Best puppy foods for Labradoodles can be downright overwhelming!
You’ve just brought home an adorable bundle of fur who is completely reliant on you to provide food, water, and shelter for them, and that responsibility can be stressful.
You may be tempted to run to the nearest grocery store, grab the first dog food bag that says “puppy” on it (or the cheapest bag you can find), and be done with it!
There’s a better way.
This extensive guide will talk you through the decision-making process with labradoodle-specific information on dietary specifications, health risks, a puppy feeding chart, best food brands, and much more!
By the time you get to the store (real talk- you’ll probably order this on your phone while chilling on your couch), you’ll know exactly which puppy food to pick for your new labradoodle.
- Labradoodle Puppy Food Choices
- 10 Best Puppy Foods For Labradoodles
- Blue Buffalo Homestyle Chicken Dinner Recipe for Puppies, Wet Dog Food
- Wellness Complete Health Puppy Chicken & Salmon Wet Canned Dog Food
- Merrick Classic Grain-Free Canned Puppy Plate Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food Small Bites
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
- Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
- American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Dry Dog Food Prairie Puppy
- Wag Dry Dog Food for Puppies
- Instinct Puppy Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Key Nutritional Needs of a Labradoodle Puppy
- Fats (10-15% of food content)
- Carbs (30-60% of food content)
- Vitamins and Minerals (minimal amounts for puppies)
- Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Labradoodles
- Frequently Asked Questions
Labradoodle Puppy Food Choices
If you’ve never had a labradoodle puppy before (or never had a puppy at all!) you may be a little lost when it comes to picking the best puppy foods for Labradoodles.
There are tons of different options, and the labeling can be very confusing. Should you go for the organic, paleo, human-grade bag that’s nearly $100 and is probably healthier for you than that frozen pizza you scarfed for dinner last night?
What about the plant-based recipe with added vitamins and fish oil? Is it better to skip the kibble altogether and just feed your pup choice cuts of meat?
First, let’s dive into the different food choices that are out there to know the best puppy foods for Labradoodles.
Probably the most common dog food out there. It comes in many, many varieties, from puppy to adult to senior blends, with all kinds of different ingredients and nutrients.
Most dry foods will include a protein source (beef, chicken, turkey, fish), a carb source (grains, rice), a fat (oils), and vitamins/minerals.
Dry food is usually crunchy which is beneficial for dental health, is cheaper than other food types, and can be stored for months without issue.
Wet foods are the next most common dog food type. For puppies, some very small breeds, or for senior dogs or dogs with dental issues, wet foods may be preferable to dry foods as they are very soft and easy to eat and digest.
Wet dog food comes in cans and is also shelf-stable for weeks to months, and can be found in bulk at a discount. Wet dog food is also great for young puppies who have just been weaned; more on this later.
Freeze-dried dog food, a newer type of the best puppy foods for Labradoodles, is becoming increasingly popular. These foods are simply frozen and dehydrated so they last for quite a long time and do not contain preservatives like dry or wet foods.
These foods are said to be more nutritious, but vary greatly and can still be difficult to find in some stores. To feed your dog a freeze-dried meal, you simply defrost the meal and add water.
Dog food is not a good option for all dogs, especially not puppies. It’s one of the best puppy foods for Labradoodles that’s not only more expensive and more difficult to prepare and handle but it is also slightly more difficult to digest.
You should not feed your puppy a raw food diet, and once they are an adult dog, you should discuss with your vet before switching to a raw diet.
This is exactly what it sounds like: dog food that is FDA approved for human consumption.
While this is a valid option for those looking to eliminate all fillers and preservatives from their dogs’ food.
This may not be the best option because humans and dogs have different dietary needs, so some of the alterations manufacturers make to create a human-grade dog food may actually not be the most beneficial for your pup.
These foods are also much more expensive than most dog foods.
10 Best Puppy Foods For Labradoodles
Your puppy will need a balanced diet full of deboned meats, vegetables, vitamins, and nutrients. But what kinds are the best puppy foods for Labradoodles?
With hundreds of dog foods to choose from, it can be incredibly difficult to find the perfect meal for your pooch.
Generally speaking, the younger puppies (8-12 weeks) will respond better to wet foods, as they have just been weaned and need some time to transition, which is easier using wet food.
