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RAW DIET

engbulldog

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Feb 6, 2006
Messages
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I dont know if you guys have heard about it , but all I can say is its a night and day Differance in my two bullmastiff's ,my dogs look better,their breath doesnt smell, teeth are white, and they have more energy



Raw Diet for Mastiffs
By Charlie Higgins, eHow Contributor .Mastiffs are big dogs with big appetites. These massive canines are known for their impressive size and friendly, relaxed temperament. While mastiffs are generally happy to eat commercial dog food, many mastiff owners prefer to feed their dog a raw foods diet, commonly known as the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet. Raw foods tend to be especially rich in the kinds of vitamins big dogs like mastiffs need to stay strong and healthy. Moreover, raw diets are known to help prevent terminal illnesses in mastiffs, such as bone disease and arthritis.
.Meat and Protein
Mastiffs love meat and it's generally good for them too. It's perfectly healthy for your mastiff to consume large quantities of raw meat because their stomachs contain the proper enzymes to digest it. According to Victorymascotts.com, a healthy mastiff diet could include chicken wings, backs, legs, and necks; pork neck bones; pig's feet; beef knuckle bones; and turkey necks. Other recommended meat and protein products include chicken livers, eggs, mackerel, and ground beef. Meat should comprise roughly 80% of your mastiff's diet. 10% of the diet should be pure bone.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain valuable vitamins and minerals that your mastiff needs, though they should be fed to your dog in moderation. Dogs aren't, after all, vegetarians and you shouldn't force a mastiff or any dog to subsist on fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables should comprise the remaining 10% of the mastiff diet. Leafy green vegetables are the way to go, and they'll eat most fruits as well. Never feed your mastiff onions, tomatoes or raw potatoes.
Other Recommendations
Besides meat, protein, and fruits and vegetables, there are a number of other foods and vitamins you can work into your mastiff's diet. Ask your vet about good daily vitamins to feed your mastiff depending on its age and existing health conditions. Vitamin C is a great addition to any dog's diet as it boosts the immune system. You can also give your mastiff fish body oil, which most dogs will gladly eat. These extra considerations, combined with a good balance of meat, bone and produce, will result in a happy, healthy dog with good smelling breath, manageable stool and a shiny coat.
.

Read more: Raw Diet for Mastiffs | eHow.com Raw Diet for Mastiffs | eHow.com
 

countrychic

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Jul 24, 2007
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I used this diet when my Dane was growing up. He loved it. Dane's grow so fast and in order to keep up with protien intake this was the best way to go about it.

I used to buy it but WOW it sure got expensive. A friend of mine used to make her own for her dane.
 

engbulldog

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Feb 6, 2006
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943
Yeah it does cost a bit more to start it but once you get going its not that bad! We have called a local butcher and have gotten great prices on 40 lbs of chicken livers and necks , and you could say they (Gabby and Zeus) eat better than I do but hey they are worth the $ to me and my family, I just see so many people feeding there dogs store brand dog food with nothing in it but fillers and saw dust (sounds yummy) We as owners that workout spend $$$$$ on supps and gym memberships but yet they feed there dogs crap????? Why is that?????:banghead: you say you love your pet,and he/she means the world to you or your family well at least try the raw diet for a few mths and see what you think I will tell you its night and day!!!
 

countrychic

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Jul 24, 2007
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I used to buy mine from a supplier already made up.

That's the way to go engbulldog, getting a local butcher to give ya what you need.
 

gibbob2

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Aug 11, 2008
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yup... feed my dane and weim raw.. would never go any other way,
 

engbulldog

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Feb 6, 2006
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Thanks guys/girls , just wanted to post some info about our family members that cant speak for themselfs, I hope a ton of people try it, my dogs seem so much happier now and full of energy and or female mastiff has even started to run like a champ again please note she is only 3 yrs old and was moving like a 10yr old dog, It makes me and the wife happy to see our dogs (3) enjoy thier days and I fogot to say there GAS problem is GONE!!!! now the wife only has to deal with me :eek:
Thanks again engbulldog
 

STA MAN

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May 20, 2005
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I am a first time Bullmastiff owner...my guy just turned one year old last week. Very interested in this diet,any good websites or articles you might steer my way to learn more about this?
 

Dangkolo

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I feed my Perro de Presa canario nothing but a raw food diet. We actually share our supplements;)
 

engbulldog

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Feb 6, 2006
Messages
943
I am a first time Bullmastiff owner...my guy just turned one year old last week. Very interested in this diet,any good websites or articles you might steer my way to learn more about this?
All we did was look up raw diet on the net and a ton of info came up some good some bad.

The Top 50
Most Frequently Asked BARF Questions
Newcomers Ask!

Disclaimer: This page is copyright protected!
If you wish to use these FAQ's on your website,
you MUST give this website due credit or you will be asked to take it down!

BARF & Canine Bookstore
DogWise Affiliated!
Dr. Billinghurst's BARF Diet


IMPORTANT: The following information serves ONLY as a guide to those who are new to feeding their pets Bones & Raw Food. Yes, COMPLETELY RAW FOOD (nothing cooked), INCLUDING RAW BONES. NEVER, EVER FEED COOKED BONES TO YOUR PET because cooked bones WILL splinter and cause severe internal damage, possibly even death. Each animal's needs are unique; therefore, YOU will need to make the ultimate decision what is best for your pet -- healthwise and nutrition wise. The questions and answers that appear on this page are the most frequently asked questions newcomers to BARF have asked, along with the corresponding suggested answer. This information comes directly from experienced BARFers, as well as the books written by Billinghurst, Schultze and Pitcairn. Again, this is ONLY a guide, and NOT a bible. They are in no particular order and I will do my best to update this page frequently.

And also be sure to check out the BARF Tips & Tricks page, as well as MORE Most Frequently Asked BARF Questions Newcomers Ask, on this site, before you leave. Must-reading is also the main BARF FAQs. You'll find the links at the bottom of this page.

Purchase ALL your BARF & Pet Nutrition Books at our Book Store!

This page is NOT a substitute for medical advice. If you feel (use your gut instinct) that something physically may truly be wrong with your pet, don't hesitate to drop off a stool/urine sample to your veterinarian or even get your pet to an animal hospital ASAP.

How do I get started?
I'm really scared to start, and I feel so overwhelmed...can someone send me some encouragement?
Is it possible to see some sample meal plans? I really think seeing what I may be feeding will help alot!
Should I switch cold-turkey or is gradual better?
I'm still researching BARF, and am not quite ready to make the change. Can you recommend an alternative food that is just as healthy, in the interim?
Can I feed kibble AND BARF?
How much do I feed daily?
I'm a Vegetarian and do not want to feed meat to my pet. Can I still feed a raw diet?
What exactly is the difference between Raw Meaty Bones & recreational bones? Which should I feed?
What is the best way to start my older dog on BARF?
I'm really concerned about salmonella. Am I over-reacting?
Is my dog experiencing detox?
Why is my dog drinking less water daily? Should I be concerned?
How does one measure the food when switching from kibble to BARF?
Why do I need to separate certain food items, like RMBs, veggies and grains, and why can't I feed them together?
Is it o.k. to feed grains?
Do I really need to use supplements?
How do I know what supplement is for what, should I decide to supplement?
What is ACV and what are some of it's benefits?
What is Ester C and bowel tolerance?
What are digestive enzymes and probiotics, and why is their use recommended?
What are other natural sources of calcium, other than egg shells and the bones themselves, to supplement?
Fish? You mean I can really toss my dog a whole fish?
When should I start introducing veggies?
What is the recipe for Dr. Billinghurst's veggie patties? Can I change this recipe?
Help, my dog won't eat his veggies!
Why can't I just chop up a veggie, or even give it whole?
Is it ok to mix the veggie mush with ground meat?
My supermarket frequently has chicken leg quarters on sale. Are these o.k. to use?
My dog literally inhales her food, and it scares me to near death. What can I do to get her to slow down?
I thought RMBs were supposed to be given whole...why are some people grinding them for their dogs?
I've heard so much about the Maverick Meat Grinder, where can I buy one?
How do I go about finding a Raw Meaty Bone supplier?
How much can I expect to pay for RMBs?
I've heard about trichinosis and pork. Is it safe to feed pork?
What is the bone to meat ratio?
Aside from natural calcium, what other nutrients do RMBs provide?
I've noticed my dog pooping less and it's white. Is this normal?
My dog is constipated. How can I help him?
Help!!! My dog has diarrhea!!!
Why is my dog's stool wrapped in mucous at times? Should I be concerned?
My dog is vomiting. What can I do?
I'm confused, do I have to fast my dog on occasion?
When thawing, is there a point where the food is considered dangerous and should be thrown out?
Can I use my microwave for thawing RMBs?
Is it possible that my dog is allergic to the Omega oils?
Can I still BARF my dog while traveling?
What are proper food safety techniques?
What are Satin Balls? Can they really put weight on my skinny dog?
How can a BARF diet reduce the chances of my dog bloating?
I think my dog is allergic to BARF...how can I be sure?
Will feeding raw meat make my dog vicious/mean and create a "blood lust?"

How do I get started?

The first thing you should do is some reading/research on the raw diet. There are a few books recommended and they can be purchase at this site's bookstore, through DogWise. The books are: "Give Your Dog A Bone" and "Grow Your Pup With Bones," by Ian Billinghurst, and "Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet" by Kymythy Schultze. Both of them go into great detail about the diet and how to get started. If you just want to get started right away, feeding nutritionally complete meals daily, my recommendation would be to go right to Dr. Billinghurst's BARF Diet website here.

You can also visit the BARF Webring site. Here you will find many people's stories about how they feed BARF and what led them to the transition from kibble. Take your time and do your research, and then you will be ready to begin. I lurked on the Main BARF list for about 6 months before I was ready to take the big plunge. I encourage everyone reading these FAQ's to join the Main BARF list here now/today, which picks up where these FAQ's leave off.

Most dogs do better on a cold turkey switch rather than half-kibble and half-BARF. Remember to keep things simple for the dog when you are starting. You might start with chicken or turkey and feed wings, necks or backs for the first couple of days. Let their body get used to the new foods before you start feeding them a huge variety of foods. Some dogs might not know what to do with the bones at first, but they will get the hang of it. If you have a small dog or a dog that doesn't get the hang of it, you can try crunching the bone into smaller pieces, or holding one edge of the bone for them.

For veggie meals, I would start with bland veggies with a bit of lean ground meat. Wait to add the richer foods, such as liver and eggs, for a few weeks. I would also wait to start adding any supplements until you are settled into a routine.

These are just some of the basics of the diet. Your research will provide you with more detailed information on how to get started. Good luck and happy barfing. Back to top of page

I'm really scared to start, and I feel so overwhelmed...can someone send me some encouragement?

Most of us felt the same way you do when we first started BARFing our pets. We thought it was very complicated (and maybe even more expensive), but have actually found it's much easier than kibble, or maybe that we all feel so good about what we're feeding them now--it just seems so simple now. Many of us believe the fact that BARF is less expensive than kibble too. Yes, it can feel very overwhelming at first, especially when thinking of supplements, how much to feed, meat-to-bone ratios, the veggies, and don't mix this with that, but once we finally relaxed and came to understand that it's a balanced diet OVER TIME, life got much easier. Back to top of page

Is it possible to see some sample meal plans? I really think seeing what I may be feeding will help alot!

Following are 4 sample meal plans (various size dogs) submitted by a BARFer who has been BARFing for 3 years. This is just a guide to help you get started as each dog is different and so is their activity level. What I suggest is to pick a weight closest to your dog's and feed a little more or less accordingly. As the days go on put your hand on your dog's rib cage and see if you press lightly you should feel ribs but not see them. If you can't feel ribs, your dog is too fat and if you can see ribs, your dog is too thin.

I feed 2x/day, so I split these amounts into 2 feedings but I am giving you a full day's worth for the RMB meal.

Golden Retriever - 55# - RMB meal - 1# chicken backs, or 12 chicken necks, or 8 chicken wings, or 2 beef ribs plus an egg or yogurt. You can feed lamb, but it is rich so I don't suggest it in the beginning. Even now after 3 years I will only feed lamb that I trim and only when I will be around to let them out more often. Lamb riblets (I think in Australia they are called lamb flaps) have soft very chewable bones and this is what I use if I can get it. Occasionally (like once every 2 weeks), I substitute fish - either canned mackerel or sardines as my dogs will only eat these. If yours eats other fishes then serve 'em up. I split one large can or 2 small cans among my four dogs

Offal - Offal (or organ meat, e.g. heart, kidney, liver, tripe, etc...) is usually mixed in with the veggie meal, because many dogs do not like the taste (some do). Just be careful not to feed too much, too quickly, as offal is very rich and too much will cause loose stools. Offal can be fed once or twice a week!

Veggie meal - This is for 1 meal not a full day's worth - 1/4 calves liver or an egg and I puree these veggies for about 3/4 cup worth. Mix and match veggies do not try to use all these at the same time - carrots, turnip, parsnip, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, dark green lettuces, celery - I add a little - very little - of either spinach, kale, turnip greens, or broccoli. Now and then if I have a piece of cauliflower I toss that in too.

To most meals I add 1 teaspoon of oil (cold pressed flaxseed, or safflower or vegetable or olive but usually flaxseed for Omegas). To each meal I add 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (Vitamin Bs), 1/4 teaspoon kelp, 1/4 teaspoon alfalfa powder. Also I add Vitamin C (about 2000mg) but you need to start off slow and increase a little at a time so as to not upset the tummy. My golden gets 200mg Vitamin E 1x/day

Poodle - 35# - gets exactly half of the above recipe - sometimes he is very active so I give a little more than 1/2 of the above. Halve the vitamins of yeast, kelp, alfalfa and remember Vitamin C 100mg Vitamin E/day

Cocker Spaniel 20# - gets 1/4 of above recipe - he tends to gain weight easily so I take a little away or add a little from his meals constantly - as I said, adjust to each dog's activity level and metabolism. 1/4 the vitamins of yeast, kelp, alfalfa and remember the Vitamin C, Vitamin. E - cocker gets "most" of a 100mg capsule but a few drops goes into the Chihuahua's meal

Chihuahua 8# - very active little guy - 1 1/2 chicken wings, or 4 chicken necks or about 2/3 of 1/2 a chicken back (I break it in half and then take a piece off). For the veggie meal, which is 1 out of 2 meals a day, he gets about 1/4 cup of veggie mix with a little liver (about a square inch) or some egg or a tablespoon plain yogurt. Meat - for 1 meal - a little less than 1/4 cup of beef heart or gizzards. Remember a few drops of the Vitamin E and a little Vitamin C

The easy way is to go by the Golden's meals - And don't be afraid to adjust as needed for YOUR dog. Halve it for a 35# dog, Quarter for 20# dog and about Eighth for 8# dog OR Double it for a large-breed dog.

