View Full Version : B.A.R.F.

05-21-2008, 08:13 PM
Does anyone feed their dogs the BARF diet? How did you get started? Please share your experiences, thanks!

05-21-2008, 08:25 PM
we got our first BIG dog at 12 weeks old..she was weaned onto the BARF. So it was a learning curve for us to prep and put the food together. the 2nd BBIG dog was on kibble when we got her at 12 weeks. we fed kibble with the raw chicken necks for a day or so and never looked back. our dogs have 2 chick meals and the 3rd is veggies, cottage cheese, a raw egg & a can of mackrel mixed. Their snack is an apple or banana. they also get vit c, e and the older gets chondrotin.. we check their ph and they are healthier than we are ...:eyes: I ain't eating raw chicken. There is a great book by a vet from Australia Dr. Billinghurst called _Give your dog a bone_ it gives so much info.

good luck!! :waving:

Jan in CA
05-21-2008, 10:00 PM

05-21-2008, 11:50 PM
It stands for bones and raw food.
I've been researching it recently due to my dog's allergies to most things in commercial food.

Doodknitwit about how much a month do you end up spending to feed them this way? Is it comparable to buying dog food from pet store?

05-22-2008, 11:05 AM
I want mine to eat as healthily as possible but I just can't make myself give her anything raw. I don't give her homemade food but do feed the best food that our holistic vet carries (Evo) and supplement it with healthy stuff--baked sweet potatoes, roasted chicken, and some other veggies and sometimes a little cottage cheese.

05-22-2008, 01:50 PM
I used to feed my Alaskan Malamute raw diet all chicken, bones fish carrots, etc he loved it and was very healthy. one benefit of the raw diet is no smelly poo always solid and dries white and turns chalky. But he took a liking to go bury his bone in the garden and then dig it up about 4-5 days later and it stank then he would eat it. The problem was that we live bordering on to fields and ended up with rats in the garden. So had to have an rat guy to come and lay down poison to get rid of them.

I would recommend you only give your dogs raw meat or bones where they can't hide them like a concreted patch that you could also wash down once in a while.
I have the book give your dog a bone and can thoroughly recommend it. read it from cover to cover it is very good.

The book goes into the background of the dogs digestive system and why it should in theory only have raw food. The cooking process changes the food and ruins the goodness. They need the enzymes in the raw meat which is not there when it is cooked or at least less of it.

Be warned that you may find your vet trying to talk you out of it, my vet was very sceptical and thought it all nonsense but looking at my dog she had to agree that he was in excellent health and have brilliant teeth very clean because of the workout they got chewing the bones.

05-22-2008, 02:24 PM
We used a modified B.A.R.F. diet, we cooked the chicken, and our dogs flourished on it. When we get a new pup, I hope to go back to it.

"Give Your Dog a Bone" is a good starting book for this.

05-22-2008, 04:38 PM
My Parson russell terrier is somewhere between 17 and 19 years old (at a guess), and he's been on the BARF diet for the past 2 years.

It was mainly at a suggestion from Barkbuster who visited my sister - allergy reasons, and then fairly closely followed by my mother putting her Labrador onto it (until then he had a very upset and dodgey digestive system).

Then my little guy followed suit soon after.

They eat: Chicken wings, turkey necks, oxtail, lamb breast, lamb necks, very occasionally they will have minced beef, pork etc.

Tripe is also a favourite, but only when my DH isn't around as he can't stand the smell!

All raw. And they love it.

The Give you dog a bone book is excellent, and a good starting place also.

You do have to watch out for the contamination risk, and my dog is either fed in the outhouse/lean to (tiled floor - which gets bleached and washed without fail), or it's thrown outside onto the concrete - which again can be washed down with bleach or jeyes fluid.

My guy doesn't bury his food, however one of my sister's dogs will.

Since being on it - my sisters dogs have had less problems with their allergies. My mum's labrador was less windy. And my guy has cleaner teeth (on one side...) than he's ever had.

Erm.. probably not one of the most pleasant things to talk about, but with their poo it's generally a lot firmer :shifty:, and there do seem to be less flies buzzing around.

Anyway, moving swiftly on - the only problem we had was what to give them for treats, there is a recipe I've got somewhere for a baked liver cake, and ours go mad for it.

Other than that, I give my guy those rawhide chews - in the shape of bones/shoes/baseballs... bonio's, cereal chews, and those dried pigs ears... and pigs noses.... always good for a giggle when someone comes to visit who is 1) a bit squeamish and 2) you're not that keen on!

My guy will also eat carrots until you think he's a rabbit.

I'll second Karina, your vet and any other "animal professional" will probably try to talk you out of it.

I was lucky though, and I've found a kennels (on the rare occasions it's needed) who are quite happy to follow my feeding regime for my guy.

Here he is...


Happy dog!

It stands for bones and raw food.
I've been researching it recently due to my dog's allergies to most things in commercial food.

Doodknitwit about how much a month do you end up spending to feed them this way? Is it comparable to buying dog food from pet store?

Meant to answer this in my previous post but forgot! We were feeding our dogs a hypo-allergenic, near top of the range dog food with extra toppings, (bit of tuna, or chicken or cheese) because otherwise they'd look at you as though you were trying to feed them rat poison or something! "You want me to eat that?!!! Where's the rest?" kinda look.

But since doing this, if you buy in bulk-ish, and get organised with keeping things in the freezer and defrosting things as needed, it actually for us works out cheaper.

