The clownish Cockapoo has a hilarious personality that’s endearing to many families. Unlike most designer breeds that are relatively new, the Cockapoo has been around for a while, first showing up in the 1960s. In fact, they might even be the very first designer dog breed.
If you have a Cockapoo, then you no doubt love your dog as a valued member of your family. As such, you want to feed them the best food that will benefit their health and help them to live a long and happy life.
To help on your mission, we’ve compiled a list of the absolute best foods you could feed your Cockapoo. But we’ve taken things a step further, writing reviews for each of these eight foods so that you can learn all about how each of these foods stack up as a nutritional source for our Cockapoo.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 8 Best Dog Foods for Cockapoos
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
If you’ve spent much time searching through healthy dog food formulas, you’ve no doubt encountered Blue Buffalo. They’re one of the biggest and most respected names in dog nutrition and their Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food is a staple in their repertoire that helped to make them such a well-known name in the industry.
This food is made with natural, healthy, whole-food ingredients that are packed with the essential nutrients that your Cockapoo needs. A quick glance at the ingredients list confirms this. Deboned chicken is listed as the first ingredient, showing that they used a quality protein source and didn’t go with something cheap like a by-product meal. You’ll also find blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, and other whole foods in this recipe, specifically chosen for the nutrients that the health benefits they provide.
Despite the quality ingredients, we wish there was a bit more protein in this blend. The 24% minimum crude protein in this recipe didn’t impress us much. But the other health-boosting nutrients did. For instance, the glucosamine in this food will help keep your Cockapoo’s joints healthy and strong, while the remaining vitamins, antioxidants, and chelated minerals will keep your Cockapoo in peak health.
2. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food – Best for The Money
Feeding your dog the most nutritionally-sound dog food can be expensive. But the American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food breaks away from that by offering a dog food that’s more affordable than most other health-focused recipes, but still offers the vital nutrition that your Cockapoo needs.
The first thing we noticed was that this food has a minimum of 25% crude protein, which is respectable. Deboned chicken is listed as the first ingredient, showing that American Journey chose to use quality protein sources instead of cheap substitutes. However, chicken is the only real source of protein in this recipe and we’d prefer to see a more diverse array of protein sources. Still, for the price, we think this is the best dog food for Cockapoos for the money.
But there’s more that makes this dog food a great choice. It’s got added vitamins and minerals to ensure that your dog’s eyes, immune system, joints, and more stay fully functioning as they age. Plus, the extra omega fatty acids will keep your Cockapoo’s coat and skin shiny, healthy, and feeling great.
3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
In order to make foods that were easy on a dog’s digestive system, many companies have opted for a grain-free approach to feeding canines. This is the type of formula found in the Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food, a blend that we think is ideal for Cockapoo puppies. It’s full of exactly the right nutrients to ensure that they grow into healthy, happy, exuberant adults.
To start, you’ll notice a very impressive 36% minimum crude protein, more than almost any other brand we’ve seen. This ensures that your dog will have all the amino acids necessary to keep building their ever-growing bodies. But that’s not all, the protein is from diverse, natural, whole-food sources, providing your dog with peak nutrition. You’ll notice that deboned chicken, chicken, meal, and turkey meal are the first three ingredients, showing exactly what kind of quality foods went into this formula.
As if the nutrient-packed whole foods weren’t enough, Wellness also loaded additional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and supplements into this blend. To be fair, it’s a pricey dog food; more expensive than most formulas we’ve tried. But if you want to provide your puppy with premium nutrition, this blend is hard to beat.
4. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food
The VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food is a great blend of quality ingredients at a reasonable price. For those who prefer to buy in bulk so they don’t have to stock up on dog food often, this food is offered in large volumes of up to 50 pounds. But what really matters is what the food contains.
Thankfully, this food contains loads of healthy protein, a minimum of 30%. Several diverse sources of protein were used, including pork meal, chicken meal, fish meal, and beef meal, which is listed as the primary ingredient. Of course, it takes more than just a lot of protein to make a good dog food, which is why this blend is loaded with lots of extra nutrients. For instance, they added linolenic acid, DHA, zinc, selenium, l-carnitine, and vitamin E to ensure that your Cockapoo is getting every nutrient they need.
