Best Dog Food for Poodles in 2021

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poodle dog

Did you know that Poodles are considered water dogs? Their coats and bodies are made for the water. These agile and lean canines were also bred to be intelligent and loyal companions to royalty, using their size and strength to capture prey and play for hours with their owners. 

And don’t believe the myth that Poodles are uptight — these graceful dogs are actually active, easy to train, and are great swimmers.

But, they do require the energy to go along with that, and so need more calories than some other dogs their size. Additionally, due to their naturally lean nature, they’ll need a diet higher in fat to keep their build. 

Need new dog food for your Poodle? I’ve got you covered with 10 of the best dog food options for this fluffy, loving breed. 

Royal Canin Poodle dog food was specifically created for Poodles, so it’s my top choice — but the other nine options may work better for you and your furry friend if your Poodle is older, needs to gain weight, or if they’re just picky. 

Our Best Dog Food for Poodles  

  1. Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food (Best for Adult Poodles)
  2. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food (Best for Poodle Puppies)
  3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Senior Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Senior Poodles)
  4. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food (Best for More Active Poodles)
  5. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food (Best for Poodles with Sensitive Stomachs)
  6. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Grain-Free Small & Medium Breed Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Food for Poodles)
  7. Ollie Fresh Customized Dog Food (Best Fresh Dog Food)
  8. Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble High Protein Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
  9. Crave High Protein Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Gain)
  10. Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free 95% Chicken Dinner Canned Dog Food (Best for Poodles With Bloat)

10 Best Dog Foods for Poodles Reviewed 

All of the dog foods listed below meet the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. If you decide to switch the food your dog eats, please consult with your veterinarian first. 

Best for Adults

Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Poodle Adult
  • First 5 Ingredients: Corn, Brewers Rice, Wheat Gluten, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat
  • Key Feature: Breed-Specific diet with EPA and DHA

Royal Canin Poodle Adult dog food is tailor-made and created with your Poodle in mind. This breed-specific food focuses on supplying specific nutrients to help your Poodle thrive. 

The kibble is designed for your furry friend’s straight muzzle and jaw, and it includes essential vitamins and nutrients that they need. 

The formula has both EPA and DHA, supplemented from fish oil. These nutrients support joint health, keep your dog’s coat shiny and itch-free, and also aid in healthy brain function. 

Beet pulp and corn offer both fiber and healthy carbohydrates for energy. These ingredients also help with digestion, and keep the digestive tract clean. 

Royal Canin supplements essential vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin B6, and biotin — helping to regulate blood sugar and boost metabolism. 

Taurine is also supplemented for proper nerve growth, heart health, and healthy brain function. Poodles are an intelligent breed, and all of the DHA, Taurine, and EPA in this food help keep them that way. 


Best for Puppies

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Puppy Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Salmon Meal
  • Key Feature: High-protein and DHA supplemented puppy food

Want a great puppy food to feed your growing Poodle? Give your pup a formula filled with high-quality protein, healthy fats, fresh fruits, and vegetables. 

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy dog food starts with real deboned chicken as the first ingredient, providing glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain healthy hips and joints. Plus, DHA is supplemented to support healthy brain development — essential for growing pups. 

Apples, blueberries, and alfalfa meal provide antioxidants and can help with digestion and gas issues

Omega fatty acids from salmon oil and chicken fat also give your Poodle healthy skin and a shiny coat, plus boost eye health and keep your dog energized. 

The medium sized kibble helps your puppy eat without a fear of choking, while also making sure they don’t eat too fast (helping to reduce the possibility of bloat). 

The food is grain-free and gluten-free, and is also free of corn, wheat, and soy. 


Best for Seniors

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Senior Deboned Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Dried Ground Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: High-Protein and grain-free dog food for senior Poodles

Aging Poodles still need protein and healthy fats to support their lean muscles, dense fur, and aging brains. This natural, grain-free dry food was created with senior dogs in mind.

Starting with deboned turkey, chicken meal, and lentils, this dog food boasts a high protein percentage of 32%. And it also includes taurine and glucosamine, helping to protect their aging joints and cartilage, which can keep them active and arthritis free. 

