What should I feed my Labradoodle puppy is a question I’ve seen asked numerous times on different forums and Facebook, and it’s a very good question as there are so many different products and solutions to be found.
You should feed your Labradoodle puppy a product that is both highly nutritious to aid their growth but also without any unnecessary added supplements. Fresh food is by far the best option, but it might be out of budget for a lot of people.
But what is the right choice for your Labradoodle puppy? Keep reading and get a lot of good advice regarding feeding a Labradoodle puppy.
What Should I Feed My Labradoodle Puppy?
A Labradoodle puppy goes through a lot of growth during its’ first year, going from weighing less than 1 lbs to more than 80 lbs as an adult. Compared to a human, where that kind of growth usually takes over 10 years.
That growth is a result of their heritage and genetics, and ensuring that the puppy gets’ the required nutrients.
Products that are tailored towards puppies will have a higher amount of protein compared to adult dog food, to help ensure that the puppy receives all of the required building blocks that are found in protein, to make sure the puppy will experience a balanced growth.
This is also why it’s very important that you choose the best puppy food, so your pup receives all it needs during its’ first year. This will have a great impact later on in the dog’s life.
Products made for puppies helps to ensure that the required minerals and vitamins can be found in correct amounts to help the puppy’s development. And the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fat if equally important to ensure that the development happens at the right pace for each puppy.
A puppy requires more energy pr. lbs. of body weight than an adult dog. This puts higher demands on puppy food, which is why this type of food is more energy-dense than adult food. This means that puppy food will contain more calories than adult food.
Accommodating a puppy’s nutrient demands is the foundation for ensuring a puppy will have a good and healthy adult life.
When it comes to feeding a puppy, I think I’ve tried every single product on the market after having owned dogs in more than 30 years, and for the past couple of years, I’ve been exclusively feeding my dogs Ollie Petfood.
Ollie is a fantastic product that is tailor-made to each specific dog. No matter their size, breed, and activity-level, Ollie can accommodate everything you and your dog might desire.
You can read more in my Switching to This Food Changed My Dogs Life article, and see if it’s something you feel like giving a try.
They are currently running a campaign where you can try the first pack for 50% off, and see for yourself how your dog might react when served fresh food from Ollie.
HINT: Give your puppy plenty of peace and quiet while it’s eating. Avoid distractions from any children that might disturb the puppy while it’s trying to eat.
Remember to always have a bowl of fresh water ready for the puppy.
Malnutrition In Puppies
Inadequately feeding a puppy can have dire consequences and lead to malnutrition, obesity, and issues with the dogs’ joints in its’ adult life.
Obesity in puppies is more often than not due to overfeeding, which is a result of the puppy getting more calories than it can burn through its’ food. Some puppies can regulate the amount they get by not eating all of the food they are served, where other puppies will eat every single crumb from the bowl, even if it results in too many calories, and eventually, the dog will become obese.
This is something that won’t happen with Ollie Petfood, as the amount is adjusted to your specific puppy.
So if you’re giving your pup kibble from the local pet store, be careful not to overfeed your puppy!
Supplements For Puppies
If you choose Ollie Petfood or another premium product, it won’t be necessary with any supplements, that all of the important vitamins and minerals will be found in the food.
READ MORE: BEST FOOD FOR LABRADOODLES
Feeding a Labradoodle Puppy Under 8 Weeks Old – At The Breeder
A lot of breeders will give their pregnant females’ puppy food the months up to birth. They do this to give the dog extra energy from the protein-rich puppy food for the last part of the pregnancy.
When the puppies are born and will start getting milk from the mother, that milk will then contain all of the minerals and vitamins from the puppy food. It is important that this food is the same that the puppies will be served when they switch from milk to food.
A newborn puppy will feed from its’ mom as soon as it’s been born.
After around 3 to 4 weeks, the puppies will start eating actual food, often kibble that’s been softened in lukewarm water.
If it’s a big litter, or if there are some puppies in the litter that has problems getting enough nutrition from the mother, the breeder can choose to give the puppies a supplement in the form of a milk substitute.
When the puppies start eating kibble, they will gradually have a smaller need for getting milk from the mother, but they will probably continue as long as they can get away with it.
And when they reach the age of 8 weeks and start moving to live with their new families, they are able to live without completely depending on their mother any more.
How Should I Feed My Puppy?
Feeding a Puppy – When Should They Eat?
When you’re at the breed to bring home your new puppy, it’s a good idea to get a bit of the food that they have been feeding the puppy.
This food is known by the puppy, and if you want to switch to another product, it would be a good idea to do it over a course of 4-6 days, so that the tender stomach of a puppy can slowly but surely get used to this new product. You shouldn’t start the switch as soon as you get home, but instead, wait a few days, so the puppy has found its’ place in the new home.
For the first months after bringing home the puppy, you should spread out the amount of food, to eating 3-4 times a day if possible. When the puppy reaches 4-6 months, you can settle with 2 to 3 times a day.
A feeding schedule could look something like this:
Puppies under 5 months
- 07:00 AM
- 11:00 AM
- 03:00 PM
- 07:00 PM
Puppies from 5 to 12 months
- 07:00 AM
- 01:00 PM
- 06:00 PM
- 07:00 AM
- 05:00 PM (this can vary a lot depending on training the dog, and other activities that result in the dog eating later)
A lot of puppy owners feed their dogs later than 06:00 PM, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but my experience is that the earlier a puppy is fed in the evening, the quicker it will be able to go an entire night without having to go outside or have a minor accident inside.
