BARF Diet For Dog Made Simple!

Before I started feeding my dog BARF diets and he had all kinds of ailments and health problems. Now I know that you are probably wondering if I have lost it or have some loose screws but let me explain. BARF is an acronym for Biological Appropriate Raw food and is a wonderful new way of looking at what we are feeding our pets. Since a BARF diet means feeding your pet a diet of food for which its digestive system and body is most well suited it means that your pet is getting the proteins, nutrients, vitamins, etc in the way that nature intended for them to get it. The fact that Azul my dog eats with a relish and is suffering from so many fewer ailments than when he was eating dry dog food tells me that not only is BARF good and nutritious for him but he finds it tasty as well. In the past I always had trouble getting him to finish his food but this is no longer one of his troubles, in fact when meal times rolls around he is eagerly waiting to see what natures got on the menu for that day. The concept behind BARF (also know as: Bones and Raw food) is simple and uncomplicated. It is a basic diet for your carnivore animal and is comprised of raw meat and meaty bones, grated or juiced vegetables, essential fatty acids with some nutritional supplements as needed. Your dog can not and should not go from eating a diet of processed commercial dog food to eating a BARF diet over night as doing this would cause your dog even more serious problems than those you would be conquering by feeding it this relatively new and definitely healthier diet. The transition should be slow especially if your dog has any sicknesses or prior stomach problems. You should gradually switch your dog's diet by adding the whole raw foods to its commercial dog food diet. Your dog's diet will eventually consist of lamb, chicken, beef or pork meat cooked, raw, assorted, juiced vegetables (carrots, peas, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, greens, turnip, sweet potatoes, or whatever is handy), eggs, honey, garlic, flaxseed oil alternating with olive, primrose, fish oil, Ester C, Alfalfa, Kelp, among other things. You will also need to give your dog some other vitamin supplements like B complex, zinc and vitamin E by adding it to their food a couple of times a week. During the transition phase of your dog's diet you will find that probiotics and digestive enzymes are necessary to help it digest the new foods in its body. Also you should give it a good quality multi-vitamin daily. Remember that your dog's body is being faced with new food items that it has never had to digest before and so it needs help to process and assimilate the food until it can manufacture the digestive enzymes itself. Probiotics are known as "good" bacteria that aid in digestion and assimilation of nutrients within the digestive tract. With time you will be able to switch your dog to eating an entire raw foods diet including raw meat. The plan behind this BARF diet is simple but you will need to be paying close attention to your pet's health when feeding this type of diet. Let's say that one day your dog has loose stool, well you will need to sit down and figure out what was different in the diet that may have caused the loose stool and change it. If you pet is losing or putting on weight due to its dietary change then you will need to make adjustments to correct the problem. The other important factor when feeding this diet is to include diversity. Offer your pet many different types of food to eat. The more the variety he/she eats, the more nutrients are available for digestion and assimilation.
One last very important point is that dogs and cats are two different species and thus must be fed different diets. A cat is an obligate (true) carnivore and can only live very well by eating an almost exclusive meat diet. A dog on the other hand is more of a secondary carnivore and needs a mixture of different food ingredients (meat, vegetables, yogurt, dairy, etc.) to satisfy its nutrient necessities.

Plan for BARF: Now I want to give you a basic explanation of how I prepare my dog's BARF diet. Of course this is just an example to demonstrate how easy it is for anyone to feed his or her pet a BARF diet. Please keep in mind that this example is only to offer information and actually the BARF diet may not be beneficial for your pet. Understand that there are many different methods and ways to plan and feed a BARF diet and what you must do is figure out what Biological Appropriate Raw food diet best suits you and your pet.
I have found that preparing my dog's pet food in big amounts and then freezing the food in meal size quantities works that best, is the easiest way to go about it and saves money as well. The recommended daily serving suggestion is one half pound of food for every twenty-five pounds of doggie body weight.

BARF diet ingredients

  1. Work out how much whole raw food you need to make for your situation. For pets that weigh fifty pounds, plan on giving them one pound of dog food daily as this is usually the correct amount. So if you will need one pound a day you can make ten pounds at a time so that it lasts for ten days.
  2. To find the ingredients and provisions that you will need you can call wholesale meat and vegetable outlets for economically priced, good quality meat and vegetable foods. You can also talk with your neighborhood butcher where you can get your meat pre-ground and find fresh organ meats and bone dust. Another place to go for value foods is grocery stores which often have discount racks with good quality inexpensive produce.
  3. Now that you know where to find what you need its time to go out and do that shopping. All of these items can be used in a BARF pet diet.
    Meat: lamb, chicken, beef, turkey, etc…
    Vegetables: broccoli, turnip, celery, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, cabbage, dark or light greens, etc… (with vegetables diversity and variety is the key.
    Plus: eggs, bone meal or bone powder, honey, apple cider vinegar, apples, organ meats, garlic, etc…

BARF Diet Preparation

Once you have all of your ingredients in the quantities that you will need you are ready to make Biological Appropriate Raw food pet food.
To prepare the pet food for your dog or cat you will need a food processor and mixing bowls. If the meat you use is pre-ground from the butcher it will make your task easier. It is very important to always disinfect your counters before beginning with the preparation of food.

  1. Put your ground meat to one side.
  2. Place an assortment of vegetables together with apples and garlic in the food processor. After blending them well put into a bowl and put them to the side.
  3. Now blend your organ meats in the food processor and put them to the side as well.
  4. Place some eggs together with their shells in the food processor and process until the eggshells are finely blended.
  5. Now in a large mixing bowl put the meat, vegetables, organ meats, eggs and mix them up together. Here is when you want to add the honey, alfalfa, kelp, pre-ground flaxseeds, bone and Grapefruit Seed Extract to the mix. Be sure and combine all the ingredients thoroughly. The Grapefruit Seed Extract helps by killing bacteria or toxins that may be present during the preparation of the raw pet food.
  6. Once all of the ingredients are well mixed together you can put them into freezer bags. Depending on the size of your dog, weigh out one meal per freezer bag. You can also put enough food in each freezer bag for the entire days meals but this will depend on the size of your dog and the amount you will be giving it per meal.
  7. Freeze the BARF raw pet food inside airtight freezer bags.

BARF diet servings

The best way to serve your pre-made BARF dog food is to take the next days meals out of the freezer the night before so that it can thaw. Put it in the fridge and then in the morning it will be ready for eating. If you feed your dog more than one time daily, this just means that you will need to divide up the raw food into the amount of individual meals that you need, for example half in the morning and half at night.
Prior to serving your dog its BARF doggie food you can add these supplements your dog's meal: multi-vitamin/mineral, Ester C, digestive enzymes which are very important for your dog's digestive system at the start of eating a new raw food diet, probiotics and a blend of oils (your dog will need just a small amount).
Just mix the supplements into the food and feed your dog.

BARF diet treats:

Besides the normal whole raw pet food that your dog will be eating you can also give it raw meaty bones, which will help keep its teeth clean and provide an assortment of important nutrients. You can also give your pooch the following as treats: table scraps, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts, raisins, fruit, cheese, etc… It is vital to remember that variety is the primary key to successfully feeding the BARF diet.

BARF and you: It is quite easy for anyone to put together and prepare a BARF diet for their dog especially when you prepare big amounts at a time this will help to keep the daily feeding from becoming complicated and time consuming.
It is best that you study up on feeding this type of diet before making any changes in your dog's diet. You will find that there are many books, web sites, research articles and pet nutritionists available and on hand to help you become familiar with how and why to feed BARF.

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