Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Hi Friends!

I am new to this forum as I am picking up long awaited  goldendoodle puppy in July, but I was raised with a standard poodle growing up.

Our breeder currently feeds the puppies a raw diet, specifically "Instinct Raw Patties".  I honestly wasn't aware of raw food diets for dogs until our breeder told us about it.  We plan on feeding our puppy this, at least for the first few weeks, since it is what our puppy is used to and we don't want to upset his/her stomach.

This may be a silly question but, I saw the patties in the pet food store today, and they are frozen, and per the instructions they should be served thawed (obviously).  If I plan on feeding my puppy early in the morning when I wake up, when/how should I thaw these patties?  Should I put them in the fridge the night before, or what is the best method?  Should I break it up in the bowl for the pup?  I apologize if these are silly questions, but I'm just not familiar with raw patties...

My other question is, after a few weeks, we may try to transition off of the raw patties, because to be honest we don't have very much freezer space, and they are quite pricey.  Our breeder doesn't love the idea of kibble diets and the dog CANNOT have wheat, soy or corn.  If we switch off of the instinct raw patties our breeder recommends a dehydrated raw diet like either The Honest Kitchen or Nature's Variety/Instinct, which I see on the recommended food list.  I guess if we switched, we would have to slowly transition the pup from the raw diet to the dehydrated one right?  

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience regarding feeding their dog a raw diet, and using these Instinct Raw Patties, or the dehydrated raw food?  I'm worried because I definitely want to feed my dog the best food, but at this point I might need to buy a freezer, or figure something out in the meantime. Also...these raw patties certainly are pricey, so maybe dehydrated raw is a happy medium?

Thank you for all the thoughts and input!!  I know you all have so much experience and insight!

-Soon to be doodlemom! 

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Replies to This Discussion

Well, kudos to you for choosing a breeder who spends some $ to feed her dogs, lol.

On the Nature's variety website, they say you should thaw the next day's food in the fridge overnight, which seems easy enough. 

As for switching to a different type of food:

None of our recommended kibbles contain corn, wheat or soy. Unless you are a guardian home, I think it should be up to you, not the breeder, to choose what you feed your dog. I understand your breeder wanting her dogs to get the best, but there are lots of options out there, and a lot of dogs who eat kibble live long healthy lives. And I know a fair number of raw fed dogs who got cancer, Addison;s and other serious illnesses; food, raw or otherwise, is only one component of health and not a protection or guarantee. 

I think the dehydrated raw foods are great, and I would have loved to have been able to feed them, but with an 80 lb dog, even the dehydrated raw foods get really expensive if you're feeding them exclusively.  Honest Kitchen is probably going to be your best bet price wise.

If you go to a dehydrated raw from the frozen patties, it should be a pretty easy transition as long as you stay with the same proteins and try to match the macronutrient percentages as closely as possible. i can help you with that when the time comes. 

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for the help and quick response!!

Yes--I found that answer about the thawing right after I posted this.  Honestly, all of this feels like a whole new world to me, when I grew up with our poodle, we fed them kibble, no questions asked. 

I'm honestly kind of shocked how expensive the patties are, so I think I will go with the patties the first few weeks after we get the pup, and probably check in with the vet, but I think Honest Kitchen might be the best bet as you suggested.  I will definitely talk to you again re: matching the macronutrient percentages when the time comes.

Do you think there is any benefit to doing a kind of hybrid diet which mixes high quality kibble with some raw elements like maybe the instinct raw nuggets?  Or would that cause the pup more confusion/tummy trouble.  We are getting a standard golden doodle, so somewhere between 60-90 pounds, so as you mentioned, cost is also definitely a factor, besides making sure it's high quality.  I do plan on sticking to no corn, wheat or soy, though which shouldn't be a problem based on your recommendations as you said.

Thanks so much again!

A lot of people here feed kibble at one meal, usually breakfast, and some type of raw product at the other meal, usually dinner.  There's no problem with doing that. 

Oh that is a great idea and something I definitely think we will consider!  I really appreciate your help and knowledge!! I wish it was time to pick up our pup now! :)

Thanks again!

I switched my standard goldendoodle (63lbs) to a raw diet a year ago and will never go back. This is not to insult kibble or anyone that feeds it. We would still be on it if my dog didn't have serious issues digesting kibble, it was our only option. In my experience I was buying a large bag of Acana for my dog for her whole life up until that point. I'm in Vancouver, BC so I'm not sure what availability is in your area, but the large bag of Acana ran me $70-80 per month. When I switched to raw, I discovered that there were brands that sold a month supply for the same price. I've been able to switch spending no more money. Maybe try shopping around and looking at different brands. You might be surprised at some price points you may find.

Thanks!  Could you mention some of the raw brands you have found that are more cost effective, that you have had good luck with?


Two of the brands I've fed are local to BC, Happy Dog Raw and Pets Go Raw, which may not be available. But I've also had success with Carnivora which I believe is more widely available. Try doing a little research for companies that may be local for you. The ones I've found make quality raw in human grade facilities which is important, in my opinion. Feeding raw when never doing it in the past can seem daunting. This is my first dog to eat it, all previous dogs have been kibble eaters
Also bear in mind Hannah, that your puppy will eat roughly double the amount of recommended serving for its adult size, this is due to being a puppy and all that growing it has to do! But eventually you will reduce the intake by almost half cutting your cost in the future.

Jacqueline, are you talking about commercial, ready to feed raw diets? 

Yes i am



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