Cavapoos bring the best of both worlds together, as a mix between the adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the fun-loving Poodle. Both breeds are energetic pets that make great family dogs.
The breed may combine the best qualities of their parents, but they can also inherit health challenges like allergies and a risk of hypoglycemia.
In addition, Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are both notoriously picky eaters — so finding the best dog food can sometimes be a challenge for Cavapoos.
They thrive on energy-rich dog food formulas that exclude common allergens.
With this in mind, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dog Food is my favorite dog food for adult Cavapoos.
But every Cavapoo is unique. If you have a Cavapoo with special dietary needs, keep reading to check out our reviews of the best dog food brands for Cavapoos with allergies, active lifestyles, sensitive stomachs, and more.
Our Best Dog Food for Cavapoos
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food (Best for Adult Cavapoos)
- Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food (Best for Cavapoo Puppies)
- Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior Dog Food (Best for Senior Cavapoos)
- Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
- Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts Chicken Recipe Fresh Dog Food (Best Premium Dog Food)
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Variety Pack Wet Dog Food (Best Wet Food)
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites Dog Food (Best for Allergies)
- Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food (Best for Active Cavapoos)
- Cesar Wholesome Bowls Variety Pack Wet Dog Food (Best for Picky Eaters)
- Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Breed Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Stomachs)
10 Best Dog Food for Cavapoos Reviewed
All dog foods included in this review meet the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Antioxidant-rich formula with healthy whole grains
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food contains a moderate 26% protein content from high-quality protein sources. Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, with additional protein from chicken meal and fish meal.
This Blue Buffalo formula’s 396 kcal/cup caloric content is ideal for small dogs, as these breeds need more energy than larger dogs, but can’t eat large volumes of food.
Whole grains are especially important for small breeds. The brown rice, oatmeal, and barley in this recipe provide digestible carbohydrates and 4% crude fiber.
These carbohydrates can help reduce the risk of low blood sugar and hypoglycemia in your Cavapoo. Small breeds — like Cavapoos — have a higher risk of hypoglycemia because they have less glygen storage, due to their body size. So this feature is ideal.
The moderate 15% crude fat content includes sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, like fish meal and flaxseed, supporting skin health and promoting a soft, shiny coat.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection formulas also contain a Super 7 package of antioxidants which support a healthy immune system and protect against oxidative stress over the Cavapoo’s long lifespan. Oxidative stress occurs when there are excess free radicals in the body which can cause cellular damage.
This dry food also does not contain common allergens like corn, wheat, or soy.
Dog owners highly recommend this recipe as an excellent dry dog food option for picky eaters like Cavapoos. But, some highly picky eaters may prefer wet dog food.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Salmon Meal, Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 19% Crude Fat, 4.25% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 489 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-calorie formula optimized for growing small dogs
The moderately high 28% crude protein supports healthy muscle development. And high-quality protein sources in this recipe include deboned turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal.
DHA from salmon meal then contributes to the moderately high 19% crude fat content. This omega-3 fatty acid is essential for healthy brain development in growing dogs.
Added probiotics support digestive health and sensitive young stomachs. The recipe also avoids meat by-products, fillers, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, and soy.
Some Cavapoos inherit a disposition to allergies, and these additives are common allergens — their exclusion protects your pup’s tummy.
Unlike most dog foods, Wellness Small Breed Complete Health is manufactured in the USA.
Cavapoo puppy owners who feed this formula notice improvement in puppies who previously struggled with loose stool. But others report that some puppies may find the kibble too hard.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Fiber
- Caloric Content: 320 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Natural nutrition to support healthy bones and digestion in older dogs
This senior dog food’s 26% crude protein content comes from real meat, like chicken. Other natural ingredients — like fish oil and chia seed — contribute to the moderate 14% crude fat content.
Chia seed is a unique superfood ingredient in dog food that provides multiple benefits as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, essential minerals, and antioxidants.
Senior Cavapoos have lower calorie requirements, but these older dogs still benefit from whole grains like barley and easily digestible carbohydrates. Plus, the additional high-fiber ingredients like beet pulp keep older digestive systems moving smoothly.
Fiber feeds good bacteria in your dog’s gut to balance his microbiome and optimize nutrient absorption.
Although Cavapoos can become even pickier as they age, many dog owner reviews share that most senior dogs happily eat this food.
This Non-GMO formula uses only human-grade ingredients and contains no molasses, corn, wheat, or soy.
Vitamin E and other antioxidants added to this recipe support weaker immune systems in older dogs and combat oxidative stress.
This recipe also includes extra calcium to support bone health. However, alone it might not provide enough joint support for senior Cavapoos with advanced joint health needs. If your Cavapoo has joint concerns, consider adding a joint supplement.
