Is a raw or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet a good choice for your dog?
Some are for it — others are against it.
While some of us believe we are shortening our own lives as well as the lives of our beloved dogs with processed foods, others believe that dangers lurk in raw foods.
Advocates of feeding a raw diet believe that the ideal food for their dog would be very similar to that which a dog living in the wild would have access to, and they are often opposed to feeding their dog any sort of commercially manufactured pet foods, because they consider them to be poor substitutes.
On the other hand, those opposed to the raw or biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet, believe that the risks associated with food-borne illnesses during the handling and feeding of raw meats outweigh the purported benefits.
Perhaps an important question we humans need to ask ourselves is “Does it make sense to force our dogs to eat diets that are largely plant based, when dogs are carnivores who have little appetite for eating vegetables or fruit, their teeth are not designed to chew these foods and their digestive system is unable to digest them?”
Dogs thrived on a wild, raw diet for many hundreds of years before we humans intervened and decided we could do better. Unfortunately “better” has often meant that we have sacrificed our dog’s health for convenience.
Despite the fact that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that they do not advocate a raw diet for dogs, they do advise that for those who wish to take this route, following basic hygiene guidelines for handling raw meat can minimize any associated risks.
Further, high pressure pasteurization (HPP), which is USDA-approved for use on organic and natural food products, is being utilized by many commercial raw pet food manufacturers. This process uses high pressure, water-based technology to kill bacteria.
Interestingly, raw meats purchased at your local grocery store contain a much higher level of acceptable bacteria than raw food produced for dogs because the meat we purchase for human consumption is meant to be cooked, which will kill any bacteria present.
This means that the consumer can be quite certain that commercially prepared raw foods sold in pet stores for dogs will be safer than raw meats purchased in grocery stores.
Many lovers of high energy, working breed dogs will agree that their dog do best on a raw or BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet.
Although feeding a raw food diet may be controversial, the potential benefits of feeding a raw dog food diet are many, including:
• healthy, shiny coats
• decreased shedding
• fewer allergy problems
• healthier skin
• cleaner teeth
• fresher breath
• higher energy levels
• improved digestion
• smaller stools
• strengthened immune system
• increased mobility in arthritic pets
• general increase or improvement in overall health
A raw diet is a direct evolution of what dogs ate before they became our pets and we turned toward commercially prepared, easy to serve dry dog food that required no special storage or preparation.
The BARF 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 which are similar to the foods eaten by the dogs’ wild ancestors. The raw 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.
As well, with the many new diets and choices for feeding our dogs , we can choose a raw, yet dehydrated diet that is both appropriate for our dog’s nutrition and convenient for us humans to prepare, because all we have to do is add warm water.
Whether you choose to go the totally raw route when feeding your dog or land somewhere in the middle, keep in mind that, just as too much wheat in our human diet is having detrimental effects on our health, the same can be very true for our best fur friends who are also suffering from many of the same life threatening diseases that are rampant in our society as a direct result of consuming a diet high in genetically altered, impure, processed and packaged foods.
The helpful staff at www.PeachyKleenPets.comhope that you have found this article helpful and informative and that you will take a serious look at what food you are currently feeding your fur friends to make certain that you are making the best choices for the health of your canine companions.
Asia Moore — Ask a Dog Whisperer
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“With the proper training, Man can be dog’s best friend.”