Are you curious what a barf diet is? It stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food,” and it’s an effective feeding plan for dogs that emphasizes meat, bones, fruits and vegetables.
Some proponents of this approach claim it’s more natural than commercial pet foods and can improve your pup’s health and lifespan.
Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Additionally, they help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation.
Vegetables provide an alternative fuel source for dogs that don’t enjoy meat with high fat content. Plus, these fruits and veggies are packed full of anti-oxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins – providing additional energy sources.
These compounds work together to fight free radicals, reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease, cancer and other ailments. Certain vegetables are more carotenoid-rich than others, so make sure you select the correct ones for maximum benefit.
Kale, for instance, contains isothiocyanates which may cause gastric irritation in some dogs. Furthermore, its high amount of oxalates increases the likelihood of urinary stones, according to Streeter.
Meat is an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids, particularly when fresh. Additionally, it contains small amounts of fat as well as essential vitamins and minerals like sodium, potassium, zinc, iron (beef being particularly high in this nutrient).
Raw meat is easier to digest than cooked foods and its low glycemic load means it won’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugar or insulin release. This makes it ideal for relieving allergies or digestive issues as well as keeping your pup at an ideal weight.
If you’re thinking of feeding your pup a raw diet, be sure to consult with a holistic vet first. They can create an individualized meal plan tailored specifically for your pup’s specific requirements and preferences.
Raw bones are an ideal treat for puppies on a barf diet. Not only that, but they’re beneficial to your pup’s oral health, digestion and immune system as well.
Raw bones encourage saliva production, helping the dog’s mouth stay clean by naturally scraping away tartar and bacteria. Furthermore, chewing raw bones stimulates a dog’s digestive tract, increasing the concentration of beneficial bacteria in its gut.
However, dogs should not eat whole, cooked bones as they may break into pieces and shards that could damage teeth. As an alternative option, grind bones into powder for easier digestion by your pup.
Seeds & Nuts
Seeds and nuts are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as essential vitamins and minerals that benefit puppies on a barf diet. These nutrients help strengthen the immune system, reduce cholesterol levels, and prevent inflammation.
To provide your pup with the optimal diet of seeds and nuts, soak them in water for 12-24 hours, strain, then grind. Doing this breaks down the plant cell walls of nuts and seeds so they are easier to absorb essential nutrients.
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and fiber for your pup, as well as essential nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Plus they contain essential fatty acids like ALA, GLA, and LA which benefit their coat health.
Feeding your puppy a diet rich in fruit during their early development has many health advantages, especially for their immune system, inflammation reduction and improved digestion.
Raw fruits and vegetables provide your pup with a comprehensive set of essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that can benefit their health.
However, you should not feed your pup any berries or other fruit that contains a pit, seed, or rind as these cannot be digested by dogs and may lead to intestinal blockage.