Puppy food is higher in protein and vitamin & mineral content and should be given to a Lab or labradoodle for about 1 full year. This will ensure that the pup gets adequate nutrition as he grows.
Adult food can be given after a years time. I use a 30% protein food which can be found in higher quality foods.
A dog has a much more efficient metabolism than a human- and has a body temperature of 101.5 degrees. When puppies are born- their temperature will be lower than their 101.5 temperature. They cannot regulate their temperatures and need their Mothers and littermates to keep them warm. An adult dog will have a temperature of 101.5, which is 2.9 degrees higher than that of a human! This is a huge difference and allows a dog to burn more calories through a higher thermogenic efficient temperature. A dog needs 30 calories per pound per day! An active or pregnant dog can require two to three times this amount!
Dogs also require different nutritional needs than humans. While humans rely mostly on carbohydrates, a dogs diet should consist of mainly protein and fats. Fats contain 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram. Since a dog has a higher body temperature than a human, it is able to metabolize and burn calories much more efficiently than a human! This includes medications. Pound for pound, a dog would need a greater amount of a medication than a human who weighs more.
Snack and Supplements
Labs and labradoodles should get treats consisting of products made mainly of beef or chicken, or fish- PROTEINS! This provides a healthy high protein snack for the dog. I also recommend snacks such as apples with the skin, carrots, trimmed fat from beef and chicken- cooked of course, mixed in with their kibble. Bully sticks and pig ears are also good choices. Stay clear of rawhides. These contain bleach, glue, and are difficult on the dogs digestive system. Amazingly, a dogs stomach acid is 5 times more powerful than a humans!
Dogs can benefit from certain supplements just as humans can. I recommend a fish oil pill, or salmon oil. Glucosamine can be given to dogs when they become older, should they develop arthritis. The same supplements that humans use can be given to dogs, just in different doses.
I give my adults the same supplements of fish oil, flax seed oil, and glucosamine that I use.
"Waggin Train" makes excellent dog treats! Their products are made of chicken or beef with few other ingredients! I recommend a high quality dog food consisting of 25/30% protein and about 20% fat. Remember, dogs get most of their caloric needs from fat and protein!
Rubber or pillow type toys need to be given with caution as a pup or adult can shred them up and not only make a terrific mess but also ingest some of the product which can be dangerous and unhealthy.