The Ultimate Schnoodle Food Buyer’s Guide
Schnoodles are a cross between a Poodle and a Schnauzer. They are a designer dog or hybrid. Poodles and Schnauzers are both dogs with some characteristics that make them very good pets so crossing them to produce the Schnoodle produces a cute, intelligent, devoted dog.
Schnoodles are first-generation crossbreeds. They do not breed “true” so they are not a breed. This means that if you breed a Schnoodle to a Schnoodle you won’t reliably produce Schnoodles. You will likely get puppies that look like Poodles, Schnauzers, and other mixes. In order to become a recognized breed, dogs have to breed true and reproduce puppies that look like their parents for several generations. Schnoodles are not recognized by registries like the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club for breeding purposes. However, Schnoodles and other crossbreed dogs can be registered to compete in some performance events such as agility and obedience. Schnoodles are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) and the Designer Breed Registry (DBR).
Schnoodle Health Problems
Many people are under the impression that since dogs like the Schnoodle are called “hybrids” this means they are healthier than purebred dogs. This is not the case. The term “hybrid,” as used by dog breeders, is not precisely the same as when it’s used by scientists. Crossing two dog breeds does not produce the kind of hybrid vigor that can be achieved by crossing two different species since the dog breeds are both dogs. Health problems and diseases are easily passed between dogs, whether they are the same breed or not. This means when you breed a Poodle and a Schnauzer, it’s possible for the resulting puppies to inherit some or all of the health problems found in both parents.
Poodles have been bred and studied for a long time so their health issues are well-documented. Their health issues can be passed along to crossbreed dogs that have a Poodle parent.
Per the Poodle Club of America, Poodles can have the following issues:
Addison’s. Addison’s disease is also known as hypoadrenocorticism. With this condition the adrenal gland doesn’t produce enough adrenal hormones. These hormones are essential for life so this is a very serious disease. Adrenal insufficiency can be primary or secondary. The primary form affects the salt/potassium balance in the body and the glucorticoid. Secondary adrenocorticism usually only affects the clubocorticoids. The cause of primary adrenocorticism isn’t understood but it may be an immune mediated process. The secondary form may occur when prednisone or cortisone (given for medical reasons) are suddenly stopped. It can sometimes occur because of pituitary cancer or other things that interfere with the production of hormones that stimulate the adrenal glands.
In most cases, dogs with Addison’s disease will start to show symptoms such as vomiting,. Llethargy and poor appetite can also be seen. Since these symptoms occur with so many health problems, it can be easy to miss the signs. More serious symptoms occur when the dog’s potassium levels become high enough to affect his heart function. Under stress, the dog may suffer severe shock symptoms which can lead to a rapid death. With high potassium levels the dog can have a heart arrythmia or the heart may stop.
Atrial Septal Defects in Standard Poodles. ASD is considered to be a relatively rare congenital heart malformation in which the heart has a hole between its upper chambers which can be repaired through surgery. Breeds at risk include the Boxer, the Doberman Pinscher, the Samoyed, and the Newfoundland. It’s also been recognized in the Standard Poodle. It appears to run in families which suggests a genetic link. There are no particular symptoms for this issue if the hole is small but. However, you may notice signs such as coughing, difficulty breathing, exercise intolerance, and possible collapse or fainting if the hole is larger or the problem progresses. In worste cases, dogs can die from heart failure. If your dog has some of these ASD symptoms, surgery can repair the hole.
Bloat. As with many larger breeds, the Standard Poodle can be susceptible to bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). In this condition the stomach fills with gas or fluid. Torsion (twisting) happens when the stomach rotates and twists, closing itself off. At this point the dog’s blood supply to the stomach becomes shut soff. (Some cases involve the spleen torsioning.) This is a life-threatening situation that requires. Iimmediate veterinary interventionhelp is needed. Symptoms can include restlessness, getting up and down, pacing, vomiting (sometimes foamy vomit), trying to vomit unsuccessfully, and/or a swollen or hard stomach. If you notice any of these symptoms with your Poodle you need to take him/her to the veterinarian without delay! Make sure you have an emergency plan in place so you know where to go even if it’s the middle of the night.
Schnauzers are considered to be generally healthy dogs though, like all dogs, they can experience health problems. Miniature Schnauzers and especially Standard Schnauzers are usually very healthy.
Health issues that can surface in Miniature Schnauzers include problems with high fat levels, cataracts, hyperlipidemia (the inability to process fat properly), MAC or Mycobacterium Avium Complex (a very rare but lethal immune system disease), pancreatitis, diabetes, Portosystemic Shunts (PSS) or liver shunts, and stones in the urinary tract. You will probably notice that several of these issues deal with fat, which is something that you should watch in your Miniature Schnauzer’s diet. No greasy table scraps and don’t let your Miniature Schnauzer become overweight or obese. Feeding a diet with low or non-fatty, unsweetened foods can help avoid some of these problems. Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to comedone syndrome. This is a condition that produces pus-filled bumps, typically on the dog’s back. The bumps are treatable.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) is also found in Miniature Schnauzers. This is an inherited bleeding disorder.
