Best Dog Food for Poodles
Trying to find the best food for your poodle can be overwhelming with all of the different options out there. It's hard to know what to look for and what will be best for your dog at different life stages.
Feeding your poodle the wrong food can lead to health problems down the road. It could lead to things like obesity, joint pain or other issues later in life.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about finding the best dog food for poodles. I'll cover diet type, age, activity level and more.
A quick note before we begin: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time (along with the help of my two dogs) personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list.
When you buy through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission. It keeps my dogs happy and healthy as well!
9 Best Dog Foods for Poodles
Best Meal Topper
Best For Puppies
Best For a Toy Poodle
Best Wet Food
Best for Seniors
1. Best Overall: Merrick Lil Plates Sweet Potato and Salmon Grain Free
Merrick Lil' Plates with salmon is perfect for your Poodle. But even better if they are sensitive to poultry.
It is high protein at 32% with 14% fat. I wasn't sure about salmon based food until I learned more about it.
My poodle Atlas has gone through some times where his little tummy can't seem to handle other proteins. When this happened, we experimented with fish and salmon.
We gave him this Merrick food and he quickly grew to love the salmon taste. Did we have a pescatarian all along? I wasn't sure.
Key Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
There's also small kibbles which were perfect for cleaning Atlas' teeth. I noticed the plaque and tartar buildup had reduced after a few months. A few other additions like probiotics for digestion and the fact that it is gluten free make this a fantastic choice for poodles with sensitivities.
This all-star Merrick Lil Plates kibble is recommended for Poodles of all sizes who need a well-rounded, nutritious diet.
2. Best for Seniors: Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bite
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites is the best option for mature adult and poodles approaching the senior category.
The kibbles are designed to be 9x6mm, perfect for senior dogs with soft teeth, missing teeth or difficulty eating.
As my poodle Atlas gets into his golden years, I'll be using Hill's Science because of the kibble size because of his chipped teeth.
The food is packed with Omega 6 fats (2.5%) from flaxseeds, which are great for coat and skin health.
Key Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat
There's chicken meal for protein (15.5%), which is just ground up chicken parts. Your pup also gets high quality animal fat from chicken fat (10.5% crude fat).
Overall, Hill's is ideally suited for senior poodles, especially for those experiencing teeth loss.
3. Best Wet Food: Purina Beyond Organic Chicken Wet Dog Food
Consider Purina Beyond Organic the best wet dog food for poodles. Here's what I like about it:
- Certified organic, free range chicken, chicken broth and chicken liver.
- High protein at 7% (high for wet food, because you have to account for the moisture content).
- Chicken broth provides amino acids to heal the gut and boost the immune system.
- Chicken liver gives a boost of Vitamin E, B12, iron, zinc and choline for antioxidants and energy.
- No corn, wheat, soy, animal by-products, artificial colors or preservatives.
Key ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken broth, organic chicken liver, organic carrots
While this wet food is a tad on the pricey side, you get what you pay for with dog food. You're investing in quality nutrition so that your pup lives a long, happy life.
This dog food is a great fit for adult Poodles who are picky eaters and especially those with allergies. Its simplicity will help take the guesswork out of feeding your friend!
4. Best Meal Topper: Bluebird Provisions Beef Bone Broth
Beef Bone Broth is phenomenal for your Poodle! Why? It's so rich in collagen protein and gut healing amino acids that provide a multitude of health benefits and boost flavors to your furry friend's meal.
My poodle Atlas is the pickiest eater. He scoffs at his bowl when just dry kibble is in it. But when I used wet dog foods exclusively, his teeth had awful plaque and tartar buildup.
So I finally settled on kibble + meal toppers. But most meal toppers are full of junk. I wanted something that actually gave some nutritional benefit.
This bone broth is made from grass fed beef bones raised in the USA. It has no other ingredients aside from bones and water.
There's 6 grams of protein per tbsp, but you only need 1 tsp or so per meal, so the 7 oz bag goes a long way (only $21.99).
