I was gonna switch to BARF till i read this

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

I was gonna switch to BARF till i read this

Postby myers » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:58 pm

Is Raw Meat Safe?

The issue of feeding raw meat as part (or the entirety) of a domestic dog's diet, has proven to be very dangerous. What started out as an unresearched and unsubstantiated diet that qualified veterinarians dismissed as a "fad", has now become a real threat for the well meaning dog lovers who are striving to give their dog's the best. click here to hear what just a few vets have to say. Additionally, dogs who are not on a raw meat diet are still at risk because of parasites and bacteria spread through feces at commonly shared parks.

Veterinarians across the United States have grave concerns about raw meat and bones in a dog’s diet. History and current statistics show us that both wild and domestic dogs who eat raw meat and bones can and do become very ill for a number of reasons.

There has been a significant increase in a variety of illnesses due to a raw meat diet. Some dogs become ill right away and others have severe pancreatic, kidney, heart and brain illnesses due to a long-term raw meat diet. Most dogs that die from a raw meat / bones diet do not show signs of illness until a few days before it kills them. This is true with Pancreatitis and with the raw chicken or turkey necks and backs that injure the stomach and intestinal area.

Advocates of a raw meat/bone diet make a giant leap from a low quality kibble to raw meat and bones, skipping over a more common sense solution. A home-made diet with cooked meat. Any initial results they might see with a raw meat diet are a result of an "absence" of one or more ingredients of the kibble - NOT the "presence" of raw meat. I am very much in favor of home-made diets made with cooked meat and grains, raw veggies and fruits, as long as you have researched your dog's current health status and breeding history if possible.

I considered a raw diet for my dog and decided to challenge the idea by thoroughly investigating everyone’s claims (on both sides of the fence). It has evolved into an 11 year independent study. The most compelling evidence are the growing number of dogs I have known to actually die from a raw turkey or chicken back/neck tearing apart their stomach. Intestinal parasites from the raw meat causing a slow death or severe illness. Female dogs on a raw meat diet are more commonly dying while giving birth to a litter.

Throughout my research, I have interviewed and collected data from several top veterinary universities and nutrition experts with degrees in science and biology. Not one of these credited experts could honestly say that a raw meat and/or bone diet for domestic dogs was anywhere near the realm of safe. In addition, I have not found a holistic practitioner or raw meat advocate that can provide evidence that raw meat actually benefits the dog. For example, I’m often told "my dog has a beautiful coat". Raw meat is high in fat - this could also be accomplished with olive oil added to their diet, without the risk of illnesses associated with raw meat. New studies are coming out frequently - all opposed to raw meat and bone diets.

Advocates of a raw meat diet feel that it’s "bringing your dog back to a more natural style of living". None of the people who are promoting a b.a.r.f. diet (that I have encountered) have actually had contact with a wild dog. Dr. Billinghurst admittedly has never done any studies on wolves or wild dogs. I have. I have a wolf sanctuary, and the truth is that wild-born wolves taken into captivity are typically malnutritioned. Most people *assume* that because wild dogs don't have the opportunity to cook their food, that nature has set up the perfect diet for them. This is simply not true. We know from their carcasses that they die of splintered fowl bones and have very bad dentalia (dental problems).

As for the statement that raw meat is a biologically correct food, Humans have survived healthfully on cooked foods for thousands of years. It is more than safe to say that diseases such as Cancer are not caused by cooking your meat.

There are a variety of raw meat menus being offered. You can also find several home-made raw meat diets on websites. It’s possible that some of these menus or products are better/safer than others. However, I have been told by experienced veterinarians and nutritionists that they all have in common - they are extremely unbalanced and also put your dog at risk of contracting dangerous bacteria and parasites. This is not my own opinion, but that of the top veterinary universities and true nutritional experts. Anyone to deny there is risk, is fooling themselves!

What Are the Known Benefits of a Raw Meat Diet?

There are no studies showing any benefit that raw meat is directly responsible for. Dr. Billinghurst has been asked several times, publicly, to provide an documentation or studies on his "theory" or proof he has any knowledge of wolves and wild dogs, yet fails to produce such evidence. As well, holistic practitioners that recommend raw meat have been unable to provide any type of evidence. Especially one so great that you should risk the health of your dog.

On the other hand, as more people experiment with raw meat diets, veterinarians are seeing frequent cases of pancreatitis, ulcers, malnutrition, injuries due to the raw bones, systemic bacterial poisoning and other conditions. I continue to receive frequent emails from people who once swore by barf, and have now left the discussion group with very sick dogs.

