Generally, most dogs do very well on a barf diet, the down side is more on a practical side. The most important thing is to do your research first, so you know what to feed and what to avoid before you start, so you are giving your dog a balanced diet.
On a practical side, you need to feed a wide range of meats so need access and storage (ie freezer) Most people I know who feed barf prepare it in batches and freeze it.
Personally, I don’t have the time or facilities to consider it. There are a few excellent completes on the market, and I feed one of those. However, if my circumstances were different, or if I had a dog that did not do well on a complete, I would certainly feed it.
There is a forum for barf users which you may want to join – they also list suppliers. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BritBarf/
A couple of books which you may want to read are:
The Ulitimate Diet for Cats and Dogs by Kmythy Schulze
The BARF diet by Ian Billingshurst
my labs and sprocker and all the dogs i look after at work are on the BARF diet, we hardly see the vet now as their health has improved the dogs are a lot calmer and are able to concentrate and focus on their work a lot better, in fact it is so good Tess one of my own labs has had to go on a diet since being on the barf diet as it thouroughly agrees with her .
i admit though i was nervous at first about feeding chicken wings etc to my dogs at first but to see the reaction to dinner time now is brilliant, in fact a few times when i havent been able to get meat or have forgotten to get meat out and i have fed the dogs James WellBeloved they have looked at me in disgust and refused to eat.
their coats are shiny, no itching or hyper behaviour i would thouroughly recommend BARF to anyone
hi thanks for the message, well ive decided to do it i started her a week ago, and she loves it! i got to admit i was nervous with the chicken wings, but she loves them, ive noticed she seems more content and not as eager to chew other things!! so far so good, she likes the mince too i keep you posted!!!
Wish i'd seen your article sooner, any way I have 2 kennelled dogs living outside, and I have found nothing better to feed them on than fresh tripe from the arbotoirs, until recently, when I started having problems getting it because of licensing rules, which I am present trying to sort out so that I can get them back on to it. Their condition was good until I had to give them dry food which they are not too keen on, not to mention making them loose weight. I f I could I would try and convince anyone to give this type of BARF diet a try.
I've also heard it's supposed to be incredibly good and healthy for dogs.
I was recently shown an article about a vet in Australia who had recommended this diet to a woman for her dogs, and she spent on average $1000 a month on vets bills for her 20 collies, and these bills came down to $0 once she had transferred them to the BARF diet.
Unfortunately the Veterinary Assoc. didn't like his views and kicked him out! :roll:
I feel I have to add a note of caution to the Barf issue. Don't want to offend anybody and it's up to each person what they feed their dog, but it's certainly not right for 'any' dog, just as not every dry food suits every dog. I know one dog who suffered enormously on Barf and now has all sorts of food intolerances because of the constant colitis that ensued. The owner kept him on the diet for months as pro-Barfers kept telling her the dog's deterioration was due to the fact it was getting rid of 'toxins'. And yes, she was following the correct Barf guidelines after a great deal of research. A particularly nasty part of it was that when she finally stopped feeding barf, some of the members of the pro-Barf forum she was a member of told her she was a traitor for giving it up!
My dogs thrive on good quality dry food - have plenty of energy, glossy coats, no skin/coat problems etc. So I think find a food that's right for your dog and works, and stick to it, whatever it is.
I'm currently reading up about raw food feeding with a view to changing Harvey completely over to it soon
Although I hope for health benefits I cant really say hes doing badly on his current complete diet so dont expect to see an immediate improvement in his appearance, but what convinces me to give it a try is watchng ithe sheer joy he gets from eating raw natural food
The question I ask myself is if a complete pelleted food was developed for humans that gave us all the nutrients, protein etc, to maintain a healthy life how many of us would switch to it instead of eating the varied natural food we now eat? ... not me for one!, so I dont feel comfortable depriving my dog from getting the same pleasure from eating as I get
As swillsy rightly says, its up to the individual how we choose to feed our dogs, but if we are honest with ourselves we allow the convenience of complete foods to strongly influence that choice
It's certainly true that complete foods are convenient, but I can honestly say that that is not the reason I will not - ever - feed raw food. I sometimes cook for Ruthie, which takes far longer! And 'sheer joy' does describe my dogs' attitude to their meals.
I would also say that there is nothing 'natural' about almost all of today's meat.
I won't say any more, as I don't want to start an argument. I just felt that the thread needed the other point of view in the interests of balance. There are plenty of cautionary websites with ex Barfers' experiences if anybody wants to read them.
Having said all that, I really hope he does well on the raw diet. Many dogs do.
I have read the views from people and I've got to disagree withfeeding certain dogs dry food, because of the environment!!!!!!! If you take a dog solely fed on a dry complete dog food and compare it to a dog fed totally on fresh tripe I think you would all be astonished at how much LESS dog mess (poo to some of you) there is for a dog fed on tripe than on dry food, far better for the environment , you will probably say. and I have to agree!!! in all ways..
Have never heard of the environmental argument for feeding dry food Brighteye - I agree that doesn't seem to make sense! On the other hand Ruthie produces very little in the way of poo and she is on Autarky - so it does depend on the particular dry food.
