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Home Raw dog food informations
Why a Raw diet is best for your pet ?
Improving Your Dogs Life with Natural and Raw Food Diets

Inside your pooch is the intestinal inside of a wolf that has remained unchanged for centuries. It works well on natures diet of mainly meat and vegetables and minerals found in the herbivores they hunt and eat. It does not work well on grain or cooked foods found in human diets. Meats are processed efficiently and pass through the digestive system in 4-5 hours giving energy and vitality. Feed such as grain is in there for 16 hours or more and just makes for a lot of poop in the morning.
Dogs like wolves need a diet of 75% fresh meat and 25 % vegetables. Wolves get this from eating herbivores and berries. We can get close to this diet from a balance of raw meat and vegetables in the same 75/25 percent mix.
Canned or manufactured dog foods are insufficient to give your dog a balanced diet to be healthy. They have chemical preservatives and grain that are indigestible and are mostly a poor source for energy and are deficient in vitamins especially after baking. Depending on which you buy they typically have less animal protein than necessary. Performance foods are better than Premium, which are better than Regular or Lite (either of which you should not be buying).
Signs of a diet problem are – no appetite for the food - big stools – bad gas –bad teeth –bad breath –burps – constant shedding – dull coat – smells doggy even when dry - prone to ear and skin infections - no energy – hyperactive – easily gets fleas – easily gets worms –immune system impairement.
Your dog needs
Animal and vegetable proteins (amino acids) – animal proteins give energy
Fats (animal and vegetable)
Water ……….lots of it !!!
Barf Diet Specifics
MEAT (Meat supplies protein, Meat supplies energy)
OFFAL ( Liver,Kidneys, Heart, Unbleached Green Tripe)
VEGETABLES ( Broccoli, Spinach, Celery, Bok Choy, Carrot, Capsicum)
FRUIT ( Whole Apple, Whole Pear, Whole Grapefruit, Whole Orange)
Why? Learn more about... Evolutionary Nutrition and Barf Diet Specifics

How to make raw food for your pets?--- Recipes
Improvements over your existing diet (we use and recommend)
Breakfast from one of the Natura EVO dry foods that have NO GRAIN. There is a good choice of beef, chicken and turkey, duck and rabbit.
Lunch of a raw bone knuckle of pork or beef.
Raw dinner from a frozen pattie (can be rewarmed) of minced meat and vegetables …Recipe as follows:
Recipe 1: ( By Evergreen Acres Petting farm in San Jose )
(1 Week supply of Raw Meat Patties for a 50 lb active Pooch )
(our recipe includes raw goat milk as we have goats)
4 lbs Ground meats – beef and/or lamb and/or chicken or turkey
2 cups Raw Goat Milk (cows milk not recommended) OR 1 cup Yogurt ( OR 2 table sp Goat cheese OR ½ lb Chicken heart or liver OR 1 cup Kefir milk)
3 Raw Fresh Eggs
1 Apple
1 Garlic clove
2 Carrots
1 1/2 lb Mixed Veggies (Sweet potato, Broccoli, zucchini, kale, spinach)
Make into Patties and freeze. You can size the patty proportionally for your pooch.
We recommend 1 Half pound patty per day for a 25 lbs dog if they are also getting a Raw Bone for lunch and some dry meat food for breakfast.
Here is a video to show you how to make raw dog food. Very easy! Click video below and enjoy.

The following information is from the best websites for raw food information we have found. Check them out.
BARF DIET™ Feeding Guide -- By Dr. Billinghurst (Barf Diet is a Trademark of
The Word BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Every living animal requires a biologically appropriate diet. And if you think about it, not one animal on earth is adapted to eating a cooked food diet. To maximize your pets’ health, he requires protein from sources like his wild ancestors. Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™ provides "first-class" proteins, including chicken, beef and lamb. These are the same fresh meats you would buy for yourself with one important's 'bon-e-fied' biologically appropriate raw food!
How Much to Feed?
No two dogs are alike in their metabolic rates, age, or activity levels. Remember that a lean dog will be healthier in the long run. You can feed more or less of the BARF diet in order to keep your dog at its optimum weight. Feed normal active dogs 2% of their body weight per day. For example, a 50 pound dog may do very well on one pound of BARF per day, a 100 pound dog, 2 pounds of barf per day. A highly active dog may require 3% of their body weight per day.
Each patty weighs 1/2 lb.

