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Poodles are one of the most diverse dog breeds out there. There are three “types” of poodles – the toy, miniature, and standard.

While they all have their unique features, they all fall under the same governing standard by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and it's essential to find the best dog food for Poodles that fit their nutritional profile.

As a veterinarian, I'm often asked by pet parents of Poodles to give them my recommendation on the best Poodle dog food brands.

Still, it's their dog that we must initially look at. The first place to start is to consider your dog's current activity levels, health conditions, age and life stage, and other variables.

Below, I'm going to take a closer look at Poodles as a breed (all three sizes), their general needs, and nutritional requirements, and we'll review some of the best dog foods for Poodles.

Best Dog Food for Poodles: Knowing the Breed Types

Before getting into the best Poodle dog foods, we need first to understand this breed and its daily requirements.

The Poodle has been around for over a century and was developed in France and Germany as a duck retrieving dog. Over the past 100 years, the breed has been molded into the variations we know today.

The Poodle comes in three sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Each type looks identical to the others, with the exception of the size.

Toy Poodles tend to weigh under 10 pounds, miniatures fall between 15-20 pounds, and the standard is rather large 50-70 pounds.

Dog Food for Poodles

They all possess a thick, densely curly coat, floppy ears, a long tail, and expressive dark eyes. The Toy Poodle lives the longest, up to 15 years, while the standard's lifespan is about 10-11 years.

Poodles are fun, energetic dogs that love to be around people. They tend to be very good with children and possess a natural athletic ability.

Poodles have never forgotten their heritage – most are great swimmers and expert retrievers. They are a breed to be considered by avid sportsmen as they make excellent, intelligent duck dogs.

Best Dog Food for Poodles: Understanding their Nutritional Needs

It's this dynamic nature that makes it challenging to feed a Poodle. No matter what size you own, it's essential that you find the best dog food for Poodles that will meet that breed's nutritional requirements.

And above that, your specific dog's needs.

Talk to your veterinarian about the best diet for your Poodle. Your vet is the best place to start – they'll make recommendations based on your Poodle's age, weight, activity level, and any health issues she may have.

It would help if you also did your research, which is where this article comes into play and will help you pick the best dog foods for Poodles.

I will look at some of the most vets' recommended dog food brands for Poodles give you my recommendations for the best dog food for Poodles for different life stages and body conditions.

But, I strongly encourage you NOT to try to make the switch of your Poodle's diet on your own. You have to consult your vet to ensure you're providing your dog with a diet that will meet all of her nutritional needs.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Dog Food For Your Poodle

What you need to know about poodle dog food is that no single feed is the same. There are certain factors, even in the best food for poodles, that you need to consider before buying one. 

Another thing to consider when picking the best dog food for toy poodles is the age and health conditions of your pooch. Here are the important factors to keep you guided:

Age

The type of poodle dog food you'll buy will depend on their life stage. It is during the puppy stage and gestation period that your dog will need the most nutrients.

In this case, you need to buy the best food for poodles that will give them all the vitamins and minerals that a growing puppy (or pregnant dog, whichever is the case) needs.

Breed Size

If you check the Poodle dog breed profile, you'll see that they come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Your poodle dog food will vary depending on the breed size. 

Every size of this breed has its respective metabolism. Smaller poodles tend to mature faster which means they need nutrient-packed poodle dog food.

Wet or Dry Feed 

Most dog owners prefer dry dog food or kibble because it's cost-effective. However, if your vet recommends having a mixed feed, then you might need to combine both wet and dry feed for your pooch.

Nutrition

The golden rule when it comes to buying the best food for poodles is that it needs to be balanced and complete. This means that the essential nutrients should be present in every serving. 

Providing a balanced meal for your pooch also means that the nutrients are in the right ratio and are suitable to the poodles respective to their age and breed size.

What to Feed a Poodle Dog

Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet can replace a consultation with a vet, including this one.

Poodle Dog Food: Toy and Miniature

Royal Canin’s Poodle puppy formula

Royal Canin Poodle Dry Dog Food

Due to their small(er) size, I usually recommend Royal Canin's Poodle puppy formula. Royal Canin provides excellent quality nutrition and a “pedigree” to back up its good reputation.

