BARF - Biologically Appropriate Raw Food

BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Biologically appropriate raw food is simply the food a given animal would have eaten in the wild, out of the way of human intervention.

Such food is clearly raw as animals don't know how to cook food. Some animals do bury fresh food to allow the enzymes in the food to begin breaking it down, but this is known as predigestion or rotting ... not cooking.

What Would Dogs And Cats Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, both dogs and cats would eat other animals, usually herbivores. They would consume virtually everything, comprising mainly meat, bone, gut contents, offal, fat and skin.

Dogs are also scavengers and would eat a range of vegetation as well as any rotting carcasses they found. Both dogs and cats would eat eggs too.

What's In The Herbivore's Gut?

Larger herbivores like sheep, cattle, horses and rabbits are designed to eat grass and other equally fibrous, abrasive vegetation.

Smaller animals like mice and birds of the types our carnivore pets might catch also eat vegetation. They eat grass, berries and other fruit. Grain is largely produced by humans and would not be readily available in large quantities in the wild.

However, the survival instinct is great, so opportunistic animals will eat whatever they can.

All this food is well chewed and ground into a pulp. Ruminants regurgitate their food and chew it again many times. This begins the process which releases the nutrients packed inside the cellulose cell walls of all plant matter. It also increases the surface area available for the digestive enzymes to work on.

The herbivore's gut contains numerous bacteria, probiotics, which are essential for the breakdown of plant material. In ruminants, like sheep and cows, the bacterial fermentation chamber (the rumen) is at the beginning of the digestive tract, one of their four stomachs.

In other herbivores like horses and rabbits, fermentation takes place at the end of the gut, so they have to eat some of their faeces to gain the nutrients they need from the grass they eat, a habit called coprophagia.

How Can We Make Up For Vegetation Missing From Our Pet's Diets?

We need to do our best to imitate this wild diet.

Raw Meat And Bone

Various frozen minced meat and bone mixes are readily available. I use Nutriment most of the time, and there are now plenty of raw pet food manufacturers like Natural Instinct, Honeys and Natures Menu.

I also feed whole organic chicken carcasses from Riverford Organics 2-3 times a week. When in season (January - May) I buy frozen wild rabbit carcasses from many sources, including Farmer's Choice and feed these 2-3 times a week alternating with the chicken carcasses.

Offal is included in many of the minces, but I also feed some offal at least once a week. Excess liver can result in hypervitaminosis which is one of the causes of osteoporosis in both people and pets.

For this reason I am very cautious and aim to give it in the proportions it would be found in a wild herbivore, so I give minced offal once a week

Variety is the key. No animal would live on just one type of meat for ever.


Dogs and cats do not chew their food anything like as thoroughly as herbivores, so they are largely unable to access those essential nutrients hiding in plant cells, unless it's already been eaten by a herbivore first.

The enzymes in the herbivore digestive system are also specifically designed to digest the cellulose cell walls, but carnivores lack these enzymes.

We have put them in Pet Plus to help our carnivores to access these important plant nutrients. To emulate the herbivores' grinding teeth, liquidize or pulverize green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, celery, parsley; you can even use grass, but be very careful!

Ensure it is clean and free from weedkillers, fertilizers and any other chemicals or pollutants.

Mix this pulp with the minced meat and bone, even if it already contains vegetables, as it is the green leafy vegetables that are important.

Dogs thrive on about 1 part veg to 1 or 2 parts meat and bone mince. For cats, mix a teaspoonful of veg with their meat and bone mince. Some cats just won't eat their greens, so we have to rely on the greens in Pet Plus! I generally prefer to use just the frozen minced meat and bone and add my own freshly pulverised green leafy vegetables.

Green tripe has a lot of green vegetation in amongst the stomach walls that comprise the tripe. It stinks, but both cats and dogs love it raw.

Pet Plus is an excellent source of wheat grass, barley grass and alfalfa, so mix this in as well.


Liquidized greens don't contain everything that would be found in the guts of the herbivore. We need to add probiotics and the very best one is found in Pet Plus.

These friendly bacteria contribute hugely to the breakdown of the vegetation and also help to stabilize and protect the gut from pathogens.

BARF Feeding Summary

Raw meat and bone, liquidized greens and Pet Plus all mixed together form the mainstay of the raw diet for cats and dogs.

2-3 times a week, give raw meaty bones like chicken wings, chicken drumsticks, chicken carcasses, wild rabbit carcasses but be careful to ensure the bones are raw and well covered with meat.

