When we consider our furry friend’s teeth, forgetting breed and size, it is impossible to deny they are fundamentally carnivore.
As a result of this a few years ago a new concept of diet was created called BARF. What started as a small group of people became introduced to the natural dog food world. Today it is a philosophy for those who enjoy preparing their dog’s meals.
What is BARF?
Named BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), the main objective is to nourish our dogs with a balanced diet, centred around non-processed, natural foods. It is based on the origin of a dog’s diet, which like their ancestor, the wolf, is raw and natural.
Why is it a raw diet?
Advocates for the natural food diet claim cooking the food takes out a lot of the nutrients necessary for our dogs. The raw food diet also speeds up digestion, making it a healthier more efficient process. Raw food can take on average 4 or 6 hours to digest, while cooked food can take up to 12 to 15 hours.
What food and how much?
The list of foods on the menu is varied and incluedes meat bones, fish, meat, vegetables and fruits, as well as some dietary complements: egg, parsley, basil, mint, garlic, olive oil, natural yoghurt or fresh cheese.
In terms of food proportions it can vary a little, but in general these are the guidelines: 50% meat bones, 20% lean meat, 5-10% entrails and 20-25% for vegetables, eggs or other complements.
Is this saying it’s bad to give my dog chow (regular dog food)?
No. In the dog food market there is a large variety of products that contain high quality ingredients. They too are made to retain the nutrients lost with cooked food. If you want to make sure you give a high quality product to your dog, read the ingredients and avoid sub meats and flour.
Can I give chow and BARF at the same time?
It is important to know chow takes 12 hours to digest in a dog’s stomach, if you want to try BARF in the same day you should wait until the chow has been digested. This way you will avoid gastric problems.
Is it bad to occasionally give my leftovers to the dog?
In our last blog we covered this subject, and what some canine professionals believe about giving your own food to the dog, take a read!
In general it is a no, but we should keep in mind their dietary needs are very different from ours. It is necessary to be careful when giving them our food.
As we mentioned in our last blog, there are a list of foods to avoid if you don’t want to make your dog ill: chocolate, onion, coffee, alcohol, avocado, grapes, etc.
It is also important to remember not to give our dogs cooked bones that could break easily, like we always say think of them as furry children, giving a small child something to chew on that can break easily isn’t the best idea..
Packaged and prepared natural foods
Recently, it has been possible to get hold of natural food pre-prepared and packaged. Brands like Yum, Squeaky, Summum or Naku started to fill a whole in the natural foods market.
Advantages and disadvantages of natural dog food.
Advocates for the BARF diet insist dogs who benefit from this specific diet have great general health. A mouth full of healthy, clean teeth is one of the main benefits. They also assure dogs develop stronger defence systems and shiny fur.
Without doubt, the most noticeable advantage is the satisfaction gained from enjoying such a a diet, rich in flavour and texture. Just like us, eating is a pleasure! For our dogs there is nothing more enjoyable than dinner time, as we can see even cabbage is valued by little Maymo!
In terms of disadvantages, a large amount of time is required to organise this type of diet. You need to buy all the necessary food, prepare quantities, freeze rations and unfreeze ahead of time.
To conclude, if you are interested in learning a little more about the natural food diet for your dog there is a fountain of information at your fingertips: blogs, books, social networking, dog groups. All of these places now have a better understanding of this new concept. If you have already decided to give this diet a try, there are some great apps to be found, designed to help you organise a diet catered to your dog’s needs.
Also, remember if you are trying out a specialised diet and worried about leaving your dog with someone else. With Gudog all the food you want your dog to be fed will be left with the dog sitter, as to not change their routine or disrupt their dietary needs.