BARF diet for dogs - Ingredients, amounts and 5 recipes

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The BARF diet for dogs (acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), known in Spanish as ACBA (Biologically Adequate Raw Food), is one of the trends in terms of canine nutrition. However, we must know that the BARF diet, developed by the Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst, became popular at the end of the 20th century, with the publication of the book "Give Your Dog a Bone ".

This diet proposes the use of uncooked raw food, arguing that it is the most natural form of feeding for domestic canids. However, there is a great controversy surrounding the ACBA diet for dogs, since improperly performed it favors the risk of transmission of certain parasites and pathologies, some of them zoonotic diseases, which means that they can be transmitted to humans and vice versa..

In this AnimalWised article we will talk about the BARF diet for dogs. We will explain what it really consists of, what are the ingredients that we can use, the approximate quantities or the precautions we must take when preparing it. Likewise, we will also share with you 5 healthy recipes that you can easily make at home.

You may also be interested in: BARF recipes for cats Index
  1. What is the BARF diet for dogs?
  2. Is raw meat good for dogs?
  3. Benefits of the BARF diet for dogs
  4. Ingredients for the BARF diet for dogs
  5. BARF diet amounts for dogs
  6. How to do the BARF diet for dogs?
  7. 5 BARF diet recipes for dogs
  8. Where to buy BARF diet?
  9. BARF diet for cats

What is the BARF diet for dogs?

The BARF diet for dogs consists of feeding pets with totally raw products. The objective is to recreate a diet that is as natural and similar to that which canids would have in the wild. Pieces of meat, offal, organs, muscle, meaty bones and eggs. Moderate amounts of fruits and vegetables recommended for dogs are also included to a lesser extent..

Thus, the BARF diet complies with the nutritional requirements of the dog, which are based mainly on the consumption of quality proteins and fats. To a lesser extent, it also requires fatty acids, minerals and vitamins [1].

However, it is not proven that dogs can fully assimilate the nutrients offered by fully raw fruits and vegetables. In fact, in the wild, canids consume these foods from the stomach of their prey, which are semi-digested, therefore, many guardians they steam these ingredients before offering them.

Is raw meat good for dogs?

After reading the previous section, you may wonder if it is really good to give raw meat to dogs. There are many theories and opinions about it, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Raw meat for dogs: pros

  • The stomach of dogs is prepared to digest raw meat. In fact, is what the dog would eat in the wild.
  • Dog feeding is mostly carnivorous. Although they can also eat vegetables and fruits, it is necessary to specify that in the wild, dogs eat the vegetables and fruits of the stomach of their prey, so they are already half digested.
  • Dogs' intestines are short, so no putrefaction occurs of the meat in them.
  • By eating raw food, dogs absorb more natural enzymes, vitamins and probiotics what if they are cooked or processed.

Raw meat for dogs: against

  • If raw meat does not have a quality certificate, our dog could get infections and parasites.
  • Not all dogs like raw meat, so in the end it will be the animal itself who chooses what to eat and what not to eat.
  • Some legends suggest that "raw meat makes a dog more aggressive ", but this is totally false.

You will find more information on this topic in this other AnimalWised article about ¿Raw meat is good for dogs?

Benefits of the BARF diet for dogs

Then, ¿is the BARF diet good for dogs? Raw food, based on fresh and quality products, is considered to offer a superior nutritional benefit that of cooked food or conventional feed. It contains digestive enzymes that increase biological availability but, at the same time, reduces the risk of heart disease and allows maximum energy to be released from food [2] [3].

However, it is important to note that raw food for dogs is not without risks, since performing it without guarantees can increase the risk of transmission of parasites and pathogens. Therefore, it is always recommended ensure quality and origin of raw materials, betting on organic livestock products that have rigorous health certificates. It is also advisable pre-freeze food, since, although the nutritional value is slightly altered, it is much safer [2] [4] [5].

Likewise, to guarantee the dog's health status and promptly detect any health problem, it is advisable to perform periodic veterinary check-ups every 2 or 3 months, as well as strictly following the dog's vaccination schedule and periodic deworming, both internal and external.