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Can a Dog Overcome Illnesses on a Raw Meat Diet?

No! When an improvement in a previous condition is seen after feeding raw meat to a dog, it is more likely due to the absence of some offending agent in the food they were eating before.

Some people see what they perceive to be immediate results from the barf diet...a shiny coat, or some type of condition has cleared up. Raw meat has a high fat content that will sometimes give a dog a shiny coat (at least initially). While coat texture can be a sign of good health, it's not a reliable measure of a dog's health.

The truth is that it's NOT the element of *raw* meat that improves a dog's health. They would see the same results with cooked meat. Often times it's simply the absence of one or more ingredient(s) in the kibble they were feeding. When you go from a low quality kibble to barf, you're basically hopping out of the pot and into the fire.

In other words, you could have taken your dog off their current food and put them on another commercial food, or possibly a vet-supervised homemade diet with small amounts of cooked meat, and seen an improvement in the condition - without the dangers of raw meat. Veterinary Universities believe (and I agree) that better nutrition and veterinary care is extending the average dog's lifespan past what is normal, which is why we see chronic cases such as diabetes or cancer. Overbreeding has resulted in an increase of dysplasia, allergies and skin conditions. These are effected by diet, but caused by genetics (poor genealogy from overbreeding and puppy mills).

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Why Do Veterinarians Recommend It Then?

Very few do recommend raw meat diets. I find it disturbing that the ones I have spoken to who do endorse the idea of feeding raw meat and bones did not have any medically sound reason for doing so, nor could they dispute the data I presented. They just retreat to the position that "dogs in the wild eat it", without acknowledging that wild dogs are malnutritioned and have shortened life spans from their diet.

One veterinarian who has seen an increase in illnesses due to feeding raw meat reported to me that he treated a 6 month-old puppy who had been on the raw meat diet from a book, "Give Your Dog a Bone". The owners had been diligent in strictly following the book's instructions for their dog's diet. This dog had a severe case of Eosiniphilic Panosteitis (Panos), which is not caused directly by diet, but can be greatly effected by it. The poor puppy was so lame he could barely support his own weight. This is not an isolated case - I have also received email from numerous dog owners whose dogs are having projectile bloody diarrhea and severe bacterial poisoning while on Dr. Billinghurst's raw meat diet. It is just an example of health problems I believe will become increasingly common as dogs on these diets suffer poor health. There are a number of disorders a dog could have where human food of almost any kind (raw meat and dairy, in particular) could seriously harm them, Pancreatits being one example. Click here for more examples; Testimonies

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Who is Advocating Raw Meat for Dogs?

The raw meat 'theory' has been made popular by a few vets-turned authors such as Ian Billinghurst and Dr. Pitcairn. From there, many other holistic vets who put their trust into these authors have exuberantly promoted the concept. These authors have created a significant paranoia - to the point where people are afraid to cook their food or purchase any commercial food products. Interestingly, most people following this diet only apply the logic to their dog's diet and continue eating cooked foods themselves.

They are contradicting what the great majority of veterinarians and qualified animal nutritionists have determined to be true. I have not met anyone who could provide scientific data to support these claims.

The owners of B.A.R.F. (Bones and Raw Food) websites and Internet discussion lists are (to my knowledge) dog owners and breeders, not veterinarians. They provide questionable testimony and are not qualified to be prescribing diets for your dog, or advising on alternative medicine in any way. A qualified, respected veterinarian would not do this over the internet.

These "followers" of Billinghurst, Pitcairn, Schultz and other authors are so dependant on the books that they casually refer to it as their "bible." The barf lists on the Internet are very much "cult-like." You will be warned if you even mention my website, and banned if you agree with it. They will not tolerate ANY opinion other than their own and are extremely hostile toward anything that challenges their belief system. Barfers have retaliated to my website/article by attempting to discredit me with accusations of being affiliated to a commercial dog company. So for the record, I do not sell dog commercial dog food. I am not selling anything.

There are a few Internet discussion groups against the feeding of B.A.R.F - however, they have had to go "underground" because the members of B.A.R.F lists will join and make it impossible to have a discussion without arguments and attack. Barfers have even gone as far as to start discussion lists posing as "anti-barf" groups, only to lure in people who are looking for more information, and to attack those who speak out against B.A.R.F. It's absurd!

Sadly, many of the discussions on the barf message boards are about how ill the dogs are from raw meat/bones. People who are new to feeding B.A.R.F. are told that symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, choking on raw bones, and other health problems are perfectly normal, as their dogs are "purging" toxins. I receive numerous emails from people who have left these lists due to their dogs becoming very ill or actually dieing from the barf or other raw meat diets.