Salmon oil and vitamin E provide omega fatty acids, which help your aging dog keep their shiny coat, while also boosting their metabolism and protecting their heart health. 

This food is also fortified with antioxidants from blueberries and kale. Flaxseed, spinach, and broccoli provide probiotics for a healthy digestive system, and help keep your dog’s stool from becoming too large or hard — a common problem for older dogs. 

And, if that wasn’t enough nutrition, the formula also has niacin and vitamin D3 to provide more energy, boost brain function, and help with calcium absorption. 

Although the food is made in a manufacturer that processes grains, it is free of wheat, corn, and soy, and is considered grain and gluten free. 


Best for Active Dogs

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potato, Tapioca, Dried Egg
  • Key Feature: Higher protein dog food for highly active Poodles 

Because of their active nature, and since many participate in agility training, Poodles naturally need more protein than more sedentary dogs.  

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural dog food offers a high-protein dog food for strength, maintaining muscle mass and strong bones, and boosting your Poodle’s metabolism. 

This formula starts with turkey meal, chicken meal, and whitefish meal for protein and vitamins like B vitamins and L-carnitine — aiding in converting body fat into muscles and energy.

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids help establish the lipid barrier of the skin, giving your Poodle a healthy and supple skin and coat. 

Peas, blueberries, carrots, and spinach all contain antioxidants to boost immune health and help with your dog’s nervous system. They also provide both natural prebiotics and probiotics, aiding in digestion. 

This dog food is formulated without grain or gluten, and is also free of corn and soy.


Best for Sensitive Stomachs

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal
  • Key Feature: Easily digestible dog food for Poodles with food allergies and sensitive tummies

Does your Poodle suffer from allergies or a sensitive stomach? If so, they need a more limited diet without things like chicken, beef, or soy — all common food allergens. 

This high protein dry food was specially formulated to help your dog’s sensitive skin and stomach, while also providing the nutrients they need to keep up their energy and muscle mass. 

Starting with real salmon as the very first ingredient, this animal protein source is full of omega fatty acids for joint support. It also includes both iron and vitamin B12 for energy and hormone balance. 

This food is fortified with probiotics and prebiotic fiber for your dog’s sensitive digestive system, and to help with immune health as well. Vitamin A is supplemented to help nourish your pup’s skin and coat, as well as aid in eye support. 

Oat meal, barley, and rice offer easily digestible grains that also reduce the risk of bloat due to their filling nature. 

This food is crafted without corn, wheat, or soy.


Best Wet Food

Solid Gold Leaping Waters Grain-Free Small & Medium Breed Canned Dog Food

Solid Gold Leaping Waters Chicken & Salmon Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Salmon Broth, Whitefish, Chicken Liver, Salmon
  • Key Feature: Grain and corn free wet dog food 

Some dogs prefer wet dog food, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the protein and nutritional benefits. Instead, provide them with dog food that has a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%, as well as fresh vegetables for fiber, vitamins, and whole health. 

Solid Gold Leaping Waters dog food was formulated without grains and gluten, and instead focuses on providing real meat, fruits, and vegetables to make the food easy on your dog’s stomach. 

Chicken, salmon, and chicken liver are high in omega fatty acids and chondroitin for joint and metabolism support. Carrots, peas, and potatoes offer fiber for digestion and easily digestible carbs for energy and brain function.  

This wet dog food is best for small and medium breeds, like toy and miniature Poodles. However, because standard Poodles are lean and don’t need a super high calorie diet like other dogs their size, they can also benefit from it as well. 

Remember, if your Poodle is a working dog or highly active, they will need quite a bit of food. If they are picky or like wet food, you can use it as a topper for their regular kibble if you need a budget friendly option. 

The dog food also doesn’t include corn, soy, or meat by-product meals. 


Best Fresh Food

Ollie Customized Fresh Dog Food (Lamb Recipe)

Ollie Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: (Lamb Recipe) Lamb, Butternut Squash, Lamb Liver, Kale, Rice
  • Key Feature: Fresh and human grade dog food for Poodles

High quality dog food matters when you’re feeding your dog. But if you’re looking at offering fresh, raw, or human grade dog food, you may be surprised by the lack of convenient and accessible options. However, My Ollie can offer your Poodle a fully customized dog food that fits both their needs and yours. 

