Raw dog food diet, also commonly known as BARF, which stands for Bones and Raw Feeding or Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding is an optimum way to provide a healthy diet for your dog. The diet mainly consists of raw meat, bones, fruits and vegetables. It may be a conventional way to feed your dog and have countable health benefits but many vets disagree.
Some of these benefits include:
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- Fresh breath and cleaner teeth
- Less dental disease
- Improved energy levels
- Improved digestion
- Improved weight control
- Increased mobility in aged animals
- Improved liver, pancreatic and bowel health
- Smaller stools
On the contrary, processed foods are unnatural and certainly nothing close to what your dog would have eaten out in the wild. To begin with, processed dog food is cooked and has preservatives. Many processed foods claim to provide balanced nutrition but are mostly rich in carbs and low in protein.
Raw dog food may have its benefits but there remain some real concerns when it comes to feeding raw food to your pets too. These include:
- Bacteria present in the raw meat may turn out to be really harmful for your dog.
- An unbalanced diet may damage the health of your dog if given for very long period of time.
- Feeding to your whole or sharp bones may cause them to choke, break teeth or cause internal injuries.
There are several other types of raw dog food diets that are available in the market including, frozen or freeze-dried and combination diets that include grains, vegetables and vitamins mixed with raw meat.
Many times issues like aggression and anxiety are directly linked to poor diet so switching to raw dog food may help your dog overcome them.
If you’re thinking of creating a raw food diet for your dog, following are some of the things you should include in order to create a balanced one:
Bones are a rich source of calcium. If you are feeding bones to your dog, make sure they still have some meat on them. It is better if the bones are edible and digested easily.
These can include chicken wings, turkey tails, lamb necks and pork necks.
Fish is a great source for your dog to provide them with fats. Feed your dog whole raw fish two times a week. You can also freeze the fish before feeding it to kill parasites.
You should feed your dog raw eggs at least twice a week. Eggs are an ideal source of calcium and phosphorus, the egg yolk is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
Fruits and vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals and fibers and it’s best if you incorporate it in the diet.
It depends on you and how you want to feed your dog raw food. Some dog owners cook food before feeding it to their dog, some try to add flavor before doing so.