B.A.R.F- Raw Dog Food

“Baaaaarf…I’m my own best friend.” Hahaha, I loved John Candy. But this is about raw dog food.

My mog…I mean dog, is 5 years old. He has seen the inside of a vet 2 times. Once for shots and another for neutering. He has clean teeth, strong bones and a healthy coat that needs consistent brushing. Seriously, if I brushed him regularly, like once or twice a week. I’d only have to wash him 2 or 3 times a year. But I don’t…so sometimes he gets, “alone time.”


I’d love to believe this is because of his diet.
I feed my dog the B.A.R.F diet. (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or, Bones And Raw Food.)
Anything raw is open game and dinner leftovers that might go bad, he vacuums up with no sensitivity issues, ever.

Introduced to the diet by my buddy who has a chocolate lab (Scout). Scout was always so healthy, strong and clean. I was amazed at how little maintenance he seemed to need and how low his cost of care was. Vet visits, skin problems, mouth care, vitamin deficiency, washing, injury, bowel sensitivity, and food cost. All are either nonexistent or lessened, I swear.

I’ve met quite a few people that “cook” for their dogs. Usually some mixture of cooked meat, brown rice and vegetable…probably some kind of vitamin supplement for coat and health as well. That’s cool; ain’t knockin’ the hustle. But this alternative just wont happen with me; too much preparation and cost.

Step by step

Here is a basic breakdown of my dogs weekly diet.

We were really good for 3 years:
5 days of 1-2lbs of raw meat and bone, usually raw chicken scraps and or backs and necks.  Sometimes interspersed with a salmon head or salmon belly and skin…beef ribs, offal. Anything I see for 59-89 cents a pound. Eggs are used here and there as well; with shells. I feed once a day in the evening.

1 day veggies. Usually fruit and veggie pulp from our juicing, with added oil. (Olive or something leftover from cooking). Some friends do applesauce and canned pumpkin, but I like him getting greens. The oil is so he’ll actually eat it. Intermittently I’ll throw in all or one of the following costco human supplements. Which I used to take as well. Omeg-3 fish pill, flax oil pill, multi vitamin.

1 day nothing. Really, one day of absolutely nothing. Emptiness gives their bodies the opportunity to cleanse and use what is still inside. It’s called a starve day and is an essential part of the diet. Helps train their bodies to extract nutrients more efficiently. Even though you don’t have to worry about food that day. There is however some effort put in mentally. You’ll need to block the laser beams emitting from your dogs eyes. Especially when you’re happily stuffing your pie hole at dinner.
I usually don’t plan the starve day or the veggie day. When I happen to run out of meat or forgot it at the store. Guess what? Starve day.

The last two years

Poor guy:
5 days “Fresh and Easy” whole chicken legs. (88 cents a pound) They come with part of the backbone and some of the kidney/liver. A great buy as they are also clean and tidy in rectangular plastic containers…recyclable.

1 vegg…I mean leftover dressing sopped salad day. He’ll get an apple core if he’s lucky  We’ve been totally slacking on his veggies. Mainly cause we’ve been slacking on juicing for ourselves. And that’s how it tends to go with this diet; when we eat healthy so does he. When we workout, so does he. When we eat like crap and don’t exercise…unfortunately, so does he.

Even though I’ve been lazy

Five years later my dog is still healthy. His dreads can build up a mean bouquet but overall, he’s healthy.

Questions and Answers

Meat seems expensive?
Diet costs about $30 a month for my 135lb dog.

Aren’t bones dangerous, especially chicken and pork? Some bones become brittle and splinter when cooked. Raw bones are relatively soft and pliable to aid in brushing his teeth and massaging the gums. Plus, there’s a ton of nutrition in bones.
Giving a dog a bone. As in femur bone (big ol beef bone), is alot like doggy yoga and dentistry in one. It focuses and relaxes them, gets out nervous energy and cleanses the gums and mouth.

What about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli?
Originally this was one of my worries. Not because of how it can effect the dog…cause it doesn’t. They can take care of e.coli and salmonella no problemo. One time I found my dog macking down on a full liquid fly trap. The ones with the nasty smelling attractant that can collect hundreds of flys. *shudder

But what about that bacteria transferring from the dog to you?
Most of us have heard that a dogs mouth is cleaner then a humans. Well, it’s true, the enzymes in their saliva really seem to take care of everything nicely. I was skeptical but once again, Scout made me a believer. This dog was all over me all the time, I even got licked right after diner sometimes. Never, ever, ever…did anyone get sick. And after a few years of seeing situations I thought were bacterially dangerous. I was assuaged because nothing ever happened.

How do I know my dog is getting everything he/she needs?
Essentially kibble is fast food. How would you feel on a diet of only fast food. I’m pretty sure raw ingredients have a few more nutrients then kibble.  Kibble was designed around a dog having consistent, manageable poop, not perfect health.

You can find more literature to better edumacate yourself on this if your interested. But there is alot of info out there, so don’t get bogged down in the details. Also, if your dog is on kibble and you want to switch, there is no need to “ease” them into it. Just start, if he/she yaks a couple times or it’s stools look different. That’s all normal and will subside after a day or two.

Always remember

Next time your vet recommends a certain brand of food. Check out how much advertising for that food is littered around the office. Of course this is a whoooooole nother topic, so I’ll just let someone else explain it this time. Plus, they actually site sources…unlike some people.