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You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Published on April 22, 2009 by in BARF

We have all heard this phrase and it couldn’t be any more appropriate than the current participant on the Britain Idol TV show. Susan Boyle brought the house down when she opened her mouth and let out the most outstanding performance of the season. She is a 47 year old “want- a- be” singer that finally got her chance to stardom. Her unassuming appearance was shadowed immediately after she opened her mouth. Everyone in the audience and the entire judgement panel was ready to bring out the hook and yank her off stage until she belted out a remarkable angel-like performance. The audience went completely out of control and the judges quickly bowed to her voice superiority and granted her the go ahead to enter the competition. If this wasn’t a true example of judgement before execution I can’t imagine a better example.

Perhaps we should use this same pre-judgement rule when trying to discover new and non-conventional approaches in feeding our 4 legged companion animals. You shouldn’t pre-judge any product or feeding program until you see the results for yourself. Our business philosophy is designed to feed an animal an appropriate diet, one that is designed to produce maximum utilization of ingredients with the least amount of toxin buildup. That means it is designed to be eaten, absorbed and eliminated in the shortest amount of time.

The reason that the true “barfers” are ranting and raving about the benefits of the philosophy is because of the results. Once they see the visual difference in health and well being and the reversal of serious medical illnesses, they can’t stop their efforts to convince everyone around them to spread the word about raw feeding. Just like Susan, all we need is a chance to show what we can do. The proof is in the pudding.

The majority of our distribution sales force is comprised of results orientated success stories. They are satisfied consumers that have seen the results from using the diet themselves, and are now willing to spread the word about the results to other consumers.

In a lot of ways we are like Susan- we are “want- a -be” providers of raw meat diets, waiting for our opportunity to adequately tell the world about the results of raw feeding.

My new grandson, Max Mueller, a new book and new beginning, an advocate of raw feeding.

My newest grandson.

My newest grandson.

posted by Rob Mueller

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2 Responses

  1. Codi Valcke (pen name)

    First: “Welcome Max, may your life be interesting with plenty of good things happening to you and to those around you.”

    I am a scientist with several degrees in animal science and for me it was an easy decision to switch to BARF. I was frustrated by the inability to identify the composition of the kibbles based on the information supplied on the packages and had no information on the sources of the ingredients (and boy, does that matter!). I wanted to feed fresh food to my dog but didn’t have time to develop the diet, so when I heard about the BARF diet I jumped right in. The work to design a sensible fresh food diet had been done and the diet had been tried successfully for years. That was good enough for me, I didn’t need to see scientific feeding trials to make the switch, especially since they were not going to happen. Nobody was going to pay for them, and especially not long term trials – those I care about.

    I have had to switch my dogs back and forth a few times from kibbles to raw food because of life changes -sometimes only for a few weeks, once for as long as a full year on kibbles. I consistently noticed that the food intake on a dry matter basis is reduced by as much as 30% on the raw diet compared to run of the mill kibble like Pedigree, and by about 20% compared to higher end kibbles like Innova or Natural Balance. These are approximations. I wish some graduate vet student would take on the project and do accurate measurements on this.

    The implications are considerable: if the dog can maintain health and body weight on that much less food (on a dry matter basis) we can speculate that the biological value of the raw diet is much higher, thus this diet is easier on the dog’s digestion and metabolism. Indeed, reducing the amount of food that needs to be digested by that much frees up a lot of energy for other activities of the body. Second, we can speculate that with the reduction of DM intake, there is also a proportionate reduction in the consumption of toxins present in foods (natural or man-made), thus less detoxification would be required. In fact the reduction is probably much greater than proportionate since the fresh foods used in the BARF diet are often human grade foods whereas the ingredients in kibbles are usually not human grade.

    The detoxification raises one concern I have with the BARF diet. Detoxifying the body from the NH3 produced by the breakdown of proteins is hard work for the liver and kidneys. I have wondered if the protein content of the BARF diet might be too high for my dogs. My calculations (approximations) showed that the diet I am feeding (typical BARF, with 20-30 % plant matter) was close to 26% on a dry matter basis -which is similar to most kibbles (21-28% Min CP) and possibly better than kibbles since kibbles only state the Min CP -we don’t know what the Max CP is.

    I do believe, however, that the no grain kibbles with Min 40% CP content are risky. I have not seen anybody raise the alarm. The reason is that the total DM intake on kibbles is higher than on fresh food, thus the total amount of proteins consumed with the no grain kibbles could well be too high to be healthy. Do you know if
    anybody has seen health problems in dogs fed these no-grain kibbles very high in protein content?

    I have also noticed in commercial raw food dog diets that little attention is given to the digestibility of the plant matter. Few people seem to realize that dogs cannot digest plant matter as humans do. Thus, I believe that many dogs on the raw diet do not receive any significant amounts of digestible plant matter. I don’t know how important that is for the dog’s health.

    Finally, many people I know are lazy about maintaining the recommended proportion of bones and plant matter in the diet, because these ingredients may not be as readily available as meat and offal -at least in my part of the world. It think these dogs might be missing essential nutrients and again, might be fed excessive amounts of protein. By excessive, I mean that we don’t know if those levels are safe.

    I believe BARF is the most sensible and healthiest diet around, but it must be done properly to be safe. Important deviations from the recommended proportions and the no-grain kibbles with Min 40% CP are experimental and could well be unhealthy.

    • Hello Codi,
      First: let me thank you for spending the time to address the comments in my blog about judging a book by its cover. I do apologize for not responding right away. I have been out of the office and I am now responding to several e-mails and comments.

      I appreciate the points you have addressed in your response. It shows that you have done your homework regarding the raw diet philosophy. You have investigated and are now convinced, like I am, that feeding a fresh natural meat based diet is the superior choice. I have successfully fed this formula for over 30 years and the results have been phenomenal.

      You have also discovered the advantage of reduced stool volume. This advantage makes a world of difference when fed to large breed dogs and you can really see the difference in utilization of the food.

      I have also concluded that because the diet is utilized and metabolized faster then kibble that the toxin buildup is less and the enzyme systems are less utilized as a result. This allows the pancreas to have less stress over time- thus extended longevity.

      Regarding your questions on protein levels- if you ask a hundred knowledgeable people this question you will get 100 difference responses.

      It is common knowledge that dogs do not need grains in their diet. The consumption of grains has been promoted by the marketing dollars of the dry food companies in order to utilize a cheaper and more convenient form of ingredients. We have all seen the results of dealing with the grain diets and the high carbohydrate results of feeding kibble.

      Your assessment about the raw diets being the healthiest and most sensible food choice is our belief as well.

      Again thank you for your comments and for your belief in the raw diet philosophy.

      Rob Mueller
      Co-founder-BARF World Inc.

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