The makers of raw meat diets sold in pet stores that I have met are not vets, and do not have a science/microbiology background nor experience in the practice of veterinary medicine. They have been salesman, groomers, or simply dog owners. Their information seems to be wholly derived from those books written concerning the raw meat diets without examining the subject in a critical way. And, there are others that act as nutrition consultants... bearing in mind that "Nutrition Specialist" is a meaningless title with no certification required. I don't say this to insult anyone, but it is something that consumers should be aware of.

Unfortunately, the raw meat diet manufacturers and authors of books providing home-made diet recipes base their opinions on the concept of what they assume is the "wild dog diet". They seem to disregard the hard scientifically proven facts and statistics about the typical health of a wild dog due to it's diet, and injury and deaths to both wild and domestic dogs directly related to consumption of raw meat and bones.

Furthermore, many authors of raw meat diets or makers of such a diet present ludicrous unsupportable claims as fact, such as these:

(1) raw chicken and turkey bones will not splinter (in fact, they are the most common bone to kill a dog).

(3) pasteurized products contribute to arthritis.

(4) mixing proteins causes gas in carnivores (dogs are omnivores, as are humans) as well as an acid condition that may lead to disease.

(4) grapefruit seed extract and/or fruit sugars will kill any dangerous bacteria in raw meat.

(5) beta carotene and vitamin A prevent cancer. None of these claims has been demonstrated to be true, nor are they widely accepted as even possibly true.

I was appalled when approached by a few of the raw meat manufacturers/distributors with the enticement that "you can become a millionaire selling this stuff". This is not to say that each and every person advocating this fad has money as their prime motivation, but it certainly seems rule, not the exception. There is nothing inherently wrong with making a profit, but it is wrong to make a profit selling dangerous products and ideas at the expense of our animal friends to unsuspecting, well-meaning dog-lovers.

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How to Investigate Further

I urge you to step back and take a critical look at the facts before changing your animal's diet; investigate everything you read, including what I have written. Anyone can write a book or an article. Ask the retailer to show you documented proof of their claims on the alleged health benefits of raw meat. Or call a veterinary university and let them provide you with scientific facts and case studies.

Barfers accuse commercial dog food companies of selling inappropriate products for our dogs just to make a buck. Holistic products on the market are far more expensive and most are not even tested for use on/in animals. Dr. Billinghurst is charging a ridiculous amount of money for his seminar and books. One particular raw meat product found in pet stores is actually using byproducts intended for large cats (cougars or lions) at the zoo. I would mention their name, but they threatened to sue me if I exposed them. There is no conspiracy. There are good food manufacturers and there are ones who are out for money. I have found far more corrupt people in the B.A.R.F business than in commercial kibble.


False: Chicken and turkey bones are soft and wholly digestible. Especially baby back and necks.
Truth: History and present records show that this is completely untrue. Thousands of dogs have died or been severely injured, over the years, from consuming raw fowl bones. Farm dogs and Coyotes are consistently treated for bone fragments and splintering in their stomachs or throats after having killed live chickens, hens and turkeys - yes, even baby fowl. Another way small fowl bones have painfully harmed dogs is they become jammed or lodged between teeth or through the palate. I receive email frequently from ex-barfers whose dogs have been harmed or killed from being fed raw chicken and turkey bones. Even Dr. Billinghurst, in his rebuttal to my website, admits there is risk. In his latest book he has a disclaimer that raw bones may be hazardous. Duh! Too bad he didn't mention it in his book when he recommended that you feed your dog raw bones!

False: Bones won't splinter on a full stomach.
Completely untrue! Many times jagged chunks of bone do their damage in the throat. Dogs have died from choking on bones. And, regarding the stomach, bones do not pass as quickly as the food. Digested food does not protect the lining of the stomach from sharp objects. Wolves eat fur, cartilage and muscle meat along with the bones which helps prevent injury from fragments. I'm not recommending you feed your dog bones in this manner, but it should be noted that your dog doesn't have this advantage on the barf diet. Click here to read testimonies about dogs harmed by raw bones".

