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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

We are interested in start our 9 month old on a BARF diet. Can some explain what we need to do? We are in the USA and have read all the threads on the forum about BARF.....but what is it exactly? Do we just buy some raw meat? Can some spell this out for us? We have read all the benefits and feel this is the way to go. We are feeding a very high quality, grain free, gluten free dog food, Instinct. We just feel going the BARF route is the way to go.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

Nick
 

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The BARF is, at it's simplest, a raw meat/food diet. Basically finely ground meats and vegetables in a tube.
Those people that I know that have had the greatest success with it, all processed their own meats, grains and vegetables for their dogs. All of their ingredients came from certified hormone free beef, chicken and pork.
In the latter part of my previous dog's life he was on the BARF diet, and a certified hormone free dry food.
I got a little dismayed at the hit or miss availability of the BARF products, and the amount of water that was in each tube. It can be a little $$$ for a larger dog.
If I were to do it again, I would process the dog's food, and package it my self. The upfront cost would be higher, but it would even out over the life of the dog. Even though I don't do it with the girls, I think it's a good practice to supplement with the BARF feeding. It won't hurt the dog.
 

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Hi Gunnr,

what would you suppliment with in the barf diet. I have been on it, (Peanut not me !), for a few months now and like it alot. I have seen seaweek suppliments, garlic but not sure about amounts etc.

Regards,

Graham
 

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Graham

Supplement may not be the right word.
I personally find it much easier to feed a high quality dog food( kibble). I have found that Vizsla's can be picky eaters. Rush, my previous vizsla, would drive me nuts. His food needed to be changed every few months or so, or he would just stop eating, even the BARF diet. I believe, my own personal belief, that the wider ranging my dogs eating habits the better it is for them.
I found that by rotating his food selection, and using The barf tubes mixed with kibble he was a lot more consistent in his eating habits, and of course the occasional peanut butter and rasberry jelly sandwich helped ;).
If a person can stick with the BARF diet, and the food is coming from a reputable source, it's probably the best way to go for our dogs, and cats. (The healthiest cats I've ever seen were the feral cats at the boatyard I used to work at. They had a steady diet of fresh fish daily from the returning tourist fishing boats.)

Many years ago I had a job a slaughter house/ rendering plant. I only lasted a few weeks, so I am acutely aware of the source of animal protein in pet foods. This is my only issue with the BARF diet here in the US. I want to know where the meat product came from. (That was a disgusting job, thank goodness my electronic and engineering skills were enough.)

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey everyone,

I read the site info, but I am thinking we want to mix up our own food so we know exactly what goes into our dog and can control everything....

This being said....is there like a recipe we follow? That site had nothing about this...probably because they want you to buy their product.

Basically, we need a shopping list of sorts....What type of meats do we get, how much do we feed at each meal...what other types of things do we feed? Vegetables, fruits, grains?

We just need an amount to feed per meal and a list of foods we can feed.

Our Chance is 9 months old and weighs about 42 pounds right now, not sure if this info is need or not?

Anyways, any info would be great about what meats we should get, the cuts of the meats and the "other" stuff we need to be feeding.

Also, do we need to supplement with anything? I think if we feed the BARF diet, meat, veggies, grains and fruits that should hit everything correct?

Thanks,

Nick
 

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Start out slow and change his diet over time.
I started with the actual tubes of the Barf diet, mixing them with his dry food, and eventually transitioned him over to ground beef, and shredded chicken. I personally stayed away from pork, because of the difficulties associated with stroring and processing it, plus Rush didn't like pork. He loved venison though. Dogs arent' humans, they like the fat, so don't trim the cuts to lean themm pout prior to processing.
The majority of the feeding is protien based. Add about 15% by weight carbohydrates, rice is excellent and tends to settle their stomach. Stay away from complex starches like corns and most whole grains and nuts. A dog's metobolism is too fast to assimilate any nutritional benefit from these and will just pass them. If you're going to use these find a source that is already processed into a dry form. Carrots are good, but they too tend to pass through their systems and need to be shredded.
A lot of fruits may give you problems with digestion. From personal use pumpkin is good oranges, bananas and the grapes in small amounts were OK. Apples were a disaster.

