What is BARF?

by DoggyBytes on July 9, 2009

The basic premise of the BARF diet is that dogs evolved on a carnivorous diet that included raw meat and bones. They did not eat grains, and vegetables were already predigested in the stomach of prey. The BARF diet relies on this evolution, and states that dogs do best when fed on a diet of raw bones, vegetable matter, eggs, and ground meat. Proponents of the diet claim that it is much healthier than commercial food and greatly improves a dog’s teeth and skin.

What’s in the BARF diet?

The BARF diet consists of 60% raw meaty bones and 40% vegetable matter mixed with ground meat and offal (organ meats). The raw meaty bones are the most important part of the diet, because they provide protein and calcium. Raw meaty bones include things like turkey necks, oxtails, lamb ribs, and chicken carcasses. Larger bones are labeled as “recreational”. Dogs are also fed vegetable matter which has been ground up and mixed with offal and eggs. Many BARF adherents also feed their dogs supplements such as Omega-3 as well, in order to ensure the dog gets all of the necessary vitamins and minerals.


Many people who research the BARF diet are concerned with bacteria in the food. Supporters of the BARF diet insist that dog’s immune systems have evolved to deal with these bacteria, and that raw bones that haven’t spoiled are completely safe for dogs. Nonetheless it is important to keep bones refrigerated or frozen to keep them from spoiling. You can also pour boiling water over the bones before feeding in order to sanitize them.

The BARF diet may be very different from your dog’s food right now, but many people have found that their dog’s greatly enjoy the food and seem healthier when off of commercial food. If you are thinking that commercial food may no longer be right for your dog, give the BARK diet a try.

Article by Nancy Cope of Pampered Dog Gifts – the place to shop for dog gift baskets and designer dog beds.

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