“Should my pet be fed a natural diet?”
There are some risks associated with raw diets, so it’s very important to check with us first.
The best way to determine if any diet is right for your pet is to book a consultation with our veterinary team. We will be able to recommend a balanced diet that meets the unique needs of your pet.
You may have heard of the natural BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones and Raw Food) pet diet, which has been a hot topic lately. Some people may like the idea of feeding a “natural” diet to their pet, and a BARF diet can allow the tailoring of diet ingredients for pets with dietary intolerances or allergies. There is some published evidence of some animals, finding these diets more digestible, leading to smaller stools, less faecal odour and improved gastrointestinal health.
However, using a BARF diet is not without risk. There are multiple veterinary studies that have shown the majority of published commercial or home-cooked BARF recipes do not provide a long-term complete and balanced nutrition for pets.
The research has highlighted that many of the diets tested were deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral (and sometimes several), e.g. imbalanced/low calcium and phosphorous, which can cause bone growth abnormalities.
Multiple veterinary studies have also demonstrated an increased risk of harmful bacterial contamination in raw meat and commercial BARF diets (e.g. salmonella, E. coli). Raw organ meats can also carry a risk of parasitic-related diseases like toxoplasmosis or hydatid tapeworm contamination.
A proper varied BARF diet is bulky to store and is time-consuming to prepare.
If you do choose to feed your pet a BARF diet, it’s recommended to consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist first to ensure the diet is complete and balanced for your pets needs.
So if you want to keep your pet healthy, it’s important to feed a diet that suits their needs, and our vets will be able to provide further advice about feeding your pet.
Speak with our friendly team for further advice about feeding your pet!