Chihuahua People Forum banner


4384 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Sariss
Information copied from an article written by Staff Vet for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Keep in mind that Best Friends is 100% into the best health care for their rescue animals. The information she cites is from REAL medical research, not "he said, she said, heard it from a friend..."

The BARF basically haven no clue about correct and scientifically sound canine nutrition. They just came up with a fad diet catering to the growing mania for things "natural" that's all. The BARF diet has not undergone exhaustive feeding trials like the name brand commercial foods have. I doubt if they even bothered to analyze it to see if it meets the NRC and AFFCO Nutrient Requirements of Dogs. That requires a lot of hard science and that's something they don't believe in.

There are a lot of legitimate concerns over the feeding of Raw diets to dogs.

First there's the Public Health Concern as raw meats and foods carry the risk of disease..

Public Health Concerns Associated With Feeding Raw Meat Diets To Dogs
J Am Vet Med Assoc 219[9]:1222-1225 Nov 1'01 Public Veterinary Medicine 56 Refs

* Jeffrey T. Lejeune, DVM, PhD, and Dale D. Hancock, DVM, PhD
* Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691-4096
A large number of commercial pet foods are available to provide excellent nutrition for dogs. Clients who wish to supplement their animal's diets with additional meat-based protein should be advised to adequately cook it before incorporating it into the feed. Because of the numerous risks outlined previously, veterinarians should not recommend the feeding of raw meat to dogs. Personal hygiene of pet owners is critical in preventing transfer of pathogens from pets to humans. Unfortunately, it is often the individuals with the lowest level of personal hygiene (e.g., young children) who are most susceptible to these infectious agents. Supervising children during pet feeding and subsequent hand washing may be beneficial. Veterinary recommendation of raw meat feeding may result in serious legal ramifications. On the other hand, recommending good hygienic food safety practices for pets and educating clients can advance the veterinary profession by benefiting pets, agriculture, and people.

The VIN message Boards are FULL of incidents of anemia, puppy deaths, spontaneous bone fractures, thyroid disease and pancreatitis in dogs fed BARF diets. Specialists in Internal Medicine and Nutrition on VIN agree unanimously that the diets are dangerous. They are unbalanced, plus the bones create a real risk of GI obstruction. The raw diets carry the risk of Salmonella and E. Coli infection, both of which are transmissible to man and potentially fatal. As stated in one reference:

Preliminary assessment of the risk of Salmonella infection in dogs fed raw chicken diets.
Can Vet J 43[6]:441-2 2002 Jun

Joffe DJ, Schlesinger DP
This preliminary study assessed the presence of Salmonella spp. in a bones and raw food (BARF) diet and in the stools of dogs consuming it. Salmonella was isolated from 80% of the BARF diet samples (P < 0.001) and from 30% of the stool samples from dogs fed the diet (P = 0.105). Dogs fed raw chicken may therefore be a source of environmental contamination.

Things like tapeworms, and toxoplasmosis can be transmitted in raw foods. Toxo is particularly risky because of what can happen to unborn human fetuses if the mother is exposed.

There is also NO credible information to support the idea that any breed of dog does better on any particular ingredient. As Dr. Rebecca Remillard ( prominent veterinary nutritionist) posted: "Simply put, the liver of any dog cannot differentiate the source (ingredient) of any nutrient presented to it from the small intestine. The liver simply requires that all the essential nutrients are present in some optimal balance/ratio to function properly."

The BARF diet is SO bad.. Yet it's supporters are FANATICAL about it. Why? Because quackery sells! ( to read more see the qwackwatch website) So much so that even some veterinarians get involved. One of the biggest BARF proponents is a Dr.Billinghurst. A veterinarian. He runs a big BARF site ( barfworld).Never mimd that it could be considered to be malpractice to recommend such a terrible and potentially dangerous diet.. It SELLS and people believe it as if it were Gospel.

Margaret Muns DVM
Staff Veterinarian
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Before I joined Chihuahua-People, I was registered with another forum. People argue a lot there and tend to force their opinions on others. I once posted a thread asking what type of food I should breed my dog and all hell broke loose. This one guy kept insisting to the point of irritation that I use BARF. I told him no b/c common sense tells me it can't be good. I will never put my Miellie on BARF and I have, with the help of the members of this site, decided to put her on RK and she LOVES it. BARF wants to make me barf!
Closest I'd ever go to BARF feeding is naturediet, which is a food I completly believe in and it's done wonders for our flat coats and Stitch does have it in the morning, but I would never put my dogs nutrition in my own hands and feed them raw I'm no vet and there is no way I'd know what they were lacking so at least feeding a complete food I know all nutrition needs are catered for. BTW Stitch is on naturediet puppy once per day and RC mini junior down all day and is growing great :D hehe.

BARF is better catered towards larger hardier breeds I know a lot of Husky and malamute owners who use it and have had no problems
Mielle I am sooo curious which web site that was cause I had asked if a couple dog foods were good on a certain site where experts are graded and was told that all kibbles are bad that I should feed a raw diet. And omg like you said all hell broke lose. I had even asked about ecoli and samenella poisoning and the people who fed BARF diets told me that dogs aren't effected by that. It will never seem safe to me so I think I will just stick to feeding kibble.
I feed LokaDon Prarie Brand raw food. They come packaged in little portion cubes, so as to avoid any contamination problems.
I thaw out one cube and mix it with the same brand of raw food but kibble form. (he likes the mix)
I don't see what all the fuss is about. As long as you are clean and careful your dog wont get sick. It IS more natural because there's no by-products or anything in it.

I tried feeding him regular pet-shop food when I got him, but he is fussy and loves his meat. Once and a while I will give him a raw quail and he just goes nuts, it's his favorite. I would highly reccomend a raw diet, but would not put other diets down either.
Interesting reading ! I don't have a chihuahua yet, if I do it will be raw fed though as all my other dogs are, and my cats too - and have been for years with tremendous success. Surely little dogs like chihuahuas who have probs with their teeth would benefit from raw feeding ? if my cats can manage a raw chicken wing I'm sure a chi could !!! I don't need to read articles about the pros and cons, when I can see the benefits here in front of me !!! :D
I'm to scared of the diseases on raw chicken to feed my taco raw my neighbor feeds her boxers the barf diet and no problems so I guess it is what each person prefers to feed I feed frozen biljac
When I had a pitbull this is what i fed her and never had any problems. My cousin fed his three dogs this as well and they had no problems. One of his dogs (a golden retriever mix) started eating it at 14 years and had alot of health problems and once he went on the raw diet he was a totally different dog and lived to 18 years old!!! I think it's good, but so is dog food.
To each his own. My Chloe (chi) isn't on it b/c I feel she's too small so I feed her Life's Abundance food.
I overheard a girl at the vet talking to a man that had his dogs on it the other day & the dogs didn't look all that healthy their fur was matted. I thought to myself you put your dogs on this diet but you can't brush them :confused: I just think they're are so many other easier foods to put them on that are very healthy & good why BARF :lol: To each his own though ;)
Our Chihuahuas are fed a premade BARF diet. Weird, because the brand I use has gone through feeding trials and the like, and meets and surpasses requirements set out by the company that sets standards in canada, as it is 100% nutritionally balanced. (the name is slipping my mind)
We stayed on it because it helps with Honey's allergies, and we've never had problems. But it's not for everyone. I prefer not to stuff my dog full of preservatives and chemicals.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.