Hello folks! Sorry for the hiatus, I’ve been waiting for an email reply from the company, but it hasn’t arrived and I decided not to wait any more! So here’s today’s post! 🙂
After trying Dr Billinghurst’s B.A.R.F (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods), I thought to look at the other BARF and see what the difference is! Er…well, I suppose you can tell by now that I’m the sort that likes to read nutrition labels at the supermarket as well.
Well off to the product! Here it is:
Placed my hand there for comparison. I got this KANGEROO BARF at Woodlands Pet Station at $38 for 1.38kg (expiry date: 31 May 2014) Big Dog has 3 flavours: Kangaroo, turkey and fish.
I must say, this cardboard box feels…wrinkly and old. Another day later I went down to Serangoon Garden (Maju Ave)’s Pet Station and all they had left was fish. BOOOOOO. I left sadly.
I got the last box by the way. The sales lady had to dig in all the way through the freezer for it and because of the difficulty she went through I didn’t want to say ‘no’ to it anymore.
And then I flew home like the wind! hehe.
Here ya go, the usual claims made, which are rather similar to Dr. Billinghurst’s.
The Big Dog website says this (for dogs):
When BARF has been fed over three or four generations there is a trend towards enhancing bitch health and fertility. This results in fewer assisted births, excellent milk production, and greater viability of offspring.
Now I certainly agree with the ‘enhanced health’ part, but I’m not sure about the milk production part, nor am I sure about the ‘over three or four generations’ part. There are many raw benefits, but this is the first time I’ve read about raw food enhancing milk production. Shall have to research on it. Until then, I’m hesitant to say that raw food does improve milk production. And also, 3-4 generations is a long time for raw effects to take place!
Was displeased by this when I got home! A partially-opened cardboard bottom. It feels even older now… 😦 But this is just me whining about aesthetic appeals. I’m sure the other boxes are better looking.
I don’t suppose you can see the feeding guide, so here it is, copied from the box since you can’t find it on the website.
This is based on a 4% feeding ratio, which actually is more than enough. Most only need 2-3%, remember? So will you be over-feeding your pet on this? Likely so, unless you have a very active kitty.
1 Kg cat –1/3 patty
2 Kg cat– 2/3 patty
3 Kg cat– 1 patty
4 Kg cat– 1 1/3 patty
5 Kg cat– 1 2/3 patty
6 Kg cat– 2 patties
7 Kg cat– 2 1/3 patties
8 Kg cat– 2 2/3 patties
9 Kg cat — 3 patties.
The guide stops at 9 kg.
(Crowdsourcing: Does anyone have a huge >9kg cat? Maybe a Siberian forest cat or…? Wow it has to be huge! We’d like a picture of your huge kitty if you do have a huge cat 😛 Pretty please!)
Now on to the patties:
Each box comes with 12 patties of this size. If you have an average Singaporean moggy, which should be about 4-5 kg, a box would last you approximately only 9 days.
Also, found something rather interesting online and have been waiting for an answer from Big Dog, but it’s been about a week and there’s no reply. So if there is, I’ll post it up as an edit 🙂
Dr. Billinghurst says that they are not affiliated with Big Dog.
But, Big Dog says that they are the manufacturer of choice for Dr. Billinghurst’s BARF diet.
OOH SO INTERESTING. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? *radar tingles* are they the same? Does Big Dog manufacture both Dr. Billinghurst’s and their own?
Let’s hope Big Dog replies me hehe.
For now, a side-by-side comparison:
Dr. Billinghurst’s sometimes has the same packaging as Big Dog’s as well. But personally, I prefer the flatter patties because they thaw faster and more evenly. The thicker patties are a pain sometimes because the middle is still stiff and ice-cold while the sides are slushy.
Onward to a personal pet peeve:
These packages (for both products) are tightly sealed with a loose corner build in so that you can tear it open. Boy are the loose corners 1.) hard to find 2.) difficult to tear!
Here’s what it looks like:
Pleasantly surprised to find that there was no gamey smell.
