We are currently starting puppies on pawTree Real Whitefish and Brown Rice kibble recipe. I love that pawTree kibble only comes in 10-pound bags, so if you order the larger quantities of 20 or 30 pounds (super price break!), you are getting two or three 10-pound bags instead of a huge bag that is hard to get through in a timely manner. And, you get to add your dog's name to the bag of dog food! Gastro Pro Plus is a superior Probiotic and Prebiotic. Choose "EZ Ship" and add three non-food products to receive free shipping. I recommend for puppies to start with the Whitefish kibble, Gastro Pro Plus, and Salmon Oil, and then choose one additional non-food item to lock in your free shipping. Avoid all CBD products until your dog is an adult. For older dogs on maintenance or weight loss diets, I recommend starting with the Real Trout and Barley Recipe.
Stella and Chewy's, Rawbble, NorthWest Naturals, and Ziwi Peak are considered "fresh foods." Freeze dried or air-dried raw foods conveniently provide the benefits of feeding a fresh diet without the mess of feeding "raw" meat.
For those who want to prepare your own dog food at home, I recommend Balance IT. My dogs prefer the Carnivore Blend.
Select the "Autoship" option for best pricing.
ADVANCED GROOMING SUPPLIES
If you want to groom your Cherry Lane Doodle yourself, here are the tools we use. In addition to the basic grooming supplies listed above, you'll also want a thinning shear (the thinning shear included in the Gimars kit is all you need), a trimming shear, and an electric clipper with comb attachments. The Andis clipper comes with a #10 blade, which is all you need—the Andis combs attach to the #10 blade. The Happy Hoodie helps settle a dog who is unsure of grooming—it soothes them and also minimizes the noise of the blow dryer. While convenient, you don't need a grooming table and professional hairdryer, but we listed them just in case. We started grooming our doodles on a card table and used a handheld hairdryer for many years, but the professional dryer will give you a much nicer finish and full coat. When I invested in the professional dryer, the quality of the dog's finished coat was a dramatic improvement. Essentials are on the top row, and nice but not necessary to get started items are on the bottom row.
Nature's Miracle can typically be purchased locally at a lower cost.
Benebone chew toy is available for a lower price at Walmart under the name Lumabone.
For NuVet, use Order Code 27803. Select the "Autoship" option for best pricing.
Bixbi discount link coming soon!
TRAINING AND TOYS
We are strong believers in crate training/enclosure training. Our preference is a double door wire crate for added convenience (side and end doors)—if you want to make it more den-like, just throw a blanket over it. Wire crates can be collapsed for easy transport and storage—use 30 inch for mini to small medium dogs. The 24 inch crate is a good starting size for small puppies and is easier to transport than larger crates. Avoid fabric crates or plastic crates since they tend to get too hot, and fabric crates are easily chewed. While puppy is being potty trained, we just use large bath towels as the bedding for ease of cleaning (your puppy will come home with a towel that has been laundered and smells like our home). Puppy fencing is another house training tool we highly recommend—a secured area keeps your puppy (and house) safe in your absence or for times when you are unable to closely supervise. The Best Pet modular fencing comes in several heights—we recommend the 32 inch for the house-training/growing-up stage, unless you plan to use it as a long-term fencing solution, in that case, the 40 inch would work well. Another adequate fencing type is the x-pen. It is a little less bulky and a little less expensive than the Best Pet, but, in our opinion, it is not as convenient to use since all the sections are permanently attached. If you do choose to use an x-pen, make sure you are getting one that has a step through door. Another house-training tool we recommend is Dog Door Bells—you can teach puppy to ring the bell to alert you of the need to go outside.
