I have a 3 month old labradoodle puppy. He was 20 lbs a week ago, so I’d think he’s between 20 and 25 now. He’ll be about 65 pounds full grown most likely.
I’m currently feeding him Nature’s Variety Instinct Large Puppy kibble, which I’ve now realized is even too high in calcium for him. He gets some Stella & Chewy meal mixer in with breakfast and I always give him either a scrambled egg, cottage cheese, pumpkin, or some plain meat chunks with dinner – lunch is plain kibble, as that’s at the day care most days. He gets a raw chicken wing or thigh as a treat a couple times a week right now.
I’m going to plead ignorance and admit that I thought I was doing a great thing by getting him “fancy” kibble and only realized a week into having him that there’s much, much more to dog food than dry kibble.
So my dilemma:
–I need to provide him with some form of kibble or dry-fed food for various reasons – the day care can’t mix his food, I do travel from time to time on business so he may need to be boarded 3-4 days per month, and I’m afraid if I stop kibble altogether he might refuse it while I’m away and be a very hungry boy when I return. However, this doesn’t have to continue to be a significant portion of his food. I am happy to keep it just to stuff Kongs/food toys so he stays used to it, but I need to have some on hand. I’ve narrowed this down to – Annamaet Salcha, Avoderm Turkey, or Fromm Beef Frittata.
–I am very interested in a raw diet for him, but I can’t decide what to do here. I’d like to have some freeze-dried product on hand (narrowed down to NRG Maxim and THK Love) for convenience. But ultimately, once he’s down to 2 meals per day from 3, I’d like to go as full raw as I can do – whether it be commercial or homemade or a combo. I have found what I am confident is a very good and versatile homemade recipe (from Ottowa Valley Dog Whisperer – are we allowed to post links here?). My one and only issue with this recipe is I need to sit down and do some maths and figure out what to add in terms of calcium – if I need to alter the recommendation in the recipe based on having a largish breed puppy.
–I am also interested in supplementing with raw meaty bones, as my dog really enjoys his chicken wings and chews them very nicely. Is it okay to just use rmbs as a supplement/treat kind of deal? Could/should I give him one daily or just a few times a week or is it better to just replace a whole meal with them? I would vary the meat/bone source often.
I’m trying to do the right and best thing for my puppy, and I’m 100% open to suggestions and criticism about my plans. I welcome any and all advice, as I’m new to this and my head is just spinning. Added to this is that my wife travels 5 days a week, I work full time outside the home, and we have a 4 year old (human) daughter as well as 2 cats and about 200 fish haha! So I’m a single parent 5 days a week. I’m really at the mercy of convenience. However, I can manage an evening cooking session once a week or a couple times a month and can freeze portion sized amounts. It’s just a matter of figuring out that pesky calcium balance. The recipe calls for powdered eggshell or bone meal. OR I can add whole prey meat to the recipe – I assume I would grind this – and omit the eggshell.
If I were to make the homemade diet, I feel like I would probably feed that for 2 meals per day and continue with kibble for 1 meal. And then when pup’s down to 2 meals, perhaps full homemade with kibble in the kong or as hand fed treats so he stays accustomed to it.
Last question – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of question/issue with feeding raw meaty bones or prey model diets to large breed puppies. Does the nature of a raw diet negate the need to watch the calcium levels so closely?
The strength of your dog’s immune system,resistance to disease and quality of life all depends on the type and quality of food it eats.
For your knowledge,there is no best food for labradoodles or any individual dog. Whatever diet you choose ,quality meat should be the top of the ingredients list. It is important for the dog to get a variety of food rather giving a single food every day.
I suggest to choose 3-4 variety brands using different nutrients it needs out of one bag. As you suggest the raw food or bones is much protein content food which is very essential for the pets. In addition to kibble,I suggest adding some fresh foods to the diet,including eggs,meat definitely that will benefit more.
Meat/fish should include as the first ingredient. Meat is easily digestible and should and it is the main protein source.
Take care of your puppy….
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