There are many types of raw diet for dogs. The most popular I believe are The BARF diet, and the Prey Model Raw (PMR). In this post I will try to explain what raw feeding is, and the two most popular types of raw diet, in a very simple manner. Over time, I will update this page as necessary, and keep it as factual as I can.
The BARF diet
BARF can be an acronym for Bones And Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. The pioneer, or the “face”, shall we say, of the BARF diet is Dr. Ian Billinghurst. The idea of BARF is to feed your dogs raw meat (might be grounded), some bones (might be grounded), also raw fruits and vegetables. You can find the specifics on what to feed here. BARF feeders have the options to feed their dogs commercial pre-made raw. Some popular commercial BARF diet brands:
Or straight from Dr. Billinghurts himself: BARF Diet Patties
Most popular forms are the medallions, nuggets or patties. Some are freeze dried, which doesn’t need to be stored in a fridge. There are also powder form, and dehydrated form, which you can feed in its original state or rehydrated. If you feed commercial BARF, it’s not gonna be easy on most people’s wallets. A friend of mine who feed their 2 dogs Nature’s Variety raw medallions told me she spends about $40 a month on food alone. She owns 2 Yorkshire Terriers. Owners of bigger dogs, please do thorough calculations to see how this can feed your budget. You pay for the convenience.
Conclusion of BARF: It’s a very simple diet, really. Meat, bones, and veggies and fruits. No grains, as it is scientifically proven that dogs do not tolerate grains well. The only form dogs will tolerate it is if you cook/process it, and since this is a raw diet, the point is moot. Besides, it can be argued that since dogs do not own or use machinery to process grains, it’s not feeding as nature intended. Ground or pureed form of the raw food is acceptable to feed. Supplements are encouraged. It would be much cheaper if you feed non-commercial BARF. Things you need may be: grinder, blender, zip-lock bags and some space in your freezer. If you do not grind the bones or meat or the veggies and fruits, then you only need the bags and the freezer space.
Prey Model Raw
Prey Model Raw or PMR for short, is based on the assumption that dogs are true carnivores. This diet believes that a dog’s diet needs to be closely matched to what and how a wolf will eat, considering that the dog’s ancestor is the grey wolf. Readers, I know you are probably making faces right now, your expression ranging from disbelief and confusion to disdain. Please note that dogs and wolves share 99.8% of their mitochondrial DNA. Have we established that? Good, let’s move on. The idea is not to feed the dogs balanced food everyday, but over time, like how wolves eat in the wild.
You feed your dogs whole animals (meaning, a part of an animal each day, the whole animal over time), raw meaty bones (to promote clean teeth), and organs. Chicken, beef, pig, lamb, mutton, deer, venison, kangaroo, rabbit, duck, turkey, fish, you name it, they feed it. Preferably in its most natural state. Bones in meat, not ground. Meat, not ground. The guidelines here is to feed your dogs 80% meat, 10% bones, 10% organs, 5% of which should be liver. No veggies and fruits as the diet doesn’t believe that dogs need the nutrition in veggies or fruit, or that it’s any use to them at all. However, there are many conflicting opinions to this, the most relevant being the animal nutritionists’ opinions.
Conclusion of PMR: Compared to non-commercial BARF, it can be more expensive, since all you give your dogs would be meat, bones and organs. However, you can save money on supplements, as this diet does not believe in it. This diet believes that the dogs are getting all the nutritions they need to thrive from a true carnivore’s diet. It also doesn’t believe in over-vaccinations (once a year vaccinations might be causing your dogs more harm than good), or flea medicines (basically you are putting pesticides on your dogs).
Raw feeding could seem expensive with the state of the world’s economy today. But the great thing is, you can be as relaxed or as flexible with raw feeding as you make it. Some will argue that sick dogs cannot go on raw – that is not proven scientifically. In my opinion, feeding a species appropriate diet will help more than manufactured, unnatural, profit-induced kibble or even wet food.
Many says, life is beautiful, because it is so short.
As all of us know, dog lives are short, way shorter than a human’s. Yet they are supposed to be our best friends. Or maybe we are supposed to be theirs. The latter seems more fitting to me, as we are the one who takes them in. Most times, we choose them, not the other way round.
And so with the fragility of dog (and human) lives in mind, I thought I would record the journey of life of my treasured babies. Precious moments, not so precious moments, and everything in between, until the Man upstairs sees fit to send them to Rainbow Bridge to everlasting treats and happiness. Or maybe I will go first. However it goes, I hope whoever gets called first will be able to wait for the other, as eternity will be too, too long to pass without my dogs. I do hope they feel the same way too.
And so the pages turn…