Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles: Top Picks for 2020

Goldendoodles, which range in size from tiny toys to huge standards, are fantastic family pets that only continue to become more popular. You want your Goldendoodle to have a long, healthy life, and that starts with feeding them a good diet. Here are our top picks for the best dog food for Goldendoodles, along with some tips to help you find the best one for your pup.

Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles

What to Look for in Goldendoodle Food

How can you tell if a food is good or not? Here are some things to look for in Goldendoodle food:

  • High-quality animal protein: While dogs aren’t strict carnivores like cats, they need certain essential amino acids that they can only get from animal meat. Look for high-quality animal meat as the first ingredient and avoid animal by-products, which are the non-nutritious parts of the animals that humans won’t eat.
  • Healthy fats: Fat is essential for your Goldendoodle’s health. Look for healthy fats from sources like fish or flaxseed.
  • Low carbohydrates: Dogs don’t need carbohydrates in their diet. Carbs are mostly necessary to bind dog food together. However, some dog food companies use excessive carbs in place of pricier meat ingredients.
  • Fiber: Dogs need fiber for healthy digestion. Look for ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or chicory root.
  • Fruits and vegetables: As much as possible, vitamins and minerals should come from fruits and vegetables rather than artificially added to the food later.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin: These ingredients are crucial for joint health and are especially important for larger Doodles.
  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants: Your Goldendoodle can’t be truly healthy without vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • No artificial additives: Your dog doesn’t care what color their food is. Avoid dog foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles

#1 – Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food

If your Goldendoodle struggles with their weight, you might be interested in Nulo Freestyle Cod and Lentils Grain-Free Adult Trim. It’s made in the USA with probiotics and 72% animal-based proteins, with low glycemic ingredients to help you manage your Doodle’s weight.

Key Features:

  • Made from 74% animal-based proteins and low glycemic ingredients
  • Contains pure probiotic strains for improved digestion
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned cod, turkey meal, salmon meal, lentils, yellow peas

Customer Reviews: As of writing, 99% of reviewers recommend this food. The only complaint so far is from somebody concerned about the fishy smell. People report that their dogs love the food, are keeping their weight down, and have shown improvement in digestive and allergy symptoms.

Final Verdict: This is one of the best grain-free foods available. As long as your Goldendoodle isn’t sensitive to one of the ingredients, they are likely to do well on it.

#2 – American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food

Looking for a grain-inclusive food with quality ingredients that won’t break the bank? Look at American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Salmon, Brown Rice, and Vegetables Recipe. It’s made in the USA without corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals, or artificial ingredients and has a balanced blend of omega-3 and omega-6.

Key Features:

  • No corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Balanced blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned salmon, menhaden fish meal (a source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), brown rice, peas, rice bran

Customer Reviews: Like any food, some dogs didn’t like the taste and some experienced digestive upset. Overall, though, most dogs love this food and experienced improvement in a variety of allergy symptoms, including hot spots.

Final Verdict: This is an affordable grain-inclusive food that most Goldendoodles will do well on.

#3 – Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

For a grain-free diet made from sustainable sources, look no further than Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free. Salmon is the first ingredient, and it’s made in the USA. This food is also available in a new ancient-grains formula if you prefer to feed your Goldendoodle a grain-inclusive diet.

Key Features:

  • Grain-free recipe features novel proteins including real smoked salmon
  • Made with ingredients from trusted and sustainable sources with no grain, wheat, corn, filler, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas

Customer Reviews: Some dogs were not fans of this food, but most dogs enjoy it and are thriving.

Final Verdict: This recipe has been a great choice for many years, and most Goldendoodles will do well on it.

#4 – Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Lamb + Brown Rice Recipe with Ancient Grains Adult Dry Dog Food

Do you want a grain-inclusive food for your Goldendoodle that has high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin? Check out Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Lamb and Brown Rice with Ancient Grains. It’s made in the USA with real deboned lamb as the first ingredient.

Key Features:

  • Developed with high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Features real deboned lamb as the first ingredient
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned lamb, salmon meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal

Customer Reviews: While some dogs didn’t like the lamb flavor, most dogs love it and are doing well, even some dogs who were switched over from grain-free food.

Final Verdict: This is an excellent grain-inclusive food that many Goldendoodles should do well on.

#5 – CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Bison, Lentil & Carrot Recipe Dry Dog Food

When you need a limited ingredient grain-free food for your pup, look into Canidae Grain-Free Pure Real Bison, Lentil, and Carrot Recipe. It’s made in the USA from just 10 real food ingredients and is fortified with probiotics, antioxidants, and fatty acids.

Key Features:

  • Made from just 10 real food ingredients
  • Fortified with Canidae’s HealthPLUS blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and fatty acids
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils

Customer Reviews: While some dogs didn’t like the taste, most of the complaints were actually about the price tag on this premium food. In general, dogs love it and aren’t experiencing allergy issues.

