BARF – biologically appropriate raw food for Dogs? YES or NO?
BARF – biologically appropriate raw food is it really the best option for dogs? Let’s find out!
Feeding your dog by imitating the way that canines and felines do in the wild; that is to say, based on raw meat, bones and viscera; and excluding commercial foods. It is the closest thing to feeding carnivores in nature. Cooking meat involves a loss of nutrients. Raw food has life. Meat, bones, and guts provide all the nutrients that a dog needs.
Because some commercial food manufacturing companies experiment with live animals.
Benefits of Raw Food for Dogs
- The brightest and smoothest hair: raw meat and viscera provide fatty acids in a pure state, which are beneficial and nourish skin and hair
- Healthier skin
- Increased muscle mass and tone
- A stronger immune system
- The gums and teeth stay healthier. Teeth are cleaner, less tartar appears and bad breath decreases.
- More energy, more activity: commercial diets provide an excess of carbohydrates that dogs do not metabolize well; as a consequence, they accumulate in the body in the form of toxins or fat. An “intoxicated” or obese animal has less activity. Restricting the number of carbohydrates and increasing protein, results in a decrease in body fat, an increase in muscle mass, less “intoxication” and, therefore, more activity.
- If the animal does not eat carbohydrates, digestion improves, and the faeces are smaller and smell less.
- A stronger heart
- More flexible joints: the fatty acids in the natural state that raw foods provide, nourish the joints, maintain their flexibility, and deflate them, reducing pain.
How and when to start?
A dog can start eating raw food at any time.
In the case of adult dogs that previously ate feed, I recommend making a transition: first from feed to home-cooked food, and then from home-cooked food to raw food. This transition allows the pH of the stomach to drop progressively, without giving problems with digestion, intolerance, or vomiting. The transition takes about 3-4 weeks.
Dog puppies can go directly to the BARF(Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, although some foods are restricted during the first 3 months.
Daily ration for dogs
Normally, the daily ration for adult dogs with normal weight, overweight, and nursing homes is 2% of their weight.
Dogs weighing less than 10kg, puppies, pregnant females, lactating females, work or sports dogs, and underweight dogs can eat up to 4%.
The exact ration is achieved by weighing the dog 1 time a month, and adjusting according to whether it loses, gains or the weight remains the same.
BARF Diet Ingredients that compose it for dogs
Basic ingredients of the BARF diet for dogs:
- Raw muscle meat, eggs, and fish
- Raw viscera
- Raw meaty bones
- Vegetables (fruits are optional)
Refers to: whole chicken or chicken cuts, lean turkey meat, other poultry (whole animal or lean cuts), whole rabbit, lean meat, or cuts with some beef, lamb, or pork bone. Other meat sources can also be used (take into account the hardness of the bones of large animals). Provide variety, but always more white meat than red.
If you can choose grass-fed meat. Keep in mind that farm chicken can give an allergy or intolerance to some animals. The meat is presented minced or cut into pieces appropriate to the size of the animal.
If you can, I recommend buying a mincer, it saves a lot of time and chopping the bones improves their digestibility. But do not mince all the muscle meat, leave a part in pieces so that the animal has to chew, thus cleaning the teeth.
Chop it all up if your dog is a gobbler and tends to vomit later!
Eggs, in the BARF diet, are consumed whole, including the shell, and raw. You can add eggs from any bird. 2-3 eggs a week.
The best fish for dogs are small, whole, and raw fish; especially species-rich in omega-3: sardines, herring, mackerel, chaplains or smelts also salmon, which although not a small fish, is rich in omega-3.
If you feed this type of small fish, you give it whole, including the internal organs, head, and spines. And of course, raw. Fish is recommended 1 day a week. Occasionally, you can substitute canned sardines, tuna, or mackerel. The fish is served chopped or cut into pieces.
The viscera are kidney, lung, liver, heart, spleen, gut, pancreas, thymus, brain, testicles, eyes.
