What is the Best Food for My Goldendoodle Puppy?

Key Points

  • Not all dog foods are created equal, nor is it a one-size-fits-all situation.

  • Always talk to your vet about the best food choice for your goldendoodle.

  • The protein content in your dog's food should not only be high, it should also be high-quality protein.

  • There are many options available for high quality dog food.

Congratulations on your new family member! Your adorable, teddy bear-like bundle of energy and cuddles known as a goldendoodle puppy, who has inherited intelligence, friendliness, and sociability from both of its parent breeds (golden retriever and poodle). 

Obviously, you want a high-quality dog food, so you're probably wondering, "What is the best puppy food?" After all, there are many brands of dog food out there, both for dry dog food and wet food, all of which claim to be the top pick. 

best food for goldendoodle puppy

Best Puppy Food for Your Goldendoodle

There are a lot of requirements and factors to consider when you're selecting a pet food for your goldendoodle puppy. However, most high-quality puppy foods should be formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of your goldendoodle at any life stage. 

You should think about: 

  • Your puppy's weight and size

  • Your puppy's nutritional needs 

  • Ingredients in the dog food

  • Any health issues or food allergies your puppy may have

Wet food can be good for very young puppies. It is soft on teething mouths and it has a stronger scent, which makes it appealing to picky eaters. However, as your puppy gets older, hard food is better for their teeth. Soft food can stick to teeth, causing tartar build-up, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Hard food does not stick to teeth. It can scrape away plaque, like a toothbrush. A mix of the two is good when transitioning from wet food to dry food.

Whether you are looking for wet or dry food, puppy food, adult dog food, or senior food, there are a number of high-quality pet foods to choose from.

High Protein Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food
$68.98 ($2.87 / lb)

by Blue Buffalo Wilderness 

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02/19/2024 04:47 am GMT

Top Pick: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy food is high-protein kibble. It contains essential DHA and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many of their recipes are made with real chicken and they are grain-free. 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness also contains a good blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is a great food for growing puppies, easily supporting their high activity level. The "Life Source Bits" in Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy food includes a selection of essential ingredients for optimal health that have been heated as little as possible along the way. While cooking some ingredients (such as meats) is essential for health and safety, higher heats can cook out vitamins and minerals. The lower heat of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Life Source Bits helps to reduce this loss. 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness is the biggest all-natural dog food company in the world, and they have a number of recipes and protein choices, as well as a large selection of wet foods. This puppy food contains no artificial preservatives. The company avoids additives like soy or corn.

Be aware, though, that some products have been subject to recalls in the last ten years.

Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food
$19.98 ($3.33 / lb)

by Purina 

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02/19/2024 04:28 am GMT

Top Budget Pick: Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan Dry Kibble Puppy Food is recommended by a number of vets. It has high-quality ingredients, including chicken. It also contains DHA omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from fish oil for healthy eye and brain development. 

Moreover, this dry dog food has good antioxidants, a balanced volume of carbs, proper vitamins and minerals for a puppy (such as calcium and phosphorus), and a healthy fat-to-protein ratio, all of which can support a growing puppy's nutritional requirements and activity level. 

Purina Pro Plan supports healthy skin, as well as proper digestion and weight management. Purina Pro Plan also offers wet food for puppies. 

Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
$55.99 ($3.61 / lb)

by Hill's Science Diet 

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02/19/2024 04:20 am GMT

Hill’s Science Diet 

Hill's Science Diet is often recommended by veterinarians. The recipes for Science Diet, including their puppy food, are backed by thousands of hours of research and hundreds of clinical trials. 

The kibble size for Hill's Science Diet dry puppy food is small, which is good for small puppy mouths and teeth. Made with natural ingredients, such as chicken meal and barley, this puppy food is balanced with vitamins, protein, and minerals, including phosphorus to promote wellness and health in growing puppies. Lastly, it is made with flaxseed and fish oil, which has DHA and omega-3 fatty acids to support a healthy brain and eyes. 

The drawback to this puppy food is that the bags are small. At only 15.5 pounds, the largest bag won't last long for a growing puppy! 

If your vet has suggested a grain-free diet for your doodle puppy, this pet food isn't a good option, as it has gluten. 

