How do you choose the best Goldendoodle puppy food? What ingredients make up the best dog food for Goldendoodle puppies? What special needs do Goldendoodles have? As a new pup parent, you might already be overwhelmed with all the options available on the market.
But don’t you worry! We decided to find out what is the absolute best puppy food for Goldendoodles. So, let’s dig in 😉
Top 7 Best Goldendoodle Puppy Food Recommendations By Doodle Owners
- Pick #1:
Purina Pro Plan High Protein Wet Puppy Food. From the most-loved dog food brand by Doodle owners!
- Pick #2:
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe. With this formula, your puppy will get their 5-a-day, for sure.
- Pick #3:
Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food. Formulated with a special mineral complex that targets joints and bones.
- Pick #4:
Diamond Naturals Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food. This grain-free dog food is perfect for a Goldendoodle puppy with tummy issues.
- Pick #5:
Fromm Puppy Gold dry dog food. Rich in essential fatty acids, this formula makes your puppy’s coat shine.
- Pick #6:
Victor Classic Professional Dry Dog Food. Fortified with probiotics and prebiotics that are great for healthy digestion.
- Pick #7:
Raw/Homemade Food. To have full control over the ingredients, none of which are artificial or unhealthy.
What to Look for While Choosing the Best Food for Goldendoodle Puppies
Even though there are just too many options to choose from, there are a few simple guidelines that you can follow when choosing the best Goldendoodle puppy food. Always feed your Goldendoodle the food that takes into account their age, size, activity levels, and any medical concerns, as well.
For instance, the best dog food for Goldendoodle puppies should be more nutrient dense and provide more energy. As a puppy is still growing and developing, they need food specially formulated to meet those unique needs.
Additionally, very active dogs and puppies would most likely benefit from dog food that provides more energy. On the other hand, this dog food would not be the best choice for elderly Doodles. Because older dogs usually exercise less, overfeeding them with very calorie dense food can lead to obesity.
Key Nutritional Requirements Of A Goldendoodle Puppy
Just like all other dogs, Goldendoodles thrive on a healthy and balanced diet. The best dog food for Goldendoodle puppies should always include high-quality proteins, carbs, fiber, fats, and added nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Today, there are many protein sources used in commercial dog food. The most common proteins are chicken, fish, beef, and pork. Formulas can also include proteins like venison, turkey, duck, rabbit, bison, and more.
A balanced puppy food should also contain high-quality carbohydrates. We prefer whole grains, as they are less processed. Thus, they contain more nutrients and fiber. Furthermore, fiber is essential for proper digestion and stool quality.
On the other hand, some Goldendoodle owners feed their pups only grain-free puppy food. Be sure to check out our article about grain-free dog food to learn more about it.
And, of course, the best dog food for Goldendoodles should also contain high-quality fats. Healthy fats provide essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. Fatty acids are crucial for the absorption of nutrients. Not to mention, essential fatty acids are necessary for your pup’s eyesight, brain development, and for a beautiful coat and a healthy skin.
But as we mentioned, a Goldendoodle puppy should ideally eat food specially formulated for puppies. The AAFCO Nutrient Requirement for Dogs states that puppies need to get at least 22% of protein and 8% of fat from their diet. For adult dogs, at least 18% of protein and 5% of fat is recommended.
If your Goldendoodle puppy will grow into a large dog as an adult, we recommend you look for puppy food specially designed for large breed puppies. These will include nutrients that promote slower growth rate and help prevent joint and bone problems later on in life.
Common Health Issues of Goldendoodle Puppies and How Specific Foods Help Them
What’s great about Goldendoodles is that thanks to hybrid vigor, they’re usually healthier than their Poodle and Golden Retriever parents. Nevertheless, there are still some hereditary health problems which Goldendoodles are at risk for. Luckily, many dog foods are formulated with ingredients that help target certain health problems.
Let’s now have a look at the most common health issues of Goldendoodle puppies and what ingredients should be in the best dog food for a Goldendoodle.
As all Doodles are prone to allergies, your Goldendoodle pup at risk of developing an allergy at some point in their life. The most common allergens are proteins and high-protein grains like wheat. The most common source of protein that triggers allergies is chicken.