Depending on where you're from the processing equipment can be obtained from a restaraunt supply store or catalog. Cabela's, the outdoor outfitter, has a really wide selection of food processing equipment. Not restaraunt quality, but good enough for a person to process their own game meats for long term storage. Don't buy any of that cheap Walmart quality stuff. It's a waste of money.

To do this economically you will also need a deep freezer for storage. This also allows you to purchase meat in bulk from a meat cutter and not have to pay grocery store rates. You don't need prime rib, or tenderloin, beef is beef, and chicken is chicken.

You'll figure out pretty quick how much to feed. Don't let him gorge.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks! I will start looking into it!

But I thought you were never supposed to feed dogs grapes, avocado or chocolate? I guess they can cause liver failure or something?

Thanks again,

Nick
 

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I know about chocolate.
So far the dogs I've had have eaten grapes with no ill effects, of course I'm only talking about a single grape, or two on rare occaision. I can't speak to about avacados. I've never tried to give the dog one.
With all fruits and vegetables it's important to realize that they aren't a large part of any dog's diet. I would add any fruits, or vegetables in very small amounts, and only occasionally.
I've also known people that have kept their dogs on a vegetarian only diet, which I also disagree with. I don't personally believe dogs were meant to thrive on a vegetarian only diet.
 

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Kian enjoys fruit the odd time in his kong, apples diced up small with peanut butter or banana mushed up with peanut butter.
 

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Powdered Kelp is also great to add to the food. Blu, my 5 month old Vizsla has been on a raw food diet since I brought him home 3 months ago. I switched my 14 year old Vizlsa to a raw food diet about 6 months ago as he refused to eat his high quality kibble. I only wish I would have made the switch years ago. He no spends half the day crying for food . . . finally he is satisfied! This is the way nature intended our dogs to eat. After spending months and months researching raw diets, educating myself, reading about the commercial pet food industry (which i might add is a disgusting industry) speaking to many people who had been feeding their dogs raw for many years I made the switch. It was quite daunting at first but it was the best thing I could have done for my Vizslas.

I would not recommend feeding kibble and raw. In a raw food diet the digestive process takes about 4 hours, on kibble it can take up to 24 hours. If mixed, raw meat which is normally pushed out quickly can putrefy with the kibble.

To quote "We strongly recommend feeding an all-natural diet without mixing in any commercial grain-based foods. Kibble is vastly different from the natural raw food dogs are designed to eat – it contains a high percentage of carbohydrates. Feeding these foods decrease the acid in the stomach and offsets the natural hormonal balance and organ function/interaction related to the natural digestive process. In summary, feeding a mixed diet requires the digestive system to continually readjust to processing kibble and puts unnecessary strain on your dog or cat’s internal organs.

If feeding kibble is unavoidable, then we suggest alternating meals between raw and kibble rather than mixing the two; allow at least ½ day, preferably a full day, for the digestive system to regain its natural pH level after feeding a kibble meal."

Another good link: http://vonhapsburg.homestead.com/BarfingYourDane.html
 

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Hey everyone,

This post is kind of old now and there is lots of good information here already, but I saw a comment about a grocery list or recipe to follow, so I thought I'd add my two cents here because when I was looking into a raw food diet, this is what I wanted as well, but could never find anything helpful.

Meat
I primarily feed Hally ground meat. The meat is made up of 50% actual meat and 50% bone. The trick was finding a place to do this that was econmincal and good quality. I started buying my meats at Global Pet Food, but they were charging almost $5.00 per pound for ground chicken and turkey, which was obscene!! For anyone in the GTA or within driving distance of Whitby, ON, I can send you some information on a fabulous place to get raw food products for your pet.

