The Goldendoodle makes an amazing family pet. Now, you’ve brought one home, and you’re wondering what is the best dog food for Goldendoodles? The right nutrition for your Goldendoodle can have a huge impact on the health, happiness, and lifespan of your dog.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Dog Food for Goldendoodles:
- Taste of the Wild: Sierra Mountain Recipe – Our Top Pick
- Wellness Core Rawrev Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- Solid Gold – Wolf Cub with Real Bison and Oatmeal – Natural Large Breed Puppy Food
- Nulo Senior Grain-Free Dog Food With Glucosamine And Chondroitin, Trout And Sweet Potato Recipe
- Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe
There’s much to learn about finding the best dog food for Goldendoodles. We’re going to cover a lot of information about the Goldendoodle diet and nutrition. For answers to some common questions, check out our FAQs at the end of this article.
Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles Buying Guide
There is a whole lot to know about picking the best dog food for a Goldendoodle. Let’s break that information down a little bit to help you understand what to look for.
Goldendoodle Feeding Basics – Puppy, Adult, and Senior
Goldendoodle puppies, adults, and seniors all have different nutritional needs. Buying a dog food that’s specially designed for puppies or seniors may seem like a marketing ploy. However, puppies need a higher calorie density than adult dogs, and senior dogs need fewer calories than a puppy or adult Goldendoodle.
Some foods advertise themselves as being appropriate for “all life stages.” Sometimes, one brand will be appropriate for all life stages. This may be a good choice for a household with dogs of different ages.
However, dog food designed especially for puppies or senior dogs is usually more appropriate. That’s why we’ve included the best adult, puppy, and senior Goldendoodle dog food. Puppies may not grow properly on adult dog food, and senior dogs may get fat on an adult formulation.
What Should an Ideal Goldendoodle Diet Contain?
There are many things you should look for when picking the best dog food for a Goldendoodle. Here are some of the most important nutrients to check for when shopping for your Goldendoodle.
Protein from Animal Sources
Animal protein is very important for Goldendoodles. It helps build strong muscles and a healthy skin and coat.
Not all protein is the same, though. It’s best to find a product that has protein from animal sources. Ideally, you should find a recipe where the primary ingredient is whole meat rather than meat meal.
Avoid any product that contains meat by-products. By-products are non-nutritious parts of animals that humans won’t eat. That may include hooves, feathers, beaks, or horns.
Meat meal includes ground-up bone and meat. It’s somewhat less nutritious than whole meat, but it’s better than a by-product. However, all meals should be labeled with a specific protein. For example, avoid “poultry meal” and go for “chicken meal” instead.
Ideally, protein should be the first ingredient of your dog’s food. Try to avoid foods that list a grain as the first ingredient as grain is a filler with less nutritional value.
As humans, we’ve been conditioned to believe that fat is bad. On the contrary, there are healthy fats that are crucial for your Goldendoodle’s health.
Good fats contain essential amino acids. Dogs can’t make their own amino acids, so they must get these nutrients from the diet they eat.
Amino acids are critical for building healthy skin and a strong coat. A diet that’s too low in fat and amino acids can lead to dry skin and increased shedding.
Fish are a great source of healthy fat and essential amino acids. Fish doesn’t need to be the first ingredient, but it’s a good ingredient to have in your Goldendoodle’s food.
Just like humans, dogs need fiber in their diet to keep things moving through their digestive tract. Vegetables aren’t the only source of fiber in a dog’s diet. However, it can be one of the healthiest ways to add fiber to dog food.
As an added bonus, vegetables contain natural vitamins and minerals, so fewer synthetic ingredients need to be added.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals. All dog foods need to contain certain levels of vitamins and minerals to be considered “nutritionally complete.” However, many manufacturers use synthetic ingredients to add these nutrients.
As you can imagine, fruits and vegetables are a healthier, more natural way to add vitamins and minerals to your Goldendoodle’s food.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are important for joint health. Joint health is important for all dogs. However, the larger Goldendoodles are more prone to hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other joint problems.
It’s never a bad idea to add a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to your dog’s diet. However, many brandss, especially those for large breeds, include some in their food.