Gradually, you’ll be able to shift to a dry food, and then to an adult food formula over time.
Since Labradoodles are a large breed, you’ll also need to choose a food that can give them the foundation they need for strong and healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
We have examined many of the top dog foods and have chosen these 10 as the best puppy foods for labradoodles.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Chicken Dinner Recipe for Puppies, Wet Dog Food
If you want a balanced dog food with a blend of protein, carbs, fats, and vitamins, Blue Buffalo’s wet food is one of the best puppy foods for Labradoodles. For puppies who have just been weaned, the soft pate blend is easy to digest.
Instead of wheat, this wet food has brown rice and barley, which are other good grain options for your pup. The first five ingredients listed are chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, and peas.
This blend of wholesome ingredients tailored to the needs of growing puppies seems to be a hit, as reviewers noted that on a Blue Buffalo diet, their dogs had an increased appetite and helps keep puppies hydrated as well if they aren’t drinking enough.
This food contains 78% moisture, so you can be sure that your dog will be getting plenty of fluids on this diet.
Based on reviews, puppies seem to either love or hate this food! It seems like this distinction is based completely on personal taste, because many reviewer’s dogs absolutely loved it.
Some reviewers also mentioned that their cans came dented when ordered online, but purchasing cans in-store when possible would be one way to avoid this issue.
“I would definitely tell people to feed their dogs this brand. It’s a great value for your buck and priceless for how healthy your pet will be.”
Wellness Complete Health Puppy Chicken & Salmon Wet Canned Dog Food
When you are looking for a wet puppy food, it’s important to find one that provides complete nutrition.
Wellness Complete is made with chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, and flaxseed which all contribute to overall health, plus it has salmon added for healthy brain and eye development.
This is one of the best puppy foods for Labradoodles because it is all-natural and great for puppies who have just been weaned.
The first five ingredients in this food are chicken, chicken broth, salmon, sweet potatoes, and ground barley.
This is a great food for helping puppies gain weight and get used to solid foods, while providing a whole and balanced diet. It can also be mixed in to dry food when your dog is ready to move on to dry.
Reviewers have mentioned that the consistency of the food varies from can to can, and can be very runny or very solid. This may be related to heating and cooling during the shipping process; consider purchasing at a local store if possible.
“I’ve done a lot of research on dog food and we are VERY happy with the quality from Wellness!”
Merrick Classic Grain-Free Canned Puppy Plate Food
This wet food is great for puppies to get wholesome nutrition from poultry proteins, vegetables, and fruits, with less fillers and no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
The first five ingredients are deboned turkey, chicken broth, chicken, duck, and peas.
You can actually see the ingredients in this food!
Puppies are may be struggling to switch to solid food after being weaned, and it’s easy to eat and digest.
The food is very rich and fattening, it’s important for puppies are growing and need to gain weight, you need to adjust the portion size to fit your individual dog’s needs.
“Our puppy just loves it! Very minimal ingredients we couldn’t pronounce, the majority of ingredients being from real veggies and chicken. Win-win!”
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food Small Bites
Hill’s Science Diet is a widely used dog food brand recognized by veterinarians and loved by shelters, rescues, and fosters. This is also one of the best puppy foods for Labradoodles because this diet is formulated to meet all of the nutritional needs of your puppy to help in its growth and development.
The first five ingredients are chicken meal, whole grain wheat, barley, whole grain sorghum, and whole grain corn.
This food is unique in that it is created with puppy mouths in mind! Tiny pieces of kibble are easier to eat and digest while also promoting dental health. This food contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or by-product meal.
There are very few cons to this diet! Some pet parents said their dogs experienced digestive troubles with this diet, but others reported that their dogs actually had their digestion issues go away once they switched to this food!
“My dog loves it, it was recommended by the vet and he has grown great on this diet!”
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for the best way to transition your puppy from the wet canned Blue Buffalo puppy food, this is it! They will recognize the flavor and will get the same complete nutrition, but can gradually start getting used to dry food.
The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.
This food is often recommended by vets as a balanced nutrition option that is high quality and perfect for growing pups.
This food is slightly more expensive than other food options and isn’t always loved by pickier puppies.
