BARF vs. Kibble

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Lynnette, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    HI Folks, :help:

    I have been a long term buyer/believer in Diamond dog food. Even through the last scare, I don't feed my dogs anything with corn it it so I figured we were okay. Now with the new problems with Diamond I am really starting to reconsider my food choice.

    I really liked Diamond because it was readily available, affordable, and my dogs liked and did well on it. Seemingly the perfect dog food. What do I do now? I would lilke to try BARF, I raise rabbits, chickens, and rice is easily affordable. So feeding them rabbit, eggs, rice and even some yogurt would be no problem. I plan on having sheep next year so that could also be a meat source. My question is will feeding my dogs, rabbit or chicken along with eggs, rice and yogurt be enough? Also, I can't/won't feed my dogs bones. My two little pugs choke way to easily for that, my lab could probably handle it, but I worry about feeding them chicken bones, as I have always heard that dogs should not have them.
     
  2. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    South, South Alabama
    You might want to check out www.extremedogfuel.com as an alternative. Yes, they have corn in the food but everything that goes into this food, and the manufacturing of it, is human consumable. Quite literally you can open a bag and eat this yourself. They use fresh, not frozen, chicken with the organ meat. It's made a huge difference in my dogs and I've never fed anything less than premium food. I was at the verge of going raw because I couldn't find anything that wouldn't produce cow patties the size of CT. I have itty bitty poops that are firm and wonderful coats...and a 9yr old rescued pyr that thinks he's a puppy. The difference is really amazing. I know I sound like an infomercial and I'm sorry. I just really believe in this food. You can also call Jerry at the # on the website and he can tell you anything you want to know. Or Kristen at the kennel.
     

  3. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Cricket,

    Thanks for the help, I had not considered the "plop factor", that is defintely an undesirable quality. Have you had any experience feeding it to a dog with a sensitive stomach. My little Jakers has tummy upset from eating corn which is why I try to avoid it, and for a little dog when he gets an upset tummy he can stink up the whole house.
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    BARF means bones and raw food or biologically appropriate raw foods. BARF absolutely does NOT contain rice and it absolutely contains bones (preferably whole, but some people do use ground). It sounds like you are more want a general "home-prepared" food.

    To answer your question-no, meat, eggs, rice and yogurt probably are not enough. Without feeding bones you will need to supplement calcium (your eggs shells can help with that). I would highly recommend that you read some books about home-prepared diets. One of the best (for the type of diet you appear to desire) is written by Strombeck and I think is called Home Prepared Diets for Dogs and Cats (I'm not exactly sure on the title and if the recipe calls for cooked meat, just substitute raw if you want). Also you could check out Wendy Volhard's Natural Diet for a Healthy Dog (there's no bones in her meat and she uses grains). Another to check out is Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (he has several recipes).
     
  5. Wolf Flower

    Wolf Flower Married, not dead! Supporter

    Messages:
    2,690
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Location:
    Northern CA
    I have been feeding my dogs raw for several years. I feed mostly turkey and chicken necks/backs, fish oil, a powdered green-food type supplement, eggs both raw and boiled... and honestly, very little else. I do keep Innova Evo kibble (no corn) around for when I run out of raw meat.

    I agree, the dog poop on this diet is lovely. Little firm poops that dry up, turn white, and crumble into the ground. And they don't even smell. I'm not kidding.

    Chicken bones are fine for pets as long as they are raw. It's cooked, dried bones that tend to splinter. If you are worried about anyone choking, you can grind up the bones with the meat in a grinder. But they must have the bones, it's critical for their calcium and other minerals.

    I have heard a lot of people say that their dogs with sensitive stomachs do better on raw than with any other type of food. I have a cat that barfs a lot on kibble, but he does great on raw.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,981
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    On the bone thing- a dog that is used to eating kibble may choke on a chicken bone because they have been trained to chew twice and swallow. Can't do that with a bone. Simply give your dog a bone that will require more work to chew up. Give him a beef round bone or a joint bone. Remove the marrow because the new fat will give him the runs. As long as you can see tooth marks on the bones they are not too hard. When you give chicken to the tiny dog, give him wing tips to start.
     
