BARF diet for dogs – Complete guide with examples and recipes

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plate of food barf

If you have come this far it is because you are curious to know what the BARF diet for dogs consists of, how it is prepared, if it really is beneficial for the health of your little four-legged furry, recipes, quantities and a lot of other doubts, right? ?

Well let me tell you you’re in luck, because if you spend the next five minutes of your life with me you will learn everything you need to know about this type of natural diet. Believe me, your dog will thank you very much.

Index of contents

  • 1 What is the BARF diet?
  • 2 Why should you use natural products?
  • 3 What ingredients does the BARF diet for dogs include?
  • 4 Benefits of BARF feeding for your dog
  • 5 How to prepare BARF diet for our dog
    • 5.1 Ingredients and how to prepare them
    • 5.2 Preparation
    • 5.3 BARF Diet Amounts for Puppies and Adults
  • 6 Simple BARF Diet Recipes
    • 6.1 Meat and fish recipe
  • 7 Common (very common) questions
      • 7.0.1 If my dog eats raw meat, will he want to eat humans or animals?
      • 7.0.2 My vet does not recommend the BARF diet
      • 7.0.3 Can sick dogs eat BARF?
      • 7.0.4 Is my dog at risk for eating raw food?
      • 7.0.5 Can I add cereals to recipes?
      • 7.0.6 Any recommended video about BARF diet?
      • 7.0.7 Can I buy BARF already prepared?

What is the BARF diet?

It is not a diet to lose weight but a way to feed our dog with healthy products, raw or cooked to the taste of each person (or dog).

BARF is an acronym for B iologically TO ppropriate R aw F ood, in Spanish we can find the acronym ACBA, which comes to say the same TO feeding C rue B iologically TO proper.

It is about feeding our dog in a natural and healthy way, with fresh products, just as we feed ourselves. But, adapted to your nutritional needs, that is, not everything goes.

Why should you use natural products?

Starting from the beginning and in summary, we must remember that the dog is a direct descendant of the wolf. Trained and socialized for centuries, it evolved into what we now know as a dog or companion animal.

Knowing this, let’s move on to what really interests us … what do wolves eat? The Wolves they don’t eat croquettes or cookies for dogs, they eat what they hunt. They are carnivorous animals that feed on their prey.

So, you should rethink whether you would be happy eating processed food all your life, because it is what you do to your dog when you feed it with feed. Obviously, what we know how I think for dogs is not the most natural option (although it is the most comfortable).

Common ingredients in the BARF diet

What ingredients does the BARF diet for dogs include?

Seasonal ingredients are generally used to make it very economical, so we will not only feed our dog well but also save money.

Offering dogs on the market, meaty bones, dog friendly fruits and some vegetables are the common ingredients in any BARF recipe.

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It is about emulating what a dog would eat in the wild, or rather a wolf since we go back to its ancestors. It is prey (fresh meat) that includes some vegetables (which the prey is supposed to have eaten).

Some of the most used ingredients in this type of natural diet are:

  • Chicken, beef, lamb, rabbit, beef, foal
  • Organs such as beef heart, chicken livers, organ meats (optional)
  • Meaty bones like chicken carcass, wings, necks
  • Healthy fruit without kernels or pips like apple, pear, banana
  • Vegetables like spinach, squash, cauliflower
  • Cereals like rice (optional)

Benefits of BARF feeding for your dog

In reality, the benefits of correctly feeding our dog with biologically appropriate natural foods are so many that we could dedicate four articles to list them.

But since my intention is not to bore you, I will detail the most important ones so that you can appreciate them yourself from the first day. Yes, you heard correctly, you will appreciate these benefits from the first day and they will be more as more days go by.

