BARF vs. Prey Model Raw Diets for Dogs: Understanding the Differences


Raw diets have gained popularity as owners look to source a natural and nutritious meal for their pets.

Two prevalent raw feeding approaches are BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) and the Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet.

While both emphasize the benefits of raw feeding, they differ in their philosophies and composition. In this article, we'll delve into the distinctions between BARF and Prey Model raw diets for dogs to help you make an informed choice for your pet.

BARF Diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food

The BARF diet, pioneered by Dr. Ian Billinghurst, focuses on a balanced combination of raw meat, bones, and vegetables. Here are the key components of the BARF diet:

  1. Meat: BARF includes a variety of animal meats, such as beef, chicken, lamb, and fish. The meat component provides essential proteins for your dog's muscle development.

  2. Bones: Bone content in the BARF diet is essential for dental health and provides calcium and other minerals. These can be served as whole bones or ground into the meal.

  3. Vegetables: BARF incorporates fruits and vegetables, offering vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These additions aim to mimic the contents of a dog's prey's stomach in the wild.

  4. Organ Meat: Organ meats like liver and kidney are a vital part of the BARF diet, as they provide essential nutrients such as vitamins A and B.

  5. Supplements: Some BARF diets may include supplements like fish oil, probiotics, and vitamins to ensure complete nutrition.

Prey Model Raw (PMR) Diet

The Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet takes a more simplistic approach, attempting to mimic a dog's natural prey consumption in the wild. Here's what you can expect from the PMR diet:

  1. Meat and Bones: PMR primarily consists of whole meats and bones. It doesn't include vegetables or fruits. The emphasis is on providing a diet similar to what a dog would eat if it were hunting in the wild.

  2. Minimal Processing: The PMR diet avoids processing, grinding, or cooking. The goal is to provide a diet as close to nature as possible.

  3. No Supplements: In the PMR diet, there's typically no need for supplements because it relies on the nutritional completeness of whole prey animals.

Key Differences

Now, let's examine the primary differences between BARF and PMR diets:

  1. Inclusion of Vegetables: BARF incorporates vegetables and fruits for added fiber and nutrients, while PMR is strictly based on whole prey animals without any plant matter.

  2. Complexity: BARF diets tend to be more complex because they require a wider range of ingredients, including vegetables, fruits, and supplements, whereas PMR is simpler and focuses solely on meat and bones.

  3. Nutritional Completeness: Both diets aim to provide complete nutrition, but BARF may require careful meal planning and supplementation to ensure all essential nutrients are covered. PMR relies on whole prey animals to deliver all necessary nutrients.

  4. Philosophy: BARF diets have a more holistic approach, aiming to provide a variety of nutrients similar to what a dog would eat in the wild. PMR adheres closely to the natural prey model, avoiding any plant matter.


Choosing between a BARF and Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet for your dog depends on your pet's specific needs, your preferences, and your ability to manage the diet. Both approaches offer the benefits of raw feeding, but they have distinct philosophies and compositions. Regardless of the choice you make, providing a balanced, raw diet can contribute to your dog's overall health and well-being.

For us here at Brodies, we like to see the inclusion of fruit ferment and kelp in our key recipes: Complete Chicken Meal, Complete Veal Meal & Venison Wild Life