I do feel that Big Dog BARF is slightly–just slightly–less mushy than Dr. Billinghurst’s, and less vomit-like (sorry! It’s true!).But then again, you must remember that I’m comparing different meat types here. The Dr. Billinghurst’s that I used was rabbit, and this Kangaroo. Theoretically, commercial machine-ground meat should be about the same regardless of texture, but I’m just saying that the difference in meat types could be why Big Dog Barf’s is less mushy, and not that the brand as a whole is less mushy.
I HAVE TO GET MY HANDS ON A PACK OF BIG DOG TURKEY. Just to see if the texture is the same as this pack’s.
Here’s the ingredient list for kangaroo:
Kangaroo meat, finely ground kangaroo bone, offal (a mixture of equal parts of heart and liver derived from beef and lamb), whole raw egg (no shell), fresh yogurt, carrots, apples, dried alfalfa leaf powder and dried kelp powder.
Brownie points to them for using kangaroo bone, BUT the heart and liver are derived from beef and lamb. Possibly because there isn’t enough to go around…? Dried Kelp for iodine (levels unknown) and alfalfa for chlorophyll (much like wheatgrass)… okay. Except for the levels, the ingredients look okay.
When I first saw this I went: OOH spinach! But it isn’t, at least, according to the ingredient list. There’s no spinach!
What is this mystery veg??? Is it a clump of dried kelp/alfalfa powder?
These little clumps were found scattered sparsely in the pack.
And look! A bone shard (and a mystery green clump)!
Dr. Billinghurst’s does not come with bone shards. And I think I don’t really like the bone shards here because personally I’d only buy this mushy raw food for an old animal and since they are all ground, shouldn’t the bone be ground as well? Hmmm.
You’ll find these bone shards very frequently. Not good for people who do not want to feed any bone shards at all. Yes, they can get stuck in your pet’s teeth/gums and yes, they can choke on them–but remember, pets can choke on anything.
At this point of time I do feel that Dr. Billinghurst’s is better for old, toothless animals.
So… onward to the cats’ opinion!
Well not being one to back down from choosy kitties, I mixed the kangaroo with beef and served it to them thus :
You can almost tell what sort of mother I will be next time:
Kid: Mommy, are there nasty peas and carrots in this? *points to meatloaf/ngor hiang (a type of South-east Asian Chinese meatloaf)*
Me: No, no honey…not at all…you won’t find any… *turns away to hide evil grin*
(Aside to self) Of course you won’t find any… peas and carrots are all ground…
Hehhehehe. And yes, the kitties ate every bit of it. Faith coped by picking off the beef bits first and then grudgingly licking up the kangaroo. Possibly also cursing the owner in her kitty brain.
If you should buy this product, remember to save the box… because…
It fits a medium cat really well!
Anyway, what good is Big Dog BARF for, then, besides older animals?
1.) It’s good for variety. Kangaroo is a nice change from the usual meats.
Will/should I be feeding this regularly?
This is because of the abovementioned point, but also because of the calcium-phosphorous levels of the product, which is stated to be
Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio – 1:0.6
This is not good! It is way off. Calcium for dogs and cats cannot be calculated on its own because intake must be balanced with phosphorus ratios, and so, Big Dog Kangaroo’s levels are insufficient. To make things clearer:
The Nutrient requirements of cats By National Research Council (U.S.). Subcommittee on Cat Nutrition says :
“…a ratio of calcium to phosphorous of between 1:1 and 2:1 has been proven acceptable…”
Too much calcium could lead to bladder stones. Too little could lead to (especially for growing pets) bone deformities.
Dr. Billinghurst’s calcium-phosphorous levels are at a more acceptable 1.1: 1.
So I certainly will not be feeding this regularly–maybe once in a long while just as a treat.
Singaporean readers can get Big Dog B.A.R.F from Pet Station at this point of writing, or you can get it delivered via online orders from Pet Station. For our Aussie readers, you can approach the Australian company directly via their website. Not sure if it delivers to other parts of the world though!
[Edit: A reader has told us that she once found a whole set of intact chicken claws in her DOG BARF. Please go through your BDPF BARF with a spoon to ensure that the food is safe for your pet]
To end off, Faith has something to say…
(She sat in the box for a long, long time!)
Have a good weekend everybody–and thank you to those of you who’ve emailed us encouraging words! Much needed and appreciated! hehe 🙂