Best Dog Food For Bernedoodles

Bernedoodles are a beautiful dog, friendly gentle giants, they are a crossbreed between Bernese Mountain dogs and Poodles.

As ever with crossbreeds, it can be a little difficult to know what to feed them. Should you look up what a Poodle needs or what a Bernese Mountain dog needs?

Well, no need to worry, the dietary requirements for a Bernedoodle aren’t too complicated, really they depend on the level of activity your dog receives rather than being highly specific to the breed itself.

In the article, I’ve run through my recommendations for the best dog food for your Bernedoodle. I’ll show you a great choice for Bernedoodles of all activity levels, as well as the best dog food for your Bernedoodle puppy.

I hope you find this article helpful. If you’re short on time, here’s my number 1 dog food recommendation for the average Bernedoodle. 

I would recommend Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food for your Bernedoodle. It’s a quality dog food using great ingredients, the protein and fat content is perfect for most, moderately active Bernedoodle.

In a hurry?
u can take a look at Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food on Amazon here.

For further recommendations for very active Bernedoodles or puppies, scroll down the article to see my reviews.

What do Bernedoodles need to eat

Bernedoodles can come in a variety of sizes, often dependent on the Poodle size of their genes. Bernedoodles can be bred from tiny, miniature or standard poodles.

Whatever their size, they have plenty of energy and need a good amount of exercise.

Bernedoodle puppies are particularly playful and will happily mess around for hours on end.

Despite their variation in size, Bernedoodles generally don’t have to be fed any extreme types of dog food, such as high protein or low fat.

They can have a trait to be greedy so monitoring the amount you give them is important, but overall you should try and select a good quality dog food using meat or fish protein source as the main ingredient.

Let’s run through some of the main things to look out for when searching for a quality dog food for your Bernedoodle.


Generally speaking, the more exercise a dog receives the higher their protein requirements are.

A Bernedoodle that enjoys regular daily exercise with a long walk at the weekend may only need dog food containing a regular amount of protein, usually around 24%.

If your Bernedoodle does considerably more exercise than this, then you may want to consider a high-performance, high-protein dog food.

The key consideration when choosing dog food, one that’s much more important than the protein level, is the quality of protein.

You should choose food with a meat source as the main ingredient to ensure your dog is eating quality protein, I’ll talk more about that in the meat by-products section further down.

I’ll list a range of dog foods below with varying protein levels so, depending on your dog’s activity level, you should be able to find the appropriate one.


Despite their large frame, you don’t want to choose a dog food with excessive fat content.

Bernedoodles can sometimes have a greedy trait and they can be prone to gaining weight easily. You should always stick to the recommended feeding guidelines of any dog food you buy, it’s usually printed right on the packaging and will show various amounts based on the size or weight of your dog.

In general, you should look for dog food with an average level of fat, something around 14% would be fine.

Puppy foods have a higher fat content as they use more energy. Bernedoodle puppies are particularly energetic so for them a higher fat content is fine.

I’ll give a Bernedoodle puppy food recommendation near the bottom of the article.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

Often overlooked, many high street brands of dog food have little to no omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, omega 3, in particular, is often entirely missed.

It shouldn’t be, a good quality dog food will always contain both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and they are great for your dog’s health.

They are also an essential fatty acid because your dog cannot produce them itself, they must obtain them through their diet.

They both play vital roles in the body. Omega 6 is essential for cell membrane structure and cell function and helps to maintain the proper function of the immune system.

Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation of the skin and joints. That’s helpful for sensitive skin which may flare up or become red, possibly due to allergic reaction, and it’s also good for arthritis, reducing inflammation around the joints.

Added to that they are great for general skin and organ health, helping to maintain good cognitive function too.

They are an all-round essential part of your dog’s diet, so always make sure your dog food clearly labeled the minimum amount of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

It’ll only be small, around 1.5% for omega 6 and 0.4% for omega 3 is quite standard for a quality dog food. Fish based foods will usually contain more.

Watch out for meat by-product ingredients

I’ve already spoken about the importance of a quality protein source, one that can be easily digested.

That’s quite similar to this point. Avoid any food with meat by-product listed on the ingredients. It’s going to help the manufacturer increase the protein and fat content but it’s essentially all the parts of an animal no one else wants to use.

To understand meat by-products, it’s important to know that meat is defined as the muscle of an animal.

Here’s the AAFCO definition of what meat by-product is:

‘lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, & stomachs & intestines freed of their contents’

Ok, you might say, what’s wrong with a dog eating lungs, they would do that in the wild right?

Indeed they would, but they wouldn’t also ignore all of the quality meat and only eat the parts such as lungs and fatty tissue. And they would certainly eat the quality muscle meat first.