It should be noted that 98.7% of the tutors in a survey considered their dogs to be healthier after starting them on the BARF diet for dogs. Among the various benefits they pointed out a brighter coat, cleaner teeth, less bulky stools and, ultimately, a state of more positive health and behavior. Likewise, they considered that it was a more palatable food for them and showed greater satisfaction when being able to choose the products for the diet of their animals [6].

Ingredients for the BARF diet for dogs

You are probably already wondering what foods you can use to make biologically appropriate raw A.C.B.A dog food., ¿sure? Before starting, it will be essential to review the different ingredients that we can use, all of them natural origin.

Dog meat

These are some examples of raw meat for dogs. Remember to choose quality products, preferably from organic farming, which also have the relevant certifications. Do not forget also that it will be essential to freeze the meat before offering it to the dog:

  • Beef fillets
  • Beef cap
  • Beef chest
  • Neck of beef
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Duck breast
  • Pork cheeks
  • Beef cheeks
  • Veal cheeks
  • Rabbit loin

Dog bones (raw and meaty)

Raw bones for dogs are an excellent option that allows us to offer protein, fat and calcium. We will start by crushing the fleshy bones and, once the body is used to consuming these foods, we will offer easy-to-eat pieces, such as duck neck or chicken carcass..

Later we will introduce new meaty bones for dogs, such as rabbit ribs or veal neck. Finally, when the dog is familiar with these ingredients, we can include some more complex and voluminous, such as the turkey carcass. It is also advisable to freeze them:

  • Beef shank
  • Rabbit ribs
  • Rabbit thigh
  • Lamb Chops
  • Turkey neck
  • Chicken neck
  • Duck neck
  • Rabbit neck
  • Lamb neck
  • Veal neck
  • Lamb skirt
  • Pork ribs
  • Veal ribs
  • Chicken butt
  • Chicken wings
  • Chicken carcass
  • Beef brisket
  • Turkey carcass
  • Duck carcass
  • Chicken thigh

Remember that in no case should you offer cooked bones to your dog, since they chip easily. Only raw and meaty bones for dogs should be included in the BARF diet for dogs.

Recreational bones for dogs

¿Have you heard of recreational bones for dogs? These bones they are not part of the diet, rather, they are offered as another form of enrichment to train them, improve their well-being and, at the same time, replace dental snacks, as they help to clean the dog's teeth naturally. Of course, it is essential that they chew them under supervision, especially the first few times. It is also advisable to freeze them previously:

  • Bovine trachea
  • Pig femur
  • Beef femur
  • Beef kneecap
  • Beef cane
  • Beef scapula
  • Beef hip
  • Chicken foot
  • Pig leg
  • Bovine humerus
  • Beef tail

Viscera and organs for dogs

Another very important aspect of the BARF diet are the organs and viscera, as they offer many of the nutritional requirements of dogs, such as proteins, fatty acids and vitamins. As in the previous cases, we will freeze before offering:

  • Chicken stomach
  • Lamb heart
  • Chicken heart
  • Beef heart
  • Pig heart
  • Beef heart
  • Rabbit heart
  • Chicken gizzards
  • Chicken's liver
  • Beef liver
  • Beef kidney
  • Chicken kidney
  • Beef liver
  • Beef spleen
  • Rabbit lung
  • Rabbit brains
  • Piglets
  • Lamb baby

Fish for dogs

Fish is another food of animal origin that cannot be missing from the BARF diet for dogs, remember remove the thorns before offering this food to your dog. As in the previous points, it will be convenient to freeze. Some examples are:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Anchovies
  • Trout
  • Cod
  • Turbot
  • Mere
  • Nice
  • Emperor
  • Snuff
  • Sole
  • Hake

Seafood for dogs

Like fish, shellfish is an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Choose the product to offer well, always fresh, well washed and previously frozen:

