FAQs

What is an Evolutionary Diet for Dogs and Cats ?
What's the difference between an Evolutionary Diet and a BARF Diet ?
But, isn’t feeding my pet a healthy and balanced diet a highly complex and difficult task ?
Why will feeding my pet a BARF Diet be good for my pet's health ?
But, why not processed pet food like kibbles ?
If commercial pet food is really that bad, how is it that my pet survives on it ?
Does feeding an Evolutionary diet return our pets to nature?
Should I cook Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?
How do I feed my adult dog?
How much do I feed my puppy?
Do I need to supplement when feeding Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W.?
Can I feed processed foods with Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?
What about bacteria in raw foods?
Are there safe handling procedures for Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?
Why are only chicken bones used in Dr B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. recipes ?
Why so many green leafy vegetables?
With no grains or starchy vegetables, where does my dog get it's energy requirements from?
But, the ‘experts’ from dog food companies insist that starch is essential in a pet’s balanced diet ?
Will Dr B’s Genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties keep my dog's teeth clean?
Can I expect a change in stool volume when I begin to feed Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?
“I am still having a hard time finding the sound scientific evidence for the BARF method of feeding; is there anything referenced or documented? I really want to believe that BARF is the best, but I need concrete evidence.

 

What is an Evolutionary Diet for Dogs and Cats ?

 

It simply means feeding your dogs and cats the kind of food that they have evolved (over thousands of years) to require, for their optimum health. (Back to the top)

 

What's the difference between an Evolutionary Diet and a BARF Diet ?

 

There is basically no difference and they both have the same aim. BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) Diet is a name given to a diet that our pets have evolved to require for optimum health i.e. it is an Evolutionary Diet. However, BARF is the more popular term that's used and known worldwide by savvy pet owners. (Back to the top)

 

But, isn’t feeding my pet a healthy and balanced diet a highly complex and difficult task ?

 

This is a myth that has been perpetuated by pet food companies and is actually an absurd idea. Feeding our pets is something that untrained people have successfully accomplished WITHOUT the help of pet food companies for thousands of years.

 

Especially with Dr B’s Genuine Aussie R.A.W. patties, we have made it fantastically easy for pet owners to feed a wholesome diet that closely mimics what Mother Nature had intended, to ensure maximum good health. (Back to the top)

 

Why will feeding my pet a BARF Diet be good for my pet's health ?

 

In the case of the dog, it is an omnivore, a hunter and a scavenger, whereas cats are obligate (essential) carnivores. Their bodies are evolved to principally extract protein and other nutrients from meat and bones in its naturally raw state. Dogs and cats have been bred over the centuries for different looks and behavioural characteristics. But breeders have not bred these animals to change their basic physiology and digestive systems in all this time!

 

That is still a fact today and by definition, dogs and cats should be still eating food in its natural state i.e. uncooked food. This is still be a diet that they have evolved on and should therefore logically be, their Gold Standard diet. (Back to the top)

 

But, why not processed pet food like kibbles ?

 

Heavily cooked commercial pet food has only been introduced on a wide commercial scale for about 80 years (U.S.A.), 40 years (Australia) and 20 years (?) in Singapore. The fact is that the commercial pet food industry started because human food companies found a highly profitable way to deal with their by-products and wastes. These human food industry scraps include parts of animals unfit for human consumption, diseased/dead animals, grain by-products like rice husks and peanut shells, etc. These are some of the main ingredients found in modern dog food of today. There is a plethora of evidence available to back this up and anyone with internet access can find them.

 

Compare that with the natural evolution of dogs and cats for hundreds of thousands of years and how they’ve thrived on a diet of raw foods in all this time. You'll come to the conclusion that our companion animals actually require uncooked fresh food for their optimum health.

 

We didn't invent the wheel about feeding animals ......... they have lived and thrived for so many, many years on RAW food - why should it be any different now? (Back to the top)

 

If commercial pet food is really that bad, how is it that my pet survives on it ?

 

Humans can probably eat fast food or canned food everyday for our whole life and we may survive BUT we sure won't be very healthy! It is the same for our pets when feeding a kibble or canned food diet - they may survive it, but not without having health problems.

