Dog Food-Nutrition

Is what I feed my dog just as important as his genetics?


I am very conscious and proactive when it comes to the health and nutrition of my dogs. I have either used and/or researched almost every high end brand of food on the market.  My expertise and years of experience feeding a LOT of dogs has resulted in the following two recommendations to ensure your Red-Dawn Golden is healthy:

  • Feed your new puppy BARF® – Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (we don’t just recommend it, we use it too!). This blend of raw meats and veggies are exactly what your puppy needs.
  • Because no diet is complete, we use and recommend the world-renowned supplement  NuVet Plus
  • IF your dog eats dry dog food

    !! Always feed FRESH meat/eggs in addition to dry food !!
    !! Rotate the brands and meat source on the dry foods !!

Feeding a Raw Diet

One of the easiest and simplest things we can do to ensure our pets live the longest and healthiest lives possible is to feed them the diet nature intended. In doing so, we also limit the need for veterinary intervention and can increase reproductive capacity. We know that BARF® is about feeding pets “properly,” but what does that mean exactly? The answer lies in the name: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Simply put, the BARF Diet® takes the diets of our pets’ ancestors and creates a similar regimen based on whole and raw food enhanced with a variety of supplements. As with all carnivores and hunters, cats achieve the best nutrition based on what can be derived from a fresh kill/carcass. However, because dogs are omnivores, hunters, and scavengers, their biologically based diet has a much wider range of acceptable raw foods that can be obtained from both others animals as well as plants. In addition to nutrition, both dogs and cats rely heavily on animal bones for overall mouth health such as teeth cleaning and strengthening their jaws.

The majority of zoologists believe the best diet for your dog or cat is based on the diet they were created to eat Unfortunately, this is not the same philosophy held by most pet food companies and, as a result, many veterinarians. The good news is, this is the philosophy that drives BARF® . Our dogs were not meant to consume cooked or processed food. Regardless of what you may have read or seen, feeding your dog cooked and/or artificial grains not only leaves massive holes in their nutrition, but it can cause a wealth of health problems in the future. We can alleviate this by feeding our dogs the diet they were intended to have.

Now you’re probably thinking, “that’s great, but what does a healthy and biologically appropriate diet look like for my dog?” We’re so glad you asked. If we want to feed our dogs a healthy and biologically appropriate diet, then we need to base their nutrition off their wild ancestors. A wolf will consume muscle and organ meat, fat, bones, and even plant (vegetable) materials. Those are the things we need to mimic in our dogs’ diets. While the appearance and personalities of man’s best friend has certainly developed and changed, their biology and physiology has changed very little from their wolfy ancestors. Because of this, we know that our dogs’ systems can not only handle these dietary elements, but they need them to achieve their highest level of health and nutrition.

It’s important to note that while we want to mimic an ancestral diet, the BARF Diet® does not seek to precisely duplicate. To do so would involve achieving this nutrition in the same way, namely, hunting. Exactly duplicating a wild animal’s diet would essentially involve duplicating that animal’s lifestyle, which is inevitably fraught with a myriad of dangers and natural conditions our beloved pets simply are not equipped to navigate or endure. The BARF Diet® seeks to supply our pets with the most appropriate, healthy, and nutritious diet and environment possible. This is why we refer to BARF® and their Biologically Approrpriate Raw Food diet as a biologically appropriate rather than a natural diet.  

The BARF Diet® must, from a practical point of view, use food that is readily available. BARF® feeders do not have to go hunting or send their dogs out to hunt. That is why I said BARF® must mimic, not duplicate the original diet of dogs. This is an important distinction. The BARF® feeder will mimic as closely as possible rather than duplicate the natural diet of the dog. We are not trying to return our dogs to nature. It is impossible to feed any domestic animal its natural diet, let alone allow it to live under natural conditions. The natural diet and natural conditions under which the ancestors or wild cousins of our dogs live include grave dangers such as lack of shelter, starvation, attack by potential food, attack by other predators and the non use of medical intervention. In other words, natural diets and natural conditions can be deadly! They are not what we want for our pets. What we want for our dogs is a diet and an environment that maximizes health. That means a Biologically Appropriate Diet rather than a natural diet. This is my favorite use of the term BARF® – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

For more information on BARF® and a  look at their fresh, raw meat and veggie diet, please see the information at the end of the article.                         


Supplements and Dry Food

The most important factor in your puppy’s overall health and wellbeing is optimal nutrition. The combination of the best forms of food and supplements are what help your puppy develop stronger bones and help support joint health, proper growth, and healthy skin and hair. At Red-Dawn, we have created a well-researched and high-performing food and supplement protocol that we not only recommend, but use ourselves.

At the end of this article, you will find more information on each of our distributors as well as our personal order codes to allow you to purchase. Through these links and codes, you will also be able to set up auto-ship if you want to take advantage of the convenience and peace of mind it provides.

