BARF = Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (or Bone And Raw Food)
Pandora was drinking a lot of water, 2-3 litres in 1 evening. She peed a lot and the last drops were completely transparent. Even though she is pretty toilet trained she started to pee indoor.
Her stomach has been unstable since she was a little puppy and it seamed that her body couldn’t use the nutrition in the dry food. But the dry food made her drink a bunch of water.
Our choice of food (from a well known company) was based on the fact that she should not have to much protein as it could make her grow too fast and that way damage her joints and bones. And Pandora does not spare herself in any way.
We found it was time to try something else.
My research about BARF has made me conclude:
Wild dogs, wolfs etc. eats raw meat. They rarely eat berries and only if they are VERY hungry. (Pandora picks her own blackberries from the plants).
Wolfs in nature are healthy,they never get too much protein, their puppies are also healthy and they don’t get sick by their food. Bones from their prey are eaten, and so is the intestines and the stomach contents.
I visited the BARF centre in the afternoon. I had a good talk with the owner of the centre and she sounded like she knew what she was talking about. I was signed up to see the centres veterinarian the next day. Pandora should be fasting until then. 24 hours without food. (Poor dog..!)
I paid a sum of money to get the veterinarian check and a follow up 4 weeks after.
Pandora met the vet, she was very sweet and caring and fascinated by Pandora (who was now very calm and tired not having eaten since the day before).
For 45 minutes we talked and the vet examined Pandora and concluded following:
Beautiful and healthy. Too few muscles in the hind legs (coursed by the bad nutrition – no building ‘bricks’ for muscles), a little too skinny and red skin at the back part of her body from former flea attacks.
Now we got at feeding plan for a month and did some power shopping.
Food (for 16 days): 10 kg. ox abomasums, 5 kg. lambs bone and 1.200 gr. chopped horse.
All of it frozen.
Reimbursement (for 1 month): 1 kg lambs fat, vitamin/mineral powder (matching the content in a wild preys stomach), glucosamine powder to avert paining joints, garlic powder to reject fleas and 75 cl. ‘miracle’ drops to boost her immune system.
For fun: 1 kg. ox throat and 500 gr. dried turkey neck
Let’s face it! This was quite expensive. Not the meat but the reimbursements miracle drops and the powder.
Pandora loved the abomasum which she should live of the first 8 days. Lucky us!
Her faeces changed rapidly. It changed form thin faeces to dark green clay like faces within 24 hours. After 3 days on BARF her faeces changed to almost white, which indicates that her body uses the food optimal.
She loves her BARF. One day she should have horse. She wasn’t very keen on that, but in the end she ate it.
We also had a little accident. We went on holiday in Jylland (Jutland, Denmark) and there Pandora ran into the neighbour. The neighbour brought her back saying: “What a sweet dog, but she was so hungry so we gave her some food!”
Sigh! The rest of the day her faeces was thin and she drank a lot of water again.
Next day she was back in shape and has been since.
We have only been BARFing for app. 10 days and we are still adjusting the amount of food. Sometimes she is a little more hungry than her assigned 1 kg. sometimes 1 kg. is just fine.
But it seems like her intestinal flora is much better and she is less hyper active, but more ‘healthy active’ if it makes any sense. She doesn’t pee inside any more and she only drinks 1 litre of water per day if event hat much.
There is only 21-23 % of protein in raw meat, therefore dogs won’t get too much protein, but the proteins are natural and will therefore be used fully.
Worms is something we people take care of for our animals, in nature the wild animals would have worms and not be affected by it. So far Pandora has shown no signs of worms.
Your dog will not be sick if it only ate raw meat. It is the combination of raw meat and dry food treated with heat that gives your dog the bad stomach as these two sort of food needs very different digestion rates.
It takes 6-8 hours to digest processed food , but up till 48 hours to digest raw meat. It is NOT good to mix these two things so stick to one of them.
Because it takes a lot longer to chew raw meat and bones than dried food, it is better for your dogs teeth. It might also be that the enzymes in raw meat are healthier for the teeth, but we don’t know for sure.
Bones that aren’t boiled, fried or otherwise treated with heat, will not splinter and do damage to your dog. In nature wolfs eat everything including chicken bones, rabbit bones etc.
There is more Salmonella in raw meat than in dried food. Especially chicken is the bearer of Salmonella, BUT in an experiment with: raw meat, canned food and dried food, the Escerichia coli (NTSEC) was found in the canned and dried food just as often as in the raw meat.
The tests was taken on both the food and the faeces form the dog. So be ware of ANY doog foood as the quality sometimes are so lousy that it’s not worth feeding your dog with.
Remember to thaw your frozen raw meat slowly, like in the fridge, to avoid bacteria.
Pandora does not appreciate whole chickens (perhaps because she isn’t grown up enough to really need a whole chicken).
Pandora does not appreciate horse and other sorts of meat that is chopped too much. She needs bigger bites.
Pandora is now (2. month on BARF) eating EasyBarf which is dried meet. That is very easy to feed her with and we don’t any longer need a huge deep freezer.
Pandora buries her bones if she does not need them that day. She may dig it up the day after or a week after. It’s fine and natural.
December 2009 (BARFing in 3 months):
We have returned to frozen BARF instead of EasyBarf as she seems to get very inspissated faeces (solid and dry poo). Sometimes we give her salmon oil to help her which also gives her a beautiful fur.
The EasyBarf is now used as a supplement.
April 2010 (BARFing in 7 months):
Pandora is almost a year now.
She still doesn’t eat whole chickens and often she prefers meat with no bones in. She eats bones on the side.
We regularly give her vitamins and proteins (dried vegetables and fruit), and if I think she works a little too hard, or plays too rough with the other dog, I give her glucosamine for the joints.
She no longer needs more than 1 kg. per day. Often a little less, like 800 gr.
Pandora is now 15 months old.
Now she is fed once a day and only with 500 gr.
She is slightly overweight for exhibition judges, but the vet says she’s fine.
(31 kg. /63 cm.)
The fact is that she doesn’t need more than 500 gr. and we get at much better training session when she is a little hungry.
A couple of times she has been eating processed dog food by accident.That now makes her throw up. Processed food is no longer an option, only in very small doses (as goodies etc.)
She has never suffered from any growing pain and all she ever had was glucosamine and vitamins apart from the meet.
Pandora does not like huge lumps of meet, she prefers smaller pieces, especially if it contains bones.
Teeth, fur and worms
Her teeth are brilliantly white, her fur is perfectly thick and self cleaning and she have had no intestinal worms. So far ticks has not been a problem either, though the cats bring them home. (They don’t barf).
Exceptions of BARF:
We sometimes use processed food for goodies like Ham cube, small sausages and cheese. Sometimes she also lick the empty can from the sour cream, but the processed food never exceeds more than 3-5 % of her daily intake of food.
Your wolfdog (or any other dog) should NEVER eat:
Onions, raisins, grapes, nuts and chocolate
According to Nicole Wilde who has written a couple of books about wolfdogs, fruits and vegtables are allright. (Except for the above mentioned which are STRICTLY forbidden.)
More information will come as we get wiser, Pandora and I.