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Le dilemme de l’os charnu dans la gamelle

The dilemma of the fleshy bone in the bowl

The barf is great! Yes, but...


I’ve been practising BARF for 15 years now, and I’ve been through all the received ideas (most of which are false, by the way!), styles and ways of doing things.

I started BARF with a ratio of 40% meat, 40% bones, 10% offal, 10% vegetables and supplements such as vegetable and fish oils.

In addition to these factors, you have to take into account the live weight, the physiological stage of the dog and its size (for an adult, you’ll be eating 2-3% of its live weight, for a puppy, it’s between 5 and 10%). )

I've had both good and bad results with my dogs.

The bad:

- My dogs were either too fat or too thin, and it was difficult to regulate their weight in a sustainable way.
- Making a bowl based on a percentage of live weight for a growing dog, ending up with an overweight puppy and constantly changing this percentage, including calcium and phosphorus intakes.
- Coat quality and colour change regularly and not always for the better.
- Coat quality and colour change regularly, and not always for the better.
- The shape and consistency of faeces varies a lot.

The good :

- Never sick (‘everyday aches and pains’ type).
Eats with appetite. - Supple and ample locomotion.
Healthy teeth with little tartar.

The forgotten ‘classic’ BARF

Over time, through my personal experiences and meetings with people who have more experience of this feeding method than I have, I’ve realised that there’s one important thing missing from this so-called ‘classic’ method, and that’s precision and the quest to meet all your dog’s nutritional needs.


Indeed, with this ‘classic’ type of BARF, who can tell me with any accuracy the phosphocalcium ratio or the vitamin content of your dog’s diet?


One day, while replying to a Facebook post about BARF, someone came up to me and asked me the same question as the one above, and I couldn’t answer her!


The person was Justine Rivière, a dog nutrition professional specialising in natural rations for dogs and cats. We got to talking and she invited me to join her Facebook group.


I learnt a lot and above all, I had to forget almost everything I knew about BARF, I tried to understand what macros and micro nutrients were and everything that makes them up.


I was able to acquire a few basics and I realised that it was important to think in terms of ‘nutrition’ and not ‘doing as you would do in the wild or as wolves do’.

In fact, dogs have not been wolves for a long time, their needs have evolved and you absolutely have to get these ideas out of your head!


I've also learnt to use a very interesting piece of software based on NRC guidelines ‘Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats’which is called PET DIET DESIGNER. This software is in English and chargeable, but it allows you to familiarise yourself with your dog's different nutritional requirements in a fairly precise way. It also allows you to create your ration with greater precision by displaying the amount of food you are going to feed your dog.
Of course, you'll need to have some basic knowledge, as it's not just a matter of turning the tables green or filling them 100%, as some nutrients correlate with others, so you'll need to dose them a little more.


This feeding method is not the simplest or the least risky!

You have to give your dog everything he needs, or risk him becoming deficient. It takes time for deficiencies to appear, but once they do, it’s difficult and time-consuming to fix the problem.

Excess is just as dangerous and can lead to skeletal abnormalities, abnormal blood flow, pancreatitis, etc.

From now on, I won’t be giving any more advice on BARF. After everything I’ve learnt, the only thing I’d recommend is to see a dog nutrition professional or stick to dry food.

Note: vets are not dog nutrition professionals, unless they specialise in this area.

‘To each his own”


Preconceived ideas about BARF


Cancer is not caused by a poor diet, otherwise all dogs would be on BARF. On the contrary, meat does not cause cancer in your dog. Cancer is often multi-factorial!


The blood test that people have carried out is a ‘six-parameter’ biochemistry, which in no way reveals a deficiency or excess of VIT E or manganese, for example.


That’s what we hear most often, but it’s more than just an erroneous assertion. BARF done right is expensive, because between the variety of foods and the food supplements you need to provide, you’re easily looking at over €60 a month for a 35 kg dog. And that’s without even mentioning your travel and freezer storage costs!


Although no studies have been carried out to prove it, feedback from owners seems to be unanimous on this statement. It’s true that in my case, with several dogs raised and fed on BARF, I never go to the vet. (Mind you, we’re talking about BARF done right! )


It took me a long time to understand why vets were so reticent about this type of feeding. In fact, BARF is often ‘dangerous’ in terms of your dog’s health, because very few people practise it properly!

Owners think that all they have to do is give their dog meat, eggshells (for calcium) and vegetables, and that’s it – but that’s not the case!

