, Hill’s Science Diet is one of the most trusted dog food brands you can choose. After your Goldendoodle has aged beyond his or her puppy years, it is a good idea to graduate to Hill’s Science Diet’s adult, large-breed dog food.

This particular formula was made without the use of common allergy triggers, like corn, wheat, and soy, so it will fulfill your dog’s dietary requirements, without irritating the stomach or skin. It was also specifically designed to support joint health, which is particularly important for Goldendoodles, as they can suffer from joint issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis as they age. To help you maintain the health and strength of your dog’s joints, natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin are added to the kibbles.

As with the puppy food version of this scientifically-backed dog food, the large-breed food also comes in the form of a textured, hard kibble, so the food will clean the teeth as the dog chews. Nourishing vitamin E, A, and omega 6 fatty acids help maintain your adult Goldendoodle’s skin and shiny coat, which is also important as your dog progresses through his or her adult life stage. Ingredients containing natural sources of powerful antioxidants also help promote heart health and immune system function.

As with each and every type of dog food Hill’s Science Diet offers, this blend contains high-quality, natural ingredients that were specifically assembled to meet the dietary requirements of your dog’s current life stage and physical size.

Key Features:

  • Hill’s Science Diet is the number one veterinarian recommended dog food brand in the United States
  • Free from common allergy triggers, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin are added for the maintenance of joint health, which is particularly important for Goldendoodles, as the Golden Retriever side of their genetics makes them vulnerable to certain joint issues, like hip dysplasia and arthritis
  • Perfect amount of protein and healthy fat for the maintenance of lean muscles

4. Nutro Natural Choice – Large Breed Dry Dog Food – Lamb and Rice Flavor

While Nutro Natural Choice may not have the same level of brand recognition as some of the above-mentioned pet food manufacturers, they have quickly earned themselves a solid reputation for offering nutritious and natural blends of healthy dog food.

Their large breed, adult dog food is perfectly suited to the unique calorie and nutrient requirements of fully-grown Goldendoodles. The food is free from GMO ingredients, meat by-products, corn, and soy, so you will not have to worry about the kibbles triggering any sort of stomach issue that your Goldendoodle may suffer from.

Like the adult dog food on offer from Hill’s Science Diet, this blend also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, so it will support joint health and function. Essential antioxidants also help with immune system health, as well as support a healthy cardiovascular system.

As with the other dog foods on our list, the Nutro Natural Choice food comes in the form of a textured, dry kibble, so it will help to remove tartar and plaque from the teeth, which is important for your dog’s long-term oral health.

The natural ingredients and real flavors appeal to dogs, so you will not have to worry about your Goldendoodle leaving any kibbles behind during mealtime. Overall, this is a high-quality dog food that is perfectly suited for an adult Goldendoodle.

Key Features:

  • Contains high-quality, natural ingredients, such as deboned lamb meat, whole grain brown rice, dried pumpkin, kale, and more
  • Designed to keep adult, large-breed dogs trim and fit by offering the perfect balance of protein and healthy fats
  • Contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is really helpful for supporting healthy joints
  • Contains plenty of natural antioxidants for healthy immune system function and long-term cardiovascular health

Final Words

Final Words

No matter what type of food you choose, it is important to take your particular Goldendoodle’s needs into consideration when you are determining the appropriate food portions to offer each day. Due to the fact that a Goldendoodle is a mixed-breed dog, its particular lineage will determine its physical size when it is fully grown.

While they were all formulated specifically for large-breed dogs, each of the dog foods we highlighted above will specifically state how much you should feed your dog per meal on the label. If you have a smaller Goldendoodle, you can reduce the volume slightly and make sure the portions meet the caloric requirements for your specific dog’s healthy, adult weight.

If you are unsure about portions, or how to come up with an appropriate feeding schedule, you can always speak with a veterinarian, as they can take your dog’s breed, bodyweight, age, and more into consideration and come up with an exact diet plan.

No matter what you do, always choose a type of dog food that is suitable for your dog’s size and current life stage. Remember, maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the best things you can do for your Goldendoodle’s long-term health.

You should also make sure your canine companion gets enough daily exercise and water to stay fit and healthy. This is particularly important for Goldendoodles, as they are energetic dogs!

By choosing from the dog foods that we highlighted above, you will be making sure that your dog receives all of the protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and calories it requires to live a happy and healthy life!

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