TIP : Make a calendar - jot in on a ten day basis if feeding 1x/day 7 meals of RMBs, 2 veggie meals and 1 meat/offal meal I also throw in a fish meal now and then. As Dr. Billinghurst says - this is not etched in stone. If you have no RMBs one day - then take a few veggies and an egg or can of fish, puree and serve. Happy Crunching :) Back to top of page

Should I switch cold-turkey or is gradual better?

Most dogs do very well being switched over to BARF cold-turkey, but the change over should be done 'easy.' It is recommended that when you are ready to begin, don't try and rush things. Take is slowly. Try to keep the diet bland and simple at first. This is particularly important for older/middle aged dogs. Don't overload your dog with the 'good stuff' - he may not be able to handle it yet - particularly after a lifetime on kibble. Start with just some lean chicken or turkey necks or backs only for the first couple of days, keeping meals small to begin with and don't let your dog overdo it. Once the dog has settled into this, add some bland veggies with a bit of lean mince (ground meat).

The veggies do need to be pulped up using something like a blender, juicer or food processor. You are aiming for something a bit like the vegetable matter found in the stomach of a prey animal. The reason for this is that dogs can not digest cellulose. Cell walls of plants are made of cellulose, so for our dogs to get the nutrients out of them, we need to crush the cell walls. Chopping them up only crushes the cell walls on the outside, leaving the bit in the middle pretty much unavailable to them nutritionally. Cooking them will also destroy the cell walls, but as this also destroys a lot of the nutrients and enzymes in the veggies, it kind of defeats the purpose.

You can start adding richer food like eggs and liver (and maybe leaving a little bit more fat on the chicken/turkey) after a week or two once your dog is used to the simple diet. And after you have got the hang of it for a few weeks, THEN start thinking about adding supplements, if you want to. Don't try to do it all at once. It is also suggested that with dogs new to the BARF diet that you stay away from the harder or fattier bones for at least a few months (and perhaps longer, particularly for older dogs). Give them time to develop some 'strength' in their digestive system first. Please be sure, whenever switching your pet's diet, to add plenty of digestive enzymes and probiotics daily, to ensure smooth transition to the new food. Probiotics should be continued daily, even after transition, to ensure a constant supply of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Learn more here. Back to top of page

I'm still researching BARF, and am not quite ready to make the change. Can you recommend an alternative food that is just as healthy, in the interim?

Proper research can take several weeks or months, depending on your time and desire to feed a more natural & holistic diet. One should never embark on such a drastic diet change without doing the proper and necessary research. The first alternative I'd like to recommend is Dr. Billinghurt's BARF Diet. Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™ is nutritionally sound and nutritionally adequate. This means - in addition to containing those nutrients which “must be present” in processed pet foods, the Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™ diet also contains many other essential nutrients. These are the nutrients found only in whole raw foods. Furthermore, all of these nutrients are present in their biologically available form. In other words, this is a diet that goes well beyond the standards laid down for modern processed pet foods.

Another alternative I'd like to recommend is HealthyPetNet's Life's Abundance, 100% all natural & holistic foods for dogs & cats, made of 100% all natural, human-grade ingredients. HealthyPetNet also carries a full line of all natural pet care products, canine and feline supplements! Other excellent alternatives would be to go with a holistic pre-mix food like Dr. Harvey's, a prepared raw diet like Oma's Pride or even Verve, Force or Embark, which is a dehydrated holistic dog food line. You have a choice... Please be sure, whenever switching your pet's diet, to add plenty of digestive enzymes and probiotics daily, to ensure smooth transition to the new food. Probiotics should be continued daily, even after transition, to ensure a constant supply of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Learn more here.

Can I feed kibble AND BARF?

Yes you can, but seriously, why? OK, I know change can be difficult, so please allow me to explain. Kibble and raw food are digested differently, and should NEVER be fed together, in the same meal. If you feed dry kibble at the same meal as the raw meat, you are increasing the amount of time the food is in the body, and increasing the possibility of illness from microbes. So, if you want to feed half & half, feed kibble one meal, raw the next. Your dog will probably be the one who will let you know, before you do, that BARF is IN and kibble is OUT! :>) But, if you really feel the need to feed kibble (alone or in addition to BARF) or just haven't made up your mind to switch completely to BARF, you may seriously consider a super premium all natural, holistic dog and/or cat food, such as Life's Abundance, which contains all natural and human-grade ingredients, including digestive enzymes/probiotics and grape seed extract (antioxidant)....and NO Corn, No Wheat and No Dairy, formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, nationally recognized holistic veterinarian. Back to top of page


How much do I feed daily?

Billinghurst recommends 60% RMBs and 40% veggies, etc... however; 60% to 75% CAN BE RMBs and the rest should be a combination of veggies, organs (also known as offal, to include liver, heart, kidney, green tripe, etc...), ground meat (e.g. lean beef, chicken or turkey), eggs and supplements. If you are just starting BARF, remember to start slow by adding new food items every few days or even weeks, until your dog gets used to the new food (especially the richer foods like liver). This is only a guide to help get you started. If your dog is on the skinnier side, up the food (RMBs) and reduce the veggies....if your dog is on the heavier side, reduce the RMBs and up the veggies. To know if your dog is 'just right,' rub the back of your hand.....his/her ribs should feel the same. If you can't feel his/her ribs, then reduce the daily food intake.

Multiply your dogs weight by 16 to get the number of ounces he weighs.
Multiply that by .02, which gives you 2 % of his body weight.
Multiply that by .6 to give you the weight of RMB you should feed. That is chicken necks, wings, backs etc.
Go back to the 2% of his body weight again and multiply that number by .4 to get the weight in ounces of vegetable patty mix you should feed.

For example: One of my Boxers weighs 70 Lbs. Here's the formula I used to calculate the daily food intake when I started:

70Lbs x 16 = 1120 ounces
1120 x .02 = 22.4 ounces of food per day
22.4 x .6 = 13.44 ounces of RMB -----60% RMB
22.4 x .4 = 8.96 ounces of Veg. Patty mix.-----40% Veg. Patty mix.

Remember this is only a place to start - adjust everything up or down, depending on your dogs condition.

Back to top of page

I'm a Vegetarian and do not want to feed meat to my pet. Can I still feed a raw diet?

Absolutely, you can feed your pet a vegetarian diet. But the most important thing you will need to remember, since your pet won't be getting any meat, is to feed high quality protein with the meals, just as you do. The amino acids in meat are essential nutrients, and if you're not feeding meat, your pet will get all the necessary amino acids from tofu, grains and beans. As you learn more about feeding a raw diet, you'll likely bump into many people who are totally against feeding grains. Feeding grains is a personal choice, and does work well for many. It is suggested that the protein be rotated because each and every protein source you choose has a different amino acid chain and concentration. It is also highly recommended to seek out organic grains and beans. Oils are also an essential ingredient in a vegetarian diet, so make sure these get alternated as well, once a week!

Putting together a proper and nutritionally complete vegetarian diet for your pet can be quite as complex as the traditional raw diet. You must do your research before plunging in! An absolutely EXCELLENT alternative, while you're researching and learning, is Dr. Harvey's. The foods come complete with organic grains, vegetables, herbs and some required supplements. All you need to do is add your protein source and essential oils...and you have a nutritionally complete meal for your dog or cat. The food is also an excellent choice for pet owners who want to feed a traditional raw diet with meat or who want the convenience of a home-cooked meal for their pets. Click here for more information.



What exactly is the difference between Raw Meaty Bones & recreational bones? Which should I feed?