False: Cooking the meat destroys the quality of enzymes and predigests the meat.
Truth: The benefit of meat for dogs is protein not enzyme. Secondly, cooking the meat makes it much more digestible as raw meat has indigestible collagen proteins. In the wild, mother dogs eat the meat from a kill and regurgitate for their pups - serving predigested meat. In addition, raw meat is very high in fat. Thousands of dogs die every year from Pancreatitis, and some are disabled by this disorder after being fed a raw meat diet for a short time. Not only is raw meat high in fat, but the pancreas is made to produce enzymes. Supplementing with too many live enzymes can cause the pancreas to shut down. If your dog has Pancreatitis and you aren't aware of it – a high fat diet of raw meat could kill them.

False: Freezing kills all parasites and bacteria.
Truth: Freezing kills some but not all parasites and does not kill most bacteria. The most dangerous parasite in raw meat is toxoplasmosis. It can kill your dog. I know of two recent cases where dogs died from this parasite after eating raw meat. Dr. Michael Harrington, a Veterinary Neurologist reported that he treated a dog with thousands of parasites from a raw meat diet, which turned to worms in his brain. An MRI showed the dog's brain looked like Swiss cheese. The parasites are usually much more dangerous than the bacteria. Cats and people are also susceptible to this parasite. Pregnant women are told not to change kitty litter when pregnant because toxoplasmosis can effect the baby. Cats who carry toxoplasmosis from eating birds and rodents, while pregnant, often birth deformed kittens.

False: Grapefruit seed extract kills all dangerous bacteria.
Truth: This is completely un-scientific and unproven. Furthermore, some bacteria thrive in the acid environment of the stomach. Grapefruit Seed extract is irritating to the dog's stomach lining and the taste is bitter.

False: Adding calcium through bone meal or bones balances the phosphorous/calcium ratio.
Truth: The phosphorous/calcium ratio in a dog's diet is one of the most critical for optimum health. It's difficult to provide an accurate balance in home-made diets. It's an uneducated, "amateur" idea to add bone meal because it contains both phosphorous and calcium, which negates any balance. There is also the threat of Mad Cow Disease in some locations. You would be better off giving them a Tums tablet or a serving of Broccoli. A few of the disorders caused by feeding raw meat are; Nutritional Secondary Hyperparahtyroidism (parathy gland) and kidney failure due to the inability of the kidney to remove high amounts of phosphorous from the body. When kidneys fail due to over abundance of phosphorous, the body compensates by robbing jaw bone for calcium to balance these circulating blood levels. This is also known as Rubber Jaw. There are also a number of osteopathic disorders.

False: Acidophilus and FructoOligoSaccharides will also kill dangerous bacteria.
Truth: Sound impressive? Acidophilus is a "friendly" bacteria that aids in digestion. It is not a bactericide. Fructo = fruit, oligo = few or decreased, saccharides = sugar. These sugars are added to provide a food source for the acidophilus.

False: Pasteurization leads to arthritis. The makers of raw meat diets often suggest a meal plan that contains whole, raw dairy.
Truth: Dogs in the wild (which is the basis of the raw meat argument) do not eat dairy. They eat eggs – eggs are meat not dairy. Dogs have a very low tolerance for dairy because of the lactose. They do not produce lactase (which digests the lactose) after being weaned from their mother’s milk.

False: Dogs drink the milk from lactating goats that have been killed.
Truth: Not many goats live in regions where large wild wolves do - unless the wolf is stealing from a farmer. The number of incidents where a wild wolf would have killed a female, lactating goat, are so few that this is not a standard ingredient of the wild dog's diet - nor should it be the domestic dog's.

False: Dogs are carnivores
Truth: Dogs are omnivores. They eat both vegetation and meat, of which vegetation is the higher percentage. Domestic dogs do not have the same skull shape or number of teeth that wolves do. You could say they are carnivorous. Cats are true carnivores, however, that doesn't mean that raw meat is safe for them either. There are very obvious differences between cougars, lions, tigers and your housecat.

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Why Wild Dogs Are Not a Good Role Model for the Domestic Dog's Diet

It sounds like a good idea to give your dog fresh, raw meat because "that's what the wild dogs eat". This is an understandable misconception, but here are a couple of facts to consider

(1) Domestic dogs do not have the same digestive enzymes as a wild dog. Our domestic dogs are removed from wolf relations by thousands of years. Dogs have been in captivity (of Man) for at least 2000 years, and surviving healthfully on cooked foods for as long as humans have. Until commercial dog food came about approximately 100 years ago, dogs in captivity ate the common food of the people. Those fed raw meat scraps often became ill back then also. This is why experienced veterinarians do not recommend it. Most breeds we have today are really of no relation to wolves since they were created by man's intervention through breeding over thousands of years. You just don't see packs of poodles, great Danes or golden retrievers in the wild. The average lifespan of a domestic dog is much longer than that of a dog in the wild. (see "can a dog overcome illness from a raw meat diet", below)

