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10 Best Puppy Foods for Goldendoodles 2023

10 Best Puppy Foods for Goldendoodles 2023

Your Goldendoodle puppy needs a proper and healthy diet to meet its nutritional needs during this vital growth stage. Finding the proper diet for your Goldendoodle puppy can be tricky, especially if they suffer from a sensitive stomach. While not every Goldendoodle will have a sensitive stomach, this breed is, sadly, prone to food allergies and intolerances.

The good news is that sensitive stomachs can be managed by buying high-quality dog food for your Goldendoodle puppy. Choosing the ideal puppy food for your Goldendoodle will also ensure they have all the vital nutrients and nourishment they need to grow into an active, healthy dog. 

Really, we can’t stress enough how important it is to choose a quality food for your growing fur baby – but hopefully, that’s why you’re here! So if you want to pave the way to a happy, healthy life, take a look at some of the top dog foods and helpful tips when choosing the best Goldendoodle puppy food right here.


Table of Contents

Best Puppy Food for Goldendoodles

So what is the best dog food for Goldendoodles? That depends on the Goldendoodle! Each dog has its preferences and dietary needs. As a dog owner, deciding which food you will give to your dog is your call. 

But we’re not going to just leave you to it – we’ve done all the research to bring you the best puppy foods for Goldendoodles with specific needs. Choosing the right one for your pup comes down to thinking about what they (and you) need from the food.

We’ve compiled some popular dog food options for Goldendoodle puppies to give you an idea of where to start looking. Don’t forget to visit Barks in the Park for more buying guides to help you find the very best for your fur baby once you’ve chosen the best diet for them! 

1. Best overall Goldendoodle puppy food: Taste of the Wild Premium Puppy Food

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food Product Packaging with various colors and graphics design, with 3 dogs in the front

Taste of the Wild Premium is a high-protein, grain-free dog food with real smoked salmon as its number one ingredient. The recipe has easily digestible ingredients with added vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and nutrients.

Fish is an excellent ingredient for providing amino acids and proteins which enhance lean muscle, good vision, and brain function. The combination of ingredients gives your Doodle puppy a balanced diet that supports overall health.

This dog food does not contain allergens such as corn, grain, or wheat, and is also free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors, making it perfect for sensitive pups.


  • Smoked salmon is the key ingredient, which gives important amino acids and protein for lean muscles

  • Made in the US

  • It does not contain eggs or egg-derived products and has other sustainably sourced ingredients

  • Ingredients are good for sensitive tummies


  • This company has a history of recalls and lawsuits

  • High-protein food may cause an upset stomach

2. Best on a budget: Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Puppy Dry Dog Food Product Packaging in White Color with Logo in the middle

This puppy food has a delicious (well, to your puppy!) lamb and rice recipe, with the additional choice of a chicken and rice recipe for fussy feeders. The high-protein ingredients formula also contains vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.

This puppy food contains all-natural ingredients with no fillers. It provides a healthy immune system for your puppy, with healthy growth from puppy to adult dogs. Vitamin E and fatty acids complete your puppy’s diet.

Nutro is a great company that uses non-GMO ingredients with no artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors.


  • It has calcium to give your pup strong joints and bones

  • Omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants promote a healthy immune system

  • Contains all-natural ingredients

  • Choice of flavors and proteins


  • Smaller, teething Goldendoodle puppies might find the pieces a bit big to chew easily

3. Best for allergies & sensitivities: Nulo Freestyle Puppy Food

Nulo Freestyle Dry Puppy Food Product packaging in white and aquamarine color with a puppy on the front design

This puppy food has a high-meat and low-carb ratio for optimal growth. Most of the protein in this dog food comes from animal protein, and there are no filler additives. When you buy puppy food for Goldendoodles, ensure they don’t have fillers such as soy and wheat. Or make life easier for yourself and just choose this one! 

Nulo Freestyle puppy food only has high-quality ingredients paired with essential vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. These probiotics support your pup’s gut and help with digestion too. 

One marked ingredient this food has is DHA (omega fatty acids) which is from real salmon. This gives your Goldendoodle a shiny coat, healthy teeth and gums, and normal, healthy digestion. Nulo also contains calcium and phosphorous, which supports the skeletal system.

