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Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Hi everyone, after lots of research and decision, my family decided to get a goldendoodle puppy end of this month! This is my first post and first dog, so let me know if you have any suggestions. ;)

Currently Willy, our puppy, is being fed Hill's Science Diet Small Bites Puppy Food. We have heard that this brand is not recommended, so we are going to switch his food once we get him. He does not have any know allergies, and we're not really sure what kind of food to feed him. We are thinking of feeding him Bravo! Homestyle Dinners, Orijen Puppy, or Instinct Raw Boost Puppy. 

We also discovered that there is freshly made refrigerated dog food that is delivered to your house (pet plate, Ollie, the farmer's dog, etc). We will not do 100% fresh food, because it is so expensive, and we are not able to cook our own dog food. If we did use some of the fresh food, we would probably add it to his kibble and do 1/2 and 1/2. 

Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Maddie,

It's critical that you not change anything about his diet for at least two weeks after he comes home. That means you keep her on the food and treats the breeder is feeding, even if they aren't so great.

Do not introduce any new treats or chews either. Keep his diet exactly the same as it was at the breeder's. 

Many, many doodle puppies come home with giardia and other parasites. Giardia has a 10-14 day incubation period, so it won;t show up in a fecal test right away. The excitement and stress of leaving the mother, the litter, and the only home the puppy has ever known can contribute to tummy troubles, too. And an 8 week old puppy has only been eating solid food of any kind for about 4 weeks, so the digestive system is very immature.

We have even had members whose brand new puppies had serious health issues resulting in digestive symptoms.

If you change the food before the dog has had a chance to settle in, and before any parasite issues have time to show up in a fecal test, and the dog has diarrhea, you will not know if it's caused by the food change, stress, parasites, or a digestive illness, and the breeder will blame it on the food change. Thus begins a journey of frustration trying to figure it out and an endless round of food changes. You also don;t want to do anything to upset that delicate digestive system, as diarrhea can cause a young puppy to dehydrate very quickly, and is going to make housebreaking a whole lot tougher.

So you wait. If you leave the dog's diet exactly as is, and diarrhea develops, you have just eliminated any connection to food as the cause, and saved yourself a lot of aggravation. And of course, if the puppy comes home with diarrhea that doesn't resolve in a day, you know your breeder sent you a puppy with an intestinal parasite and you can probably recoup the cost of the fecal testing and the treatment, lol. (I personally would have fecal done on any new puppy I got, along with a general once-over at the vet's office, but parasites may not show up right away.)

So wait at least two weeks. If, after two weeks, the stool is firm and regular and everything seems fine with the pup's digestion, you can start changing him over. Make only one change at a time. 

In the meantime, you can do some research on what type of food you want to change over to, and a lot of that will depend on your pup's digestive system. If you look through our discussions here in TFG, you will see that an overwhelming number of doodle puppies do have issues with loose stools, and that is going to affect your options in choosing a new food.

I'll just throw this out there: I would stick with a good kibble for a very young pup, mainly because we can be certain that it contains all of the nutrients needed for growth and develop, and has an AAFCO certification that assures us of that. If you feel very strongly that you want to incorporate fresh food into his diet, I would not mix it 50/50 with kibble; I would feed kibble at one meal and fresh food at another. However, be aware that by introducing him to fresh food, your pup is likely to refuse to eat the kibble at all, regardless of how you do it, which is going to put you in the position of having to feed a 100% fresh diet.

I personally would stick with just kibble until the pup is closer to full grown and then you can look into some of the commercial raw products like Stella & Chewy's, which is a good compromise between kibble and fresh. In the meantime, you can give yogurt and berries or other fresh food "snacks" after a month or so. 

Thank you so much! That is really good to know. We will definitely wait to change his food.

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