Dogs are carnivores, natural scavengers and as such BARF is all about feeding your dog as nature intended.
In the natural environment, their food would not have been cooked, they would have eaten every part of the food from the flesh and bones to the skin and fur.
Commercial dog food, kibble and cans are labelled as " complete and balanced nutrition" which is untrue. The ingredients are not biologically appropriate. It is often low quality, heavily processed and laden with chemicals and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are linked to a number of health issues in dogs including diabetes and cancers.
How do I start feeding Raw?
Your dogs diet can be gradually changed over a one to two week period, gradually introducing up to 50% of raw meat with 50% of your dogs usual diet. Some dogs will tolerate having kibble and raw in the same bowl, others prefer to have two bowls to separate them
Ensure your dog is tolerating this before moving on, some dogs will take a little longer to get used to the change. Starting with chicken or turkey mince will help your dog to manage the transition more easily as these foods are usually well tolerated.
How much do I feed?
You can work out how much to feed your dog using our feeding / weight chart and calculator. The amount fed would depend on the calculations but also on your dog and his/her toleration to the food.
A good place to start is using 2-3% of bodyweight for an adult dog.
Aim for ratio of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal. A gradual build up of all the foods is recommended. Start small and increase to the correct amount gradually.
Not eating the raw food ?
A healthy dog will not starve if they walk away at first and leave the bowl untouched. Simply remove the bowl, do not offer their usual food or treats in its place. Offer the bowl back again at the next feed time.
Be flexible with your dog and their preferences and have patience.
Keeping a log of the food given to your dog will help you to ascertain which he prefers , ready for your next order of BARF
Frozen or thawed – guidelines for handling.
BARF can be offered thawed or for those dogs who gulp down their food, it can be given semi frozen.
Fish can be given fully frozen and chopped up as a treat.
Feed bones safely, always :
- supervise when feeding bones
- do not feed bones which have been cooked as they will splinter. Always feed raw bones, especially those with meat on them, they will love them.
- choose bones carefully depending on the size of your dog, too small or too large could be a choking hazard. Hand feed greedy dogs until they settle
- watch your dog`s poo, if it is white and crumbly, your dog is having too much bone so reduce this.
Treat BARF as you would any raw meat at home and pay particular care to washing your hands , equipment and work surfaces with hot soapy water and anti-bacterial sprays, as directed on the packs. Washing your hands for 20 seconds with hot soapy water before and after dealing with BARF is essential for health.