The dog food is available in turkey or salmon flavors and has a choice of bag sizes – there’s something for everyone! 


  • Quality ingredients with a good ratio of meat to carbs

  • Grain-free with no filter items

  • Good additives of probiotics for improved metabolism, immune response, and digestion

  • More than 80% of the protein comes from animal sources


  • It’s a bit difficult to store larger bags as there’s no zip-lock on the packaging

4. Best size-specific: Royal Canin Healthy Puppy

Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food product packaging in white and blue color with a puppy on the design and a logo on top

Royal Canin puppy food is created for puppies of different sizes so you can choose the right one depending on whether you have a Mini or Standard Goldendoodle. The packaging will guide you towards the right food based on your dog’s expected adult weight, not their current weight. So, the large breed food is best for Standard Doodles while Mini Doodle parents should choose the small or medium breed option.

By putting your puppy on a diet based on their future weight, this food can give them proper joint support, weight, and dental care ingredients that they need. Other ingredients include a mineral blend with antioxidants and vitamins that help in digestion. These, paired with probiotics, help your pup maintain healthy stools.


  • Specially designed for puppies up to 1 year and according to their expected adult size

  • Improves joint and bone growth

  • Contains chicken fat which is ideal for healthy coats

  • Helps immune system

  • Contains digestible proteins and prebiotics for gut health


5. Vet-recommended pick: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food Product Packaging in Dark Gray color with a dog in the front graphic design

Various veterinarians recommend this food because it has different high-quality ingredients. Chicken/chicken meal is the first ingredient on the list, which means it contains the most amount of this instead of cheap, un-nutritious fillers.

This dog food contains DHA (omega fatty acids) from fish oil which supports and enhances brain and vision development. Since the food contains chicken, it supports a protein-rich diet, which gives your puppy lean muscle. Added nutrients also nourish your puppy’s skin, aid digestive health, and keep their weight in check.


  • Many veterinarians recommend this as a Goldendoodle puppy food

  • It has a lot of antioxidants that provide energy for your pup

  • It contains quality ingredients, and chicken is the main source of protein, while brown rice and guaranteed live probiotics are also included

  • DHA from fish oil for proper brain and vision development


  • It also contains plant ingredients such as soybean

6. Premium pick: Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Puppy Dry Food

Merrick lil plates puppy kibble bag

If you only want to give your precious puppy the best in life, consider our premium pick from Merrick. Yes, it’s a little more pricey than other puppy foods, but the price is more than justified through the recipe. 

It contains 55% protein and healthy fats while the remaining 45% of the food is produce, fiber, vitamins, and other essential components. 

The top five ingredients are clearly displayed on the front of the bag, showing how proud Merrick is of its nutritious formula (if you’re interested, those ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, sweet potato, potato, and salmon meal). 

This food offers everything growing puppies need and then some.

Optimum digestion? Check. Healthy joints? Check. Clean teeth? Check. Healthy and shiny coat and skin? Check! 

If your budget allows for it, there’s no reason to look elsewhere for the best Goldendoodle puppy food – Merrick has your back.


  • All-round excellent nutritional profile for growing puppies

  • High in protein and fiber

  • Great for joint, oral, and skin health


  • Premium product comes at a premium price

7. High protein choice: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food plus Wholesome Grains Product packaging in Blue color with a Dog in the middle of the design

This high-protein food has deboned chicken and chicken meal as the two main animal protein sources, which promotes the growth of lean muscles. In fact, the updated recipe contains 20% more meat content than before.

It also has a high content of omega fatty acids to promote brain and eye development and healthy skin, so your Goldendoodle will grow into a happy and healthy adult dog! 

This recipe uses the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles as a guideline for the nutritional content, so you can rest assured your Goldendoodle is getting everything they need from this food.


  • Made from real chicken

  • Has a grain-free option

  • No artificial flavors

  • Comes in four different flavors and five sizes so there’s something for every dog and owner’s needs


  • Although it’s high in protein, only 75% of the protein comes from animal sources

8. Best wet food: Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

Although we’d generally recommend a dry diet for oral health, cost, and convenience, there are times when a wet food is just what the doctor ordered.