Make sure that you feed it at a set schedule so you create a routine for the puppy, and don’t leave the food sitting outside for it all day long.
The puppy will have to learn to eat when you bring out the bowl. So you should remove the bowl again after 10-15 minutes if it hasn’t eaten it, or isn’t currently in the middle of eating.
This will quickly learn the pup to eat when it’s dinnertime.
How Much Food Should My Puppy Have Daily?
The amount of food depends on many things, such as the size, weight, activity level, and of course also what food you’re feeding your dog.
If you’re feeding your dog Ollie Petfood, that will always be adjusted for your dog, so you don’t have to think all too much about it, but if you’re buying kibble from Amazon, you will have to inspect the label on the back of the bag, to make sure you’re giving the dog what it needs.
You should also be aware that the label on the bag is only a guideline, and you will have to be extra observant if your dog in any way or shape starts looking either too skinny or too fat.
If you’re in doubt if your puppy receives the correct amount of food, you should consult your vet, or wherever you buy the food. You can also let other people take a look at the puppy, such as the breeder, or when you’ve taken your pup to get vaccinated at the vet.
How Much Does A Labradoodle Puppy Eat Every Day?
A puppy’s appetite can vary a bit from day to day, so it’s no unusual that it doesn’t go for the food with the same eagerness every day, and it might have days where there are quite a lot of leftovers from eating.
REMEMBER if you give your pup treats or other snacks between meals, you will have to take that into account when feeding your puppy. It can be a good idea to take a handful of the dogs’ daily ration of food and use that as a treat throughout the day.
Breeders and producers of dog food recommend feeding your puppy with puppy food until it is around 1 year old.
When looking at the recommended amount of food on the back of the bag of kibble, you should measure by using the expected adult weight of your dog.
This list is only a guideline, and there’s a good chance that your dog will need either less or more to eat.
My Dog Is Getting Fat – Obesity in Dogs
An obese puppy is at risk of overloading their not yet fully developed bones and is furthermore at a greater risk of becoming obese when fully grown.
Remember that the feeding guidelines are just guidelines and not the ultimate truth.
It’s at least as, if not more, important that you really look at your puppy.
- How does it look?
- Is it too skinny or too fat?
And then adjust the amount of puppy food accordingly.
Do you have any doubts if the puppy is too skinny or too fat?
A quick and efficient method to determine that is that you should be able to feel the puppies’ ribs when placing your hands at either side of their chest, but you shouldn’t be able to actually see the ribs.
If you have any doubts, you should let the breeder or a vet give your pup a checkup.
Should I Swap To a Different Product Once In a While?
Puppies – and dogs in general – doesn’t require a lot of variation when it comes to their food, they are perfectly capable of eating the same food day in and day out.
So you don’t have to switch brands every once in a while if you think it’s sad that your dog is fed the same thing every day.
But remember to always have a fresh supply of water for your pup.
When Can A Labradoodle Puppy Receive Adult Food?
If you’re feeding your puppy kibble instead of food by Ollie, there is a time where you will have to replace their puppy food for something made for grown dogs.
The need for a higher amount of proteins and calories are no longer necessary when the dog is fully grown. The muscles and bones don’t have the same demand for energy at this point, so now it’s time to replace the food with something designed for adult dogs.
A large dog like a Labradoodle, will typically not be fully grown until they reach an age of around 18-20 months, compared to a smaller breed that might be fully grown at 10-12 months.
A puppy won’t have any serious issues being fed puppy food longer than it actually needs, but due to the higher amount of calories, there’s a greater risk of obesity, which is something you should always avoid.
- Mini Labradoodle
If your dog is a Miniature Labradoodle, with an expected adult weight of around 25 lbs, it will usually require puppy food until the age of around 10 months.
- Standard Labradoodle
If your dog is a standard Labradoodle with an expected weight when fully grown at around 60-70 lbs, the dog will still be a puppy at least until it reaches an age of around 1,5 to 2 years old.
Swapping From Puppy Food to Adult Food
When your puppy is around 12 months old, you can switch to a product suited to adult dogs if you’re feeding him kibble.
It’s a good idea to slowly swap to this new product, otherwise, your puppy might be a risk of stomach issues.
Start with mixing the old puppy food with this new product, in a way that eventually leads to the food containing more and more of the product made for adults.
- Start by using 1/3 of the new food with 2/3 of the old food.
- Then you mix 1/2 of the new food with 1/2 of the old food.
- Finally, you mix 2/3 of the new food with 1/3 of the old product.
This transition period should take place over a course of 5 to 7 days. This will help you make sure that your dogs’ stomach can get accustomed to this new product, and avoid any stomach issues.
What Does Labradoodle Puppies Eat?
The food giving to the puppy until it reaches the age of 8 weeks, and you’re able to bring it home, is the breeder’s choice.
A respectable breeder will carefully choose a product that they’ve learned from previous experiences will give the puppy exactly the right growth within their first year of living.
This is also why it’s such a good idea that you as the buyer of the puppy, continue using the same brand that the breeder has been using, and can recommend until the puppy is around 1 year old.
If you want to change to another product, it’s perfectly ok for you to do so, but avoid doing so until the puppy has lived with you for a few weeks. At this point, the puppy should be settled in in its’ new home, and be much more capable of dealing with a change of food.
To help spare the puppies’ tender stomach, you should gradually change the food over a period of around 5 to 7 days.
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