But we did notice a few problems with this food. First, it’s not a great choice for picky eaters. Any of our dogs who were even slightly picky eaters showed no interest in this food. But for the dogs that did eat it, stinky gas was soon to follow.
5. Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
At first look, the Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food seems like an excellent choice. The ingredients list is much shorter than on other dog foods that we’ve tested, showing that this really is a limited ingredients dog food. But it’s still packed with the ever-important protein that your dog needs. In fact, this protein has a minimum of 32% crude protein.
A quick look at the ingredients list shows that turkey and turkey meal are listed as the first ingredients. Obviously, they’re using healthy, whole-food ingredients, but we’d still prefer to see more diverse protein sources listed than just turkey, especially at the high price that this dog food sells for.
When we fed this formula to our dogs, most of them ate it without complaint. However, shortly after, we started to notice some unpleasant flatulence that all of our dogs were experiencing. Their stools also became soft and runny, so we knew it wasn’t digesting as easily as we’d like. Maybe it’s the low amount of fiber in this blend, just 4%. Regardless, we had hoped it would be easier on our dogs’ stomachs.
6. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
One of the biggest draws to grain-free dog foods such as the Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Dry Dog Food is that they’re supposed to be easier for dogs to digest. This food did seem to go down easily and didn’t give our dogs gas or diarrhea. However, it didn’t do well on our dogs that have allergies. It caused flareups in a few of our dogs, despite the natural, whole-food ingredients used to craft this food.
But there were things we really liked about this food. To start, it’s loaded with a minimum of 32% crude protein from a wide variety of sources such as venison, lamb, and duck. You’d think that would be appetizing for canines, but our dogs only seemed to want to eat this food when they got extremely hungry and wouldn’t touch it before that.
For smaller breeds like Cockapoos, the kibble size of the Taste of the Wild food was perfect. We also loved all the whole-food ingredients like blueberries, tomatoes, and raspberries that offer our dogs the vital nutrients they need. But with such an expensive food, we would like to see our dogs more interested in eating it.
7. Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Many of the health-focused dog foods can get pretty expensive, but the Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Grain-Free Dry Dog Food outprices them all. This is one of the most expensive dog foods we’ve seen, so we expected it to be packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and more. Unfortunately, the 26% protein in this blend leaves a lot to be desired. That said, the protein is from organic, free-range chicken, so at least the source is high quality.
In fact, all of the ingredients in this recipe are organic, which is, no doubt, a major reason for the exorbitant pricing. It’s also a grain-free blend, so sweet potatoes and chickpeas were used instead of the more traditional brown rice or potatoes.
With all of those organic, expensive ingredients, we expected our dogs to love this food. After all, it seems like they’re eating like kings! But most of our dogs wanted nothing to do with this blend. In the end, this expensive bag of dog food went mostly uneaten as our dogs clearly preferred other formulas.
8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Dry Dog Food
The Natural Balance L.I.D. Dry Dog Food is meant for dogs that are eating a limited ingredients diet. It’s made with simple ingredients and fortified with additional vitamins, minerals, and supplements to boost your dog’s health. This includes vitamins E, D3, and B12, copper, iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorous, and more. Plus, they even included omega fatty acids to keep your Cockapoo’s skin and coat looking great.
But you’ll be paying a premium for this limited-ingredients blend, even though it contains fewer ingredients than many other formulas. And because of the limited ingredients, there’s just one protein source: lamb. We’d prefer to see several sources of protein to ensure our dogs are getting a full amino acid profile. Worse, this formula contains less total protein than most blends we’ve seen; just 23%.
Generally, we like to stock up on large volumes of food to save money and avoid the need for ordering more too soon. But this food isn’t available in the large volumes we usually order. Overall, it’s not a food we’d recommend when there are so many other options on the market that provide more protein from more diverse sources and offer a better value.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Cockapoos
Now you’ve seen what we think of these eight foods for Cockapoos, but you might be wondering how we made these comparisons. To help explain, we’ve written this short buyer’s guide that will cover the important things you should consider when choosing a food for your Cockapoo. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be sure to make the right choice every time.
