7 Best Dog Food for a Poodle – Vet-Recommended Options!

This post was most recently updated on January 9th, 2020

Poodles are dogs extraordinaire. They are intelligent, affectionate, and can thrive in almost any household setting. They also like socializing and playing around. With this active and vibrant disposition, Poodles need proper nutrition to stay in good shape. For this post, I’ve picked 7 products for the best dog food for a Poodle to help you find the right diet for your pooch.

Blue Buffalo Life
Protection Formula
with LifeSource Bits
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Taste of the Wild
Pacific Stream
Grain-Free Smoked
Salmon Dog Food
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Purina Pro Plan Focus
Adult Dry Dog Food
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Merrick Grain-Free
Dry Dog Food
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Purina Beyond
Natural Salmon Dry
Dog Food
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Rachael Ray Nutrish
Turkey & Venison
Dog Food
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Iams Proactive Health
Adult MiniChunks
Dog Food
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A proper Poodle diet will help prevent some of the common health conditions this breed is known for. Also, for working Poodles, diet is a key player in keeping them in shape.

MY TOP PICK: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula with LifeSource Bits
best dog food for a Poodle

Product Name: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula with LifeSource Bits

Product Description: My top pick for Poodles is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula. It comes with the LifeSource Bits which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that add more nutritional value on the dog food. The kibble is made from real deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. The ingredients also include flaxseed, pea starch, and chicken fat. Every serving of this dog food contains 24% protein, 14% fat, and 5% fiber. What I love the most is the glucosamine content which keeps my Poodle’s joints in check.

Price: $$$

Availability: InStock

  • Formula Quality
  • Nutrition
  • Palatability


This food is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids as well as chelated minerals that are easier to absorb.

Taste-wise, I can say that this fits the bill for most Poodles. If you have a picky eater, I suggest that you explore the two options I reviewed below.

The only thing I noticed is that my Poodle tends to eat the LifeSource Bits last. It could be less palatable but she eats it anyway plus it really did wonders on her coat.


✔️Contains the nutrient-rich LifeSource Bits

✔️Made from real chicken

✔️Free from corn, wheat, and soy


❌Fluctuating price (not really a biggie)

For Poodles with allergies:

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Smoked Salmon Dog Food

best dog food for a PoodleIf your Poodle has allergies, you can consider switching the pooch to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food. It doesn’t have any grains which are the leading cause of allergic reactions among dogs. Also, its main ingredient is salmon which makes it very delicious.

The ingredients also include ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, lentils, and salmon meal. It’s also packed with superfoods that provide high levels of antioxidants to your pooch.

Each serving of this dog contains 25% protein, 15% fat, and 3% fiber. It also contains zinc, selenium, fatty acids, and live cultures to boost the overall health of your dog.

Overall, this Taste of the Wild dog food is free from any colorants, artificial flavorings, grains, and other add-ons that will upset your dog’s tummy.

If you’re not sure if your Poodle will do well on this food, I suggest that you purchase the 5-pound bag first.

I also like that this dog food helped my dog have a firmer stool. My pooch’s coat is smoother than ever and she seems to have more energy.


✔️100% grain free

✔️Salmon is the main ingredient

✔️Contains probiotics that thrive in the GI tract



❌Gives a more rancid smell to my dog’s poop


Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Dry Dog Food

best dog food for a PoodleAnother great option for Poodles with sensitivities is the Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Food. It’s a salmon and rice formula with real salmon as the first ingredient.

This is free from hard-to-digest grains like soy, corn, or wheat. It’s also free from poultry by-products and artificial add-ons that can trigger any negative reaction on your dog’s tummy.

Its ingredients also include canola meal, oatmeal, fish meal, and animal fat. With this, each serving contains 26% protein, 16% fat, and 4% fiber. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, glucosamine, and fatty acids.

Aside from being safe for dogs with allergies and intolerances, I also like that it has a yummy smell. It will definitely appeal to picky eaters.

