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The Barf Diet

I have experienced & seen so many health issues with Great Danes that I made it a priority many years ago to research ways to help improve this wonderful giant breed.  I have made many modifications to the diet and care of my own Danes until I finally found what REALLY works for both longevity and overall great health with my breeding program. 

I began my research by looking abroad.   It is proven that the Europeans breed with only the highest of standards.   Starting at the beginning, they have a "Breeding Warden" that has to actually witness the breeding & whelping process of all bitches to ensure correct documentation.  They also use only premium (human grade) ingredients when feeding & supplementing.  On average, European Danes live approx. 4 years longer than their American cousins with less health issues throughout their life time.  It is also because of this reason that I prefer to breed American & European lines together as part of my breeding program. 

You may have heard of the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods or Bones And Raw Foods) Diet.  This diet originated abroad and is not a new concept for the Europeans.  The European Danes that are fed BARF have a stronger immune system, less allergies and skin problems, and a longer lifespan.

With the BARF diet, raw meat and organs are by far the most important ingredient in your Danes diet; up to 85%!  Your Dane will digest approx 90-95% of any meat so you won't see much of it in their feces afterward.  Of high interest will be the guts / organs & the liver.  Liver is a very valuable organ to feed, but not too much.  Liver is very important as it contains large amounts of nutrients you won't find in muscle meats.  Just be sure to not base more than 1 meal a week with it as it also contains some waste products.   Liver is very rich in Vitamin A. 

Kidneys also have alot of nutritional value. They lie between Liver and muscle meat.

If you have cooked meat as leftovers from your meal, its ok to feed it to your Dane, however do not let it become the main source of meat for your Dane.  Do NOT feed your Dane pre-made hamburger patties or sliced sandwich meats as these are generally pumped with unhealthy preservative chemicals which are not good for your Dane. 

Next is Beef.  Try to stay away from Pork or Veal as pigs are normally raised on kibble feed not pasture feeding and so there isn't as much value in these.

Chicken is good, but not the greatest in value for the same reasons as pork and veal.  If you use chicken, your Dane will love chicken wings, backs, and necks. 

The best source of raw meat are wildlife game animals such as deer, elk,  moose.

Other great meat sources are lamb, goat, rabbit, turkey, duck, goose, ostrich, & emu

Vegetables, if served right are also good for your Dane.  Dogs can not digest whole pieces very well.  In the wild, the normal vegetables that a dog will receive are found in the stomach of its prey.  This means the vegetable are already partially digested.  To duplicate this, grind the vegetables to a complete mush. I suggest broccoli, yams, turnips, rutabagas, zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beets, cantaloupe, apples, pears, and peas.  Do NOT feed onions, garlic, tomatoes, raisins, grapes, or the peels of any tropical fruits.

Along with their meats and vegetables, your Dane will also need a few other items for a complete balanced meal:

  • Raw Egg; including shell

  • Goats milk, Yogurt, & cottage cheese

  • Fats

  • Uncooked & Raw Bones

A fellow local BARFer, Nicole Lavorgna, supplied us with some information on a local vendor that was selling for roughly $0.40 / lb.  Call Fells Point Meat at (410) 539-5600.  Ask for Leo!

For More info visit:  http://www.barfaustralia.com/#


Commercial Kibble

If you still have to feed your Dane a regular kibble diet, then there are still a few guidelines that must be followed.   1st, please make sure the food has 23% protein or less.  This is VERY important.  Read the bag!!!  Just because a food says that it is for Large Breed Puppies, it does not necessary mean it is good for your growing Dane.  Also make sure that grains and corn are not the 1st ingredients on the ingredient list.  There are only 3 kibble brands that I reccomend. 

  1. Solid Gold Wolfking or Solid Gold Hund-N-Flocken (www.solidgoldhealth.com)

  2. NutriSource Large Breed Adult Chicken (www.nutrisourcedogfood.com)

  3. Bill Jack

Some breeders will swear by Eagle Pack, however I have had several cases of knuckling over while using Eagle Pack.  Several other puppy owners also still wanted to try using Eagle Pack and had serious growth issues with their Danes including Pano and HOD.  Once the Danes were switched back to Solid Gold their problems made an immediate turn for the better.  I go with experience and with what works for our Danes so this may not be the case for all Danes, however, it is what I suggest you feed if you buy one of our puppies. 

