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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    • exactly... the poodle that mothered my doodle was about 60lbs maybe even 70 at that. She was tall and very graceful but big. Lol my doodle did not get any of the gracefulness but did get the large genes from both pups. She is 90lbs and a horse not a dog. 

    • Andie's great grandfather,  Cooper, is a great example of a sporting poodle.

  • Hi Everyone.Im new here. Our standard Goldendoodle is now 13 1/2 months old.Up until about 10 months she ate great.The last 2 to 3 months her eating has really went down.She was on the blue buffalo chicken & brown rice dry puppy food then and would gobble up her food 3 times per day. Then, suddenly she just stopped wanting to eat. We just thought she was changing to being a picky eater because her poop looks healthy, no diarrhea or vomiting, and acts fine but no interest in eating. We have tried LOTS of dog foods (all top high-end brands and healthy ones) and different flavors. We have tried adding toppers to the food, as well as canned food mixed in. We have tried canned food by itself. She just nibbles and then walks away. We have tried hand feeding her. She has been on Simparica Trio since she was a puppy but not sure if that could be affecting her. We are planning to change to something else just in case. I contacted the owner we bought her from as a pup and the parents have no eating issues nor has she heard that any of her siblings had any diet issues. But her lack of desire to eat is a big concern. She only ate about 3/4 of a cup yesterday! Can a lot of you PLEASE give your insights, thoughts, suggestions, etc.?? We need help badly! Thank you!

    • Hi Scott, typically, you cut a puppy back from 3 feedings a day to two around 4-6 months, so if you are still feeding 3x a day, that may be part of the problem. Puppy formulas are also not intended to be used past 10-12 months of age because they are very high in fat and calories, which are not needed once a dog has reached full skeletal maturity. So part of the issue may be that she simply doesn't need as much food as she used to. 
      In order to know how much food she actually needs, I need her weight and the exact formula you are currently feeding. Also any treats, chews, etc. that she gets on a regular basis. 
      BUT...the big thing is that you absolutely must stop free feeding and go to a twice a day feeding. Free feeding is a problem for many reasons. it creates picky eaters, it contributes to resource guarding, it makes life difficult if the dog is ever in a multiple dog situation, it makes travel/boarding daycare difficult, and it can cause problems if your dog is ever ill and requires medications or special diets. The cure for picky eating is as follows:
      Put her food down at breakfast time. Sit down nearby, maybe having a snack or cup of coffee yourself. Keep all distractions to a minimum. That means nobody going in or out of the room, nobody calling out from other rooms, no kids playing in the next room, etc. After 5 minutes, pick the food up and do not offer food again until dinner. At dinner, you repeat the process. it will not take very long before she understands that food is not available any time she feels like having a mouthful, nothing "better" will be forthcoming if she refuses what is offered, and so she needs to eat when she has the chance. There has never been a normal healthy dog who starved itself to death and your dog is not going to be the first. Missing a meal or two does not cause any harm, for dogs or for people. You need to take back control of the food bowl, and you need to do it now. 
      Any questions? 

    • First of all we have not fed her 3xdaily for  couple months. We have been trying to feed 2xdaily. We have tried taking it up and not feeding until evening. And we knew she is very easily distracted so we cut out all distractions. She weighs 57 pounds (should weigh more than that). Throughout the months we have tried the following foods:

      Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken & Brown Rice dry food
      Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef & Brown Rice dry food
      Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice dry food
      Nutro Ultra Adult Dry food
      Purina Pro Plan Adul Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice dry food
      American Journey Active Life Formula Lamb & Garden Vegetables canned food (we have tried mixing it with the dry food and also giving it alone, of which both ways she nibbles a little and that's it...acts like she is not crazy about it.

      The current one we been trying to get her to eat as a dry food is Bil-Jac Picky No More Chicken Liver dry food.
      We have always tried to mix it with her previous dog food to prevent tummy troubles. But when she refuses to eat it like that then, we feel like our hands are tied as to what to do.

      The only treat we give her is Shameless Pets Duck-Tato dog treat...one in the morning because when she won't eat in the morning, she sometimes will throw up the yellow stuff...occassionally. She loves those treats. Since she like them, we just ordered the American Journey Limited Diet Duck & Sweet Potato Grain-Free dry and canned food. We have always gotten food with grain, but we thought since we know she likes the duck and sweet potato treats that maybe she would like that flavor of food. If she likes it, we thought we would either try to find a way to include grains in her diet additionally, or make sure a supplement had taurine in it (which I believe it the part of the grain that is needed for heart health).

