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The 5 Best Dog Foods For Cockapoos

Dog Food June 20, 2019
cockapoo

The 5 Best Dog Foods For Cockapoos

cockapoo

Cockapoos are the original hybrid or designer dog. They first became popular in the 1940s-50s when American Cocker Spaniels and Poodles were the most popular American Kennel Club breeds in the United States.

It only seemed natural to cross these breeds and produce the Cockapoo. Cockapoos have been popular ever since. Smart, cute, and affectionate,

there’s a lot to like about these small to medium-sized dogs. In addition, many Cockapoos are low-shedding because of their Poodle connection. We can help you find the best dog foods for Cockapoos.

Quick Look At Our Top Picks For Best Dog Foods For Cockapoos:

ImageProductFeatures

Best Overall

NomNomNow Chicken Chow-Wow Fresh Dog Food
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Rich in protein with moderate fat and calories
  • Perfectly portioned for dog’s calorie needs
20% OFF your first order

Best for Weight Loss

Ollie Hearty Beef Eats Dog Food
  • Rich in protein and energy for active breeds
  • No plant-based proteins (like lentils)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables for natural nutrients
50% OFF your first order

Best Affordable

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Cocker Spaniel Adult
  • Supports cardiac muscle health
  • Helps your Cockapoo’s skin and coat
  • Keeps your dog at a healthy weight
CHECK PRICE

Best For Sensitive Digestion

Eukanuba Lifestage Formulas Small Breed Dog Food
  • Dogs love the smell and taste
  • Good for weight control
  • Easy to digest
CHECK PRICE

Best for Allergies

Farmina Chicken & Pomegranate Adult Mini
  • 92 percent of the protein comes from animal sources
  • Beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics
  • Farmina has chicken, lamb, and cod low grain formulas
CHECK PRICE

Our criteria

When choosing the best dog foods for Cockapoos, we try to follow the recommendations of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. We look for foods that meet the following criteria as much as possible:

  • Foods that are AAFCO-approved, preferably with food trials.
  • We prefer companies that invest in nutritional research and testing.
  • We like companies that employ staffs of veterinary nutritionists to develop their formulas.
  • We like companies that have good quality control.
  • Nutrition is more important than ingredients that sound appealing to humans.

We are also concerned about the recent warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relating to a possible link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. This FDA investigation is ongoing. It has also been expanded to include exotic meats used in dog foods.

At this time, we don’t recommend that you feed your dog a grain free dog food unless he has a specific health problem or food allergy that has been diagnosed by your veterinarian and your vet has suggested a grain free dog food.

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Some of the dog foods we recommend are not the most popular foods today. However, we think they are the best dog foods for Cockapoos. They are nutritious, produced with superior quality control measures, and backed by nutritional research and science.

Top 5 Best Rated dog foods for Cockapoos Reviewed

A quality dog food brand will feature animal protein as the main ingredient with digestible carbohydrates, healthy fats, and beneficial supplements to ensure nutritional balance. It should also come from a reputable brand that doesn’t use fillers or artificial additives.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best food for Cockapoo dogs that you should consider:

NomNomNow Chicken Chow-Wow Fresh Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein -37% Min
  • Fat – 26% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Calories: 1,189 kcal/kg

Pros:

  • Rich in protein with moderate fat and calories
  • Perfectly portioned for dog’s calorie needs
  • Suitable for all life stages

Cons:

  • Some dogs of this breed are prone to allergies (like chicken)
  • More expensive than the average kibble

The Cockapoo is a small-to-medium breed, so it may require a more calorie-dense diet than larger dogs, but you still need to watch out for obesity. NomNomNow offers four recipes for fresh dog food, all made with wholesome natural ingredients and delivered right to your door. Each bag is perfectly portioned according to your dog’s calorie requirements, as well, so you don’t have to worry about overfeeding.

We like NomNomNow’s Chicken Chow-Wow recipe for the Cockapoo breed because it is rich in protein but moderate in fat and calories. It provides plenty of fiber for healthy digestion as well as omega fatty acids to support your dog’s curly coat.

Ollie Hearty Beef Eats Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 37.5% Min
  • Fat – 31% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Calories: 1,540 kcal/kg

Pros:

  • Rich in protein and energy for active breeds
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables for natural nutrients
  • No plant-based proteins (like lentils)

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive or allergic to beef
  • More expensive than most commercial dry foods

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Small Breed Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food contains chicken as the first ingredient.

This formula has no corn, no wheat, and no soy. It also has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. This small breed formula contains brown rice with natural fiber for healthy digestion. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help improve your Cockapoo’s skin and coat.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 23% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 3.3% Max
  • Calories: 304 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Supports cardiac muscle health
  • Helps your Cockapoo’s skin and coat
  • Keeps your dog at a healthy weight

Cons:

  • Better for Cockapoos that resemble Cocker Spaniels
  • Not suitable for puppies

Since Cockapoos are a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, your dog should do well eating a food that is formulated for the parent breeds. Our choice for the best dog food for Cockapoos is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food. This formula supports the dog’s skin and coat health and keeps your little Cockapoo at a healthy weight.

