Despite being relatively new to the pet scene, Goldendoodles are one of the most popular in the world. According to some lists, they're in the top five most sought-after breeds, with ownership doubling in the last five years alone!
That's a big feat for a designer dog! But if you're one of those lucky people to have a Goldendoodle in your life, the dog's reputation is no surprise.
These pups are active and full of joy. They're always down to play and have fierce loyalty that you can't help but appreciate. Great for families, single adults, and everyone in between, Goldendoodles offer universal appeal. Not only are they fun, but they have beautiful curly locks and don't shed as much as other dogs.
Like all dogs, the most important thing to consider when caring for a Goldendoodle is its diet.
As a hybrid breed, your pup has unique needs to address. They're genetically predisposed to several health concerns, making the quality of their diet more important than ever before.
Luckily, we're here to help! Below, you'll find our top picks for the best dog foods a Goldendoodle can have. Check out our favorites and our buying guide for some need-to-know dietary information.
Top 7 Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles
1. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
This dog food from Wellness truly has it all! It's formulated for large breeds, making it an excellent choice for the standard Goldendoodle.
It has a moderate protein content of 26 percent. There's also about 12 percent fat and five percent fiber. It's an excellent all-around choice with all the basics. But that's not all.
This formula also has antioxidants to strengthen the immune system and reduce oxidative stress. The antioxidants come from healthy plant-based ingredients like spinach and blueberries. If that's not enough, the recipe also has omega fatty acids to keep that curly coat nice and shiny.
2. Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food
The grain-free dog food from Merrick is suitable for most adult dog breeds. Premium proteins, complex carbohydrates, and a decent amount of plant-based ingredients make it a worthy choice.
But what makes it a good choice for Goldendoodles is the extras!
Merrick includes glucosamine and chondroitin to help reduce joint pain. There's also omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Best of all, the entire recipe is grain-free and contains no unnecessary additives that could cause allergic reactions in your dog.
3. Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
You can't go wrong with a premium brand like Diamond Naturals. This is made in the United States with cage-free chickens as the primary protein source. In total, the recipe has about 26 percent protein and 16 percent fat. What you won't find is corn, wheat, artificial flavors, and other unwanted fillers.
Diamond Naturals does have some extra supplements worth mentioning. The formula is rich in antioxidants for immune health and overall wellness. There are also probiotics and prebiotics to keep your Goldendoodles system in tip-top shape.
4. Purina ONE +Plus Digestive Health Formula Dry Dog Food
Here's a food product that can combat any digestive issues your Goldendoodle experiences. From Purina ONE, it's chock-full of probiotics to promote digestive wellness. It also contains ingredients that are easy to process.
For example, chicken is the primary protein source. Examine the ingredient list closely, and you'll see that it doesn't have any unnecessary extras that could gum up the works. Everything is wholesome and healthy, making it a suitable option for dogs that are sensitive and need a bit of extra support.
5. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Another option from Diamond Naturals, this recipe focuses on skin and coat health. Goldendoodles are most known for their signature coat of curly hair that doesn't shed. With this formula, you can ensure that it's always healthy and soft to the touch!
The star of the show is salmon. It has omega fatty acids that keep the skin supple and the follicles hydrated.
Like other formulas from this brand, it also has probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidant-rich superfoods.
Best Wet Canned Food for Goldendoodles
6. Nutro Puppy Tender Grain-Free Chicken &Sweet Potato in Gravy Dog Food Trays
Spoil your puppy with this canned food from Nutro. It's a simple recipe that contains fundamental ingredients. However, those constituents are healthy and delicious, making them a good choice for any young Goldendoodle.
Chicken, sweet potatoes, and peas are the primary ingredients. They're all wholesome and non-GMO.
The canned meal also contains pork broth and chicken liver. Everything is soft and palatable. Whether your dog has a hard time chewing or simply needs something with extra flavor, this product has you covered.
7. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Country Stew Canned Dog Food
Here's a canned food with wholesome ingredients that you can see. Pedigree's canned meals contain real cuts of chicken. They're swimming in a thick and flavorful gravy.
The taste is so appealing to dogs that most won't even realize they're eating vegetables. However, you can see the individual peas and carrots as they eat!
