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Why Should You Consider a Raw Food Diet for Dogs?

Perhaps you are one of the many who are thinking about switching their dog to a raw natural diet (Also known as B.A.R.F. diet). You may have perplexingly come across the term on the internet, in forums, and in specialized magazines about how good raw food in dog's nutrition can be. Are you worried about where to start, or are you missing a fundamental step? Does it seem complicated or confusing?

If so, don't worry. All of us who have taken the step to change from processed food to raw food has been there, and it is natural to feel doubtful and, sometimes afraid that something may not go well. After all, our dogs are our family, and this decision must be taken very seriously. We have to take into account many factors: the breed, (a German Shepherd and a Yorkshire Terrier do not have the same stomach.) if it is biologically approved raw food or processed raw food, etc. In this article, we will try to inform you as much as possible about everything related to the B.A.R.F. diet.

What is the B.A.R.F. Diet?

The B.A.R.F. diet consists of feeding the dogs raw and biologically suitable foods for them. B.A.R.F. is the acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. This proposes a diet based on animal protein, to which a small percentage of fruits and vegetables is added.

The diet was made thinking that dogs are carnivorous, although they can eat fruits and vegetables. For this reason, the diet is based mainly on bones, lean meat, and small proportions of fruit and vegetables.

The cost impact of switching diets

The B.A.R.F. diet is mainly composed of:

60% bones with meat and muscle

25% lean meat (can be fish)

15% raw fruit and vegetables, eggs, and organ meats

doesn't contain preservatives

doesn't contain cereals

If you have decided to feed your dog through the B.A.R.F. diet, it is best to consult your veterinarian prior to doing so. They will want to analyze your dog's needs to be sure that he will not suffer any deficiency in his diet.

To analyze the cost of the B.A.R.F. diet for our dog, we must take into account some factors regarding food and nutrition:

Quality of products:

Depending on whether we choose organic raw products, which will increase the price, but avoid the presence of chemicals.

Variety of products:

If you always choose the cheapest products, you will reduce the cost by losing variety in your dog's diet.

Food supplements:

We suggest accompanying the B.A.R.F. diet with olive oil or beer yeast. It will increase the cost of the B.A.R.F. diet but improve raw food nutrition.

Look at the cost this way: you can budget for your dog's raw food by choosing savings vs. choosing the maximum benefit for your friend. The price also varies according to the dog. Calculating, the price of the B.A.R.F. diet is about $ 2 for every pound your dog weighs. In this way, a 70-pound German Shepherd would cost around $ 140 a month. This factors in preparing raw meat at home. If you choose to buy ready-made raw products, the price will increase.

Raw bones on the B.A.R.F. diet

It can be said that they are the heart of the diet. They are a fundamental food that provides them with the vast majority of what they need in their nutrition, like proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.

It is crucial that the bones are raw. When they have gone through a cooking process (Cooked, fried, etc.), they have a greater risk of splintering, which could cause severe perforations in the dog's digestive system.

For the B.A.R.F. diet, you can use raw turkey, chicken, rabbit, or beef bones, among others. It is recommended the raw bones contain meat so that the few chips that do form are digested inside the meat. It is also recommended that the type of bone be changed periodically since meats have different amounts of nutrients.

Not just meat, but safe fruits & vegetables too

Although the B.A.R.F. diet places great importance on raw meat and not using processed food, meat is not the only thing in this diet. Carnivorous animals eat fruits and vegetables indirectly when they feed on their prey, herbivores, which have already crushed or semi-digested these fruits or vegetables. In this way, in our dog's B.A.R.F. diet, we include a small percentage of fruit and vegetables, of which we have a wide variety to choose from:

Fruits: Without seeds, you can use apples, bananas, berries, etc. Avoid grapes.

Vegetables: you can give carrot, spinach, turnip, pumpkin. Orange ones are a great source of vitamin A. Avoid onion, garlic, and avocado.

Raw eggs are also considered a beneficial add to their diet.

Pros and cons of the BARF diet

Pros of the B.A.R.F. diet

  • A diet based on biologically approved raw foods has benefits for your dog:

  • Your dog will love it.

  • The hydration of your dog will be ideal, which will cause healthy skin and a shiny coat.

  • His teeth will be healthy and clean as the bones will remove tartar.

  • This diet will strengthen his immune system, reducing intolerances or allergies.

  • It will avoid gases and make stools smaller and with less odor.

  • Your dog's breath will be better, and your dog won't smell bad.

  • He will drink less water since raw food has water content within it.

  • It will decrease the risk of obesity.

  • The dog will be happier, and his physical activity will improve.

Cons of the B.A.R.F. diet

(All the cons have to do with the proper balance of raw foods and nutrition)

  • Nutritional deficiencies: This isn't the case with kibble or processed food, as these have been chemically balanced. For this reason, we will have to pay more attention to the BARF diet if we want to balance the nutrients correctly.

  • Food that doesn't come from safe sources could cause bacterial infections.

  • Although raw bones are less dangerous, they can still splinter and block the digestive tract, causing constipation, or perforate it.

  • The teeth could be damaged if the bones are very hard.

If you decide to follow the diet, it is recommended that you advise a veterinarian since some breeds work with this diet much better than others.

As always, we highly recommend getting pet health insurance for your dog. It could save you a fortune in the event your pup needs serious health care. It can also cut down the costs on average pet visits. See our article here on the highest rated pet health insurance companies we could find.

Should I Switch Completely or Only One Meal Per Day?

There are no problems in combining the B.A.R.F. diet with kibble, as long as it is separately. That is, if we decide that we want to combine, put kibble in the morning, and B.A.R.F. in the evening, or the other way around, but never mix raw and kibble in the same bowl. This causes your dog gastrointestinal disorders, in addition to being more defenseless to bacteria that raw meat may contain.

A dog's stomach pH is very acidic, allowing it to digest raw meat without difficulties. The problem is the kibble alters that pH and makes it more alkaline. This causes weaker digestion of raw meat, problems in removing possible bacteria from the meat, and poor demineralization of the bones.

Therefore, if you decide to combine raw with kibble, be sure to separate the two into two different meal times. It is also advisable to include apple cider vinegar in food or water to balance this acidity balance.

Will Raw Food Make Dogs Sick or Aggressive?

Raw food will not make your dog sick unless you get poor quality meat or from unsanitary locations. We highly recommend "We Feed Raw" for your dog's raw food delivery. Remember that your dog originates from wolves, who eat this way naturally.

The diet of a dog clearly affects the behavior of a dog but in the sense that poor nutrition could cause states of lethargy, but never aggressiveness for the mere fact of giving it raw meat. This myth is often caused by the fact that the dog can have a more possessive behavior when it comes to eating raw meat simply because he likes its taste much better.

No study has shown that a dog fed raw meat is more aggressive than one fed kibble. The only thing that these studies show that aggressiveness is caused by alterations in canine behavior, not in the alteration of its diet.

In closing

In summary, the B.A.R.F. diet is an excellent alternative diet for those who do not want to give kibble to their pets. Ask your veterinarian if it is recommended for your dog to adopt this diet and find out about the correct nutrition of your dog prior to making the switch.

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