What is the BARF diet?
The “BARF” (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food-OR-Bones And Raw Food ) was created by raw food proponent Dr. Ian Billinghurst (owner of the registered trademark ‘Barf Diet’ and the BARF World Distributor Network). Raw food proponents say is the proper way to feed them, because it returns them to their evolutionary diet.
The diet consists of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs’ wild ancestors. The food contains such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meats, vegetables and fruits combined in precisely the correct balance. When food is fresh, natural, raw, uncooked and unprocessed, raw food advocates say, it is packed full of the nutrients our animals friends need and crave. It is alive with the enzymes necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. All ingredients are human grade and sourced from USDA inspected facilities.
Billinghurst argues that the dog has evolved over many million years on a natural raw diet and logically, this is the ideal food source. He claims that processed foods are not what the dog was programmed to eat during its long process of evolution and says that foods similar to those eaten by the dog’s wild ancestors are more biologically appropriate. A typical BARF diet is made up of 60 to 80 percent of raw meaty bones(RMB), that is bones with about 50 percent meat and 20 to 40 percent of fruits and vegetables, offal, meat, eggs, or dairy foods.
There are various differences in opinion within the raw feeding community. One question is whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores; another is the safety of whole bones. Recipes range from those that include vegetables and grains, to a minimalist approach using only meat, bones, organ meat, and any necessary supplements
Advocates report health benefits, such as healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath, and shiny coat. Other benefits noted by some viewers included reduced trouble with anal sac impaction, better weight control, reduction or elimination of allergies (skin and intestinal), and a general increase in energy.