This is mostly directed to those opposed (sp?) to barf
But wot to do IF you have tried soo many different dry food brands, and
your dog just isnt thriving?
My Luna has tried several brands.. And have been having problems of some sort on all or mostly all..
I made some stupid moves in the beginning, which has led us to where we are now...
Luna is my first dog, and as a newbie, I just listened to wot people say and go from there..
When I got Luna at 8½ weeks old she was fed on Nutro Choice Large Breed Puppy.. But at the time it was impossible for me to get hold of without a car, so when she was about 7 months old I switched to Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy, but she got dry skin and mushy poo, so after 9 weeks I switched to Hills Science Plan Natures Best.. She did good on this... (This is where I then make a mistake) I've made a good friend in another puppy owner, unfortunatel her dog isnt doing well on the Hills food, and as the dog were eating together every day, we both saw the logic in feeding the same brand... So we tried a danish brand made on salmon. This didnt agree with her system... She was soft and shiny, but her breath reeked of rotten fish... Her teeth were still nice and white, so my vet thought it was cos she couldnt absorb the food...
So.. I switched to Nutro.. a friend of mine were going to the petstore and offered to take the food with her... She unfortunately bought Nutro Choice Lamb&Rice instead of Chicken&Rice... Oh well. I could just aswell try it... No good.. neither was Nutro Choice Chicken&Rice.. Luna itched.. I tried another danish brand, which were without wheat, soy and should be good... Yeah but not for Luna... She got mushy poo:-(
I then thought.. why not switch back to wot she was good on?? Hills SP Natures Best.. I did... wot a mistake...
I'm convinced Luna has a problem with wheat and/or gluten.. Now we are on Artemis (after a period of 3 weeks on homeboiled rice and whitefish)Holistic Fresh mix..
But she poops 3 times a day now, and the portions have doubled in size (all 3 of them!!!)... She never used to poo more than 2 times a day..
Hi jeanette, what a nightmare One of the biggest broblems you may be having now is that you have made so many changes in such a short space of time has simply but completely upset Luna's whole system..
So, not going to take you down the BARF route, but a few questions
Personally there are only 2 brands of those you have listed that I would feed, but since you dont have a good enough choice, you now have to go with what suited Luna best and work on that.
so... Which of the foods did you feel she did best on.
What was her main problem with the food you considered good but not good enough
After the main problem were there any additional minor problems with the food
Can you list out the feeds and problems each food caused, also the period on which she was fed each food ie 2 or 3 months etc.
Can you get nature diet or natures menu over there, these are frozen fresh foods.
I'm at work now, but will look in my calendar, when I come home...
But if I was to say anything right now. I would say she was doing best on the Nutro Large Breed puppy which was the first she got.. BUT the ingredients in the Nutro Choice Large Breed isnt much different than the ingredients in Nutro Choice Lamb&Rice or Chicken&Rice, and those 2 she scratched herself on.... :?
The Hennes Pet Food - the danish food based on salmon was wonderful for her BUT her body couldnt absorb it, so that was the stench from her belly... YUK, when your dog is spoiled and sleep in your bed...
She was on the Nutro Large Breed Puppy and adult for 5 months.. The problem back then was availibility... But now I have a drivers license and possibility to borrow a car...
I believe she was on the Hennes Pet Food for 3 months or so.. about 1½ bag.. 20 kg or so...
Unfortunately I wasnt all that good in writing down every day... So wot I wrote in the other post is really wot I have... :?
The Eukanuba gave her gass and I must honestly say, I dont really want to feed her Eukanuba...
I dont mind Barf at all.. Infact I'm getting closer and closer to the switch..
Its just that it IS easier feeding kibble...And so I thought I would hear wot those against barf would do..
I know its my fault Luna is so bad now And if I could only turn back time....
Could I somehow "clean" her system out? and start anew?
I'm going to Birmingham in 2 weeks for a weekend, and the friend, who's dogsitting Luna is against rawfeeding, so I cant really switch her untill I come home... :?
Ouch, you really dont have much choice, It really does look like you may need to start Barfing
But in the meantime...There is obviously something either in the Nutro or lacking in the Nutro which is causing the scratching.
2 thoughts, either an allergy to a specific content, but cannot determine what, as ingredients are similar to the other you have fed, nothing taken away or added, but quantities vary. Without a skin scraping and allergy testing it would be impossible to say.
If it were me and for the short term until post holiday, I would switch back to nutro and try giving Luna either Vit E or pure Wheatgerm capsules, this will soothe and possibly stop the scratching. BUT remember if this does work it is only supressing the the symptoms not curing it. You would still need to find the cause of the itchy skin.
I had similar problems with Bailey, not an itchy skin as such, but a very sensitive skin, ie : a flicker of a breeze would make him ripple, sometimes he gently scratched sometimes not, more often that not he simply (played air guitar) lol. But it was irritating. Before I changed to Raw, the Wheatgerm capsules eliminated the irritation, but obviously did not cure the cause.