Raw Meat and Bone Diets for Dogs: Itís Enough to Make You BARF
I'm still a novice to the world of BARF, but I recently came accross this article that lists some very strong points AGAINST feeding a raw diet:
Other than anecdotal evidence, can anyone read that article and provide me with links to research or studies done on feeding a BARF diet?
Welcome to the board, Dracius. :thumbs up
There are very limited studies and research done [B]period[/B] on canine nutrition, especially in regards to a BARF diet, seeing as although it has been practiced for some time now, it is just recently starting to become more and more popular. Even in vet school, students gain very limited knowledge about canine nutrition in general, and what they do is funded by the major dog food brands that are sold in vet offices (slightly biast, I would say... ;)) Some research and studies have been done, but it is very very tough to find one that is written by a 3rd party with no vested interest in making a profit... and that goes for both sides of the argument. Even this article I noticed was written by a vet, his opinions will be slighty skewed and biast, don't you think?
I just scrolled through the article, but caught the gist of it from the title... if you search through this forum you will find [B][U]many, many[/U][/B] threads where the credibility of such statements are discussed, as well as members personal experiences with a RAW diet. If you are interested in feeding a raw diet, you may even want to attend dog shows etc. and talk to individuals who feed their dog a raw diet and hear their experiences with it. I personally think we need to take a real responsibility and interest in our furbabies nutrition. When I started to look into raw, best advice I ever received was to do all my own research to learn more and make up my mind for myself... and this meant looking at various sources, not just a few articles. I talked to breeders at dog shows, friends I have that feed raw, suppliers of raw products, read several books on the subject, as well as online articles.
I feed all 3 of my dogs RAW, and I have seen the real, healthy results of a raw diet. I don't need a study or a scientifically proven method to sell me on anything, I am sold by the results I have seen in my dogs, and really what better way to judge it? Just like with humans, usually the outer body tells you alot about the health of the inner body, and nutrition is certainly one of the biggest factors in how healthly we (and our dogs) are! :D
I have three dogs (soon to be four :D) who have all very different nutritional needs and they THRIVE, not just "do well on" RAW. Biggest change I have seen in my elderly dogs is that they have terrific energy again and act like pups. For "vet" evidence, I was strongly advised about 6 months before I switched to a raw diet to have my oldest dogs teeth cleaned ASAP. Fed them raw for 6 months, took them in to have their teeth cleaned (was fully expecting the worst - teeth having to be pulled etc.) to be called about an hour later to come pick up my dogs. The vet told me they have never seen dogs this age with such great teeth ;) All 3 of my dogs are LEAN and muscular, and their coats are shiny, slick, and soft.
I also have a dog that had such severe allergies, his lifespan was looking as if it was going to be considerably shortened by it. I put him on raw (and took him off the steriods that my vet(s) had prescribed for years which I found out are incredibly unhealthy for a dog if used long-term), and immediately he had energy again, his coat improved immensely, and his allergies improved! His chronic ear infections disappeared within days, something I had struggled just to CONTROL for years!
What about the simple fact that the ancestors of our domestic dogs thrived on raw meat and bones for thousands of years? Sure, we have domesticated them but their anatomy is largely the same.
Some of the most rudimentary arguments against RAW simply don't hold up. Some claim feeding raw meat is dangerous due to bacterial counts etc. this may be a valid concern for the pet owner, and common sense should be used when handling any raw meat (i.e. washing dishes with soap and warm water afterwards etc.) As for harming the dog, it will not; provided it has been stored, prepared, and fed in a safe manner. Other's will claim that a RAW diet is not well-balanced... and certainly care and proper education are crucial, as it is not simply throwing down a hunk of raw meat everyday (well it is, but it's not [B]that[/B] simple).
Are you thinking of feeding your dog(s) a raw diet? If you are, but are still uncomfortable with it and want to stick with kibble, a diet grain-free such as Orijen would be your best bet. Orijen is fed by many on here that really like it... I think of Orijen as a BARF diet in a kibble.
Obviously you are trying to do some research on a raw diet before feeding it, and I applaud you for that. If you let us know what your specific concerns are, us raw-feeders can address them for you and help you make a well-informed decision.
I too have been looking into RAW diets for my dogs. When I adopted them, they were being fed mostly oats, raw chicken back/necks and some vegetables with some Kelp supplements (this I found out a few days after I adopted them as the lady who owned them had passed away and I adopted them the next day). I bought them some kibble for large breeds and they wouldn't eat it right away. I thought it was due to the change of location, but I think it may have been the food change as well.
Anyway, I have been looking on the internet and talking to people who breed, show, and groom. They all have a different diet and one person used to be on the RAW and didn't like it at all.
Even the web sites can't seem to come up with a good recipe, a lot had oatmeal as a base it seems. One lady feeds ONLY RAW chicken backs and the odd dog biscuit.
So, what's a person to do? I don't think the Oatmeal base is a good choice at all, maybe cheaper. But is feeding only chicken backs enough?:shrug:
Oatmeal is not necessary for dogs... has no benefit... just a 'filler'... i dont knwo why you would add oatmeal to raw..
I have been feeding our GSD raw for two years now, my folks feed their dobey raw for over two years too and we follow similar routines. Here is a sample of what a few meals look like for us (we feed a meal morning and evening):
-Chicken carcass & some hearts and gizzards
-chicken leg quarter with a piece of basa fish
-turkey neck with some chicken liver
-2 chicken backs with some pieces of beed heart
my mom also feeds whole fish but our guy wont eat whole fish...
we also give him as a treat little bit of things we eat but it doesnt constitute a large portion of his diet (ie. apples, green and red peppers, pears, peaches, yogurt, carrots, berries, pineapple, cheese, etc.)
other then cost cutting i dont see any benefit or reason to feed oats...
Majority of the people I know who have switched their dogs to raw saw significant improvements in their dog's energy, coat, skin, muscle tone.. dogs that had chronic health problems had the problems improve or dissapear, lumps went away, seaming allergies went away, eye discharges, itchy feet, itchy and dry skin.. I could go on.
The couple people I know that have tried it and wen back to kibble did it essentially because they found they couldn't deal with the extra work involved in preparing the meals, or were squeamish about the meat and had hoped they would get over it but didn't.
I have nothing against people choosing to feed kibble, however when I hear the lines that generations of dogs on kibble have led healthy long lives, first of all I would strongly argue that claim. Vets would be out of business if all the dogs on kibble led healthy long lives. Secondly, I think of the classic example of the 80 year old man who has been smoking all his life and has proclaimed he's perfectly healthy and all that smoking is bad for you is a bunch of garbage. MacDonalds would also like you to believe that their food is perfectly healthy.
There is a lot of money riding behind convincing people that kibble and commercially made diets are the better choice, raw food, not so much.
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