DHA is another essential amino acid. It’s crucial for brain and eye development. While all dogs benefit from DHA, it’s even more critical for puppies. That’s because they’re still growing and need DHA to maintain healthy brain and eye function while they grow.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants
Just like humans, Goldendoodles need a certain amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to stay healthy. Any food that’s certified as “nutritionally complete” needs to have a minimum amount of certain vitamins and minerals. However, you probably want to find a dog food for your Goldendoodle that has more than the bare minimum to stay healthy.
Low in Carbohydrates
While dogs do need some carbohydrates in their food, they don’t get much nutrition from carbohydrates. In fact, diabetic dogs need food low in carbohydrates, and carbs may even contribute to the development of diabetes.
Less than 30% of your dog’s diet should come from carbohydrates. You may need to subtract the protein, fat, and moisture percentages from 100 to get the carbohydrate percentage in your dog’s food.
Proper Calcium to Phosphorous Ratio
Did you know that dog food should contain a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 1.2:1? Anything that contains too much calcium in relation to phosphorus (or vice versa) can lead to painful bone and joint conditions in your Goldendoodle.
Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles Reviews
Here are our reviews and top suggestions for the best Goldendoodle dog food:[sc name=”best-dog-food-for-goldendoodles”]
Lamb and lamb meal are the first two ingredients, so this food has a healthy amount of protein. It gets vitamins from fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries. Taste of the Wild also includes probiotics for improved digestibility. Lamb is also less likely to cause allergies than more common meats like beef and chicken.
- Real lamb, not a common allergen
- Without grains, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, egg product, canola oil, roasted lamb, tomato pomace, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), dried chicory root, taurine, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement.
Customer Reviews: Generally, dogs love the taste of this food, and many owners report that skin and coat conditions cleared up after making the switch to this food. It also has an impressive ingredient list free of pointless filler ingredients.
Bottom Line: This Taste of the Wild recipe has a good amount of protein, contains DHA, includes fruits and vegetables, and contains probiotics for digestibility. It’s also more affordable than many of its competitors. That makes it an easy choice for our top pick.
This meat-based food is great for Goldendoodles. It contains freeze-dried raw turkey and fruits and vegetables like apples, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, and kale. With so many natural ingredients, there’s no need for the company to add chemical vitamin concoctions.
- Freeze-dried raw turkey adds a healthy boost
- High in protein
- Glucosamine and chondroitin offer joint support
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Freeze-Dried Turkey, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine
Customer Reviews: Dogs thrive on this food and love the taste. There are hardly any complaints about dogs getting diarrhea or not liking the food. Instead, most of the complaints are about the raw pieces not being well-distributed throughout the bag.
Bottom Line: This food is a great way to introduce raw meat to your Goldendoodle’s diet. It has natural ingredients you can trust, and most dogs love the flavor. You may just need to shake the bag to better distribute the raw bits.
If your Goldendoodle is struggling with food allergies, this limited-ingredient food may be a great choice. The main ingredient, bison, has a low likelihood of causing allergies compared to more common meats.
- Grain-free food uses sweet potatoes, peas, and chickpeas for carbohydrates
- Bison is a great meat for allergy-prone dogs
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chickpeas, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, natural flavor, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite).
Customer Reviews: Not only is this food great at clearing up symptoms of food allergies, but picky dogs love the taste, too. It has some of the best ratings on the market, so you can feel confident that most people and dogs love this food.
Bottom Line: The primary downside of this food is that it doesn’t contain much in the way of fruits and vegetables. However, the limited ingredients make it a perfect choice for dogs with food allergies. Even Goldendoodles without allergies will love this food.
It’s hard to beat the ingredients in this food. It has beef and pork as tasty first ingredients, with pollock oil for omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamins and minerals come from fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, pumpkin, collard greens, and kelp.
- High in protein and nutrient-dense
- Fresh Regional Ingredients are supplied by regional farms, ranches, and waters, and delivered fresh or raw
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Deboned beef, deboned pork, beef meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, pork meal, beef fat, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, deboned lamb, pollock oil, lentil fiber, natural pork flavor, beef tripe, beef liver, beef kidney, pork liver, pork kidney, beef cartilage, salt, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried kelp, whole pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, whole apples, zinc proteinate, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried pork liver, freeze-dried lamb liver.
Customer Reviews: Many dogs showed improved skin and coat after switching to this food. If your Goldendoodles sheds more than you expect, this food may be a great choice. There are some reports of quality control issues, but otherwise, there are few complaints.
