Everything you need to know to make the best food choices for your Doodles! 




WELCOME TO THE FOOD GROUP - This group was started in an attempt to present well-researched and FACT-based information on the amazingly complicated and confusing issue of feeding our dogs. There are also many issues we would like to explore. We thought it would be helpful to put all of these questions, information, and feedback into one place here on DK where everyone can find it, contribute to it, ask questions, and learn together. 


We started this group because of personal experiences with many of the issues that are commonly discussed on dog forums regarding food, and because these experiences have led us to do extensive research in an attempt to obtain FACT-BASED knowledge of these issues, rather than relying on anecdotes, myths, and junk-science, much of it put out there by people who are trying to sell something. The 2007 pet food recalls in which thousands of dogs and cats died or were permanently sickened by foods that contained melamine from China substituted for glutens had a profound effect on some of us, and this group was started as an attempt to help educate others on manufacturing practices and pet nutrition so that they can avoid losing beloved pets because of unacceptable foods made by "Big Dog Food" companies. There are also many issues we would like to explore. We thought it would be helpful to put all of these questions, information, and feedback into one place here on DK where everyone can find it, contribute to it, ask questions, and learn together.  
 You can start a new discussion if you have a question, or you can continue in an existing discussion if you prefer. Please do try to use the search feature before starting a new discussion, though, to help eliminate duplicate discussions on the same topics. You can search through past discussions for a topic by clicking "View All" at the bottom of the Food Group discussion forum, and then entering a word or phrase in the box. You will usually find lots of info and possibly the answer to your question. There is a wealth of information here from many good sources.  

Products on our recommended lists have been screened not just for the ingredients themselves, but also for the sourcing of the ingredients.

Membership in this group is voluntary. Everyone is free to feed their dog whatever they choose, but it is assumed that you are here because you want to learn about better nutritional and commercial food options. All questions are welcome. Proselytizing, however, is not welcome. If you want to feed your dog Beneful or Ol' Roy, that's your right, and if you want to learn why those foods may be dangerous to your pet's health, we're happy to tell you. But recommendations for these, Iams, Purina, Hill's, and other products  that have killed other group members' dogs are not okay here, and may result in your being suspended from the group. Similarly, if you believe that the only proper way to feed a dog is with a prey model raw diet, that all kibbles are harmful, and/or that raw food or "holistic" diets and/or supplements such as coconut oil will cure diseases or health conditions, this is not the right group for you. We are fact based. Anyone recommending raw feeding or any type of holistic diet or supplement as a cure or treatment for allergies or illnesses will be suspended from the group.  

Welcome, and thanks for reading!


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  • I am wondering if there are dental treats that are safe.  My dog is 28 lbs., 18 months old.  Her teeth already don't look pearly white.  I try to brush her teeth and she is pretty agreeable when I do it, but it doesn't seem to help all that much.  (I have a hard time being really consistent). Do any of the dental chews really work?  I don't know how to search for this information on this site.  Thanks!  - Paula and Nellie

    • I've wondered this as well.  My dog has on back tooth that is showing distress so I've got to clean it daily for sure.  I'm going to try this process:  Gauze wrapped around my finger, wet it with cool water, dip it in some baking soda, add just "one" drop of Thieves Essential Oil b(y Young Living) to that gauze wrap and brush his teeth with it using my finger -- doing 1/4 of his mouth a day.   He doesn't like a toothbrush so going to try the gauze and I'm a big fan of essential oils by Young Living so hoping this helps my dog.  They also recommend another option of making up a spray bottle with 1 oz of distilled water and 2 drops of Young Living Thieves Essential oil (NOT the Thieves cleaner though) and spray it on their teeth daily.


    • Our vet recommended a toddler 360 degree round toothbrush. Works well. We use Petsmile toothpaste. It's approved by the veterinary dental association and has been amazing for us. Jaxson had to have his teeth cleaned 2 years in a row. After we started using this, his teeth are sparkling clean, avoiding the dreaded teeth cleaning. It's not cheap but it has worked for us!

    • I have never heard of using essential oils for teeth cleaning, only that they can be harmful to pets.  You may want to confirm that it is safe.

    • Me either. My vet says to use gauze wrapped around my finger and a little alcohol free mouthwash . Works when my dogs don't bite my finger.😏

    • You can buy little "finger" toothbrushes that fit over your finger; there are several brands on chewy, including one by Nylabone that looks like it might work well. 

    • I like just using a regular soft bristle toothbrush for people.  The whole dog toothbrush thing seems like such a money grab haha.  If you have a smaller dog then I'd use a kids toothbrush.

