dog food for poodles


Poodles are prone to obesity and other diseases if not fed properly.

– The best dog food for Poodles should be based on age, size, and nutritional needs.

– Some dog food brands are recommended by veterinarians and experts for Poodles.

– Always check with your vet before transitioning a new food brand to your dog.

If you're looking for the best dog food for Poodles, chances are you're a Poodle parent!

In that case—hey there.

As a veterinarian, Poodle parents often ask me to recommend the best dog food brands for their furballs.

Poodles are one of the most diverse dog breeds out there.

However, they're also prone to obesity, especially as they grow older.

And while there are many factors to Poodle obesity, giving them an improper amount of food definitely tops the bill.

According to Dr. Tammy Owens, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Saskatchewan:

“Pets have adopted a human lifestyle. As a result, pet obesity has followed the human obesity trend. Unfortunately, pets are getting high-fat, high-calorie treats, human food, toppers, etc., which are unhealthy and promote a higher risk of developing obesity. Ultimately, dogs are just getting too many calories from unbalanced foods or “empty calories.” Furthermore, dogs also eat in the same pattern as people, which is, too often and not balanced with enough exercise.”

You see?

It's essential to find the best dog food for Poodles to fit your dog's nutritional profile and feed them according to their needs.

You should first consider your dog's current activity levels, health conditions, age and life stage, and other variables.

You sure wouldn't want to feed your dog with foods that aren't beneficial to them, would you?

Below, I will take a closer look at the Poodle breed across all sizes.

We'll also discuss their general needs and nutritional requirements before we review some of the best dog foods for Poodles.

Best Dog Food for Poodles: A Closer Look at the Breed

Poodle Type

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

Did you know that the Poodle was once a duck-retrieving dog?

It's true!

The Poodle has also been around for over a century and was developed in France and Germany.

Over the past 100 years, the breed has been molded into the variations we know today.

As you may know, there are three “types” of poodles—toy, miniature, and standard.

While they all have unique features, they all fall under the same  American Kennel Club (AKC) governing standard.

Each type looks identical to the others except for the size.

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

Nutritional Needs

It's this dynamic nature that makes it challenging to feed a Poodle.

No matter what size you own, you must find the best dog food for Poodles to meet the breed's nutritional requirements.

And above that, your specific dog's needs.

But Dr. Shores, should I feed my toy poodle less because she's small? And is puppy food okay?

My advice is: 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 will also help if you do your research (which is where this article comes into play.)

I wrote this article based on my and my expert colleagues' recommended dog food brands for Poodles.

We will discuss them based on their different life stages and body condition.

However, this is important: DO NOT switch your Poodle's diet on your own.

If this is your purpose in reading this article, I suggest you bookmark this article, start the car, and go to the vet clinic.

Continue reading when your vet gives you the advice you need on feeding your Poodle based on 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 every feed differs.

There are certain factors, even in the best food for poodles, that you must consider before buying one. 

Here are the important factors to keep you guided:


The type of poodle dog food you'll buy will depend on her life stage.

During the puppy stage (and gestation period, too!), 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

Yes, your poodle dog food will vary depending on your pooch's 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.

Nothing wrong with that.

However, if your vet recommends having a mixed feed, you might need to combine wet and dry feed for your pooch.


The golden rule when buying the best food for poodles is 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 suitable for the poodles, depending on their age and breed size.

What to Feed a Poodle Puppy

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 Puppy Food: Toy and Miniature

Royal Canin’s Poodle puppy formula

Royal Canin Poodle Dry Dog Food

This Royal Canin's Poodle puppy formula for Toy and Mini Poodles is one of the trusted brands for pups.

I always recommend this to new owners of puppy Poodles.

Royal Canin provides excellent quality nutrition and a “pedigree” to support its reputation.

They've also done the legwork in developing the most digestible food for Poodle puppies.

And did you notice your Poodle's long muzzle and “scissors” bite?

The unique flat, square kibble of Royal Canin makes it easier for their small mouths to pick up and chew.

This food should be given to your dog for up to 10 months.

Best Puppy Food for Standard Poodle

Standard poodles are less likely to have developmental orthopedic diseases like 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.

Of course, you don't want your Standard Poodle to develop these.

This is why feeding your Poodle enough of the right balance of nutrients is crucial.

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.

For this, 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.

Also, all Hill's Science Diet products are made from North American raw materials in the USA.

If you are interested in Hill's specialty line, they now have Diet Dry Dog Food.

The Best Dog Foods for Adult Poodles

My puppy's now an adult! What should I feed him?

My advice: Consult your veterinarian. (I can't say that enough!)

Whether you're looking for new food for your adult Poodle or transitioning him from puppy to adult food, you should call your vet.

After all, he knows your Poodle's current body condition score.

Poodle Food for Normal Body Condition

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 of a 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 also has the optimal shape for digestibility.

Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula

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

And I don't know about yours, but my Poodle has had a serious case of bad breath.

Poodles also are notorious for having bad teeth.

For this, I recommend the Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula to help maintain your dog's dental health.

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.

It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, both natural building blocks of cartilage in the bone.

They help protect your active dog's joints.

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

Yes, Poodles can be active animals!

Considering some poodles' “froo-froo” appearance, I know it seems silly.

However, more and more are living quite athletic lives with their puppy parents!

Native Performance Dog Food

NATIVE Performance Dog Food

Suppose your Poodle is active in agility or hunting. In that case, she will need 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 to meet her 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.

Ask your vet about which level you should have your dog eat.

The Best Dog Foods for Senior Poodles

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 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 has 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 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.

Plus, 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 Maintenance

Standard 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 Poodle 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

I love giving my Poodle her treats. Surely, that's not to be avoided, no?


You can add treats on top of the best dog food for poodles.

Just make sure they're healthy and nutritious too!

If you're looking for ideas, check out our other articles about this:

However, there are treats for you that shouldn't be a treat for your pooch.

These delicious snacks for us are harmful and fatal for our dogs:

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

Dairy. Most dog breeds, including poodles, cannot manage dairy well, leading s 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 intake.

FAQs about the Best Dog Food for Poodles

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 with essential nutrients and other helpful vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

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 reduce the servings to 3 after 6 months.

Aside from needing all that nutrients to grow healthily, your Poodle pup has a small stomach, so 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 for storage. 

You can keep them longer at room temperature than wet dog food.

Even toy poodles, they're better off with dry food.

It helps prevent gum disease and tooth and maintains better dental health.

Do Poodles Need Grain-free Food?

It's unnecessary, 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, you must give a well-balanced meal every time.

You don't 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.

Still, you will also have an idea about the supplementary diet and treats you can give to ensure their optimal growth.

If you want more Poodles or dog nutrition articles, click the following links!

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Vet Recommended Best Dog Foods for Poodles

In the last 8 years, Dr. Shores has worked as a clinical veterinarian for dogs, cats, small mammals and non-human primates as well as a writer on the subject of pet health. Her passion is breaking down the intricacies of proper dog health care and dog nutrition.