Why feed the BARF (bones and raw food) diet?

The intense heat used to prepare some commercial dog food allegedly destroys and reduces nutrients like vitamins, minerals and enzymes, taking away a lot of their natural goodness from the ingredients. Some types of dry and wet processed foods also contain a large amount of grains, cereals and other fillers together with artificial colouring, additives and preservatives.

We feel these are inappropriate for dogs and if fed over a long period of time, allegedly can result in allergies and intolerances as well as a number of other health conditions.

The health benefits that have been attributed to the BARF Diet include:

  • Tartar build-up on the teeth can be eliminated, breath is improved and a dog will heave stronger teeth.
  • Itchy skin conditions associated with allergies can be alleviated.
  • Chronic diarrhoea often disappears and stool volume and odour can be significantly reduced
  • A dog’s weight will be brought into line and it is easier to maintain a leaner, fit body.

Natural vitamins and minerals in their uncooked state can help to maintain a healthy skin, coat immune system and joints

Making the transition to raw feeding

There are various schools of thought in respect to switching your dog’s food over to a high quality raw diet.

Some believe that it’s acceptable to just make a complete switch whereas we believe that it’s best to make a gradual switch over a period of some 7 to 10 days, gradually reducing the original food and increasing the raw percentage.

Initially it is best to stick with a single protein source, we would normally recommend something like Tripe as this is easily digestible and contains a lot of nutrients. Another good option is Chicken or Turkey, these are less likely to cause any upset stomachs.

Once your dog has settled into a new feeding regime we recommend the use of bones and offal after around a month.

Occasionally when a dog’s diet is switched to a raw dog food diet you may find that they vomit a small amount of white foam or yellow bile usually in the morning, this is the digestive tract adjusting to the higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet and is usually nothing to worry about. However, should this persist please contact us for advice.

If your dog is already used to eating a percentage of raw meat and bones in its diet then switching to a complete raw diet should be very easy. If your dog is not used to the taste and texture of raw meat then you will need to introduce this slowly as his digestive tract will need to adjust to this new food.

We suggest that you start by replacing 1/4 of your dog’s daily food with raw meat and vegetables and gradually increase this amount, over a period of seven to ten days, until you are feeding 100% BARF Diet. If you are still feeding kibble then, it is advisable to treat it and raw meat as two separate meals because kibble takes longer to digest.

Defrost as much food as you need per day. Do not re-freeze food once it has been defrosted but, any food that you have not used, can be kept safely in your fridge for 3-4 days.

Always ensure your dog has free access to clean, fresh drinking water.

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