Raw food diet
Raw food diet - Part 1
Whether in humans or animals, food is a topic that is much written on. Just as in humans, the research progresses constantly and new knowledge emerge regularly. As the customs and diets.
One of those diet is present in the animal field for several years now and causes a controversy whenever it is touched. Whether supporters in favors or against it, each finds an argument opposing the other. We are talking about raw food diet.
Today I’ll tell you a little story of this diet and what it consists of. Next week, I will review each of the most commonly cited arguments. I will try to comment objectively, in the hope of a better health and optimum security for your pet and his entourage. I will also make some recommendations if you want to feed your pet raw food.
Origin and Principe
Commonly called ”BARF” or simply ” Raw ”.
BARF means ”Biologicaly Appropriate Raw Food”, or ”Bones And Raw Food”
This diet was created in the early 90s when Dr. Ian Billinghurst (Australian veterinarian) published a book ” Give your dog a bone ” The principle assumes that this diet is more natural, promotes better health and greater longevity with animals eating that diet.
In Canada and North America, we have seen the number of followers of this diet to increase in recent years, mainly due to the recall of several commercial diets in 2007.
Is considered as raw food diet, all meat that is not cooked. It can be fresh, frozen or dehydrated. It may be commercial or home diet. Variants can be found, with or without bones, and even whole carcasses given to the animal. Some treats may also fall into this category (such as pig ears). The diet may or may not be accompanied by fruits and vegetables.
There is now a Canadian association that sets standards and guidelines for this type of growing industries. Kind of like the AAFCO, participation is voluntary. This association also works closely with government agencies to ensure product safety. This is the Canadian Association of Raw Pet Food. Unfortunately there is no Quebec company part of this association.
It must be understood that there is very little research or scientific articles on the raw food diet, let alone on those benefits. Those that exist are usually made on a small population, without comparison with a population on a conventional diet, and unfortunately none assesses the long-term impact. Generally, articles and texts on beneficial to the animal is mostly based on evidence or observations rather than on studies. More recent studies have been done to quantify the risk to public health.
Do not miss the sequel to this article, that will be published exceptionally in a week.
Marie-Christine Hamelin, Veterinary Technician