» Updates

Emilia Puustinen


Feeding before

This page tells how I have fed my dogs before. Resent feeding plan is told at main feeding page. Here is also some text regarding health issues and how food has make a difference.

1st way - Dogs come 1998-2002

My first dog, Jasmin, arrives at summer 1998. By the breeder's guide we feed Nutro. Breeder's favorite is Mastery but here no pet store sell it. The next best food was Nutro. And with Nutro we started to feed Jasmin. First she got puppy food and later adult food. Sometimes she got rice etc. with the Nutro.

Jasmin was choosy with her food when she came to us. She ate when she felt like it. So we started to keep her food available all the time. The idea was that she could eat when she is hungry. And so did she do. Jasmin grew to a healthy dog. She was always skinny but not too skinny ever.

At summer 2002 Jasmin got a friend, akita female Juno. Juno was a piggy even before we got her. She would ate anything that was eatable. Juno was big when she came to us. She had eaten on behalf of other littermates. Because Juno was so greedy Jasmin started to eat. She knew that if she won't eat her food Juno will.

Both dogs ate Nutro and rice first years in their lives. When Juno was about 1 yr old she started to itch. One time we went to a vet because of the itching because she had scratch herself pretty badly. The vet find out that she has yeast in her ears and thought that she is allergic to Nutros. So we changed Nutro to Hill's allergy food. The food didn't help Juno. Neither one liked Hill's food, so we started to look another food.

2nd way - Getting to know raw meat 2002-2006

Dogs are fed with Nutro. Juno itches, licks herself and smells bad. Coat is great but greasy. Because of the symptoms with Juno we change to another pellets like Eukanuba and Mastery. Nothing seems to work properly. Although symptoms are gone time to time. Otherwise Juno is feeling excellent and because of that we didn't want to feed several antibiotics etc.

Slowly we came to informed about a car that drives through Finland and sells meat etc. to pets. Many people recommend this car and we decide to try it. Meat was given with Nutro. Sometimes dogs got rice etc. adds to their food. Dogs started to feel much better.

At summer 2004 Juno got her first (and only) litter with 5 puppies. I kept one girl from that litter, Martta.

At that time I haven't red too much about feedingÖ So I fed the puppies with Nutro and meat. All the puppies grew well and new homes fed same like I did. Juno was ok, although she started to lick her skin again.

Martta grew and slowly by itself the Nutro started to leave behind. I gave more and more meat and dogs loved it. They also got some rice or porridge with meat.

3rd way - Secrets of BARF 2006-2007

I donít feed my dogs perfectly following the regulations of BARF. I add grains and leftovers from human food to the BARF food. The bones section in the BARF diet circle is at least 60 per cent. I donít obey that rule literally. I just chop the body of the chicken and mix it with other meat and vegetable puree. If I have to estimate the amount of the bones in my diet I would say it is about 40 per cent. Amount of the bones varies depending on the age of the dog. If the dog is young and in the growing phase it is recommended to give bones more than 40 per cent.

Fleshy bones: I usually give a whole chicken that is cut in peaces to my dogs. So the chicken is the source of the fleshy bones. Occasionally I feed my dogs other fleshy bones if I get them somewhere. I feed my dogs also beef. I give the side of a beef in small portions because too big pieces are hard to eat. Gristles are one part of my BARF- feeding plan. But my dogs havenít liked gristles because I always find them buried to the ground.>

Meat: The meat section in my BARF-plan is made up of minced meat (beef-pork), lamb, chicken and turkey. The cowís stomach is also one part of the meats and a big delicacy of my dogs. Dogs get the stomach weekly. I give liver and liver casserole seldom because raw liver must be pan-fried before my dogs (who are real gastronomes) want to eat it and that takes time that I often donít have too much.

Puree: Puree is made of apples, arctic lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and carrot. I often add also banana and marrow to the puree because these substances help to reduce the strong smell of the vegetables. The lesser smell, the better. At one time I put raw cabbage into the puree but nowadays I donít do it anymore because of the smell and taste. Cabbage was too much for my dogs Ė they never ate it. Somewhere in the BARF literature was also mentioned that itís not recommended to give food or ingredients that creates gas in the stomach. That is important especially amongst the dog breeds that have a deep chest.