It also maintains cardiac muscle health. This Cocker Spaniel formula has an exclusive kibble shape that encourages grasping and chewing for dogs with a Cocker Spaniel-type jaw. This food is intended for dogs over 12 months of age.

If your Cockapoo is a little more like his Poodle parent, we can suggest the Royal Canin Poodle dry dog food formula for adult Miniature and Toy Poodles. (Cockapoos are nearly always a cross between American Cocker Spaniels and a Miniature or Toy Poodle and not the Standard Poodle.)

Eukanuba Lifestage Formulas Small Breed Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 28% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Calories: 406.42 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Prebiotics that are good for your Cockapoo’s digestion
  • Antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system
  • 3D DentaDefense System to reduce tartar build-up

Cons:

  • This is a maintenance dog food, not suitable for puppies
  • Suitable for small dogs but if your Cockapoo is larger you should look for a different food

This formula is rich in antioxidants to support a strong, healthy immune system.

Eukanuba Lifestage Formlas Small Breed Dog Food has a specialized fiber system made from natural beet pulp and prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides), a natural sugar, to promote nutrient absorption and healthy digestion.

This Eukanuba formula also has a smaller, nutrient-dense kibble that makes it easier for your small dog to grasp and chew the food. The 3D DentaDefense System has been proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days.

Farmina Chicken & Pomegranate Adult Mini

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 2.9% Max
  • Calories: 435 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • This formula is 60 percent protein, 20 percent organic spelt and organic oats, and 20 percent vegetables and fruits, vitamins and minerals
  • 92 percent of the protein comes from animal sources
  • Farmina has chicken, lamb, and cod low grain formulas
  • Comes in Medium and Maxi sizes with larger kibble pieces for bigger dogs

Cons:

  • This food is more expensive than some of the American brands we have recommended
  • Customers report that the food has a strong, fresh odor, especially the cod formula, that some buyers don’t like; but dogs like it

Deboned chicken is the first ingredient in Farmina Chicken & Pomegranate Adult Mini dry dog food. This formula is high in protein with limited carbohydrates and lower fiber. It has a smaller kibble size that makes it easy for small and mini breeds to eat.

Unlike many dog foods that are higher in protein, this food has 92 percent protein from animal sources. Farmina foods are also low-glycemic and GMO-free. This low grain formula does not contain peas, lentils, pea protein, chickpeas, or added plant oils. Farmina is one of the dog food brands that have been testing very well with dogs tested for DCM and taurine levels. Made in Italy.

Special considerations for feeding a Cockapoo

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Editor’s Note

The American Cocker Spaniel is one of the breeds that is particularly prone to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart disease.

It’s possible that your Cockapoo can inherit this tendency from his Cocker Spaniel parent.

We strongly recommend that you do not feed your Cockapoo a grain free dog food, at least until the FDA investigation into the possible link between grain free dog foods and DCM is completed.

Allergies

Cocker Spaniels can have some allergies and they can have ear infections because of their long, floppy ears.

Any of these things could show up in your Cockapoo. If your dog does have allergies, we recommend working with your veterinarian to determine the exact cause.

If your vet confirms that your Cockapoo has an allergy, you can work together to identify the trigger that causes your dog’s allergic reaction.

The most common food allergens for dogs are chicken, beef, dairy, and egg.

Editor’s Note

Keep in mind that there are other kinds of allergies besides food allergies.

Dogs can have flea allergy dermatitis, and environmental allergens, as well as food allergies.

That means your dog could be highly allergic to a single flea bite; or to dust, pollen, or mold. Some allergies, such as allergies to different kinds of pollen, are seasonal.

So, even if your Cockapoo is itching, scratching, and showing other signs of having an allergy, it might not be because of his food.

You should be aware that any dog can develop an allergy at any time of life.

Even if your dog has never shown any indication of having an allergy to anything, he could suddenly develop an allergy when he’s 10 years old.

Most dogs will show signs of an allergy between 6 months and three years of age, but an allergy can develop at any time and anything can be a trigger.

How much should you feed your Cockapoo?

Since either a Miniature Poodle or a Toy Poodle can be one of the parents of a Cockapoo, an adult Cockapoo can weigh between 10 and 34 pounds (more or less).

We can give you an estimate about how much to feed your Cockapoo at different ages during his first year.

  • If your three-month-old Cockapoo weighs 10 pounds, he would need about 660 calories per day.
  • If your six-month-old Cockapoo weighs 19 pounds, he would need about 700 calories per day.
  • By the time your Cockapoo is a year old, he might weigh about 26 pounds. You would need to feed him about 800 calories per day.