      When she does eat a little, once per day we give her the Pet Honesty 10-For-1 Multivitamin chews.

    • https://doodlekisses.com/group/thefoodgroup/forum/topics/grain-free...

      Grain-free diet not linked to DCM in dogs, Research Review Finds
      I'm putting this here so I can find it again when I need it. And you know I just have to say....I told you so, lol. From the very beginning. ;) While…
    • https://thesciencedog.com/2022/04/06/the-disconnection-between-grai....

      The (Dis)connection between Grain-Free Foods and DCM
      Almost 4 years ago, in July of 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a public alert stating that they had reports of an apparent incre…
    • Well, it's a mistake to keep changing foods so often; this really isn't about the food itself. But none of the brands you have used or are using are recommended. Here is the current recommended brand list: https://doodlekisses.com/group/thefoodgroup/forum/topics/recommende...
      There is no taurine in grain. Taurine is only found in animal proteins, but dogs don't need it added to their diets anyway, they make it themselves. That whole "grain free food causes dilated cardiomyopathy" has been disproven. We have tons of info here about that, including the final research study summaries which showed no connection between grain free foods and any type of heart disease in dogs. It's a genetic issue.
      Dogs like meat, and foods that are high in protein are the most appealing to them as well as the healthiest. 
      The American Journey food you ordered is low in protein and also low in calories, which means she is going to need to eat more, which is a problem with a picky eater. 324 calories/cup, and most of our recommended grain free, high protein foods contain 400+ calories per cup. With a dog who doesn't like to eat a lot, that makes a big difference. 
      Chewy will refund your purchase and you won't have to return the food. My favorite brand is Fromm, which Chewy doesn't carry, but maybe you can find it locally. Otherwise  I would look at Wellness, Nature's Variety, or Earthborn, Stella & Chewy's. Look for a protein percentage over 28%, preferably over 30%.  

      Recommended Dog Food Brands 2018
      GRAIN-FREE FORMULAS ONLY Orijen  Formulas:  (Formulas are slightly different depending on whether they are made in the U.S. or Canada; check website.…
    • HIGHLY RECOMMEND everything Karen stated and the list she linked. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  • Anyone familiar with this brand?  https://www.safedogfood.com/shop/

    Back story.  My Sister has a little Jack Russell that has been very sick.  They have been through gobs of testing the last being a liver bioposy a week or so ago.  Results show Copper Storage Disease as well as another chronic intestional disease (which I don't have the name of).  They have told her her options for feeding are the Hills RX L/D food or home cooking.  Cost her $150 last night to order food from Chewy.  This is going to be a serious hit to her budget so I'm trying to find something else.  I came across this food from safedogfood.com and it looks like it might be priced better but I know nothing about it.  

    Buy Safe Dog Food: Chelated Copper Free Chicken or Fish Flavor
    Wholesome Chicken and Ocean-caught Pollock provide chelated copper free dog food to help protect against Copper Storage Disease.
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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 on Saturday

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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30 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Jan 2

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

Low Fat Formulas From Our recommended Brands List

Thanks to J, Riley & Toby for doing the research and sharing this with us.  Riley has chronic pancreatitis (has to maintain a low fat diet) and she has been on Fromm Weight Management Gold and doing very well - it's only 11% fat on a dry matter basis.   Here is a short list I made when I was trying to find a new food for Riley last year.  Keep in mind these are the Canadian website links, I don't know if the formulas for the US are different. Brand Food Fat% Protein% Omega 6:3 Fiber%…

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0 Replies

Hungry Bark for Puppy/Grain Free Updates

Hi everyone - it's been a while since I've been on DK (teddy has lymphoma but is in remission currently and we just got a new puppy, Oliver) but I've just gotten home from the vet and had some questions to run by the group :) Oliver is 13 weeks old and is still on the food the breeder sent home with him (TLC - which I've never heard of before - any thoughts?). I feed Teddy home-cooked food because he's always had gastro issues and he does well on it. I've decided it's a lot of work though and…

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20 Replies · Reply by Karen, Jasper and Jackdoodle Oct 28, 2021