As soon as we have chosen to do that switch it will be in our mind some doubts about the new diet, all of them are very common, forgetting with this emotions the informative side and only think how much our pets are going to enjoy, and what healthy is for them, before than build a good base to start.
If we’ve seen a first look about raw diet is (link) today I would like focus on the fact that doesn’t care what raw diet which we talk about it, all of them could have variations and similar concepts, depending sometimes if it is a specific species, an individual animal or any particular condition that can affect to our pets, and makes a diet for one pet quite different than follow others.
BARF, whole prey and vegetarian model
Biologically Appropriate Raw Food is the acronym for BARF (in Spanish will have the same acronym ‘ACBA’), is one of the raw diet with a great acceptance, not only in countries like Australia or EEUU, that includes other places like here in Spain.
This diet is based on provide fresh and unprocessed food to our pets, mainly with an animal origin, that will be compound about a part with edible bone other with meat, then a percentage will be vegetables, offal and fruits. Also we can add eggs, dairy products, or some type of grains (this last one only for our canine friends but not all raw diets include it) and some interesting suplements.
Resuming we are talking about a diet which tries to be closer than be possible to the frequent cat and dog nutrition is in the wild.
If we look for the percentages in a raw diet, will see some small difference, ins’t bigger or significant but could make us be confused, specially when we are starting. This attend to the fact that a diet like that is a nutrition completely tailor-made to a specific individual, its species or in which stage of life currently is, that seems complex, but along in the time you will see this is a great advantage.
This one is for sure the most similar diet to the natural nutrition of our wild companions that we can find, imitating the nature, giving whole prays with his skin, fur or feathers. I know it seem to be complicated to make at home and the idea to follow from the beginning when we are learning and not sure at all, but really it is a great option and with a little of knowledge is easier or almost the same than any BARF model.
The main meal will be whole animals, we will not remove the offal, skin, plumage, or others parts than sometimes, wrongly, we consider with less nutritional value. It is very important too give preys accord to the size of our pet, its jaw and nutritional needs, it isn’t the same to feed a cat over 8 lb or a dog with 55 lb, doesn’t it?
If we are concern because our pet it is small, don’t be afraid, the best preys for example are poultry like small chickens, quails, partridge or if we look further we could find rabbits, or small blue fish as anchovies or sardines. In the other hand, our bigger pets could have a variety that includes the mentioned before and other like adult chickens, turkey, goats, Spanish mackerel , salmon, or small venison.
As civilizad people which lives in modern cities, it seems to cause some moral controversy when we start, but believe me it is a question irrelevant in the wild, more related with our feelings and consciousness. It something natural and common as the life is. Only if you are really concern about it I recommend you to ask always about the type of breeding, where the animal come from, slaughter age, and other considerations could affect to the animals. You have to think too that this questions has a direct effect on the organism and their nutritional value. This is what I try to do diary with the BARF model, and if you couldn’t access to the ecological breeding and farming almost find a closer point between quality and budget.
*Can I mix processed pet food with a raw diet too?
Well, this is not a raw diet exactly, but it is true there are people who mix to types of meals, not at the same time, giving for example in the morning kibble or canned food, and then in the dinner a raw diet bowl.
Why? For example kibble and raw meat has a different digestion process time, more for the processed and dried meals and shorter for raw and unprocessed ones, that combination according to some BARF groups and vets assume that can cause GDV or ‘bloat’. That cases are ones when there are a gastric dilatations where the stomach twist around itself normally caused by taking a big amount of food and/or water, a very elevated activity as intense exercise meanwhile the stomach is bloat or a multiple factor combination.
But this is true that we can think it is much easier begins mixing both types of meals, maybe our pet doesn’t like the new diet and suppose in that form will be better, also another thought are our style of life, our economic resources, or we want to finish the kibble bag at the time we introduce a raw diet.
Sincerely, if you are waiting to finish the kibble, be patient, finish kibble first and then introduce slowly the new raw diet to your pet. But if you couldn’t make a complete raw diet for your furry family, or not have time enough to make it , don’t forget your pet could enjoy too if you prepare some raw food meal to your routine, maybe not every day, not every night, but surely your pet’s health welcome it!
Be aware about the amount of every type of meal given, it isn’t the same, so the amount of both has to be calculated separately, for one part the processed food following the manufacturer indications, and if we are making to portions divided them. About raw meals you have to look for the diary percentage for your pet (2%, 3% or 4% of his/her optimum weigh), that is a good and safe manner to do it.
In our case, from Happy Life Pet project, we have chosen a BARF model for Lula and Kyo, and we are following since two years ago because it is the best that adapt to our style of life and their unique characteristics.
Learning a base about nutritional needs in our pets
In a raw diet, like in others, the organism needs macro and micronutrients, the first provides energy to the body, the second one (for example, vitamins and minerals) plays a fundamental role in metabolism.
That sound so serious, but in easier concepts it is about to provide to our pet organisms all that their require for:
1.To have energy available and enough, and…
2.…their organism could runs correct and based on high biological value meals which are absorbed better too.
Also, we don’t provide animal proteins in the diet, we have to consider and balance the diet with fats, carbs (as sugar and finer), vitamins, mineral, essential fatty acids, and other suplements lined with the requirements of our pets as individual: A dog which practice some sport need more fat amount that other that are happy resting all day at home, or a active cat that lives outside versus a home-loving one, their consume are completely different.
What meals are the most appropriate for my dog? and what about my cat?
Every week, will see more concepts, proteins, menus, and whatever our four legged friends needs in raw diets, but to have a pic of that, before to start here you have a simple image of how commonly diets are formed to create our balanced menus for our own pets. Of course, if you want to know more and have a deep knowledge about this type of diets don’t miss our blog the next weeks, we will be publishing the first steps and how to start, follow us!