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 hope those that are feeding their sick dogs see this. 

  • PURINA RX FOOD RECALL. So much for their safety claims. 

  • Anne, Chewy says you can keep frozen kibble for 9 months or longer. 

  • Karen, I  think Andie is becoming a bored eater.  He ate FirstMate Grain Friendly Wild Pacific Caught Fish Meal & Oats Formula from 2/2021 to 7/2922 when he quit eating.  Switched him to FirstMateFree Range Lamb & Oats Formula which he loved until 9/2022.  Again, he quit eating so I switched him to FirstsMate Grain Friendly Cage Free Chicken Meal & Oats Formula.  Now, again,  he is leaving about 1/3 of his breakfast but ate all but 2 tablespoons of his dinner last night.  The first two time that he quit eating he lost quit a bit of weight and I want to avoid it this time.  I have ordered Stella and Chewys toppers which won't be here until at least Monday.  I do have some of the Wild Pacific Caught Fish in the freezer (at 0° +/- F) in an air tight container.  It has been there for 1 year.  Would it still be fresh?

    Andie is the first dog that is healthy that has caused me this dilemma.  Haley and his predisessor ate the same  food all the time except when I switched brands.

    Thanks for your advice.

    • So he's doing exactly what they all do when you switch foods to try to find something they "like", lol. "Hmmmm...when I don't eat my food, I get some new taste sensation!" 
      The Stella & Chewy's may help, but I would also consider feeding a kibble with a higher fat content. These First Mate formulas you've tried are very very low in fat, and that makes them less appealing to dogs. Grain-free foods are often higher in both fat and protein, and may appeal more to Andie. 


    • The saga of Andie's eating continues.  I gave him a meal of the FirstMate fish out of the freezer (thawed to room temperature).  He ate about 1/2 of it.. Next meal I went back to the chicken in a soup bowl instead of the slow feed bowl.  Andie ate all! And, has been eating all since then.  I guess he realized he wasn't going to get something better.  I'm not sure the slow feed bowl contributed to the problem but he doesn't seem to be eating any faster with the soup bowl.

    • I'm deathly worried about bloat as is Karen, but if Andie isn't a gobbler, he probably doesn't need a slow bowl. 

    • He was a gobbler but seems to have slowed down and eats from an open bowl at about the same speed as a slow bowl.  When I got him his breeder said he was a grazer but not here.

    • Well, this sounds like a step in the right direction! 
      You wouldn't think the bowl/container would make that much difference in their appetites, but apparently it does. When Jasper first came home, I had a terrible time getting him to eat from his bowl. I was having to hand feed him. Then I thought about how puppies eat from those big round flat dishes, all together around it, and I tried a plate. It helped. So I bought a cat bowl, which is very shallow, and that's how he ate his meals for the first however many weeks. I still use that little cat bowl for his "people food" treats, like yogurt or fruit. 

    • Okay.  I can try a grain free; however, I have about 1 month of kibble in the freezer and 1 month bag that just arrived a few days ago.  My frugal mind will not let me go buying more kibble until most of this kibble has been eaten.  

      I am all confused about rotating flavors and using toppers.

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Self Regulating

Is skipping meals and leaving part of a meaI an okay thing to do?                         Perhaps self regulating is what Andie has been doing. Is this okay?                                        Right now I put his food down and stand beside him until he finishes eating.  He eats a littlte then looks at me.  When he looks I lick my lips and Andie resumes eatings. This morning he left about 1/8 cup of kibble, started to walk away and looked at me. I licked my lips and he turned back and…

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3 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Feb 19

Chicken and Rice Diet appropriate for new puppy transition?

Hi all, its been a while since I've been on Doodlekisses. We lost our much loved 10-yr old, Oscar, to a paralyzing spinal tumor recently (which was also cancerous, but it was the tumor's growth into his spine that did the damage). It was one of the hardest losses my husband and I have endured, and at our age we've had plenty. We still have Lucy, our 13-yr old 'first dog/doodle' who was diagnosed with perianal cancer last March, but after surgery her 3-month scans so far have shown no new…

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4 Replies · Reply by Debb, Lucy, Oscar & Poppy Feb 14

Possible Food Allergy to Chicken?

Hello hoping to get a little guidance here.  I think our newest addition might be allergic to chicken.  Our youngest was rescued from a horrible BYB situation, for the first 6 months of her life she was crated in their backyard and clearly neglected.  A neighbor to the BYB got her first and stated she was in really bad shape, eyes were closed and full of puss and she was horribly matted. In addition she was extremely underweight and had pronounced atrophy in her hind legs.  I stumbled into the…

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1 Reply · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Jan 28

Digestive Issues

Hey everyone, I've been a part of this forum since we got Angus as a baby and he turned 8 years old in July!I still periodically come back here for food information. That being said my second son was born in January and Angus seems to have had a tougher time adjusting. He has always been a not-so-great eater, but his eating definitely fell off in the last 10 months. He started throwing up regularly (usually bile) and we were at the vet repeatedly to figure out what was going on. The vet felt…

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3 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Nov 26, 2022

Well, It Finally Happened. Mars has purchased Champion Foods, which is Orijen & Acana. :(

https://www.petproductnews.com/news/mars-petcare-to-acquire-champion-petfoods/article_21a80000-59f7-11ed-8d4a-1723d2d25226.html?fbclid=IwAR3SEIp0_oHf93mBSl5tAkHYpMxEb42QNOwdnGIGQOUnm7aq60FzZq5FRgAI will be removing these brands from our recommended list. If anyone who is currently feeding a Champion product would like to switch to another brand, post here and we will help you. 

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39 Replies · Reply by J, Riley and Toby Feb 23

Pica and iron deficiency?

We adopted our standard poodle, Philo, from a local shelter last November. He was 2.5 years old, and he weighed only 45 pounds (he is about 24 inches tall at the shoulder). His ribs and hip bones were very prominent--though he has a hard poodle coat, so they weren't visible.As you might expect, he exhibited a number of problem behaviors that have greatly improved in the 4.5 months he has been with us. When he came home with us, we started him on Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast, because…

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3 Replies · Reply by Brook Carerros Dec 5, 2022