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We know what you’re thinking, and no, this article has nothing to do with vomiting. Instead, the BARF diet, which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods or Bones And Raw Food, is a popular alternative to traditional commercial pet food for cats and dogs. BARF diets consist of raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables, and are based on the idea that this is a more natural and healthier way of feeding your pets. 

In this article, we will be exploring the benefits of a BARF diet for dogs and cats, and provide you with some useful tips on how to get started with this BARF for your pets.

What is the BARF diet?

Created by veterinarian and nutritionist Dr. Ian Billinghurst, the BARF diet is a raw food diet for cats and dogs, which is based on the idea that this is a more natural and healthier way of feeding your pets. A BARF diet consists of raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables, and is designed to mimic the diet that wild cats and dogs would have had access to in the past, way back before they were domesticated. Proponents of the BARF diet believe that it provides pets with a more wholesome and nutritious diet than commercial pet food, and can help to prevent health problems such as obesity, digestive issues, and skin problems.

Benefits of the BARF diet

If you’ve ever wondered things like “can dogs eat raw chicken”, well the answer is yes, and there are actually several benefits that come with feeding your pets a BARF diet, including:

Better nutrition

If you want to provide more sustenance to your cat or dog, BARF diets provide pets with a healthy alternative to regular dry food pet food, which can help to prevent problems and keep them in good condition. BARF diets are free of high glycemic carbohydrates like corn and wheat which tend to promote plaque and tatar buildup.

Improved digestion

Raw meat and bones are easier for pets to digest than commercial pet food, which can help to reduce the risk of digestive problems such as diarrhea and digestive upset.

Healthier skin and coat

The high levels of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins in a BARF dog diet can help to improve the health and appearance of your cat or dog’s skin and coat.

Better dental health

Part of a BARF dog diet includes keeping your pup’s pearly whites sparkling! Chewing on raw bones, like beef bones for dogs, can help to keep your pet’s teeth clean and strong, reducing the risk of dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Our Bold Nature raw meaty bones like turkey necks and chicken feet provide dogs and cats with a natural toothbrush, promoting better dental hygiene and fresher breath.

Allergy alleviation

Did you know that traditional kibbles and canned wet cat food can have upwards of 30 ingredients? This makes it hard to narrow down if your pet has a food allergy. Since BARF diets contain such few ingredients, a raw cat food diet makes some of the best food for cats with allergies.

What to be aware of when feeding a BARF diet 

While there are many benefits to feeding a BARF diet for dogs and cats, there are also some things that you should be aware of, including:


A BARF diet can be more expensive than commercial pet food, especially if you are purchasing high-quality ingredients.

Time and effort

Preparing a BARF diet for your pets can be time-consuming and require a lot of effort, especially if you are starting from scratch.

Dealing with raw meat

A BARF diet can be prepared at home with fresh meats, organs and bones, but you’ll need to be very aware of the ingredients you are dealing with. Raw meat and bones can contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, which can cause serious health problems for your pets if not handled with the proper care.

Lab with Bold by Nature products

Getting started with the BARF diet

If you are considering a BARF diet meal plan for your pets, there are some things that you should give some thought to before getting started, including:

Consult with your holistic veterinarian

Before making any changes to your pet’s diet, it is always a good idea to consult with your holistic veterinarian to ensure that a BARF diet is suitable for your pet’s individual needs and health status.

Do extra research

There is a lot of information available for a BARF diet for dogs or cats and it is important to do your research to ensure that you are providing your pet with a diet that is appropriate for them.

Start slowly

If you are transitioning your pet from commercial pet food to a cat or dog BARF diet, it is important to do so gradually to avoid upsetting its digestive system.

Store food properly

Raw meat and bones should be stored properly to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination, and it is important to follow safe food handling practices when preparing and serving the BARF diet to your pets.

Consider pre-made options

While preparing a BARF diet for dogs and cats from scratch can be time-consuming and effort-intensive, there are also pre-made options available, like our Bold by Nature raw diets, that you can consider as a BARF alternative if you don’t want to create the meals yourself. 

Our raw recipes are designed to model the natural prey diet that cats and dogs would have eaten in the wild. They’re full of meats and fresh veggies that are made without added processes and are unproblematic to their digestive systems. Each raw recipe comes conveniently packaged in 3 lb boxes for cats and up to 24 lb boxes for dogs that you can keep frozen until your pet is ready to feast. These provide your pets with a nutritious, easy-to-feed option for pet owners looking to provide a healthy, flavourful cat or dog BARF diet

Where can I get Bold by Nature products?

Bold by Nature makes raw pet food in Ontario and can be found in pet stores across Canada. If you’re ready to get started on your BARF diet meal plan, you can purchase Canadian raw dog food online or at a local retailer that carries Bold by Nature products. If you’re unsure of which stores carry our products, you can use our location finder to explore retailers near you.