Organ meats are an essential ingredient in your dog’s diet, We offer all the BARF and RAW FEEDING ingredients necessary to prepare meals for our favourite carnivores. Our products are 100% guaranteed without any chemical additive, preservative, colour, flavour enhancer, or preservative. The products are frozen immediately after their preparation.
Raw meaty bones
A fleshy bone is a soft bone, covered in meat and fat.
They meet these requirements: any chicken bone; turkey necks or wings; ribs and tails of ruminants and pork; all the bones of the rabbit (except the skull in the case of small dogs); and cuts with ruminant bone parts and pork.
Bones are always administered raw!
Raw bones are not dangerous, cooked bones are.
The ideal is to chop them with the mincer to facilitate their digestion. If you don’t have a grinder, cut them large enough so that the animal cannot swallow it at once, and small enough to handle it.
The BARF diet adds vegetables to the recipe because wild canines in nature eat around 20% vegetables.
Also, vegetables provide certain nutrients that cannot be obtained from foods of animal origin; like fibre, chlorophyll, or antioxidants.
Every day, we can put 2 different types of vegetables, among the following: spinach, parsley, chard, lettuce, kale, sprouts, zucchini, celery, green beans, peas, turnip, mushrooms, asparagus, squash.
The most purist BARF diet includes vegetables that are also raw;
To find out more about the goodness of vegetables for dogs, check my other blog – https://naturaldogtreats.org/are-vegetables-good-for-dogs/
Above all, don’t give your dog onions!
Fruits are optional food; that is, you can give them or not. If you use them, no more than 5% of the ration.
The most suitable are apple and pear. Also banana, apricot, peach, mango, papaya, strawberries, melon, watermelon.
Avoid grape, avocado, and dehydrated fruit.
Try to make the fruits local, seasonal, and pesticide-free.
Proportions of the ingredients of the BARF diet for dogs
The percentages that I propose are the ones that most resemble real prey. For example, mammals have about 50% of their total muscle mass; therefore, designing a diet with 80% muscle meat will not be the closest thing to prey that a carnivore would eat.
Thus, the percentages for dogs are as follows:
- Muscle meat, eggs, fish: 45%
- Viscera: 16% (7% casing, 2% liver and 7% of a mixture of other viscera) *
- Raw meaty bones: 14%
- Vegetables 25% or vegetables 20% + fruits 5%
* Do not put more than 10% liver, or more than 5% heart.
Daily rations in the BARF Diet
|Adult dogs||1-2 servings a day|
|Puppies||3-4 servings a day|
Kibble and Canned food
Kibble and canned food have been given to dogs to meet their dietary needs. Many people know about canned food as we also eat canned food but many people do not know about kibble food.
Kibble food is the food in dry form or dry pallets that you give to dogs.
According to different experts, canned food is superior to kibble food because canned food has not been so much dried as kibble food.
It is not appropriate to give kibble food because the water content is also less in kibble food. In the canned food for dogs, there is more protein content as compared to kibble food.
Pros and Cons of Kibble food:
- Easy to feed and widely available
- It is good food for the dogs to take on the go.
- Perfect for dogs with active Lifestyle.
- Kibble food is easy to carry in a pocket or pouch.
- You can easily store it and can give it to the pet sitter to feed when you are away.
- Different types of formulas available for your dog.
- Some kibble brands are not up to the mark.
- They have less nutritional value.
Pros and Cons of Canned food:
- Canned foods have good nutritional value.
- Dogs can easily eat canned food and also digest it.
- Canned food has a long shelf life.
- Contains a great volume of moisture which is necessary for the digestive system of the dogs.
- Good for the dogs who have limited kidney functions.
- Canned food is good for the dogs who recently recovered from an illness.
- Canned food is much more expensive than kibble food.
- When you open the canned food, then you have to use it for the dog in a few days.
- Some dogs have the problem of loose stools when they eat canned food.
Do not mix raw food with commercial feed! Raw food is digested much faster than other commercial feeds. If you mix both, the raw meat will be retained in the digestive system, “waiting” for the feed to be digested. This can cause excessive fermentation of raw food, leading to harmful toxins.