Easily one of the most popular “designer dog” breeds, the Labradoodle is known for his curly coat and his spirited temperament. These dogs are an absolute joy to be around and they are eager to make friends with every person they meet. Labradoodles vary in size depending on their genetics, but they are always a friendly and fun-loving breed that makes an excellent family companion. These dogs are moderately active, at the least, and their coats require a good deal of maintenance. The extra work is well worth it, however, to have one of these playful pooches as a member of your family.
Labradoodle Breed Overview
- Pedigree: Labrador Retriever and Poodle
- Size: 14 to 24 inches
- Weight: 15 to 100 pounds
- Energy Level: High
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
The Labradoodle is a mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. It stands somewhere between 14 and 24 inches tall, weighing anywhere from 15 to over 100 pounds at maturity. What you need to remember about this breed is that there are three different sizes – this is because the Poodle comes in three sizes. The most common practice, however, is breeding the Labrador Retriever with a Standard Poodle since they are similar in size, but technically the breed can be created by crossing any of the three sizes.
Dietary Considerations for Labradoodles
The Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, a breed that comes in three sizes. The Labrador Retriever has an average height of 21.5 and 24.5 inches and these dogs usually weigh between 55 and 80 pounds. Toy Poodles are the smallest of the three Poodle varieties, standing 10 inches tall or less and weighing between 7 and 10 pounds – this version is rarely used in the crossing to make a Labradoodle. The Miniature Poodle is the middle size, standing about 10 to 15 inches tall and weighing between 15 to 17 pounds. The Standard Poodle is the largest of the three and the variety used most commonly to create the Labradoodle. Standard Poodles are usually more than 15 inches tall and weigh 40 to 55 pounds. Depending which version of the Poodle is used in the crossing, the Labradoodle stands anywhere from 14 to 24 inches tall and weighs as little as 15 pounds up to more than 100 pounds at maturity.
Labradoodles are playful, fun-loving dogs that are always ready to make new friends or to try a new game. These dogs have a moderately high energy level at the least and a very high energy level at the most – it just depends which type of Poodle is used in the crossing. This will also affect your dog’s caloric needs since small-breed dogs have very fast metabolisms and require extra protein and fat in their diet to maintain both their lean muscle mass and their constant energy burn. Technically, Labradoodles come in three sizes – miniature, medium, and standard. The miniature variety weighs between 15 and 30 pounds which qualifies it as a small-breed dog. Miniature labradoodles, then, do best on a dog food formulated for small breeds. The medium labradoodle weighs 30 to 45 pounds and the standard weighs upwards of 45 pounds. Medium Labradoodles often do well on high-quality adult diets while a large-breed formula might be more appropriate for the standard size.
Another nutritional consideration you need to make for the Labradoodle breed is the potential for food allergies or sensitivities. Both Labrador Retrievers and Poodles have a high risk for food allergies, which means that your Labradoodle’s risk will be even higher. You should always avoid dog foods made with corn, wheat, and soy ingredients but, for your Labradoodle’s sake, you may also want to stick with a grain-free variety just to be safe. If your dog develops an allergy anyway, switch him to a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) for at least 12 weeks until all signs of the allergy clear up. Then, you can either continue to feed him that food or you can introduce potential allergens one at a time until you identify the culprit then simply avoid that ingredient in the future. Many Labradoodles do well on a long-term limited ingredient diet made with a select number of key ingredients. You should also make sure that the diet you choose for your Labradoodle contains healthy animal fats to protect his skin and to keep his coat shiny and soft.
The Best Dog Food Brands for Labradoodle Adults and Puppies
Now that you know a little more about the Labradoodle in general as well as some specifics about his nutritional needs, you may be wondering how to pick the best dog food for this breed. Below you will find three reviews for recommended brands of dog food for Labradoodle adults as well as one recommendation for Labradoodle puppies:
The Merrick pet food company follows the tagline, “Whole health made right”. This brand is dedicated to making what they consider the best food ever, using only the healthiest ingredients in complete and balanced formulas. Their products are all-natural and handcrafted so you can feel good about feeding them to your Labradoodle. This Merrick Grain-Free Real Duck and Sweet Potato Recipe in particular is a great choice because it is rich in protein and naturally grain-free. More than that, however, it is made with a novel protein source which is great for dogs that suffer from food allergies and sensitivities. This dog food recipe actually features three premium proteins – duck, turkey, and salmon – as well as gluten-free, grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potato and green peas. It is also supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients. It also contains probiotics for healthy digestion.
If you are looking for a pet food company you can trust with your Labradoodle’s health, Canidae is a great choice. This brand has been independent and family-owned since 1996, producing high-quality pet food products made with locally sourced ingredients. Canidae pet foods are all made in the company-owned Ethos Pet Nutrition facility in Brownwood, Texas as well, so you can feel good knowing that this company takes the quality of their products seriously. If your Labradoodle has food allergies or sensitivities, an LID like the Canidae Grain-Free PURE Elements Limited Ingredient Diet with Fresh Lamb would be a great choice. This recipe is made with just 10 key ingredients, including protein-rich lamb, turkey meal, and chicken meal as well as complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. This formula features fresh, natural ingredients and it is supplemented with the vitamins and minerals your dog needs for balanced nutrition, plus probiotics for digestive support.
Zignature Grain-Free Trout & Salmon Meal Formula Dry Food
You may not be familiar with the Zignature brand of pet food, but once your dog gets a taste of Zignature dog food, however, you’ll never go back. This company offers premium pet foods that are formulated with knowledge of sound nutritional principles learned from nature. This company follows a limited ingredient philosophy, avoiding all corn, wheat, and soy products – they also avoid chicken and potatoes. Each of Zignature’s recipes is a hypoallergenic, low glycemic formula perfect for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. The Zignature Grain-Free Trout & Salmon Meal Formula Dry Food in particular is a great option for Labradoodles because it is loaded with protein and healthy fat. Made with trout and salmon as the main ingredients, this meat-rich formula also meets your dog’s needs for omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll also be glad to know that this recipe is rounded out with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance.
The Taste of the Wild brand is known for producing protein-rich, grain-free dog foods made with roasted meats like bison, lamb, and venison. This company only offers a limited selection of products, but each of them is made with the finest quality ingredients available. In addition to being made with premium proteins, each Taste of the Wild recipe is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance as well as probiotics for healthy digestion. If you are looking for a protein-rich recipe for your Labradoodle puppy, the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy with Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison formula is a great choice. This recipe features 28% crude protein and 17% fat, more than enough protein and energy to fuel your puppy’s growth and development. This recipe is also supplemented with antioxidants for total-body health and probiotics for digestive support.
As is true for all dogs, the best way to protect your Labradoodle’s long-term health and wellness is to feed him a high-quality diet throughout his life. Picking a quality puppy food will give your Labradoodle puppy the best start possible and a wholesome adult diet will help him to sustain his health throughout his ten to fifteen-year lifespan. If you want to do what’s best for your Labradoodle, consider feeding him one of the top-rated brands reviewed above.