 

To put it another way, if all we're eating is cornflakes, hamburgers, fried chicken and canned food, we would still survive but how healthy do you think we'll be ? But this is essentially what commercial processed pet food is equivalent to and should you continue to feed them to you pet on a daily basis ?

 

A lifetime spent eating cooked and processed grain based pet food is the cause of most of the degenerative diseases afflicting modern companion animals. This includes such problems as arthritis, periodontal disease, dermatitis, renal failure, kidney failure, heart failure, lung disease, epilepsy, hip and elbow dysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, autoimmune disease and of course cancer!

 

An interesting fact to note is that prior to the 1930’s (around the time that commercial pet food like kibbles became very popular), the above-mentioned diseases were hardly ever encountered in pet dogs and cats. (Back to the top)

 

Does feeding an Evolutionary diet return our pets to nature?

 

No. Definitely not. Such a return is not possible and also unnecessary. When you feed Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. you are mimicking the natural or evolutionary diet by using foods for which your dog or cat is designed, by the long process of Evolution. By contrast, any attempt to return your pet to a natural environment would be disastrous. It includes lack of shelter, starvation and attack by potential food, attack by other predators and the complete lack of medical and surgical intervention. This is not what we want for our pets. We want an environment that maximizes health. That includes a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet, Their Evolutionary Diet. (For more information see The BARF Diet page 3) (Back to the top) 

 

Should I cook Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?

 

We do not recommend cooked and processed foods, nor do recommend cooking Dr.B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties. Cooking would render the components in the patties biologically inappropriate in a fundamental way. Cooked food loses much nutritional value, including important enzymes and vitamins, and biologically active essential fatty acids. The latter, being damaged by heat and oxygen, become slow poisons, doing irreparable damage.

 

Cooking causes complexes to form between proteins and starches, between vitamins and trace minerals, and between minerals and minerals. Cooking produces carcinogens (cancer-forming agents), anti-immunogens and destroys probiotic abilities of the food. Many minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins also become either unavailable or indigestible.

 

Cooking does make food smell and taste a better (at least to us humans). However, the key question is : “Have we gained anything for our dogs/cats by making their food more palatable?" (Back to the top)

 

How do I feed my adult dog?

 

A starting point for Adult dogs is to feed them between 2% and 3% of their body weight daily. We recommend a mixture of UP TO HALF raw meaty bones (such as chicken necks, wings and carcasses, lamb flaps, beef brisket, soft pork bones etc.) and the balance as Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. patties. (Please note that these patties may be fed as 100% of the diet.) The basic rule is to feed enough food to maintain the desired body weight and condition. This means for an active dog, feed more food and for a sedentary overweight dog - feed less food. (For more information Refer to "Give Your Dog a Bone" Chapter 19 page 281, The BARF Diet, Chapter 11 page 81. Also, check the patty packs for more information.)  (Back to the top)

 

How much do I feed my puppy?

 

BARF Australia recommends feeding puppies up to 6.0 % of their body weight daily, divided into a number of small feeds. As puppies grow older the number of meals may be decreased. It is important to keep pups slim and active (Play only!) rather than fat and inactive. It is absolutely vital in terms of skeletal health that puppies, most particularly puppies of the large breeds, are kept lean, particularly during periods of rapid growth. (For more information Refer to "Give Your Dog a Bone" Chapter 17 page 231 and "Grow Your Pups with Bones" Part Three, chapter 9 p 271.)  (Back to the top)

 

Do I need to supplement when feeding Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W.?

 

The recipes for these patties have been developed by Dr Ian Billinghurst himself, to include all the essential nutrients that dog and cats will need in their daily diet for supreme health, robust immune systems and a long life. The patties already contain all the proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and important minerals (in the correct balance and ratios) and in an ORGANIC form. Most importantly, they are in the correct natural form that will allow optimal digestion and absorption by our dogs and cats.

 

Because Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. is formulated according to the principles of Evolutionary Nutrition, it may be fed as the whole diet or combined with varying proportions of raw meaty bones and other whole raw healthy foods. However, when formulating diets for companion animals, there are at least three reasons we might choose to use Supplements (Vitamins, minerals, herbs etc.), only two of these reasons may apply when feeding Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. patties

 

a) Firstly, it would be necessary to supplement in cases of dietary deficiency - This would not apply
    when feeding Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W.
b) Secondly it is OK to supplement as a safety net, so long as the basic rules of supplementation are followed... (see chapter 7 The BARF Diet)
c) Thirdly, it is almost always necessary to supplement when constructing diets to deal with specific
    health problems.

