Review of BARF Raw Frozen Dog Food
BARF Dog Food receives the Advisor’s best rating of 5 stars.
The BARF1 Dog Food product line includes 4 frozen, raw dog foods. This product review covers the Patties.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|BARF Juicy Beef Recipe||5||A|
|BARF Juicy Lamb Recipe||2.5||A|
|BARF Juicy Chicken Recipe||5||A|
|BARF Land and Sea Recipe||5||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
BARF Juicy Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
BARF Juicy Chicken Recipe
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, finely ground chicken bone, chicken liver, egg, broccoli, celery, spinach, carrot, dehydrated alfalfa meal, ground flaxseed, apple, pear, grapefruit, orange, dried kelp, pepper, cod liver oil, calcium carbonate, garlic, monocalcium dicalcium phosphate, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, manganous oxide
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 17.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||43%||29%||21%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||52%||15%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is ground chicken bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The third ingredient is chicken liver, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth ingredient is broccoli, a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
The sixth item is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
The seventh ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score3 of 91.
The eighth ingredient includes carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The ninth ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But realistically, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this BARF product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, cod liver oil is a fish oil known to be rich in both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins A and D.
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
And lastly, the vitamins and minerals added to this product are not detailed sufficiently here to permit us to judge their quality.
Based on its ingredients alone, BARF Dog Food looks like an above-average, raw product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 45% and a mean fat level of 32%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 15% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 72%.
Which means this BARF product contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat.
However, with 52% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 32% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Our Rating of BARF Dog Food
BARF is a grain-free raw dog food using a generous amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.
Has BARF Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to BARF.
- BARF World Dog Food Recall (4/1/2013)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- BARF: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food ↩
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩
08/31/2021 Last Update