Barfen Dogs For Beginners: Natural Nutrition For Your Four-Legged Friend

More and more owners are switching to barfing their dogs. Barf startups offer the raw barf food free of charge and more and more guidebooks make this method of feeding palatable to us. But what is barfing and how does it work? This is what you need to know.

What Is Actually Barfen?

The naming of the feeding method could not be more unfavorably chosen. If you look in an English dictionary, you will learn that “to barf” actually means “to throw up”. Yet barfing is the exact opposite for the dog, namely a way to eat healthy meat and vegetables with all their nutrients.

The acronym “Barf” originally stood for “Bones and raw foods”, but today it stands for “Biologically appropriate raw food”. The change in the name is also due to the fact that many owners have moved away from offering dogs primarily raw meat. Instead, when barfing your dog eats carrots, zucchini, potatoes, rice, beet, but also meat, offal and bones.

Is Barfing Dogs Really Ideal?

The question of which food is best for your dog cannot be answered in a general way. It is assumed that the variety of nutrients contained in uncooked foods are basically healthy for dogs. At the same time, however, barfing is only for those who really want to learn about nutrition.

A piece of beef, a carrot or a broccoli floret contain a lot of healthy vitamins, fats and minerals. But only through a balanced diet with many different vegetables, fish, meat and herbs your dog gets through Barf everything he really needs.

Dog food manufacturers do not make it easy for themselves in the composition of basic ingredients for dry and wet food. Especially modern brands in the high-priced segment use good meat, various vegetables and as few grains as necessary for their feeds. If anything, rice and oatmeal are included in the creations. The food is then enriched, by the way, also in the low-price segment, with vitamins, oils, trace elements and often still yeasts to improve the flavor. The dog tastes: Here I get everything I need.

The Barf principle of feeding natural and wholesome food, on the other hand, only works if you yourself become an expert in dog nutrition and take a close look at which ingredient contains which nutrients. Vitamins, fats and other substances are only present in barfing if you deliberately add them.

Barfen For Beginners – So It Works Safely

You want to barf your puppy, accustom your dog or at least try it once with barfing? Of course, there are numerous e-books and guides on the subject of barfing for beginners. But barfing in itself is not a comprehensive science that you have to spend months learning about. Instead, you can start by asking yourself a few basic questions about barfing for beginners.

What Is Species-Appropriate Nutrition For A Dog?

Not only are our dogs individual, but we often anthropomorphize them as well. That’s why they get a piece of our plate here and there when we eat, colorful snacks from brightly colored bags, or play with intelligence toys that human children would also demand. But the dog was a wild animal until a few tens of thousands of years ago, resident in various forms all over the planet and adapted to different habitats such as snow, forests and deserts. We bred it into a friendly companion that now relies on us.

In nature, some relatives of our modern dogs, such as wolves or dingoes, eat meat, fish, insects, roots and berries. They do not find cultivated vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes or cabbage there. Like many carnivores, wolves also like to crack bones after eating the meat to get the marrow and sharpen their teeth at the same time. Dogs also eat carrion and meat that has been dried in the sun for a long time. So dried snacks can be part of the diet.

What Is The Right Amount Of Barf Food A Day?

A dog should eat about two percent of its body mass in meat and vegetables a day (some experts think closer to 3 percent). For a small dog of 2 kilos, that’s just 40 grams of food; for a large dog of 30 kilos, it’s 600 grams. A Great Dane can weigh up to 60 kilos. In this order of magnitude then 1.2 kilograms of fodder become due on the day.

The fact that with Barfen the dog often loses weight nevertheless, even if it eats if necessary more, is because not all components of the fresh fodder can be digested. With dog food it is different, it is reduced to the most necessary and reduced in volume, for example by pressing the food chips.

What Is The Ideal Ratio Of Meat And Vegetables In Barfing?

Here, opinions differ greatly. As a rule, owners assume a ratio of 20 percent vegetables to 80 percent bones and meat. A large dog that needs 1 kilogram of food a day thus needs 800 grams of meat and 200 grams of vegetables and herbs. However, there are also voices that see the ratio rather 40 to 60 and people who feed their dogs mainly vegetarian.

Especially when it comes to barfing for beginners, however, it is advisable to initially level the menu at 20 and 80 percent. You don’t have to barf according to a recipe, but you should offer your dog all the micronutrients it needs.

What Is The Perfect Meat For Barfing Dogs?

Dogs can theoretically digest any meat. Nevertheless, you should choose beef, horse, lamb and game, especially if you don’t have an absolutely sterile kitchen available. Poultry often contains bacteria or goes bad with irregular refrigeration. Pork is also not suitable for pet food. Fish can be provided as a supplement, but cannot replace a meat-heavy diet.

