Does your pet follow the BARF diet? While that may sound terrible, it’s not what you’re thinking – it’s actually a good thing! The letters BARF stand for “Bones and Raw Food,” or “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” diet, and it’s the basis for the entire line of products from Primal Pet Foods. They offer dog food, cat food, and pet treats that are designed to imitate what animals eat in the wild. Even though our cats and dogs have been domesticated, their bodies and minds are still set up for hunting and eating the way their wild ancestors did, and this diet is actually the healthiest and most appropriate for them.
When you really think about it, it seems odd that we have become used to giving our pets dried kibble, often in the form of little shapes, like fish and drumsticks. Aside from this diet being repetitive and boring, it’s also highly processed and based largely on synthetic vitamins and filler. The result of feeding our beloved pets this type of diet is a nation of dogs and cats facing serious health issues. Obesity, cancer, digestive issues, food allergies, skin and coat problems . . . the list goes on and on, and there seems to be no end in sight. We want our pets to live long lives so we can enjoy their companionship for years to come, but when pets spend years eating an inappropriate diet, their later years may be spent dealing with a decline in health and well-being that is heartbreaking for families to watch.
Primal Pet Foods wanted to end the cycle of declining quality of life due to diet-related diseases and conditions. Formed in 2001, and based in San Mateo, CA, the company hoped to offer a new approach to feeding our pets, one that gave the dogs and cats we love the chance to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life by providing the best, most appropriate pet food possible. The Primal Pet Foods approach is to offer a raw foods diet that is comprised of human grade meats, certified organic fruits and vegetables, organic minerals and real (not synthetic!) vitamins. For a complete pet food regimen, customers can feed their dog or cat the Formula diet, or they can supplement a pet’s food with the Mixes & Grinds line. Even treats are both healthy and tasty with the Primal Treats line.
If you are not familiar with a raw food diet, it is a bit different than simply pouring kibble out of a bag twice a day. From the selection of ingredients, to the preparation process in the Primal Pet Foods facility, to the actual feeding at your home, there is quite a bit to learn about this approach to feeding your pet.
Ingredients: First, the selection of ingredients Primal uses is a carefully monitored process. The company relies on meat, poultry, and game raised on sustainable farms and ranches right here in the United States, with nothing imported from China like many other pet food companies. Primal’s meat is free from antibiotics and steroids, and the animals are fed a natural grass or vegetarian diet. The company does source their venison and lamb from ranches in New Zealand that are USDA approved in order to receive the best supply.
Preparation: Once Primal has their supply of ingredients on hand, they use a special process to prepare the foods for packaging and distribution. In order to properly manufacture raw foods, the company has to adhere to strict guidelines regarding food safety, quality, and the highest nutritional value possible. Primal tests all foods to make sure they are free from harmful bacteria before selling them, and uses a special High Pressure Processing procedure on all of their poultry to naturally kill bacteria.
Feeding: Once you decide to begin feeding a raw food diet to your dog or cat, it’s important to do it safely. If you don’t already have stainless steel feeding bowls, it is recommended you purchase a set for feeding raw foods. Keep the foods frozen, and thaw as necessary for feeding, returning any remainder to the fridge for safe storage. Keep all of your food preparation items separate from your other utensils, and wash all surfaces, hands, and bowls with hot soapy water.
Your pet may not have to hunt at night for their breakfast, go searching for their lunch, or carefully plan how to catch their dinner like their ancestors did. However, their digestive systems and instincts still tell them this is the right way to eat. Once they get their first taste of a Primal Pet Foods raw food diet, you might find yourself with a whole new pet on your hands! The quality food-grade meats, healthy amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals in Primal Pet Foods products will help your pet feel happier, look better, have more energy, and possibly live a longer, disease-free life.