Anyway, here is my meat grocery list:

1. Ground Chicken (with bones)
2. Ground Turkey (with bones)
3. Ground Lamb
4. Ground Duck (with bones)
5. Ground Bison
6. Ostrich meat pieces
7. Turkey necks
8. Chicken and Turkey bones (you can buy these cheap at any grocery store...they sell them for people to make soup)
9. Chicken Feet, Duck Feet
10. Eggs


Hally is currently 9 months old (approx 42 lbs.) and will eat about 1lb. of meat per day. I break this into 3 meals. Her main meals are the ground meats. She will get an entire unbroken egg every couple of days. She thinks trying to break it is lots of fun too!

Fruits and Veggies
With each meal, I also give 1/2 cup of veggies and some fruit as well. You have to mash, puree, or finely chop the veggies in the food processor so that the dog doesn't just pass them without absorbing the nutrients (dogs have a smaller digestive system then we do, so don't have enough time to fully process large hunks of vegtables). When I started doing this, I would package each vegetable separately in the fridge and make combinations with each of Hally's meals. Once I learned what she liked (and what she didn't), I now just make one big veggie combination which is easier and takes up less room in the fridge

I use: carrots, sweet potato, squash, turnip, jicama, red and green cabbage, swiss chard, broccoli, celery and beets.

Occassionaly (based on what is in the fridge), I may also add in green or red sweet peppers, peas, bok choy, okra.

For fruits - Hally's favourite is Mango, so the fruit mix is highly mango based (tropical fruits are full of nutrients!) I also add in some apple, pear, blueberries and sometime the juice of an orange.

Organs
2-3 times per week, organ meat needs to be added to the meal to make it complete. Hally's absolute favourite is tripe (smelly, smelly stuff), but I will also occassionally use offal as well as chicken/turley liver and hearts.

Bones
Because the meals are mostly ground, I have to give Hally bones 2-3 times per week to keep her jaw and teeth strong. This is where the turkey necks, chicken feet and bones come in handy. I do not decrease the amount of ground food Hally gets on a day where she will get a bone too. I do watch her weight to make sure she isn't gaining too quickly and if she starts to look heavy, I would start to do this. the chicken (and duck!) feet are pretty high in glucosomine, which is an added benefit. The feet are Hally's favourite!

Supplements
I also use the following supplements:
1. a Multi Vitamin/Mineral. 2 times per week (One tablet)
2. Dried Kelp. I mix this into one meal per day. (about a teaspoon)
3. ground Flax Seed. Again, I mix this into one meal per day (about a teaspoon)
4. Fish Oil. I use tablets containing sardine, anchovy and salmon oil). One tablet per day.
5. not really a supplement, but no where else to add it = Yogurt. A few Tablespoons of plain, organic yogurt twice per week

And there you have it. A complete grocery list with some basic idea on how to put everything together. :)
 

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wow thats really helpful!

what would you suggest adding to barf to help them going to the toilet.

I thought the fruit and veg would do it, but wiley struggles on the odd occasion
 

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The Flax Seed would help with this. Perhaps even the probiotics in the yogurt would help if there are concerns with constipation. My dog's waste is smaller and harder than it was when she was on traditional dog food, and this is certainly normal. She also goes less times per day, so that is normal too. I wouldn't say that struggling is normal though, so try those supplements. It could just be a water intake issue too.

Just my thoughts anyway.... :)
 

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For those of you who do the BARF diet or similar diets, how to do you handle feeding situations away from home? How do you handle feeding your V on the road or on a trip where your typical foods wouldn't be available (e.g. due to lack of refrigeration).

For example, we'd like to take our V on backpacking trips for multiple days in the back woods. Any backpacking enthusiast knows how much ounces and pounds can matter when hiking for many miles, it is neither practical to carry fresh veggies nor is it possible to carry raw meat without spoilage. I don't want to start my V on a consistent BARF diet only to have to switch him to a dehydrated kibble for a backpacking trip. I imagine that might disrupt his system - what do you all think?
 

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I would consider using dehydrated meat/bones, organ meat and veggies. You can either do this yourself (a dehydrator will only set you back about $50.00 and they make excellent treats as well!) or you could buy everything you need. If you happen to live in or near Toronto, ON I can provide a great place for all your BARF diet needs, including dehydrated products
 
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