This article is from the Keeshonden Breed FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Kimberly J. Eashoo).
One year ago as of July 21st, my dogs have been BARFing 100%. This
year has been rife with controversy over the diet, experimentation and
a real lifestyle change. Has it been worth it? Absolutely!!!
First, I'd like to point out that contrary to many opinions, my dogs
are still alive. They have not subcumbed to parasites, perforated
intestines, blockages, or a nutritional deficiency..
I've learned many things this year. The biggest is *I* know the best
for my dogs. No one else can tell what is going on inside them as well
as I can. I AM capable of taking care of my dog's diet, it isn't
rocket science, it's COMMON SENSE. While you must understand how dog's
work and are made, along with their nutritional requirements, it's not
impossible by any means. Any responsible pet owner can certainly read
books, surf the internet, and talk to people to be able to improve
their dog's diet.
There are many things I've seen happen on this diet. Here's a run
* No stool pick up. The stools are tiny, turn white and crumble in a
day. No need to pick up the yard!
* No vet visits. We went through the entire year with no need to visit
* Reduced shedding. The dogs are holding their coats longer, and
rolling as opposed to blowing it out every 6-8 months (average for
* Better Pigmentation. All the dogs have improved color, specifically
spectacles & masks.
* Better energy. All dogs are active & energetic.
* Better muscle tone. They remain in hard solid condition, with less
work on my part :)
* Better coat. Coats have lengthened out, and are much denser than
what they were.
* Better understanding of nutrition. I now have a broad base knowledge
on general nutrition. It's led me to improve my own diet though not
as much as I'd like to.
Individually I've noticed the following things:
Breeze has always been healthy EXCEPT for seasonal allergies (so
therefore not really healthy right??) . When I lived in Missouri,
these took place from June through September. In Seattle they were
March through November peaking May - September. The first year on BARF
she did slightly better than normal (while I used Prednisone the first
summer I now will NOT give it to her ever.) This year her allergies
have been amazing. While she occasionally reacts to something, it goes
away and coat loss has been MUCH less.. She has also grown an amazing
coat, density wise. Along with this she's been a dog that blows every
year May & Nov like clockwork. Imagine my surprise when she skipped
the November blow last year and then only blew half the amount in May!
Her energy level is high and she has more stamina than she used to.
Legend has never had any health problems whatsoever. He has been a
nortoriously picky eater though. Keeping him up to show weight was
always a battle. It often entailed handfeeding him, and mixing in lots
of goodies. A major pain! I switched to BARF just before he finished
his Championship. Right after switching he gained up to his correct
weight (and has stayed there!) and grew lots of extra undercoat. Quite
unexpectedly I might add. I neutered Legend in October while he was in
glorious coat. Probably due to hormonal changes he blew all his coat
out (even the guard hairs!) and has spent the last months growing it
back in. His coat is now twice as long as it's ever been, and he's
doing his best to grow in ruff and lengthen his undercoat. I'm betting
in another few months he'll look fantastic!
Sabre was still a young adult dog when I switched (not even 2
yet). While he was so young he had already had a brush with death (no,
I'm not exaggerating!) due to commercial preservatives. As a puppy he
had off and on diarrhea which we could never figure out. When he was
11 months old we figured it out but it almost cost Sabre his
life. Sabre has been a major food stealer his entire life. One day he
stole a bowl of noodle soup (preservatives abounding in it). He
started vomiting that night and continued projectile vomiting for 2
days. The vet couldn't find an obstruction, and managed to stop the
vomiting. After 2 additional days of fluids and medication he
recovered. After much deduction we finally figured out it was
preservative related. He can not have anything with BHA, BHT,
Ethoxyquin and a few other things. The raw diet has provided him a
100% preservative free diet. While many foods are supposedly
preservative free, if THEY don't add it (but the meat plant or middle
man does) they don't have to place it on the label. We've proven many
foods have preservatives when Sabre's had them as a treat. Sabre's
energy increased and while he detoxed some, and also changed coats
(probably due to age, not the diet) he is looking outstanding now.
Shady has probably had the fewest changes. She has experienced some
though. She blows coat much less, both in quantity and frequency. Her
coat is also denser and healthier than it ever was in the past. Her
muscle tone is amazing and she is always fit and active. She's my
energizer bunny. While Breeze likes to play with people (primarily
Frisbee) Shady torments the boys and keeps them busy.
Written by Heather Campbell