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What Does BARF Mean for Dogs And Cats?

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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.

Our ancestors ate foods that allowed the to survive

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.

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.

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.