 

For more information please refer to Chapter 5 Give Your dog a Bone – page 67, Part Two, Chapter One, page 45 Grow Your Pups With Bones and Chapter 7 The BARF Diet - beginning at page 47  (Back to the top)

 

Can I feed processed foods with Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?

 

Some animals will suffer digestive disturbance if the two types of food are combined in the same meal or when the two types of food fed one after the other; however, in most cases such feeding practices will cause no problems. For example, many people, when switching from a whole food diet to a raw food diet will combine the two while making the switch. However, in most cases this is not necessary; the instant switch method works just as well. The most important reason that we have for recommending against the practice of feeding both types of food is that the more an animal's diet departs from its Evolutionary diet, the more it is likely to suffer health problems. For more information please read Chapter 10 of The BARF Diet.  (Back to the top)

 

What about bacteria in raw foods?

 

The presence of bacteria in raw food often worries pet owners and vets. They assume these bacteria will make pets sick. However, dogs, being natural scavengers, have evolved to eat and thrive on bacteria laden food, requiring them for immune system maturity. Wild dogs eat the gut contents of their prey, and the faeces of many different animals (including their own). They eat soil, contaminated meat, buried bones, infected meat and so on. These are all a source of microbes and any toxins they might produce. That is why the bacteria in raw meat are of no consequence to ninety-nine plus percent of dogs. This does not mean we recommend bacteria laden food for our pets. What it does mean is that even for pets that have eaten commercial pet food for most of their life, are safe eating raw food from clean sources.  (Back to the top)

 

Are there safe handling procedures for Dr. B's genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?

 

Commonsense must prevail when handling raw meat. You do this all the time when you prepare a meal for the family. After handling raw meat for your pets, do wash your hands before eating your own food. Sterilize any knives, surfaces or utensils used in the preparation or handling of your pets' food.

 

We recommend using a stainless steel dish which is washed thoroughly with soap and hot water after every meal. Discard any uneaten food (if it’s been left out for too long) and store raw pet food in separate containers (if you’re concerned that it’ll contaminate human food). After thawing the food, we recommend it be only kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It's really not that different !  (Back to the top)

 

There are bones in Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties!

 

It is natural for both dogs and cats to eat bones. Both a dog's body and a cat's body are designed to use bones as its main source of minerals - including calcium and phosphorus. Our pets' bodies have been doing this for millions of years. Your pet Will Not and Cannot, suffer mineral deficiencies, imbalances or excesses, when raw meaty bones make up the bulk of its diet.

 

This applies to all ages, and all breeds, including puppies and kittens. This is because bones are the storehouse of all the minerals your pet requires in perfect balance and in the perfect form, for optimal absorption. The bones in Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties are very finely ground making them very safe to feed to your pets.  (Back to the top)

 

Why are only chicken bones used in Dr B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. recipes ?

 

Raw chicken bones are brilliant in terms of nutrition for your dogs. They contain higher amounts of first class quality proteins (all the essential amino acids except methionine), are very high in essential fatty acids, the very best mineral supplements possible, fat soluble vitamins A, D and E, plus anti-oxidants, enzymes and high levels of blood-forming nutrients.   (Back to the top)

 

Why so many green leafy vegetables?

 

Domestic pets should be getting their carbohydrate in a similar manner and balance to their wild ancestors. That means feeding fresh, raw (non starchy-low glycemic) vegetables (and some fruit) - that have been totally crushed to make them similar to the gut contents of a herbivore. The green vegetables are a valuable source of healthy fibre, they contain no gluten and only a low level of starch and some simple sugars. They are chock full of valuable nutrients including enzymes, nutraceuticals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Fruit and vegetables, suitably prepared (crushed) are vital when modifying the evolutionary diet for degenerative diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer etc.   (Back to the top)

 

With no grains or starchy vegetables, where does my dog get it's energy requirements from?

