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Barf For Pets

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I'm looking for resources to teach me how to do this.


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There are some books on the subject, and lots of websites. I can't recommend one source, but I strongly encourage you to read as much as you can find first, and then plan how to go into it. We tried it with Neo for a bit, and he never particularly took to it, but he definitely still gets raw bones and raw veggies for treats, and we may try some raw meats again. Take in as many sources as you can, not looking for a "step-by-step" recipe guide. I've never found a fabulous one to exist, though the book "Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats" was a great place for me to start.

I can only say this: read plenty first. Some of the store bought raw diets are not quite balanced (some are), and BARF feeding a dog SHOULD look different from BARF feeding a cat. Dogs, in the wild, eat more plant material than cats, who are obligate carnivores. So, making sure they get enough vitamins through vegetables, and some supplements, is vital for long term (I'm talking over the course of a decade here) health. That's one of the things that I find tricky about BARF - the feedback time is REALLY LONG. You can have a slight deficiency, and won't notice a thing until five years later when the dog has something wrong with its thyroid.

Also, talk to your vet about it, but know many vets may or may not approve. There *ARE* some downsides to raw feeding. Large cold water fish, like salmon, are right out - the fluke that sometimes infests them can harbor a bacteria that causes severe and usually fatal illness. Pork is right out as the trich parasite can cause significant damage to dogs as well. Wild game needs to be of a known source, since parasites in wild game are sometimes hard to kill just by deep freeze. Some fruits and veggies are toxic (like raw or even lightly cooked onions or grapes or raisins or avocados). And yes, raw bones *can* cause problems - not just moderately benign things like uneven tooth wear, but damage to the stomach or intestines. It's important to be careful of what you feed and keep an eye on the dog. (BTW, that's one thing I like about marrow bones - the femur bone of a cow. They are the most solid, dense bone in the cow. Dogs LOVE the marrow in the middle (and it's got lots of fat, which is good for them - in moderation, or picking up after the dog is ... messier ;) ), and they can get lots of great chewing pleasure on the donut shaped bone left behind, without taking off pieces of it. Of course, that means they are ingesting less calcium and other minerals, but careful 'destruction' of a knuckle bone can help with that. :) )

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