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Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles

goldendoodle closeup

This is our review of the best dog food for Goldendoodles in 2020.

The best dog foods for this breed have high protein content and healthy fats to support their unique hybrid physique.

Goldendoodles combine the best of two beloved breeds. But they also inherit a predisposition to several health conditions from Golden Retrievers.

I love these energetic dogs. So I used my background as a veterinary technician to research the best dog foods for Goldendoodles and help owners make the best decision for their pup.

My research showed that Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food is the best overall dog food for Goldendoodles.

But the needs of hybrid dogs can vary significantly. So, I’ve included reviews of the best dog food brands for Goldendoodles in every category.

Let’s get started.

Our Best Dog Foods for Goldendoodles

Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles

All dog foods included on this list meet the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. [1] Always consult your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas
  • Key Feature: Comprehensive formula that supports multiple conditions
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 340 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Overall

Chicken is the first ingredient in this formula, providing 25% protein content. A high protein dog food is critical for supporting muscle development in athletic Goldendoodles. [2]

This recipe uses whole-food ingredients and does not contain any by-products.

Vitamin E and other mixed tocopherols help protect the eyes of breeds with a predisposition for eye problems. [3] Added glucosamine also helps ease joint discomfort in Goldendoodles.

High amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from salmon meals help maintain your hybrid dog’s unique curly coat. [4] Healthy fats and taurine are also essential for supporting heart health in this Golden Retriever descendent.

Complex carbohydrates from whole food ingredients like sweet potatoes and barley provide energy for active lifestyles. Plus, this dog food does not contain any fillers that may cause allergic reactions in Goldendoodles.

Most Goldendoodle owners who feed this dog food recommend the formula for overall nutritional support. And they also frequently notice an added benefit of less smelly stools.




Nutro Ultra Large Breed Puppy Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Puppy Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Oatmeal
  • Key Feature: Superfoods provide concentrated nutrition for growing puppies
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 353 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best For: Goldendoodle Puppies

An ideal 26% protein content comes from chicken, lamb, and salmon. These three lean animal proteins provide complementary amino acids to give your Goldendoodle puppy everything he needs for proper muscle growth.

Nutrient-dense ‘superfoods‘ like kale add high amounts of vitamins and minerals without excess calories. Excess calories could lead to rapid growth, which can cause developmental disorders. [5]

Healthy fats from sunflower and fish oil help support brain development in growing dogs. Added taurine also helps protect young hearts.

This formula offers balanced nutrition to meet the daily requirements of Goldendoodle puppies.

And it does not include any artificial additives. Young dogs have sensitive digestive systems that can have difficulty processing these ingredients.

Most Goldendoodle owners recommend this puppy food for steady growth. But some dogs had loose stools after beginning this diet.




Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Senior Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal
  • Key Feature: Senior formula that provides advanced nutritional support
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 344 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best For: Goldendoodle Seniors

The lower 20% crude protein content from real chicken is adequate for senior Goldendoodles’ lower protein needs. And a high 7% fiber content positively impacts digestive health in older pups with sensitive stomachs.

Goldendoodles are active dogs who can stay playful as they age with the right nutritional support. The L-Carnitine in this formula helps maintain muscle mass as dogs age. And whole-grain ingredients like brown rice provide digestible carbohydrates for energy.

Advanced therapeutic nutrition helps keep mature pups comfortable. Concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals help senior Goldendoodles maintain adequate calcium levels for healthy bones. [6]

Significant sources of glucosamine help improve mobility by easing joint discomfort. And omega-3 fatty acids help support aging hearts and brains. Plus, this recipe does not include common ingredients that may cause food sensitivities like wheat, corn, and soy.

Keeping weight on old dogs can be difficult. Goldendoodle owners recommend this tasty formula to encourage your senior dog to eat.




Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Chicken Rice All Life Stages
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat
  • Key feature: Affordable food that does not compromise quality
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 2.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 368 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Budget Goldendoodle Food

This formula features 26% crude protein content from cage-free chicken. Many affordable alternatives depend on meat by-products as a protein source. But those competitors may not have enough protein to support active dogs like Goldendoodles.

Whole fruits and vegetables provide natural sources of antioxidants like vitamin C. These nutrients enhance your dog’s immune system and protect tissue from free radicals. [7]

The salmon oil in this recipe features high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are essential for promoting coat health in this unique breed. Goldendoodles have curly coats from poodles that are water-resistant like Golden Retrievers.

This formula does not contain any corn, wheat, or soy. These ingredients can upset a sensitive stomach. Instead, this food features over 80 billion CFU of a probiotic to improve digestion and nutrient absorption.

Goldendoodle owners on a budget recommend this dog food as an affordable option that offers excellent quality for the price.

But this dog food may not be suitable for all picky eaters. I had difficulty getting a Goldendoodle to eat this formula when I was pet sitting.




Wellness Core Grain-Free Dog Food

Wellness Core Grain Free Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Key feature: Grain-free dog food with whole food ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 317 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Premium Goldendoodle Food

This high-protein, grain-free formula is an excellent premium food option for Goldendoodles.

Deboned chicken provides an exceptionally high 34% protein content, ideal for athletic breeds. And a grain-free recipe helps prevent bloating.

Some grain-free diets are associated with heart problems. And Goldendoodles have a predisposition for heart issues.

Added taurine helps make this grain-free formula safe for them. This nutrient can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure to limit the risks of heart failure. [8]

Spinach, blueberries, and other nutrient-dense whole-food ingredients help provide a balanced diet rich in vitamins. The recipe also does not include any fillers that may increase unhealthy calories in a high-protein formula.

Natural sources of glucosamine help ease joint pain.  And omega-3 fatty acids enhance coat health and reduce inflammation.

Many owners report that this food is generally palatable for fussy eaters. Goldendoodles fed this diet often experience improvements in overall health.




Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Country Stew

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Country Stew Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Water for Processing, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten
  • Key Feature: Highly-digestible wet food formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 3% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 326 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Wet Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Wet Food for Goldendoodles

The 8% crude protein content reflects the high moisture content of wet food. Real chicken and beef still supply high amounts of quality protein for Goldendoodles.

This wet food formula also includes organ meats like pork liver. These unique sources of animal protein contain high concentrations of Vitamin A. [9] Nutrient-rich animal meats help support muscles and organ function in athletic breeds.

The extra oils and minerals found in this food help keep your Goldendoodle’s unique coat soft and shiny.

Goldendoodle owners with fussy dogs recommend this formula. Wet food generally has a more appealing aroma and texture for dogs. 

Some dogs may experience mild diarrhea when switching to wet food. Slowly transitioning your dog’s diet can help avoid digestive upset.




Canidae Pure Grain-Free Dog Food

Canidae Pure Grain Free Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: Limited Ingredient diet for managing food sensitivities
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 496 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Goldendoodles with Allergies

Goldendoodles can inherit a predisposition to allergies from their Golden Retriever relatives. Limited-ingredient diets can help manage allergies in dogs who suffer from food sensitivities.

Limited ingredient dog foods use simple recipes to meet nutritional requirements while eliminating common allergens. This diet provides 24% crude protein from salmon.

A single protein source is critical for preventing the development of new allergies to other proteins. [10] Salmon is an excellent protein source that is high in healthy fats necessary for coat health in Goldendoodles.

The recipe only has eight simple ingredients. It does not include common allergens such as grains, soy, wheat, and corn.

Goldendoodles do well on grain-inclusive diets that limit their risk of taurine deficiency.  But this grain-free option has added taurine to help promote cardiovascular health.

This food has a high caloric content of 496 kcal/cup. So it is not suitable for overweight Goldendoodles. But many owners recommend it for dogs who suffer from allergies.




Blue Buffalo Jolly Joints Mobility Support Dog Food

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Jolly Joints Mobility Support
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley
  • Key feature: High-protein mobility formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 395 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, Noy Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Goldendoodles with Joint Problems

These athletic pups often subject their joints to excessive wear and tear. This dog food is a specialized mobility formula designed to provide support to Goldendoodles suffering from joint discomfort.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are some of the essential ingredients in this formula. These chondroprotective nutrients promote healthy cartilage to manage joint discomfort. [11] Shrimp meal acts as a natural source of these nutrients in this recipe.

Fish oil also offers additional joint support. This healthy oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation helps ease discomfort associated with irritated joints.

A high 26% crude protein content comes from real chicken. Oatmeal and other whole-grain ingredients provide energy without excess calories. Weight management is an essential aspect of reducing additional stress on canine joints.

