- Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Toy Poodles
- Top 5 Best Dog Foods Miniature Poodles
- Top 5 Best Dog Foods Standard Poodles
- How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Poodle
Poodles are considered one of the most elegant breeds of dog, and require a great deal of grooming and attention in order to stay at their best. One of the most important things to consider for your Poodle is their nutrition. Depending on the size and activity level of your Poodle, different foods may be better or worse. A question that gets asked often is “What is the best dog food for Poodles?” The answer is that there is no dog food that is the absolute best overall, and your dog’s requirements will determine what is best for them.
There are three sizes of Poodles: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Toy Poodles stay under 10 pounds, Miniature Poodles range from 10-20 pounds at the most, and Standards are usually 45-70 pounds. As both Toy and Miniature are considered small breed, and Standards are usually considered large breed, they need different dietary needs. Here are the top five foods for all three sizes, starting with Toy.
READ MORE: Top 44 Best Poodle Mixes
Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Toy Poodles
1. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Merrick is a high quality, all natural dog food brand that prides itself on being made in Texas and sourcing some of its beef directly from surrounding ranches. While it has several different lines, the best like for a Toy poodle would be the Merrick Lil’ Plates. The size of the kibble and the ingredients are made just for smaller dogs, and the wet food option is made specifically to help pickier dogs eat more. Like many all natural dog foods, this one is designed for any life stage, from puppy to senior and all stages in between. This food is also found in many pet specialty stores, and not difficult to find.
There are multiple protein choices in this line as well, so if your Poodle has sensitivities to chicken or beef, you can pick a protein that will not set off their stomach and cause issues. Merrick also has a line of Lil’ Plates Training Treats that are fantastic for smaller dogs and puppies during training, as to not overload them with calories.
2. Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food
Instinct prides itself odd the addition of raw food into their kibble. From raw food coatings on every kibble to freeze dried raw bits mixed in, they have multiple options for someone who wants to feed their Toy Poodle a high protein option. Instinct has a higher price point than some foods due to the quality and amount of ingredients that go into the kibble, but the difference shines through once your dog has been on Instinct for a while. They have a small breed line that is great for the coat of Poodles, especially if the Salmon option is picked. Quality food reduces the amount of stool and improves the digestive tract, and Instinct is a very high quality.
It is not difficult to find, either, in pet specialty stores and online as well. This may now be the best choice for a Senior Poodle, however, as higher protein and fat can put on weight. Picking this for a new puppy or adult Toy Poodle is a good option. Any dog with higher energy levels needs more protein for energy, and Instinct is a very high protein food. They also have one of the few raw frozen foods, great for picky eaters or dogs who need to put on weight.
3. Royal Canin Wet Dog Food for Poodle
While Royal Canin may not be as high quality ingredients-wise, they have a lot more science behind their formulas than other brands. The second highest recommended by Veterinarians, Royal Canin has something that no other brand has – breed specific formulas for dozens of different recognized breeds. From the ingredients and protein levels, all the way to the design of the kibble for specific breed mouth shapes, Royal Canin puts a lot of work into their kibble.
Finding the breed specific formula for your Toy Poodle may be a bit tricky, as many stores cannot carry their massive assortment of breed varieties. They also have more generic lines, like their Toy Breed food and a large variety of wet foods, as well. If you have a dog with grain allergies, however, be aware that their formulas focus on the nutrients rather than the ingredients.
4. Wellness Complete Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food
Wellness is a brand that focuses more on high value ingredients, and adding in mixers, toppers, and freeze dried food. Their goal is to make food interesting and tasteful for dog, which is a great benefit for smaller dogs that can be picky eaters. They have foods for many size dogs, but their small dog line is fantastic for Toy Poodles can need additional food and supplements to keep their coat shiny and healthy.
The price point for Wellness can be a bit higher than some, if only because they recommend adding wet food and other mixed in goodies to your Poodle’s dry kibble. Their kibble is still meets 100% of the Poodle’s dietary needs, so it is not required to add those into the food. Wellness excels at making flavorful food for smaller dogs, and their Toy Breed line is formulated specifically for dogs ten pounds and less.
5. Halo Natural Dry Dog Food, Small Breed Chicken
Halo dog food focuses on ingredients to a higher level than other brands. Their interesting tagline, “The Proof is in the Poop”, in a way explains their goal of using highly digestible ingredients in all of their foods. Halo uses no animal meals in any of their foods, meaning that their ingredients are much fresher than many other brands of food. They also have a raw food added diet as well, for additional protein. For a Poodle’s coat, this raw food helps the fur stay shinier and glossier.