Bottom Line: You can’t beat the natural ingredients in this food. Your Goldendoodle should love the taste of this food and thrive on it. Just check each bag to make sure the food looks OK.
If you’re worried about feeding a grain-free dog food, this is an excellent choice for your Goldendoodle. It’s also a limited ingredient diet, great for a breed prone to food allergies.
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- Free of corn, wheat, soy, and gluten, which are common allergens
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Chicken Flavor, Poultry Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement.
Customer Reviews: Most dogs showed improved skin and coat after switching to this food. Dogs also enjoyed the taste of this lamb-based food.
Bottom Line: For a product without grains, this is a pretty good choice. However, you should note that lamb meal is the first ingredient, so there’s no whole meat. If your Goldendoodle has food allergies, though, this is probably a great choice.
Best Puppy Food for Goldendoodles
Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Here are the top 3 picks for the best puppy food for Goldendoodles.
This no grain formula is an excellent food for Goldendoodle puppies. Bison and ocean fish meal is not likely to trigger food allergies, and probiotics help your puppy digest the food better. This food also has ideal protein and fat levels for a Goldendoodle puppy.
- Less likely to trigger food allergies
- Contains probiotics and prebiotics for improved digestibility
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Top Ingredients: Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Peas, Rice Bran, Pearled Barley, Pea Protein, Dried Eggs, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Salt, Calcium Carbonate.
Customer Reviews: This food is easy on the tummies of sensitive Goldendoodle puppies. While the occasional puppy doesn’t like it, most puppies gobble this food up without any tummy problems.
Bottom Line: This food is expensive, but we feel it’s worth the cost. It’s one of the best foods you can give your Goldendoodle puppy, and it comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
This food has the perfect amount of protein for a growing Goldendoodle puppy, and it has good amounts of omega-3 and omega-6. The addition of glucosamine and chondroitin also makes it a great food to build healthy joints as your puppy grows.
- Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
- Contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Pea Protein, Quinoa, Natural Flavor, Salmon Meal, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Apples, Salmon Oil (source of Omega-3 fatty acids), Blueberries, Chia Seed, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal.
Customer Reviews: Most puppies do very well on this food. They have shiny fur and plenty of energy. Some puppies do experience some diarrhea when making the switch, so it’s important to make a slow transition.
Bottom Line: If you don’t want your puppy to start on a grain-free diet, then this food is an excellent choice. It has fruits and vegetables for natural vitamins and minerals, as well as salmon oil for omega-3.
This large breed puppy food has a great amount of antioxidants, probiotics, omega-3, DHA, and superfoods like blueberries and dried kelp.
- Made with pasture-raised lamb
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, ground white rice, peas, pea flour, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, dried yeast, tomato pomace, potato protein, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil (source of DHA), salt, DL-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, L-Carnitine, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, yucca schidigera extract.
Customer Reviews: Most puppies do well on this food, and it’s more affordable than some of the others on our list. Some puppies did have some allergic or digestive problems, though.
Bottom Line: If some of the other foods are too expensive, this is a great option for your Goldendoodle puppy.
Best Food for Senior Goldendoodles
Senior Goldendoodles usually need lower-calorie food to prevent obesity. They also have other special needs that are different from adult dogs. Here are our top 3 picks for the best dog food for senior Goldendoodles.
#1 – Nulo Senior Grain-Free Dog Food With Glucosamine And Chondroitin, Trout And Sweet Potato Recipe
Your senior Goldendoodle deserves the good stuff in life, and this food qualifies. The first 3 ingredients are all meat-based, and it also includes fruits and vegetables like blueberries and carrots. The glucosamine and chondroitin will help your senior dog age with reduced joint pain.
- Includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and probiotics
- Contains no corn; wheat; soy; white potatoes; tapioca; artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Deboned trout, turkey meal, salmon meal, yellow peas, sweet potato, chickpeas, deboned turkey, pea fiber, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), lentils, natural flavor, yeast culture, dried chicory root, dried tomatoes, dried carrots, dried blueberries, dried apples, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, l-carnitine.
Customer Reviews: Dog owners who tried this food reported that their senior dogs experienced more energy; shinier, healthier coats; reduced stomach problems; and reduced joint pain after being switched to this food. Some people and dogs don’t care for the strong fish smell.
Bottom Line: If the reviews are to be believed, this food will almost certainly improve your senior Goldendoodle’s quality of life. It’s on the expensive side, but what price can you put on your dog’s quality of life?