(2) The theory is to feed our dogs like wild dogs/wolves. However, the BARF and raw meat diets being proposed have little in common with what a wild dog/wolf eats. If you want to feed your dog like a wolf, then start shopping for worms, roots, swamp grass, rodents and fowl. Or garbage of neighboring humans. Sure, they eat vegetation including fruit and graze on grasses, but you're not likely to see them sitting down to a bowl of oatmeal and yogurt in the morning or a serving of fresh broccoli with their just killed mole. Some retail frozen raw meat products are really nothing but byproducts, and others include a menu of dairy products or are heavily supplemented with items that are believed to be healthful for humans, but not researched to determine the benefit to a dog.

One consistent ingredient in the many varied BARF or raw meat diets is the supplementation of dairy products. Dogs are lactose intolerant and do not produce lactase after 6-8 weeks of age. Furthermore, bovine and goat milk is nothing like canine milk. Wolves don’t eat dairy (bear in mind that eggs are not dairy, they are meat) although they would if it were available. Which brings up another point - wolves are scavengers. They are not the best judge of what's good for them and neither is your dog. They'll eat cat poop and antifreeze if you let them.

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Statistics from Wolf Studies

Read what Mike Ferreira, a 20-year veteran of wolf and wolfdog studies has to say.

I myself, have done extensive studies on wolves and wolfdogs over the years. I actually own a wolfdog, myself. Chinook is a high content Timber Wolf. Wild dogs often suffer from liver, kidney, an pancreatic problems from the raw meat in their diet. The bones they eat are covered with cartilages and fur - a wolf skat (feces) looks like a hairy stick. The barf diet recommends raw, meaty chicken bones and it has killed and injured thousands of dogs. It is a WELL known fact amongst vets that dogs who eat raw bones often have dental problems ... it wears the teeth down flat, and they splinter in the jaws and gums (also throat and stomach).

The barf diet that is so-called "evolutionarily correct" does not seem to coincide with the reality of evolution. Pomeranians, corgis, labs, jack russells (for example) and most of the other breeds we have today did not evolutionize from wolves over thousands of years. They are man-made breeds that have come about from our intervention with genetics. Domestic dogs are similar to wolves but there are many genetic differences --- wolves have a different dental structure (size and angle of teeth) and completely different skull measurements. From the nose to the top of their head, it’s flat with no indentation....the area by the ears is much wider than a domestic dog. Wolves mature physically at a completely different rate.

The following quotes from Jennifer Sheldon’s "Wild Dogs, The Natural History of Nondomestic Canidae" show that many wolves and wild dogs do die of intestinal parasites which are contracted from eating raw meat. Of course, this is not the primary reason wolves die, but it does happen.

Regarding the red wolf (extinct in the wild, except for small reintroduced populations); "Their decline is thought to be due to a complex of factors including aggressive long-term control programs... and high mortality from susceptibility to parasites." (Parker, 1988; Paradiso and Nowak, 1971, 1972, Carley, 1979; Ferrell, et al., 1980)

"Parasites exact a heavy toll. Of 27 wild-caught wolves tested, all 27 had heartworm (Riley and McBride, 1972). Intestinal parasites, distemper, and mange are also widespread (Riley and McBride, 1972; Paradiso and Nowak, 1972). The high parasite burden carried by all red wolves may indicate that they were occupying marginally suitable habitat. The majority of animals captured during the intensive capture efforts of 1972 were less than 4 years old (Carley, 1979), indicating a very high mortality rate for older individuals. Paradiso and Nowak (1972) noted that there appeared to be very low levels of pup survivorship on the Texas gulf cost in the late 1960s, with most pups dying before 6 months of age. Potential lifespan, if comparable to that of free-ranging coyotes, should have been as much as 12 years."

Regarding the diet of red wolves, "…small animals such as rabbits, raccoons, and nutria, are their primary prey. The consume fish, insects, carrion, and plant material as well (Paradiso and Nowak, 1972; Carley, 1979; Riley and McBride, 1972; Shaw, 1975). Only occasionally do they prey upon ungulates.

Regarding the grey wolf;

"Disease, parasites (intestinal), starvation take their toll as well"

Regarding the maned wolf;

"In free-ranging individuals, parasites (particularly nematodes, which may destroy the kidneys), cystinuria (a potentially fatal inherited metabolic disorder), and human-caused deaths seem to be the most important factors contributing to mortality (Meritt, 1972; Dietz, 1984)." NOTE: the meat aspect of their diet was an important contributing factor to mortality!!

