5 of the Best Dog Food for Poodles (Top Picks in 2021)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Quick Picks

  • Best Food for Poodles OverallORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    “This dog food is a well-rounded, biologically appropriate diet with exceptionally high glucosamine content, keeping your Poodle’s hip and joints strong to prevent dysplasia.”
  • Best for Senior Poodles: Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food
    “Your aging Poodle needs extra joint and digestive support which this dog food provides. It has the highest amount of glucosamine on the market and it utilizes highly digestible ingredients for easy digestion.”
  • Best Immune System BoostBlue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
    “Protect your beloved pooch from any autoimmune disease and keep him as healthy as can be with an antioxidant rich diet. This Life Protection formula from Blue Buffalo is the immune system boost your dog needs.”

Poodles come in different sizes – toy, miniature, and standard. Each type has its own health concerns that requires special attention. Toy poodles, for example, usually suffer from skin tumors and bladder stones.

All poodles are prone to hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Fortunately, these major health risks can be prevented or managed with a complete and balanced diet that is loaded with joint-fortifying supplements and amino acids

We’ve reviewed the best dog foods for poodles that address these health issues while making sure your pooch enjoys every single bite.

Product Name
Best Food for Poodles Overall
Best for Senior Poodles
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Orijen Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 25lb, Blue, 25 Pound (Pack of 1), 400 Ounce
Diamond Naturals Senior Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken, 35Lb
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Oatmeal 15-Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 91/100
Our Rating 89/100
Feature 1
Loaded with joint-fortifying supplement, glucosamine and chondroitin to help prevent hip dysplasia
Highest amount of glucosamine in a dog food, ideal for aging poodles
Wholesome ingredients combined with LifeSource Bits to improve immune system health
Feature 2
Significant amount of DHA and EPA with added probiotics for digestive health
Highly digestible ingredients combined with a proprietary probiotic
High levels of Omega fatty acids to nourish skin and maintain shiny coat
Best Food for Poodles Overall
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Orijen Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 25lb, Blue, 25 Pound (Pack of 1), 400 Ounce
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Loaded with joint-fortifying supplement, glucosamine and chondroitin to help prevent hip dysplasia
Feature 2
Significant amount of DHA and EPA with added probiotics for digestive health
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best for Senior Poodles
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Senior Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken, 35Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 91/100
Feature 1
Highest amount of glucosamine in a dog food, ideal for aging poodles
Feature 2
Highly digestible ingredients combined with a proprietary probiotic
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Immune System Boost
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Oatmeal 15-Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 89/100
Feature 1
Wholesome ingredients combined with LifeSource Bits to improve immune system health
Feature 2
High levels of Omega fatty acids to nourish skin and maintain shiny coat
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Sources researched
24
Sources researched
Customer reviews
23,478
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
18
Hours spent testing
Products tested
5
Products tested

Common Health Problems in Poodles 

Poodle parents, we know you want your dog to be as healthy as possible. Even if you’re feeding them the best dog food, keep an eye on them to spot any signs and symptoms of common health problems. 

The sooner you notice something and get them seen to, the better their health will be over time. These health issues can affect toy Poodles, miniature Poodles, and standard Poodles. 

Hip Dysplasia 

Knee, elbow, and hip dysplasia is when the joint dislocates. It can be very painful for your Poodle! It happens frequently in highly active dogs, and needs a vet to put it back in place. 

Choosing a dog food containing joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin will help prevent the joints dislocating. 

Epilepsy 

This is a genetic condition that can be frightening for both human and dog. It may not always be a full-blown fit. Symptoms can include excessive drooling, pacing, unresponsiveness, or repetitive actions. 

Feeding your pup the best dog food for Poodles can help prevent seizures as they contain high levels of Omegas, which nourish the brain tissue. 

Hypoglycemia 

Low blood sugar often develops puppies (of all dog breeds). Toy Poodles and miniature Poodles are also at risk. Weakness, tremors, or clumsiness are symptoms of this immune-weakening condition. 

You don’t need to choose a specific Poodle puppy dry dog food, but you do need to make sure that your puppy or little Poodle eats enough. 

Adrenal Gland Problems 

Cushing’s Disease and Addison’s Disease are two common conditions. Cushing’s is when your Poodle’s adrenal glands produce too much cortisol (the stress hormone). In Addison’s, the adrenal glands stop producing the necessary hormones. 

The best dog food for your Poodle will help to improve their immune system, lessening the chances of these diseases. 

Thyroid Problems 

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are both genetic issues in toy Poodles, mini Poodles, and standard Poodles. In one case, the thyroid doesn’t produce enough important hormones, and in the other, it produces too much. 

Choosing the right recipe dry dog food for your pup can make all the difference. The addition of kelp improves thyroid function. Avoid foods with gullet in the ingredients, which can cause hyperthyroidism. 

