What is the BARF diet for dogs?
The BARF Diet (acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) which consists of feeding completely raw products to domestic animals.
According to Animal Expert: “The objective is to recreate a diet that is as natural as possible and similar to that which canines would have in the wild. Pieces of meat, viscera, organs, muscle, meaty bones and eggs are also included. Smaller quantities are also included. moderate amounts of fruits and vegetables .” Specifically, this diet was designed by an Australian veterinarian named Ian Billinghurst.
What is the BARF diet made up of?
In summary, we will tell you what the BARF diet is mainly made up of:
– 60% bones with meat and muscle.
– 25% lean meat (can be fish).
– 15% raw fruit and vegetables, eggs and organ meats.
– Contains no preservatives.
– Does not contain cereals.
However, regarding this “15% of fruits and vegetables” there are controversies. Some experts say that it is not proven that dogs can fully assimilate the nutrients offered by totally raw fruits and vegetables. With regard to raw meat , although it is true that dogs can digest it, it must be taken into account that if the raw meat does not have a quality certificate, the dog could contract infections and parasites. Also, some dogs just don’t like to eat raw meat.
What are the benefits of the BARF diet for dogs?
Since there is controversy regarding the BARF diet, here is a list of pros and cons of this diet, according to the opinions of certain experts:
Pros of the BARF diet
– You will have proper hydration , manifesting in healthy skin and shiny hair .
– Your dog will drink less water , because his diet already contains a lot of water.
– Your teeth will be clean and healthy.
– Your immune system will be strengthened , reducing allergies and intolerances.
– Your stools will be better: less voluminous and less odorous .
– Your dog will have less gases .
– Your breath will be better.
– Your dog will like it very much (although not everyone, of course).
– You will have a more positive state of health and behavior .
– You will have more energy for your physical activity.
Cons of the BARF diet
– May have nutritional efficiencies . When you feed your dog a quality feed, you know that the nutritional balance is perfect , in such a way that when doing the BARF diet, it is necessary to pay close attention to properly balance the nutrients.
– Food that is not fresh or does not come from trusted sources can lead to bacterial infections . To avoid this, use quality ingredients and above all, freeze meat.
– Bones can be harmful. This is one of the main reasons why many veterinarians are not fond of this diet. By chewing on the bone, your dog can swallow small pieces that could accumulate in his intestine, causing constipation, blocking it or even perforating it, which would require surgery.
– Broken teeth are another major concern , as well as gum problems .
– It is a complicated diet to manage. Consulting your vet is recommended , both to make sure your dog is getting the right nutrients in the right proportions, and to verify that this is the right diet for your dog. In fact, it is advisable to carry out regular veterinary check-ups every 2 or 3 months.