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

CLICK HERE FOR OUR LIST OF RECOMMENDED FOOD BRANDS

CLICK HERE FOR OUR CURRENT RECALL INFORMATION

CLICK HERE FOR RECOMMENDED TREAT BRANDS


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 ASK THAT YOU NOT POST ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRODUCTS FOR WHICH YOU RECEIVE ANY TYPE OF COMMISSION OR COMPENSATION. THANK YOU.

IMPORTANT-PLEASE READ "FOOD GROUP GUIDELINES" (below) BEFORE STARTING A NEW DISCUSSION:

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!
PLEASE NOTE: WE ASK THAT YOU NOT POST ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRODUCTS FOR WHICH YOU RECEIVE ANY TYPE OF COMMISSION OR COMPENSATION, NOR ANY LINKS TO ADVERTISING. THANK YOU.

 

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  • I have set meal times for my babies.  One is 8 and the other 4.   My 8yo Buster will let you know when you have exceeded your grace period for breakfast and dinner.  But we have a ritual of a quick potty break before each meal.  We keep their food in a special cabinet, so when they see that open and hear their bins come out, they know what time it is.  Fresh water and food.  Same after the long first walk of the day.  They come in drink water and sit and wait for the morning treat. Such a ritual they will let you  know if you forget anything.  Happy pups.

  • I have a mini golden doodle who is 6 months old.  He came home on Black and Gold puppy from the breeder, but I changed him to Purina sensitive skin and stomach salmon and rice at the vets recommendation for purina.  He had weird colored stools for a while before we settled in this.  I was never sold on it because I have done. Lot of reading about dog food and I'm just not comfortable with leaving him on this and he doesn't seem Interested in it anymore he never goes to eat it right away.  And he seems to graze. I picked up Nulo medal series chicken and sweet potato and he seemed to gobble it up.  I'm not sure this is the best thing for him so I would love some advice.  Thinking of putting him on Farmina orijen or wellness, I really just want him to have the best food for him to keep him healthy. Any advice appreciated!! 

    •  I cannot emphasize strongly enough how big a mistake it is to free feed, even with dogs who are not picky eaters. It has so many detrimental effects, I could write a book about it, lol.

      Besides creating a picky eater, free feeding can:
      1.Contribute to the development of resource guarding
      2.Weaken your bond with your dog and your dog's view of you as his leader and caretaker
      3.Create a dominant personality
      4.Make it hard to monitor health issues long term
      5.Make treatment of any illness your dog does develop much more difficult
      6.Make it difficult to travel with your dog or board your dog


      And I'm sure I'll think of a few more before the day is out, lol. 

      Here is how everyone should be feeding their dog:
      Feed twice a day at set times, the same time every day, including weekends. It may help to have these times coincide with your own meals. 
      Make mealtime a ritual, signalling to the dog that it's time to eat. This can be as simple as just talking enthusiastically to your dog: "You know what time it is? It's SUPPERTIME! Let's go have supper!" I actually have a little song I sing to Jasper while I'm fixing his meal, and he accompanies me by squeaking a toy, lol.
      Stay with your dog when he eats. You might sit down nearby and have a snack, meal or beverage of your own. Or just be nearby, occupied with some boring activity like wiping the kitchen counters. Be nonchalant.
      Keep all distractions to a minimum. That means, nobody is coming in and out of the room, nobody is calling out from another room, nobody is doing something really exciting nearby, like kids playing in the next room, etc. It's quiet and relaxed and there is nothing interesting going on to distract the dog from his meal.
      After 5-10 minutes, pick up the bowl and do not offer food again until the next scheduled mealtime. 

      Take back control of your dog's diet and food bowl. It will benefit him greatly in the long run, and you too.

    • Karen,  can you post an audio of you and Jasper doing the meal prep song?  Would love to hear it.

    • I'll have to get my DD to take a video. She's usually not here at mealtime, but we can try! 

    • If he likes the Nulo food and is doing well on it, there is no reason to switch. There is no one "best" food for every dog. 
      However, you must stop free-feeding. That in itself will create a picky eater. 

    • Thank you for that information!! In the beginning we did have set food times but as time went on and he stopped eating right away at times I just left it there because I was afraid he would be hungry, but I know better! Lol.  He has only been in Nulo for 2 days and we only started with mixing in a little at a time so I do t k ow if it is a good fit yet.  I also didn't see it on the list here so I got worried and thought maybe I should go with one in the list.  No one really comments much about Nulo.  One lady told me it wasn't too bad but didn't have good sources of proteins and had peas and lentils.  But it was way better than Purina pro plan.  So in your honest opinion should I go with one on the list here instead since he hasn't really been transitioned yet?

    • Nulo is not my favorite brand, but it is much better than Purina. There is nothing wrong with the formula you are feeding to my knowledge, I just don't recommend foods that are only available through one retailer, especially when that retailer is a big box store like Petsmart. 
      As far as peas, lentils, and "good sources" of protein go, what qualifies the "one lady" to give you advice on dog food, lol? 
      Any animal protein source is a good source of protein, it's the amount of animal protein in the food that matters. There is nothing wrong with peas or lentils in a food either, but again, it depends on the quantity. The Nulo formula you are feeding has a very good protein content. So whoever told you that is mistaken on that score.
      I hesitate to recommend that you switch brands again, because switching brands constantly is not a good thing. The ingredients and macronutrient percentages are different from one line to another, and it's too many changes & adjustments if you want to keep a healthy digestive system. Every problem eater that we hear about here started down that road with the owner constantly switching foods in an attempt to find something the dog loves. And that will never happen, because eventually the dog will learn that if he doesn't eat what is served, some amazing new taste sensation will appear. So if you switch brands again now, you must stick with whatever you choose. 
      It's important to think in terms of formulas, not brands. A brand is just a name. Within any brand, there are different lines, and within those lines are several different formulas. if one doesn't work for your dog, stay with that brand, and just switch lines. Or stay with a line and rotate formulas within that line.
      Also, you never transition by mixing a little of one food in with the old food. The Nulo food and the Purina food are very very different. For one thing, you have grain in one and not in the other. How would you know if your pup does better with a grain-free food (the Nulo) when he is still getting grains, lol?  Without looking at each of them, I'd guess the calorie content is very different too. That means you can't substitute Nulo for an equal amount of the Purina. It requires a bit of calculation to be sure that you are not under feeding or over feeding. 

    • Anything is better than Purina. I don't understand why so many people are so devoted to it. 

      The right food is the one your dog does well on. I have one who doesn't do well on grain free. Everyone says that's not how it should be. But that's how it is. I tried. I'm a big fan of Fromm. It's easy to find. The price point is somewhat reasonable. I'm comfortable with the sourcing. They do well on it. I think some foods you don't hear about a lot just don't have as wide distribution. I have one store near me where I'm confident they have done the research to make sure that what I feed my dog won't kill them. But even they don't carry every food brand I would consider feeding.

    • I love Fromm, too. Jasper came home on it (because his breeder switched the puppies to it on my recommendation, lol) and I have stayed with it ever since. If they would only introduce an LID line, I would never have to recommend any other kibble brand.

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Chew recommendations for doodle with a sensitive stomach?

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