The texture is soft, and the recipe has just enough oils to support your Goldendoodle's coat. However, it's not over the top or enough to cause digestive issues. It's a balanced meal that's formulated for optimal nutrient absorption.
About the Goldendoodle Breed
The Goldendoodle is a pretty popular breed nowadays. You see them everywhere, but few people know about their unique origins.
These rambunctious canines are a hybrid breed. Some may refer to them as designer dogs because they were explicitly developed through cross-breeding techniques.
The first Goldendoodle came to be in 1969. Initially, its purpose was to become the ideal guide dog. However, these dogs experienced a significant rise in popularity decades later.
Contrary to popular belief, Goldendoodles aren't an official breed. As a result, they're not recognized as purebred dogs by the American Kennel Club.
One of the biggest issues with official recognition as a breed is size variations. If you're familiar with Poodles, you know that they come in a wide range of sizes and builds. Goldendoodle puppies are the same way. How big they get depends entirely on the parents, and there's tons of variety out there.
Toy variants can be as small as 10 inches tall and tip the scales at a mere 10 pounds. However, standard Goldendoodles are much larger, weighing between 50 and 90 pounds!
How to Feed a Goldendoodle
Finding the right food is only half the equation. You also have to figure out how to feed your dog. That might sound simple enough; most Goldendoodles won't hesitate to scarf down anything you put in front of them. But that's part of the problem!
As an owner, you have to be vigilant about portioning meals out appropriately. Goldendoodles are prone to issues like bloat. They can also gain excessive weight despite their active nature.
It's best to avoid free-feeding and split your dog's daily nutrients into two meals. Puppies can start with three or four meals a day.
Slowly transition to two meals as they approach adulthood to ensure that your dog has a steady supply of energy all day long.
Volume and Calories
There's no "right answer" when it comes to how much food you should give. All dog food products are made differently. Everything from the manufacturing process to the ingredients used will dictate its calorie count.
One cup of dry kibble from one brand can have a completely different caloric density than one cup from another!
For this reason, it's best to measure food out in calories rather than volume. You can use the recommended portion sizes on the food's packaging. However, it's always best to look at the caloric density and go from there.
Adult Goldendoodles require between 25 and 30 calories per pound of body weight.
Goldenpoodle Puppies will need a bit more, while seniors might need less. It's impossible to give you an exact figure, as your dog's activity level and body condition will impact their needs.
You might have to go through some trial and error to find the right balance. If you need assistance, work with your vet!
Managing meal sizes is an ongoing process that will change as your dog's lifestyle evolves. Keep track of their eating and lifestyle habits, and you can easily adjust as you go.
Wet Food or Dry Food?
Once again, it all depends on your dog!
In most cases, dry dog food is a suitable choice. The crunchy nature of the food will help to scrape off plaque, which might improve dental health.
On the other side of the coin, soft food can be more comfortable for some dogs. Puppies and seniors with dental issues will benefit from more delicate textures.
Make a decision based on your Goldendoodles needs. You can always combine wet and dry to customize the meal to fit your dog.
Choosing the Right Food
What makes a good Goldendoodle dog food anyways?
Dog food is more complex than most people realize. Gone are the days of throwing in cheap fillers and random ingredients. Owners want the best for their dogs, and manufacturers are listening!
The market is vast, and quality varies dramatically from one brand to the next. To ensure that your Goldendoodle is getting everything they need, pay attention to the following factors.
Generous Protein Content
If there's one thing to remember, it's that protein is the most crucial ingredient in your dog's food! Canines thrive on protein.
They need it for energy, to build muscle mass, and to maintain their strength. Without it, dogs can encounter all kinds of health issues.
Dog food for Goldendoodles should contain at least 20 percent protein. However, it's always good to go higher. Aim for around 30 percent. If your dog is very active, more protein will support its lifestyle.
As for the type of protein you get, natural and identifiable ingredients are a must. Ditch the mystery meats and questionable byproducts! Instead, go for familiar foods.
For example, chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, and any other animal meat will do. Meat meals are fine as well, as they can be a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Dogs have a very different relationship with fat than humans do. While some people steer clear of fatty foods, canines need fat for energy.
Fat also provides tons of flavor, making dry kibble and canned meals more palatable.
Goldendoodles can eat more fats than other dog breeds. Because they're so active, they tend to burn it off before it starts to accumulate around their midsection.
