Here we’ve done all the pesky research, so you don’t have to. Not only have we dug deep into the nutritional needs of Bernedoodles, but we have also waded our way through literally hundreds of owner reviews to find you the six (technically seven) best dog food for Bernedoodles – the very best brands of dog food that your pup will adore.
Picking the right food for your furry friend is a more difficult task than it would initially seem. Not only are there so many brands out there promising great things, but quite a few factors need to go into this decision. You should think about your pet’s needs, preferences, and have a clear understanding of which ingredients are good for them and which are not so good.
Our Top 6 Parent-Approved Foods for Bernedoodles
- Pick #1:
American Journey Active Life Formula Lamb, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food. With high-quality real lamb as the first ingredient, omega fatty acids, and antioxidant-rich wholesome vegetables, American Journey’s excellent food is our top choice.
- Pick #2:
Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison Recipe Dry Dog Food. Simple, natural, and packed with flavor, Rachael Ray Nutrish’s blend has farm-raised turkey in top billing alongside a healthy dose of other beneficial nutrients.
- Pick #3:
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Protein, nutrient, and (healthy) calorie-dense, Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness kibble is perfect for your bouncy, hyper Doodle and their action-packed lifestyle.
- Pick #4:
Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food. An astonishing mixture of proteins (coming in at 30%), Victor’s Classic Hi-Pro Plus formula is great for teeny, tearaway terrors and larger, zoomier pups alike.
- Pick #5:
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food. Perfect for picky pooches who suffer from food intolerances, allergies, and digestive issues, Purina’s Pro Plan Sensitive does just what it says on the tin (well… bag).
- Pick #6:
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. Created for canine holistic health and well-being and with added extras, Blue Buffalos Life Protection Formula is excellent for all breeds and life stages.
- Pick #7:
Wellness Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food. Crammed full of everything that a growing puppy needs for strong teeth, bones, and more, Wellness’ Complete Health Puppy food is both delicious and nutritious.
Bernedoodle Nutritional Needs: A Quick Overview
According to the experts over at PetMD, a balanced diet is vital for a dog’s health. Bernedoodles are no exception. In fact, they have pretty standard doggy needs as compared with other breeds. Although, they may be a little more high-energy because of their two working-dog parents. So, you will likely need to pick a blend suited for a more active lifestyle.
Other things you need to keep in mind when picking out a food for your Bernie is their size (are they toy, miniature, medium, or standard?), their age (younger and older dogs have varying needs), and their specific activity levels (which will tell you how many calories they should have each day).
Common Bernedoodle Health Issues and How Food Can Help
When it comes to health, each breed has its own specific problems; however, many can be prevented or significantly reduced with the right supplements. Here are a few things to watch out for with your Bernedoodle:
Topping the list, obesity is a huge problem for Doodles – especially larger ones that are not getting enough exercise. Part of the reason for this is these dogs will generally eat anything and everything. However, another problem is that research looking into why so many dogs in the US are overweight. It has identified that many owners vastly overestimate their pet’s daily food needs.
Like their Poodle parents, Bernies can be sensitive to certain foods and products. Many high-quality pet foods have stopped using ingredients known to cause issues for canines, such as artificial flavors and preservatives. However, this is not the case for every brand. If your pup is suffering from digestive problems or itchy skin, carefully check food labels for possible culprits.
More common in elderly pets, joint pain and stiffness can seriously slow your pup down. It can be distressing to see a previously vigorous dog struggling to move about the way they used to. Help them to hang on to their mobility by seeking out foods with omega fatty acids, glucosamine, CBD oil, and other herbal remedies for joint health.
Best Foods for Bernedoodles: Buyer’s Guide
When picking out the best type of food for your dog, you have several options, such as fresh foods, canned foods, and raw foods. In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with a decent kibble. Not only is it easier and cheaper than the other choices, but it usually contains an assortment of great ingredients. Plus, chewing the pellets will help keep your pal’s teeth clean.
The downside of kibble is that the quality of the food can vary significantly between manufacturers. Opt for a reputable and trusted brand, but make sure you do your homework too. Carefully check the ingredients list to ensure it has everything your pup needs and that there are no potentially harmful products or fillers (keep scrolling for more on this). Particularly look out for:
High-quality meat should be the first ingredient in any food you plan to serve up to your pooch. Animal-based protein is essential to many processes in a dog’s body, such as growth, cell regeneration, and organ efficiency. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), it should make up at least 18% of any dry dog food.
While fats are frequently viewed in a bad light, they are necessary for keeping your pup’s energy levels up (among other things), and kibble should contain at least 5.5%. Of course, as you well know, there are both good fats and bad fats. For dogs, animal products are the best source of fat. However, they can also benefit from some plant-based forms like olive oil and coconut oil.