My dog’s vet even recommended this food when we first came after an explosive bout of diarrhea. For a few years now, my Poodle is thriving on it. Some of the Poodle owners I know also gave this food to their dog and it helped fix skin issues.


✔️Made from real and delicious salmon

✔️Free from corn, wheat, and soy

✔️Contains prebiotic fiber that promotes better digestion



❌Gives my dog a stronger breath (regular brushing fixes it)


For picky eaters:

Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes

best dog food for a PoodleFor Poodles with very finicky taste buds, my first suggestion is the Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This is available in turkey, buffalo, chicken, duck, Texas beef, venison, salmon, lamb, and rabbit flavors. All of which are made with real meat.

Aside from that, this Merrick dog food has superfoods like blueberries, sweet potatoes, apples, peas, and more. You don’t have to worry since this is free from wheat, soy, corn, and artificial preservatives.

For the turkey flavor, each cup contains 38% protein, 16% fat, 3.5% fiber, and 11% moisture. It also has Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in addition to chondroitin and glucosamine.

This formula is made not just to avoid allergic reactions. It also helps boost joint, coat, and the immune system health of dogs.

What I love the most about Merrick dog food is its 100% guarantee. If you or your dog isn’t happy with the food, just send the opened bag and they will give your money back, no questions asked.

Just take note that this food has high protein content. If your Poodle has kidney issues, you may want to consult with a vet first.


✔️Available in different delicious flavors

✔️High in protein

✔️100% grain-free



❌The kibble tends to clump if you don’t transfer it in a sealed container


Purina Beyond Natural Salmon Dry Dog Food

best dog food for a PoodleMy next recommendation for pet owners with picky Poodles is the Purina Beyond Natural Salmon Dog Food. It has real salmon as the main ingredient which will surely entice the appetite of your dog.

This dog food has a superfood blend since it’s infused with egg, pumpkin, whole oats, peas, and fish oil.

Each serving of this hearty food contains 26% protein, 16% fat, 4% fiber, and 12% moisture. It also has the right balance of phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and selenium. To top that are vitamins A, B-complex, D, E, and K. All of these are guaranteed to boost the health of your pooch while keeping mealtimes interesting.

This is free from soy, wheat, and corn. Also, your dog will get premium protein since Purina Beyond doesn’t have poultry by-products.

Overall, my dog never had problems with this food. All I noticed is that the kibble is a bit smaller than I expected. Anyway, it didn’t cause any problem as my pooch can munch it easily.

Also, the pumpkin ingredient is actually helpful for doggos with anal gland problems. You can mix canned pumpkin into the kibble if you want to boost this benefit.


✔️Excellent salmon and superfoods blend

✔️A complete and balanced meal

✔️Zero by-products, corn, soy, and wheat



❌Not ideal for miniature and Toy Poodles


For Poodle owners on a budget:

Rachael Ray Nutrish Turkey & Venison Dog Food

It’s a fact that not all of us can afford very expensive meals for our Poodles. Still, it’s not an excuse not to give them proper nutrition. If you’re short on cash, I recommend the Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dog Food. The 26-pound bag is very affordable and will last for weeks for a Standard Poodle.

Also, this dog food is made with farm-raised turkey, turkey meal, brown rice, dried peas, and dried plain beet pulp. It’s also mixed with venison, chicken fat, cranberries, carrots, and other nutritious food items.

Just take note that this food contains corn which could be an issue for Poodles with an allergy to this specific ingredient. For healthy pooches, they will enjoy 26% protein, 8% fat, and 11% fiber. It’s also a champ for dogs with very firm stools.

I also like that this has L-Carnitine which will help manage your Poodle’s weight. There are also added antioxidants to support your dog’s overall wellness. For its price tag, this is already a catch considering its excellent nutritional profile.


✔️Made from farm-raised turkey

✔️Contains L-Carnitine for weight management

✔️Zero by-products, wheat, gluten, and fillers



❌Contains corn which could be an issue for some


Iams Proactive Health Adult MiniChunks Dog Food

If you want to save more bucks, you can consider the Iams MiniChunks. The 30-pound bag isn’t just affordable; it’s also packed with wholesome nutrition.

