Just like us, our pets need healthy, nutritious food to stay in the best shape possible.
However, with so many dog foods on the market, it can be hard to know the optimal choice for your Poodle pal.
To help you filter through the possibilities, let’s look at what we need to consider when choosing the best dog food for Poodles.
In this article, we’re going to review the following dog foods for poodles:
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Small Breed Grain Free Mini Pack Wet Dog Food
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food
- Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Formula Lamb and Rice
- Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Wet Dog Food With Chicken
- Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature’s Variety
- NUTRO Ultra Dry Dog Food- The Superfood Plate
- Natural Balance Limited Dry Food L.I.D. Lamb Meal & Brown Rice
- Solid Gold Fit Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Food (Chicken and Oatmeal)
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What Kinds of Food do Poodles Need?
Regardless of breed, a dog’s diet needs to be made up of certain basics such as protein, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Staple food items include fish and poultry, along with other meat sources.
Your pet will also need vegetables and fruit for their vitamin content, along with healthy fats and oils to maintain a lustrous coat and great skin.
Nutritional Requirements for Poodles
A nutritionally sound diet plan for your Poodle includes a healthy mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat, along with the optimal number of calories for their needs.
To calculate your Poodle’s exact requirements, you’ll need to assess their weight, activity levels and general health.
Luckily, most commercial pet foods are nutritionally balanced to ensure the perfect mix of nutrients.
They also include a handy feeding chart on the label to take the guesswork out of calorie calculations.
If you choose to make you own food, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get down to some math! Fortunately, there’s help on hand from the AAFCO – check out for a comprehensive study guide.
The AAFCO recommends that adult Poodles get at least 18% of their daily calories from protein. For puppies, the percentage is slightly higher: aim for at least 22%.
Although dogs can digest both animal and plant-based proteins, plant proteins don’t provide all the essential amino acids needed.
Animal protein, on the other hand, is considered a “complete” protein: meat, poultry, eggs and fish all have a well-balanced amino acid profile and should be your number one protein choice.
If you’re buying commercial dog food, make sure it features an animal protein source at the top of the ingredients list.
Some pet owners claim dogs don’t need carbohydrates, but this isn’t 100% true. Dogs may love meat, but they aren’t strictly carnivorous.
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy, and can do wonders for your Poodle’s digestion.
Best of all, carbs like vegetables, sweet potatoes and legumes are a great source of fiber, which, while not vital to your dog’s diet, offers excellent colonic, digestive, and weight management benefits. See for more.
Don’t fear fat. Fat provides a great source of concentrated energy, while supporting optimal skin and coat condition.
Essential Fatty Acids are also vital in helping your Poodle absorb important fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.
According to AAFCO guidelines, fat should be 8 percent of the daily calorie intake for puppies and 5 percent for adult dogs. But be warned… not all fats are created equal.
Prioritize fat from animal sources over plant sources (which can be hard to digest), and by no means treat this an excuse to indulge your pooch with doughnuts or chips!
Vitamins and Minerals
To protect your Poodle from reoccurring infections, lack of energy or poor fertility, it’s vial to ensure their diet contains a good selection of vitamins and minerals.
Most commercial pet foods are fortified to ensure adequate levels, but if you choose to make your own food, be aware that it’s as easy to overdo the requirements as it is to underdo them.
Sites such as nomnomnow.com provide a good reference point, but consult your vet to make sure you don’t neglect anything vital.
How to Choose the Right Dog Food
If you’ve recently welcomed your new Poodle into your home, you’re probably feeling a little anxious about how best to feed them.
Walk into any pet store and you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of different foods available.
Wet food, dry food, grain free, high protein, low protein… the options are endless.
However, there are a couple of things you can do to make the process simpler.
First, always check the ingredients.
Secondly, look for a reputable brand. Let’s take a look at why these two things are so important.
Check the Ingredients
To ensure you give your pet a complete, balanced diet, you need to choose a food with a good mix of proteins, carbs, and fats. Of these, protein is the most important.
Check the ingredient list on the back of the label- if a protein source such as chicken or turkey is at the top, great stuff!
Some cheaper options are padded with artificial flavorings, preservatives and colors- if these are heavily featured on the list, you’ll do better with another option.
If you’re not sure what to look for, remember a simple trick – if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it’s probably not something you want to put in your pet’s mouth!
Look for a Branded Company
To make sure your food choice is the right one, check that it comes from a reputable, branded company.
