5 Best Dog Foods For Poodles (Backed By Science)

Poodles are widely for being the pampered pooches of the dog world, and this reputation isn’t entirely unfounded. 

While poodles are generally very loving, sweet-natured dogs, they’re also a very sensitive breed, sometimes to the point of hypersensitivity.

This is true of both their emotional temperaments and physical bodies - including their digestive systems.

Poodles are also predisposed to certain health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and joint issues like hip dysplasia.

In addition to this, the poodle’s unique, fluffy coat needs a good supply of essential nutrients to keep it healthy. 

The first step to keeping your poodle peppy and proud is to feed them a nutritious diet filled with everything they need to keep health problems at bay. 

Before I share my top choices here's why you can trust this recommendation...

I spent over 20hrs researching what dog food brands Expert Veterinarians recommend Poodles specifically should eat.

I then narrowed that down to 5 manufacturers and studied their ingredients and processes and then analyzed over 1,000 user opinions on each of these brands.

Based on that my conclusion is that these are the best dog food brands for Poodles...

DISCLOSURE: TridentK9.org is reader supported so if you buy any products featured on this site I may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to yourself). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 
You can read my full disclosure here for more information.

BEST OVERALL

Royal Canin Poodle Adult Breed Specific Wet Dog Food, 3 oz. can, 4 Count

Most standard poodle owners will be able to rely on Royal Canin’s trusted Poodle Adult Breed Specific Wet Dog Food!

This formula is specifically tailored to the unique nutritional needs of standard adult poodles. 

The Royal Canin Poodle food contains high-quality protein from real animal sources, including chicken and pork liver.

This is so important for maintaining your poodle’s muscle tone and keeping them healthy and active. 

Moreover, this formula contains optimal amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil to take care of your poodle’s gorgeous coat as well as their skin. 

Better still, it’s a wet consistency food, which the majority of poodles seem to prefer, so chances are they’ll love every bite of this nutritious food!

However, please be aware that this formula isn’t suitable for dogs under the age of 10 months, so it should not be fed to puppies or very young dogs. 

Pros

  • Palatable wet formula that most poodles enjoy.

  • High-quality animal protein so your poodle gets the real thing

  • Optimal Omega-3 content for healthy eyes, skin and other health benefits. 

  • Suitable for most standard adult poodles 

Cons

  • Not for dogs younger than 10 months

BEST FOR SENSITIVITY

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All Breeds, Six Fish, Grain Free & Poultry Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 25lb

We mentioned earlier that a lot of poodles suffer from sensitivity in several areas of their health, including the digestive system. 

If your poodle struggles to effectively digest their food, why not try ORIJEN’s Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, which is perfect for sensitive stomachs.

As you might expect from the product’s name, this dog food contains six different types of fish: herring, monkfish, silver hake, flounder, Acadian redfish, and Atlantic mackerel.

This combination of fish provides poodles with the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids they need to keep their skin and coats in top condition. 

The ORIJEN Six Fish dog food also contains other animal-derived ingredients such as meat and bone to provide natural protein for muscle development and cellular repair. 

Because some dogs, including poodles, also suffer from allergies or sensitivity to grains, this formula is grain-free to avoid upsetting any more delicate stomachs. 

85% of this formula is made up of naturally-derived animal ingredients, and all ingredients are raw and in their most natural form. 

However, while most owners report their dogs feeling happy and healthy on this food, a small percentage have also reported the onset of IBS-like symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in their dogs after starting this food.

Therefore, it may be wise to introduce this food gradually into your poodle’s diet to monitor reactions. 

Pros

  • Grain-free so it shouldn't upset your poodles stomach if they suffer from IBS or similar.

  • Omega-3 from 6 fish which keeps their eyes, coat, and other body parts healthy.

  • Varied animal proteins giving a rich mix of nutrients.

  • 85% animal-derived formula 

  • Natural and raw ingredients so they are getting the best of the best and not artificial ingredients. 

Cons

  • Few reports of stomach upset following ingestion

BEST FOR SMALL BREEDS

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs, Chicken Meal & Rice, 4.5 lb. Bag

Miniature and Toy poodles make up a large percentage of all poodle breeds.

These precious pups have their own nutritional requirements concerning caloric intake and nutrient content when it comes to food.

So it’s really important to feed them a diet designed for small breed dogs. 

Luckily, Hill’s Science Diet has developed the perfect formula for tiny poodles in the Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs dog food. 

Small dogs with equally small stomachs are statistically more likely to suffer from stomach sensitivity, so this dog food is made with ingredients that are easily digestible and non-irritating. 

Packed full of Omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin E, this formula provides all the necessary nutrients for a healthy, shiny coat and perfect skin. 

Beyond that, this dog food contains plenty of protein - because even small dogs need to keep their strength up!

