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Please describe the BARF diet


Guest newbie greyluv
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Guest newbie greyluv

I've seen the BARF diet mentioned in several posts. Could someone describe what it's all about? Why does it seem controversial? I don't want to open a can of worms here - I'm just looking for information. TIA.

 

crazy canuck :)

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Guest mleg2001

Barf is basically a natural diet of raw meats and vegetables

Here is a link to Cindy's website describing what she feeds

and links to other sites and references to books about feeding raw barf

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Guest newbie greyluv

AAck! Sorry....I found the webpage describing the BARF diet (Cindy and Thunder). Good things come to those who sit and surf!

 

crazy canuck :rolleyes:

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Guest lisaluvsgreys

I read the BARF site, and was shocked to find out that they put flea collars in kibble! YUCK! Why in the world would they do that? :repuke

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Cindy-

 

This looks easier than I thought it would be. How much does this cost you per week? (I am a vegetarian so I have no idea about the cost of meat). Thanks.

 

:)

Angel Sonny aka Whistlin Bill, 62314; Carmella aka Eg Rain Dust, 81693

Plus Boudreaux, Calzone & Hops the cats, Katie & Tony the humans and our Terrific Skinkids Tommy and Jimmy

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars...Oscar Wilde

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Guest midgie1007

If you can find a meat distributor or a butcher near you to get really low prices it can be a very cost effective way to feed. I have yet to find either, but the grocery stores around me all sell a variety of meats for under $1/lb. I use chicken necks and backs as the main staple...they are .49/lb.

 

Long story short...you feed around 3% body weight...give or take depending on your dog. My girl is 70ish...so she gets around 2lbs per day. I probably spend $10 per week feeding her.

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Guest GHLady

Not everyone believes that it's wise to feed our dogs raw meat, bones and poultry. Here's one link, but there are many others in opposition to raw diets. Do your research and make an informed decision. :)

Against BARF

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Guest midgie1007

Though what one also has to keep in mind...most 'nutritional studies' are funded by pet food companies b.c. they are the ones with the money to do them, and most vets only get a 2-3 week course on animal nutrition.

 

I say read everything you can find for and against the diet. There are also a multitude of discussion boards out there with many people willing to help and answer questions.

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Guest sue119

The link posted by GHLady has quotes from a vet that works for Iams. Of course they are going to be against BARF, they are trying to sell their product. As far as the splintering bones, most likely those were *cooked* bones, not raw. You should never feed a dog cooked bones. Also, just as we humans do not eat a 100% balanced meal "every single day," it's unrealistic to think that dogs have to eat that way.

 

However, my opinion is the same as GHLady's...don't rely on one source to help you make your decision. Do your research, talk with your vet and a holistic vet. I have successfully fed Gracie a BARF diet but I also feed her a variety of high quality kibble (Solid Gold, Canidae, California Natural, Innova). Do your research and do what's best for you.

 

Sue

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No surprise here - I'm a BARF advocate. But I must say that you should not just "Feed the dog a bone" -- in order to do the diet correctly, please read as much as you can on natural, home prepared meal plans.

 

1. Give Your Dog a Bone -- Ian Billinghurst, DVM

2. Grow your Pup With Bones -- Ian Billinghurst, DVM

3. The Ultimate Diet -- Kymythy Schultz

4. Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats -- Richard H. Pitcairn, Susan Hubble Pitcairn

5. The Nature of Animal Healing : The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat -- Martin Goldstein D.V.M.

6. Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog -- Wendy Volhard, Kerry L. Brown

 

Search on the internet for information (both pros and cons) to this way of feeding.

 

Its not without risk. Yes, a dog could get salmonella or e-coli from raw meat. THey could also get it from licking their anus or eating poop. ;) The dog's digestive tract is very short and the digestive enzymes are very strong. Things that woudl kill a human don't even phase a dog.

 

I buy my meats from a wholesaler -- $.29 / lb for chicken backs/necks. This is teh staple here.

 

Thunder eats about 1.5 lbs of raw meaty bones per day. He also gets a few "meatballs" - ground beef mixed with ground veggies and his supplements. (glucosomine+chondroiton; vit c; CoQ10; Vit E; EFA).

 

I also give him chicken livers and other offal 3x per week.

 

I've been feeding this way for 2.5 years with nothing but success. I know people who have been feeding this way for 20 years with success.

 

Again, its not without risk. You have to weigh the risks vs. the benefits and for me, the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Thunder's been fine; I've been fine.

 

I spend about 1 hour and $7 per week to get Thunder's food for the week ready.

