How To Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Cockapoo

How To Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Cockapoo

A cross between a cocker spaniel and a miniature poodle, the cockapoo is an excellent companion dog with a happy disposition. Boasting a fun-loving personality and all the fluffiness of a teddy bear, there's a lot to love about this small dog breed.

Whether you have plans to bring home a cockapoo puppy or already have an adult Cockapoo living under your roof, one fact remains: You want to treat your beloved pup to the best food to fuel a long, happy, and healthy life. But with so many brands to choose from, where do you even start?

It all boils down to understanding the unique nutritional needs of the cockapoo. From there, you'll know what to look for (and what to avoid) when selecting the best cockapoo dog food.

What To Look for in Dog Food for Cockapoos

Cockapoos, like any other breed, are prone to some health problems that include food allergies, sensitivities, joint problems, and obesity—so choosing a food that supports your pup's health and wellness is important. As you explore brands and food options for your cockapoo, there are some specific things you'll want to look for.

High-Quality Protein

Lean protein is an important part of any dog's diet, but this is especially true for Cockapoos, which are susceptible to pancreatitis. This disease can lead to severe symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, poor appetite, and diarrhea—but a diet that is high in quality protein and low in fat can help cockapoos avoid this common ailment.

When shopping for dog food, look for a lean protein source as the main ingredient. Real chicken, turkey, fish, beef, or venison are all excellent choices that are high in protein and lower in fat.

Limited, High-Quality Fat

Speaking of fat, the smaller frame and size of a cockapoo make this breed more prone to obesity and the health complications that come along with it. Because of this, it's important to limit fat in your dog's diet and stick with high-quality fat sources. Fish, such as salmon, is a great source of healthy protein and fat for cockapoos; it even has added omega fatty acids to promote joint health and healthy skin.

Complex Carbohydrates

A balance of high protein, fat, and carbohydrates is a must for cockapoos at all life stages, but it's important to understand that some carbs are better than others. While all carbohydrates play a vital role in providing energy for your dog, complex carbs contain more vitamins and nutrients than simple carbs. Some examples of complex carbohydrates to look for in dog food include barley, oats, whole wheat, brown rice, millet, and potato or sweet potato.

Meets AAFCO Nutritional Requirements

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets nutritional requirements for dog and cat food sold in the United States. In order for a food to be considered "complete and balanced," it must meet certain standards to support a pet's healthy growth or maintenance:

  • 18% protein for maintenance in adult dogs (22% for puppies)
  • 5% fat for maintenance in adult dogs (8% for puppies)
  • Minerals, such as calcium
  • Vitamins, such as vitamin A, E, and B12

How do you know if a pet food you're looking at meets AAFCO requirements? Look for a label on the package that says something like, "Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that this product provides complete and balanced nutrition."

Human Grade

Finally, look for dog food made in a human grade kitchen—like The Honest Kitchen. Specifically, human grade dog food is made to such high standards that it's actually suitable for human consumption based on USDA requirements. This can give you some peace of mind that the food you're offering your cockapoo contains the same quality ingredients you'd enjoy yourself and was processed and packaged to the same standards as your own food.

When searching for human grade dog food, watch out for foods that claim to be made from "human grade ingredients," as this is not the same thing as being a completely human grade food.

Foods and Ingredients To Avoid

Just as there are certain things to look for in the best dog food for your cockapoo, there are some specific ingredients you'll want to avoid for your pet's health and wellness. Unfortunately, these ingredients can be found in many dog food brands, including some of the most popular feed grade brands on the market. The best way to spot them? Carefully scrutinize the ingredients label of any dog food before you buy.

Unidentifiable Meats

The first ingredient in your dog's food should be a real meat protein source, such as cage free chicken or ranch raised beef. Unfortunately, some dog food brands use "mystery meats" that are cheaply sourced and low quality. If the ingredient label on a dog food bag lists "meat meal," "meat by-product meal," or "meat and bone meal" as a main ingredient, there's a good chance they're using low-quality meat. This might even include meat from 4D animals (disabled, dying, diseased, or dead before processing).

Rendered Fats

Rendered fats are typically derived when 4D meats are cooked at a very high temperature, concentrating the animal fat and tissues to be used in dog food. Cockapoos especially need to avoid rendered fats in their diet because these low-quality fats can increase the risk of pancreatitis—a disease that this breed is already prone to.

Rendered ingredients in dog food are typically listed as "meals," so here's yet another reason to watch out for this phrasing as you shop for dog food. Instead, look for food with quality fat sources, such as fish oil, eggs, nuts and seeds, and plant oils.

