Sharon & AlwaysSpecial.co.uk

BARF – The only way to go

by on Nov.10, 2009, under The Family

After picking our pup up from Joanne Clayton I had two weeks of “cow pat” poos from Tikka…..she went off the food that she had gobbled up with Joanne (Eukanuba) refusing to eat it with….so some very quick research lead me to James Wellbeloved…..a natural comercial dry dog food, thinking that Tikka might be suffering from a reaction to the Eukanuba. The first couple of meals she cleared her dishes, breathing a sigh of relief (this was worse than weaning the four kids!!!!!) ………………but I was still getting half a dozen to a dozen cow-pats a day (& night).

The problem was surely these “cow-pats” were not doing poor pup any good?  & although she was very good letting me know when she wanting to go out…..cleaning down her “toilet” area each time was becoming very laborious!!!

Then came her second lot of vaccinations…..within 24 hours her poo had got worse and within three days she actually had blood in. After talking to our Vet, Tikka was fasted for 18 hours and then placed on Chicken & rice…..Her first solid poo was cheered (pathetic I know!!!)

Not wanting to put her back on comercial Dog food….I spent what seemed like 24 hours glued to the Internet soaking up every last piece of information I could lay my hands on…..the end result was

 

BARF

 

BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food. This diet is all about feeding dogs (and cats) properly and returning them to their evolutionary diet.

A Biologically Appropriate diet for a dog is one consisting of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs’ wild ancestors. The food must contain such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meats, vegetable and fruit materials combined in precisely the correct balance just as Mother Nature intended…..so that’s exactly what she was put on.

 

Why did she suddenly have loose stools on the commercial diet?

 

She had been weaned successively on Eukanuba…and was eating and pooing nice firm stools. However the day before she came to live with us she had her first vaccination. The following day she had diarrhea (we thought the change & parting from her siblings may be the reason). Her stools continued to be “cow-pat” until after her second vaccination, they then became very loose and also had blood in them. Now the connection with the vaccinations lead me to research even further.

 

It is my belief that the vaccination has caused Tikka Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which had lead to her becoming very sensitive to the commercial dried dog food. Not only did she have loose/diarrhea, she also suffered from the most horrendous wind (believe me she could clear a room!!!!)….she was also VERY excitable and a little nippy (which of course we put down to her being a pup!!). Another symptom she had was constant scratching, she was de-flead when we got her and another application two weeks later, but still she scratched!!!!!

 

and now?

 

After being on the BARF diet for nearly one week I now have a contented puppy whose stools are firm, have no odour at all and she only “toilets two/three times per day (sleeps all through night!!!!!), her scratching has decreased dramatically, her coat is glossy & she seems calmer (OK she still has her mad loopy Labradoodle moments) but she is more responsive to commands and has stopped all nipping……and above all NO BAD WIND PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!! At meal times she whines with excitement & when the kids have a piece of fruit it is absolutely lovely to watch a 11 week old puppy offering a paw very gently in return for a piece of apple or segment of orange!!!

Most of you who read this know that I have five children and work from home so preparing Tikka’s food on a daily basis would be virtually impossible…..so after again trawling the Net I came across what looked to be a fantastic alternative… www.naturalinstinct.com who have been kind enough to allow me to “sing their praises” . There are a few UK based companies out there who actually produce a “ready-made” BARF diet up that you simply order and rip open then feed your dog….but what struck me most about NaturalInstinct was the fact that they truly believe in what they are producing, having fed their own Welsh Terrier, Maggie, who HAD suffered from ear problems. The site was simple to use & not too commercial/glossy looking. The support via e-mail was fantastic (hey OK I might be an experiencedmum….but young puppies are a different ball-game!!!!)…..anyway I am so impressed by them, the product and Tikka’s improvement (& waggy tail/clean bowl!!!!!) have just ordered the next 10 weeks (or so) food from them. 

 

You might be thinking “that sounds expensive”……it’s not!!! £2.30 – £2.90 will get you a 1kg bag of food…for Tikka this is actually divided into 5 meals (the “recommended” average states that puppies should be fed up to 10 % of their body weight. Therefore, if your pup weighs 10 lbs you should feed 1 lb of food divided between 3 or 4 feedings per day…..For Tikka the cost is approximetly £1.50 per day…probably less than it would cost for three tins of Dog food……She does have treats of fruit & raw veg & dried Liver & every other night has a raw bone for her “tea-time” meal, after being fed the “bulk” of comerical food she took some adapting to the smaller portions….but has now settled and now appears content on the amount ;)

 

While I fully appreciate the opposite side of the coin…..