Goldendoodle owners choose this mobility formula because it features a higher protein content than other competitors.




Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
  • Key Feature: Nutritional support for unique coat needs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 337 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Goldendoodle Coat Health

Goldendoodles have a particular coat that combines the unique properties of Poodle and Golden Retriever hair.

This skin and coat formula offers 25% protein content from Salmon. Salmon is an ideal protein source for skin health because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

The hypoallergenic and grain-free recipe of this dog food helps limit potential adverse skin reactions.

A proprietary blend of probiotics also supports digestive and immune health. A robust immune system helps fight potential skin infections.

And a healthy digestive system is essential for absorbing the nutrients necessary for a healthy coat.

Owners who feed this formula rave about the healthy shine that this food gives their Goldendoodles. But, a limited ingredient diet may be a better choice if your pup has skin issues because of food allergies.




Purina One Smartblend Digestive Health Dog Food

Purina-One-Smartblend-Digestive-Health-Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Key feature: Probiotic formula for digestive health
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 384 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Goldendoodles with Digestive Issues

Specialized diets help prevent digestive issues in Goldendoodles who are at risk of bloat. This formula features an exclusive recipe designed to provide advanced digestive support to your dog.

Probiotics in this food introduce high concentrations of good bacteria into your pup’s gut. Gut bacteria help break down food in the digestive tract. [12]

Efficient breakdown helps regulate digestion. This prevents the accumulation of stomach gas that can cause bloat.

A high 25% protein content makes this digestive health formula suitable for athletic Goldendoodles. The recipe features chicken as the first ingredient and does not include any artificial preservatives. However, it does contain a significant amount of corn.

You may notice that your furry friend passes less gas and has firmer stools on this diet.




goldendoodle laying

Guide to Buying Dog Food for Goldendoodles

Hybrid breeds have unique nutritional requirements that combine the characteristics of both parents. Selecting the right dog food for your Goldendoodle will help your loyal companion stay healthy for his entire lifespan.

Nutritional Requirements

Goldendoodles need to eat a diet with a balanced ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Moderate to High Protein

This breed may not have heavy muscle mass, but they still need lots of protein. Poodles and Golden Retrievers are athletic breeds. So Goldendoodles need nutrition that provides enough energy to support an active lifestyle.

Look for formulas with a crude protein content higher than 20%. The best dog food will feature real meat as a primary ingredient. Animal protein is more manageable for dogs to digest than plant protein.

Moderate Fats

Goldendoodles can eat more fat than most breeds. Dogs most often use this macronutrient as an energy source. These dogs burn more fat when they are active. Look for a fat content between 10% and 20%.

Healthy fats are another vital aspect of a Goldendoodle diet. Their curly, water-resistant coats need natural oils to stay healthy. Choose a formula that includes natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon oil.

Moderate Carbohydrates

Active dogs also need sources of digestible carbohydrates to support their energy needs. However, excess refined carbohydrates can cause weight gain.

Whole-grain ingredients are excellent sources of digestible carbohydrates. If you prefer grain-free food, look for a variety that features sweet potatoes, peas, or other sources of complex carbohydrates. Just make sure these formulas also include added taurine.

Fiber

Fiber does not act as a primary energy source for Goldendoodles. But diets high in protein and fats need fiber to ensure proper nutrient absorption.

Fiber acts as a prebiotic to nourish the good bacteria in your pup’s digestive tract. And healthy gut bacteria play a vital role in breaking down his food.

Vitamins and Minerals

Make sure any diet you feed your Goldendoodle meets AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines. If the formula does not provide the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals, your pup could suffer from a nutritional deficiency.

Calcium and phosphorous deficiencies are especially problematic in growing puppies. These minerals support bone formation. So skeletal disorders can occur when puppy food does not provide a balanced ratio of these nutrients.

Choose a dog food that uses whole fruits and vegetables as ingredients. These ingredients offer high levels of vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants assist the immune system by protecting against tissue damage.

How Much Should You Feed a Goldendoodle?

The amount of food your Goldendoodle requires will vary depending on his weight, age, and activity level. Most standard-sized Goldendoodles weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. But some of these hybrid dogs may inherit a smaller size from a mini poodle parent.

The average adult Goldendoodle needs a daily diet that provides 30 calories per pound of bodyweight. Active dogs will need more calories to support their increased energy needs.