Remember that this is only an estimate depending on how much your puppy weighs. If he’s larger or smaller you would need to adjust his portions. Dogs that are spayed or neutered can also have a slightly slower metabolism so they may need fewer calories as an adult.

What kind of diet should you feed your Cockapoo?

Most Cockapoos should be able to eat a normal diet for dogs. All dogs require certain nutrients in their diet.

Protein

Like other dogs, Cockapoos need protein in their diet. The amino acids that form protein develop muscles, repair tissues, and keep skin and hair healthy.

Editor’s Note

An adult dog needs at least 18 percent protein in his diet for maintenance; and 22 percent for growth and reproduction (this includes puppies). Most good dog foods today exceed these percentages. This doesn’t mean that your Cockapoo needs ridiculously high protein percentages. If your dog has more protein than his body needs, he will excrete it in his urine.

Many grain free dog foods have very high protein percentages but much of the protein comes from ingredients such as peas, lentils, and legumes which can be harder for dogs to digest well.

The protein percentage looks high but your dog is not getting all of the advantages of protein that he gets from some other dog foods.

We suggest feeding your Cockapoo a grain-inclusive dog food that has a moderate protein percentage between 22 and 26 percent.

This is considered suitable for most dogs unless your veterinarian advises you otherwise.

Dogs that are extremely active such as a dog that is engaging in hunting, agility, or other sports, could eat a food with a higher protein percentage. In that case, look for a good grain-inclusive food such as one that has 28-30 percent protein.

Fat

Most adult dogs require a minimum of 5 percent fat in their diet. Puppies and pregnant or nursing dams require a minimum of 8 percent fat in their diet.

Virtually all dog foods have higher fat percentages than these recommendations. Fat is one of the ingredients that makes dog food appealing to your dog so most dog food companies are happy to include lots of it.

However, if you feed your Cockapoo a food that has a high fat percentage your dog could easily become overweight. Or, a food that is too rich can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.

We recommend dog foods for Cockapoos that have a fat percentage between 12 and 16 percent. This is considered a moderate fat level.

Carbohydrates

Many people believe that carbohydrates in dog foods are empty calories or filler ingredients but this is false.

Carbs provide your dog with energy, fiber, and other nutrients. Simple sugars and starches in carbohydrates help your Cockapoo’s brain function.

Complex carbohydrates help regulate your dog’s glucose levels, preventing sugar spikes.

They keep your dog from feeling hungry all the time. The fiber from some carbohydrates help regulate digestion.

Fiber

Your dog also needs fiber in his diet. Fiber generally comes in soluble and insoluble forms. Soluble fiber, found in beet pulp, chicory, and inulin, attracts water and turns material into a gel.

This slows down the digestive process. Insoluble fiber, such as cellulose, adds bulk to your dog’s digestive matter and can help speed the process. It is also used in some weight control diets.

Most dry dog foods have around 3-6 percent crude fiber. If your Cockapoo appears to have loose stools, check the fiber percentage. You may need to change to a food that has slightly less fiber.

Probiotics and prebiotics

Many dog foods today also contain prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics – a dietary fiber – encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract.

Chicory and inulin are often added to dog foods as prebiotics.

Probiotics are living organisms added to dog foods so they can form beneficial colonies with millions of good bacteria in your dog’s gastrointestinal system. Once established, these microorganisms can improve your dog’s digestion.

Vitamins and minerals

You will also find vitamins and minerals added to most dog foods today.

Kibble is cooked at such high temperatures that some of the nutrients in the ingredients can be destroyed.

By adding vitamins and minerals into the food after cooking, pet food companies make sure that your dog gets the nutrients he needs.

What to look for when choosing the best dog foods for Cockapoos

We recommend looking for the following when choosing the best dog foods for Cockapoos:

  • Choose a good quality kibble that is grain-inclusive;
  • Look for a food with a protein percentage between 22 and 26 percent;
  • Look for a food with moderate fat and fiber;
  • Avoid feeding grain free dog foods and foods that use exotic meat proteins unless your dog has been diagnosed with a specific health problem or allergy that requires using one of these foods.

If your dog has a health problem, please talk to your veterinarian and take his or her advice about what to feed your Cockapoo dog.

Conclusion

Cockapoos are sweet, gentle, playful, intelligent dogs that make wonderful pets. They can range from about 10 to 35 pounds. Some Cockapoos can look more like Cocker Spaniels and some look curlier, like their Poodle parent. Whether your Cockapoo is small and curly or a little bigger and more Cocker in appearance, finding the best dog foods for Cockapoos shouldn’t be too difficult. Most Cockapoos can eat a good food that has moderate protein, fat, and fiber.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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