Bloat 

The standard Poodle is more at risk of this, as it happens most often to large breed dogs. This is when gas gets trapped in the stomach, causing twisting and blockages. 

Choose a larger kibble size so your Poodle can’t eat too fast. If you notice the symptoms—a swollen abdomen, excessive drooling, rapid breathing, distress—you’ll need to get your Poodle to a vet immediately. 

If you have a small breed Poodle, you don’t need to worry much about this condition. 


Key Nutrients that Poodles Need in their Diet

A complete and balanced diet will contain a variety of nutrients. Each of these is equally as important to your dog’s health, contributing in a different way to the immune system, digestive system, and the rest of the body. 

Protein & Fat 

Protein builds muscle, and fat gives your dog energy. Poodle breeds are naturally active dogs, so they need a good muscle tone to be able to keep up with their daily activity. A good protein count could be anywhere from 26% upwards, and the first ingredient should be an animal protein. 

As for fat, the more active the Poodle, the more fat they can burn through. 15% is a good minimum, with extremely energetic dogs being able to deal with a fat count in the 20s. 

Toy Poodle dogs, miniature, and standard large breed Poodles all need a high protein diet. Don’t be fooled into thinking that small breed Poodles don’t need as much protein or fat! In fact, they need more than the larger fellows. 

Omega Fatty Acids 

Omegas are essential in dog foods for toy, miniature, and standard Poodles. This is thanks to the Poodle’s beautiful hair – yes, hair, not fur! 

These nutrients are essential in dog foods. One of the reasons we advocate dry kibble and not wet dog food is the presence of high levels of Omegas in dry food. They’re necessary for a balanced diet. 

Your pup’s dog food should contain at least 2% Omega 3s to be considered to be good for their hair. All the dog food on our list is great for skin and coat health! 

High Omega levels also contribute to a healthy immune system, reduce the chances of certain health concerns (skin allergies, seizures), and keep your dog’s skin moisturized. 

Vitamins, Minerals, and Probiotics 

Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are necessary nutrients for a balanced diet and a healthy pooch. While you won’t necessarily find vitamins on a guaranteed analysis list, it’s easy to figure out if a dog food contains them. 

A high-quality food with high-quality ingredients that includes animal protein and real fruits and vegetables is guaranteed to contain enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to improve your dog’s health. 

Probiotics are also great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. These help make dog food easy to digest thanks to healthy gut bacteria which restore the natural balance in your dog’s digestive system. 

This is another reason we recommend dry kibble over wet dog food. There’s just not enough of the good stuff in wet food! 


Ingredients to Look for in Dog Foods for Poodles 

High-Quality Protein Source 

Whether your Poodle is a small breed or a large breed, a high-quality animal protein source is essential. This should be the first ingredient on the list! It can come in a few forms, eg. real chicken or chicken meal. 

Fish is a great choice, as it’s  not only high protein, but it’s also packed with fatty acids that will nourish your dog’s hair and skin. 

A high protein diet will keep your dog’s muscles tough and maintain muscle mass. It also helps them to keep in shape and keep the weight off, as long as they’re getting enough exercise! 

Healthy Carbohydrates 

Your dog still needs carbs. You can choose a grain-free recipe if you wish, or you can simply avoid grains with gluten. Corn, wheat, and soy need to be avoided. 

Fruits and vegetables are brilliant carb sources. Not only do they contain a bunch of vitamins and antioxidants, but starchy veggies like sweet potato and pumpkin are great fiber, which helps soothe sensitive tummies. 

Omega Fatty Acids 

You won’t necessarily know what ingredients provide these fatty acids, but you’ll be able to see the levels on the food label. 

Often, wet food or canned food doesn’t contain much of this. Although it contains moisture and it may be tempting to choose one of these to brighten your dog’s coat, a dry food is recommended. 

Other Supplements 

Whether you’re feeding puppies or adult dogs, added supplements can make all the difference to the natural balance of their health. 

Joint supplements (glucosamine and chondroitin) help to reduce the chances of joint dysplasia in adult dogs and build strong joints in puppies. 

L-carnitine is a great senior supplement, as it helps regulate energy metabolism and keep seniors energetic. 

DHA and EPA are a necessary thing to see in puppy food. These fatty acids help to build strong eyes and brain tissue. 

Other things you may see are vitamins, taurine (great for heart health), and probiotics, which often show up with long names like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Enterococcus faecium. 


Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Foods for Poodles 

Artificial Ingredients 

Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives should be avoided as far as possible. Not only do they offer no nutritional value at all, but they can actually make a sensitive stomach worse! 

The best food for your dog will be naturally preserved, and use natural ingredients to both color and flavor the food. 

