Labradoodles are popular in households around the world. These crossbred dogs are a combination of a Poodle (either Standard, Toy or Miniature) and a Labrador Retriever. While they often have desirable traits from both parent breed, Labradoodles are not considered a breed officially. Each individual Labradoodle has a personality all his or her own, but most Labradoodles will be intelligent, energetic, playful and loyal.
The traits of a crossbred dog can sometimes be surprising and unpredictable, however. Before you bring a Labradoodle into your home, here are six costs you need to prepare for.
All healthy dogs love to eat. You want to feed your dog enough to keep her energetic and nourished. At the same time, you want to avoid overfeeding. Healthy eating habits start at a young age.
You also want to be especially careful of your Labradoodle’s weight throughout his life. Labradoodles are prone to hip problems. Hip dysplasia is a relatively common ailment found in these dogs. The more overweight your dog is, the more his hips, joints and musculoskeletal system will be strained.
Food for Puppies
You’ll need to determine the number of calories your dog will need to eat each day. This is usually described in terms of per pounds of the dog’s body weight. Don’t worry – you don’t have to just figure this out.
There are charts available online. Of course, the best way is to work with both your veterinarian and your dog’s breeder. They’ll help you determine the proper amount. To help ballpark the numbers: a 7-week-old puppy weighing five pounds needs 400 calories per day.
The number of calories in a pound of puppy food is divided by the number of calories your dog needs each day. This will give you a starting portion amount.
If the puppy is between four and 12 months old, you’ll feed them three times a day. There’s a common misconception that puppies need to be fed between six and eight times a day. While more frequent feedings do improve the puppy’s ability to extract nutrients from the food, the effect is only very slight. It’s really not worth the extra effort of meal preparation and clean-up. Three times a day is perfectly fine.
When feeding your puppy, follow the rule of three and five:
- If your puppy eats his entire meal – every bit – for three days in a row, then add five percent more food to each meal thereafter.
- If your puppy still eats everything after another three days, then add an additional five percent to each meal.
You’ll repeat this process until eventually your puppy is leaving a little bit of food behind at each meal. Note that your young Labradoodle might never reach a point where he’s leaving food behind. That’s okay. You (and your vet) just need to make sure your puppy is gaining a consistent amount of weight each week.
Around 10 to 12 months your puppy will likely slow down at meals. Once your pet gets to be one year old, you’ll switch to twice daily feelings. Feed one-third of the total calories in the morning and the remaining two-thirds in the evening. This should then be their eating schedule for their entire lives.