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New to BARF

December 23rd, 2007, 12:03 AM
Hi All,
I have a 4 year old Bichon named Charlie. He suffers really bad skin allergies where he scratches and chews himself bloody. Only in the past month or so did I learn of BARF diet and decided to give it a try. Actually, at the present were on a semi-BARF diet I guess you'd call it. I've been feeding him a dehydrated raw food. To his portion I add a meatball of chicken or turkey or pork, but these are baked (thus the semi). So far, after 5 weeks the change is incredible and I am so hoping it's not just a fluke that he hasn't had an outbreak. As I get more comfortable with the whole BARF thing I think his meatballs will be raw to. Well, that's a little background, now here's my question at the moment: Charlies not very large so what kind of bones can he handle? He has eaten chicken and turkey necks and he likes marrow bones but can't eat them. I'd like to mix it up a bit for the little guy. I look forward to any suggestions.

December 23rd, 2007, 12:31 AM
I'd stick to the necks and backs for bone in meal, no dogs really should be eating rec bones (marrows) as their daily bone intake. They are primarily used for recreational chewing.

For my guys and gal, I change up the protien source but the bone source stays the same.
One day beef and chicken backs, next day chicken and chicken legs and backs, another day pork and chicken backs.

Im a tad paraniod about bones and only feel safe feeding chicken and turkey bones. By all means this doesnt mean this is the only way to go... its just my way lol

I feed an Am.Cocker raw (approx size of your little one) and we have had sucess with the way things have been thus far, its been over a year ( with a break for summer as we travel and camp a little too much for carting around coolers of raw meat)

I dont have any actual experience with baked meat for the dogs, so i cant really comment on any of that part, however are you planning on moving to actual raw?

December 23rd, 2007, 09:07 PM
Mister gets calcium from eggs, chicken, turkey and dairy products. :) mostly turkey and chicken though. he also gets ground beef (right now its very inexpensive and we are POOR!!) and pigs feet. also, Mister is HUGE and cant eat marrow bones. just bird bones and feet. do you know what he is allergic to?


December 23rd, 2007, 09:14 PM
also, while i feel a BARF diet specifically is fantastic for cats (they are obligate carnivores!!) dogs are less picky. they do amazingly well on just a fresh food diet. we feed raw meat and what we have come to term 'left overs'. today he got a fair bit of 'old' cottage cheese in his oatmeal/yogurt/carrot/honey/raw egg dish. most of the nonmeat products we feed him are really things that are just past ripe and thus we wont eat. it makes up 1/5-1/4 of his diet??

if chicken/eggs are good... go for free range eggs (doesnt have to be organic) and a fatty fish or fish oil supplement. it will help with his fur. :)

if we put Mister on prepared food (havent figured out what his allergy actually is yet) he gets itchy the next day. if we stop feeding commercial dry food he stops itching with in 3 to 5 days.


December 24th, 2007, 11:10 AM
We don't know what Charlie's allergies are. The vet wanted us to send him to a allergist for testing, but that was just way beyond my budget. After researching a bit, I suspect it's grains that bother him. The dehydrated raw food I've been feeding him has no grains but does contain a mix of veggies, fruits and chicken or turkey. It purports to be a stand alone feed containing all the nutrients he needs. In the time he's been off comercial brand dog foods he seems much better.
Concerning bones, I saw somewhere that it's good to give knuckle bone occaisionally, unfortunately, knuckle bones are just way too big. As far as the cooked meat I add to his food, at some point I'll probably just start giving that raw. I only cook it due to my human preconceptions of the hazards of raw meats. From what I've gathered, cooking the meat will only make it that he won't get quite as much nutrients from it but it will do no harm.
Thanks for any inputs and happy holidays to all.