In case you notice allergy symptoms like itchiness, swelling or diarrhea, it might be reasonable to switch the protein in your puppy’s food. Also, don’t forget to consult with your vet about this!
Goldendoodles are prone to developing some sensitivities like stomach issues and skin sensitivities. To support your Goldendoodle puppy’s digestive system, make sure they get enough fiber from their diet. In addition, some Doodles do better on low-fat diets, as they are less irritating on your pup’s digestion.
Joint Problems And Hip Dysplasia
Goldendoodles are also at risk of joint problems and hip and elbow dysplasia. Even a little bit of excess weight puts your pup at risk for developing joint issues. So, if your furry friend is getting a bit chubby, you should definitely look for weight management formulas and not overfeed your pup.
If you’re looking for a formula that specially targets the joints, the ingredient list should include glucosamine or chondroitin.
Goldendoodles are at risk of inheriting different types of eye diseases. These include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and retinal dysplasia. Look for added nutrients like carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids. Natural ingredients like tomatoes, pumpkin, eggs, carrots, and sweet potatoes are also great for supporting eye health.
Top 7 Best Goldendoodle Puppy Food Reviews (Healthiest Options!)
Without further ado, here are the top 7 best Goldendoodle puppy food formulas that Goldendoodle parents absolutely love!
1. Purina Pro Plan
Doodle owners rate Purina Pro Plan as the best Goldendoodle puppy food. And that’s no surprise, as they offer a huge variety of dry and wet dog food formulas. They have formulas for different life stages, breed sizes, and other special needs – formulas for allergies or different activity levels, for example. Moreover, they also have low-fat and grain-free formulas.
In addition, if you have a picky eater or your pup has any sensitivities or allergies, Purina Pro Plan uses many different protein and grain sources. For instance, if your pup doesn’t like or can’t handle chicken, you can try fish instead!
The Purina Pro Plan High Protein wet puppy food ticks all the boxes when it comes to Goldendoodle puppies. Chicken is listed as the first ingredient and it is a high-protein formula. What we love about this puppy food is that it contains a ton of added vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are vital for a growing puppy.
For instance, the wet food formula shown above is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are great for your pup’s eye health, brain development, and skin and coat health. It also contains added potassium, choline, calcium, vitamin E, Zinc, niacin, copper, vitamins A, B-12, and D, biotin, and more.
Keep in mind that chicken is the most common allergen in Doodles. So, this formula might actually trigger allergies in some Goldendoodle puppies.
What we dislike about this particular puppy food, though, are some ingredients like added color and carrageenan, which may not be the healthiest ingredients.
- This wet puppy food has chicken listed as the first ingredient and all Purina Pro Plan dog foods contain real meat, poultry, or fish as the main protein source.
- Specially formulated for puppies.
- Lots of added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
- Contains added fatty acids like fish oil that’s great for your puppy’s brain and vision development and keeps their coat and skin looking beautiful.
- There are also grain-free options of this puppy food formula available.
- For Goldendoodle puppies who are allergic or sensitive to chicken, this puppy food formula won’t be suitable.
- Contains added color and carrageenan, which are somewhat questionable ingredients.
2. Hill’s Science Diet
The second most popular Goldendoodle puppy food brand is Hill’s Science Diet. In addition to this specific Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe Dry puppy food formula, Hill’s Science Diet has formulas for different life stages, breed sizes, and special needs like sensitivities, joint problems, and weight management.
What we love about this formula is that it contains fish oil and flaxseeds that both provide essential fatty acids. It also contains natural ingredients like apples, broccoli, carrots, green peas, and cranberries, which all provide antioxidants and other nutrients necessary for good eye health. Moreover, flaxseeds, oats, and whole grains provide a lot of fiber, which is essential for your puppy’s good digestion.
Of course, the best puppy food for Goldendoodles should include some added vitamins and minerals, as well. This formula is made with vitamins A, B-12, and D, biotin, folic acid, and minerals like zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium.
What we dislike about this formula is that it contains gluten meal as a separate ingredient. Too much gluten can trigger allergies. And since allergies are one of the most common health issues in Goldendoodles, this is something to keep in mind.
- Contains fish oil that’s necessary for eye and brain health.
- Specially formulated for puppies with tons of added vitamins and minerals.