Halo’s food are fantastic across the board, with their small breed foods excellent for dogs with moderate to severe food allergies. Their Raw Rev is a food similar to many other raw added diets, with freeze dried raw meat added along with the normal kibble. They also focus on digestibility, making their formulas inherently easier on stomachs. The only food of theirs to avoid is their Vegan Formula, as those have been proven to give canine less than stellar lifespans, and they ever advise additional nutrients if you feed that formula.
Top 5 Best Dog Foods Miniature Poodles
1. Tiki Dog Aloha Petites Chicken Luau Small Breed Dry Dog Food
One of the few brands whose dog food lines are small breed only, Tiki Dog is a comparatively new dog food on the market. The bright and colorful bags stick out compared to some of the more drab foods out there, but the kibble inside is extremely high quality. This food has an excellent line of small dog specific foods, but the only downside is that most of their formulas contain chicken. This may upset a dog with a sensitive stomach, but their wet food line provides a wide assortment of choices.
Focusing only on small dogs gives this brand an upper hand on perfecting formulas for smaller dogs, not having to worry about medium or larger dogs at all. You may also notice a luau theme with their foods, and for good reason. Pork, chicken, and a wide assortment of fruits and veggies go into this food. Their wet food also prides itself on being a Gluten Free option, so if your purebred Poodle has severe stomach issues, this is a good choice.
2. Solid Gold Small & Toy Breed Wet & Dry Dog Food
A slightly lesser known brand, Solid Gold has not just foods, but a full assortment of vitamins, supplements, and powders to add onto foods. They introduce many different antioxidants and high quality vegetables to make sure there are perfect levels of trace minerals in their kibble. Their Mighty Mini lines are perfectly suited for smaller breed needs, and the kibble size and shape is designed for smaller jaws.
One of the best things about Solid Gold is their choices. Unlike some brands, Solid Gold has multiple protein choices for different dogs, in order to avoid food allergies. They also have high protein choices for dogs who are higher energy. Solid Gold prides their foods on being holistic – meaning that every ingredient is designed to help all parts of the animal. This is why you do not see ‘sensitive skin’ or ‘urinary health’ on these bags. They’re meant to solve all of those issues, not just focus on one. The cranberry and other assorted antioxidants can also help prevent urinary tract issues in Poodles.
3. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms is an offshoot of the Merrick line. While it does not contain the raw food kibble or coating, Whole Earth Farms has a line of small breed food that is made of high quality ingredients, but does not cost as much as some of the other all natural brands. Some Poodles have issues with high protein diets, especially Poodles with liver or kidney issues, so removing the raw additive is good for them.
Whole Earth Farms also has a line of wet foods are that made just for smaller breed dogs. For some Poodles who don’t drink as much water as they should, this can help with their kidney health as well. If you’re worried about an older dog who may be at risk for these issues, talking to your vet is important, but this food may be able to help reduce the chances of kidney or liver issues. They also offer many different protein choices, as well as grain and grain free options as well.
4. Taste Of The Wild Grain Free Dog Food
One of the biggest sellers of what could be considered ‘Ancestral Diets’, Taste of the Wild provides multiple high protein choices with excellent quality ingredients. These Ancestral Diets refer to foods that try to replicate or mimic diets similar to what wolves would eat in the wild. This is almost always a higher level of protein in these diets, and they are good for more energetic or younger Poodle. Active dogs who work or do agility can benefit greatly from this line of food, as the extra protein will keep them going through their courses.
This food also benefits from the wide variety of protein choices. This brand contains enough different kind of foods that there should not be any trouble finding one that agrees with your Poodle, although due to the higher protein, older Poodles or Poodles with health issues involving their kidneys or liver may want to avoid this brand. This brand is also reported help with shinier coats and healthier skin, due to the high quality of the ingredients.
5. ACANA Adult Small Breed Dog Food
A brand that was difficult to find for a long time, Acana has finally been showing up in larger pet stores, rather than only at smaller boutiques. One of the highest quality foods on the market, Acana has a large line of excellent small breed foods. Most of their formulas come in a small breed variety, and all of their ingredients are sourced naturally. The do all of their own processing and producing to insure quality control, as well.
Acana has two types of foods: Mixes and Singles. Mixes have multiple protein sources of a single type, such as multiple kinds of fish, or multiple kinds of red meat, which is good for dogs who have no allergies or sensitivities. Their Singles have only one protein source, such as pork, chicken, beef, and so on, allowing for Poodles who may be sensitive to certain types of protein a way around that. This is an excellent brand for Miniature Poodles.
Top 5 Best Dog Foods Standard Poodles
1. Natural Balance Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance is a brand that makes formulas designed for any size or breed dog. While they do have a small breed and any size line, they also have a large breed line meant for dogs such as Standard Poodles. Their large breed line is designed for puppies, adults, and senior dogs, as large breed dogs need specific requirements as to not outgrow their own bodies during puppyhood. Natural Balance has excellent limited ingredient diets that are just right for making sure large breed puppies aren’t overfed.