Ollie doesn’t offer pre-made dog food. Instead, it focuses on fresh food made with real and human grade ingredients. 

To make sure your Poodle gets their nutritional needs met, you’ll start with Ollie’s quiz. It will ask about your dog’s weight, activity level, potential allergies, if they’re spayed or neutered, and the flavors they like. 

After filling out the quiz, Ollie will calculate the perfect diet and food options for your dog. This is especially helpful if your dog has food sensitivities, since the recipes have limited ingredients. 

They have four different recipe options — beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey. The lamb recipe includes kale and butternut squash for antioxidants, and rice for an easily digestible grain. 

Once you’ve chosen the recipe, or recipes, that you want to feed your dog, Ollie ships them every two weeks. This is to ensure that your pup is eating the freshest food possible.

And as an added bonus, all formulas come with a feeding guide, storage container, and scoop to help you know the correct portion sizes for your Poodle. 


Best Budget Food

Iams Adult MiniChunks Small Kibble Dry Dog Food

Iams-Adult-MiniChunks-Small-Kibble-Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Key Feature: Affordable dog food high in antioxidants and taurine 

Who says that dog food that’s budget friendly isn’t as wholesome and nutritious? Not us! Feeding your Poodle doesn’t have to break the bank.

In fact, Iams Adult MiniChunks offers an affordable high protein dog food, without sacrificing on quality. 

First, the formula is made with real chicken, offering taurine, glucosamine, and healthy fats for metabolism support. It also helps protect your dog’s joints, cartilage, and muscles, keeping them lubricated and pain free. 

Corn, beets, and flaxseeds offer carbohydrates and folate, reducing the risk of heart disease and unhealthy bloat. Natural antioxidants from carrots protect your Poodle’s immune system, and vitamin E is supplemented for joint health and a shiny coat. 

This formula is also high in fiber and supplements prebiotics for a healthy digestive system. 

The kibble is on the smaller side, so it’s best for toy and miniature Poodles. However, standard Poodles can still enjoy it as long as they don’t eat their food too fast. If that’s the case, focus on more frequent feedings and use a slow bowl for your canine’s meals. 


Best for Weight Gain

Crave High Protein Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Crave High Protein Chicken Adult Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Lentils, Pork Meal
  • Key Feature: High protein and fat dog food for weight gain

Unlike other dogs their size that have an easy time gaining weight, Poodles are naturally lean and sinewy. If they aren’t fed enough protein and fats to protect their muscles, they can lose them, as well as lose too much weight. 

Because of this, focusing on a high protein and high fat food is key if your Poodle needs to gain weight and muscle. That’s where Crave High Protein dog food comes in. 

It starts with farm-raised chicken, offering 34% Crude Protein and 17% Crude Fat. It also includes lentils and split peas for easy digestion and metabolism support. 

This food doesn’t have many vegetables, only including pea starch and beet pulp for natural vitamins. However, it is supplemented with probiotics and vitamins like biotin, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 for energy, heart health, and eye health. 

This food is made without chicken by-product meal, soy, corn, and wheat. It’s also free of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. 

Plus, it’s both cooked and processed in U.S. facilities with third party testing for quality control. 


Best for Poodles with Gas

Newman’s Own Organics Grain-Free 95% Chicken Dinner Canned Dog Food

Newman's Own Organics Grain Free Chicken Dinner Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Broth, Organic Pea Flour, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate
  • Key Feature: Holistic dog food for Poodles suffering from bloat 

Bloat can easily become a problem for Poodles. While there is no true cause for bloat, Poodles may be more susceptible to it due to their build and having a larger chest cavity. 

However, offering wet food with easily digestible ingredients like pea flour and chicken can help prevent extreme bloat, and help ease symptoms like vomiting and gas. And, wet food is a great water supplement, further helping to keep your Poodle healthy. 

Plus, this food still offers a higher protein formula, along with enough moisture to coat your Poodle’s stomach, keeping their metabolism and stomach happy. 

