Our strongly recommended Diet


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Life’s Abundance is the dry dog food Von Ward Kennels recommends feeding.

If I had a penny for every time someone asked me what kind of dry food I feed to my dogs! For years I recommended a good dry food; not the best but good. The food I recommended was affordable but had had a few recalls. Most dog foods (even the highest rated) have had recalls and our pets are getting sick, developing permanent damage in some cases and there are many pets dying from recalls. My defense at the time that I was feeding the inferior food was that the dry dog foods without recalls were just too expensive. My thoughts were if I was feeding raw in conjunction with this pretty high quality dry food then I was doing the best I could for my dogs. I thought I could not afford the foods without recalls. Then I found out about Life’s Abundance.

“Who would have known such a high quality dog food with no recalls could be so affordable!”

Life’s Abundance is superior in so many ways:

  • Life’s Abundance (LA) has never had a recall
  • Synergistically designed by a Veterinarian with years of research. The ingredients are designed to work together so your dog can utilize all of the nutrition and therefore you feed less. LA is packed full of probiotics that help the body use all of the nutrition.
  • Is made fresh weekly and shipped out right away. (How fresh is your current dog food?) Many dog foods sit in hot storage containers and seriously degrade before they reach the stores shelves. ewe! Most people have no idea where their dog food was prior to the store shelf.
  • LA has been formulated to have balanced amounts of proteins which is much healthier on the kidneys and better for larger breeds. Larger breeds are prone to Panosteitis which is growing pains brought on by fast growth. Lower protein helps tremendously! Plus many foods today are touting higher protein is better but we are learning all too quickly that this higher protein is just too rich for most dogs.
  • Allows breeders and people in the pet care industry an opportunity to recommend AND sell a high quality food
  • Is shipped right to your door! Emails are sent out when your food is getting ready to ship and you can easily prolong, postpone or increase shipping by calling customer service. Never be without dog food or have too much!

Compare your current dog food to LA Click here.

To see a very informative video on how superior LA is, click here.

If after you review the videos you say you think the food is too expensive, let me ask you, “Do you know what you are spending on your current food?” Most people only know the cost of each bag. As Americans we have been programmed to think that a 30lb bag of one brand at $30.00 is a better deal than a different brand 30lb bag of food at $45.00. But what we don’t take in to consideration as to WHAT is in each bag! If you are feeding 30lbs of mostly corn with some “meat by products” but have to feed 6 cups a day to fulfill your dogs requirements (yet all you are really doing is shoveling more junk in to their bodies) then you are not saving money. Because the higher the quality of the food, the less you have to feed. PLUS when you feed poor quality food it is only a matter of time before it takes its toll on your dogs health and then you are back at the vets office spending hundreds to thousands of dollars for steroids, antibiotics, ointments etc.

So do you know what your food is costing per day? Per month?

Here is a breakdown of what it costs to feed the average dog Life’s Abundance:

Weight of dog

25lbs                    $.60 a day and $18.00 a month

50lbs                    $1.12 a day and $34.00 a month

75lbs                    $1.37 a day and $41.00 a month

100lbs                 $1.66 a day and $50.00 a month

125lbs                 $2.00 a day and $62.00 a month

On the back of every bag of LA is a recommended feeding guideline.

Foods I am against:

Anything made by  the Diamond plant which includes Kirkland, Costco foods, Natures Domain, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Chicken soup for the Soup Lovers, Solid Gold, BLUE BUFFALO!

Merrick(used to be good but sold out to another company)

Purina (except for pro plan sensitive stomach) that is actually a pretty good food; not exceptional though but with no recalls


Anything with corn, wheat or soy.

Please be aware that a dog food company can change at any moment. Very well known companies often sell out without the customers knowledge and the new company changes the formula. So the unsuspecting customer has no idea the food they have fed for years in some cases has become inferior quality. Please keep up with the food you do choose to feed and check the ingredients and maker at least every 6 months.

Introduction to The Raw, or BARF Diet

rawchickenlegThe raw diet is called several things on the internet. You might see people call it BARF, meaning Bones and Raw Foods, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or simply the RAW diet. All the acronyms and abbreviations mean just about the same thing, that is, bones and raw meat, organs and intestines. If this article is valuable to you, remember to bookmark or save it for future reference.

The RAW or BARF Diet, The Right Way to Feed German Shepherds

by Stephanie Ward, published January 2009, last revised 2/16/16.

rawbonesThe most important thing I want you to take away from this raw feeding is that a balanced raw diet is 70% muscle meat, 20% bone and 10% organ meat.