If you need something a little more affordable, this food is another good choice for your senior Goldendoodle. It doesn’t have corn, wheat, or soy, which are filler ingredients that commonly cause food allergies. Nutro is also committed to using non-GMO ingredients.
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Beef, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Whole Brown Rice, Chickpeas, Lamb Meal, Flaxseed
Customer Reviews: Most dogs showed improved energy levels or skin after being switched to this food. It did make some dogs sick, though most dogs thrive on this food.
Bottom Line: This affordable food is a good choice for your senior Goldendoodle. There is a chance it could make your dog sick, but there is a much greater chance that your dog will feel better than ever.
This food contains a good ratio of protein and carbohydrates as well as taurine, which is essential for heart health. Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits retain more vitamins and other stuff compared to kibble, making it a great senior Goldendoodle dog food choice.
- Has no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- LifeSource Bits contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Tapioca Starch, Potatoes, Chicken Meal, Peas, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Potato Starch, Fish Oil (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Dried Egg, Dicalcium Phosphate, Alfalfa Meal, Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids).
Customer Reviews: Most dogs experienced improvements in digestive problems and allergies. The LifeSource Bits contain healthy vitamins and minerals for your senior Goldendoodle’s health.
Bottom Line: This food is an excellent choice for your senior dog. It has great ingredients along with probiotics, omega-3, and glucosamine and chondroitin to help your older dog feel their best.
Best Dog Food for Mini Goldendoodles
Mini Goldendoodles have different nutritional requirements than large Goldendoodles, so we’ve also added our top 3 picks of the best dog food for Mini Goldendoodles.
Venison and lamb are the main ingredients, which are not very common allergens. The high-protein formula is ideal for small dogs like Mini Goldendoodles. Taste of the Wild is also family-owned and run.
- Nutrient-rich and highly digestible
- Venison is the first ingredient
- Made in the USA
Top Ingredients: Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils, pea protein, canola oil, egg product, duck meal, pea flour, tomato pomace, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement.
Customer Reviews: The smaller kibble of this formula is perfect for small dogs with tiny teeth. Most dogs enjoy the flavor, and dogs generally do well on it. There are occasionally quality control issues, but it’s generally a good food.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a small kibble for your Mini Goldendoodle, you should give this one some serious thought. It’s relatively affordable and has quality ingredients.
This food has great levels of omega-3 and omega-6, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. The ingredients are good and include fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and blueberries. It has a lower glycemic index because it doesn’t include potatoes.
- High levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
- Made in the USA
Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Oatmeal, Natural Flavor, Quinoa, Salmon Meal, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Apples, Flaxseed Oil (source of Omega-3 fatty acids), Blueberries, Chia Seed, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Minerals.
Customer Reviews: Most reviewers are loyal Merrick fans, even after trying other brands. Dogs have less diarrhea, better skin, and improved energy after switching to this brand that includes grains. It doesn’t agree with every dog, though.
Bottom Line: This is a great dog food for your Mini Goldendoodle. It’s recommended by a lot of vets and should keep your dog healthy and happy.
Want the benefits of raw food with the convenience of kibble? Instinct coats their kibble with a freeze-dried raw formula, so your pup gets the best of both worlds. This small breed formula has cage-free chicken as the first ingredient.
- High protein dog food made with probiotics to support healthy digestion and omega-3 and omega-6 for skin & coat
- Contains calcium & phosphorus for strong teeth and bones plus glucosamine & chondroitin for joint health
- Made in the USA
Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Turkey Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Egg Product, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Carrots, Apples, Cranberries.
Customer Reviews: Owners report improvements in digestion, energy, tear stains, and more after switching to this food. A handful of dogs got sick, but most dogs are healthier than ever after transitioning.
Bottom Line: This product is a great way to get the benefits of raw food with the convenience of kibble. Most dogs thrive on this food, and the chicken is raised cage-free, so it’s more humane.
Benefits of Using a Quality Food for Your Goldendoodle
The best dog food doesn’t just keep your Goldendoodle alive; it keeps them healthy. Like humans who subsist primarily on junk food, dogs on low-quality food tend to have more health problems.
Some of the benefits your Goldendoodle may realize with quality dog food include:
- Improved digestion. Low-quality food can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. You may think you just have a stinky dog, but if they’re especially gassy, their food could be to blame.
