B.A.R.F - Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw

Topics, guidelines and tips for feeding Chow Chows.

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Mandy
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B.A.R.F - Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw

Postby Mandy » Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:19 pm

Does anyone on this site use the B.A.R.F. feeding method or know a lot about it? I have been researching this method of feeding and I just wanted to know if anyone had any experiences - positive or negative- with it.

If you don't know anything about it - here is a website that explains the concept:
http://www.barfworld.com/
You don't have to buy this type of food... you can create it yourself.

Thanks for sharing any information you have!
Mandy, Chewie, & Cayenne
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kiwani
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Postby kiwani » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:21 pm

While the B.A.R.F literature compares the feeding method to the 'biologically appropriate' diet of wolves, I don't recall the literature ever mentioning the internal parasitic, and other serious diseases, and health problems of wild wolf populations. Wolves don't have 'brilliant' health.

Most modern day dogs are over-vaccinated, over-medicated, routinely treated with pesticides, and all these *do* have an impact on the immune system and on digestion, so not all dogs will be able to deal with raw meat pathogens.

I have mostly fed 'medium raw' cooked meats as a compromise, but I don't vaccinate adult dogs and I concentrate on strengthening the immune system. Supplementing a holistic quality dog food with a variety of quality human grade foods has worked well here over the years, but I've always *watched* for any changes and tweaked ingredients when necessary.

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Postby Mandy » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:23 pm

Thanks for the advice Kiwani. I was thinking pretty close to the same thing about it. i was not sold on the concept of raw meat and bones because of exactly what you are saying.
Mandy, Chewie, & Cayenne

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Postby willowchow » Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:56 pm

I don't give Willow raw, I tried to for awhile but her digestive issues just flare up. I do homecook a lot now and I've got great homecooking books and I also supplement. It took a little research but it's not hard once you get the hang of it. If she'd eat more variety I'd cook all the time but there are only a handful of things she'll eat so we have to use some "dog food".

Also wanted to add--You can buy pre-made raw foods too. The meat/bone/veggies are usually already ground. You don't have to worry about supplements either.
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Postby Rogansmommy » Sat Apr 08, 2006 4:34 am

We've had to swiitch Nina to raw. It's the only thing now that doesn't upset her tummy. I buy it ready made from Prairie. Rogue would eat it too, if it wasn't so expensive. :shock:
Michele

^Rogan^ at the Bridge on 5/16/09 -- always in my heart

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Postby IliamnasQuest » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:36 pm

In 1998 I went to a completely raw diet with my five dogs (ranging in age from one year to nine years). I did it after a lot of research into the diet and the ideas behind the diet. I was certified as a vet tech and had worked in a vet's office for many years and heard all of the pet food reps "poo-poo" the idea of a raw diet. My vet was skeptical. I was skeptical too, especially as I carried a certification as a Nutritional Consultant at the time and everything I'd been taught said "don't feed raw because it's too hard to properly balance a diet and too easy for the dogs to get sick from the bacteria".

But because of health problems in two of my dogs, I decided to make the switch. I was active (still am) on a German shepherd email list and many of the members there were feeding raw because so many shepherds have allergy problems (much more than chows, I think). In my case, I had Kylee who had recurring hot spots and Dawson (the oldest, a shepherd) who was on rimadyl and other meds because of elbow displasia and degenerative myelopathy of the spine. It was the DM that led me into the raw diet. As I researched feeding practices for dogs with DM, I kept running into accounts of dogs that had been helped with a raw diet. At that point I would have fed him gold if it would have helped!

So I talked to people and bought the books and worried. I worried about the bacteria especially as people are so susceptible to bacteria in uncooked meats. But as I watched my dogs on our walks in the woods and on the beach, I realized that they had a tendency to scarf down little dead things they found (birds, rodents, fish) and they rarely - VERY rarely - had any side effects from it. Occasionally they'd have a bit of loose stool and that was it. And I came to realize that they just dealt with the bacteria differently from humans. The literature said that they handled it pretty well, but it was a hard thing to believe.

In November of 1998 I made the switch to raw with all five dogs. It took some adjustment. I worried and fussed over getting a proper balance each and every day, and then realized that I could balance over a week or so and it worked fine. I found that the veggies caused more problems than the meats and I cut back on them. I gave my dogs raw chicken - bones and all - and watched as their teeth became incredibly clean as all the tartar scraped off. On the occasional time one would urp up some bone pieces, I'd take a good look at the bone and found that it was actually soft. Yes, they did vomit on occasion - but even when I fed only kibble, they occasionally vomited. Puke happens .. *L*

I had zero problems with the bones coming out the other end. I never saw a non-digested bone come out. The stools became very small and would turn white quickly and then collapse into powder. Clean-up was almost non-existent.

Kylee quit having hot spots. She has not had a hot spot since the day I started feeding her raw (over seven years now). And the change in Dawson was very obvious. He perked up, showed increased strength, and I was able to take him off of Rimadyl within a month. He lived for another two years before succumbing to the DM. I really didn't think I'd have that long with him.

Now, feeding raw is not for everyone. I never pushed it at people because I fully understand the concerns, the fears and the difficulties related to it. It's a pain in the *ss to deal with all the raw meat. But I firmly believe that I did the right thing in switching.

Due to a few different reasons, I no longer feed 100% raw. I use a good quality kibble and I intersperse it with raw or lightly cooked foods. It can be expensive up here to feed raw, and added to that I have some difficulty in cutting up the meats anymore (physical problem with my hands). My dogs are doing pretty well on this "modified raw" diet. But if I had more ability and more money, I'd feed them raw all the time.

Anyway, that's my story on feeding raw. It's a personal choice, but for many years I fed raw and my dogs were healthy and happy on it. And I never had to worry about a dog food company screwing up the ingredients they use in their foods.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

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Postby Mandy » Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:13 pm

Melanie

Thank you so much for sharing your views on this subject. I'm still doing research and still investigating and still wondering. All advice and all stories are so important to me. Thank you again for sharing your stories!
Mandy, Chewie, & Cayenne

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