Although a brand name isn’t a guarantee of quality, it does make it much more likely.
Prior to making your choice, ask your vet for a list of who they’d recommend.
You can also do your own research online – check out the great list of reviews at dogfoodadvisor.com.
Read : Best Dog Food For Husky
Special Considerations: How Much Food Does a Poodle Need?
While there are specific guidelines about how much food your Poodle needs, always remember that no two dogs are the same.
A highly active dog will need more calories than a sedentary dog, for example.
Don’t be afraid to make any adjustments needed to help your pet remain at their optimal weight.
Calorie Requirements of Toy Poodles
Small Poodles burn a lot of calories! Look for a food that has a high number of calories per ounce to meet their demands.
Your pet will need about 40 – 45 calories per pound of body weight per day.
So, if your Poodle weighs a tiny 6 pounds, they’ll will need about 240 – 270 calories per day (depending on weight, age, activity levels, etc.).
Calorie Requirements of Miniature Poodles
A Miniature Poodle’s calorie requirements fall somewhere between those of a Toy and those of a Standard. Generally, aim for around 35 calories per pound of body weight.
If your Miniature weighs in at 15 pounds, they’ll need about 525 calories per day (although as ever, monitor your dog’s activities and general condition, and make any necessary adjustments).
Take a look at the calorie calculator at vet.osu.edu for more info.
Calorie Requirements of Standard Poodles
Standard Poodles tend to need less calories than their smaller equivalents, even if they’re active.
A Standard Poodle weighing in at between 45 and 65 pounds will need between 1,353 and 1,740 calories per day.
Older or very sedentary pooches will need fewer calories (aim for 989 and 1,272) to offset their lower energy expenditure. See petcarerx.com for more.
Best Dog Food for Standard, Miniature and Toy Poodles
Specially formulated to meet the needs of small breeds, this is a great option for anyone looking to keep their Toy or Miniature Poodle on a grain free diet.
High in quality animal protein, the formula also includes fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, sweet potatoes, blueberries and peas.
Each pack comes with 4 different recipes, making it great for pooch’s who like a little taste of everything.
- Grain free: excellent for dogs who struggle to digest corn, wheat, or gluten.
- Small, bite sized chunks: great for little mouths.
- Rich source of protein: the formula includes real deboned beef, chicken or turkey meat as the primary ingredient, making it a source of “complete” protein (i.e. one that includes all the essential amino acids).
- Convenient: servings come in small, single- serve trays perfectly proportioned to meet the calorie requirements of small breeds.
- Pure ingredients: no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
- Balanced nutrition: each pack includes fresh fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, blueberries and peas to provide a rich source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Great for gut health: contains supplementary probiotics and prebiotics to help support nutrient absorption, along with glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint function.
- Packaging: the packs are small, and it can be difficult to remove the food.
- Calorie dense: each serving contains around 93 calories, so be careful with servings if your dog is on the sedentary side.
Royal Canin is a highly trusted, popular brand known for both the quality of their products, and their breed specific formulas.
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of Toy and Miniature Poodles aged 10 months plus.
This makes it a great option for anyone looking to take the guesswork out of catering to the specific needs of their pooch.
- High in EPA And DHA Fatty Acids: excellent at maintaining healthy coats and skin.
- Precisely tailored kibble size: the kibble size, shape and texture has been designed to meet the precise requirements of a Poodle’s muzzle and teeth.
- Rich in antioxidants: excellent for maintaining all-round wellbeing and supporting healthy ageing.
- Precise protein content: contains the optimal amount of protein to maintain healthy muscle tone.
- Excellent for dental health: the formula contains calcium chelators, which has been shown to reduce tartar formation.
- Contains corn: although not an issue for all dogs, corn can be hard for some pets to digest, and is best avoided if you suspect a food allergy.
- Expensive: Royal Canin is a premium brand and comes at a premium price.
- Contains chicken by- product (an inferior protein source).
Large sized breeds like Standard Poodles have special nutritional needs.
Eukanuba caters to these needs with a high protein formula that comes complete with additional supplements to support overall health.
Eukanuba is considered a premium brand, and has an excellent track record in producing reliable, high quality products.
- High in Protein: the high protein requirements of Standard Poodles are well met by the formula’s primary ingredient of lamb.
- Great source of Fiber: natural Beet pulp and Prebiotic Fos will help nutrient absorption and aid digestion.
- Contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin: great for maintaining healthy joints.
- Omega-6 and -3 Fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin.
