Bela, (Meat Expert)

QUALITY MANAGER

My name is Bela Tiszatáji Vadász, I was born on 29 March 2013 in Szeged, Hungary. I’m an Aries (or a Sheep…?), and according to the Chinese Zodiac I’m a Snake (I like this better than the Sheep, it sounds more dangerous, lol). My hoomans wanted a high-quality Hungarian Vizsla and they were looking for me for a long time until they found me in – Hungary.

My hoomans had dogs before me, but these dogs were short-lived and what’s worse – they lived shorter and shorter lives. And when they got little me they decided to change something…the diet!
And so I have been eating BARF since I was a puppy. When I was with my mom, Ugra Bugra, I used to eat some brown balls. And then, when I moved to Samobor at 2 months, I got meeeaaaaat!! Real, fresh, raw meat, just as we carnivores like it.

My hoomans say (I always eavesdrop on them, yes) that dogs’ lives are too short anyway, and when they go too soon that makes them awfully sad. And so my main task is to be alive and kicking until I’m 18 at least. My breeder said that little me was very attached to people (I am!) and that I was dominant when it came to food (I think that means that I’m a glutton – I am!).
I am a well-mannered girl, young at heart, good and obedient, especially when there’s a treat involved.
Since I like to eat a lot, I think my life couldn’t have turned out better. My hoomans are always coming up with some new products and they all fall in the category of dog food and treats, and that’s my dream job – tasting, or so-called quality control.

Sometimes they complain that I’m not the right dog for the job because I like everything. Fine, I always eat Von BARF first, but I also eat everything else (I hear them talking behind my back that I could eat just about anything, so what – I’m as fit as a fiddle!). The problem is that they often invite other dogs from our neighbourhood to join in the testing of the products, and I really don’t like that (I should somehow pretend that I don’t like some products, but I can’t!).
There’s this one neighbour, he doesn’t eat anything he doesn’t like very much and he always eats only Von VARF products, and this other one just sniffs it and leaves, the people in the office call him Mr Dog. Between us – I don’t like him too much…

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that I’m very good looking, super healthy and that I only see vets when I need to be vaccinated (and when my hoomans have meetings with them to explain why Von BARF is the best dog food ever).

I’m extremely good looking (did I mention this already?), muscular, energetic, powerful, my coat is shiny – you can see this just by looking at me. I also have white teeth, like a puppy, you can’t see that, but I can show you when you visit. Ok then, I’m off begging for some treats.

Barbara Šuflaj, B.Sc.

HEAD OF FINANCE

I am not one of those people who knew what they wanted to do when they were 15, 18 or 25, but I have always known that one of the most important factors for my work-related happiness would be the product of the company.

I might find the idea of working in finances interesting, but it is not interesting to work in finances for a company that sells an uninteresting, unimportant or bad product.

I am not one of those people that have expert knowledge on dog nutrition, but I have always believed, guided by my own instincts and logic that might make sense only to me, that the best food for my dog (Medo, lived to be 18) is the one as similar to its original form as possible. If I put these two facts together, there is only one possible result – Von Barf.

Bojan Zebić, B.Sc.

HEAD OF SALES

In my professional career I have had different jobs that always included dealing with high quality products. This, combined with many years of experience in selecting products for various companies, enables me to easily identify products that offer something completely new, and BARF products, which I accidentally heard about through a friend, seemed to me like the future of dog food industry.

But I never thought that I was going to be directly involved in raw dog food, what attracted me was a completely different story behind Von BARF.
Quality and carefully selected ingredients are something rarely seen in today’s food products, especially in pet food where, unfortunately, the decisive factor is often the price and not the quality.

As Von BARF is simply the best food you can feed your dog I really wanted to become a part of the team that is going to change the way we feed our dogs.

Iva Peričić, MD

MANAGING DIRECTOR

I have been surrounded by animals ever since I can remember; my first dog, next to whom I took my first steps, was Asterix the Great Dane. Although dogs were the most numerous members of our family, thanks primarily to my parents, I was also fortunate to grow up with a sheep, bunnies, chickens, tortoises, parrots, fish, cats, a catfish, ducks…and all this in the very heart of Zagreb. And my entire life I wanted my job to revolve around animals. The only thing I could think of when I was young was breeding dogs, but I realized on time that responsible breeding can only be a hobby, and not something one could make a living out of. I also thought about becoming a veterinarian, but I empathize too much with animal suffering, which is something veterinarians inevitably have to deal with because one cannot save them all. And so, not knowing what I wanted to do in life (as most eighteen-year-olds don’t) I enrolled and graduated in medicine. But yet again, it looks like medicine, in terms of direct contact with patients, was not my true calling either, because completely accidentally and unintentionally, after my residency and licensing exam, I started working in the pharmaceutical industry. I spent the last 15 years in the leading European pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline doing all kinds of jobs – from field associate to marketing manager, sales manager and corporate affairs. I definitely learned so, so much there, I learned how a successful multinational company should operate.