  1. Brighter hair: Your hair will look really healthy and shiny, and your skin will be better hydrated.
  2. Tartar free teeth: The BARF diet helps your dog to have its teeth completely clean, avoiding the unpleasant and harmful tartar that originates from consuming dog food.
  3. Stronger immune system: It is no secret, a well-fed dog is stronger against possible diseases. Actually much stronger, including decreased allergies and intolerances.
  4. Less bulky stool: Meaning that with natural food the nutrients from food are better used. Also, your stools will be less odorous and you will stop having so many gases.
  5. Better smell and breath: Have you ever wondered why your dog smells so much? It is not because he gets dirty playing, but because of his low quality food (I think). With BARF you will have fresh breath and not smell as doggy.
  6. You will drink less water: The feed is dry and needs to be hydrated, which makes it very thirsty and very heavy digestions. Something that will go down in history as soon as we start using the BARF diet.

And if these valuable reasons seem few to you, remember that you will also be happier and more vigorous. Even calmer and less anxious about food. You can see more from:

  • All the benefits of natural BARF feeding in dogs.

Dog eating chicken neck

How to prepare BARF diet for our dog

Although it seems a bit complicated the first two times, believe me when I assure you that it is actuall
y super simple. You just have to take it easy and you will soon be an expert in natural food.

We only need the raw material to start, and beware, do not go crazy buying sirloins or steaks … with the offal and meat on offer is more than enough. We can buy it at the market, shell shop or even at the slaughterhouse.

Ingredients to buy:

  • Meat (between 20% and 30% of the total)
  • Meaty bones (between 50% and 60% of the total)
  • Organs and viscera (over 10% of the total)
  • Fruits and vegetables (about 10% of the total)

So if we are going to prepare a kilo of the BARF diet, we will need 200 grams of lean meat, 600 grams of meaty bones, 100 grams of organs and 100 grams of fruits and vegetables.

My advice is that when you buy, do it in larger quantities and once the food is prepared, store it in individual bags and freeze it. This way you will have spare food for a long time without having to continuously prepare.

Don’t go crazy with the exact proportions: If your dog eats less fruit today nothing happens, the important thing is that he has a balanced diet in general, not that he eats the exact grams every day.

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Ingredients and how to prepare them

You can give meats raw or a little cooked. If you cook them, that is without oil or seasonings, it can be grilled or steamed (and do not spend cooking, round and round).

Meaty bones always raw They should never be cooked (super important, never forget that).

Organs and organ meats can be raw or slightly cooked, just like meat. Fruits always raw and vegetables always overcooked.

  • Meat and fish: Chicken (breast, wings), Pork, lamb, veal, ox, foal, veal heart (being muscle, it is also considered meat and attention, it is super cheap). Sardines, trout, boneless fish in general.
  • Meaty bones: They are the soft bones that are easily digested, like the carcass of chicken or turkey, very cheap indeed. You can see more from “Dog-friendly bones“.
  • Organs and viscera: In any farmhouse or market you can find chicken viscera or livers, very cheap too.
  • Fruits and vegetables: For starters and since they are always available, you can use bananas, apples and pears. Like vegetables, pumpkin or Swiss chard.
  • Optional: Raw or cooked egg (without shell), plain yogurt, boiled white rice (brown if constipated).


This is no mystery, it cuts up meat (raw or cooked) or fish, fruits and cooked vegetables. Mix everything together and add the meaty bones. The end.

If you are afraid to think that you can choke, you can pass it all through the minipimer (crusher) so that it remains a kind of porridge. It is just as nutritious (recommended for small breed dogs, less than ten kilos).

BARF Diet Amounts for Puppies and Adults

The amount varies depending on the weight of our dog, so we must administer it in two doses (one in the morning and one at night) from 2% to 3% of their total weight, depending on the energy expenditure you have.

If your dog eats three times a day, you can continue to take three feedings without any problem, simply divide the amount of food into three.

If we have a dog that weighs 25 kilos, we should give it a take of 370 grams in the morning and another of 370 grams at night (daily total = 740gr which is 3% of approx. 25kg).

In puppies the proportion is 10% of their total weight and not 2% or 3% as in adults. Since the puppies would be very hungry and lacking with only 3%.

