The BARF Method
The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) method involves comprising a diet of differing raw product components, which are:
On average, 50% of the diet should comprise of meaty bones. This is an important source of calcium and phosphorus in the diet. Meaty bones can be used from many kinds of animals. However, it’s important to pay attention to the hardness of the bones. Below is an overview of the hardness of the meaty bone products sold by Kiezebrink. One bone means soft bone, which is suitable for beginner raw eating dogs and cats. Five bones means very hard bone structure which is for experienced raw eating dogs which is too hard to digest (and therefore only suitable for chewing and young teething puppies).
Not all meaty bones contain the same ratio of meat to bone; the ideal ratio would be 1:1. This ratio is important because bone is an important source of calcium and meat is a source of phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus should be available in the diet at a certain ratio (1:1 – 1:2) to be absorbable. When a bone contains little meat, it must be complemented with extra meat. Another factor is the structure of the bone; hard bone contains more calcium than soft bone. It’s therefore important to pay attention to the faeces of your dog or cat. When the faeces are hard, this usually means that there is too much bone in the diet or the bone structure is too hard.
A balanced diet contains on average 15% organ meat. It’s important to vary the diet with differing organs such as; heart, tripe/rumen, kidneys, lung and liver. These organs vary in amino acid profiles and vitamin and mineral contents. Liver for example is a very important source of vitamin A, which is why we advise to feed liver but no more than 5%. Vitamin A (and D, E and K) are fat soluble and can therefore be overdosed in a diet. Furthermore, liver can have a laxative effect on animals if fed in too high a volume. When a dog or cat has too loose a stools this may be an indication of too high a proportion of organ meat in their diet.
Muscle meat is an important source of amino acids, zinc and vitamin B12. We advise to feed on average 30% muscle meat. This part is very dependent on the amount of meat on the meaty bones that are fed.
Finally the diet can be completed with seeds, vegetables, fruit, eggs and oils. These additions can supply extra vitamins, minerals, fibres and fatty acids. When for example fish is not fed every week, this can be compensated by adding fish oil.
Types of meat
It’s not only necessary to vary with muscle meat, bones, organs and additional products but also to vary the types of meat.
The right variation
With feeding raw variation is necessary to form a balanced diet. This is because these products on thier own are not considered to be a complete diet. This means they must be varied to form a balanced diet. There are four categories of meat: white meat, red meat, game meat and fish. During the week when at least one sort of each meat category is fed, then it can be assumed that a balanced diet is fed. In the following overview the sorts of meat in each category is outlined.
Dogs and cats are in need of all kinds of nutrients. When only one sort of meat is fed, it’s likely that certain nutrients will be lacking in their diet. This is because different categories of meat have differing nutritional values. Fish for example contains a high percentage of omega 3 fatty acids and selenium. Red meat contains high levels of vitamin B12, while white meat contains more vitamins B3 and B6. Also, the structures of the protein in meat (the amino acids) vary by the type of meat. Therefore it’s important to feed all the different categories of meat, to make sure the dog or cat receives a wide range of nutrients.
We source our raw meat from Kiezebrink UK and are also able to supply this to other owners in our area.
Some Benefits of a raw diet
Vet bills are usually greatly reduced after switching to a nutritious species appropriate diet.
Naturally clean teeth and healthy gums from the natural scrubbing, massaging and flossing action of eating raw meaty bones.
Clean breath and no doggie odour after changing to raw feeding
Ripping and chewing raw meaty bones develops the neck, jaw and shoulder muscles of dogs.
Greater bioavailability of naturally occurring nutrients and enzymes in raw meat, organs and bones.
Stools are smaller, less smelly and quickly degrade into the soil.
Dogs tend to maintain a healthy weight and the chances of obesity are minimized since it takes longer to chew and digest raw meaty bones.
Kibble may sit around for hours untouched but dogs tend to be excited and love their raw species appropriate meals.
Increased mental, psychological and physical stimulation leading to greater well-being and satisfaction
Health problems such as arthritis, lack of energy, allergies, skin conditions and dull coats often improve when switching from commercial dog food to raw feeding.
Ability to custom tailor your dogs’ diets for their activity level, age, health problems and specific nutritional requirements.
WHAT WE FEED OUR DOGS
We feed all our dogs from puppies through to adults a raw diet. Our dogs thrive
on what is natural for them and much of this begins with proper nutrition.
We have fit and healthy dogs sound in mind and body, able to win in the show ring as well
as join us as companions in every day life be that long walks or relaxing with the family.
Here i will explain a little about raw feeding your dog or puppy and the various methods
available. Raw feeding is about variety and a balance over time.
We as humans dont eat a completely balanced biscuit everyday to fulfill our nutrional
needs so why should your dog?