Raw diet (BARF), is it good or bad for dogs?

We all want our dogs to live as long as possible and in trying to do so we try to find the best way to feed our lovely dogs what would keep them healthy. The concept of raw feeding is very controversial and contains a lot of aspects that one must consider before switching to a raw diet. This article will give you an overview on both the pros and cons of the raw diet BARF for dogs.

What is a BARF diet?

The BARF diet stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, which means that you are basically feeding your dog raw food. The raw food included in the diet:

  • Some dairy products
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Raw eggs
  • Organ meats such as kidneys and liver
  • Bones, either ground or whole (not cooked)
  • Muscle meat on the bone

What makes the BARF diet stand out is that is contains no carbohydrates what so ever!

Read more on the dangers of dog obesity.

Advantages of the BARF diet

People supporting this diet state that the kibble based food that we feed our dogs is not natural however the raw food is what is more suitable to them as it is similar to the kind of food they ate prior to being domesticated. Here are some of the advantages:

  • Higher energy levels
  • Better dental health
  • Healthier coats
  • Smaller and almost odorless stools.

Read all the answers on the most common FAQs about dog nutrition.

Disadvantages of the BARF diet

1- Not safe

People claim that the raw diet is highly packed with bacteria that is harmful to both us the humans and our dogs. But in fact this bacteria has very low impact on the dogs health but can be highly contagious to the humans in the house, especially children and the elderly.

2- Expensive

The BARF diet is very expensive compared to the price of dry food, and if we compromise by buying low quality meats we are compromising our dogs’ health.

3- Unbalanced nutritional value

Although yes we are the ones preparing the meals, we often prepare unbalanced food that may not have a direct effect immediately but will compromise the dog’s health on the long term.

4- Risk of eating bones

Eating bones as commonly known may cause a lot of problems to the dog from puncturing the stomach to causing intestinal blockage. However there are people who have served hundreds and of raw meals to dogs and have never had problem.


It is important to do lots of research before switching to raw feeding. This matter caused a lot of mixed opinions that need to be heard.


Written by Farah Khaled
Sources: Modern Dog Magazine , Q&A Guides , The Happy Puppy Site

Leave a comment