Newman’s Own Organics holistic formula was created to maximize palatability and digestibility for dogs that struggle with digestive problems. And the ingredient list is simple, with real chicken, organic chicken broth, and pea flour to keep sensitive tummies pleased. 

This food also contains 70% certified organic ingredients, and adheres to USDA Organic Standards.

It’s grain-free and made without any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, corn, or wheat. 


white poodle

How to Choose Food for Your Poodle

Poodles, no matter their size, are naturally lean and muscular, so moderate protein and a lower fat diet can be beneficial to keeping up with their bodies. 

Here’s how to choose the proper food for your Poodle. 

Moderate Protein

Poodles follow the average needed protein as other dogs at 22% Crude Protein. Of course, a higher protein diet can support more active Poodles, giving them more sustained energy. 

However, when it comes to protein, focus on real meat sources like chicken, beef, and fish. These also provide other nutrients, like essential vitamins and minerals, to keep your Poodle healthy. 

Moderate Fat

While Poodles do need a significant amount of calories to keep up with their metabolism, they don’t need as much fat. Instead, focus on the types of fats that you feed your Poodle, and make sure that they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine — these aid in joint health and keep your Poodle’s fur soft and shiny. 

A few ingredients that offer these nutrients include chicken fat, salmon oil, flaxseed oil, and even avocado. 

Digestible Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy, fiber for digestion, and keep the brain functioning properly. And Poodles, just like any other dog, can thrive on easily digestible carbohydrates sources. 

Oats, potatoes, brown rice, and barley are all wonderful carb sources. These also keep your Poodle’s digestive tract healthy and help keep your Poodle full. 

Fiber

Fiber not only helps the digestive system, but also helps keep blood sugar normal and helps with immune support. For Poodles, especially those with hormonal diseases, fiber can help regulate digestion. 

Most dog foods include enough fiber for Poodles, but don’t be afraid to look for a brand that has whole grains, vegetables, and items like dried chicory root for extra fiber. Just remember to not give too much — unless you want diarrhea.  

Vitamins and Minerals

All of the dog foods on this list have the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. But Poodles, due to their nature of being prone to bloat and bladder stones, can benefit from a few other supplements. 

Antioxidants and probiotics in dog food can help keep your Poodle from experiencing bloat, and they offer immune support and boost heart health as well. You can choose a food high in natural probiotics, such as one with lots of berries, or find a food that supplements probiotics and antioxidants. 

Ingredients to Avoid

Every owner wants the best for their dog — but it can seem stressful to make sure that you’re feeding your dog the most wholesome and nutritious food. 

Thankfully, it’s actually fairly easy to choose a dog food that provides a healthy and balanced diet without fillers, additives, and other ingredients that you should avoid. 

First, the most important ingredients to avoid are BHA and BHT — preservatives that have been known to play a role in causing cancer.

Other top ingredients to avoid are artificial colors and flavors, as these are completely unnecessary and don’t provide any nutrition. Corn, gluten, soy, and MSG should also be avoided, although trace amounts may not adversely affect your dog. 

How Much Food Do Poodles Need?

How much food do Poodles really need? More than you think. Here’s how much you should be feeding your Poodle. 

Toy Poodles

Toy Poodles are the smallest size of the Poodle breed. However, don’t let their size fool you. They need about the same amount of calories as a regular sized Shih Tzu, about 350–400 calories a day. 

But just like with other dogs, feeding too much food at once can be detrimental to your toy Poodle. So feed them at least twice a day for proper digestion. 

Because they age faster than large dogs, you can usually switch toy Poodles to adult food by 12 months, but always consult with your vet first. 

Miniature Poodles

Miniature Poodles require the same twice a day feeding schedule. However, they need about double the amount calories than Toy Poodles — at least 750 calories a day. 

They also become adults at around 12 months as well. 

Standard Poodles

Unlike their smaller counterparts, standard Poodles need around 2,500 calories a day due to their size and activity level. They still need to be fed at least twice a day, but three times a day may be more beneficial in order to reach the calorie limit without forcing overeating. 