Often owners are surprised to hear their four-legged friend needs carbs. These are another nutrient that has gotten a bad rap for all the wrong reasons. While carbohydrates aren’t as essential to dogs as they are for us, fiber certainly is for their digestion. Carbs can also help keep your pup feeling fuller for longer making them less likely to beg for treats off your plate.
Best Foods for Bernedoodles: Reviews
Best for Every Dog
American Journey Active Life Formula Lamb, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food
Here at Doodle Doods, we really love the American Journey dry foods and would recommend them for most dogs. This food’s nutritional profile is truly excellent, with a guaranteed 23% premium protein (in this case lamb), a full range of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support a healthy immune system. The tasty kibble contains absolutely no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients, so you can be confident your pet is getting only the very best.
Reviewers are equally as enthusiastic, rating this ‘awesome food’ very highly. Dogs seem to really love the taste, and the kibble is a good size for big and small dogs alike – one of the key reasons we selected it as our all-rounder. Some pet parents even comment that the food is good for those with allergies and sensitivities (especially the lamb blend).
Super high-quality food at a budget-friendly price. There is a nice variety of flavor options to choose from.
The only issue here seems to be that some dogs don’t like the food – you can’t please everyone.
Best for Bigger Bernies
Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison Recipe Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish is a new one on us but seems firmly established among dog owners and is pretty popular too. With its mix of real ingredients, including the highest-quality meat, wholesome grains and veggies, and added vitamins and minerals, we can see why. The company even offers an array of wet food entrees to complement their kibble – adding extra taste and interesting new textures to keep your pup keen.
With fewer calories than similar alternatives, this is the natural choice for pups who are watching their weight. However, fewer calories and lower fat doesn’t translate into less flavor judging by the positive comments. Owners also mention that it even seems to boost energy levels and leaves skin and coat soft, silky, and beautiful looking to boot.
Great taste, good ingredients, positive outcomes and at the right price.
Some owners with small breeds mention that this kibble is a little on the large size. That’s why we recommend it for larger Bernedoodles.
Best for Active Hounds
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
With a truly excellent 34% of protein, Blue Buffalo’s formula is knocking it out of the park for happy, active dogs everywhere. Chicken is one of the best sources of lean protein, and this kibble couples it with vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates for a flavorsome, balanced diet for dogs always on the go. Moreover, the antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits support immune system health, as well as supple skin and a glossy coat.
The ‘Wilderness’ branch of the Blue Buffalo family tree is designed to imitate a dog’s original diet – back in the days before food was so handily provided for them. For this reason, it is considered to be perfectly formulated for their specific dietary needs. On the whole, reviewers seem to support this – especially those with larger dogs.
This food seems almost tailored made for medium-to-large Bernies. It provides them with plenty of energy for whatever the day has in store for them.
If your pet is a little on the elderly side or just a bit of a couch potato, you might want to give this one a pass. They could quickly pile on the pounds due to its high calorie content.
Best for Littler Lovelies
Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food
Having almost the same number of calories per serving as our active choice, Victor’s Hi-Pro Plus food is also great for more energetic pups – and the kibble is a little more manageable for smaller mouths. With premium-quality beef, chicken, and pork meals, alongside vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and amino acids, this food is suitable for all life stages. It’s especially good for digestion and immune system function.
Victor’s is another popular brand among pet owners. Those that have switched over from other top choices tend to stick with it. Reviewers dub it an ‘excellent choice for all dogs.’ Some comment that irritations and allergy responses caused by unknown ingredients have vanished with this particular blend. Plus, pups can’t seem to get enough of this tasty food.
This food has an excellent blend of proteins that provide your dog with high-quality nutrition. The various other added extras are great too.
Again, the only real issue seems to be that some pups turn up their nose – this shouldn’t be much of a problem for the food-loving Bernies, though.
Best for Sensitive Souls
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Purina does a truly fantastic sensitive range with controlled ingredients. This salmon and rice formula is our absolute favorite. Aside from the highly digestible rice and oatmeal recipe, what makes this super food so super is the nutrient-rich salmon and the added probiotics and prebiotic fiber, which are great for joint as well as digestive health. The formula also contains zero corn, wheat, or soy – just good, clean, healthful ingredients.
Reviews for this product are great. The vast majority of people would definitely recommend this food to a friend. Some mention that it was their vet that cottoned them on to this brand in the first place. It seems to help with tummy troubles, itchy skin, dull coats, and so much more.
The great thing about this food is not just what is in it but also what is not. Purina has removed all ingredients that pets may have sensitivities to.
This food is super high in calories (even more so than the ones we suggested for active breeds). Take care with how much you are feeding your dog, and keep an eye out for signs of weight gain.
Best for Older Pups
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Another Blue Buffalo food for our list, this brand is super popular among Doodle owners. However, the focus is a little different. Instead of being really high in protein like the Wilderness foods (although it does still contain 24% – well within the recommended amount), it has a precise blend of nutrients enhanced with a Super 7 package of antioxidant-rich ingredients. The added glucosamine, which supports joint health and mobility, is why we have chosen it as our best for older pups.