- No artificial colors, preservatives or flavor: some dogs can react to “fillers”, which makes the lack of synthetic ingredients in this formula great for dogs with sensitive tummies.
- Good for dental health: if your dog hates having their teeth brushed, the patented tartar control formula will go a long way to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
- Complete vitamin and mineral profile.
- Contains Corn and wheat products: if your dog struggles to digest gluten, the prominence of grain in the ingredients list may pose a challenge.
Aimed specifically at Adult dogs aged 11+, Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food helps support the changing nutritional needs of your senior pooch.
All Hill’s Science products claim to use leading edge science for lifelong health, and the claim stacks up: Hill’s Science carries the stamp of approval from vets, and their formulas are recognized as some of the most consistent and high quality on the market.
- High in Protein: chicken meal (a great source of easily digestible animal protein) is the number one ingredient.
- Rich in Vitamins: the formula contains a clinically proven antioxidant blend with vitamins C And E, both of which are highly useful in supporting a healthy immune system.
- No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
- Contains Omega-6 Fatty Acids, vitamin E and other nutrients to promote vitality
- Good source of fiber: the presence of Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries and Green Peas helps support digestive and colonic health
- Poodle Sized Kibble: the formula is made from a kibble designed to perfectly accommodate your dog’s smaller mouth
- High in Grains. Although many animals can tolerate grain, for some, it can cause digestive issues such as IBS, skin allergies, or fatigue.
Blue Buffalo products are made with high quality ingredients and real meat (no animal by- products of any kind).
The range offers wholesome nutrition to support a healthy lifestyle at any age.
Their Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior Wet Dog Food is a wet dog food enhanced with vitamins and minerals.
Tailored specifically for aging dogs, this is a nutritious, protein- packed option for dogs aged 11+.
- No corn, wheat or soy.
- No artificial flavors or preservatives.
- High in Protein: chicken is the number one ingredient on the list, making it a great source of essential amino acids.
- Rich in chicken broth: broth is high in gelatin, an easily digestible protein that also provides an excellent source of collagen to support ageing joints.
- Packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber: the recipe contains healthy vegetable such as Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Blueberries- excellent for senior dogs who struggle with digestion.
- Nutritionally complete: all Blue Buffalo products are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
- Contains grain: although it’s free from corn, wheat and soy, it does contain brown rice and barley. While these are two of the most easily digestible grains, it may still be too much for particularly sensitive dogs to handle.
Instinct Raw Boost Natural Dry Dog Food is a grain- free, high- protein option with all-natural bites of freeze- dried raw chicken.
Although there’s question over the value of raw food diets, this formula is a great choice for anyone convinced of its merits.
While Instinct Raw are relative newcomers to the market, they’ve already proven their chops with great quality ingredients and a holistic attitude to pet health.
- Good for overall health: the formula contains calcium & phosphorus for strong teeth and bones, plus glucosamine & chondroitin for joint health.
- Free from grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives.
- Complete nutrition: the formula combines natural probiotics, omega- 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants for great digestive health and a healthy immune system.
- Packed with protein: the ingredient list shows chicken as the number 1 protein source.
- Small Kibble: the perfect size and shape for little mouths.
- Contains Raw ingredients. Advocates of the raw food diet claim it aids digestive health, reduces the risk of food allergies and improves skin and coat condition.
The Ultra line from Nutro delivers high quality nutrition using only the freshest ingredients.
The brand employs natural antioxidants, lean proteins and heathy fats to provide a complete, balanced diet.
The line is available in different formulas for Toy, Small and Large breed dogs.
- Great source of protein: the formula features a trio of protein from chicken, lamb, and salmon.
- Specially formulated kibble: the kibble in the Toy and Small breed packs are designed to suit the tiny mouth of smaller breeds, while the kibble for larger breeds are a heftier size.
- High in antioxidants: a blend of 15 Superfoods, including Coconut, Chia, Kale, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranate, offer exceptional immune support.
- No chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, or wheat.
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Made with Non- GMO ingredients.
- Complete, balanced diet: Nutro carefully combines proteins, fats, carbs and vitamins and minerals to ensure the perfect balance of nutrients
- Contains grains. Those who have existing digestive issues (IBS, leaky gut and bowel problems) may do well to avoid gluten in all its forms.
Natural Balance dog food is consistently ranked as one of the leading brands of pet food.
The brand specializes in producing a wide variety of high-quality formulas designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of all ages, sizes and conditions.
