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Diet is one of the most important pillars of good health. Unfortunately, most dog owners have that  Responsibility for the nutrition of your dog has been given to the animal feed manufacturer. It is more convenient and easier to buy a sack of feed and believe the manufacturer's instructions than to dig deep into nutrition. The negative outcome of feeding this grain-based food is becoming increasingly evident due to the enormous increase in diseases in our dog population. Cancer, allergies, pancreatitis, pancreatic insufficiency, kidney and liver diseases, immunodeficiency, fertility and growth disorders are occurring more and more frequently and cannot simply be explained by "overbreeding". An organism needs at least 10,000 years to adapt to a total change in diet. The dog had about 60 years to switch to ready-made food. Over those 60 years, our dogs' general health has deteriorated dramatically. This is ABSOLUTELY related to the inappropriate diet. Many veterinarians, breeders and dog owners are of the opinion today that finished feed is mainly the cause of the poor health of our dogs and cats and are looking for alternatives to finished feed products. One of these alternatives, which now has proponents all over the world, is the so-called BARF diet  .
The dog is a carnivore!

Like its ancestor, the wolf, the dog belongs to the order of carnivores, although the wolf is not a pure carnivore. In addition to prey animals, the wolf eats fruit, herbs, berries, grasses, roots, insects and also the excrement of the herbivores. However, the wolf mainly eats large game. By eating the whole animal, the wolf gets all the nutrients it needs: protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and fiber.

The dog has the teeth of a carnivore, with strong canines and molars with sharp edges to be able to bite through meat and bones. Dog saliva is very viscous and serves as a lubricant for food, which in carnivores usually consists of larger chunks. The dog's stomach is very large compared to herbivores and proportionally contains ten times more  Hydrochloric acid than that of man. In dogs, digestive juices are produced by the key stimulus meat. The dog's intestines are very short compared to the herbivore's intestines. Complete digestion of meat and bones takes a dog a maximum of 24 hours; Herbivores take 4-5 days to digest.

All of these facts clearly suggest that the dog is a carnivore and that a grain-based diet is fundamentally wrong.
Ready-made feed - what is it?

Very few dog owners should be aware of all the "delicious" things in these feed sacks.
Many already know about chemicals, preservatives and flavor enhancers, and there are now numerous brands that supposedly get by without these pollutants. How your food is still at least  They do not explain the shelf life of 1 year. The fact is that many feed manufacturers buy their basic substances in such a way that the preservatives are already included. That's why they need to  Do not add any more additives to their own production or declare them. In other words: If a feed sack says “no additives”, it only means that the manufacturer has not added any additives during its processing; so he is also allowed to use preliminary products, i.e. animal and grain flours with preservatives.

Most types of dog food consist for the most part (60-90 percent) of grain, which can be avoided in the analysis by listing the grains individually. This makes it possible to list meat meal as the first ingredient, even though the main ingredient added up is mixed grain. Vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and essential fatty acids are destroyed, changed or damaged during the manufacturing process, but many anesthetics and drugs are not. The feed is not tested for these substances. Ever wondered where the carcasses of many of our dead darlings end up? Answer: bone and meat meal!

In addition, the dealers often do not even take the time to remove flea collars from dead or euthanized animals or the plastic packaging from expired supermarket meat before it is processed into bone or meat meal. Fillers such as beetroot mass are also popular, as they stain the stool darkly and stay in the intestine for a long time, which means that the stool is firm and dark - a sign of healthy digestion - a popular selling point for many manufacturers. The ready-made fodder manufacturers also like to use terms such as "cellulose", which is usually simply a non-suspicious-sounding term for sawdust.
Or, in other words, not a suitable dog food.
What now?
Out of concern for the health of their dogs, more and more breeders and dog owners have given careful attention to the nutrition of their animals in recent years. In doing so, many have come across a natural, species-appropriate diet with raw meat and bones. Older, almost forgotten books, such as Juliette de Bairacli Levy's, suddenly found new readers, and many new books on the subject appeared on the market.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy had already warned of the dangers of ready-made feed and vaccinations in the 50s and 60s and always advocated a diet with fresh, raw ingredients. A few breeders who have remained true to their "natural rearing" methods for decades have reported consistently healthy dogs at a time when more and more dogs were heard about sick.

Many people now feed their dogs according to the BARF principles and report amazing improvements in their health. Skin problems go away, the dogs have more energy, the bitches have fewer problems with pregnancy and puppy care, and the puppies grow up slower and healthier. Many health problems go away or improve after switching to BARF.
This type of feeding is a lot easier than you think.
Many dog owners have concerns about feeding BARF because the ready-made food manufacturers and veterinarians repeatedly warn against raw meat and bones. Raw meat is dangerous; the dog will get parasites or salmonella, it is said. It is claimed that the dog's nutritional needs can only be met with ready-made food. Bones are life-threatening, warns the finished feed lobby. Raw nutrition is said to be far too expensive and time-consuming.