 

In the early days it was more because I weighed all the meats and really took my time. Now, its easy breezy - takes no time at all ;)

 

A raw diet is not for everyone. If you're interested in a home prepared diet but not raw, try the Pitcairn recipes. They are cooked and come highly recommended. Volhard and Pitcairn are cooked diets. They also offer things to add to kibble to make it more nutritious.

 

I hope this helps some!

 

Cindy

Cindy Missing my Thunder... Copper and Cowboy

 

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The dog's digestive tract is very short and the digestive enzymes are very strong. Things that woudl kill a human don't even phase a dog.

 

This could be why I was home sick with food poisoning yesterday and Jet was fine!

 

As for the BARF diet... read read read read talk talk read some more. Do a lot of reasearch (both pro and con) and decide what is best for you.

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Guest Yossarian

I am ambivalent about the subject. But I have come across a number of articles, both pro & con. Here is a pretty good synopsis of the debate, with good reference and support for either side. I submit it for your consideration:

 

To BARF or not to BARF...

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I found the bulk of the article to be cons and would encourage people to read the following as well (for a more "pro" point of view)

 

BARF "How To" and Pictoral

 

Barf FAQs

 

Another BARF FAQ

 

More Info on BARF

 

Dr Ian Billinghurst's Page

 

Dr. Tom Lonsdale's RMB Page

 

Just Food For Thouhgt (pardon the pun)

 

Cindy

Cindy Missing my Thunder... Copper and Cowboy

 

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Guest sheila

Well I can't possibly read all of those links. I'm a 'after work' GTalker and there isn't enough time tonight, maybe this wkend......between lawn mowing, laundry, dog walkiing.....

This is what I feed my dogs and they seem to do well and love me for my efforts.

I feed Natural Balance and alternate with supplements such as veggie slop, turkey necks, eggs and jack mackerel.

Veggie Slop is steamed and blended broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, yams, turnips, carrots, gr beans, artichoke hearts, and whatever else I find that week in the produce aisle.

Every morning- just plain kibble with a little warm water

Evenings- I alternate

Eve 1- kibble with 1/2 can each of jack mackerel and a scoop of Veggie Slop

Eve 2- one turkey neck each and then kibble with Veggie Slop and egg (nuked to kill the baddies)

twice a week- I might slip in a little a bit of 1/2 cooked hamburger

They get a slice of hot dog each night as a treat and a Derm-cap delivery system. Kiowa gets Missing Link right now in his kibble.

I will read all of the articles as soon as I have time. But I think I'm feeding my kids very well and they are happy and healthy. Poops are fine, skin and coat are fine, and best of all they love me to pieces all of the time and especially at dinner time.

BTW my vet sells SD and when I told him what I was feeding (and what I thought of SD) he said my boys were spoiled but in a nice way. He can't say much about SD because that would be tattling. We also have an Alpo/Friskies/Purina plant here in town so his tongue is truly tied.

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Well I can't possibly read all of those links.

 

For anyone else reading, contemplating a raw diet, I very strongly urge you to read not only the links provided in this post but the books mentioned as well.

 

The BARF diet done wrong can mean disaster. Done correctly, it can provide a way to provide wonderful, nutritious, healthy, whole foods to your pet.

 

Don't take my word for it, thought --- read read read!!!

 

Here's an excellent link to an article written by a raw feeder of nearly 20 years. Natural Diet -- DON'T Just Do It

Cindy Missing my Thunder... Copper and Cowboy

 

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GPA-Wisconsin

 

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Guest sheila

*SIGH* Just what I needed (not) to be given MORE things to read. And when everything I read (and read and read and read) seems to contradict something else I read......ARGH! I think I'm feeding my kids well though their diet might need a little fine tuning. If someone has an OPINION on what I'm feeding, I would like to know what specific thing you think I'm doing wrong. Too much of one thing, not enough of something else?? Just when I was starting to feel really good about the way I feed my dogs, tonight after reading these posts I feel totally lame and stupid.

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Shelia -

 

try posting to Naturally Grey -- its a bulletin board for people looking to go with a home prepared (raw) diet.

 

There are lots and lots of very knowledgable people there who can help you fine tune what you're doing. Lots and lots of experience ...........

 

Cindy

Cindy Missing my Thunder... Copper and Cowboy

 

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Guest Phoebesmom

Couldn't the same be said for Human animals - that we originally ate all raw foods - Native Americans ate the heart of a newly killed animal - No thanks! Fads like these can be dangerous. Ask a vet who has done surgery on a perforated or obstructed bowel because a dog ate bones! Raw bones are brittle too - if they were soft, the animal couldn't stand up! Please check with your Vet before trying any fad diets.

