What Is the BARF Diet for Puppies? Benefits and Guide

barf diet

Proper nutrition during the juvenile stage is essential for the animal’s development and proper health until adulthood. This is why many people wonder if a BARF diet for puppies is good enough for their health and future.

The truth is, bringing a puppy home is always a cause for joy, but for many it can mean a lot of headaches. They are probably one of the most difficult aspects of their diet, so in this article you will find everything you need to know about the BARF diet at that time in their life. Don’t miss it.

What is the BARF diet?

barf diet

First of all, the most important thing is to define this term. You may have heard it everywhere for a few years now, as it was created in the 1980s and became popular in the rest of the world from 1993.

The acronym BARF stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”. Therefore, the idea of ​​this diet is to offer a diet based on raw food rather than feed and tailored to the needs of the dog species and each individual dog.

In simpler terms, it’s about crafting a diet for your dog, just as you would do it yourself, but keeping in mind its nutritional needs as a dog. However, the question arises whether a puppy can afford this type of diet. Let’s see.

Can a puppy follow this diet?

If you want to follow the BARF diet for puppies, fine. Remember, if they lived free, they would start eating the same food as their mother as soon as they stopped breastfeeding. The right age to start the transition is one and a half months.

In fact, a properly designed BARF diet provides excellent health benefits for your little one. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • It prevents skin problems, especially allergies.
  • It provides more energy as it is balanced according to their needs.
  • It helps to develop good muscle mass.
  • It prevents oral problems such as tartar and gingivitis.
  • Improves capillary health.
  • Provides good moisturization through intake.

How can I detail a BARF diet for my puppy?

barf diet

To design a BARF diet for puppies, there are 2 key points you need to know: the amount of food they should be getting and their nutritional needs. Let’s take a look at them in detail.

Age-appropriate amount of food on the BARF diet

Puppies need more food than adult dogs because they are constantly growing. While an adult consumes (on average) 2.5% of their own weight, take a look at the needs of teenagers:

2-4 months: They consume 10% of their weight.
4-6 months: 8% of their weight in food.
6-8 months: The amount decreases to 6%.
8-10 months: They need to eat 4% of their weight.
10-12 months: At this stage, it drops to 3% before adulthood.

Puppy nutritional needs

From the time of weaning, the puppy’s nutritional needs will change depending on the stage of growth. To give you an idea, he will need 3 times his resting energy needs until he reaches 50% of his adult weight. This figure will decrease to 20% when it reaches 80% of its weight.

On the other hand, fats and proteins are also very important at this stage because if they are not properly controlled, musculoskeletal problems are very likely to occur in adulthood. A puppy needs 22.5% protein and 8.5% fat in its diet, both of which are of high biological value.

Vitamins and minerals are also required at this stage. Remember that the puppy also develops its immune system, its bones grow, its digestive system changes, and its nervous system develops at a rapid pace.

Considerations in the BARF dog diet

Many people are attracted to such diets, partly because they are designed specifically for each puppy, and partly because they are perceived as a higher quality food than commercial feeds. However, the following points should be kept in mind:

  • It’s a much more expensive diet than a food-based one.
  • It takes time to prepare, as it needs to be varied and prepared every day.
  • You need to do a thorough study of the dog’s special needs and lifestyle.
  • Because a natural vegetable diet would require too many supplements, it is not considered suitable for dogs taking 100% plant food.
  • Food should be given raw, which increases the risk of contracting certain diseases. Still, the meat can be frozen to avoid some.

As a result, the best way to tell if it’s okay to feed your puppy raw food is to go to the vet for advice.

You can also take advantage of the services of people who specialize in this type of nutrition to detail the whole process. Above all, remember that the BARF diet requires your constant attention to be complete and nutritious at any age.

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