The BARF Method
Not all meaty bones contain the same ratio of meat to bone; the ideal ratio would be 1:1. This ratio is important because bone is an important source of calcium and meat is a source of phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus should be available in the diet at a certain ratio (1:1 – 1:2) to be absorbable. When a bone contains little meat, it must be complemented with extra meat. Another factor is the structure of the bone; hard bone contains more calcium than soft bone. It’s therefore important to pay attention to the faeces of your dog or cat. When the faeces are hard, this usually means that there is too much bone in the diet or the bone structure is too hard.
|A balanced diet contains on average 15% organ meat. It’s important to vary the diet with differing organs such as; heart, tripe/rumen, kidneys, lung and liver.|
These organs vary in amino acid profiles and vitamin and mineral contents. Liver for example is a very important source of vitamin A, which is why we advise to feed liver but no more than 5%.
Vitamin A (and D, E and K) are fat soluble and can therefore be overdosed in a diet. Furthermore, liver can have a laxative effect on animals if fed in too high a volume.
When a dog or cat has too loose a stools this may be an indication of too high a proportion of organ meat in their diet.
|Muscle meat is an important source of amino acids, zinc and vitamin B12. We advise to feed on average 30% muscle meat.|
This part is very dependent on the amount of meat on the meaty bones that are fed.
Finally the diet can be completed with seeds, vegetables, fruit, eggs and oils. These additions can supply extra vitamins, minerals, fibres and fatty acids. When for example fish is not fed every week, this can be compensated by adding fish oil.
Types of meat
It’s not only necessary to vary with muscle meat, bones, organs and additional products, but also to vary the types of meat. More information about this is found in the 'variation for a balanced diet' advice section.
Whole Prey Diets
Another feeding method is whole prey feeding. When feeding according to this method typically whole prey items are fed. Prey species which are usually used are: fish (sprats, mackerel, herring, sardine etc.), day old chicks, mice, quails, pigeons, guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens. It is important to remember when feeding according to this method variation is still very important.