The Goldendoodle is the beautiful canine concoction of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. Usually paired with the standard-sized Poodle, this designer pooch is enjoying a surge in popularity amongst dog lovers across the world. These dogs have sensitive stomachs, so finding the best food for your Goldendoodle should be one of the first things you prioritize when you bring your puppy home. The standard Goldendoodle is full of energy and fun, and as such, it is important that we feed him a well-balanced healthy diet that provides his body with everything it needs to stay energized and healthy.
The Goldendoodle, with his lean body and energetic personality, will need a high-quality diet that has a high level of protein and healthy carbohydrates to energize him throughout the day. The Goldendoodle is also known to suffer from a sensitive digestive system, and as such many need a diet that offers a higher fiber content.
Given the nutritional needs of the standard-sized Goldendoodles, we’ve researched the market for the very best natural foods available, and for each life stage, we have chosen our top five dog foods that will cater to every Goldendoodle and budget out there.
At a Glance: Best Dog Food For Standard Goldendoodles*
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*This guide is aimed at those Goldendoodles whose Poodle parent is a Standard size, not a Miniature or a Toy Poodle, as they have a different set of nutritional requirements. A typical Standard Goldendoodle will measure between 15 and 24 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 75 pounds, and as such he will be considered a large dog. Miniature Goldendoodles have different food needs due to their size.
- Goldendoodle Puppy Nutrient Needs
- Adult Goldendoodle Nutrient Needs
- Senior Goldendoodle Nutrient Needs
- Best Food for Goldendoodle Puppies
- Best Food for Adult Goldendoodles
- Best Food for Senior Goldendoodles
- Food for Overweight Goldendoodles
- Final Thoughts
Goldendoodle Puppy Nutrient Needs
The Goldendoodle puppy’s parents are both at risk from Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, as well as other skeletal health concerns. Whilst these cannot be prevented by nutrition, the correct nutrition can certainly help to lower the chances of him developing them. Puppy formula specifically designed for large breed puppies contains optimum levels of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and fat levels, which will help to control the rate at which his bones grow. It is when his bones grow too quickly that he is at higher risk of developing such conditions, so a large breed puppy formula is a must for the Goldendoodle.
The Goldendoodle is a boisterous and energetic dog who will need a lot of energy throughout the day, as well as puppy growing power, so for this reason he needs a food that is going to provide him with good quality protein and whole meats. Protein is an essential building block that will help his muscles to grow and keep strong. The MSD Veterinary Manual recommends that all puppy nutrition should provide a protein content of at least 22%, but being a large dog the Goldendoodle would develop much healthier on protein content of at least 26%.
Healthy fats such as Salmon oils, Chicken fat, and flaxseed are great ingredients to look out for, and they will also nourish his coat and support a healthy cardiac system.
You should also be sure to look out for a variety of vitamins and minerals as these will help to develop his immune system to keep him healthy and strong. Many high-quality products will also list docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and arachidonic acid (ARA) because these are naturally found in mothers’ milk and they are key to healthy brain and eye development.
Adult Goldendoodle Nutrient Needs
The Goldendoodle will be considered an adult from the age of 18 months, and at this point, you should begin your search for his new adult food. Just as it was important in his puppy stage, it is crucial that you find a brand that is catered to the specific nutritional needs of large breeds. Being a big dog with a lot of muscle to carry around, it is important that his bones and joints are supported.
The MSD Veterinary Manual recommends that adult dogs need a product that will provide them with a protein content of at least 18%, but being an energetic dog who is muscular and athletic, we would raise this recommendation to a protein content of at least 23%.
During adulthood, unless he has a medical condition that requires specific nutrition, his bowl should focus on overall wellness. His brain function and golden curly locks would benefit from ingredients such as fish oils and flaxseed, and a variety of garden veggies and fruit will provide him with vitamins and minerals. Healthy carbohydrates will provide him with the energy he needs whilst ensuring that he will not become too porky.
Senior Goldendoodle Nutrient Needs
Between the years of seven and eight, the Goldendoodle will be considered to be a senior pooch. You’ll notice that he will start to slow down which means that he’ll need much less energy, and therefore you should switch him to a senior food that will cater to his changing needs and one that is designed for large senior breeds.