Parasites and Bacteria

One of the biggest concerns about feeding dogs raw bones and meat is the risk of contamination (of both dog food and human food surfaces) with bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. But to be honest my family have raw food placed upon the surfaces most evenings before it is cooked, I have never had any problems yet!!!!. While raw meat may carry these kind of bacteria, they have also been found in commercial kibble and other foods, and a more wholesome diet may equip the body better to deal with the inevitable infections and parasites by boosting the immune system.

Bacteria and parasites may be picked up any number of other places – such as sniffing or licking other dogs at the park, or walking over ground where another animal has defecated and later licking paws clean. Every animal will be exposed to parasites in bacteria – but for the sake of minimizing risks, some owners prefer to avoid the raw meat BARF diet, However after Tikka has licked her bowl clean(!!!) usually 5 minutes, I take the bowl up and it is washed ready for next time.

Some veterinarians claim there is an increased risk of seizures and other bacteria-related illness in dogs who are fed raw; other vets claim to have seen no BARF-related bacteria or parasitic infections and even recommend BARF.

Is BARF a “Balanced Diet”?

Commercial kibble manufacturers claim that their foods are nutritionally balanced and perfect for every dog. In fact, there is very little research on pet nutrition….I strongly believe that just taking a good look at your dog will tell you everything you need to know & it is what works for you & your dog.

Bone Splinters

There is some concern about bone splinters, even from raw bones, causing internal damage to the esophagus and intestine of pets.

Fans of the BARF plan are insistent that raw bones do not splinter and are safe for dogs to chew and ingest. Raw bones are also said to be an ideal source of calcium, amino acids (protein), minerals, and other nutrients…..The other night Tikka was feed a raw Chicken wing (she has had two before no problems) however she swallowed the one half of the wing completely much to my horror (she is never left alone with a bone) all because she wanted to play with the cat!!!!. Now I knew the bone had to come out & was praying her intestine would cope with it, however her system went one better, three hours after eating the bone she literally threw it up, all that she eaten had passed through her safely the bone came back up on it’s own!!! She was not ill she just “got rid” of what she did not need!!

There are persuasive arguments in favor of and against feeding a dog raw food. Ultimately, the decision is that of the pet owner and must depend on the veterinarian’s recommendations as well as the health and specific needs of the dog….for Tikka and me?

 

Waggy tail at meal times tells me everything!!!!!!!

One Happy Puppy!!!!

One Happy Puppy!!!!

 

 

Although Tikka being the intelligent Puppy that she is……can often take the BARF diet a little too far……Bones & Raw Meat do NOT include poor old Mr Corky!!!!!!!

 

Nice try Tikka!!!!

Tikka & her best friend Mr Corky!!!

Tikka & her best friend Mr Corky!!!

 

If you have experienced the BARF diet….good or bad please leave me a comment….Have fun  ;)


6 Comments for this entry

  • medusaj

    Good to see Tikka doing so well on BARF. Brave pup too taking on Mr Corky!

  • stephanosis

    Tikka looks gorgeous, and those lovely eyes!
    Whatever you are doing she looks good on it
    Afraid I have never given bones to my dogs but give some raw meat! had bad experience with bones and my Dalmation… but every dog is different!
    Looks like Tikka has won over the Bruvs.
    Would love to kiss that cheeky face.
    hugs and snogs
    Stephy xxxx

  • Jacqui G

    Great info. Have been researching BARF and find info invaluable. We lost our lovely boy Aug 2009, and are getting new puppy Jan 2010. I will feed BARF as I feel has to be the best way to go. We had all same probs with Bentley when he was pup and didn’t know about BARF diet (wish we had). But, we always fed him bones and he was always great when he had them regularly. His coat, teeth and toilet were always great. When not having the bones he reverted to “cow pats” to coin a phrase. Thanks for the help. Great puppy. Good luck . Big kiss for your boy xx Jacqui xx

  • Illinois Pet Sitter

    What an interesting dog breed. Thank you so much for sharing. Its nice to know that there are so many dog lovers out here.. just like me.

  • Sharon

    Would “Poppy’s” Owner please leave another message…Unfortunatley your message was deleted with a load of spam. I would love to catch up with you and Poppy!!!…regards Sharon

  • pam barrett

    hi,i found that really interesting,thankyou!Ive been trying to feed raw for the last year,as i believe it makes so much sense,however,im not very confident,and am scared i might cause my beloved dogs some kind of deficiency,so it was good to hear your story with tikka(good name!)thanks,pam.

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!