Which diet should I choose for my dog?
(Q) I’m a bit confused about BARF (bones and raw food) diets in a bag. If the point of raw bones is to chew them up, why are BARF diets in a bag ground up?
My dog is currently going through vets’ tests, which have picked up inflamed intestines due to something in her diet. Perhaps I should try BARF? I don’t have time to prepare it, but the BARF diets in a bag sound good, if I could understand the ground bone part!
(A) Vet John Burns says: BARF diets can give health benefits, but so too can high-quality prepared foods, and in both cases this is probably due to the avoidance of undiagnosed intolerance/allergy to certain food ingredients.
Whether bones can be ground up or should be chewed is probably of secondary importance. The original BARF system advocated that pet owners should prepare raw food at home, but even the raw food movement has split into different factions. The mainstream veterinary profession tends to be scathing of BARF, especially of the dangers of infection from eating raw food.
The focus of your concern should be the health of your own dog who has got inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This requires not just a suitable food but also sound advice on the use of the food.
Look to feed a proprietary complete food that is low in fat, highly digestible, and also likely to be consistent. Whichever variety you use, it should be fed very sparingly. This allows easier digestion and can aid healing.