10-15 years ago, if you weren’t feeding your dog with dry food you were being irresponsible feeding your pet with homemade food. Nowadays things have changed: the trend is now going from industrial dry food for dogs towards raw food. Loyal dry food buyers are decreasing and anyway they are often criticized by those that follow a Barf diet for their dog. For those who don’t know, it is based on the proper share of nutrients that come from raw meat, bones and giblets. But is giving raw meat to dogs good for them? Let’s review some of the opinions on the Barf nutrition and try to better understand what it is.
BARF Diet for Dogs | Premise
First of all, here you are not going to read a full tutorial on barf diet for dogs (barf stands for Bones And Raw Feeding), because it takes lot of time and space to talk in details about it, nor are we passing judgment if it’s the perfect diet or not or if cooked food of dry food is better. We are just going to describe the barf method and various opinions of it so that each and everyone one of you can think about it yourselves and form your own opinion rather than just following the latest trends.
There’s no need to add that a dog’s diet should depend on the type of dog, breed, size and any possible food intolerance or health condition it could have which is why it’s impossible to form general rules or give undefined advice because someone can misunderstand the information and damage their dog choosing the wrong diet.
It will not be difficult find forums, websites or books about how to follow this type of raw diet. But we will give you a small piece of advice: be careful about what you read because not everything you read out there is correct and risking your dog’s health attempting to follow advice found on the internet without double checking the source would be a bit stupid.
Raw meat for dogs
The Barf Diet is perfectly explained in doctor Ian Billinghurst’s (an Australian veterinary) books “Give Your Dog a Bone” and “Grow Your Pups with Bones” and Doctor Tom Lonsdale’s “Raw Meaty Bones”.
What is exactly the barf diet? It’s a diet based on the simple idea that if our dog lived in nature it would eat raw meat. The Barf Diet’s goal is therefore to give the dog the closest thing possible to a prey. Thus its daily meal should be made up of bones, raw meat, giblets and blended vegetables, to simulate the semi-digested vegetables in the stomach of a prey.
We can’t deny that as an idea it’s better than dry food full of compounds that a dog would never eat in nature, like flour, wheat, corn and preservatives!
Barf Diet vs Home made food
At this point there are definitely two questions to ask: Why have we always heard that dry food for dogs is the best option and that cooked food (the only source of sustenance for thousands of dogs in the past) is unbalanced? Why, on this basis of this idea, have veterinarians always recommended supplements for dogs in order to provide the right amount of nutrients to our 4-legged friends?
As for the first question, the answer might be closely related to the general business of dry food for dogs. Dry food has replaced the diet not so much for dogs that regularly ate homemade food, but the leftovers. For the second question, however, the answer may be, for years, many dog owners have always given the same kind of food to their furry little friend, such as the famous formula turkey vegetables and rice.
Barf Diet for dogs, opinions and final thoughts
If the problems of the old home cooking for dogs were related to the difficulty in balancing their diets, you have to ask if the Barf diet might not provoke the same problem because of poor communication of its content and the difficulty of carrying out the instructions to the letter.
It is no coincidence that not all veterinarians agree on the effectiveness of the barf diet for dogs, but certainly not because it is wrong from the outset, rather than for medical and veterinary reasons and perhaps for the inability of many to follow it correctly. This is because it is difficult to actually grasp what’s good for each individual dog and what is not, and especially due to the fact that if we give dogs raw meat, it should be chosen carefully in order to avoid transmission of various diseases, parasites or other.
If it is important to point out that dogs have enzymes and antibodies necessary to fight certain bacteria, it is equally important to remember that domestic dogs have long strayed from the wild and if a wild dog are not diversely affected by infected or rotten meat, the same doesn’t not necessarily hold true for our four-legged friends that are often like spoiled like princes…