BARF diet for dogs

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cygnet, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Aaaugh!

    Murphy's law -- I believe I just posted that I don't see a need to feed a fancy diet to most dogs unless there was a medical need. I should've knocked on wood. My heeler/aussie puppy (same one who broke her shoulderblade) appears to have developed an intolerance to grain products. She vomits for hours after eating anything with grain in it, and wheezes and itches. Allergy much?

    Established it appears to be an intolerance to grain (wheat or corn) by starting her off with a pure chicken diet and adding thinsg until I found out what was setting her off ...

    I've been feeding her whatever meat I've been able to pull out of the freezer -- it's sure cleaned out all the freezerburned two year old bags of chicken parts from the bottom of the chest freezer.

    Anyone have a link to a good dog nutrition site without the hype? I'm fairly skeptical of a lot of the BS I see on a lot of "never feed your dog kibble" sites but I've got to figure out now how to give her a balanced diet now.

    (And I need to find a cheap source of meaty bones -- at the cost of food at the local grocer, I'd go broke feeding her!)

    Oh, I know you're not supposed to feed cooked bones. Are FROZEN bones okay? If so, that'll make feeding easy -- freeze everything in a block and throw her a block of food from the freezer twice a day. She seems to have no problem gnawing on frozen chicken parts.

    Leva
     
  2. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    I feed frozen/partly frozen RMBs sometimes and my dogs seem to do OK unless it's a BIG chunk. I usually grab 2-3 days worth of meals out of the freezer at a time and they get mostly defrosted. I usually do feed my veggie/organ meat mix frozen because I don't want it thawed out for several days and I'm too forgetful to remember to get it in the frig everyday. As far as cheap bones, I'd check into a local locker if there is one. I've got one nearby that I was happy with until the day I stopped by to get some bones and he had to scrape tabacco spit off one of the bones I picked! Mostly I use a lot of chicken quarters ($.30-$.40/#), turkey necks ($.60/#), and pork neck bones ($1/#). My older dog (80# couch potato) gets about 10 oz of RMB per day and my young dog (50# 8 month old pup) gets about 14 oz of RMB per day.

    I got most of my info from books-Ian Billinghurst's books are OK, kind of vague. Your library may have them. What ever you choose to do, take the "you absolutely have to do it this way or you'll hurt the dog" with a grain of salt. My diet is a compliation of recommendations and a lot of just what works for me.
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I took my three dogs off of commercial food about 3-4 weeks ago. My Bulldog had persistent rashes and skin allergies, my Crested had skin problems, and my Catahoula developed bladder stones. I'd always fed premium commercial feeds and harped on Barfers too :no: Murphy attacked, LOL. That said, I don't really consider the diet I feed to be a BARF diet. It is a variation of it. I also feed a nutritional supplement that had already begun to help my American Bulldog and Chinese Crested before taking them off the Pro Plan. I took GoldenMom's recipe and varied it to the energy requirements of my dogs with an eye toward acidifying foods to prevent further bladder stones. I feed raw beef one pound per 50 lbs. of dog. I've emptied my freezer of turkey and chicken (pork is a no no for the AB :eek: ) Cooked macaron, rice or home baked bread is about 15% of the ration I feed at noon with bits of cooked poultry or organ meat and or hard boiled eggs. Breakfast equals cottage cheese or yogurt. They get fed smaller meals two or three times a day andI use olive oil on the rice and macaroni. So far I've not tried many veggies other than carrots and squash. None of them like fruit and the veggies have to be finely mixed into the raw beef or it is left. I have to tell you I'm already looking for labor saving measures- it is quite a chore. They all look very good right now though- I've not seen any more stones with my Catahoula and though she had it rough there at the beginning, she's killed three opossums in the past week and is urinating just fine now. I tried raw bones for my dogs but they threw up undigested pieces each time so I stopped. My Chinese Crested of course doesn't really have the teeth for a bone to begin with so he gets the cartilage- all the dogs love that. If you can find a local butcher that does beef cutting and packing chances are you can get the bones free. I've checked all of ours but they never have any. Gonna raise our own beef cows here shortly to provide better quality and control and good beef bones. Oh, my cats are now on home cooked diet too. Hope that helped give you an idea. Good luck.
     