That’s also no knowing how much of that by-product amount is something relatively ok, like kidney, and how much is poor quality food like fatty tissue.

There are lots of dog foods that’ll include parts like chicken liver on their ingredients separately. That’s fine by me, it’s clear and open and you know exactly how much liver is in that product. But if it just says ‘meat by-product’, well that could be 99% fatty tissue and you would never know.

So when a dog food has meat by-products as one of their main ingredients, it’s basically like only feeding your dog all the leftover bits from the hunt, the stuff that the wolf lowest in the pack hierarchy on an Animal Planet show gets when all the others are hungry.

Best dry dog food (kibble) for Bernedoodles

Instinct Be Natural Recipe – Beef

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If your Bernedoodle has daily exercise with long weekend walks I’d recommend a dog food with a moderate protein level.

For those Bernedoodles, I would recommend this Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food.

This kibble by Instinct is not low in protein, it’s just about average for dog food, which I think is ideal for moderately active Bernedoodles.

I’ve chosen the beef version for a bit of variety on this list but it also comes in chicken too. That results in a protein level of 24% with a crude fat level of 13%.

The first 5 ingredients:

Beef, Turkey Meal, Barley, Oatmeal, Brown Rice.

It contains no chicken or poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, brewer’s rice, artificial colors or preservatives.

The sixth ingredient is Menhaden fish meal and as a result, it contains a good amount of both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids at 0.5% and 1.9% respectively, not bad for predominantly meat-based dog food.

It has received over 400 reviews on Amazon with very positive feedback. In particular dog owners have left lots of comments praising the high quality of the ingredients.

You can take a look at Instinct Be Natural Recipe dog food on Amazon here.

Diamond Naturals – Beef

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This beef-based dog food by Diamond has the highest combined protein and fat content of the dry kibbles I’ve put on this list.

That’s not to say that it’s a high protein or fat dog food. It isn’t, the content is just on the upper side of average.

That should be ideal for quite active Bernedoodles, who may go on a few long walks per week. They will easily burn off the fat and the protein will be good for maintaining their muscles.

The first 5 ingredients:

Beef meal, grain sorghum, ground white rice, dried yeast, egg product.

The crude protein level is at 25% with a crude fat level of 15%.

This dog food also contains a good amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids at 0.4% and 2.4% respectively, that’s going to help keep that beautiful shaggy coat of your Bernedoodle lovely, shiny and soft.

This dog food contains no corn, wheat or soy and uses beef as its main protein source.

It is great dog food for an active Bernedoodle, with a protein and fat content only just above average.

There are over 4,000 positive reviews for this dog food with many comments praising the high-quality ingredients and a very reasonable price.

This dog food should be great for your Bernedoodle.

You can take a look at Diamond Naturals dry dog food on Amazon here.

Nutro Ultra – Chicken, Lamb & Salmon

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Nutro Ultra produces this fantastic dog food using a range of quality protein sources.

That’s why I’ve chosen it. I love the fact that it uses meat-based proteins from chicken and lamb as well as a fish protein from salmon.

I think including fish in the ingredients is a great addition because it really helps to boost the amount of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the food.

Dogs also usually love the taste that fish gives to a kibble. Kibbles that use fish as the main ingredient can often be quite pungent, both in terms of taste and smell. That’s awesome for your dog who gets a lovely strong flavor, but it can be a bit smelly for your house!

As this a mainly meat-based kibble the smell is fine, but having that additional fish will really increase the health benefits.

The first 5 ingredients:

Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran.

The crude protein is at 25% with crude fat at 14%, that’s an ever so slightly lower fat content than my Diamonds recommendation above, but really there are both hovering around the average level for a quality dog food.

That means this is suitable for the average Bernedoodle, who might get shorter daily exercise and a long walk at the weekends.

There are over 300 reviews and on average they are extremely strong, some of the strongest you will find for any dog food on Amazon. Dog owners love the quality of the ingredients and there are lots of comments about how healthy their dog now looks after eating this food.

You can take a look at Nutro Ultra dog food on Amazon here.

Best wet (canned) food for Bernedoodles

Wet dog food can be a great treat for your Bernedoodle. It’s extra tasty and your dog is sure to enjoy it.

You can either feed your Bernedoodle a staple diet of wet food, or you can mix it in with their kibble, either daily or as an occasional treat.

Remember though, if you’re mixing it with kibble you should reduce the amount of kibble they receive so they aren’t being overfed by accident.

Either way, I’ve chosen two great canned foods here both with varying levels of protein depending on the activity levels of your Bernedoodle.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein – Duck & Chicken

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First up is my high protein choice and it’s one from Blue Buffalo.

This one will be best suited to an active Bernedoodle, that enjoys long walks and exercise several times per week.