Of course, you'll have to be more careful with less active dogs and seniors. But for the most part, Goldendoodles do well with 10 to 20 percent fat.
Go for healthy sources. Avoid anything that has added fat. Everything should come from the meat source. The only exceptions are salmon oil and flaxseed oil.
Those are healthy alternatives that can provide additional benefits—more on that in a bit.
Digestible Carbohydrates and Fiber
Carbs aren't necessary for dogs, so you won't see any recommended amounts from the AAFCO. Most brands don't even provide carbohydrate information on the nutrient analysis panel.
However, you'd be hard-pressed to find a product that's completely free of carbs. Carb-heavy foods typically act as fillers to beef the formula up and provide another source of energy.
As you can probably guess by now, the quality of the carbs is what differentiates harmful food products from good ones.
The best dog foods will use complex carbs that are high in fiber. They're easy to digest, but they absorb slowly into the body to provide a steady energy supply.
Complex carbs like sweet potatoes and legumes can also prevent energy crashes!
Steer clear of cheap refined carbs like corn, wheat, or soy. They don't add much in terms of nutritional content and often lead to weight gain.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Healthy Extras
Last but not least, you can't forget about the micronutrients! While protein is the main thing to think about, plant-based ingredients are good, too!
Fruits and vegetables provide a healthy array of vitamins that support your dog's organs and biological processes. The more vitamins and minerals in the food, the better!
If you want the very best, look for dog foods that contain additional supplements. Remember the flaxseed and salmon oil we mentioned earlier?
Those forms of fat contain omega fatty acids! They help improve heart health and skin condition, which are two things that Goldendoodles can use.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two other supplements you might see. They keep the joint cartilage solid and supple, which may prevent pain.
Antioxidant-rich formulas are beneficial, too. Recipes with antioxidants can strengthen the immune system and help your dog's body fight off free radicals.
Potential Goldendoodle Health Issues
No one wants to think about their furry friend coming down with health issues. Unfortunately, it's a reality that many Goldendoodle owners have to face.
Like many designer breeds, Goldendoodles are prone to many health concerns. They have genetic data from two breeds, which sometimes increases their risks.
There are no guarantees either way, but it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with what's possible. Sometimes, your pup's diet can mitigate the risk, reduce the severity of symptoms, or help avoid problems altogether.
Allergies are pretty standard with Goldendoodles. Luckily, this is one issue that you can manage entirely with their diet. Food sensitivities are avoidable. But the key is figuring out what your dog's body doesn't like.
You can spring for an allergy test and work with your vet to get some better insight. However, most owners use trial and error to figure things out.
Once you hone in on the offending allergen, design your dog's diet around it.
Try providing limited ingredients of dog food to avoid potential allergie triggers. Some brands use novelty protein sources and other lesser-used ingredients as well.
They're a good choice for dogs that are allergic to common constituents like chicken or grain.
Golden Retrievers have a high risk for heart diseases. They pass those genetic dispositions to Goldendoodles. Several conditions could affect your dog.
However, the most common is Aortic Stenosis, which causes the heart's aortic valve to shrink.
Veterinarians recommend giving high-risk dogs a diet that contains taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that may improve cardiac function.
Goldendoodles are prone to conditions like Addison's disease because of their Poodle genes. Addison's disease affects the adrenal glands, reducing the overall production of cortisol, aldosterone, and other hormones.
Those hormones are crucial for several biological functions, so this disease is not one that you can ignore. The condition is incurable, but it can be managed with medications if you catch it early.
Bone and Joint Problems
For large Goldendoodles, joint problems are common. They can have arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other debilitating conditions.
Proper nutrition will do a lot to avoid pain from dysplasia and other musculoskeletal issues.
Those with preexisting issues can benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin, which improve joint conditions and reduce pain.
Cataracts and glaucoma are common in Goldendoodles. Both conditions affect vision as a dog gets older.
To protect the eyes, provide foods that contain antioxidants. They prevent oxidative stress, which may improve eye function.
Your Goldendoodle is a bundle of joy that brings a ton of love into your life. Why not return the favor and give your pup the best dog food that you can?
Feeding them the best dog food for Goldendoodles available will help them stay happy and healthy, ensuring that you have years of love and kisses ahead of you!