Any ingredients such as “caramel color”, “red 40”, or vague ingredients like “flavoring” should be avoided. When choosing dog food, wellness needs to be considered in terms of how the food is processed and preserved as well as the ingredients! 

Grains Containing Gluten 

You don’t need to go completely grain-free when choosing the best food for your dog. But it’s definitely advisable to choose one that doesn’t contain gluten. Gluten is not easily digested by dogs, and certainly doesn’t offer much nutrition. 

Stay away from corn and corn gluten meal, wheat and wheat gluten, and soy and its products. Instead, choose rice, oatmeal, barley, millet, sorghum, or quinoa. These are not only healthy and nutritious, but they also add a bit of extra fiber to your dog’s diet

By-Products 

Don’t be fooled into thinking by-products count as animal protein. By-products aren’t always necessarily bad, but there’s always a chance that they contain things like beaks, hooves, and hair. 

Obviously, these things may aggravate a sensitive stomach, and provide less nutrition than proper animal muscle and organ meat. Your dog may be perfectly okay eating chicken, but chicken meal could cause digestive upset.

What is the Best Dog Food for Poodles?

  1. Best Food for Poodles Overall: ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  2. Best for Senior Poodles: Diamond Naturals Senior Dry Dog Food
  3. Best Immune System Boost: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
  4. Best for Cardiovascular Health: Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food
  5. Best for Skin and Coat: Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food

1. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best Food for Poodles Overall: Incredibly high glucosamine and chondroitin content combined with essential amino acids DHA & EPA

PROS

  • Highly concentrated protein with 85% animal ingredients
  • Mainly made from fresh and raw ingredients
  • Loaded with joint-fortifying supplement, glucosamine and chondroitin to help prevent hip dysplasia
  • Significant amount of DHA and EPA with added probiotics for digestive health

Glucosamine and chondroitin are joint fortifying supplements that are crucial in a poodle’s diet, and this grain free dog food contains one of the highest amounts of these on the market. This is necessary to prevent or at least manage hip dysplasia which is a common health risk among poodles.

It also contains a good amount of DHA and EPA which are

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Poodles can suffer from food allergies and sensitive stomachs. But choosing this recipe range offers them a variety of flavors without exposing them to possible allergens. The only thing your dog may have to worry about is legumes

A full range of supplements including glucosamine and chondroitin, DHA and EPA, high Omegas, and probiotics rounds it out perfectly for all Poodle sizes.

2. Diamond Naturals Senior Dry Dog Food

Best for Senior Poodles: Highest joint fortifying supplements content on the market especially for aging dogs who are prone to hip dysplasia

PROS

  • Highest amount of glucosamine in a dog food, ideal for aging poodles
  • Highly digestible ingredients combined with a proprietary probiotic
  • Contains Taurine to keep your dog’s heart healthy and strong
  • Rich in Omega fatty acids necessary to maintain a healthy skin and coat

Aside from being the most affordable dog food on the market, Diamond Naturals Senior Dry Dog Food also has the highest amount of glucosamine you can find. Poodles are prone to hip dysplasia and having this supplement is crucial, especially for aging dogs.

The ingredients used in this recipe are easily digestible and, combined with a special probiotic, should be easy on your pooch’s tummy. Protein content is within the recommended amount, along with fat and carbohydrates. The added taurine provides extra support for your dog’s cardiovascular health.

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This top-quality dog food will suit poodles at any life stage but is especially beneficial for senior dogs. It’s loaded with joint-fortifying substances to help prevent hip dysplasia.

Poodle puppies and seniors will get a dose of DHA to keep eyes and brain cells healthy. Probiotics have been added for sensitive stomachs. The Omega levels will nourish skin and coat, keeping your Poodle fluffy. 

The downside is that there’s only one flavor. If your Poodle is sensitive to chicken you may need to shop around.

3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food

Best Immune System Boost: Loaded with Vitamins, chelated minerals and antioxidants to maintain a strong immune system

PROS

  • Wholesome ingredients combined with LifeSource Bits to improve immune system health 
  • Significant amount of joint supplements to prevent hip dysplasia
  • High levels of Omega fatty acids to nourish skin and maintain shiny coat

Poodles are susceptible to autoimmune disease and keeping a strong immune system is important. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food provides the protection your poodle needs by giving them a much needed immune system boost.

This dog food features proprietary LifeSource bits which, combined with antioxidants-rich ingredients, significantly improve your dog’s immune system. Three recipes offer some flavor choice, as well as the chance to avoid problem ingredients.

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Aside from keeping your dog protected from autoimmune diseases, it also provides the necessary minerals for keeping his joints and hip strong. It has a decent amount of glucosamine as well as an unusually high amount of Omega-6 fatty acids which help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

You’ll find healthy grains in the form of brown rice, oatmeal and barley, but be aware that all recipes contain chicken meal and potato, which some dogs may be sensitive to. 

