The addition of vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruit provide essential nutrients, beneficial phytonutrients, soluble and insoluble fiber to a raw diet for dogs. Vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruit prove useful to complete nutritional holes in diets without the frequent use of whole prey.
Carnivores do not have the essential tools to properly breakdown and digest plant matter in comparison to omnivores. Dogs do not have salivary enzymes for carbohydrate digestion and their jaw structure does not allow for grinding plant ingredients. However, dogs possess pancreatic enzymes for carbohydrate and starch digestion. It is recommended to process vegetables, seeds, and nuts to allow for enzymatic digestion.
This guide is for canine BARF diets only. Cats should not be fed plant ingredients and should be fed a PMR style diet.
Out of the 10% plant ingredients ratio in BARF, 7% should come from vegetables. Select vegetables high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. Leafy greens are the recommended vegetables to add to a raw diet.
Puree, ferment, steam, or boil vegetables for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. Raw vegetables do not digest well and are passed as waste.
Do not feed onions, leeks, chives, and green tomato plant.
Out of the 10% plant ingredients ratio in BARF, it is recommended to feed 2% seeds and/or nuts. Select pet safe raw seeds and nuts for their fatty acid, vitamin, and mineral benefits.
Raw seeds and nuts do not digest well. Soak raw seeds and nuts for 12-24 hours before grinding. Grind seeds in a food processor before feeding. Additionally, you can ferment seeds and nuts for probiotic benefit!
Seeds & Nuts Recommendations:
Do not feed tree nuts such as pecans, walnut varieties, and macadamia.
Out of the 10% plant ingredients ratio in BARF, it is recommended to feed 1% fruit. It is important to choose fruit high in antioxidants without starches. Berries are recommended to add to a raw diet.
Fruit is mostly water, special preparation is not necessary when feeding berries. It is important to remember fruits are high in sugar which is why they are fed minimally.
Do not feed fruit pits, grapes, raisins, or dates which can cause kidney failure in dogs.