Green tripe and offal fed once per week is a deliciously smelly, nutritious treat for both cats and dogs.

If you are just beginning, start with the minced meat and bone with liquidized veg and make sure your dog or cat is used to eating raw before you offer them a bone.

If you give raw meaty bones to pets that have been on processed food all their lives, they'll be so excited at getting real food, they might just wolf it down without chewing it, which might cause a problem. So take the transition one step at a time.

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32 comments on “BARF - Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”

  1. hello i would like to ask you something because we have problems with our dog about 2years, she was been very happy puppy with no problems at all, after a while she start have a bad skin conditions, itching,scratching on the floor, etc sometimes problems gone sometimes come back,it is most on the belly area and by her tits,,we took her to vet first they start giving us some steroids which helps her and then after about 3-5 months on steroids she give her on apoquel tablets, about month ago we went to another country for a month trip and problems gone, even she was been ok without tablets, she scratching but improvement there i seen is about 80%. I think that can be dust mites allergy, food allergy or allergy on pollen or someting outside, because most problems and scratchings start now when spring comes ,,,i dont know what to do because she try scratching herself most of a day,, we bath her in zincoseb shampoo as well once a week,, but she is now about 3 weeks of apoquel and i do not give her more because i think it is dangerous to keep her on medication long time,,i was start thinking to change her a diet to raw food and hope that can help her to manage her problems to improve her imunity system and balance everything inside,,can you help me how to start?? Thanks Michal

    1. Hi Michal,
      Are you in UK? Where did you go when itching stopped? Itching tummy and less furry places is often contact allergy, but still shouldn't happen, so her immune system is over-reacting. Vaccination often interferes with the normal functioning of the immune system, so don't give her any more vaccinations.
      Tap water with all its chemicals is also a problem, so it is essential to give her (and yourselves) filtered water,to avoid the chemicals which are irritants.
      Processed food is also an irritant, so changing onto raw is the best thing to do.
      There are numerous manufacturers of minced up meat and bone. Mix this with liquidized greens. Manufactures tend to put inappropriate veg in like butternut squash and carrots....the sugars in these will not help her at all. Also give her offal 1-2 times a week and green tripe 1-2 times a week.
      My website is full of this advice. Please read it all and you will know what to do! Happy to answer any questions that arise after you've read it.

      1. Hello, yes iam in the uk, when itching stopped we was been in Prague, Czech Republic, i think she was been ok even without apoquel,,when we returned itching start again but i dont know where is a problem, we giving her canned food / not very good quality/ and then good quality dry food but i am not sure if is from a food because before she had a same food and she not scratching, but i think it is a posibility she have it from food or from food and enviroment as well,,,thinkg is now she start scratching about 4 days ago and that is unstopable i really dont know what to do i book her to the vet on the monday but i know a result they give her apoquel again and recommend us blood test but thing is even doctor said that blood test maybe dont show us nothing,,we was been in vet in Slovakia with her they done a skin scrape and take it to under microscope to seen if any bacteria is there but they was seen nothing, Do you think a apoquel is safe drug?? Thanks

        1. It is the food without a shadow of a doubt. Change onto raw food right now. There is no point filling her with drugs to suppress the symptoms while you continue to feed her on allergy causing food. You need to feed her raw food 100% and filtered / bottled / freshly collected clean spring water.
          There is no such thing as a safe drug. All drugs have side effects.
          And do not ever vaccinate her again. Her immune system has been sensitized by processed foods, drugs and vaccinations already,so don't do further damage to her delicate immune system by vaccinating her any more.

  2. Hi Pamela,
    IBD is quite common these days. I would give her minced raw rabbit mixed with Pet Plus, just as you suggest. When you say whole rabbit, do you literally mean whole....guts, fur and all? The reason I ask is that the guts contain vital nutrients, like probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes etc, all of which are in the Pet Plus.
    Prize Choice do simple minced meat and bone in rabbit, lamb, chicken, fish. Unfortunately, they mix chicken bone in with most of these, so if your cat can't tolerate chicken, try a different supplier. They also do tripe (great stuff but no bone, so good mixed in with other stuff or used 1-2 x weekly). Their quality is not the best but it's usually OK.
    Honey's Real Dog Food also do excellent cat food. They do organic, really fresh, excellent quality veg free made to order minced meat and bone mixtures and will do whatever you need. I would absolutely recommend them, but ask them not to put in any of their additives or vegetables. I would ask them for just rabbit meat and bone, same for chicken, same for lamb and see how you go. They might even send you samples. Tell them I recommended you and tell them your story. I'd suggest keeping the meat and bone to specific species rather than adding chicken bone so you can see what suits her.
    I've also just come across an excellent looking supplier who do wild rabbit amongst other things.  I've placed an order with them to try it out.
    You could also give her fresh fish, like sprats.  My cats absolutely love them!
    So to answer your question, yes, meat and bone mince with Pet Plus is an excellent diet for life!
    If she gets diarrhoea, let me know and I can supply you with medicinal clay which I get from France. It's really good at adsorbing toxins and removing them from the gut so stopping the runs! Aloe Vera is also an excellent 'medicine' to calm down any form of inflammation. So a useful mixture is Aloe Vera, clay and Pet Plus all in a 5 ml syringe, gently administered via the side of her mouth.  They usually swallow about one ml at a time quite easily.
    I hope that helps.