There is no perfect recipe when barfing, but good empirical values on the following cuts of meat and organs:


  • Goulash: Expensive, but wholesome and soft. Barfing for beginners becomes easy because dogs like to accept the meat.
  • Veal: Young beef is softer, making it ideal for puppy barfining or feeding older animals.
  • Mouth meat: Soft, juicy and easy to chew.
  • Mouth meat: Like mouth meat very soft and tasty, but also somewhat chewy for employment.
  • Tongue: Muscle meat like beef tongue is well tolerated and quickly digested.
  • Heart: Particularly cheap and fat-free – lots of protein, but also suitable for dogs on a diet.
  • Liver: Iron, vitamins A, B2, biotin, vitamin A and proteins – nevertheless to feed with caution, because an excess of vitamin A is harmful.
  • Udder: If you want to barf puppies, you can’t avoid udder. The meat is tender and calcium-rich, energy-rich and tastes almost all dogs.
  • Green rumen: In this stomach cows pre-digest green plants. As a result, the tissue absorbs these nutrients and the dog eats them.
  • Leafy Stomach: The stomach of cattle with the lowest fat content – perfect as a diet food.

Other Meat

  • Turkey meat: High in protein, lean and easily digestible for all dogs.
  • Lamb pieces: Also very well tolerated and satisfying for allergy sufferers.
  • Deer liver: For dogs that cannot tolerate beef liver but need iron and vitamins.
  • Kangaroo: Expensive, exclusive but perfect for dogs allergic to many things.
  • Antelope: Specialty butchers often carry this particularly low-fat meat. It is ideal for weight loss.


  • Beef marrow bone: Great for chewing and licking out the marrow which also contains nutrients.
  • Venison bones: Large, bite resistant and suitable for allergy sufferers as marrow bones.
  • Veal Neck Bones: These bones are also suitable for small dogs and puppies.

Barfen As Disgust Test For Owners

One circumstance that takes some getting used to in barfing for beginners is the handling of raw meat. On the one hand, with barfing we want to offer the dog only the best. On the other hand, we don’t want to be disgusted by the preparation of the food several times a day.

Look on the bright side: with barfing, you’ll never have to endure the stench of many canned foods, which are rarely pleasant for humans either. Still, it takes overcoming to buy a piece of udder, some cattle feet, or the inside of a cow’s mouth from a butcher or slaughterhouse, carry it home, and cut it into pieces for your dog.

Barf suppliers with online shipping make this step easier. There you buy meat in a quality that you could imagine on your own plate. But does it really always have to be the prime cut for your four-legged friend? Rumen, liver, kidneys, marrow bones and all that have their place in the diet of a carnivore. Wolves and wild dogs prefer to eat organs because that’s where the vitamins and nutrients are, not in the picture-perfect rib eye steak. So it’s worth it if you keep pushing that threshold of disgust for the sake of your dog.

Barfing means that your dog eats all the ingredients of his food raw. So you don’t have to cook according to a recipe for barfing, but combine them cleverly. For example, your dog’s menu may look like this:

Day 1

: beef goulash, boiled sweet potato, lamb’s lettuce.

: marrow bones of beef.

Day 2

: Green rumen, Chinese cabbage, pumpkin.

: Maw meat.

Day 3

: raw fish, spinach, zucchini.

: udder meat, chewing bones.

Hygiene Is What Counts

One of the biggest criticisms of barfing is that private keepers have a hard time ensuring refrigeration that doesn’t put meat at risk of bacterial contamination. However, proper thawing of meat and fish can be learned, and storage strictly separate from processed foods is easy to adhere to.

Nevertheless, you must be aware that barfing for beginners may also mean that they have to buy a second freezer, for example. Meat that is not fed immediately should be frozen immediately and not defrosted too long before the meal. Pay attention to the quantities as well. For example, if you’re barfeeding puppies, you don’t need to thaw a whole leg of beef for a meal. To get around this, portion the meat fresh and only then freeze it.

All equipment and surfaces that come in contact with raw meat must be easy to clean and not used for several days at a time without washing up. Wooden boards are not suitable for cutting meat. If you keep the kitchen and food clean, you minimize the risk that barfing will cause the dog to breed bacteria or germs.

Barfing According To Tutorial And Recipe As A Start

On the web, many different vendors offer courses and books that include nutrition plans for barfing puppies, barfing small dogs or barfing sporting dogs. There is no single recipe for barfing, but it can be useful to look at the professional tips and use them to develop your own plan for your dog. These training plans and guides often include lists of which foods contain which vitamins and minerals. So the supply is secured for the beginning.


For Which Dogs Is Barf Suitable?

All carnivores, not just dogs, can be barfed. This also means that all dog breeds can and may eat raw meat and vegetables. Whether your dog will be convinced also depends on the variety of meat and side dishes you offer him.

Do I Need A Recipe For Barfing?

No, you do not need a recipe to barf. Most foods are fed raw, with the exception of legumes, beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Just combine what your dog likes.

Can I Barfeed Puppies?

From the 5th week of life, puppies may be barfed and eat raw meat. However, this must be absolutely fresh, germ-free and served in small portions. Soft meats are more likely to be accepted. If you are unsure, your veterinarian will advise you.

What Is Healthier – Barf Or Dog Food?

Dog food contains compressed all nutrients, but also grains, flavors and dyes. Raw meat and vegetables must be carefully combined to contain all vitamins and enough protein. Then Barfing is possibly healthier, but at least more species-appropriate than pressed dog food.

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