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Siberian husky pups born 12th sept 2012

Barf Diet

 

BARF DIET


Getting down to ingredient specifics


BONES
For millions of years, dogs have cleaned up the remains of other animal's bodies. Mostly bones. That ability remains. All modern dogs easily and joyfully tackle bones. A dog's whole system is designed for and in fact needs bones to function properly. Bones are living tissue composed of living cells. Because bones are living tissue, just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of a wide variety of nutrients. Bones contain minerals which are embedded in protein. They also contain fat. If the bone is from chicken or pork, then that fat will be very high in the essential fatty acids. Along with the fat are fat soluble vitamins. The central parts of most bones contains marrow which is a highly nutritious mix of blood forming elements, including iron. Raw bones also provide natural antioxidant/anti-ageing factors including enzymes.
Bones are nature's storehouse of minerals for your dog. If meat is added to bone, then methionine and most of the B vitamins are supplied. Puppies and adult dogs fed bone rarely if ever suffer from indigestion or diarrhea. They produce smallish quantities of solid minimally offensive stools. It is highly probable that bones play a similar role to fiber, that is, a role of bulking out the food, thereby removing toxins and promoting general bowel health. Bone eating dogs are long lived healthy dogs. They seem to be particularly free of the degenerative diseases of old age.


MEAT
Many people assume that a dog's natural diet is a meat only diet.
Unfortunately this is untrue as a meat only diet is highly unnatural and unbalanced. Meat should form only a part of the over-all diet, which should include bone, fruits and vegetables as well. For example, the muscle meat eaten by wild dogs forms a small part of the diet that consists of a wide variety of other foods, including bone.


What nutrients are in meat?
Meat supplies protein
That is its major role in nutrition. It also supplies varying amounts of fat, water, and some vitamins and minerals. Because it supplies fat and protein, it also supplies energy. Meat is first class protein. That is, it contains all the essential amino acids necessary for dogs of all ages, including growing dogs, pregnant dogs, female dogs feeding puppies and of course not-doing-so-much-dogs.


Meat supplies energy
There are no carbohydrates in meat. That is no starch or sugar or fiber. As the fat content rises, the percentage of water drops and so does the protein. As the fat content of the meat rises so does the energy it can supply to your dog. The fat in different types of meat varies in the levels of essential fatty acids present. Chicken and pork have the highest levels while lamb and beef are both low. Lamb usually contains more essential fatty acids than beef, but only because it has more fat.

Meat supplies some minerals
Raw meat is low in sodium and high in potassium. That is good news for dogs with heart problems. The meat with the lowest sodium is beef, with pork also being fairly low. The meat with the highest potassium is pork, with chicken having the lowest potassium levels. This makes pork a good all round meat for heart patients. Beef, lamb, chicken and pork meat are all very low in calcium and moderately low in magnesium. This means they are great foods for dogs prone to bladder stones. However, this lack of minerals requires bone material in your dog's diet. Beef and lamb meat are relatively well endowed with zinc, making them good foods for dogs with a deficiency of zinc. Chicken has low zinc levels with pork containing more than chicken but not as much as lamb and beef. Of the meats, beef is the best source of iron.

OFFAL
In the wild, dogs eat the stomach content and organ meat from the animals they prey upon. In fact, internal organs form a vital part of the wild dog's diet. Modern dogs have similar requirements. Dogs consuming these foods as part of a sensible diet have superior health to dogs that do not eat them. Although organ meats are valuable dog food, they are not required in huge amounts. They are a concentrated source of many essential nutrients and are particularly valuable during times of growth, reproduction and stress as a source of concentrated nutrients.

LIVER
In this one product is a vast range of important nutrition. Liver is the most concentrated source of vitamin A and should be fed in small amounts on a regular basis. It also contains vitamins E, D, and K in substantial quantities. Liver is an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains all the B vitamins, particularly B2, B3, B5, biotin, folacin, B12, choline, and inositol. It contains B1 in adequate or smaller amounts and is a good source of vitamin C. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type. It's a fantastic food for your dog!

KIDNEYS
Not unlike liver, kidney supplies good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.

HEART
Like liver and kidneys, heart as dog food is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and iron. They do contain some essential fatty acids and a little vitamin A. Heart contains appreciable levels of taurine which is important food... for the heart!