And this is where BARF came in…when we got our Bela we wanted only the best for her. We also wanted the best for our previous dogs, but unfortunately we never thought to question what we fed them…all of us usually feed our pets with what a vet, a breeder, or an acquaintance from dog walks tell us. In the vastness of the Internet we found an article on the advantages of raw food for dogs, and to me, as a medical professional, this seemed completely logical. And so we started feeding our little, two-months-old Bela with BARF. I started researching more deeply this, actually a completely logical fact that dogs have the internal anatomy and physiology of a carnivore, and that due to our lack of knowledge and our own comfort we have been feeding them the wrong way the entire time. The more I understood the importance of proper nutrition, the more I wanted to make BARF and everything related to it my life’s calling. Von BARF combined my medical education, my experience in the pharmaceutical industry and an absolute enthusiasm regarding the perfect dog food. And I realized that I could combine my profession – medicine, with my love – dogs, in the best possible way – through prevention. Because that is what BARF is. And each dog switched to natural nutrition brings me great happiness and joy!

PETRA GALETIĆ, dr. vet. med.

MEDICAL ADVISOR

I have always known that animals and their wellbeing will be one of the most important aspects of my life. Growing up surrounded by animals, with both parents as veterinarians, things couldn’t have worked out any other way. To illustrate how much animals have shaped and enriched my life, I will give you a brief overview of all my animal friends, starting with my first dog – Bela, and her numerous litters, then Eni, her daughter and successor, and then Tajči (guess who my favourite singer was), a puppy we got because my mother saved her mother’s life after she was poisoned with rodenticide. Tajči lived to be 17 and she was our last “official“ dog. But soon…I believe you know what came next ☺ cats – this part might be too extensive, so I will just name the last few that were our real pets – Cosmo, Milan, John-John, Ćilibar and Buda.

And then – horses – Ereta and Epona – when I was twelve I wanted a horse, and, of course, I got it ☺ ☺. Ereta is now 20, she is vital, in excellent shape and highly stubborn and cunning. Epona was Ereta’s first and only foal, and she is now a grown up fifteen-year old horse. They spend most of their days eating grass in a meadow or begging for bread at a stable window. The only look forward to riding and trips if this does not happen more often than once a week.

And then goats – ah, this could be a lengthy section. The first goat we had, Kristina, lived to be 14 and I am sure that – she could almost speak. Goats are wonderful beings, extremely intelligent, curious, agile, with a distinct character; wonderful pets – which is inconceivable in Croatia, but around the world there are people who keep goats as pets. And that is my recommendation for anyone who finds it difficult to feed dogs and cats with meat due to moral and ethical reasons. In a herd of 40 adult goats, I have to admit, I have my favourites. They are Žuži, who would sell herself for a piece of bread and is able to beg for it and get under one’s feet for as long as it takes to get it, and Damba, a young Billy Goat, and I am trying to make friends with him, because I had a bad experience with the last one, that is, he broke my arm (you would not believe how they laughed at me at the hospital).

And that is how, at the age of 18, after I finished high school, I enrolled into veterinary medicine. It was not a decision per se, it happened quite naturally. At the university, one learns that veterinary medicine doe not equal love for animals, but that it also includes many things that, for someone that loves animals, could be difficult to accept and the ones that one does not necessarily agree with.
However, it is wonderful to be a veterinarian, especially if one manages to find a job that fulfils them, which is = love for animals.

And this is my job in Von BARF, where I got the chance to learn about the huge role of diet in the health of dogs and how to use diet to make dogs healthy, happy and full of energy. Dogs with health problems are my biggest challenge and the biggest incentive for further improvement. Positive experiences of dog owners who feed Von BARF to their dogs are sometimes so incredible that it makes me sad that we have (unintentionally, in the belief that we are doing the best we can) caused a lot of suffering to our most loyal friends by feeding them in a wrong way.

And therefore, I am here for you and I want to use my present experience and knowledge about dog diet to help you and your dogs become and stay healthy, full of energy and happy.