Find out about the best food to feed your Labradoodle to help them live life to the full!
When it comes to Labradoodles, what’s not to love? Your Dog magazine describes them as: “Confident, clever, loving and loveable, vivacious, loyal, affectionate, joyful, sociable, friendly, comical, intuitive, totally non-aggressive and devoted – they clearly have everything going for them!” No wonder that they have become one of the UK’s most popular crossbreeds.
They also have a rather interesting history. The Doodle Trust, a UK Labradoodle rescue and education organisation, reveals: “A Labradoodle is a deliberate cross between a Poodle and Labrador. The first Labradoodles were bred in 1989 when a guy named Wally Conron – who worked as breeding and puppy manager for the Royal Guide Dogs Association in Victoria – came to hear of a blind woman who was in desperate need of a guide dog that wouldn’t trigger her husband’s allergies. Conron came up with the idea of crossing one of their best Labrador bitches with a Standard Poodle (who have woolly coats that are hypoallergenic and don’t shed seasonally like other dogs).”
An ideal family pet, these affectionate, intelligent dogs have high energy levels, and will thrive on lots of attention, positive reward-based training, plenty of exercise as well as the right nutrition to keep them happy and healthy throughout their lives. So, it’s important to feed the best diet for Labradoodles.
LABRADOODLE FUN FACTS
- Labradoodles can differ in appearance depending on whether the Poodle parent is a miniature, medium or a standard Poodle. Their size and weight therefore ranges from 30-71cm and 10-40kg.
- All Labradoodles tend to have a shaggy coat, which is inherited from the Poodle side of the breed, but can vary in texture – from soft, wavy and flat hair to a curlier and frizzier coat. The breed can also have a variety of patterns and colours, including chocolate, cream, gold, black, apricot, blue/grey and tricolour.
- Their coat is deemed hypoallergenic due to the lack of shedding, which makes them popular for owners with allergies such as asthma. However, their coat could be classed as high maintenance compared to other dog breeds as it needs to be regularly cut and brushed to avoid tight knots, dreadlocks and general fur untidiness.
- Labradoodles love water – both Labradors and Poodles are descended from hunting dogs bred to work in water – the Labrador from the St John’s Newfoundland and the Poodle from the pan-European Water Spaniel – and are natural swimmers.
- The first recorded use of the name “Labradoodle” is by Donald Campbell (famous for setting both land and water world speed records) when describing his Labrador/Poodle crossbreed Maxie in his book Into the Water Barrier, published in 1955.
- In Australia, where the first Labradoodle was actively bred, Labradoodles are also known as ‘Cobberdogs’, which means ‘dog friend’ in Australian informal language. Although currently not recognised by the UK’s Kennel Club, the Cobberdog is in development as a distinct breed in Australia.
Looking for the best food for your Labradoodle puppy? Or wondering when should you switch your Labradoodle from puppy food to adult dog food? Puppy food is suitable for puppies from 6 weeks to 12 months old. Adult dog food is designed for dogs over the age of 12 months. For dogs aged 7+, senior dog food is a perfect option.
Labradoodles can be enthusiastic eaters!
Unsurprisingly, with lots of Labrador DNA in their genes, Labradoodles can be extremely enthusiastic eaters. With their expressive eyes, they will plead for practically any kind of food, even if it will do them absolutely no good – and may have a tendency to overeat if they’re allowed to, which can lead to unwanted weight gain and all manner of health issues. Which is why it’s important to feed your Labradoodle the best dog food for their needs.
US veterinarian Dr Kirsten Ronngren, DVM MRCVS, comments: “Two of the most common issues I see in Labradoodles are obesity and allergies. Being proactive and mindful when it comes to your pet’s diet and exercise routine are excellent ways to help decrease the likelihood of conditions like arthritis down the road by keeping them at a healthy weight.”
Looking for good dog food for Labradoodles and wondering what type of food you should feed? Dry kibble dog food stays fresh inside the pack until you’re ready to serve it to your dog. What’s more, by following the on-pack instructions, it’s easy to measure out exactly the right sized portion – which is super important if you have a food loving Labradoodle!
Labradoodles and allergies
“All dogs can develop allergies, and Labradoodles are no exception,” states Pet Plan. Common Labradoodle allergies can be divided into three main types:
- Contact allergies: These occur as a result of your dog coming into contact with an allergen such as a specific substance or fabric. Could your dog be allergic to your house?