Final Verdict: If your Goldendoodle has food allergies, this may be a fantastic choice for them. Keep in mind that this is a premium food with a corresponding price tag.

#6 – Wellness CORE Grain-Free Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food

Does your Goldendoodle struggle with dry, itchy skin? They may do well on Wellness Core Grain-Free Ocean Whitefish, Herring, and Salmon Recipe. It’s made in the USA with plenty of fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Key Features:

  • Real whitefish is the first ingredient in this protein-rich, poultry-free recipe
  • Flaxseed and salmon oil provide essential omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Whitefish, herring meal, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, peas

Customer Reviews: Complaints range from dogs not liking the food or getting sick to owners who don’t like the smell. However, most dogs do well on this food.

Final Verdict: This food is an excellent choice for most Goldendoodles on grain-free diets.

#7 – Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Are you worried about GMO ingredients in your dog’s food? You’ll appreciate Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb and Rice Recipe. It’s made in the USA with non-GMO ingredients, and the first ingredient is pasture-fed deboned lamb.

Key Features:

  • Number one ingredient is pasture-fed deboned lamb
  • No by-products, wheat, corn, soy protein, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Made in the USA with non-GMO ingredients

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned lamb, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), brewers rice, whole brown rice, split peas

Customer Reviews: Many complaints are a result of Nutro adding chicken meal to a lamb and rice formula since many dogs are allergic to chicken. Otherwise, most dogs enjoy the food and do well on it.

Final Verdict: As long as your Goldendoodle isn’t allergic to chicken, they will likely do well on this food.

#8 – Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

Does your Doodle have severe food allergies or sensitivities? They may do well on Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb Freeze-Dried Raw Coated food. It only has one animal protein and one vegetable, so it’s unlikely to trigger your dog’s allergies (unless they are allergic to those ingredients, of course).

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredient recipe includes just one animal protein and one vegetable for pets with food sensitivities
  • No grain, eggs, dairy, beef, chicken, fish, sweet potato, potato, chickpeas, wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors or preservatives
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb meal, lamb, tapioca, peas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)

Customer Reviews: As with any food, some dogs didn’t like the taste. However, most dogs enjoyed this food and experienced a significant reduction in allergy symptoms.

Final Verdict: If your Goldendoodle struggles with allergies to anything but lamb or peas, they are likely to thrive on this food.

#9 – Natural Balance LID Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

For a grain-inclusive limited ingredient diet, look no farther than Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb and Brown Rice Formula. Lamb is the first ingredient, and even though it contains grains, this food is still gluten-free.

Key Features:

  • Grain-inclusive brown-rice formula is gluten-free
  • Includes fiber and essential amino acids
  • Made in the USA

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, brown rice, lamb meal, brewers rice, rice bran

Customer Reviews: While some dogs don’t like the flavor, most dogs enjoy this food and experience decreased allergy symptoms.

Final Verdict: This is a great grain-inclusive limited ingredient formula that many Goldendoodles will do well on.

#10 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

For a good grain-free food, look at Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free food. It contains Blue’s proprietary LifeSource Bits, which are a unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Key Features:

  • Made with LifeSource Bits—a special blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support life stage requirements, the immune system, and a healthy oxidative balance
  • No poultry by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Grain-free recipe contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine), peas, pea protein, tapioca starch

Customer Reviews: As with any food, some dogs don’t like it. Some dogs especially disliked the LifeSource Bits. Other dogs experienced an increase in allergy symptoms. All in all, most dogs enjoy this food and do well on it.

Final Verdict: This is a good choice for most Goldendoodles.

Food Allergies

Goldendoodles are highly prone to food allergies or sensitivities. The most common food allergens include chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy. If your Goldendoodle has chronic ear infections, itchy skin, hives, or loose stool, they may have a food allergy or sensitivity. You may want to try a food that doesn’t contain these common allergens.

Best Food for Goldendoodles: Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive?

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report showing a correlation between a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs fed foods that were grain-free, high in legumes, or both.

A 2018 study showed a correlation between DCM caused by taurine deficiency and dogs on grain-free or legume-rich diets. Dog foods that are supplemented with taurine or are low in legumes may be fine.

In short, nobody is quite sure whether or how some dogs on grain-free diets are more likely to develop DCM. Meanwhile, corn and wheat are common dog allergens, and many dogs seem to do better on grain-free diets.

If you have any questions about whether to feed your Goldendoodle a grain-free or grain-inclusive food, you should talk to your veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

There isn’t a single dog food that’s right for all Goldendoodles. However, we’ve provided you with 10 excellent options, so you’re sure to find one that works for your Doodle and your wallet.

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