Our feeding regime is based mainly on the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet. The idea being that raw food has the most amount of nutrients available to your pet. Dog food, even the good kind, has been enormously processed with a lot of the nutrients baked out of it. Then, to replace the loss, vitamins and minerals have been added back in. So why not just serve fresh food. Would you eat dog food? If the answer is an emphatic, ‘no,’ then why feed it to your beloved pet.
This diet does not take much time because it is raw and is not more expensive if you buy a high priced dog food. In fact, it is cheaper than the high priced dog food if you are a good shopper.
If you want to feed your dog a complete raw food mixture that is pre-prepared, there are now quite a few choices on the market. Read the ingredients and try and avoid organ meats. This is where a good deal of the hormones and antibiotics the animal has been fed will end up. We recommend: Oma’s Pride, Nature’s Variety, The Honest Kitchen, SoJo’s, Stella and Chewy, Bravo or Primal. We prefer frozen to freeze dried. If you decide to use this as a back up for when you are in a hurry, introduce this to your pup very slowly, a little bit at a time each day mixed in with the turkey/fish etc. so your pet will be used to it when you decide to use it.
WE FEED OUR PUPS:
Morning: A mixture of meat/fish.* Feed raw, never cooked and we add to this an equal amount of raw vegetables which is best to grind and then mix in with the meat. The meat is kept frozen and thawed overnight in the fridge for the next day feeding. We feed about 2 cups of this and as the pup grows, we increase it until our dogs are eating 4-6 cups by maturity. .
Evening: Large, raw meaty bones when they turn 6 months of age. Until then you can feed the morning meal without the vegetables and add some ripe fruit such as apples or bananas. Our puppies begin eating chicken wings at 6 weeks of age. At six months of age, we give our dogs raw chicken quarters, (leg and thigh). Remember, everything raw. Never cooked bones. You may also feed turkey wings and backs, pork neck bones, lamb breast, veal bones, outcuts (much cheaper), not marrow bones. The younger the farm animal, the more nutrition in the bones. If the bones are purchased fresh, they should be frozen before feeding and thawed in the fridge.
We feed these bone meals outside but if that is not possible, then feed it to your pet in a confined area such as a crate, garage or porch with easily cleaned floor etc. Areas where the dog pushes the bones around to chew should be disinfected after meals. This is a safety measure for the humans who are susceptible to salmonella, which dogs are not. We thaw our chicken in
water before serving because salmonella can be washed off.
If our dog gets too heavy, we cut back on the ground meat and increase the vegetables. We also give fewer bones. We adjust this as our dog grows. We cannot tell you a definite amount because a 90 lb dog at maturity may require more food when growing than a 75 lb female at maturity. The idea is to keep your dog on the thin side and let them mature SLOWLY.
Canned Mackerel, Tuna, or any fresh fish, ground turkey, heart, liver, tripe, buffalo, deer, rabbit, etc. DO NOT FEED NON ORGANIC BEEF until they reach maturity. The excessive amount of hormones encourages a pup to grow too fast which is detrimental to their bones and joints.
The best vegetables are fresh washed kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, swiss chard, green beans, squash, etc. We grind them in a cuisinart or chop finely. We vary this with some fruit, the more ripe the better. Our dogs have their favorites just like us and there will be some foods they won’t like but if mixed with the ground meat, they usually eat it. We also add raw egg shells to the ground vegetable mix as well as garlic (1/2 tsp) and a tsp of cod liver oil or salmon oil. This is optional as you are already feeding your dog fish.
Below is a recipe for supplementation. We do not do much of this but if you want you can either make the recipe below and add to your dog’s food after 18 months of age or you can buy NuPro which has close to the same ingredients. We recommend a tbsp twice a week at most.
2 cups of nutritional yeast
1 cup of lecithin granules
¼ cup of kelp powder
¼ cup of bone meal, (only if not giving bones on a regular basis)
1000 mgs of Vitamin C
Mix together in a quart container and refrigerate. You can make larger amounts at one time if desired
You will notice that some bodily functions will be different from what you are accustomed to with dog food. Don’t be alarmed, these are good things and here’s why:
1. Smaller, much firmer stools and sometimes only one movement a day. This is because the gets much more nutrition from this diet. His body uses almost all of it, leaving very little residue.
2. The stools may be white. This is due to the high bone content, and it is perfectly OK.
3. The stools may take longer to pass due to the firmness. This too is good as it causes the dog to naturally express anal glands.
4. Eating raw bones will keep their teeth sparkling white and cavity free.
IF YOU ARE SWITCHING OVER:
If you decide to switch your dog from dog food to this diet, please do it very slowly so their bowels stay constant. Take at least 2 weeks to do it. Start by adding a little bit of meat to their usual food. Then add more. If well tolerated, reduce the dog food slowly and then add vegetables. Continue slowly, adding new food and reducing old until your dog is switched over.
The following are places to source the diet supplies:
Nu-Pro with joint support formula: 1-800-360-3300 or www.nuprosupplements.com A 20 lb. Tub costs $120.00 plus shipping. This is the most economical, but it comes in smaller amounts.
KV Vet supply 1-800-432-8211: Cod liver oil by the gallon item number 40216 $17.90 plus shipping. Ester C in Healthy Mixture can also be bought here.
If you want to buy this food ready ground and mixed with vegetables as well as fish, bones and fruit and vegetables for those days you are in a rush: we recommend Oma’s Pride 1-800-678- OMAS or http://www.omaspride.com/index.html or Nature’s Variety, The Honest Kitchen, SoJo’s, Stella and Chewy, Bravo or Primal.
Ingredients for Healthy Mixture can be found in any Health Food Store or Supermarket.
To learn more about this diet, go to www.barfworld.com and order the book, The Barf Diet. This should answer any questions that may arise. Another good read is Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze, available at most book stores or Amazon.
This diet allows for lots of freedom. If you have just gotten a puppy, they will be on a feeding schedule but as he/she grows, you should change him/her to a more random feeding schedule. And sometimes it is good to fast him/her.