Your puppy will go home with some new toys from us and also a “comfort” toy that has been gently used by the litter. But, puppies love a variety of toys, so feel free to stock up on plenty of them! As your puppy grows, you may need to phase out soft toys if your puppy becomes an aggressive chewer—some puppies love to carry around and snuggle with soft "babies" and other puppies love to demolish anything that can be shredded. If your puppy is of the shredder type, it shouldn’t have any soft toys (and watch for socks left on the floor!), since they can be eaten and could cause a bowel obstruction. We like Nylabone products for hard toys and Skineeez for soft toys. We also like Kong toys that can be filled with treats, and we have added links to a couple other interactive feeding toys. We never give our adult dogs rawhide chews since they are hard to digest and can cause choking. The only time we give rawhide is to puppies during their teething period to help them loosen stubborn baby canines, and then only under close supervision—if the rawhide becomes soft from chewing, we take it away until it has dried out and is hard again. Our dogs enjoy eating Bully Sticks—just be sure to take away the end of the piece before it gets smaller than six inches and becomes a choking hazard, and we only give Bully Sticks when we are present to observe. Of course, make sure all edible products are sourced and made in the USA or countries with similar quality standards—never from China.
FOOD AND TREATS
When your puppy goes home with you, we'll provide a five to seven day supply of the kibble we are currently feeding the litter, such as PawTree Real Whitefish and Brown Rice. We'll also send with you samples of the fresh foods your puppy is currently eating—freeze-dried and air-dried raw foods, such as Stella and Chewy's Freeze-Dried Lamb, Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Lamb, Bixbi Freeze-Dried Lamb, and Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb. We recommend you order a bag of the foods we are currently feeding to have ready when your puppy comes home. If you choose to change from your puppy's current food, please wait for a few months to make that change—puppy will do best if the food remains the same until the transition to your home is complete—at least through a full bag of food. We recommend you feed your dog a variety of foods throughout its life—changing brands and proteins several times a year. When making changes, do so slowly over a period of days to weeks to avoid tummy upset. Recently we have begun feeding our puppies a 50/50 mix of kibble and fresh foods such as freeze-dried and air-dried raw. We have concerns about feeding a dog highly processed kibble as its main food for its entire life. Kibbles we feel we can recommend are PawTree, Bixbi, Go Solutions, and Life's Abundance. (While we feel Life's Abundance is a high quality food, the only kibble proteins they offer include chicken and eggs. We recommend waiting to introduce chicken and egg proteins until your puppy is 8-12 months old.)
We avoid feeding chicken, eggs, and beef as the primary meal proteins until a puppy is 8-12 months old, since chicken and beef are the two highest allergy causing proteins for dogs. Lamb, fish, turkey, and duck seem to be tolerated better by puppies as primary proteins than chicken. We do not recommend regularly feeding grain-free products if much of the protein content is derived from plants—legumes and potatoes in particular. Grain-free products can be included in a rotation of foods, they just should not be fed continuously throughout a dog's life.
For years we have cooked for our dogs on a regular basis. We have enjoyed the recipes and supplements from Balance IT. Our dogs prefer the carnivore or higher protein recipes. We recommend you use Balance IT Canine or Balance IT Carnivore Blend supplements. (The dogs do not seem to prefer the flavor of the Balance IT Canine Plus supplement, perhaps because it is a higher concentration of the supplement to allow for heating the food.)
Why NuVet Plus? NuVet Plus is a full spectrum immune system builder, not just a vitamin. It's filled with a synergistic blend of anti-oxidants, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and more, designed to promote healthy cells. It contains no sugars, fillers, binders, grains or artificial flavors and is manufactured in the USA in an FDA registered, human pharmaceutical laboratory. We have tried other supplements over the years, and always come back to NuVet Plus. We see incredible results with NuVet Plus—outwardly healthy coats and skin are a sign to us of inner health.
We'll also send puppy home with samples of the Diggin' Firm Up! Pumpkin, PawTree Gastro Pro Plus Probiotics, and Doc Roy's GI Synbiotics which help puppy's digestive system cope with the stress of new surroundings. We firmly believe in supporting gut health for our dogs and give all our dogs and puppies a daily dose of probiotics and prebiotics found in these two products. We recommend rotating between PawTree Gastro Pro Plus Probiotics and Doc Roy's GI Synbiotics. We also give a daily NuVet Plus vitamin supplement.