2% body weight

4% body weight

6% body weight

  12 lb. dog

  ½ Patty/day

  12 lb. dog

  1 Patty/day

  12 lb. dog

  1 ½ Patty/day

  25 lb. dog

  1 Patty/day

  25 lb. dog

  2 Patties/day

  25 lb. dog

  3 Patties/day

  50 lb. dog

  2 Patties/day

  50 lb. dog

  4 Patties/day

  50 lb. dog

  6 Patties/day

  100 lb. dog

  4 Patties/day

  100 lb. dog

  8 Patties/day

  100 lb. dog

  12 Patties/day
Where Can you buy raw food for pets?
Grandad's is the cornerstone of a Back to Basics way of feeding your favorite carnivore.
Grandad's pet foods are 100% human-consumable grade meats. All our chicken is Rocky® free-range chicken. Grandad's is ground fresh daily and fresh frozen immediately.
Chicken Blend Contains ground chicken necks, backs and breast bones.
Double-Ground Chicken The same as the above, but a much finer grind for kittens, puppies, and toy breeds.
Beef Blend Contains beef heart, beef kidney and beef liver.
Beef Heart & Chicken Blend Contains beef heart, ground chicken necks, backs and breast bones.
Beef Heart, Chicken & Vegetable Blend Contains beef hearts, chicken breast bones, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, carrots and zucchini
Chicken & Vegetable Blend Contains ground chicken necks, backs, breast bones, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, carrots and zucchini.
Grandad's is a company with a rich heritage.
Grandad's Pet Foods' predecessor provided pets with nutritious food for over 30 years. Today Grandad's is leading the "back to basics" natural method of pet nutrition. Grandad's products contain only fresh, raw, natural ingredients formulated to keep your pets healthy and happy.
We leave a lot out of Grandad's pet foods.
Grandad's pet foods contain only ingredients that are good for your pets like 100% human-consumable grade, fresh, raw meat, raw bones, and raw vegetables. With Grandad's you won't get any preservatives, artificial additives, artificial coloring, added water, salt, or sugar. Less is more!
A special note about our chicken.
All Grandad's chicken is Rocky® free-range, no-antibiotics, no-growth-stimulants, no-hormones chicken from Petaluma Poultry in California. Rocky chickens are vegetarians.
We freeze our pet foods for freshness and convenience.
Grandad's pet foods are ground fresh daily and immediately after grinding and blending, packaged in a two-pound Chubb, fast frozen, and delivered to you or your pet food store. You thaw only the amount you need for each feeding. Thawing can be done in your refrigerator or microwave.
Feeding Grandad's pet foods raw is safe for your pet.
Although you can cook Grandad's, we recommend that you serve our pet foods raw. The dog and cat digestive system differs from that of humans because it is capable of safely processing raw meats and actually derives greater nutritional benefits from a raw diet. Provided you feed our food fresh and practice standard health procedures for handling raw meat, most pets can transfer to a natural diet within a month.
You create your pet's special diet with Grandad's.
All pets are special and unique. Just like Grandad's. Our pet foods are designed to be the foundation for a healthy diet. You can mix Grandad's with other of your pet's favorite foods to create a nutritionally complete diet. We suggest you always consult your veterinarian before changing any pet's diet.
Many menus and other resources are available for home-prepared pet meals. Please call us or email for more information.
Preparing Grandad's meals is easy.
Here's how we suggest you do it. Depending on pet size or number of pets, either defrost an entire chubb or divide the Grandad's frozen Chubb into portions suitable for one feeding. You can divide Grandad's by hitting a meat cleaver or large kitchen knife with a rubber or plastic mallet. Next put each portion into an individual zipper bag and return them to the freezer. Then the night before the next feeding move one portion from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw.
Note: If your pet doesn't like cold food, consider placing the locked bag in a container of warm water to remove the chill. You can also thaw Grandad's this way if you forget to take the portion out of the freezer.
Purchasing Grandad's pet food is easy.
Call us at 800-644-5667 or see our list of distributors to locate a Grandad's retailer near you. Grandad's also personally delivers in many areas in Northern California and the Los Angeles area for a nominal delivery fee. UPS delivery is available throughout most of the United States. Contact us for more information 
Are Raw Meat and Dairy Products Safe?
By Christie Keith of
I got a letter from a member saying that, after posting to a discussion list that she feeds raw meat to her pets, she was warned in the direst of terms about risks such as salmonella, e. coli, and many more.
This challenge is very familiar to those of us who feed raw meat and dairy products to our carnivorous pets. Most vets draw back in horror, as do a vast majority of pet-owners and even butchers.
But those pathogens are not an intrinsic, innate part of meat, eggs, or dairy products. They are contaminants, mostly caused by inhumane and highly industrialized livestock producing practices. Hens live in wire cages, several to a cage and one on top of the other, so that the droppings and urine of the hens drip all over the hens below, and the eggs. Cattle are crammed into small feedlots, stuffed on grains laden with antibiotics, and sprayed with pesticides to kill the flies that swarm all around the filthy stockyards. Chickens are fed a diet of processed grains, animal by-products, and antibiotics.
Dogs and cats are carnivores, and evolved eating raw meat. Their systems can handle a certain amount of bacteria; indeed, they were designed for it. But the bacterial load of most commercial foods is so high, many carnivorous animals would indeed sicken if they ate them raw. The rationale of cooking is, in short, to kill these contaminants.
So how do we dare to suggest that it's not just safe to feed raw meat and dairy products to our dogs and cats, but beneficial?
This is a multi-dimensional issue. First of all, I never feed my animals commercially raised foods. This makes a huge difference, as bacterial counts are much lower when the animals are allowed to get out, move around, spread their droppings and urine around, and let fresh air and sunlight do their work of disinfecting. The animals are also healthier themselves, requiring fewer drugs. (Most free-range meats are raised without any drugs or hormones; if the producer is not willing to state that in writing, I'd look elsewhere for a supplier. Also, in many states, the term "free range" is not regulated or defined by law. Be sure and investigate the practices of the grower, and make sure the animals actually are getting the benefits of ranging.)
In addition, our dogs and cats evolved eating raw meat, and the consumption of cooked flesh is totally and completely unnatural for them. They do not get optimum nutrition from it, it is not well digested by them, and it not what their organs were designed to process. Eating a raw diet, based on the evolutionary diet of the dog or cat, will make the animal healthier. This healthier animal will be able to handle a certain amount of bacteria in its food, and will be resistant to most disease-causing microorganisms it encounters.
Further, dogs are not just predators but scavengers, and evolved eating rotten and decaying flesh, as well as the droppings of herbivores and even other carnivores. They can handle bacterial loads that would kill us, without blinking an eye.
Genetically and evolutionarily speaking, today's dog and cat are no different from their flesh and bone-eating ancestors. However, they may not be in good enough health to handle even the smaller load of bacteria that is present in free-range or organic meat and dairy products. This is part of the art of natural rearing: to evaluate the health of the animal, and find the best way to bring them to optimal health as quickly and safely as possible.
The feeding of the raw, species-appropriate diet can, by itself, work literal miracles on many animals. I rarely do anything but just start feeding raw, even with very young, convalescent, or very old dogs and cats. I have never had a single problem with food borne illness in any dog, cat, puppy, or kitten since I began feeding raw in 1986. With an animal that is sick, or on antibiotics, or who has been given immune-suppressing drugs like cortisone, however, I ease them over to it.
I begin with a cooked version of the raw diet, using poached eggs, cooked meat, steamed bone meal, the usual supplements, and raw, food-processed veggies. I never use ground meats; the contaminants are on the surface of the meat, so when the meat is ground it is spread all through the resulting mixture. With chunks, you can poach the meat, leaving the inside rare or raw, and still kill the surface contamination.
As the animal's health improves, I simply cook the meat or eggs less and less, until they are raw. I then introduce soft raw bones, primarily chicken necks, and from then on I ease them into the new diet. Those who are very fearful can also soak the meat in a mixture of standardized grapefruit seed extract and water; this will kill surface contamination. I have seen a number of recommendations for potency and length of soaking time; I would suggest that you buy the product at your health food store and then phone the manufacturer for the specifics.
Is feeding raw without risk? No, it's not. Feeding a raw diet does entail risk, but having fed raw since 1986, I have to conclude the risk is far smaller than the huge benefit I've seen. There are dogs and cats (and people) who contract salmonella and other illnesses from raw meat and dairy products (and many of them who contract them from contaminated cooked foods), and it's possible that your pet might succumb as well. It is a question of weighing the risk against the benefit, and making up your own mind.
To shudder with horror at the thought of giving a carnivorous predator raw meat is silly; shudder instead at the sad state of the modern factory farm, and how the livestock industry has trained us to accept that our foods are so filthy we don't dare any longer to "give the dog a bone."
Caber Feidh Scottish Deerhounds is owned by Christie Keith and her mother, Kathleen McKenzie. The website is also recommended by
Evolutionary Nutrition
By Dr. Billinghurst

