7 Best Foods to Feed an Adult or Puppy Goldendoodle in 2018

What do you get when you cross two of the world’s most popular breeds? In the case of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, you get the Goldendoodle! Like Labradoodles, breeders may have started breeding Goldendoodles as guide dogs for the blind, especially for people who had allergies to most other dogs. Goldendoodles are smart and easy to train. They make good family dogs but they do require regular daily exercise. Not all Goldendoodles are non-shedding and they do come in several different coat types. Most Goldendoodles are medium to large in size.

What to look for in a good Goldendoodle food

Most Goldendoodles have a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle as parents, though some dogs may have a Miniature Poodle as a parent. Their size can range from small to large but most Goldendoodles are medium to large-sized dogs. Medium-sized Goldendoodles may weigh 30 to 45 pounds; large Goldendoodles can weigh up to 90 pounds. We suggest that you talk to the breeder so you have a good idea of how large your Goldendoodle will become as an adult. However, even puppies in the same litter can grow to be different sizes.

Regardless of size, you should expect your Goldendoodle to be very active. You will need to make sure your dog gets plenty of daily exercise. Most Goldendoodles can eat any good quality kibble. If your dog has a health issue, talk to your veterinarian and find out what kind of food is recommended. If your Goldendoodle is smaller, you could also consider feeding a wet/canned food. These foods are usually too expensive to feed as a regular diet to medium and large dogs. You may also consider fresh and freeze-dried foods as options.

If you have a Goldendoodle that is very small or very large, you should consider a dog food that is formulated for small or large dogs. These foods can address their special needs. Most Goldendoodles that weigh between 30 and 75 pounds (approximately) can eat dog foods that don’t have a size formulation.

Here are some things to look for in a good dog food for your Goldendoodle:

Protein

Like all dogs, Goldendoodles need good sources of animal protein such as meat, fish, and eggs. Check dog food labels to see what kind of protein is used in the food. Good quality dog foods normally use two or three meat or animal proteins in the first few ingredients. Many grain free foods today use a lot of plant protein, along with meat protein. Be careful about feeding dog foods with high amounts of plant protein, including lots of peas and lentils. These foods may appear to have high percentages of protein but plant protein is not as easy for your dog to use as animal sources of protein.

Fat

Fat is a source of energy for dogs. It’s also necessary for the body to make use of fat-soluble vitamins. We recommend avoiding generic fats and looking for named fats in dog foods. For example, “chicken fat” is better than “animal fat.” Named fish oils such as salmon oil are also better than plant oils.

Carbohydrates

There’s a lot of conversation today about dogs and carbohydrates. Dogs can digest carbohydrates (starches) but they shouldn’t be a huge part of your dog’s diet. There are some benefits to having small to moderate amounts of certain carbs in your dog’s diet. For example, carbohydrates help your dog feel satisfied after he eats so he won’t be hungry again right away. Fiber is a carbohydrate and dietary fibers such as inulin, chicory, oats, barley and beet pulp (to mention only a few kinds of dietary fiber) are good for your dog’s digestion when added to dog foods in small amounts. On the other hand, dog foods that contain lots of carbs are not good for your dog. These foods typically have filler ingredients and empty calories. If your dog food has 40 percent carbohydrates or more, you should probably re-think your dog food. Lots of carbohydrates usually means the food is lower in protein and other nutrients. If you would like to give your dog as few carbs as possible, you can look at wet/canned foods. These foods often have low carb percentages or even no carbohydrates.

Grains or grain-free?