  4. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    ok....what is RMB? what is AB and why no pork? why no cooked bones? curiosity has struck me. this topic has interested me for a while, but i like to know more before i step into it. thanks.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I think GoldenMom's reference to RMB= raw meaty bones as she was answering Cygnet's question on bones. MY AB = my American Bulldog, "Cracker Jack, " the greatest dog of my life :) He gets gas something awful on cooked pork :eek: I don't know why no cooked bones. I've fed certain cooked bones previously- not the thigh bones of chickens though without ill effect. I would think their tendency to splinter would be greater if cooked but I'm just guessing. Good questions :)
     
  6. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

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  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Let's see. The dogs I had since childhood as pets...cocker spaniel, german shorthair pointer, brittany spaniel, miniature schnauzers, 3 mixed breed mongrels and Kuvasz. The last 15 years have raised adorable and healthy for the most part westhighland terriers. Tried many various diets inculding kibbles and raw.
    The hunting/working dogs sometimes gave raw and bones to chew.
    Never really had issues about diet using good veterinarian seal approved kibble diet and mixed with fresh cooked liver and veggies added. Worked as a vet assistant and opinion is all over the place as to what to feed. I'm pleased with my dogs logevity and health. Right now I have 3 beautiful westies and one growing pup...none have BARF. To me it's disgusting, but I might feed something like that to outdoor kennel sled dogs or such. I am very careful about bones as this has been an issue twice in the past with emergency visits to the vet, so I avoid chicken or poultry bones raw. This BARF diet is fine, but overhyped IMHO.
     
  8. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Exactly right Tango-raw bones are quite elastic and cooking removes that elasticity allowing the bones to splinter more easily. My dogs are fine on pork, but many dogs have a similar reaction to Cracker Jack. Heck my dogs ate pork chops for supper last night (need to get to the store for more chicken, but we've got a TON of 2 year old pork products). They eat better than I do most of the time.

    Moonwolf-BARF is DEFINITELY not for everybody!!! Tons of work. I went that route because I have Goldens and Goldens are very predisposed to cancer. There's much evidence that a low carb diet slows cancer growth, so I figured why wait until they came down with cancer, maybe low carb before can help prevent or at least delay them getting cancer.
     
  9. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've never had a problem feeding kibble before, but this dog was vomiting to the point of losing weight on kibble. Might be a problem there ... I'll keep my other dog on kibble, he's doing fine.

    She'll eat anything -- the first time I knew she had a problem was when she devoured an entire bag of Chompies bagels (about a dozen bagels) and then "gave them back" to me at my feet. Two days of stomach upset after that ... figured it was onions on the bagels, but she's reacted since the same way to anything with grain in it, including a handful of cracked corn dusted over her feed.

    My grandparents bred goldens and had dogs live into their teens on alpo ... I've had an awful lot of cats live into their late teens or early 20's on plain old purina cat chow as well. I'm still skeptical of most foo-foo diets unless you've got a specific medical reason. Looks like with Cassidy, I've got that reason.

    Since she's not exactly a finicky eater, I'll probably just run everything through a blender and freeze it in bricks. She'd probably eat her veggies anyway (and the bowl they came in, given a chance) but that'll just be easier.

    Leva

     
  10. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    i freeze RMBs and feed as needed , generally its not an issue with us here, seemsl ike were always having some kind of animal to feed the dogs, im sure as the GP pups get bigger it might be more of a concern , but since we just butchered a pig i have a 5 gallon bucket full of snacks and stuff for them , that i use grocery store bags to divy up , since they dont mind if its freezer burnt , it works well, they just cleaned the last of the goatbones, and since we butchered 5 chickens and a rabbit this past week , i havent had to feed any of the pig stuff yet, other than them cleaning up the offal that we didnt need

    i havent ever had a problem with pork products fed to them , but since thier are all mixes, they have that hybrid vigor:D
    i agree a barf diet isnt for every owner, neither is it for every dog, i have seen some dogs fed nothing but scraps whose owners claim they are feeding a barf diet when in reality , they are just getting table scraps with some bones mixed in ,

    some very small dogs have touble with bones, yorkies, and toy poodles for ex.

