The Best Dog Food for Poodles (Senior, Puppy, Adult)

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: January 13, 2023
© Dulova Olga/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dog food for poodles is the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food.
  • Although poodles can come in various sizes, they are active, athletic dogs that need sufficient nutrition to meet their energy needs.
  • It’s important to consider factors such as the age of your dog into account when choosing dog food as the dietary needs of a puppy differ greatly from those of a senior.
  • We have provided a detailed review of the top dog food for poodles, as well as provided an in-depth buyer’s guide.

A well-groomed poodle may look elegant and aloof, but looks can be deceptive. Poodles were originally bred to retrieve ducks. And their fancy hairdos were designed to protect their joints from freezing water! These intelligent, versatile dogs have also been used as circus performers and truffle hunters. Whether your poodle is a toy, miniature, or standard, you can be sure that there’s a super-smart athlete under those hypoallergenic curls. It’s important that you find the best dog food for poodles so your friend can live up to the breed’s full potential.

When you’re selecting dog food, you need to consider the breed’s nutritional needs and potential health conditions. Also, puppies, adults, and seniors all have very different dietary and calorie requirements. That’s why it’s important to take your poodle’s current life stage into account and to reevaluate their food as they grow.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the best dog foods for poodles based on these criteria plus whether they prefer canned or dried foods so you can select the right one for your best friend.

  1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food
  2. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Contains EPA and DHA fatty acids
    • Specially formulated for Poodles
    • Shape of kibble makes it easy to pick up
    • Antioxidants support healthy aging
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  4. ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
    • Contain fresh or raw meat, poultry, or fish
    • Contain whole veggies like whole pumpkin
    • No grains, gluten, potatoes, or soy
    • Added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Wag Wholesome Grains Senior
  6. Wag Wholesome Grains Senior
    • First ingredient is chicken
    • Specially formulated for senior dogs
    • Contain DHA for brain function
    • Added prebiotics and probiotics
    Check Amazon
  7. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice
  8. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice
    • Dry food with healthy grains and chicken for dogs.
    • Features real deboned chicken as the very first ingredient.
    • Developed with high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin.
    • Includes essential vitamins, minerals, brown rice and ancient grains such as quinoa to aid in digestion.
    • Crafted in Hereford, TX and cooked in the USA.


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Cesar Home Delights & Classic Loaf in Sauce Variety Pack
  10. Cesar Home Delights & Classic Loaf in Sauce Variety Pack
    • Contains six savory flavors
    • Contains real chicken or beef 
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    • Made in the USA
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Dog Food for Poodles

#1 Best Overall: Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food

Our selection as the best overall is the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food which is uniquely formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of purebred poodles aged 10 months old and above.

This food has unique shaped kibble which poodles can pick up easily with their long, straight snouts. Each delicious, crunchy bite is filled with a precise blend of proteins to build and maintain muscles. EPA and DHA fatty acids from fish oils ensure that your poodle’s skin and coat will be healthy. It also features an exclusive blend of antioxidants to promote all-round good health. You can serve this complete dog food dry, with water, or mix it with wet food for variety.  

Unfortunately, as this food is breed-specific it is more expensive than some of the other options on the list.

Pros and Cons of the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food features kibble which is uniquely formulated to be easy to eat for poodles.This food is a more expensive option.
It contains DHA and EPA from fish oil to promote a healthy skin and coat.
It contains a unique blend of antioxidants to promote all-round good health.
It features a precise protein content to support the growth of lean muscles.
Best Overall
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Contains EPA and DHA fatty acids
  • Specially formulated for Poodles
  • Shape of kibble makes it easy to pick up
  • Antioxidants support healthy aging
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Puppies: Acana Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

For puppies we have selected the Acana Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

The first two ingredients in this food are fresh or raw meat, poultry, or fish. This food contains 60% premium animal ingredients. This grain-free formula is also filled with whole veggies like whole pumpkin, collard greens, apples, and pears. Added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics round out this kibble recipe to give your poodle puppy the best nutritional start in life.

As it is grain-free, this food is free from grains, gluten, potatoes, soy, tapioca, wheat. Also, it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. However, it is important to remember that a grain-free diet is not suitable for all dogs.

Pros and Cons of the Acana Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food includes 60% premium animal ingredients.A grain-free diet is not suitable for all dogs.
It contains vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to promote good health.
It is a grain-free formula.
It contains whole veggies such as pumpkins, apples, and pears.
Best for Puppies
ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  • Contain fresh or raw meat, poultry, or fish
  • Contain whole veggies like whole pumpkin
  • No grains, gluten, potatoes, or soy
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Seniors: Wag Wholesome Grains Senior Dry Dog Food

We know that senior dogs often need a little extra help, so that’s why we recommend the Wag Wholesome Grains Senior Dry Dog Food.

The first ingredient in this delicious kibble is chicken to maintain aging muscles. It includes healthy whole grains and is formulated from ingredients that are carefully selected to meet the nutritional needs of senior dogs, including glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

The recipe also includes DHA to support your aging poodle’s brain function, calcium and phosphorous for strong bones and teeth, and healthy proteins and fats for a healthy metabolism. Prebiotics and probiotics will facilitate optimal digestion while antioxidants provide immune system support. Plus, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will keep your pup’s skin healthy skin and curly coat gorgeous.

However, some customers have reported that their dogs do not like this food.