The best part is that Atlas loves it. He eats his food as if it were a filet mignon steak when we add the bone broth.
This product is best for Poodles at any life stage needing additional flavor or nutritional boost in their meals. Try it today!
Buy from Bluebird Provisions.
5. Best Puppy Food Poodle: Diamond Puppy Formula
This puppy kibble is packed with nutrients, providing support for the development of young dogs while meeting all their dietary needs. It emphasizes a healthy diet by using high quality ingredients like chicken or lamb meat for protein (31% protein!), as well as superfoods rich in nutrients for antioxidants.
There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in this formula, making it a perfectly balanced option that prioritizes both taste and nutritional value.
Key Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, whole grain ground corn, wheat flour, chicken fat
We tested this product with my poodle puppy Atlas and he thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not sure about your poodle puppy, but some of them will eat lots and some won't. However, it is comforting to know that you are providing them with a trustworthy food.
Atlas' digestive system appeared to be functioning well and his energy levels were high. No throwing up, no bathroom issues in this household with Diamon. Although he is a bit on the anxious side of things.
Overall, Diamond offers an economical choice that can be relied upon for years!
6. Best Dog Food for a Toy Poodle: Halo Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs
Halo Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs is a fantastic choice for your toy poodle. It is one of the few kibbles fit for tiny breeds as the kibble is small enough for them to chew and swallow.
Most tiny breed dog foods are low in protein and full of junk, but not Halo! There's 28% protein with 17% fat. This is a perfect balance for tiny poodles.
There's both probiotics and prebiotics to help with digestion and gut health. I appreciate that there are no common allergens like soy, corn or animal by-products.
Key Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Peas, Pork, Brewers Dried Yeast
Instead they use awesome carbs sources like sweet potatoes, barley and brown rice which have natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
By far the best part is the quality sourcing. Halo is made in the USA and is Animal Welfare Certified. This means all of the proteins and ingredients were raised with respect.
Perfect for Poodles with discerning palates and those who value superior nutrition! This food is simply unmatched for small breed dogs.
7. Wellness CORE Rawrev Dry Small Dog Food
The Wellness CORE Rawrev small dog food is the best choice if you have a poodle who needs a high protein diet. It has a naturally small kibble size, which is perfect for poodle's mouths.
It uses turkey and chicken to make up the 38% crude protein -- the highest protein offer on the whole list. This closely aligns to canines evolutionary diet.
Key Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Barley, Oatmeal
What I like most about this Rawrev formula are the nutrients for health and longevity!
- It is full of antioxidants liver and flaxseeds to give your poodle a healthy dose of Vitamin E and C.
- There's natural glucosamine (1200 mg/ kg) and chondroitin (1200 mg/ kg) from chicken and turkey meal.
- At 1.25% omega 3 fats (from fish oil), this is among the highest on the list.
- Probiotics with 80,000,000 cfu/lb
This product is a top recommendation for Poodles particularly if they struggle with allergies or have picky eating habits.
8. ORIJEN Six Fish Amazing Grains Dry Dog Food
Wondering what's the best anti inflammatory food for your Poodle? Look no further than this fish based kibble from ORIJEN. This kibble is packed with a whopping 85% of premium fish like mackerel, herring and monkfish
The fish is not only a great source of protein (38% protein) but packs more omega 3 fats (from natural fish oil) than any other kibble on the list at 2%.
These fish also provide natural sources of glucosamine, which is a potent anti inflammatory that keeps joints happy.
I found that the freeze-dried appearance of the kibble made it irresistible to my two dogs. What can I say, they seem to love fish. Especially because one of them (Nitotem) is sensitive to some chicken products.
Key Ingredients: Whole mackerel, whole herring, salmon, whole pilchard, flounder
ORIJEN has both grain based (Amazing Grains) and grain free options for this formula.
My dogs coats have never been shinier and they seem less anxious than usual (could be the omega 3s on brain health).
