Food - Is there a right answer?

General discussion on all labradoodle-related matters - anything not otherwise covered by specific forums on the site.
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Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Ellen.H » 16 Aug 2011, 17:05

I am at a loss, can anyone help? Our puppy has come to us on a complete dry mix which I am happy about but I want to change the brand, the one he is on is really cheap and nasty. My last dog had a really bad tummy problem which meant he was on rice, chicken and veg in the main so I don't have any experience of 'dog' food.

Everytime someone recommends something, somone else says it's awful. I know there are certain brands not to touch like Bakers etc but are there a group that are reasonable? Our vet like most others sell Hills but I want the best for Barney not the one that gives the most commission.

Bid - thanks for the link, I am going through it trying to get my head round it.

Any help would be really appreciated.
Ellen & Barney


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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by thepooles » 16 Aug 2011, 17:46

i've tried allsorts, i've never gone to cheap and cheerful but do watch out to see if there are any offers about. my beth has a sensitive tum so i try to avoid food with too much grains (or any grains if possible)

so far, mine have enjoyed

fish4dogs (but quite a lot of poo, although firm (sorry)) but coats are thickest and shiniest on this
taste of the wild - they loved the salmon
burns potato (lost weight on this)
orijen (great but pricey)
barking dogs

all have been fine, would buy each one again, i just change every now and then for change's sake, and also as i say if i find a good offer. i think they're all 5 or 6* ratings

good luck - yes it is a minefield!

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Nicky » 16 Aug 2011, 18:11

If I could afford it I would put Dexter on orijen, but we try to buy the best food we can afford.

Dexter is on Green dog food which is holistic, before he was on wainright's and I must say he has calmed down a bit since being on green dog :D

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by stout » 16 Aug 2011, 18:48

Stout was on symply, we were happy with it, but turns out stout isn't good with grains. I don't think its avaliable everywhere. We were given some good advice, and that was to make sure the food you choose is easily available where you live (just incase you run out and the normal shop is shut etc) to avoid sudden changes and potential upsets as a result! I think it is trial and error sadly, and once you find one you, your dog and your purse are happy with and stick to it! There are websites that compare them, but you could drive yourself mad with all the ins and outs! Sometimes its easier to have a fusspot!

Chris, Michelle & Stout



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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Banana-dog » 16 Aug 2011, 19:13

If you can afford it, and your dog is good on it, then 100% raw food. Since you have a puppy, I would definitely recommend giving raw meaty bones straight away. If you're not keen on this idea, then you can always try Natural Instinct or something similar. It's not pretty but it's what I would feed Eska if I could (long story). My next dog will get chicken thighs.

As far as dry food goes, all vets I know of recommend Science plan. But Hills is very good. Burns is also good.

There isn't really a right answer but you should avoid E-numbers, coloured foods, and also if your dog has small poos that's a really good sign. Think about it, your dog poos out what is in the food that he cannot digest - so if he's pooing out lots, it means your food is low quality and full of cr*p. If you have small poos, a higher % of the food is digestable goodness! :D
- Morgane & Eska

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... Only joking, Eska's my whole life.

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by gilly g » 16 Aug 2011, 20:42


This can be a very emotive subject.

I too have tried all sorts, and still am! (Polo is 2 and a quarter) The favourite for a long time now is frozen tripe/beef/chicken, served defrosted, but raw. Also, to avoid upset tum, you need to introduce the new feed gradually, but you probably know this already :D

I would say go for the best that you can afford, email for free sample packs, (quite a lot will provide these), but don't beat yourself up about it. After all, if you pay a premium for a food that your dog is not going to eat, what's the point in buying it?

Good luck.

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Clairejen » 16 Aug 2011, 20:47

We feed ours green dog, with toppers as he is a bit fussy. All our fosters have gone straight onto the same food with no problems.

If you have a puppy it is recommended to use a formulated for large dog puppies food, I think this is supposed to even out growth spurts. I can't remember what we used now, it might have been Purina as that was what our local pet shop stocked.
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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Bid » 16 Aug 2011, 20:52

Imo the main thing is that you and your dood are both happy with your choice - that's the most you can do.

I reckon mid range foods such as fish4dogs, Burns and James Wellbeloved do a good job, so-called super foods such as Orijen and Arcana are really good and there are loads of others I don't know about. I personally would prefer not to feed my dogs Bakers/Hills/Pedigree type foods, and as a budget food Chappie is pretty straightforward. I have chosed to feed my girls raw, but Beamish has Orijen, because I am not confident I would get the balance right feeding raw to a growing pup - I know a lot of people do, and I would like to but I have decided not to yet - he will change soon, and has a hefty dollop of raw food with his Orijen.