  3. hi, i am feeding my cat raw minced whole rabbt due to a nearly life-long condition which has neve been properly diagnosed due to cost, but most vets think its ibd.the main feature of this has been chronic diahrroea and occasional vomiting,with weight loss and abdominal distension which has nevergone away.she also recently suffered alot of noisy gas which i could feel moving through her intestines but this has subsided alot now presumably with the raw rabbit.i have just purchased petplus with a view to mixing it with the rabbit to provide much needed nutrients.i was buying a product called natural instinct rabbit with added nutrients including salmon oil but this made her sick and also gave her very runny stools again. my question is,given that there is so little i can add to my cats food that doesnt make her ill do you think that just adding some petplus will give her a reasonable diet for whatever time she has vet would want her to eat hills z/d wet food but she wont touch it.

  4. Hi ,
    Having just read these pages I am quite impressed by the advice given. I have a 17 weeks old Northern Inuit who has suffered from Giardia since I've had her. She has been treated with 3 courses of Panicur, 1 of Pro-kolin and 1 of Canicur-pro but she is still not 100%. Having spoken to breeders and also to Nick Thompson (holistic vet) I think that a raw diet would suit her best but I am unsure how best to supply her with all the nutrients she needs. I cannot afford to buy already prepared raw diet as I also have 5 other dogs but would like to give it a try myself. Iam also worried about raw bones as I've read that even raw bones can cause serious damage, is this correct?
    Any advice would be very gratefully received.
    Yours sincerely

    1. Hi Francoise,

      Firstly the Giardia. I thought Metronidazole (Flagyl as it used to be known) was the treatment of choice. Certainly when I had Giardia 30 years ago, that was the successful treatment. You need to make sure that has been thoroughly treated.

      The raw food diet does not need to be a company manufactured food. Get raw carcasses (e.g chicken) / raw meaty bones and put them through a mincer for the first few weeks (your friendly butcher will probably do that for you), until the dogs all get used to having really good quality proper food. Mix that with liquidized greens about half and half. Mix Pet Plus with that and then you have an excellently proportioned raw food.

      By this time, the dogs all know they are going to get proper food at every meal, so they're less likely to just gulp it down. You could offer them a raw meaty chicken wing / drum stick each after their minced meal. They'll crunch it up and swallow it before you know what's happened! As long as that goes OK, you could then offer them each several raw meaty bones next time. Then you can give them each a whole chicken carcass, raw and meaty. The essential points are raw meaty bones have to be raw and have to be meaty. I feed my dogs on rabbits that have been killed on the road as well. I sprinkle the Pet Plus onto the raw meaty bones but I haven't had great success mixing vegetables with that! It just makes a big mess!I alternate feeding them minced meat, bone and veg one day, raw meaty bones the next. I mix Pet Plus with all of their food.

      Following this raw food diet should vastly reduce your vet bills! We rarely see raw food fed dogs at the vets. It's all the processed food fed animals that get ill.

      Raw meaty bones rarely cause a problem. Cooked bones nearly always cause problems because they are indigestible as their enzymes have been destroyed by cooking. This usually results in severe constipation or diarrhoea. Cooked bones are also brittle, so can break into sharp pieces which are very dangerous as they can perforate the gut.
      Raw bones without any meat are nutritionally imbalanced, as is meat without any bone, so always feed as nature provides, meat and bone together.

