For complete safety, you can use the services of an animal nutritionist who, thanks to his experience, will tell you what to look out for and where to get knowledge about the raw diet. Above all, of course, he will guide our actions. You can count on full assistance with both the adjustment of the recipe for our dog and the subsequent dietetic care.
There is also the option to purchase the services of a nutritionist already with the supplements and the recipe! *See below: Supplements for the Raw Food Diet*.
If you want to take on this responsibility yourself, you need to gain knowledge about the diet. There are raw feeding courses on the market, and books on BARF. It is worth reading, asking about other barriers for details and expanding your knowledge non-stop. The Raw Food Diet (BARF diet) is undoubtedly made for those committed to nutrition.
Carry out tests
You must carry out general examinations of the dog (to check for deviations from the norm, possible deficiencies or disease). It is based on these that the recipe that is most suitable for our pet will be created. It is worth starting with the tests, as this gives us the chance to repair the damage that may have been caused by the current feeding.
Accessories for raw feeding – what should you have?
Instruments for mincing meat
A sharp, large knife, cleaver or meat scissors are essential for us. It is also worth getting a knife sharpener. You can serve meat in the form of whole pieces of meat, but if your dog prefers a more delicate texture, you can use a meat mincer and grind the mixture or just cut meat into smaller pieces. The bones in the mix can be ground (or not) or supplemented with bone meal or calcium carbonate.
Remember, however, that teeth clean best when grated meat is used. If you give up giving whole pieces of meat, you must brush the dog’s teeth or give it a piece of meat at least once a week.
Kitchen and jewellery scales
To accurately calculate the quantities of supplements and the weight of meats and mixes, it is essential to purchase an accurate scale, preferably to two decimal places.
Supplements for the Raw Food Diet
Supplements for the Raw Food Diet are an essential part of raw feeding. If you do not give them you are exposing your dog to deficiencies that can contribute to serious health consequences. Don’t skip this step and take the opportunity to modify the supplements to suit your dog’s needs.
For example, during periods of tick activity, you can add the puree to your dog’s diet. Secreting through the skin helps to protect your dog from parasites.
Supplements that may be necessary are (doses depending on the weight and age of the dog):
- Brewer’s yeast
- Marine algae
- Omega3 oil
- Cod liver oil
- Dried beef haemoglobin
- Eggshell meal
It is based on your or the dietician’s knowledge that a decision is made as to what supplements are needed to maintain your pet’s health.
Freezer bags or boxes
You can freeze the meat that will make up your dog’s meal once. This saves you time in preparing the meal for your pet. To do this, get boxes or bags for freezing. Remember to serve the meat at room temperature after thawing.
The greater your dog’s nutritional needs, the larger the freezer can be. A separate freezer for meat is every BARFer’s dream, but to start with, all you need is a freezer of fair capacity 🙂
Myths about the Raw Food Diet
1. A dog cannot eat bones
Eating bones that have been heat-treated is dangerous. However, it is also not completely neutral, for example in the case of dogs that swallow food greedily.
A raw bone, additionally covered with raw meat, is less of a risk. Of course, accidents do happen to dogs. However, as a rule, you do not have to fear this, but simply observe how the dog handles the bone. Optionally, you can feed bone meal or calcium carbonate instead of bone.
2. Dogs get aggressive from eating raw meat
This is the most common myth which, according to good behaviourists and nutritionists, has no basis in reality. On the contrary, dogs fed with meat are calmer because their nutritional needs are met. Aggression is the cause of a lack of socialisation, violence towards the dog, and a lack of understanding of its needs – including needs involving food.
3. Small breed dogs cannot eat meat
Small breed dogs can eat meat because, despite their beautiful hairstyles – they remain dogs with the same digestive system as their larger brethren.
The only exceptions to this can be dog allergies and food intolerances, which can occur in any breed. You can ask for help from your dog nutritionist.
4. Meat causes kidney disease because it has too much protein
Meat does not consist of protein alone. Apart from this fact, the BARF diet is set under the dog, so that the mixture is individually selected and in favour of the dog. In raw feeding, you should aim for 8g of protein for every kilogram of the dog’s body.
There is no question here that something will be too much when the diet is analysed correctly. Likewise, when it comes to sick dogs – raw feeding allows us to tailor a recipe that is chosen exclusively for our dog’s illness – for this reason, it is the best option for him.