Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dogs Food Philosophy - BARF vs Non-BARF

BARF Diet has immensely good effect on dogs… that is what many researchers consider. The BARF-ers, as many GSD owners consider themselves, have been feeding their shepherds a good combination of raw meat, raw meaty bones, eggs, and vegetables (not all veggies are recommended), along with the other important ingredients, including yogurt, some recommended cooked grains and cereals (in limited quantity) and fruits. Researchers have proved that the home-made BARF diet keeps a dog – especially the larger ones like German Shepherds, Danes, Labradors, Mastiffs etc. healthier than those that are fed the commercial dog food.

Dr. Ian Billinghurst, a veterinary surgeon from Australia has been working on the study of the related area and an feeding program was formulated to make close observations. According the him the dogs, in his clinic, that were kept on BARF food were noticed to have regained health faster than those that weren’t. Dr. Billinghurst said, "Raw meaty bone-eating dogs lived much longer than their commercially fed counterparts. Bone-eating dogs have the wonderful benefits of clean teeth with no periodontal disease, wonderfully improved digestion, a reduction in obesity, fabulous eating exercise, healthy stools, no anal sac problems, and the wonderful psychological, emotional, and immune system benefits that eating raw meaty bones has conferred on dogs for millions of years."

So what the dog owners, like us, are left with? 

Confusion! Yes… another group of highly qualified researchers have warranted a caution against using BARF diets. Julie Churchill, who is a specialist in companion animal nutrition at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, raised a voice against the BARF-ers’ philosophy. Dr. Churchill said, "I am very much against the raw food diets. Many dogs can do well on a raw food diet. However, (the diets) have the potential to be life-threatening. Any food that can potentially kill even one animal is not worth the risk."

Advocates of BARF feeders has their unique philosophy that the commercial dog foods are lack the necessary enzymes and nutritional ingredients. This seems to be the most effective holistic approach towards healthy feeding and care for your dogs. While one group explains the benefits of the BARF dog food, considering it as a natural, healthy and nutritious raw food diet of old fashion, the other group is constantly campaigning against the BARF philosophy.

Fact is fact! There’s nothing wrong in BARF diet for your dog, as long the meat and bones are super fresh. Raw meats that are kept for some time will develop life threatening bacteria. Sometimes meats that are preserved or frozen also contain salmonella that may prove to be potentially dangerous for your dog.

Why not cooking it?  Meat, egg, veggies (not all greens are good), cereals and other ingredients, like turmeric etc. can be boiled for 15-20 minutes and you can ensure a huge safety!

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