  7. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    South, South Alabama
    Lynette-My Foster has a horribly sensitive tummy. It's the reason I was so close to feeding raw. His poops are solid, no gas, and he obviously feels better. I was very concerned about the corn and the "chicken meal" on the label until I fed it and talked to Jerry. I couldn't understand why a food made such huge differences in their coats, poops, and overall well being until I talked to him. Since then I've done a bunch of research on AAFCO regulations for labeling. Because he doesn't use frozen meat and he includes the organ meat, AAFCO makes him label as "meal". One of those "truth in advertising" regulations that the govt puts out. In other words, there isn't any truth in pet food labeling...period. One of the easiest and most usable sites I've come across is www.mordanna.com and click on the dog food project link. There's tons of info on labeling, ingredients, and what exactly "they" are feeding our pets.
     
  8. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    488
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    I feed my dog mostly a raw diet. Chicken leg quarters and organ meat. I give a vitamin everyday and have some kibble out just for a snack. The coat is better. She is more active and a little more aggressive than on just straight kibble.
     
  9. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    470
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    This may sound gross but my dog really loves me and shows me with many kisses...usually on my face. I believe that the dogs can handle raw but what about me, could I get sick after she eats this stuff and shows her affection?
     
  10. Pyrenees

    Pyrenees Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado

    YES

    I am going to commit a little heresy here and comment as someone who deals A LOT with raw feeders. I have two veterinary hospitals in the mountains outside of Denver where a large percentage of the local populace (including myself) is interested in "natural living". I employe acupuncture, some Reiki, and dabble a little in Bach and herbal remedies...but spend about 90% percent of my time practicing traditional medicine.

    There have been many people touting the benefits of feeding raw, but very little stated about the potential consequences...so here goes. Hopefully the mods can tolerate the dissent with a little good humor.
    1. NOT ALL dogs do well on raw diets...regardless of the length of their intestinal tracts not all dogs tolerate the exposure to the pathogens that come with eating raw, even after a gradual introduction. Case in point - G.Dane pup (16 wks) whose owner started her off on frozen chicken necks...the dog ate one, and 48 hours later was on IV's down at a referral center in Denver getting a clostridium infection under control. Total vet bill ($1400). I can supply many more stories especially from the days when I was an emergency vet in Denver.
    2. Very few BARF diets are nutritionally balanced. I cringe when I lurk on this board and see recommendations being made to toss in some ground egg shells and bone meal and call it good. The University of Tenesse analysed a bunch of raw diets a few years back and not one passed muster in terms of meeting AAFCO standards. If I recall the ones that came closest were from Pitcairn.
    3. Finally exposure of people to pathogens...there was a study done that showed a ridiculously high percentage of raw chicken contained salmonella in sufficient quantities to pose a significant health risk to people. Obviously clean-up helps quite a bit...but leaving the food bowl down all day with chicken juice residue, especially if you don't wash if after every meal, poses risks especially to small children.

    GoldenMom: 2. and 3. can be easily referenced on VIN.

    Having a lot of clients who are raw feeders and will continue to do so and tout the benefits no matter what I say, I readily acknowledge that there are benefits that cannot be quantified in a research lab. But my personal experiences as a busy in the trenches vet give me pause about recommending BARF diets without mentioning the risks.

    Ready to duck and cover.
     
  11. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,197
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Pyrenees, I am glad you are on here with a professional opinion. I haven't tried the BARF diet or any of these suggested but I am interested in a well balanced diet for my dogs. I am looking at different foods because my lab gets an ear infection with the corn based food, and my pug can't eat anything with larger bites so she eats canned Alpo, which also looks nasty. Any suggestions for us laymen (or laywomen)? Any helpful ideas would be appreciated!! :)
     
  12. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

    Messages:
    3,107
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Milton, New Hampshire
  13. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    South, South Alabama
    Pyrenees - Thank you for your advise. I don't think you need to duck and cover. While there are rabid supporters of raw and barf diets here, I don't think you would get attacked to badly on this forum. One of the things you mentioned was the AAFCO standards and I'm going to just have to jump here at this point. I honestly don't know much about the standards but they can't be very high if it's perfectly acceptable to them for manufacterers to include antifreeze and euthanasia drugs in the food. So if raw doesn't meet these minimum standards - that is really frightening.
    However, the flip side of that is the labeling regulations. If the public isn't educated in how those work, and what CAN'T be put on the labels - even if it's true, and how ingredients MUST be written down - even if it's untrue or misleading, then people are going to continue to feed raw. Which is why when I started feeding the food I'm now using, I had to go back to the owner and ask about the ingredients list. Because he's using fresh instead of frozen, they require him to put chicken by-product meal on the label. It's not the typical meal...since usually they throw in feathers, feet, heads, and a few extra pieces and parts...boil it all thogether and call it good. Well, how much of that is actually usable by the animal???? Very, very little! But they can say it's all chicken and therefore the public thinks they're getting a really good food.

    http://www.homevet.com/petcare/foodbook.html is really good link about the whole subject. http://www.dogfoodproject.com/ is another. Usually she has a huge list of links but that pae is under construction. She has a remarkable amount of information on AAFCO labeling too.

