BARF Model Ratio Guidelines
It is important to note the muscle meat ratio does not mean to feed muscle meat exclusively. This ratio is a large category containing multiple ingredients such as saturated fat for energy and muscular organs such as heart muscle meat.
Raw Edible Bone
Soft, raw edible bones are an important component to BARF diets for puppies to provide essential calcium, phosphorous, and other essential nutrients. The raw edible bone ratio guideline starts at 17% of the overall daily intake.
The amount of raw meaty bones a puppy may need to maintain firm and consistent stool will vary. The 17% ratio is a starting guideline. However, many puppies do well on 15% to 20% raw edible bone content. Always adjust according to the puppy’s individual needs.
Vegetables are beneficial in completing essential nutrient requirements for dogs. The 7% ratio guideline is a starting recommendation, and more or less vegetables can be fed to complete nutritional requirements.
Liver is an important ingredient in BARF diets for puppies as it provides essential fat-soluble vitamin A and water-soluble vitamins. The liver ratio guideline is slightly higher in puppy BARF diets because of their high need for essential nutrients during optimal growth. Liver ratio guideline starts at 7% of the overall daily intake.
The 7% liver ratio is a starting guideline and this amount of liver provides more than recommended allowances for vitamin A. For dogs who are sensitive to organs, feeding as low as 5% liver will still provide essential vitamin A.
Other secreting organs, particularly spleen, are beneficial ingredients in BARF diets for puppies to provide essential minerals and water-soluble vitamins. Similar to the liver ratio, the other organ ratio guideline starts at 7% of the overall daily intake.
Other secreting organs are beneficial in completing essential nutrient requirements for puppies. The 7% ratio guideline is a starting recommendation, and more or less, a secreting organ can be fed to complete nutritional requirements.
Seeds & Nuts
Raw seeds and nuts are beneficial ingredients in BARF diets for puppies to provide essential minerals, fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins. The raw seed and nut ratio guideline starts at 3% of the overall daily intake, which is slightly more than the recommended amount for adult dogs because puppies has slightly higher needs for fatty acids.
Seeds and nuts are beneficial for completing essential nutrient requirements for puppies, but they must be pre-soaked and ground for feeding. Raw nuts and seeds contain phytates which are anti-nutrients that can negatively affect nutritional balance. Soaking raw seeds and nuts reduce phytates and grinding promotes optimal digestion. The 3% ratio guideline is a starting recommendation, and more or less can be fed to complete nutritional requirements.
To Feed or Not to Feed Plant Ingredients
Adding vegetables, seeds or nuts, and fruit to a puppy's meal is not harmful in any way when dog-safe ingredients are selected. The puppy can and will digest and absorb the nutrients from plant ingredients when they are prepared to support optimal digestion. Selecting to add plant ingredients to a puppy's meal depends on individual requirements and how the dog tolerates plant ingredients. Always adjust to the puppy's individual needs.