- Improved cuteness. Food that’s low in nutrients can lead to dull hair, flaky skin, and infections. Nutritious food can lead to healthier skin and shinier fur.
- Stronger immune system. A healthy diet can help increase your dog’s immunity to certain diseases. A poor diet can make them more susceptible to illness.
- Better quality of life. High-quality dog food can help contribute to more healthy years and fewer ailments for your Goldendoodle. Good food is an investment in your dog’s health, happiness, and longevity.
Feeding Your Goldendoodle Puppy
Goldendoodle puppies have special nutritional requirements compared to adults and seniors. It’s especially important that your puppy’s food:
- Contains DHA
- Has a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.2:1
- Contains no more than 30% protein
- Is calorie-rich
When you first bring your Goldendoodle puppy home, you should feed them 4 times per day. When they reach 4 months old, you can decrease than to 3 times per day. At 6 months, you can go down to twice a day feeding. You should maintain that for the rest of your Goldendoodle’s life.
Check the package and talk to your vet about how much to feed your puppy. You can feed less of a higher-quality food than food that’s less nutritious. You will also gradually increase your puppy’s food intake as they grow.
Roly-poly puppies are adorable, but you don’t want your puppy to get fat. You should always be able to feel, but not see, your puppy’s ribs. That’s the same when they become an adult. Obesity causes many of the same health problems in dogs as people and can shorten their life.
Ingredients to Avoid Feeding Your Goldendoodle
Some manufacturers include ingredients that are not good for your Goldendoodle. When picking the best food for a Goldendoodle, be sure to avoid these ingredients:
- Corn, wheat, or soy
- Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Animal by-products
If you like to feed your Goldendoodle table scraps or people food, make sure you also avoid these foods that are dangerous for dogs:
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes or raisins
- Xylitol (an ingredient commonly found in sugar-free foods)
Common Goldendoodle Health Problems
Goldendoodles may be less likely to inherit health problems that are common to only one parent breed. However, Golden Retrievers and Poodle share a lot of common health problems. That means your Goldendoodle may not have the “hybrid vigor” you expected.
Some health problems your Goldendoodle may encounter include:
- Hip dysplasia or luxating patella. Larger Goldendoodles may be prone to hip dysplasia, a painful malformation of the hip joint. Smaller Goldendoodles may be prone to luxating patella, where the knee joint pops out of place.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). PRA is a degenerative disease that eventually leads to blindness.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease. This clotting disorder can lead to bleeding gums, bloody stools, and prolonged bleeding after an injury.
- Bloat. This is a potentially deadly condition where the stomach fills with air and twists on its axis. It can cut off blood to the intestines, causing death.
- Allergies. Goldendoodles are highly prone to both environmental and food allergies.
- Ear infections. Dogs with ears that hang down, like Goldendoodles, are more prone to ear infections.
How can your Goldendoodle’s diet contribute to or help relieve these health problems?
For starters, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy weight on your Goldendoodle. Obesity puts extra strain on joints that may be affected by hip dysplasia or luxating patella.
Since Goldendoodles are prone to joint problems, it’s especially important to find a dog food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin. These ingredients help to form and strengthen cartilage, the material between joints that prevents bones from rubbing together.
Avoiding food allergies can be difficult. You may want to keep your Goldendoodle on a hypoallergenic dog food diet with a unique protein for the best chance of avoiding allergens. Common food allergens include:
To help prevent bloat, feed your Goldendoodle at least twice a day. Don’t let them exercise too vigorously within 30 minutes of eating. If your dog likes to gulp their food, use a slow feeder to reduce how much air they swallow.
Is Grain-Free Dog Food Bad for my Goldendoodle?
There have been fears about grain-free diets recently since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report suggesting that grain-free diets may contribute to a heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy.
It’s reasonable to be concerned. However, these fears are likely overblown. While the FDA is suggesting a link between grain-free food and dilated myopathy, nothing has been proven yet.
The risk is also exceptionally low. The FDA is only investigating around 500 reports of this heart condition. There are approximately 89.7 million dogs in the United States.
It’s impossible to know how many of those dogs are on grain-free diets. Let’s go with a conservative 1,000,000 dogs on grain-free diets. 500 dogs out of 1,000,000 may have gotten dilated cardiomyopathy from grain-free food. That’s only a 0.05% chance of a dog developing this heart condition.