 


Sample Barf Meals

Silk Balls:

10 pounds hamburger meat
1 lg. box oatmeal
1 jar of wheat germ
1 1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
1 large can sweet potatoes (drained)
2 12 oz cans of beets(pureed)
10 raw eggs AND shells
10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin(knox)
pinch of salt
 

Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatloaf.  Roll into baseball sized balls and freeze.  When feeding, divide as needed (1 ball per 50 lbs of dog per feeding) 

* I dont even thaw mine when feeding, they plow right through them and the roughness of it being frozen keeps their teeth really really clean.

(Recipe submitted by Sheree Kelly with Briar Patch Plantation Pits)

Veggie Cubes With Chicken Quarters

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 big bag of frozen brocoli
1 big can of sweet potatoes
2 cans of beets
1/4 of veggie oil
enough water to make it freeze

 

 

Mix ingredients in a blender.  Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and give 5 or 6 cubes along with a couple chicken quarters.

 


How Much Should I Feed my Dane?

Billinghurst recommends 60% RMBs and 40% veggies, etc... however; 60% to 75% CAN BE RMBs and the rest should be a combination of veggies, organs (also known as offal, to include liver, heart, kidney, green tripe, etc...), ground meat (e.g. lean beef, chicken or turkey), eggs and supplements.  If you are just starting BARF, remember to start slow by adding new food items every few days or even weeks, until your dog gets used to the new food (especially the richer foods like liver).  This is only a guide to help get you started.  If your dog is on the skinnier side, up the food (RMBs) and reduce the veggies....if your dog is on the heavier side, reduce the RMBs and up the veggies.   To know if your dog is 'just right,' rub the back of your hand.....his/her ribs should feel the same.  If you can't feel his/her ribs, then reduce the daily food intake.

Multiply your dogs weight by 16 to get the number of ounces he weighs.
Multiply that by .02, which gives you 2 % of his body weight.
Multiply that by .6 to give you the weight of RMB you should feed. That is chicken necks, wings, backs etc.
Go back to the 2% of his body weight again and multiply that number by .4 to get the weight in ounces of vegetable patty mix  you should feed.

For example:  For a dog that weighs 70 Lbs.    Here's the formula you would use to calculate the daily food intake:

70Lbs x 16 = 1120 ounces
1120 x .02 = 22.4 ounces of food per day
22.4 x .6 = 13.44 ounces of RMB -----60% RMB (RAW MEATY BONES)
22.4 x .4 = 8.96 ounces of Veg. Patty mix.-----40% Veg. Patty mix.

Remember this is only a place to start - adjust everything up or down, depending on your dogs condition.    Dr. Billinghurst suggests feeding a puppy 10% of its body weight in food every day. Ie: an 11 lb puppy would eat about a pound of food daily..divided into 3 or 4 meals

 

 


Supplements

We use our own mixture of probiotics (digestive enzymes), SeaMeal, Steamed Bonemeal, Glucosimine, MSM, Ester-C, kelp, & bee pollen.  We also give our Danes 500mg of Vitamin C.

Another good supplement is Hylasport and can be found at www.pupsup.com.  This information was supplied to us by Bogey's mom Liz who claims that it works wonders with Bogey!


Home-Made Dane Treats!

Chicken Yogurt Pups
Ingredients:
16 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules

Instructions:
Dissolve bouillon in water, Combine water and yogurt in blender and blend thoroughly, Pour into small containers for freezing, cover and freeze.

Peanut Butter Puppers
Ingredients:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 cup milk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375'F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.   Be careful as these cookies burn easily.

Peanut Butter Yogurt Pups
Ingredients:
1-32oz. container of vanilla yogurt
1 cup of peanut butter

Instructions:
Put the paenut butter in a microwave safe dish and microwave until melted.  Mix the yogurt and the melted peanut butter in a bowl.   Pour mixture into cupcake papers and freeze.

Frozen Chicken-Dane Yums
Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cube chicken or beef boillion (dog's favorite)
4 small pieces of chicken or beef

Instructions:
Disolve boillion in water and tear meat into smaller pieces about 1/2 inch squares. Freeze in ice trays for about 12 hours or until solid. Great for hot days!


Banana's for Danes
Ingredients:
1 egg
1c fast-cook oats
1/2 banana
1/3c milk
1/2c all-purpose flour
1/8c rice

Instructions:
Squash bananas, and beat the egg.  Mix in oakts, milk, flour and rice then spread evenly in a microwave safe dish.  Heat in microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. when done, let them cool.
Then cut and serve.