Greener Pastures Farm - Current News

Jon kneels down to let the pregnant Cascade Farmstead ewes check him out. Visit our website to learn more about these great little low-maintenance, no-shear, meat sheep!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

DOGS: Feeding the BARF Diet

I just finished feeding our dogs this afternoon, and once again am thankful that we have the resources to provide a healthful, natural diet for them. It's rather ironic to feed livestock and people the best natural foods, then buy dry dog food for our beloved pets.

BARF stands for "Bones and Raw Food" or "Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods", depending on what resources you are looking up, and if you google this, you will find a plethora of controversial sites, many condemning the idea (dog food companies) and many attempting to jump on the bandwagon by calling their prepared food "raw," and many advocating cereals and more. You gotta give 'em credit for trying. It took some searching to find a site that mirrors my feelings on how and why to feed dogs this way, as well as touching on the reasons this subject can be so divisive:

We feed raw meaty bones and organs leftover after butchering our lambs, as well as raw meaty bones leftover after butchering wild game, and any raw chicken bones or necks we happen to have. Questions on safety? See above link. I freeze portioned sizes after butchering, and thaw a portion daily. Our dogs are in good condition; not too fat and not too thin, their poop is NOT stinky and actually crumbles and dissolves into the earth very quickly. Stinky dog poo on the soles of your shoes is not an issue when feeding the BARF diet, if you do step in it, nothing sticks!

When we had Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs), this diet made the most sense. There was no need to keep the livestock away from a grain-filled food not made for them (ewwwww!), and the dry, white BARF diet dog poo in the pasture dissolved into powder quickly, as opposed to the stinky brown piles that sit on the pasture the livestock need to eat. (Ewwwww!) I converted a new LGD owner to the BARF diet, and every time we talk on the phone now, he thanks me profusely. Enough said.

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