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Couldn't the same be said for Human animals - that we originally ate all raw foods - Native Americans ate the heart of a newly killed animal - No thanks! Fads like these can be dangerous. Ask a vet who has done surgery on a perforated or obstructed bowel because a dog ate bones! Raw bones are brittle too - if they were soft, the animal couldn't stand up! Please check with your Vet before trying any fad diets

 

Why do I feel like the constructive discussion we were having just flew out the window??

 

 

First, your statement about Native Americans eating the heart of a newly killed animal is *NOT* what the Native Americans ate on a dialy baisis. It was NOT the bulk of their diet and you've taken it out of context. Many human cultures (including the American culture) eat rare meat on a regular basis.

 

Some people do eat an evolutionary diet -- vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Meat, by many, is NOT considered part of the human evolutionary diet.

 

Second, raw bones are NOT brittle -- I can break them with my bare hands! Chicken necks are very flexible and soft. The bones break easily. The raw diet proponents advise NOT to feed leg bones, for example. They are harder than neck bones. However, have you ever seen a dog eat a bone? Thunder happily crunches through (and completely digests) a chicken back or neck (and yes, I've fed legs, too).

 

Third, the "BARF diet" is not a fad. I see KIBBLE as the fad. Kibble has existed for less than 100 years. The Canine for tens of 1000's. What did dogs eat before kibble? What do wolves (who are nearly identical, genetically to our modern house dogs) eat? Our dogs evolved eating raw meat and bones (and stomach contents, random fallen fruits, vegetation, dung of other animals, dead, rotting carcases, etc...)

 

Your warning seems extreme and alarmist. Yes people should talk with their vets but just because its different than what you feed doesn't mean its bad or wrong.

 

I've tried to provide useful information that people can sift through to make their own decision based on their comfort level. I may never change your mind but please provide real information rather than random warnings.

 

Sigh.

Cindy Missing my Thunder... Copper and Cowboy

 

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I haven't yet had a chance to do much research on the BARF diet although I am very intereseted in putting Shadow (& possibly Mandy) on it due to his food allergies. He still has a ways to go before I can change his diet again - he is not compeltely back to normal yet. Once my project deadline at work has past, the end of this month, I will have some spare time again and will start reading.

I have a question though. Both Mandy and Shadow tend to gulp down their food and I know it will make me very nervous to give either of them a raw bone. I'm afraid they will try to gulp them down without crunching and chewing them completely. Does/or did Thunder do this? And if so, what was your solution? Or if you have any suggestions?

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The first several days, I'd hold a wing by one end and let Thunder chew with the other.

 

They really just chew enough to swallow. Its not rare to have THunder chew 2x and swallow (if its small) For large RMBs (raw meaty bones) like backs, I let him chew to his hearts content on a towel on the floor or outside.

 

Cindy

Cindy Missing my Thunder... Copper and Cowboy

 

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Guest sheila
I let him chew to his hearts content on a towel on the floor or outside.

:lol:lol Sorry, I just got a visual of me trying to get each dog to lay with a towel in front of them to gnaw on their bone. With three dogs, each chasing mom who is holding a yummy bones....Well that's not gonna' happen. I boot all three of them outside now and let each go to their favorite corner of the yard and supervise to make sure they behave.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to do a whole raw diet yet. The premium kibble (Natural Balance) and the veggie slop is the base of their meal. Not perfect, but still pretty darn good IMO. Then I supplement with turkey necks, fish, and eggs and for Kiowa- Missing Link.

Kiowas balding butt is getting hair and he is filling out (he's always been a little on the too skinny side) X had terrible dandruff when I got him and he is now flake-free. Katy is over 9yrs old and bounces like a puppy still, noboby believes me when I say she is a senior.

As far as bones....I feel comfortable with the raw beef knuckle bones (which don't splinter BTW) and the marrow bones (only the big ones that they can't swallow whole) These are always given with supervision. Turkey necks have more cartilege than bone and feel safe. I'm still not sure about chicken backs/legs. Yrs of conditioning about them being splintery has me spooked.

Thanks Cindy for the link I may give that a try too. :)

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Guest GHLady
The dog's digestive tract is very short and the digestive enzymes are very strong. Things that woudl kill a human don't even phase a dog.

 

E.coli in 4D meat has caused Alabama Rot in Greyhounds. It is the same E. coli that causes illness and death in people.

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Guest midgie1007

Which is why we feed human grade meats you can buy in a grocery...not dead, dying, diseased, and down meat.

 

Some animals, due to illness or some other weakness, do not have as strong an immune system as others. So the risk is there...very minimal but there.

 

I know my grey has eaten nice and rotten roadkill before I could grab it out of her mouth, and she was fine. The meats I feed, however, are much cleaner than that though.

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