Meant to add also, that my guy will just occasionally have the odd pasta and tuna meal, or if we've got any rice left over (having cooked too much...) he'll have that as a bit of a treat/extra.

One other thing - make sure the bits you give your dog are big enough for them to chomp - and not just swallow whole!

Good luck with it!

05-22-2008, 10:31 PM
When I got my little rat terrier the vet. said that a small amount of raw vegetables was the best diet I could give her. I feed her good dog food, but I believed him, just went for convenience.

05-23-2008, 01:17 AM
A little OT, but, it really surprises me that vet's discourage feeding dogs raw meat. I mean isn't that basically what they eat in the wild? Granted domesticated dogs aren't usually "in the wild" but, well, wild dogs are...lol...They're natural hunters and unless I'm mistaken, dogs don't typically cook their food :teehee: Does anyone know exactly why vet's discourage it? Is there a higher risk for bacteria and such in store bought raw meats as opposed to food dogs hunt?

05-23-2008, 02:35 AM
With the human handling part there is a risk of food borne illness. But I'm sorry, I sat though enough classes to know what I'm doing in that area. Also, from what I've read so far, vets get perks for recommending/selling a brand of food. Kinda like doctors and drug reps I would say.

05-23-2008, 05:51 AM
Jessica - sorry, I wasn't trying to teach you to suck eggs re the contam. subject. I think I just got a bit carried away, this is a subject that is close to my heart and I was posting enthusiastically. Almost it seems trying to snapshot the GYDAB book into one post! Apart from the bones spintering argument, the other argument that people throw at you is the bacteria/contam risk.

Cooking the bones makes them go brittle and they splinter. In their raw state, they don't do that.

I've also heard the theories that the vet's get perks for selling the dog food they normally have in their surgeries. I'm not sure on that one, not having a vet aquaintance to pin down on the subject :)

#heads back to making plarn....#

05-23-2008, 12:18 PM
Well the cost is ..50 cent a lb for chick necks...we buy and freeze... the two 150lbs dogs eat 1.75 lbs at a meal..twice a day.. the mackrel is $1. a can...cottage cheese( we get at Sam's) or it is cheaper..as are the huge cans of veggies we mix with it.. bbabnanas and apples they get one a day.. I do not have a total. But if we ought the premium kibble it would be expensive..+ most brands sdtill have the preservatives known to cause cancer in pets!!! we save $ on teeth is cleaning because they chew on big beef bones and their teeth are bright white.. they get calcium too from the diest and their bones are stronger. It is more thought and labor for sure BUT once you get a routine it is not a biggie. The raw meat not an issue for bacteria because it is refrig/frozen thawed and they eat it very quickly. hope this helps.

the place we got our 1st pup had 18 or so mastiffs she put on theis diet & their allergies ear problems went away within a week or so...

05-23-2008, 12:39 PM
This might not have anything to do with it, but when I was thinking about growing potatoes, the instructions I read said not to use potatoes from the grocery stores for the seed potatoes because of bacteria.

05-23-2008, 12:50 PM
E, I didn't take your post as anything towards me at all! Sorry I sounded like that but it was just a generalized statement! I sat though so many boring classes and I really should start to realize that they were worth something, I guess. (More of a work situation).

05-23-2008, 01:22 PM
Hi Jessica, no problem - really! just didn't want to take things for granted I guess. I just kinda started typing and the spiel came out!

And as much as I do the eye rolling and sighing when my mum goes off on one about the importance of watching contam's etc... I do kinda empathise in a way!

Anyway - hope all goes well with the doggy diet! (You should see the faces of the checkout girls at our shop when I go and stock up on chicken wings, and they ask if we're barbecuing, and I turn round and say "no, they're for the dog!")

05-23-2008, 02:11 PM
Probably be an even worse face if you told them you were BARFing your dogs! :teehee: I'm going to keep researching it and probably make the switch in a month or so, time to get things together *I hope*

05-23-2008, 07:15 PM
I've been feeding raw for 4 years now, due to my dog's allergies. When we get the time and space, we will be buying a big chest freezer and sides of cow. In the interim, we buy the pre-packaged raw food, which *is* expensive, but for us less expensive than trips to the vet. :wink: We've been very happy with Nature's Variety. My old dog (RIP little girl), was so miserable that we were going to put her down. We found a holistic vet, tried the food, and literally within a week she was making dramatic improvements and lived several more years. My puppy has SIBO and does great on raw.

If you decide to feed your dog raw, please do research what you're feeding them. It is very easy to make a mistake in the vitamin/mineral balances they need. There are placed that will create "raw recipes" for your dog based upon available products.

PS. My current vet knew nothing about raw feeding, but after looking at my puppy's health charts, and seeing her improve over the months, is convinced it can be a valid and healthy way for a dog to grow. At least for some dogs. :)

05-24-2008, 01:27 PM
It's cool to hear from someone else using a holistic vet. There is one right by us. I've wanted to go there forever but figured they would be out of my budget. Then I had car troubles, Abby had tapeworms, and they were walking distance so I had to go. I love them! They only do shots every three years and I like that. They are also big on supplements like I am. When I've asked other vets about them they have told me that she got what she needed from her food. They also pushed food that I didn't want to feed her because of by-products and the particular grains that were in them. I don't know if Abby feels better but I do because I think that this vet thinks more like I do (only with an education to back it up).