It is now generally agreed that the ancestor of the modern dog is the wolf. What is not clear is how long that domestication process has been going on. It may have been as short as 10,000 years or as long as 50,000 years, or possibly more. No matter how long it has been, that process of domestication where our ancestors removed the 'wildness' from the wolf, involved thousands of years of selective breeding. They took an animal that could well have seen them as food, and through selective breeding, produced an animal that became their best friend.

In this process, our ancestors produced hundreds of 'different looking wolves.' These various "breeds" - as we now know them - were and are developed for a particular task or tasks. Whether it was hunting for large prey, exterminating vermin, guarding, herding, being a companion or a foot warmer, each breed fulfilled a set of needs in the society in which it was developed.

The result is that each breed is not only different to look at, but also has a unique mind set which relates very much to the task(s) it was bred to perform. However, our dogs also retain many of their wolf-like characters, including their pack mentality. This includes the need to either lead or be led. Today, as we train our dogs, we need to be aware of both the unique mind set of our particular breed and the basic pack mentality, the wolf-like traits, which still dominate our dogs' thinking.

The point I am making in regard to this discussion is that to produce the dog,
our ancestors made only two basic changes to the wolf.

They changed the wolf's appearance and they changed its mind. What they did not change, was the basic internal workings or or physiology of the wolf. There was no need to. As a result, the basic workings or physiology of modern dogs is no different or very little different to their ancestor the wolf. Modern dogs grow and function (and malfunction) in very much the same way as the wolf.

To produce a fully functioning adult dog, our modern pup needs to grow in exactly the same way as the wolf pup. If we vary the food and the exercise too drastically, we will alter the finished product. We will produce damaged goods.

To be more specific...
The basic environment which the modern dog requires in terms of food and exercise is exactly the same as it was (and still is) for the wolf. So although we have carried out selective breeding to alter our dog's outward appearance and mind, we have not asked it to cope with, nor have we selectively bred it to deal with any dramatic change in feeding or exercising. Until now.

Think about how wolves have survived

They have had no vets to radiograph their hips and select sound breeding stock. There have been no progesterone tests prior to breeding, no ultrasound to detect pregnancy, no blood tests to ensure that health is perfect, no caesarians, no injections after giving birth, no worming, no extra calcium, no vaccinations or puppy checking, or treatment of problems.