Standard Schnauzers can be prone to hip dysplasia and hereditary eye disease but otherwise most dogs are very healthy. A 2008 survey found that only 1 percent of Standard Schnauzers had a serious health problem.
Giant Schnauzers can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, various eye problems, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and a number of skin diseases. Cancer of the skin is common in dark Giant Schnauzers, including melanoma. Other health issues that can be found in Giant Schnauzers include central diabetes insipidus, autosomal recessive hypothyroidism, narcolepsy, selective malabsorption of cobalamin, and various seizure disorders. Bone and joint problems also occur. Lymphoma, liver cancer, heart attacks, and heart failure are the most common causes of death.
Since Schnoodles are a crossbreed, there are no statistics or surveys at this time about their health or the diseases that affect them. Some of the issues found in Poodles and Schnauzers are common and some are relatively rare, but they could show up in their Schnoodle offspring. Some problems are more likely to affect your Schnoodle if both parents have the same health problems. For example, if the Poodle and Schnauzer parent both have some degree of hip dysplasia, it’s very likely that your Schnoodle will also have hip dysplasia some day. The same is true with an eye problem like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) since this disease affects both Poodles and Schnauzers. You should talk to Schnoodle breeders and ask them if they have done health testing on the dogs they use for breeding. Dogs that have had health and genetic tests to show they are clear of certain diseases are less likely to pass along health problems to their offspring. Keep in mind, however, that we don’t have health tests for every health problem. And nothing is certain with breeding dogs. Even the most perfect dog parents can produce puppies that have some problems.
Recommended Dog Food For Schnoodles
Even dogs in the same breed can have different food needs. We’re providing several suggested foods for your Schnoodle, but you may use a trial and error method to see which food your dog does best on.
When you’re trying a new food, allow several days to transition to the food, mixing in a little of your dog’s old food each day. If your dog shows signs that he doesn’t like the food or doesn’t tolerate it, make adjustments.
Ingredients to Look for (and Avoid)
- Real whole meat as the first few ingredients.
- A good animal-based fat (ex.chicken fay, omega-3), promotes healthy coat and skin, as well as brain and eye development in puppies.
- A healthy form of carbs. If certain grains don’t work, opt for rice, oats or barley as the carb component, most dogs can tolerate these.
- Food that has a higher percentage of plant-based protein than meat-based protein. Meat protein is easier to digest for most dogs.
- Although finding food without any meal is almost impossible, try to see if you can find one with more meat than meal.
- Food that’s too expensive for you. There’s no point in buying an excellent food one time, then switching to a cheaper food when the budget is tight. Your dog and his stomach will appreciate the consistency.
- You may want to avoid foods with grains, or common allergens, such as soy, corn and wheat.
Best Dog Foods for Schnoodle Adults
Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
If you want a higher protein percentage for your Schnoodle, try Merrick Grain-Free foods. The first five ingredients in this food are deboned chicken; chicken meal; turkey meal; sweet potatoes; and potatoes. This is an all life stage food with 460 kcal per cup. It has 70 percent meat ingredients; 30 percent fruits and vegetables; vitamins; and minerals. It contains no corn; wheat; soy; or gluten. Guaranteed analysis indicates 38 percent crude protein; 17 percent crude fat; and 3.5 percent crude fiber. It has added glucosamine; chondroitin; and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This food has good quality protein and other ingredients ideal for a very active Schnoodle.
ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
If your Schnoodle is very active (training for agility or rally, for example), we can also recommend Acana foods. Champion Pet Foods’ new kitchen in Kentucky has reformulated some of their dog and cat foods to reflect regional ingredients. The new formula has 33 percent crude protein; 17 percent crude fat; 6 percent crude fiber; and 12 percent moisture. This food has 388 kcal/cup. It has 70 percent meat, game, and fish ingredients. The first five ingredients are deboned lamb; deboned duck; whole eggs; lamb meal; and goat meal. If you’re looking for a good grain-free dog food for your Schnoodle that is low in carbohydrates, Acana foods are a good choice.
Fromm Adult Gold Dog Food
For food with a little less protein, we like Fromm Adult Gold. This formula has duck; chicken meal; chicken; brown rice; and pearled barley as the first five ingredients. It has 24 percent crude protein; 16 percent crude fat; 3.5 percent crude fiber; and 408 kcal/cup. It is AAFCO-approved for growth and maintenance. The food includes salmon oil – a great source of omega-3 fatty acid for healthy skin and coat; probiotics; and prebiotics. No corn; wheat; or soy. It does contain oatmeal and potatoes, so if you’re trying to keep the carbs very low you may not choose this food. However, we think the ingredients are good quality and many dogs do well on this food. The Fromm family has been making dog food and products for over 100 years and they have a great reputation.
Best Dog Food For Schnoodle Puppies
Schnoodle puppies can usually begin eating a good puppy food 3-4 times a day, right after weaning. If you have questions about how to feed your puppy, talk to your puppy’s breeder.
Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. If you’re feeding your puppy a food that is properly formulated, you should not add any extra calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, or supplements. Doing so can lead to serious health problems such as OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) and other orthopedic problems.
All life stage dog foods are formulated to be nutritionally adequate for growing puppies. Foods for puppies may have the AAFCO statement that they are approved for “growth and reproduction” Foods labeled “Maintenance” dog food should not be fed to puppies as they are not nutritionally adequate.
Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula
This is one of our favorite foods for all puppies. Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula is a limited ingredient food with nine ingredients plus vitamins; minerals; and probiotics. It’s grain-free with probiotics to help digestion; antioxidants for a healthy immune system, and omega-3 and -6 to support healthy skin and a beautiful coat. The first five ingredients are chicken; menhaden fish meal; lentils; peas; and potatoes. The recipe is supposed to be especially good for puppies with sensitive digestion. The food has 30 percent crude protein; 12 percent crude fat; 4 percent crude fiber; and 10 percent moisture. This food checks in at 520 kcal/cup, so it’s high in calories but active, growing Kees puppies can usually burn them off, and you don’t need to feed a lot of food with these nutrient-dense foods. If your Schnoodle puppy does well on this puppy food, Canidae has good adult foods – both grain-free and foods with grains.
Canidae All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb & Fish Meals Formula
This Canidae formula is an all life stages food so you can feed it to dogs of all ages. The first five ingredients are chicken meal; turkey meal; lamb meal; brown rice; and white rice. The food does contain grains (rice, oatmeal, barley) but many dogs that have problems with corn or wheat can eat these grains which provide dietary fiber. It contains no corn; wheat; or soy. The food is naturally preserved and contains pre- and probiotics for healthy digestion, along with antioxidants and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for good skin and coat. Guaranteed analysis shows 24 percent crude protein; 14.5 percent crude fat; and 4 percent crude fiber. It has 468 kcal/cup. This is a good food for dogs that do well on moderate protein and fat. Canidae has had a good reputation for many years.
Best Dog Foods for the Senior Schnoodles
If your older dog is doing well on his regular food, there’s no reason to change. As long as your older dog doesn’t have any problems with his kidneys, or with phosphorus, there is no reason to avoid high protein levels. It’s very important that senior dogs have good quality protein because it’s easier to digest and metabolize than poor-quality protein.
Nulo Freestyle Senior Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe
Nulo has only recently become a nationally-known brand so not everyone is familiar with it. Their foods have 80-84 percent animal-based protein, one of the highest amounts of animal-based protein of any dog food. Nulo is also one of the few companies using probiotics that seem to actually survive the manufacturing process. (Check their site to read more.) Their foods are low carb and low-glycemic. They don’t use corn; wheat; soy; potatoes; tapioca; glutens; genetically modified organisms; poultry; eggs; meat by-products; artificial colors; flavors; or preservatives. This senior dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin for hip and joint health. It also has L-Carnitine to help your senior dog’s metabolism – in case he’s not quite as fit as he used to be, L-Carnitine helps turn fat into muscle. The first five ingredients in this food are deboned trout; turkey meal; salmon meal; yellow peas; and sweet potato. It has 30 percent crude protein; 12 percent crude fat; and 396 kcal/cup. This food is AAFCO-approved for maintenance. This is probably one of the best senior dog foods available today.
Weruva’s Caloric Harmony Venison and Salmon Meal Dinner with Pumpkin
This food (and several others in this product line) is potato-free with no corn or wheat, easy to digest, and low-glycemic. It contains pumpkin and oatmeal for healthy gut motility. The first five ingredients are venison; venison meal; salmon meal; herring meal; and oatmeal. Meat protein comes from grass-fed venison. The dry matter basis for this food is an estimated 37.8 percent protein;14.4 percent fat; 3.9 percent fiber; and 35 percent carbs. The calorie count is 348 kcal/cup. This food is not specifically made for senior dogs but it has good quality protein without extra fat, just what a senior dog needs.
Recommended Wet Foods For Senior Schnoodles
Senior dogs can start having problems eating as they get older. This can be due to dental problems; or because older dogs start to have weakened senses, including a weaker sense of smell and taste. Make your senior dog’s food more appealing to him by adding some tasty toppings or choosing canned dog foods. Most dogs enjoy canned foods. Some of the foods we like include First Mate/Kasiks (they have some foods they recommend for senior dogs) and Weruva/Dogs in the Kitchen. Read the labels and check the nutrients when choosing a canned dog food as protein, fat, and nutrients tend to vary from one recipe to another. If your senior dog has any health problems you may need to be careful about canned foods that contain a lot of fat or that are high in some nutrients.
Below is a list of Products reviewed in this article
- Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
- ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Fromm Adult Gold Dog Food
- Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula
- Canidae All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb & Fish Meals Formula
- Nulo Freestyle Senior Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe
- Weruva’s Caloric Harmony Venison and Salmon Meal Dinner with Pumpkin