  • Clams
  • Prawns
  • Crawfish
  • Lobster
  • Prawns
  • Mussels
  • Cockles

Vegetables for dogs

Vegetables are also part of the BARF diet for dogs, although in lower proportion than foods of animal origin. Some examples you can use are:

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Beet
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Peppers
  • Chard
  • Cucumber

Fruits for dogs

Fruits, for their high sugar content, they should be tempered. The quantity, which we will see in the following sections, is even lower than that of vegetables:

  • Apple
  • Coconut
  • Blueberries
  • Pear
  • Papaya
  • Plantain
  • Apricot
  • Peach
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Mango
  • Cantaloupe

Other foods in the BARF diet for dogs

To finish we want to mention some extra food that can also be part of the ACBA diet for dogs but that we could not include in previous sections:

  • Chicken eggs
  • Quail eggs
  • Kefir
  • Cottage cheese
  • Curd
  • Plain yogurt
  • Olive oil
  • Fish oil
  • Alfalfa
  • Seaweed
  • Ground bone
  • Beer yeast

These are just some examples of foods that we can include in the ACBA diet for dogs, however, there are many more. The key to this diet is to be able to offer our animals a rich and varied diet, that they also like.

Discover in Animal Expert more natural food supplements for dogs and do not hesitate to consult with your veterinarian about the adaptation of the diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies.

BARF diet amounts for dogs

Another important factor to consider will be the quantities of BARF food to be offered. The most advisable thing is to consult with a veterinarian, as the specialist will be able to indicate the most appropriate foods and quantities taking into account age, health status, activity level and other factors.

However, in general, we can know what quantities to offer taking into account the daily kilocalories that requires a healthy adult dog with ideal body condition [7]:

  • 2 kg = 140 kcal / day
  • 3 kg = 190 kcal / day
  • 4 kg = 240 kcal / day
  • 5 kg = 280 kcal / day
  • 8 kg = 400 kcal / day
  • 10 kg = 470 kcal / day
  • 12 kg = 540 kcal / day
  • 15 kg = 640 kcal / day
  • 17 kg = 700 kcal / day
  • 20 kg = 790 kcal / day
  • 23 kg = 880 kcal / day
  • 25 kg = 940 kcal / day
  • 28 kg = 1020 kcal / day
  • 30 kg = 1080 kcal / day
  • 33 kg = 1160 kcal / day
  • 35 kg = 1210 kcal / day
  • 38 kg = 1290 kcal / day
  • 40 kg = 1340 kcal / day
  • 43 kg = 1410 kcal / day
  • 45 kg = 1460 kcal / day
  • 49 kg = 1560 kcal / day

How to do the BARF diet for dogs?

Once we have clear the daily kilocalories that our dog requires, also evaluating the factors mentioned above, we can choose the most convenient ingredients for our dog's BARF food. Likewise, when preparing the composition of the dish, we will guarantee a proportion that includes a 50% meat and offal, 20% raw meaty bones, 20% fresh vegetables and 10% fruits.

Of course, these proportions are not final. In fact, there is no study that can guarantee quantities and percentages in a generic way. Any food or diet for dogs, even dry food, must adapt to the specific individual. In this sense, it is always advisable to consult a veterinarian to guide us and help us correctly prepare the amounts and doses to offer..

5 BARF diet recipes for dogs

¿You are looking for a example of a BARF or ACBA diet for dogs? If you consider starting your dog in the consumption of raw meat you can try to make one of the following recipes, in this way you will observe the acceptance of your dog and the time that you will have to dedicate to its preparation.

Next, we are going to offer you five examples of a BARF diet for dogs. We must remember once again that if your intention is to feed your dog raw food regularly, you must first go to the vet and check that he is in good physical shape, in addition, you will ask the veterinarian or nutritionist for some specific recommendations for your dog to avoid the appearance of nutritional deficiencies.