There are no dog food companies out there supplying them with super premium foods. There is no one to make sure that their every meal is complete and balanced. There is no one to make sure they never eat egg whites. No one to protect them from eating bones. No one to cook their food and to make sure they do not contact dangerous bacteria such as E. Coli or Salmonella, and most especially no one to ensure they receive the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus so that puppies will have perfect bone growth. All the wolves have is themselves.

We have much to learn from the wolves

Wolves rely on their stamina and strength to survive. Any animal unable to hunt or compete with the others for food because of skeletal problems would certainly not survive. The free moving healthy looking wolves I have observed, appeared to have perfect bone and joint health. Why are the wolves - without the 'benefits' of modern veterinary technology, without truckloads of super premium dog food, and without calcium supplements - doing so well? The answer is very simple. They are living in a biologically appropriate environment in terms of food and exercise. They are getting what they need. They have no need of modern technology. By contrast our dogs are not receiving what they need in terms of diet and exercise. Despite our technology. .....our dogs are doing badly!

Let us go on and examine the lifestyle of a group of wolves. The lifestyle of any group of wild dogs. That lifestyle will show us the basic principles which we should use to determine how dogs should be fed and exercised today, for maximum present and future health. You will discover that such a diet is simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated. Just like the lives of those wolves.

First, the eating...
Wild dogs do not eat regular meals. Nobody plans their meals. Nor do they have an all meat diet. On the other hand, no one single meal is complete and balanced. Raw bones with meat are a major part of their diet. Lots and lots of it! In the winter they dig up and eat frozen food. They eat offal such as liver and heart. They eat raw eggs. They eat decaying material. Food that is slightly off.

They may eat once a day or five or six times a day, depending on the season and what sort of food is available. They have days when they go hungry. They have days when they pile food into themselves almost beyond capacity. They eat when food is available, and as the urge takes them. They eat a wide variety of foodstuffs. Insects, bark, soil, birds - complete with their tiny bones and feathers - whatever. Every meal they eat is totally raw. Not one skerrick of it is cooked. Ever.

They eat vegetables including herbs, from the gut of their prey. This vegetable material is raw, totally crushed and partly digested. They eat feces. A wolf's diet contain almost no grains. Wolves never eat cooked grain. In eating the intestinal contents of their prey they will eat some grain which is usually immature and green. Most certainly they do not eat a totally grain based diet like the modern dog, subjected to a lifetime of dried dog food. Even if their prey had been eating mature seed heads, by the time the wolf pup or adult gets to eat this grain, it has been ground to a paste and soaked in the juices of the herbivores intestines. A totally different product to the masses of cooked and processed grains fed to dogs today. Not only that, these few grains are mixed in with a mass of other grassy and herbaceous material.

For a wolf - not one single meal consists of dry dog food.
They don't eat canned dog food either.

Feeding for Weaning
As tiny pups, still with their mother, the wolf pups are well looked after. After weaning things change dramatically. However, before we tackle that, let's look at the weaning process itself. This deserves our attention as it has important lessons for how we wean our pups today. Wolf pups are not weaned using cereals or bowls of milk or mushed up dried or canned dog food, or bread soaked in milk. From the moment the weaning process begins, the wild pup begins a diet which is based on the carcasses of other animals - mostly herbivore.

Mum begins the process by vomiting. She vomits up food for the pups, starting when they are three to four weeks of age. These young pups crunch their way through and eat any tiny or soft bones, they rip and tear at the meat attached to larger bones, and they suck and chew at the organ meats swimming in a sea of fermenting totally crushed vegetable material. All totally raw. They also eat whatever they can scavenge from left over carcasses left lying around their immediate vicinity. This includes - once again - raw meaty bones and bits of liver and raw partly digested totally crushed and sometimes fermenting vegetable material.

The young pups are not protected from feces...
With its E. coli or Salmonella or Campylobacter or a myriad of other bacteria or protozoa. Instead, they eat it and develop healthy immune systems, well able to deal with the normal bacteria and other micro-organisms in their environment. In addition, they are able to - and of course have to- build a resistance to intestinal worms.

When weaning time comes around, do your pups enjoy similar 'advantages'? The question is how far should we adapt these principles as we rear our pups today? Certainly I am not suggesting we should allow our pups to be wormy or to be needlessly exposed to high levels of pathogenic bacteria by feeding meat that is rotten or anything like. They should not however, be totally protected from such things. Their food must be raw. I am strongly suggesting that what young wolves or dingoes or foxes eat, deserves our very close attention. This is what we need to duplicate.

Once wild pups are weaned...
They don't join in the serious hunting, but of course they do a lot of "play-hunting". Insects, lizards, rodents, whatever moves is fair game. They may even catch and eat some of these. This is important. Not for what they are eating so much, but more for how they are being exercised. Those few lines contain the vital information on which to base the exercising of modern pups.

Wolf pups mainly eat at the family dinner table. That is, they share in whatever the older wolves have dug up, hunted or scavenged. However, even this food is not easily won. When mum looked after them the young wolves had a degree of protection. After weaning it is a different story. They are no longer pampered or cosseted. No more favorable treatment. The pups have now plummeted to the bottom of the social heap. Instead of being number one when meal time comes, when the hunt is over, when that old or frozen carcass is dug up or discovered, the young weanlings as the lowest members in the social order are last in to the feast. They have to fight for every morsel and scrap of food they get. 'Manners' for a wolf pup consists of not eating until the older wolves 'allow' them. That is, when all the others have had their fill. The pups then have to fight amongst themselves, until they too have established an order of dominance.