With over 8000 reviews, it is no wonder ORIJEN is so popular among dog owners.
For owners looking for premium, allergen-free, and tasty food for their Poodles, ORIJEN is a great choice.
9. Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food
Your poodle deserves nothing but the best, and the Royal Canin's breed specific food is one you can trust. It has all the nutrients you want in a dog food with 28% protein and 17% fat.
I love that it is specifically tailored for purebred poodle adults (12 months+). My poodle Atlas particularly appreciates the custom kibble size made for poodles.
The kibble is the perfect shape for poodle's long, straight snout to gobble up.
As far a nutrition goes, Royal Canin has everything you need. There's added EPA (0.13%) and DHA (.05%) omega 3 fats (0.44%).
Omega 3s give your pup that shiny coat, happy skin and healthy joints. It is also great for anxious breeds as the omega 3s are great for brain health.
Key Ingredients: Corn, brewers rice, wheat gluten, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat
Ideal for adult Poodles who are not allergic to grains, this dog food ensures your pet stays at the top of its game.
Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Poodles
Poodles have unique nutrition needs from protein and fat to specific vitamins and minerals. Read below and I will cover what you need to know to make a buying decision.
The role of protein can't be understated, it's the essential fuel powering your Poodle's overall health and vitality. Particularly when they are puppies, low protein intake can lead to muscle loss, weakened immunity and stunted growth.
But how much do you really need? Look for at least 18% for adults and 22% for puppies. Senior poodles can get by with less protein. And if your poodle is like mine with severe anxiety, you might consider trying a lower protein kibble.
A poodle trainer told us that lower protein diets can help with anxious poodles. We're now transitioning Atlas to a kibble with 16% protein to see if it helps him.
Fat is an essential component of any dog's diet, including your poodle, supplying energy and flavor while supporting overall health. Here are the top 4 reasons why fats are beneficial for your poodle:
- Fat provides energy: Your poodle uses fat to fuel its active and playful lifestyle.
- Fat helps to absorb vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E, and K need fat to be effectively absorbed.
- Healthy fats boost heart health: Fish sources in particular have omega 3 fatty acids, which support brain health, joints and give them a shiny coat.
- Fats keep poodles full: Ensuring your pet feels satiated after meals, helping in weight management.
3. Vitamins and Minerals
Giving your furry friend the right vitamins and minerals can boost their health remarkably. These tiny wonders are key to stellar vision, metabolism, bone strength and even warding off harmful oxidative damage. Most importantly, setting your Poodle's diet right can mean avoiding nasty health problems.
Here's a few things they need in their food:
- Vitamin A: Maintains good vision and supports immune health.
- Vitamin C: Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and supports muscle health.
- Vitamin K: Crucial for blood clotting and bone metabolism.
- Calcium: Builds strong bones and teeth.
- Choline: Vital for brain and liver health, metabolic function.
4. Digestible Nutrients
Digestible nutrients are ingredients in pet food that are absorbed by the body for energy and growth. For your Poodle, these are crucial for their overall wellbeing. Let's delve into the top 5 types of digestible nutrients that are advantageous for your Poodle:
- Animal Fats: Provide energy keeping the Poodle lively. Look for things like chicken fat or fish oil.
- Probiotics: Some dogs do well with probiotics while some just get gassy. They help maintain good gut bacteria for immune health and digestion. Many top pet food brands are fortified with them now.
- Bone Broth: Rich in amino acids glutamine, proline and glycine, quality bone broth helps reduce gut inflammation so your pup can properly absorb nutrients from food.
Probiotics, short but essential bacterial allies, are indispensable in promoting gut health and overall wellness in your Poodle.
Probiotics are live bacteria that support a healthy digestive system. Think of these microscopic heroes as the 'good' gut bacteria, helping your Poodle process food and absorb nutrients efficiently.
A great example: probiotics in your pooch's food could significantly reduce flatulence or constipation. But for some dogs, it actually makes then more gassy.
