Can Goldendoodles Eat Grain? Do They Need Grain-Free Food?

It’s somewhat challenging for dog owners to create a meal plan for their dogs as they need to pick healthy foods that contain all the necessary nutrients and won’t cause the dog any digestive problems.

When it comes to breeds with sensitive stomachs, such as Goldendoodles, there’s been a lot of debate among their owners about whether it’s a good idea to add grain to their diet.

So, can Goldendoodles eat grains? Goldendoodles can eat grains as long as they do not have any allergies. Foods with grains provide dogs with a significant nutritional value at an affordable price. However, grain should not make up more than 20% of the dog’s diet, as eating too much grain will cause dogs some digestive problems.

There is actually a ton of controversy about grains in dog food, so in this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about them, including the pros and cons of grains in dog food and whether you should feed your Goldendoodle grains at all. So, keep reading… 

Can Goldendoodles Eat Grains?

goldendoodle portrait to answer can goldendoodles eat grain

Goldendoodles, just like all other dog breeds, are considered to be carnivores, meaning they mainly feed on animal proteins, but that doesn’t mean they can’t digest other foods that aren’t meat, including grains.

Goldendoodles can eat grains; however, their ability to digest them will vary from one dog to another, depending on whether they have stomach problems or any allergies.

Grains can offer many benefits for the dog, but they might also have some risks depending on the dog’s health. So, make sure to consult a veterinarian or a nutritionist before adding grains to your dog’s meal plan.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Grain for Goldendoodles?

As mentioned before, grains can offer many benefits for Goldendoodles and also their owners.


There are various kinds of grains, and they’re classified into two main categories: whole grains and refined grains.

Whole grains include foods like brown bread, crackers, cereal flakes, brown rice, oatmeal, and popcorn. Meanwhile, refined grains include foods like white bread, cornflakes, flour tortillas, and white rice.

This variety means you have various food options to include in your dog’s diet in case it doesn’t like a certain food.

Nutritional Value

Grains have a great nutritional value as they’re a source of various nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium), omega 3 fatty acids, and potassium.

These nutrients will help the dog grow and remain healthy. They will also provide the dog with the energy it needs to remain active.

Keep in mind that whole grains are proven to be healthier than refined grains, as the milling process used to produce refined grains will remove most of the natural nutrients contained within them, such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins.

Availability and Affordability

Owners also benefit from their dog eating grains as they’re highly available as well as affordable.

Food products with grains outnumber those without, and they can easily be found at any grocery store. They also come at a very affordable price compared to other grain-free products.

Can Goldendoodles Be Allergic to Grain?

Goldendoodles are prone to suffer from allergies, and grains are one of the most common allergies identified in animals.

Eating any food containing grain will trigger an allergic reaction in your dog, which will cause it to exhibit some symptoms such as:

  • Red and dry skin, especially near the belly
  • Red puffy eyes
  • Ear infection
  • Panting and difficulty with breathing
  • Excessive scratching and biting at the skin
  • Excessive licking at the skin and paw
  • Hair loss that leads to bald spots
  • Swelling in some body parts
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Goldendoodle, you need to find out what’s triggering the allergic reaction by carefully changing the dog’s diet removing one thing at a time.

Once you figure out which food is triggering your dog’s allergic reaction and eliminate it completely from the dog’s diet, the symptoms will go away on their own. If the symptoms persist, then you need to take your dog to a vet for further examination and treatment.

Is Eating Too Much Grain Bad for Goldendoodles?

Eating too much grain can be bad for Goldendoodle. Nutrition experts generally recommend that grains shouldn’t make up for more than 20% of the dog’s diet.

Grains aren’t the easiest to digest for all dogs, particularly those who already have sensitive stomachs. Eating too much grain, more than 20%, will put your dog at risk of getting sick and suffering various digestive problems.

These digestive problems will cause the dog to exhibit some symptoms such as:

  • Unstable appetite
  • Stomachache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your dog gets sick from eating too much grain, you need to remove grains from the dog’s diet for a day or two until the symptoms get better. 

If the symptoms persist, then you need to take your dog to a vet for further examination and treatment.

Are Grain-Free Diets Better for Goldendoodles?

Grain-free dog diets can be dry or wet, commercially produced or homemade. 

These diets have gained popularity in the past few years, which sparked a debate among Goldendoodle owners about whether they are better for their dogs.

Advocates of this diet claim that it will improve the dog’s digestion, increase its energy, help with weight management, and reduce the risk of triggering an allergic reaction. 

However, there’s no scientific evidence to back up these claims.