“My puppy loves this puppy food from Blue Buffalo. It’s providing all the nutrients required for healthy growth. I recommend this choice for those with that new family member! Woof!”
Give it a try. Click here now!
Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
This high-quality dry food is a great choice for discerning puppies, and it seems known to reject other foods.
It’s also a great alternative to choosing a raw diet, as it still provides natural nutrition with less preservatives than some other dry dog food brands.
The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and pea starch.
This flavorful food is easy to digest and has plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as fatty acids and other nutrients to support healthy development.
With no grains in this dog food, this is technically not a “complete” diet as it is missing some complex carbohydrates. Consult your vet regarding ways to address this for your puppy.
“For years we have tried, debated, and researched different dog foods…this one is the perfect compromise. We simply wanted a food we feel good and comfortable with feeding our dogs…we’ve been purchasing this food for over 3 years and we trust this brand.”
American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food
With ingredients like sweet potatoes, blueberries, kelp, carrots, and lamb, this food is a great source of energy to keep your pup playing all day!
This specialized puppy formula features tons of protein and DHA to support healthy cognitive development.
The first five ingredients are deboned lamb, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and chickpeas.
This high protein recipe has plenty of amino acids, oils, omegas, and other nutrients that supply your pup with everything he needs to thrive!
With no grains, corn, or wheat, this diet is slightly lacking in complex carbohydrates that help provide your pup with energy.
“We did our research and really liked what we saw in this food. He absolutely devours it!”
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Dry Dog Food Prairie Puppy
With superfoods, probiotic fiber, antioxidants, and tons of other nutrients, Taste of the Wild is one of the most protein-rich foods available. This food has no artificial fillers, flavors, colors, preservatives, and no grain, corn, or wheat.
The first five ingredients are buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, and pea protein.
This food includes a great blend of wonderful ingredients and nutrients, including a mix of prebiotic fiber, game meats, amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids, and minerals.
Taste of the Wild may actually contain too much protein for certain breeds/ages of puppies; consult with your veterinarian to get specific advice for your dog.
“Taste of the Wild is an excellent product and I will definitely be buying it again in the future. My puppies LOVE IT!”
Wanna try it? Click here to get yours!
Wag Dry Dog Food for Puppies
Do you have a picky pooch? This food with real chicken, lentils, peas, and added nutrients like salmon oil and flaxseed has been a favorite for puppies with more refined palettes.
You can also get this food in a beef, lamb, salmon, or turkey variety.
With no grains or corn, no added chemical preservatives, and no artificial colors or flavors, this puppy food would be a great option for pet parents who would prefer to give raw or freeze-dried foods but their dog is too young or the foods are too pricey.
The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, lentils, peas, and pea protein.
With 36% protein, this food is perfect for growing puppies who need energy and fats to keep them going strong!
With no added grains or corn, your pup may be lacking some complex carbohydrates for added energy. Consider supplementing with occasional dog treats, and monitor your pup’s activity levels.
Some pet parents have also reported their puppies having stomach sensitivity when transitioning to Wag, so if you do give it a try, go slow!
“We have a VERY spoiled dog…when Wag arrived, I held out a handful. No coaxing needed, he quickly gobbled it down! Definitely will be buying more of this.”
Instinct Puppy Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food
For slightly older puppies (a few months old but still a puppy), consider this dry food that is made from freeze-dried and raw ingredients. While the “raw” diet may be a bit rough for tiny puppy tummies, older puppies can handle this food and will thrive and continue to grow rapidly!
The addition of freeze-dried raw chicken and turkey, as well as veggies and fruits, means that your puppy will get a high-protein diet along with vitamins and minerals, without any of the artificial colors, preservatives, or by-products.
The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and egg product.
This is a very high-protein diet for your dog, which means they will have plenty of energy and get the benefits of a very minimally-processed food. There is also a boost in the calcium and phosphorus that encourages healthy bone growth, and there are no grains to act as fillers.
Because of the added minerals and lack of grains, this diet may not be something you can provide for every single meal. You may actually end up giving your dog too many vitamins and minerals and not enough complex carbohydrates.
Consider supplementing this diet with a diet that is higher in carbs and has no added minerals. Once your puppy is full-grown, switch to an adult food as this one will contain too much protein and will be too fattening for adult dogs.