UNBLEACHED GREEN TRIPE :Green tripe is the edible lining and accompanying content of a cow or other ruminant's first or second division of the stomach. Paunch tripe comes from the large first stomach division and honeycomb tripe comes from the second division. Both wild canids and domestic dogs benefit from eating tripe as it contains a very diverse profile of living nutrients including enzymes, omega- 3 and 6 fatty acids, probiotics, and phytonutrients. It has long been quoted as being "the finest of natural foods".

VEGETABLES
Dogs have actually eaten vegetables the whole period of their evolution, and that's a long time! As such, vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables should form part of the domestic dog's diet. Dogs need vegetables because they contain many important health promoting nutrients. The fiber your dog obtains from raw vegetables includes both soluble and insoluble fiber. Vegetables supply many other nutrients. Many of those nutrients are the ones that have been found to be in short supply in the modern dog's "civilized" diet. This includes difficult to obtain omega 3 essential fatty acids, most of a dog's vitamin needs, masses of enzymes and various anti-aging factors, including antioxidants and phytochemicals.

BROCCOLI
Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense foods. It is dense in vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid, calcium and fiber. It is also a good source of chromium. Like other members of the cabbage family, broccoli has demonstrated remarkable anticancer effects. Broccoli contains several important phytochemicals: beta carotene, indoles, and isothiocyanates and over thirty-three cancer preventative compounds. Research suggests that phytochemicals prevent carcinogens from forming, stop carcinogens from getting to target cells and boost enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.

SPINACHE
Spinach contains twice as much iron as most other greens. Like other chlorophyll and carotene -containing vegetables, it is a rich source of antioxidants. Besides beta-carotene, it also supplies two other carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Spinach has long had a reputation of being very high in nutrients. It is a good source of fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B6 and K.

CELERY
Celery is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron, as well as vitamins A, B, C. The phytochemical 3-n-butyl phthalide, one of the components that gives celery its characteristic smell and taste, is especially potent as an anti-tumor agent. Along with the compound sedanolide, an aromatic ingredient also found in celery, 3-n-butyl phthalide significantly reduces the incidence of tumors in laboratory animals. It is said to decrease nervousness, and is used as an acid neutralizer.

BOK CHOY
A cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, bok choy is an excellent source of Beta carotene, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and calcium. It contains significant amounts of nitrogen compounds known as indoles, as well as fiber - both of which appear to lower the risk of various forms of cancer. Bok choy is also a good source of folate (folic acid).

CARROT
The carrot is the king of the vegetables. It is the richest source of pro-vitamin A carotenes among commonly consumed vegetables. But unlike vitamin A, beta carotene and other carotenes in carrots do not cause toxicity. Beta carotene is also a powerful antioxidant. Carrots also contain vitamins B, C, D, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. Carrots have repeatedly shown to nourish the optic nerve and significantly improve eyesight.

CAPSICUM
This is an excellent source of many essential nutrients. By weight, red peppers have three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit. Moreover, red peppers are quite a good source of beta carotene, and they offer a good amount of fiber and vitamin B6. Because capsicum stimulates circulation and enhances blood flow, it is considered food for the circulatory system and as a digestive aid. Red peppers are one of few foods that contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may help prevent various forms of cancer.

FRUIT
Yes, dogs can and do eat fruit. Wild dogs - domestic dogs, they all do it! Remember dogs are omnivores. They can eat almost anything. Fruits are mostly water. After that, the major nutrient in fruit is soluble carbohydrate. That is simple sugars. Energy foods. Fruit contains lots of fiber. It also contains vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. Because fruit is a whole food, it also contains minerals, small amounts of protein and small amounts of fat. Two nutrients present in most raw fruits, vitamin A as carotene and vitamin C, make fruit a valuable food for your dog. The enzymes present in raw fruit, also make it important as part of your dog's diet, particularly if your dog is past middle age and showing the beginnings of degenerative disease.

Is it essential that dogs eat fruit?
No. All of the nutrients present in fruit can be obtained from other sources. However, by adding fruit to the diet, we ensure a wide variety of foods. This gives the greatest chance of providing a balanced diet with plenty of longevity and immune system promoting nutrients. Any fruit can be fed to dogs, however tropical fruits are a particularly valuable food as they contain lots of antioxidants. Scientists have discovered that the enzymes and antioxidants present in fruit, many of which have not yet been identified, keep the skin and indeed the whole body free of degeneration and old age diseases.

Whole Apple
Unpeeled apples are especially high in non-pro-vitamin A carotenes and pectin. Pectin is a remarkable type of fiber that has been shown to exert a number of beneficial effects. Due to its gel forming fiber, it can improve the intestinal muscle's ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Pectin also binds to and eliminates toxins in the gut. Apples are also rich in beta carotene and vitamin C as well as several B complex vitamins including vitamin B6, folic acid and lots of potassium.