Because the wolf pups only get to eat the leftovers, most of the choice bits have gone. So what is left for them? There will be bones with scraps of meat, little bits of organs such as liver, heart, spleen, etc., that the adults in their ravenous haste missed. Lots and lots of gut contents, consisting of masses of plant material, raw, crushed and fermenting.

Because wolves and other wild dogs follow the herd of deer, bison, antelope, etc., pulling down the young, the old, the injured and the sick, one of the foods always available for them is the feces of the animals they follow. This is an important part of their diet. They actually require those healthy bowel bacteria. That is why modern dogs seek out and eat feces. Their own, other dogs', cats' feces - whatever they can obtain.

The habit of eating feces supplies a young pup with first class protein, essential fatty acids, masses of vitamins and plenty of healthy fiber. Research tells us that feces eating by the young of many species plays an important role in bowel and brain health. The bacteria in feces help in the development of the immune system of the bowel and undoubtedly assist in the prevention of such problems as inflammatory bowel disease. The essential fatty acids present in feces have been shown to play a vital role in the full development of the central nervous system, particularly the higher functions of the brain. This is something we have to take very seriously. Poor brain development could well be one of the factors behind much of the unprovoked aggression we are seeing in modern dogs fed processed food.

I am not suggesting that our pups should necessarily eat feces - although in the countryside, young teenage and adult dogs certainly do eat plenty of nutritious and healthy cow, sheep, rabbit, horse, and other herbivorous feces. What I am saying is that we must find suitable substitutes for our dogs today. This is the basis on which we may confidently supplement our young pups' diet with yogurt and other sources of probiotic; vitamins; healthy clays; essential fatty acids from fresh, cold extracted oils and first class protein such as egg yolks - all combined with raw crushed vegetable material.


"Although we humans have changed the appearance and the nature
of the dog in all sorts of ways by domestication, we have not changed
it's basic internal workings. In other words, today's domestic dog has
essentially the same digestive system and overall physiology
as it's ancestor the wolf"

Wolf pups do not eat at regular times
The food supply is not regular. They are not spoon fed. They have to battle for their food. Obviously the food needs to be adequate for survival and healthy growth. However, it is very rare that their hunger is ever fully satisfied. These pups are lean and hungry most of the time. There are periods when they may go for twelve or more hours without food. As a result, they are not fat and roly poly. They never grow at their maximum growth rate. As a result they grow slowly. It is not biologically appropriate for a wolf pup to grow at its maximum pace. There is at least one very simple reason for this. A wolf pup raised at top speed will develop skeletal problems!

The pups do not get to eat a lot of fat. Wild game is always very lean. The relatively small amount of fat which is present is not saturated, but full of essential fatty acids. Quite different to the fat found in modern farm fed livestock; saturated and lacking in essential fatty acids. The pups mostly miss out on the fat because the adult hunters will preferentially eat it first. The pups get most of their essential fatty acids from their habit of eating feces and gut contents - chewed up vegetation.

The older wolves will always eat until they are absolutely jammed full of food, go back to camp, vomit, and then eat their vomit at a more leisurely pace. Naturally, little bits of this mixed up mess of food are left and the pups can dart in and grab bits and pieces of it. In the process they also eat bits of dirt and leaves and sticks etc. Soil, grass and other fresh plant material are also eaten by these hungry wolf pups quite deliberately.

What about dogs in the 'Pre-Pet-Food' era?

How were they raised? The answer to that is - not too differently to wild dogs. Of course they did not have to hunt for their food. For most domestic dogs in the 'pre-pet-food era', much of their diet was still composed of raw meaty bones together with other food scraps. Most importantly, the bulk of that food was raw. This diet definitely included plenty of vegetable material. Not always raw however.

These dogs were not overfed. This is because everybody was very relaxed about feeding dogs. It was simple and straightforward. Everybody knew how to do it and trusted their instincts. There was no drama if they forgot to feed the pups. They would have scavenged something for themselves anyway. Nobody was racing to produce the 'biggest, roundest, fattest, most calcified, biggest-boned,'bestest', largest, beautiest - dog - ever, in the shortest possible space of time.'

The bottom line for these dogs raised in the pre-pet-food era is that the degree to which they experienced ill health reflected the degree to which their owners departed from that biologically appropriate method of feeding and exercising that nature developed over the hundreds of thousands of years of the wolf's evolution.

Barf Diet Specifics

Getting down to ingredient specifics ...

For millions of years, dogs have cleaned up the remains of other animal's bodies. Mostly bones. That ability remains. All modern dogs easily and joyfully tackle bones. A dog's whole system is designed for and in fact needs bones to function properly. Bones are living tissue composed of living cells. Because bones are living tissue, just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of a wide variety of nutrients. Bones contain minerals which are embedded in protein. They also contain fat. If the bone is from chicken or pork, then that fat will be very high in the essential fatty acids. Along with the fat are fat soluble vitamins. The central parts of most bones contains marrow which is a highly nutritious mix of blood forming elements, including iron. Raw bones also provide natural antioxidant/anti-ageing factors including enzymes.

