Pets and BARF Diets: Raw Food Diet for Dogs

The acronym in BARF Diet stands Biologically Appropriate Raw foodand also stands for Bones And Raw food and the ideology behind it is that each animal has specialized dietary requirements and if they don't receive their biologically appropriate diet the end result will be detrimental to their health. The people promoting BARF and raw food for dogs would like us to take a look for a moment at the natural world all around us; and see that without exception not one animal on earth naturally eats a diet of cooked food. For this reason you could also call BARF an evolutionary diet, natural diet or species appropriate diet. The driving idea behind this new movement is that a BARF diet is exactly what our pets naturally need and deserve.

Evolution of BARF Diet

Dogs and BARF

Cats and BARF

Diet Model


Obviously feeding our pets a wholly natural Diet of Raw Dog Food for Dogsor biological appropriate diet is an approach to feeding that while not entirely new is a drastic departure from today's pet's normal diet, which is built entirely on grain based commercial pet foods. This BARF ideology promotes the use of evolutionary species appropriate diets and is based on feeding pets whole, raw, natural foods including whole raw meaty bones among other things. These BARF diets are becoming widely accepted and have a large following of pet owners, knowledgeable veterinarians and concerned scientist as well as their fair share of heavy hitting detractors.

All hype aside, what is the thinking behind using BARF diets? It is the belief that dogs, cats (and all living animals) have evolved over many millions of years and that their diets have evolved with them. This would of course imply that the best type of food diet for a dog or cat would be what they in their natural state eat. While this theory is both accepted and promoted by zoologists worldwide, when it comes to wild animals living in zoos, it doesn't enjoy the same acceptance within the world of pets and pet specialists. The promoters of biologically appropriate diets and evolutionary nutrition believe that modern grain based processed pet foods manufacturers are not telling us the whole truth when they say that it is difficult if not impossible for normal pet owners or even vets to correctly feed modern pets. BARF followers say that pet food companies claim that only their scientists are capable of determining what is a proper and workable nutritional diet for domestic pets.

One of the driving forces behind this revolutionary new ideology of biologically appropriate diets is Dr. Ian Billinghurst who happens to be among the first proponents of the BARF diet and has authored several books on the subject of biologically appropriate diets and evolutionary nutrition. He believes and advocates the BARF diet as the most successful means of achieving an actual and natural good health in pet animals. While not everyone is convinced it must be noted that the incredible reports of the increased healthiness seen in pets fed the BARF diet are creating a pet food revolution within the community of veterinarians, pet breeders and owners worldwide. Feeding your pet a BARF diet simply means not feeding your pet cooked or processed food but rather what your dog would eat if it was living in the wild in its natural habitat and what today's wild dogs eat as a result of the long but natural process of evolution. This would mean not feeding your pet diets based on cooked grains, which is the basis of all of today's commercial processed pet foods. The proponents of BARF are quick to point out that this new way of looking at pet diets does not imply that people choosing to feed their dogs BARF need to go hunting for raw freshly killed meat or send their dogs out to hunt. What they point out is that a BARF diet aims to copy, not be identical to, the evolutionary diet of dogs and cats. This is a very important difference as it means someone who chooses to feed their pet a BARF diet will try to closely follow the natural diet of their pet but not try and replicate this natural diet in their own homes. To be perfectly honest it would be impossible and irresponsible for a normal household to try and feed any domestic animal its natural diet, much less try and allow it to live under its natural evolution chosen conditions and or habitat. This is because of an important point that the natural diet of dogs and cats in the wild poses many and serious threats to the safety and well being of these animals. The basis of the BARF diet and belief is feeding dogs and cats appropriately and with their good health first and foremost in mind. The backers and supporters of BARF say that their goal is to maximize the health, longevity and reproductive capacity of pets while at the same time minimize the need for veterinary intervention.

So how exactly are you supposed to feed a pet properly? According to the BARF nutritionists it is by feeding it the diet that it has evolved with it or it's evolutionary diet. According to Dr Ian Billinghurst the BARF diet is simple in philosophy and construction because it looks at the diet of wild or feral animals and mimics that type of dietary system but at the same time using whole raw foodstuffs that are readily available to pet owners everywhere. BARF proponents also point out that these diets may be enhanced with various supplements and they say that once the principles are understood, almost everybody is capable of doing this and no extended or highly specialized education is necessary.

A BARF diet comprises of:

60% Meaty Bones
60%-70% of which are RAW chicken bones, the remainder (30%-40%) being bones from RAW lamb, rabbit, beef, pork, venison etc.

40% Other food Stuff
Green leafy vegetables should make up about 60%-70% of the vegetable part of the diet, with grain and starchy vegetables being between 20%-30%. The offal portion of the diet, that is liver, kidneys and hearts etc., should be about 5%-15% of the diet. Throw in some eggs two to three times a week, more often if you wish.Listed below are benefits that BARF dog owners have shared:

  1. Vet bills are generally reduced after switching to a nutritious species appropriate diet.
  2. Dog's teeth are naturally cleaned by eating raw meaty bones.
  3. Clean breath and no doggie odor after changing to BARF feeding
  4. Ripping and chewing raw meaty bones develops the neck, jaw and shoulder muscles of dogs.
  5. Stools are smaller and quickly degrade into the soil.
  6. Dogs tend to maintain a healthy weight and the chances of obesity are minimized since it takes longer to chew and digest raw meaty bones.
  7. Kibble may sit around for hours untouched but dogs tend to be excited and love their BARF species appropriate meals.
  8. Health problems such as arthritis, lack of energy, allergies, skin conditions and dull coats often improve when switching from commercial dog food to BARF raw feeding.
  9. Ability to custom tailor your dogs' diets for their activity level, age, health problems and specific nutritional requirements.

This article was prepared by hired writers. Some of its content may or may not have been inspired by work done by:
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