If you believe that raw food is best for dogs but lack either the time and/or the knowledge to do so, I recommend Babarf.ch/en. I first met Babarf when they attended our Natural Dog Seminar 2017 and having recently switched Perro onto their food, I visited the manufacturing facility in Bussigny where Megan & Morgane (below) showed me around and explained their philosophy. I was so impressed with their ethos, quality and service that I have agreed to partner with Babarf to spread the word amongst dog owners.
What is Babarf?
Babarf is a Swiss company based in Bussigny that prepares balanced complete raw meals for dogs delivered directly to homes. They are in fact the only company currently offering this service in the area. Meals follow BARF principles (biologically appropriate raw food) and comprise muscle meat, meaty bones, organ meat and lightly cooked veg with a little fresh fruit. Balanced meals are delivered frozen and pre-prepared into daily portions, personalised to each animal's needs and adapted to their ideal weight on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis depending on the preference of customers.
The production facility (see photos above) is impressive. Spotlessly clean and extremely well organised, it was great - and reassuring - to see first hand how the process works. The meat & fish comes in from Switzerland, France and Belgium and the fruit and veg comes from the farm down the road. Menus are specifically devised to ensure seasonal fruit and veg with a good mix of white & red meat proteins and meats are rotated on a monthly basis. Everything is fresh and there are no chemicals, preservatives or additives.
The all-important price issue:
Babarf portions and pricing are based on the ideal weight of your dog. There's a simple calculator on the website here so you can work it out yourself. For Perro (30kg), the cost of Babarf is CHF7/day or CHF218/month including delivery. That's double the price of Orijen kibble, one of the better dry foods on the market. That's fine by me because I believe that fresh food means happier, healthier, longer living dogs and lower vet bills. But surprisingly for me, the cost of Babarf is the same as my DIY raw solution and cheaper than the frozen complete mixes I had been buying from local pet shops for the past number of years. And best of all, the Babarf solution is totally hassle free, all the ratios of meat, bone, veg, fruit & organs are worked out for you on a daily basis. All you need to do is open the bag and serve!
Advantages of Babarf over DIY raw or pet shop pre-mixed completes:
Interested in switching your dog from processed to raw?
If you would like to transition your dog yourself, here are the basics of raw feeding in a nutshell and here is a step by step guide to follow. I recently used this Perfectly Rawsome online guide with Zuma, it is really helpful. But be warned, there is an initial learning curve and a lot of weighing and measuring. If you want to take a much easier route, Babarf has a lot of experience in switching dogs to fresh and raw, and they offer the transition service at no extra cost. All you need is freezer space. Whichever route you choose, please, please, please transition from processed to raw food carefully and slowly otherwise you will have a dog with an upset tummy to deal with. This is because his gut acidity will need time to adjust to digesting raw food.
If you do switch to fresh food, you should see noticable improvements in your dog's energy, weight, coat, teeth, breath and poo within a matter of weeks. Please keep me posted, I would love to hear from you! Oh, and if you decide to subscribe to the Babarf service please be sure to tick the box on their website acknowledging Happy Dogs Aigle as the referral site, let me know and I will send you a bag of our brand new happy dog healthy treats as a "welcome to the club" gift!
Aileen Woulfe, Irish expat, lifelong animal lover, Swiss qualified with a diplôme cynologique in breeding, grooming and kennel management and owner of Happy Dogs Aigle boarding and daycare in Vaud, Switzerland.