Three quarters of people who practise barfing don’t want to give fleshy bones out of fear, so they think that giving eggshells will provide all the calcium they need. This too is a misconception: eggshells are low in calcium.


The poorer the quality of the food, the less your dog’s needs will be covered. I see a lot of people buying plates, VSM-type meat puddings or ready-made BARF menus to save money.

VSM (mechanically separated meat).
This type of food is bad for your dog, because the meat is separated mechanically by scraping the bones to extract every last morsel. The result is a food with a high calcium content, very little protein and, above all, a lot of water!

Ready-made BARF menus.
The menus are based on nutritional generality (just like the kibbles) according to the dog’s physiological stage (no account is taken of physical activity, of a dog that may have been castrated/sterilised and even less for an animal suffering from a pathology).

Waste from your butcher is no better, as it is often too fatty.


If a dog became aggressive when eating meat, BARF would be banned.


Bones are not dangerous if you give them raw, fleshy, adapted to your dog’s jaw and experience.


This is a recurrent and, above all, dangerous assertion, because your dog could be suffering from salmonellosis just like the rest of us.
Studies have been carried out and, after analysis, it turns out that salmonella remains present even in the faeces of the dogs studied.

So if salmonella is present in poo, it’s even more present in your dog’s body.
Just imagine if your dog is sensitive or immunocompromised!

What’s more, there’s nothing today to show that PH is really different from that of humans.


The first thing to do in these cases is to ask your vet and a dog nutrition professional. Why not put them in touch with each other for a complete and, above all, the safest possible follow-up?

In the case of a sick dog, don’t start BARF on your own, as you risk doing worse rather than better.

However, if it is well supervised and compatible with your dog’s condition, it will be a valuable ally.


In my experience, I’ve never had a dog parasitised because of BARF and I’ve never read any studies showing a link between this type of diet and worm infestation.

All you need to do is worm your dog as you would a dog fed dry food.


You can go on holiday with your dog without any problems.
All you need to do is get organised (accommodation and equipment on site, length of stay, etc.).
Make up your rations for the number of days you’ll be away, and why not use a vacuum packing machine to save space?

If you’re going away and you can’t take your rations with you, you can always go and buy what you need in a shop (even if you can’t find everything to the nearest gram, it won’t endanger your dog for a few days).

If you’re going hiking or camping in the wild, it can be more complicated, as fresh meat in your rucksack isn’t great. That said, there are special holiday BARF puddings, which don’t keep in the fridge unless opened, so they’re a good alternative for a few days.

On the other hand, if you go wild camping several times a year, then to make life easier, you should switch to a mixed ration (barf/croquettes).

Food supplements

In this document, I’m going to talk about the food supplements I use in my dogs’ bowls. Of course, I don’t put everything in at the same time, and every day.

It depends on the composition of the bowl itself and the dog’s needs at the time.

Raw egg yolk

I give my dogs 1 raw egg yolk every day (according to the recipe I make for them). On average, you can give your dog 2-3 a week for a boxer (even if he's on kibble).Raw eggs provide a good amount of protein, fat and vitamins. As I give my dogs lots of eggs a week, I don't use egg white, which contains avidin, as this is not recommended for them.

The Kelp

Kelp is a brown seaweed native to the shallow waters of the sea.Rich in minerals, trace elements and vitamins, it boosts the body. It can be used to treat gastric pain and disorders, and to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones thanks to its iodine content.This algae also helps to limit the appearance of certain cancers in animals. I use it in my dogs' bowls to provide them with the iodine they need for good health, and I give them a pinch every day.For dogs fed on kibble, you don't need to supplement iodine, just look at the composition on your bag of kibble.
Nutritional composition of Kelp
polyphenols ;polysaccharides and mucilages including at least 12% alginic acid ;proteins containing at least 10% of all essential amino acids;carotenoids ;vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, D 3, K, PP) ;minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, sulphur and phosphorus);Trace elements.