"It is not hard to pick the dogs that eat bones. They look and act healthy. 
The acid test however, is to look in their mouth and smell their breath. I do this daily as part of
a routine examination of all the dogs that enter my practice..."

Bones are nature's storehouse of minerals for your dog. If meat is added to bone, then methionine and most of the B vitamins are supplied. Puppies and adult dogs fed bone rarely if ever suffer from indigestion or diarrhea. They produce smallish quantities of solid minimally offensive stools. It is highly probable that bones play a similar role to fiber, that is, a role of bulking out the food, thereby removing toxins and promoting general bowel health. Bone eating dogs are long lived healthy dogs. They seem to be particularly free of the degenerative diseases of old age.

Many people assume that a dog's natural diet is a meat only diet.
Unfortunately this is untrue as a meat only diet is highly unnatural and unbalanced. Meat should form only a part of the over-all diet, which should include bone, fruits and vegetables as well. For example, the muscle meat eaten by wild dogs forms a small part of the diet that consists of a wide variety of other foods, including bone.

What nutrients are in meat?

Meat supplies protein
That is its major role in nutrition. It also supplies varying amounts of fat, water, and some vitamins and minerals. Because it supplies fat and protein, it also supplies energy. Meat is first class protein. That is, it contains all the essential amino acids necessary for dogs of all ages, including growing dogs, pregnant dogs, female dogs feeding puppies and of course not-doing-so-much-dogs.

Meat supplies energy
There are no carbohydrates in meat. That is no starch or sugar or fiber. As the fat content rises, the percentage of water drops and so does the protein. As the fat content of the meat rises so does the energy it can supply to your dog. The fat in different types of meat varies in the levels of essential fatty acids present. Chicken and pork have the highest levels while lamb and beef are both low. Lamb usually contains more essential fatty acids than beef, but only because it has more fat.

Meat supplies some minerals
Raw meat is low in sodium and high in potassium. That is good news for dogs with heart problems. The meat with the lowest sodium is beef, with pork also being fairly low. The meat with the highest potassium is pork, with chicken having the lowest potassium levels. This makes pork a good all round meat for heart patients. Beef, lamb, chicken and pork meat are all very low in calcium and moderately low in magnesium. This means they are great foods for dogs prone to bladder stones. However, this lack of minerals requires bone material in your dog's diet. Beef and lamb meat are relatively well endowed with zinc, making them good foods for dogs with a deficiency of zinc. Chicken has low zinc levels with pork containing more than chicken but not as much as lamb and beef. Of the meats, beef is the best source of iron.

In the wild, dogs eat the stomach content and organ meat from the animals they prey upon. In fact, internal organs form a vital part of the wild dog's diet. Modern dogs have similar requirements. Dogs consuming these foods as part of a sensible diet have superior health to dogs that do not eat them. Although organ meats are valuable dog food, they are not required in huge amounts. They are a concentrated source of many essential nutrients and are particularly valuable during times of growth, reproduction and stress as a source of concentrated nutrients.

In this one product is a vast range of important nutrition. Liver is the most concentrated source of vitamin A and should be fed in small amounts on a regular basis. It also contains vitamins E, D, and K in substantial quantities. Liver is an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains all the B vitamins, particularly B2, B3, B5, biotin, folacin, B12, choline, and inositol. It contains B1 in adequate or smaller amounts and is a good source of vitamin C. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type. It's a fantastic food for your dog!

Not unlike liver, kidney supplies good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.

Like liver and kidneys, heart as dog food is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and iron. They do contain some essential fatty acids and a little vitamin A. Heart contains appreciable levels of taurine which is important food... for the heart!

Unbleached Green Tripe
Green tripe is the edible lining and accompanying content of a cow or other ruminant's first or second division of the stomach. Paunch tripe comes from the large first stomach division and honeycomb tripe comes from the second division. Both wild canids and domestic dogs benefit from eating tripe as it contains a very diverse profile of living nutrients including enzymes, omega- 3 and 6 fatty acids, probiotics, and phytonutrients. It has long been quoted as being "the finest of natural foods".

Dogs have actually eaten vegetables the whole period of their evolution, and that's a long time! As such, vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables should form part of the domestic dog's diet. Dogs need vegetables because they contain many important health promoting nutrients. The fiber your dog obtains from raw vegetables includes both soluble and insoluble fiber. Vegetables supply many other nutrients. Many of those nutrients are the ones that have been found to be in short supply in the modern dog's "civilized" diet. This includes difficult to obtain omega 3 essential fatty acids, most of a dog's vitamin needs, masses of enzymes and various anti-aging factors, including antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense foods. It is dense in vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid, calcium and fiber. It is also a good source of chromium. Like other members of the cabbage family, broccoli has demonstrated remarkable anticancer effects. Broccoli contains several important phytochemicals: beta carotene, indoles, and isothiocyanates and over thirty-three cancer preventative compounds. Research suggests that phytochemicals prevent carcinogens from forming, stop carcinogens from getting to target cells and boost enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.

Spinach contains twice as much iron as most other greens. Like other chlorophyll and carotene -containing vegetables, it is a rich source of antioxidants. Besides beta-carotene, it also supplies two other carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Spinach has long had a reputation of being very high in nutrients. It is a good source of fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B6 and K.

