The biological species-appropriate raw feeding, called BARF for short, is a natural form of nutrition. What does this mean and what are the components of a feed ration? You can also read about the advantages and disadvantages of barfing in this exciting article
What is BARF?
BARF is based on the eating behaviour of a wolf, the ancestor of all dogs. The diet is limited to fresh and raw natural products such as meat, vegetables and fruit. Thus the dog receives all the important vitamins and minerals it needs. With industrially produced food, most of these vitamins and minerals are lost during the production process and must therefore be artificially added again. This is not the case if you decide to try BARFing, as a ration consists of various components that naturally contain important nutrients. Barf means Born-Again Raw Feeders or Bones And Raw Foods.
Composition of a BARF-Ration
A balanced BARFing- Ration consists of various components that simulate the body structure of a prey animal. Therefore, the classification of the components looks logically like this:
- 80% meat content, which is divided into 50% muscle meat, 20% rumen, 15% offal (liver, spleen, heart, kidney, lungs) and 15% raw, fleshy bones
- 20% vegetable content: 25% fruit and 75% vegetables, cereals or other carbohydrates depending on the dog
- High quality omega 3 oil and seaweed meal (by body weight)
The amount of the total ration in adult dogs is usually 2-3% of body weight.
Advantages of BARF
- The advantages are clearly in the natural and species-appropriate ingredients, without artificial additives, as all minerals and vitamins are contained in a natural way.
- You decide what goes into the bowl and know which ingredients are used.
- The composition of the individual meals provides the dog with all the necessary nutrients it needs for a balanced diet and therefore there are no deficiencies from the ground up that need to be compensated for, for example with vitamins.
- A BARF -Ration is based on the needs of each individual dog and is therefore fed in a different quantity than conventional dry or wet food. That’s why BARF can even be “cheaper” on balance than high-quality convenience food.
- The rations are individually tailored to the needs of the animal.
- The excrement is regulated. The consistency is better and the volume significantly less, because the feed can be digested and utilised better.
- Normal kitchen hygiene is sufficient to protect yourself and your pet from germs. As a rule, BARFED dogs have a more aggressive stomach acid than industrially fed dogs and therefore cope quite well with the bacteria.
- Especially allergic and chronically ill animals, which need a special nutrition, can be supported very well with BARF.
Disadvantages of BARF
- It must be stored in the freezer.
- The time needed to prepare a meal.
- It needs a feeding plan that is adapted to the animal so as not to risk over- or undersupply. Here a competent veterinarian or a nutritionist for dogs can inform and support you in order to put together a diet for the dog needs.
- If your dog is infected with salmonella, it usually has no adverse effect, but it can be eliminated. You should be particularly careful in households with small children.
BARF is a natural and above all species-appropriate diet, which convinces by its many advantages over industrial feed. However, a certain know-how is required here, as the meals are individually composed for each dog.