Australian Labradoodles are known for their amazing friendly temperaments, stunning teddy bear looks and also their extreme fussiness with food. I'm still trying to conquer the reasons behind this. My adults that live with me, eat extremely well, but that has not always been the case. There is a lot of confusing information online about what to feed and what not to feed your dog. We are learning more and more information about what our dogs need and what they should be fed. Gone are the days, where dogs got scraps and had tinned pedigree chum type foods for dinner. The problem with scraps and pedigree chum type food is, although it is food, it will not give your dog the ultimate life and eventually, just like feeding ourselves, you are what you eat. If you continue to have a poor diet without any nourishing food, you will develop health problems and maybe not live as long as you could have, if you had eaten better. Thankfully we are in 2021 and the old saying of Dogs dinner - Meaning originally have referred to a cooking mishap with results fit only for a dog's consumption, no longer apply.
One thing we can all agree on is that we all want to feed our dogs something that not only meet all their nutritious requirements but is also going to give them ultimate life expectancy and health benefits.
You may already know what I'm going to say Raw Feeding.
I first tried Raw feeding back in 2015. We had gone to cruft's as we always do and I got talking to a raw food company. I bought lots of ice cream tub size frozen raw food and collected it when we headed home. My dogs loved it but it was a very big pain in the bum. Defrosting such huge tubs and lack of freezer space. I could only order that brand in large quantities and no one local stocked it. It wasn't feasible for us to continue so I tried another brand of raw food, one that was available in all major pet food stores and comes in little nuggets, Great, I thought! But my dogs did not get excited for this food, they were not interested and Roxy, my very old rescue dog, was very ill on it. The vet advised to change food and Roxy began to get better, this left me with very a serious amount of questions.
So after my experience I have avoided raw food for the past 5 years. I was lucky to own a dog grooming parlour in a huge local pet warehouse, which sold everything like pets at homes do. I had reps offering me free samples of their dog food brands weekly. I used to get very excited at all the free dog food, I didn't buy any dog food for at least 2 years. I was given everything from luxury to basic dog food brands. I remember getting a £110 bag of food, free for my dogs to eat, it was all natural organic dog dry food and my dogs had the cheek to turn their noses up. All the reps wanted me to feed their brand of dog food, as a dog groomer seeing 100's of clients they know that customers do ask? what dog food do you feed your dogs? and what dog food do you recommended? are questions we get asked a lot.
So my top favourite dry food brands are made up from what my dogs like to eat. As much as I always want to feed them natural, top ingredient quality foods, I'm not the one eating it.
Royal Canin but food type is mini puppy.
I have raised many litters on this food without issue and is my go to dry food brand for puppies.
lily's kitchen is a great food made up from natural ingredients. I do like this food a lot and its very popular.
My adults have been eating Alis choice dry dog food for the past 10 months. Even though I have been raw feeding, I leave a bowl of this food down, which they all pick at. This food was actually made by Labradoodles of Ireland - a registered breeder of Australian labradoodles. I'm jealous I didn't think of doing my own dog food first. I will continue to feed this along side my dogs raw food diet .
Luckily, within the last 5 years raw feeding has seriously taken off within the pet food industry, with more Raw food brands popping up. I was recently introduced to Able, by Michelle at Churchills Australian labradoodles. Michelle was going on and on about trying it, saying how good it was and how it had real chunks of meat. So I did! and I haven't looked back since. Able raw food is very simple to feed, and Ruby was 100% fed it throughout her pregnancy and I even bought a second freezer to store it, because we go through a lot of food feeding mum and puppies.
Raw is Raw right ? so why did one brand make my dog Roxy seriously ill? Unfortunately not all raw foods are equal, so you must check the ingredients. Check you are getting good quality human grade chunks of meat, not the off cuts or throw away bits fit for the bin. Remember we are done with the days that dogs only should get scraps! I have not had a problem feeding Able and it has not made my dogs ill once. It really is important to check your Raw food brand.
Can I feed dry food alongside raw food?
Yes, you can feed one meal of Raw per day and another meal of dry food if you want to. Feeding some raw is better than feeding no raw at all, and the more raw the better in our opinion. This also will help keep the cost down for larger dogs.
I have successfully fully weaned our puppies onto raw. They absolutely woof down their meals and are very active and happy puppies,
The positives :
For me are they smell less. Not just their poos but I think the puppies actually have less of an odour this time.
Puppy poos is one thing I'm very proud of. A nice firm poo means our puppies are healthy. Its one of the first signs of illness, and not only have the puppies had good firm poos, they are pretty odour less and I have gone from six poos each a day to just twos poos each.
This is not because they haven't eaten enough, I know they have, but their little bodies have been able to absorb so much nutrients from their food, that they poo very little. which makes me a very happy breeder.
How can you Raw feed your puppy at home?
Able have given us a code for Willow's puppy families to get a free trial of their food (plus only £1.95 shipping). You will need to order this and have the raw food ready for when your puppy comes home.
Able have a great feeding calculator, so just weigh your puppy before you order every 2-3 weeks and it will specifically tell you what your puppy needs. We have been feeding beef with turkey, non chunky.