Oat flakes

I'm sure this part will make some ‘BARF purists’ wince. It's true that when we hear about barf we often associate it with ‘grain-free’.With hindsight, I've reoriented myself towards a so-called ‘nutritional’ barf. I've learnt from natural dog food professionals, sharing their experiences on their groups, that you have to look beyond the food itself.That said, these professionals agree that corn and wheat should be banned from our dogs' bowls for various reasons (they do nothing for the dog and can cause health problems, etc.).
Here are its nutritional values per 100grams
Total fat: 6.9 g
Sodium: 49 mg (traces) Total carbohydrates: 56 g Sugar : 1,2 g
Protein: 14 g

As regards the daily value of vitamins and minerals, oat flakes contain:
Vitamin A: 8
Calcium: 8
Iron: 33
Vitamin B-6: 15
magnesium: 6

Oatmeal is a great source of fibre, magnesium and B family vitamins, not to mention a good source of vitamin A and a significant source of iron. I give 40 grams (dry weight) rehydrated every day.You should never forget that when you make your dog's food yourself, you have to remember to provide all the nutrients in sufficient quantities.

Coconut oil

This oil is very interesting from a nutritional point of view, providing a range of nutrients without adding unhealthy fats. Coconut oil is composed almost exclusively of saturated fatty acids, but also of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a source of energy metabolised by the liver.These are quickly metabolised by the body, and in addition, it contains 50% lauric acid, a powerful antibacterial agent.What interests us in coconut oil for our dog are the omegas 6 & 9 (linoleic and oleic acid) known for their benefits in terms of immunity and inflammation.
Ses bienfaits 
Système immunitaire du chien : L’huile de coco lutte contre les infections et renforce le système immunitaire général du chien.

Système métabolique : Prévient le diabète car elle joue un rôle de régulation de l’insuline.

Favorise un bon fonctionnement de la glande thyroïde.

Oreilles, bouche, yeux : Lutte contre les infections des oreilles, des yeux, de la bouche chez nos chiens .

Cerveau et vieillissement : Favorise un bon fonctionnement des fonctions cérébrales

Système digestif : Améliore la digestion et l’absorption des nutriments. Aide à la guérison des troubles du système digestif

Pelage et peau : Désinfecte et aide à la cicatrisation des plaies (vous pouvez complémenter avec du gel d’aloe véra et/ou du miel). Calme les démangeaisons. Réduit les allergies. Améliore le pelage, fait briller le poil

Antiparasitaire canin : Les propriétés antifongiques, antivirales et antiparasitaires de l’huile de coco aident à lutter contre les acariens, les infections fongiques, la galle des oreilles.

Je n’en donne pas tous les jours à mes chiens, je préfère des cures ou bien en donner 1 à 3 fois par semaine. Au niveau de dosage, je compte 2.5 par tranche de 5 kg de poids corporel. Si votre chien n’est pas habitué, divisé cette dose par 2 au début.


I don't often use nettle for my dogs, but it's no less interesting.In fact, it is a depurative and anti-diabetic, keeps arthritis and rheumatism at bay, and is appreciated by dogs with joint problems or growing dogs, thanks to its high silica content. It also prevents anaemia, fatigue and skin problems such as eczema, and cleanses the kidneys thanks to its detox function.
Here's a quick idea of its nutritional value for 100 grams of fresh nettle.
Energy value kcal
Water: 80 g
Protein: 8 g.
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Vitamin C: 333 mg
Calcium : 630 mg
You can find nettle powder for your pets, the dosage is 2.5 gr for 5-10kg body weight. I use it as a cure for my old boxer.

Vitamin E

I supplement my dogs with vitamin E, as they don't get enough from meat and offal.
Vitamin E is very important and correlates with other nutrients, which is why you need enough of it. You shouldn't give just one type of vitamin E, but all 4 main types: d-alpha, d-Beta, d-delta and d-gamma. I give one tablet of the product (pictured) a day, every day. Dosages vary according to your recipe, but one thing's for sure: it's sorely lacking in barf bowls. Bear in mind that vitamin E is an antioxidant and plays a role in the nutritional value of each nutrient, preventing them from oxidising too quickly.
Caution: don't take the product if it's marked DL-alpa, which is a synthetic form that is much less easily assimilated than the natural version, so you'll need to double the dose if you hope to get the equivalent intake.


It's the same battle as for vitamin E, which is sorely lacking in barf dishes, yet it is essential and also correlates with other nutrients. It should be slightly higher than iron and copper, but not too much either. It's better to take zinc gluconate, which is the natural form. I give my dogs 1 tablet every 2 days.

Beer yeast

No, brewer's yeast does not come from beer! Brewer's yeast is a microscopic fungus (saccharomyces cerevisiae) used to make beer and bread dough, hence the name ‘brewer's yeast’. Brewer's yeast is used and appreciated by animals, thanks to its prebiotic and probiotic content and the presence of B-type vitamins (except vitamin B12 = choline).
Brewer's yeast acts on the dog's metabolism, skin, coat and claws. The coat is more ‘alive’, pigmented and pleasant to the touch. This prevents heavy shedding, dandruff and flakes. It also prevents skin allergies. As well as providing B-type vitamins, brewer's yeast also contains fibre, which stimulates the development of good bacteria that are useful for a dog's intestinal health. As for prebiotics and probiotics, they help to maintain the intestinal flora and improve digestion. Other trace elements, such as selenium and zinc, are also contained in brewer's yeast and, once consumed by the dog, promote protein synthesis in the body.

For dosage: refer to the product leaflet, or as a general guideline, use 1 g per 10 kg of weight. The photo above shows a jar of brewer's yeast for equidae. It's the same as for dogs, but it's a larger container for an affordable quantity/price ratio.


What is Lithothamnion?

Origins: North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea Lithothamnion is a small red algae, naturally rich in minerals and trace elements. Lithothamnion crystallises calcium, magnesium, iron and other trace elements found in the sea.

All right, but what is Lithothamnion good for my dog?

Lithothamnium has various properties, including :
Remineralisation of bones and cartilage by preventing mineral deficiencies, supports bone growth, prevents and combats osteoarticular disorders.

Lithothamnion is also an excellent anti-inflammatory. It relieves joint and rheumatic pain.
Lithothamnion acts as an antacid thanks to its alkaline (basic) pH.
It therefore combats gastric acidity and associated disorders (acid reflux, heartburn, gastritis, stomach ulcers, etc.), maintains or restores a good acid-base balance, and combats certain urinary tract infections. As you have read above, lithothamnion is very interesting for us and our pets.
When should Lithothamnion be used?

As part of a BARF, RAW or RM (Ration ménagère) diet.Sometimes our dog cannot eat fleshy bones (dental or jaw problems, etc.), lithothamnion can be a good substitute. Of course, if you give your dog lithothamnion, you mustn't add any extra calcium... Beware of excess calcium! For dosage, consult your vet or follow the instructions on the product.In the case of a puppy with ‘difficult’ growth or a dog with joint problems (osteoarthritis, dysplasia, etc.)In this case, be very careful with the doses (especially if the dog is fed kibbles, so already has a calcium intake), preferably consult your vet. The dosage should be light and progressive.Don't hesitate to calculate the Ca/p ratio of your croquettes. In all cases, pay attention to the phospho-calcium ratio (Ca/p).

As a reminder:
Ca/P = 1 to 1.5 Percentage recommended by the NRC = National Research Council, (on dry matter).1.0 to 1.8% Calcium and 1.6% Phosphorus, during lactationPuppy growth 0.8 to 1.5% Calcium and 0.6 to 1.2% Phosphorus,End of gestation/lactation and end of puppy growth 1.1% Calcium and 0.9% PhosphorusAdult dog, on average.0.9 to 1.5% Calcium and 0.8 to 1.1% Phosphorus (Ca/p =1 to 1.5)Small to medium breed puppy.0.9 to 1.4% Calcium and 0.8 to 1.1% Phosphorus (Ca/p = 1 to 1.3)Large to giant breed puppy.0.7 to 1.5% Calcium and 0.5 to 1.1% (<1% if senior) (Ca/p = 1 to 1.5) for an adult or senior dog.

How to calculate the Ca/P ratio?Nothing could be simpler! You need to divide the percentage of calcium by the percentage of phosphorus, so 1.5% calcium and 1.2% phosphorus = Ca/p of 1.251.5/1.2 = 1.25 Ca/p

Sous quelle forme trouve-t-on le lithothamne ? À quel prix ?

Vous pouvez trouver le lithothamne sous différentes formes comme les gélules et la poudre. L’idéal pour nos loulous reste le lithothamne en poudre, car il est plus facile à doser. Regardez bien la composition du produit, évitez les mélanges (lithothamne et autres choses), car le dosage va être différent et ce sont souvent des produits de moins bonne qualité.

The dilemma of the fleshy bone in the bowl


I thought it would be a good idea to do a little article on fleshy bones in our dogs’ bowls, as this is the fear of many people, and even the refusal to put their dog on raw because of it.

I remember in 2014, when I started talking about BARF on social networks, announcing that I was giving my dogs fleshy bones earned me a real shower of reproaches and insults.