    Sorry...the labeling requirements are a HUGE pet peeve of mine....
     
  14. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,528
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alaska
    Chicken Soup foods are another Diamond product which I believe the original poster is trying to avoid. I believe Diamond started as a good company but it has gotten so big, with so many different foods under its label that I think it has sacrificed quality. I'm trying to keep my mouth shut since I have no solid proof but my personal opinion is that there are a lot more dogs out there dead, sick or who have been detrimentally impacted by Diamond's practices. I'll never feed it again and am still more than a little angry (would rather use a stronger word) with myself for taking so long to switch. Mine have been on Nutro for only about 3 days now so it is a bit early to tell but Eider, who has NEVER gone 24 hrs with firm poop, about half the time it would be runny, has now had consistently firm poop for 24 hrs. Both Eider and Jesse seem to be itching less too, and they were on Diamond Lamb and Rice to begin with, now on Nutro Lamb and Rice. Not sure if I'll stay with Nutro or not. I'm still researching but that was what I came up with for the first cut. I appreciate all the links to different foods here and will continue my research.
     
  15. Pyrenees

    Pyrenees Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    I wholeheartedly agree that the AAFCO organization leaves something to be desired, but the AAFCO standards are the only gauge that we currently have to measure the nutritional quality of what the pet food industry is producing...and even that only goes so far as compliance with the standards is strictly voluntary. Think of minimal nutritional requirements when I say the BARF diet did not meat the minimum standards.

    AAFCO/FDA/CVM is trying, admittedly not as fast you would like, but before they can instigate sweeping legislation they have to quantify what the problem is (which what the FDA/CVM study that you refer to did) and how to legislate a solution. Simply stating that euthanasia solution is forbidden in pet foods has been done...but enforcing compliance with the monstrosity of the pet food industry is the challenge.

    The questions I would submit is...is the average american consumer better off with or without the AAFCO organization and standards? Keep in mind this forum has a pretty select group of pet owners who do their research as you obviously do. :clap:

    The average American pet owner does not, and without some standards the quality of pet food would definitely diminish...and we would be right back in the middle of the last century where the average life expectancy of any dog was about 7 years.
     
  16. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    South, South Alabama
    Pyrenees - You are, unfortuantely, correct. I do recognize that without them we would be going backwards rather quickly. And my only real gripe is the way they make the manufacturer label the food. Because of this very poor quality food is made to sound wonderful. It's almost as if the deck is stacked against anyone attempting to manufacture and feed a very high quality food. It's very frustrating to me as the food that I'm using is new and just out of a 2 year trial period and we can't say certain things even though they're true. But yet a food like Ole Roy can keep on misleading the consumer. Oh well. sigh... There isn't an easy answer, I know. And no matter what the "solution", it still won't be perfect.
     
  17. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    What makes you think that I would not tolerate a dissenting opinion Pyrenees? I have NEVER touted raw as a diet that is right for everyone or that it will cure all ills. Yes I do feed raw to my own dogs and NEVER intend to go back to kibble. And the greatest reason why can also be found on VIN (yes I'm very familiar of VIN and am a member). I have golden retrievers. As you well know, they are extremely prone to cancer. Many cancers thrive on carbs. Dogs have NO requirement for carbs, so I why would I choose to feed a diet that is very high in carbs? Sage has eaten raw for 6+ years and Ruby has eaten raw since she was 6 weeks (1.5 years+). Both dogs have blood profiles years (all is NORMAL). Both dogs have clean, beautiful teeth (and I'm sure you will agree that periodontal disease causes many, many health problems). Ruby is very athletic and grew normally. She is normal sized (her mom was 50# and dad 70#). Both of my dogs are normal weights (pretty unusual for goldens!).

    #1 Of course a dog CAN have an issue with the bacteria on raw. MOST don't. Just like a dog that eats poop CAN have an issue with the bacteria on poop. MOST don't. Dogs eat things that are covered with bacteria every day. Rarely they will have a problem. It's not as common as you make it out to be.