They've also done the leg-work in developing the most digestible food for Poodle puppies.

The Poodle has a long muzzle and a “scissors” bite. Unique flat, square kibble will make it easier for small mouths to pick up and chew.

This food is recommended up to 10 months of age.

Best Dog Food for Standard Poodle

Standard poodles are less likely to have developmental orthopedic diseases, such as hip dysplasia, than other breeds. However, they are more at risk than their smaller poodle counterparts.

While there is a genetic component to these diseases, significant nutritional risk factors play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake.

This is why it is crucial to feed your Poodle just enough of the right balance of nutrients.

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Large-breed specific puppy foods are a great safeguard to help prevent these issues.

I recommend Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy food. This company has been a leader in pet nutrition since the early 1900s.

Their large-breed puppy formula has been tweaked over the years, but it's always been one of the best dog food for Poodles. It provides consistent quality nutrition to promote healthy growth in standard Poodles.

It is fortified with omega-3 fatty acids like DHA to promote a healthy brain, joints, and skin development.

All Hill's Science Diet products are made from North American raw materials in the USA. If you are interested in Hill's natural line, they now have an Ideal Balance Large Breed Puppy Recipe.

The Best Dog Foods for Poodles: Adult Dogs

If you are looking for new food for your adult Poodle or are transitioning from puppy food to adult food for your Poodle, it is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian (I can't say that enough).

Your vet can help determine your Poodle's current body condition score. You can decide which ‘maintenance' adult diet is best with this in hand.

Dog Food for Normal Body Condition Poodles

Royal Canin Poodle Breed Health Nutrition Adult

Royal Canin Poodle Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

A great place to start for an active, average body weight/condition Toy or Miniature Poodle is with Royal Canin Poodle Breed Health Nutrition Adult.

This is one of the best dog food for Poodles and is ideal for dogs over 10 months of age.

Royal Canin provides the right balance of nutrients to optimize a lean body condition over a lifetime. Like the Royal Canin Poodle puppy food, this food also has the optimal shape for digestibility.

Standard Poodles need similar nutrition to that of large breed dogs like Labradors. They also tend to stay on the thinner side, even when more sedentary.

Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula

Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula

Poodles also are notorious for having bad teeth, and Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula will help keep your dog's dental health in top form.

Eukanuba is a premium brand with a good track record for quality control. They also have a patented kibble shape/composition that helps to reduce tartar buildup within 28 days.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in this food help to protect your active dog's joints.

Best Dog Food for Very Active/Working/Athletic/Hunting Poodles

This may seem silly, considering some poodles' “froo-froo” appearance, but more and more live quite athletic lives with their puppy parents.

Native Performance Dog Food

NATIVE Performance Dog Food

If your Poodle is active in agility or hunting, she may need a higher calorie food than your average house dog. In this case, I recommend Native Performance Dog Food.

If your pup is training hard, this is the best dog food for Poodles that will meet his body's nutritional needs. Native provides different “levels” of nutrition, from Level 1 “off-season, low activity” food to Level 4 for dogs engaging in intense activity 4-5 hours a day.

The Best Dog Foods for Poodle: Senior Dogs

Toys and miniature poodles are known for having terrible teeth throughout their lives. You can help combat this with daily tooth brushing and regular veterinary care.

Your dog's food can also play a part in keeping its mouth as healthy and pain-free as possible.

The toy and miniature Poodle are also prone to what “old-timer” veterinarians call “Poodle disease” – or luxating patellas.

Luxating patellas (“floating kneecaps”) are common in toy and miniature poodles. Over a lifetime, this knee problem can cause significant cartilage degradation and early arthritis.

Hill’s Science Diet Active Longevity Meal

Hill's Science Diet Active Longevity Meal

I usually recommend Hill's Science Diet Active Longevity Meal with these common issues in mind. In my opinion, this dog food for Poodles looks as good as it sounds.