As explained above, the dog has the digestive system of a carnivore; that is, the dog's entire digestion is geared towards raw meat and bones. Salmonella and other bacteria as well as parasites are omnipresent a healthy organism can cope with them without any problems. The dog's stomach acid is very strong and can easily digest bones, cartilage and meat. Since sufficient gastric juices are produced by the key stimulus meat, harmful bacteria are destroyed in the raw diet and parasite infestation occurs extremely rarely.

There is no need to include all of the vital nutrients at every meal. Such a claim can only be made by a pet food manufacturer. The balance takes place over a period of several weeks, just as it happens in nature and how we handle it with our own diet. With a raw, natural diet, it doesn't matter if a dog eats a bit one-sided for a certain period of time, provided that the diet is generally varied.

Feeding BARF is not much more time consuming or expensive than feeding ready-made feed. At first, many worry that the dog may be missing something and tend to overfeed supplements or make sure that the dog is getting everything on a daily basis. Over time, these worries will subside and the time required will decrease. Meat and bones that are used for BARF nutrition are mostly leftovers from meat for our diet and therefore no more expensive than mediocre dog food.
- No tartar
- Not a bad dog smell
- Less parasites
- Strong immune system
- Much smaller amounts of faeces
- Strong ligaments and tendons
- Better muscles
- Relief in arthritic diseases
- Less growth problems
- Risk of stomach torsion drastically reduced
- Nice, healthy, shiny coat
In practice
Since dogs are different, you need to watch your dog carefully and, if necessary, adapt the nutrition plan to your dog. There are dogs who cannot tolerate grain or who cannot digest raw meat and bones easily at first. Some dogs just don't like offal or vegetables. The following diet plan is intended as a guide only.

Meat should be fed in chunks as large as possible or on the bone, as chewing is important for dental care. Do not mix meat and grains as this can cause gas. So that means: the dog usually has to be fed twice a day if you want to feed grain. And for two reasons: firstly, it is good to separate ingredients; secondly, the risk of stomach rotations is much lower if the feed ration is divided into two meals.

Only flakes or vegetables should be fed once a week, followed by a fast day. So: feed meat five days a week, fast one day without meat and fast once. If the dog does not tolerate fasting well, it is also sufficient to feed meatless once a week. You can either give the vegetables alone as a meal or add them to the meat. There are dogs who don't like to eat the vegetables that much. In this case you can either mix minced meat or tuna or puree the liver with the vegetables. If we assume that the dog is fed twice a day, i.e. 12 meals a week, 8 meals should include meat / bones, 4x vegetables and about 4x cereals / dairy products.
4 pure meat / bone meals
4 meat / bone and vegetable meals
4 cereal / dairy meals
If you want to feed grain-free, vegetables should make up 10 to 25 percent of the total ration and meat / bones 75 to 90 percent.
  The bone portion should make up about 10 percent and not exceed 15 percent of the total ration.
Cereal meal:
Flakes with buttermilk, goat milk or carrot juice. Now and then an egg or cottage cheese, yoghurt, banana or other fruit, etc. There are dogs who do not tolerate cereal products or are allergic to them. It is not necessary to feed grain, it can be left out. Dogs that are allergic, arthritic, or have cancer should not be fed grain.
Meat meal:
Meat and bones with a mixture of herbs and oils
Vegetable meal:
Fresh, pureed and / or lightly steamed vegetables & greens - also with liver or yoghurt or cottage cheese. With oil (1 to 2 teaspoons)
The ingredients
Oats, barley, millet, amaranth, rye, wheat bran, coconut flakes, corn grits or flakes
Meat / bones
Beef: Muscle meat, heart, spleen, kidney, rumen, leaf stomach, liver, throat, head meat, all bones, especially the softer ones
Lamb: like beef, but not stomach
Chicken: whole chickens, necks, backs, wings - only raw!
Fish: whole fish, only raw
Offal: only once or twice a week
Liver approx. 200 to 300 g (for a dog weighing 30 kg)
Rumen / gizzard once or twice a week
Avoid pork or cook it well !!
Salads, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, seedlings, dandelion, nettle, horsetail grass (actually everything, the greener the better, always alternate)
Avoid raw potatoes, avocados and onions!
Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, kiwis, etc.
Seaweed meal, alfalfa, nettle, dill, dandelion, borage, parsley
Fish oil, safflower oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil alternately
Cod liver oil (Vit A and D) - 1 teaspoon once or twice a week, especially in winter
If necessary, e.g. B. in the case of illness, growth, pregnancy etc .:
Vit C - 100 to 500 mg daily for a short time
Vit E - 20 to 80 mg three to four times a week
B-complex - in case of stress or illness for a short time
a pinch of sea salt once a week
Source: Swanie Simon

© Amico Forte  

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