I’ve been thinking about getting a furry friend for my dog Bentley and did a bit of research about different foods for dogs of different ages.
Seriously, another pup will keep us all on our toes and a Goldendoodle seems to fill that slot perfectly.
Goldendoodles are classed as a ‘designer breed’. They come from breeding Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles.
The breed is well-known for their lively and curious traits. They are also very smart dogs – they get that from the Poodle side.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve found any negative points about them. They get on well with other dogs and make great family dogs.
The breed comes in three different sizes, namely miniatures who weigh between 15-30 pounds, medium between 30-45 pounds and standards who weigh between 45 – 100 pounds.
On average the standard Goldendoodle will burn about 1,200 calories per day. This will also depend on the activity level of each dog, as well as their age.
Surprisingly, puppies need more calories than adult dogs, even though they are much smaller. That’s because they expend so much energy when they play. They also need extra to support rapid muscle development and growing bones.
One point I’ve learned about this breed is that they sometimes get upset tummies and food allergies, so I think choosing the right formula food is important.
So, What Needs to be in the Food?
For any dog owner, it is important that there are certain things in the food to keep the dog in the best of health.
- The first ingredient should be meat and there should be more meat than vegetables.
- This is good for the digestive system. This may be added in the form of rice or vegetables. Avoid foods that state cereal as the first ingredient above meat.
- Fat provides the energy for dogs, so it is important that there is a certain amount of fat in the food. Having a very low-fat food may be good for humans but does not do dogs much good. Good quality fats are chicken fat, canola oil and flaxseed. You should also see Omega 3&6 in the ingredients.
- The food should contain some carbs to keep the blood sugar levels correct. Carbs can be found in sweet potatoes.
What About Grain-Free Foods?
This breed of dog can have sensitive stomachs and sometimes offering them a grain-free food will help to calm the upset tummy.
Before you decide to change the diet, you should talk to your vet. Having decided to go grain-free you should look for foods that also contain taurine as often this mineral is omitted in grain-free foods.
What Should you Look for in a Dog Food?
Meat. Dogs are carnivores and they need meat. Meat supplies the protein they need. Look for meat at the top of the ingredients list.
It should read as a one-word description such as chicken, beef, turkey or lamb. Avoid vague descriptions like ‘meat’ or ‘animal protein’.
Meat meal. Here you should see the meat ingredient described as ‘turkey meal’ or ‘chicken meal’. Again, avoid a vague description.
Vegetables. Look for whole grain sources such as brown rice. Even fruits are good in some dog foods and organic grains are considered better than regular grains.
What to Avoid
When you look at the ingredients you may find some things which you simply cannot pronounce let alone understand!
As a rule of thumb, if you can’t say the name avoid it, it’s a chemical or artificial ingredient.
- Grain fragments. These are normally used as fillers and have no nutritional value. Mostly they are used to hold the food together particularly in the case of dry dog food.
- Corn or soy. Again, these are used as fillers and may aggravate a sensitive stomach.
- By-products. These are to be avoided – you have no idea what they are made from! By-products can contain things like feathers, hooves, beaks and feet – not what you would eat, so why feed that to your dog?
- Artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. These contain carcinogens and are harmful for dogs. You may see them listed as BHT and BHA.
- White flour. This is a refined carbohydrate and offers no nutritional value. This is something which is often added to meals to make it taste better. Natural dog food will taste delicious and does not need to have added flavour.
- Farmed salmon. This will contain chemicals and other ingredients which are harmful for dogs.
- Added sugars such as Xylitol which is very harmful and can cause serious illnesses in dogs.
- Nitrites and nitrates
- Propylene Glycol.
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate
Wet or Dry Food?
This comes down to a personal choice and largely depends on the owner and the dog. There are pros and cons with both wet and dry food only diets.
What is important is that whichever diet you choose for your pet, it should be compete and balanced.
Ideally Goldendoodles need dry food. A food that is ‘complete and balanced’ will provide all the nutrition he needs to keep healthy.
Dry food also keeps his teeth in good condition because the crunching and chewing removes bacteria.
Wet food may be used for older dogs who have bad teeth as it may be easier for them to chew.
Although Goldendoodles are not generally fussy eaters, some do prefer wet food added to their dry food.
