The strength of our dog is clearly the key to maintaining good health status. This time we want to tell you about the BARF diet for Yorkshire Terrier (also known as real food for dogs), a type of natural food that offers great benefits for our pets. Take note of everything we have to tell you!
The feeding of the Yorkshire Terrier
The digestive system of dogs has a large stomach and a short intestine (preventing food from rotting inside). In this sense, we must bear in mind that the Yorkshire Terriers experience slow digestions, especially in the case of solid food, remaining in the stomach from 3 to 8 hours.
Due to its anatomy, the digestive system of dogs is fully capable of treating and metabolizing large meals. Due to the long digestions we were talking about before, it is possible that there will be a long interval of hours between each meal.
Dogs have historically been carnivorous animals. Despite this, over the years they have gone through a long process of adaptation and today they are also prepared to consume products of non-animal origin. This does not prevent them from having a balanced diet that provides them with the adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
The correct development and growth of dogs will depend on all this. in addition to their state of health, preventing them from being fat or thin and, in the case of the Yorkshire Terrier, they have beautiful hair. Very important issues in the case of puppies, which require careful feeding and special attention.
The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, is a way of recovering the traditional diet of dogs as carnivorous animals.
The origins of this type of diet from natural food and raw foods comes from Dr. Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian who, after several studies, found that offering dogs a diet based on meat, meaty bones, organ meats or vegetables, among others, they had a very positive impact on their health and development.
In short, the BARF diet for dogs is nothing more than a way to offer a healthy and balanced diet to our pets, starting with fresh products such as those that people could consume and leaving aside the processed options that we know in the market. like feed.
The objective of the BARF diet is none other than to improve the health conditions, life expectancy, energy and reproductive capacity of dogs, minimizing disorders, diseases, premature aging and, therefore, visits to the vet. The important thing, in any case, is to find the perfect balance or balance to cover all the needs of our pet.
10 advantages of the BARF diet
Proponents of the BARF diet maintain that a diet based on this type of food offers great benefits for the health of our dogs, significantly improving their quality and life expectancy. But what exactly are those advantages?
Improved immune system
Recovering the type of food (carnivorous, avoiding food processing) for which dogs were conceived contributes to the proper functioning of our pet’s immune system .
By supplying them with foods rich in nutrients, they are absorbed in a high percentage, which results in less bulky and fetid stools.
In the BARF diet, the moisture percentage of fresh food is around 70-90%. With this, the dog is better hydrated through food, reducing water intakes and the stress that the kidneys and liver undergo.
Healthier teeth and gums
The natural feeding favors the cleaning and hygiene of the mouth of our dogs, helping to reduce tartar and preventing bad breath.
Building muscle mass prevents joint problems and helps keep bones healthy and strong.
Better mood, more vitality
Natural feeding is directly related to happier moods and more active and vital attitudes, improving the sociability of the dog and avoiding sedentary behaviors or other types of disorders such as coprophagy.
Good skin condition and prettier hair
It helps to recover the natural color and good condition of the skin, without dandruff or itching, eliminating bad body odor. Another advantage is the appearance of a much more lustrous, shiny and beautiful coat.
If this type of diet is characterized by anything, it is the absence of carbohydrates in which the usual dry feed is rich, favoring the dog to maintain its ideal weight and preventing colon-related diseases or diabetes.
Fresh meat and meaty bones are very attractive foods for dogs, which will gobble up more than any other conventional feed.
Minimize the appearance of allergies or intolerances
The BARF diet contributes to maintaining a healthy intestine, which is directly related to the prevention of possible allergies or intolerances.
BARF Diet Ingredients for Yorkshire Terrier
In a properly balanced BARF diet, a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals must be present. With great predominance of bones and meat, like good carnivorous animals that are dogs, the rations should also be completed with organ meats, vegetables and some supplements.
Although there are brands that already offer ready-made menus, you can always turn to seasonal products, as well as meat and offal on offer in the market. Next, we see an approximate relationship in percentages for each type of food:
- Bones (between 50-60% of the total): such as chicken carcasses, wings, necks … They are provided raw (never cooked to avoid splintering) and there is a great variety: poultry, rabbit, lamb … They are a great source of energy, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. Be careful since excess bones in sedentary and old dogs, even if they are ground, can cause constipation.
- Meat and fish (between 20-30% of the total): based on waste from butchery and / or fishmonger, it must be supplied raw or undercooked. They offer a great protein and energy supply. While adult dogs should be given in pieces, puppies are best provided with this chopped food. In the case of meat, it can be bovine (head, trimmings, deburring …), poultry or rabbit (neck or head). On the contrary, with fish we can go to lean species of salty water, paying attention to the bones from their elimination or crushing them.
- Viscera or giblets (approximately 10%): with organs such as the heart, liver, calluses, gizzards, brain, bird stomach, kidneys … They have a lower protein content, but it is very appetizing for dogs.
- Vegetables (approximately 10%): fruit and vegetables (carrot, zucchini, tomato, spinach …) must not have a great presence in the diet of our Yorkshire Terrier, since their nutritional contribution is really low and often This type of food is not very appealing to dogs. Its intake can be recommended, mainly, in sedentary dogs with obesity or to combat cases of constipation. This ration can be perfectly substituted by a tablespoon of bran, which offers a great contribution of minerals and vitamins. In case of supplying them with fruit and / or vegetables, it is always better to do it in a crushed way (for a better assimilation of nutrients), always avoiding potatoes, grapes, raisins and quince because of their toxicity.
- Others (approximately 5%): in order to complete the BARF diet even more, we can resort to some supplements such as brewer’s yeast, highly recommended in the Yorkshire Terrier, since they contribute to strengthening and presenting long, loose hair and shimmering. Other foods, like eggs, are rich in protein, fat and vitamins. While the yolk can be served raw, the white must always be cooked.
Amounts in BARF feed
Perhaps this is one of the most difficult questions to answer regarding the change to the BARF diet of our dogs. Why? Food amounts vary depending on many variables such as weight, age, race, daily activity level …
Under normal circumstances, it is stipulated that larger or older dogs require less food per day; while mini breeds or younger dogs and puppies will require more food in proportion to their weight.
In an approximation of what could be the right amount to feed your dog, you can take as a reference that an adult may need between 2 and 3% of food with respect to its weight daily. The percentage, however, can be as high as 8% in young, light-weight and highly active dogs.
However, we must supply puppies with food worth 10% of their weight -approximately-, since otherwise they would not obtain the necessary nutrients for their correct development.
In the case of an adult Yorkshire Terrier, the approximate amount of BARF feed would range from 120-150 grams per day , preferably divided into two doses per day.
In the end, as usual, what works best is to observe and common sense. If you detect that your dog is losing weight, you will only have to increase the daily rations. While if you gain weight, you will have to do the same: decrease the daily rations.
Transition from feed to BARF diet
If your dog has been feeding on dry food for years, you should bear in mind that the transition to the BARF diet should not occur from one moment to the next (especially in older dogs or those with digestive problems), as this could cause problems gastrointestinal in our pet by the effect of immediate contrast.
In order to make the correct transition to the BARF diet, it is important that you never mix raw food with dry feed in the same feed , as they are digested from very different processes. The ideal, in this case, is to start the supply of natural food on time or as a reward, taking advantage to reinforce positive behaviors.
For a few days, we must continue this dynamic and ensure that the stool maintains its usual consistency at all times. Once this stage is over, we can replace one of the daily intakes with BARF food. If the stool remains normal after several days, we can make the complete transition to BARF.
This process can take several weeks and even a month, depending on the adaptation of each dog. However, if you observe that during the first months from the beginning of the transition to BARF your dog changes its hair or generates excess mucus in the faeces or leganes, keep in mind that it is part of the adaptation process and these alterations will disappear shortly weather.
Although this process should be the usual one that they have been feeding on dry food for years, in the case of younger dogs a direct transition can be chosen from small feedings. Some specialists recommend, in these cases, a day of fasting to promote rapid adaptation to the new type of food.
How to prepare raw food for your dog?
If you are in the process of transitioning to the BARF diet, start with a soft diet and see how your dog assimilates it (carcasses and chicken necks are a great option for beginners). From there you will be able to incorporate more natural foods in your day to day.
One of the most common fears, usually stem from a possible choking of the dog with the bones. If they scare you at first, grind them for your peace of mind until you notice that it adapts little by little.
It serves meat and fish with skins and fats, since it is the main source of energy for our dogs. In addition, it is interesting to vary between three or four varieties to keep all the nutrient needs of our pet covered.
Remember that food must be frozen for at least three days to avoid the transmission of parasites, especially in fish and viscera. Among them, the liver stands out in its diet, which you can combine with others.
If you have any questions or consider that the needs of your dog may require some type of supplement, it is best to consult a natural nutrition specialist.
Combating fear of the BARF diet
When betting on a diet change, such as the BARF diet, for our little furry, it is normal that doubts or concerns may arise. As this type of food is contemplated, respecting the proportions of each type of food, your dog will have all its nutritional needs complete, so that supplements of any kind will not be necessary nor should it have deficiencies.
Another fear, given that the BARF diet uses raw meat and bones, is the appearance of possible bacteria that contaminate our best friend. In this sense, the body of dogs is prepared to fight these bacteria from raw meat, since historically (and due to its similarity to the wolf) they have been carnivorous-scavenging animals and are completely adapted to this type of diet.
Many people are also scared when feeding their dog to BARF feeding because they see a clear reduction in water consumption by the dog . And although it may worry, it is the most normal thing in these cases, since our dog from raw food will receive much of the water he needs and which previously did not provide him with dry feed.