Ingredients like sweet potato and pumpkin do wonders to counter a sensitive tummy. Fruits and herbs add vitamins and minerals, and you’ll also find naturally occurring gut bacteria for gut health.

4. Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food

Best for Cardiovascular Health: Contains Taurine and Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce the risk of heart disease in your Poodle

PROS

  • Breed-specific formula that contains significant amount of joint-fortifying substances
  • Rich in Taurine, DHA and EPA which promote cardiovascular health 
  • Packed with antioxidants to maintain a strong immune system

If you’re looking for a poodle-specific diet, this formula is especially crafted for purebred Poodles and is highly recommended for miniature and toy poodles. It contains the recommended amount of protein, fat, and fiber with incredible addition of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.

This dog food is a complete diet for your Poodle with a helpful addition of taurine and omega fatty acids DHA and EPA which help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart disease in your pooch.

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Breed-Specific – Better or Not? 

When it comes to added supplements, Royal Canin does well to cater for Poodles. They include DHA and EPA, making this dog food suitable for adults, puppies, and seniors. Glucosamine and chondroitin keep your Poodle’s joints strong. 

Where they fail is in the ingredient quality. Corn, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, and chicken by-products are all likely to aggravate a Poodle’s sensitive stomach. 

We can’t in good conscience recommend this dry dog food, Royal Canin’s reputation as a dog food giant aside.

5. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Best for Skin and Coat: Contains a great amount of Omega fatty acids which are essential in keeping your dog’s skin and coat at its best

PROS

  • Unusually high Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids 
  • Great protein and fat counts for the average Poodle 
  • Added vitamin A, C, and E for improved brain, vision, and immune system health
  • Rich in probiotics that promote healthy digestive system

Poodle dogs have beautiful hypoallergenic coats that are hair, not fur. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food contains ingredients that are rich in Omega fatty acids, keeping their skin properly nourished and their coat shiny.

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Unusually High Omegas 

This small breed dry dog food offers your Poodle everything they need to stay healthy and energetic, and spruces up their hair at the same time. It’s not a grain-free food, but contains only healthy stuff. 

The Omega 3s and 6s in this dog food are higher than others, with the 6s sitting at 3%, and the 3s at an impressive 2%. This, along with the added vitamin E, C, and A, will keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.


Questions & Answers

Q: Should Poodles Eat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food? 

A: Grains containing gluten have the potential to cause digestive trouble. But that doesn’t mean you need to go completely grain-free. As long as you’re selective about the grains in the food you choose, your dog should be fine. This goes for toy Poodles as well as large breed Poodles. 

That said, there are some great grain-free options out there. If you want to choose one for your dog’s diet, there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you stick to a high protein food, your dog should be just fine.

Q: Is Chicken Bad for Poodles? 

A: Not every dog will react the same way to food. For one dog, chicken may be a great, high protein ingredient that improves their health. For another, it may cause an allergic reaction. 

You’ll need to carefully monitor your own Poodle to find out if chicken is an issue for him or her. If it is, you’ll need to avoid all foods containing it – that includes chicken meal, which can find its way into ingredient lists hidden amongst other things. 

The same goes for other protein sources, though, and even some carbs. Pay attention and find out what your dog reacts badly to!

Q: What Foods Are Poodles Allergic To? 

A: The answer to this depends on the Poodle. Some common allergens include chicken, beef, lamb, potato, corn, soy, wheat, and artificial ingredients. 

Not all What Foods Are Poodles Allergic To? dogs will be the same, though! Some Poodles may have a very hardy stomach, while others will be so sensitive they need a limited ingredient food.

Q: How Should I Feed My Poodle? 

A: Firstly, make sure you know how many calories your dog should be eating every day. A toy Poodle can do with around 300 calories a day if they’re moderately active, 450 if they’re very energetic. This is around a cup (maybe less) of most kibble. 

If your dog is a miniature, they’ll need 500 to 700 calories per day. The large breed standard Poodle needs around 1300 calories a day. If they’re a working dog or extremely active, they can eat up to 2000 per day. 

Split this number between two meals a day for adults. Consider how many calories are in the food they’re eating, and calculate accordingly. Puppies will need to be fed three or four times a day until about a year, when they can be transitioned to two meals a day.


Conclusion 

No matter the size, shape, or temperament of your Poodle, they need the right food to be happy and healthy! Thankfully, it’s not hard to choose the best dog food for Poodles if you know what to look for. 

Whether your Poodle is a service dog, a show dog, or simply a cuddly buddy, making sure they’re eating right, getting regular checkups, and getting enough exercise will keep their health up. 

Don’t forget to give them plenty of love as well as good food! 

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.