View Full Version : BARF questions

2nd August 2006, 04:42 PM
I just switched my little gentleman to a BARF diet. I'm currently feed him FarMore (http://farmoredogfood.com) dog food but was wondering if there are any other preground prepackaged raw foods that are good.
Also, in my discussion with a non-holistic veterinarian nutritionist, she indicated that raw meat should be fine for dogs and cats as long as it's handled carefully. Now that I think about it, she said to not buy ground meat because of the bacteria it picks up going through the grinder. Would this indicate that I should not buy preground frozen raw dog food or is it handled differently than the human variety?[/code]

2nd August 2006, 06:13 PM
I don't know whether we have any dedicated BARFers on the list or not to adress this but if they're here, I'm sure they'll reply. :)

I used to feed mostly barf and then stopped for a range of reasons. There is a Yahoo list called cavaliersnaturally that has a lot of raw devotees on it where you'd get some answers on this, if you don't know of that list:


3rd August 2006, 07:42 AM
I used to feed this kind of diet with lots of raw meat etc but stopped for many reasons. I still feed "fresh" but it is now cooked or lightly browned and sealed before eaten. They still get raw fruit and veg like the diet but meat and fish are all cooked.

I also used to give raw bones but stopped that also.... a few stories of emergency visits to the vets with bones that had got stuck in the mouth/stomach etc changed my mind.

Hope this helps.

Alison, wilts, U.K.

3rd August 2006, 11:24 AM
I almost had an emergency room situation with Jaspar and a chicken wing -- vomited up 12 hours later in two undigested pieces, two very sharp ends of bone sticking out. :yikes While I've fed necks and wings carefully supervised before and since, and do know that if crunched down they do *generally* get digested, it is totally untrue that raw bones are 'soft' and pose no possible problems once they go down the hatch. This made me understand exactly how dogs get perforations and die from the odd raw bone that doesn't get crunched and I decided I hadn;t seen enough benefit from raw bones to outweigh the potential risk of feeding them daily and waiting for the one that goes in the wrong way. I would not risk Jaspar's life simply to have cleaner teeth!

However I like knuckle bones and occasional necks. I also would quite happily feed premade raw, as there are many that sound like they'd be great alternatives, but we cannot get it in Ireland. Making homemade raw was too messy and I really couldn't ask the woman who minds my dogs when I am gone to handle raw food either, so those all influenced me not feeding raw any longer. I've seen no difference in benefit; the dogs do well on either diet.

Like Alison I make fresh homemade as the main meals, usually stews but often just lightly browned meat, and lots of fresh fruit and veg etc, supplemented now and then by a good quality dry. I think supermarket raw meat is exposed to too many possible toxins in the abbatoir process.

Which still doesn;t answer your question! But having had personal experience of seeing a totally undigested, lethal looking wing reappear 12 hours after it was eaten -- and after it was causing serious distress to my dog at 3 am before it was vomited up, just as I was preparing to go to the emergency clinic -- I can provide actual evidence that feeding raw meaty bones isn't the totally safe experience many would argue. It was a pivotal moment for me regarding RMBs -- it seemed silly to be worrying about the possible long term effects of vaccinating too frequently, for example, yet be giving the dog raw bones that nearly lost me the dog. :yikes

I am not against BARF at all, especially not the raw meat mixes in which bones are ground in. But I am not convinced of raw's safety any longer, having read the existing double-blind scientific work that has been done, all of which shows potentially risky microorganisms on the food and excreted later from the dog back into the environment -- the latter I think has to be a responsibility issue too. If a dog sheds salmonella, even if it doesn't affect the dog, unless we scrub and sterilise the ground after it defecates each time, we are leaving salmonella in the environment where it can affect children or the elderly in particular. I think people need to consider the risk v. benefit Big Picture and how all these issues are managed, and decide what is comfortable to and works for them. :thmbsup:

3rd August 2006, 05:24 PM
The reason I'm looking for preground premixed is because I presonally don't feel that bones are safe unless ground! I've also heard of way too many incidences where dogs have choked or had holes in their GI tracts from RMBs. Not to mention wolves eat the fur of the animal which is wrapped around bones when they are excreted.

The bacteria is also an issue, but if meat is handled properly it's supposed to be safe for dogs and cats. As far as it being excreted into the environment, I'm not really sure how I feel about that as an issue. I think people are far too concerned about bacteria and germs so we create all these antibacterial products that do the opposite - i.e. create stronger and stronger germs! There's all sorts of other bacteria and parasites on the ground and if people have decent immune systems and use good hygiene then there aren't many problems. The most concern to me would be children playing but my dog and I don't walk in child areas.

4th August 2006, 06:00 PM
I go to a Holistic Vet in Beaver, Pennsylvania who recommends a pre-made raw food from a place in Ohio (noticed you live in Ohio). It is called a place for paws:


From everything I've read it is a great raw diet...people are very pleased with it as well as the price. I do not feed this however because I have an extremely picky one. He doesn't like the veggies in it. I do order treats from them...they have a great (and quite tasty according to Brodie) selection of healthy freeze dried treats...shipped to your door.

I do feed nature's Variety Prairie raw Patties. I am very pleased with it and Brodie really enjoys it. I also give some additional veggies and supplements but it is a nutritionally balanced diet as is.

Cavaliers Naturally (Karlin mentioned this) is a great site for raw info. It has a search engine that allows you to go back and read posts on whatever you want and the folks there are knowledgeable and helpful.