BARF Dog Food

BARF dog food is not what a dog eats after it has been regurgitated. BARF is an acronym for "biologically appropriate raw food" or "bones and raw food".

A Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet

BARF is a raw food diet that uses natural ingredients for a dog's food. Those who purchase or make BARF food for a dog believe that each canine has specific, unique dietary needs. Those who promote the BARF diet state a dog will get the foods he deserves-foods he would find in nature. These people are also quick to point out that no animal naturally eats cooked food and dogs do not naturally eat a lot of grains or rice. For this reason, dogs on a BARF regimen eat a lot of raw meat.

It is widely accepted and considered normal for wild animals, including those in a zoo, to eat raw foods. However, the idea of domestic house pets eating raw meat all the time is hard for some pet owners to swallow.

BARF Ingredients

Those that feed a dog a BARF diet are trying to mimic what a dog would find in nature as best as they can. Ingredients include meaty bones and other food items.

Meaty bones make up about 60% of the BARF diet. Many pet owners mostly feed dogs meaty chicken bones. Other bones may come from lamb, venison, rabbit, beef or pork. Raw frozen bones are okay to give to dogs as long as they have flesh on them (cooked bones can splinter). However, meatless frozen bones can hurt a dog's teeth.

Some frozen dog foods are considered BARF and can be found in some pet stores.

Other food items that make up the remaining 40% of the diet are foods that can be found in nature. This includes a lot of leafy greens, starchy vegetables, some grains and eggs.

Benefits of the BARF Diet for Dogs

Promoters of the BARF diet claim veterinary bills will be greatly reduced when a dog eats a BARF diet because he will be ingesting higher quality nutrients that increase his health and quality of life. The bones a dog eats will help clean his teeth and he will no longer have "dog breath".

The toughness of the meat and bones will help a dog develop the muscles of his upper body, and he will be less likely to be overweight. It is said that a dog will look forward more to his fresh meals than he would commercial dog food, which can remain in a bowl for an extended period of time. A dog's feces will also be smaller in size and will degrade quickly.

Other advantages pet owners feeding their dogs BARF claim are that a dog will have a healthier coat, have more energy, not suffer from food allergies, and have less itchy skin.

The BARF diet is not without controversy. Consult a veterinarian to determine which diet is best for a dog because, in the end, a dog's health will be the best judge of a diet's effectiveness.