Q: Do you recommend mixing my dog’s current kibble diet in with the BARF diet patties?
A: This question comes up a lot with consumers that are just starting to switch their pet to the BARF diet and for those who want to continue feeding a healthy, raw food diet but are also trying to save on their dog food budget. Maybe it is because they have more than one dog or perhaps they are trying to sustain large or giant breed dogs. So to settle it once and for all – the answer is no … and maybe.
No because if your dog has had a history of digestive disorders it may not be the best course of action to combine the two diets in the same meal. The reason is that each diet is digested and absorbed quite differently. The ingredient utilization and the time needed to digest a raw diet is significantly faster (about 4-6 hours) versus a cooked diet which can take 8-12 hours to go from mouth to tail. This causes a confusing digestion process to occur and it may lead to further digestion problems such as diarrhea and vomiting if both diets are in the digestive tract at the same time.
The “maybe” answer comes about when you separate the feeding schedule and incorporate a split feeding regimen. To put it simply, a split feeding regimen would consist of the raw meat diet (such as BARF World’s BARF Diet patties or nuggets) being fed in the morning and a dry, grain-free kibble at night. At least this way it gives the body time to react differently to the two different types of diets. If given enough time, your pet’s body should be able to allow the enzyme production from the pancreas to make a correction and engage enough digestive enzymes to properly digest the different types of food.
With dogs and cats that can successfully digest the combination of foods in this manner, it is at least 50% better than doing nothing and staying with an inferior food choice. I would however never suggest doing a split feeding schedule with dogs or cats that are being given heavy doses of antibiotics, steroids, or any other drug that may depress the immune system or cause gastrointestinal upset. Many new customers that have made the decision to switch their pet to the raw diet have made that decision because their pet is experiencing a chronic health issue. The daily ingestion of a heat processed pet food will eventually take its toll on the body and the results may be allergies and skin and coat problems, digestion issues, degenerative illnesses such as cancer and kidney failure and many other conditions that can be reversed by first making a complete change to their pet’s diet.
I always suggest that a person that is either just starting to convert their pet onto the BARF diet or is planning on incorporating the split feeding model to also use our E-BARF Plus powder and E-Omega Coat oil product. This powerful combination of probiotics, vitamins, and minerals will ensure conversion success and also eliminate the majority of problems with potentially sick animals by naturally improving digestion and providing additional immune system support.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at barfworld.com/ezine