Celery is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron, as well as vitamins A, B, C. The phytochemical 3-n-butyl phthalide, one of the components that gives celery its characteristic smell and taste, is especially potent as an anti-tumor agent. Along with the compound sedanolide, an aromatic ingredient also found in celery, 3-n-butyl phthalide significantly reduces the incidence of tumors in laboratory animals. It is said to decrease nervousness, and is used as an acid neutralizer.

Bok Choy
A cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, bok choy is an excellent source of Beta carotene, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and calcium. It contains significant amounts of nitrogen compounds known as indoles, as well as fiber - both of which appear to lower the risk of various forms of cancer. Bok choy is also a good source of folate (folic acid).

The carrot is the king of the vegetables. It is the richest source of pro-vitamin A carotenes among commonly consumed vegetables. But unlike vitamin A, beta carotene and other carotenes in carrots do not cause toxicity. Beta carotene is also a powerful antioxidant. Carrots also contain vitamins B, C, D, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. Carrots have repeatedly shown to nourish the optic nerve and significantly improve eyesight.

This is an excellent source of many essential nutrients. By weight, red peppers have three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit. Moreover, red peppers are quite a good source of beta carotene, and they offer a good amount of fiber and vitamin B6. Because capsicum stimulates circulation and enhances blood flow, it is considered food for the circulatory system and as a digestive aid. Red peppers are one of few foods that contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may help prevent various forms of cancer.

Yes, dogs can and do eat fruit. Wild dogs - domestic dogs, they all do it! Remember dogs are omnivores. They can eat almost anything. Fruits are mostly water. After that, the major nutrient in fruit is soluble carbohydrate. That is simple sugars. Energy foods. Fruit contains lots of fiber. It also contains vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. Because fruit is a whole food, it also contains minerals, small amounts of protein and small amounts of fat. Two nutrients present in most raw fruits, vitamin A as carotene and vitamin C, make fruit a valuable food for your dog. The enzymes present in raw fruit, also make it important as part of your dog's diet, particularly if your dog is past middle age and showing the beginnings of degenerative disease.

Is it essential that dogs eat fruit?
No. All of the nutrients present in fruit can be obtained from other sources. However, by adding fruit to the diet, we ensure a wide variety of foods. This gives the greatest chance of providing a balanced diet with plenty of longevity and immune system promoting nutrients. Any fruit can be fed to dogs, however tropical fruits are a particularly valuable food as they contain lots of antioxidants. Scientists have discovered that the enzymes and antioxidants present in fruit, many of which have not yet been identified, keep the skin and indeed the whole body free of degeneration and old age diseases.

Whole Apple
Unpeeled apples are especially high in non-pro-vitamin A carotenes and pectin. Pectin is a remarkable type of fiber that has been shown to exert a number of beneficial effects. Due to its gel forming fiber, it can improve the intestinal muscle's ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Pectin also binds to and eliminates toxins in the gut. Apples are also rich in beta carotene and vitamin C as well as several B complex vitamins including vitamin B6, folic acid and lots of potassium.

Whole Pear
Pears are an excellent source of water-soluble fiber, including pectin, which makes them useful in toning the intestines. Fresh pears contain potassium which is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and carbohydrate metabolism. Pears also contain Vitamin C. An important antioxidant, Vitamin C is essential for helping prevent free radical damage.

Whole Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a good source of flavonoids, water soluble fibers, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. Grapefruit, like other citrus fruits has been shown to exert some anticancer effects in both human and animal studies. Grapefruit pectin has been shown to possess similar cholesterol lowering action to other fruit pectins. The whole fruit contains more pectin than the juice. Recently, grapefruit has been shown to normalize hematocrit levels. The word hematocrit refers to the percentage of red blood cells per volume of blood. Low hematocrit levels usually reflect anemia. High hematocrit levels may reflect severe dehydration or an increased number of red blood cells. Grapefruit seeds are well known as an anti-fungal agent in that their consumption kills many different types of parasites and assists the body in producing beneficial bacteria. A biologically active natural ingredient found in the seeds kills strep, staph, salmonella, e.coli, candida, herpes, influenza, parasites, fungi and traveler's diarrhea, and is used as an antibiotic, anti fungal, antiprotozoan and antiviral.

Whole Orange
Everyone knows that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they have more to offer nutritionally than just this nutrient. One orange contains generous levels of folate (folic acid), potassium, and thiamin, as well as some calcium and magnesium. Equally important to the nutritional value of oranges is their supply of flavonoids, making oranges a valuable aid in strengthening the immune system, supporting connective tissues, and promoting overall good health. Oranges have been shown to protect against cancer, and fight viral infections.

Eggs are absolutely brilliant nutrition for your dog. Eggs are a whole food, and often regarded as having the perfect protein. It is the one against which all other proteins are measured. Eggs contain a full compliment of minerals, including excellent levels of calcium (mostly in the yolk), all the vitamins except vitamin C and a range of high quality saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, the nutrient lecithin and the whole range of enzymes and other longevity factors always present in raw foods. The shell is included as a further source of calcium. Egg yolks are an essential food for a dog with skin problems. They contain sulphur containing amino acids, biotin, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and zinc.

