The Raw Food Diet.
Some people call it BARF, some call it ‘Prey-model feeding'. In either case, the idea is the same; that dogs and cats have spent thousands upon thousands of years eating raw, unprocessed foods—not dried or canned food.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s books “Give Your Dog a Bone” & “The BARF Diet” and Dr Tom Lonsdale's book "Raw, Meaty Bones" are perhaps the best known works describing the basis and benefits of the Raw Food diet; in our view they are a good reference on the subject. In brief, however, the idea is simply this: to provide your pet with a diet as close to that which they are physiologically designed as possible.
Dogs have evolved from their ancestor, the wolf and while their appearances have altered since then, their DNA and the need for raw meat in their diet has remained unchanged. They would very rarely (almost never, given choice) eat grains, which are a major component of most dry foods—even the top quality ones are 65% or more. They also rarely encounter cooked or processed foods in nature, yet commercial pet food is just that—cooked and processed. While most dried and canned foods do have some supplemental nutrients added, the result is a little like feeding a person a steady diet of macaroni and cheese supplemented with multivitamins; the addition of the pills doesn’t offset the inherent flaws in the diet.
By mimicking the natural diet as closely as possible, including vegetables and fruits, your pet gets a much better supply of minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients. By providing the food in the raw form the nutrients are more ‘bio-available’ and more easily absorbed. A raw diet contains no grains, fillers or preservatives and gives you peace of mind through knowing exactly what you are feeding to your pet. Grains are one of the most common source of allergies in pets.
The benefits of the Raw Food diet are many and vary from animal to animal. Your pets should enjoy better health, for one. Also, a well-planned Raw Food diet can be as cheap as, or cheaper than good quality packaged foods. Add in regularly reported benefits such as cleaner teeth and fresher breath, smaller and better smelling stools, less body odour, increased energy, improved coat condition and for many dogs, freedom from allergies which have plagued them for years—and you can see why the Raw Food diet is becoming increasingly popular with owners wanting to give their animals the best food—and life—possible.