Delilah's B.A.R.F. Diet
Why We Switched
It was mostly in response to my elder Dane's health needs that we switched to the BARF diet in August of 2000. Dear old Apache had developed inhalation allergies to "good country living" requiring frequent shots of cortisone at over $40 a "pop". In addition, he had bad teeth and severe colitis with frequent bouts of diarrhea and near fatal (at least to those near him) gas attacks. I researched a natural diet in an attempt to help him and came across several BARF web sites. The concept of having control over what my dogs ate intrigued me and I decided, after extensive reading about the BARF diet to give it a try. With in three days of beginning the raw diet, his colitis had virtually disappeared, his energy level started to pick up and his perpetual doggy breath had all but disappeared! In response to his major improvements, all of my canine companions were converted to BARF in September of that year.
The acronym B.A.R.F. stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones And Raw Food. The food plan consists of raw meaty bones, organ and muscle meats, pureed vegetables and fish. The food is human grade quality thus eliminating ingestion of toxic additives (for example BHA and BHT), "denaturing" products and other unlisted and undesired additions such as euthanized pets & rotting road kill.
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Will BARF treat wobblers?
I believe that Delilah's poor little body has had to deal with enough systemic insults through the multiple anesthetics and the possible genetic disposition that contributed to the development of wobblers. If I can optimize her life by feeding her a better quality food, minimizing her exposure to toxins-- as well as just plain making it more fun for her at meal time-- than I am happy to try! Indeed some veterinary experts have recently begun to explore the role of diet in the development of wobblers! In addition, many wobbler dog owners that I have had the pleasure of corresponding with have noted improvements in their dogs after switching to a raw diet. However, a raw diet, in and of itself, will *not* cure wobblers, but it may improve the overall environment that the nerves have to exist in, thus facilitating swifter healing and more resistance to injury. We owe it to our four legged friends to do what we can!
Specific Improvements that I've noted per dog:
Apache: colitis well controlled most of the time, teeth whitening up nicely, skin less flaky, coat sleeker, no doggy breath, allergies not requiring prednisone pills or cortisone shots, minimal intestinal gas, weight loss.
Rossi: no health problems noted at the switch, however coat quality has changed from very dry and rough to sleek and moderately soft, white teeth, fresh breath, small compact stools, increased energy
Samson: again, no health problems noted at the switch, but has developed softer, smoother, *shiny* coat, less shedding, white teeth, fresh breath, small compact stools.
Delilah: soft as velvet coat, minimal shedding, white teeth, fresh breath, small compact stools.
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|Delilah's Food Plan:||
The protein portion of Delilah's diet is comprised of chicken necks, chicken backs, pork necks, or mackeral--all served RAW. I avoid COOKED bones as cooked bones are brittle and can splinter causing internal injuries. RAW bones are pliable and supply much needed minerals. She also gets a daily spoonful of pureed veggie mix which usually contains some carrot, pumpkin, green or yellow squash, a leafy green (collards, romaine lettuce, kale), all mixed with liquefied chicken liver. She gets fish oil supplements and Ester C several times per week as the mood hits me.
If you are interested in exploring whether the BARF diet is right for your four-legger, please read Give Your Dog A Bone by Ian Billinghurst DVM, or The Ultimate Diet: Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats by Kymythy Schultz. There is also a multitude of wonder web sites about BARF as well as very informative discussion groups. Please see my links page for links to my favorite BARF sites!
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