Hi Thor & Loki here! We would like to woof about something that is very important to us, food! Everyone has a difference of opinion when it comes to feeding us dogs. Certain foods agree with some better than others, and some of our furry friends may need a special diet.
From pups we have been eating a RAW/BARF diet; our pawrents did try giving us dry food, but it didn’t fully agree with us, so we were back on the raw food pretty quickly.
What does BARF stands for:
BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food OR Bones and Raw Food.
What is a RAW/BARF diet?
A Barf consists primarily of raw muscle meat, organ meats and meaty bones as well as a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Part and totally prepared raw food meals
There are many companies that supply meat for RAW/BARF diets. One such company that we use is Natural Instinct who were kind enough to provide some information for this article. The Natural Instinct range of ‘Pure Dog Food’ contains 100% British meat; you just add other ingredients, such as fruit and vegetables to create a tasty, healthy dish. For those of you who do not have the time (or are unsure of what to add) they also produce several ranges with all the extras added. What makes their meals even more yummy is that they do not add additives, preservatives, colours or fillers, making their meals great quality and healthy. You can choose from Natural, Working, Pure and Country Banquet dog foods, making sure your furry friend has the right food and nutrition.
They also produce raw/dried treats! On their website you not only get fantastic advice but you can also use the calculator to work out the correct amount to feed.
Just look at the picture – that meal looks tail wagging, mouth drooling yummy!
Another company our pawrents use is Natures Menu , who are based in our home county of Norfolk. They supply a variety of products from Complete Raw Food, Just Meat, Raw Treats, Canned food and Superfood Crunch.
We love their meat, to which we add other ingredients. There are never any complaints from us, bowls are clean and bellies are full and happy.
Are we getting the right nutrients on a raw diet?
There is a difference of opinion when it comes to nutrients. Some feel that raw meat and carcasses are enough and some feel additional nutrients are needed. Mum read article after article and visited forum after forum researching this until she came across SmartBarf . As she read we became intrigued so we sneaked our way over and we each placed our head on a knee. Thinking we came over for snugz she began stroking us; this gave us a chance to look at what she was reading.
SmartBarf was started after the company founders began feeding their first dog a Raw diet. To ensure their dog had all the nutrients and vitamins she needed in her diet they carried out a lot of research and started adding different ingredients to the meat. They were so amazed at the difference in their dog’s health that they took the whole concept one step further and developed a vegetable, seed and fruit mix that combined produce a nutritional mixture. You just add this to the meat.
This was exactly what our mum was looking for, so she ordered a sample to make sure we would love it. Not that we are fussy eaters, because we’re not!
When the sample arrived mum called it our ‘Sprinkles’. She added some to our food and at first we were surprised by the new taste – it didn’t stop us enjoying our dindins.
We’ve only been having SmartBarf for a short while but mum has noticed we are less gassy, our coats feel nicer and we are full of even more energy – not sure she is enjoying the extra energy part!
What about nasty bugs in meat?
Yes, there are bugs. It is no different than handling raw meat for human consumption. By using general hygiene, such as washing hands, wiping surfaces etc. these bugs don’t have the chance to spread. Using a stainless steel bowl is a good idea as it is non-porous and discourages bacteria and whilst we like to help mum with the washing up by licking our bowls clean, they still need to be thoroughly washed after use.
Our stomachs are designed to deal with such bugs as we have a short digestive tract which does not give time for the nasty bugs to settle. The acidic environment in our stomach aids in killing off anything nasty. Bacteria thrives on carbohydrates, starches and sugars (which are generally low in raw diets). Check ingredients of any additional foods, such as treats, to see what percentage they contain.
Give a Dog a Bone
There has been much confusion when it comes to us pooches and bones. When bones are raw and frozen they are softer, therefore we are able to chew them up and digest them. Think of wolves in the wild; ok they don’t have the pleasure of popping a piece of meat in the freezer and eating it later, but they do eat raw. Our stomachs are designed to deal with this type of diet.
Meaty bones such as chicken wings/carcasses, duck wings/necks, turkeys’ necks etc. can be given frozen – not only does this allow us to really chew, it also helps keep our teeth healthy and keep us calm. There is great nutrition from the bones. A bonus is when the weather is hot, this is a great way to cool down for a bit……and a tasty way to keep cool.
Cooked bones are a big NO NO as they can splinter and cause some very nasty problems for our insides which then will mean a hefty vet bill.
(Please note that supervision is advised when feeding your furry friend raw boned treats and only give them what would be suitable for their size – also do not overfeed with boned treats). When we say suitable size, our pawrents need to know that the dinosaur sized bone was TOO BIG!
For us, the RAW/BARF diet is working wonders. We can’t wait for when our mum puts our bowls down. Like with everything, there are pros and cons. As long as your furry friend is healthy, full of energy (age/health depending), has a great looking coat and your vet is happy, then this diet could well be right for your canine pal.
Woofs Thor & Loki
DISCLAIMER – This article is explaining raw diet – we do not recommend that you stop feeding your dog their normal food and change to a raw diet. We fully understand that raw diet may not be suitable for certain breeds. We highly advise that if you are wanting to change your dogs’ diet, then speak to your Vet before doing so. We do not advise that all dogs can eat beef knuckle bones; there are some breeds that cannot chew on these types of bones as they can cause dental fractures or worse.