The natural dog food BARF diet for dogs may work to increase their health and long life, even though the name certainly reminds us of something not very pleasant. This recommended dog food diet is intended to replicate the natural dog food diet of dogs, just as if our dogs were still in their original environment, hunting, killing, and then eating their victims. Now, that may be unpleasant to remember, but it is their “heritage” and their internal system evolved from that ancestry.
You may want to know a little biology at this point to understand BARF, or the natural dog food approach. Our dogs have enzymes that are released to break down food to be used by their bodies. These enzymes are specially purposed to break down either carbohydrates or proteins. The protein will be digested first, and then the carbohydrates. If there are a lot of carbs, then as they wait to be digested, they will ferment and release toxins into the body. This is why it is important not to mix proteins and carbs. Meats and heavy proteins should be eaten by themselves for the most part. Do not mix with grains, as that is not natural dog food.
Grains can be eaten, not that they are necessary. Dogs, after all, are not cows. When you are feeding homemade dog food, just be sure to feed the carbs without all the proteins, or problems may occur. Vegetables can be fed with either grains or proteins. Fruits (not to include apples) should be given by themselves, some twenty or so minutes at least after the other foods.
It is controversial to feed grains at all with a natural dog food, or BARF, diet, but it doesn’t need to be completely avoided. Many advocates say it just doesn’t do any good. And there are plenty of quality dog foods that take either approach.
Supplements and the BARF Diet
Since we are replicating a natural dog food diet, supplements are important. In the wild, a dog would get a complete diet over time. However, for domesticated animals, it is advisable to use supplements to make up for some of the ingredients that are not in the BARF diet.
Don’t read this next sentence if you are squeamish. Domesticated dogs on a natural dog food BARF diet don’t get to eat certain parts of the animal such as the eyes, brains, stomach and intestines; which means that the essential fatty acids need to be supplemented into their diets. Use supplements such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. Yogurt can be added to make sure that your dog gets some of the good bacteria which is important for digestion. Other trace elements and vitamins should also be added to the natural dog food BARF diet.
Supplements should be a regular, not necessarily a daily, part of a BARF dogs diet. Just be careful not to overdo it. Gradual, small doses work just fine. Vitamins and minerals are important, as they promote the health of your dog. Vitamins and minerals are important for stamina, fertility, resisting diseases, and longevity. You can see why they are important, can’t you? And if your dog is either younger or older, make sure that you consider that you are feeding a senior dog food or puppy food. You really need to pay attention to the nutrients when you compare dog food.
Depending on how you proceed with the natural dog food BARF diet, your dog may not need any supplements. However, if you decide to supplement, then organic supplements are probably the ones to look for and use. And depending on the individual needs of your pet, you will need to decide what supplements and in what strengths you should give.
BARF is not the only diet of course. You shouldn’t put pressure on yourself if it is something you can’t do. And, just because it is in their DNA, the natural dog food BARF isn’t necessarily perfect for every dog. When you make dog food comparisons, any nutritious diet that can be enthusiastically consumed can work. Just keep an eye on the nutrients to keep you dog active and healthy as possible. As always, consult your veterinarian during your next visit for a professional, individualized recommendation for your dog and its natural dog food diet.