We did a lot of research on it before starting, mostly asking questions of other breeders. Everyone who was doing it thought it was wonderful.
Some of our dogs thought we were insane to try to feed them
We had a hard time finding the resources to feed our dogs since we live outside of a small city. We called all around to see if we could find resources. I finally came to the point that I was telling people when I called "I am feeding 800 pounds of dogs." That got their attention. And they were willing to help. I don't know if they were willing to help just to get rid of this crazy lady or if they really felt sorry for someone who wanted to feed that much dog! We finally found a local butcher who sells us bones for 10c a pound, and we are thrilled. He also gives us raw liver and heart for the same price.
Just the cost of feeding this diet is about 40% less (yes, I did say 40%) less than feeding kibble. I was surprised at the cost of food comparison.
But the results are fabulous. We are seeing a new sheen on our dogs' coats that we have never seen before. My vet tells me that a beautiful, shiny coat is a sign of a healthy body. I believe it! My dogs seem happier and I love the time that I spend with them feeding them.
We just had our first BARF litter. You can see them on the Newest Additions! portion of our web site. We are very pleased. They were fed a totally BARF diet for their whole gestation. We are excited to see how their soundness turns out as we have been told by various breeders that they are seeing better soundness in their puppies when raised on a BARF diet. We can hardly wait!
We feed different kinds of bones and raw food. The dogs get beef bones at least every other day. They also get chicken backs and necks at least three times a week. In addition, they get liver or heart or kidney once a week or more. They also get sardines. It is interesting to see that different dogs have a different favorite food. Some gobble the beef bones while others love the chicken. Some will eat every piece of sardine they can get. Others struggle to eat them. Dogs are such wonderful companions. We love to feed BARF!
But one of the greatest advantages of feeding a BARF diet is the clean up. We hardly have any feces any more. Last year, we took a total of about 100 wheel barrels full of feces to a dumping place. This year, we have taken about 10. The dogs' feces are often white or turn white in 24 hours. If you miss some the first day when it is still a little moist, the next day if you step on it, it dissolves in to the ground like powder. We truly believe this is what mother nature intended, and we believe that the feces (that are still there and still holding their shape at the dump from the kibble) is NOT even close. The smell of BARF feed feces is not that heavy smell of dog feces that we used to smell. And although it does have an odor, it is much more pleasant. We believe it is more pleasant because we are feeding our dogs a diet more suited to their digestive system.
A dog's digestive system is considerably shorter than ours. It is meant to digest food quickly and get it out of them. This makes it possible for a dog to move quicker because he isn't carrying all that extra weight from a full belly of grain. Also, a short digestive system works for a predator better because they don't seem to have the problems digesting raw meat like we do. Ruminants were meant to eat 40-60% grain (like our dog kibble of today). Canines have teeth meant to eat mostly meat.
If you know anything about the BARF diet and a dog's digestive system, you know that a wild canine does eat vegetables and fruits and grains. But they eat them only after they are partially digested by another creature's stomach. This is really the only way a dog can digest these things becuase a dog's digestive system is so fast that digestion cannot take place on whole vegetable and fruits and grains. They cannot get it digested. That is why your dogs have such great amounts of feces on kibble. On a raw diet, my dogs produce 1/4 of the feces that they did on kibble. And that makes clean up a snap!
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