Whole Pear
Pears are an excellent source of water-soluble fiber, including pectin, which makes them useful in toning the intestines. Fresh pears contain potassium which is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and carbohydrate metabolism. Pears also contain Vitamin C. An important antioxidant, Vitamin C is essential for helping prevent free radical damage.

Whole Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a good source of flavonoids, water soluble fibers, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. Grapefruit, like other citrus fruits has been shown to exert some anticancer effects in both human and animal studies. Grapefruit pectin has been shown to possess similar cholesterol lowering action to other fruit pectins. The whole fruit contains more pectin than the juice. Recently, grapefruit has been shown to normalize hematocrit levels. The word hematocrit refers to the percentage of red blood cells per volume of blood. Low hematocrit levels usually reflect anemia. High hematocrit levels may reflect severe dehydration or an increased number of red blood cells. Grapefruit seeds are well known as an anti-fungal agent in that their consumption kills many different types of parasites and assists the body in producing beneficial bacteria. A biologically active natural ingredient found in the seeds kills strep, staph, salmonella, e.coli, candida, herpes, influenza, parasites, fungi and traveler's diarrhea, and is used as an antibiotic, anti fungal, antiprotozoan and antiviral.

Whole Orange
Everyone knows that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they have more to offer nutritionally than just this nutrient. One orange contains generous levels of folate (folic acid), potassium, and thiamin, as well as some calcium and magnesium. Equally important to the nutritional value of oranges is their supply of flavonoids, making oranges a valuable aid in strengthening the immune system, supporting connective tissues, and promoting overall good health. Oranges have been shown to protect against cancer, and fight viral infections.

WHOLE EGG
Eggs are absolutely brilliant nutrition for your dog. Eggs are a whole food, and often regarded as having the perfect protein. It is the one against which all other proteins are measured. Eggs contain a full compliment of minerals, including excellent levels of calcium (mostly in the yolk), all the vitamins except vitamin C and a range of high quality saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, the nutrient lecithin and the whole range of enzymes and other longevity factors always present in raw foods. The shell is included as a further source of calcium. Egg yolks are an essential food for a dog with skin problems. They contain sulphur containing amino acids, biotin, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and zinc.

FLAX SEED
Flaxseed has been used for more than 10,000 years. The oil of the seed is a rich source of Essential Fatty Acids. Essential Fats, or Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are essential nutrients that the body can't produce itself. The only way to obtain these nutrients is through diet. EFAs are polyunsaturated fats, which are considered "good" fats. EFAs contribute to the healthy functioning of cell membranes, and are also critical for the synthesis of eicosanoids, a family of hormone-like substances that help in cell maintenance on a minute-to-minute basis. Just like other essential vitamins and minerals, EFAs are necessary for good health.
Flaxseed contains bioactive compounds called lignans, which have been proven to prevent cancer. Once consumed, lignans found in flaxseed are converted by bacterial action in the colon to mammalian lignans. They are then circulated through the intestinal tract and liver where their action is potentiated. In the body, mammalian lignans have estrogen-like and anti-estrogen effects. Scientists believe the effects of lignans on estrogen metabolism, in addition to their antioxidant properties, may explain why diets rich in lignans have a lower incidence of cancer. Evidence suggests that lignans may also be antioxidants, although the strength of their antioxidant activity is not yet clear. Other studies indicate flax lignans reduce cholesterol and prevent diabetes in animals. So far, scientists have isolated at least three flaxseed components with potential health benefits. The first is fiber, valuable for intestinal health. The benefits of the other two substances, alpha-linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid) and lignans, suggests that these components may be helpful in prevention of heart disease and perhaps in treatment of chronic kidney disease.

GARLIC
Garlic is nature's antibiotic. There is no doubt that garlic does confer some health advantages. Garlic has been found to have effective antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of both bacteria and fungi. Garlic helps stabilize blood pressure and gives a good solid boost to the immune system, keeping at bay infections of various sorts particularly upper respiratory tract infections. Much of it's success is due to various compounds of sulphur. Garlic is a health building and disease preventing herb. It is rich in potassium, zinc, vitamins A and C, and selenium. It also contains calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1 and some iron.

KELP
Kelp contains over 60 minerals and elements, 21 amino acids and simple and complex carbohydrates, which promotes glandular health, especially the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands. Kelp supplies a natural source of iodine and acts as an antibiotic to kill germs.

