At Noble Vestal, we are feeding our dogs based on what is often called the BARF diet — Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. The diet that you will choose for your own Labradoodle will be your personal choice, but we want to inform you of how we are feeding the puppies, and why.
The basis of the raw diet is that the acids inside a dog’s stomach are strong enough to digest raw bone, but generally highly inefficient at digesting grain. If you look at a bag or can of prepared dog food, you’ll see that one of the main ingredients is some form of grain product. Yet when you look at the diet of a wild wolf (the genetic predecessor of the domesticated dog), you see that they eat animal carcasses (bones and all), and no grain at all.
Deciding to feed raw is a very personal decision. The supporters of the raw diet feel that it makes for much healthier dogs, and dogs that are much less prone to illness and disabilities like arthritis and diabetes. Dogs fed on “raw meaty bones” also will never need to have their teeth cleaned, as the process of chewing raw bones leaves their teeth sparkling white, and their gums a wonderfully healthy pink in color. They also don’t have that typical bad “doggy breath” that can be so unpleasant.
Another benefit of feeding raw is that the feces are small, do not smell much, and turn white and into powder within a day or so. Most folks are aware that they can tell when their dog has eaten premium dog food rather than regular dog food by the quantity of poop that results. The less the food is digested, the more that comes out the other end. This applies even more to dogs fed on the raw diet.
There is plenty of research you can do for yourself on the raw diet via the internet. We’ve given some links down below. You should be aware that there are variations of the diet, from folks who grind up vegetables (dog’s stomachs need the vegetable fibers ground to digest them) to add to their dog food, to those who feed their dogs entire rabbit or even deer carcasses.
We feed primarily raw chicken (backs, necks, wings, thighs and legs), organ meat, beef, fish like sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel (for the omega oils necessary for brain development), plain yogurt, ground up fruit and vegetables.
Please remember, we are NOT feeding COOKED BONES — only RAW BONES. Cooked bones get brittle, and it is the brittle splintered bone ends that can cause internal damage.
Some of the books and web sites that you can read are:
Give Your Dog A Bone
by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Example of a raw meal would be as follows
1 lbs. ground beef
3 eggs with shells
1 cup yogurt (any flavor)
1 can tuna
1 cup of pured vegetables
2 cups steam rice
2 tbs. wheat germ
2 tbs. brewers yeast
2 tbs. kelp
3 tbs. flaxseed oil
Mix all items well, spoon into muffin pan, freeze for 20 minutes and transfer to a storage container in the freezer. Thaw 2 patties over night.
Your dog will need to be fed 2% of its body weight. (Feed a 50 lbs dog 1 lbs of raw a day)