Less activity means less energy, and his senior forumulas will be less calorific and instead will be higher in fibrous ingredients. As well as less calories, there will also be less fat, as his slowing digestive system will struggle to break this down as effectively.
Just like humans, his joints will become weaker as he ages, and ingredients such as meat meals and supplements will provide him with the key senior ingredients, glucosamine, and chondroitin. In addition to extra vitamins and minerals to support his weakening immune system, ingredients such as taurine and DHA, ARA and EPA will look after his cardiac health and brain function, so be sure to look out for these.
Best Food for Goldendoodle Puppies
Like the Labradoodle, Goldendoodle puppies are extremely active. These pups will do best on a puppy food that can fulfill the energy level of both their poodle parent and their Golden Retriever parent. Goldendoodle puppies should be on a puppy formula dry food until they reach around 12 to 15 months of age. This will usually depend on their size and maturity level, but 12 months is usually fine to begin the transition to adult food.
Puppy formulas are recommended because of the nutrient density levels. They have higher levels of fat, protein, carbs and calories, which your puppy is almost guaranteed to expend through the course of the day. Because of this, these formulas have additional nutrients to ensure that your puppy will gain weight all the way through their youth. Below is a list of our favorite food for Goldendoodle puppies, in no particular order.
Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed
- Contains glucosamine for joint health.
- Antioxidants for immune system development.
- No artificial colors or flavors.
- Chicken and oats are primary ingredients.
- Made in the United States.394 Calories per cup.
- 24% Protein, 11% Fat, 3% Fiber.
This diet is based on science, and as such, you can be sure that it includes everything that a large puppy needs. It meets the MSD’s expectations with a protein content of 24.5%, and the first ingredient is Chicken meal, which will provide him with lots of energy, growing power, and glucosamine to support his joints.
It does have the lowest fiber content, which makes it a great option for those pups who do better on a low fiber diet, but with wholesome grains, you can also be sure that he will fill fuller for longer. DHA can be found in fish oils, and his coat will benefit from this too.
We love that this recipe is made by scientists and canine nutritionists who have designed a formula that caters to the exact needs of large-breed puppies.
Orijen Large Breed Puppy
- High-protein formula.
- Uses raw and fresh animal ingredients.
- Made with wild-caught fish.
- Made with cage-free egs.
- Made in the United States.
- 449 Calories per cup.
- 38% Protein, 16% Fat, 6% Fiber.
This premium recipe follows a whole prey diet, which means he will eat as his ancestors would, including the meat, organs, cartilage and blood. Whilst this might not sound appetizing to you, your Goldendoodle will go crazy for it! The protein source list includes Chicken, Turkey, a variety of fish and eggs, and two-thirds of the meat ingredients are either fresh or raw for extra taste.
It also lists healthy veggies and fruits, including pumpkin, collard greens and apples, which is important for his developing immune system. Glucosamine and fish oils keep his joints and skin supple and nourished too, and it is a grain free recipe.
We love that this recipe has leading levels of protein, and with the first 15 ingredients being high-quality meat sources you can be sure that your Goldendoodle will get all the energy and puppy fuel he needs.
Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy
- Grain-free formula.
- Award-winning Blue Buffalo brand.
- Rich in omega fatty acids.
- Sweet potatoes for carbs & digestion.
- 411 Calories per cup.
- 35% Protein, 14% Fat, 6% Fiber.
This grain-free recipe is packed with real Chicken, with the first two ingredients being deboned Chicken and Chicken meal, and the latter meal ingredient also provides plenty of DHA and ARA for his eye and brain development, and glucosamine for his joints. Often compared to other top-tier dog food, Blue Buffalo is one of our favorites for the Goldendoodle.
These kibble pieces are also mixed with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which are made with the optimum vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that large breed puppies need to develop into healthy adults. Peas, sweet potatoes, carrots and cranberries are also listed for his immune system.
We love that this recipe is considered to be a high fiber diet, which many pups do well on, and such a diet will keep him feeling fuller for longer if you are always finding him on the hunt for food.