Dog owners recommend this formula for seniors with digestive concerns and often notice that their dogs have more regular bowel movements on this diet.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat, Cracked Pearl Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3% Fiber
- Caloric Content: 345 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Superfood ingredients in a budget-friendly formula
Diamond Naturals produces affordable formulas with unique nutrient-dense ingredients that support a healthy life. The recipe includes superfoods like chia seeds, blueberries, kale, and pumpkin.
Real chicken is an affordable source of high-quality protein that contributes to the high 27% crude protein content. Other budget brands commonly use lower-quality meat by-products as protein sources.
Digestive support from 80 billion CFUs of proprietary Lactobacillus Acidophilus acts as a probiotic to optimize digestion. Healthy gut function is essential for dogs to get the most out of their food, so probiotics — like Lactobacilus Acidophilus — are beneficial for Cavapoos with sensitive stomachs.
The small kibble size is ideal for petite breeds like the Cavapoo. And, being formulated without corn, wheat, and soy, make this dog food extra suitable for sensitive stomachs.
Diamond Naturals is a family-owned company that uses trusted sources to make their dog food in the USA.
Reviews from dog owners share success stories managing digestive upset with this diet. This dog food is easy for most dogs to chew, but some picky eaters may not find the flavor appealing.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Pea Protein, Pea Fiber
- Guaranteed Analysis: (Wet matter basis) 16% Crude Protein, 6.5% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 171 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Fresh dog food with premium whole food ingredients
Cavapoo owners who prefer to feed fresh food to their pets should consider Freshpet Vital Fresh Cuts Chicken Recipe Fresh Dog Food.
The high moisture content of fresh food lowers crude macronutrient percentages compared to dry food because of the increased density. While moisture impacts the weight of each serving, it does not impact the nutrition provided.
This recipe offers high-quality protein from natural shredded chicken. Many picky breeds, like Cavapoos, strongly prefer fresh ingredients like these over dry food kibble.
Unlike most raw food and fresh food options, the Vital Fresh Cuts Chicken Recipe is not grain-free. However, that said, carbohydrates from grain-based ingredients like oats make this recipe easily digestible and ideal for Cavapoos with high metabolisms.
Plus, veterinarians generally do not recommend grain-free diets for dogs with a predisposition to specific heart problems. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in Cavalier King Charles spaniels, so supporting your Cavapoo’s heart health is essential.
Minimally processed dog food may also support your dog’s health. Fresh recipes typically don’t include additives that can irritate sensitive stomachs or allergies.
Dog owner reviews frequently share noticeable improvements in their pets’ overall wellbeing after transitioning to this food.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Egg White, Pea Protein
- Guaranteed Analysis: (Wet matter basis) 9% Crude Protein, 2% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 235 kcal/tub
- Key Feature: Natural high-protein wet food with excellent palatability
This wet dog food comes in a variety pack of chunky recipes to suit the picky palates of Cavapoos. Plus, all Nutrish Natural recipes offer a balanced diet with ideal amounts of protein and carbohydrates for small breeds.
Like fresh recipes, wet dog foods have a higher moisture content that lowers the crude macronutrient percentages listed on the label. This wet pet food offers similar protein and fat levels to our favorite dry formula for Cavapoos, it just has more wet matter.
High-quality protein from chicken, beef, and lamb supports muscle health. And the chicken broth base of these wet recipes makes the food appealing to even the fussiest eaters.
Wholesome vegetables and whole grains provide healthy sources of carbohydrates and fiber. Then, additional fortification with vitamins and minerals add further essential nutrients to the natural ingredients.
Unlike many wet dog food labels, the nutritional analysis of this recipe does not include corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, preservatives, or other common allergens.
Pet parents often recommend mixing chunks of this wet food with your dog’s dry food to encourage picky eaters. Others prefer to feed this canned food as their pet’s entire diet.
- First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 380 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Limited ingredient diet for Cavapoos with allergies
Like poodles, Cavapoos often struggle with food allergies. Unfortunately, there is no cure for allergies in dogs, but a simple diet can help manage allergic reactions and avoid upsetting sensitive stomachs.
Limited Ingredient Diets, like this recipe from Natural Balance, eliminate common fillers and additives. These formulas use a few simple ingredients to provide a complete diet and avoid food sensitivities.
This 24% protein dog food uses salmon as the single source of protein. Salmon is a good alternative if your Cavapoo is allergic to chicken and other typical dog food proteins.
Grains are also common allergens. Many grain-free dog foods don’t provide enough carbohydrates for smaller dogs, but this recipe offers plenty of digestible carbohydrates and fiber from sweet potatoes.
So, this high-quality dog food is perfectly suitable for Cavapoos.
Fatty acids from salmon support a healthy coat — but the lower 10% fat content in this food is not ideal for supporting coat health in Cavapoos on its own. However, the higher levels of fat provide more energy for small breeds and promote the production of natural oils to support skin health.