The antioxidant blend used by Hill’s Science Diet helps to strengthen the immune system for long term health and resilience. 

This formula comes recommended by veterinarians, so you can feed it to your fur baby with total peace of mind.

However, a word of caution: Hill’s Science Diet has recently altered this food’s ingredients with the addition of some grains.

While this may be fine for many poodles, if your pet has a particularly sensitive digestive system or an allergy to grains, we would not recommend this food. 

Pros

  • Suitable for small breeds so your small Poodle can enjoy this.

  • Easy to digest saving them gut issues.

  • High in Omega-6 fatty acids which are good for your Poodles skin, eyes, and coat.

  • Vitamin E for skin health is an added bonus.

  • Antioxidants for immune system to help them detox the bad stuff.

  • Recommended by veterinarians 

Cons

  • Recent ingredient change with added grains

BEST FOR PUPPIES

Royal Canin Poodle Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food, 2.5 lb. Bag

We’ve talked about the best foods for standard and small-breed poodles, but it goes without saying that poodle puppies need the best quality of nutrition, too!

Once again, we turn to the trusted Royal Canin - this time, with their Poodle Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food. 

This food is suitable for poodles aged 8 weeks to 10 months, so it can be used right up until you’re ready to start your pup on adult food.

However, it shouldn’t be given to puppies under the age of 8 weeks since their digestive systems may not yet be able to tolerate it. 

The kibble size and shape designed by Royal Canin is perfect for poodle puppies’ tiny mouths, making the food easier to chew and, therefore, easier to digest.

In terms of nutritional content, this food contains all the antioxidants little poodles need to get them off to a good start in life and development.

This includes vitamin E, which is an excellent nutrient for skin health, especially the extra-sensitive skin that puppies tend to have.

This skincare is enhanced by the fish oil present in this formula, which contributes DHA and EPA for healthy skin. 

High-quality chicken protein and prebiotics and also present in this formula to ensure that optimal muscle development and digestive health and promoted. 

Pros

  • Small kibble size meaning smaller poodles can enjoy.

  • Easily digestible so no stomach issues.

  • Vitamin E for sensitive skin which is a bonus.

  • DHA and EPA for skin health which helps keep your Poodle healthy.

  • Real chicken protein and not artificial.

Cons

  • Not for puppies under 8 weeks

BEST FOR SENIORS

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs, Small Bites, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe, 33 lb Bag

We can’t forget about all the lovely senior poodles out there! If you have a small-breed poodle over the age of 7, this food could be perfect for them and you. 

As poodles get older, their chances of developing health conditions increase.

This is why it’s crucial that foods for senior poodles are easy to digest so that they can absorb all the nutritional protection they need. 

Hill’s Science Diet’s small kibble sizes are perfect for small, senior poodles to chew and digest for optimal nutrient absorption. 

The formula is also full of Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E for skin and coat. After all, just because your poodle’s getting older doesn’t mean they have to look it!

With a carefully formulated combination of minerals to support kidney health and high-quality protein from chicken meat to encourage muscle maintenance, this food will keep your poodle feeling sprightly for years to come. 

The Adult 7+ dog food also contains several plant-based sources of antioxidants, including cranberries and broccoli.

Antioxidants are great for general immune support, but they’re also key to reducing joint inflammation, which can be effective in minimizing the severity of joint conditions like hip dysplasia, which poodles are prone to. 

As with Hill’s Small Bites formula, this food is recommended by veterinarians so you can put your whole trust in this brand. 

Pros

  • Small kibbles for small mouths 
  • Omega-6 and vitamin E for skin and coat 
  • Minerals for kidney health 
  • Plant-based antioxidants 
  • Recommended by veterinarians 

Cons

  • Not for large breeds

Best Dog Food for Poodles Buying Guide

When you’re choosing a source of nutrition for your dog, you don’t want to go barking up the wrong tree.

For help choosing the perfect poodle provisions, read on!

Breed and Age

As we’re sure you’re already aware, as a poodle owner, there are several different poodle breeds, and all of them have slightly different nutritional needs. 

Which food formula is right for your poodle will largely depend on whether your poodle is a standard breed, a miniature, or a toy poodle. 

Standard adult poodles should be able to eat the vast majority of foods that are deemed suitable for poodles.

However, if you have a miniature or a toy poodle, you should make sure that you’re feeding them a diet geared towards the nutritional requirements of small breeds.

Luckily, there are plenty of dog food formulas on the market specifically developed for small dogs, so this shouldn’t be a problem. 

You will also need to take into consideration your poodle’s age.

Puppies have more sensitive digestive systems and skin types than older dogs, so they will need a special puppy formula.

Likewise, senior dogs will need extra nutritional help to keep their immune systems and joints healthy. 

Nutrition

The first thing to make sure of when you’re looking at a dog food’s ingredient list is that the food contains optimal amounts of high-quality protein. 