      If your dog still has diarrhoea after a course of Metronidazole to kill off the parasite Giardia, I'd suggest not only adding Pet Plus to her diet, but also treating the diarrhoea with medicinal clay (Argiletz green clay seems to be the best; I can supply it), Aloe Vera and extra probiotics, given 4 times daily, the first day being without food, the next few days being raw egg and boiled brown rice, then going onto raw white meats (mainly rabbit and chicken, minced meat and bone) and raw white non-oily fish. Once the whole thing has settled down for at least a week, you could gradually introduce redder meats.

      There is a lot of advice on diarrhoea on my web site.

      Let me know how I can be of further help.


  5. Hi Suzi,

    I've been reading through your blog. We have a 10 week old staffy who has been on raw food for 2 weeks now. We have been feeding him raw veg, meat, some offal and eggs mixed up in various "menu" form through this time, along with chicken drumstics, wings and egg shell for calcium on the days where he's not been having bone. I've just noticed your post saying that drumsticks in a 4 month old may be too soon (meaning we're way off the mark!) so I will stop feeding him them. Are there any other bones we can give him at this age for variety or should we stick to chicken wings?

    Also this morning, for the first time he has had loose stools and a gargling sound in his stomach. We didn't know whether it's best to skip a meal (he's currently eating three times a day) to allow him to settle? Are there any natural remedies we can use? I'm ordering pet plus to add to his diet too.


    Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Well done for starting him on raw! That should keep him in prime health for ever!

      Raw chicken wings are great for puppies and onwards. You can cut the rib cage out of a raw chicken carcass or feed whole raw sardines and sprats to get the balance of meat and bone. Rabbit front legs and ribs are small boned too. I wouldn't feed anything bigger boned than that until his adult teeth are fully erupted and have had time to strengthen, so about 12-18 months old, then you could give him raw chicken drumsticks.

      The gurgling in his tummy and loose stools could be a result of feeding him too much food that's too rich, like offal (liver, kidney, heart) or it could be worms. Have you wormed him? If not, I'd recommend you do. There are various herbal ones available. I use Verm-X on all my animals.

      To help settle his tummy and stools, I'd suggest you get some aloe vera from the health food shop and mix it with some medicinal clay (e.g. Argiletz) which I can supply. Give him about 5mls 4 times daily for 2-4 days, until his bowels have settled again. This acts as an adsorbent and draws the toxins out of the gut, while the aloe vera acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces the irritation. The probiotics and prebiotics will then recolonize the gut with healthy bacteria and so stabilize it all again.

      It would be a good idea to stick to bland food for the moment, like raw eggs, fish, rabbit, chicken and some boiled brown rice until it's all settled down.

      Have a look at the information on diarrhoea on my web site too.

      Let me know how you get on, but don't let it get out of hand. Go and see your vet if it gets worse.


      1. Fantastic - Thanks Suzi!

        He was fine by the afternoon, which was great. I think we had maybe been giving him too much offal as you suggested. We haven't wormed him since collecting him from the breeders, due to the carcinogens in the worming solutions and so Verm-X will be being on order this afternoon. 😀

        Would you suggest boiled rice only when he has a poorly tummy then? I know that grains are not generally advised, and being new to this, just want to check that I'm not missing it out of his diet unnecessarily.

        Have to admit I had to "google" sprats, but that will be added to the mix.

        Thank you SO much for your help - I have so far contended with two vet visits where I've had to argue my reasoning for not feeding junk to my pup, and between your wonderful help and WDDTY, I'm feeling more and more equipped to stand my ground.

        1. Great news Sarah. Well done.

          You're exactly right. Boiled rice is very useful only for helping tummy upsets. I would not feed it normally at all. After all, where would a dog in the wild get boiled rice?

          Sardines are also great, if you can't find sprats, but remember they must be whole, fresh and raw, not out of a tin!

          Yes, it's difficult to deal with vets that haven't yet learned of the benefits of raw food. They are doing their best to help pets and their owners, so the best thing we can do is to lead by example and show them great results to encourage them to learn bout raw feeding. I was a 'normal' vet for the first 13 years of my career, even feeding Eukanuba to my own cats! Once the penny dropped, I put my 4 apparently healthy cats onto raw food and their health improved dramatically. Now I look back and regret not understanding about raw food from day 1. Gradually, more and more vets are realizing that raw food is the best food for all animals, including humans!! It's my mission to stimulate this change as fast as possible.

          Best wishes,


  6. Hi Suzi,

    I have a 4 month old Golden Retriever bitch, and I buy my fruit and veg from Riverford Organic.

    Would it be ok to feed my puppy the chicken wings, drumsticks/ thighs from Riverford?