Puppies will need more calories per pound of bodyweight to support growth. And senior dogs have lower protein needs as they become more sedentary.

Check out the table below for the average caloric needs of Goldendoodles.

Goldendoodle AgeDaily Calories
Less than Four Months618
4 to 12 Months414
Adult330
Active Adult371

Divide your dog’s food into two or more meals a day. Smaller meals are more comfortable to digest and help limit the risks of stomach bloating.

Is a Grain-Free Diet Good for Goldendoodles?

The FDA recently investigated a link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy in Golden Retrievers and grain-free diets. [13] Goldendoodles can suffer from the same heart conditions as Golden Retrievers.

Grain-free foods usually include a lot of potatoes and legumes in their recipe. There is some scientific evidence that dogs who eat diets with these ingredients have a higher risk of heart disease.

Affected dogs often have low blood taurine levels. If you want to feed a grain-free diet, look for options that include added taurine. But always consult your veterinarian before choosing a grain-free dog food for your Goldendoodle.

Is Wet or Dry Food Better?

Dogs often find the aroma and texture of wet food more appealing. But dry dog food is convenient to feed.

Goldendoodles are generally not picky eaters. Most of the specialized formulas available on the market today are dry foods. And hard kibble can help scrape plaque from teeth and prevent dental disease.

There are several factors to consider when choosing between wet or dry food. Goldendoodles can thrive on both. But you may have an easier time finding a dry food formula that meets your pup’s unique needs.

goldendoodle bench

Health Issues and How Diet Can Help

Hybrid dogs are generally healthier than their parents. When I worked at a veterinary clinic, we saw Golden Retrievers more frequently than Goldendoodles. But this breed still struggles with predispositions for specific health conditions that diet can help manage.

Bone and Joint Conditions

Goldendoodles are large dogs that can be affected by hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. These conditions involve abnormal formations of the joints and can cause arthritis later in life.

Puppy nutrition is critical when trying to prevent these issues. Poor nutrition can cause rapid growth, which increases the likelihood of skeletal disorders. [14] All growing Goldendoodles should eat a diet with appropriate levels of calcium and phosphorus to support bone formation.

Older Goldendoodles with preexisting conditions can benefit from food that contains glucosamine. This nutrient helps protect joint cartilage and ease pain.

Allergies

Skin allergies disproportionately impact Goldendoodles. And diet can play a vital role in managing allergic reactions.

These reactions occur when your dog’s immune system incorrectly responds to an allergen. Choosing a limited-ingredient dog food can help you eliminate common allergens from your pup’s diet. These formulas have simple recipes and a single protein source.

Diets that do not include soy, corn, or wheat can also be helpful for sensitive dogs.

Eye Problems

Goldendoodles can develop cataracts as they age. This condition makes eyes appear cloudy and limits vision.

Antioxidants like vitamin E can help protect eye tissue from oxidative stress caused by aging. Look for formulas that include organ meat, an excellent source of Vitamin A. This vitamin plays a direct role in eye health.

Heart Health

Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles frequently suffer from heart conditions. To limit potential risks of heart failure, feed a diet with adequate taurine.

Taurine is an amino acid that helps improve cardiac function. Some grain-free diets may cause taurine deficiency, so do your research when selecting dog food. 

Other essential nutrients for heart health include L-carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids.

Bloat

Poodles are another breed with a deep chest that is susceptible to bloat. Goldendoodles can inherit their predisposition to this issue. Bloat is a digestive problem in dogs that occurs when the stomach overextends with gas or food. [15]

An enlarged stomach can result in gastric torsion, which can cut off blood supply. This is a severe problem that I have helped treat as a veterinary emergency.

You can help prevent bloat by splitting your Goldendoodle’s food into multiple small meals to avoid overeating. Probiotics can also help prevent gas buildup by regulating canine digestion.

The Verdict

Hybrid breeds of dogs need specialized nutrition for their unique needs.

The best dog food formulas for Goldendoodles have high protein content and healthy fats to support this athletic breed. Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food is the best overall dog food to provide your canine companion with the nutritional support he needs.

Sometimes, you never know what you’re going to get when you mix two breeds.

But if you have a Goldendoodle, you know he got the best of both worlds.

Your curly-haired friend deserves the best nutrition. Work with your veterinarian to select the best option for him.

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