When I started thinking about the "Raw Thing" I had no idea what it was all about. As I was a child that was raised to be as "Natural" as can be- limited/no drug use, no white bread, natural homeopathic way of life. It was only natural that I would turn to this way of life for my 4 legged children.
BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food. This diet is all about feeding dogs properly and returning them to their evolutionary diet.
A Biologically Appropriate diet for a dog is one consisting of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs' wild ancestors. The food must contain such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meats, vegetable and fruit materials combined in precisely the correct balance just as Mother Nature intended.
A typical BARF diet is made up of 60-80% of raw meaty bones(RMB), that is bones with about 50% meat,(e.g. chicken neck, back and wings) and 20-40% of fruits and vegetables, offal, meat, eggs, or dairy foods.
As raw diets can range from meticulously prepared and tested to diets composed of a variety of meats and butchers' scraps, the nutritional balance of a raw diet can vary greatly depending on the recipe. However, supporters of raw feeding believe that not every meal needs to be "complete and balanced", and that nutritional balance can be achieved over time by feeding a wide variety of meats, fats, bones and organs from several sources, such as chicken, turkey, lamb, cattle, pigs, fish, rabbits, etc, and even wild game. The general belief among the supporters of raw diets is that pets have no more complex nutritional requirements than humans, and that a variety of ingredients over time will provide the pets with a sufficiently balanced diet.
Some proponents of raw diet claim noticeable benefit to the dental hygiene of pets who eat raw bones, while others believe that ground bone should be used instead, to prevent the possibility for intestinal puncturing and dental fractures. The abrasion between bone and teeth when chewing is believed to scrape off dental plaque. Cartilage, ligaments, and tendons are thought to act as a natural dental floss. The chewing and tearing action is also believed to strengthen the jaw, neck and shoulder muscles, keep the digestive juice flowing and boost the neurological and immune system.Proponents of ground bones believe that the chewing of muscle meat may also assist in keeping teeth clean.
As I don't have time to completely feed Raw and make all the necessary changes I have chosen to do this half way- Feeding my dogs one meal of Raw and one meal of kibble, this way they get the benefits of a Raw diet and also get the needed nutrients set out in kibble.
As there are some supporters that are FULLY dedicated to Raw and have strong opinions that absolutely no kibble should ever be used- I believe use what works for YOU!
As with any new things in my life, I started this journey with LOTS of reading and research to find out if this new feeding would work for me and my dogs. I soon discovered that it could be done at any scale so there began my task of getting the kids ready for a fun, food journey.
Currently the crew is feed Raw in the morning(more water content) this was decided as in the winter when they are outside all day, water is limited/frozen in our northern temperatures. This meal consists of 1 cup of either Raw ground beef or chicken(organs, fat, bone etc mixed in)and 2 tablespoons of juiced veggies usually consisting of any of the following-carrots, beets, spinach, squash, celery, collard greens , apples, oranges, grapes, mangoes, bananas, peas, green beans, blueberries.
I also use a variety of oils- flax, salmon, hemp etc, the key is to use a variety of EFA's, on occasion I also add kelp powder or any other supplement. Mixing up the recipe usually depends on the time of year, how the dogs are reacting and what is going on in our lives.
Well that is my BARF story... Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions