Over the years caring for the health and nutrition of our dogs has been an evolution. Our goal to have our dogs live long healthy active lives took us on a journey of research that resulted in a paradigm shift. For years we had been led to believe the foods produced by the big commercial dog food companies was the ideal diet. Easy to feed and marketed through pet stores, grocery stores and of all places veterinarian offices made it readily available. We started off trying the premium brands switched to the “naturally preserved” and then the “baked, all natural” versions. Eventually, this led us to 100% canned meats, freeze-dried raw and finally the biologically appropriate raw diet, know as B.A.R.F.
Information on the B.A.R.F. diet can be acquired though reading Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s books, Give Your Dog a Bone, Grow Your Pups with Bones, and The BARF Diet. Dr. Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian, developed this diet to promote healthy growth, maintain optimum health throughout a dog’s life and reduce the incidence of joint and bone disease. SaltyDawgPWDs provides their accepted puppy homes with another great book written by Kymythy Schultze, Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet.
Chicken, turkey, beef, buffalo, venison, rabbit, ostrich, goat, lamb, kangaroo, salmon, mackerel and pork bones are some of raw meaty bones, which make up 60-80 percent of this diet. The balance of the diet is comprised of fresh-pulped raw vegetables, organ meats, dairy products (raw eggs including shells, yogurt, cottage or ricotta cheese), oils and vitamin/nutritional supplements. Although not part of our feeding, soaked whole grains may also be included in the diet however they will significantly increase stool volume and in some cases we have seen a rise in dry skin and eye discharge. Alternating fresh foods is vital to balanced nutrition.
The noted results of this diet have included pearly white teeth, increased hair and nail growth, decreased flatulence, decreased stool volume, decreased water consumption, bright eyes with little or no discharge. And in puppies raised on raw a decrease in allergies has also been observed.
The control one has over the ingredients is beneficial when dealing with dogs with allergies. Allergic symptoms manifested as yeasty ears, skin problems and stomach upset may be diminished or in some cases eradicated. Since the quality and percentage of protein may be controlled, this diet is valuable when caring for dogs with liver or kidney disease.
With the increasing availability of commercial manufacturers of raw pet food time consuming preparation has been dramatically reduced, however, freezer and refrigeration space are essential.
At SaltyDawg Kennels we have had wonderful results feeding our dogs raw, however, it is not the only way to feed and we recommend thoroughly researching your options. Hopefully, this would also include reading Ann M. Martin’s book, Food Pets Die For: The Shocking Facts About Pet Food.
Links to commercially available raw foods, which we have fed, are provided for your assistance. In addition, we have included a sample of our feeding program with recommended amounts. Please note that depending upon the dog’s weight, condition and activity level we evaluate amounts and adjust accordingly on a daily basis.
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