“I can’t recommend this food enough! Give it a try and I’m sure that like me, you’ll be fans of Instinct for life. The ingredients are wonderful for them and you’ll notice your dog’s fur, teeth, and overall health will greatly improve.”
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Key Nutritional Needs of a Labradoodle Puppy
Protein (~22% of food content)
However, protein is included in your puppy’s food, like beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or turkey, and it should ideally be the first ingredient in the food.
Any food that lists corn, oats, soy, or another “filler” as the first ingredient probably isn’t providing enough protein for your pup.
Fats (10-15% of food content)
However, in the dog food, all of the fats are found in the oils, such as more common fish oils from salmon, and sometimes from flaxseed and simply the fatty portion of the proteins added, like chicken fat.
These fats serve an important role in your puppy’s health, but be sure that you aren’t giving them too many treats, as this may lead to an excess of fats in their diet.
Carbs (30-60% of food content)
Carbohydrates may be something that people try to avoid in their own diets when watching their weight, but for dogs, they are a crucial source of energy.
While the proteins and fats in the food are great for giving your puppy long-term energy, carbs help to round out the food and complete your dog’s diet.
Carbs in dog food may include vegetables like sweet potato, peas, and carrots as well as grains or rice.
Vitamins and Minerals (minimal amounts for puppies)
While vitamins and minerals are important for a growing puppy’s diet, it is still possible to give them too much of a good thing.
Puppies need vitamins and minerals in small amounts so they don’t have any deficiencies or health issues, but too much of certain vitamins and minerals are just as bad for your labradoodle puppy, and may inhibit their natural development.
Most of the foods that have been approved by vets and animal dieticians are have appropriate amounts of these, but be wary of any foods that list very high amounts of added nutrients.
There has been a major shift lately to avoid feeding your dog any food with grains.
One contributing factor in this movement is further research into the digestive systems of our canine companions, and it seems that a small percentage of dogs actually have slight allergies to grain and gluten, just like humans!
This can result in everything from indigestion and vomiting to skin rashes. However, though this sensitivity is out there, it is not nearly as common in dogs as you may think.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions against going completely grain-free, as they have discovered that the grain-free formulas, which may actually over-compensate with added fats and veggies, may be causing heart conditions in dogs known as “dilated cardiomyopathy,” or DCM.
So what’s a labradoodle parent to do?
Unless you are certain that your dog has a grain sensitivity or allergy (which you would find out from your vet as a result of testing), there is no reason to put your puppy on a grain-free diet.
The best thing you can do is find the best puppy foods for Labradoodles that are high in protein (preferably protein as the first ingredient), and ensure that they also have the fats, carbs, and vitamins that they need to stay healthy.
Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Labradoodles
As mentioned above, food sensitivities in dogs aren’t nearly as common as you might think.
However, Labradoodles do have a predisposition for certain skin issues, which food can serve to make better by providing oils and fat, or make worse with the inclusion of grains he may be sensitive too.
Generally speaking, your puppy is likely totally fine, and only if you notice lots of scratching or fur loss should you start to consult your vet about the possibility of making dietary changes.
Like many large dog breeds, joint dysplasia is a common ailment that can cause discomfort and mobility issues.
This condition occurs when the joints (most commonly the hips or elbows) move abnormally, causing pain and eventual damage to the cartilage.
In other words, the “ball and socket” joints don’t fit together properly and can dislocate more easily, leading to arthritic symptoms.
This is a common condition that can found in many larger dogs, including Labradoodles. It is a genetic condition, and since Labradoodles are a very active and energetic breed, they have an increased risk factor of suffering from this condition.
The best ways to prevent this condition from becoming an issue for your puppy are by maintaining a healthy weight and providing a food rich in protein.
As your puppy grows up, you can talk to your vet about the possibility of providing joint supplements to prevent dysplasia.
Many large dog breeds are at a higher risk for suffering from bloat, a condition where the dog’s stomach becomes filled with gas and food, causing it to rotate and cut off blood flow.
Though there is no one clear cause, vets suggest that smaller portion sizes at mealtime and providing the best puppy foods for Labradoodles that are high-quality can reduce your dog’s risk of suffering from bloat.
