BARF Diet - Is Raw Feeding A Good Idea?
February 13, 2019
BARF Diet - Is Raw Feeding A Good Idea?
Heard a lot of speculation when it comes to the raw food diet? There is plenty of contrasting information around out there. Just as there are with human fad diets, but of course when it comes to your dog, you want them to be as healthy, happy and fit as possible.
Eating raw meat doesn’t sound of much appeal to us, but for dogs, most are happy to wolf down food which has not been cooked – just as they did before they were domesticated. The general consensus is that raw feeding is beneficial to enhance your dog’s health and allow them to live a longer and happier life.
Raw feeding is a trend which began in the early 1990s when an Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst claimed that commercial dog foods and nutritional guides are not recommended, and they can do more harm than good – no matter how much money you spend on the advanced formulas.
As indicated by his studies, dogs that are fed with these sorts of foods don’t have the same long life expectancy of their ancestors. His theory claims that animals of the wild had eaten only uncooked and natural foods without any additives, extenders or chemicals. As an aftereffect of this solid eating method, they lived longer and were healthier. However, some may argue that people didn’t always have the ability to cook food, yet, further evidence in the vet’s findings can be found in how we have been adversely affected by the unnatural processed foods which we ingest in the 21st century.
BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, is a diet which concentrates on raw bones and meat to give the fundamental nourishment required by a dog.
Further studies additionally demonstrate that cooking the food would decrease its nutrition quality. A puppy on a BARF eating schedule could consume fish, heart, liver, eggs and their shells, sheepshanks, minced meats, oxtail, rabbit, chicken necks, chicken wings, veg (pulped), yoghurt, garlic, vegetables and so forth.
The medical advantages of the BARF diet are:
Diminished doggy smell.
More time to absorb the food.
Produces firmer stools with a diminished amount.
Better price-quality ratio.
Enjoyment of food which benefitted their ancestors
Tearing and biting bones helps the dog developing a strong neck, jaw and shoulder muscles.
More balanced weight.
Finding the Balance in a Raw Diet
It is one thing to decide that your dog should be on a raw food diet, however, properly maintaining the nutritional balance can be tricky. You must also be mindful about which types of bone you are giving to your dog. The size of the bones which are okay for your dog to eat will depend on their size. Too many bones can cause indigestion. Do not give bird bones, poultry meat should be boiled first.
Some dogs can be incredibly picky about what they eat, for some dog owners it can be impossible to get them on a diet which includes salad and vegetables. However, you can give your dog a salad if it is ready and willing to eat it. This will allow your dog to take in additional vitamins and minerals which are essential to their holistic health. To make it a little more appealing for your dog you can flavor your salad with vegetable oil or cream (in any case do not use mayonnaise). This improves the absorption of vitamins. In the salad, you can add fruits, nettle leaves and dandelion.
The Arguments Against the BARF Diet
There are a lot of opinions against the BARF diet. Including how hard it is to get the exact nutritional balance which your dog will require. Even though there are plenty of resources available to help dog owners to perfect the raw food diet for their dogs, there have been many occasions where owners have got it wrong leading to malnutrition in their dogs having a drastic impact on the overall health of their dogs.
It should come as no surprise that handling large amounts of raw food – especially chicken can come with a myriad of different hygiene problems. If the chicken is not stored and prepared in an adequate way, you may run the risk of passing E. Coli on to your dog – along with potentially passing it on to other members of your family. So, it is vitally important that you prepare raw food with extra amounts of care. A cooked food diet is preferential as many of the harmful bacteria and microbes which may be present in the meat is killed when it is thoroughly cooked through.
So Who is Right?
There is no solid proof to verify which sort of diet is better, and both sides have their own particular set of supporters. The choice of whether to raw feed your dog depends on you, your dog, and your dog’s health needs.
If you are conscious about preparing and handling raw meat, and getting the amounts just right, it is now easier than ever to provide your dog with the perfect amount of nutrients, thanks to the availability of raw eating meals available on the market. These foods may vary a little from BARF diets but still contain ground meat, bone pieces and vegetables.
Still, neither the American Veterinary Affiliation nor the English Veterinary Affiliation supports the medical advantages of raw nourishment. Both associations alert that animals on a raw meat diet are endangered of contracting nutrition borne diseases. The BVA announces that "there is no experimental proof that feeding with raw meat and bones is better". According to lead nutritionists, commercial weight control plans contain mineral and vitamin supplements in the right quantities - a raw eating method is trickier in this aspect.
A Final Note on the Raw Diet
To wrap things up, if you are planning to buy a puppy you should know that there are a lot of puppies for sale whose parents were feed by raw food, as well as breeders that prefer the commercial dog foods. So, ultimately the choice is yours to make. However, it is important that you always check whether your dog’s eating routine is the best for them.
It is also important to note that the nutritional requirements for dogs will vary as they grow older, therefore it is vital that you adjust their diet accordingly.