What Is BARF & Will a Raw Food Diet Benefit Your Dog?
You’ve probably heard about raw diets for dogs. You likely know that many dog pawrents struggle to DIY their dog’s raw diet. That’s where BARF comes in. What Is BARF? BARF, an acronym for “biologically appropriate raw food,” is a way to provide dogs with a balanced diet with exceptional nutritious value. In other words, premium BARF diets offer dog pawrents an easy way to feed their dogs without the worry that their dog will develop a deficiency and without having to handle raw meat.
How Does BARF Differ from a Regular Raw Diet for Dogs?
A raw diet that is balanced to meet your dog’s nutritional needs is quite different than canned food or kibble.
Developed from Dr. Billinghurst’s research on an evolutionary diet that reflects dogs’ ancestral needs, BARF provides dogs with a nutrient-dense diet that better sustains a dog’s lifelong health.
BARF diets are nutritionally balanced. They include vegetables, eggs, yogurt, kelp, and herbs.
When commercial dog foods are processed, the ingredients lose their full nutritional pawtential. Once heated beyond 48-degrees, the active enzymes begin to break down. Cooking your dog’s food also degrades the nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamins B6 and B2, magnesium, and potassium. BARF diets also reduce your dog’s intake of dangerous chemicals and preservatives since they’re most often preserved by freezing and dehydration.
How Does a BARF Diet Benefit Dogs?
A BARF diet comes with countless health benefits for dogs that cannot be found in the typical cooked kibble or canned food. When properly prepared, a BARF diet is better for dogs than a processed diet. The biggest advantages of a BARF diet include:
- Lower levels of saturated fats and higher levels of healthy, unsaturated fats. These are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids, which improve a dog’s coat, skin, and improve joint health.
- Improved dental health. Your dog’s mouth is the window to their health, after all. And better oral hygiene can extend your dog’s life up to three years. This also comes with the added benefit of better breath and more enjoyable kisses.
- Higher energy levels from purer real meat proteins.
- Complete nutrition with high levels of iron and zinc for improved immune health and dispersal of oxygen throughout the body.
- Higher levels of calcium for strong bones.
- Micronutrients, including microbes, vitamins, and strong protein chains.
- Better digestion from greater beneficial bacteria diversity in the gut.
- Smaller stools due to greater utilization of food.
There are additional benefits beyond your dog’s physical health when it comes to a BARF diet.
A BARF diet also gets your dog more excited about mealtime. Why? Dogs crave meat, and when left in its natural state, your dog can more easily recognize each ingredient, including the meat they instinctively love. They also experience fuller, richer flavour.
When you feed your dog a BARF diet, you also commit to a more environmentally sustainable source of food for your dog. BARF diets also use more of the whole animal, so less goes to waste.
BARF also comes along with a wide array of behavioural benefits for pooches.
Can Feeding My Dog a BARF Diet Be Dangerous?
When it comes to concerns related to your dog’s diet, a BARF diet can actually be safer than mass-produced dog foods that come from China and elsewhere. Some of the most egregious being those recalled due to fatal mould, the finding of euthanasia drugs in the food, and nutritional imbalance.
Dogs have shorter digestive tracts and more acidic stomachs, which makes them better adapted for handling potential pathogens. And BARF food comes with proper feeding instructions to keep your pup safe, your family safe, and you safe.
BARF includes bones, so there is a higher risk of choking for dogs, so always keep an eye on them as they eat.
In fact, dog pawrents are just as likely to transfer E. coli or salmonella into their food from everyday interactions with their pets without washing their hands afterwards.
Is a BARF Diet Right for All Dogs?
Not necessarily. Dog parents with pups with unique medical needs such as diabetes should consult their vets before switching to a BARF diet.
Can I Make a BARF Diet for My Dog?
Yes, you can. Getting the balance right can be tricky. And getting the balance wrong can be deadly. Remember, that a raw diet is more than just ground meat.
If you’re planning to make homemade raw dog food, consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure your dog is receiving everything they need to thrive and stay healthy. You will also want to review safe food handling protocols.
A Better BARF for Your Dog
Petzyo offers dog pawrents a better option when it comes to BARF. Our BARF recipes are complete, balanced, and delicious for dogs. We ensure every meal we craft includes what dogs need for optimal health including:
- High-quality protein from single meat sources
- Water for hydration
- Beneficial fats
- Carbohydrates for energy and digestive health
- Vitamins and minerals
Our BARF meals are anything but ordinary. We include fresh herbs and spices for irresistible, mouthwatering flavour. We also prepare our foods without any chemicals or preservatives to protect your dog’s wellbeing.
A Petzyo BARF diet keeps your dog happy, healthy, and active while keeping your kitchen clean and schedule open.
Want to learn more about BARF before deciding if it is right for your beloved dog? Check out our complete guide on BARF.