BARF – feeding your dog raw food

The acronym BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.  Several veterinarian have spoken and written about this subject already.  For many pet owners the idea may look natural but does sound a bit scary.  There is no need to be scared.  Your pet will thank you for this.

In summer of 2016 I went out to the pet store to get some dog food. After comparing prices I realized that the “medium grade” canned dog food cost per pound was roughly US$2 (or 2 Euro per kilo) and the better grade easily cost US$5/pound or 10 Euro per kilo. These prices are roughly accurate for Las Vegas, other locations can vary considerably. Since I just came from a supermarket and bought some meats for my own consumption I realized that dog food can be expensive. So I started some research.

It turns out that dogs do not need “dog food” and that dog food or most pet food for that matter is generally speaking of terrible quality.  The documentary “Pet Fooled” will bring up some good points that will make you think twice about continuing on this route.

On one hand the industry uses any and all ingredients that are cheap.  In 2007 a major recall was issued when tainted gluten caused renal failure in cats and dogs.  See this article for more info.  This one tainted protein accounted for an estimated 8500 deaths.  Using human grade meats and vegetables will greatly reduce these risks.

Unlike for us humans our pets can and should eat the meats raw.  This includes bones and all.  Food borne diseases from meat obtained from supermarkets like salmonella and similar do not affect your dog.  You however should use the same precautions to protect your health as if you prepare food for your family.  After preparing chicken or similar raw ingredients that are potentially contain pathogens make sure to clean your work area, tools and hands properly to protect you and your family.

Please remember to consult your veterinarian before you start your pet on a new diet.  Also consider a checkup a few weeks or months after you started the BARF diet.