Feeding raw is about feeding a more natural diet, a diet which carnivores such as dogs and cats thrive on. However it’s a misconception to think that feeding whole raw meaty bones is the same as feeding BARF.
Whole raw meaty bones, is about feeding raw meaty bones which requires your canine guardian to chew, gnaw, providing stimulation and exercise as they work their jaws and muscles and clean their teeth, whereas feeding BARF is about providing a minced meal of vegetables and raw meat that your canine guardian slurps or licks up, providing no stimulation, no exercise and does not clean your canines teeth. On the scale of dog foods, BARF is better than pellets; however Raw Meaty Bones are best because besides offering all of the above they also clean teeth.
“In a healthy dog or cat fed a natural diet, that requires tearing and separation of swallow able pieces, the teeth and gingival tissues are largely self-cleaning; that is plaque is wiped off before it has time to mature to a pathogenic thickness and bacterial mix. When circumstances change so that plaque accumulates the disease process starts” (Professor Colin Harvey)
So, why the emphasis on cleaning teeth? Because cleaning teeth prevents periodontal disease. Periodontal disease simply put is the process by which bacteria rot the gums and dissolve the living bone and is the most prevalent disease affecting domestic pets**. According to Peter Emily and Susanna Penman (founding president of the British Veterinary Dental Association) more than 85 percent of dogs and cats over the age of three years are suffering from periodontal disease to a degree that would benefit from treatment. According to ** Dr Tom Lonsdale, dog and cats suffering periodontal disease frequently develop signs of heart, lung and joint disease. Once the periodontal disease is treated the joint stiffness and general activity levels frequently improve. It is possible to draw some valid conclusions to the likely involvement of periodontal disease in auto-immune process.
As humans we tend to think what’s good for us is good for our dogs. And once we start the raw feeding journey the groundless fears are massaged into quiet by the practice of mincing up the vegetables because vegetables are good for us it must be good for our dogs and cats. If that were truly the case, then dogs and cats would produce amylase in the saliva which is required to process carbohydrates, However if you are bent on feeding BARF, then safeguard yourself and your canine by asking your BARF provider the following questions:
- Where are the vegetables sourced from, are they fresh, are they organic?
- What meat source is used, as in what part of the cow, pig, or chicken is being used?
- What is the percentage of meat to vegetables?
*Professor Colin Harvey
**Tom Lonsdale – Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health