Choosing the best diet for your dog will depend mainly on its health, so make sure to consult a vet or a nutritionist before changing your dog’s diet.

If you are going to switch your dog to a grain-free diet, it’s highly recommended to do so gradually by alternating between its current food and the grain-free food over time.

How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for Your Goldendoodle?

To create a healthy meal plan for your Goldendoodle, you need to make sure it contains enough calories and nutrients for the dog to grow and maintain its energy levels.

So, let’s break down some key aspects of creating a healthy meal plan for your Goldendoodle in more detail:

What Are the Nutrients That Goldendoodles Need in Their Diet?

The most important nutrient that Goldendoodle need in their diet is animal protein which can be found in various kinds of food such as beef, chicken, lamb, and other white meats.

They also need other nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins which can be found in various food sources such as grains, vegetables, and fruits.

How Many Calories Do Goldendoodles Need in Their Diet?

On average, Goldendoodles need to eat between 989 and 1,272 calories in a day.

The exact number of calories will vary depending on the dog’s age, as puppies need to eat more calories so that their body will grow and develop at a normal rate.

It will also vary depending on the dog’s energy levels, as energetic dogs need to eat more calories to be able to remain active.

How Many Meals Should Goldendoodles Eat in a Day?

It’s generally recommended to give Goldendoodles 2 main meals in a day. You can divide their calorie intake on these main meals while also giving them some snacks and treats in-between meals.

It’s also recommended to switch up the dog’s meal plan every now and then and introduce new foods to ensure that the dog is getting the nutrients it needs from different sources.

Is It Possible to Overfeed Goldendoodles?

It is possible to overfeed Goldendoodles if you’re not careful about the amount of food you put in their bowl or how many meals you give them during the day.

Generally, dogs will stop eating when they start to feel full; however, if they were provided with more food, they might continue to eat more than they would’ve otherwise done or what they actually need. 

Overfeeding your Goldendoodle will cause it to suffer from digestive problems, resulting in the dog vomiting the excess food. It could also lead to severe weight gain if it continues to happen over time.

By the way, sometimes overeating can be not caused by you, but by the dog when they go on an eating spree and eat everything and anything that comes in their way. I address this problem in this guide to why your Goldendoodle is eating everything, so make sure to check it to learn about the causes and the solutions for this problem.

How to Add New Foods to Your Goldendoodle’s Meal Plan?

You need to be careful when adding new foods to your Goldendoodle’s meal plan, as any sudden changes can trigger an allergic reaction or cause the dog to suffer from digestive problems.

You need to introduce the new food gradually over time to give your dog’s digestive system enough time to adjust.

It normally takes about 5 to 7 days for dogs to adjust to new foods in their diet. However, some dogs might have more sensitive stomachs than others, so they’ll take longer to adjust.

Related Questions

What Are the Foods That Goldendoodles Cannot Eat?

Foods that Goldendoodles cannot eat include grapes, prunes, cherries, coffee, soda, chocolate, dairy, avocados, onions, raw eggs, or any kind of raw meat. These foods can be very toxic and harmful to the dog’s digestive system, and eating them in large amounts will cause the dog to develop various health problems.

Is Dry Food Good for Goldendoodles?

Dry food is good for Goldendoodles as it would provide them with the calories and nutrition they need. It’s also good for the dog’s oral health to chew on hard, dry food as it will help prevent the accumulation of bacteria or tartar on the dog’s teeth which will prevent it from developing some oral health problems.

Is Homemade Food Good for Goldendoodles?

Homemade food is good for Goldendoodles as it would provide them with the calories and nutrition they need. It’s also cheaper to cook for your dog with any ingredients you have on hand, and it will be much easier to adjust a homemade recipe in case the dog is allergic to certain kinds of food.

When to Switch Goldendoodles from Puppy Food to Adult Food?

You can switch Goldendoodles from puppy food to adult food when they are at about 12 to 18 months of age. When making any changes to the dog’s diet, make sure to do it gradually to give your dog time to adjust and avoid triggering an allergic reaction or causing digestive problems.

Can You Treat Goldendoodle with Allergies?

You can treat Goldendoodles with allergies by eliminating the trigger from the dog’s environment and giving them some medication to relieve any symptoms caused. However, you cannot cure allergies completely as it’s mainly a hereditary condition that’s passed down from the dog’s parents.

Helpful Resources 

Grains in Dog Food: What You Need to Know

Is Grain-Free Dog Food Bad?

Should your dog be on a grain-free diet? 

Should You Avoid Grains in Dog Food?

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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