ALFALFA
Alfalfa helps the body assimilate protein, calcium and other nutrients. This herb is a body cleanser, infection fighter and natural deodorizer. It is the richest land source of trace minerals and contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B and D. Alfalfa also contains bioflavonoids, and eight digestive enzymes to promote proper assimilation of foods.

KEFIR
The history of kefir is centuries old. The word "kefir" is said to have originated from the word "keif" which means" good feeling". Kefir is like yogurt, but with a greater variety of cultures and significant health benefits. Unlike yogurt, which typically contains only two or three different bacteria, true kefir contains a greater range of different microorganisms, each with its own unique contribution. This is what separates kefir from all other cultured milk products. Kefir is made by fermentation of  "kefir" grains, which resemble minute cauliflowers. The grains consist of casein and colonies of microorganisms that are grown together symbiotically. Kefir can only be made from pre-existing grains.
The cultured kefir added to Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™  processes antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of gram positive and gram negative bacteria, helping to eliminate destructive pathogenic yeast and internal parasites. The cultured kefir in Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™ also contains a unique extract of colostrum. All mammals produce colostrum, sometimes called "first milk" or "foremilk".  Research has shown that concentrated forms of colostrum are able to block the effects of harmful pathogens and aid in the maintenance of a healthy intestinal tract. Colostrum also contains other nonspecific immune factors including lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase, which help control pathogens or harmful bacteria. These natural immune components can recognize and resist multiple species of common bacteria such as E. coli, Staphylococci, Streptococci, Klebsiella, Enterococci, Pseudomonas, Clostridium Difficile, and Cryptosporidium.
Kefir is considered to be one of the richest sources of enzymes. It plays a vital role in the development of a healthy digestive tract and helps improve the immune system. Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids, an abundance of calcium and magnesium. Rich in vitamin B1, B12, calcium, amino acids, folic acid and vitamin K, it is an excellent source of biotin which aids the body's assimilation of other B vitamins. Other benefits include bowel regularity and decreased lactose intolerance. Evidence shows that the appropriate strains of lactic acid bacteria in fermented milk products can alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance by providing bacterial lactase to the intestine and stomach. Kefir is recommended to restore intestinal flora while recovering from illness or when being treated with antibiotics. It eliminates unwanted toxins and pollutants in the body, just like antioxidants do with free radicals. Kefir enjoys a rich tradition of health claims and is known around the world for its preventative characteristics.

Basic principles to a successful home made BARF DIET

  • A dogs diet should be based on raw meat and bones
  • Most of the diet should be raw
  • Feed as wide a variety of foods as possible that reflect the types and quantities of foods our pet's wild counterparts would eat.

Making the Switch To BARF
There are probably as many ways to do this as there are people and their pets.           The following general guidelines and specific ideas should get you thinking in the right direction and help you make a decision as to how you will go about the switch with your pet(s).
The switch can be rapid, straightforward and trouble free.                                                                An important factor to consider is the diet you are switching your pet from. Where a pet has some experience of eating a variety of home produced foods, both cooked and raw, there is usually more acceptance and less likelihood of gastrointestinal upset on the part of the pet. With kibble fed pets, the   change is much more dramatic for their system.
There are two general methods of making the switch, "Rapid " and "Slow
   

Rapid Switch
This is the simplest way to make the switch. You simply go ahead and do it! Yesterday you fed your pet kibble or canned pet food, today you begin to feed completely, as many pet owners leave their pet suspended between kibble and raw, "just to be sure they don’t leave any important nutrients out." Not a great idea!
Always searching for better, more economic diets for dogs, breeders and exhibitors of pets and performance dogs are traveling in two directions these days. The majority of these dog owners cheer on the development of ever more specialized commercial diets by premium pet food manufacturers. However, a growing and increasingly vocal segment of the population is switching to BARF, the diet familiarly known as “bones and raw food” but also tagged as “biologically appropriate raw food,” “Billinghurst Australian real food” and the “born again raw feeders” diet.
Developed by Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst, the BARF diet under any appellation is based on feeding raw, meaty bones, animal offal, raw vegetables, and supplements instead of commercially-processed or cooked homemade diets.
Billinghurst has published two books about BARF: Give Your Dog a Bone in 1993 and Grow Your Pups with Bones.
Dr. Billinghurst describes BARF this way:
“BARF is about feeding dogs properly. The aim of BARF is to maximize the health, longevity and reproductive capacity of dogs and by so doing, minimize the need for veterinary intervention. How do you feed a dog properly? You feed it the diet that it evolved to eat. ... Artificial grain based dog foods cause innumerable health problems. They are not what your dog was programmed to eat during its long process of evolution. A biologically appropriate diet for a dog is one that consists of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs’ wild ancestors. The food fed must contain the same balance and type of ingredients as consumed by those wild ancestors. This food will include such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meat and vegetable materials and any other foods that will mimic what was those wild ancestors ate.”
Those who feed BARF point out that kibbled foods have been around for about 60 years but that dogs ate handouts from human tables for millennia before processed foods were marketed. However, the debate rages hot and heavy. Those who develop processed dog foods and those who feed these diets point out the scientific reports that back their claims; those who feed BARF are equally as adamant that their anecdotal evidence about dog health and well-being proves the value of fresh, raw food.

