Goldendoodles may have been billed as easy-to-care-for family dogs, but their dietary needs are no less important and specific than any other breed. A combination of Golden Retriever and Poodle ancestry, Goldendoodles have become one of the most popular breeds in the world and inspired dozens of other Doodle breeds.
In this guide, I’m covering everything you need to know about choosing the best dog food for a Goldendoodle. We’ll go over basic nutrition, health concerns to look out for, and my top six recommendations for high-quality dog foods.
Before we dive in, let’s take a look at a quick overview of my top 6 dog foods for Goldendoodles.
- Top 4 Biologically Appropriate Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers
- 4 Balanced Raw Dog Food Recipes You Can Make At Home
- Could Your Dog Be Allergic to Chicken?
- Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters
Best Dog Foods for Goldendoole Puppies
|Brand||Grain?||First 5 Ingredients||Price|
|Best Raw: We Feed Raw||Grain-free||Beef HeartBeef LiverBeef KidneyBeef Necks (with bone)WFR vitamin + mineral mix||$|
|Best Air-Dried: Front of the Pack||Grain-inclusive||90% USDA Grass-Fed Beef Pumpkin Seed OilOrganic Oats (Gluten Free)Organic Guar FiberOrganic Beets||$$|
|Best Freeze-Dried: Primal||Grain-free||Turkey (with ground bone)Turkey LiversWhole SardinesOrganic SquashOrganic Kale||$$$$|
|Best Fresh-Frozen: NomNom||Grain-Free||Ground Beef Russet Potatoes Eggs Carrots Peas||$$|
|Best Healthy Kibble: Spot & Tango||Grain-free||CodSalmonSweet PotatoPumpkinSunflower Seeds||$$|
|Best Canned: ZIWI Peak||Grain-free||MackerelWaterLambLamb LungChickpeas||$$$|
Goldendoodle Nutritional Needs
Like all dogs, Goldendoodles need a balanced diet that includes protein, fat, and fiber. Facultative carnivores, dogs benefit from an animal protein based diet, but also enjoy the added nutrients from certain fruits and vegetables.
Pre-made dog foods are already nutritionally balanced and complete. But it’s still good to know exactly what you’re feeding your Goldendoodle to make sure they get all the nutrients they need.
Because Goldendoodles are a medium-large breed—typically between 35–60 lbs—it’s also important to remember that they will eat more than their smaller counterparts. In this same vein, mini Goldendoodles will naturally eat less than standard Goldendoodles simply because they are smaller.
Goldendoodle Health Concerns
Because Goldendoodles are mixed-breed dogs, they are often healthier than purebred Golden Retrievers and Poodles. However, increased demand and overbreeding have resulted in an increased number of Goldendoodles with health issues.
Some common health concerns to look out for in your Goldendoodle include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Skin issues
- Vision and eye problems
- Ear infections
Key Nutrients for Goldendoodles
While a healthy diet isn’t guaranteed to prevent health problems, it can set your dog up for success and longevity. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say, so we always recommend taking preemptive measures to protect your Goldendoodle’s health.
|Beta-carotene||– Supporting vision health- Immune support||– Broccoli- Carrots- Eggs- Spinach- Sweet potato|
|Biotin||– Supporting neurological health- Supporting skin health- Supports metabolic function||– Eggs- Kidney- Liver- Salmon|
|Calcium||– Preventing hip dysplasia- Supports healthy bones and muscles- Supports heart health||– Broccoli- Kale- Mackerel- Salmon- Sardines- Spinach|
|Iron||– Preventing hip dysplasia- Supports healthy bones and muscles||– Beef- Beef liver- Kelp- Lamb- Salmon- Sardines|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||– Preventing hip dysplasia- Supporting skin health- Supporting vision health- Preventing ear infections- Supporting neurological health||– Flaxseed- Mackerel- Pumpkin seed oil- Salmon- Sardines|
|Vitamin A||– Supporting skin health- Supporting vision health- Immune support||– Carrots- Fish liver oil- Kale- Liver- Sweet potatoes|
|B Complex Vitamins||– Supporting skin health- Supporting neurological health- Supports heart health||– Eggs- Fish- Goat milk- Liver- Red meat|
|Vitamin C||– Preventing hip dysplasia- Supporting vision health||– Blueberries- Carrots- Kale- Pumpkin- Kelp- Sweet potatoes|
|Vitamin E||– Supporting vision health- Supporting neurological health- Supports muscle function||– Beef- Beef organs- Eggs- Salmon- Spinach|
|Zinc||– Supporting skin health- Supporting neurological health- Immune support||– Broccoli- Eggs- Red meat- Salmon- Sardines- Spinach|
6 Best Dog Foods for Goldendoodles
1. Best Raw: We Feed Raw Beef Patty Recipe
If you’ve been holding off on feeding raw because you’re worried about cost, We Feed Raw is here to solve your problems! Our most affordable healthy dog food on this list, We Feed Raw is our pick for the best affordable dog food for Goldendoodles.
