What Do I Feed My Puppy?


Although "grain-free" is all the rage these days, I have decided to stop feeding that diet to my dogs after reading multiple reports over the last couple of years that it's been linked with an alarming uptick in canine heart disease. Seriously! Look it up.

Beyond that, there's no one-size-fits-all for your Aussiedoodle's daily diet. Do your research and consult your vet. Your puppy will need more calories and protein than he or she will as an adult. Tailor their diet to their lifestyle. I absolutely love for my puppies to go to families who will give them active, adventurous lifestyles full of hiking, exploring, and the great outdoors. A dog living like that will need more calories than a dog who might have just one walk or ball session a day and is sedentary other than that.

Your Aussiedoodle needs a balanced diet consisting of protein, carbs, and fat. Just because a brand of food has trendy words and graphics on the bag and calls itself high-quality and balanced doesn't mean it is. But nor should you buy the cheap, generic stuff on the shelf at your local supermarket that doesn't promise any of that (see Beneful, Kibbles' N Bits, Iams, Purina Dog Chow, and Pedigree, to name a few).

Raw feeding is in vogue these days, and it can be the right call. But once again, consult your vet before choosing this route to ensure you're able to do it safely and in a way that gives your dog all the necessary nutrients. The bottom line is, see how your dog does on any food you try. If they're happy and energetic; their stools are regular, small, and firm; and their eyes, teeth, and skin look well, you're doing something right. If you do change foods, do it gradually, over at least a week.

Commercial dog treats can be a bit of a wild card, and some dog breeders and owners I know have decided to take matters into their own hands and make them at home! Here are a few homemade delicacies you can prepare as treats for your Aussiedoodle:

Recipe 1 - Total Hamburger Balls

Mix all ingredients and roll into balls. This recipe will make a small batch of hamburger balls. Store them in the refrigerator, but you can freeze them if your dog hasn't gobbled them up in the next couple of days.

· 1 lb hamburger

· 1 1/3 cups Total cereal

· 1 ½ cups uncooked oatmeal

· 1 raw egg

· 6 tablespoons wheat germ

· 1 package Knox unflavored gelatin

· 2 tablespoons coconut oil

· 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses

· Pinch of salt

Recipe 2 - Cream Cheesy Hamburger Balls

Mix all ingredients and roll into balls. Feed as treats or as a food supplement. Store in the fridge or freeze.

· 1 pound ground beef

· 1 8-oz. package cream cheese

· 1 jar all-natural peanut butter

· 1 small jar wheat germ

· 1 dozen egg yolks

· 1 cup flaked oats soaked in heavy cream

Recipe 3 - Total Mini Meatloaf

This meatloaf-like recipe is excellent if you need your dog to put on some weight. It also shines up puppy coats. This treat can be fed alone or with kibble. Mix all ingredients and roll into balls. Feed as treats or as a food supplement. Put each loaf into separate freezer bags and keep frozen until you're ready to thaw and serve.

· 1 pound hamburger meat

· 1 small jar wheat germ

· 1 large box of uncooked oatmeal

· 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil

· 10 eggs

· 10 small packages of unflavored gelatin

· 1 ¼ cup unflavored molasses

· Pinch of salt

· 1 large box Total cereal (2 lbs)

· Optional: a pinch of garlic powder to add flavor

Recipe 4 - Totaly Creamy Beef Balls

This one's for weight gain purposes also and makes tons. Mix dry ingredients, then add heavy cream and cream cheese, then ground beef, then roll into balls and freeze on cookie sheets.

· Small carton heavy cream

· 1 dozen eggs

· 2 blocks of room temperature cream cheese

· 5 lbs ground beef (I use 27% fat)

· 1 small box Total cereal, crunched up into small crumbs

· 1 cup wheat germ

Recipe 5 - Puppy Protein Balls

This one also will put weight on your dog quickly and requires you to get a little messy. Mix the ingredients with your hands. Freeze what you're not using within a couple of days.

· 1 lb hamburger

· 1 package cream cheese

· 1 dozen egg yolks

· 1 jar all-natural peanut butter

· 1 cup rolled oats soaked in milk

· 1 jar wheat germ

Recipe 6 - Fat Balls

Well, they're called Fat Balls because—you guessed it—they're also for fattening up your dog if they're a little behind. Put ingredients in a big bowl, mix with your hands, roll into three-inch torpedoes, and freeze in Ziplock bags until needed. Feed one or two a day.

· 1 dozen egg yolks

· 1 lb jar crunchy peanut butter

· 1 small container of oats

· 1 jar wheat germ

· 1 lb hamburger

· 1 package cream cheese

Recipe 7 - Fatten' Em Up Quick Meatloaf

This one's called Fatten' Em Up Quick Meatloaf for a good reason! Dump all ingredients into a huge pot, and dig in, mixing thoroughly by hand. Separate into small freezer bags, gently squeezing out the air before sealing. Flatten out the bags and lay flat on a freezer shelf. Feed one packet each day, half in the morning and half in the evening, breaking up into chunks or rolling into meatballs. You can place one in the fridge each evening to thaw for the next day.

· 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

· 1 ½ lb hamburger meat

· ½ cup wheat germ

· 1 envelope Knox gelatin, joint complex, unflavored

· 1 cup Total breakfast cereal

· 2 ½ cups uncooked Quaker oatmeal

· 5 tsp Canola oil

· 5 tsp molasses

Add ONE of the following for flavor and variety:

· ½ lb cooked and pureed beef liver OR

· 1 small can tomato sauce and 1 cup cooked rice or pasta OR

· ½ cup chunky peanut butter OR

· 4 oz package cream cheese

Recipe 8 - Doggie Delicious Peanut Cheese Balls

In one bowl, pour the evaporated milk over the oatmeal and put it aside. Have a cup of coffee while you wait for the oats to absorb the liquid. Place all the other ingredients in a second large bowl. Start mixing by hand. Add the oatmeal and evaporated milk mixture, and mix again. When thoroughly blended, form into meatball-sized treats, layering in a plastic freezer container. Freeze until needed. Remove a few at a time, allow to thaw, and feed as fattening snacks!

· 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, chopped

· 1 lb jar crunchy peanut butter

· 1 container Quaker oatmeal

· 2 cups evaporated milk

· 1 jar wheat germ

· 1 lb hamburger

· 8 oz package cream cheese

· Envelope Knox gelatin joint complex, unflavored

Recipe 9 - Meaty Molasses Meatballs

Form the ingredients listed below into meatballs, place on a cookie sheet, and freeze. To serve, microwave each meatball for about 30 seconds. Give 2-3 per day along with their regular diet.

· 1 to 1 ½ lb fatty raw hamburger

· ½ cup wheat germ oil or wheat germ

· 1 package Knox gelatin

· 4 ½ tsp molasses or Karo dark syrup

· 3 egg yolks

· 4 ½ tsp vegetable oil

· 3 cups uncooked oatmeal

Recipes are courtesy of Keisha Bowman at Color Country Aussies.

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