- Contains added fiber from dried beet pulp, oats, and flaxseeds, which are great for Goldendoodle puppies with tummy issues.
- Ingredients like beta-carotene, apples, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, and green peas provide essential nutrients to support eye health.
- Contains natural ingredients.
- Gluten meal is listed as a separate ingredient, so this formula might not be suitable for Goldendoodle puppies with food allergies.
- This formula contains dicalcium phosphate that’s been linked to kidney stones and the calcification of soft tissue.
3. Royal Canin
Another widely popular Goldendoodle puppy food is the Royal Canin medium puppy dry dog food. This formula is suitable for pups who will grow into 23 lb. to 55 lb. adult Goldendoodles.
What we love about this formula is that it’s great for Goldendoodle puppies with sensitive digestion. It contains dried beet pulp that’s an amazing source of fiber. The added prebiotics are also beneficial for good digestion.
In addition, this formula is designed to also support proper joint and bone development. As Goldendoodles are at risk of joint problems and hip or elbow dysplasia, this formula would be a perfect addition to your Doodle’s diet.
What we dislike about this formula is that the first ingredient listed is chicken by-product meal, which may not be the best quality protein.
- Prebiotics and dried beet pulp are great for good digestion.
- Contains minerals that target joint and bone health.
- Suitable for active puppies who like to play a lot.
- Contains added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Fish oil is a great source of high-quality fatty acids.
- Contains corn gluten meal, which can trigger allergies and intolerances.
- This formula is not suitable for standard Goldendoodle puppies who will weigh more than 55 lb. as adults.
Diamond Naturals Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food is a grain-free formula suitable for Goldendoodles of all ages. What we love about this formula is that it’s completely natural and contains a ton of high-quality ingredients like beef, lamb, sweet potatoes, peas, flaxseed, and salmon oil. And thanks to the added live probiotics and fiber, this formula is great if your puppy has a sensitive tummy.
Additionally, this formula includes vitamins like A, B-12, C, E, and D, and minerals like zinc, selenium, iron, potassium, folic acid, biotin, phytonutrients, omega fatty acids, and more.
What we dislike about this formula is that it contains canola oil. Even though it does contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, this is still a somewhat controversial ingredient.
- All natural and grain-free formula.
- The first ingredient is pasture-raised beef.
- Contains salmon oil and flaxseeds which are both amazing sources of essential fatty acids.
- Active probiotics and fiber will keep your pup’s digestion working smoothly.
- Contains real fruit and vegetables like tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.
- Contains canola oil, which is not the healthiest source of fat.
Fromm Puppy Gold dry dog food is another popular formula that Doodle owners and their Goldendoodle pups love. What we love about this formula is that it contains probiotics and fiber that help with your puppy’s digestion. It also contains salmon oil that keeps your Doodle’s coat looking gorgeous.
What we dislike about this formula is that it does contain ingredients like chicken and brewers dried yeast, which can be problematic for puppies with allergies.
- Added probiotics and fiber-rich ingredients are great for your puppy’s digestion.
- First ingredient listed is chicken.
- Contains flaxseed and salmon oil that provide essential fatty acids.
- Natural ingredients like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and celery.
- Lots of added vitamins and minerals.
- Contains brewers dried yeast, which can trigger allergic reactions.
- One of the ingredients listed is cheese, which is not suitable for Doodles who are lactose intolerant.
Victor classic professional dry dog food is suitable for Goldendoodles of all life stages. It’s a nutrient-dense formula, so it’s perfect for little baby Doodles who need lots of energy. What we love about this formula is that it’s fortified with probiotics and prebiotics which are great for healthy digestion.
Of course, this formula includes lots of different vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids that support your puppy’s development and growth.
What we dislike about this formula is that even though beef is listed as the first ingredient, it also contains chicken, which can still trigger an allergic reaction in some puppies.
- Beef is listed as the first ingredient.
- Made with gluten-free grains.
- Added probiotics and prebiotics for good digestion.
- Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- This formula is suitable for Goldendoodle puppies who will weigh more than 70 lb. as adults!
- Contains brewers dried yeast and chicken, which may not be suitable for Goldendoodles with allergies.
You might already know that many Goldendoodle owners love to feed their pups raw or homemade dog food. If you haven’t already, here you can learn more about raw and homemade dog food.