This dog food is made from real chicken paired with wholesome grains and beet pulp. With this, your dog will enjoy premium protein, carbs, and fiber in every bite.

It also contains whole grain corn which can be a problem for Poodles with allergies. If your dog doesn’t have any sensitivities to corn, I can’t see any reason not to consider this food.

Each serving of this dog food contains 25% protein, 14% fat, and 4% fiber. It also contains L-Carnitine which helps manage the weight of Poodles.

Also, I like that this food contains prebiotics that promotes healthy digestion. The kibble is also crunchy which adds a teeth-cleaning effect on your dog’s meal.

One more thing: the bag comes in a box which is an added point for me. It keeps the kibble fresh before it arrives on your doorstep.

For a lower price than most dog food products, Iams is already a big catch for your Poodle.


✔️Made from farm-raised chicken

✔️Contains prebiotics

✔️It comes in a bag sealed inside a box



❌It contains corn (not a biggie for most healthy Poodles)


A Poodle’s appetite and nutrition

Just like most dogs, Poodles may have a picky appetite. One reason is that they are prone to inheriting some conditions that may affect their appetite. One of which is the Addison’s disease (discussed below).

Any sudden increase or decrease on your Poodle’s appetite is a tell-tale sign of hypothyroidism (discussed below as well).

When it comes to nutrition, you have to factor in that Poodles come in different sizes. They can be standard, miniature, or toy. Some designer Poodle breeds like teacup and Klein are also available.

Since they have varying body sizes, these Poodle types will have different dietary needs as well.

Standard Poodles (22 to 27 inches tall) will thrive on medium to large breed formulas. Meanwhile, both miniature (13 to 15 inches tall) and toy Poodles (10 inches or smaller) will need a small breed formula to suit their metabolism level.

You also have to take into account the Poodle’s age, weight, health condition, and activity level when introducing a new dog food.

Protein-fat-carb ratio

A sound diet is important for all dogs, not just Poodles. For this specific dog breed, it’s ideal to give at around 25% to 35% of protein depending on the factors I mentioned above.

You can tap the help of a pet nutritionist to identify the right calories that your dog needs. Also, you should know how much of these calories should come from protein, fats, and carbs. Generally, experts recommend that 60% of calories be sourced from protein, 20% on carbs, and 20% on fats.

These numbers can go higher or lower based on the individual needs of Poodle dogs.

Ingredients to look for a Poodle’s dog food

Poodles need a balanced diet composed of protein, carbs, fats, vegetables, and fruits. Grains are also ideal but you have to rule out any possible allergic reactions first.

Always look for a dog food that lists whole meat as its first ingredient. Take note that the FDA requires dog food manufacturers to list their ingredients based on its weight, from the biggest component down to the smallest.

Some of the excellent protein sources include lamb, turkey, salmon, venison, chicken, and ocean fishes. You can also choose beef as long as your Poodle isn’t allergic to it.

For carbohydrates, I personally prefer brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole grains for my Poodles. The likes of oats, barley, and brewers rice are also fine as long as your Poodle doesn’t have sensitivities to it. All of these are easier to digest compared to cornmeal, wheat, or soy.

Also, try looking for food products infused with veggies and fruits. These are natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your dog needs. Also, the addition of fish oil is ideal for a dose of fatty acids which will keep your Poodle’s coat healthy.

How much should I feed a Poodle?

The National Research Council of the National Academies suggests that inactive dogs, including Poodles, consume around 989 to 1,272 calories each day. If you have an active Poodle, this calorie allotment will increase at around 1,353 to 1,740 per day.

Still, these are just general recommendations. It’s important that you factor in your dog’s age when deciding how much you’ll feed it in a day.


For Poodle puppies, the AAFCO recommends at least 22% of usable protein in their food. Make sure that these came from digestible protein so your puppy can absorb all the protein in the food you’re serving.