When deciding what pet food to purchase, many pet owners with the best of intentions are listening to the recommendation of their trusted veterinarian, or what they have seen on commercials, advertising etc. The truth is, most of these foods are horrible for your dog. They all are overly preserved and sprayed with tasty artificial flavors that make them palatable for dogs. I have been raising German Shepherds since I was a child (it seems I’ve always been in love with the breed), long enough to see many dogs die from liver or kidney disease, cancer, or suffer from terrible skin problems, ear infections, yellow teeth with bad breath, canine diabetes, hip or joint problems, and behavior issues, just to name a few. Shepherds should live a minimum of 10 years with the exception of accidents, yet many are dying at age 7 or less. It is my firm belief (and there’s tons of research out there that’s starting to surface to prove it) that most of these early deaths are due to feeding the wrong type of food. It has been my personal experience that my dogs are truly healthier and are living longer, now that I feed at least a 50% raw diet and Life’s Abundance. I used to feed raw only once in a while along with a less quality dry than LA and would have a runt in about 1 out of 3 litters. When I switched  at least half of the diet  to raw and integrated LA for my dry, I have not had 1 runt! That speaks volumes. Large breed dogs are at even higher risk of suffering due to the lack of knowledge and over-emphasis of big store dog food or kibble, but there is hope. More and more forward thinking veterinarians who know the right way to feed and do not let big money companies influence them for a buck are starting to surface. There are also more clinical studies researching the effects of supermarket pet foods than ever before but it’s still a problem and will continue until information finds a way through the big money television commercials. The average vet will tell you that your dog has any ailment under the sun to get you to pay a ridiculous amount of money and then put your dog on their food of choice, which they make a profit on. Don’t be fooled by this greedy behavior. Instead, buy your dog some raw chicken or turkey and integrate LA dry dog food for at least half of the diet. Yes, it really is that simple! German shepherd puppies eating raw chicken It’s up to pet owners to stop buying bad foods. If pet owners take a stance, the fat pocketed pet food companies would be forced to create foods that are beneficial to our pets. Somehow pet owners have to learn about, and then believe in, this diet that just makes so much more sense for large breed dogs. At Von Ward Kennels, we feed raw chicken, raw lamb, raw beef, raw pork and raw turkey, raw rabbit, raw venison etc. all with the bones. Many people have said to me, I thought you are not supposed to feed bones to dogs. My answer: never feed cooked bones. When you cook a bone, it turns brittle. The slivers of brittle, cooked bones can become lodged in the throat or intestine and can kill a dog, but raw bones are natural and provide what dogs need, without all the harmful additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors.raw beef liver is a great addition to the raw or barf diet We also feed hearts, kidneys and livers of chicken and beef, raw, of course! We get most of our meat wholesale for a very low price. Call us if you are interested, we are thrilled to share! If you are feeding a variety of raw meat and bones to your dog, you won’t need to supplement with glucosomine and chondroitin.

Most people do not know that unlike herbivores and omnivores, carnivores such as our mostly carnivorous dogs do not make enough enzymes to process their food. This is one reason they need raw including tripe. Raw meat, bones and organs contain these natural enzymes that would otherwise be destroyed when cooked.   Raw bone and meat has it all and it costs less too! Plus, prepare to be amazed at how eagerly your dog eats on this raw diet! The puppy you get from me will have had some form of raw meat at least every other day and LA dry food every day since it was 4 weeks old.

Click Picture to View Video of German Shepherd Puppies Eating Raw Food

picture of german shepherd puppies eating raw chicken Despite what the media and most veterinarians will tell you, dogs need a variety of foods, just like humans do. Variety is especially important for German Shepherds, who are closely related to their wild ancestors. If you feed the same food all the time, your dog will get bored and may not receive all the nutrition it needs. A good dry food could have too much of something and not enough of something else. By feeding a variety of foods you are helping your dog live a longer and healthier life. raw eggsRaw eggs are also a great source of nutrition a couple times a week, along with cooked rice or oatmeal with an occasional cooked sweet potato or carrot mixed with raw ground beef. I’ve been asked why the rice, oatmeal, carrot and sweet potato are cooked; the answer is that these are all excellent sources of fiber for dogs that simulates what they would naturally get from the partially digested foods in the intestines of an animal they killed. Have you ever seen a dog eat horse or cow poop? They really like it. It is disgusting to watch but their instincts tell them what they need.Foods not to feed: As much as I love to shop at discount department stores, I’ve never found a good kibble there. Iams (forget what you have been told), Science diet (bad food boosted by big money), Purina, Nutro, Beneful and Ol Roy are the worst rated foods of all. Avoid kibble that has corn, soy or wheat anywhere on the ingredient list! picture of hips with and without hip dysplasiaAs your German Shepherd puppy is growing, keep it lean and healthy. A fat GSD puppy is much more prone to joint problems than a lean one. Even puppies from OFA parents can get joint problems, and slowing down the growth of your puppy by carefully feeding appropriate amounts every day will keep extra weight off of its growing joints. Its growth will not be stunted by being lean; it will just grow slower and healthier. I like to feed a puppy about 3 times a day with enough raw that it can finish eating in about 15 minutes. You can feed raw meat 1-2 times a day, being sure that the bones are small and puppy chewable. Again, only provide enough that they can eat in about 15 minutes, do not free feed. Chicken wings and necks are great for really young puppies. Vitamins: If you feed raw, there is no need for supplements and studies have shown that too many vitamins in dogs can wreak havoc on growing bones. The exception to this are the Nu Vet supplements listed on my site HERE. Nu Vet is an immune support supplement that will not grow your puppy too fast but protects against free radicals therefore enhancing your puppy’s immune system. And guess what else? Nu Vet has enzymes added for those poor little pups that are lacking! Your German Shepherd will protect you with its life. Why would you not protect its life?



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