BARF foods (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food and also Bones and Raw Food) or sometimes called raw food has been the subject of debate between animal nutritionists and veterinarians.
Wolves, which are known as our dogs’ early descendants, hunt animals and eat raw meat, and along with fruits and vegetables thrive in that diet and make them strong and able to survive the wild.
Since dogs share 99.9% of their DNA, their nutritional needs should naturally be also almost identical. There are more dog owners today who practice raw feeding despite warnings by the FDA because the benefits of raw feeding are becoming more apparent.
The massive recall of dog foods back in 2007 also made a huge impact on consumers, causing them to be more cautious and opting to go raw and organic.
Many who have made the transition claim that raw-fed dogs are particularly stronger and develop a tougher immune system.
Benefits of Raw Feeding
BARF feeding is believed to give dogs a glossier coat and healthier skin which is less prone to allergies. Their canine teeth are built to gnaw on large bones and to tear through raw meat, and being able to serve this purpose makes their teeth stronger.
In addition, kibbles, especially non-organic ones, tend to include filler ingredients (i.e. corn and wheat) as well as animal byproducts from untrusted sources.
These components are not appropriate for dogs and are said to be the culprit of obesity, diabetes, and allergies.
BARF feeding gives fur parents the assurance that they are providing their dogs a strong foundation for their overall health. “What you see is what you get” becomes the new slogan for a dog’s health.
The Dangers of Raw Feeding
Experts warn against raw feeding mainly because of the bacteria it could transmit to humans such as E. coli and salmonella.
Kissing your pets and allowing them to lick you back make this transmission possible, allowing bacteria to enter the human mouth and eventually the gut.
Allowing them to consume bones is also problematic. Small bones, sharp bones, and bones that easily break could potentially cause lacerations inside the dogs’ stomach and could be fatal if not addressed immediately.
Not to mention, these bones could choke them even before it reaches their stomach.
Raw feeding is beneficial because it eliminates the need for carbohydrates, sugar, grains, and other unnecessary ingredients while focusing on protein.
And because dogs have a more substantial need for protein compared to humans, raw feeding makes more sense.
If you decide to take this route, make the transition smooth and gradual to allow time for your dog’s digestive system to adapt.
On the other hand, you could also consider a more expensive organic dog food which is considerably healthier compared to generic cheap ones.
Whether you decide to feed your pets with raw or organic pet foods, always do your research.
Make it a habit to read labels and research sketchy terminologies. Seek the advice of a veterinarian. Take their health history into consideration as well as their breed.