    my cats have transitioned from an all kibble with meat treats diet to nearly all raw meats, and now that they are here on the farm , of course they supplement with what they catch , now if i just could get the lazy things to catch more , though i know they say you only ever know about 1/2 of what they catch , still ...
    but i digress

    sources for RMB's for your animals, local butcher shops sell bones and excess for cheaper, tell them you need it for feeding , and not soup , let them know youll take backbones as well, usually they will either give you the backbones, or sell it for cheaper, i know in stores bones sell for about 50 cents a pound

    last rmb's i bought from the butcher was like 20 cents for a lb , if i bought the whole lot, which generally was like 100-150 lbs, or 1 days worth of butchering, and it included hooveslower legs, which arent worth processing , and bones too , so was a good deal
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I lost two dogs to bloat, then started investigating. This led me to natural diet articles and to BARF. I don't grind anything. I thaw enough meat for two or three days, and give him a chicken back (chicken leg, port neck, ox tail, whatever) twice a day. he gets organ meat once every two weeks. I cook a few little extra veggies and he gets those. He also gets quite a few eggs, since we have layers. You can also buy doggie vitamin/mineral supplements if you are concerned that you are not balancing his rations.

    If you are just starting on BARF, try giving him chicken thighs or leg quarters (whatever is on sale) for a couple of weeks and see how much handling raw meat bothers you. My preference is to give it to him outside, however, you really need to supervise the first few times because, coming off kibble, they don't know how much they have to chew.

    If your dog is very active you may need to feed him a nighttime snack as well.

    At 3 1/2 years old, my dog has never had fleas. I understand that this is typical of a BARF dog, but he isn't part of a scientific experiment, so I can't be sure.
     
  12. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    Hello~
    I'm currently making the switch from kibble to raw with my three dogs. Seems you can make it as easy or as complicated as you want to. :)
    I'm finding that the prey-model diet is making the most sense and looks like the easiest. Basically, you're trying to replicate a carnivore's prey: approx 80% raw meat, 10-15% bone and 10-15% organs. You don't need to feed all at each sitting- it evens out over time. I'm choosing to add a little raw veggies just cause my girls like their peas and broccoli and fish oil suppplement for 0mega 3's as they don't get much fish. I'm also using crushed eggshells for calcium as hubby's paranoid about the bone thing. Here's a couple of sites I found informative:
    http://www.pet-grub.com/
    http://www.rawfeddogs.net/ <-- be sure to check out the recipe section :)
    Here's a good yahoo group with lots of people willing to help:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/
    Good luck~
    Steph
     
  13. OldYellersGhost

    OldYellersGhost Well-Known Member

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    Talk about your '30 minute meal!'
    All I get is a 20 second shake of a bag of Benifull!
     
  14. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

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    I belong to a BARF co-op. I just picked up some 310 lbs yesterday
    200 lbs of chicken backs, 40 lbs ground turkey, 50 lbs ground chicken, 20 lbs chicken giblets.
    The big girl loves her chicken.
     
  15. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mastiff -- I boggled at the amount of feed you were buying then realized if you're feeding mastiffs, that's what, a week supply for one dog? *LOL*

    One nice thing about Cassidy is that she's only about forty pounds soaking wet.

    Leva
     
  16. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Typically a dog is fed about 2-3% of it's body weight. If your dog weighs 150 pounds 2% is 3 pounds per day!!!!!! Man, I though my goldens ate a lot!
     
  17. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    You might want to check out Strombeck's book, "Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets". It's not raw. Most of the diets have one protein source and one carb source with bone meal, oil and vitamins added. Lots of the diets are aimed at particular health problems, all are completely balanced. If your dog tolerates rice, the egg and rice diet should be pretty easy for you to make.
     
  18. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How did you find a BARF co-op? Is there anyone here who raises a number of livestock just to BARF feed their dogs?