BARF Diet for Dogs – Is it the Best?

Raw dog foods still raise a lot of questions, despite their wide popularity. Many dog owners simply love the idea of dog food recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients such as fruits, veggies raw meat and bone.

Until two decades ago, raw dog foods were delicacies served only to racing greyhound and sled dog breeds. A proposition to serve the raw dog food to other recipes was first put forth by Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian. He envisioned the potential benefits that dogs would be conferred upon when placed on ancient diets supplied by mother nature in the wild. He proposed the formula as a better alternative to grain-filled processed dog food. He termed his conception the BARF diet or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. The main ingredients of the diet are raw meaty animal parts and fresh cuts of fruits and veggies.

However, some quarters, including the FDA, contravene the nutritional basis of the conception. They base their counter-arguments on the well-documented risks associated with raw diets.


  • A Balanced Proportion of Calcium and Phosphorus is Available in Raw Foods: Raw diet recipes can help you strike the elusive balance between calcium and phosphorus in dog food.
  • Raw Foods Promote Healthier Skin and Coat: Nutrient-rich fruits and veggies enrich dogs’ hides and skins.
  • They Enhance Oral health: Chewing action stimulates saliva secretion. Since saliva washes teeth and cleans up the oral compartment, the dog’s teeth are wiped clean when the dogs chew the fresh meaty bones. Chewing also makes for stronger teeth.

  • Bony Meat Can serve In Positive Mental Activities: A meaty bone can also serve as a great treat for dogs who just love gnawing away at them.
  • Nutrient-Rich Raw Foods Vitalizes Dog Cells and Tissues: A fresh supply of nutrients to the dog’s body can boost energy levels.
  • Consumption of Raw Food Leads to Compact Stools: This attribute is akin to what is obtainable from fiber-foods. Raw foods keep the anal sacs from filling up quickly, and thus minimizes the tendency of dogs to scoot. Basically, bones harden the texture of the stool, and this minimizes the rate at which the anal sacs is stretched to capacity.


  • Hygiene problems: One ubiquitous problem associated with raw meal servings involves hygiene and the health risks of bacterial infections that usually attack raw foods. Bacteria infestations usually set in after the raw food has been kept out for four hours.
  • Raw Foods aren’t as Wholesome and are Therefore Unsuitable For Regular Use: A regular intake of raw dog food offers inadequate nutritional value in the long run.
  • Bones can Cause Accidents: It’s a well-documented fact that chewing bones can lead to choking, breaking of teeth and internal injuries in dogs. Cooked bones are specifically unfit for recreational use since they become brittle and are more likely to snap easily and cause injuries.


Nutritional and recreational bones, and each serves unique purposes. Nutritional bones, as the name implies, are meant to serve as adequate sources of nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. They’re typically made from chicken bones and other animals that are very brittle. Since these recipes are created to supply dogs with vital nutrients, they must be grounded to render them easily absorbable. These brittle bones can be easily grounded when compared to dog bones, or beef bones.

The recreational bones confer specific benefits on oral health, and also serve classical recreational purposes. It’s advisable to shape recreational bones in a way that best suits your dog’s particular size to minimize the possibility of accidents occurring from its usage.

There have been several attempts to commercialize the production of raw dog food. These attempts have brought about frozen, freeze-dried and combination processed raw dog foods. These wholesome foods are often put together by grocery store owners who hand-select ingredients like fresh leaves of veggies and raw meat to put together recipes.

The consensus is to feed dogs with fresh meaty bone twice weekly. You can also serve ground up bones along with regular meals to ensure the dog takes in balanced amounts of calcium and phosphorous contents. Nonetheless, it's always best to seek out the advice of a veterinarian before preparing raw dog foods.