- Food allergies: Caused by something in your Labradoodle’s diet or something they’ve eaten without you knowing. What’s the difference between food allergies and food intolerance?
- Environmental allergies: These refer to airborne allergens in your environment, such as pollens from grasses, weeds and trees. How to keep intrepid outdoor explorers safe.
Pet Plan adds: “Allergies result in dermatitis which can often lead to secondary skin infections. Labradoodles can suffer from other skin conditions as a result of parasites and hormonal changes inside the body.”
In fact, food allergies are one of the most commonly found allergies in dogs and can impact the skin. Some of the more common dog food allergy symptoms include itching and sneezing, itchy paws, hot spots, skin rashes, scaly or oily skin, pigmented skin, and skin that has more of a leathery texture.
So, what’s the solution? Along with ensuring all your Labradoodle’s vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments are up to date, choosing the best food for your Labradoodle such as hypoallergenic, sensitive dog food can also help your pet.
Know exactly what you’re feeding your Labradoodle
Burgess in-house vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes MVB MRCVS, who oversees recipe development and product production, advises: “When choosing Labradoodle puppy food, or adult food for a Labradoodle dog, look for a recipe with no added artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and which has the full list of ingredients, so you know exactly what you’re feeding your dog.
“In addition, dogs with a delicate digestion or who may be prone to allergies can benefit from hypoallergenic dog food that’s made without many of the typical ingredients known to cause upset tummies or skin problems. These ingredients can include beef, eggs, dairy, wheat, maize, and soya. For many dogs with digestive or skin issues, switching to a hypoallergenic dog food variety (which means it’s relatively unlikely to cause an intolerant reaction) can be really helpful.”
What should you consider when choosing the best dog food for a Labradoodle?
Dogs aren’t, as is often believed, carnivores. They’re actually classified as omnivores – benefiting from a healthy diet that contains both animal and plant-based foods such as grains. Dogs need a balance of vitamins and minerals, and their food must contain zinc and copper supplements. They also need a little bit of fibre in their diet to help maintain a healthy gut.
When looking for the best dog food for Labradoodles, look for a complete food, which will deliver all your dog’s required nutrients in their daily ration. Complementary diets have high or low levels of certain nutrients and are therefore only complete when fed in conjunction with other foods. All the foods in the Burgess Dog Food range are complete. This means that you can be sure you are providing your pet with all the nutrients they require in exactly the right proportions, so you don’t have to worry about balancing their diet.
The best nutritionally balanced dog food for Labradoodles should contain:
- Taurine to support a healthy heart
- Antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system
- Prebiotics to help maintain a healthy gut
- Fatty acids and zinc to help maintain a healthy skin and glossy coat
- Calcium to support strong bones and teeth
- Yucca extract and beet pulp to help avoid smelly, runny poos!
The RSPCA stresses the importance of feeding your dog the right food, stating: “Some owners favour wet foods for their dog over dry. However, dry dog food may have the added benefit of exercising their chewing muscles and provide a mild cleaning effect on the teeth.”
What are the benefits of feeding a dry kibble dog food to my Labradoodle – and how do I switch foods?
Dry kibble dog food is widely acknowledged to be a great way to deliver a nutritious, balanced, complete diet. It’s the best dry dog food for Labradoodles that’s carefully crafted to provide exactly the right balance of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fats that your dog needs, in an easy-to-feed form.
Make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh, clean water available and, if you are feeding a dry food, you’ll find they’ll need a little more.
When introducing a new food to your dog, you should do it gradually to avoid upsetting their digestion. Mix in the new food with the old over a period of 7 to 10 days until the new food completely replaces the old diet.
How often should you feed a Labradoodle puppy and how much?
Puppies, with their small stomachs need three or four small meals a day, while adult dogs generally have two meals a day. Sometimes, elderly dogs benefit from three or four smaller meals.
The key to avoiding over-feeding is to follow the on-pack feeding guidelines and ensure you measure out their daily ration – don’t guess it – and then divide it up throughout the day. If you feed treats for training or when out on walks, this should also be taken into account.
The best food for a Labradoodle puppy is dry dog food specially formulated for young dogs. Remember that treats should be just that – something special, fed occasionally, in small amounts. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet.
Why is my Labradoodle always hungry? And how can I slow down fast eating?