    1. Hi Suzi,

      On another note, my puppy (Poppy) keeps getting eye infections. She has been on several courses of antibiotic eye ointment, but each time the infection comes back after about a week or so of the last treatment.

      I wipe Poppy's eyes with Silver solution every morning and wash her bedding regularly so I'm wondering if you can suggest anything that might help.

      Thank you very much,


      1. Hi Melissa,

        When did the eye infections start? When was she vaccinated? Does she rub her face on something to itch her eyes? Do you use any powders like talc or carpet powders or anything? They're lethal! Any building work going on? Cement dust is terrible. Are they worse after anything in particular?

        It might well be that they're not actually infected, but just irritated with an allergic reaction to something. Do you use natural washing liquids? Make sure you thoroughly rinse it after washing. Don't use any fabric softeners, just chemical free cleaning and drying.

        I have found the colloidal silver excellent, but you need to actually rinse her eyes out with it rather than just wiping the outside. So get some 2 ml syringes, put about 2 mls in the syringe ( no needles, just the plastic syringe) and flush it along the conjunctiva. That will flush out the allergens as well as being antibacterial. Use a new syringe for each eye and each time you do it, so throw the syringe away after each use. Do this about 6 times a day until the discharge stops and the conjunctiva look paler, usually only a few days.

        I hope that helps.

        Looking forward to your comments.


        1. Hi Suzi,

          I currrently feed Poppy 2 meals a day (breakfast and lunch) of Lily's Kitchen holistic and organic tinned food, with a little of their Organic Chicken and Vegetable Bake, and her evening meal is raw minced meat and bone from Nature's Choice or the raw sausages from Green Dog Deli - these contain raw meat, bone and organic veg, fruit, seeds and herbs. She also has a Lily's Kitchen Organic Bedtime biscuit last thing at night. I also add various supplements to the raw mince - Acerola cherry powder for Vitamin C, Cider Vinegar, Wild Salmon Oil, Borage Oil or Flaxseed Oil, along with liquidised raw or lightly steamed vegetables blended in a Vitamix. I have been adding an enzyme and probiotic blend to Poppy's food when I give her Lily's Kitchen - I will be getting your Pets Plus product next time.

          I was beginning to wonder whether the inflammation was being caused by an allergic reaction to something. The problem with her eyes started at around 9 weeks of age - a couple of weeks after we brought her home from the breeder - the breeder fed Poppy a mostly raw food diet - various Prize Choice minces, bashed up chicken wings along with some scrambled egg and tinned sardines (not all at once!). I'm wondering whether it would be better to feed Poppy 100% raw rather than a mixture of raw and the slow cooked Lily's Kitchen food.

          I have been looking at Darlings and Natural Instinct. If I were to go 100% raw, what would you recommend as a feeding plan for Poppy?

          If it's not food related, I wondered if the fact that Poppy likes to dig in the garden could be a problem, and that soil is getting into her eyes. Could it be possible that she is affected by pollen in the air?

          Poppy has not been conventionally vaccinated - I have used nosodes. She doesn't seem to be that bothered by her eyes when they become inflamed - she doesn't rub them, they just look red and she gets grey or green discharge in the inner corner of her eyes. The lower part of her eyes also look droopy.

          I only use natural cleaning products around the house, and everyone in the house only uses natural personal care products so I don't think the problem is chemical related.

          I use Verm -X for the control of internal parasites and add Billy No Mates to Poppy's food to prevent fleas and ticks.

          Regarding the chicken wings from Riverford, I wondered if they would be okay for Poppy, as I bought some organic minced lamb from Sainsbury's, as I like the idea of Poppy having organic, raw meat. However, it gave her an upset stomach, so I therefore wondered if I should stick to meat that has been produced for dogs such as those produced by Natural Instinct, Darlings etc.

          I see that Darlings now offer Pork as an option, however, I read that pork isn't suitable for dogs - what is your view on this?

          I will definitely try flushing out Poppy's eyes with Silver in a syringe. I really do hope we can get to the bottom of all this.

          I have noticed that Poppy's puppy fur has now been replaced by a strip of fairly course hair down the center of her back - is this normal for Golden Retrievers? The rest of Poppy's fur is soft.

          Thank you so much for your help and advise.


          1. Hi Melissa,

            Thanks for your detailed reply! Sorry to be so slow replying. We've had a wonderfully chaotic time here with our daughter graduating with a First in Architecture, both sons finishing at school, having a big party for her 21st and all their milestones and now the dust has settled for a few days...