RMBs are soft enough for the dog to chew up and eat - things like chicken carcasses/backs/necks/wings, lamb necks, oxtails, turkey necks, etc..., which make up an RMB meal. Recreational bones, on the other hand, are larger bones that the dog will chew on but will not eat the whole bone - things like beef marrow bones, femurs, knuckle bones, etc... Weight-bearing bones can also be given (chicken legs/thighs), but they are a bit more difficult to chew (especially for a small animal). When giving chicken legs/thighs, remember to supplement with eggshell powder or bone dust, to even out the calcium/phosphorus ratio.

Back to top of page


What is the best way to start my older dog on BARF?

It is best with an old dog to keep the diet fairly bland and low fat when changing over. I would suggest adding some probiotics to the diet to help restore good bacteria into the system to fight the bad bacteria and help increase immunity. You can do this by adding yogurt with live cultures in it to the diet or by getting some kind of probiotic supplement. If you are feeding grains, you may wish to either reduce the amount or remove them altogether, until your dog has adjusted to his new way of eating.

Remember to start slow, adding a new food item every few days...build up the number of items slowly as you and your dog begin to get the hang of it. Back to top of page

I'm really concerned about salmonella. Am I over-reacting?

When first starting BARF, many people were actually overly compulsive and obsessive with regards to possible salmonella poisoning. In fact, I was one of them. I wore latex gloves when handling the chicken and I never allowed one tiny piece of chicken to touch ANYTHING in my kitchen. I was totally neurotic. After a couple of weeks of BARF, I began to relax a bit. I now use my bare hands when handling and practice proper food handling techniques. Knock on wood, none of my dogs or family members have gotten sick. To this day though, I won't allow ANYONE into my kitchen when I'm wrapping 80 pounds of chicken backs....NOT UNTIL I'M DONE and everything's been wiped down with Thieve's Household Cleaner (yes, it even kills salmonella). :>)

According to an FDA news release, "salmonella is not harmful to dogs". The message? Salmonella is everywhere - not just in raw meats. Employ basic hygiene practices, wash your hands and keep surfaces clean - just as you would when handling your own food. Simple, really! If you want to read more, then you'll find the article on The Question of Bacteria in Processed Pet Foods. Back to top of page


Is my dog experiencing detox?

When switching a dog over from commercial dog food to BARF, the dog's body may begin the process of ridding itself of toxins and impurities as it adjusts to the intake of proper nutrients. This process is called detox. Depending on the overall health of your dog, detox may last one week, one month or even several weeks...or not even at all. The most common symptoms of detox include vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath and itchy skin. It is normal for any of these detox symptoms to get worse before they get better...just don't give up and hang in there. Keep your dog as comfortable as possible during this process. Go slow on introducing new foods, to make sure there are no allergies. Pure pumpkin in the can (not pumpkin pie filling) works magic to firm stools quickly. Provide plenty of fresh water, but limit excessive water intake immediately after meals, as your dog may regurgitate. Give plenty of Vitamin E and C (the C to bowel tolerance) to help boost his/her immune system. Back to top of page

Why is my dog drinking less water daily? Should I be concerned?

No, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned. Raw food is full of naturally occurring water! All the moisture needed to digest raw food is contained in raw food!

Although a lower sodium intake is part of the reason that our BARFing dogs drink less water, the real reason is that raw food has not had the water removed like kibble has. The different between kibble and canned dog food is the water content...they leave the water in the canned and dry out the kibble. It takes a lot of water to re-hydrate those little nuggets!

Back to top of page


How does one measure the food when switching from kibble to BARF?

I must admit I prefer the 'cold turkey' approach of switching rather than a slow switch. Try starting with around 2 to 3% of your dogs bodyweight (more for pups - up to about 10% for them) and adjusting from there. It is not an exact science and every dog is different so be prepared to adjust as you go along. Not getting it quite right is not really a problem as long as you accompany this with observation of your dog so you can watch for changes (losing/gaining weight).

Back to top of page

Why do I need to separate certain food items, like RMBs, veggies and grains, and why can't I feed them together?

In Pat Lazarus book, "Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way," under the topic of food combining he states:

"How you combine food groups can be crucial to your dog's health. Why? The digestive organs secret enzymes to break down food so it can be properly used by the body. When carbohydrates and proteins are eaten at the same time, the protein enzymes go to work first, and the digestion of carbohydrates must wait. While the carbohydrates are waiting around to be digested, they ferment and release toxins in the body.

Proper food combining might more aptly be called not combining foods: Give only meat (or other heavy proteins such as eggs or milk) at one meal; give carbohydrates (fruit & grains) for the other meal. Vegetables, though may be given with either grains or heavy proteins."

He goes on to mention this can also help in preventing pancreatitus.

Also, grains and meats should not be fed together but veggies can be feed with either, with no loss of nutrients. Fruits, except apples, should be feed alone and at least twenty minutes before or after anything else. Back to top of page

Is it o.k. to feed grains?

Grains are not a natural food for dogs. It is not something they would eat in the wild. Those grains they would have access to would be in small quantities eaten from the stomachs of prey animals who had (in the right season) eaten some grasses that had seeded. These grains would also not look like our modern grains - more like wild rice (check it out at the supermarket and compare to domestic types).

Grains are also full of carbohydrates which can be easily converted to sugars. Cancer cells feed on sugars and it is believed that by decreasing the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, we may greatly reduce the risk of cancer (which is a growing problem among modern dogs).

So, in answer to your question, yes, grains can be fed; however, please keep the following in mind (when feeding grains), taken directly from a Dr. Billinghurst seminar: grains are not a natural food for dogs; dogs do not, in fact, need carbohydrates; carbohydrates are easily converted into sugars which feed cancer. Remove the carbs and the cancer has less/nothing to feed on; and grains are one of the major causes of allergies in dogs, and can also cause flatulence (gas..PHEW!!!)!.

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Do I really need to use supplements?

I haven't cut supplements out totally, although IMO a lot of people tend to over-supplement. This was something Billinghurst suggested too at a recent seminar here, and he mentioned that he only supplements his own dogs every now and again.

I think if you are providing a good varied diet you will be providing pretty much what your dog needs - all in a highly bio-available form. My first preference when looking to a certain vitamin/mineral will always be to provide it in its natural form first. So if I feel I need to provide more Vitamin B for example, I would consider what foods contain that vitamin first (e.g. liver) rather than reaching for an artificial supplement.

That said, I certainly see a benefit in supplementing those things that our dogs may be missing in the translation from a 'wild' diet to its 'modern' equivalent (i.e. BARF). As we don't necessarily feed the whole animal for example (eyes, brains, stomach and intestines etc etc as well) the addition of things like EFA's (e.g. , fish oil, flaxseed oil) on occasion can be useful. I would include yogurt in this category too - it contains good bacteria which a dog may otherwise have got from eating stomach contents/intestines etc (but green tripe can help here too).

I like to add a bit of Kelp every now and again for its trace elements. Modern soils have been depleted by over-cropping etc and Australian soils in particular are low in iodine. Kelp adds back these trace elements into the diet.

I add Vitamins C and E every now and then for their antioxidant properties and their value to optimize health - particularly in our modern polluted environment. Vitamin C is particularly good in times of stress and I am more likely to include it then than at other times.

Now realize that while I do include these supplements, I do not include them every day. I don't believe they are necessary every day except some in certain circumstances and perhaps only for short periods. Of course every dogs and every situation will be different (if I lived in a city I might give more C and E for example to combat higher pollution). But remember you are providing a much more nutritious product to begin with with raw natural foods. They are probably getting more nutritional value now out of a varied BARF diet without the supplements that they ever did on kibble.

If you do use herbs and vitamins on a regular basis (whether it be for you or your pet), may I suggest you checkout My Herbal Corner, where you'll find the highest quality herbal, vitamin, mineral and nutritional supplements worldwide! If you're only interested in herbs for pets, please click here.


