BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food aka raw feeding. The diet is based on years of observation of animals living in the wild and mimics the diet of wild animals. So the inspiration comes straight from nature, and right behind it is the author and pioneer of this diet – IAN BILLINGHURST – an Australian vet who took the big pet food corporations under his microscope. Already at the end of the 1980s, he published the first paper on his observations on pet diets. Unfortunately, these publications bounced off the walls of the offices of his professional colleagues. Ian’s subsequent scientific publications also failed to convince vets of this type of nutrition. The breakthrough didn’t come until the publication of Bilighurst’s first book, which came directly into the hands of animal carers. It had a huge impact on the awareness of breeders as well as ordinary pet carers.
Pet food manufacturers
The range of ready-made dog foods is huge. There are foods for small dogs, large dogs, sporting dogs, medicated dogs, dietary dogs – whatever you would like. So why do we encourage people to compose their meals for our pets? Well, the answer is simple – all you have to do is analyse the ingredients of these „perfectly balanced” and „best for pets” products. Ready-made food has little to do with what is best for the dog. They are convenient and practical for humans. You can pour ready-made pellets into a bowl and the dog’s real problem is solved. However, if we look into the composition of food praised by manufacturers and recommended by many veterinarians, we can be horrified. More often than not, these are highly processed creations that have little to do with what a dog should eat. Instead of meat, food manufacturers use the cheapest substitutes. At the top of the formulation, you will find a whole range of carbohydrates – rice, maize – as well as vegetable proteins, vegetable oils and a range of chemical products. These are ingredients that are not only inadvisable in a dog’s diet but harmful to its health. The desire to make money has pushed the health of our dogs into the background. And yet, feeding your dog according to its nature is not difficult at all. The benefits of a proper diet will satisfy both the dog and its guardians.
Why Raw Food Diet?
Raw Food Diet is based on raw, fresh raw materials – the kind that every dog is adapted to eating by nature. A dog’s digestive system has the characteristics of a typical carnivore: jaw and tooth structure, strongly outlined canines, lack of amylase in the saliva responsible for digesting sugars, small highly distensible stomach, low PH of gastric juices, and very short digestive tract. Therefore, it is the natural raw diet that benefits the health and well-being of our dogs. After introducing the BARF method of feeding, dog guardians can observe several beneficial changes in their pet’s appearance and behaviour. The condition of the coat improves. The dog becomes more active. Thanks to the bones in the diet, which act as a natural toothbrush, tartar build-up can be minimised. For dogs with ailments resulting from a poor diet, BARF can work wonders. Thanks to the fact that we compose meals for our dogs ourselves, we can eliminate allergens and products that adversely affect their health. The BARF diet has the advantage that we can adapt it individually to the needs of each animal. If we want our dog to live a long and healthy life, we must accept his carnivorous nature and give him the best. The best for him.
What it comes with
The BARF diet is based on giving dogs raw meat, bones, vegetables and fruit, as well as natural supplements – depending on the needs of the individual animal. At home, we replicate the diet of wolves and their wild ancestors for our beloved dogs. We give him food that nature created him to digest. Dog’s Raw Food Diet is an intuitive diet and we do not compose it according to a rigid framework. Rather, we should consider it as a suggestion and a starting element in the initial introduction of the diet. Depending on each individual’s weight, activity, test results and ailments, we modify the diet to best suit the needs of the individual dog. A mono diet should be avoided and variety should be kept in mind.
Vegetables and fruit
Vegetables and fruit are not essential in the dog’s diet. As a typical carnivore and carnivore, it derives its nutritional value mainly from meat and fats. Vegetable products found their way into the diet through the stomachs of their prey, which are usually herbivores. The proportion of vegetables and fruit in a dog’s diet can be minimised to zero. However, some dogs feel more comfortable on a diet containing vegetables and fruit. By observing the dog, its poop and test results, we will determine the optimal content. To facilitate the dog’s digestion, we need to prepare the vegetable products properly beforehand. They are best fed in the form of vegetable and fruit pulp. When the vegetable products are pulped, the cellulose fibres are broken down, which increases their digestibility. Particularly noteworthy are pickled vegetables – in the dog’s diet they act as a 'natural probiotic’, which has a very beneficial effect on the intestinal flora.
Balancing is not so terrible – supplements
Supplements in raw feeding are a very individual matter. Their amount and type are adjusted individually to the needs of each animal. When choosing the right supplements and their quantity, we must take into account current tests, weight, age, condition, possible illnesses and ailments of the dog. There is no single correct method of supplementation. Every dog reacts differently to the supplements given, so careful observation of our pet and regular examinations are very important. We can divide supplements into two groups: basic and supplementary. However, for each animal, the groups of basic and complementary supplements can vary greatly.
Your dog’s diet should include supplements such as brewer’s yeast (B vitamins), marine algae (especially iodine), fish oil (or other sources of vitamin D), salmon oil or krill meal (omega 3 and 6 acids).
The list of supplementary supplements is long. It includes several supplements, mostly of natural origin. Skilfully selected according to the animal’s needs, they improve the condition of the animal, support conventional treatment and even cure. These include, for example, purgative, rosehip, nettle, thistle, collagen, MSM and taurine.