Unless you have a dog that is allergic or sensitive to grains, feeding a grain free food is a matter of preference. Most veterinary nutritionists say that it’s not necessary to feed a grain free dog food unless your dog has a grain allergy. However, some people like to feed a grain free dog food simply because they like the ingredients in the food. We do recommend that you avoid any dog food that uses large amounts of grains since dogs don’t digest plant sources of protein as well as animal sources. This applies to some lower quality foods that use a lot of corn or wheat. However, it also applies to some expensive foods that use lots of peas and lentils as plant sources of proteins, too. These grain free foods can appear to be high in protein but much of the protein comes from plant sources which are harder for dogs to use. Whatever dog food you are considering, check the label and try to avoid foods that have heavy amounts of plant material as one of the first ingredients, whether it’s a grain or a legume.

Artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, sweeteners

In general, you need to avoid all of these ingredients. Many of them have been linked to cancer in human studies. BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are preservatives to be avoided.

Goldendoodle Dog Food Feeding Guide

As mentioned, most Goldendoodles tend to be medium or large dogs but they can range from small to nearly giant in size. We can provide advice here for dogs in the medium to large size range. If your Goldendoodle is very small or exceptionally large, you will need to adjust their calories.

An adult Goldendoodle that weighs 45 to 50 pounds needs about 1200 to 1300 calories per day. The exact amount will depend on how active he is, his age, and his metabolism. Even two Goldendoodles that get the same amount of exercise may need different amounts of calories. Dogs that are spayed or neutered usually need slightly fewer calories. If your dog is older (over 7 years of age), you may need to adjust his calorie intake.

A Goldendoodle puppy will grow very rapidly during his first year so he’ll need lots of calories. For example, a Goldendoodle puppy that weighs 30 pounds (4-12 months) needs between 900 and 1000 calories per day. Puppy foods are specially formulated to provide more calories during this first year.

Goldendoodle breeders usually recommend feeding a puppy three or four small meals each day when they are young. You can gradually change to three meals. By the time your puppy is nearly a year old or an adult dog, you can start feeding him two meals per day. Adult Goldendoodles usually get two meals per day.

You can use the feeding guidelines on pet food labels as a starting point for how much to feed your Goldendoodle but keep in mind that they are only a guideline. These guidelines are not specifically for Goldendoodles so you should watch to see if your dog gains weight or loses weight on the portions you are feeding and adjust his food accordingly. With an adult Goldendoodle you should be able to feel, but not see, your dog’s ribs. Puppies should be slim and active and not roly-poly. Being overweight or obese as a puppy or young dog can predispose a dog to problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia later in life, so be careful not to overfeed your Goldendoodle.

We suggest that you measure the portions you feed your dog so you know how much he’s eating. Free feeding or leaving a bowl of food sitting down all the time tends to result in an overweight dog.

Best Value Food to Feed a Goldendoodle

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

Since Goldendoodles do come in various sizes, our pick for the best value food is a food that you can feed to dogs of all sizes: American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Dog Food . This is Chewy.com’s private label house brand and this formula is American Journey’s bestselling recipe. It’s high in protein with no corn, wheat, or soy. The first three ingredients are salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal so it has lots of meat protein. Salmon and salmon oil are great sources of Omega-3 which keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. No glutens, artificial colors, or preservatives. This food has 430 kcal/cup. It’s a good choice for dogs of all sizes so if you’re not sure what to feed your Goldendoodle, you can give it a try. The 24-pound size is priced at $39.99; $35.99 with autoship. Chewy offers 30 percent off your first bag. American Journey has several other recipes your dog might like such as beef, chicken, lamb, large breed, and limited ingredient diets (LID).

3 Best Foods to Feed a Puppy Goldendoodle

Feeding your Goldendoodle puppy is similar to feeding an adult dog with a couple of exceptions. Puppies need more calories while they are growing. They also need more protein. Look for puppy foods that have DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) since this compound has been shown to help with a puppy’s brain development. Good puppy foods will also have the right calcium and phosphorus ratio )(1.2 parts of calcium for each 1 part of phosphorous – 1.2:1).