And at times like those, Wellness Complete is the brand we’d most recommend. 

With a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67% and a protein content of more than 40%, we can’t recommend this canned food highly enough. 

The top five ingredients on the label are all quality things we’d expect to see there (chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, salmon, ground barley), offering your growing pup energy, immunity, and healthy digestion. 

Puppies will go crazy for the taste and texture of this food – it’s one to try if your Goldendoodle puppy doesn’t seem too keen on kibble.


  • Fussy puppies are more likely to enjoy the taste and texture of this food than kibble 

  • High in protein for optimal growth 

  • Ideal fat-to-protein ratio for growing puppies


  • Feeding a high-quality wet diet like this can get pricey

9. Best grain-free puppy food: Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food

Wellness Natural Pet Food Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal in a yellow 30-Pound Bag

This dry dog food uses chicken and salmon as the main animal protein sources. It’s made from a healthy blend of all-natural ingredients and essential minerals to encourage growth in your dog. 

This dry dog food is free from any common allergens, making it ideal for those who have been recommended a grain-free diet to ease their symptoms. 

This recipe also has the seal of approval from vets, so you can rest assured it’s a top pick. You won’t find any nasties like artificial fillers or preservatives and no meat by-products – it’s all-round goodness for your golden fur ball! 


  • Contains fish oil

  • Contains calcium and phosphorous

  • No GMO, artificial colors or artificial preservatives

  • Comes in three sizes


  • Picky eaters might not enjoy it as much as other brands

10. Best for healthy skin & coat: Merrick Backcountry Raw-Infused Puppy Food

 Merrick Backcountry raw infused puppy food pack 

The primary source of animal protein in this food is real chicken, which means that it’s very nutritious and high in protein. You can also buy this in a grain-free version, which makes it perfect for Goldendoodle puppies who can’t tolerate grains.

The kibble is made from freeze-dried raw ingredients, but don’t worry – it undergoes strict safety and quality checks to ensure there’s none of the risk of raw meat. So what’s the benefit? You get all the bonuses of a raw diet combined with the convenience of dry food – it’s a win-win for pups and owners! 

After a few weeks on this diet, you’ll likely see an improvement in the condition of your puppy’s coat. That’s because the recipe is packed with Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which support skin and coat health and add a lovely level of shine too.


  • All ingredients are high-quality, all-natural and organic

  • Comes in three different sizes

  • A grain-free version is available


  • It can be expensive depending on the size of the bag you buy


How to Choose the Best Puppy Food for Goldendoodles

Choosing the best dog food for your Goldendoodle puppy is easier than you think. While the vast array of options on the market, you may be overwhelmed. 

However, here are some things to consider to make your decision a little easier.

Nutritional value

A high-quality food for your Goldendoodle puppy should contain:

  • Healthy sources of animal-based fat (such as chicken fat)

  • Real animal protein as the main ingredient, or two of the top three

  • Limited amount of digestible carbohydrates (such as veggies and whole grains)

  • No synthetic additives (such as artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors)

You should also check the calorie content of the dog food. Since all foods are different, you need to compare the calories per cup with the feeding advice on the label. Puppies need lots of energy, especially large breed puppies like Goldendoodles. However, large meals can increase the risk of bloat. Opt for higher-calorie foods so they don’t need huge portions to get the energy they need.

Life stage

You must buy dog food suitable for your Goldendoodle puppy’s age (or life stage). Many dog foods are formulated for specific life stages because dogs have different nutritional needs throughout their lifetime. Senior dogs don’t need as many calories as rapidly-growing puppies.

You shouldn’t feed your puppy adult dog food because it isn’t correctly formulated for puppies and won’t offer them what they need to develop. After 12 months, your puppy can start transitioning to adult dog food. It’s also at this point that you can relax a little – you made it through puppyhood!

Consider what your Goldendoodle puppy needs

Each of the dog foods on our list has been chosen for a specific reason. Take a look at our suggestions if your Goldendoodle puppy has certain health conditions like skin issues or needs a grain-free diet so you can find the best food for your pup, not someone else’s! 

Fussy eater

If your growing Groodle is fussier than a human toddler, you’re going to want to choose the most palatable puppy food to ensure they eat enough to get the nutrition they need at this crucial stage in life.

