Real Food

Biologically Appropriate Real Food (BARF)

    
For over 20,000 years before kibble was invented (in the early 1900s) dogs ate real raw food—precisely what their bodies evolved to digest.

Raw feeding is not rocket science, but you must overcome the brainwashing by agribusiness advertising and most veterinarians.  You must also read, think, and learn.
    Today, fresh raw food still provides the most wholesome nourishment not available in highly processed kibble or even home-cooked food (cooking changes the molecular structure of food).
    Since 2001, I have fed past & present Golden Girls (and foster dogs) real raw food.  Their eyes, coat, teeth, and whole being reflect the nourishment they obtain from real food. And yes, it was ‘scary’ at first.

    If, after reading the basic concepts on this and subsequent pages, you would like to try once-a-week raw feeding, check out the Occasional Raw Feeding page.



Raw Dog Food Pyramid

1. Meat (2-4% of dog’s ideal body weight)
    Raw muscle meat (including heart):
· Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, goat, deer, etc.
    Fish (cooked/canned):
· Mackerel (Atlantic), salmon, sardines, etc.
    More here.
2. Raw Meaty Bone (RMB)1
    Must be uncooked (cooked bones splinter)
· Turkey neck, back, and breast
· Chicken, neck, back, breast, feet, and wings
· Calcium supplement in lieu of RMB.
. More here.
3. Organ
    Occasional (3-5 time a week) small amount.
· Beef & lamb liver, kidney.
· Chicken & turkey liver, gizzards.
4. Veggies (very small amount)
    Mix above & below ground vegetables.
    Puree or finely pulp to improve digestibility.
    More here.
5. Extras
    Extras/supplements provide essential trace vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The Golden Girls benefit from the following occasional supplements:
· Sardine or salmon oil daily (fish oil, not plant oils).
· Alfalfa, barley, and wheat grass powder (organic).
· Kelp and spirulina powder (organic).
· Milk kefir and plain yogurt (not low fat).
. More here.


1 = You must add calcium when feeding a raw meat diet that does not include RMB.  Add 800-1,000 mg of calcium per pound of meat.  I use either RMB or powdered eggshell (1/2 tsp per pound of meat).  More here, here, and here.

Avoid

Chocolate    Grapes    Raisins    Onions    Sweeteners    Salt
Apple seeds    Rhubarb    Yeast    Raw fish    Macadamia nuts
 More here but ignore the Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs, and Bones section (reflects a lack of knowledge re raw feeding carnivores).

Feeding
  • Feed meat and RMB warm—never frozen.
  • The Golden Girls were switched to raw food overnight. They eat once a day, in the morning, to their target/ideal weight.
  • Variety is key in feeding a raw natural diet.  This way their meals are nutritionally balanced over time.  On their own, dogs would never eat the same food day after day.  In fact, some days they might eat nothing!
  • More here.


Sanitize everything when finished


Variety

    Do not feed the same meal every day.  Mix up the food and supplements in order to provide enough variety to make meals complete and balanced over time (a few days or a week).

Watch for...

    As with any new food, watch for subtle changes in your dog's skin, coat, appetite, energy level, mood, itchiness, discharges or odors, body weight, and above all, the stool size and consistency. 
    Quality food and properly functioning digestive system produces smaller formed, brown, firm stools.
NOTE: Excess RMB often results in a firm powdery stool.
    If negative changes occur try a different food.  If the change persists, consult a veterinarian experienced in feeding real food.