Dog Survival via Bones and Raw Food (BARF) Diet

My recent post reviewing the Backyard Food Production DVD and in particular the clip of the dog eating chicken guts got me thinking (BTW: Marcia B won the DVD by random drawing – thanks to everyone for leaving a comment). Are you storing food in your SHTF food pantry for your best guard dog? What should dog owners do if a long-term catastrophe hit and they didn’t have access to store purchased dog food? If you’re not making dog food preparations, your dog could become food.

Photo by Xanboozled

This “dog survival” question led me to a little research on feeding dogs the natural way, how they would eat in their natural environment, as they have for thousands of years – like wolves and coyotes. As it turns out, the folks in the Backyard Food Production DVD are feeding their dogs the way many people are. Up until canned dog food started hitting shelves in the 1930s, feeding your dog the natural way, as nature intended, was the norm. Today people call the diet BARF and it stands for either Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food. Feeding your pooch a BARF diet, while not an endeavor that should be taken lightly, is consistent with the prepper way.

The diet, as one would imagine, must contain an appropriate balance of animal muscle, fat, bone, organs, vegetables and fruits. Feeding your pooch a diet like this is not as convenient and may or may not cost you more than store purchased food, but advocates of the BARF diet claim it will greatly improve your dog’s health. The common sense argument is that a diet like this is consistent with how the canine has evolved for thousands of years. Perhaps the real argument becomes – why is feeding your dog dry food better than how it has survived in the wild? Modern society has been feeding their dogs with canned/bagged food for roughly 80 years whereas the “all natural” diet existed for thousands of years.

BARF advocates claim your pooch will:

  • have cleaner teeth and breath
  • fewer allergies and skin conditions
  • better, more vibrant coat
  • fewer health problems
  • leaner muscle mass and easier to maintain body weight

Some people argue that feeding a dog animal bones, particularly small bones, is dangerous, but this appears to be a false concern. What is dangerous is feeding your dog cooked food. Bird bones are flexible and soft, broken down easily by a dog eating them, whereas cooked bones become brittle and sharp. According to BARF advocates, cooking any food for your dog is a big no-no.

Going into further detail about the BARF diet goes beyond the scope of this post. My intent was to raise the attention of prepper dog owners concerned about the survival of their pooch should SHTF. If catastrophe strikes and you plan to feed your dog vegetables from the garden and raw squirrel, you have to understand that you and your dog are best served by making the transition to a BARF diet now. It’s up to you to determine whether the cost-to-benefit ratio makes sense for you and your pet. Don’t take the decision lightly.

Resources to help you make a wise choice:

– Ranger Man