Goldendoodles have taken Americans by storm due to their various sizes and friendly, intelligent, and affectionate temperament.
As desirable as these personality traits are, goldendoodles also may require a certain lifestyle, including diet and exercise, to align with their high energy levels and predisposition for certain health concerns.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of goldendoodle dietary needs, specific health concerns, and the ingredients and foods you may consider trying with your goldendoodle to support their overall health and well-being.
The Basics of Goldendoodle Dietary Needs
Goldendoodles are a mix of Poodle and Golden Retriever — not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club. They can range from mini goldendoodles to large standard goldendoodles, from 13 to 24 inches in height and 15 to 90 pounds in weight.
These aspects are important to consider when crafting a diet and lifestyle for your pup. Some other goldendoodle traits include high energy levels, coat type, and life stage.
High Energy Levels
Goldendoodles typically have a lot of energy. As a pet parent, you need to keep up with them. This requires high physical and mental demands, as well as a diet that can support all that energy.
Beyond providing a healthy, balanced diet full of protein and digestible whole grains, goldendoodles should have regular exercise and interactive toys to stimulate their mind. This could include things like scent training or interactive toys and brain games.
As mentioned, goldendoodles can range in size, largely depending on their Poodle parent. The size of your pup and their life stage will dictate the type and size of the dry food or the amount of wet food you give them.
Goldendoodle pups can have a variety of different coat types. Textures can include curly, wavy, or straight hair, as well as furnishings like “eyebrows” and “mustaches.”
Taking care of your dog’s coat is essential regardless of hair type. Focus on high-quality ingredients in their diets, like omega-3 fatty acids, which support skin and coat health.
The last factor to consider when assessing your goldendoodle’s diet is what life stage they are in. Goldendoodle puppies typically need to eat much more frequently than adult or senior dogs.
This is because puppies burn calories faster and are often more active than older dogs. It’s common for puppies to eat three or four times per day, while adult or senior goldendoodles may only need two meals per day.
Health Concerns for Goldendoodles (and How Diet Plays a Role)
Next, as a goldendoodle parent, it’s important to consider potential health concerns and how diet may play a role. Some of these include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Skin allergies
Cancer is a large concern among goldendoodles, mainly due to their Golden Retriever parents, who are genetically more prone to it than other breeds.
Though goldendoodles may have a higher risk of cancer, diet can play an important role in overall health. This is where a balanced diet can be a huge support. Consider ingredients like omega fatty acids, antioxidants, clean proteins, and minimally-processed whole grains.
Poodles and Golden Retrievers are at risk of developing hip dysplasia, so goldendoodles are too. Hip dysplasia affects the function of the hip joints, as well as the ball and socket, and the condition can cause degeneration in the joint and pain.
One way to support your pup’s joint and bone health is to ensure their diet is nutrient-rich in things like:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Clean fats
Skin allergies can be common in goldendoodles based on their predisposition from their Golden Retriever parent. These can be difficult to diagnose because exact causes and symptoms can vary. Dog allergies can include grass, trees, dust, fleas, and certain foods.
Diets with fewer fillers, artificial flavors, and additives, as well as high-quality animal protein sources, may help with allergy-related skin issues. But when in doubt, ask your veterinarian, who may recommend an elimination diet.
Obesity can be a risk among all dog breeds, so it’s important to track your pup’s caloric intake and the ingredients in their food.
For example, since goldendoodles are very active, you’ll want to look for foods high in protein and low in processed carbohydrates.
Carbs and protein work together to sustain your pup’s energy, but too much of one can cause weight gain. A lifestyle that consists of high activity levels can help prevent obesity in your goldendoodle as well.
Pancreatitis — a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed — is a common concern among all dog breeds. There is no age or sex predisposition either.
Signs of pancreatitis in dogs could include:
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite
Diet can play a role in the condition developing or becoming more severe. A low-fat diet and avoiding table scraps containing fatty foods can help keep pancreatitis at bay. If you believe your pup is at risk or shows signs of pancreatitis, consult your vet right away.
Top Elements To Seek Out in a Goldendoodle Diet
Considering all the health conditions and common traits among goldendoodles, it’s important to seek out certain ingredients to incorporate into your pup’s diet. Let’s explore what to look for in healthy goldendoodle dog food.
As mentioned, carbs should play a role in your goldendoodle’s diet — but in moderation. It’s best to avoid highly processed carbs, as they can upset stomach sensitivities.
Highly processed carbs also don’t provide the same nutritional values as whole carbs, such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
Fats have a bad reputation, but some can support important nutritional needs in goldendoodles. They contain triglycerides, which:
- Provide dogs with energy.
- Make their food tasty.
- Help them store energy.
Similarly to carbs, it’s all about moderation and quality. Consider looking for foods that contain fats from whole foods, fish oil, coconut oil, and chia seeds.
A goldendoodle needs a protein-rich diet to keep up with their high energy levels. High-quality protein from things like chicken, beef, fish, and eggs can ensure your pup absorbs and uses all of those proteins to their fullest extent.
Avoid foods that list meat meals (such as chicken meal), as these ingredients are highly processed forms of meat that are not as nutritionally dense as whole food proteins. Instead, look for real meat ingredients like organ and muscle meats.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids should be a key component in your goldendoodle’s diet as they can help support healthy skin and coat. Fish oil is very high in omega-3 fatty acids and can also support your pup’s immune system and joint health.
Even more, if you’re a pet parent to a senior goldendoodle, fish oil has been shown to help ease canine arthritis.
The last area to consider in your pup’s diet is their fiber intake. Fiber is a great resource for a dog’s digestive tract. Your dog’s body will usually ferment fiber into fatty acids with the good bacteria naturally found in their intestines.
Then, the fatty acid helps prevent bad bacteria and support the colon. High-fiber natural ingredients include:
- Whole grains
- Sweet potato
Ingredients To Avoid When Improving a Goldendoodle’s Diet
On the flip side, there are some ingredients you’ll probably want to keep out of your goldendoodle’s diet:
It’s important to look at ingredient lists to make sure there are no common allergens. These can include soy, egg, wheat gluten, dairy, and certain proteins. If you’re unsure if your pup is allergic to an ingredient, consult your vet.
Meat by-products often contain fillers and artificial preservatives that can make the food difficult to digest. Additionally, meat by-products are typically much lower quality and heavily processed, thus less nutritionally dense.
Artificial Preservatives, Colors, and Dyes
Artificial ingredients are not healthy for dogs in general, including goldendoodles. Depending on your dog’s digestive system, they may cause an upset stomach or trigger allergic reactions.
The Honest Kitchen’s Top Foods for Goldendoodles
Human grade dog food from The Honest Kitchen can be a great option for your goldendoodle! Read about the experiences of fellow goldendoodle parents switching their pups to The Honest Kitchen in these testimonials.
Here are just a few of our top picks:
Whole Grain or Grain Free Clusters
Depending on your goldendoodle’s dietary needs, you may need to consider whether they need whole grain or grain free dog food. Luckily, The Honest Kitchen offers both!
The Whole Grain Chicken Clusters (also available with beef) have whole ingredients like:
- Cage free chicken
- Non-GMO oats and barley
- Chicken liver
- Ground flaxseed
- Coconut oil
All ingredients are then cold-pressed, roasted, and dehydrated to maintain the nutrients and taste.
If your goldendoodle has trouble digesting some grains or has food allergies, The Honest Kitchen’s Grain Free Chicken Clusters (also available with beef and turkey) can be a great option. This recipe includes:
- Cage free chicken
- Chicken liver
- Ground flaxseed
- Salmon oil
Immune Support Pour Over
To add a boost of immune support to your goldendoodle’s meal, consider The Honest Kitchen’s Functional Pour Over for Immune Support. This tasty stew can be added as a topper to your pup’s dry dog food or used as a treat. Ingredients include:
- Beef bone broth
- Butternut squash
- Vitamin E
All these ingredients can support an overall healthy immune system.
Hip and Joint Pour Over
The second topper we recommend is The Honest Kitchen’s Functional Pour Over for Hip and Joint. As mentioned, goldendoodles can be at risk for hip and joint-related health concerns, so you may want to add a boost of support. This stew topper includes ingredients like:
- Chicken bone broth
- Whole chicken
- Butternut squash
- Fish oil (Bonus: Helps provide your pup with extra EPA and DHA to support joint health)
Help Your Goldendoodle Thrive With The Honest Kitchen
It can be a delicate balance crafting the right diet for your goldendoodle, considering their breed-specific needs, individual preferences, and restrictions. The Honest Kitchen can be a great place to start.
We have a wide array of foods, from dry to dehydrated to wet food, plus tasty treats packed with essential nutrients. With high-quality human grade ingredients in every recipe, you’re sure to find one that your pet loves!