So confused!

I have spent literally weeks looking at foods for my 3 year old labradoodle and I’m more undecided than I was at the beginning! Raw is not an option. Filtering out grains (inc rice), chicken and potato, I am still left with too many options! My boy is not especially active, and is prone to weight gain. I favour good quality foods with limited ingredients. He was on markus muhle but needed to change due to the ear infections. He has been allergy tested, but I (and my vet) doubt the reliability. He has been on hydrolysed, but dislikes it, and has continued to scavenge (with no noticeable consequences) so it’s time to find something new. I’m more concerned with quality than fancy or unpronounceable ingredients. My head is spinning with questions from my research! What ratio of protein and fat should I look for? Is too much carb bad? Should I consider wet food? Should I stick to cold pressed or is a quality extruded food acceptable? Should I use the same food or life-stage food for my 3 month puppy? Please somebody unscramble my brain for me! :-\

Hi Elastic, you will probably get different answers all round as what to feed is very much down to personal preference and also individual dogs. The best way to decide is trial and error. If you find a food that keeps him satisfied, doesn’t cause allergic reaction, produces firm stools but doesn’t make him constipated, gives him enough energy and overall good health, then that would be a good choice for you.

You don’t mention the results of the allergy tests. Are you trying to avoid specific ingredients and if so, what are they?
Regarding weight control, low fat is often suggested but this usually raises the carbohydrates/fillers and this might not be helpful in view of your dog’s ears and sensitivities.

I’ve tried various types of food for weight control and am currently feeding wet food with higher fat/protein and lower carbohydrates. It does seem to be working. I feel that weight control is all about portion size and not feeding extras. Obviously exercise plays a part too.

Wet foods usually have simpler recipes so would be worth looking at. However, your dog is a large breed so it would be more expensive. Look for the high quality ones with low to average carbohydrates because that might help with your dog’s ear problem. You can sometimes get away with feeding less than the RDA. Something like
Natures Menu Country Hunter cans
or Adult cans might be suitable but there are many more which are similar. Fresh food eg Butternut Box, Different Dog, Freshpet is worth considering but can be a bit costly for large breeds. One other suggestion is Pure Vegi Plus Mixer. You just add your own protein source.

If you need any help using the filters on the Dog Food Directory, please ask and we will try to help.

Darwin is a miniature labradoodle, weighing 16.8kg. His allergy tests said he was allergic to literally everything tested, which is why the vet and I are ibclined to not trust their reliability, especially given his thieving tendencies and lack of recent infections. I generally feel that low carb is a better way forward for a dog (or person) than low fat. I am inclined to look for high protein as i think this would be more natural for a dog. I am inclined to avoid grains for the same reason, and favour sweet over white potato. Im trying to avoid rice,but wonder if i should consider brown rice? I think life was so much simpler before the internet

You seem to be making suitable choices regarding analysis. Brown rice has better nutritive value for dogs than white potato but I feel that with any carbohydrate it is the amount that is important. In your dog’s case, low carb might be better.

Thank you - its good to know I’m on the right track! Akela is coming out well, but I’m waiting for feedback on exe valley and naturavetal.

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