After a 2007 recall of more than 100 brands of processed pet food in the United States, when about 2,000 dogs and 2,000 cats died from ingesting tainted food - many owners have begun feeding their pets less-processed foods.
While this approach has many forms, the most popular is the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods diet, or “BARF” diet.
It recommends a menu of bones, fleshy meat, organ meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs, flax seed, garlic, kelp, alfalfa, and cod liver oil, vitamin E, zinc oxide, and manganese oxide supplements.
Some owners swear by this diet, suggesting it’s closer to what their pets’ ancestors might have eaten in the wild. They claim animals on this diet are thinner, fitter and happier, with fewer allergies, fleas and everyday aches and pains than animals that eat processed food.
A typical meal might include some type of meaty bone (chicken backs, chicken wings, turkey necks), ground meat (beef, turkey, lamb), organ meat (beef kidneys, chicken liver), whole eggs, pulverized fruits and vegetables, and supplements.
Drawbacks to the diet include the danger of salmonella and E. coli present in a frighteningly large percentage of raw meat, bacteria which can cause illness and death in animals.
Also digestive or immune problems can be a side effect if your pet is older - you’ll want to introduce the raw food slowly.
The biggest draw back (for most of us) - raw food diets are expensive. Owners can expect to pay upwards of $70 a month for raw meat, fruit and veggies, while processed food can cost as little as $10 a month.
For owners willing to give the diet a shot the benefits could mean happier pet with a longer heather life!
Tags: animals, dog, meat, pet food, turkey