    #2 The myth of "balanced". Do you and your family eat a perfectly balanced diet at all meals? I would guess not. How on earth do you survive? Balance over time. There is no way you can totally analyze a proper raw diet. The studies ask for a small sample of what you feed. A proper raw diet is NOT the same thing every day, different meats are feed frequently and often human leftovers are also fed. These studies did not take into account all the different foods ACTUALLY fed, just the little bit of sample sent to them and they assumed that this is ALL the dog is fed.

    If dogs were meant to get veggies why don't they manufacture the enzymes that are needed to break them down? Because they don't strictly NEED them! Dogs (like wolves-they ARE the same species though they look a bit different) are made to digest protein and fat and can make all the amino acids they need from these basic building blocks. Minerals-there are lots of minerals in bone and with just a bit of supplementation, the dog gets what it needs. Vitamins-lots of vitamins in organ meats and like minerals, a bit of supplementation can provide all the vitamins needs.

    #3 So people should never handle raw meat? I feed my dog meat I get at the grocery store that is intended for human consumption. Normal hygiene is good enough if I'm preparing the food for myself, why not for my dog? As far as the dog kissing you-what about all the OTHER stuff (namely poop-not necessarily dog poop, but horse poop, cow poop, chicken poop, cat poop, etc) that your dog eats?

    Yes we have differing opinions on whether raw is OK or not. That's good! It allows people to see the pros and cons of each diet. My goal is not to tout as raw the only way. I just want to dispell some of the mystery surrounding it and guide people towards better ways to feed it rather than just throwing a bit of this and that to the dog.

    Oh BTW do you have any interest in reading a raw book? You can download Tom Lonsdale's Work Wonders on his website for free. www.rawmeatybones.com I think. Click on the WW info and you can download the book using Adobe.

    One last thought I have-if kibble was perfect why on earth do they have to keep changing it and making it "better"? I suspect it is because they don't KNOW everything there is to know yet!

     
  18. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    My vet came to visit me while I was in the hospital last week. It was the first timeI was able to speak of Sneezy's death (my first Catahoula) without choking up even though it has been about 7 months now. Maybe it was the medication or maybe it was time for me to face the fact... She died at 2.5 years after extensive treatment for renal failure. He says that she showed the symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning. He is retired and keeps a small emergency clinic open to stay active so he's not up in these matters as much as a more active vet is. I'll never feed Diamond again. I don't trust the company; who would after losing a beloved companion so needlessly? I educate myself and try to do the best I can; it is a huge trust issue.

    I am feeding more raw now along with Nutro Lamb and Rice and am going to switch to completly raw as soon as I get a refrigerator. Right now I am buying chicken leg quarters and still feeding deer from last season and also I raise other animals for food (pigs, cattle, goats). Chicken from the supermarket is gross imo. I don't eat it. Anyone who has butchered their own chicken can see a huge difference. I treat supermarket chicken like a biohazard. My dogs eat it outside and I wash my hands immediately. It doesn't come into contact with anything in my kitchen (kept outside in a cooler and fed from the bag). The warnings on supermarket food are serious. The food is marginal at best and must be treated with extreme caution. We're still tweaking a raw diet but my Catahoula and Great Pyr are doing very well. My AB isn't doing as well but I think it is a matter of finding his sensitivities and adjusting his diet accordingly. Doesn't happen overnight.
     
  19. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Hey! I have "Moderator" beneath my name :) :bouncy:
     
  20. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,309
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Idaho
    I don't know if this counts for much but here it is anyways. I bought 2 whold raw chickens from Costco-pressure-cooked them up whole and then deboned out the larger bones--the larger bones don't allow for "frozen blobs" of food too well in storage--...kept all the juice and meat/cartilage. Added into that nutritional yeast, powdered milk, a few carrots 'cause my dog LOVES them, a bit of rabbit food(alfalfa is so high in lots of good things) some dried barley grass, rice/barley and some powdered vit C. Mixed it all up and measured it out into 1 c blobs onto waxed paper and froze it. I take out one blob per meal and let it thaw, add a fresh egg and maybe a fish oil capsule and then I give it to my lab/cheseapeake and then I watch her get so excited about the GOOD food she almost falls apart! I was wondering if this conoction would be a good way to go nutritionally? I do give her raw deer and cow bones too to chew on. Her coat is now so shiny and soft and she seems very full of life and HAPPY to eat her breakfast! But I do wonder if this is fullfilling her nutritional requirements.