Bringing a Labradoodle puppy into your home is certainly a cause for celebration. They’re loving and goofy, but these dogs are also an investment, and you should treat them as such. That means feeding them the best kibble possible to ensure that they grow up strong and healthy.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. It can often feel like you need a veterinary degree to understand dog food labels, much less determine which kibble is best.
In order to take some of the stress out of your buying decision, we’ve taken a look at the top Labradoodle-appropriate foods on the market today. In the reviews below, we’ll show you which kibbles are suitable for your fancy dog.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 9 Best Foods for Labradoodle Puppies
1. Ollie Fresh Lamb and Cranberry — Best Overall
Our pick for the best overall food for Labradoodle Puppies is Ollie Fresh Lamb and Cranberry diet. Ollie is a small, U.S.-based pet food company that produces fresh and baked diet options shipped directly to your door. This recipe is formulated with the help of veterinary nutritionists and contains all the essential vitamins and minerals to help your Labradoodle puppy grow.
While the company doesn’t produce “puppy” food, each meal is tailored to your dog’s individual nutrition requirements, based on several factors, including their age. It’s cooked with minimal, easily recognized ingredients like lamb, butternut squash, kale, and cranberries.
Labradoodle puppies usually don’t have an appetite problem, but based on user reviews, it seems that Ollie Fresh Lamb is generally well-liked by hungry dogs. The food must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s shipped on a schedule of your choosing, which can be altered at any time. However, Ollie doesn’t ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or any international address.
Overall, we think this is the best dog food for Labradoodle puppies you can buy right now.
2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Food — Best Value
Let’s make one thing straight right off the bat: Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy is a flawed kibble. There are several things we’d change about it if we could. For the price, however, it’s hard to ask for more than this food gives you, making it our pick for best food for Labradoodle puppies for the money.
It has just as much protein as our top choice at 28%, and it gets there without relying on plant proteins or animal by-products. Instead, real chicken is the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal (an excellent source of glucosamine).
The omega levels are great too, thanks to all the flaxseed, fish meal, fish oil, and sunflower oil. We also appreciate the inclusion of superfoods like cranberries and carrots.
Our biggest issue is the inclusion of cheap fillers like corn and soybean meal. We understand why they’d use cheap fillers — they are, after all, cheap. It makes the food worse, but it likely also saves you quite a bit of money. It also has more salt than we’d like, but not an excessive amount.
While Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy isn’t our top choice, we’d heartily recommend it for budget-conscious owners who nevertheless want to feed their dog a high-quality food.
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Food — Premium Choice
Nutro Wholesome Essentials has a touch more protein than our top two picks (29% vs. 28%), but you’ll pay more for that privilege. If you’re willing to pay the price, though, this is an all-around great food.
It starts off with both chicken and chicken meal, which gives you all the most nutritious parts of the bird. Add in chicken fat and lamb meal, and you’ve got a well-rounded variety of protein.
The first non-chicken ingredients are rice and oatmeal, which makes this a good choice for animals with sensitive stomachs. There’s also sweet potato and beet pulp for fiber (although the overall fiber levels are quite low at 3%) and fish oil and flaxseed for omega fatty acids.
It does have quite a bit of pea protein in it, but there’s enough meat in here to overlook that fact.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials isn’t inexpensive, but it has everything a growing pup needs to reach adulthood strong and healthy.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula is famous for its LifeSource Bits, which are little chunks of vitamins and minerals mixed in with the kibble. It’s an easy, delicious way to ensure that your pup gets all the nutrients they need at an early age.
The rest of the ingredients don’t lack in nutritional value, either. There are quite a few superfoods in this kibble, like flaxseed, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, and fish oil, so your pooch will have an abundance of vitamins and antioxidants in each bowl.
The meat’s not too shabby, either. Chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, and you’ll also find fish meal, eggs, and chicken fat inside. The overall protein level rivals our top picks at 27%.
It’s about as pricey as the Nutro above, though, even though you’re getting less protein. There’s a large amount of sodium inside as well, and we wish that they’d omitted white potatoes, which offer little in the way of nutrition and can cause gas in some dogs.
That’s not to say that Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula isn’t a good food, because it certainly is. It’s just not quite good enough to crack the top three on our list.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Food
Buffalo is the first ingredient in Taste of the Wild High Prairie, ensuring that the entire recipe is built on a solid foundation of lean protein. That’s far from the only meat inside, as it also boasts lamb meal, eggs, chicken fat, bison, venison, beef, and fish meal.
