Going back to a more natural diet, in which the processed food has no place, is the goal of the BARF diet. Raw foods, mainly meat and meaty bones, along with some vegetables and cereals are the basis, although there are many variants and ways to prepare it among which you can choose.
Also known by its acronym in Spanish as ACBA diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods), the diet is based on the idea that dogs are carnivorous animals that, before being domesticated, were mainly fed on the hunting of small prey and other elements that gave them their own nature: vegetables, fruits, berries … Those who defend this diet as the most appropriate for a dog insist that it is to give precisely what he would eat if he lived in freedom and in the wild, such as still do their ancestors the wolves.
- The raw meat of cow, chicken, pork, lamb … is the key to the different menus.
- Fleshy bones also occupy a prominent place. It is not peeled bones but with attached flesh.
- Fish: salmon, sardines, mackerel.
- Raw viscera: sweetbreads, heart, chicken livers.
- Other: eggs, cereals, oil, yogurt …
How to make a balanced BARF diet
Preparing this diet for your dog is not too complicated, especially considering that you can prepare the different recipes in advance, freeze them in appropriate portions, and take them out with enough time for the animal to eat them.
The protein should be the basis of the different recipes you make for your dog, always combining it with other nutrients to provide the balance you need in your diet. To give you an idea, here are three options to follow the BARF diet:
1. Strict BARF diet.
In this case all the foods are combined in crude. It is about making at least 2 – 3 different recipes, mixing ingredients like the following and paying attention to the proportions:
Fleshy bones (50% – 60%): carcasses and neck of chicken, ribs of veal, backbone of pork … meats (20% – 30%), those that you want: lamb, cow, birds, pig, without eliminating the fat; viscera, in small quantities (no more than 10% and not in all portions); fruits and vegetables (not to exceed 10%) and use only the recommended for dogs for example: pear, apple, banana, carrot, pumpkin, broccoli (remember that there are natural foods that can be toxic for your pet). With these ingredients, you can create many recipes to vary the menu of your dog. A few days you can give the chicken casing with a few pieces of veal and a base of vegetable puree; another a neck of lamb chopped with turkey breast, a chicken livers and chopped apple … with a little imagination, you can prepare many dishes worthy of the best gourmet.
2. BARF diet with carbohydrates and boiled vegetables.
Especially for very active and large dogs, some experts advise to include cooked foods such as rice or pasta in BARF menus, rich in carbohydrates.
In this case, you will only have to add to your menus, once or twice a week, the cereal that you prefer, having boiled it long enough. This type of diet also allows the cooking of harder vegetables such as carrots, although only a few minutes, to avoid losing nutrients and properties.
3. Fish and other supplements (the most complete BARF diet).
Fish is another important source of animal protein that also provides healthy fatty acids. Many of those who follow the BARF diet include salmon, sardines, mackerel … Some think it is better to give cooked fish and other raw fish, although all agree that you have to offer it whole, with its head, its viscera, its skin and its thorns so small fish are recommended. Those who bet on this modality of diet BARF, the most complete, also emphasize the importance of including in it foods like the egg and the yogurt, once or twice a week.