Conventional pet food or BARF – the comparison
So, why is a BARF diet better for my pet compared to conventional feeding?
Because commercial pet foods are assumed to be the primary or exclusive element of a pet’s diet, manufacturers enrich their product by supplementing the food with vitamins and minerals. As the heat used to process commercial pet foods may reduce the level of naturally occurring nutrients, critics question the actual nutritional value of commercial foods. Critics argue that there may be elements to pet nutrition yet to be discovered or that are not understood well enough to be supplemented. There is skepticism over the efficacy of supplements vs the natural absorption of naturally occurring nutrients. The same rationale is used by some to reject supplemented home cooked pet food. A study involving rats has suggested that the digestibility of the amino acids in cat food is altered during heat processing.
Most dry commercial pet foods are at least 50% grain because the carbohydrates are needed to hold the food together. Dogs and cats do not need, and certainly cannot properly digest the amount of unnatural carbohydrates found in such feed. This goes a long way to explaining why dogs on a commercial diet have much bigger stools than those fed on a raw diet. It’s the first thing people notice when they move to raw; smaller, firmer and less smelly stools due to the high digestibility of the natural food.
BARF allows your pets to be fed a variety of human grade raw meat and bones, fruits and vegetables and supplements with the objective being that your dog will receive a balanced diet. In the wild canines and felines eat meat, bones, skin, organs, stomach contents, and an array of other parts. They may feed on fruits, berries, herbs and grasses. Hence the most common BARF diet consists primarily of raw, meaty bones as well as a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, muscle meat and organ meats. The goal is not to create a well-balanced meal each day, but to create a balanced diet over a period of time.