Adult Poodles need at least 18% of usable protein from their daily meals. Again, this should be digestible and paired with the right ratio of carbs and fats.

For active dogs, a high carb diet is ideal as long as the dog burns all the extras. When it comes to fat, you should keep an eye on the excess as it can lead to obesity and even heart disease.


For older Poodles, you’d need to tone down the carbs and fat. Some pet nutritionist might recommend a higher protein intake to prevent muscle loss. However, you should be careful if your Poodle has kidney disease.

-Pregnant Poodles

Pregnant Poodles need at least 22% of usable protein on their diet. During the last half of their pregnancy, you’d need to increase their calorie intake by as much as 50%. This will depend on the size of the litter. The more puppies the more calories you need to add.

Take note that you don’t need to change your pregnant Poodle’s diet during the first 4 weeks of its pregnancy unless your vet recommends that you do so.

Common Poodle diet-related problems

When choosing dog food for your Poodle, you have to keep in mind that they are prone to the following health conditions. Some aren’t directly due to the food they eat, but their diet can help reduce the symptoms.

-Food allergies and intolerances

Poodles are one of the dog breeds that are susceptible to food allergies. Some Poodles will have intolerances. So what’s the difference between the two? Food allergies are triggered when the immune system perceives a certain substance as a threat.

Meanwhile, intolerances happen in the digestive system. Some Poodles can’t digest a certain food which may lead to a life-threatening situation.

Both of these conditions won’t go away on its own. What you need to do is identify the cause of the allergy or intolerance and refrain from giving it to your dog.


Poodles that are four months old and younger are at a higher of experiencing hypoglycemia. It happens when the blood sugar levels of your dog spiral rapidly. Aside from puppies, this is also a notorious condition among miniature and toy Poodles due to their small bodies.

Proper diet and spreading the day’s meal in multiple servings should prevent this condition from happening. As you know, hypoglycemia can be deadly, especially if you don’t have a first-aid fix.

If your Poodle is lethargic, shivering, and confused, it’s possible that they are entering the hypoglycemic stage. You need to feed the pooch right away or administer sugar water to arrest the dwindling blood sugar levels of your dog.

Also, opt for dog food with complex carbs. These take time to break down which will give your dog a continuous supply of energy in between meals.

-Canine hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition on which the Poodle’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. This will lead to obesity, weak muscles, overeating, and hair loss. Your dog’s vet will recommend medications and a regimented diet to lessen the symptoms.

Contrary to beliefs, increased iodine intake won’t cure hypothyroidism. In fact, too much iodine can worsen the condition.


Poodles tend to overeat when allowed in a free feeding setup. This will lead to obesity which will directly impact their joints.

Excess weight will also increase your dog’s risk to develop its predisposition to hip dysplasia. Watching your Poodle’s weight will be a big help in reducing the discomfort brought by various orthopedic conditions.

-Addison’s disease

This condition is a hereditary condition that affects standard Poodles and other dog breeds. It’s also more common among female Poodles than males.

A Poodle with Addison’s disease will have poor appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. This will lead to malnutrition and drastic weight loss.

Aside from the genetic aspect, Addison’s disease can be triggered by other factors including intestinal upset.

-Gastric dilation

Gastric dilation-volvulus is common among deep-chested dogs like Standard Poodles. This is associated with hefty eating which leads the stomach of the dog to dilate. What happens is that gas and food fills the stomach. When it dilates, these two components won’t be expelled.

This will put intense pressure on the dog’s stomach which can be deadly in a matter of hours. It will also result in difficulty of breathing, loss of blood flow in the stomach’s lining, and worse, the rupturing of the stomach wall.

You can prevent this by spreading your Poodle’s meal in small servings all throughout the day. Free feeding is a no-no.


As active dogs, your pooch needs the best dog food for a Poodle to stay healthy. My 7 picks here will provide complete and balanced nutrition to your dog as long as you know what your pooch needs. Has your dog tried any of these dog food products? Feel free to share your experience with me below.

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