Wellness Core Large Breed Puppy
Salmon oil and meat meals will provide him with those important developmental ingredients, such as DHA and ARA, and his beautiful coat will reap the benefits from these too. Deboned Chicken, Chicken, and Turkey meal are also listed in the ingredients, so his nutritional needs are most certainly met with this kibble.
This formula also lists superfoods such as banana, spinach and kale which help to bolster his growing immune system, and his bones are supported with calcium and phosphorus. Each kibble piece is coated in acticoat, which is a unique probiotic solution that keeps his digestive system healthy.
We love that this recipe is a grain-free recipe, which makes it a great option for those dogs who are either sensitive to grains, or for owners who wish to feed them such a diet.
Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy
- Boosted nutrition for large breed puppies with high-protein kibble + freeze-dried raw.
- Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient.
- Balanced mix of poultry, fish, and meat.
- Natural DHA from chicken eggs.
- Free from grains, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, and artificial colors and preservatives.
- Made in the USA.
This is another grain-free recipe, and this formula lists Chicken, Chicken meal, as well as freeze-dried raw Chicken pieces that are crunchy and yummy. This kibble has the highest fat content and calorie count too, so your Goldendoodle pup will get all the protein and nutrients he needs to develop into a healthy and strong adult.
His coat is well cared for with flaxseed and Salmon oil, and the abundance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids keep his joints supple too. Calcium and DHA keep his bones and teeth strong, and probiotics also keep his digestive system regular.
We love that this recipe includes freeze-dried toppers in with the kibble mix, which is not only nutritious but are also packed with taste and adds a little texture to his bowl.
Best Food for Adult Goldendoodles
Once your puppy hits 12 months of age, it’s time to start looking at transitioning them to an adult food formula. Large breed adult food is typically going to have a lower calorie count, and fewer carbohydrates to accommodate for your Goldendoodle’s energy levels starting to slow down. Keeping a dog on a puppy formula past 15 months will almost always result in weight gain.
Once you are ready to make the change, make sure you introduce the new food formula slowly. We typically recommend doing it over a four-week timeline, with the first week mixed at 25% new food and 75% old food. Week two is usually a 50/50 split, followed by week three which is 75% new food and 25% old food. By the time week four hits, your Goldendoodle should be well acclimated to the new food without an upset stomach. Below you’ll find our favorite food for your Goldendoodle, starting at 12 months and through your pup’s senior year.
The Farmer's Dog
- Cooked fresh, flash-frozen, and shipped to you.
- Personalized meal plans.
- 4 healthy, vet-designed options: beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.
- Made with human-grade ingredients (no fillers or preservatives).
- Manufactured in the United States.
- Calories and nutritional values vary based on recipe.
This recipe is fulfilling thanks to the wholesome, human-grade ingredients. Whatever flavor you choose, the first ingredient is always meat, providing your pooch with protein that’s full of rich nutrients for his skin, coat, and cognitive function.
Fresh vegetables provide his immune system with antioxidants while the protein keeps his bones and teeth strong. While this food is grain-free, mixing in some freshly cooked rice is a great way to add in some additional carbs and fiber while supporting a healthy balance for your Goldendoodle’s diet and your wallet! For the adult stage, this is one of the best dog foods.
We love that this recipe is made with all fresh ingredients and flash-frozen to ship directly to you.
Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed
- Real chicken is the very first ingredient.
- Highly digestible, flavorful recipe.
- Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Clinically proven antioxidant blend.
- Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Made in U.S. facilities.
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
This recipe follows on from the large breed puppy formula, so if he did well on this as a pup then this would make a great adult kibble contender. Real Chicken is the first ingredient, and barley provides fiber to keep his digestive system regular, as well as extra energy that his large body needs.
Chicken meal provides his joints with glucosamine and chondroitin, and flaxseed and vitamin E supplements will nourish his skin and coat from the inside out.
We love that this diet is based on science, so you can be sure that your Goldendoodle adult will get everything he needs from this recipe.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain with Bison
- High protein dog food features real bison.
- Grain free dog food, made with healthy carbohydrates including sweet potatoes and peas.
- A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health.
- Contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
This recipe is poultry free and instead uses deboned Bison and fish meal as the first two ingredients, with Beef meal listed a few ingredients behind as another great protein source. They also provide plenty of glucosamine and omega fatty acids which all help to maintain healthy hips and joints.
Following on from the puppy formula, the adult version also includes their LifeSource bits that are full of all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that large adult dogs need. Dried chicory root, sweet potato and peas contribute towards the high fiber content which will help to keep his gut flora healthy.
We love that this recipe is Bison flavored, which most dogs love and it offers a great alternative to the common poultry flavored recipes that some dogs either do not like or are allergic to.
Wellness Core Large Breed
- Grain-free formula.
- Chicken is the first ingredient.
- Larger kibble size for big dogs.
- Probioitics for gut health.
- No corn, soy, wheat, or wheat-gluten ingredients.
- 342 Calories per cup.
- 34% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber.
The first three ingredients in this kibble are deboned Chicken, Chicken meal, and Turkey meal which provide the second highest protein content on this list. The meat meals, along with ground flaxseed, will nourish his coat, as well as support his joints and bones.
This grain-free formula lists potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peas that will energize your pooch, and veggies and fruits such as kale, blueberries, and apples will ensure that his body receives all the antioxidants and vitamins he needs. Each kibble piece is covered in probiotic acticoat solution, which will support his digestive system and keep his stools firm.
We love that this kibble has the lowest calorie content, which is great for those Goldendoodles who do not need as much energy, without cutting down on protein or fats needed for a healthy diet.
Acana Highest Protein Dry Dog Food
- Matches the natural diets and physiology of dogs to best meet their natural nutritional needs.
- Formulated in our state-of-the-art kitchen using only ingredients from trusted sources.
- Full of key nutrients with fresh or raw animal ingredients, whole vegetables, fruits, and botanicals.
- Free of grains, gluten, potatoes, and tapioca, making it a nourishing food for dogs of all ages.
- No artificial ingredients.
With both of his parents being traditional water dogs, you can be sure that your Goldendoodle will love this kibble! It is made with 5 different fish as its protein source, which is a great alternative to the common poultry ingredients that some dogs do not like or are allergic to. It also follows a whole prey diet, which means that all of the nutrients and taste are included.
It is a grain-free recipe and instead uses locally sourced veggies and fruit such as butternut squash, pumpkin, parsnips, pears, apples, and cranberries to provide energy, fiber, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system and oxidative state. You can be sure with all the fish, fish oils, fish organs, and cartilages, his joints and coat are well cared for, and dried kelp will help to keep his bones and teeth strong too.
We love that this recipe has the highest protein content and the highest calorie count, so it is a great option for those super energetic and bouncy Goldendoodles. Whilst this is not specifically designed for large breeds, it ticks all the large breed boxes and more!
Best Food for Senior Goldendoodles
Like Golden Retrievers and other Golden Retriever mixes, the Goldendoodle will likely be risk to certain hereditary issues as they age. The most common issue you are likely to see is Hip dysplasia. In order to combat this issue early on, we recommend moving to a senior dog food formula at around age 6 that contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin. This will help your senior get the nutrients they need and keep their joints healthy longer term.
Some seniors also have sensitive stomachs as they age. While Goldendoodles aren’t really notorious for being choosy when it comes to their food, you are still better off getting a brand/formula that your pup will love once it’s been proven it agrees with their digestive tract. Below are our favorite foods for a Senior Goldendoodle.
Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed
- Vet endorsed brand.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin for joints.
- Antioxidant-rich for immune support.
- Formulated for large and giant breeds.
- Made in the United States.
- 353 Calories per cup.
- 15.5% Protein, 10.5% Fat, 4% Fiber.
This recipe completes the Science Diet set, so if he has done well on their previous kibbles he should do well on this option. Chicken meal is the first ingredient that helps to support his muscles and joints, as well as his coat.
It has an optimum blend of easy-to-digest ingredients such as brown rice and oats, and extra added vitamins and supplements to support his aging body and immune system. Science Diet brands are almost always an excellent choice, no matter who they are up against.
We love that this recipe is formulated by scientists and canine nutritionists who have studied the needs of the large breed senior, and put it all into one kibble.