Artificial Food Coloring

You may have already heard that artificial food coloring, such as red dye 40, has been linked to such side effects as hyperactivity and migraines in humans. There's a good chance that dogs consuming foods with artificial colors and dyes could suffer from similar problems. Unfortunately, a lot of popular dog food brands use artificial colors to make their kibble look more appealing.

Look for a dog food brand that doesn't use any artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, or fillers, like The Honest Kitchen. Remember: Quality dog food shouldn't need anything artificial added to make it look appealing or taste great to your dog—it's all about high-quality, nutrition-packed ingredients!

Highly Processed Ingredients (Like Meat Meal)

Heavily processed dog foods often contain preservatives and other ingredients that can be detrimental to your dog's health. Many dog foods are processed using high-temperature methods that not only destroy the food's nutrient content but also release carcinogenic chemicals. The result? Some studies suggest that highly processed foods may increase your dog's risk of developing cancer, among other health problems.

Again, this is where looking for ingredients like chicken meal and fish meal can help you spot dog foods that have been overly processed and contain lower-quality ingredients. Unfortunately, this is the case with many feed grade dog food brands. To serve your cockapoo the best dog food, look for human grade brands that are minimally processed using gentle heating methods.

Corn Syrup

Although corn syrup is not inherently toxic to dogs, consuming large amounts of it over a period of time can lead to some serious health issues. Corn syrup can cause eye problems (such as cataracts), allergies, weight gain, and obesity in dogs. Because these are problems that cockapoos are already prone to, it's best to avoid corn syrup altogether when shopping for your dog's ideal food.

Best Food for Cockapoos: The Honest Kitchen's Picks

As the first human-grade pet food brand, The Honest Kitchen takes great pride in serving up the highest quality ingredients for your cockapoo to enjoy. All of our processes follow human food safety standards, and we use only high-quality, thoughtfully sourced proteins. Explore a few of our top picks for Cockapoos below.

1) Whole Grain Chicken Clusters for Small Breeds

Our Whole Grain Chicken Clusters are made with 100% cage free chicken (no rendered meats) and were created by a veterinary nutritionist to deliver all the essentials small breed dogs need in each delicious bite. Grab a bag today to discover your new favorite dry dog food!

Ingredient List

  • Cage free chicken
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Chicken liver
  • Carrots
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Eggs
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Apples


Whole grain dry dog food

Why It's Great for Cockapoos

With lean protein as the first ingredient, this dry dog food is ideal for cockapoos who need high-quality protein and low fat in their diet. Meanwhile, ingredients like flaxseed and salmon oil deliver essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids your dog needs to thrive.

2) Dehydrated Limited-Ingredient Fish

This limited-ingredient recipe is ideal for dogs with food sensitivities or picky pups who just prefer to keep things simple. This gently dehydrated food is a convenient alternative to making your own while providing many of the same nutritional benefits and tantalizing taste!

Simply add water and stir to serve up a delicious dish that's as good as homemade. Available in four- and 10-pound boxes, you can pick one up today to try with your cockapoo.

Ingredient List

  • Dehydrated white fish
  • Dried organic coconut
  • Dried chickpeas
  • Dehydrated pumpkin
  • Dehydrated celery
  • Dehydrated spinach



Why It's Great for Cockapoos

With wild-caught white fish as the main ingredient, this dehydrated dog food provides a lean protein source with the essential amino acids your cockapoo needs. Likewise, dehydrated pumpkin is loaded with fiber, and dogs love the taste!

3) Parmesan Pecks: Beef & Blueberry

Looking for a healthy treat your dog will love? Our Parmesan Pecks with Beef & Blueberry are perfect for smaller dogs, including cockapoos. At just seven calories per treat, these are easy to break in half for added calorie control and weight management. Pick up a bag today and treat your pup to the best!

Ingredient List

  • Barley
  • Ranch raised beef
  • Rolled oats
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Blueberries
  • Coconut oil
  • Real parmesan cheese
  • Molasses
  • Eggs
  • Natural preservative


Low-calorie mini treats

Why It's Great for Cockapoos

This treat features all-natural ingredients, including antioxidant-packed blueberries. Meanwhile, healthy fats and proteins from ranch raised beef, real cheese, and eggs provide a craveable taste without weighing your dog down.

Get Your Cockapoo the High-Quality Dog Food They Deserve With The Honest Kitchen

Understanding the essential nutrients that your cockapoo needs will empower you to choose the right food for your canine companion. Ultimately, the easiest way to guarantee your pup access to the highest quality and natural ingredients is to choose human grade dog food from a trustworthy brand.

The Honest Kitchen offers a number of recipes—including dry food clusters, wet dog food, dehydrated dog food, dog food toppers, and even treats to nourish your pup and fuel a healthy lifestyle. 

Shop our selection of human grade dog food or check out these testimonials from cockapoo owners andand see the difference for yourself!
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