Best Dog Food for Poodles (8 Top Picks in 2021)

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

Last Update:

The Rundown

Premium Option: ORIJEN Dry Dog Food
“Give your energetic and very active poodle the nutrient it needs with the ORIJEN Dry Dog Food. It has everything they need – from nutrition, healthy supplements, and delicious flavor that your pup will surely love!”

Runner-up: Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food
“Looking for a dog food to give your poodle the optimum nutrition it needs? Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food has one of the highest Omega fatty acid levels on the market, not to mention its added LifeSource Bits to improve immune system health.

Best for Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
“A healthy diet for your beloved poodle doesn’t have to be expensive. With the Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food, your pup will get good levels of omega fatty acids along with k9 strain probiotics and healthy superfood ingredients.”

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The Poodle may look like a haughty show dog, but they were actually bred to be water retrievers.

This makes them highly active and always ready for a swim! 

And to keep up with their active lifestyle, you need to feed them dog food that meets their nutritional requirement.

Poodles come in different sizes – toy, miniature, and standard sizes.

No matter what size your beloved pet belongs, there’s a dog food for poodles specifically formulated for them.

And we’ve reviewed the top products on the market so you won’t have to do it yourself. Here are our top 8 picks:

Product Name
Premium Option
Best Value for Money
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 Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs, Chicken and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 91/100
Our Rating 89/100
Feature 1
All-natural, healthy ingredients
LifeSource Bits improve immune system health
Suitable for all life stages thanks to addition of DHA
Feature 2
Suitable for Poodles of all life stages
High levels of Omega fatty acids
K9 Strain probiotics included in each bite
Premium Option
Product Name
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 25lb
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
All-natural, healthy ingredients
Feature 2
Suitable for Poodles of all life stages
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Runner-up
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb
Our grade
Our Rating 91/100
Feature 1
LifeSource Bits improve immune system health
Feature 2
High levels of Omega fatty acids
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs, Chicken and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
Our grade
Our Rating 89/100
Feature 1
Suitable for all life stages thanks to addition of DHA
Feature 2
K9 Strain probiotics included in each bite
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
8
Products tested

Best Dog Food for Poodles (8 Top Picks in 2021)

1. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food

Premium Option: High in protein and fat, best for active Poodles 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Variety of flavors, including a small breed-specific recipe 
  • Suitable for Poodles of all life stages 
  • All-natural, healthy ingredients 
  • Added probiotics for digestive health

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

If your Poodle is energetic and lives an active lifestyle, they’d do well with ORIJEN Dry Dog Food. It’s packed with all the nutrients and supplements your dog needs, and comes in three flavors. Even the picky eaters will love it!

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Premium Quality Ingredient List 

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. 

Each flavor contains multiple proteins, but also avoids common 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. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food

Runner-Up Option: Promotes immune and digestive system health 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Three different flavors, all made for small breeds 
  • LifeSource Bits improve immune system health 
  • Added joint supplements 
  • High levels of Omega fatty acids

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food is a brilliant choice for all Poodle breeds. Three recipes offer some flavor choice, as well as the chance to avoid problem ingredients. LifeSource Bits in this food improve the immune system, which helps with overall health and wellness.

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Overall Health Boost 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula dry dog food recipes contain the highest quality ingredients. 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. We recommend Blue Buffalo food for dogs who need an immune boost.

3. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Great and affordable nutrition for all Poodles

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Suitable for all life stages thanks to addition of DHA 
  • Good levels of Omega fatty acids for coat health 
  • Healthy ingredients including superfoods 
  • K9 Strain probiotics included in each bite

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

If you’re on a budget, Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is a fantastic choice. At less than a dollar per pound for a 40-lb bag of kibble, both Poodle and parent will be happy with this dry dog food. Despite it’s lovely price tag, it’s loaded with healthy, high-quality ingredients.

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Great for Multi-Dog Families 

Feeding more than one dog can be pricey! This top-quality dog food will suit Poodle puppies, adults, and seniors. 

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.

4. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Best for Skin and Coat: Highest Omegas for a luxurious coat 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

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 
  • Probiotics for digestive system health

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

Poodle dogs have beautiful hypoallergenic coats that are hair, not fur. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food contains the best ingredients to keep that hair soft, healthy, and looking stunning. It will also keep their skin moisturized and supple.

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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.

5. Solid Gold Holistic Dry Dog Food

Best Without Glucosamine: Range of high-quality, grain-free recipes 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Variety of flavors to choose from 
  • Made specifically for small breed dogs 
  • Small kibble size for little jaws and teeth 
  • Gut health recipe

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

If your Poodle is already taking a joint-strengthening supplement, then you can choose a dog food without it. Solid Gold Holistic Dry Dog Food is our best choice for a glucosamine-free dry dog food for Poodles of all sizes. 

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Perfect for Small/High Energy Standard Poodles 

With a variety of protein and fat counts across the five recipes, this grain-free dry dog food is perfect for toy and miniature Poodles, and will be more than adequate for energetic standard Poodles. 

Although it’s missing glucosamine, this food is created specifically for gut health. You’ll find probiotics in every bite, as well as DHA for the puppies and seniors.

6. ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food

Best for Poodle Puppies: Healthy ingredients and a full range of supplements 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • High in protein and fat for active puppies 
  • Contains DHA and EPA for healthy development 
  • High Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids 
  • Good calcium and phosphorus ratio for growing puppies

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

Poodle puppies need more specific nutrition than adults, and ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food offers all they need in terms of nutrition. Your Poodle puppy should thrive on this kibble! 

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Biologically Appropriate Puppy Food 

Everything in this grain-free dry dog food is natural and healthy, sourced from the natural food your Poodle puppy would eat in the wild. 

It contains 38% protein and 20% fat, so make sure your puppy gets enough exercise. You’ll also find a full range of supplements in this food, including DHA, EPA, glucosamine, chondroitin, and a healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio.

7. Diamond Naturals Dry Senior Dog Food

Best for Poodle Seniors: Affordable and healthy senior-specific dog food 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Very affordable senior dog food 
  • Slightly lower in fat to accommodate less active seniors 
  • Contains L-carnitine for energy regulation 
  • Joint supplements added

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

Diamond Naturals Dry Senior Dog Food is ideal for senior dogs, and is also extremely affordable. It’s not grain-free, but brown rice, white rice, and oatmeal are healthy and add fiber. It’s made specifically with senior dogs in mind. 

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Senior Supplements 

Real chicken is the first ingredient, which is easy to digest. Superfood fruits and veggies add an array of vitamins and minerals. 

As well as a high-quality ingredient list, the added supplements make this dog food perfect for older dogs. The Omegas are high enough to keep their skin and coat looking beautiful as they age. 

Joint supplements keep your senior mobile and pain-free, and L-carnitine helps with energy regulation and metabolism.

8. Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food

Breed-Specific Recipe:  Provide nutrients specific for poodle needs

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Created specifically for Poodles 
  • Contains questionable ingredients, including grains with gluten and by-products 
  • DHA and EPA added 
  • Contains joint supplements

CONS

  • Con 1
  • Con 2
  • Con 3

Some Poodle parents may want to feed their dog a food that’s been made specifically for Poodle breeds. We’ve added Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food to our list so you can compare it quickly and easily to the others. 

We don’t advise choosing this dog food. Don’t assume that just because it’s made for Poodles, it’s good for Poodles!

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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.


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 for Poodles, 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.


Questions & Answers

Should Poodles Eat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food? 

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.

Is Chicken Bad for Poodles? 

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!

What Foods Are Poodles Allergic To? 

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

Not all 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.

How Should I Feed My Poodle? 

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!