What does BARF stand for?
BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Feeding.
How do I get started?
The first thing you should do is some reading/research on feeding a raw diet. There are quite a few books published on Raw Feeding as well as Facebook groups you can join to discuss raw feeding with likeminded individuals. While it seems daunting and the information you find may be overwhelming once you take the leap you will find it very easy to prepare and feed.
How much do I feed?
The recommended feeding rate is between 2-3% of the ideal adult body weight. Whilst this is a guide only, some dogs may need their intake reduced if they are gaining weight, and others may need it increased due to energy levels, metabolism etc. Dogs like humans are all different, one dog may be able to eat a lot of food and not put on weight, whereas another may gain too much weight on the same amount of food.
What exactly is the difference between Raw Meaty Bones & Recreational Bones?
Raw Meaty Bones are soft enough for the dog to chew up and eat, things like chicken carcasses/backs/necks/wings, lamb necks, turkey necks, lamb brisket, beef brisket etc. Recreational bones are larger bones that the dog will chew on but will not eat the whole bone, bones like beef marrow bones, femurs, knuckle bones, etc. These weight bearing bones while a great treat to leave with your dog to keep them occupied can also damage the teeth over time.
Why is my dog drinking less water daily?
There is absolutely no reason to be concerned. Raw food is full of naturally occurring water! All the moisture needed to digest raw food is contained in raw food!
Is my dog or myself at risk of bacterial infections from raw food?
Dogs have a very different digestion system to humans. It is designed to cope with a certain level of bacterial contamination and food moves through it much more quickly. A happy, healthy dog is much less likely to present a health risk to humans, but sensible hygiene precautions must still be followed when handling Raw Pet Food.
I've noticed my dog pooping less and it's white. Is this normal?
Yes, this is completely normal for a dog on the BARF diet. The reason your dog is pooping less is because most of the food he is now ingesting, is being digested and properly utilized by the body equalling less waste. The raw meaty bones account for it turning white. Straining while pooping a little bit can help express the anal glands, which would normally be done by your vet.
Is it true that my vet bills will decrease drastically, if almost not at all? Why is this?
Yes, you will find that vet trips will decrease dramatically as your dog's body becomes accustomed to its new food. The main reason being is that all toxins from commercial food have been removed from your dog's body and his immune system is becoming greatly enhanced, eliminating many common ailments that you might normally make a vet appointment for, such as: dry & itchy skin, many allergies, skeletal problems, teeth cleaning, flea remedies, etc.
How do I tell my dog is at a healthy weight?
A dog should have a visible tuck at the waist when viewed from above. You should be able to feel the individual ribs under the skin, though they should not be seen on your dog. If you can see each rib your dog is underweight and if you have trouble feeling the ribs then your dog will be overweight.