What is the BARF diet for dogs?


Quick Answer

BARF stands for biologically appropriate raw food, or bones and raw food. The term is used to refer to an unconventional dog diet that relies on a combination of raw meat, bones, fruits and vegetables. The diet has many devotees who claim that it provides tangible benefits for dogs, while the FDA and most veterinarians believe the risks of raw diets outweigh the potential benefits.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Sled and racing dogs have eaten raw diets for a long time. However, Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian, proposed extending the BARF diet to pet dogs in 1993. While there are a number of variations to raw-food diets, most BARF-based diets attempt to mimic the foods that dogs ate thousands of years ago. In addition to adding raw meats and other foods, the BARF diet eschews grains, which form the basis for most commercial dog kibbles.

BARF advocates claim that the diet provides a number of benefits to dogs. They contend that dogs fed a biologically appropriate diet produce smaller stools, have healthier skin, shinier coats, cleaner teeth and increased energy levels. However, there are a number of risks involved in raw diets. For example, dogs may be exposed to dangerous bacteria in uncooked meat, or they may choke on bones. Additionally, nutritional deficiencies may appear if the owners do not balance the diet carefully.

Learn more about Dogs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can dogs eat bones?

    A: Not all dogs can eat bones. Certain breeds of dogs can't process bones because of the structure of their jawbones, which limits them from gaining the benef... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can dogs eat chicken?

    A: Properly cooked chicken without bones is safe for dogs to eat. Many dogs enjoy the taste of chicken, which adds protein to their diets and is a nutritious ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you cook food for dogs?

    A: Cook homemade meals for dogs that consist of at least 50 percent lean meat and other low-fat animal products, including poultry, fish, raw meaty bones, egg... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Are lamb bones ok for dogs?

    A: Lamb bones are not recommended for dogs, according to PetMD. In fact, the FDA recently released a report on the danger of all bones to dogs. Full Answer >
    Filed Under: