Parasites—Examples of parasites contained in raw meat that complete their
life cycle and reinfest the environment after ingestion by dogs include the fish
tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) and giant kidney worm (Dioctophyme
renale) from raw fish, roundworms (Toxocara spp.) in any muscle meat, and
trichinosis (Trichinella spiralis) from pork.
Three raw-food diets commonly described are the Bones and Raw Food (BARF)
diet, the Ultimate diet, and the Volhard diet. All consist of a variety of meals,
some containing primarily meat and others primarily grains, eggs, or vegetables, such that no given meal is balanced, but the diet overall is balanced. This
is, of course, similar to our goal as humans with our own diet (Figure 1-5).
Supplements, such as brewer’s yeast, kelp, fatty acids, and cod liver oil, are added
to provide vitamins and minerals.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the following
when preparing, storing, and using raw-food diets:
• All ingredients should be from federally inspected facilities and passed for
human consumption.
• All bones and other material should be ground.
• Preparation techniques should mimic those used for human food preparation. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods, wash working
surfaces and all utensils (cutting boards, knives and grinders, preparation
and feeding bowls) with hot soapy water, and wash hands with hot soapy water before and after working with ingredients.
• Transport and store food frozen.
• Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or thaw in the microwave and use
• Refrigerate leftovers immediately or discard.
The position statement set forth by the FDA is as follows: “FDA does not believe raw meat foods for animals are consistent with the goal of protecting the
public from significant health risks, particularly when such products are
brought into the home and/or used to feed domestic pets.” Please talk to your
veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist if you have questions about the use of
raw food diets for your dog.
Figure 1-5. “Balanced” human diet.

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