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The Wild Dog Diet

Wild dogs are omnivores, not carnivores. It seems a small distinction, but really is not trivial. This means that they do not live on meat alone, but also feast on vegetation. Cats, by contrast, are true carnivores. Second, the meat they do eat is consumed as soon as it is caught and is obviously not a frozen product. Wild dogs have evolved somewhat of a resistance to the dangerous bacteria and parasitic infections to which they are exposed, which our domestic dogs have not. It is a documented fact through zoos and wolf experts such as Jennifer Sheldon, quoted above, that even wild dogs die and/or become ill from consuming raw meat. Not necessarily every time they eat it, but often enough for it to be of grave concern for your dog. We also know from the wild dogs taken into captivity that they are often found malnourished and unhealthy.

There is well documented evidence in the carcasses of wild dogs, and a well-known fact among veterinary doctors and scientists, that wild dogs DO choke on the bones of fowl or have them splinter in the stomach - even baby backs and necks (Washington State University, located in a rural area verifies this statement). Cooking a bone may make it more likely to splinter, however, raw bones sometimes do splinter in the throat and stomach. A more likely event is that the raw bone will be broken into small, jagged pieces which can tear the lining of the throat and stomach or become lodged in the palate.

In general, wolf and wild dog studies show that muscle meat is not always the primary source of food and that lamb and chicken are not often among the meats. Most wild dogs hunt small prey, like rabbit, birds or rodents, providing a relatively small amount of actual meat. Even bones are sometimes left behind. The first thing they do with prey is tear open the belly and eat the pre-digested greens, then the organs, then a combination of muscle meat, bones and fur. It is also important to remember that only large pack dogs like the gray or red wolves hunt large ungulates (i.e., deer, antelope). One dog could not possibly take down a 250 pound animal with their mouth while it's running at 20-30 miles per hour. They share the feast with the whole pack. The females then return to their pups and regurgitate pre-digested meat for them (contradicting Dr. Pitcarin and Billinghurst's theory that predigested meat is not healthy or normal for dogs to eat).

One of the greater dangers than even the bacteria and parasites, is the fact that a raw meat diet is extremely unbalanced. And a diet supplemented with raw meat is near impossible to keep balanced. Our pet dogs are privileged to be protected from the nutritional deficiencies that wild dogs face.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information. I wish you and your pets healthy and happy lives!

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Following are a few of the institutions from which I obtained statistics and facts. Please go to Studies and More Information for articles, books and research information.

Robert Vansaun, DVM, PHD*
Professor, Oregon State University
Magruder Hall 105
College of Veterinary Medicine
Corvallis OR 97331
541-737-7667 (phone)
541-737-0502 (fax)
*other titles;
President of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition
Diplomat, ACT (American college of Theriogenolists)
Diplomat, American College of Veterinary Nutrition
Jim Lincoln, DVM
Director of Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Washington State University
Veterinary Clinical Sciences
PO Box 646610
Pullman, Washington 99164-6610

Julie Churchill, DVM
Clinical Specialist, Nutrition
College of Veterinarian Medicine
University of Minnesota
1365 Gortner Ave
St. Paul Minn 55108

Jennifer W. Sheldon
Wild Dogs, The Natural History of the Nondomestic Canidae
Academic Press, Inc., 1992

Ann Martin
Food Pets Die For
Protect Your Pet...More Shocking Facts
NewSage Press, Inc.

University of California, Davis Veterinary School of Medicine - 530-752-1011
San Francisco Zoo - 415-753-7080
Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, WA) - 206-684-4800
Washington State Veterinary Association - 425-454-8381

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Questions or Comments Regarding Second Chance Ranch?
Email katie@mybluedog.com


Postby Fast-N-Nefari0us » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:04 pm

WOW! what an awesome article. Check out our debate going on in HondaX's post regarding weight gain for his/her pup. I know this article could also be someone slandering B.A.R.F., but everything that I've been saying, experienced and done research on is all compiled in this one article, Thanks! I wouldn't mind doing research on my own by joining in on the BARF discussion board. Would you happen to have their website addy? Also where did you find this article? Thanks again!



Postby myers » Thu Apr 22, 2004 6:01 pm


Postby Fast-N-Nefari0us » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:51 pm

Absolutely Appalling! Either this "BARF" was created by Veterinarians or college kids wanting to see how far this joke will go. After visiting that site and reading why you should feed raw food, it makes me sick and wanna BARF :crybaby: Now I know where they got the name from roflmao Good luck to all you BARF followers! Tonight, I'll pray for all your pets.