Probably a lot more than 1,000,000 dogs eat grain-free food. Let’s say it’s actually 10,000,000. That brings the percentage of dogs affected to 0.005%.
That’s a teeny tiny risk that hasn’t even been proven yet.
You should always talk to your vet about dog food questions. However, the risk of your dog developing dilated cardiomyopathy from a grain-free diet seems extraordinarily low.
Dry Dog Food Vs. Wet, Raw, or Homemade
What’s the best type of dog food for your Goldendoodle? There are more choices than ever these days: dry, canned, raw, dehydrated, homemade. There are benefits and downsides of each option.
Since dry dog food is still the most common commercial diet, we’ve focused on that in this article. For more information on other food types, check out these articles:
- Raw vs Kibble Dog Food: Which Diet is Best?
- 5 Best Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Foods
- Best Wet Dog Food: 10 Top Picks for Large Dogs
- 10 Best Dehydrated Raw Dog Foods (Review and Guide)
- 10 Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Large Breed Dogs
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Food for Goldendoodles
We’ve covered a lot of information in this article, and we still haven’t touched every topic. There are some frequently asked questions about the best Goldendoodle dog food.
How Much Should I Feed my Goldendoodle?
Since Goldendoodles come in so many different sizes, it’s impossible to give a standard answer. How much you feed your Goldendoodle will depend on their size, age, and activity level as well as the nutritional value of the food you feed.
Each dog food will have a suggested feeding guideline on the package. They often suggest higher amounts than all but the most active dogs should eat. Use this suggestion as a jumping-off point, or talk to your vet.
As a guideline, you should always be able to feel, but not see, your dog’s ribs. If it starts to get hard to feel your Goldendoodle’s ribs, then it’s time to cut back how much you feed them.
For adult dogs, you can use this dog food calculator to estimate how much you should feed your dog.
How Much Should I Feed my Goldendoodle Puppy?
Again, it’s difficult to say how much you should feed your puppy. The amount will depend on their size, age, and activity level. Tell your vet what food you feed and ask for their advice on how much you should feed.
How Do I Feed my Goldendoodle?
When you first bring your puppy home, you should feed them 4 times per day. That’s because they need a lot of food to grow, but they have tiny stomachs that can’t hold much food at once.
When your Goldendoodle puppy reaches 4 months old, you can reduce to only 3 meals per day. At 6 months, reduce to 2 meals per day and keep it that way.
Many people like to free-feed their dogs by leaving food out all the time. That’s a bad idea for a couple of reasons.
First, it’s much harder to tell how much your dog is eating. It can take much longer to notice if your dog is eating less than usual, which can be a symptom of many health problems.
Another problem with free-feeding your dog is that it tends to contribute to obesity. Obesity can shorten your Goldendoodle’s life, increase joint pain, and cause a number of health problems.
You should only leave your dog’s bowl out for 15 minutes per meal. Pick up whatever they don’t eat after 15 minutes. Your Goldendoodle will soon learn to eat everything right away, and you’ll have better control of their food intake.
How Do I Switch My Goldendoodle’s Food?
Whether you’re switching your dog from puppy to adult food or just switching between brands, it’s best to do it slowly. Abruptly switching foods can make your dog quite sick.
You should add ¼ new food to ¾ old food for a few days. If that goes well, you can go half and half. After a few more days, you can go to ¾ new food and ¼ old.
Goldendoodles with especially sensitive stomachs may need to transition over two weeks or longer. Hardier dogs might make the switch within a week.
If your dog develops vomiting or diarrhea, slow down the transition.
What if My Dog is Picky?
There is little more frustrating than a dog who refuses to eat. With all the different flavors on the market, it should be possible to find something your picky dog will eat. However, if they simply don’t like the texture of dry kibble, there are some things you can do to help.
- Add warm water to soften the kibble
- Add bone or meat broth (no salt added) to the kibble to make it tastier
- Mix together kibble and wet food
- Find out if your dog is filling up on something else, like too many treats
Wrapping Up the Best Dog Food for a Goldendoodle
Hopefully, all the information we’ve provided here will help you find the best dog food for a Goldendoodle. There is no one best food. You must find what works for your family, your dog, and your budget. However, we’ve given you all the tools you need to select an excellent choice for your Goldendoodle.