You can usually get enough from most pet food products. But you want to check to make sure they are added at the end of the ingredient list.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Dog Food for Poodles
Some key things to consider when choosing poodle food are their unique nutritional requirements, poodle behavior, life stage, omega 3s and common allergens.
Let's go through each of these in a bit more detail.
1. Poodle Nutritional Requirements
As a poodle owner, ignorance of your pet's nutritional needs could pose serious health problems. Poodles need specific nutrients to thrive at different stages of life.
Poodles need minerals like calcium and phosphorus in their diet which help develop strong bones and teeth. They also need EPA and DHA (omega 3s from fish oil) for brain health, eye development and to get that shiny coat you've always dreamed of.
Lastly, they can be susceptible to joint issues, so glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can be used preventatively to keep their dogs supple and strong.
2. Poodle Behavior (Anxiety) and Food
My poodle Atlas has always been anxious, but he started showing extreme resource guarding behavior as he got older (age 6-7). He started growling and getting aggressive to my other dog Nitotem, especially after our newborn entered the picture.
Now, the poor guy aggressively guards my wife. We sought the help of a poodle behaviorist who recommended a few different things.
- Feed him a lower protein diet (15-17%) (1). This has to do with an amino acids called tryptophan.
- Omega 3s from fish oil (75 to 100 mg combined EPA/DHA per kg of bodyweight). So for a 20 kg or 44 lb dog, they need between 1500 mg or 2000 mg of EPA/DHA per day.
- Now make sure you are actually looking at the EPA/DHA in your fish oil supplement (on the back) and not the amount of omega 3s as this is a different number.
- Many fish oil supplements advertise as having 1.2 grams (1200 mg) of omega 3's per serving, but when you check the back it is only 200 mg DHA and 400 mg EPA. That means you need a 2.5-3.5 of these pills daily to get the right dose.
3. Life Stage
Feeding an energetic Poodle puppy the same diet as an elderly Poodle isn't just inappropriate, it could pose serious health risks. Why? The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) points out that growth and gestation-lactation stages require higher nutritional needs.
So, it's paramount to select specially formulated food to suit your Poodle's life stage, whether they're a puppy, adult, or in their golden years. Thankfully, a quick glance at the product label can easily guide you to the apt choice.
4. Common Allergies for Poodles
Like many breeds, Poodles can fall victim to food allergies. This is a rather pesky problem where their immune system mistakenly reacts to certain proteins or carbohydrates in their diet.
Some common allergens include soy, dairy, corn, legumes, nuts, animal by-products, yeast, natural flavors and artificial flavors.
Signs of allergies are itching, inflamed ears and paws, vomiting and diarrhea.
There's a few things you can do if you suspect your dog has allergies.
- Try an elimination diet. This is where you remove certain suspected food groups from their diet. You can do this by trying new dog foods with different ingredients. Do this with caution and gradually as it can be hard on their little digestive systems.
- Get your dog tested for allergies at the vet.
- Take at at-home food allergy test.
What are the best dog foods for standard poodles?
The best dog foods for standard poodles are Merrick lil plates salmon, Hill's Science adult small bite and Royal Canin Poodle dry dog food. These three brands have the perfect blend of kibble shaped to fit a poodle's unique mouth, perfect blend of protein, carbs and fat along with added nutrients like omega 3s, glucosamine, calcium and phosphorus.
The only downside is that some of these breed-specific formulas come with a higher price tag.
What is the best dog food for miniature poodles?
The best dog food for miniature poodles is Halo Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs. It has tiny kibble bits which are small enough for tiny dogs to easily enjoy. It also has the perfect blend of protein (28%) and fat (17%).
Poodles go absolutely crazy for Halo because of the delicious proteins they use: chicken and pork. Also, there are added probiotics for gut health and digestion and no allergens.
What is the best food for standard poodle puppies?
The best food for a puppy standard poodle is the Puppy Formula from Diamond. It is made from delicious chicken and chicken fat, which puppies go absolutely crazy for.