Of course you can decide on the food you want to feed, and it may not agree with your pup - they inevitably have the last word! :roll: :wink:
Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices - Byron

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Madeleine » 16 Aug 2011, 21:02

I got very stressed over what to feed my 2 doods.
There is so much to choose from and so much advice that I got really bogged down and as you said one minute its clear what to do and the next someone has put you off.
I won't say what mine are on as I don't want to influence you but my only advice would be go for what you can afford as far as dried is and give toppers such as sardines,the odd egg, cottage cheese, wet dog food such as Chappie chicken and rice, Natures diet. This variety makes me feel better about the whole thing and its within our budget.
I do think dogs do well on most foods and as mentioned as long as you change the food gradually you could do this as often as you want or till you find something that suits you and your dog.
Good luck I know how you feel !!

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Glenda » 16 Aug 2011, 21:39

As everyone has said, you have to go with what you can afford and definitely a food that your dog enjoys and agrees with him/her.

I was looking at the ingredients on dog food today in one of our local pet stores and was impressed with Barking Heads as the main ingredient is British Home Reared Chicken and the next ingredient is Rice... am going to see how it goes...

Good luck with whatever you decide :D


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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by kizzie whizz » 16 Aug 2011, 21:41

I found this site today
There is no 'perfect' food. Just what is right for you and your dog. My advice would be to read the packaging each time you buy a bag as ingredients change. Kizzie's sensitive food changed from whiting as the sole protein to duck! I wish I dared to cook her food from scratch myself.
Wendy, Kizzie Whizz and Murphy

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by karenmog » 16 Aug 2011, 21:43


I feed my two on Arden Grange but have tried several others including Burns, Applaws and own brands.

Roise has a very sensitive tum and I found the people at Arden Grange really helpful. You can email the nutritionist and they will send you some free samples. I can get it locally but order it online with free delivery and its saves me about £18 on the shop price for 2 x 15kg bags.

It is an absolute mind field and I have found it really difficult as you want to do the best for your dog but within your budget.

Good luck with whatever you choose and it's always worth emailing to see which companies offer samples. I found them really helpful.
Last edited by karenmog on 16 Aug 2011, 22:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Ellen.H » 16 Aug 2011, 21:58

A huge thank you to all that replied. It has made me feel less stressed just knowing that other people have had the same dilemma. Will start researching what is available near us tomorrow and how much it will cost. Thanks again, I can sleep easy tonight.

Hope we can find something Barney likes, at the mo his favourite thing to eat is our lawn!!!
Ellen & Barney


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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Nimitor » 16 Aug 2011, 22:25

There is no RIGHT answer.I would have been quite happy feeding Wes dry food, his breeder had him on Bakers puppy and he had awful runny poo on it.He just would not eat tinned dog food, we tried chum,chappie,butchers(he ate the chicken one )and all supermarket brands. He had ALL the dried foods and hated them all, bleddy nuisance but I have learnt from him...I just want him to eat and eat he will but only...RAW minced beef,chicken, bones from the butcher etc. He loves the left overs from Sunday dinner, tinned sardines,tinned tuna and anything he can steal:)He has pedigree chum in his Kong(puppy chicken and rice) but although he eats it all from the kong he wont touch it in his bowl lolHe adores frozen chicken wings and will do anything for cooked chicken.I think he is the fussiest pup ever but please don't do what I did and hold out for a couple of days thinking he is a dog he will eat dog food, coz if he is anything like Wesley he wont xxxxxxx

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Re: Food - Is there a right answer?

Post by Liz! » 17 Aug 2011, 01:06

Agree it's very hard. After reading loads, I wanted to feed lola on raw, but since she is a service dog and goes with me everywhere, thought that'd be too hard when we were out and about - plus couldn't really get my head around raw chicken in the house what with salmonella etc.

So in the end went for Orijen, but that was too rich for her as a pup. I had to go back to what she was on as a babe from the breeder and change literally grain by grain over to puppy Applaws, 70% meat and veg kibble, which she loved as a pup, and then when she was older I changed again onto Orijen grain by grain.

Now she has Orijen one flavour in morning, another at night, mixed with Nature's Menu None of this diet has grains at all in, or dairy, or soya - no cheap fillers or colours etc, nothing unnatural for a dog.

It is expensive, and we can only get it from 2 shops not near us. But I found it was cheaper in the end than the stuff from the breeder as you don't feed as much. What we do is go to buy more when half way down the pack, so there is plenty of time to order it if they don't have it, or get it from the other supplier.
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