This is absolutely essential for canine health, and without this nutrient, your dog’s muscular health and ability to repair physically will be lowered.

Poodles are generally energetic dogs, so they’re one of the breeds for whom protein is extra important. 

Ideally, protein should be lean and naturally sourced from animal ingredients like chicken or fish. For the best quality and nutrient absorption, this protein should also be in a raw form. 

Poodles have very beautiful, curly coats that need nutritional support to grow thick and healthy. The skin underneath the coat also needs to be protected due to the heightened sensitivity of poodles as a breed - especially puppies.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for maintaining coat health, while Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant for reducing skin inflammation. 

In general, dog food for poodles should contain plenty of minerals and antioxidants for immune health as well. 

Since antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, they’re also great for keeping problems like hip dysplasia at bay into old age. Some fantastic sources of antioxidants are broccoli and cranberries. 

Poodles are prone to sensitivity in the digestive and stomach area, so all ingredients need to be easy to digest. Prebiotics should also be present where possible to facilitate smooth, painless digestion.

In cases where poodles are allergic to grains, which may be more common in poodle breeds than in others, grain-free food is the best option. 

Consistency

Poodles can eat both wet and dry varieties of dog food. 

However, it is thought that wet dog food may be the superior choice for poodles because it’s usually easier to digest, so it is less likely to cause stomach upset. 

Other benefits of wet formulas are the fact that poodles generally seem to like them better, plus the extra hydration, which is vital for all bodily functions and helps to keep joints lubricated. 

With that said, we also know that not everybody can afford to constantly be buying wet food since these formulas are more expensive. Wet food may also be too rich for poodles with extremely sensitive stomachs, so in some cases, dry food might be the best option. 

If you want to give your poodle the most balanced diet possible, consider mixing wet and dry foods together. This way, your poodle can benefit from the tasty hydration of wet food along with the oral health benefits of dry formulas. 

Kibble Size

Often, it’s easy to get so focused on making sure a brand of food is appropriate for your dog on a nutritional level that something as simple as kibble size gets completely forgotten about. 

However, kibble size is very important, especially when you’re dealing with such a diverse breed as the poodle. 

If you’re opting for dry dog food, kibble size is key to ensuring that your dog’s food is suitably sized for them to chew and digest easily. 

Smaller dogs have smaller mouths and smaller intestines, so they do better with smaller kibble sizes that fit easily between their jaws and won’t cause any internal obstructions.

Larger breeds may be able to eat larger kibbles without any problems, but it’s still a good idea to keep them reasonably small just to be safe. 

Flavor

You may have heard it said that poodles are picky eaters. We’ll go into the validity of this claim later (see our FAQ section), but the bottom line is that poodles can be picky, as can all dog breeds, to different extents. 

This is why looking into the range of flavors that a dog food brand has to offer, as well as paying attention to what flavors your fur baby likes the most, is so important. 

Luckily, poodle-specific foods, as well as most of the general dog foods that are suitable for poodles come in lots of flavors.

Whether your pooch favors fish or likes to chow down on chicken, you’re sure to find something that they enjoy through trial and error. 

Most of the foods on our list derive their flavors from natural ingredients - usually animal proteins - which is a good way to maximize the chances that your poodle will like the taste since it’s what they’re biologically developed to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are poodles picky eaters?

Something else poodles are known for besides being very sensitive is picky eating.

In general, it’s safe to say that poodles are amongst the fussiest dog breeds when it comes to their food. 

However, if your poodle regularly turns up their nose at their dinner, don’t despair - just because poodles have a reputation for being fussy doesn’t mean you’re doomed never to find a food that your fur baby loves. 

The first thing to bear in mind is that, as we’ve mentioned, poodles have quite delicate digestive systems and often suffer from stomach issues, from simple irritation to bloating.

If your poodle seems off their food, don’t just assume it’s because they’re picky.

If this is a regular occurrence, you should have your dog examined by a vet to make sure the food aversion isn’t caused by an underlying condition. 

Something that might sound obvious but is worth mentioning anyway is that smaller poodle breeds such as toy poodles have smaller stomachs and, therefore, need a lower calorie intake than other dogs.

If your poodle never wants to eat their dinner, it could just be that they’re already full.

Keep an eye on how many calories you’re feeding your poodle each day to rule out overfeeding as a reason for their indifference. 

If you’ve seen a vet and counted calories and your poodle still doesn’t touch their food, you could just have a picky pooch on your hands.

Still, all is not lost! Try mixing it up a bit with different flavors, consistencies, kibble sizes, and even odors but avoid giving your dog spices or anything toxic.

Each new food you try brings you one step closer to finding something your dog can enjoy - just check the formulas thoroughly first to make sure they’re nutritionally suitable. 

Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API