Labradoodle Puppy Feeding Chart
While every individual dog’s needs differ slightly, this convenient guide will give you a good idea of how to being feeding your labradoodle puppy the best food to keep him or her healthy and happy!
Consult your veterinarian for specific details regarding serving size for your puppy.
As Labradoodles are a large, rapid-growing breed, their feeding requirements will change frequently as they grow into adulthood.
|Age of Puppy in Weeks||Feeding Recommendations|
|8 weeks||· Your puppy has just been weaned from nursing. Use wet food to help them get used to eating from a bowl and complete the weaning process.|
|12 weeks||· Time to start dry food. Be sure you transition slowly; see the FAQ section below for tips on making that switch.|
|3 months||· Continue with dry food, but stick with a puppy food so your labradoodle gets plenty of fats and carbs in their diet.|
|6 months||· Your puppy still has a bit of growing to do, and is slightly more than half it’s adult weight. Continue with the puppy food, but consider gradually adding small amounts of an adult formula to get them used to the change.|
|1 year||· Your puppy is just about full grown! You can now transition to an adult formula.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How much food should I feed my Labradoodle puppy?
The appropriate portion size for labradoodle puppies depends entirely on their age, weight, and the food type.
Though the container that the food came in will list general guidelines, it is best to consult your vet to get the best and most accurate information specific to your puppy.
How do I transition my puppy to a different food?
Even with all of the research and preparation in the world, the food you pick for your labradoodle puppy may just not work out! Your pup may not like the taste, he may be sensitive to one of the ingredients, or your vet may have recommended a switch, and that’s okay.
The best way to approach this is by making the change very gradually, so your dog doesn’t experience any digestive upset or diarrhea.
When making the transition, start out slow. Begin on the first day with replacing just ¼ of the dog’s meal with the new food. Monitor their reaction and if they seem fine, increase the proportion to ½ old and ½ new food over the next couple days.
As long as they still have no negative effects, you can move to ¾ new and ¼ old. By the end of a week, you should be able to shift 100% of their meal to the new food.
If they do have a reaction or have excessive diarrhea, stop feeding them the new food and instead provide some rice and chicken broth to calm their stomach, and then try the new food again a few days later.
I have a picky Labradoodle. How do I encourage proper eating habits?
Labradoodles are known for their high intelligence, which is great for playtime and companionship, but can get tricky at mealtimes. You know what I’m talking about- your pup sniffs at his food, then turns his nose up.
What should you do?
First, don’t panic. Missing a meal or two does not spell disaster for your dog. Believe it or not, finicky dogs usually develop this behavior as a result of your behavior! If they are several months or years old, think back to when they were a puppy.
Did you switch foods often, or provide many different options to see what your dog preferred? You may have inadvertently trained your dog to hold out for a better food rather than just accepting what you’ve given them!
How about treats and table scraps?
When you often give your dog treats, they are getting used to “people food”, and you encourage them to be pickier when it comes to eating their own food.
The best thing to do is be consistent.
Provide the same food you always do at mealtime, then after 30 minutes, if it hasn’t been eaten take it away.
Do the same thing at the next mealtime. After a few missed meals, your dog will start to understand that eating his normal meal is the only option, and there are no table scraps or treats coming.
However, if your dog is actually hungry, he will eat when food is offered. And don’t worry- your dog won’t starve! He isn’t going to keep from eating if he’s hungry just to prove a point.
If your dog has missed a few meals, but still shows no interest in food or she is acting different than normal, you’ll definitely need to schedule a vet visit, as there might be something more going on!
What Is The Best Puppy Food For Labradoodles?
Clearly, there is a great deal to consider when selecting a puppy food for your labradoodle.
From nutrients and minerals to a percentage, it can be difficult to choose the best puppy foods for Labradoodles.
Out of the ten labradoodle puppy food choices we’ve provided here, the best all-around puppy food for your labradoodle would have to be Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy food Small Bites.
With a perfect blend of ingredients customized to be perfect for growing puppies.
Plus the small size of the kibble makes this the best choice for your Labradoodle pup.
While you may want to try a few different options at first, especially wet food if your pup is very young and newly weaned. However, once it’s time for dry food, this is the one to choose!
I hope you enjoyed this post about the best puppy foods for Labradoodles.
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Thanks for reading!