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Raw feeding


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Hi all I am brand new to this forum so looking forward to speaking to you. I have a Lhasa apso she is around 9 years old and a very faddy eater. She suffers from ibs for which my vet has prescribed buscopan and suffers from her anal glands every 2 or 3 months. Tashi is the biggest wus out and gets very stressed about going to the vets. I have been considering BARF diet as I have read that it helps with her stools and therefore her anal glands. I was just wondering what other people think about BARF and how is the best way for me to start her on it. Tashi doesn't have meal times as she tends to pick throughout the day though she will eat with us at our meal times. At the moment her stools are quite soft and the more she goes in the day the softer they get. I love me dog to bits and only want the best for her.
i am very biased and have feed my all my dogs commercial dog food, I have to contend with some allergies from my staffy but now feeding a commerical grain free kibble.

I have some research about pros and cons of both... hope this helps...

BARF diet;

Pros –

· better digestion – natural raw food passes through easier

· healthier coats and skin

· increased energy levels

· improved disposition

· fresher breath

· cleaner teeth and gums – chewing bones helps this process

· weight control – no fatty grains

· very low in carbohydrates – which often cause food allergies and digestive issues

· no chemicals, preservatives, sweeteners, fillers and additives

· shinier coats

· high acceptance by the dog

· high in protein

· fresh and unprocessed

· high water content

Cons –

· benefits aren’t proven; they’re anecdotal

· raw meat can contain harmful bacteria – including E. coli and salmonella

· airway obstruction and choking

· bowel obstruction and intestinal perforations

· inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract

· severe diarrhoea

· time consuming – inconvenient

· more expensive

· not every dog is suitable for a raw diet especially immune-compromised dogs and dogs with allergies.

· nutritional balance is also a concern: not having an adequate calcium source, for example, can leave a dog at risk for severe orthopaedic problems.

· dietary imbalances in the raw food diets

· an unbalanced diet that may damage the health of dogs if given for an extended period



· convenient

· cheap

· practical

· good for dental health

· readily available

· contains the proteins, fats, fibres, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins the dog needs

· keeps teeth clean

· can be left for long periods of time without going bad

· different formulas for ages so suitable for sensitive diets

· not much mess

Cons –

· lack of moisture

· harder to digest

· larger stools

· contains high levels of sodium which is bad for some dogs

· not as nutritious as raw meat

· some brands can be fattening
I'd also be interested to hear of anyone's experiences with a raw food diet as I'm just about to start trying it out on my dog. He already gets meaty rib bones from the butcher as occasional meal replacements and I tried him with a raw lamb heart last week and it certainly agreed with him. I did find a very good book about it (Raw Dog Food: Making It Work for You and Your Dog) which explains the practicalities - amounts, proportions of bone, meat and vegetables, etc - and I'm using this as my main guide even though the author is American so some information isn't relevant for the UK. My only useful piece of advice is: don't feed fresh lamb hearts if you've got a weak stomach (they're really messy and the dog dragged some pieces onto the rug - yuk!).

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