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry

One of the most popular grain free puppy foods, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe has deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the first three ingredients so you know your Goldendoodle puppy is getting plenty of meat protein. No meat by-products, wheat, corn, soy, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives! DHA for good brain development comes from salmon oil. Calcium and phosphorus levels are guaranteed. The kibble is coated with probiotics to help your puppy’s digestion. This food has 417 kcal/cup. Chewy offers it for $59.99 for a $26-pound bag; or $56.99 with autoship.

Holistic Select Puppy Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe Dry

Grain free and gluten-free Holistic Select Puppy Healthy Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe is formulated with a unique digestive health support system. It includes active probiotics, healthy fiber, and digestive enzymes. The first ingredients are anchovy and sardine meal, and chicken meal so it provides good animal protein for your Goldendoodle puppy. Antioxidants come from superfoods like blueberries and pomegranates. DHA fatty acid supports good brain development. This food has 450 kcal/cup. If you’re not familiar with Holistic Select, it was once part of Eagle Pack; both brands are owned by WellPet, the same company that makes Wellness foods. Chewy has a 12-pound bag of this puppy food for $36.99; or $35.14 with autoship.

Merrick Real Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry

Merrick Real Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Puppy Food has deboned beef and lamb meal as the first two meat proteins. DHA supports healthy brain development. Merrick makes food in small batches in their kitchens in Texas for better quality control. No corn, wheat, soy, or glutens and it’s poultry-free. It has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. This formula has 377 kcal/cup so it has slightly fewer calories than some other puppy foods if you have a puppy on the plump side. Chewy has this food for $59.99 for a 25-pound bag or 56.99 with autoship.

3 Best Foods to Feed an Adult Goldendoodle

Since Goldendoodles can range from small to large in size, we’ve selected foods that are suitable for dogs of all sizes. If you have a very small dog, you may want to look at foods made for small dogs. Likewise, if your Goldendoodle is very large, he might do well eating a food made for large or giant dogs. The foods here are good for most medium-sized dogs.

Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry

Victor is becoming one of the most popular dog food brands in the country. Much of the brand’s popularity is from word of mouth and praise from happy dog owners. Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula is one of the bestselling dog foods on Chewy.com. It has no corn, wheat, or soy, and it’s GMO-free and gluten-free. It’s also high in protein. Eighty-eight percent (88 percent) of the protein in the food comes from meat, poultry, and fish. Omega-3, Omega-6, and vitamin E all help produce healthy skin and coat.  This food has 450 kcal/cup. Chewy has this food for $50.53 for a 40-pound bag; or $48.00 with autoship. There are also several other Victor formulas for adult dogs.

Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free

Zignature makes limited ingredient diet dog foods that use only one kind of meat protein in each food (unless otherwise noted). This makes these foods an excellent choice for any dog with food allergies or certain protein sensitivities. However, you can also feed them to your dog even if he doesn’t have an allergy. Zignature Turkey LID Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food has turkey and turkey meal as the first two ingredients. These are the only meat proteins in the food. The turkey is farm-raised in the U.S. This food has no chicken, corn, wheat, soy, or potatoes. It’s also low-glycemic and gluten-free. Zignature makes terrific foods whether your dog has any allergy problems or not. This food has 457 kcal/cup. Available in several other formulas. Chewy has this formula for $54.99 for a 27-pound bag. Autoship not currently offered.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry

Always a bestseller, Taste of the Wild dog foods are good grain free foods at a moderate price. The High Prairie formula features buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal as the first three ingredients. The formula also includes novel proteins such as bison and venison. It has no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. A proprietary K9 strain probiotic helps your dog digest the food. This formula has 370 kcal/cup. Taste of the Wild has numerous other formulas for adult dogs. Chewy has this food for $48.99 for a 30-pound bag; or $46.54 with autoship.

Conclusion

Lots of people love Goldendoodles. They are cute, smart, sweet, and easy to train. They usually make good dogs if you have a family or if you’re just looking for a buddy. We hope the foods suggested here provide a good starting point for you as you consider what to feed your dog.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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