Here’s a quick recipe for some delicious wet food that I make for Bentley. I only add a tablespoon to his dry food, and he loves it!
Pop into a pot any amount of finely chopped vegetables. We use carrots, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower.
Add water and boil until the veggies are almost soft, then stir in some oats to help thicken it all up. I make a big batch of this and freeze it in small portions.
Defrost small amounts at a time and stir into his dry kibble for a change. I don’t do this every day with Bentley, but I do know that what he’s getting contains all good ingredients. So, onto puppies now
How Much Food do Puppies Need?
Puppies can start on regular food once they are fully weaned. They should be fed three to four small meals a day.
When the Goldendoodle pup reaches the age of six months the meals can be reduced to twice a day.
An eight-week old pup should need about 280 calories per day. This is because they grow very fast and need to keep those little bodies fuelled.
With all the exercise a puppy gets it may be almost impossible to get fat, but it is possible to feed him food which does not do anything to improve his diet. Watch out for things like added sugar which will cause tooth decay.
A dog is classed as a puppy until he reaches the age of one year. At this time, he can start to eat adult dog food.
I’ve had a look at some puppy foods and have found some which contain all the essential ingredients for a healthy pup. These can also be fed to a lactating or pregnant dog.
Best Dog Food for Goldendoodle Puppies
1) Beta Puppy Dry Dog Food with Chicken
You will see that one of the ingredients is a prebiotic which keeps the digestive system in good order.
The interesting fact with this kibble is that it comes in two sizes so forces the dog to chew it slower and not chomp it all down in gulps.
As well as being good for puppies, this food can be used for adult toy dogs and lactating dogs.
2) Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Complete Dry Dog Food
The food is grain-free and has extra fruits and veggies along with herbs for extra flavour.
There are no fillers in this, neither are there preservatives or additives, its filled with all-natural products.
Additionally, there is Glucosamine Chondroitin for joint support and prebiotics for good digestion.
3) Pedigree Puppy Medium Dog Dry Food with Chicken and Rice
Added to the food are vitamins and minerals, making this a complete and balanced diet for a pup.
There are no added preservatives, colours and flavours, and the food is made up of small pieces which are easy to chew.
Best Dog Food for Goldendoodle Adults
Goldendoodle adults are lively and full of energy. Once your Goldendoodle reaches adulthood you can transition to adult food. He needs a balanced diet of high-quality meat, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals.
Generally, Goldendoodles are not fussy eaters, although they can be, but a tasty dry food which is full of all the nutrients they need will be just fine.
You can even use some of the kibble as treats for when he has done something spectacular.
I know with Bentley, I keep a few in my pocket when we go for a walk. Little treats for when he sits, and stays are always at hand.
1) Eukanuba Adult Dog Food for Medium Dogs Rich in Fresh Chicken
This dog food is tailormade to suit your dog. It tastes of chicken and contains an ingredient called DentaDefense which reduces tartar build-up and helps keep teeth clean.
You will notice right away that the food is shaped differently from other kibble pieces. This is hexagon-shaped which makes it easier to chew and swallow.
The formula which is used in this dog food is designed to improve digestion and to keep your adult dog in good health.
2) Beta Adult Dry Dog Food with Chicken
There is a prebiotic for better digestion and the food contains all the essential vitamins and minerals for good health.
The kibble comes in two different shapes and sizes which makes it easier to chew and swallow. This also prevents chomping the food down to fast.
The food is classed as complete and balanced so you can feed it to your Goldendoodle knowing that he is getting all the nutrition he needs.
3) Harrington’s Dog Food Complete Lamb and Rice Dry Mix
The food contains Omega 3&6 fatty acids and gets the anti-oxidants from citrus. It also contains nutrient rich kelp.
The food is naturally flavoured and contains lamb and rice along with all-natural ingredients.
An interesting addition here is that this food reduces flatulence smells – and every Doodle owner will tell you that this breed can emit some very bad smells!
Best Dog Food for Goldendoodle Seniors
Senior dogs need just as much nutrition as pups and adults. They may be prone to constipation so you should look for foods which are rich in fibre.
Most dogs are classed as senior when they reach 7 years of age, although small dogs only become seniors at twelve years, because they live longer. Bigger dogs tend to slow down much earlier than smaller breeds.