What we love about raw and homemade diets is the full control you will have over the ingredients. There are no artificial ingredients, additives, or unhealthy ingredients.
What we dislike about raw and homemade dog food is that it isn’t as easy to make sure your Goldendoodle pup gets all the nutrients and in the correct ratios. As we know, puppies need more nutrients than adult dogs. So naturally, you would also have to give your Goldendoodle pup additional supplements. This should only be done under your vet’s provision and guidance.
- Having full control over what your puppy eats.
- No waste if you need to switch your pup’s protein source.
- You can choose the best sources of protein, carbs, and fat.
- Raw and homemade dog food can give your pup a shinier coat.
- Risk of pathogens and bacteria in raw meat, which are especially dangerous for puppies.
- Your puppy might not be able to get all the nutrients they need.
What Can Goldendoodles Not Eat?
Dogs are notorious for their desire to munch on anything coming their way. However, for your Doodle’s sake, do not feed your pup just anything, unless you’re sure it won’t do any harm. Not only are you putting your dog at a risk of gaining some extra weight, you might unknowingly feed them something their bodies can’t handle.
If you’ve read our What Can Dogs Not Eat article, you know that our bodies work a bit differently than dogs’. What’s a completely common everyday food to us, might be poisonous for your Doodle.
These are the foods you should never let your Goldendoodle eat:
- Alcohol and yeast dough
- Fruit pits and seeds
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts and almonds
- Onions, leeks and chives
- Potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes
- Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners
Avoid any dog food formulas that include artificial additives and preservatives like BHA and BHT. Additionally, we recommend you avoid formulas that list grain as the first ingredient. Furthermore, gluten could also trigger allergies in some Goldendoodles. If gluten is listed as an ingredient in the formula, you should keep your eye on any allergy symptoms.
Goldendoodle Feeding Chart (Puppy to Adult)
Adult Goldendoodles do well on two meals a day. But keep in mind that puppies need more frequent meals and more energy. You should feed your Goldendoodle puppy special puppy food until they’ve reached their adult size (typically between 9-16 months, but most vets will recommend transitioning to adult food at 1 year of age). Reducing meal frequency should be done gradually over time.
- 8-12 week old puppies should be fed small portions 3-4 times a day.
- 4-5 month old puppies should be fed puppy food 3 times a day.
- 6-8 month old puppies can start transitioning to 2 meals a day.
Our Doodle feeding chart and calculator will show you exactly how much and how often you should feed your Goldendoodle puppy.
How to Switch Your Goldendoodle’s Food, Especially If They Are Picky Eaters
If you have an especially picky Goldendoodle puppy at home, switch their dog food extremely gradually. Picky eaters will most certainly notice if you suddenly give them another formula. Start mixing very small amounts of new food to their old dog food and gradually increase the ratio over time. This will make it easier for your pup to transition to a new formula.
You can start by following the chart below. But for picky eaters, you can change their food gradually over 10 days, for example.
Frequently Asked Questions While Shopping For The Best Goldendoodle Puppy Food
It depends on your pup’s preferences, as long as the formula suits your dog’s lifestyle and special needs. However, keep in mind that canned dog food is more expensive, so dry dog food is a more affordable option.
There isn’t a definitive answer to that, as each Doodle is unique and has their own special requirements. We do, however, recommend that you don’t choose a dog food that contains grain as the first ingredient. High-carb diets are not the best for Doodles.
Here you can learn more about grain-free diets for dogs.
Depending on your puppy’s age, 8-12 week old puppies should be fed small portions 3-4 times a day. 4-5 month old puppies should be fed puppy food 3 times a day. And 6-8 month old puppies can start transitioning to 2 meals a day.
Your pup’s food intake depends on their age, size, activity levels, and other special considerations. Try out our dog food calculator, which will accurately calculate your Goldendoodle’s needs. Also, don’t forget to consult this with your veterinarian, as they will be able to give you some useful guidelines.
Goldendoodles can eat puppy food until they’ve reached their full adult size. Usually, this happens around 9-16 months of age, but most vets will recommend transitioning to adult food at 1 year of age.
To conclude, each puppy is unique and has their special needs when it comes to choosing the best Goldendoodle puppy food formula. We hope this article was a helpful guide for all Goldendoodle puppy parents.