Merrick Grain Free Senior
- Glucosamine boost.
- Deboned chicken is the first ingredient.
- L-Carnitine for metabolism boost.
- Made in the United States.
- 372 Calories per cup.
- 32% Protein, 12% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.
Whilst we do not usually recommend ‘all-breed’ kibble, this formula has extremely high levels of glucosamine which is much needed for larger breeds. Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients that also offer the highest protein content on this list.
Fish oils, veggies, and fruits ensure that this kibble is both tasty and nutritious for your senior pooch, and it is grain-free too for those with a sensitive stomach.
We love that this recipe has leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, even more so than the other kibbles specifically designed for large breeds, so you can be sure that his joints are supported and well cared for.
Blue Buffalo Senior Large Breed
- Real meat is the first ingredient.
- Glucosamine for joint support.
- No corn, wheat, or soy ingredients.
- Antioxidant-rich for immune health.
- L-Carnitine for muscle development.
- 344 Calories per cup.
- 20% Protein, 10% Fat, 7% Fiber.
Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal are the main protein sources in this recipe, which keep him energized but without the extra calories, and you can be sure that they also keep his joints and bones supple, as well as nourishing his skin and coat.
Just like the previous recommendations, this kibble includes their LifeSource Bits, which are a precise blend of nutrients that senior large breeds need for their slowing body and weaker immune system.
We love that this has the highest fiber content on this list, which will ensure that his digestive system is well cared for as it begins to slow down.
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior
- Chicken––a high-quality protein source––as the very first ingredient.
- Made with non-GMO ingredients, no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy.
- Formulated with essential antioxidants.
- Contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints.
- Great for large breed senior dogs 6 years and older.
Chicken and Chicken meal ensure that this senior kibble remains just as tasty as adult and puppy kibbles, without the added fats and calories. This recipe is crafted to keep his aging brain ticking with DHA ingredients, as well as supporting a healthy coat. Nutro is a great brand for many senior pups due to the specialty of this formula, and other manufacturers are trying to replicate that same success.
Sweet potato, brown rice, and dried beet pulp help to keep his digestive system regular, and apples, blueberries, and carrots also provide his immune system with a wide variety of vitamins and antioxidants.
We love that this kibble is best for those on a budget but without scrimping on quality.
- Natural chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine helps support and maintain senior dog’s joints as they age.
- Made with omega-rich avocados to promote healthy skin, coat, immune system and overall health.
- All natural ingredients: wheat free, corn free and soy free.
- No by-products meals, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors.
- Specially crafted for senior dogs.
- Proudly made in the USA.
Chicken meal, Chicken cartilage, and Herring meal are the main sources of protein and glucosamine, which keep his muscles strong and joints supported, and kelp meal also keeps his bones and teeth strong.
Avocado oil, biotin, and vitamin E will help to keep his coat looking vibrant and silky, and there is also a precise blend of vitamins and minerals that his aging body needs to keep him young at heart.
We love that this recipe is full of avocado oils and other ingredients that will nourish his aging coat from the inside out, ensuring that his golden locks receive all the nourishment they need.
Food for Overweight Goldendoodles
If there ever comes a time when your Goldendoodle becomes slightly overweight, whether through too much food consumption or lack of exercise due to an injury, be sure to switch him to a weight management kibble. Being overweight will only increase the pressure on his joints, as well as increase the chances of other weight related health concerns, so be sure to take it seriously. Thankfully, the below recommendations are just as tasty so he will be none the wiser about his new ‘diet’.
Nutro Large Breed Healthy Weight
With a fat content of 7% and only 227 calories per cup, this recipe is great for those who need to lose a sizable chunk of weight. It has a protein content of 22%, and Chicken is still the first ingredient so his large muscle mass and joints are still supported.
The standard-sized Goldendoodle is a large-sized dog who needs large breed nutrition to support his large muscle mass and extra joint support. Just like the Bernedoodle or the Huskydoodle, the Goldendoodle needs a special nutritional mix to meet his needs. By following our advice and picking one of our recommendations from the lists above you can be sure that your Goldendoodle will both love and benefit from what you put into his bowl.