            Definitely give her 100% raw food, including the vegetables. A Vitamix can liquidize anything, but it's best if you cut them up a bit first. All cooked and processed food is damaged and denatured so should be completely avoided.

            I don't feed pork either, but I suspect it's the food the pigs are given that's the problem. Organic 'fee range' pigs should have a great diet so should be OK to feed to dogs and cats. In the wild, dogs and cats would eat pigs, but of course a wild pig has rather a different diet from a farmed one, but organic, 'free range' pigs, like those Darlings use, are the closest we can easily get.

            The lamb mince you gave her was probably too fatty for her and had no bone in it, essential for a carnivore's diet. If you want to use organic, which is definitely the best, use the organic Darlings range of mined meat, bone and veg. Let her get settled on that first, then in a month or 2, offer her some raw chicken wings.

            The key is to keep it simple. I'd suggest you start her on Darlings, cut out all those supplements for a week, then gradually introduce them one at a time, a week on each one, then you'll see if she's allergic to anything. Or just start on Pet Plus. I'd feed her the Darlings food 3 times daily now and give her the Verm-x as a treat when you put her in her bed at night.

            Puppy fur does gradually become adult fur from about 6 months usually, so by the end of the summer, she'll probably have a lustrous shiny adult coat! But each dog is different, so they do all these things at their own pace.

            The eye anomaly should just go once her immune system has settled when she's on 100% raw food.

            Usually, there's no need for flea repellents of any sort as on raw food, they simply don't attract fleas. Pet Plus also contains Brewer's Yeast which helps to deter fleas.

            Good for you using nosodes. Well done!

            I hope that helps.

            Let me know what happens.


          2. Hi Suzi,

            Thank you so much for your advise. Fantastic news about your daughter's degree - you must be a very proud Mum 🙂

            My cousin bought some Pet Plus for Poppy, so she has been having that for a couple of weeks now - I can see an improvement in Poppy's eyes already.

            Am also going to put Poppy onto 100% raw.

            I'll keep you posted.

            All the best,


    2. Hi Melissa,

      I think that 4 months is a bit young for the drumsticks, but the wings should be fine as long as they are fed raw and she is used to raw food.
      Is she already on a raw food diet? If not, I'd suggest you start on some minced raw meat and bone like Darlings or Natural Instincts or Prize Choice with liquidized greens and Pet Plus to make sure she's used to the raw food first.
      After a couple of weeks, you could give her the raw chicken wings, but they absolutely must be raw. If you cook them, they are very dangerous to feed as they become completely indigestible, sharp and brittle.
      When she's about a year old, you could give her the whole carcass raw. They sell them in pairs and for a big dog like her, a pair of raw chicken carcasses would be a great meal for the day!
      Let me know if you have any questions.

  7. Hi Suzi, just a quick update on Bruno my 8 year old GSD. He is now on a raw diet and petplus for 11 weeks and the transformation is amazing. He also takes, aloe vera juice with his morning meal and flaxseed oil with his evening meal to help with his itchiness. I think he is going through detox still which is why he is still itchy and I bath him in neem shampoo about once a week and apply neem lotion to help with this. While he is still itchy, there are no more sores (for the first time in 5 years) and the extent to which he scratches is definitely decreasing. Best of all though is, he is on no medication at all and has been off steroids completely now for about 2 weeks, having been on them continuously for 5 years. He hasnt had any more bouts of colitis either. I am over the moon with the progress he has made in such a short time and my only regret is that I didnt know about the benefits of a raw diet and petplus years ago.

    I have also started my 2 year old working cocker, Mollie on a raw diet. She has problems with her ears, and although I clean them at least once a week, alot of brown wax seems to accumulate in them. I suspect this is also caused by yeast so I am hoping this will improve with her new diet. I was wondering if you could let me know if I am on the right road with treating Mollie's ears and if you could recommend a good, natural ear cleaner for her?

    1. Hi Anne,

      Brilliant news about Bruno! Well done. Now tell all your friends!! The more people know about feeding healthy raw food to their dogs and cats the better!

      Most floppy eared breeds are prone to ear infections because the ear flap covers the ear hole all the time, so there is little air circulation. This leads to a warm, damp environment, perfect for yeast, fungi, parasites like ear mites and bacteria! If Mollie can bear it, tie her ear flaps up for as much of the day as possible to encourage air circulation. The Neem Lotion is antifungal so you could apply a little on a cotton bud, but don't go down any further than you can see. Nutribiotic do a lovely ear drop preparation in USA. It contains grapefruit seed extract (GSE) which is very helpful. You could get some GSE and dilute it with a little water and clean her ears with that. Forever Living do an excellent cream called Aloe Propilis which you could apply on a cotton bud also. I can supply you with some if you like.