Pros and Cons of the Wag Wholesome Grains Senior Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains chicken as the first ingredient.Not all dogs like this food.
It contains healthy whole grains.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to this food to support joint health.
The prebiotics and probiotics in this food promote a healthy digestive system, and antioxidants to support the immune system.
It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support a healthy skin and coat.
Best for Seniors
Wag Wholesome Grains Senior
  • First ingredient is chicken
  • Specially formulated for senior dogs
  • Contain DHA for brain function
  • Added prebiotics and probiotics
Check Amazon

4. Best Dry Food: Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

Our selection as the best dry food is the Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food.

The first ingredient in this recipe is real deboned chicken to develop and maintain muscle tissue in adult dogs. It also features a blend of natural grains to support healthy digestion, including brown rice and high-protein quinoa.

The recipe contains leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your poodle’s hips and joints healthy and omega fatty acids to maintain their healthy skin and lustrous coat. Added vitamins and minerals ensure that this dry kibble provides the complete nutrition that your adult dog needs to thrive.

The only drawback to this product that we could find was that some customers reported that their pets would not eat it.

Pros and Cons of the Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Real chicken is the first ingredient in this food.Not all dogs like this food.
It features a blend of natural grains.
It contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joints.
This food contains omega fatty acids to maintain a healthy coat and skin.
Best Dry Food
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice
  • Dry food with healthy grains and chicken for dogs.
  • Features real deboned chicken as the very first ingredient.
  • Developed with high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Includes essential vitamins, minerals, brown rice and ancient grains such as quinoa to aid in digestion.
  • Crafted in Hereford, TX and cooked in the USA.


Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Wet Dog Food: Cesar Home Delights Wet Dog Food

Most dogs love wet food and that’s why we recommend the Cesar Home Delights Wet Dog Food as a tasty option.

It’s easy to understand why dogs crave this food as this variety pack includes six delightfully savory flavors in convenient easy-peel trays. Each tray of this gourmet dog food features real chicken or beef as the first ingredient, so it’s guaranteed to entice even the fussiest pup. It also features tasty veggies to make each meal healthy and nutritionally balanced.

This food meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional profiles for adult dogs and includes vitamins and minerals that poodles of all sizes need to stay healthy. You can feed this food to your pal as a complete meal, as a treat, or mixed with her favorite dry food.

However, some pup parents have reported that their dogs are not fussed on easting the veggies in this food.

Pros and Cons of the Cesar Home Delights Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
This food features real chicken or beef as the first ingredient.Not all dogs like the veggies in this food.
Each tray has an easy-to-peel top.
It includes tasty veggies.
This food is enhanced with vitamins and minerals that promote all-round good health.
It can be fed on its own or as a topper.
Best Canned
Cesar Home Delights & Classic Loaf in Sauce Variety Pack
  • Contains six savory flavors
  • Contains real chicken or beef 
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Made in the USA
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Special Food Considerations for Poodles

While most poodles are healthy, the breed is prone to some health issues, including hip dysplasia and some eye disorders. Other conditions are seen less frequently in this breed: idiopathic epilepsy, von Willebrand’s disease (a blood disorder), and immune-mediated disorders (diseases that are believed to be caused by an aberrant immune response).

Legg-Calve-Perthes and luxating patella, which are orthopedic problems, tend to occur in toy and miniature poodles. Standard poodles, on the other hand, are at risk for sebaceous adenitis (an immune-mediated disorder) and bloat.

There is little that you can do to prevent genetic disorders, but helping your poodle maintain a healthy weight will keep excess weight off of their joints.

Choosing the Best Dog Food for Poodles: What to Look For

When choosing the best dog food for your poodle you should consider price, quality, and type (dry or wet).

Price

Inexpensive dog food generally includes ingredients that have negligible nutritional value and may be detrimental to your poodle’s health. These inferior ingredients, which are often lumped under the label “fillers,” include chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Quality dog food doesn’t include these substandard ingredients. Premium-quality dog food costs more, but it will keep your pet healthy and help you avoid unplanned visits to the veterinarian.

Quality

Premium-quality dog foods include real food such as meat, vegetables, and fruits. They also feature essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to enhance your pet’s health.

Type

The dog food discussed in this review is available in dry (kibble) and wet (canned) recipes.

The Different Types of Dog Foods for Poodles: Pros and Cons Compared

When choosing the best dog food for your poodle, you need to understand the different types: dry (kibble) and wet (canned). Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type:

Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
It is less expensive than other options.It will spoil if exposed to moisture.
It has a long shelf life. 
It can help to remove tartar and plaque from teeth. 

Wet (Canned) Dog Food

ProsCons
Picky eaters tend to love wet food.It is usually more expensive than dry food.
It is softer and more palatable for dogs with dental issues.It needs to be refrigerated after opening.

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About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

The Best Dog Food for Poodles (Senior, Puppy, Adult) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Royal Canin breed specific dog wood worth it?

Breed-specific dog food is not a gimmick. It’s based on real science with each breed’s biology in mind. For example, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have different nutritional needs despite the similarity of their names. They both have scissor bites, but Labs tend to eat much more quickly. So Royal Canin designed kibble that forces them to slow down and chew.

Do puppies really need to eat puppy food?

Yes! Manufacturers formulate puppy food specifically to meet a growing pup’s nutritional needs so they develop normally mentally and physically. Feeding them adult dog food will deprive them of crucial nutrients.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.