Mentioned at the beginning of the article, we not only love NuVet Plus supplement, but it has been a vital addition to the health of both our dogs as well as our extended Golden family. They have an extensive and comprehensive list of ingredients that will perfectly supplement and balance your growing puppy’s nutritional needs. The benefits of using NuVet Plus have been so evident to us, and we simply could not endorse them enough.

At Red-Dawn, we understand that they are so many options when it comes to dry food for your dog. What is most important is that you’re selecting a premium dog food that does not contain the following: corn, soy, peas, legumes or wheat. These items lack nutritional value for your dog and are often used as fillers or “empty calories” in dog food. In addition, they can cause allergies, poor health, and even behavioral issues in dogs. Just as we need to be aware of the ingredients in the food we put in our bodies, we need to know what goes in to what we are feeding our dogs. Again, we want to stress the importance of reading the nutritional labels, even if you’re buying a premium dog food.

These are recommendation for a dry dog food we suggest. Please rotate between brands & meat source.
  • We are fans of some formulas of Farmina. This link is Cod & Orange.
  • We like a few formulas of Canidae. This link is Salmon & Barley.
  • We very much like Wysong. Their Lamb based Anergen diet is a great blend that is poultry & pea free.
  • Open Farm has a lovely list of ingredients for their Beef dry dog food

The key here is to rotate brands, rotate ingredients and rotate meat source. A healthy dog eats VARIETY.

We encourage YOU to do research and learn more about food options for your pets. Whole Dog Journal conducts a comprehensive comparison of available dog foods each year, and Dog Food Advisor is another great source of information. Remember, no matter what kind of diet you choose to give your dog, the importance of a nutritional supplement like NuVet Plus cannot be emphasized enough. This is especially true if your feeding your dog a dry food diet as the processing eliminates many of the important beneficial nutrients. The only way to ensure your dog is getting any and all nutritional holes filled in through a proven supplement. The last recommendation we’d like to make is specifically for your puppy’s first month home to keep his/her immune and digestive system healthy. The use of a probiotic like Doc Roys Probiotic taken each day can help boost and protect your puppy’s health.


Your Red-Dawn puppy was weaned from his mother onto a fresh food diet. We feed our babies cooked & raw fresh food. We then wean your puppy over to PawTree dry food for your convenience.

Our adult dogs eat a majority fresh raw food diet and NOT dry dog food. We highly suggest you follow this protocol.

PawTree dry dog food

-not found in stores

– avoid blends with Peas/Legumes. Only 1/2 of the PawTree blends are free of those. The puppies are weaned onto PawTree. We suggest you buy any of these formulas first for your new Red-Dawn puppy. We suggest:

  • Chicken & Oatmeal
  • Trout & Barley
  • Turkey & brown rice
  • Chicken & brown rice
  • * avoid “grain free” labels

Life’s Abundance dry Dog Food

-not found in stores

– made with chicken & NO legumes nor bad ingredients.

– Red-Dawn dogs have enjoyed Life Abundance since 2010 with no known negative side effects.

-order code: 20094099



NuVet Plus Vitamin

-not found in stores

– cost about $50 for 3 months supply

– their NuJoint Plus is a fabulous supplement for preventing & improving arthritis / joints.

-order code: 25644



PreMade Fresh Raw Meat/Veggie diet:

– BARF World, Inc. – 866-282-2273

BARF® – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

– Order code: 1099

– ships to your door in a cooler with dry ice

– we suggest you feed 1/4-1/2 the diet of BARF. And the remainder a fresh /raw /cooked diet you make yourself. This brings down both the cost & reduces the fat content. Most pre-made raw diets are very high in fat.


These are additional recommendation for a dry dog food we suggest. Please rotate between brands & meat source. Here are more options to pair with the brands above. Limit the legumes / peas you feed.

  • Hollywood Feed is a great store to shop for dry and raw dog foods. The more variety your dog consumes, the better. Popular store in DFW & large Texas cities

 Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog: by Wendy Volhard. Info on how to best cook for your dog, a holistic approach to vaccines, Chinese medicine and more!

Dr Becker’s Real Food For Dogs: by Dr Karen Becker. A detailed book on understanding how to properly feed your dog by preparing food at home.

Lew Olsen’s book Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs. Lew also has a Facebook group for Raw Feeding

Database on research about feeding raw food to dogs. Click this link to read hours of details in this database.

 Want to know how to make food for your dog?
Each article gives step by step instructions on how to make a raw food diet for your dog. After reading this you should know what percentage of each food group to feed your dog.
1️⃣ Whole Dog Journal: How to make raw food for your dog
2️⃣ Perfectly Rawsome: feeding essential nutrients to your dog


Raw Food Diet Education
Myths & Truths by Dr Karen Becker. This is a 3 part series of videos about feeding dogs a raw diet.
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Dr Harvey’s base foundation food for cooking/raw fed dogs. Heat up this food with boiling water. After food is rehydrated, add meat & oils. This assists dog owners who want to feed fresh but worry about a balanced meal.

Virtual Vet Appointment


Meals Red-Dawn Goldens eat

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