At less than $6 per day, We Feed Raw’s beef blend is a simple combination of beef, beef organs, and essential vitamins. For Goldendoodles, we love that this blend includes flaxseed for omega-3 fatty acids, beef liver for biotin, iron, vitamin E, and B-complex vitamins, plus a zinc sulfate supplement.Save 25% off your first subscription trial box.
|First 5 Ingredients||Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Necks (with bone), WFR vitamin + mineral mix (contains Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin E Supplement, and more)|
|Food Type||Raw, grain-free|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||12.2 % Protein – 10% Fat – 1% Fiber – 68.8% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||Feed 12.8 oz per day, or 6.4 oz per meal*|
|Cost Per Meal||$2.63 per meal* – $32.99 for 5 lbs|
What Reviewers Say:
2. Best Air-Dried: Front of the Pack USDA Beef
If your Goldendoodle doesn’t like their dog food but they will accept treats, you should try Front of the Pack! This air-dried beef formula tastes like little bits of beef jerky and can be used as your dog’s full meal, a meal topper, or training treats.
To keep your Goldendoodle happy and healthy, we like that this formula includes pumpkin seed oil and fish oil for omega-3s, kelp for iron and vitamin C, plus lots of protein from 90% USDA-grade grass-fed beef.
One of the most transparent dog food brands on the market, Front of the Pack lists their ingredients, well, on the front of the pack! No mystery ingredients here, everything is out in the open.
|First 5 Ingredients||90% USDA Grass-Fed Beef, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Oats (Gluten Free), Organic Guar Fiber, Organic Beets|
|Food Type||Air-dried, grain-inclusive|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||30% Protein – 20% Fat – 4% Fiber – 15% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||Feed 1 ½ cups per day, or ¾ cup per meal*|
|Cost Per Meal||$3.38 per meal* – $209.99 for approximately 46.5 cups of food|
What Reviewers Say:
3. Best Freeze-Dried: Primal Turkey & Sardine Nuggets
If you like the idea of feeding raw but don’t want to commit to the freezer space, freeze-dried raw is a fantastic alternative. Shelf-stable so it can be kept at room temperature, freeze-dried Primal nuggets just need to be rehydrated with a few tablespoons of warm water.
For Goldendoodles who are prone to hip dysplasia, this formula is extra beneficial. Whole sardines are an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron—all of which support healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
The biggest downside to this food is the price. Many dog owners use freeze-dried raw foods like Primal as their travel dog food, since it requires no refrigeration, is lightweight, and lasts for months on the shelf.
|First 5 Ingredients||Turkey (with ground bone), Turkey Livers, Whole Sardines, Organic Squash, Organic Kale|
|Food Type||Freeze-dried raw, grain-free|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||21% Protein – 23% Fat – 3% Fiber – 7% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||Feed 26 nuggets per day, or 13 nuggets per meal*|
|Cost Per Meal||$18.33 per meal* – 14 oz bag contains approximately 48 nuggets and costs $33.98|
What Reviewers Say:
4. Best Fresh-Frozen: Nom Nom Beef Mash
Speaking of picky eaters, do you have a dog that turns their nose up at anything but human food? NomNom’s fresh-frozen formulas are the answer. Cooked with whole ingredients, your dog won’t know the difference between their dinner and yours. Super easy to serve, NomNom’s recipes even smell like human food, so you can avoid dealing with stinky odors.
To serve, simply thaw the food overnight and portion it into your dog’s bowl. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days without compromising freshness or flavor. While this food is already cooked, it’s not recommended that you reheat it. Reheating fresh-frozen food can deplete it of nutrients and make it less healthy and filling for your Goldendoodle.
Eggs and carrots add beneficial nutrients to this beef-based blend, including beta-carotene, biotin, vitamin A, B complex vitamins, vitamin E, and zinc.
|First 5 Ingredients||Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Eggs, Carrots, Peas|
|Food Type||Fresh-frozen, grain-free|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||8% Protein – 4% Fat – 1% Fiber – 77% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||Customized based on your dog’s unique information|
|Cost Per Meal||~$2.50 per meal or $5 per day*|
What Reviewers Say:
5. Best Healthy Kibble: Spot & Tango Cod & Salmon UnKibble
Most commercial kibbles are high in grain and filler ingredients, and more carbohydrates than protein or fat. While some carbs are completely fine (and even beneficial) for your dog, feeding kibble high in carbs can result in unwanted weight gain, stiff joints, inflammation, and poor energy levels.
Spot & Tango has created a simple solution to conventional kibble. Made from whole ingredients that have been gently dried at low temperatures to preserve nutritional value, Spot & Tango’s UnKibble is a far cry from the dry, brown bits of kibble your dog is used to.
For Goldendoodles, we especially recommend the Cod & Salmon recipe, since these varieties of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
|First 5 Ingredients||Cod, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sunflower Seeds|
|Food Type||Kibble, grain-free|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||29.67% Protein – 22.06% Fat – 1.15% Fiber – 3.82% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||Feeding instructions recommended by Spot & Tango based on your dog’s information!|
|Cost Per Meal||$3.08 per meal* – $53.95 for approximately two weeks of food|
What Reviewers Say:
6. Best Canned: ZIWI Peak Canned Mackerel & Lamb Recipe
We love the convenience of canned wet dog food, but it sometimes gets overlooked. Easy to keep in abundance and completely shelf-stable, canned dog food is basically like fresh-frozen dog food, but without the high cost of storage.
Feeding canned dog food is super simple, too, since all you need to do is pop open a can and dump it into your dog’s bowl. If your dog only eats a portion of a can, just use a reusable can cover to seal in the freshness and store it in your fridge until the next meal.
ZIWI Peak is best known for its air-dried foods, but dogs go absolutely bananas over their canned formulas, too! This formula is made from a base of mackerel and lamb, which are both great options for dogs with skin issues or chronic ear infections. Mackerel is particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and b-complex vitamins, all essential nutrients for keeping your Goldendoodle happy and healthy.
|First 5 Ingredients||Mackerel, Water, Lamb, Lamb Lung, Chickpeas|
|Food Type||Wet, grain-free|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||10.5% Protein – 4% Fat – 2% Fiber – 78% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||Feed 2 ¼ cans per day, or 1 ⅛ cans per meal*|
|Cost Per Meal||$7.50 per meal* – $88.08 for 12 13.75-ounce cans|
What Reviewers Say:
*Feeding instructions and cost analysis based on calculations for a 40lb adult Goldendoodle with an average activity level.
Best Food For Goldendoodles FAQ
If we still haven’t covered your top questions about the best dog food for Goldendoodles, chances are good you’ll find the answer here! Let’s check out some of the top questions dog owners have about feeding their Goldendoodles.
Any of the dog foods we’ve recommended here would be a great option for a Goldendoodle puppy!
Because Nom Nom and Spot & Tango create custom meal plans based on your dog’s physical characteristics, these are especially good choices for a growing Goldendoodle puppy. These brands will be able to help you scale up as your puppy grows.
No matter which food you choose, be sure to double-check with your vet about your Goldendoodle puppy’s growth and nutrition.
Any of the dog foods we’ve recommended here would also work for a mini Goldendoodle! Mini Goldendoodles have many of the same nutritional and health needs as standard Goldendoodles. The biggest difference is portion size since mini Goldendoodles can be much smaller than their standard cousins.
Unless your Goldendoodle has specific food allergies, the rules for what they can and cannot eat are the same as for any other dog. You should avoid feeding your dog human food, and always keep toxic foods (like chocolate and grapes) safely out of reach.
There is a lot of debate within the veterinary and canine nutrition world over whether or not grains are beneficial for dogs. Based on what we know today, most dogs do just fine on a grain-inclusive diet, but also do well on a grain-free diet. Depending on what vet you go to, you’ll get differing opinions on which is better.
All this to say unless your Goldendoodle has a grain allergy or inflammatory condition, grain-inclusive food should be completely safe for their health.
As dogs age, they need fewer calories and leaner proteins. Spot & Tango’s Cod & Salmon UnKibble features fish, which is nutritionally dense but leaner than red meats like beef and lamb.
Many of the other brands on this list also make other dog food formulas which include lean proteins like fish, turkey, chicken, bison, and venison.
Goldendoodles with allergies should avoid beef and poultry-based diets, and eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Spot & Tango’s Cod & Salmon recipe and ZIWI Peak’s Mackerel & Lamb recipe are our top two recommendations for Goldendoodles with allergies.
The caloric needs of a Goldendoodle will vary enormously based on their physical attributes, health, and activity level. Because they are mixed breed dogs, Goldendoodles can vary in size and may land anywhere between 35–60 lbs.
Goldendoodles can also be drastically different in terms of activity level. Some Goldendoodles like to run and play all day, while others are total couch potatoes.
In general, a dog of about 40 pounds with an average activity level should be eating a little more than 600 calories per day.
You can also find Top 6 Dog Foods for French Bulldog Puppies HERE!