- Made with only a select few ingredients: the limited number of ingredients in this formula make it a good option for dogs with known sensitivities.
- High in Protein: the first ingredient on the list is lamb: an easily digestible, complete protein.
- Good source of energy: the recipe contains easily digestible sources of carbohydrate to fuel your pet’s energy needs.
- Full of vitamins: the formula is fortified with essential nutrients, like niacin, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and biotin to maintain optimal health.
- Free of free of artificial color, flavor, and preservatives.
- Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids for skin and coat health.
- Quality controlled: Natural Balance products are thoroughly tested for contaminants through the company’s Buy With Confidence programs.
- Contains grain: the formula contains rice as a primary ingredient. While most dogs do well on rice, it may not be suitable for all.
Solid Gold offer a holistic line of pet foods designed to provide everything your pet needs for optimal health.
The brand won the Whole Foods Magazine Natural Choice Award for dog food in 2014, and is renowned for its high quality, natural ingredients.
- Ideal for weight control: although low in calories and fat, the recipe is rich in fiber- rich sweet potatoes. Fiber is known to keep you pet feeling full for longer, making it a great choice for sedentary or overweight dogs.
- Great for health: the recipe includes a carefully balanced combination of 20 holistic superfoods like Pumpkin, Lentil, Sesame Oil and Broccoli.
- Packed with protein: the 1st ingredient in the recipe is chicken, an easily digested protein that supports muscle development and growth.
- Patented probiotics: all Solid Gold products include patented probiotics that offer great benefits for digestive and gut health.
- Grain and gluten free.
- Made only from whole, complete foods: no added meat by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, sugar, artificial preservatives or flavors.
- Contains chicken liver: organ meat is an oft neglected ingredient in dog foods, but is one of the most nutrient dense protein sources available.
- Although rare, some dogs can experience allergic reactions to chicken.
Puppies require more calories, more protein and more fat than adult dogs to support their growing needs.
Fortunately, several brands, including Blue Buffalo, offer formulas specially designed to cater to your pup’s specific requirements.
- High in essential protein: your pup’s high protein needs will be well met by this formula, which includes Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal as its first two ingredients.
- Rich in Antioxidants: the formula contains an expert blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system.
- No hidden nasties: the recipe is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and preservatives.
- Formulated specifically for puppies: the recipe contains sources of DHA and ARA (important fatty acids found in mother’s milk) to support cognitive function and retinal health.
- Rich in fiber: the addition of Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries and Apples helps support good digestion and gut health
- Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin, a silky coat and improved heart health
- Chicken can very occasionally be an allergen to dogs. Most puppies will have no issues, but monitor yours carefully, and if they show any symptoms of an allergy (poor skin or coat condition, bowel problems, etc.), consider changing formulas.
Poodle Foods Related FAQs
#Are Poodles Picky Eaters?
Most Poodles will scarf down anything you put on their plate. If you do happen upon the rare fussy eater, don’t worry- there’s lots of tricks you can use to encourage their appetite. Check out for some inspirational tips.
#What Kinds of Food Should Poodles Eat?
Choose high quality sources of meat (lamb, beef, poultry, fish or eggs). Also fiber rich carbohydrates such as beets, sweet potatoes, carrots and peas. Some healthy fats from fish and flax oils can help. And some antioxidant rich fruits like cranberries and blueberry. On no account should you give you pet chocolate, raisins, onions, xylitol, fruit pits or macadamia nuts.
Did You Find Your Best Dog Foods For Poodles Today?
As we’ve seen, choosing the right food for your poodle can be a tricky business.
If you’re looking for guidance, I’d recommend NUTRO Ultra Dry Dog Food- The Superfood Plate
Excellent ingredients (with just the right balance of protein, carbs and fats), no unsavory “fillers” (and with no GMO ingredients as a bonus).
Quality controlled for optimal safety, specially designed kibble to suit the different needs of Toys, Miniatures and Standards.
And the highest quantity of antioxidants of all the brands we considered. I’ll leave the final decision to you…
Other Dog Food Related Topics
1. Best Dog Food For Standard, Miniature And Toy Poodles: Dry & Canned
2. Best Wet & Dry Dog Foods For Older – Senior Dogs
3. Best Dog Food For Corgi Puppies & Adults : Dry & Canned
4. Best Dog Food For Border Collies
5. Best Dog Food For German Shepherd
6. Puppy Feeding Schedule: The Ultimate Guide