UK Pet Food Reviews

dogThe BARF (“Bones and Raw Food” or “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”) diet is a system of feeding championed by Australian veterinarian Dr. Billinghurst.

The philosophy behind using BARF is that the diet a dog or cat evolved to eat - over many millions of years of evolution - is the best way to feed it.

If you want to feed your dog BARF, it means not feeding your dog cooked and or processed food. That is, not feeding your dog a diet based on cooked grains. Artificial grain based dog foods, it is claimed, cause innumerable health problems.

Advocates of raw diets claim that the diet has been tested positively for centuries on wild dogs, and that the increase in allergies, dysplasia, and other health conditions is as a result of dogs being fed commercial dog food.

According to the Barfworld web site:

'The philosophy behind using BARF is that the diet a dog or cat evolved to eat - over many millions of years of evolution - is the best way to feed it. This is the hypothesis accepted by most modern zoos or any zoologist concerned with preserving a species of an endangered animal. It is not the theory endorsed by most pet food companies or the people they train - and that includes unfortunately - many vets. If you want to feed your dog BARF, it means not feeding your dog cooked and or processed food. That is, not feeding your dog a diet based on cooked grains, no matter how persuasive the advertising. Artificial grain based dog foods cause innumerable health problems. They are not what your dog was programed to eat during its long process of evolution.

'A biologically appropriate diet for a dog is one that consists of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs' wild ancestors. The food fed must contain the same balance and type of ingredients as consumed by those wild ancestors. This food will include such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meat and vegetable materials and any other "foods" that will mimic what those wild ancestors ate. Please note that modern dogs of any breed are not only capable of eating the food of their wild ancestors, but actually require it for maximum health. This is because their basic physiology has changed very little with domestication despite obvious and dramatic changes in their current physical appearance and mindset.'

A pet on a Barf diet will eat as varied a raw diet as possible, with lots of raw meaty bones, e.g. chicken wings, chicken necks, rabbit, oxtail, minced meats, lamb shanks, eggs and their shells, liver, heart, fish, yoghurt, veg (pulped), fruit, garlic, etc.

It would seem however that neither the American Veterinary Association nor the British Veterinary Association endorses the health benefits of raw food. Both organizations caution that animals fed raw meat run the risk of contracting food-borne illnesses. The BVA declares that "there is no scientific evidence base to support the feeding of raw meat and bones," and warns humans they risk exposing themselves to bacteria like salmonella."

Many respected Veterinarians caution against the perceived wisdom of raw feeding. THe US pet food company Purina have this to say:

'Although meat is a source of protein, it has very low levels of calcium, a mineral our pets require for proper bone and tooth development. Calcium also plays an important role in blood clotting, muscle contraction and transmission of nerve impulses. But simply supplementing with calcium won't work. Mineral nutrients are interrelated. Calcium and phosphorus have a scientifically established relationship in the formation of bones and teeth, provided a proper balance is maintained. This balance is usually not present in meat. If large quantities of raw meat are fed over time, skeletal problems may develop.

'Liver is often thought of as a "healthy" meat because it has a high level of Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored by the body. And for humans who eat other things as well, it can be healthy. But when liver is fed to pets in excessive quantities over a period of time, Vitamin A toxicity can result. This can lead to improper bone development, lameness and bone decalcification.

'Raw meat carries the threat of bacteria and parasites, including salmonella. The risk of salmonellosis is always present when pets are fed raw meat diets. Certain species of tapeworm can be found in raw meat and passed on to a pet who ingests the meat.

'Raw meat diets do not replicate the diets of dogs in the wild. While it's true that dogs consume muscle meat when they eat wild animals for survival, they also consume the bones, intestinal contents and internal organs, which come closer to providing a complete and balanced diet. Wild dogs are also known to eat grasses and other vegetable matter.

'The truth is that good quality pet foods are backed by years of canine nutrition studies. They are the result of scientific studies by researchers in veterinary colleges and animal nutritionists in Animal Science programs and at reputable pet food manufacturers. They are also carefully processed to protect against salmonella or internal parasite infection.'


© 2015   Information given in good faith, but decisions about the feeding of pets are the sole responsibility of the owner. We use cookies to analyse our traffic, and share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Cookies : Links