It has all the nutrition your pup needs to healthy development, including extra protein (31%), calcium, phosphorus, omega 3s and antioxidants.
How do I know if I'm feeding my Poodle the right amount of food?
To know if you're feeding your Poodle the right amount, observe their weight and activity level. If your Poodle looks overweight or underweight, adjust their food intake accordingly (up or down 5%).
One test you can do at home is the rib test. If you can't feel your Poodle's ribs due to a thick layer of fat, you're likely feeding them too much. And if they are looking a bit too skinny, you may need to up their intake.
If you are ever unsure, check with your vet for proper guidance on this.
What nutritional needs do Poodles have?
Your Poodle's dietary needs are distinct and lean towards higher protein food to maintain their lean body shape. For example, Poodle puppies need a high-protein and high-calorie diet for healthy growth and development, while a senior Poodle would benefit from a diet lower in calories and fat but higher in fiber.
Always remember to opt for high-quality ingredients in your Poodle's diet to ensure their overall health and longevity. Avoid dog foods with fillers and artificial dyes as they may adversely impact your Poodle's health.
What vitamins and minerals do Poodles need?
Your Poodle needs vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and strong, just like us. For instance, Vitamins A, K, and C, aid in elevating metabolism, improving eyesight and reducing oxidative damage.
Additionally, your Poodle needs nutrients like B Vitamins, Chondroitin, Glucosamine, Leucine, Magnesium, Potassium, Omega-3 Fatty acids, Vitamin C and E from various sources including meat and carb sources.
These nutrients support various functions such as muscle and joint health, heart health, and anti-inflammatory properties. Don't forget to ensure a balanced diet that boasts all-natural ingredients to keep your Poodle's health at its optimum! Remember, a healthy Poodle is a happy Poodle!
Are there any special considerations when feeding Poodles?
Yes, when feeding Poodles, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. Poodles have unique nutritional needs at various life stages - puppies need a high-calorie, high-protein diet for development, adults need fewer calories and protein to prevent obesity, while senior dogs require lower fat intake and higher fiber for optimal digestion.
Poodles can be choosy with their food, particularly Toy and Miniature, thus a diet with fewer ingredients and smaller kibble is suggested. For instance, a Miniature Poodle may prefer a raw food diet over dry kibbles due to fewer artificial ingredients.
How can I tell if my Poodle is getting the right nutrition?
Struggling to tell if your Poodle is getting the right nutrition? You want to make sure you are getting regular vet checkups to monitor their vital health signs, weight and get up to date vaccines.
To dig a bit deeper, you always want to pay attention to their behavior, coat health, skin condition, digestion, poop and overall temperament.
Furthermore, monitor your Poodle's weight; healthy ribs should be felt but not seen. Ensuring proper nutrition helps maintain a healthy weight, contributing to bone health and a lovely coat. Remember, nutritional value is paramount and a complete, balanced diet vital!
What are the pros and cons of dry food and wet food for Poodles?
Dry Dog Food
Wet Dog Food
Easier Portion Control
Helps Clean Teeth and Jaw Health
Long Shelf Life
Softer for Challenged Eaters
Often Tastes Better
Less Nutrient Dense
Doesn't Taste as Good
Not Good for Dental Health or Jaw Strength
Can Lead to Teeth Issues
Storage Issues (Fridge)
Feeding your poodle the best food possible is crucial to maintaining their health and keeping them active throughout their lifetime. I hope this guide has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision about the best food for your poodle.
If you want the simple answer, I recommend Merrick Lil Plates Sweet Potato and Salmon Grain Free as a great option for poodles of all ages. And if you are looking for a meal topper, try Bluebird Provisions grass fed bone broth.
If you have any further questions, leave a comment and I'll get back to you asap.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to treat or supplement any pet's diet. Consult your veterinarian or animal health specialist if you have questions about anything related to their food, consumption or health. The statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, USDA or CFIA.