Below are some books to look out for, if your interested in feeding your dog an holistic diet. Like all things, do your research first, and consult your vet with your ideas and check out his opinion.
I feed my dogs Barf and state that in my opinion the results are better than feeding dry biskets e.t.c. I was first told about Barf from my breeder 'Tartuffe Bullmastiffs' this is what my puppy was brought up on, so i researched it, and carried on with the feeding.
DR Ian Billinghurst: Give Your Dog A bone.
DR Ian Billinghurst: Grow Your Pups with Bones.
Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown: The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog.
BARF stands for bones and raw food. Depending on which books you read, the basic principle is to feed a diet that the animal have evolved to eat or to put it another way as nature intended.
Dogs survived for thousands of years without a dog food manufacturer in sight there are records of wolves living to in excess of 35 years of age!
What you have to ask your self is, ' would i live a long and healthy life by eating the same old bowl of dried processed food day in and day out?' Only cats and dogs are made to eat this way. other animals like rabbits, guinea pigs , horses e.t.c. have special appropriate diets.
BARF is a varied raw diet, with lots of raw meaty bones, like chicken wings, chicken necks, rabbit, oxtail, mince, lamb shanks, eggs and their egg shells, liver, heart, fish, yogurt, veg blended down raw, fruit, garlic e.t.c.
I can hear you saying, 'that feeding chicken wings is dangerous', well yes it is IF YOU COOK THEM the bones splinter and cause problems in a dog's digestive system. With BARF you don't cook the meat, bones. People that have been feeding raw bones for years and have rarely reported problems.
Dogs digestive systems are somewhat very different from the human kind, the dogs digestive tract is much shorter than humans and the concentration of hydrochloric acid in their stomach is much higher. Consequently, dogs can deal with bacteria that us humans would most defently woulden't. think about what dogs eat for a second, example they will eat faeces, rotten food they find, and old bag of mouldy food left on floor e.t.c on second thoughts don't think about it too much (gross).
The type of benefits people report of feeding their dogs in this way are: they report that their dog's stools are reduced in volume and odour, their teeth remain clean and tartar free without the need of cleaning them, allergies are reduced or cease, there is better weight control and that there is a reduction in the symptoms of arthritis.
The cost of giving your dog a holistic diet can depend on where you live, the size of your dog and whether you have access to poultry processing plants, farms shops e.t.c.
Billinghurst recommends 60% raw meet and bones and 40% veggies fed daily. You can feed 60-75% raw meet and bones and the rest should be a combination of veggies, organs ( known as offal, to include liver, heart , kidney, green tripe e.t.c), ground meat (e.g. lean beef, chicken or turkey), eggs and supplements. If your starting Barf, remember to start slowly.
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