Providing our pet with the most natural possible feed, in principle, sounds very good. The BARF diet for dogs is based on menus that include foods biologically suitable for them, mainly raw meat, but their detractors warn of possible dangers that should be taken into account.
Raw meat of all kinds, also viscera, meaty bones without previous cooking, some fruits and vegetables, in small proportions, and other foods such as egg or yogurt are the basic ingredients of this diet that has more and more followers. The defenders of the BARF nutrition plan choose this alternative to the detriment of the elaborated feeds considering that, in most cases, they contain too many chemical products (preservatives, stabilizers …) and in many cases an excess of fats and carbohydrates.
Balanced weight, extra energy for the animal, brighter hair, healthy teeth … are some of the advantages that the BARF diet can have for dogs but, perhaps, it is not gold that glitters.
Problems associated with the BARF diet for dogs
To qualify it as good or bad is wrong because, as it almost always happens, everything has its advantages and disadvantages. The dog is a carnivorous animal, so the BARF diet, in which the proteins of the meat predominate, is right, but there are many who say that it can be unbalanced especially if it is not followed properly. Is this your main drawback? There is more?
1. Nutritional deficiencies
The balance in the intake of different foods is one of the keys to the health and welfare of the animal. Giving our dog a good amount of meat is no guarantee that it is receiving all the nutrients it needs. Vitamins, minerals like calcium or phosphorus, beneficial fatty acids … maybe missing. In addition, an excess of protein is not always recommended. We must be very clear about the nutritional needs of our pet and know how to adapt the BARF diet to them. Knowing well all the foods included in the diet and its fair proportion is important to avoid imbalances. If you have doubts, before opting for this diet, consult with the veterinarian.
2. The danger of bones
The diet includes raw meaty bones because they are suitable for the dog. Chicken carcasses, necks, tracheas of veal or lamb, pig backbone … it is difficult for this type of bones to be dangerous due to splitting or splintering, but we must bear in mind that the risk exists. The same happens if in your BARF diet you include whole small fish, with spines, tail and head.
3. Food contamination
It is another important problem pointed by the detractors of the diet. If it is not done with the necessary hygiene measures, the handling of raw food can cause the appearance of bacteria that contaminate them in a way that is harmful to the dog. The presence of germs, infectious agents and even parasites can occur in these cases. Other foods, such as eggs are also likely to cause intestinal disorders or diseases resulting from food poisoning such as salmonellosis. If your dog follows the BARF diet, it is advisable to prepare the different recipes and freeze them in individual portions that you will take out as you need.
4. Generalize in excess
Finally, the most critics of the BARF diet insist that it is a too general food plan that does not take into account the specific needs of each animal. Puppies, older dogs, a dog that has just given birth, some breeds of dogs especially restless or nervous … maybe for them it is not the most recommended.
There is no doubt that you want the best possible feed for your dog. The BARF diet has pros and cons, analyze them and you decide.