Grain Free High Protein Real Meat
$28.99 ($5.80 / lb)

by Taste of the Wild 

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02/19/2024 04:21 am GMT

Taste of the Wild Premium Puppy Food

Taste of the Wild puppy food is a high protein, easily digestible kibble made with real salmon, which provides amino acids, omega-3 and DHA; these are good for your doodle's eyes and brain. The fish protein, a lean protein source, is good for lean muscle development. It also has probiotics, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that a growing puppy needs.

Taste of the Wild comes in flavors like roasted bison and roasted venison, but they also offer a grain-free version. It is also made with sustainably sourced natural ingredients and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

This is a premium puppy food and priced as such. 

Backcountry Raw Infused Grain Free

by Merrick 

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02/19/2024 04:37 am GMT

Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Puppy Recipe

Merrick Backcountry offers grain-free puppy food. Merrick also offers a salmon option that is rich with omega fatty acids for healthy skin, brains, and eyes. Merrick uses premium natural ingredients and many organic ingredients.

The company also offers wet food and healthy treats. Though Merrick's ingredients are very high-quality and many are organic, you will pay for that quality at the register. 

Because it is rich in complex carbohydrates, it may not be the best option for puppies who need to drop a few pounds. Check with your vet before putting your puppy on a diet, including a grain-free one. 



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Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food

Nutro's puppy food is made from lamb and rice or chicken and rice; the company also includes a nutrient-rich sweet potato recipe in some formulas. This high-protein puppy food kibble has DHA and omega-3 for healthy skin, brain, and eyes. The ingredients, which include sources of DHA, taurine, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, are good for a growing puppy's immune system and overall wellness. 

Nutro doesn't use artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. However, there have been reported inconsistencies in nutritional content between bags. Some of Nutro's pet foods have reportedly been difficult for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

Goldendoodle puppies

Ideal Weight and Size for Your Goldendoodle

Puppies do a lot of growing in the first year of their lives, and good nutrition during this period is especially important.

Goldendoodle puppies hit a big growth spurt between 3 and 12 weeks of age. Around 3 weeks, they may only weigh a few pounds, but by the time they are 12 weeks, they can weigh up to 25 pounds. 

Goldendoodle puppies hit another growth spurt between four and six months of age. They will likely be hungry a lot at this age and should have several meals a day as their body needs lots of energy to grow. By the time they are six months old, goldendoodle puppies should weigh around 45 pounds. By the end of six months, the dramatic growth spurts should mostly be over and you can feed your puppy about twice a day. However, you should still be feeding them puppy food at this point. 

By 10 months, goldendoodle puppies won't be growing quite as quickly as they were before and should weigh about 60 pounds. Between 10 and 12 months, they may not gain a lot of weight. The final weight of goldendoodle dogs varies — a lot depends on the size of their parents. Some goldendoodle dogs can weigh up to 90 or 100 pounds; others top off around 70. 

Nutritional Needs of Your Goldendoodle

Up until they hit their first birthday, goldendoodle puppies should be on puppy food. After your doodle pup's first birthday, you can start the transition to adult dog food. However, your goldendoodle may well continue to grow through its second year. 

To know how much to feed your puppy, start with the recommended serving and frequency on the package of puppy food. Over time, you can adjust it up or down so your puppy can reach an ideal weight. A good rule of thumb is to seek out 25 to 30 calories per pound of body weight. For instance, if your goldendoodle puppy is 10 pounds, 300 calories a day will help your puppy maintain a healthy weight (10 x 20 = 300). You can also calculate your puppy's food needs by following the rule of 1 cup of food per 15 pounds of weight.

Your vet should regularly check your puppy's weight. A reputable vet can monitor your puppy's weight and make sure they are on track for the benchmarks they should be hitting.

Good nutrition is important at each of your goldendoodle's life stages; however, proper nutrition is crucial for growing puppies, particularly given their high activity levels. High-quality dog food includes moderate fat content and limited carbohydrates and a small amount of calcium and other vitamins. The protein content should not only be high; it should also be high-quality protein. 

