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Raw Dog Food With Carbs:
How to calculate a BARF meal with grains

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Some people in the BARF community decide to feed their hound raw dog food with carbs, while others prefer to leave them out completely. There is no definitive right or wrong, though your personal decision should take into account the breed of your dog as well as their age and activity level. The general rule of thumb is that the muscle meat component of a raw food diet should contain between 15-25% of fat. Certain breeds, sighthounds for instance, are built to be sprinters and therefore have a higher need for fast available energy than other breeds, which generally puts them toward the higher range of the suggested fat percentage. The digestive system of some dogs are intolerant to high fat percentages, and in this case, raw dog food with carbs can be used to address the energy need.

why add carbs to a raw dog food meal?

In principle, dogs are built to use fat as a primary source of fuel, however, fat is expensive, hence why commercial dog food producers generally refrain from including it in their products (source). These producers opt to replace fat with carbohydrates in order to satisfy the energy needs of dogs. Many see this as an over reliance on carbohydrates, though, that is not to say that there is no place at all for them in a balanced diet. Some dogs have shown to be intolerant of high amounts of fat. In extreme cases, acute pancreatitis can result from long-term overfeeding of fat.

In general, there are two main reasons why some raw feeders choose to include carbs:

  1. A way to achieve/maintain a healthy weight without going overboard on fat content
  2. A response to digestive system sensitivity issues in dogs

How to calculate the BARF Classic Standard Distribution WITH carbs

You can use the following recipe for your healthy, adult greyhound:

BARF classic standard distribution WITH carbs

Total amount of food per day: 2-3% of bodyweight

Animal-based components
70%

Subdivided as follows:

  • 50% muscle meat, with a fat content of 15-25%
  • 15% tripe
  • 15% innards (liver, heart, kidney, lung, spleen)
  • 20% raw meaty bones
Plant-based components
30%

Subdivided as follows:

  • 40% veggies
  • 40% carbohydrates
  • 20% fruit
BARF Pyramid 70-30

Which grains can I feed my dog?

The grains or carbs you feed your dog should always be cooked. Remember that some dogs might suffer from a gluten-intolerance or grain-related allergy. It is always best to start off with small amounts to see how your hound reacts. When we feed carbs alongside Sky’s raw meal, we usually opt for gluten-free grains.

You can choose from the following lists:

Gluten-Free Carbs
Classic Grains

Learn more about Raw Feeding barf in general

Learn how to get started with raw feeding barf

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