Caring for your Ridgeback


My dogs are fed the ‘Barf Diet’ originated by Dr Dan Billinghurst, a vet from Bathurst NSW. One of his books, ‘The Barf Diet’ is given to each puppy purchaser along with various practical advice tips from my experience. You can visit his website

You can choose to feed your puppy in three ways:

  1. Homemade Barf
    The book gives details (see P.62) but it is summarised below:

    60% raw meaty bones, bones the puppy (and later dog) can eat. Chicken wings and necks, lamb ribs.

    Also bigger recreational bones. NEVER GIVE COOKED BONES

    15%-20% vegetables, raw is best, using blender (make a full blender lot and freeze) but you can also use cooked vegetables.

    10%-15% offal, liver (lambs fry from butcher) is the most important and cheapest meal a week for an adult dog.

    5%-10% Extras, up to an egg a day (raw yolk and cooked white ideally, but you can just lightly cook an extra one when you are cooking yours.) Wheat germ, yogurt (plain), oils (flaxseed and fish) 1-2 tsp a day, seaweed meal 1-2 tsp a day, Vitamin C, vitamin E

  2. Purchased Barf
    This comes frozen in large ‘patties’ and is available at a number of outlets Australia-wide. See Ian’s website for an updated list of distributers – more and more local pet stores are carrying BARF. You combine this with chicken wings and other bones, directions are on the pack.

    Foods to buy before your puppy arrives:

    • Chicken wings (freeze in 2’s)
    • Lambs fry (cut into 4 and freeze)
    • Some mince steak
    • Some other bones – lamb ribs are especially good. (Butchers call them ‘flat bones’)
    • Porridge oats
    • Vegetables
    • Oils, flaxseed and fish (made for human consumption by Melrose health food shops. Keep refrigerated)
    • Barf patties, keep frozen

  3. Highly quality dried food for large breed puppies eg. Hills, if you choose this, you should feed only this food. This is by far the easiest but the least satisfactory in my view


Should be clipped fortnightly using a proper tool. The dog might later tolerate nail cutting if you do it regularly in puppy hood.


Your puppy was wormed with Drontal at 6 weeks. Repeat when he/she has the second vaccination at 12 weeks and again at 6 months.

Housing and Bedding

Puppies are very destructive of bedding so don’t get anything expensive. They are likely to be like this until at least 12 months. If outdoors in a kennel, you can use deep wood shavings or Hessian bags

*You can get large packs 20kgs of de-dusted and allergy free shavings at produce stores.


Should be in moderation while pups are growing. Short walks and free play are best. Taking puppies on long hikes or jogging is bad for their joints. Later when the dog is over 12 months, these activities are excellent.

Gardens & Dogs

If you have a nice garden you will want to make a fenced off section for the dog. Large dogs are not good for gardens. They love to dig holes and chew plants, and they flatten plants while running around.

Feeding Adult Dogs – Jarracada method

A.M (early) raw meaty bones, chicken wings, necks, large pieces of goat, and offal (twice a week – large fist sized piece of liver or 2-3 kidneys. Sometimes other edible bones – lamb shanks, lamb ribs (called FLAT BONES by butchers). If feeding wings/ necks, also give large bone to chew on, eg. Split bone marrow or other beef bones several times a week. (Chewing for teeth, exercise and enjoyment.)

P.M (mid afternoon) vegetable meal, vegetable mixture in blender – carrot, celery, parsley, silver beef, lettuce, apple and banana, capsicum, cooked potato (any veg you have on hand). 1 blender full (11/2 litre) for 5 dogs.

To this is added:

  • 1 egg yolk per dog (while one cooked repeatedly)
  • 1 tsp for each dog of flaxseed oil
  • 1 tsp for each dog of fish oil
  • 2 tsp kelp powder for each dog
  • 2 mega B tabs for 5 dogs
  • 2 x 500mg it C tabs for 5 dogs
  • approximately 300 IU, vitamin E for each dog (I use value Plus Vitamin E powder)
  • water or stock to make it blend (one to one and a half cups)

It finishes up like a thick pumpkin soup. Cooked egg white and tablespoon wheat germ on top.