 

When our pets eat dry pet food, most of their energy comes from carbohydrates as they are grain-based foods. Rice, wheat, soy, corn and other grains are the base ingredients used for dry, semi-moist and canned foods, even for some of the "premium" brands. This results in your pet consuming carbohydrates from lots of starch and also, from added sugar. Both sugar and starch are damaging forms of carbohydrate that are biologically inappropriate for pet animals.

 

Together, these two carbohydrates make an enormous contribution to the degenerative diseases in our pets. When pet animals eat their evolutionary diet (the BARF diet) their energy comes principally from protein and fat. Very little comes from carbohydrate. Deriving their energy principally from fats and proteins is health promoting for our pets. Grains can cause blood sugar levels to rise and then quickly fall, causing highs and lows in insulin levels. Grains contain very few vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, in comparison to vegetables.  (Back to the top)

 

But, the ‘experts’ from dog food companies insist that starch is essential in a pet’s balanced diet ?

 

That is not true! Starch was introduced into our pets’ diet as a cheap (and the major) energy source by pet food companies about 80 years ago. This was how cooked grain was introduced as the bulk of their diet. Since that time, we have witnessed a massive rise in degenerative diseases within our pets’ population. Our pets were being forced to eat a diet that departs enormously from what they’ve evolved to eat and scientific research has shown why such a diet is so disastrous.

 

A diet based on starch will cause a chronic elevation of blood sugar, which in turn causes a pathological rise in insulin called Hyperinsulinemia.

 

Hyperinsulinemia contributes to a range of pathological conditions including diabetes, obesity, arthritis and numerous diseases involving excessive inflammation like skin problems. Diets high in starch also play a major role in promoting cancer. Bottom line is that continuously high levels of starch are hugely detrimental to health.   (Back to the top)

 

Will Dr B’s Genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties keep my dog's teeth clean?

 

The results are in and it's obvious that dog fed a raw diet have much cleaner teeth. The processed or cooked foods eaten by dogs today, are high in two substances; soluble carbohydrates and soluble calcium. These two nutrients attack a dog's mouth at every meal. In addition, processed foods do not contain the naturally occurring enzymes found in raw foods, that are so necessary for clean teeth. Through the use of raw bones and a healthy BARF diet, your dog can have a sparkling smile!  (Back to the top)

 

Can I expect a change in stool volume when I begin to feed Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. Patties?

 

Depending on what your dog has been eating prior to switching, stool size is generally much more smaller and odourless compared to stools from dogs being fed processed pet foods. This is because the Evolutionary Diet is highly digestible AND does not contain any unnecessary fillers or grains. The stool colour may vary a little depending on which protein source is being fed.  (Back to the top)

 

And last but not least …….

 

“I am still having a hard time finding the sound scientific evidence for the BARF method of feeding; is there anything referenced or documented? I really want to believe that BARF is the best, but I need concrete evidence.

 

The short answer to this question (in Dr Ian Billinghurst’s own words) :

 

Apart from my own work in questioning my own clients, nobody has conducted lifetime trials comparing a species appropriate fresh whole food evolutionary diet with the current grain based, species inappropriate, processed, denatured, rancid, chemical filled product. The only people who have the money to conduct such trials [the multi-national pet food companies] would not be interested because they have no intention [at the moment] of moving in the direction of a diet based on evolutionary norms.

 

What we do know is that domestic animals evolved to eat certain fresh raw whole foods. We know those foods are not being fed today. We know that degenerative disease among domestic animals is rife. As a vet in practice, I observed the relationship between diet and disease and wrote a book about it. As a result, many people now feed a species appropriate diet to their pet animals and they report enormously improved levels of health. Such a diet will not cure absolutely every problem, but it certainly goes a lot further in that direction than any other single modality.

 

If you believe evolution to be true and you believe that the diet animals evolved to eat would be the one that promotes greatest health, it is logical to research out the diet your pets evolved to eat and feed that diet - IF - you want maximum health for your pets. You could short-cut some of that process by reading books that other people have written on the subject and making a decision that what you are reading either does or does not have some basic scientific sense. (E.g. I have written 3 books on the subject.) Let me also suggest you talk with other people who feed this way. There are many such groups on the world wide web.  (Back to the top)

 

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