Most pet parents find that picky dogs readily eat this kibble. But others may be turned off by the fishy smell.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Beef Fat, Corn Gluten Meal
- Guaranteed Analysis: 29% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 373 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High protein, high-fat dog food for active small breeds
Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula provides 29% crude protein and 17% crude fat.
This ideal protein to fat ratio offers additional energy sources to support healthy weight maintenance in Cavapoos that have active lifestyles and that inherit high-energy personalities from their Poodle parents.
Many high-protein dog food formulas are grain-free. But, Purina Pro Plan dog foods include sources of whole grains — like whole-grain corn and whole-grain wheat — to provide active small dogs with the carbohydrates they need.
Although chicken is the primary source of protein, this recipe does contain some meat by-products. These ingredients provide a natural source of glucosamine to support joint health in active dogs.
Added vitamins and minerals make this formula a complete and balanced diet for active small dogs. This dog food also contains live probiotics to support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption for dogs who need extra energy.
Reviews from dog owners especially recommend this formula for active dogs that need help maintaining weight.
- First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Water, Chicken, Carrots, Purple Potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: (Wet matter basis) 9.5% Crude Protein, 1% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 83 kcal/bowl
- Key Feature: Delicious food recipe for picky Cavapoos
Cesar Wholesome Bowls come in a variety pack that contains two different flavors of wet dog food. Variety in flavors is beneficial for picky dogs who may lose interest in certain formulas. Plus, most dogs find the shredded texture of this food extra appealing.
Formulated specifically for small breeds, this wet food consists of meat chunks and savory vegetables. High protein content from real meat like beef and chicken supports muscle health, while potatoes and barley provide digestible carbohydrates for energy.
Each bowl offers complete nutrition for small dogs without added artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, or fillers. However, this brand is not corn, soy, or wheat-free — ingredients that may not be suitable for Cavapoos with food allergies.
Wet foods are generally more tasty for dogs, and the unique texture of this option is ideal for picky eaters. Every bowl is sealed for freshness.
Reviews from pet parents who have struggled with fussy dogs often share that their pups readily ate this dog food.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 21% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber
- Caloric Content: 392 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Specifically formulated to support dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin
Cavapoos and small breeds often have delicate digestive systems and sensitive skin. Both parent breeds can struggle with these issues, in addition to allergies.
Elimination diets can help address food allergies. But these formulas typically don’t have supportive ingredients for other conditions.
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin is not a limited ingredient diet. Instead, it contains ingredients that help manage sensitivities. Real chicken provides easily digestible protein, while brewer’s rice offers a rich source of carbohydrates that helps soothe sensitive stomachs.
Although it contains lower crude protein and fat levels, the recipe has high crude fiber from prebiotic ingredients — like beet pulp and whole grain sorghum — that support digestion.
This recipe also contains high levels of antioxidants that support a robust immune system. Plus, extra omega fatty acids and vitamin E promote a healthy coat and skin, too.
Many owner reviews report regular bowel movements and improved skin conditions after switching to this dog food. And, unlike other formulas for sensitive pups, this kibble features small enough pieces for the tiniest Cavapoos.
Guide to Buying Dog Food for Cavapoos
When shopping for the best food for Cavapoo dogs, there are several factors to consider.
Cavapoo Nutritional Needs
Formulating a balanced diet is essential for your dog’s health. Although all canine diets should follow AAFCO guidelines, individual breeds have slightly different macronutrient requirements.
High Protein Content
Dogs are omnivores that need high-quality sources of animal protein in their diet. Cavapoos are active dogs who benefit from diets with moderate to high protein levels.
Dog food with at least 21% crude protein will meet your Cavapoo’s protein requirements. But higher levels may be beneficial for supporting muscle health in more active dogs.
Crude protein indicates how much protein is in the food, but this percentage does not reveal protein quality. Look for a recipe with real meat like chicken or salmon as the first ingredient.
Meat meal can provide high levels of protein, but this ingredient may lose nutritional value with extra processing.
Healthy fats play a vital role in a complete canine diet. Although many dogs struggle with obesity, a lower crude fat content is not always better.
Fats are essential for coat and skin health. Plus, this macronutrient is an excellent source of energy for small dogs with higher metabolisms.
Choose a dog food with at least 10% crude fat content. Pay attention to fat sources as well, and look for fats that provide omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil.
Complex Carbohydrates & Fiber
Digestible carbohydrates are especially important for small breeds like Cavapoos.
Smaller dogs can’t store glycogen efficiently in their bodies. So, these breeds must continually consume carbohydrates to replenish blood glucose levels.
Whole grains are a healthy source of carbohydrates for small dogs. However, if your Cavapoo is allergic to certain grains, grain-free ingredients like sweet potatoes can also provide complex carbohydrates.
Dietary fiber from whole grains, potatoes, beet pulp, and other ingredients acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics nourish good gut bacteria and support digestive health in Cavapoos with sensitive stomachs.