Usually I mix two or three bags of meat and one bag of puree. The number of the meat bags in every meal depends on the quality of the meat. If the meat is greasy then I give only three bags of meat. I mix the meat and the puree and add garlic powder, oil and seaweed powder. This amount of food is enough for the three Akita females (weight 30-35 kg) and it includes the morning and evening meals.  Sometimes I substitute one meat bag (or two) with bones.

The other food that I give to my dogs is seaweed, garlic grouts, eggs, linseed oil and salmon oil. Few times in a month (or more seldom) I give zinc tablets which I crush and add to the food. I gave vitamin E tablets to the pregnant bitch but usually I donít give vitamin E to my dogs. When the dog is pregnant I add sour milk and cottage cheese to the food. Rice and macaroni makes somehow one of my dogs itching so I have started to investigate why this happens. I have replaced rice and macaroni and started to give porridge (barley + rice). I have realized that small amounts of rice donít have an effect on itching.

My dogs has a carpet for their food. Usually dogs love to chew their bones on a carpet, so I bought a black carpet for them. Maybe the bones taste better eaten on a carpet..?

Aloe vera: I have tried to give aloe vera juice to my dogs. It is good alternative to vitamins. The juice contains almost every needed vitamins etc. You only need to give oils (no any vitamins).

Outdoor dogs in the winter: add water to the puree so that the puree reminds gruel. Then the dogs have water at same time with the food and you donít have to change the frozen water cup or buy a heated water cup. Fleshy fat is one good ingredient to give during the winter if the frost is freezing. But do not give fat in every meal! The dogs will get fat if they have too much fat!


All the puppies that I have the raised here have started to eat raw food since the very beginning. Many of the breeders feed puppies with dogís industrial food. Thatís one way to familiarize puppies to eat. I havenít done that. I donít judge the industrial food because it is useful food especially in the training situations. Nevertheless I usually use cheese or sausage as a titbit. The most fascinating titbit for my dogs seems to be greasy baloney.

Additions to Food

Itís good to add oils(no olive oil), garlic and seaweed to food. Oils, especially fish oil helps to keep the glossiness of the coat. Garlic is the natureís own help to the immunisation and seaweed destroys bacteria and increases power of resistance and cleans off the toxic from the organs. Seaweed is not preferred to give large amounts especially to bitches.

My dogs get nearly every day seaweed, fish oil and linseed oil.

Or you can add Aloe Vera drink to food. The drink contains almost every vitamins and it's pure and natural drink. The drink is the same with humans.

Make sure what food already contains before adding vitamins along. And remember that vitamins A, D, E and K can reduce overdose. Although vitamin E is safe to give because it doesn't stay long in the dog's organism.

Making the food

The most laborious thing in the BARF is overwhelmingly the processing of puree. The latest time I made puree I bought that much ingredients that I could make about 10 cans (Š 400 g) of puree. I spent nearly two hours for that. Firstly I chop the carrots to the little pieces and put them to the food processor. Then I add other ingredients little by little and let the machine do the rest. Finally I empty the bowl to the bigger bowl and start a new round. When I have processed all the vegetables and fruits I portion out the puree to the little cans (Š 200-600g).

I use fish scissors or big chef knives with the bones. I usually give chicken for my dogs so then the fish scissors are really useful and easier to use than the big knives.>

As I mentioned earlier I donít disfavour the dogís industrial food. But if your dog itches or creates very big droppings I recommend trying BARF. Thereís an option to feed industrial food and BARF at the same time. I think itís the best way to give 50/50 of each food kind if you choose to feed dogs with both kinds of foods.

The industrial food balloons much. Itís good to remember that the given industrial food doubles or triples its size in the stomach. You shouldnít go to long walks right after the dog has eaten its meal. Thereís a danger of bloat that can in the severest situation kill the dog.

Water is a basic need for the dogs. So let there be water near to the dog all the time.

You can find links to the other BARF websites from the ĎOwn linksí (top of this site).

Text partly translated by Antti Puustinen