Unfortunately, there are no official guidelines to the diet you should feed a senior Goldendoodle, or any other senior dog for that matter. However, it is still important that he consumes the correct number of calories for his lifestyle.
Occasionally a senior dog will develop kidney problems and you may need to feed him a low protein diet. This is something that your vet should advise you on.
Adding extra nutrients in the senior dog diet is a good idea, as is adding any ingredient which will boost the immune system.
Fibre is found in vegetables such as green beans or pumpkin, as well as in wheat bran, and these will prevent constipation.
How Much Should we Feed the Senior Goldendoodle?
If you have had your dog from puppyhood you will know whether he tends to overeat and out on weight so base the amount he needs on the knowledge you have gained over the years.
If your senior dog seems to be losing weight with what you consider a normal calorie intake, then you should have him checked out by your vet to rule out any medical condition.
Another thing to consider in a senior dog is that his teeth may not be in the best shape so chewing may be painful for him.
Swapping to smaller sized dry food or even adding a wet food will make eating more comfortable for him.
1) James Wellbeloved Complete Dry Senior Dog Food
The food is made of lamb, brown rice and whole barley and baked into crunchy little nuggets which are easy to chew.
The food is hypo-allergenic and gentle on the older dog’s digestive system.
2) Arden Grange Senior Dog Food
It is completely balanced and full of the essential nutrients which older dogs need.
The food is less dense than adult food and perfect for maintaining a healthy weight, so it is very good for dogs with a tendency to overeat.
Filled with vitamins and minerals, this food will maintain lean body mass in older dogs, as well as keeping them in the best health possible.
3) Barking Heads Dry Dog Food for Senior Dogs
The chicken is free-range, and the salmon and trout are wild-caught instead of farmed.
No artificial additives or preservatives, just fresh ingredients are on the label.
The food is all natural and completely balanced, so you don’t need to add any other foods to it.
The formula is designed for dogs who are over 7 years of age and contains all the nutrients needed for keeping them in the best health possible.
Anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, along with Omega 3 ensure that coats are shiny, teeth are in good condition, and the digestive system in peak performance.
Don’t Forget Water
One thing to mention here is that water is vitally important for your dog.
You should never restrict his water intake, although as a puppy you may lift the water bowl up at a certain time of night so that he learns to go out to toilet before bed and then first thing in the morning.
Once the pup has mastered this then you should make sure that he has fresh water at any time he likes.
Make sure to wash the water bowl out daily and replace the water, not just fill it up again.
This is because water will go stagnant and your dog, who ha the best nose in the world, will reject it. Not drinking enough water, especially in the summer will harm his kidneys and make him ill.
So, after looking at the different foods for various stages of life, I’ve found three that I would go for with my own pooch.For the new puppy I would try Beta Puppy Dry Dog Food
This is my first choice of dog food for puppies. I like that it comes in two sizes so even a pup who gulps his food down will have to stop and chew before swallowing.
For an adult dog my choice would be Eukanuba Adult Dog Food for Medium Dogs
This would be my first choice for an adult dog. What I like is that there is an added ingredient for reducing tooth decay.
This is an area which is easily overlooked and often a dog will have smelly breath. This food will reduce tooth decay.
While I simply dread the thought of my dog growing old, I want to give him the best possible care and I would go for this dog food.
Being hypo-allergenic and easy on the tummy will mean that an older dog would be inclined to eat it.
The food is also easy to chew, making it more attractive to a dog with poor dental conditions. For a senior dog my first choice would be James Wellbeloved Complete Dry Senior Dog Food
Well, I hope you’ve learned as much as I have about the best food for a Goldendoodle in the various stages of his life.
Reading the labels on the food is vitally important and is something that most people do for their own food anyway. Our pet food should not be any different.
One thing to consider is that it’s easy to hide bad ingredients under another name so we need to watch out for vague descriptions such as ‘meat’ which can include anything, even things we would never eat ourselves.
So, I think with a bit of foresight and label reading we should be able to find some good quality food for a Goldendoodle at any age and keep him in the best health possible for as long as we can.
I only put good quality ingredients into my mouth so why should I give my furry friend anything less?