Whenever you’re looking at foods for your Cockapoo, the nutritional content label is going to provide most of the information you need. Here, you’ll see how much protein, carbs, and fats are in the food, what vitamins and minerals are included, how much fiber there is, and more.
If that sounds like too much information; don’t worry. You don’t need to overthink this. If you look at just a few key areas, you’ll be able to get the information you need.
One of the most important figures on the nutritional label and the first place you need to look is the protein content.
Why is Protein So Important?
Protein is made up of amino acids. These amino acids are essentially the building blocks of life. They’re responsible for building your dog’s muscles, hair, nails, tendons, cartilage, and more. Moreover, they play a vital role in hormone production.
If you think back to the time before dogs were domesticated, their diets consisted of mainly animal proteins from the prey they hunted and killed. Today, protein is still one of the most important nutrients for our dogs to consume, which is why it’s the first place to look on the nutritional label.
In general, more is better when it comes to protein. You’ll want to pick a blend that has a minimum of 24-25% crude protein. But 30% or even higher is great if you can find a food that has that much protein and is still made with high-quality, whole-food ingredients.
After checking out the nutritional label, you ought to take a look at the ingredients list. This will tell you what the food is made out of, which allows you to get a feel for the overall quality of the food.
Some of the best foods will be listing whole-food ingredients like brown rice, deboned chicken, sweet potatoes, and others. You’ll want to look for the blends that are made up entirely of healthy, whole foods that you would want to eat.
Ingredients to Avoid
So, we know that we want to see whole foods on the ingredients list, but there are also foods we don’t want to see listed. These ingredients alert you to the lower quality of a food that contains them.
For example, animal byproducts are a cheap substitute for quality protein sources like deboned chicken or lamb. If you see any animal byproducts, especially by-product meals, then you’ll probably be better off avoiding that food.
You also don’t want to see a bunch of starches or powders listed as ingredients. Once again, these are cheap substitutes for quality ingredients that would provide your dog with far more health benefits.
After checking on the ingredients list and the main nutritional content, you’ll want to see what else the food contains. For instance, omega fatty acids are included in many dog foods because they help to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and exuberant.
You’ll also want to look for vitamins and minerals that should be present in health-focused dog food blends. This includes vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and more.
But there are also other nutrients that can benefit your dog if they’re added into the food. Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can ensure your Cockapoo’s joints stay healthy and strong as they age. They repair cartilage that can wear down over time, eventually causing arthritis.
Does Your Dog Like it?
Of course, you can get your dog a food that’s made with the best ingredients and loaded with all the health-boosting nutrients and supplements you want to feed your dog, but it doesn’t matter if they won’t eat it! That’s why the taste test is the most important aspect of all.
When switching to a new food, it’s a good idea to start with a small bag so you can test it with your Cockapoo and see whether they like it or not. Few things are more annoying than purchasing a big bag of that “perfect” dog food just to find out your Cockapoo won’t touch it and it goes to waste!
There are tons of dog foods on the market and they all claim to be the best choice for your dog. But as a loving Cockapoo owner, you want to make sure you’re really giving your dog the best, which is why you just read our reviews comparing some of the best dog foods for Cockapoos on the market.
Our top choice would have to be the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula. It’s made with healthy, whole-food ingredients such as deboned chicken, brown rice, oatmeal, and blueberries. Plus, it’s fortified with additional health-boosters like l-carnitine, manganese sulfate, and vitamins A, B, and D.
For the best value, we recommend the American Journey Active Life Formula. It starts with a minimum of 25% crude protein with deboned chicken listed as the main ingredient. Plus it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, and more, at a price that’s more affordable than most health-focused dog food blends.
Finally, the Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Recipe is our top pick for Cockapoo puppies. It’s got an impressive 36% minimum crude protein with deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal listed as the three most prevalent ingredients with additional health-boosting nutrients added for good measure.
Featured Image Credit: mountaintreks, Shutterstock