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How do I know what supplement is for what, should I decide to supplement?

B and C vitamins are water soluable, which means whatever the body does not use are eliminated in the urine. You basically cannot "overdo" the vitamins except too much can cause loose bowels (that's why you often see it recommended to supplement with Vitamin C "to bowel tolerance"). Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluable and it IS possible to cause problems by over-supplementing - sometimes the problems can be as bad if not worse than UNDER supplementation. According to Kymythy Schultze in her book, "The Ultimate Diet", she states:

"Alfalfa contains vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, D, E, K AND U, plus beta-carotene, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, protein, amino acids, trace elements and fiber. It reduces tissue damage from radiotherapy, helps bleeding disorders, has antibacterial action against salmonella and has a protein with known anti-tumor activity. It's used as a general tonic, to detoxify the body and to treat colon disorders, hemorrhages, diabetes, ulcers and arthritis. Use the alfalfa leaf and stem in powdered or liquid form. Do not use alfalfa seeds as they contain a natural toxin.

Kelp contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C and E, plus zinc, viotin, bromine, calcium, choline, copper, inositol, iodine, PABA, potassium, selenium, sodium and sulfur. Its iodine content is very good for glands and organs, especially the thyroid and liver. It can bind with chemical pollutants in the gastrointestinal tract and prevent their absorption by the body. It increases the contractile force of the heart, improves circulation and is often used for hair loss, goiter, ulcers, obesity and mineral deficiency. Equal parts of alfalfa and kelp in your dog's or cat's food provides a vast array of health-enhancing nutrients as a complete vitamin and mineral supplement.

Other green foods you may use include algae (chlorella, spirulina, blue-green), aloe vera, grasses and sea greens. Since these are plants, they should be fed to carnivores in fairly small amounts, proportionately"

Raw meat, fish and eggs provide an array of amino acids/protein, enzymes, antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin, choline, folic acid, inositol, iodine, pantothenic acid, paba, fatty acids, caldium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium, chromium, copper, manganese, selenium, sodium, sulfur, vanadium, zinc and CoQ10 (see pg 26 of "The Ultimate Diet").

Raw veggies provide enzymes, antioxidants, betacarotene, carbohydrates, fiber, phytochemicals, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, D, E, K, boron, choline, folic acid, inositol, iodine, paba, pantothenic acid, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur and selenium.

Many of us are of the opinion that our dogs, who are healthy, get the vitamins they need from the varied diet they are fed. Many BARFers supplement and many do not. Again, the choice is yours. Back to top of page

What is ACV and what are some of it's benefits?

ACV stands for Apple Cider Vinegar. Of the 22 minerals essential for health, apple cider vinegar contains 19 in exactly the right amounts. *Some* of these minerals are potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, iron, copper, silicon and pectin. ACV also contains natural malic and tartaric acids which are important in fighting body toxins and inhibiting unfriendly bacteria. There are claims that the additional acidity of ACV helps the digestion process. Many dogs like the taste of it, and it even makes the RMBs smell less raw meaty-like. Many people soak the RMBs in ACV prior to feeding, to aide with the digestion of bones. Remember in chemistry class, soaking a raw bone in vinegar? It turned rubbery! hummmm..some food for thought for those of you afraid of splintering bones. Again, the option to use ACV is purely another personal choice...some do and some don't. Oh, a teaspoon of ACV (daily) in your dog's food also removes tear stains (for those with very light-colored dogs). Results are usually begun to be seen in 7 to 10 days. Read more about the wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar here. Back to top of page

What is Ester C and bowel tolerance?

Ester C is a buffered form of Vitamin C, which is easier on the stomach than other C's (ascorbic acid). If you decide to use Ester C or any of the other buffered form of C (calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate), you will be able to provide a much higher dosage than you would with ascorbic acid. If you are providing a buffered form of C, you might want to start out with 500 mg and increase the dosage (splitting the dosage to twice per day) until you determine the bowel tolerance. From that point, you can then determine how much C you want to offer per day.

As you are upping the daily dosage of C and you notice that your dog's stools are becoming a bit loose, then you have reached Bowel Tolerance. Any higher dosage will cause loose/watery stools, and even diarrhea.

Vitamin C is an immune booster and can be given daily. You can also UP the amount of Vitamin C during times of stress.

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What are digestive enzymes and probiotics, and why is their use recommended?

Digestive enzymes break down food so that it can be absorbed and utilized by the body. Raw food has enzymatic activity, and the body has a limited supply also. When our pets eat the raw food that their physiology is designed to thrive on, they receive plenty of food enzymes, which aid digestion and nutrient utilization. When they eat cooked food, which is devoid of enzymes, they can deplete the body's supply, and the enzyme-producing organs must work overtime to compensate. It doesn't matter what you put into the body if digestion is not equipped with enough enzymes to break it down and put it to good use within the body. Supplemental enzymes can be beneficial in cases of digestive disorders and degenerative diseases. They replenish the body with the tools needed to utilize nutrients.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. They are normally present in a healthy intestinal system. Beneficial bacteria keep unwanted bacteria, fungi, and other bad guys from disrupting homeostasis. For example, U.S.A. labs have conducted studies showing non-dairy probiotics to be extremely successful at destroying e.coli bacteria. Beneficial bacteria is killed by antibiotics. Supplemental use of non-dairy probiotics can help re-establish normal intestinal function (lots of yogurt).

Both enzymes and probiotics can be purchased from a variety of sources including health food stores, vitamin shops, catalog, etc. Look for products with a large amount of active ingredient and no fillers, binders, yeast, dairy, sugar, etc. Use according to directions. Enzymes are most often sprinkled on food right before feeding. Probiotics, which should be refrigerated, are most effective if given between meals. More information on digestive enzymes can be found here. I highly recommend Natur's Way MSE Probiotics, the #1 Digestive Enzyme and Probiotic on the market today. Learn all about probiotics and digestive enzymes here, and why they're so important to give daily. Back to top of page

What are other natural sources of calcium, other than egg shells and the bones themselves, to supplement?

Personally I would stick with the eggshells, but I have heard people talking to their butcher/meat market and asking them to save bone "sawdust" from when they cut the meats down. This bone dust would be preferable to bonemeal because it would still be in its "raw" state. Eggshell powder can be made yourself, by saving the raw shells, drying and then running them through a coffee grinder. According to Pitcairn, there is 1,800 mgs. of calcium per teaspoon of eggshell powder. Bone Dust contains 8.74 % ash, (1/3 of which is calcium), 25.26 % fat, 13.42 % protein, and 52 % is water. Back to top of page

Fish? You mean I can really toss my dog a whole fish?

Absolutely...head, tail, body...the whole thing! Just be sure to check inside the fish for any hook that may have been forgotten to be removed. Fish is not a substitute for an RMB meal, but it can be fed a couple of times a week. One reason for this is the thiaminase enzyme in fish...it destroys thimaine (Vitamin B1). Fish especially rich in thiaminase are herring, capelin, suckers, smelts and various carp species, a total of some 50 species, most of which live in fresh water. Extra thiamin can be fed when feeding fish. Feeding whole fish is also an individual's personal choice. Many are afraid of the bones getting stuck...no problem, there are many varieties of nutritious canned fish on the market.

A special note with regards to those who live in the Pacific Northwest: salmon and trout can carry the rickettsia organism responsible for salmon poisoning. If your dog shows ANY signs of being ill within two weeks of feeding, get him/her to the vet, and tell them to look for salmon poisoning. This information is not meant to scare anyone, but it's extremely risky to feed raw salmon and trout from the Pacific Northwest.. Back to top of page

When should I start introducing veggies?

