What Does BARF Mean For Dogs And Cats?

In relation to food and nutrition, BARF is an acronym or short name which can stand for either of the following two terms.

  • Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or
  • Bones And Raw Food

However, the world seems to have standardised on BARF meaning Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

This means the term BARF can then apply to all forms of life whether they be carnivores, omnivores or herbivores. For example bids, dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, humans and so on.

When applied to your pet, BARF means feeding your dog or cat natural, raw food that is absolutely suited to his or her biology. BARF is the best feeding decision for your pet as a raw diet maximises their chances of a long and active life.

What Makes Food Biologically Appropriate?

Food is deemed biologically appropriate if it's the food an animal has evolved to eat. Our bodies and the bodies of all living creatures on the planet have changed and adapted over millions of years of evolution.

For millennia, the ancestors of living creatures we see around us today ate food that allowed them to thrive. If our predecessors had eaten unsuitable food, none of their descendents - nor ours - would be here today.

It makes sense therefore to continue to eat foods that our biology likes best. However, the importance of wholesome, appropriate food is often not fully appreciated because commercial food production has changed our understanding of what defines normal food.

Processed Food

Processed food - which includes cooked food - is biologically inappropriate and has been proven to cause sickness in humans and in animals. Cancer, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and dementia are all related to the food we eat. Although there can be other causes of these illnesses, the largest statistical cause is linked to nutrition.

When you think about it, feeding cats or dogs with processed food makes very little sense.

During our evolution, convenience foods and dried pet food were not available. It is not surprising therefore that the characteristics of processed food are contrary to everything we need to live healthily.

The Immune System

We and our animals are surrounded by various bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms that can cause infections and harm. All animals stand a better chance against invasive threats if their immune systems are functioning at full capacity.

Dog about to eat unappetizing kibble meal.
This poor dog may have never eaten real food

Inappropriate food and poor nutrition compromise the immune system causing it to malfunction or operate at inefficient levels. A less than optimal immune response will place any living creature at greater risk of infection, disability, sickness or death.

Dogs and cats were not designed by nature to eat kibble or any form of cooked food.

Given the risk of ill-health and disease, it makes sense to consume food that limits these risks. Yet most people do not even do this for themselves.

In fact, most people feed their pets processed food as if it were perfectly normal to do so. Unfortunately for them, our animals have to eat what we provide in their bowls. They don't wolf down dried pet food because they like it. They devour it because they are hungry.

Dogs and cats were not designed to eat kibble and they suffer when they do.

How Can PET Plus Help Your Dog Or Cat?

Even if you feed your pet raw meat, bones, offal and vegetable matter, they will still be missing out on many of the naturally occurring enzymes and micro-nutrients available in a wild diet. 

 If you're feeding a BARF diet well done! PET Plus will add many missing micronutrients and enzymes.  If you're feeding a processed diet then adding PET Plus will improve it considerably. 
Try PET Plus

What does BARF stand for? It stands for a commitment to health and well-being that can only be provided by the right type of food for the person or animal.

Examples of BARF For Cats And Dogs

BARF For Dogs

In the case of dogs, BARF is raw meat, offal, organ meats and bones, and also some raw but pre-digested vegetable matter.

BARF For Cats

BARF is largely raw meat, offal, organ meats and bones with significantly less pre-digested vegetable matter for cats.

The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food regime is a way of eating that makes sense for all living creatures on the planet, including ourselves.

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5 comments on “What Does BARF Mean For Dogs And Cats?”

  1. Hello Dr. McIntyre. I am from Greece. I have a matlese 3 years old and a little kitten 3 months old. My husband recently heard about Barf food and I started looking for information in the internet. I found a company with barf food approved here in Greece though it is very new and most veterians are strongly against it.
    I am a little sceptic myself reading all this arcticles about the dangers of barf.
    Can you please enlighten me????? 🙂

    1. There are many more dangers feeding cooked and processed foods. How the pet food industry has been allowed to get away with their false claims and money making, careless attitude amazes me. What would a cat / dog eat in the wild? Then find that and feed it to your cat / dogs!!! Or let them out to catch their own!
      Think about the way they lick their bottoms, their feet and everything. Does that make them ill? No, of course not! They are designed to cope with raw meat and bone and guts and fur and pooh and pee and everything. We humans are definitely not though! We are fine on fruit and veg, but don't have the strength of stomach acid to deal with eating dead animals. If you can't catch it, don't eat it! And definitely don't cook it!
      So do your pets a favour and feed them BARF and save yourselves an absolute fortune on unnecessary vet bills. Avoid vaccination and chemical parasite control too. I use Verm-x which I get online. Feeding raw, especially with Pet Plus, very unlikely to suffer from fleas.

      1. What is your advice for worming puppies for the weeks up to three months old. Vets in general will give chemical wormers, I believe Verm-X is recommended for puppies of three months old and over.

        1. I use Verm-x and recommend faecal sample testing to see what the parasite burden actually is.
          As far as I am aware, there is no contra indication for using Verm-x in either pregnant, lactating or very young animals.
          I use Verm-x right from the start.

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