What is a BARF diet? Is a raw diet good for dogs Are bones and raw dog food appropriate for every dog? Can any raw meat be given for dogs?

We all want our dogs to happy and healthy, and the diet we give them is so important. If you are not an expert if providing a raw dog food diet for your canine, then you need to be sure the meat you are choosing and preparing for your dog is not going to do them harm.

This is why Euro Puppy has looked into what is becoming so popular today: the BARF diet…

What is the BARF diet for dogs?

The word BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

Every living animal on earth requires a natural and healthy, biologically appropriate diet.

If you think about it, not one animal on earth, is adapted by evolution to eat a cooked food diet. Before there were humans willing to feed dogs, their model diet was meat and raw meaty bones.

It does not just mean 'give your dog any raw food.' It is a specially programmed and selective raw food diet aimed at ensuring the perfect health for a dog. The BARF Diet is designed to provide dogs with whole raw food sources rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. It is generally regarded as the best and safest raw diet for dogs, preferable to the unbalanced diet provided by some ready dog foods.

This raw diet must have the right balance of animal to plant ingredients, must remain uncooked, had no heating whatsoever and not having had any processing. Furthermore, they must be consistently stored within the temperature range of 32°–42°F until the moment of serving.

What to feed your dog?

Dog Food Health Issues

Kibble and canned food is the most common food given to dogs. Many brands are excellent, and high quality. But nevertheless all are processed and not natural.

Many foods for large breeds contain rice flour, dried beet pulp, grain sorghum, and dried eggs: all of which are high in calories.

If you think about it….how did the large ancestors of today's dogs and wolves manage without these ingredients?

If we think of our large dogs not as family members (for the moment of course!) but as canines…who are actually closely related to wolves, then their daily nutritional intake should equate with a “would-be prey”. Scientists believe this would equate to: 62% meat, 11% organs, 2% bone, 25% vegetable.

So why do we feed processed food to our dogs? In one word: convenience. But convenience not only increases the chance of bone diseases, but also, eczema, dental problems, colitis, food hypersensitivity, lethargy, a dull coat, kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

These health issues can still happen with dogs on the BARF diet, but chances are reduced.

A “premium” food is sometimes high in fat and protein. “Generic” foods are even worse, as they have a grain base with meat being the minor ingredient. This is pure bone disease paradise!

A “premium” may also be a “generic” nutritionally, since try as hard as they might, pet food manufacturers cannot stuff the “would-be prey” into a 22 lbs bag!

dog food

Benefits of a BARF diet for dogs

Studies have proven the following benefits that this raw diet provides dogs

  • It provides delicious taste for your dog. Most dogs prefer a raw diet to other, commercial dog food.
  • Improves skin and coat health
  • provides higher energy levels
  • Results in healthier stools

The BARF raw food diet and Bone Diseases in Large Dog Breeds!

So what role does it play in preventing bone diseases?

Well, a lot of larger breeds are prone to getting bone diseases; such as: Osteodystrophy (defective bone development due to poor nutrition) and Osteochondroses (bone disorder which affects the maturing skeleton).

These two diseases come about in two ways; either due to genetics or due to over-feeding or over-supplementing a dog. Scientists have realized that bone diseases can be prevented by reducing the intake of calcium and phosphorus as well as reducing calorie consumption.

Dog owners often over-supplement with calcium, believing that it is a good supplement for bone development. They mean well, but the natural balances are overthrown and this results in bone disease. As with humans, overfeeding can also result in disease.

Limiting the calorie intake of dogs can definitely reduce the risk of developing bone diseases.

The BARF diet does greatly reduce these issues, as the balance of calcium, phosphorus and calories is right in the BARF diet for a dog's bones.

dog meat diet

Drawbacks of the BARF raw food diet

So we have established that if you make sure you have a bought or homemade raw diet, and have ensure your dog has a balanced diet of raw food, then there are a number of benefits of feeding your dog raw dog food recipes.

The main risks with raw meat diets specifically are the following...

  • Bacteria
  • Bones

Dog's have a shorter digestive track, and higher acidity, which makes them more able to withstand bacteria. And they are biologically designed to eat raw meat.

And although the BARF diet has been designed to reduce harmful bacteria, it can be very hard to ensure that there is none, and this can risk a dog's health. If you are doing this homemade, you must ensure you are providing safe food.

Bones can be a choking hazard, so close monitoring is vital when feeding your dog raw bones. And not all dogs are fond of chomping on bones. So feeding your dog bones and raw food is something you must consider very carefully. This new diet is not right for many dogs.


Euro Puppy believes that having a purebred puppy is not enough.

You need a healthy and happy puppy that will grow into an equally healthy and happy adult dog!

Of course, it is important to mention here, that food choices are not a matter of right or wrong, black or white – they are shades of grey.

By reading up on the BARF diet, and by understanding what is ideal and what is not; intelligent decisions can be made which at least take us ever closer to the healthiest ideal for our beloved dog.

One further point we should make is this. If you are feeding your dogs dry food or fresh food, and have decided that feeding raw food will be a healthier and more nutritious diet, you should always make sure to transition your dog carefully and slowly to any type of raw food diet by starting with a small amount of raw food..

The BARF diet it is an opinion of certain experts and may or may not work depending on the particular dog and the owner.