It contains age-appropriate nutrition in an easily chewed and digested format.

It also contains antioxidants (cranberries), chondroitin sulfate for joint health, and flaxseed for an omega-3 (EPA/DHA) boost.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Small & Toy Breed Age Defying Formula

Hill's Science Diet Adult 11+ Small & Toy Breed Age Defying Formula

I would also advise trying the Hill's Science Diet Adult 11+ Small & Toy Breed Age Defying Formula.

This Poodle dog food has excellent reviews from toy poodle parents on Hill's website, and I've had a positive experience with it myself.

It also contains a great blend of highly digestible ingredients, mind-boosting antioxidants, and joint-supporting omega-3 fatty acids.

This recipe does not contain any artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors.

Eukanuba Senior Maintenance

Eukanuba Senior MaintenanceStandard Poodles are considered “senior” or “geriatric” around eight years of age. As they age, their nutritional requirements change as well. Joints start to ache, and mental function can begin to decline.

Active ingredients in my top pick for seniors will help your Lab go strong for as long as possible.

Eukanuba Senior Maintenance is my recommendation for the best dog food for Poodles of the Standard type in their senior years.

Eukanuba is another high-quality dog food manufacturer with an excellent track record for quality products and high-quality control standards.

This food stands out due to its high antioxidants, which can help support proper cell function in aging dogs. It has also been proven to reduce tartar buildup on teeth by 46%.

Food To Avoid Feeding Your Poodle

You may want to add treats on top of the best dog food for toy poodles. However, there are a few foods that can be harmful and even fatal for your dogs:

Chocolate. The methylxanthines present in chocolates are poisonous and could lead to vomiting. 

Dairy. Most dog breeds, including poodles, cannot manage dairy well and this leads to digestion issues.

Raisin and grapes. These are very toxic to dogs, and overconsumption can lead to acute kidney disease and death in severe cases.

Garlic, chives, and onions. They consist of N-propyl disulfide that causes severe anemia in dogs leading to more serious illnesses in the future.

Macadamia nuts. This is poisonous to poodles and could lead to vomiting, tremors, and weakness two days after their intake.

Do Poodles Need a Special Diet?

Just like any other dog, your poodle would need the additional nutrients. That’s when your poodle would need a special diet.

The best dog food for poodles is those that have the essential nutrients along with other helpful vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Feeds with healthy fatty acids, probiotics, and glucosamine 

How Much Should a Standard Poodle Eat?

The standard Poodle puppy should be fed around 4 to 5 servings of the appropriate Poodle dog food. However, you can start to lessen the servings to 3 after 6 months.

Aside from needing all that nutrients to grow healthily, your Poodle pup has a small stomach, which is why they need more servings. 

Is Dry Dog Food Better Than Wet Dog Food for my Poodle?

Dry dog food is the ideal Poodle dog food when it comes to storage. You can keep them longer at room temperature as compared to wet dog food.

The best dog food for toy poodles is also dry ones. It helps prevent gum disease and tooth and maintains better dental health.

Do Poodles Need Grain-free Food?

It's not necessary, but it can be the ideal supplementary ingredient for the best dog food for toy poodles. 

Still, puppies tend to have sensitive stomachs and are prone to bloating. Be careful when introducing the best food for poodles with grains on it. 

By choosing the best food for poodles with grain, you will be giving them numerous nutritional benefits and it aids with their digestion. Just make sure not to overfeed them with Poodle dog food with high-grain content.

Best Dog Food for Poodles – Take Your Pick!

The best dog food for poodles will depend on the breed and age of your pooch. Regardless of these factors, it's important that you give a well-balanced meal every time. 

You don't really need to buy the most expensive poodle dog food to keep your pooch happy and healthy. Sometimes, all you need to do is research the dog food brands and consult with your vet.

That way, you don't only get the best dog food for toy poodles, but you will also have an idea about the supplementary diet and treats you can give to ensure their optimal growth.

READ NEXT: 10 Vet Recommended Dog Food Brands That Are Inexpensive


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Vet Recommended Best Dog Foods for Poodles