BARF - Bones and Raw Food diet, the natural way to feed your Springer

The Bones and Raw Food Diet or BARF (the name still makes me chuckle) is an all natural diet, as nature would have intended for your dog to eat.

The thought process behind this dog food movement is that dogs have lived for thousands of years without specifically-made dog food, and that we owners should be moving back to this all natural diet for our dogs.

This diet aims to get as close to nature as possible while giving your dog the right nutritional mix. As the cooking process changes or damages the nutritional content of food, giving your dog raw and uncooked food, which is an all natural diet, gives your Spaniel the optimal nutritional diet.

What do they eat?

Dogs on a Bones and Raw Food Diet eat a range of raw meaty bones such as chicken wings, necks and oxtail as well as liver, heart, eggs in their shells, yoghurt, vegetables, fruit and garlic.

These are all served up in their natural state, as the view is that cooking alters the nutritional value of the food to the detriment of the dog.

What are the benefits of a BARF diet?

According to the UK Bones and Raw Food Diet website http://www.ukbarfclub.co.uk/ they list the following benefits of putting your dog on a Bones and Raw Food Diet. 1.Reduced doggy odour.

2.Naturally cleans teeth - no need for toothbrushes or de-scaling jobs. Also helps to prevent gum disease.

3.The time it takes for a dog to chew raw meaty bones gives their stomach time to get the acids moving.

4.Produces firmer stools, with reduced quantity.

5.Can reduce vet bills (healthier dogs)

6.Economical to feed in comparison to commercial dog foods.

7.Mirrors what nature intended them to eat in the wild.

8.Puppies develop at a more appropriate rate and quick growth spurts are avoided. A GOOD breeder will want to stop fast growth in any pup.

9.The ripping and chewing involved in eating raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles of a dog.

10.Better weight control which helps to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and obesity.

How should I move over to a BARF diet?

First read through the Bones and Raw Food Diet website http://www.ukbarfclub.co.uk/ to get a full understanding of the diet. Then ensure that you make the transition slowly. Any sudden change in a dog's diet can cause a severe upset tummy, especially Springer Spaniels.

With this in mind, mix elements of the Barf diet with your Springer Spaniel's old diet, then gradually reduce their old diet and increase elements of the BARF diet until they have made the transition completely.

To ensure that you give your dog the full benefits of this new diet movement, follow the advice on the website. I myself have not tried this diet but I would love to hear from any of you who have used this, as well as any hints and tips you can give our visitors; it would really be appreciated.

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