They are probably the second thing I would introduce after some Raw Meaty Bones such as chicken (Oh, I may add some yogurt or probiotics first though). When to add them usually depends on your dog. If he handles the chicken RMBs well for a few days, you can try adding some bland veggie mix (with perhaps some lean ground meat to tempt). You can add it sooner if the dog is getting a little constipated, or later if things are still a bit soft and runny ;-). Either way, try and keep the diet fairly bland and low fat for a while when starting out. Back to top of page

What is the recipe for Dr. Billinghurst's veggie patties? Can I change this recipe?

Yes, this recipe can be adjusted to suit your dog's needs or tastes, at the time. It is based on raw crushed vegetables - at least half e.g. one kilo vegetables such as carrots, celery, spinach, broccoli, etc. The other half consists of lean mince - beef, chicken, lamb {pork} e.g. one kilo. To which we add such things as: yogurt - low fat and plain - half a small tub eggs - raw preferably free range - about 3 flax seed oil - 2 or three dessertspoons liver - raw - say a quarter of a lamb's fry garlic - 2 or 3 cloves kelp powder - up to 4 teaspoons B vitamins - a teaspoon of Troy Vitamin B PLUS OTHER HEALTHY FOOD SCRAPS e.g. small amounts of cooked veggies, rice, cottage cheese etc. Any surplus - not fed on the day - should be formed into patties, frozen, thawed out as required. copyright IAN BILLINGHURST Back to top of page

Help, my dog won't eat his veggies!

I went through the same routine with my Dobe when I fed kibble and again when I fed Barf. Finally, what came about was our "Giant Veggie Battle". I finally decided that I had enough pampering, I knew he liked the veggies because at one point he used to gobble them up, but he was being stubborn. He would rather have RMBs.

So for 3 days he got veggie meals...for 3 days he refused to eat. He would eat a bite or two, sometimes 3 if I was lucky and walk away. Every meal, I would give him a fresh meal with maybe 2 tbsp. of veggie mix and the rest ground beef/mackerel/salmon, etc. I would leave it down for 10 minutes and then calmly pick it up. Well at 3 1/2 days, the boy finally ate his whole veggie meal. Apparently, he was hungry enough. Never again did we have the problem.

This might be worth looking into in your case. As long as you know the dog is healthy and has no reason other than "stubbornness" not to eat a particular meal, this is an option for you. Yes, it can be stressful and frustrating, however, in the long run you have very few "battles" after that and happier mealtimes.

Here are some suggestions that were given to me to try to tempt him in his veggie meals:

Mix veggies with canned fish (mackerel, tuna, sardines) or ground meat
Parmesan cheese on top
Grated Cheese in the mix
1 - 2 tsp. of molasses
Garlic powder or regular garlic
raw egg
baked beans
yogurt or cottage cheese
chopped raw liver or kidney
vegemite mixed with warm water (probably not relevant for the USA lol)

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Why can't I just chop up a veggie, or even give it whole?

The veggies need to be pulped up using something like a blender, juicer or food processor. You are aiming for something a bit like the vegetable matter found in the stomach of a prey animal. The reason for this is that dogs can not digest cellulose. Cell walls of plants are made of cellulose, so for our dogs to get the nutrients out of them, we need to crush the cell walls. Chopping them up only crushes the cell walls on the outside, leaving the bit in the middle pretty much unavailable to them nutritionally. Cooking them will also destroy the cell walls, but as this also destroys a lot of the nutrients and enzymes in the veggies (even canned veggies), it kind of defeats the purpose. Freezing the veggies and then thawing can also break down the cell walls. Back to top of page

Is it ok to mix the veggie mush with ground meat?

Yes, you can mix the ground meat in with the veggies :). If this is purely muscle meat and not ground Raw Meaty Bones, it is best to limit the amount you are feeding though. Remember that 60 to 80% of the diet should be raw meaty bones. Of the remainder, less that 1/2 should usually be additional muscle meat without the bones. If you can try and make sure there is at least the same amount if not more veggies and other stuff than the ground muscle meat in your veggie mix.

Of course if you are just introducing the veggies and that is the only way they will eat them, mixing a small amount of veggies in a larger amount of meat will sometimes help. You can gradually decrease the amount of meat and increase the veggies as they get used to it. Back to top of page


My supermarket frequently has chicken leg quarters on sale. Are these o.k. to use?

Yes - but they don't contain the proper calcium:meat ratio; plus they are load-bearing bones and are naturally harder (and harder on your dog's teeth over the long haul). If you DO decide to use them, you will need to supplement with additional calcium (in the form of eggshells or bonemeal). Back to top of page

My dog literally inhales her food, and it scares me to near death. What can I do to get her to slow down?

Many dogs have a tendency to gulp their food, without chewing, and this can be a very scary experience for an owner new to feeding raw bones. To teach the dog to chew before swallowing (yes, your dog needs to learn how to chew), try larger RMBs like chicken backs and turkey necks. Avoid all the smaller RMBs (chicken wings, chicken necks, etc...) until your dog learns to chew her food. Another option (submitted by a BARFer) is, "instead of giving her bigger things to chew on, I hand fed my dog, and made him pull the meat off the bone. I did this for about a week, and afterwards everything was fine. For people who have bigger dogs, and are afraid of getting their hand chopped off, they should teach their dog to respect their hand, and the meat that's in it." Back to top of page

I thought RMBs were supposed to be given whole...why are some people grinding them for their dogs?

Yes, RMBs should be given whole (not ground up or smashed), as chewing the entire RMB provides several benefits. Chewing RMBs provides superior jaw and upper body muscle exercise, as well as those pearly whites we've read so much about. Puppies who chew their RMBs satisfy their natural chewing desires, rather than chewing on your furniture or shoes. On the other hand, ground RMBs still provide all the nutritional requirements that are so crucial to your dog's health. There are people who choose to grind (or even smash up the RMB) for various reasons, examples are: feeding an older dog with few teeth left, the dog is a chronic 'gulper,' OR just for an owner's peace of mind that their dog won't choke on the bones (until they feel more comfortable feeding raw meaty bones). To grind or not to grind is purely an owner's personal choice. Unless there is an underlying medical condition, RMBs should be fed whole. An excellent alternative would be to go with a prepared raw diet like Oma's Pride. Back to top of page

I've heard so much about the Maverick Meat Grinder, where can I buy one?

You can purchase the Maverick Grinder directly at Pierce Food Service Equipment, Inc. This site does not endorse this grinder, but does endorse the grinder from Northern Tools (photo to the left). This comes from my personal research, comparison of many grinders and the actual use of this product. When you get to Northern Tools, simply type in the product # 168620 (numbers only) at the top of the page in the search box, and you'll be taken directly to the recommended grinder. PLEASE know that NONE of these companies advertise their grinders to grind RMB's due to warranty issues, and they may even include this in their owner's manuals, just to cover their butts. I've been using my Northern Tools grinder for years, and have no problem grinding raw chicken backs (with or without the skin), raw chicken necks, raw chicken wings and raw turkey necks.

Again, it is purely a personal choice to grind or not to grind. Please use your utmost discretion before purchasing ANY grinder, or ANY product, for that matter. Back to top of page

How do I go about finding a Raw Meaty Bone supplier?

The best place to find a supplier for your raw meaty bones is in your phone book. Look up Butchers and Wholesale Poultry Distributors in the Yellow Pages. You can also search the International Purveyor Index using your zip code to find a supplier near you. Back to top of page

How much can I expect to pay for RMBs?