As far as treats, initially just use the kibble and Cheerios until puppy becomes bored with those low value treats. For high value rewards when teaching puppies a new skill, we use the Stella and Chewy's Freeze-Dried Lamb, Bixbi Rawwble, Ziwi Peak, and Northwest Naturals. When puppies are older, we add the Real Meat Jerky Treats, which come in several flavors—break the jerky into very small pieces. We also like the Life's Abundance Turkey and Berry Chews. You can also use high value treats such as Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers, small bits of cheddar cheese or cooked meat. The Natural Farm Bully Sticks are edible, but should only be given under close supervision—I recommend the twelve-inch size, and be sure to remove the bully stick when it becomes soft and allow to air dry and harden again or discard it when it gets small enough to become a choking hazard—under about five-six inches becomes a hazard. Puppies also enjoy the Himalayan Milk Chews. Make sure all food and treats are sourced and made in the USA or other countries with equally high standards such as Canada, New Zealand or Argentina, nothing ever from China.
To go directly to the pawTree website, click on the logo image above. To go to a specific item, click on the images below.
At the very least for grooming, you should have a steel comb and a good quality puppy shampoo and conditioner. I like the Life's Abundance Shampoo as a pre-wash—see the LA link above under the FOOD AND TREATS section. We are always in favor of natural ways to control fleas and ticks and are completely opposed to oral flea and tick medications. Using a combination of natural shampoos and sprays, we have had great success with our own dogs. I've included below links to the products we use and recommend. Wondercide is a great spray—it only lasts for a half day, so it needs to be reapplied frequently when exposure is higher. We love the High Cascade Shampoo since it has ingredients that are natural flea and tick repellents. We also have used the Mink Sheen Shampoo, which is similar to the High Cascade Shampoo and has natural flea and tick control ingredients (but we prefer High Cascade). We dilute High Cascade 1 part shampoo to 1-2 parts water, but the Mink Sheen isn't as concentrated, so we use undiluted. We like to use a tearless puppy shampoo around eyes—the Bio-Groom Fluffy Puppy Shampoo is gentle and smells wonderful, we've also used Hartz and Sergeant puppy shampoos and regularly use Johnson and Johnson Baby Wash and Shampoo. Finish off the bath with a soothing cream rinse, like the Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Conditioner. We usually dilute conditioners 1:2-3. The Artero Matt-X Dematter is a premium dematting spray—it relaxes the coat and lets tangles glide out and is great to use after bathing to loosen mats that can form as your puppy's coat transitions to the adult coat around 7-10 months old. The Charmar Cowboy Magic is another great detangler, although it can leave a bit of a residue, so I use it before bathing for dogs who are heavily matted. The Chris Christensen Brush and the Safari De-Matting Comb are also highly recommended basic tools. We have been very impressed with the Gimars Scissors Kit, which also includes a steel comb. If you choose to trim your puppy's nails, we recommend you have styptic powder on hand to stop bleeding if you cut into the quick—it happens even to the most experienced! For those that want the adventure of grooming your own doodle, we've included an Advanced Grooming Supplies list, also. It is a bit of an investment, but we love the time we spend with our doodles making them look just the way we want. Whether you want to do a complete groom or just maintenance care on face and paws between professional grooming visits, the below supplies are recommended to keep your doodle looking tidy.
These are some of our favorite puppy items that we like and use ourselves.
We would love to hear about your favorite products so we can share them here!
Use code INTRO4U for 20% off your first order!
Some of my favorite pawTree non-food item suggestions—choose THREE non-food items to qualify for free shipping:
Gastro Pro Plus, Salmon oil, Urine Eliminator, Flea & Tick Spray, pawPairings Lamb Medley, Potty bags.
You can find many more items on the pawTree website! (Hint: the little truck in the upper left corner identifies non-food items.)
High Cascade 4 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner is available directly from the manufacturer.