It all adds up to a 28% protein level, which is good for a puppy kibble. The company does cheat a bit to get there, as this stuff has quite a bit of pea protein in it, which lacks the important amino acids found in meat. We’ll forgive it that, though, because it makes up for it with its variety of animal sources.
The fruits and veggies are good too. Sweet potatoes are the third ingredient, giving your dog plenty of fiber, and you’ll also find foods like peas, blueberries, raspberries, and chicory root inside.
It’s loaded with omega fatty acids thanks to the chicken fat, flaxseed, fish meal, and salmon oil. These antioxidants are especially important for puppies, as they assist with brain and eye development, as well as keep their young immune systems in fine working condition.
While it’s not a perfect recipe by any means, Taste of the Wild High Prairie is one of the best we’ve found for puppies, and your little Labradoodle should gulp down every bit of it as soon as the bowl hits the floor.
6. American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food
American Journey isn’t exactly a well-known brand, but that’s a shame because this is a good, affordable puppy kibble.
It’s not quite on par with the selections above, but it’s much more competitively-priced. That’s partly because it doesn’t have as much protein (only 25%), but its meat sources are excellent.
Chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, and eggs are all inside (be careful about the eggs, though, as some dogs have trouble digesting them).
Not only that, but there are incredible fruits and veggies like kelp, cranberries, blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, flaxseed, and more, with nary a cheap filler in sight.
One issue that we have with the ingredients list is that it shows brown rice, rice bran, and brewers rice all in a row. This is indicative of a practice called “ingredient splitting,” in which the manufacturer lists the same ingredient under several different names in order to make it look like there’s less in the food than there really is.
So, who knows if chicken is really the primary ingredient, but even if it’s not, American Journey is a good food at a great price.
7. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Food
It may have as much protein as any food on this list at 29%, but Iams ProActive Health Smart has other flaws. The reason that the protein levels are so high is due to the presence of chicken and chicken meal, which is also a good source of glucosamine. This is great for joint health, and large breed puppies need a large amount of it.
What they don’t need are empty calories, the kind you find in corn and sorghum, both of which factor heavily into this food. Those ingredients can also upset sensitive stomachs, so there’s no reason to include them.
Another unnecessary ingredient is caramel coloring. This is to make the food look more like dog kibble, in case either you or your pooch forgot what it was. It’s a chemical your dog doesn’t need, and there’s no excuse for it being in here.
Iams ProActive Health Smart isn’t a terrible food, but it’s one that has easily-avoided flaws.
8. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Food
The ingredients list for Purina Pro Plan Focus starts off strong before ultimately proving to be quite the mixed bag indeed.
Chicken and brewers rice are the first two ingredients, which means your dog should get plenty of lean protein and gentle, complex carbohydrates in each bite. The overall protein levels are on the higher side of average at 28%, and there’s a good amount of fat (18%).
After the brewers rice, though, the next few ingredients are poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, wheat, animal fat (always a bad sign when they don’t specify what animal), corn, and corn germ meal. That’s mostly junk.
It’s also high in sodium, with only a tiny bit of fiber (3%).
To be fair, there’s also fish meal and fish oil, so your dog should get plenty of omega fatty acids. That’s certainly not enough for us to recommend Purina Pro Plan Focus, though.
9. Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin is priced like a premium food, but all you’ll find inside the bag is a bunch of bargain-basement ingredients.
Granted, it does have a large amount of protein — 30%, to be exact. But it gets that protein from animal by-products. It also contains fillers, like wheat, corn, corn gluten meal, and wheat gluten. If your dog has a touchy stomach, this food is likely to set it off.
There’s hardly any fiber in it and the fat levels are only decent. It is packed with sodium, though. While we can appreciate the fact that they included vegetable oil for omega fatty acids, it’s likely to do more harm than good, given how many calories it adds.
All in all, there’s little to like about Royal Canin.
Conclusion: Selecting the Best Food for Labradoodle Puppies
Ollie Fresh Lamb and Cranberry is our favorite food for Labradoodle puppies, as it’s made with fresh ingredients containing everything your pup needs.
If you want a great food at a bargain price, consider Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy. It has a few ingredients we’re not thrilled about, but overall, it’s a good kibble at an even better price.
Finding an appropriate dog food for your Labradoodle puppy can be a daunting task, and we hope our reviews have taken some of the stress out of it for you. We’re confident that our top picks will turn your little ball of fluff into a big, healthy ball of fluff in no time at all.
Featured Image Credit: litthouse, Pixabay