Blue Buffalo always makes high-quality dog foods and this one is no exception. It’s suitable for a Bernedoodle that gets plenty of exercise as it has a high protein level, with protein at 10% and fat at 9%.

If that seems low compared to the 32% protein kibble I mentioned above, just remember that canned food is very high in water content (this one is around 78%). If you removed that then you’ll see protein makes up a huge section of the remaining nutrients.

The first 5 ingredients:

Duck, Chicken, Chicken broth, Potatoes, Potato protein.

The ingredients are high quality and contain no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.

When quality meat protein sources are listed as the first 5 ingredients you always know there’s a high chance this is going to be good dog food!

And this one certainly is. It’s a great, high-quality option for the active Bernedoodle and contains all the vitamins and minerals they will need for a healthy, active life.

That’s reflected in the review scores with over 900 reviews with a very strong average score. There are lots of positive comments from happy dog owners remarking on the quality of ingredients, how much their dogs love the taste and how much more healthy their dogs look after switching to this dog food.

You can take a look at Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein dog food on Amazon here.

Natural Balance Ultra Premium – Beef

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Natural Balance also makes a great range of quality dog foods. As a side note, they are actually particularly good at producing quality limited ingredient dog foods, ideal for those dogs with food allergies and intolerances.

This isn’t a limited ingredient food though. I’ve chosen it because it offers lower protein and fat than the Blue Buffalo option below.

It’s probably going to be more suitable for the average Bernedoodle, that will get daily exercise and long walks at the weekend.

The protein level is at 8% and the fat level is at 5%. That’s by no means low, more like average for dog food.

The first 5 ingredients:

Beef, Beef broth, Beef liver, Potatoes, Carrots.

Again, this dog food starts off with three great protein sources as the three main ingredients. You’re always assured that Natural Balance products will offer a great balance of the required nutrients and minerals too.

This is great wet dog food and it also comes in chicken and lamb flavors too if you wanted to match it with your kibble.

It has positive reviews with many comments around the quality of the ingredients and how it has been great for dogs with previously sensitive stomachs.

You can take a look at Natural Balance Ultra Premium dog food on Amazon here.

Best puppy food for Bernedoodles

As a general rule, puppies need plenty of protein, plenty of fat and plenty of calcium to fuel their growth.

The Bernedoodle puppy food I’m going to recommend has all of those in abundance, from top quality ingredients.

Orijen Puppy High Protein – A selection of meat & fish

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Orijen is difficult to beat when it comes to quality, the only difficulty with them is the price which is certainly at the higher end.

Honestly, when it comes to puppy food, I think taking the short term hit on price is always worth it. Your dog won’t be a puppy for long and this is just about the best dog food you can give them.

They’ll only be eating it for around 9 months to a year and then you can move them on to different adult dog food for a more moderate price. But whilst they’re a growing puppy I would recommend giving them the best.

The first 5 ingredients:

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel.

You just know that the ingredients on that list are going to give you a healthy strong adult dog once they’ve grown up!

The protein level is high at 38% with a high-fat content of 20%. That’s fine for a puppy, especially a very active one like a Bernedoodle.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are at 0.8% and 3.5% respectively and calcium, especially important for puppies, is at 1.3%.

Like most Orijen food this one has lots of great reviews. It’s a great choice for your young Bernedoodle, for the price difference over just 9 months to a year I really think it’s worth paying. Then you can switch one of the more budget-friendly options I’ve mentioned above once they have grown up.

You can take a look at Orijen Puppy High Protein food on Amazon here.

A final note – All Bernedoodles are individual

In these dog food articles, I always like to point out that each and every dog is an individual.

Just like humans, every Bernedoodle will have their own tastes, and possibly their own food intolerances and food allergies.

That’s why it’s always important to take care when introducing new food to your Bernedoodle. I only try to list quality dog food that I think will be ideal for most dogs, but I know they won’t always be.

My own dog was very allergic to many foods that are fine for most dogs. He had to be on a special limited ingredient diet and most of the foods I’ve listed above wouldn’t have been suitable.

You should always monitor your dog for a few days whenever you give them new food.

Check for digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. That might indicate intolerance to the food, or it might be hard for them to digest.

Also, be aware of skin sensitivities such as red or flaky skin around the eyes or beneath the hind legs. Watch for excessive scratching or hair loss, particularly around the eyes.

Skin issues could be a sign of an allergic reaction to the food.

Allergic reactions can occur at any time in your dog’s life. Your dog may suddenly develop an allergy to a food they have been eating for years. So if you see those symptoms don’t discount the food just because they have been ok with it in the past.

If you see these symptoms or are concerned in any way you should consult with your vet. I would advise taking with you a full list of what they eat too.

Thank you for reading this article, I hope you found it helpful and I hope you find the perfect food for your beautiful Bernedoodle.

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