The omega fatty acids in this kibble seem to be doing something super for coat health – as reported by those who recently switched to this brand. Owners marvel at how full, soft and shiny their pup’s hair has become. It even seems to help with reducing shedding. A big thumbs up for this food from us and from reviewers too.
Dogs seem to love it, people seem to love it. What more could you ask for in a dog food?
A couple of people have mentioned upset tummies. This could be because of a sensitivity to chicken which some pups go on to develop.
Best for Puppies
Wellness Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food
While many food brands these days offer all-for-one with their kibble, stating it’s good for oldies and youngies alike, there’s something to be said for one designed specifically for your pup’s life stage. Wellness’ Complete Health Puppy food provides whole-body nutrition for your new, little four-legged friend. With its premium proteins and wholesome grains, not to mention all those added vitamins and minerals that are just perfect for a growing pup.
The majority of puppies seem to get along very well with this food – they like it, and it’s doing great things for them. It even seems to go down a treat with fussy pups who otherwise turn their nose up at kibble. Pet parents comment that the ingredients are high quality, and one even goes as far as to say the food almost smells good enough for people to eat!
Given that this food is specifically formulated with puppies in mind, it has everything a growing dog needs to keep them happy and healthy.
Two concerns mentioned by reviewers are the price – which some say is a little high (although many say the food is worth it) and the fact that the bag is not resealable. You might have to transfer this food to another container to keep it fresh.
The Homemade Food Option
While preparing your pup’s food yourself is great for ensuring that they get exactly what they need from their diet (after a fair chunk of research, of course), it is undoubtedly the most time-consuming option. It can also be the most expensive if you prepare food each day rather than in batches to freeze.
However, if you have chosen this route either due to the fact that your dog has particular health or nutritional needs or simply because it is something that you wish to do for your pet, experts over at the American Kennel Club have compiled this convenient list of does and don’ts for homemade dog food.
Ingredients to Avoid in Bernedoodle Food
With the AAFCO working hard to keep harmful far away from pet foods, there’s not too much to worry about these days when it comes to food manufactured in the States.
Now filler ingredients are the number one enemy of pet owners looking to grab their dog some tasty, healthy nosh at a reasonable price. While these are not necessarily directly harmful for their health (at least not most of the time), they provide your pup with absolutely zero nutrition – so there’s not really much point in them eating them.
Many companies make use of such ingredients because they are cheap, easy, and sadly there are no rules against using them – yet.
“Healthy amounts of corn and rice can be good for your dog; corn syrup, and MSG (monosodium glutamate) are never good. Look for foods that list the fillers low on the list so that you know your dog is not getting an unhealthy amount of fillers.”PetMD
There is also still a lot of confusion on the use of grains in dog food. For more on this, take a look at our dedicated article: Is Grain-Free Good for Dogs? The Long Debate
Bernedoodle Feeding Guide
A feeding schedule is essential to ensure your pup receives the right amount of food at the right time of day.
Under four months, you can let your puppy graze. However, after this age, their mealtimes need to be a little more regulated to stop them from putting on too much weight too quickly. Smaller Bernies should be fed little and often, whereas larger ones should be given four small meals a day. Refer to the manufacturer’s individual instructions to see exactly how much you should be putting down each time.
At six months, your dog can switch over to an adult feeding schedule (and formula). Mealtimes should be reduced to either twice or three times daily, and this routine will remain in place for their adult lives unless there are any changes in their health.
Bernedoodle Nutrition: Frequently Asked Questions
What should I feed my Bernedoodle?
Bernies are, generally speaking, happy, healthy hounds. For this reason, any high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food, prepared for their size and life stage, should do the trick. All of the foods on our list come highly recommended by pet owners and are well suited to a Bernies needs.
Is chicken bad for Bernedoodles?
While some dogs may be sensitive to chicken and chicken by-products, this is an occasional rather than frequent allergy. However, it can develop later in life. If you are feeding your pup food with chicken as the main ingredient, keep an eye out for any signs of sensitivity, such as changes in bowel movements or itchy skin.
Are Bernedoodles picky eaters?
Bernedoodles are generally not picky eaters; in fact, quite the reverse. While this may seem like a good thing (you won’t have to worry too much about your pup not liking their new food), you do have to be careful that your dog is not eating the wrong thing or even too much of the right thing.
Bernedoodles are fun, fab, lively hounds, and they make excellent pets. However, as is the case with any pet, we need to take care of them to the very best of our ability. A major part of this is giving them food that will keep them happy, healthy, and just as full of life as they naturally are. Select one of the excellent blends including on our list, one that suits your dog’s life stage, pick a flavor they will love, and you’ll be well away.
The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.