 Raw vs cooked
BARF feeders eschew the convenience of 40-pound bags of kibble and opt for preparing meals for their dogs that include uncooked meaty bones, uncooked muscle and organ meat, raw eggs, vegetables, fruit, yogurt, cooked cereals, cottage cheese, and herbs, enzymes, and other supplements. They are not tied to the same diet every day – no more just measuring the kibble and pouring it in the bowl. If a good source of fresh chicken parts or lamb meat is available, the dogs get chicken or lamb. If green beans are on sale this week, cottage cheese is two-for-one at the supermarket, or the carrots are ready to be pulled in the garden, the dog’s diet (like the family diet) will likely be heavy in those ingredients.
The BARF philosophy is that dogs should be fed the foods they are evolutionarily suited to eat. The BARF principles are that commercially-prepared cooked foods lack enzymes and other essential dietary components and contain some ingredients that promote allergies and are otherwise harmful for dogs.
Those who develop, study, and feed prepared dog foods do not agree, and they point to studies and feeding trials to prove their assertions. Companies producing these foods do not rest on their laurels; they keep on studying canine nutrition so they can improve the food they sell. As a result, companies now market a variety of dry foods based on lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey with grain sources of rice, corn, barley, or wheat.
In the old days, kibble was preserved with ethoxyquin, a preservative with a bad rap; today vitamins are used by an increasing number of companies. As scientists learn more about the individual needs of breeds, performance dogs, puppies, couch pets, middle-aged dogs, and geriatric dogs, they design and test diets to meet those needs. As a result, many dog food companies now include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for coat and skin health, provide special diets for large-breed puppies, or tout the addition of anti-oxidants and herbs in their formulas. (See sidebar.)
Proponents of the BARF diet do not believe that these changes in commercial formulas give dog owners enough leeway in planning dog diets or provide appropriate nutrition for many dogs. They encourage dog owners to experiment with a broad variety of raw foods and judge whether their dogs appear healthier and more energetic on the BARF diet than on the commercial diet.

 Long-term

There are beginning to be some nutritional analyses of BARF and some cases of disease or deficiency have appeared in dogs fed the raw meat diet. Two veterinarians who specialize in canine nutrition reported in the AKC Gazette that some of the diets they analyzed were low or deficient in some nutrients. Letters to the editor in a subsequent Gazette issue, however, disputed portions of the article.
Some veterinarians have expressed doubt about feeding bones to dogs, but BARF believers counter that fear with the assertion that cooked bones tend to splinter and cause damage, but raw bones are safe. Other veterinarians and health experts have expressed concern about bacterial contamination in raw meat diets, especially E. coli and Salmonella, and Freeman and Michel found substantial E. coli contamination in one of the diets they analyzed for their report. Both E. coli and Salmonella organisms can infect other animals and people, so even though the majority of dogs may not exhibit symptoms, they can none-the-less pass the contamination to other animals or people. Serious outbreaks of these diseases can kill or debilitate children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems.

The best judge of diet is the condition of the dog.
Some dogs with low energy, allergies, skin problems, and other symptoms have increased pep and stamina, shiny coats, healthy skin, and a general increase in well-being when switched to the BARF diet, but many dogs do well on premium commercial diets, especially those that are highly digestible and include fatty acid supplements. Dog owners need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both.
In the end, it’s all about personal preference and what suits your life style and your dogs. If we consider what we eat as humans do we worry as much about our diets as we do of our dogs, no, not normally, but providing we are sensible about what we eat, and when we eat and the amount of exercise we take then we can generally maintain a healthy condition and the same applies to our dogs.
Feeding quality foods in sensible quantities at sensible times coupled with appropriate exercise is the main consideration, it’s just a question of what foods we give, the rest is a given.


 
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