On the average, staple RMBs (chicken wings, chicken backs and turkey necks) can be purchased from a wholesale supplier in 40-pound cases for about .89 cents a pound, .29 cents a pound and .39 cents a pound, respectively (in US Dollars). Prices vary by state and supplier, and these are just average prices. These staples, and other RMBs, can also be purchased in your local supermarket(s), at a bit higher price per pound. If you are BARFing more than one dog, it will certainly 'pay' for you to shop around for the best prices and even invest in a chest or upright freezer. Back to top of page

I've heard about trichinosis and pork. Is it safe to feed pork?

As with many other food items, feeding pork is purely a personal choice. But yes, it CAN be fed, safely. Some dogs do very well on pork and others don't (loose stools). If you'd like to feed pork but are afraid of possible trichinosis, it is recommended that the pork be frozen, at Zero degrees F for 3 weeks, to kill the flukes. The incidence of trichinosis is actually fairly minimal in most places now (particularly in inspected meats). Many have fed fresh pork (pork necks, being a favorite) without any ill side-effects. Be aware of smoked pork necks, as they are slightly cooked from the smoking process. Pigs feet can also be fed, but are very high in fat...something you may want to avoid if your dog needs to lose a pound or two.

What is the bone to meat ratio?

Ideally, it is anywhere from 1:1 to 2:1 calcium:phosphorus (bone/eggshell:meat). The ratio for various food items can be researched using the Calcium/Phosphorus Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio Chart Ratio Chart. Back to top of page

Aside from natural calcium, what other nutrients do RMBs provide?

Raw meaty bones provide nutritious marrow, amino acids/protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, enzymes, antioxidants and a vast array of species-appropriate minerals and vitamins all in a usable form. Back to top of page

I've noticed my dog pooping less and it's white. Is this normal?

Yes, this is completely normal for a BARFing dog. The reason your dog is pooping less is because most of the food he is now ingesting, is being digested and properly utilized by the body...thus, less waste. The RMBs account for it turning white. If you notice your dog straining while pooping, you can up the veggies a bit; however, straining a little bit can help express the anal glands, which would normally be done by your vet, at a price!

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My dog is constipated. How can I help him?

Pure pumpkin in the can (not pumpkin pie filling) helps both loose stools and constipation. You can also reduce the RMBs and up the veggies a bit, or even add liver to the meal. Back to top of page


Help!!! My dog has diarrhea!!!

If you're just starting to BARF your dog, the diarrhea may be brought on because of the normal detox process (cleansing out the toxins and impurities) OR because you may have added one too many things too quickly. Pure pumpkin, in the can (not pumpkin pie filling), will immediately halt the diarrhea. If the diarrhea is because of the possibility of a reaction to a new food item, you'll need to start an elimination diet. Basically, go right back to feeding one thing only for a time (no supplements or anything else, including treats) and then gradually add things back one at a time and watch for a reaction. As every dog is different, this is the only way you will know for sure what your particular dog is reacting to. In the meantime, keep his food bland until he is feeling better (you too)! You can add applesauce, honey and even Slippery Elm Powder (an herb) to help settle his tummy.

If you feel detox or a new food item may not be the cause of the diarrhea, do not hesitate to drop off a stool sample to your veterinarian to check for parasites, worms and even unfriendly bacteria. If your dog is put on antibiotics for his/her gastrointestinal upset, make sure you give him plenty of probiotics, yogurt, Vitamin C & E, during the recovery process.

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Why is my dog's stool wrapped in mucous at times? Should I be concerned?

Believe it or not, mucousy stools can appear any time, no matter how long one has been BARFing, and is generally no reason for concern. When first starting BARF, this may be a sign that the digestion track is ridding the junk out of it's system (normal part of detox). Mucousy stools can also be related to feeding dairy products. If you are feeding dairy, try cutting them out for a few days and see if this was the culprit. It can also mean an inflammation of the intestinal track. If you notice traces of blood, along with the mucousy stool, a trip to the vet is encouraged. Mucousy stools are also a sign of coccidia (a parasite commonly found in puppies), so you might want to drop off a fecal sample to your vet, and begin treatment. Again, use your judgment...if dog appears ill (gums may be white and not the normal pink/rose color) and is also having frequent bouts of diarrhea that last 24 to 48 hours, call your vet.

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My dog is vomiting. What can I do?

There are several reasons a dog may vomit, and it is up to you to determine why. If the vomit is yellow bile, this means the dog's stomach is completely empty (and hungry!). Feed that poor baby. If the vomit is clear with white foam or mucusy globs, it is from drinking too much too fast (possibly on an empty stomach). I'd remove the water and, again, feed that baby!

Vomiting is also a symptom of the normal detox process. You can add applesauce, honey and even Slippery Elm Powder (an herb) to help settle his tummy, while he is getting accustomed to his new way of eating. The vomiting may also be the result of a new food item that does not agree with him. And yes, a dog new to BARF will occasionally regurgitate his food, and then begin to eat it again...probably more slowly this time, as he 'gulped' it the first time. This IS normal.

Sometimes pieces of bones stay undigested (may have been stuck in the stomach for a while) and cause a bit of blockage, which can cause quite a noxious odor on both ends. Increasing probiotics/digestive enzymes may be a good suggestion.

Dogs can also ingest various foreign objects (e.g. socks, toys, plants, etc...), so keep an eye on your pet if you suspect this type of ingestion, and your dog hasn't thrown up or passed out the foreign object within 24 to 48 hours.

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I'm confused, do I have to fast my dog on occasion?

No, you do not have to fast your dog. In nature, canines (wolves, feral dogs, etc.) don't eat everyday. The theory behind fasting our dogs is that it gives their digestive systems a chance to rest. Most people who fast their dogs do it once a week. Many people give recreational bones or liquid meals on fast days to help their dog get through the fast day. The choice to fast is a personal decision. Many, many BARFers fast usually on days that would be stressful like traveling, vet days, and so on. Many dogs will fast themselves and we must listen to them.

Now, if your dog pooped numerous times after fasting, this is good as he/she must have had some build up to get rid of and with the daily meals his/her system wasn't getting around to it. As long as they were not extremely loose from the start, then he/she sounds fine. Back to top of page


When thawing, is there a point where the food is considered dangerous and should be thrown out?

For my dogs here, it is when the smell of the meat is so bad I nearly throw up ;-). That usually takes a quite a number of days of being thawed out in the fridge. If it smells a little 'gamey' (a few days old) I will still feed it. With a dog new to BARF I would try and keep the meat fairly fresh for a while though. Easiest way is to thaw slowly in the fridge, or to thaw for a few hours or overnight in a container on the kitchen counter. Just thaw as much as you need for one day at a time.

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Can I use my microwave for thawing RMBs?

When using a microwave to thaw RMBs, you must be extremely careful, as the microwave can begin to cook the food from the inside (the bones) out. Thawing RMBs in the microwave is NOT the recommended method. NEVER, EVER give your dog a cooked bone, as it can splinter and cause severe internal complications. The safest method of thawing is room temperature or, if you're in a bit of a hurry, soak the RMBs in cold water in the kitchen sink. Back to top of page

Is it possible that my dog is allergic to the Omega oils?

Yes, it is possible. I think some dogs have been known to react to Flaxseed oil. If this is what you are using, you may want to try fish oil as an alternative source. Back to top of page


Can I still BARF my dog while traveling?

Yes, you can. When I travel if I have room for an extra cooler, I freeze RMB meals in separate portions so I can take one meal out at a time. I try to use a separate cooler for RMB so it isn't opened as much. I also freeze the RMBs a week or two in advance so they stay frozen longer.

