Raw Food Diet for Dogs
Silke Böhm is closely involved with the BARF diet, not least because her own dog suffers from an allergy. She very quickly gained control over this problem with the help of Dr Monika Linek, a vet specialising in skin diseases, who gives detailed information on this topic in the 'Allergies' chapter.
Raw Food Diet for Dogs
Fresh food - crisp and fresh into the food bowl!
The feeding of fresh food to dogs is getting ever more popular. Those of us taking a closer look at the subject of dog food will soon realise that the tinned and dried foods on the market do not necessarily contain ingredients that we're happy to feed to our dogs. Grain usually tops the list of ingredients, which means that grain makes up the highest proportion of the contents. Sometimes the various types of grain are listed separately, making them move to the bottom of the list. This means that grain is not listed as a collective item, but, for example, as corn flour, wheat flour, rice flour or oats. In terms of percentages these amounts now appear smaller, and at first sight proportionally less - a little trick deployed by the pet food industry. When you add the separate types of grain together again, they once again make up the largest amount. What's wrong with that? It's simple: dogs don't need grain as part of a balanced diet. Moreover, grain is often the number one trigger for allergies.
What yummy things will be put in my bowl today?
A virtual firework of vitamins and nutrients: fresh meat and vegetables.
Sure, feeding dried and tinned dog food is a simple affair; a handful or spoonful into the bowl, and all the dog's needs are seemingly catered for. In addition many dogs are able to tolerate the ready-made food quite well.
But if you're dealing with a fussy eater, who doesn't accept the ready-made food, or a dog suffering from allergies, you may be at a loss what to do next. A desperate search begins, trawling the world of commercial ready-made dog food, whilst opened food sachets pile up in the larder, and rejected tins make their way from the fridge into the rubbish bin. There comes a point when the human 'tin opener' is able to recite the list of ingredients on the food containers by heart, like the poems once memorised in his or her schooldays, and on top of that there's the worry about your dog's health. When things have got to this stage, the idea of feeding fresh meat comes to you almost automatically.
A big obstacle to feeding fresh foods is the seemingly large effort required. But once you have settled into a routine, the extra effort is actually not that extreme. And seeing a happy dog who is licking their bowl clean until it's shiny is ample compensation in any case. Of course feeding fresh food takes up a little more of your time. But bearing in mind the overwhelming advantages of producing your own dog food, you will be happy to make the effort for your best friend, for incidentally to have a dog is the nicest hobby in the world.
Cost is also an important factor in favour of feeding fresh food. Once you have worked out how to source the food locally, and you feed seasonal fruit and vegetables grown locally or nationally, in due course the cost of feeding your dog will fall drastically. Go forth and lobby your friends and neighbours! If you order collectively via the internet or from your local abattoir, you can reduce the cost further.
In order to set up a routine as soon as possible, it makes sense to acquire some good equipment.
Vegetables have to be cooked or pureed in order to enable your dog's digestive system to break them down. However, raw pureed vegetables contain more vitamins, and are therefore the preferred option. You can also grate the vegetables by hand on a daily basis. But the shavings achieved by grating are still relatively large, which means that the cells are not opened up completely - which they would have to be, if you want your dog to be able to break them down and absorb the nutrients. Because of this all vegetables should be made into a proper puree.
My everyday tip
Freeze a few daily portions of pureed vegetables. This provides you with some emergency rations for hectic moments, when you can defr