Also, standard Poodles age slower than their mini counterparts. Instead, a standard Poodle doesn’t typically reach adulthood until about 16-–18 months. Again, before switching to adult food, consult with your veterinarian. 

brown poodle

Common Poodle Health Issues 

Poodles are considered a sturdy breed with very few health issues. In fact, many Poodles can live 15 years or longer. However, there are a few health issues that your Poodle may face, so it’s important to know what they are and how to treat them right away. 

Here are the common health issues your Poodle may experience. 

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease, also known as hypercortisolism and hyperadrenocorticism, happens when your dog’s body makes too much cortisol. This hormone helps reduce stress, control weight, and regulate blood sugar levels, but too much can cause tumors, hair loss, skin infections, and more. 

Surgery and medication are the only two cures for Cushing’s disease. However, your Poodle’s diet should include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish in order to manage symptoms like lethargy and high blood pressure. 

If your Poodle drinks water more often than usual, has a strong pee odor, pees more, gains weight, has alopecia, and/or pants a lot, take them to the veterinarian and get them tested for Cushing’s disease. 

Addison’s Disease

Unlike Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease happens when the body attacks the outer layer of the adrenal glands due to too little cortisol. Also unlike Cushing’s, Addison’s disease can’t be solved with surgery. Instead, hormone replacement therapy is the most common treatment.

Symptoms for Addison’s disease include weakness and acute digestive issues.  

Addison’s disease is typically genetic, and is more common amongst young female dogs. However, along with hormone replacement therapy, a diet with eggs and meat (for healthy fats and sodium) is beneficial. 

If you notice any of the symptoms for either disease, take your dog to the vet immediately. 

Bladder Stones

Bladder Stones are actually more common with Miniature Poodles, but can affect Standard and Toy Poodles as well

Bladder stones are rock-like formations that develop in the urinary bladder. These cause pain, may block the intestines and bladder, and in severe cases, can cause death. 

These form for a few reasons, including dietary factors, your dog’s metabolism, or another possible disease in the bladder. While you may not be able to fully prevent bladder stones from forming, there are dietary changes you can follow to lower the chances after finding out the type of stone. 

Avoid high oxalate foods like spinach, sweet potatoes, organ meat, and brown rice, and instead focus on apples, white rice, and fish.

If you notice symptoms like blood in your dog’s urine or them straining to pee, see your veterinarian. Your dog may have a bladder stone that will need to be removed via surgery.  

Bloat

Bloat mainly affects Standard Poodles, but can affect both Miniature and Toy Poodles as well. Also known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), bloat is what happens when a dog’s stomach fills up with air or fluid, twists itself, and blocks oxygen from getting to the other organs. 

Symptoms for bloat include pain, a rounder and more pronounced belly, gas, and even vomiting. In worse case scenarios, this can also cause death (if not treated). 

While diet doesn’t play a big part of bloat, how you feed your Poodle does. Focus on offering more frequent meals, getting your Poodle to eat slower, and even feeding wet food versus dry food in order to keep them healthy. 

FAQ About Poodle Food

Got a few questions about your Poodle? Here are the top two, plus their answers. 

Wet or dry dog food?

Neither wet or dry food are better than the other. However, if your Poodle suffers from bloat, wet food may be a better choice because, more often, dry food expands in the stomach. You can also mix wet food and dry food, but be sure to follow correct portion sizes.   

Is grain-free dog food good for Poodles?

Unlike humans, dogs don’t need as many carbohydrates to thrive in their day to day life. Too many carbs can contribute to obesity, unstable digestion, and even lethargy. So grain-free can be beneficial if your Poodle suffers from those issues. 

However, if you have a relatively healthy Poodle who has no adverse reactions to grains, it is okay to feed them dog food with grains in it. 

Our Verdict

Your Poodle is smart enough to know they deserve the best food available. So why not offer them a dog food suited to their needs? 

Royal Canin Poodle dog food is our favorite because it provides a kibble size and nutrients that are specifically designed with your Poodle in mind. 

And they focus on taste too, making sure that even the pickiest Poodles enjoy their food. 

But, really, you can’t go wrong with any of the dog foods on this list. Each option was hand picked to ensure that your Poodle eats the food that they deserve, as well as gets the wholesome vitamins and minerals they really need. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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