If I don't have a lot of extra room for a cooler, some options are:

1. Shopping when you get to location (although this can be pricey and isn't always an option)
2. Canned mackerel/tuna/salmon
3. Cottage Cheese
4. Natural Applesauce
5. I've even fed canned green beans and other canned veggies
6. Oma's Pride Frozen Raw Freeze-Dried

In terms of feeding the "correct balanced diet", remember that you are looking at the diet "over time" versus a daily diet. I don't try to bring any veggie mix with me when I travel. From what I've found, it doesn't work too well and gets messy.

There is also someone on the list who just feeds the dog, whatever they are eating at that time. While it might not be the exact ratios, it still is probably better than kibble. Back to top of page

What are proper food safety techniques?

Basic food safety techniques are really not much difference for handling dog food as they are for people food. Basically they involve washing your hands after handling meat etc, making sure cleaning cloths are clean and washed regularly (or use paper towels) and washing down benches with soap and hot water to curb bacteria growth (I use vinegar too). Some people do additional things, but these are the basics. Back to top of page



What are Satin Balls? Can they really put weight on my skinny dog?

The recipe and information on Satin Balls can be found here. Satin balls are not treats. They are a recipe that was developed to assist with putting weight on dogs. They were not developed as part of the BARF diet, but independently from it and are used by people who feed kibble as equally as those who feed home cooked or raw natural diets. The fact that they can be served either raw or cooked is the main factor that makes them 'acceptable' for all these. When it comes to the BARF diet though, there are some aspects about them that we may not like (the cereal for one). My suggestion is for those that want to feed something like a satin ball but do not like the recipe is to devise your own BARF friendly ones! Not that hard to do really :). Back to top of page

How can a BARF diet reduce the chances of my dog bloating?

The chances of bloat are much less than on kibble. It is quite rare for a dog to bloat when they are eating a raw diet, for a couple of reasons.

The first is that raw food doesn't swell like kibble which can sometimes cause problems. The second thing is that most dogs eat more slowly when they are eating raw food compared to the familiar "inhale" style eating that dogs use when they are eating kibble. Because they aren't inhaling their food, less air is sucked into the stomach. Another reason is that chewing allows the dog's body to prepare for digestion. The necessary juices and acids are released slightly prior to the "deposit" of food into the stomach. Back to top of page

I think my dog is allergic to BARF...how can I be sure?

If you are truly concerned that something in the diet is causing a problem, the only true way to identify it and remove it is with an elimination diet. Basically, go right back to feeding one thing only for a time (no supplements or anything else, including treats) and then gradually add things back one at a time and watch for a reaction. As every dog is different, this is the only way you will know for sure what your particular dog is reacting to. It is important to keep a daily diary of each new food item introduced, and is best to wait two days before adding a new food item or even a supplement.

Here's a great article called, "Allergies: They're NOT Just for Humans Anymore."

If it is not a food-related allergy, changing the diet around - for a dog already on BARF that is - is going to have minimal impact. Basically, if the cause of the allergy is still around, your dog is still likely to react to it no matter what you feed.

That said, BARF can have a positive (if not always total) effect in relation to non-food related allergies. This effect, however, is generally LONG TERM. Basically BARF helps to build the immune system which allows your dog to fight off the allergies when they occur. Over time, as the immune system strengthens, this can help to lessen their impact. While some effects may be immediate when switched to BARF, some dogs continue subtle improvements over a number of years. In simpler terms, allergies are an over reaction of the immune system usually brought about by a weakness or imbalance in the body (such as vaccinations, a chronic illness, virus, food, environmental, or thing(s) she/he comes in contact with). You can help boost your dog's immune system by increasing Vitamin C (to bowel tolerance) and adding Vitamin E. The herbs Echinacea and Goldenseal Root also help to boost the immune system.

Back to top of page

Will feeding raw meat make my dog vicious/mean and create a "blood lust?"

Basically, this IS a myth. There is NO causative relationship between eating raw meat and wanting to kill animals. It has nothing to do with what a dog is fed and has everything to do with natural prey drive, training and socialization. For example, some breeds like the husky can have a very high prey drive. If raised around animals and trained not to chase them, a lot of them will have no problem co-existing happily NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE FED. With a lot of dogs, the instinct is a very ingrained primal one and the sight of an animal running can bring this out in them NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE FED. Dogs can easily distinguish between what they are protecting and what they are eating.

Remember that kibble has not been around that long. For generations man has been feeding raw meat and bones to their dogs. I do not think in the hard reality of life dogs would have lasted too long as man's helpers in the field, on the farm or elsewhere if eating raw meat gave them a blood lust for the other animals around. Imagine an outback station owner for example. The dogs eat the foods the producer produces - the leftover cuts of the animals they slaughter for themselves or the old culls. The nearest town is a couple of hours by light plane or perhaps a 10 hour drive down the track. Before transport such as this, it may have taken a couple of days to get to the neighbors place. Now imagine if all the dogs they use to help them with the stock killed their stock because of the raw meat they were eating. Do you think they would still keep dogs? Would the Australian Cattle Dog or Kelpie have been developed as a breed? I doubt it - they would have all been shot a long long time ago. Yep, some dogs may turn out to be 'stock killers'. This happens. But as we have found, even kibble fed dogs can be stock killers. Back to top of page



More Beginner FAQ's

BARF Tips & Tricks

Original BARF FAQs

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engbulldog

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I feed my Perro de Presa canario nothing but a raw food diet. We actually share our supplements;)
yeah it was too bad about that but it happens still looking for a better place to get it ALL , lets just say 1/2 was left at the store and the manager told sorry about my luck!:(
 

STA MAN

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Loads of good info you posted...thank you. Gonna continue my research on this, plus i'm sure my boy would love all that raw food!! Thanks bro..
 

builder

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do you use any supplements for your dogs and if so what are you using? we have been using DOGtorX and absolutely swear by it!:headbang:
 

Donzi

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my sister did this with her dobies 6 mo ago and they look like totally different dogs. much happier and healthier. Im switching my boxers over to it this mo.
 

Gunsmith

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After working with a couple police dogs (Belgin Malinois) that were litter mates one was fed a raw food diet and the other "high quality" dog food the differance was very noticable , the raw food dog was bigger and stronger his bit was considerably harder when practicing with the bite sleeve.

Ever since then all my dogs are all raw good , my two Jack Russels at home and 3 Catahoula/Pitbull mix all eat raw meat , i also give then raw veggies that they seem to like alot , greenbeans and carrots seem to be a favorite. The meat is lostly chicken cause its cheap but the curs are at my parents and my day shoots small game daily and feeds them that also.

each of my jack russles alos get one raw egg a day and that has realy helpped cut down on their shedding
 

angus62

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Thanks for posting this. I have four dogs and one got pancreatitis from his food. I have always wondered if I was doing what was best for them.
 

SABAGOY

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My French Bulldog is on a raw diet...Natures Variety Instinct Raw Lamb...Its pretty expensive but very convenient and he has done amazing since switching to it. I also add 1 fish oil tab and 1 whole egg to his dinner.

I also add 3 TSPS of Olewo Carrot Pellets to his dinner.

https://www.olewousa.com/categories.aspx?categoryID=100

I want to try and make my own food but havent had the time to think about exactly what i would want to do.
 

BroBovine

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Subscribed - Good thread..

I have a Rotty and Chihuahua and have been feeding them raw veggies and eggs as of late. This post confirms it, I will be going fully raw here with the addition of another Rotty pup soon to be weened for us..
 

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