Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods
BARF is about feeding dogs and cats properly.
The aim of BARF is to maximize the health, longevity and
reproductive capacity of pets and by so doing, minimize the
need for veterinary intervention. How do you feed a dog properly?
You feed it the diet that it evolved to eat. Its evolutionary
diet. A Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet. A BARF diet.
The BARF diet is simple in philosophy and construction. It
looks at the diet of a wild or feral animal and mimics that
type of feeding regime using available whole raw foodstuffs.
The diet may be enhanced with various supplements. Once the
principles are understood, anybody can do this. No great
education is required.
the case of the cat, which is an obligate carnivore and a
hunter, the biologically appropriate diet is based largely
upon animal derived foods. Basically, whatever nutrition
can be derived from a whole fresh raw carcass in its
entirety constitutes a biologically appropriate diet.
In the case of the dog which is an omnivore, a hunter and
a scavenger, the diet can be based on a wider range of whole
raw foods of both animal and plant origin. Both species rely
on bones as a major part of their diet for a variety of reasons
including teeth cleaning and the myriad of benefits which
flow from that together with the nutritional attributes of
bones and their their psychological benefits.
Sheer Joy ...
"Eating bones for a dog is a joyous experience.
It is so enjoyed by dogs that it actually of itself boosts
their immune system"
The philosophy behind using BARF is that
the diet a dog or cat evolved to eat - over many millions
of years of evolution - is the best way to feed it. This
is the hypothesis accepted by most modern zoos or any zoologist
concerned with preserving a species of an endangered animal.
It is not the theory endorsed by most pet food companies
or the people they train - and that includes unfortunately
- many vets. If you want to feed your dog BARF, it means
not feeding your dog cooked and or processed food. That is,
not feeding your dog a diet based on cooked grains, no matter
how persuasive the advertising. Artificial grain based dog
foods cause innumerable health problems. They are not what
your dog was programed to eat during its long process of
biologically appropriate diet for a dog is one that consists
of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs' wild
ancestors. The food fed must contain the same balance and
type of ingredients as consumed by those wild ancestors.
This food will include such things as muscle meat, bone,
fat, organ meat and vegetable materials and any other "foods" that
will mimic what those wild ancestors ate. Please note that
modern dogs of any breed are not only capable of eating the
food of their wild ancestors, but actually require it for
maximum health. This is because their basic physiology has
changed very little with domestication despite obvious and
dramatic changes in their current physical appearance and
BARF Mimics the evolutionary
diet of Dogs
The BARF diet must, from a practical point
of view, use food that is readily available. BARF feeders
do not have to go hunting or send their dogs out to hunt.
That is why I said BARF must mimic, not duplicate the evolutionary
diet of dogs. This is an important distinction. The BARF
feeder will MIMIC as closely as possible rather than duplicate
the NATURAL diet of the dog. We are not trying to return
our dogs to nature. It is impossible to feed any domestic
animal its natural diet, let alone allow it to live under
natural conditions. The natural diet and natural conditions
under which the ancestors or wild cousins of our dogs live
include grave dangers such as lack of shelter, starvation,
attack by potential food, attack by other predators and the
non use of medical intervention. In other words, natural
diets and natural conditions can be deadly! They are not
what we want for our pets. What we want for our dogs is a
diet and an environment that maximizes health. That means
a Biologically Appropriate Diet rather than a natural diet.
This is my favorite use of the term BARF - Biologically Appropriate