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 don't think mine care but we've started rotating flavors each bag (if a different flavor is available when we buy). With my previous doods, we fed the same thing for their whole lives without any issues but I've recently been reading and see that rotating proteins gives a more balanced diet for them. 

    • My girls were eating Zignatures grain free for years, we'd rotate the flavor with each bag and they never got bored with the food.  I would alternate from a meat to fish.  The Stella & Chewies meal mixers are a big hit in our household, I have to fend off the cats while the dogs eat.  We do a kibbe/wet combo in the morning then kibble/meal toppers at night, then kibble and sardines on Sunday.  It's enough they don't get bored.  My poodle is the finicky eater, my doodle is happy with whatever I feed her. 

  • I've been feeding my Lilly Orijen since she was a puppy.  Due to champion being bought I have changed her to wellness core as I've read it is closest to Orijen original.  I'm only feeding her kibble and wonder if some of the fresh foods would be better for her.  She is doing great except a little overweight and is 9 years old.  Do you all feed canned or fresh and kibble for in between?  Just want to do the best for her and you all seem to know everything to keep our babies healthy.  Thank you for any feedback.

    • To address her being overweight, it really doesn't matter what form of food you feed, what matters are the calories. You may want to adjust your feeding amounts. 
      I personally hate canned food and never feed it. It's also extremely expensive. I do crumble 2 or 3 Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers nuggets (freeze-dried raw) into Jasper's kibble, not because it's "better" for him, but just to make his meals a little more appealing, and I adjust his kibble amounts to reflect those few extra calories. While I sometimes think about switching his entire diet to freeze dried raw, it is very costly to do so, and he is doing fine with his current diet.
      I do also give small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables occasionally as a treat. Jasper loves lettuce, cucumbers, berries, and melon, so when we have those foods on hand, he gets a taste just as a nice treat. 
      Whatever you decide to do, be sure to adjust your kibble amounts to account for the extra calories.

  • our dogs primarily eat zignature pork canned food, which they eat at designated mealtimes not free fed. but they also enjoy playing with a treat dispensing toy.  we have been using orijen fit and trim kibble in the treat toy and they probably eat 1/4 cup or less each day.  now that orijen is no longer a recommended food, how do we figure out what food to use instead?  i tried to match the nutritional profile with other foods on the list but i must not know how to do that since nothing seemed close to a match.  i know that this isn't as important as switching the entire diet but i want to do it right.  any ideas?


    • Basically you just need a kibble that is lower in fat and fish and/or poultry based. Since the kibble makes up a very small percentage of your dog's diet, you don;t need to match the nutritional profile exactly. The current Orijen kibble you are using is grain free, poultry and fish based, contains 425 calories per cup, and has 13% fat. You might consider Wellness Simple, either the salmon & potato formula or the turkey & potato formula. You could even alternate between the two. They are grain free, 12% fat and contain 430 calories (turkey) and 446 calories (salmon), so prettty close. 

    • thanks.  we will try that.  i wasn't sure which things should match.  you are so kind to share your vast knowledge especially about food but so many other things too

    • There's also Wellness Simple Healthy Weight - it's salmon based and 394 kcal/cup and very low in fat (9%). 

    • Thanks, J. I was not aware of that one. That would be an excellent choice. 

    • That is what Riley is eating right now, it's the lowest fat non-prescription kibble I could find haha.  We have to special order it but our local pet store makes it super easy.  For some reason pet stores around here don't stock Wellness kibble for dogs maybe it doesn't sell well.

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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