These are the percentages of four key nutrients components in puppy food:

  • Protein content: 22% to 32%

  • Fat content: 10% to 25%

  • Calcium content: 0.7% to 1.7% 

  • Digestible carbohydrates: 20% 

goldendoodle dog facts

Ingredients to Look For In Your Goldendoodle's Food

High-quality ingredients matter, especially in puppy food. Cheap dog food is cheap in part because companies use ingredients that are not necessarily quality ingredients. Here are some key ingredients to look for in your goldendoodle's puppy food:

  • Real animal protein 

  • Healthy animal fat (such as chicken fat)

  • Digestible carbohydrates from whole grains and veggies

Animal protein should be the first ingredient. Minimum, it should be two of the top three ingredients.

Different dog foods contain protein sources like chicken, fish, beef, lamb, and venison. Chicken and fish are lean proteins, and lamb, beef, and venison protein have a lot of iron. Lamb and chicken protein are the most digestible proteins, followed by beef. Fish is a good source of omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids, which helps your puppy's skin, brain, and coat. 

To add to the confusion about dog foods, the way the ingredients are listed on the labels can be complicated. For example, deboned chicken is chicken without the bone. Seems straightforward enough, doesn't it? However, when most people read the term deboned chicken, they probably picture boneless, plump, real chicken breasts or thighs. While it can include these cuts, it can also include feet and organs, both of which are healthy and even considered to be delicacies by some people — however, it is probably not exactly what you picture when you read "deboned chicken." 

Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates. All grains, with the exception of wheat, rate relatively low on the allergy list for dogs; however, nutrient-dense brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal are good choices.

Prebiotics are fibers. They not only help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in your doodle's gut, but they also help to promote and to support healthy digestion. Ingredients in pet food that contain prebiotics are: 

  • Raw oats or oatmeal

  • Barley 

  • Inulin

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Beets

  • Soybeans

best food for your Goldendoodle puppy

What Foods Shouldn't Be Eaten?

There are some foods that your puppy or adult goldendoodle (or any dog for that matter) should not eat. These foods can make your canine friend very sick.

They include:

  • Grapes, raisins, and prunes

  • Chocolate and cherries

  • Coffee and soda

  • Citrus fruits or other acidic foods (like pineapples)

  • Onions and garlic 

  • Sugary and salty foods 

  • Avocados 

  • Macadamia nuts 

  • Raw eggs or undercooked meat (due to the possibility of salmonella)

If you suspect that your goldendoodle has eaten any of these foods, contact your vet right away.

There are also things that may be found in wet or dry dog food, such as synthetics, artificial additives, artificial colors, and preservatives. Artificial additives can include chemicals (such as butylated hydroxytoluene or BHT, propylene glycol or PG, and butylated hydroxyanisole or BHA) that can be bad for your goldendoodle's health and can upset sensitive stomachs; a few are even linked to cancer. 

Instead of synthetic foods and supplements, introduce whole foods and natural ingredients, like meats and veggies. These are a much better source of nutrition for your goldendoodle, and they have real vitamins and minerals (like calcium). 

The best way to tell whether a pet food has synthetics in place of natural ingredients is to read the label; natural ingredients have recognizable names. They are not things like pycnogenols, irradiated ergosterol, menadione, or ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is illegal for human use in some countries, yet it is still in some American dog foods.
 cute goldendoodle puppy running

A Balanced Diet Equals A Balanced Pup

When you're considering which puppy food to feed your growing goldendoodle puppy, there is a lot to consider. A number of brands all claim to be the top pick for puppies of any dog breed in general or for goldendoodle puppies specifically. 

For your goldendoodle puppy, you'll want to find a puppy food with a good balance of fats, carbs, and protein. A good puppy food will have vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and amino acids, too. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it's a good idea to check out other options specifically designed for dogs with food allergies.

Make sure to read the labels. Real animal protein, such as real chicken, should be first on the ingredients list. Remember, some ingredients, like byproduct and deboned chicken, may not be what you think at first (but not necessarily as bad as you may think, either). Check for things that shouldn't be in your goldendoodle's puppy food: artificial colors, preservatives, and artificial flavors. High-quality dog foods will use quality ingredients. 

Providing your goldendoodle puppy with a high-quality puppy food will feed your puppy's growing brain, eyes, and bones, while also maintaining a shiny coat, healthy skin, and a strong immune system.

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