BARF vs Whole Prey - which to choose?

In the raw community, there are 2 main models of raw fed diets. You may come across a lot of debate in the community as the diets (even though both are raw) have differences. The divide in opinions is whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores.

Let’s take a look at the two raw models and the differences between them.

BARF (What a terrible acronym!) - Biologically appropriate raw food


This model consists of a mix of not only meat and organs but fruits and vegetables. (We will cover optimum balances for a complete meal in upcoming blogs)

A BARF diet means to feed dogs what their evolutionary ancestors ate and to create healthy dogs that need little veterinary intervention throughout their lifespan.

This model is prepared by dog owners or purchased from a readily created BARF company. Some dog owners will choose to leave bones out of the food and feed separately, while others will grind up the bone in the food.

For ready created BARF there are so many different companies to choose from, so you may wish to find one that suits your dog's needs. 

We will be releasing a blog on a homemade BARF meal guide which contains a guide on how to do it yourself, recipes to get you started and all you need to know.  

Whole Prey model


This is a diet that is designed to resemble the natural diet of wild dogs as closely as possible. The only difference being that your dog does not hunt for his food. This model consists of feeding your dog an entire prey animal with feathers and innards intact. It is believed that the whole prey provides a perfect balance of muscle, bone, and organs in a single meal.

The diet consists of:

  • 80 - 85% Muscle Meat
  • 10 - 15% Raw meaty bones
  • 5 - 10% - Organs and offal
This diet excludes:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Diary
  • Carbohydrates

People that follow this diet do not believe in providing plant matter to their dog as they will always get the nutrients they need from the whole prey.

Owners will sometimes give their dogs supplements as grain fed commercial livestock and factory farmed animals lack nutrients, so this will mean having to ensure those nutrients are replaced. If the livestock has been grass fed etc. it will be higher quality, so fewer supplements (if any) are used. 

For the whole prey model way of feeding, we would recommend visiting your local butchers or farm shops. If they cannot supply this they will likely be able to point you in the direction of where to source what you are looking for.

So which one is the better model to follow?

Our answer is, do what is best for you and your dog. Each model promotes a better, more natural canine nutrition. We ourselves follow the BARF model but we also will give Yianni whole prey as a treat now and again. 

We do like to add to any raw diet blog if your dog is dealing with any complex chronic disease e.g. end-stage cancers, animals on antacids or high levels of immune-suppressive drug therapy, then we would recommend you get expert help prior to beginning the transition to a raw diet.

Love from the Aurora Pets family x


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