Simple BARF Diet Recipes

To prepare recipes, remember that you can make a large amount of food and freeze it in individual feeding bags (available in any supermarket).

Here is an example of one of the multiple BARF diet recipes that we can find on the internet through the Google search engine or on YouTube.

We can vary with food and proportions, always keeping a minimum percentage of meat / fish so that they do not lack protein.

Meat and fish recipe

As bones we can use 2 kilos of chicken carcasses, or include some chicken neck or wings if we want.

As meat we will use veal heart that is very cheap and of quality, with 1.2 kilos it is enough.

As fruit we will mix pears and apples without seeds (without the core), using 600 grams approx. And how to vegetable a little boiled pumpkin (about 200 grams).

We take the veal heart, chop it and cook it a little. Add the cooked and chopped pumpkin and the fresh fruit in small pieces, mix everything well.

Now we add the meaty bones (always raw) and we already have 4 kilos of BARF food ready to be served or to be frozen in portions.

Simple right? You can see more recipes from:

  • Natural Dog Food Recipes (ACBA)

Common (very common) questions

Surely you already know that natural food is much healthier than pre-made feed, but you still have some doubts.

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That is why I have collected the most frequent queries with their respective answers, I hope they are helpful. If you have any different questions or concerns, just leave me a comment (below all).

If my dog eats raw meat, will he want to eat humans or animals?

Although it may seem like an absurd doubt, the truth is that many people think that their dog will become aggressive and will want to try human meat if he feeds on raw animal meat.

Nothing is further from reality. The answer is NO, your dog will not become a murderer or want to eat your children … these are horror movie things. You eat meat and do you want to eat a human?

My vet does not recommend the BARF diet

Veterinarians are animal doctors and not nutritionists. If you want an expert opinion on dog food, consult a dog nutritionist, not a vet.

Remember that veterinaryns earn a commission selling the feed they have in their office. And that, in addition, large commercial feed companies, usually teach “master classes?” in veterinary schools in order to … eat a little coconut (it sounds hard but it is so).

Imagine that your doctor recommends you eat junk food every day. Would you listen to him? Well it’s the same with your dog.

Can sick dogs eat BARF?

Yes, yes and YES. Natural nutrition will help them improve their condition and strengthen their immune systems. Natural feeding is undoubtedly the best diet for a sick dog.

But be careful, you should know that some diseases like pancreatitis (to take an example) require more specific ingredients to facilitate their digestion.

So if your dog requires a specific diet for health problems, the ideal is that you consult with a canine nutritionist beforehand to help you prep
are the recipes.

Is my dog at risk for eating raw food?

Obviously there are always risks, such as the fact that the meat has a bacterium or parasite. That is why it is recommended to buy quality meat (never past or rotten) and freeze it previously or cook it, to eliminate possible parasites.

It is also possible to choke on a piece, just as it is possible to choke on a feedball or a snak, the risk always exists.

Can I add cereals to recipes?

Actually yes, you can add an extra 20% of cooked white rice if you want, as a carbohydrate source.

Any recommended video about BARF diet?

Of course, you can find thousands on the Internet but here I leave you one that personally seems very good to me, for how well it explains everything.

You can also find on Facebook a multitude of groups of people who feed their dogs with the BARF diet, where they share recipes, knowledge, etc …

  • We recommend: BARF / ACBA Facebook Group for Newbies

Can I buy BARF already prepared?

Although the BARF diet is prepared by hand at home, it is normal that on many occasions we do not have all the free time we would like, for example to be able to prepare this type of natural food for our dog.

That is why there are also highly recommended alternatives, such as buying the BARF diet already prepared and using it when we need it. For example, the BARF diet sold by the Naku company, made with pork, chicken, beef or fish and which only uses real meat in its compositions.

A 100% natural BARF diet but already prepared, so that we do not have to worry about buying the ingredients or preparing it.

I hope you have learned everything you need to feed your dog in a healthy and safe way, however if you have any questions, you can leave a comment 🙂