How many of you know EXACTLY what's in your dog's food? Can you wholeheartedly say that you have fully researched the nutritional values and fat content of the food you chose for him/her? Probably not. Most of us tend to stick to what the breeders tell us and never shop around.
A raw food diet or BARF as its also known (Bones and Raw Food) is made up of meat and vegetables. There are a lot of online debates regarding the safety issues of feeding a raw diet. Salmonella Poisoning is at the top of the list, but if you have the common sense to store the meat properly and use it within a few days then you shouldn't have a problem. Another issue people find is problems with bones. If you do decide to give your dog a bone it must NOT be cooked! Cooked bones splinter and can create very nasty problems and issues. Raw bones or no bones at all!!!
When purchased from a reputable supplier, the food comes frozen and you only keep out what you need, placing the rest in your freezer. Another point that people argue is the cost. It's not as expensive as you think. A 500g serving averages at around 79p! Vegetable mix comes in at under £1 and can be even cheaper if you decide to make up your own mix of carrot, swede, cabbage and apple amongst other things. There are many benefits of feeding your dog a BARF diet, including a glossy coat, fresher breath, more energy and smaller stools. Smaller stools occur in dogs on a raw food diet purely because there is less for the body to expel as a BARF diet contains no sugars or additives, so dogs absorb more nutrients from it. Many people unknowingly feed their dog a particular well-known food brand that contains an ingredient that can be found in most household body washes and hair shampoos/conditioners. This is not needed in dog food at all! Most dried dog food is mostly made up of cereals. They use this to bulk out the food even though, once again, dogs don't need cereals in their diets. Let's go back in time to before dogs were domesticated...what did they eat? Cereals? No! They fed on meat. Since the prey they hunted were herbivores, they also ate the partially digested plant matter in their victim's stomachs. How many articles have you read regarding wild dog's poor health...exactly, none. While we shouldn't compare the behaviour of our everyday household dogs to the undomesticated wolves thousands of years ago, the science behind their diet is the same.
We didn't shop around or research the best food for our Cairn Terrier, Hobson when we first got him. He was our first dog. He was only 5 years old when he sadly had to be put down due to Kidney Failure. We are certain that his poor diet had a big part to play in this. Our German Sheppard Casper used to suffer from bad skin problems until he went onto a raw food diet, his skin cleared up in a number of weeks and he never had an issue again.
We have now been feeding our dogs on a BARF diet for over 10 years and they have thrived from it. I will always support a natural diet for dogs as I've seen the results first hand and in my opinion, this is by far the best diet for my dogs. I also like to throw in some cucumber, yogurt and egg. They love it!
Many Poochadise clients have also moved onto raw food and they have seen the benefits and noticed great changes in their dogs.
A bit of research never hurt anyone-it's a small step for dogs everywhere!
If you require more information on a BARF way of feeding, grab your pooch and pop into local shop;
Naturing by Nature
148 Pinehurst Road
The team are very friendly and are on hand to go through every aspect of raw feeding with you!