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B.A.R.F. (Bones and Raw Foods)
What it is and why it is better

Have you ever seen a dog run into a corn field and start munching on those luscious ears of corn we savor in the summer? Or what about raiding the peanuts as they grow? How about chicken feet, or beaks of chickens, or the feathers? What about watching your dogs run rampant through the wheat field, nibbling at the wheat?  No??  You've never seen this happen?  It's not likely that you will -- however, when you feed the food packaged in bags on the shelf of your supermarkets or the local pet food stores that is what you are feeding your dogs.

Peppi, rescued, 11 year old Toy Poodle with his raw oxtail - lunch!

Peanut hulls are used for filler in dog foods. Corn is a major ingredient in many dog foods. Grains take up another basic part of the packaged dog foods on the market today. Then you throw in all the preservatives that are needed to keep the food from going stale or molding on the shelf and you have the potential to make your dogs ill.

There are many sites on the internet that can help you with making an informed decision on the types of foods you should feed your animals. There are also many sites on the net that will tell you how good the commercial foods are.  Brand X has the most vitamins, or Brand Z is higher in protein, or Brand Y has better nutrition. How do you really know? Is it because there were a certain number of Champions raised on it? What studies have they done that prove this fact they are purporting? Where do we find these studies? What was the length of the study and what breed of dog was represented? No answers?

When the bagged brands of dog food are heated, the food loses its nutritional value. The vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are compromised due to the heating. On the side of the bags of your packaged foods there is never a maximum listed, only the minimum, and never the minimum daily requirements. What's wrong with this picture?

Do an internet search for find web sites on B.A.R.F. Read about raw feeding. Read the API reports on what is in our commercial dog foods. Check out Ann Martin's book, Food Pets Die For.

There are alternatives. You do have choices. You do not have to support the local vet because s/he says that Science Diet is the best food for your animal. You do not have to buy bagged food because the ad says it's better than the one next to it. Chances are they are the same.   Read the Comparison Charts and find out what is in this food. All dogs are not the same, are not created equally and do not necessarily need the same amounts of protein, fat or other additives to their foods. Many things depend on the animal's diet. Are they working dogs or lap dogs?  Are they small dogs, medium sized dogs or large dogs? The bag says for "Adult" dogs. Well an adult can be 5 pounds or 105 pounds. Do they need the same ingredients in that "Adult Food"? No, they do not.

Read, research, then read some more. Ask questions. Join raw feeder's email lists. Talk to breeders who feed both ways. They will both think they are right, but the proof is in the animal. Commercial dog foods have been in existence about 65 years. Doesn't that make you wonder why dogs prior to that era lived to be 15 or 20 years of age? Doesn't it make you wonder what they ate? There was no bag, no can, no processed or commercialized "brand X" that you could buy in the general store. Dogs and cats ate people food. They ate prey. They ate bones. They ate what we ate and lived well.

-- Kate Long

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