Peace :peace:


Postby mnp13 » Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:16 pm

I read the entire article, and all I can say is that you need to take it with a good heavy dose of salt.

If that article swayed against BARF then you were not ever really considering it in the first place.

This is an arguement that neither side will ever win.

If canines in the wild were so malnurished and ill on their natural diet they would have died out LONG ago. Actually that holds for about ANY animal. I'm not sure I know of a single coyote, wolf, cougar, lion, tiger or jackel that cooks its food before eating it. I certianly have yet to see one in a store.

If raw was SOOOO deadly then animals would have died out long ago. Kibble has only been around for about 50 years. 100 years ago most dogs were still eating whatever they killed or were given from hunted meat. The digestive systems of dogs have not radically changed in 50 years, i doubt they have changed at ALL.

According to the article "On the other hand, as more people experiment with raw meat diets, veterinarians are seeing frequent cases of pancreatitis, ulcers, malnutrition, injuries due to the raw bones, systemic bacterial poisoning and other conditions." This means nothing without a control. What are the numbers? More compared to what??? How many vets, how many dogs, what was the exact diet being fed, was it balanced, what was the control group of dogs eating, how many years did the study go, what were the contributing genetic factors in both groups? You won't find these numbers because they do not exist.

Other studies quoted are from 1972 - are you trying to tell me with a straight face that there has been NO supporting research done in the past 30 years? Hardly. (This is the same sort of crap that is going on with the Raw Milk issue, they quote studies done in the 50's to support the 'fact' that raw milk is dangerous.)

Oh, and I have never met a single person who feeds BARF that only feeds meat and bones. They mix in vegetables, grains and other items into the food as well.



Postby Fast-N-Nefari0us » Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:25 pm

Thank America for Freedom of Speech and thank God for creating Human Species. BTW Michelle, Humans are the most intelligent specie you know. We do know how to make things better you know. Although you say kibbles been around for 50 years, I mean, it doesn't take 1000 years for man to figure out what is best to feed our beloved pets. Like I said before, either this BARF thing was created by vetrinarians or college kids playing a joke. Why Vetrinarians? So that the demand for sick dogs will be, well in demand LOL! Why college kids, cause this is clearly a joke and they've played similar jokes like this in the past. Wait a minute! This could have also been designed by a cheap ars person who doesn't wanna spend the $$ on high end kibbles. Yea, that could be it!

Komodo dragons have deadly saliva from eating Raw rotten food. I mean, according to the BARF website, you should get "creative" and find source of places where you may get their left over chicken heads, beef by-products, pigs feet, slightly over rippened fruits and veggies, and anything else you can find that's Raw. "Get Creative" What a Joke! for your info/411 Mad Cow desease is on the rise. I wouldn't dare kiss my dogs or have them lick me on the chin after eating what yall feed your pets. Till next time :peace:


Postby myers » Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:13 am

What a Joke! for your info/411 Mad Cow desease is on the rise. I wouldn't dare kiss my dogs or have them lick me on the chin after eating what yall feed your pets. Till next time

Thats another point i just wanted to make. You never heard of mad cow disease, salmanilla, and other such crap 50 years ago. Does that mean it wasn't there? I agree that dogs have been eating raw meat for thousands of years. but i also know that my dogs aren't wolfs and don't live out in the weather and don't have the immune system of a wild animal. Plus we weren't injecting and adding all sorts of crap to our farm raised animals back then either.

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Postby concreterose » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:54 am

This is an arguement that neither side will ever win.


And it the end, what does it boil down to? What the individual owner wants their pet to eat. The dogs sure as heck don't give a flip. I am not pro or anti BARF, but I don't feed it. I figure if I don't eat right, what makes me think I can prepare a home made balanced meal (or will take the time to) for my dogs?

If you don't feed BARF, it doesn't necessarily mean your dog is gonna die from young from a substandard kibble or lack of nutrition. It doesn't mean your dog is necessarily going to die from cancer or any other illness. I mean, look at the environment we live in, the air we breath, the chemicals we ALL come in contact with every day. Waking up and living day to day is a crapshot. You can get anything, anytime from anywhere.

Some people who feed BARF say their dogs haven't had health problems for years, since they started feeding it. Some people who feed BARF have dogs with problems like dogs who are on kibble.