      The other thing to think about is why is she producing all this ear wax? It could be because of the damp environment and the irritating microbes and parasites, but most likely it is a result of a food intolerance. I imagine she was on processed food before you started on the raw and inflamed ears are often triggered by gluten and dairy. So now she's off those nasty processed foods and onto wonderful raw food, she will detox then repair. So she might well produce even more wax as her system cleans up, then she can start to repair. As she's young, she has less clearing up to do, so it should be a quicker process than in an older dog. We rescued a lovely dog who I think was about 8. She had awfully itchy, waxy ears which got much better on raw, but they were always sensitive. As soon as we had builders here, they gave her bits of their sandwiches and she was itchy again straight away.

      I hope that helps.


  8. Dear Suzanna,I am going to start my pets on the supplements.It makes me wonder what you would recommend for humans.I take 1 capsule of flax seed oil daily, a kelp tablet and boron.My diet is mostly veggie.I am 61 years old.
    I also need to know whether to continue to give the pets their daily pinch of brewers yeast and kelp in their food.
    Thank you, Lesley.

    1. Thanks Lesley.

      There is brewer's yeast in Pet Plus so they won't need that. I didn't put kelp in the Pet Plus because of its high iodine content which is not appropriate for all dogs, but all the greens and other ingredients in the Pet Plus provide everything they need, so you don't need the kelp.
      For humans, we've been taking Juice Plus for 17 years now. It's brilliant! There's a lot of information on my Juice Plus web site.
      I also take about a tablespoonful of flax seed oil daily in my green juice. The amount you need depends on your state of health and dehydration, but I think you would probably benefit from taking more than one capsule a day and, if you can, just take the oil, not a capsule, as it's usually better absorbed and, of course, cheaper! It's a great source of omega 3 oil. I also take either 2 dessert spoons full of flax seeds (linseed is the same thing) soaked overnight in water or 3 teaspoons full of Chia seeds soaked for 10 minutes in water, every morning, as additional omega 3.
      If you are in doubt about your own diet, you might want to seek the advice of a qualified naturopath or nutritionist. I am currently studing human naturopathy and have found great benefit in adding the flax and chia to my diet, in addition to my mainstay, the Juice Plus.
      We do run a free nutrition webinar once a month, so let me know if you're interested and I can give you the information.
      Hope that's helpful.

  9. Hi Suzi, Bruno now on raw diet and pet plus for 7 weeks as well as aloe vera juice. I have noticed a huge improvement in his coat condition, stools, energy levels and just all round level of interest. However, he started coming out in sores last week intially on one side of his body (top of his back leg) and now on the same area of the right side. They start off as red blotches and then small red spots appear which then turn black. He is quite itchy so I give him an antihistamine per day and he is on 4mg of medrone every other day. I am reluctant to increase steroids but worried that the sores might get out of control - is there anything I should be doing or is this just a case of him getting rid of the toxins?

    1. Hi Anne, Thanks for letting me know how well Bruno has been!
      I'm sorry to hear about the return of some itchy bits. Are these recent sores in the same places he used to have them? I suspect that the skin there is still rather vulnerable. I'd suggest you bath him in some Neem shampoo. It has antifungal and healing properties. The Neem lotion is also soothing and healing, so I'd recommend you rub that in after shampooing him and then 2-4 times every day. You could also give him a tablespoonful of flax (linseed) oil in his food daily as that will help his skin to repair, as long as it doesn't upset his tummy, so start with a teaspoonful and slowly increase. Flax (linseed) is rich in the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acid. Are you giving him plenty of liquidized greens in his food? That helps too.
      While you wait for the delivery of the Neem, bathe the areas in Aloe Vera and rub in some Aloe Vera cream with bee propilis in it. I can send you some if you like.
      Let me know how you get on.

      1. Hi Suzi, the sores are in exactly the same place as he has had them regularly before. I have ordered some Neem Shampoo and lotion. I will start giving him the flaxseed oil. He gets lots of liquidised greens (usually spinach and brocolli) every day. I had started using Aloe Vera cream and it is helping in that the redness goes for a while (few hours) but then returns. Having said that, he seems to be coping with the sores much better than he did in the past in that he is less miserable and they are not becoming as big nor do they become yellow/green.and raw looking. I am convinced that he is definitely much better than he has ever been so I am determined to keep going as you suggest and hopefully the sores will become a thing of the past. I now have Mollie my working cocker on the raw diet and petplus and have noticed the difference in her well being as well - so I am delighted!!!