Labradoodles love their food and often scoff down their dinner in seconds, which is really not good for them. Eating food too fast can cause digestive upsets, some of which can be very serious, requiring immediate veterinary attention. Pet Plan advises: “Eating too quickly can lead to a life-threatening condition called Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus).”
And, if your dog always seems to be ravenous, it could be that you need to switch up their nutrition and feed a different food to your Labradoodle. Pet Plan suggests: “An easy fix solution could be that the food itself is not giving the dog enough nutrients and it is constantly feeling hungry. By switching the food you are feeding them to something more nutritionally beneficial you may be able to change your pet’s eating behaviour and allow them to slow down. If they’re still eating exceptionally fast, see a vet so your pet can be checked for any underlying medical conditions.”
Also worth trying to slow down super speedy eaters are slow feeding bowls featuring raised patterns that require more effort to get to the food, or puzzle feeders, which means your Labradoodle has to use their intelligent mind and paw skills get to their tasty kibble!
***** With a whole host of five-star reviews, here’s a snapshot of what happy customers have told us about our Burgess Sensitive Dog Food range:
“Seems to have calmed pup’s tummy and he eats every kibble and is excited at every mealtime.”
“Puppies seem to thrive on product.”
“Great puppy food, our dog loves it and it’s a reasonable price. The weekly/monthly subscription service is great too.”
“Both our dogs really enjoyed this food despite it being new. Our Labrador has a sensitive stomach and took to this change of food well.”
“My dogs love this food and it’s great for their skin.”
“Both dogs are really healthy and love the food.”
“Super quick delivery, large bags of food for a brilliant price!”
“Dog loves it and I’m saving money.”
“My dog enjoys it and it’s settled his sensitive stomach. We tried various diets, and this was the only one that settled him.”
“It suits my 11-year-old Labrador, and she enjoys her dinners. She produces smaller poos!”
What foods are dangerous to Labradoodles?
As well as feeding your Labradoodle the best diet, you should avoid feeding your dog certain foods. Here are some of the main foods that are dangerous for dogs. If you suspect your Labradoodle has eaten any of the following, consult your vet immediately.
- Alcoholic beverages
Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
- Chocolate, coffee, tea
Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous system.
- Fat trimmings
Can cause pancreatitis.
- Pits from peaches and plums
Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
- Grapes and raisins
Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.
If made from meat juices, it can contain high levels of fat, which can cause pancreatitis.
- Large amounts of liver
Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.
- Macadamia nuts
Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
- Milk and other dairy products
Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhoea.
- Mouldy or spoiled food
Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhoea and can also affect other organs.
Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
- Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)
Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
- Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems
Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.
- Raw eggs
Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain salmonella.
- Raw fish
Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
- Excessive salt
If eaten in large quantities, it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
- Sugary foods
Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
- Table scraps (in large amounts)
Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced and if excessively fed can lead to obesity. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
This artificial sweetener sneaks its way into all sorts of foods – from peanut butter to jellies and jams and is highly toxic to canines. After a dog consumes a significant amount of xylitol, there is a massive release of insulin from the pancreas. This, in turn, results in a dangerously low blood sugar level and symptoms such as weakness, trembling, seizures, collapse, and even death.
- High energy, these active dogs are best suited to families who can take them for long, interesting walks of up to an hour a day. Labradoodles are very playful and can remain puppy-like well into their senior years.
- As a cross between two active and intelligent breeds, it’s no surprise that Labradoodles have energy to spare. Whilst this playful breed can stay active well into their adult years, most owners see their Labradoodle calm down slightly at around two or three years old. However, even after this time, it’s important to make sure your dog gets plenty of physical exercise and playtime to help burn off excess energy and avoid any behavioural issues.
- A high intelligence level combined with an eagerness to please make Labradoodles a very trainable breed. Learning the basics is generally an easy task and Labradoodles also tend to be quick learners when it comes to more complex tricks. Making games a part of your Labradoodle training plan will help exercise their minds and prevent boredom too.
- Just like their Labrador parents, Labradoodles are extremely food-motivated, but be careful not to overdo it on the treats to avoid unhealthy weight gain and always feed your Labradoodle the best food for them.
Need more advice?
If you’re at all unsure about the best way of feeding your dog, the best food for your Labradoodle or have any concerns about specific nutritional requirements, ask your local veterinary practice for advice. You can also call our expert team, available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, on +44 (0)1405 862241 who’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, use our online contact form to get in touch.
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