Vitamins and Minerals
Balanced vitamin and mineral ratios are essential for normal growth and development. Refer to the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs to determine your dog’s daily requirements for specific vitamins and minerals.
Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are especially vital for bone health in growing puppies. Improper ratios or mineral deficiencies during growth can cause chronic skeletal disease.
Vitamins support your Cavapoos overall health throughout his entire life. Some vitamins are antioxidants that protect damaged tissues.
Cavapoos with joint conditions often benefit from extra vitamin E and antioxidants in their diet.
Ingredients to Avoid
Some Cavapoos may have sensitivities to common ingredients in dog food like corn, wheat, and soy. But, many dogs can consume these ingredients without adverse side effects.
The most problematic ingredients are located further down the dog food label.
Melamine is the first ingredient Cavapoo owners should avoid. This nitrogen-rich ingredient makes dog food appear to have more protein than it does, but it can actually cause kidney failure when ingested by dogs with a predisposition to kidney disease — like Cavapoos.
Artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin extend the shelf life of dog foods. But, these chemicals can have harmful effects on dogs with long-term exposure — Ethoxyquin is even used as a pesticide.
If possible, avoid artificial preservatives altogether.
Dry vs Wet Foods for Cavapoos
Like many small breeds, Cavapoos can be notoriously picky. Fussy dogs typically prefer wet foods over dry foods. But, it can be challenging to find high-quality wet food for Cavapoos.
If your Cavapoo is a fussy eater, the wet and fresh foods included in this review are your best bet. Still, most Cavapoos owners find that their dogs readily eat high-quality dry dog food with kibble that is small enough for their tiny mouths.
Regardless of whether you feed wet or dry food, the nutritional value of your dog’s diet is more important than the texture. As long as your Cavapoo eats it, that is.
Cavapoo Health and Dietary Considerations
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles both have unique health challenges. As with most mixed breeds, it can be difficult to anticipate your Cavapoo’s health risks. When considering adopting a mixed breed, it’s important to understand the health concerns of both parents.
Cavapoos are most likely to struggle with the same health issues as their parents. Here are a few common health issues in Cavapoos that nutrition can help.
This breed frequently inherits a predisposition to allergies from their poodle parents. Food allergies in dogs typically cause skin problems.
If your Cavapoo has digestive issues, he likely has a food intolerance. Limited ingredient diets that eliminate common allergens help manage both concerns.
Cavapoos and other small breeds are predisposed to low blood sugar. Because of their small body size, they often can’t store adequate amounts of sugar as glycogen and must eat frequently.
Abnormally low blood sugar causes hypoglycemia in dogs. This condition can cause scary symptoms like shaking, seizures, and weakness.
Thankfully, a proper diet can help prevent this disease by providing sufficient energy levels. Ensure that your Cavapoo consumes enough calories and carbohydrates every day. Balanced macronutrient ratios also help normalize blood sugar levels.
Both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles can suffer from hip dysplasia and other joint conditions.
High levels of antioxidants — like vitamin E — can limit damage from excess inflammation associated with joint disease. In addition, healthy fats with natural anti-inflammatory properties like omega-3s are also beneficial for managing joint pain and inflammation.
Look for formulas with added ingredients like glucosamine for more advanced joint support.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels also struggle with eye problems like “cherry eye.” Therefore, vitamin A is essential for supporting eye health in Cavapoos.
If you suspect that your Cavapoo has cherry eye, talk to your veterinarian to determine if your pup needs surgery.
Dog food ingredients with high levels of vitamin A include liver, egg yolks, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Cavapoos need a well-balanced diet that provides high levels of digestible energy. Like other dogs, they are predisposed to hypoglycemia if they don’t eat enough carbohydrates.
They’re adorable dogs with sensitive stomachs and picky palates. So, finding the right dog food can be a challenge.
Thankfully, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dog Food is a tasty, nutrient-dense formula that provides an ideal diet for Cavapoos.
Got questions about the best dog food for Cavapoos? We’ve got answers!
Is grain-free dog food better for Cavapoos?
Grain-free dog food is not always better for Cavapoos. Cavapoos may have a predisposition to certain heart problems associated with grain-free diets.
There are plenty of safe grain-free diets that provide adequate taurine and complex carbohydrates for Cavapoos. But, a grain-inclusive diet might be a safer bet for ensuring that your Cavapoo consumes enough carbohydrates.
If you’re interested in feeding your Cavapoo a grain-free diet, do so with veterinary guidance.
Are Cavapoos picky eaters?
Cavapoos are generally picky eaters. Unlike owners of labs and other breeds who love all the foods, Cavapoo owners may struggle to find a dog food that suits their pup’s palate.
All of the dog foods included in this review offer excellent palatability for picky pooches like Cavapoos.
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