BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food. Numerous health conscious veterinarians are enormous advocates for this diet which can completely replace commercially prepared dog food.
One of the leading proponents of the BARF diet was Dr. Ian Billinghurst who still recommends it today. He believes that it is the ultimate way to get our pets in to optimum condition. Many individuals believe that the special diet simulates what your dog would eat in his normal surroundings.
Many people perceive that there are a lot of health advantages to feeding this diet. Many owners who possess dogs with problems such as allergies, skin problems, weight problems, and anal gland problems have found that the bones and raw food diet has helped to significantly cure these issues.
Some of the advantages to feeding a biologically appropriate raw food diet include no consumption of preservatives found in most commercially prepared kibble diets, it generally tastes better to your dog than regular dog food, and in general, muscle mass and body condition improve on a raw food diet.
One also often finds that dogs create fewer stools, eat more slowly, and have fewer health conditions. Many advocates of the raw food diet also claim that it is less costly than commercially manufactured dog food. One of the biggest disadvantages to the diet is that it takes longer to prepare.
If you decide that you would like to try the special diet with your dog, you must first do the research. There are numerous websites and books available to guide you through the process. Talk to your veterinarian, though many veterinarians are unfamiliar with the BARF diet. Discover people in your area that supply the raw food diet to their animals. Make sure it is right for you and your dog before you try it.
The next step is to transition your dog from his commercial dog food to his new bones and raw food diet. You may wish to do this gradually as oftentimes dogs develop digestive problems when changing to new diets. Some advocates of this alternative diet advise switching your dog to the new diet immediately.
When feeding a BARF diet, you will generally need to feed your dog twice per day. The first meal of the day will usually consist of raw meat and bones like turkey or chicken legs, thighs, wings, or necks, pork riblets, lamb chops, and the like.
The second meal will consist of a mush made with raw meat, fresh vegetables, and Offal (the organs parts of the meat you are feeding). Usually you will wish to supplement this with cottage cheese, eggs with the shells, yogurt, fruit, fish, and recreational bones (which are the harder to chew kinds of bones).
This can vary, so do your homework. You will want to avoid grains. Advocates of the biologically appropriate raw food diet agree that dogs do not have the proper digestive systems to deal with whole grains and that most food allergies are grain linked.
Most advocates of the diet do not recommend supplements. If you aren't sure what to do, speak with your veterinarian.
Many people are hesitant to supply their dog a raw diet because they are concerned about their dogs choking on bones. While these incidents occur, proponents of raw food diets say they are uncommon, and that generally, dogs choke on cooked bones, not raw ones.
There are commercially prepared raw food diets on the market. While this is always an alternative for you if you choose to feed raw food, many supporters of the BARF diet recommend against it.
They argue that these foods have different regulations than human grade foods, oftent contain unwanted supplements, are ground foods (and the whole basis of this diet is raw, meaty bones), and are much more expensive than visiting your local butcher.
THE Diet That Can Help Your Dog Live An Extra 5+ Years
If you decide that the BARF diet is something that you'd like to implement, first talk to your veterinarian about your decision. Then, do as much research into the diet as possible. Talk to others who feed the diet to their dog. You may find that by feeding this diet you are improving the health of your dog and prolonging his life.