‘You’re going to kill your dog…’ ‘That’s mistreatment… ‘You’re irresponsible, you shouldn’t have a dog, etc’.

I can indeed understand the reluctance and fear surrounding the bones we give to dogs, as many of us have never heard a dog professional say. ‘No, bones should be avoided, they’re too dangerous’.

I’m going to answer YES, bones are dangerous and NO, fleshy bones are not dangerous…

Have you grasped the difference?

Bone is dangerous if :

It is given cooked:giving a cooked bone means giving a bone that will come away in small, sharp and dangerous pieces.

It is given without meat around it: in fact, when a non-fleshy bone is given (without meat around it), the dog runs the same risks as if the bone was cooked.

It is given in a size that is not proportional to the size of the jaw: a bone that is too small will not be chewed, it will be swallowed whole, risking obstruction or choking.
The type of bone is not related to the dog's experience (with fleshy bones):
in fact, avoid bones that are too ‘complex’, such as a chicken leg, for a beginner dog, as it will be tempted to eat the skin and then the bone (which amounts to the same thing as giving the bone without it being fleshy), prefer a less fleshy bone such as a chicken back or poultry neck.

The bone is not dangerous when it is given intelligently, in other words, taking into account the size of the bone, whether it is fleshy or not, and your dog's experience.

I do not recommend the bones of large herbivores such as beef (the so-called ‘carrier’ bones), as the dog cannot eat them all, and some dogs get frustrated and tend to ‘lash out’ at them at the risk of injuring themselves or breaking one or more teeth.

Moreover, if it's not completely eaten, the bone tends to lie abandoned in a garden, which isn't very hygienic!
Do you eat your pain au chocolat when it has fallen on the ground?

If your butcher kindly gives you bones from large animals (beef, pork, etc.), and the dog can't eat them all, make a bone broth out of them - it's excellent for your dog and he'll love it.

Garlic for my dog !

Its benefits:

Stimulates the immune system
Fights bacterial, viral and fungal infections
Detoxifies the body
Improves the cardiovascular system

Not suitable for :

Puppies under 8 weeks old
Dogs with anaemia or before surgery


Too much garlic can be toxic for your dog.
Respect the doses…

Dosage (15 Day Cure)

From 4 kg: 1/4 clove
From 4.5 kg to 8 kg: 1/2 pod
From 9 kg to 19 kg: 1 pod
From 20 kg to 32 kg : 2 pods
From 33 kg to 44 kg : 2 and a half pods

Powder or Juice (3 to 4 times a week, as a course of treatment)

Weight of food 500 gr: 1/8 teaspoon
1 kg: 1/4 teaspoon
2 kg: 1/2 teaspoon

Vetagro Sup Campus Vétérinaire de Lyon Year 2017 - Thesis n°03

A 2017 thesis shows that only 0.1% of CNITV toxicology calls in 2015 were due to garlic ingestion. This thesis explains that garlic is more toxic than onions, but that a dog would have to ingest 5g/kg of fresh garlic for 7 consecutive days to have toxic effects!

To complete this article, after several searches on the net (reading various articles).
We tend to put garlic in the same ‘basket’ as onions, and rightly so, as they are both part of the ‘Allium’ group. That said, their different levels are not the same, particularly when it comes to thiosulphates (toxic sulphur-containing substances).

With an average pod size of 2-3 g, and 1 pod given to a dog weighing 30-35 kg, the toxicity level is far from being reached. It is also said that, to date, no lethal dose has been found!

Of course, you shouldn’t ‘tempt the devil’ (as they say) and you shouldn’t overdo it, so garlic won’t be a danger to your dog. There are, however, a few contraindications:

Garlic is not recommended for animals with coagulation problems or anaemia!

It should not be given to animals scheduled for surgery, as this increases the risk of haemorrhage. Its administration should be stopped at least two weeks before the date of the operation.

Garlic is also contraindicated for puppies under 8 weeks of age, for the simple reason that they are incapable of producing red blood cells before 8 weeks of age.

2 thoughts collide between those who are in favour of using garlic and those who are against.

You can find everything on the net, theses and articles by vets, articles by non-professionals in the field of canine health… It’s up to you to read, to get general information (the pluses and minuses) and finally to make up your own mind.
My opinion is to give garlic, but in a reasoned and reasonable way. In doing so, I have never had a problem.

*Page translated by DeepL

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