You Feed Your Dog What?
Feeding your dog BARF may sound disgusting, but it’s actually quite nutritious. BARF is an acronym which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones and Raw Food. Many health-conscious veterinarians are raving about this diet and sing its praises compared to standard commercially prepared dog food. Many believe that the BARF diet simulates what your dog would eat in his natural environment.
A number of people feel that there are a lot of dog health advantages to a raw diet that would not be accessible from a diet of store bought. Owners claim that problems such as allergies and problems with skin, weight gain and anal glands have been greatly reduced once they switch their dogs to the BARF diet. Some other advantages of feeding your dog biologically appropriate foods are the complete lack of preservatives and a better overall taste. It also helps the body condition improve and muscle mass to grow. Many advocates also claim that it is less expensive than commercially manufactured dog foods. One of the biggest disadvantages is preparation time; it may take longer than opening a can of dog food, but given the beneficial advantages, BARF may be an overall better choice for your dog.
Research should be done before adjusting your pet’s diet to anything new. You should consult your veterinarian to determine if it is a suitable diet for your specific dog.
As with any diet change, you want to start things off gradually. Start transitioning from store-bought dog food to BARF. This will help your dog adjust and will also avoid any potential digestive problems that may develop from switching to a new diet. When feeding a raw food diet, you will generally want to feed your dog twice daily. The first meal will usually consist of raw meat and bones like turkey or chicken legs, thighs, wings, or necks, pork riblets, lamb chops, and other similar meats and cuts. The second meal will consist of a mush made with raw meat, fresh vegetables and organs that come with the purchased meat.
You will want to supplement this with cottage cheese, eggs with the shells, yogurt, fruit, fish and recreational bones which are harder to chew than other kinds of dog bones. This can vary, so do your homework. You will want to avoid grains. Advocates of BARF agree that dogs do not have the proper digestive systems to deal with whole grains, and that most food allergies are grain-related.
Most advocates of the raw food diet do not recommend dog supplements; this is an issue that should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Many people are hesitant to feed their dog a raw diet because they are concerned about their dogs choking on bones. While these incidents do occur, they are rare and dogs generally choke on cooked bones, not raw ones.
If you decide that the bones and raw food diet is something that you’d like to try, first talk to your veterinarian about your decision. Then, do as much research into the diet as possible. Talk to others who use the diet on their dogs. You may find that by feeding the BARF diet, you are improving the health of your dog.