Book Review on the BARF Diet

I can recall a handful of books in my life that were so impactful that they not only altered major life decisions but actually changed my views and outlooks to the point of altering my entire life's path. One of those life changing books for me was "The BARF Diet" by Dr. Ian Billinghurst, a veterinary surgeon. The bad news is that I read this book after I had to put one of my dogs down with a severe bout of cancer. The good news is I read this book just in time to save one of my current dogs from a debilitating knee surgery. Focusing on the good here, I am increasingly amazed at the benefits of the BARF diet and the illness and problems it continues to prevent and reverse. The evidence is clear, the facts are in, and the proof is in the pudding..... the Bones and Raw Food diet is amazing and I'm not afraid to get on my soap box to give it a shout out.

Let's start at the beginning. The BARF diet, once you get past the grossness of the acronym, is short for either Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. One thing is becoming increasingly clearer; it is a diet to become very familiar with. I have seen it gain popularity over the years and with the 2007 scare of the commercial pet food industry, it has gotten a great deal of attention. "The BARF Diet" is an all encompassing book that explains what the BARF diet is, how it works, what miracles you can expect to see from your dog or cat, keys to preparing a balanced BARF diet and how to transition from your current food regimen to the BARF diet.

Having read the book cover to cover several times, I'm most impressed with the excellent job Ian Billinghurst did to explain how the BARF diet is the closest thing to a dog's or cat's natural "ancestral" diet that there is. Society has been masterfully marketed to for so many years about commercial dog food that somewhere along the way, we forgot how these primitive animals used to eat before there was food in a bag.  As a dog trainer, I refer to Ian's book a lot to help explain this point to clients. I'm very interested in getting my clients switched over to a more natural diet as it is healthier for the dog and, for selfish reasons, a BARF dog is an easier, more balanced dog to train.

The first time I read the book, I was impressed with the list of cures I could expect after switching to the BARF diet, but a bit skeptical, until I saw it with my own two eyes. I saw the fleas disappear, skin irritations subside, joints strengthened, energy balance out, and so on and so on. Ian does a masterful job outlining a good transition plan that is subtle to yield the best results.

All in all, this book changed my life and definitely improved the lives of all three of my dogs. Ian Billinghurst took a primitive, old-school concept and brought it back into mainstream America, right where it belongs. "The BARF Diet" is a well-written book that is simple to read and even easier to follow as it explains the ultimate benefits of putting your dogs and cats on this natural diet that is holistic in nature.  I'm fortunate to have stumbled across it and share it any chance I can.

--Chad Culp, Certified Dog Trainer  (a big BARF fan)

© Thriving Canine 2012