Raw or wet food might be the best option for your picky eater, but a high-quality kibble can also do the trick. You might have to try a few samples until you find something they love, but it will be out there somewhere! 

Consider different flavors if you’re dealing with a fussy eater. Dogs are spoiled for choice when it comes to protein options in their food – mix it up with chicken, lamb, beef, and more. Your Goldendoodle puppy might just want a change! 

It’s worth talking to the breeder and sticking to the same puppy food your newest family member was eating before coming to live with you.

Health concerns

If your Goldendoodle has allergies, you’ll need to pick a food that won’t cause any flare-ups. Checking the ingredients is vital! Foods with fewer ingredients are often best in this case, and those without grain are also worth a try. 

There are also puppy foods designed to help with coat heath, so consider these if your pup could do with a bit of help in that department.

Digestive issues can often be greatly improved by choosing a high-quality puppy food without artificial, unknown ingredients and excessive carbs. 


You don’t need us to tell you that puppies grow up fast – your chaotic little bundle of fur will be a (hopefully) mellow adult in the blink of an eye. 

But to help them grow well, you need to feed Goldendoodle puppies a suitable diet packed with the right ingredients. Look for high-protein food to aid with growth, and ensure it’s also supplemented with vitamins and minerals to ensure they have enough energy and avoid common health conditions found in the breed.

Avoid any nasties like artificial flavors and colors. These don’t have any benefit to your pup – quality over quantity is always better when it comes to puppy food ingredients! 


Goldendoodle Puppy Food Ingredient Guide

You should only buy dog foods with high-quality ingredients that you can recognize, without any artificial flavors, artificial colors and chemicals that can harm your dog or trigger any allergies.

The best dog food for your Goldendoodle puppy should contain these ingredients:


The ideal puppy food will contain two or three meat proteins. Check the food label to see if whole fish or meat are shown in the first couple of ingredients in the list. The higher up the list an ingredient is, the more of it there is in the food.

Protein can also be included as a meat meal, which is a dehydrated form of meat. Ideally, there should be a higher meat protein content than plant protein content. This is the most important ingredient in your dog’s food; it’s necessary to help your Goldendoodle puppy grow, develop strong muscles and bones, and process energy.

You can choose from various sources of protein: venison, chicken, beef, turkey, fish, and more. Each offers your growing puppy everything they need, so it’s really a case of finding one they enjoy and don’t react to (Goldendoodles can be allergic to protein sources sometimes). 

Something to note here is that you might come across puppy food with deboned chicken listed as the protein source, but this doesn’t mean that they’ve taken the bone out of a thigh.

Instead, deboned chicken typically refers to chicken by-products. While you might assume that animal by-products are animal parts like hooves and feathers, that’s not true. Animal by-products are very high in protein and offer great nutrition for your puppy. They’re typically organs like the liver or kidneys and aren’t harmful to your dog. So chicken meal made from by-products is probably made from the chicken’s organs.


Fiber is important for your pup’s digestive system to work as it should. Many puppy foods contain some veggies or rice to add fiber content; however, you should avoid foods with high quantities of cereal, especially if it is listed before meat. This has very little nutritional value.

Whole grains are a great source of fiber and produce probiotics to prevent harmful bacteria from growing in your puppy’s gut. Good sources of fiber to look out for in a Goldendoodle puppy food brand are raw oats, oatmeal, barley and sweet potatoes.


This is one of the main sources of energy. While low-fat may appeal to us, your pup won’t think so! Healthy sources of fat in foods should come from chicken fat, flaxseed, and canola oil. Other additions to the food, like omega-3 fatty acids, will promote healthy skin and coat in your Goldendoodle puppy. These ingredients are also excellent for healthy brain and eye development.

While some fats are necessary, even healthy, for your Goldendoodle puppies, you should avoid feeding them a high-fat diet. Healthy fats in the appropriate quantities will help your Goldendoodle absorb the vitamins and minerals that give them energy.


The correct amount of carbs can maintain a healthy blood sugar level for your pup. So, the puppy food you choose should be low in carbs. However, it’s best to look for low-glycemic carbs like sweet potatoes.

