BARF is the Dog Equivalent of a Palieo Diet

BARF diet for pets

BARF diet for petsBARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. This is a new diet trend in dog food. The idea is that you feed your dog raw meats, grains and vegetables as they would have millions of years ago. This is very similar to the idea of the Paleo Diet, which is to eat as our ancestors did before the age of metal. It is also similar to the raw food diet that many people have started doing.

This diet plan is not recommended. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is not on board with BARF. Citing a number of studies, the AVMA’s policy discourages feeding raw or undercooked animal proteins as they contain potentially deadly pathogens that not only can sicken your pet but also can be transmitted to humans.

If you are wanting to put your dog on BARF, please consult your veterinarian about the risks and learn the signs and symptoms of potential illness associated with this diet.

Vetco will be posting many homemade dog food recipes in the coming future, but we recommend that you thoroughly cook all foods you give to your dog.

Easy Crockpot Beef & Rice Meal

dog food Albuquerque vet

Our patients ask us all the time about what kind of food they should feed their pets. One of the topics that comes up is should they make the food themselves. That can be a great idea but finding recipes is not always easy. We are going to start sharing dog food recipes you can make at home. Always remember to consult your Albuquerque vet about food restrictions. You don’t want to make your dog sick accidentally. If you have fed your dog any food that is causing them to vomit, have diarrhea, become lethargic, or any other strange symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

dog food Albuquerque vetThis dog food recipe takes about 10 minutes to make and can be frozen to save for later.


  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Total: Makes about 11 cups


  1. Add all ingredients into a crockpot
  2. Stir in 4 cups of water.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours (high heat for half the time)
  4. Stir in all ingredients with 4 cups of water in a crockpot.
  5. Serve when cooled.

Whatever you don’t serve to your dog, divide into single servings and freeze to use for later.

Nutrition Guide for Homemade Dog Food

healthy dog foodWe are going to start sharing great recipes for homemade dog food. But before we do that we thought it would be a good idea to share some nutritional guidelines for your dogs. Before you start cooking your own dog food, make sure to speak with your Albuquerque vet to make sure you are meeting your dog’s nutritional needs and not feeding them anything they shouldn’t be eating. Remember that portion size will be based your dog’s height, weight and activity level.


  • 40% Protein – animal meat, seafood, eggs or dairy
  • 10% Carbohydrates – grains and beans
  • 50% Vegetables
  • Fat – from oil or meat
  • Calcium – crushed or powdered egg shells; a supplement
  • Fatty acids – cooked egg yolks, oatmeal, plant oils and other foods

Make sure to cook all food thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria.

Make sure to cook all beans, grains and starchy vegetables so it is easier for your dog to digest.

Do NOT make substitutions in dog food recipes without first consulting your vet.

The book Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, PhD, is an excellent resource for dog food chefs and is free online.

Foods your dog should never eat.

  • Chocolate
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

If you dog is vomiting, has diarrhea, is lethargic, refusing to eat, not drinking, or displaying any concerning health symptoms after eating homemade dog food, please call your vet immediately.