FOOD AND TREATS
When your puppy goes home with you, we'll provide a five to seven day supply of one of two dry kibble foods--either Life's Abundance All Life Stages dog food (the green bag) or Go!Solutions Skin + Coat Lamb Recipe. I'll also send with you a sample of Stella and Chewy's Freeze-Dried Lamb, which is another food your puppy is currently eating. We recommend you order a bag of each food to have ready when your puppy comes home. Please check with me before ordering the kibble for your puppy to make sure you know which one your puppy is eating. If you choose to change foods 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, but when making changes, do so slowly over a period of days to weeks to avoid tummy upset.
As far as treats, initially just use kibble—when you need something more interesting than kibble, we usually move to Cheerios, and when Cheerios aren't exciting enough, or for very high value rewards, use the Stella and Chewy's Lamb. 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 Chewies. You can also use high value treats such as Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers, small bits of cheddar cheese or cooked chicken—great for potty training rewards. The Charlee Bear hard cookies are not good for training since they take too long to chew—we give them as a final reward at the end of a training session or for going into the crate--but honestly--cheerios also work great for our dogs. The Life's Abundance Bully Sticks are edible, but should only be given under close supervision--I recommend the nine inch size, and be sure to remove the bully stick when it becomes soft and allow to air dry and harden again or when it gets small enough to become a choking 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. We'll also send puppy home with samples of the Diggin' Firm Up! Pumpkin and Doc Roy's GI Synbiotics, which helps puppy's digestive system cope with the stress of new surroundings. We also give all our dogs and puppies a daily NuVet Plus vitamin supplement .
In recent months we have witnessed numerous recalls of large corporation dog foods due to contamination from bacteria, chemicals, sub-standard ingredients, and, most recently, the FDA statements regarding Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs have caused concern. Out of love and concern for the health of our dogs and puppies, we went on a search for a superior dog food with a stellar track record. After conducting a careful trial in our home, we have chosen to add Life's Abundance to our choice of foods. LA is a high quality dog food that has never had a recall and is manufactured by a small, employee-owned company. Crafted with care, this premium quality dog food provides advanced nutrition and is made with wholesome ingredients, relying on the strength of proven nutritional science to promote canine health and longevity. Each batch is carefully tested for quality and goes straight from the manufacturer to the consumer. Since Life's Abundance is a direct sales company, this means in the unlikely event of a product recall, they know the destination of every product and will reach out directly to each consumer--this is a powerful safety benefit protecting you and your pet. As a Life's Abundance Independent Field Representative, I would also be alerted in the event of any recall.
An additional choice for dry kibble for your puppy is Go! Solutions Skin + Coat Lamb Recipe. We have recently added this All Life Stages food to our recommended list and are quite happy with it so far. For dogs that don't do well with chicken (Life's Abundance only has chicken formulas), I recommend the Go! Lamb formula.
Sadly, we are no longer able to recommend Earthborn Meadow Feast.for puppies. Meadow Feast used to be labeled All Life Stages and appropriate for puppies, however the labeling was recently changed to adult, so it is no longer an appropriate puppy food. In light of the recent FDA publication regarding DCM, we are no longer recommending Earthborn foods or any grain-free product that gets much of its protein from plants--legumes and potatoes in particular.
For years we have cooked for our dogs on a regular basis. I have enjoyed the recipes and supplements from Balance IT. Our dogs prefer the carnivore or higher protein recipes. I 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.
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.
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. The 44/20 Stainless Steel Thinning Shear from Amazon is high quality, but not necessary if you have the Gimars kit.
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, use 36 inch for larger dogs. Avoid fabric crates until puppies are well-past adolescence. 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 mama and littermates). 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 too small 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.
Use Order Code 27803
Be sure to order the nine inch size bully stick.
Earthborn Holistic Unrefined Roasted Lamb kibble is available at some local stores in addition to Amazon and Chewy.com. If you are ordering online, Chewy.com has a lower price than Amazon.
High Cascade 4 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner is available directly from the manufacturer.
Select the "Autoship" option on both
Life's Abundance and NuVet products to get the best pricing.
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!
So Phresh products are currently out of stock on Amazon, but they are carried in Petco stores.
Nature's Miracle and OUT!Stain Remover can typically be purchased locally at a lower cost.
Benebone chew toy is available for a lower price at Walmart under the name Lumabone.