Caring for your dog involves everything from feeding good quality nutritious food, to grooming, exercise, training and of course lots of fun walks and holidays together.
Labradoodles respond well to praise and encouragement; as a breed they actively want to please you and take part in your daily life so find a puppy class that uses positive training methods.
All my dogs as pups were registered with a puppy/obedience training class and each one has thoroughly enjoyed the activities they have taken part in. It is additionally a great way as a new puppy owner to meet new people and socialise pup with different experiences.
Labradoodles love being out and about with their families, so a walk around the same block is not going to stimulate or satisfy them. They adore the water, and thoroughly love exploring the countryside walks.
A well exercised dog is a happy dog.
Grooming is a definite must with the Australian Labradoodle.
Puppy coats will change as they grow into an adults and this usually starts once puppy reaches approximately 10 months old plus when the coat begins to change and the adult hair grows through and mixes into the puppy coat which matts and felts. This is the time most doodle owners take the trip to the groomers and have their dog’s coat cut very short.
A shorter cut is beneficial to the dog as it can be uncomfortable for them and difficult for the owner if you are constantly trying to groom through matted hair.
In order for your pup to get used to the groomer I do recommend an early meet and greet socialisation just like you would for the vets and outside world.
Your labradoodle will need regular brushing of at least once a week from nose to tail.
Special attention will need paid to the hair that grows between the pads, hair that may be irritating the eyes, the hair that matts most frequently under the armpits and hair in the sanitary areas.
Nails will additionally need clipping and ear hair plucked; these little jobs that only take 5mins can either be completed by yourself or a groomer
I do recommend purchasing a decent comb and brush, and for completing little grooming tasks yourself a pair of round-ended scissors are a great purchase. Thornit powder is a great product to have in stock to pluck the ear hair and it lasts forever. Although a more expensive purchase (or keep looking on ebay/Amazon), a blaster to help dry your labradoodles coat after washing or wet rainy walks will reduce drying time from 4 hours to 20-30mins, it has the additional benefit of keeping the coat in good condition.
I feed my dogs a predominately BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet.
This type of natural feeding mimics the food that the dog would originally have looked for as a scavenger and additionally suits their physical make-up. For example a humans stomach has a pH balance of about 4-5, whilst a dog has a highly acidic stomach content of pH1-2. This acidic stomach aids the breakdown and digestion of raw meat and bones as scavenged by their wild ancestors. The length of their intestine is also different to suit their feeding patterns, in a dog it is approximately 3-6 times their body length in order to shorten the digestion period and allow scavenged foods to pass through quickly, this is in comparison to a human which is 10-14 times our body length. When looking at the jaw, animals like cats, lions and dogs have an up and down movement combined with pointy teeth to aid the ripping and crushing of meat and bones.
The photo attached of Max eating a raw bone (turkey neck), shows how his teeth are cleaned through the very movement of the gnawing bones and biting. When feeding raw bones there is no need to buy expensive teeth cleaning chews, or use a toothbrush on them once a week. Their teeth are cleaned naturally and breath is fresh!
Puppies can be weaned onto raw too…
Just as the commercial dog food business increases with their glossy adverts and pretty packaging so too does the rise in skin conditions, food intolerances, obesity, dental problems, and kidney and liver problems. An interesting but obvious correlation in my opinion.
So what are the other benefits from feeding raw? For a dog it is, glossy coat, clean teeth, fresh breath, good skin condition, stronger lambs bones immune system, leaner body mass, increased mental stimulation and a varied diet. For us, it is lower vet bills, no issues with anal glands, no foul ‘windy’ smells in an evening and smaller, firm odourless faeces to collect. There is also the pleasure of watching your dog actually enjoy settling down for 30mins or so and enjoying the food they are eating.
But what about the mess? I feed my dogs by ordering online, and the food arrives frozen, sealed and in the plastic tubs you get from your local takeaway. There is no leakage, no blood and no mess.
So what is the right way to feed a dog? Is it buying a brightly coloured, highly commercial package from a pet shop and throwing the same cereal based kibble into a bowl for the next 15 years of their life? Or is it feeding your dog the right food to suit them and having a healthy, active member of the family for longer.
However, I do provide puppy families with an excellent kibble option as raw feeding is not always convenient and some puppy families prefer to feed this way. In this case I will recommend and provide you with the best kibble to feed puppies, this is a good quality food product that does not contain soya, wheat, rice, cereals and other unnecessary ingredients. I do recommend that kibble is balanced out with bones a couple of days a week to assist with teeth cleaning and anal glands functioning normally. Other additional supermarket foods such as sardines, chicken wings (raw), lamb ribs, cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, eggs, liver, heart and beef can also be added to the diet.
…Never feed cooked bones as they will splinter and cause your pet serious injury.