The 5 Best Dog Foods For Cockapoos
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.
A quick look at our top pick
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.)
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.
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.
Also Read: 20 Best Dog Food Brands For 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 dog.
Top 5 Best Rated dog foods for Cockapoos Reviewed
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 formula is rich in antioxidants to support a strong, healthy immune system.
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.
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.
Introduced in 2015, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind has been considered a breakthrough dog food. The original formula was developed for dogs 7+ years old. The formulas that have followed, such as Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult Small Breed Formula, are for younger dogs.
These formulas encourage your dog’s cognitive health with medium-chain triglycerides and other ingredients that support a dog’s mind. This adult small breed formula has DHA and EPA, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that come from cold water fish. The formula also has antioxidants, B Vitamins, and arginine.
Antioxidants promote a healthy immune system. Vitamin A and Linoleic Acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. The kibble comes in bite-sized pieces to make chewing easier for small dogs.
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)
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.
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.
Also Read: Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies
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.
Also Read:Best Dog Shampoo for Dermatitis
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.
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.