Luckily, Natural Balance is good for all ages of dogs. Their formulas are designed to be used from puppyhood all the way to adulthood, making the transition from puppy food to adult food non-existent. They also offer several different kinds of large breed food, so if you have multiple Poodles or dogs of multiple ages, you do not have to worry about trying to figure out who can eat what.
2. Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain Free Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Although they were amidst a bit of trouble a while back due to a lawsuit with Purina, Blue Buffalo is the largest and best selling all natural dog food on the market. With four different lines of food, they cover every single base when it comes to high quality dog food. They have their standard Life Protection line, their grain free Freedom line, their limited ingredient Basics line, and their high protein Wilderness line. All of these contain large breed puppy, adult, and senior recipes.
Depending on your Poodle’s needs, the line you would want to purchase may be different. If your Poodle has no issues or specific needs, the Life Protection line is a good choice. A Poodle with skin issues may require the Basics or the Freedom line, depending on the severity of the allergies. For a working Poodle, who hunts or does agility, the Wilderness line provides a high quality and high protein option. There is a good reason Blue Buffalo sells the amount it does, and that is due to their strong advertising, high quality food, and coverage of almost any dog’s needs.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Dog Food
While Science Diet does not use the level and amount of high quality ingredients as some of the others on this list, they have put more hours of research and study than every other brand put together. With a research facility that looks like a resort for animals, they house almost 1,000 dogs and cat that are tended to by hundreds of veterinarians to study their health and monitor their wellbeing. They have an enormous amount of normal and prescription foods, so there is something for any needs a Poodle may have.
While a prescription food may be necessary at some point for your Poodle if they are sick or have rare dietary needs, their normal lines of dog food can be found easily in any pet store. They do not have any grain free choices, but their formulas often times make up for that downside. Their large breed formulas are some of the best in terms of properly balances protein, vitamin, and minerals for a Poodle’s wellbeing. Their bright white bag, made to resemble the color of a lab coat, is easy to spot. Do expect most of their foods to contain chicken, however.
4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials
A recent acquisition by Mars, Nutro has long been one of the better all natural foods out on the market. While there have been some slight shortage issues of of late as they transfer production to new, larger facilities, this food has remained a quality choice for people who can get their hands on it. They have two main lines, their normal Nutro and their Nutro Ultra, both of which are made for different needs of different dogs.
For Poodles, the normal Nutro has multiple kinds of Large Breed choices, including chicken, lamb, and venison. Depending on your Poodle’s needs or allergies, any three of them could be a good choice. They also offer good choices in canned wet food, in order to give your Poodle extra moisture and nutrients. Their Ultra changes things up a bit by using multiple type of proteins, in order to give dogs a more balanced diet. Mixing chicken, fish, and other proteins makes the Ultra better for overall skin and digestive health, but only if your Poodle does not have any allergies or sensitivities.
5. Orijen Large Breed Dry Dog Food
One of the highest quality and in turn, most expensive choices for a large breed dog, Orijin is a fantastic food for Standard Poodles. A higher protein food, Orijin’s protein levels come for the extremely nutrient dense kibble that uses a mix of dried meat and fresh meat for a healthy blend of protein. While higher protein can be risky for some Standard Poodle puppies, Orijin’s formulas take that into account to make sure no irregular growth occurs at all.
Many of their large breed formulas mix both chicken and fish in order to provide enough protein while simultaneously adding in plenty of omega fatty acids to help with joint and skin health. Eggs are also a source of protein in their foods as a way to make their kibble more protein dense, and put in less filler while avoiding food allergies. It’s high palatability also make it a good choice for picky Poodles. While this food was more difficult to find than others, it has recently begun to appear both online and in certain larger pet specialty stores.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Poodle
When picking a food for your Poodle, make sure that you are matching the food with your dog’s personal needs. A high protein food is not good for any older or easy going Poodle, and the age of your Poodle factors in as well. It is always a good idea to ask a vet about any health issues your Poodle may have, or that could arise later. If you have purchased your Poodle from a breeder, they may also be able to provide you with knowledge pertaining to your Poodle’s overall health.
If you do decide to change your Poodle’s food, make sure that a slow transition takes place. Starting with 90% of the old food, and 10% of the new food the first day, move another 10% of new food in and old food out over a ten day period to prevent any stomach or stool issues. Keep an eye out for any skin issues, itching, or rashes as well, as those can be signs of a severe food allergy. If you follow this list, you should be able to find a good food for your Poodle with no issues whatsoever.