An Australian veterinarian by the name of Ian Billinghurst introduced the term BARF. It is the acronym that was once used by dog owners who fed their pets meaty bones. At that time BARF stood for "bones and raw food." Over time, the acronym took on a new meaning. The term came to stand for "biologically appropriate raw food." Currently, however, most dog owners who feed this type of diet to their canine refer to it as just simply "raw."
It was once a radical idea to feed dogs food that is fresh, varied and rich with amino acids that haven't been destroyed or changed by cooking. Now, however, this type of regime has come to be accepted and even preferred by some dog owners.
Many would consider switching their pet to a BARF diet in order to help them overcome health issues. But there are a growing number of dog owners who proactively feed their beloved furry friend this diet to stave off any chance of illness in the future.
Many veterinarians are still skeptical about feeding a dog this type of diet. Nonetheless there are more and more manufacturers that package frozen or freeze-dried raw diets. Common sense will tell you that this type of diet makes perfect sense. It consists of the elements that a canine would consume if it were in the wild. Substances such as uncooked bones, raw meat and crushed fruits and vegetables are natural nutrition for dogs.
However, the concerns that some veterinarians have are not unjustified. A BARF diet does pose the risk of dietary imbalances, bacterial contamination and possible internal injuries incurred as a result of inadequately chewed bones.
A dog's good health depends on a balanced nutritional diet. Without proper nutrients, severe health issues, such as orthopedic problems resulting from inadequate levels of calcium, are a real possibility.
When you purchase a pre-packaged raw dog food, it is vital that you are aware of its source. Do some research about the manufacturer and its practices. Be certain that the raw bones in the food are pulverized to reduce the risk of injury or choking. Cooked bones should not ever be part of a dogs diet. They can split and cause injury.
Familiarize yourself with the facility where the food is processed. While raw dog food is a healthy option for dogs who are well. It may not be appropriate for those who have a compromised immune function. Healthy dogs will not be affected by bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli.
The main drawback to feeding your dog a BARF diet is the cost. When done properly, this regime can easily cost you as much to feed your dog as it does to feed yourself. This makes it a prohibitive option for many. With the cost of raw dog food too costly for most people on a regular basis, it may be a nice treat for your dog to occasionally enjoy.