In the variety of ingredients is the secret of the diet invented by Ian Billinghurst, so don't forget to mix different meats and fish, as well as fruits and vegetables. Discover 5 ACBA diet recipes for dogs that include a wide variety of foods, all of them designed to offer throughout the day to a dog weighing 30 kilograms weight, healthy and in normal physical condition:

1. Example of a BARF diet for chicken dogs

Chicken meat stands out for being one of the healthier, it hardly contains saturated fat. It is ideal for sedentary adult dogs, as well as for dogs that present overweight. Here is a recipe for chicken for dogs:

  • 250 grams of boneless chicken breast
  • 100 grams of chicken wings
  • 100 grams of chicken gizzards
  • 1 chicken neck (38 grams approximately)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 100 grams of beets
  • 50 grams of spinach
  • 1 medium apple (without the seeds)

2. Example of a BARF diet for veal dogs

In this case we are talking about lean meat from high nutritional value. It offers protein, water, fat and minerals. It should be offered in moderation, as it is also rich in cholesterol:

  • 200 grams of beef fillet
  • 100 grams of beef heart
  • 2 diced beef ribs (approximately 170 grams)
  • 100 grams of kefir
  • 1 large carrot
  • 100 grams of green beans
  • 50 grams of coconut

3. Example of a BARF diet for duck dogs

Duck meat is usually very accepted by dogs, however, for its high fat content, we must moderate their intake. We can offer it in a moderate way to puppy dogs or dogs that perform daily physical activity:

  • 250 grams of duck breast
  • 100 grams of duck carcass
  • 100 grams of duck liver
  • 50 grams of cottage cheese
  • 50 grams of brewer's yeast
  • 110 grams of cabbage
  • 1 small pear

4. Example of a BARF diet for lamb dogs

The lamb is ideal for those dogs that suffer food allergies to chicken or other poultry. It also tends to be very well accepted by dogs:

  • 100 grams of lamb chop
  • 125 grams of lamb tongue
  • 100 grams of lamb brains
  • 100 grams of lamb criadillas
  • 3 quail eggs
  • 1 cucumber sliced ​​(approximately 125 grams)
  • 1 branch of celery (30 grams approximately)
  • 100 grams of wakame seaweed
  • 1 medium banana

5. Example of a BARF diet for salmon dogs

We will finish with salmon, one of the star fish in the canine diet, as it is rich in essential oils and it offers many health benefits. It is recommended in dogs of all ages, in addition, it helps reduce the risk of heart disease and helps keep the cognitive system in shape, ideal for elderly dogs:

  • 300 grams of salmon
  • 150 grams of mussels
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground dog bone
  • 1 whole natural yogurt (125 grams approximately)
  • 1 medium zucchini (approximately 100 grams)
  • 50 grams of green peas
  • 1 medium papaya (approximately 140 grams)

As you can see, you can modify the menu according to your dog's preferences. Preparing an ACBA diet is relatively simple and very satisfactory, so we encourage you to try it always taking into account the indicated preventive measures and following the advice of your trusted veterinarian..

¡Do not forget introduce these foods progressively to your diet!

Where to buy BARF diet?

Since the BARF diet consists of various natural foods for dogs, in this sense you can buy the BARF diet in any supermarket, that is, buying the ingredients separately and always checking that the food is of quality. However, you can also buy BARF food already prepared in some pet stores.

To avoid buying spoiled food, another option is to opt for buy frozen BARF diet, which you can comfortably keep in your freezer and defrost at the desired time to offer it to your dog. In this way, you can purchase various BARF menu for dogs at the same time and keep them.

BARF diet for cats

If you have cats at home in addition to dogs, you may be interested to know that there is also the BARF diet for cats. As in the BARF food for dogs, the ACBA diet for cats consists of offering the tenant a natural diet that is as similar as possible to that of felines in the wild..

Benefits of the BARF diet for cats

BARF cat food has many advantages, including:

  • Will have the brightest coat.
  • The cat will be more active.
  • Your joints will be healthier.
  • You will avoid overweight and obesity problems.
  • Stool will not smell bad.
  • Since raw meat has large amounts of water, your cat will not need to drink as often..

For more information, in addition to consulting with your veterinarian, you can take a look at this other article on Raw diet or BARF for cats - Example, benefits and tips.

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