Suggested Diet for Labradoodles and Goldendoodles
Good quality dog food is important when considering what to feed your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle. Most importantly, you want your dog food to have more meat protein than grain protein. The ingredients on the label must be listed in descending order, so the first ingredient should be a REAL meat such as lamb, chicken, or beef. Be wary if the ingredient is just labeled “meat” because that could be a mixture of anything. Even when the first ingredient is a real meat, still consider the ingredients that follow in the ingredient list. Meat is heavy because of its high water weight, so it can be somewhat easy for labels to get that ingredient first. There are several dog brands that are now providing “grain free” dog food. These allow for more nutrients from real meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. At our Doodle Store we provide a list of several dog foods that meet these nutritional suggestions.
Doodles should be fed several small meals a day, rather than one large meal a day, because they can suffer from Gastric Torsion, or bloat, due to their deep chest. If you are worried about your older doodle suffering from bloat because he is eating to quickly, you may want to consider an interactive dog feeder to slow your doodle down. We offer a couple options in our Doodle Store. Each dog’s feeding habits, and how much they should eat, can vary greatly. Some doodles are fine with a bowl full of food left out for them continuously. Other doodles need their feeding times to be monitored, because they will eat all of what is in their bowl immediately.
Providing your doodle with sufficient nutrients and the healthiest diet is so important in raising a healthy doodle that will live as long as possible.
Because Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are average to high-energy dogs, it is important to exercise them daily to keep them healthy and happy. They require moderate exercise, so anywhere around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day should keep your doodle content. This can include running, playing with other dogs, fetch, or any other fun and active activities. Swimming is also a great option because of the doodle’s love for water!
Grooming Goldendoodles and Labradoodles
Doodle fur is generally low maintenance and requires combing about once a week. Combing is important however, because their non to low-shedding fur can lead to matting. There are special combs that can be used to prevent matting in our Doodle Store. Try to only shampoo your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle when absolutely necessary, because washing him/her too often can deplete necessary oils and moisture. When you do shampoo, we suggest a good conditioning to keep your doodle’s skin moisturized.
The number of times you decide to groom your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle per year depends on how trimmed you want to keep their coat. Some owners decide to keep their doodle short for easier maintenance, and others opt for the standard length of fur. Keeping your doodle brushed and matt free will help minimize the trips your doodle takes to the groomer. If your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle doesn’t naturally ware down his/her nails, you will need to trim them occasionally. If you are not experienced in this, have your vet or groomer do it, because nails cut to short can lead to bleeding and pain for your doodle.
Because doodles are early generation dogs, they have Hybrid Vigor. This is seen when two unrelated breeds are mated, leading to a burst in fertility, good health, and growth. The longer breeds have been separated, and the larger the distances between them, the stronger the Hybrid Vigor. Because of this, doodles are generally healthy dogs and many will have no huge health problems. However, like any dog, it is important to be informed on possible health risks for Goldendoodles or Labradoodles.
Ear Infections: Many doodles have floppy ears, which can lead to possible ear infections. To prevent ear infections, it is important to keep their ears clean and the fur around the ears trimmed so it does not trap bacteria. Check for redness on or in ears regularly. We suggest an ear cleaning solution to avoid infection, especially after your doodle goes swimming.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or Bloat: Because some doodles (especially larger breeds) have a deep set chest, they are at risk of bloat. This is when the stomach is distended with air or gas and twists. This is a serious and life-threatening condition that should be taken care of immediately. Signs that your doodle is suffering from GDV include restlessness, excessive salvation, respiratory dysfunction, weakness, collapse, or multiple attempts to vomit. While this condition is generally more of a risk for older dogs, steps should be taken to avoid Bloat throughout your doodle’s life. Your Goldendoodle or Labrdoodle should not eat only one large meal a day, drink large amounts of water directly after eating, or overly exercise after a large meal. We offer a variety of dog bowl suggestions at our Doodle Store that can help slow down feeding if you find your doodle is eating quickly.
*Our Ultimate Doodle Owner’s Manual includes an extensive list of possible health issues and ways to keep your doodle healthy, in addition to training tips and so much more!
Life Expectancy of Goldendoodles and Labradoodles
The normal life expectancy for healthy Goldendoodles and Labradoodles with responsible owners is anywhere from 10-15 years. However, some are known to live even longer.
Should You Get Pet Insurance?
Health Insurance for your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle may seem a little excessive; however, it can be a huge money-saver if you turn out to need it. There are several plans that are very affordable (some starting at about $7.00 a month); ranging from accident only coverage to full coverage. A simple accident such as a broken leg, dog bite, or harmful ingestion can lead to hundreds or even thousands in veterinary bills. If a major, or even life-threatening, problem were to occur with your doodle, it may be life-saving to your pup for you not to have to consider whether his/her treatment is affordable for you. Your veterinarian can provide you with a several options that they recommend.