[Inadequate nutrient supply in "BARF" feeding plans for a litter of Bernese Mountain Dog-puppies. A case report]

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere. 2016 Oct 12;44(5):341-347. doi: 10.15654/TPK-151091. Epub 2016 Sep 6.
[Article in German]


Anamnesis: A litter of Bernese Mountain Dog-puppies (6 weeks of age) was meant to be fed a "BARF" (bones and raw food) diet. The breeder asked for advice regarding the nutritional adequacy of the feeding plans that she had compiled for the different growth stages. The anamnesis showed the puppies to be underweight for their age and expected adult body mass at the time of request for a ration check. The bitch had almost stopped lactating. Ration check: The review of the feeding plans for the different growth stages revealed a deficient energy supply for all stages and at times an inadequate protein supply. A highly inappropriate supply with calcium and phosphorus was found in almost all feeding plans. Sodium and potassium as well as the trace elements copper, zinc, manganese and iodine and several vitamins were deficient in some if not all of the feeding plans.

Clinical relevance: Inadequate supply with such nutrients during the growth phase can lead to severe developmental disorders, especially in large breed puppies. Therefore, a thorough review of self-made rations for puppies carried out by specialised veterinarians appears to be of utmost importance to avoid permanent damage during growth.

Keywords: Dog; deficiency; excess; growth; nutrients; nutrition; raw food.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / standards*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Female
  • Malnutrition / veterinary
  • Raw Foods
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Vitamins