        Many thanks for your time and all your help.

  10. My GSD is 8 years old and has been on steroids, piritin, antibiotics and antifungal medication for about 5 years because of yeast infections (Maselezzia) and lately and for the first time he has had two bouts of colitis. He has been fed on either lamb and rice or fish and potato/rice kibble all his life. I am on my second attempt at feeding a raw diet and I bought petplus. I waited until the colitis cleared up and he was antibiotic free. However, he had been on 4mg medrone per day and as I couldnt stop these suddenly I tried reducing them when I started the raw diet . After about 3 weeks of the raw diet and pet plus, I had reduced him to 2mg per day but he became miserable with large red blotches on this sides and back and black gunk in one eye and was scratching and biting himself. Unfortunately, I had to increase medrone to 4 mg twice per day along with an oral antifungal tab twice a day and antifungal shampoo. I still have him on the raw diet but its the steroids I really want him off - I thought maybe I had reduced them too quickly - can you advise?

    1. Thanks for your comment Anne.
      His symptoms suggest that he has a lot of toxins to get rid of. When you start on raw food, his body has the energy to devote some effort to detoxifying his system, so he'll be excreting the accumulated toxins through every possible route. These are usually skin, bowels and lungs. So with the toxins coming out through his skin, he has ended up with sores again and might well have more bouts of colitis as his body detoxes through his bowels.
      I'd suggest doing exactly what you have done, increasing his dose to control the symptoms, but do carry on with the raw and Pet Plus so that he can continue to rid himself of the toxins. You could add Aloe Vera either to his food or water or just give it to him by syringe by mouth. You can buy this at the health food shops. Pukka is a good, chemical-free make. You could also try some Aloe Vera based shampoos. Aloe Vera acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory with no side effects, so using that to support him as well might enable you to reduce the steroids in a few weeks, but not yet!!
      Are you feeding him a simple raw diet, of raw meat and bone, raw liquidized greens and Pet Plus? Make sure he has absolutely no gluten (so no biscuits etc) or dairy products at all. These are such common allergens and totally inappropriate for dogs...and cats....and humans for that matter!
      Hope that helps.

      1. Many thanks for this Suzi, I will do as you suggest and get the aloe vera. Because of the setback we had, at the moment I am introducing him to raw food slowly iagain in that I mix it in with fish that I cook for him plus liquidised greens and pet plus or I alternate giving him raw chicken wings, turkey mince one day and a mix of cooked salmon and white fish the next day and all with liquidised greens and pet plus. I used to give him a bone occasionally (one a month as he scoffs the lot and then brings up bits of bone) but the last one I gave him 2 weeks ago again he ate the lot and then started bringing bits of the bone up but there was quite a bit of blood with it and although he was none the worse for wear, the sight of the blood put me off giving him any more. I was thinking of giving him bone meal as an alternative.

        1. Hi Anne,
          I'd absolutely avoid bone meal as a supplement. You'd be much better off using one of the minced meat and bone frozen products, like Prize Choice, Darlings or Natural Instincts.
          I'm very alarmed about your bone incident. What sort of bones do you use? This kind of thing rarely happens with raw bones as they are so digestible normally. I'd suggest using the minced meat and bone mixes for a few months, then maybe try a smaller raw meaty bone, like chicken wings / drumsticks. I give mine an organic raw chicken carcasse from Riverford Organics every 2-3 days. They love it and have never vomited blood and bones afterwards. This certainly warrants further investigation. I look forward to hearing exactly what sort of bones you've been using.

          1. Thanks Suzi, will take your advice re: bone meal and I have ordered some Prize Choice for him. I normally go to my local butcher for bones and there would not normally be a lot of meat on them. I am giving him chicken wings/drumsticks which he enjoys alot and doesnt have any problem with the bone in them. Sorry I cant be more specific about the bones, other than I take what the butcher gives me.

          2. Thanks Anne, I'm glad the raw chicken wings and drum sticks are going down well. That's sweet of your butcher to give you the bones. I'd suggest you avoid pork as it seems to be more likely to cause problems than any herbivore's bones. Perhaps you could ask your butcher (if you try his bones again) what the bones are and ask him for meaty bones, like sheep / lamb neck. Or just stick to the raw chicken wings and drumsticks! Let's hope this all has solved your problem.

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