If grains trigger your Goldendoodle’s allergies, look for grain-free food. It’s always best to consult a licensed veterinarian before moving your dog onto a grain-free diet.

If whole grains don’t trigger your dog’s food allergies, they make a great source of complex carbohydrates which your puppy needs to provide them with energy. Brown rice is an example of a whole grain that’s great to have in dog foods, especially in puppy food.

Vitamins & minerals

If your puppy doesn’t get all the vital minerals from their food, you might need to offer them supplements. It’s so much easier just to give them what they need in a single high-quality food! 

The right vitamins and minerals promote healthy growth and overall good health.

The best Goldendoodle puppy food must contain a balanced phosphorus to calcium ratio of 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. Low amounts of calcium in the diet can cause early orthopedic issues. 


Types of Food for Goldendoodle Puppies

Still not sure which puppy food to choose? Have a look at the different types below to narrow down your options.

Grain-free puppy food

Sensitive Goldendoodle puppies or those with food allergies can benefit from having grain-free dog food. It’s not necessary to give your dog a grain-free diet if they don’t have sensitivities, however.

That’s because Golden Retrievers and mixed breeds with Goldie genes are prone to taurine deficiency when they are fed on grain-free puppy food. This can lead to congestive heart failure. Make sure the food you buy is AAFCO-approved, so they can still get the nutrients that they need without any of the unpleasant symptoms of grain allergies.

Goldendoodle puppy dry dog food vs. wet food

It’s usually best for Goldendoodle puppies to be on a dry food diet. Dry kibble from the top brands contains vital nutritional content that your pup needs to stay healthy. And, crunching on the hard pieces cleans any stubborn bacteria from your puppy’s teeth. Preventing oral health problems and tartar build-up from puppyhood will allow your Goldendoodle to lead a healthy life.

Wet food is ideal for elderly dogs who cannot chew very well anymore. However, you can humor your fussy pup by combining some wet dog food with their kibble as they might prefer the taste of the meat. If you do choose to feed your pup on wet food only, make sure they have plenty of treats and toys to chew on to keep their teeth and gums healthy.



How much should an 8-week-old Goldendoodle puppy eat?

At 8 weeks, a miniature Doodle eats 1/2 a cup a day, a medium Doodle should eat 2/3 cup a day, and a standard Doodle should be eating 1 cup of puppy food a day. This is a rough guide and will vary depending on the brand. Always consult your vet if you are uncertain about how much to feed your puppy.

How much water should my puppy drink?

Your puppy should be drinking about one and a half cups of water every 2 hours. You should monitor them to ensure that they are drinking enough. Since they play a lot, they need to stay hydrated! Always leave fresh water out for your pup.

What time should I give my puppy food?

You should give your puppy food around 7 am for breakfast, noon for lunch, and dinner at 5 pm. Their last meal should be at 5 pm, leaving lots of time for digestion and potty time!

How many times a day should I feed my Goldendoodle puppy?

You should feed your puppy at least twice a day, but several times a day is best. Start by using the serving suggestion on the bag and adjust it up or down, depending on your puppy’s needs. Goldendoodle puppies need to eat a few times a day to give them the energy to grow.

What should I feed my Goldendoodle when it has an upset stomach?

If your dog is reacting negatively to any food, you should stop feeding them that brand. Switch to boiled, plain chicken and rice for a few days and see if their condition improves.

What kind of food should I feed my Goldendoodle puppy?

Your Goldendoodle puppy should eat a high-quality dry diet that is rich in protein for growth. Avoid giving them too many treats (although you won’t be able to resist those puppy-dog eyes from time to time!). 

What not to feed a Goldendoodle puppy?

There’s nothing that Goldendoodles really need to avoid eating apart from the usual foods that are harmful to dogs. These include grapes, onions, avocado, chocolate, alcohol, and anything salty or sugary. You should also avoid low-quality puppy food packed with cheap filler ingredients instead of protein sources.

Do Goldendoodles need special food?

Goldendoodle puppies don’t really need a special diet and can thrive on any high-quality commercial diet. Goldendoodle pup parents should avoid products that contain too much calcium as an excess of this nutrient can exacerbate the breed’s prone-ness to hip disease.