Flaxseed has been used for more than 10,000 years. The oil of the seed is a rich source of Essential Fatty Acids. Essential Fats, or Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are essential nutrients that the body can't produce itself. The only way to obtain these nutrients is through diet. EFAs are polyunsaturated fats, which are considered "good" fats. EFAs contribute to the healthy functioning of cell membranes, and are also critical for the synthesis of eicosanoids, a family of hormone-like substances that help in cell maintenance on a minute-to-minute basis. Just like other essential vitamins and minerals, EFAs are necessary for good health.

Flaxseed contains bioactive compounds called lignans, which have been proven to prevent cancer. Once consumed, lignans found in flaxseed are converted by bacterial action in the colon to mammalian lignans. They are then circulated through the intestinal tract and liver where their action is potentiated. In the body, mammalian lignans have estrogen-like and anti-estrogen effects. Scientists believe the effects of lignans on estrogen metabolism, in addition to their antioxidant properties, may explain why diets rich in lignans have a lower incidence of cancer. Evidence suggests that lignans may also be antioxidants, although the strength of their antioxidant activity is not yet clear. Other studies indicate flax lignans reduce cholesterol and prevent diabetes in animals. So far, scientists have isolated at least three flaxseed components with potential health benefits. The first is fiber, valuable for intestinal health. The benefits of the other two substances, alpha-linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid) and lignans, suggests that these components may be helpful in prevention of heart disease and perhaps in treatment of chronic kidney disease.

Garlic is nature's antibiotic. There is no doubt that garlic does confer some health advantages. Garlic has been found to have effective antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of both bacteria and fungi. Garlic helps stabilize blood pressure and gives a good solid boost to the immune system, keeping at bay infections of various sorts particularly upper respiratory tract infections. Much of it's success is due to various compounds of sulphur. Garlic is a health building and disease preventing herb. It is rich in potassium, zinc, vitamins A and C, and selenium. It also contains calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1 and some iron.

Kelp contains over 60 minerals and elements, 21 amino acids and simple and complex carbohydrates, which promotes glandular health, especially the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands. Kelp supplies a natural source of iodine and acts as an antibiotic to kill germs.

Alfalfa helps the body assimilate protein, calcium and other nutrients. This herb is a body cleanser, infection fighter and natural deodorizer. It is the richest land source of trace minerals and contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B and D. Alfalfa also contains bioflavonoids, and eight digestive enzymes to promote proper assimilation of foods.

The history of kefir is centuries old. The word "kefir" is said to have originated from the word "keif" which means" good feeling". Kefir is like yogurt, but with a greater variety of cultures and significant health benefits. Unlike yogurt, which typically contains only two or three different bacteria, true kefir contains a greater range of different microorganisms, each with its own unique contribution. This is what separates kefir from all other cultured milk products. Kefir is made by fermentation of  "kefir" grains, which resemble minute cauliflowers. The grains consist of casein and colonies of microorganisms that are grown together symbiotically. Kefir can only be made from pre-existing grains.

The cultured kefir added to Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™  processes antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of gram positive and gram negative bacteria, helping to eliminate destructive pathogenic yeast and internal parasites. The cultured kefir in Dr. Billinghurst's BARF DIET™ also contains a unique extract of colostrum. All mammals produce colostrum, sometimes called "first milk" or "foremilk".  Research has shown that concentrated forms of colostrum are able to block the effects of harmful pathogens and aid in the maintenance of a healthy intestinal tract. Colostrum also contains other nonspecific immune factors including lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase, which help control pathogens or harmful bacteria. These natural immune components can recognize and resist multiple species of common bacteria such as E. coli, Staphylococci, Streptococci, Klebsiella, Enterococci, Pseudomonas, Clostridium Difficile, and Cryptosporidium.

Kefir is considered to be one of the richest sources of enzymes. It plays a vital role in the development of a healthy digestive tract and helps improve the immune system. Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids, an abundance of calcium and magnesium. Rich in vitamin B1, B12, calcium, amino acids, folic acid and vitamin K, it is an excellent source of biotin which aids the body's assimilation of other B vitamins. Other benefits include bowel regularity and decreased lactose intolerance. Evidence shows that the appropriate strains of lactic acid bacteria in fermented milk products can alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance by providing bacterial lactase to the intestine and stomach. Kefir is recommended to restore intestinal flora while recovering from illness or when being treated with antibiotics. It eliminates unwanted toxins and pollutants in the body, just like antioxidants do with free radicals. Kefir enjoys a rich tradition of health claims and is known around the world for its preventative characteristics.

  • Billinghurst, Dr. Ian. Give Your Dog A Bone
    The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs. Australia: Bridge Printery, 1993.
  • Billinghurst, Dr. Ian. Grow Your Pups With BonesThe BARF Programme For Breeding Healthy Dogs and Eliminating Skeletal Disease. Australia: SOS Printing Pty Ltd, 1998.
  • Case, Linda P., Daniel P. Carey, and Diane A. Hirakawa.Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. St. Louis, Missouri: Mosbey-Year Book, Inc., 1995.
  • *Schultze, Kymythy R. The Ultimate Diet: Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.Descanso, CA: Affenbar Ink, 1998.
  • Stombeck, Donald. Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets: The Healthful Alternative.Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1999.
  • Volhard, Wendy. Back to Basics: The Natural Diet.Wendy Volhard, 1996.

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