My oldest dog ate crap food for years (Pedigree,Hill's Science Diet, Iams) before I found out about premium brands. She's 11 years old and has never had any major health problems. When I was a kid, we had a poodle who lived out her life expectancy (16 years) eating Kibbles and Bits.


Postby mnp13 » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:21 am

Fast-N-Nefari0us wrote:This could have also been designed by a cheap ars person who doesn't wanna spend the $$ on high end kibbles. Yea, that could be it!

Again, you feed Eukanuba and call it 'high end'. This is clear evidence you have not done any actual nutrition research.

Fast-N-Nefari0us wrote:Komodo dragons have deadly saliva from eating Raw rotten food. I mean, according to the BARF website, you should get "creative" and find source of places where you may get their left over chicken heads, beef by-products, pigs feet, slightly over rippened fruits and veggies, and anything else you can find that's Raw. "Get Creative" What a Joke! for your info/411 Mad Cow desease is on the rise. I wouldn't dare kiss my dogs or have them lick me on the chin after eating what yall feed your pets. Till next time

You need to do come actual reasearch before you post. Mad cow disease came from feeding cows animal proteins. Cows are herbavores, not carnivores hence this has caused huge problems. Mad cow disease has nothing to do with feeding a raw diet to dogs.

Yes, part of the idea behind BARF is variety. You think chicken heads, beef by-products (which means internal organs and other parts you can get from a slaughter house) and pigs feet are bad for an dog to eat? What exatly is wrong with them?

Oh, and Komono Dragons eat raw rotten food. No one in their mind would feed rotten food to their dog.

Last edited by mnp13 on Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.


Postby myers » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:55 am

i was just throwing mad cow disease out there. I guess my point is yes, wild dogs have been eating raw meat for thousands of years. But i just tend to think it is a little dangerous for domesticated pets. Kinda like if i would go to a third world country and drink the water out of a river. I would probably get real sick and possibly die. But the people that live there do it all the time with no side effects. Anyway, like i said in my first post i was just searching for information on this subject because i was considering switching my dogs to raw meat. This is what i found and i thought it would be a good idea to share it with the rest of you. I didn't think i'd be chastised for doing so.


Postby mnp13 » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:11 am

myers wrote:I didn't think i'd be chastised for doing so.


You're not. My comments were directed at Fast's post - as he referenced Mad Cow disease and dog kisses.

Sharing information is good, as is presenting different sides of an arguement. But posts that basically say 'see, I told you so' with no basis in fact are endlessly irritating to me. (Again, that is not you in this instance)

Thank you for posting the initial article.



Postby jmann4 » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:20 am

Fast-N-Nefari0us wrote:Thank America for Freedom of Speech and thank God for creating Human Species.

Yeah, thank God I live in America.

You can think what you want, feed kibble, that's cool with me. But don't try to belittle those of us who feed a raw diet. It's our choice. My dog is ultra healthy and the proof is in the results.
Last edited by jmann4 on Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Postby Boo439 » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:07 am

jmann4 wrote:You can think what you want, feed kibble, that's cool with me. But don't try to belittle those of us who feed a raw diet. It's our choice. My dog is ultra healthy and the proof is in the results.

Preach on, Brotha! I've had it with ignorant people.

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Postby mydogroxy » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:36 am

i read that article a while back, as i like to read both pro and con articles on barf. it can be somewhat intimidating, but like someone said, take it with a grain of salt. anything can be slanted to achieve a certain effect.


so veternarians created barf to have a steady supply of sick dogs? funny how the vast majority of dogs fed barf are incredibly healthy. switching to barf helped my own dog get over demodex mange, sensitive skin, and gooky ears and eyes. the college kids comment is just rediculous.

and i'm sure someone researched barf thoroughly so they could save a few bucks. that makes tons of sense. maybe you should look into feeding a high quality kibble since your such a champion of the stuff.

komodo dragons are irrelevant. if you're going to make a statement, at least contextualize it and draw appropriate parrallels to the real topic.

and don't bother praying for my dog, she's just fine thanks.

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Postby Leslie H » Sat Apr 24, 2004 7:21 pm

My dog was dying this Sept at age 5 1/2 when I took her to a homeopath as a last resort. My conventional vet, and his consultations w/numerous other vets, and more than $1,500 worth of testing and treatment were not changing anything. This homeopath has his veterinary degree, as well as a degree in microbiology. He put her on raw foods, and treated her w/a homeopathic remedy. 7 months later, and we're going to our first show/pull next week since her illness. Everyone I've spoken with who feeds raw food has been very happy w/it. I know I am.

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