At Give a Dog a Bone, we’re passionate about educating our customers about the benefits of a raw diet for dogs and cats. There are many ways to feed raw and we want to help you find the method that works best for you and your pet.
BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food) is a diet for dogs and cats that consists of raw muscle meat, organ, meaty bones, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This diet mimics the natural eating habits of carnivorous animals in the wild. This way of feeding keeps your pet’s eating habits as close as possible to how nature intended.
Here are just a few benefits of raw feeding:
- Allergies will greatly decrease
- Skin and coat will be shiny and soft
- Smaller and less smelly stool
- Stronger immune system
- Increased energy
- Healthier teeth and gums by chewing raw meaty bones
Raw Food Extras
- Raw Cultured Goat Milk (Primal and Answers)
- Answers Raw Cow’s Milk Kefir
- Answers Fermented Fish Stock
- Raw meaty bones (recreational and edible)
Tips For Feeding a Raw Diet
- Variety is an important part of feeding a raw diet, which is why we recommend changing up the meat proteins and formulas when possible.
- Transitioning your pet to a raw diet can be slow or quick depending on your pet’s digestive system and your comfort level. We recommend introducing raw slowly by mixing it with their current food. Try to transition over at least a 7 day period.
- Treat all meat products as if you were handling meat for yourself by washing your hands, the prep area, and storage containers. This includes washing your pet’s bowl right after your they have eaten.
- Use only stainless steel or lead-free glass or ceramic bowls when feeding raw.
- Thaw in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.
- Always have fresh water available.
- Never feed cooked bones to your pet since they can easily splinter.
- Do not leave food out between meals. You wouldn’t leave a raw chicken breast sitting on a plate on your kitchen floor all day, would you?
- Only feed recreational bones (marrow bones, knuckle bones, etc.) under supervision.
- Thawed raw food will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days, but it’s a good idea to always check it over before feeding anyway.
Raw Feeding Misconceptions
“Dogs and cats need kibble to keep their teeth clean.”
That’s kind of like me saying that eating pretzels everyday will keep my teeth clean. Chewing raw bones will be keep their teeth clean and their breath smelling better naturally. Even if kibble did clean teeth, most dogs don’t chew their food very much anyway.
“Bacteria in raw meat will make dogs and cats sick.”
It’s actually rare that this would happen. Dogs have a very short and acidic digestive tract that allows them to eat and digest things that might make a human sick. Also, because of their short digestive tract, dogs and cats are able to absorb nutrients from raw meat more efficiently than they can from carbohydrates and an abundance of produce.
“I thought bones were bad for dogs.”
Cooked bones are not safe for dogs. However, raw bones have more give to them and won’t splinter like cooked bones will. If your dog is able to handle raw bones, we recommend choosing one that is an appropriate size and style for your pet.