      Riley's current toothbrush is a free one I got from the dentist last visit lol.  All the humans in the house use electric brushes (minus baby who has a finger brush) so the freebies go to Riley. :p

    • I am very leery of essential oils. They can be toxic, and I have yet to see any fact-based proof that they do any of the things they claim to do. If you have cats, it's essential not to let any kind of essential oil get on the cat as essential oils are extremely toxic to them.
      Young Living is a multi-level marketing company, i.e. a Pyramid Scheme, and we do not endorse any of those here. Stuides have shown that most of what you pay goes to commissions and not to the cost of a quality product. And in fact, there is a class action lawsuit against YL. https://www.classaction.org/blog/class-action-young-living-nothing-...

      Class Action: Young Living ‘Nothing More Than an Unlawful Pyramid Scheme’
      The 33-page lawsuit claims Young Living’s promises of financial gain are “nothing more than a pipe dream” and that the company is actually an illegal…
    • From what I understand, brushing their teeth is supposed to be better than using the dental chews. My vet told me that when you brush their teeth, concentrate on the outer surfaces and don;t worry about the inner surfaces, as those are bathed constantly by saliva and don;t really need cleaning as much as the outer surfaces. 
      Virbac C.E.T. dental chews are supposed to be safe, I can't swear that they help though. You can get them on Chewy.

    • Nellie had a nail buffing appointment today and I always go to my local farm store to get her Fromm's dogfood after her appointments.  They welcome dogs in the store, so it is a fun outing for her.  She trots around like she owns the place. They had the Virbac C.E.T. dental chews, so I got them for $21.99 (!).  What can I say, Nellie is an important part of the family!  Well, after her early dinner (which she didn't finish for the first time ever) I gave her a dental chew.  She only tried to bury it in the couch and didn't chew it, so I guess I will be giving them to my sister for her dog to try.  I guess I will double down on trying to do the brushing regularly.  Is once a day too much or a good idea? 

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Looking to switch from Life's Abundance small/medium puppy food

My Charlie is a 7-month-old 30 pound Australian Labradoodle. Recently he started to itch and the vet said his skin was red. I live in Northern California where we have had much smoke and bad air. Vet said she has seen many with the same symptoms and is treating this as an environmental allergy. (ie - CADI injection and prescription shampoo). Starting to see some improvement.For the past 7 months I have been feeding Life's Abundance small/medium puppy food, but when the vet looked at the…

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1 Reply · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Sep 7

changing food to lower protein food

we have 2 doodles, 9 and 10 years old.   they ate acana and orijen until champion started process to sell.  at that point, we did not feel as comfortable with those.  ziwipeak was recommended by the very selective store where we buy our food and treats so we switched to that and dogs love it.  on their last lab work, both dogs had elevated levels of protein in their urine.  the vet recommended we change to just food for dogs.  i don't think that Karen has evaluated this brand.  generally, we…

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11 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Aug 15

Omega supplement?

Hello! After lots of research on here and shopping around locally, we have decided to start our 8week old puppy on Fromms puppy gold- the puppy options are poultry based (After 2 weeks of being home on his current food of course which is Nutrisource puppy). We plan on continuing with the Fromms Salmon once he gets off the puppy food. Should we supplement his puppy food with Salmon oil or is the Frooms puppy  "good enough" in Omega 3's? (If I did my calculations correctly, I believe it's a 5:1…

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5 Replies · Reply by Nadine Saubert Aug 17

Can’t source orijen

Hi everyone, our 5 month old puppy has been in orijen puppy (yellow one) and doing really well on it. Unfortunately it is extremely hard to source in Australia especially due to covid. I'm thinking I may have to change to something else (so disappointing as we are so happy with it). Any suggestions on the best alternative ?

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5 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Aug 2

Just found out our boy has Pancreatitis - Now what food to feed him?????

So I was searching through and got a bit overwhelmed with all the posts. Our boy was just diagnosed with Pancreatitis and now we are wondering which food is going to be better for him (once he's off his meds and such). We have always fed him an Earthborn Holistic food and most recently (last year or so) he has been on the E.H. Venture Duck version. Yeah, the duck is higher in fat content than the other varieties, but based on the vets recommendation over a year ago. Now of course we have more…

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3 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Jul 10

Do you feed your adult dog once or twice a day?

My 18 month old goldendoodle, Nellie, (28 lbs) has the picky eater trait. I feed her Fromm's dogfood, 2/3 cup in the morning, 3/4 cup in the evening, with about 2 teaspoons chopped chicken, hamburger or steak leftovers as a topping to entice her to eat, and I also put a little warm water in it and stir it to get a little gravy going.  I started the topping and warm water when she was a puppy and not eating well, and it helped get her more interested in her food.  For the last few months she has…

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9 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Jul 22